|Out of the darkness and into the light - the view from my friend |
Lorena's gorgeous barn - I LOVE barns!
I think my message in this post is to encourage peeps to keep doing your internal work even when the going feels rough; it can open avenues that are greater than you've hoped for or imagined in your wildest dreams. Do not be afraid. Keep doing the work, because though we may not know the timeline for coming out the other side of the tunnel, I find that we DO come out if we do not give up. Do not give up.
Our world works in mysterious, marvelous ways. Wherever there is discontent or weariness inside of us, there is potential for growth and the opening of new pathways if we do the work to get there. The work simply means giving ourselves permission to seek information and to express ourselves according to the positive urgings of our own hearts and minds.
I definitely believe in Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, the Giving Spirit of this beautiful season. And this year, Santa, St. Nick has been especially generous, for which I am surprised, and very, very grateful.
I was experiencing several hard things about the holiday season in response to my daughter's passing almost two years ago (two years of eternity, two years of just yesterday). One was that though we decorate for Christmas at home (and also did last year, though modestly), I could not put out the stockings because there is one for each member of the family, and my perception was that my family was lopsided - too much pain to put out Jessie's stocking. I can't fill it, I can't "love" her the way I always did with all the kids. Same thing happened last year with the stockings in particular.
|We put up our two stockings but read on to see how we fixed the lopsidedness....|
|Our Nutcrackers - just two this year, not six|
Example of pain and grief - I watched the movie Fools Rush In, which is a reeeally sweet story, but when the couple is in the hospital doing a sonogram and they see the image of the baby and hear its heartbeat what popped into MY mind was: Oh! MY baby doesn't HAVE a heartbeat anymore! - UBER OUCH. I have another biological baby (my son, Torey, grown now but always my baby) who does have a heartbeat that is strong, sweet, sensitive, and oh so loving, but of course, one cannot replace another, and they are each their own shining individual selves.
|My beautiful son who lives in Argentina xo|
|Jess with her last Christmas tree xo|
SO the second present I received this year, after the wondrous feeling of peace from Jess, was received in a conversation I had with my sister on the phone as I explained my feelings about the stockings: I learned not to be "all or nothing." My sis said "What if you just put out Rob's stocking, and your stocking?"
"Oh," I said, "that never occurred to me." And it hadn't until then. But I thought it was a GREAT idea. So I related it to my husband, and before he went to bed he brought up the beautiful mantel hanger he made with its bows and our two stockings and hung them by the fireplace.
That worked and felt good. We've done Christmas for all the kids for ever so many years and yet, Christmas also belongs to us on a private, special level. We've picked out and brought home really special ornaments for our tree every year, so that at this point in our lives it is full of personal celebrations and memories, both of/for the kids and of/for ourselves. The tree glows and emanates peace throughout the whole house. I love it and sometimes sleep in the living room near it at night.
|Beautiful reflections, magic tree vibes|
|Joey Max xo|
|Lil Bear xo|
|One of my greatest blessings xoxoxo!!|
|"Heaven to Jen, heaven to Jen...bleep bleep...."|
|Spiritual - My beadwork xo|
I met my mystical guide, who appeared to my right, my Earth guides (there were two) who appeared to my left, and my spiritual guide, who appeared behind me. And WOW were THEY beeeautiful!
The relief came in a way that totally surprised me. And my heart grew three sizes indeed!
I found, in meeting my two Earth guides, that Jess was among them. It was interesting, since, at the beginning of the meditation, Sara outlined that this "first lesson meditation" was "limited to our personal spiritual guides, not the departed, that's saved for Lesson 4."
Jess was dressed in a soft, pleated, flowing black skirt and a sleeveless maroon top, with her beautiful glossy long hair bouncing around her and her feet bare. She held her hand up to her mouth as she giggled, and I could feel her feelings - "OH MOMMA!! I'M SO HAPPY YOU'RE MEDITATING! I'M SO HAPPY TO CONNECT WITH YOU AND SEE YOU HERE IN MY VIBRATIONAL LEVEL! WE'RE GOING TO HAVE SUCH FUN!" I could literally feel her elation. I understood that she is a big part of my "spiritual" life in the paintings we do together and also very much a part of my Earth guidance since we are able to share our work here and help others to feel and see the vastness and beauty of love.
|Detail of our painting together, Dancing for a Dream|
Another gift I received, in a most natural order after the meditation and meeting my Earth guides, who help with career, relationships, and all kinds of things related to the logistics of navigating life on Earth, was A NEW JOB!!! I thought to myself, hm, maybe should have connected more consciously a long time ago....
And WOW, this job is also greater than I had imagined possible. It's HUGE. Millennial! I can't say too much about it because I'm restrained by confidentiality, but I've been hired by an international educational organization composed of pathcutters. I'm in home territory since it uses all the skills I used at my University for 16 years as an editor and instructional designer, plus I'm learning hands-on about "the jobs we didn't know would exist" as we designed courses for Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen X, Y, and millennials.
Training/education in the old days was to teach people to fit into existing positions but training/education today is to teach people to create, to seek, and to empower themselves to morph into positions that never existed before. This organization is truly impressive because they're totally plugged into several other organizations that never existed before and that help to streamline processes and create efficiencies for huge, international organizations that employ a sizeable workforce. Ya ya!
I think the job is, in a way, a result of connecting meditationally with my Earth guides (which we all have). It's just so serendipitous!
The other two guides were magnificently beautiful, but I'll save that for another post.
I'm feeling Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, and happy everything, Jen. I'd been looking for work for about a year and a half, wanting structure and meaningful engagement to my days, but also wanting time for my artwork and not to be "in a fishbowl," being constantly taken off-task. I did not think it possible to have my desires fulfilled, but I find now, thank you Santa, that I can work when I want to, sleep when I want to, go outside when I want to, wear what I want to, take time to do whatever I want whenever I want to, and work in my own environment where I have access to sunrise, sunset, afternoon sunbeams, swimming, walking, rain, fresh air, my pups and kitty, whatever I wish to fix to eat, and it is just soooo wonderful.
I find myself living what I heard them predict in a distance education conference several years ago - the majority of employees of the future will be contract workers in a "buyer's" market - they'll work when they want to, doing what they choose, according to the skills they've personally built within themselves. Hallelujah!
It is a mistake to believe that in contrast to full-time work, people would choose leisure as a whole life activity. Total leisure tends to lead to stagnation and slow death. Rather, research shows that most people have an innate desire to engage with others in meaningful and influential ways according to their interests. They love to be active in areas they care about. And cares are as varied as imaginable. I love that education is heading that way too.
So here we are. It's a good place to be.
|Opening our internal petals|
Life is very sweet. And the light is good after the darkness. I'm sure I'll continue to bump along a bit (will keep the napkins and hankies handy through the holiday season), but not like anything I've experienced in the past couple of years.
I am reborn, as I believe we all can be, sometimes several times in a lifetime, and sometimes right outside of it.
As Glennon Doyle Melton says, "Carry on warriors." xo
May your holidays be oh so sweet.
|Yes, best holiday cookies we've EVER made! WOOT!!|