Tuesday, April 28, 2020

What Nobody Tells You About Getting Old

Ya gotta laugh!
What nobody tells you about getting old is that there will be things you can't do anymore and more things you won't. I'm so glad I did them all along the way. 

If you met me today, you probably wouldn't guess that I really enjoyed jumping on beds all the way up through my 40s. And you might not know that I was a motorcycle maniac for about 18 years. No, I didn't drive, but I rode on the back for hundreds and hundreds of miles through all kinds of territory. Sometimes I loved it, especially on trail bikes in the woods, taking flight off the rises and always grateful for a successful landing. There were times we went around corners so fast and low that the footpegs scraped the road so hard they made sparks, and times we took long, long trips and got caught in the rain and thunder, on slippery highways dodging huge trucks that kicked up killer watersprays. It's a miracle we survived as long as we did.

When I was 12, I earned a bronze medal and a silver medal in swimming. I wanted to go for the gold but was too young and they wouldn't let me. For that one, one of the things you had to do was swim a mile, so when we got back to the U.S. (I earned them while we lived in England), I made myself swim a mile at the community pool just to see if I could. It about killed me and my sister's friend, who was a lifeguard, got in the pool and swam the last few laps with me. It's one of those "I DID IT" things that sticks with you.

I loved to run and I loved to hike. My rule for hiking in the woods was always No Shoes Allowed. I spent most of my youth without shoes whenever possible. Climbing trees was my number one favorite activity for many years. I came home with pine sap in my hair and on my body all the time. It stayed sticky for days. Couldn't scrub it off, it had to wear off by itself.

I loved to draw and paint and I loved to dance. I drew and I painted and danced my little heart out. I loved to cook and I loved to eat, especially outside. Everything is always so much better outside, though inside can be awfully nice too. 

Lately I've been feeling like Rip Van Winkle, who fell asleep and missed a gap of 100 years. When did this age thing sneak up on me? I was so busy living I didn't even notice! But it's making itself known now. At 61, suddenly I can't climb that highest mountain or walk that longest mile. My sweet little body got a bit ravaged by life and I find that part of me facing the downhill slide. Not sure there's much I can do about that except find a good sled.

The invincibility of youth has been overtaken by arthritis (ouch!) and the vagaries of age and I find myself managing rather than spearheading, who knew? I'm grateful for good management skills, but I think there's a part of me that prefers the all out embrace of possibility as opposed to the more sensible escort of discretion.

What they don't tell you about getting old is that all those things you thought you'd ALWAYS do, welp, they peel off one by one, sometimes without much warning. As they peel off, I've found that one of the best things I can do is salute them with gratitude, holding them dear, and the other best thing is throw myself into the things I can still do, or explore new ones I haven't tried yet. Ah, thank goodness for those.

Isn't life grand?


Salud!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Jen's Heart Attack and Gift February 2020

Hello, it's me!
Hi Lovies,

I have been absent from FB and social sites, even my phone for over a week because I got to go around the moon instead.

On Sunday, February 9th, I had gone to bed late, as usual, after working on my book, actually finishing it except for the acknowledgments. Though I wasn't feeling well, I thought it was yet a touch of the flu I'd been trying to shake off for weeks, I slept well.

At around 1 p.m. I awoke, cuddled in my bed, looking at the beautiful tree outside the window and a tiny bit of blue sky trying to happen. My hands were close together on my chest stroking the soft fur of the warmest blanket and I felt perfectly content except for VERY BAD HOPPIN' CHEST PAINS. They were not going to allow me to stay in bed. I called for Rob, thank goodness he was home.

"BAD chest pains! BAD chest pains!" I announced, and sat up. "Call 911!"

He did not run to call 911. He stayed with me to make sure I would not injure myself. I sat up, swung my legs over the side of the bed, realized my vision was all blurry, and I was soaking wet with sweat pouring off me. I stood up to go get some clothes and change out of pjs, but found the wall instead of the doorway, oops. A little woozy on the balance there.

