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9 Effects of My Career Change

It’s been 3 weeks since my last blog, but man, it has been crazy!  I started my new job in the plant nursery after leaving my career in financial services behind after 20+ years.

Lots of changes and things to process:

  1. Days sitting at a desk have been replaced by days on my feet and overall being much more physical.  My back and feet were killing me, but slowly my body is acclimating.  I used to average about 2000-3000 steps a day, but now I can easily hit 10,000, sometimes before 4 pm.  I have lost a few pounds and like getting exercise as part of my job.  And I save money by not having a gym membership.
  2. Being physical is great, but I am exhausted at the end of the day.  This has made doing work and school a bit more difficult.  I enjoy school and know I only have about another month in this semester, so that keeps me going.  I plan to take summer school, but only 2 classes compared to 3 this semester.  I hope my body acclimates to this too!
  3. I switched from working from home to working directly with people.  I have always said if you put more than one person in a room together, there will be conflict.  Some minor, some a little more than minor.  I found myself judging quicker, which I need to work on.  My people skills are a little rusty, so I find myself staying silent as I process the interactions with me and around me.  So while I haven’t reverted all the way back to saying exactly what’s on my mind, I need to craft words carefully in my responses to my co-workers.
  4. I have to plan a lot more, which I am struggling with because I feel like I have less time overall.  I only get 30 minutes for lunch, so I have to bring a lunch everyday.  And 3 days a week I have to bring my dinner to school.  I am looking for things to make in bulk, then grocery shop and find time to make everything so the week runs smoothly.  I am trying to have things on hand that can make a quick meal for either me or my husband, as he too needs a dinner 3 days a week when I’m at school.  Lucky for me he has no problem having a sandwich!  But I prefer to have homemade food on hand for us to keep the nutrient factor up and the sodium down.
  5. I am dirty.  Like, all week long.  Dirt under my nails, dust in my hair and all over my clothes.  I remember the days of getting my nails done every other week and dressing up for work.  Now it’s jeans, t-shirts and work boots and dirt under the nails no matter how hard I try to keep them clean.  I am glad when my jeans are at least clean enough to wear more than once without washing.  It is nice to not really have to think about what I’m wearing, but I see much more laundry in my future.
  6. I cherish time at home more.  When I was working from home, I wanted to leave and do other things.  Now I have no problem staying home on weekends and non-school nights.  It also helps save money, which brings me to…
  7. I am still working out the money situation.  I took a huge pay cut to work at the nursery, and because it is so new I am not sure exactly how it will impact us.  So I have already started to forego events that cost money that are non-essential.  Sometimes this means not doing some things with my friends, but I feel these sacrifices are necessary at this point.  I am proud to say my husband just got a raise and things so far are going well.  However the uncertainty moving forward makes me cautious.
  8. The nursery doesn’t have medical insurance or a 401k plan.  Lucky again that I can get on my husband’s insurance.  It costs way more to have a family plan, but it is totally worth it.  I am working with my financial adviser (a leftover benefit of my time in the industry) to figure out a retirement savings plan so I can keep contributing to my retirement.  I provided a budget to him and he will work the numbers to help me with a plan.  I may need to work a little longer, but at least I’m doing something I love, right?
  9. And that’s what it all about – doing something I love.  I get to work around and learn about plants all day long.  I get to put my hands in the dirt.  Everyday I walk into a greenhouse that smells of the earth and is alive with color and LIFE.  It’s like the air is different – and it’s not just the dust.  The hours fly by and my energy stays high.  I am starting to believe the adage that if you do what you love you don’t work a day in your life.

I don’t regret my career transition.  Yes, there is uncertainty and sacrifices, but the rewards are tremendous.  There are also little things like leftover plants to take home and a free garden claw!  A co-worker and I can’t stand to see the extra plants go to waste so we split them up and give them homes.  I am going to have to build my own greenhouse pretty soon!

So why I am I telling you all this?  Because if you are considering a major change in your life, it doesn’t even have to be in your career, I want to inspire you to move forward.  It is scary, maybe even downright terrifying, but with careful consideration and planning you can make that change.  Living the life you want to live brings so much balance and joy to your life.  And when you have balance and joy, you thrive.  And when you thrive, you can make beautiful contributions to your family, friends, community, nation and the world.  Dream big and live your life with purpose!

