Monday, May 20, 2019

What happens when you commission your Mala

Crow bead is the teacher bead for this person - created by Masque Beads, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, did you ever see a bead so beautiful?! Picture jasper for the 108, cobalt blue and shell beads for the marker beads, navy blue silk tassel. 
Black lined iridescent topaz 11/0 seed beads for spacers between the jasper gemstones.
Cobalt blue glass marker beads accented by shell beads and a bit of sparkling silver.
Wow. I LOVE to make Mala necklaces for peeps. I have made some of the best friends I've ever had during the process of creating a Mala for someone, and as one-of-a-kind gifts for their beloveds.

Malas are very special. They are a teaching tool, compatible with any love-based religion, that helps us as human beings to learn to think intentionally. This basically means that others are not directing our thoughts (based in fear-mongoring propaganda). Instead, the Mala teaches us to direct our own thoughts based upon the inspiration we receive from Celestial sources that we are always connected with. Oh so wonderful, and what a difference it makes in our lives, every moment of every day, when we learn how to think intentionally. You can learn the background behind what a Mala is and how it works (and boy howdy does it work!) to help you fulfill your life purpose and reap the rewards from that lovely journey by reading the book, The Magic Mala by Bob Olson.

We're sending our message to the Universe, and guess what?! The Universe hears us and responds. Thoughts are very powerful. Especially when backed up by our actions. We can't help but set our feet upon our true paths, firmly. We can't help but receive the rewards coming back to us like ripples in a pond, when they flow out and back, out and back.

One of the first things I usually do when working with someone to make their Mala is ask what color their eyes are. Why? Because that is usually their favorite color, and because the eyes are the windows to the soul. I usually try to incorporate that somewhere if possible.

Then I will ask if they're familiar with gemstones. Some are, actually most are, and some of my peeps are very specific about which gemstones they really love and are drawn to. Our bodies are made of earth elements, you know? So it is natural that we would be drawn to certain types of energies like gemstones as we inhabit our earth bodies in our latest adventures. These energies can soothe us, teach us, help us align with our endeavors in many different ways, and just be with us like trusted friends along our journeys.

After I have talked with my peep and found out eye color and general gemstone preference, I start looking for the teacher bead. WOW there's a whole world out there for stuff to pick, and I am very grateful for the artists I work with all across the globe. The people who make my teacher beads are true artists. They revere Nature. They have respect for spirits being human (that's us!). They spend time in beautiful nature and their work is based upon it, which we can feel. They create true beauty. And I love beauty and consider it next to medicine for our well-being. No matter what the "law" or government or economy decree, I believe that beauty feeds our souls and it is yet another form of nourishment that we can partake of.

I work with artists all over the world for the teacher beads, but my ever so favorite ones are Barbara and Katie at Masque Beads on Etsy, and Sky Valley Beads on Etsy, plus Pebble Dreams (especially good for men's Malas), also on Etsy.

I buy the teacher bead up front - there is never any obligation to buy a Mala I'm creating until it is done and totally gives you goosebumps when you see it, lol. I have never yet had anyone "not" want their Mala, but I know I can always sell them, so if it doesn't turn out like you want it, no worries.

We had originally picked out a soft blue/gray tassel but
as I was working with the beads they said "No!"
They wanted the purple, and so I listened and adjusted,
and it turned out just gorgeous.
Sometimes the beads have their own ideas. I spent time with my sis picking out the tassels for a couple of Malas she was giving as graduation gifts, and in the course of making the Malas, the beads protested against the tassel colors we had chosen and demanded more color. So I listened to the beads, as I always do, and adjusted. Sis got goosebumps when she saw the Malas, when she gave them to their caretakers, who popped them right around their necks upon receiving the gifts, and sis also got goosebumps when she told me about it later. That is Spirit working to give peeps what they need and want and I am soooo happy to be a part of it.

A Mala is especially wonderful as a graduation gift because it teaches our young adults and others who are graduating from various events in life how to really step into their new lives that they've built with intention. There's nothing better or more empowering. Sis also gave her graduates a copy of the book, The Magic Mala, by Bob Olson - such a lovely story, with much that peeps can apply to their current lives and daily activities. I really like Bob Olson and all the work he does, as well as his journey in life. Check out his videos on YouTube and the books that he has written - he's an excellent teacher and learning from him is very empowering for us all.

I just LOVE creating personal Malas for my peeps.

After we find the teacher bead, the person either comes to visit me or I send photos of various options, and we choose the gemstones that will make up the traditional 108. Ah, that is a very enjoyable process. When they can visit, they get to touch and hold the gemstones, and the beads will call to them, letting them know which is just right for what they are seeking.

If I send photos when they're out of the country and can't visit personally, the beads will also call to them. I've made Malas for peeps all the way from Costa Rica to Canada to Australia to all over the U.S. and it's magic every time.

Bedhead tassel, Oh no! Or maybe Okay!
I made one of my own Malas and put on this lovely soft grey tassel, wore it for several months, and it was fine. Then one night did the dishes, and the water from the sink splashed up onto my nightgown, so the tassel got all wet. I sat at my desk and did a bunch of writing, and later realized my Mala tassel had acquired a bunch of craziness. I couldn't iron it out, I couldn't steam it out, I actually ended up restringing it with a new tassel. Because I'm okay with bedhead tassel for a while, but then I wanted it to be smooth and soft and silky and to pet it all long and gorgeous. I will restring a Mala for $20 cause it takes about an hour and a half (43 knots which you can't see, it all has to do with the structure of it), and all was restored to peacefulness. Now I take it off when doing wet chores, like dishes or laundry, and I'm careful with small children and dogs and bend over tasks such as loading the dishwasher. No worries, if you don't want to deal with the mercurial nature of silk, I can do a nylon tassel (not as soft, but also not as fussy) or no tassel at all!