He stayed next to me while I insisted upon choosing undies, leggings, socks, t-shirt, sweater. I got them on as well as I could which wasn't impressive, and he helped with the rest. Then I told him to get the puppies and lock them in our bedroom and call 911. Hurry, hurry.

He said, "I'll drive you to the hospital." I said, "Can't make it to the car. Hurry, hurry." I felt as if someone had poured liquid fire into my heart and it had filled every chamber. In my mind I could see a brilliant color of copper just radiating out of my heart. At this point I had closed my eyes and was sitting in my chair by my desk in my studio (always my "safe place").

I felt zero fear. I was just breathing one breath after the next, each so short and hard to take like knives stabbing me. Just keep breathing.

Once I sat down he called 911. Felt like it took forever.

They came and brought a bunch of things into my studio. At that point, I think most of my system was shut down and I could hear but not make much sense. One of the guys said my BP was at 16, didn't hear the other number but you can figure out which one that is. Yep, pretty darned close to gone.

They asked Rob questions and me questions but I was just in total trust mode. I loved each paramedic with my whole heart and soul. One of them put a whole handful of chewable aspirin on my desk and said "Eat all of those!" I did and thought they were the best ever tasting candy I'd ever had.

I have no idea what they did to me but they were doing stuff. Got me strapped into a chair and I still had my eyes closed as they took me outside - the chair thing was to get down the stairs outside my studio. It was COLD. I was COLD. And I reeeeeeally didn't want them to make me lie down on my back, wanted to stay sitting up. They said that was fine for now.

Sat outside while they got the ambulance ready and they transferred me from the chair to a bed that they could adjust so that I was sitting up. I felt so embarrassed that the neighbors would see all this kerfuffle.

While the ambulance waited for clearance to arrive at the hospital, which is only about 10 minutes away from where we live, they were already setting up the operating room. Once we were cleared to go, they wheeled me straight into the operating room.

I thought they were just looking and deciding what to do, but as I found out later, they went straight into the operation itself where they put two wonderful friendly stents into my heart where it was blocked, and by 5 p.m. I was in ICU. Because they had gone up through the veins in the groin area to get to my heart, I had to lie flat on my back without moving or raising my legs/knees for FIVE HOURS! Wow that was HARD. There was always a nurse in there grabbing me to hold my legs flat cause healing has to happen in that vein before you can move at all. Also I was allowed no water this whole time and my body was completely dehydrated, my little lips flaking like a desert floor.

Wish I could say I felt better, but each breath was still very short and felt like knife stabs, and I was freezing cold. They said I could get warm soon.

Well I was in very good hands. There were at least three heart docs, many assistants, and I remember at some point (before entering the operating room) they were standing in a circle being introduced to me and they asked me if I could open my eyes so I did for a minute.

Then I went back into total trust mode. Thank you, thank you talented, hardworking, big-hearted medical professionals, for being trustworthy. You were all there and more.

Next few days my body was in quite a bit of distress, and didn't know what to do with water, or anything else. Just nothing came out of it. Hmph. Once I was allowed water I drank gallons of it and it was like manna from Heaven, but didn't come out. There weren't any problems with that it just all got used up inside me.

And once I was through the tough, flat on your back, freezing hours, they covered me with heated blankets. Oh my! That was lovely.

I am not sure when they let my husband come in, but he sat by my side and all I could do was sleep. I apologized for being such a dud date. He said he didn't want to be anywhere else. He spent as much time as possible at the hospital every day and into the nights, disregarding visiting hours - I think the nurses knew he would not be turned out. He came home to feed pups and kitty and himself, then came right back. Came home to sleep and came back first thing in the mornings.

My lovely sweet husband. He'd had this same procedure in 2011, only on the other side of his heart, so he says now we're a complementary pair XO

His heart attack never progressed to the point mine did, so mine was a bit more distressing to my body, but all is well now and I am recovering.