Revelations at 3 a.m. Lead to Change

Do you wake up from sleep at the same time in the middle of the night?  I usually wake up around 3:10 am.  I had read that the veils between this world and other worlds are thinner between 3 am-5 am, and it can be a time where you vividly remember your dreams, interpret your dreams, and can even receive messages.  That happened to me on Tuesday morning.

But let’s start by continuing the story regarding my career transition.  The last few weeks have been about change, and I felt called to get laser focused in all areas of my life.  It was a time of action.  I took the first two steps:

  1. I told my trainer that this was my last week at the gym.  I won’t be able to afford it with my new job.  I went to that gym for about 8-10 years, and enjoyed my time there, but it was starting to feel a little stale, and I had lost some of my passion for going.  The issues with my back didn’t help.  (Was this just another change that was destined to happened?)
  2. I closed my LinkedIn account and my Waterstone Wellness LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.  I posted to them using a social media service, but I never looked a them.

Yesterday at 3 a.m. is when the revelation hit–my business, Waterstone Wellness, needed my attention.  It needed my focus. And it needed to change.  I made the monumental decision to retire as an Advanced Reiki Practitioner and not sell my handmade wellness products.  I was going back to my roots as a blogger only.  At 7 a.m. I was at my computer putting this plan into action.

  1. I crafted an email to my clients and explained what I was doing and why – they deserved to hear it first.
  2. I redesigned my website.
  3. Later today I will remove my business page from Facebook.  My blog will post to my personal Facebook page under the Waterstone Wellness name.
  4. I converted my Instagram account to a personal account.
  5. I will discontinue my newsletter.

It took me several hours, but I got it done.  And it felt so right.  It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I was almost floating.  Why?

During a walk at the park later that day, the answer revealed itself.  I had two aspects of me – entrepreneur me and well, just me.  I realized I am not an entrepreneur, and trying to be was not in alignment with my true self.  It was time to put the sales aspect of Waterstone Wellness to bed, and focus on the thing I love to do – blogging.  Sharing my journey and inspiring with positive messages is TOTALLY me.

My blog has been one constant for me over the past three years, and it brings me great joy.  Gratitude to you, my readers, for sticking with me through this journey.

It’s been a real whirlwind, but I believe it was meant to happen.  New paths have presented themselves through my manifestation and intention (thank you, Universe).  Revelations are being made that are part of walking those new paths.  It is really magical.

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Celebrating New Beginnings

I am wrapping up my three year career at my current company – Friday is my last day.  It will be the end of over 25 years in the financial services industry.  It is a weird feeling to leave this world I am so familiar with and called home for so long.  Of course the knowledge and experiences will be mine forever, but there is still a sense of disbelief that I actually made this happen.  I chose to close this chapter in my book of life and start a new one.  Wow.

As part of the transition, my life coach, Lauralee Alben, suggested I write a poem and create an art piece to commemorate the occasion of this new beginning.   She encouraged me to write poetry several years ago, and when I read my poems of the past, they reflect monumental periods in my life.  They bring a vividness and realness to what I was doing, and more importantly, what I was feeling, at those times.  It made complete sense to capture this moment in my life for all time.

Most of my earlier poetry was born from negative experiences, a way to express myself in times of despair.  This occasion provided an opportunity to do a celebratory poem, which I tend to find more difficult–but not this time.  The words flowed effortlessly, as if they couldn’t wait to land on the page.  It was just another confirmation in a series of events that I made the right choice.  It brings me a sense of comfort and confidence that this path is meant to be.

Freed to be Me

Out of complete despair and misery,

A space was made to soothe me.

Over the past few years I did my best,

Knowing that it was a period of rest.

But the rumblings of something new,

Were hard to ignore, and they grew.

I traveled to get messages clear,

And listened to the voices in my ear.

Time to get focused, set my aim high,

The call was here, I couldn’t deny.

I put in the work to make the new start,

That I knew was right, deep in my heart.

New people in my life, new things to do,

My nature is THE Nature, it is true.

So, I wake up refreshed,

From my period of rest,

To go back to where I belong.