Tassel-free Mala, still just gorgeous!
Traditionally, the silk tassel represents the coming together of all the races of humanity. However, I'm a girl who believes rules were meant to be bent or stretched or broken when appropriate, so if you don't want to deal with the vagaries of a silk tassel, I'm happy to design something different. For my mother, I added a beautiful iridescent teardrop bead, which nicely represents humanity in that we can cry tears of joy or sadness, and still it represents humanity, our journeys, and what we have in common.

So after we've chosen our teacher bead and the traditional 108, we look at tassels. Some peeps prefer no tassel, and others want traditional silk (fine, but don't ever get it wet or it'll get bedhead that is almost impossible to correct, though I am happy to restring with new tassel). Some peeps don't mind bedhead tassels at all, others prefer not to even have tassels. It's all about what appeals to you.

Prices? They vary, depending on where you buy your Mala. If it's in a gallery, the proprietor of the establishment gets a cut and that can vary anywhere between 30% to 40%. That's a huge chunk, and my prices run just a little over what it costs me for supplies, with a bit of time thrown in, but I think I'm working for way less than minimum wage right now, lol. As long as I can keep doing it I'm good.

So your Mala does NOT cost more when you do it on commission, in fact, it often costs a bit less, however, if you've seen my Malas in a gallery for sale and the commission results from that, I do give my galleries a cut, because without the exposure through them, I wouldn't have the connection to you. Happy to support the arts and their businesses, so all good there, and thank you for supporting the arts too! All the way from the artists who create our beeeautiful teacher beads, to those who make our gemstones, to those who make our tassels - so much behind the elements that make up your special Mala.

Nephrite jade Mala. Available at Green Drake Gallery in Millheim, Pa.
What if it breaks? Well, though I use the very highest quality materials I can get, they won't last forever, (though they will last many years when taken care of) and there is some good information on what it means when a Mala breaks and what you can do with it that's really special. It talks about how we move into different phases in our lives, and when a phase is over and we've "graduated," we move to the next level, and sometimes our Malas will indicate this. All good. Get a new Mala with fresh energies, or have your beloved Mala redone. Some peeps bury theirs, some have them made into new jewelry, some hang them on the wall, some keep them in pockets, it's all very personal. Read the book, lol. Here is some info on what to do if a Mala breaks, not from my website, but a reputable Mala maker, and well worth sharing.

Care and keeping for your Mala - if you have a silk tassel number one rule is to keep it dry. Number two rule is to store it so that it is not bent, either hang it or lay it flat. Otherwise, enjoy the heck out of it and take/wear it wherever you go and meditate with it because it loves that!

If you'd like me to make you or one of your beloveds a Mala, I can be reached at dreamkeepercreations@gmail.com    and I will eventually have some Malas available on Etsy at Dreamkeeper Creations if I can get them up. They tend to sell before I can even get them up on Etsy, lol.

I look forward to working with you and invite you to explore the magic of intentional thinking as well as communing with, not only the beautiful gemstones, artist creations, and higher sources, but your beautiful Self. Read the book, it's just wonderful, and has changed my life for the better in so many ways.

Love and blessings to you.

Namaste,
~Jen





Thursday, April 25, 2019

Letter to Jess on Cupcake Day

My Lovie where she loved to be xo


Sweet Jess,

Cupcake Day has arrived again, on your Earth birthday, which was such a magnificently happy day for me when you arrived. I sure wish you were here physically to share it with me. We are heading into year five of navigating life with you in your Heaven and me here, us here. It is so hard sometimes and at other times, so beautiful. I have learned so much.

Thank you for the grace in your death, for the choices we made when we were working in our Spirit World together before we came here. I believe we chose to do this journey together, and I see other mothers doing a harder journey. Yes, there are harder journeys than simply losing a beloved child to death.

Today as I was looking at the posts in the grief sites on FB, I came across a mother whose child has been missing for four months. They know that this beautiful, young, vibrant 16-year-old girl was hoodwinked into getting into a car with a man who was older than she was in Sacramento, California. They pretty much know she got pulled into a sex trafficking ring. They hope with all of their hearts and souls that she is still alive and may be able to escape or be found. And my heart wonders how much healing must take place within her if she is found for her to be able to trust in anything in life again, or her loved ones either, to be able to trust.

I don't have to deal with that personally, and for that I am grateful, though I pray for her escape and freedom and healing (and please for those of you who ask the otherworlds for assistance, this would be a great time to ask for intervention where possible). I know where you are, Jess. I know that you are whole, and happy, and surrounded by love and learning and growing. I know how you died. I am sorry for the sickness, but I am grateful for the knowing.

The other thing I come across on the grief sites is mothers who have to deal with children who have been murdered. Their confusion and outrage is, of course, enormous. That is another thing that I could not deal with. Thank you for all you did, Sweet Jess, to make your exit as peaceful as possible. I love you with all my heart and soul and I'm pretty sure I could not deal with the emotions that would arise if you were murdered. I do not know how these mothers do it. I know they struggle with depression, anger, and these deaths, understandably, take over their whole lives.

With your death, I am missing you, but I can honor you, and I feel you are at peace. There is no lingering trauma. You have told me so and I believe you.

Experiencing the death of a child really puts us on shaky ground, where everything we trusted and everything we know is completely annihilated. We rebuild if we can, and that takes a whole lot of seeking, learning, stepping out of our comfort zones and everything we thought we knew. It takes faith, and strength, and a little bit of magic. It takes the love of a precious few people who have hearts of gold and unflinching dedication. It takes the sun and the moon and the trees and the animals and the plants and the Earth herself, upon which I stretch my body out and feel a connection. I am here, and you are there, but you were here too, and I know you will be again, and so will I. And I know that I'll be there too. And we'll be there together too. And that will be a good time!

