Category Archives: love

Nomad Pitches Tent in Boston

Approximately one year ago, Nomad was living on Long Island and began to feel that familiar itch – the itch to move, to uproot, to find greener pastures, watering holes and new territories to explore..

Nomad began to crave civilization. Intensely. She wanted to eat in new restaurants and navigate new boulevards. She wanted to find her tribe.

The slow lazy days spent on Long Island were a combined mixture of boredom and quiet stillness. The former has been known to drive Nomad insane, but the latter gave her great pleasure. However, Nomad began to struggle more and more with boredom and loneliness and decided it was time to make moves.

And so she set her sights on a city. A city that she had not before considered, and in fact had actually once shirked – Boston. As with all of Nomad’s previous moves, there was first a calling and then a gestation period before packing up her belongings and her tent and relocating it from one pasture to the next.

This particular gestation period seemed interminable. Work was busy as she prepared for someone to take over her position and students flocked in droves to the campus. In July her heart suffered a breaking open, and it was brutally uncomfortable. But Nomad is well practiced in the art of change, and she understood that preparing to move meant shedding the things that no longer served her so that she could travel light and far.

Nomad wanted  a quick fix and a change of pace to mend her broken heart. But as per usual, she had to sit and wait patiently. It felt like an eternity, but finally her plan to move started to pick up momentum in June. She found a place to pitch her tent – a great little spot in Somerville, an up and coming suburb of Boston. A quiet street, a small, cozy apartment, two lovely roommates- it was perfect. Convenient. Affordable. Good energy.  “I’ll take it,” she said without considering any other options. Only 3 months til she could move in. She didn’t want to wait, but didn’t have a choice.

Nomad was excited for her next steps and, as to be expected, a little nervous, too. While she was certain on having a place to call home, she was uncertain what her source of income would be. She fought that fear until she made herself sick with anxiety. One day she made up her mind to let go and trust – a practice that always serves her well.  Her employer had promised to make it work for her if she could go with the flow. And so that is what she did.

She read on the beach all summer, tanned her skin and sought the healing properties of the salted air and water. She centered herself with dance and resolved to move her body as much as possible. It helped draw September nearer to her.

And then it was finally time. Time to say goodbye to the people she loved on Long Island. This part of moving – the goodbye part – is always significantly hard and sad for Nomad. Her tears were metallic and salty as she hugged the people who had become closest to her. But she carries these people in her story and in her heart.

On her last day on the Island she packed the U-haul with her belongings and set off with her best friend by her side for Boston. He was going to deliver her to her new home before heading back to Long Island, and she was eternally grateful that she didn’t have to say that goodbye to him just yet.

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Her excitement outweighed the sadness she felt on leaving. She was anxious to settle in to her new home and to meet a particular man that had peaked her interest in a previous trip to Boston. There was something undeniably different and special about this man and she was excited to find out what.A first date was had as soon as Nomad had unpacked her last box. The best first date she’d ever been on. Needless to say, the two more than hit it off, and Nomad has spent the last four months since she arrived in Boston exploring the city clad in a pair of rose-colored glasses and a very full and happy heart.

She still has yet to learn many things about her new town. She doesn’t know how to get from point A to B without the help of Google Maps. She only has a handful of spots where she frequents for food and drink and has  only just joined a gym. But Nomad is excited to do what she does best — explore the nooks and crannies of her heart and the of the people and places all around her.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in Nomad’s many adventures. This one is sure to be full of excellent people and places.

Happy New Year to you and yours. May it be full of discovery!

Love, Nomad

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What I’ve Learned by Being Alone

Before sitting down to write I did a quick Google search on the following words: loneliness & alone.

The results were just as I’d expected.

There were tons of posts on the growing public health concern of loneliness, Psychology Today articles on combatting it as well as the human need for socialization. What I didn’t see in my quick search, however, was what I want to write about here — what I’ve learned and the benefits of being alone.

For the past year and half I’ve been contemplating the concept of being alone. I moved to Long Island in 2014 for a dream opportunity. I packed up my belongings and transplanted myself in a locale quite culturally foreign to me. I came here without a network of friends and only some limited family nearby. I was, for all intents and purposes, alone.

Before I came out here I had a vibrant social life and a unique circle of friends of all ages. I’d also never truly been alone before, at least not in the way that I have been in this new setting. Here I have not been able to call up a friend and announce that on a moments notice, I’d be at their door. I’ve always had friends to explore and hangout with. So, as you can imagine, this change was pretty abrupt and harsh for me.