So, I wasn't going to write any of this medical part but seems it slipped out of me. The really important part that I wanted to blog about, which is AMAZING, is how it is the answer to my solemn prayers and a gift of HUGE proportions.

I have had a very close relationship with Spirit and my own spiritual guides for many years, and they keep me strong and help me to understand things. Well when my daughter died in 2015, I went into major retreat, which is not at all uncommon, especially with the death of a beloved child. I am proud of the productivity in my studio, the time spent doing gorgeous beadwork and some good painting and also writing our book, which I dearly hope will be a huge help to others who find themselves deeply grieving a loved one.

But last summer I felt the stirrings of wanting to come out of retreat and join the world a little more strongly, only I wasn't sure how to do it. My schedule was such that I woke at noon and worked most days until 3 a.m. I'd take an hour or a few hours with Rob for dinner in front of the TV, fall asleep after dinner, then whenever I awoke, which was anytime around 8 or 9 p.m. I'd go into my studio and work in one capacity or another. I LOVED the nights. They soothed me. I never put the back blinds down, so the moon sailed across my studio windows and I had either lovely music or old movies or my favorite detective shows on - I just love when they get the bad guys.

I was doing a few things that I'd started when I was about 13 years old, one of which was smoking cigarettes. And after Jess died I will say I didn't much care about quitting and smoked more than was good for me. Smoking was hard on my system, so I had been prescribed an inhaler a few years ago, and was told to use it every four hours as needed for wheezing. So I did. Also my poor little sinuses were overtaxed, so I used nasal spray about as often as well. I knew I was flirting with the idea of quitting smoking but didn't want to do any of the patch things because the side effects are very scary. I was pretty sure I couldn't just do this with willpower.

So I prayed. I told my spirit helpers of my challenges and asked them if they'd please help me, knowing that they would respond. I asked them to be gentle with me.

Welp, they handed me this gift. And the reason it is a HUGE gift is because for the first time since I was 13 years old no tobacco has passed my lips since that Sunday. Not a drop of nose spray has been needed. I do not need the inhaler. Not a drop of alcohol has passed my lips. Some clickover has happened and I can see with my whole spiritual Self that I had been handing my beautiful authority away and then trying to manage the consequences, getting caught in an ever smothering loop. I feel FREE.

When I was young, a teenager, all I wanted was freedom. I thought that in making my own decisions and stepping out of "forced" situations, I was creating freedom, but I realize looking back that I kept setting up the same forceful situations I experienced as a child. I accommodated my first husband, who was not trustworthy, and lost myself in the process. I had the courage to get out of that when it became necessary to get the children safe, and I raised them mostly on my own from the ages of 9 & 11, and worked very hard to do so, but also lost myself in that process. I did a great job, and would have it no other way, but now I realize that every human being is entitled to some joy, some rest, some play, some activity that is not "investment" in earning or learning. Just FUN. I claim it.

I'm happy to have this chance. Doesn't matter how long it lasts or what I deal with along the way, my life will now include joy, fun, exploration, nature, and plenty of love, because those are the peeps I am keeping close. The ones who love.

It has been very clear this week who they are, and I am so grateful for your existence and your presence in my life.

I will still enjoy the occasional glass of champagne on special occasions and even a glass of wine, but am more interested in becoming YOGA MAMA (yoga is part of my pure fun stuff coming up) than dealing with any of that. And you know what? I spent my 47 years figuring out how to live life at top speed, well, yes, I was always pretty much a bit of a lightweight, but for me top speed, so everyone can do whatever they want to and I'm fine with that! I say you're the only one who really knows how to be you, so enjoy it.

Now, I will offer many thanks for your patience in reading this very long blog post. I meant for it to be short, but I'm wordy sometimes.

I will continue to thoroughly enjoy working with you on Malas, earrings, commissioned pieces - we know I do these because I love to do them, and I love the exchanges and meeting you and enjoy the friends I make doing this work. I'm thinking once I get stronger I can see teaching some FUN classes in my future, not sure quite when, will keep you posted.