I wanted to create an art piece that represented the vibrant colors of nature.  As flow art is my current medium for creating art, it seemed a natural choice.  In flow art you pick the colors and combine them in a certain way, but how they will flow onto the canvas is a complete mystery.  And I am a fan of mystery.

There is a sense of awe when you release the paint and watch it choose its own path.  The fact that the piece is still evolving, as some of the paint doesn’t look quite dry yet, resonates with me.  The new chapter of my life began with choosing a path, includes awe and mystery, and is not done yet.  A beautiful summary of where I am right now.

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I felt called to share my poem and art piece with the world, as a token of gratitude and celebration of new beginnings.  Thanks to all the people that I encountered in the financial services chapter of my life–you helped me evolve into the person I am today.  Some of them continue to be influential in my life as I embark on this new journey, and for that I am extremely grateful.  I look forward to sharing the twists and turns of my new path with you, my dear readers.  Thanks for riding along!  To New Beginnings!

Refusing to Wear the Golden Handcuffs

I quit my job.  But that’s really the end of the chapter.  Let’s go back to the beginning…

About four years ago I was fired from my job.  I have written about it before, but after 9 1/2 good years at the firm, the last six months were HELL.  I was relieved to be let go.

I spent the next three months searching for a new job, a little broken and vulnerable.  I landed at my next company right as my severance package ran out.  I distinctly remember my life coach asking me almost three years ago if taking the position answered my calling – I believe my answer was no.  But I had to pay the bills, I could retain all my financial licenses, and the work was relatively easy.  And at that time in my life I needed easy.

After a year and a half in that position, I felt like I needed more.  I applied for another position at the company in their technology division and got it.  I was told it would be mostly administration of systems, behind the scenes work, and that appealed to me.  I ended up working entirely from home.  I was paid a nice wage.  But the job morphed into much more contact with advisers and staff, and I was constantly battling with the vendors to get things done.  It was the beginning of the end.

When the company rolled out a suite of new technology systems, things quickly went south.  I was not provided the training and information on these new systems that  I needed to do my job well.  Advisers were frustrated because they couldn’t get answers, and several times they directed that frustration at me.  After a particularly bad call, I decided I needed to do something.

I finally realized after THREE YEARS that all the consternation arose from the fact that my job did not answer my calling.  It was not aligned with what fed my soul.  I had a call with my life coach, did some shamanic journeying, and decided I needed to get really focused on what WOULD answer my calling.

Studying soil, trees, and plants in school for my landscape design certificate was a clue.  I loved the subject matter and I enjoyed going to school.  I had a passion for making wellness products with plant material and essential oils.  I liked working in my own yard and could do it for hours without even thinking of eating or drinking.  I tended to my houseplants like children.  I wrote a lot about the benefits of nature.  Do you see where I am going here?  I finally did.  To get aligned I needed a job involving nature.  I had to begin my career in horticulture.

I crunched our budget (horticulture is notoriously low paying) and figured out what the numbers needed to be for us to cover our bills and not live paycheck to paycheck.  I enlisted a friend to help with my resume and cover letters.  I posted my resume on a job search website and got alerts to new landscaping positions.  I started applying.  I had a couple of interviews.  I prayed to the universe every night to bring a landscaping job that would bring me abundance in both joy and money.  But I was still terrified of leaving behind the job that paid well and allowed me to work from home – and that I dreaded doing every day.

I took another shamanic journey, and specifically asked if I should quit my current job.  The answer was an emphatic yes.  The bonus?  Nature was the answer to my calling.  I was on the right path.  And it felt INCREDIBLE.  Everything started to click.  Words started jumping off the page related to my journeys, articles appeared online, things on TV.  It was the universe answering my intention.

I scheduled a call with my life coach to go over some details.  And would you believe that during that call a landscaping company called and offered me a job?  It was like the planets aligned, and all was right in my world.  I had more conversations with my husband to see if he was OK with it.  He said if it made me happy we would make it work.  I called my parents to tell them.  That’s when I learned about the golden handcuffs.

My mom was in human resources at a large telephone company, and she said many executives wore them.  It meant that the benefits and pay were really good, but they hated their job.  They had responsibilities that could only be met with that paycheck, so they had to endure going to work every day unhappy.  That was not going to be me.