At first I rejected the area and its inhabitants. I assured myself that it was time for me to put my head down and to work hard — harder than ever before. If I threw myself into my work, I wouldn’t have time to feel lonely. This was partially true. The first few months I was here, I worked like a dog. I tried to push the loneliness out by working so hard that the weekends could only be a time for rest, relaxation and recuperation. But as expected, feelings of loneliness would creep up on me when I least expected them. There I was again – at the beach, in random parking lots, in my kitchen, on the phone, in the car – crying. I had never been so lonely, and for so long, in my entire life.

When I sat down with the purpose of writing about being alone out here, my intent was to explain the life lesson that I’ve been learning and not to make anyone feel bad for me…or worse, for ME to feel for myself. Just so I’m clear, loneliness does not necessarily equate to unhappiness for me.

Sure, I have days where I feel melancholy and nostalgic and wish I had my best friends nearby. I’ve even had extended periods of time where I’ve felt this way. However, what I’ve been feeling recently is more balance between being a social butterfly and being alone.

Before I moved here, there were many things I didn’t know about myself. I never needed to ask myself questions like Who am I? What do I want most? Do I love myself? I had a barrage of social reinforcements that I defined myself against, and our collective mentality was supreme. I was able to be a unique part of a whole, but I never felt truly whole myself without my friend group.  But now that’s different, and I am different. I have more insight now that I didn’t have before, and I know myself better.

I have a better understanding of my social patterns and tendencies.  I know that when I feel alone I use Instagram and Facebook as a crutch to to feel connection. Or that I pursue romantic possibilities even when I’m not fully keen on the person.  And I know that I will pick up the phone and dial everyone in my ‘favorites’ in order to hear a voice on the line who can reassure me that I am still awesome.

These patterns and tendencies are hard to admit because they go against one of my core values–give to yourself what you would ask of others to give to you. To simplify what I mean by that would essentially be to say, “Hey, go connect with yourself. Be your own best friend. Fall in love with yourself.”

But I am only human. And I frequently forget that I am one with everyone and everything — I am never truly alone.

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So what, you may ask, is the benefit of being alone for this long? For me, it has been having enough time to take a good look in the mirror. In the past two years I’ve been able to shift some of my most negative patterns in a more positive direction because I’ve had the time to look within. None of this means that I’ve perfected my ways, but I’ve definitely made progress.

I’ve learned to value myself and my time more. I have learned to be non-judgmental and kind to myself when I am having a off day. I’ve learned that meeting new people takes time and requires lots of patience. I’ve learned to be more patient. I’ve learned that connection is all about quality and not about quantity. I’ve learned to be more aware of my time spent on social media and handheld devices. I’ve learned to get out there and do things that interest me. I’ve learned to kick box and to tango. I’ve learned to be more grateful for the things that I do have. I’ve learned to relish a quiet Friday evening at home, and most of all I’ve learned that “me time” is a necessity.

So while it’s been a bumpy ride over the course of the past few years here on Long Island, I’ve learned a great deal about who I am as a person and what I am capable of manifesting all on my very own.

 

 

 

 

 

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The sacred company of books

Upon stepping through my front door a visitor will discover that I am a hoarder of the sacred. Over the years I have taken great comfort in things that recall my memory to moments of growth and connection with spirit–to places I have lived, and to people and experiences that have touched my heart.

I build alters from stones and feathers found on nature walks. I collect maps from cities I’ve travelled to and postcards written to me from loved ones in far off distant places. I have prayer beads, glass angels, hand carved statues of the Buddha, hamsas to ward of the evil eye, pictures of friends and family, inspirational quotes and journals.

And I have books.

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All kinds of books. Novels and non-fiction, young adult books (yep.), history books, language acquisition books, spiritual self-help books, books on how to be financially conservative, books on how to have difficult conversations, books about war, books about peace, books about love, books about travel, books about yoga, books in French. I have second-hand bookstore books, books from Amazon.com, books I’ve read eight times and books I’ve never read at all.

All of my books are sacred. Each one of them containing a small and profound universe.