Thank you for the magic. That magic gentleness of your very soul that is beauty itself. Your determination, your learning, your laughter, your love. Our connection. We are, we were, we always will be.

On cupcake day, (and every day) I celebrate all of your strengths, all of your passion, all of your learning, your adventurous spirit, your willingness to be in the game. I celebrate your beauty, your love, your courage, your delight. I celebrate your life my Love. Thank you for sharing it with me. And thank you for all the soft, quiet moments when I feel you here with me now. I can't do this without you. And though it is different, I feel you. I feel your love, and I love you right back. Always and all ways.

Happy Cupcake Day. Happy journeys. Happy adventures. Happy travels. I know you have simply moved to a place that I will also go. I look forward to it and it makes my heart sing to think of it. May I have as much grace and dedication and courage and strength as you did in my journey here, and in my journey Home.

Before that time, may we work together, hard, to make the world a better place, so that other mothers do not have to experience the horrendous things that are currently happening in this world. Thank you for helping me to write our book, Coming Alive After Death, and thank you for writing with me from your Heaven the letters that will become book number two. May these books make a difference in the world to come.

I love you Sweet Pea, Starbaby, Big Spirit, Jessica Melinda Novak xo

Jess with her puppet George, who made all her photography clients smile!
Love, love, love, YOU,

Mom xoxo!!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Lets Talk About Shaming

Reflection.
Are you perfect? No I'm not either. If you said yes, just move along.

I have a few things about myself that some peeps would judge as faults. I am very interested in what people consider faults. Because "what is one man's trash is another man's treasure." I have learned this. And I no longer judge.

When we have overcome various challenges in our lives, we can become very judgmental about others who are still on their learning pathways, and sometimes we become defensive, or protective, or overbearing, or just any number of behaviors that SHAME others who are not like us.

We forget to step into their shoes.

This shaming happens to me because I smoke cigarettes. I imagine you also have habits that others might judge, whatever they are - eating, dressing differently, makeup, coloring your hair, not coloring your hair, your sexual preference, how your home looks when compared with the "Joneses," etc.

I've done the work. I've analyzed the reasons why I started smoking, and it just breaks your heart. It also makes me, my older Yoga Mama self, which I have yet to become, bend over and take my little child self, who was 13 years old when she started smoking, into a huge embrace and say, "It's okay. It's okay. You're human. And this is the human part of yourself. I love you anyway."

For the first ten years of my life we traveled just like an army family only my Dad was Exxon - a civil engineer, designing all manner of things all over the planet to improve lives - such as the link in the Alaskan pipeline that allows it to expand and contract underwater to bring much needed oil to warm people in frigid temperatures, such as the spiral design of metal within bridge supports that allows them to move when an earthquake happens such that the bridge doesn't go down, such as wastewater treatment plants that take the poisons out of water and make it pristine clean again, such as courthouses that have all kinds of protective rooms, floors, gear, and everything else when really dangerous criminals are brought in. You're welcome. My Dad was amazing.

So with all the travels we experienced with his career as he went about enhancing people's lives, I missed out on what most, or many, people have in their youth, which is a sense of belonging.

We moved about every two years, Malaysia, Japan, England, Italy, and other places. I never belonged. I was always, always the new kid on the block. I soaked up the art, the museums, the architecture, the history, and these things seasoned my personality like wonderful spices. They gave me something that many others didn't have. But I wanted to belong.

So when we finally settled and my mother told my father that she wanted the children to go through middle school and high school without more overseas moves, I set about figuring out how to belong.

My parents chose to live in New Jersey, just 45 minutes outside of New York, where the pace is fast and the people are mixed, which at that time, in the 1970s, was not a comfortable thing. I experienced much bullying, got pushed down the stairs at school, beat up when I went out, beaten when I came home for various reasons, and it became critical for me to find a way to belong to some kind of group that would befriend me and support me.

That turned out to be the smokers. God bless the gentleness of this discovery, as it could have been a lot worse.

"You got a light?"

"Sure, here."

Automatic membership.

I started by stealing my parents' cigarettes and a pack would last me a couple of weeks.

I remember when I was two years old, they'd go off to get dressed on Sundays after their breakfast, and I would toddle over to the table, sipping the last dregs of their cold coffee from pretty cups and sucking on their extinguished cigarette butts. I didn't know what I was doing.

And when I started stealing their cigarettes, I didn't know what I was doing either. But I knew that it got me "in."

It kept me in for all the years through middle school and high school, which were wicked years full of bullying and survival.

When I left home at 20, I was addicted to the nicotine, though like all youngsters, I believed I could quit any time I wanted to. Well I could not.

I experienced so many wonderful times with cigarettes and built-in friends - it was common ground. It worked for years and years and years. Automatic, spectacular friends at work, when traveling, at conferences, at social events, at home, in the social times with men, it worked great.

And it still does.

Except that there is a cotillion of people who believe that their job is to sidestep this unpleasant part of the human vulnerability of life. Kind of like a religious factor. They dig their heels in - You are not acceptable. I must warn you.... I must shelter others from you.... I must cross you off my list.... I have overcome that kind of vulnerability which makes me better than you are....

Well my grandfather smoked a pipe. He smoked cigarettes for all the early part of his life, shortly after cigarettes became marketable, and they were marketed as being "good" for you, so everyone smoked. After his health started to suffer from not only cigarettes, but having to design war weapons, since he was also an engineer and had no choice during World War II, he switched his occupation after the war, and he switched from ciggies to a pipe. Oh, it smelled so good. He'd puff on it sometimes out on the porch, and he was such a loving human being, so kind and gentle, so trying to recover from the activities he was forced into during the war...I loved my grandfather puffing on his pipe. I figured he could do anything he damn well pleased because he'd earned it.