I called the landscaping company back with a lot of questions, and they made a great impression answering them.  I had another conversation with my husband.  I took the job.  And I quit my current job.  I shed the golden handcuffs.

I realize this may sound like a fairy tale, but I want to make a couple of points before you dismiss that you could do the same:

  1. The universe always has your back.
  2. Well crafted, positive intentions can manifest the things you want in life.
  3. You have to put in the work to make it happen.  Craft the intention, keep it alive, crunch the numbers, look at it from every angle, have the tough conversations.
  4. Put out the energy into the world that you want returned.  I could have wallowed in my negative job situation, but instead chose to put out positive, hopeful energy which I believe was bestowed back upon me.
  5. Always go back to #1

I realize there may be bumps on my new road.  But if you don’t experience those, I don’t really feel like you are living.  I trust I will persevere and triumph over any obstacles, and cruise along on that new road.  See #1 above.

If my story resonates with you, BELIEVE.  Put in the work, exude the right energy, keep your intention alive, and don’t forget the universe is always working for your greatest good.   Remember the mantra I provided in my blog, Why is it so Hard for Me to Do Nothing?  It was BEnefit, to remember the benefits of taking some deserved down time.  Now you have another mantra when you are ready to close a chapter and start anew – BELIEVE.

 

Transform your World with Manifestation

My mind is a little mushy right now (I have a test tomorrow), so I am sharing an article from the Huffington Post about manifestation, entitled The Five Principles for Manifesting Your Desires, Spirit Junkie Style.  The article is fairly short, is written in a really conversational tone, and even has swear words (I have been know to throw a few of these around myself–OK, maybe a lot).

I share this now because I recently experienced the power of manifestation, and I believe it can really transform your world.  It takes work to make our dreams come true, friends.  You have to put in the time and energy to bring what you want about in your life.  But it is so worth it!  This should get your ball rolling…

We are always manifesting. Each thought we have creates an energy flow within and around our physical beings. This energy attracts its likeness. So if you’re thinking, “I suck,” then your energy kinda, well, sucks — and you attract sucky experiences.

The opposite experience occurs when you think high-level thoughts like, “I rock!” When you think and feel, “I rock,” you exude an energy of confidence and in turn attract great experiences into your life. Each thought you have informs your energy, and your energy manifests into your experiences. Your thoughts and energy create your reality.

Manifesting Mishaps

Manifestation has become a buzzword lately. Though it’s totally awesome that the law of attraction is now trendy, it also can be a bit misleading for folks who are unwilling to do the heavy lifting. If you truly want to use your energetic power to manifest greatness, you must clear all that blocks you from believing in your greatness.

A Course in Miracles teaches that on some level, you’ve asked for everything that happens in your life. Your intentions create your reality. There’s no need to beat yourself up: Simply recognizing how your low-level thoughts negatively affect your life is the first powerful step toward changing your experiences. Begin your manifesting process by getting honest about how your low-level thoughts, energy and feelings of disbelief block you from receiving what you desire. Once you get clear about the blocks, you can begin to clean them up to clear space for positive manifestations to occur.

Many people, when trying to manifest, focus too much on the outside form rather than the internal condition. From A Course in Miracles’ perspective, what’s important is our internal experience — whether we choose to experience love or fear. When we commit to our internal experience of love, we begin to attract more love. Many people approach manifestation from a place of “How can I get something to feel better?” Instead, the focus should be: “How can I feel better and therefore be an energetic match for attracting more greatness into my life?” The emphasis must be placed on healing the internal condition, not getting a hot new car or boyfriend.

The Five Principles for Manifesting Your Desires

Below are my five key principles for genuine manifesting. When practicing these steps, make sure to stay committed to the goal of feeling good first and attracting stuff second. Continue to remind yourself that when you feel good, you energetically attract goodness into your life. When your primary function is to be happy, then whatever comes to you is irrelevant. Happiness is your true manifestation.

Principle One: Clear Space
Before you begin the manifestation process, you must take the necessary time to release all your disbelief in your power to be happy. One of the best ways to clear the blocks of disbeliefis to pray for release. Begin a daily prayer practice of asking the universe to set you free from all the limiting beliefs that block you from believing in your greatness. Stay open for signs from the universe, and show up for the assignments that are brought to you. Universal assignments come in many forms. Maybe you’re guided to the relationship that brings up all your shit so that you have to finally heal your fear. Or maybe you lose your job so that you can learn the lessons of self-reliance and strengthen your self-love. Trust that these assignments, however tough at times, are incredible opportunities for you to clean your energy and clear space to call in what you desire.