My bookshelf represents spiritual potential. As if in a trance or deep meditation–here, physically on my couch or in my bed or on the train–I achieve what the gurus call awakening when I open a book. I am fully engulfed in the present moment, devoured by a black-hole I soar through time and space. I inhale the scent of the pages and I am reborn with each new plot as I dance with both primary and supporting characters alike. I experience the ascent to the climax and come back to this earthly plane only upon pressing a bookmark safely between the book’s pages.

As I near the end of a book, I usally slow down. My curiosity for the summation is over-taken by a feeling of impending nostalgia. Like the feathers and statues and candles and rocks on my alter, I both mourn and celebrate their memory in these words,

The end.

The last page of a book is the sweetest kind of meloncholy. It’s a journey travelled from beginning to end, experienced through my lens and knowledge of self. The experience is highly spiritual and, most importantly, it is mine alone, no matter how many book clubs have read the same work.

Not all stories have happy endings, and I would venture to say that I’ve rarely come across a spectacular book wtih a happy ending. For me, the best books evoke an emotion, which I seek to savour, as if it were a beautifully aged bottle of wine. The conclusion of the best books leaves the reader reflecting on the lessons learned and the growth they have gained as if they lived through the eyes of the characters.

Reading is an act of spirit. It infuses Self into pages filled with words written by another. In that connection between the reader and the author’s text, the walls of illusion fall down and unity is achieved.

As a church is to a Christian, a mosque to a Muslim, a synogogue to a Jew, a temple to a Hindu or Buddhist or the forest to an outdoorsman, so is a library is to me.

Within the walls of a library I am surrounded by a community of seekers–those who crave the unity of written word and spirit. A cohort who worship authors and their works of creative genius and who come back time and again for that unique and individual connection to the divine universe of a good book.

 

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Walking Into Life’s Labyrinth — A Year of Walking With My Heart Open

Today is the one year anniversary of my arrival in St. Jean Pied de Port, France where I began Le Chemin de Saint Jacques, also known as El Camino de Santiago or the Way of Saint James–a Catholic pilgrimage across Northern Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela. One year ago today, I stood at the entrance to the labyrinth that would guide me within myself and help me to balance my external and internal journeys. 

Huruki Murakami’s book, Kafka on the Shore, sheds some interesting light on the emergence and symbolism of labyrinths.

“The symbol of the labyrinth comes from the ancient Mesopotamians. They pulled out animal intestines–sometimes human intestines, I expect–and used the shape to predict the future, They admired the complex shape of intestines. So the prototype for labyrinths is, in a word, guts. Which means that the principle for the labyrinth is inside you.  And that correlates to the labyrinth outside.” 

The principle of reciprocity lies within the labyrinth. If you step into one outside of you, you are also stepping into the one within you.  

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A natural labyrinth outside of Burgos, Spain along El Camino.

Before I walked my dear friend and fellow pilgrim, James, told me that we’re always walking el camino–the way. The voyage itself is just the physical manifestation of the path within. But the way within is typically a very challenging and risky trail to follow. But like a labyrinth, you slowly wind your way to the center, and then back out again. You release, receive and return, hopefully with some clarity of mind and openness of heart. 

El Camino de Santiago is a giant labyrinth that sets the stage for you to turn within. Marked by yellow arrows and scallop shells, Pilgrims wind their way over mountains, across valleys, through woods, over rivers, and into the center of their hearts. Everything along El Camino is a poignant metaphor for life’s labyrinth. 

El Camino itself, perhaps the most obvious, is the way. The journey of our lives. But it is heavily peppered with many other metaphors. The physical pain a pilgrim endures mark the traumas of our lives. The sunrises and sunsets familiarize pilgrims with the cyclical nature of the soul’s journey. One metaphor I found truly persuasive was the pack I carried on my back. Weighing in at 9 kilos when I started (approximately 18 pounds), my bag was full of the things that I thought I needed. Creams, guidebooks, clothing, food etc. My bag, though not the biggest on the trail, was certainly a burden for my unacquainted frame. Smart pilgrims learn fast, lose the weight or else you suffer. Ditch the things that don’t serve you and trust that your community will provide the things you don’t have when you are in need.

El camino always provides. 

The coming and going of pilgrims was another strong metaphor. You meet someone, you walk with them side by side for days on end, and then one day you realize you will eventually move forward or fall behind. Letting your fellow pilgrims walk their own way, and respecting that you too need to proceed the way you feel best, can be hard. Though you may have known them for two or three or fourteen days, they are your support system, your security blanket. Letting go of people is just as hard on the camino as it is in real life. But it was an important lesson for me to learn. I walk my way, you walk yours. If our paths cross and we exchange lessons, you will remain forever in my heart. I do not need to cling to anyone, because  I can take care of myself– I am whole. 