AND the other side of my family were tobacco farmers. They lived in Virginia, yes, we are Southern, and they raised acres and acres of beautiful tobacco and cured it in the smokehouses and it was good and clean and wonderful. These were my father's parents and grandparents. It was a lifeway for them. In the early days, before the chem companies got a hold of tobacco, it was a fairly clean, gentle, plant that brought about a sense of relaxation and peace. Now, with the chemicals and "firesafe" ridiculousness, really good tobacco is hard to come by.

So, I just want to announce that I am feeling shamed by others about my vulnerability and the coping mechanisms I discovered that brought to me what I needed most desperately, at the time. Allow me my learning curve, as I allow you yours.

Break out your Febreeze, and do check the ingredients and health studies on that as you go. Plug in your smell-good Glade products, and make sure to check the reports on those too. Squirt your perfumes and do your laundry with products that actually make it absolutely impossible to breathe without incurring great difficulty, and then point your finger at me.

With every pointed finger there are three pointing right back at yourself. Glass houses, you know.

Do not shame me. If it kills me, that is MY choice. If I overcome it, that won't happen as a result of you throwing guilt and shame my way. It won't kill you. Let's get real.

Do what you need to do, but do not dare shame me, because I am human and I am vulnerable and I'm working on becoming YOGA MAMA, but you have not walked in my shoes. And in fact, I prefer to be without shoes.

No judgment. No resistance. No Fear. Just love.

Just love. Just laugh. Just r e l a x.


Just love peeps.

Namaste,
Jen


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What Does God Really Give Us?

Detail of The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo
Location: The Sistine Chapel 
When I ask someone what they perceive are five of the greatest gifts from God/Creator that they've ever received, many say, "my children," or "my soulmate," "my dream job," or "my beautiful home," or any number of things or people in their lives that they perceive as valuable and precious. Makes for some really beautiful conversation, but helps if you agree that whatever "terminology" you use for "the god of your understanding" doesn't have to be the same. These are certainly gifts and blessings, but let's also consider for a moment some of the gifts we arrive with when we come into life on this planet. 

When I think about Creator's gifts to us, I like to have fun imagining that God/Creator is sitting there, realizing that it feels lonely, and Creator has just made a lovely planet upon which the people it makes can experience life, and Creator is pondering some of the checks and balances it needs to build in so that the people will not be bored, and so that they will be supremely protected. After all, if they are essentially immortal, like Creator, they must have a vast repertoire to choose from to amuse themselves. Creator thinks to Itself, These gifts must not be containable or measurable, they must reflect the beautiful flow of life. 

So these gifts that I perceive that originate from Creator to each of us are: Immortality, Imagination, Intuition, Creativity, Freedom, Choice, Emotion, Intention, Rhythm, Breath, Guidance, Birth, Death, and Giving. Notice that with each of these Gifts, and the list is by no means all encompassing, humanity has attempted to control and/or own or usurp each one, but it is essentially impossible. We can choose to experience each one, no matter the circumstances of our lives. I learned the most about this when I watched some very moving YouTube videos of interviews with people who survived the holocaust, and how they used their gifts even while imprisoned, experiencing, and surrounded by horrors of the worst kind. When I ponder on these gifts I am amazed at the vastness of them, and how they can inspire us and fill us with Creator's love, no matter what is going on. 

Let's look at them one at a time. 

 Immortality 

When we learn how to use the feminine principal of listening/receiving, we discover that we can connect with a host of loving guides and teachers who do not currently reside on Earth in physical form. We discover that we can connect with our Source, which is even larger and more loving and healing than these higher vibrational resources. We discover that, like a drop in the ocean we are individuals, but like waves in the ocean, we can join with others, and like the ocean itself, we can just "be" a part of the whole. This is cool beans. 

 Imagination 

Can we collect imagination in our hands and put it in a jar and screw the lid on? Nope. It's absolutely uncontainable. We can't sell it, buy it, or entrap it, removing it from its inherent owner. Wow. This is a gift of huge proportions. Immeasurable. Vast. It comes straight from Heaven. 

Notice how we have been taught by humans who are selfish that imagination is bad, silly, not worth anything. Then look at some of our greatest heroes and master human beings, and you will realize that without their imaginations we would be living in a very different world. We have light and warmth and heat and beauty, and we also have a lot of bad and scary things too. We'll talk about those in a minute. But the power of the imagination is a truly Divine gift that we should never allow others to try to control or usurp. It belongs to each of us. It is interesting to note that the use of imagination upon our bodies can be of tremendous help in healing many diseases. I'm reminded of Henry Ford's well-known saying: "Whether you think you can or you think you can't - you're right."

Note that the opposite of imagination in today's world is worry. We've been taught to muddy up our beautiful imaginations with worry so that many of us feel pretty crippled. Let it loose. You don't have to ask anyone's permission. Just play with it. The bad and scary things that people have created with their imaginations are by-passable. Just choose to bypass them. Turn off the news and instead, seek what information you want to on your own, at your own pace, and in your own time rather than being spoon-fed every single day, even more than once per day. I like to be informed, but if I cannot do anything about what is happening, I keep that as a small part of the way I spend my time. And I usually like to mute the commercials if there's something I really want to see on regular television. Does anyone watch that anymore? 

We can choose wisely what we allow into our minds and hearts.We can be aware of the control we have over most of what is coming into our sphere of awareness. We can use our powers to control our environment to a large extent. It's so easy! We can recognize the B. S. for what it is and choose accordingly. Are we really so bored that we need garbage to entertain ourselves with? Do we really want to spend time with others who only know to circle and circle around the drain? Choosing wisely helps us to empower ourselves, often in far greater ways than we'd ever dared to dream of. 