And I will post when the book is out. Coming soon XO

Namaste,
Jen






Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Celestial GIFT from Sweet Jess for ALL of Us

Image by Christine Sponchia from Pixabay used with permission
I just spent some time writing with my sweet Celestial Jess in our special journal and I'm so delighted I HAVE to share it with you. She constantly amazes me. Just that flow and love and energy that is so giving. Well she's given us all a very unexpected gift tonight, one that is tremendous fun to contemplate and that has immediately lightened my heart, as she always does.

I picked this photo of a feather because all of us who've had beloveds pass back to our Celestial world, or what I like to call True Home, know that our beloveds bring signs to let us know they're close. They send feathers a lot, in unexpected places, birds with unusual or special behavior, coins with significant dates on them, etc. These are all wonderful signs. So Jess gave me a gift tonight, and it ain't a feather, though of course I welcome those too. I'll tell you about it. Here we go...

Earlier in the evening my husband and I spent time sitting on the porch and we talked about one of our children, Trevor, who's in the Air Force. Because of that, Rob watches the news and keeps up on what's happening politically. I can't and haven't followed the news for years and years because it's like watching a bunch of kindergartners who have a lot of work to do on refining their sharing and playing nice with others behaviors. I can do nothing about it but vote, which I do.

That political conversation led me to feeling a bit depressed and anxious about our beautiful world and all the lovely people in it. 

I knew I wanted to connect with Jess, so after Rob and the pups went to bed I lit our special candle and sat with our special journal listening. As always, even going on five years into this spiritual communication, I am never sure if she will come to me. And she always does. Even if we get interrupted by my kitty Joey Max wanting his midnight snack of sweet cream in a saucer, which I stopped to give him. Jess didn't go away during that time, she just was with us.

So I wrote:

Hello my beautiful girl, I miss you a lot. Sure would enjoy a phone call with you so I thought perhaps a letter would feel good.

-Hi Momma, it's me, Jess (she drew hearts around her name). I'm proud of you Momma, as proud as a girl can be. I love you so much. You need to let yourself feel that more often.

-Thank you Sweetheart, (I wrote back). It surprises me when I find love coming to me from others, and it sure does feel good. I hope you feel tons of love and that it fills up your heart all the time.

-Oh I do! So much, Momma. It comes from everywhere, inside, outside, all around. It's the only thing there is, Momma. Even when we're on Earth it's the only thing there is, though sometimes we don't see it that way.

-Well what about starving children and sick people, and this ridiculous violence? (I asked).

-We've talked about it before Momma, that forgetting to connect that humans do. The work you're doing is great for helping them to remember to connect.

-Yes, I've experienced that (forgetting), even recently, with some people, one person, really, who was supposed to be professional, only she seemed to get very personal and defensive and I, like an idiot, went in there (into the professional relationship) with all kinds of enthusiasm, plans, excitement, dreams, and felt like she reached through my computer and slapped me, HARD.

-You can recognize her behavior for what it is, Momma, (Jess said), and you know you can't control it. You can only plant seeds that she will choose to nurture or not. It's okay to remove yourself from people like that and seek others who are not based in fear.

-Our world has so much fear and suffering Jess, (I said). Just so much. It is heartbreaking to see it, and feel helpless to alleviate it - I really feel it wasn't meant to be this way. We've always had challenges, but there have been, and are, those who haven't succumbed to the fear. They're so beautiful when they're sincere and genuine. Really beautiful.

I didn't want to write the next thought that came into my head. I swirled my pen in the air, not wanting to write, but I know that I should ALWAYS write down what she sends me, so I sighed and wrote it:
-And how do you think they get so beautiful Momma?

-I know you're looking for me to say by going through awful stuff and rising above it, then lending a hand to others, (I said).

-That's right Momma. It is where the world is in your today. Have faith that no single entity is overlooked or deserted. It is about experience. When we experience something, we build our knowing inside and we can carry that with us always if we choose to keep it active. We can also choose to shut it down, whether for our own learning/experience or in service to another or many others. Because there can be no permanent damage, there is no risk in experience. Think of world history and current happenings as a global page in the book of experience, not the whole story. The story is truly neverending. How could it ever be, with the simple existence of the concept of "and"?