El Camino taught me lessons about resistance. It taught me to let go, to trust, and to go with the flow. The practice of identifying and then releasing myself from the inner-resistance has served me thoroughly in navigating through life’s challenges and my/society’s heavy-set expectations. 

El camino also taught me about magic. In it’s own special way, that trail makes magic. Whether it is the collective energy of the pilgrims who walk, or the sacred and beautiful land, or both! There is something truly remarkable and indescribable about the magic of El Camino. When I finished I thought the magic would go away. That I would only be able to tap into it if I were there, but really the magic was just with me and lying dormant all along. the labyrinth of El Camino opened up the channels for my good-witchery to flow freely. 

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A labyrinth in Queens, NY at the site of the former sacred 5Pointz graffiti mecca.

Arriving in Santiago was one of the most amazing days of my life. Blistered and swollen, my feet rocked 500 miles of terrain and earned themselves some serious street creds. But what I feared most upon arriving in Santiago was how to keep El Camino alive now that I would no longer be walking its sacred path. But again, like the labyrinth commands you must always return to the external realm. You can not stay forever within, you must emerge. But you’ve touched center and can once again be reassured that it is there. Your equilibrium has been rebalanced and you can go about living your human life until the next time you desire to return to that place. The center remains accessibly where it has always been and forever will be, seek it when you need it. 

El Camino has lived a very vibrant life within me since the day I finished walking the trail. There has not been one time where I have thought of my 33 days on the trail and not had a volcanic eruption of emotions explode from my heart. Happiness, pride, nostalgia, awe and gratitude frequently swirl within me when I think back on this experience. 

So I guess James was right, I was walking the way before, though perhaps with my eyes closed. When I made my pilgrimage to Santiago, I walked straight into the wild labyrinth. Through my journey I opened my soul wide and I touched center. I’ve returned frequently to that place to leave offerings of patience with myself and kindness for others, gratitude for life’s lessons and above all a big bouquet of love upon the altar of my soul. 

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A beautiful labyrinth on Long Island.

 

Wake up and dance with me!

I just read an article about early morning sober dance raves in Brooklyn, where smoothies takes the place of alcohol and early birds can shake their booties before heading to the office. Admittedly,  at first I shook my head and thought, “OooOooOhhhh how Brooklyn,” but then immediately after I judged Brooklyn for being its cool-hipster-brownstone-gentrifying-strollered-artsy-dogparked-awesome-self, I thought about how I would TOTALLY go to this sober dance party. Let’s be real, how epic it would be to start each day a dance party?!

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The answer is clearly, duh, dancing is awesome, that WOULD be totally epic.

But not only would it be epic, it would be healthy, and centering. It would promote happiness and well-being, and awareness of my body, mind and soul. For me, dancing is the quickest way to my center. It enables me to find this place deep inside my soul where I fully trust the present moment. In this place I rely on my intuition to fluidly move my body from one movement to the next. Thoughts are not involved.

My journey thus far has taken me through the highs and lows of life, to the tops of mountain peaks and wading through rivers in the valleys below. In order to find my balance, I’ve had to learn to go as the river, and to yodel gratitude from the peaks of luscious green mountains . Along this blessed journey I’ve discovered the importance of self-care and self-awareness. And I’m lavishing this idea of being both fully aware and caring of myself by creating an outlet for my emotional being through my groovy dance moves.

And while I won’t be making the trek to Brooklyn for a daily dose of dance, there is no reason why I can’t bring Brooklyn to me…figuratively speaking.

So, will you join me in a dance party?

The tunez and daily inspiration will be provided courtesy of moi, DJ LIZ$ on the book of face each morning.

Wake up and dance with me. Because, why the eff not?

It’s time to come alive and shake off the sleep! Tomorrow is the official start date, but here’s a little taste of the funk to come.

Circumnavigating the Heart; A Father’s Day Tribute

The circle is a symbol we can all identify with, an infinitely wise geometric shape.

The heart, a blood-pumping-organ that circulates oxygen and blood through our veins.

The sun, which chases the moon through the night sky, dashing across the universe

And pulling the tides of the sea inhale, exhale.