 Intuition 

Can we capture intuition in our hands and put it into a jar and screw on the lid? Nope. Can we buy it or sell it, removing it from its original owner? Nope. It belongs to each of us. We have mechanisms within our bodies with which we can receive guidance, in various different forms. We just need to learn how to use them. Intuition belongs to each of us and is one of our inherent Celestial gifts. It is that still, small, loving, gentle voice within that tells us "Yes, do more of that," or "No, that's not such a good idea." 

And when we go against our intuition, how many times do we find that we could have avoided some hassles if we had just listened? If we wish to learn gently, without experiencing trauma and headaches and hassles, it helps us to learn to work with our intuition. It's easy. It's free, though we can find those who will help us learn if we prefer to purchase the time of some Earthling who has already discovered the blessings of this Celestial gift. Heck, it's fun. And sometimes it can be life-saving. 

While we're on the subject of intuition, it's a good time to talk about "the Clairs." These are the senses that we can use related to intuition, and they include clairvoyance (clear seeing), clairaudience (clear hearing), clairsentience (clear feeling), claircognizance (clear knowing), and there are a couple more, such as clairaliance (clear smelling), and clairgustance (clear tasting). All of us may find ourselves experiencing any of the Clairs at one time or another, whether intentionally, as in meditation, or at any time when we feel relaxed and our systems are open to receiving guidance or visitation from the otherworlds. 

For example, when I sit down with my special journal to write with my daughter who lives in the Celestial world, the two Clairs I find myself using the most are clairaudience (I hear the thoughts she downloads to me), and claircognizance (what I perceive is coming from a knowing from deep inside of myself). Quite often I can feel her touching my hair, which tingles in an unusual way, (clairsentience), and many times I can smell her fragrance (clairaliance).

There are many ways in which we can practice with our "clair" skills, and most of us will find that one or two of them come more naturally than others. I didn't have to "teach" myself to use these skills when writing with my daughter, they just happened quite naturally. I would hazard a guess it's because of all the years spent drawing and painting, as that process is very close to the processes using the clairs, since they involve receiving, or what we could call inspiration. 

 Creativity 

Right, we can't pick up creativity in our hands and put it in a jar and screw the lid on. You're catching on. Creativity is vast and immeasurable. It belongs to each of us as individuals. We first need to learn to define it such that we are not limiting it to "I can draw," or "I can't draw." Creativity makes its appearance in a million activities we participate in, you name it—knitting, sewing, cooking, writing, performing, singing, dancing, building, and on and on without limit. Wow, what a gift! 

Do we allow ourselves time in our lives to use this Celestial gift? Some of us are bound to jobs in which we are told what to do, or our jobs are very repetitive so that we can hardly find ways in which to use our creativity during work hours. But we can often find ways to build it in such that we make these jobs "ours," and we can use it after hours all we want. It's fun! 

 Freedom 

You know, unless we are chained to a wall, or have special physical needs which may be somewhat limiting, this gift belongs to each of us and all we have to do is give ourselves permission to use it. Once we're of a certain age, and sometimes way before that, and sometimes way late into our golden years, we realize that we do have right inside of us the right to make our own decisions. That is freedom. 

No human being has the right to make us believe that we cannot or should not choose what we wish to do, how we wish to be, who we wish to be, what we wish to experience. We are, most of us, essentially free, but many of us do not give ourselves permission to exercise this right. We stay stuck in situations that don't make our hearts sing because we are afraid, we don't believe in our capabilities, or we are too young yet to be able to step out. 

When I think about freedom it means exploring things I want to explore, going places I want to go, doing things I want to do, without feeling like I'm "under anyone's thumb." I've been there and seen the end of that "under the thumb" movie. Rewrote my story. So glad. If we feel that our heart is not singing, we can give ourselves permission to step out and rewrite our story. We can do it one step at a time if it feels scary, we're worth it. 

 Choice 

Yep, this is a BIG one. Freedom and Choice are sister gifts. How we choose to apply choice in our lives can affect our own sense of freedom and also that of others. Choice is also a big one in that it applies to so very many things. We can choose how we feel. We can choose what we do. How we spend our time. Who we cultivate as a friend, who we stay away from. We can choose to live or die. Choice is a huge power. Let us use it wisely. Let us choose things that make our hearts sing. Let us choose love. 

The nice thing is that when we choose unwisely, we soon feel the consequences, so that guidance is built right in. And we can choose to listen and adjust our activities, thoughts, and behavior, or we can dig our heels in and choose just as we always have. If we continue to choose just as we always have, we will experience pretty similar results. When we choose differently, we experience different results. It can be loads of fun. Or a real ball and chain. Either way, this gift is truly vast and powerful. 

Emotion 

Yes, I think of emotion as a Celestial gift. Research shows that we retain the ability to feel emotion after we die. It also shows that we tend to experience much more positive emotions when we graduate to the world of Unity, where duality does not exist, and here on Earth this is one of our greatest guides on what to continue and what to release. My daughter calls it "following the happies." 

If something is causing distress, unease, fear, this gift of emotion guides us to remove ourselves from that if at all possible, or work to transmute it. If something is causing us to feel inspired, fulfilled, happy, full of joy, this Celestial gift of emotion is telling us to do more of that. I'm not talking about substance abuse, because we know that when we're in that loop, it owns us, we don't own our experience of it, and that causes distress along with false happies. Still, it is our choice of whether we will pursue more of it or release it. No worries. After all, we are immortal.... 