Your job in this step is to pray for guidance to clear all that blocks you from believing in your greatness. Then allow the universe to help guide you to whatever assignments you need to aid in the healing process. Show up for the assignments, and trust that the more you clean your thoughts and energy, the more positive experiences you will attract into your life.

Principle Two: Get Clear
Clarity is king when it comes to manifesting your desires. You must have clear intentions for what you want to call in — otherwise you can manifest a lot of what you don’t want. Focus on what you desire and then make a list of all that goes along with it. If you’re getting clear about the job you want, make a list of all the things about the job that make you happy: the office, the people, the salary, etc. Be unapologetic about what you want. This list helps you clarify your intentions and access a vibrant mental picture of what you desire.

The most important part of this step is to clarify how you want to feel. When you get clear on how you want to feel, you can begin to access that feeling. That feeling is what makes the manifestation come into form. You can write a thousand lists and make a million vision boards, but if you don’t clearly feel what you want to experience, it will never truly manifest into form.

(If you need more help with intentions, check out my blog, The New Moon Brings New Intentions)

Principle Three: Think It, Feel It, Believe It!
Now let’s put these steps together. Take your clear intention and spend time every day sitting in the feeling of what it is that you desire. You might access the feeling through meditation and visioning exercises, or call on the feeling when you’re in nature or doing a form of exercise you love. Let the thought inform the feeling and let the feeling take over your energy. The more you feel the feeling of what you desire, the more you believe it is on the way. From a metaphysical perspective, if you believe it then it is already here. So make time for contemplating, thinking, feeling and believing.

Principle Four: Chill!
The next step is crucial to the manifestation process. In order to truly manifest your desires into form, you gotta chill out! A Course in Miracles teaches: “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety.” Take this message with you and allow your faithfulness to guide you into the belief that what you desire is on the way. Also trust that the universe has a much better plan than you do. Though you are clear about what you want, you cannot control the timing or the form in which it comes. Stay calm, relax and trust that the universe has your back!

Principle Five: Know the Universe Has Your Back
When you’re in the know, you’re deliberate about what you want. When you’re in the know, you no longer vibrate energy of fear or disbelief. You just know. As your disbelief wilts away, wanting is replaced by knowing. Getting into the know happens naturally. When you diligently practice steps one through four, you will clean house, get clear and feel happier. This process is healing and powerful, and it leads to a deep inner knowing that you are right where you need to be. Accepting your greatness in this moment, right now, is what manifests more greatness. Being in the know helps you accept that you already are living in your desired manifestation. When you feel it, you live it — regardless of what is happening on the outside. In time, the universe catches up with your energy and your desires come into form. This process of allowing the manifestation to follow your internal faith is the true process of co-creation.

Stay Committed to Happiness

Stay committed to this five-step process and trust that you’re exactly where you need to be. Is your main desire to feel good? Trust you will be given everything you need to create that feeling. Know that feeling good is the true manifestation — and everything else is the icing on the already delicious cake!

Why is it so Hard for Me to Do Nothing?

On a Sunday afternoon filled with playoff football, I was ready to hunker down and watch a whole lot of TV.  But then it hit me — shouldn’t I be doing something?  House cleaning?  Meal planning?  Homework?  There must be something I should be doing. I looked at my husband who had also hunkered down, and asked him if he felt like he should be doing something.  He replied, “No”.  I pressed on:

Me:  Why don’t you feel like you should be doing something?

Husband:  Because I work hard all week–weekends are for relaxing.

Me:  So you feel no guilt for spending your Sunday watching TV and taking naps? (notice the plural of naps)

Husband:  No–why should I?

This could have go on for a while, but I got the idea.  He was completely fine with just chilling, so why wasn’t I?  I decided I needed to GET OK with doing nothing.  So I did what I always do when confronted by a conundrum–research.