A ship, sailing the seas, circumnavigating the globe.

Through turbulent waters and calm ones he sailed.

My father, the seafarer.

Some of my earliest memories of my father were imaginations, ruminations.

I sat spinning my globe ’round and round tracing an outline with my delicate pointer finger

Across mountains and seas, desserts and rain forests,

Metropolitan cities and rivers and valleys.

“Where’s Daddy?” Mommy would ask.

“Bangladesh,” or  “Cape Town,” or  “Diego Garcia,” I would reply, pinpointing his location with my finger.

I imagined him on his ship, the master of the seas.

“Daddy always comes home” Mommy would tell me.

And he always did.

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It was hard for all of us to function as a family unit sans the captain of our household.

But his first mate and crew managed.

Our hearts were full of joy when Dad came and grief when he left.

And even as we grew older and more accustomed, it never became easier.

Birthdays were missed, Christmases too.

But as Dad sailed he circumnavigated our hearts.

Because it was love for his family that sent him back to the open seas each time.

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Don’t be fooled, Dad. This love is not unrequited nor unappreciated.

And it’s this very love, which has had a profound effect on my life.

Sometimes the effects were as indirect as the passage around the Cape of Good Hope,

But they remain a part of me nonetheless.

I too became a traveler, and as the wanderlust surged and swelled within me like a storm raging in the Atlantic, I set off, like my father, to chart my own course.

I wanted to see the world  just like my Dad.

I wanted my passport to be as full and diverse as his.

And most of all I wanted to explore borders and push boundaries.

I wanted to open myself up the world and let my heart soar to heights as high as Kilimanjaro and plunge as low as the ocean’s floor.

From home, my parents worried. But they were steadfast in their love and support.

And what I’ve learned is that no matter how many times we complete a circle, we are infinitely traveling towards home.

Towards the center of our hearts,

And into the arms of those who love us most.

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Dad,

My passport is now filled with stamps, but the most important stamp of all is the influence you’ve had on my life over the past 24 years. Thank you for your love that knows no borders.

And remember, I, too, always come home.

Happy Father’s Day!

Love,

Lizzie

 

 

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 39: Manifesting In the Light of the Moon

The potent energy of the full moon has the ability to amplify not only our emotions (if you’ve been reading this week, you’ll certainly be able to tell that I’m a moon child) but also our desires. With tonight’s blood moon eclipse, these lunar energies are 10 times the strength of a regular full moon. So how can we use our energy for positive manifestation? It is my firm belief that the things we bring forth into our lives are a direct result of the energy we put into them. Be they negative or positive, the energies we release into the universe resonate and we will experience them in their karmic form in one way or another.  The key to manifesting what we want, is being grateful for what we already have.

I have a friend whose negative attitude about finding a job has rendered him incapable of actually finding a job! He is a smart, qualified and competitive candidate, yet every time he submits an application, he tells himself that he won’t get the job. He kills his oppotunity before he allows the universe to let it manifest,  because, I believe, he is afraid to be let down. What he doesn’t realize he is doing, is directing negative energy right at his chance of actually landing a job, and thus, he remains forever in cover letter purgatory. And by purgatory, I actually mean the fiery pits of the comedic inferno. Seriously.

But alas, this a lesson my dear friend must learn in stride, because negativity is as much of a choice as positivity. I for one, stand firm in my conviction that my practice of gratitude has made me see the bright side of every new moon, and I am a happier and more positive being as a result. I can’t help but sound a bit boastful here, but my positivity has had an infectious reaction. I can’t stop meeting amazing people, falling into serendipitous happenings and attracting fabulous things into my life. All I can say is that my life is so bountifully blessed with good health, loving friends and family, a wonderful education, an incredible career and a globe that has my footprints tread all over it’s soil.

I am beyond grateful.

I am sublimely happy.

And yet, it is my human nature to have it all and to want more. Not more in the consumer sense. No, I don’t have a burning desire for money or fame (though there is nothing wrong with those who do desire those things). What I desire most, and what I am asking to manifest in this lunar eclipse is the shiva to my shakti. I want to unite the femine and masculine energies in my life so that I can find a harmonious balance in love.

Love is who I am. I have a natural spring that flows from my heart, and a well that will never run dry. Yet, the balance of the shiva and shakti remain a mystery to me. Under the light of tonight’s blood moon, I sit.  What comes out as audible may sound like a faint whisper as it is swallowed by the howling winds, but to the Universe, my heart roars the question, where is my shiva?