Intention 

Intention is a sister gift to choice. It is also related to our participation in listening and our participation in acting. When we feel an urging in our soul to do something we can have all the intention in the world and if we don't act upon it, guess what? Nothing is going to happen. On the other hand we can go about doing all kinds of things all the time, but if we have no intention behind our actions, our results are not going to be predictable, and they're most likely not going to be what we wanted or expected. 

When we learn how to consciously set our intentions and then act upon them we create a formula for bringing our dreams into reality. Intention is a very powerful gift. It's worthy of note that when our intention is negative, it will most likely come around to kick us in the butt, so it's a good idea to keep our intentions positive and for the good of the whole. 

Rhythm 

Rhythm is what we use to bypass the logical mind. Rhythm puts us into the flow. Rhythm is often associated with music and dance, but we also have rhythm in the cycles of the seasons, the flow of ocean to shore, our breath, our movement when walking or horseback riding, and so very much around us. We can feel rhythm in performing a sport such as archery, gymnastics, running, or any number of activities. Rhythm is movement. Rhythm is one of the powerful qualities of the universe that can create life when we join our bodies as male and female. It also relieves stress when we move our bodies; they like it! 

Rhythm is very healing when used with love as its foundation. Here on Earth, we can have rhythm that is soft enough to soothe a babe to sleep or hard enough to kill. Rhythm is a powerful Celestial gift. 

Breath 

Breath and rhythm are sister gifts. When we breathe the air in, we are bringing the flow of the universe into our bodies, and when we exhale we can use our imaginations to clear out anything negative within our systems, or we can use that out breath to send love out into the world. With breath, we can control many of our physical systems; we can learn to soothe our fears with long, slow, deep breaths, or we can push through demanding activity such as climbing our favorite mountain by breathing fast and hard. We can sing through the control of the breath. And we can whisper. We can communicate with others through the control of our breath and how we push it up our throats and around our tongues. With this rhythm of the breath, and using it as language, we can make people cry, and we can make them laugh. 

Note that breath is one of the most easily controllable gifts when others wish to overwhelm us or put our physical systems into distress. Let's choose to be friends and work with our words and sister gifts to keep the peace.

Guidance 

Guidance is a Celestial gift. We are never alone. We can listen. We can choose who to listen to, what to listen to. Wow. There's some power there. We can listen to our inner guidance, or we can seek outer guidance, from other people, nature, books, and any number of resources, some of which are just excellent, and very loving. 

Though we are experiencing what it is to be an individual here on Earth, we are essentially coming from the Whole, and it is inherent in our nature to belong. So we feel a sense of belonging in joining with others. It is one of the reasons we seek guidance—so we have a sense of community and we feel we are bypassing that feeling of separation, of being alone, which is just an illusion. It helps us to seek guidance from the very highest and most loving resources, whether here on Earth or from the otherworlds. 

 Sleep 

Are we left to live out our Earth adventures all by ourselves, alone, and without love, guidance, and rejuvenation since we feel such a sense of separation? Nope. We have a built-in mechanism that brings us back to our Home whenever we put our bodies to rest and go to sleep. We are not gone when we sleep, we are traveling between worlds. 

We can do many things while we sleep. We can go and visit our beloveds that are currently alive on this planet. We can go and help others who may be crossing over into the otherworlds. We can gather with our higher teachers, guides, and angels for learning and healing, and we can visit with our beloveds who have crossed over into the otherworlds. Isn't it curious that every creature who lives and breathes, also sleeps? 

We are not, at this point, very consciously aware of what sleep really is. And we don't know how to use it. And that's the inherent power in it. It's our connection Home, built in so that even if we don't consciously learn how to connect to our Divine resources it happens every night whether we know it or not. We are never alone. We are most beloved. Sleep is good, very very good. 

It's helpful to make sure that our sleeptime is not invaded by too much media, and to give ourselves a chance to really enjoy it. There is a host of beautiful music we can listen to as we go to sleep, and there are thousands of excellent meditations we can listen to as we go to sleep. We don't have to alarm ourselves with the news. Try turning it off way before bedtime, and stepping into the beautiful worlds of love. I've noticed a huge difference in how I feel in the morning when I wake up since I started listening to sleep meditations when I go to bed. 

Dreaming 

Sister gift to sleep is dreaming. And our dreams are very powerful. Dreams are like a "language" that our teachers and guides and higher sources use to communicate with us. Some of our dreams can warn us of upcoming danger. Some can teach us and guide us about choices that would be good for us to make. Some can help us process the events of our days. Some can guide us on our larger life purpose (recurring dreams are often messages about our life purposes). Very few dreams are completely without value. Nightmares are often quite the opposite of what they seem upon waking. We can even have contact with our beloveds who have crossed over in our dreams. 

A great deal of research is starting to take place on various kinds of dreams. It only takes a few minutes to write down the highlights of our dreams and we can look them up later, when we have time. My favorite resource for dream analysis is very simple - Betty Bethard's The Dream Book: Symbols for Self Understanding. If we keep a dream notebook by our bed, and follow up on the simple analysis, we will begin to see patterns and learn to understand this language that we have access to. It's fascinating to watch how our dreams change with our growth and activities as the years progress. 

In the Native American culture, which is steeped in very strong spiritual connections, grandparents could often "dream" of the child to come and they would make clothing for these children who weren't even born yet, and after the child grew, as an adult, they would be given the clothing and it would fit perfectly, because of the dreams of their loving grandparents. I find that just fascinating!

Birth 

OMG we have birth and what a lovely, special event that is! A baby is one of the most vulnerable, beautiful, innocent beings we ever encounter, and for most of us, our hearts go right out to them in protection and love. They are so close to Heaven there is nearly not a one of us who doesn't have their heart captured by the beauty and perfection of a baby fresh from Heaven. And I don't mean physical perfection either, you know me better than that by now. They are one and all, absolutely perfect. 