This is her "zinger" and her GIFT, keep reading.

-You can put that word/concept next to anything, (she said), and continue the story, continue the experience. It is a "creation" word. What is its opposite? "OR" is not exactly the opposite of "and" because with the existence or use of the word "or," you actually bring alive the concept of "and" - the existence of more - more than one, in fact, two. And two is ALWAYS "and" - "this and that." This or that.

-I hear you giggling my sweet, I said.
-It's like that here Momma, she said. The thoughts we can have can be highly entertaining. Highly amusing.
-I'm seeing iridescent bubbles around you when you laugh, Jess, they are like delight, all around you.
-I am showing them to you Momma because it's the closest I can come to matching my feeling with something I know you love and that delights you.

(Yes, I do still love to blow those bubbles across the patio in summer and make them go way up high or down low so the pups can play with them. Children not required, lol.)

-Well it certainly is a purely delightful vision. Thank you my sweet lovely Spirit Girl.
-You are most welcome, Momma. You are my delight. Keep your heart light. All is well. Trust that.

-I love you Jess, (I said). Such an unexpected and sweet conversation. Thank you for sharing the beauties and love of your/our Celestial worlds. You've made my heart feel so much lighter even with just a little time and a simple, beautiful new thought. AND. I love it. I love you. Thank you for being close, for sharing your worlds with me.

-These worlds belong to you too Momma. (And I felt that she means that for every one of us.) Never forget that and just reach for the joy a little more often. All is well. No judgment. No fear. No resistance. Just Love.

-Thank you my Sweet, night-night, I told her.
-Night-night Momma. I am with you, she replied.

So of course, before I wrote this post I googled "the opposite of AND" and came up with 45 words or phrases and EVERY SINGLE ONE conforms to the logic she proposed. With each and every single example, the very existence of AND comes alive. That the word and has no opposite and that she called it a "creation" word is very special to my belief in the continuity of life itself. 

You probably are wondering if I've totally lost my mind, and perhaps this is true. What a lovely experience that can be sometimes. It's always so simple - not complicated. This spiritual sort of teaching.

Isn't that just COOL BEANS? When you allow yourself to contemplate that little tiny simple thought of AND - I had it in context with "The whole world is going to be blown up by that dense idiot and the planet is not going to be able to recover..." And Jess took that thought and added AND, teaching me that there never is any true ending. We ALWAYS have another chapter, because we are eternal. If we screw up, there is no end to creation itself AND we can start anew. Endlessly. Hm.... Lovely.

Night-night. Kiss kiss. Sweet dreams.

Namaste

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Spirit Connection with Jess, Why She Has No Need for Comfort

It's just us in our Earth world, or is it? 
This is sweet Jess in her elemental Earth Self at Sauvies Island
one of her favorite places for so many reasons. 
Apologies for not writing in my blog for these past months. It's been a summer of taking care of the living, though I still write with my daughter in her Celestial worlds and would love to share her latest messages. (As always, click on the images to enlarge them so you can read the whole letter if you want to xo)

Note that the link in the caption of the photo above to Sauvies Island explains why I celebrate Jess's naked beauty and her celebration and enjoyment of her strong self in Nature.


I am never sure if she will connect, and she ALWAYS does.
It is ALWAYS so wonderful xo
As many of you know, part of the work that I do now is join in the discussion on several Facebook grief groups, to help support other Lovies who are struggling with the death of one or more of their beloveds. I mentioned it to Jess, and in the first part of her letter she tells me that "In connecting with others with love through the worlds there is great growth - many ripples going out and coming back for humanity on Earth as well as for all otherworlds. Don't doubt it!"

I ask her how she is, of course, and she tells me she is well and happy, plus she's been spending her time "being transported to so many different worlds and experiences." So of course, I ask her to tell me about them.