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Tonight, I will go the extra step and give thanks to him before he even exists. In my gratitude, I emit a ray of positivity and happiness that will be seized by the lunar eclipse and my heart’s call will echo across the universe so that I may manifest him into my life.

Can you hear me now?

Good.

How ’bout now?

Good.

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 38: The Labyrinth

Release, receive, return.

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I took a deep breath centered myself and walked into the labyrinth. As I snaked around the first corner, I asked for guidance, for clarity, for peace, for answers. No sooner had I wound the second slithery turn did I begin to unleash the truths within.

Walking in, I experienced an emotional release of energy that has been building up within me for months. I let the tears fall as I released my pent up fear of being secluded and alone, which has been amplified to elephantine heights by my recent move to Long Island. You see, although I am a highly independent being with transience pulsing through my veins, being in a new place prods at a very needy shadow that resides within me. This neediness shows itself when I am most vulnerable, and it turns me into a very irrational being. I bcome full of demands and expectations of those close to me, and these demands are impossible to fulfill by anyone except myself.

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Early this morning, as I wept to my friend about missing home, missing traveling, missing nature and feeling so uncomfortable in so many aspects of my life, she comforted me and asked me what I was going to do to center myself today. I had no real answer to her question, though I placated her by saying I’d be extra kind to myself. Later, when I arrived at the train station in Oakdale, I drove right past my home and into the town of Sayville. I didn’t want to mope in my apartment so I went for a nice lunch at the health food store. There, a goofy looking kid behind the counter chatted me up. I told him I was new here and looking for community. He asked me if I did yoga. When I replied, “Yes?” he said to me, “You’ve moved to the right town!” Unbeknownst to me, there is an amazing community of spiritual beings in Sayville and I needn’t look much farther than Mainstreet to meet a few souls that could support me. He told me of a few yoga studios and some other nice meditation centers in the area.

As today was an incredibly beautiful day, I decided to walk down the street and happened on a store called Guru’s. In the shop a sweet Indian couple greeted me and let me be as they tended to another customer buying crystals for her son and daughter. I noted this mom, who looked so unassuming in her mom jeans and tee-shirt. I was amused by her regularity. No dreadlocks, nothing hippy-dippy at all. Yet there she was, talking crystals with the owner and her little children. That’s kind of awesome. I want to be that kind of mom!

After the mom and her children left, Navi, the owner, turned his attention to me. He asked me if I wanted my aura read. Sure, why not? I held my palm out as he held a copper spiral on a string above my hands. As the spiral began to spin in small clockwise he told me my first chakra, my root chakra, was in balance. As he hovered the object over my ring finger, it began to swing forward and backward and he noted that my sacral chakra was blocked. “You’re giving and not receiving and it’s draining your energy,” he told me.  My heart chakra, unsurprisingly, made the copper object swing in gigantic circles, denoting my very open and emotional heart. We went through each chakra and he gave me a quick run down of what I needed to do to find balance.

Standing in his store, I began to feel better by the minute. He handed me a bracelet made of carnelian and told me it is the stone of the second chakra. It’s also the stone of gratitude, and that whenever I see it I should offer up a thought of gratitude. I liked this VERY much (obviously)! He also told me it would give me confidence and eloquence to speak my mind, which unbeknownst to him, is something I’ve been working on for the past few days. Sold.

Then he pointed me outside and told me that I should go walk the labyrinth.

Oh, my heart did a little flip of joy when it heard the word labyrinth! I’ve been borderline obsessed with them since returning from El Camino and have even decided that my very first tattoo will be of a labyrinth and a the camino shell. I thanked him, took my new purchase and headed directly for the labyrinth.

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As I released the fear I began to hear my angels speaking to me. They told me I am never alone. And I must say, what a message to receive there in the labyrinth.

As I rounded the last corner and came to the center of the labyrinth my being came to center as well. I stood there breathing for quite some time, and received the message. I wrapped my arms around myself and gave myself a much deserved hug. I received the love and felt a sense of peace and clarity wash over me.

As I returned out the way I came in, I thought about the fact that I now lived in a community that had a labyrinth in the park and goofy kids that work at the health food store and moms that buy their kids healing crystals and a cute little Indian couples who read auras… And for some strange and disturbing reason, my feelings towards this place might best described by Old Gregg….I think I could like you, Sayville.