First, self reflection.  I am a doer by nature.  I like to plan, execute, DO.  I don’t like feeling rushed or having things sprung on me at the last minute.  So weekends have typically been my planning time for the week so I can execute with as little stress as possible.  With a full time job and 3 nights of school, my weekday time is precious, so having things run smooth is critical to keeping me in a thriving state.

However, there needs to be balance, right?  I have championed life-work balance for a long time, and yet when it came to my definition of life, it still seemed to be work.  I needed to adjust my thinking.  I decided step two in my quest for doing nothing would be to make sure I had time on the weekends to relax.  If that meant not taking a class, or turning down an invitation, I would do it.  You see the planner in me right now, don’t you?

Step three was to give myself the luxury of naps on weekends.  I tell myself that naps interfere with my sleep at night, but sometimes, dammit, I’m tired.  Would it be so bad to throw on a blanket and get a little extra shut eye?  I decided that my body and brain needed the rest, so it is now penciled in.  Guilt free.  Balance.

What else could help me do nothing?  Internet research time…

I found an article entitled, 10 Ways to Enjoy Doing Nothing, that had some good ideas.  I have listed a few below (I think you will understand why these particular ones resonated with me):

1. Banish the guilt.
We are all told that we should be terribly busy, so we can’t laze around without that nagging feeling that we need to be getting stuff done. I rejected my guilt upon learning that Europeans in the Middle Ages felt no shame for lolling about. Their favorite philosopher, Aristotle, had praised the contemplative life, and the monks spent a lot of time just praying and chanting. Guilt for doing nothing is artificially imposed on us by a Calvinistic and Puritanical culture that wants us to work hard. When you understand that it hasn’t always been this way, it becomes easier to shake it off…

4. Go bumbling.
Bumbling is a nice word that means “wandering around without purpose.” It was indulged in by the poets of 19th-century Paris. They called themselves flâneurs and were said to have taken tortoises around on leads, which gives you an idea of the tempo of their rambles. Children are good bumblers. Try making a deliberate effort to slow down your walking pace. You’ll find yourself coming alive, and you’ll enjoy simply soaking in the day…

6. Bring back Sundays.
Many religions still observe a Sabbath, whether it’s Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. And for a long time secular society embraced Sundays as a day of rest, too. But now Sundays are as busy and stress-filled as any other day. Having a day of rest was a very practical idea: We were excused from all labor and devoted ourselves to pleasure and family. Take that ancient wisdom to heart and declare at least one day of the week as a do-nothing day. Don’t clean the house or do the laundry; don’t get in the car. Stay home and eat chocolate and drink wine. Be kind to yourself.

9. Take a nap.
To indulge in a siesta after lunch is the most wonderful luxury: It softens tempers and guards against grumpiness. Yet our culture has decided that naps are for wimps. A nap is acceptable only if it is called a “power nap”―a short doze that is supposed to return you to the office with more energy to kick some ass. But you should nap, not for the profit of a corporation but for your own health. Research has shown that a daily snooze can reduce the risk of heart attack. And just knowing you’re going to sleep after lunch seems to make the morning less stressful. If curling up in your office isn’t an option, go somewhere quiet, like a church or a park bench, and close your eyes for even just five minutes.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  I’m going to give it a try this weekend, and I hope you will too.  When we are on the go all the time, we miss out on the simple luxury of doing nothing.  And doing nothing has benefits to our bodies, minds and souls, contributing to our wellbeing and bringing about a state of wholeness.  When we become aware of the benefits to doing nothing, it can help ease the guilt and allow ourselves to just BE.  Need a little mantra to help you remember to do nothing?  BEnefits.

I forgot 3 is a Magic Number

If you read last week’s blog, I told you when I was ready I would discuss my recovery from reaching a personal breaking point.  In my blog Recovering from a Day from Hell I  poured my heart out about crying for no reason and feeling very fragile.  We have all been there – pushed to our limits, vulnerable, but unable to really put our finger on the root cause.