When I see a baby, my first thought is that they have come here for an adventure, and an adventure they will get. How brave they are. My heart goes out to them and I decide that if I have any relationship with them as they grow I will try to share with them all the love that I know, and all the beauty, and the fun, and the wonder and magnificence that life can be. 

How lovely are our babies, whether they are in human form or four-legged, winged, swimmers, or tiny creatures that live out in nature. It is always amazing to me to see the relationship between mothers and their babies, in all forms upon this planet. 

Death 

Well thank goodness we have death. We know that if we didn't have this magnificent balance in Creator's plan, we would have no children, no babies, endless ownership and control, and no rhythm in the cycles of power upon this beautiful planet. There is something inherently right and good about death. It scares us silly because we witness the decline of the body like a flower withering, and we are so in love with the spirit of that body that we have trouble acclimating to its metamorphosis. 

But morph it does, and I'm glad of that. We've learned that there is no separation after that metamorphosis. We are all connected at all times. We just need to learn how to access that connection. 

So when we look at all these inherent Celestial gifts from our Creator that are vast and uncontainable, we realize that we can carry them around with us and use them in most circumstances, as big spirit people have throughout the centuries, even in the most horrendous conditions, such as war, and the concentration camps. 

I write about them here to remind us all that we don't come to this planet unloved. These gifts are how much we are loved. All we need to do is learn to be aware of them and use them. 

"Happy birthday. You are beloved. And these I gift to you..." Creator said....

We are well equipped to handle way more than we've been taught so far. Learning consciously to use these gifts ourselves is immensely empowering to us as individuals, and even better when we join together, in love and light, for the benefit of all. 

It is worth mentioning here that there are human beings on this planet who we might define as "evil," and these are the ones who cause harm and destruction, restriction and suppression of one or more of our Celestial gifts. They may do this on a relatively small, personal level, and some of them have done, and are doing this on much larger scales. 

What my daughter taught me about this is that these are the people who are so densely integrated into the Masculine energy (physical action/output) that they've completely forgotten how to listen and receive higher guidance using the Feminine energy (receiving input). They've forgotten that they are a part of the Whole, the One, and they've fallen completely under the veil of separation. They live their lives based on fear and control instead of love. When this happens, it's like a part of their operational system is shut down, and so they function with only half of themselves, causing havoc and chaos wherever they go. 

The thing that gives me the most comfort in thinking about these kinds of individuals is that they cannot ever hurt us permanently, and in fact, if they cause us suffering, we still have our Celestial gifts, and when we use them to get through difficult circumstances, we can survive and recover from far more than we might think. 

My daughter explains to me that when we apply love to any difficult situation we encounter, it brings about healing. If we suffer death at the hands of these types of beings, they have only given us the greatest gift. They've helped us on our way Home. 

And our experience of Home will be quite different from theirs, in that they will be the judges of themselves once they cross over, and when they step back into the wholeness of their beauty and magnificence, upon their life review, they find themselves experiencing all of the emotions that they caused in others in minute detail, because there is no disappearance of the Self and what it has caused or created. This knowledge helps them to set up future lives in which their purpose is to help others, heal others, and experience the loving side of their inherent natures as spiritual beings so that they can restore balance and heal on very deep levels. 

Many of our religions describe this state that harmful individuals experience as "hell," but it is not an "outside place," it is an internal state that each individual creates by and for itself. This is the magic of the ONE. 

Giving 

One of the most beautiful and pleasure inducing gifts we are born with is the inherent ability to give. The most precious gift we can give is the gift of ourselves, our time, our attention, our love. Love is the one thing that most human beings yearn for over and above all else. 

Unfortunately, in today's world, many of us have forgotten what love really is, and we seek to complete ourselves through partnership with other human beings where the connection isn't really love, but infatuation or a "tradeoff," or the mistaken sense that they have what we need to become whole. It's not until we are whole in ourselves, when we learn to love ourselves, that we can really experience what it is to feel true love, because it is a giving thing, not a taking thing, and we cannot give it until we are it. 

We don't have to be perfect to experience love, but it helps if we're on the pathway to growing into our potential according to the urging of our souls so that when we encounter another we are meeting them on an honest level, a level in which our vibration is as high as we can make it through the love that we experience in the moments we create. Then when we come together there is a melding and joining that feels fulfilling, and it has the power to affect many others in positive ways, who are within our sphere of influence.

Namaste
~Jen

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Yanking Them Down From Heaven By Their Ankles

Arms wide open xo
So part of the work that I do now, which I consider community service, is check in with several different "grief groups" on Facebook to see if I can be of help to anyone in distress. I feel strongly that when we learn something, and become sort of good at it (not perfect, we all have our "bad" days), it is our responsibility to turn back and reach a hand out to others who may be struggling with that very thing.

So as I was perusing the posts the other night, which is hard, sometimes I don't even know what to say, but I take a deep breath and try to help where I perceive I might be able to, I came upon a whole conversation thread from parents who have buried their children, and these parents are besieged by nightmares, they can't sleep, they are filled with anguish thinking of their children in the ground, out in the weather, cold, and lonely.

And in that thread other parents were expressing how their minds constantly go back into the trauma of the decline of their beautiful beloveds' bodies, either from sickness, or accident, or they can't get the cremation out of their minds, and it is soooooo traumatic for them. These are the people who go to work and paste on a smile, and when they go home in the evenings they find themselves in a world that they no longer want to belong to. I understand this after the passing of my beautiful daughter when she was 26. 