Being small, being big, being light, being dense. 
She tells me that she "can go very small and see and experience - be - the smallest of all small things, AND I can go big and experience - be - the biggest of the big - and everything in-between. I can feel different levels of density and the lightness of space and air, like bubbles. It feels so interesting to explore these levels with more than the human eyes or mind. It helps me to grow and understand on a vast scale."

I sense that there is no limitation to the "geographical" or spacial areas she can explore and that is wondrous to me. She can go to worlds upon worlds without limitation. And of course this makes sense to me, for if we are eternal we will, indeed, need to have many activities to explore. These are vast enough to cover an eternal existence, but of course, there's way more.

And, of course, I have to ask her, "Jess, what is that understanding good for if we cannot remember it or bring that knowledge here? (To Earth while we live our lives. I'm asking what good it is to learn in soul form if we can't bring it with us to improve things on Earth.)

She says, "We grow on a soul level Momma. Earth life is not all there is. There is so much more. Earth life has its purposes, but there are other ways of living and being that are not restricted by the boundaries of Earth life. We get to explore those here and engage with them. All engagement is good and loving and interesting and holds much beauty."

Well, that's good to know.


Why she needs no comfort and why she does not miss me xo
So we keep writing, and I ask her if she has comforts there. Her answer is wise, and surprising.

"I have really no need for comfort, because that is an answer for something that feels missing or needed on Earth - we fill that void by comforting [on Earth]. Here we do not have that void because we have only to think of something and it is there or we are there, so there's nothing needed or missing."

Hm. So I'm feeling a bit left out and I ask her, "Well don't you ever miss me my Love?"

I ADORE her answer, which is also wise and surprising.

She says, "Well yes and no, Momma. We are always able to connect in love and light, so there is no separation. We even can do that here, because you know that part of you, your what you call Higher Self is here. So we can do that whether or not your physical body is tuned into it. So that is why I say 'No.'"


We are here AND we are there. Oh, I forgot about that.
Thanks for the reminder, sweet Jess xo
She goes on to say, "In some ways I can have an awareness of the missing of the physical ways we could connect when I was inbody - but knowing how much more complete, pure, loving, and how less dense that is here, I don't really miss it. I understand, that you, in your Earth body, feel the limitations of Earth, and I remember that, but what you don't know, though you CAN, is that that is an illusion. It is a part of the experience of Life but not the whole of it, and that is where faith comes in to hold your hand and heart until you are no longer limited. Trust that. And while you are there, stay grounded in beautiful faith, knowing to your toes that All IS Well."

And then she gives me encouragement, as she always does. And lots of love upon the close of this special letter. "Life is something you move through Momma. Dance. Sing. Create." she says, and signs off "In love and light," Jessica.

Her closing statement to me is, "Keep lookin' at those stars Momma. Lots of love and light wafting from them."


All the Loves xoxo
And I sit, bring the journal to my chest and hold it close, really grateful for the connection, the encouragement, the boundaries that release themselves, the beautiful possibilities of multiple levels of vibration and life. The absolute love and flow of that which is way larger than we've been taught.

Namaste my beautiful daughter, my spirit sees the spirit that is you, in love and light. Thank you for coming to me.

And on this day, 9/11/19, of thousands of people on Earth sorrowing the passing of their beloveds and feeling vulnerable, may there be just a little bit of light shining into your fear and sorrow and confusion as to how to regain beautiful balance in this world, on this planet, in this time that we perceive here. We cannot be eternally hurt, and we cannot eternally hurt. Thank goodness. We have connection and when we learn more consciously to USE it, we learn to live with more than faith, we learn to live with Knowing. Knowing is an ancient concept familiar to most indigenous peoples, but that is another story to share at another time.

Love from sweet Jess xo
We were walking and she picked a pansy to sniff,
which stuck to her nose as she inhaled its sweet fragrance.
Ah, such love and joy! XO! These are the things we remember.
LIFE XO
Many hugs to you and thank you for checking in xo
~Jen

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