So what did I do?  I had 4 major issues I was dealing with, so let me recap and relay what I have done in the meantime:

  1. Grey is the Day:  I repainted my grey picture with vibrant, joyful colors.  That picture is now hanging prominently on the wall as I enter my bedroom.  Every time I walk into that room it puts a smile on my face, a reminder that within just a few hours what seemed liked an all-day grey can be transformed.  It became a talisman for overcoming adversity.  Talismans are important ways you can reinforce transformational moments.  It doesn’t have to be as big as a 16×20 painting–it can be a coin that you carry in your pocket, a bracelet, a stone, anything that when you look at it or touch it reminds you of when you climbed that insurmountable mountain and planted your flag of victory.
  2. Blood Pressure Woes:  I was shocked to find out my blood pressure is borderline high.  I have been faithfully using my Lose It! app, cooking up a storm, and drinking a lot of hibiscus tea (from my herbal studies, hibiscus can help to reduce blood pressure).  I am happy to report I am down 8 pounds and feel amazing.  In the next week or 2 I will get my blood pressure rechecked.
  3. Back Pain:  My back is much better, and I am back at the gym! (pun intended).  I am consulting with my chiropractor on what I can and can’t do and relaying it to my trainer who is already crafting new workouts based on his recommendations.  I actually find more movement makes my back feel BETTER.  I am aiming for 5 days of exercise this week after 4 last week, slowly building everything back up.
  4. Priorities:  I was feeling spread pretty thin.  From #2-3 above you can see some of the priorities I made regarding my health.  I also decided that school would be a priority and I would forego any other classes until I graduate.  I also made budgeting a priority.  If at some point I want to transition careers, I need to know the numbers to make it work.  It took some time to review last year, but I am ready to take the next step and set specific budgets with the goal of building our savings account.

Really good, right?  But did all that “cure” me?  It gave me a sense of control of my life, but over what?  I took control of my physical self, and I took steps to take control of my mind by putting things in order.  What was I missing?  3 is a magic number….

Number 5 on the list would be that I had a conversation with my life coach.  She had read my blog and knew something was up.  We discussed what was going on, I cried some more, and she pointed out that what I may be missing is the SPIRITUAL side of addressing what was going on.  It is body, mind and SPIRIT in balance that bring us harmony.   Had I gone deep enough to discover what was really going on?

I knew she was going to say that, I knew she was going to tell me to journey (in the shamanic tradition) and find the wisdom in that journey to help me.  Here was the problem.  I DIDN’T WANT TO.  I wanted her to TELL me what the issue was and FIX IT.  Well, it doesn’t work that way.  And I knew that too.  But it only works when you are ready.  In my blithering, raw state there was no way I could journey–I had to wait until I felt strong enough to do it.

That weekend I went on a journey and 2 animals appeared to me – a chameleon and an eagle.  After some research and reflection I realized that like the chameleon I was changing my color to whatever I was doing–employee one minute, herbalist the next, student next, business owner next–and that was stressing me out.  The eagle was laser focus.  I had to bring myself into alignment and get very REAL about what I was doing.  Did I want to be a jack of all trades, or did I want to specialize?  I am still working out the details.

But you know what?  I am not crying anymore.  I feel empowered.  And I still have work to do.  I will have to confront the underlying issue of the original breaking point, and I intend to–when I am ready.  This is a critical step we all must endure.  Sweeping it under the rug is not an option.  These things have a way of reappearing if we don’t get to the root.  It won’t be easy, and it likely won’t be pretty, but it is absolutely necessary to fully recover.

Well, I am sure you are thinking, “That’s great, Julie, but I don’t journey, so how I am going to resolve my issue?”  There is no simple answer, but remember, 3 is a magic number–you need to be balanced in body, mind and spirit.  If you neglect one, resolution will be near impossible.  The body needs to be fueled and moved properly, the mind needs periods of rest and rejuvenation, and the spirit needs to be nourished.

But you don’t have to do it alone (see #5 on my list).  Reach out to a trusted confidant and tell them what you are going through.  Brainstorm about how you can address each of the 3 areas to feel more balanced, and out of the fog a path will appear.  You may not have THE answer, but you will have some steps to follow to begin the process of recovery.  And every step counts.

I have found that my Reiki clients benefit by talking about their current situation, and after a Reiki treatment are more balanced and peaceful.  If you are struggling with an issue, Reiki may help.  For more information, click Reiki FAQs.

Did you know Waterstone Wellness has a monthly newsletter?  Get more info about living a balanced, whole life, medicinal plants and flowers, Reiki, essential oils, and more!  Click HERE to sign up!