So I posted. I just wrote straight from the heart as true and honest as I could, and the response has been overwhelming. It made me cry the next day, to read so many replies that said, "Thank you, I so needed to hear this today." And "I knew this but I so needed the reminder." I want very much for people not to get stuck in the trauma of death, because I feel very strongly that that is not what life is meant for. It is meant for ALL of us to discover our joys, to feel and express our passions, and to KNOW that at these deep levels, all is well.

So this is what I wrote:

Y'all are breaking my heart with the flashbacks and thoughts of your beloveds in the cold ground. My daughter died when she was 26, after being ill for a year and a half with untreated Lyme disease. Neuro disorders and liver failure finally ended it. It took me two years, but l sincerely want to share that I have found that she is well and happy in her new world and we do still have an amazing connection. 

Two of my beloved friends gave me a journal, in a basket filled with really thoughtful things, and I didn't know what to do with it for several months after my daughter's passing. One day I was missing her too much and it hurt a lot so I wrote her a letter in that journal. I wrote like that a few times over a period of a few weeks, and then one night the thought came into my head - what if she wrote back? 

So I just sat quietly and listened. And I started writing what came into my head and heart. I didn't question it or stop to think about it while I "heard" what I was writing. And after I finished I read it over and realized it was a very loving letter from her. We've been writing every few weeks/months for over four years. She died in 2015, but she is still very much alive and well in spiritual form. 

For those stuck in thinking your beloved child is cold in the ground, they are not. That is just the "earth tool" that they shed when they went back Home from where we all come from. For those who are stuck in the trauma of the decline of that "tool," know that your beloved, the true essence of your beloved, is very much alive and well, and trying so hard to connect with you to let you know they're fine, and they love you and they're not suffering or in any kind of pain. They're surrounded with love in this gorgeous world of Unity from which we come to have adventures on Earth. 

Unfortunately, we aren't taught much about the cycles of life, but so much research, true research has been done in the past 50-60 years, not only about near death experiences, but also about past life experiences and all of our tribal cultures and two-thirds of the world's cultures know that we cycle through many lives, together. We are eternal beings, made of the essence of the Whole, our Creator, God, whatever you want to call it, and knowing this, knowing that whenever our beloveds die, they haven't missed a single darned thing and they have already experienced all the milestones we care to count (graduation, marriage, children, etc.) and they will experience these things again, with us, as we choose where there's love, to have Earth experiences together again and again; we must set our hearts to rest and honor their leaving and know that nothing at all has gone undone, nothing at all is missed in their experience. It is perfect and their lives are whole and complete and we can honor that and celebrate the beauties as well as the challenges they experienced as we would wish others to celebrate ours. 

We do not need to ever let go of them, because what we experienced together is, was, and always will be, but we need to step into our spiritual selves to come to understanding and honor about their leaving. Live. With all of yourselves. They did, they still are, they will do that here again, they will do that here with us again. All is well. In love and light I had to write this. I cried for 450 days, so I know your pain. But then I was given this gift, and I believe we all can reconnect with our beloveds. We need to stop yanking them down from their Heaven by their ankles through our misplaced focus on what we perceive as pain. It is not our right and it is not in alignment with what is good and natural. The last thing they want us to experience as a result of their "death" is pain.

And then I said:

What my daughter taught me (in her Celestial letters) about the trauma was that her transition was but a split second, like going through a doorway into another room, and all the rest of her experience, even in sickness and decline, was her life, and after that split second, it is now again her life but on a higher level, she is her whole self, and she does not want me constantly going into the trauma of reliving what pain I perceived around her death. 

She was not alone, she had people caring for her here on Earth and spirits and guides and those who passed from our family line before she did, loving her during and after her transition. None of our "Earth rules" apply. It is all love in the realm where she is now. And I can understand that because when I think about it logically, I know that if there's no death in the world where she is now, spirit is eternal, there can be no threat at all, and if there's no ownership, there's nothing to fight over, so it's eternally peaceful, even though there are a zillion things she is exploring, learning, experiencing, discovering, so she says it is exciting. It is truly a gorgeous place to be.

And then I wrote: 

So for me I have learned to honor her death, but I have learned to honor and celebrate her life even more, and I say "Good job, my beloved Jess, good job." She has graduated, as we all will. And it is good. As some of you know, we get a cupcake on the day of her Celestial Birthday - the day she died, and we light a candle and we wish her many happy journeys until we get to journey together again. I think she likes this. We feel her near, she sends her love and peace to me and it envelopes me so that I feel full of love and so much peace.

Just food for thought for anyone who might be struggling. The only way to step beyond those terrible, anguishing images of our children or other beloveds being cremated, buried in the ground, or going through physical decline is to understand that this was not their LIFE. And they want us to know that every second of experience, learning, growth, courage, love, and all the emotions and adventures they went through before their exit, is what is most important. They lived and they continue to live. But now they are not limited by the physical. 

So step into your own journeys and know that they are with you, loving you, and you must not abdicate your life in the erroneous perception that their death is where the focus should be. Re-member them and live fully, with all your heart and soul, because we are all beloved and all is well.

The companion book to Coming Alive After Death that I am writing is called Jess's Letters From Beyond the Veil, or it might be called Celestial Letters From Jess (working titles 'til it's done) and it is a compilation of all of our letters over the past four years, in which she shares her Heaven, which is just stunningly beautiful, her wisdom, which is huge, and so very much encouragement and love. I will work on it this spring and summer, and hope to publish them both in the fall of 2019 xo

And I would like to add that many of us who've experienced the death of a beloved turn to books to try to understand what has happened, and out of all the books I've read, Bob Olson's Answers About the Afterlife is the very best, along with Journey of Souls by Michael Newton. One of the best books about healing here in the physical world is Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani. They write about things we can test for ourselves. And there is so much love awaiting those who are brave enough to do so.

Wishing you many happy journeys, here.

Namaste