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And while I know that this place is still very new and foreign, I don’t actually have to fret too much about finding people whose souls are as old as mine. They are here. I just need to remain open and they will come.

I am never alone, and I am so grateful.

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 36: Divinity

All week I’ve been building up to this post, like a yogi building up to a challenging pose. I’ve been limbering up my mind, body and soul to openly accept the divine within. I specifically decided that divinity, would be my last subject of this week’s “You Are What You Eat” posts, because it is encompasses all of this week’s topics: humility, self-sacrifice, friendship and love.

When we are in tune with our divine essence, we synchronize ourselves with the infinite expansion of the universe. We are at one both human and divine–ever changing, ever expanding beings.

Through humility we recognize our place in the universe and allow ourselves the flexibility to accept who we are in this form, but also recognize the goddess and god within ourselves and our fellow earthly inhabitants. Through self-sacrifice, we experience the needs of the collective, and give them precedence over our own individual needs. Through friendship we learn the give and take, or the divine dance. if you will, of relationships.  And  finally, through love–especially self-love–we learn to elevate our energetic fields so that those who come into contact with our love know exactly how they should treat us. And thus, as divine beings, we promote all of these wonderful characteristics through a concentrated practice of non-judgement, awareness and patience.

While this week has been tough physically as a result of the juice cleanse, and emotionally quite low for me, I am grateful for some divine perspective. The challenge of body, mind and spirit awareness isheavily concentrated in the body and mind. For me, though this week has been hard in those two aspects, I feel like I am soaring to new divine heights. The dirty work, the hunger, the endurance, the patience, the awareness, the commitment are tools  we use to alter our perspective.

My commitment to gracious living and doing the dirty work is what makes my spirit shine. As a result of this cleanse and my week’s worth of concentration on the divine, my light is lighter and brighter this week.

I am grateful today for this learning experience, for the hard work and commitment, for the lessons I learned by sitting with the discomfort and for my well earned treat, a deep tissue massage.

 

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Amen, right on, shalom, salaam, namaste.

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 35: #love #selfie

Love is an all-encompassing word–so very meta, if you will. And while it’s not an easy word to pinpoint a definition to, though believe me I’ve tried, it is something that is very easy to offer some gratitude!

How is it, that if I can’t quite define it, I can offer it gratitude, you ask? The answer is so simple it’s almost silly. If love is everything, within every particle of the universe,  than my offering up of gratitude to anyone or anything at all, is an offer in love’s name.

With that being said, I’m staring at my blank canvas of a word processor, and trying to decide where in the world I’d like to direct some gratitude-filled love today. Whilst this topic is so vast, I’m going to stay inside the box, and offer gratitude to a little thing called self-love.

Self-love is one of those things that seems easy in theory, but  I can’t explain how many times I’ve gotten advice from friends telling me, “All you really need to do is just love yourself a little more…” And I’m like, “I know, I knooow. Of course.  Sure. You’re so right. Definitely.”

But I’d be fooling myself if I could say I had the answer as to HOW best do that.

Let’s not get me wrong here, I think I’m pretty awesome, and I definitely don’t hate myself. But there have been situations that have occurred in my life, where I do not put my well-being or convenience first. I have been known to dance around people’s wishes, aiming to please, forever looking to compromise, and while I don’t think this is a character flaw of mine in the least, I do recognize that there comes a point when I need to say,

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Because today was one of those days for me, I’m grateful that I took the time to see where my energy was being zapped by other people. Letting others control my feelings and/or environment is the opposite of self-love. For me, it takes a lot of heart to admit when  it’s happening, but usually I can feel it in my body. Recently my second, fourth and fifth chakras have felt  blocked up ….And by that I mean, I’ve been experiencing a  feeling of deep discomfort residing in the pit of my stomach, around my chest and in my throat.  Recognizing this discomfort and telling myself stop and settle into it has been the first step.  Discussing with those who have had an impact on my dis-ease, well, that’s a whole different ball game,  but I’m on my way.  I’ll get there, but not before  making a couple of pit stops to: the massage therapist, yoga studio and amazon.com’s spiritual self-help book section. Hopefully by the time I reach step two, I’ll have worked out a few tense muscles in my shoulders and will be yielding my smoking gun of spiritual wisdom and infinite patience.

 

Today, I bow to myself in deep, loving gratitude,

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