I couldn’t resist adding the video – some readers may be too young to remember School House Rock (LOL).

 

The New Moon Brings New Intentions

Last night there was a New Moon-a perfect time for setting intentions. I have three overall intentions that guide me–my life intention, my calling intention and my healing intention. I find value in setting daily or intermediate term intentions too. The New Moon last night seemed a perfect opportunity to do so.

I found this great article to help you understand intentions as well as some questions to ponder in setting your own. They are quite powerful once set, but you need to keep them alive. I like to recite mine before I go to bed, kind of like my own version of prayer.

I hope you set aside some time to set your own intentions. Feel free to start small to get the hang of it. You will be setting grand intentions in no time!

A note before the article…If you read last week’s blog, I was struggling big-time. I am on the road to recovery, and am still processing some of what I discovered during periods of reflection and a discussion with my life coach. I intend to write about it when the time feels right. Things are a bit too raw at the moment. Now on to the article!

Intentions are the cornerstone of our thought process that give us a sense of direction. It’s our aim or plan of what we want to be, do or have. Without having clear intentions we tend to react to life, getting swayed and jolted around by the circumstances and events around us. When we do have clear intentions, it’s easier for us to see and decipher what of the events and interactions around us is serving us and what is not.

In other words, having an intention creates a destination or a point we want to achieve. Intentions are all about what we want to feel. This is the level that we need to distil our intention words to. 

What is it that we want to feel?

In terms of manifestation and attracting what you desire into your life, you need to match that desire on an energetic level or be a vibrational match for it. Nothing is going to come to you unless you feel in alignment with it.

By choosing to work with intentions and feelings, we bring ourselves into alignment with our desires much quicker.

But what is it that you want to feel?

There may be many things that you would like to feel, and one way you can do this is to pick a powerful word for the year ahead, your overarching theme, and then month by month choose a different intention word that you will work with. You might find all of these words at once or you may decide to do a monthly check-in with yourself to determine what is next. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just whatever feels right. 

A lovely analogy for this method: Think of it like an umbrella, where your main word for the year is the fabric and then each of the monthly intentions are the ribs that together support and give structure to the fabric.

You can choose to find your ribs or your fabric first, just create a beautiful umbrella for your year ahead!

Here are 10 questions to help you choose your intention words:

1 What do I want to feel more of in my daily life?

2 What do I want to feel when I wake up in the morning?

3 What do I want to feel when I go to sleep at night?

4 What do I want to be more of to my family / friends / co-workers / social circles?

5 What is it that I need to achieve my short term goals?

6 What is it that I need to achieve my long term goals?

7 What do I see in others that I would like to be too?

8 What do I need to feel so that I can BE more?

9 What do I need to feel so that I can DO more?

10 What do I need to be my truest, authentic self?

Once you find your intention words, tune into them. Use physical reminders: notes, create a bookmark in your journal, add it as your backdrop or screensaver on your computer, create a reminder on your phone, or go bigger and bolder with artistic expression at home.

Play with the words and see how they manifest in your life, so that you feel more of your chosen word(s) each day!

Source: Intention Article

Recovering from a Day from Hell

Yesterday was not a good day at work.   Without going into too much detail, let me just say that I was in tears after the phone conversation with this person.  Their frustration with an issue was at an all time high and I was the only person they could reach.  Unfortunately I was not the one who could help them, which is not what they wanted to hear.  I was able to reach my boss while she was traveling and she contacted him.  She was sorry I was subjected to his tirade.  It made me feel better–sort of.

I am used to dealing with unhappy people, as I was a supervisor and had all the pissed off people transferred to me to deal with.  I learned that the best thing to do is let them vent and when they are done ask what they want me to do.  Which I did in the scenario above–through gritted teeth as I tried not to start crying on the phone.  What was going on?

I went painting Tuesday night, thinking that some creativity would make me feel better.  Well, my creative juices must have all dried up because I struggled through the whole class, was beyond frustrated, and in the end did not like my grey painting.  It was supposed to be a wintry scene I guess, with pops of reflective gold paint.  All I saw was the color of the snow on the side of the freeway after the snowplows push it to the shoulder.  Yuck.  I left the class as soon as it was over, as I didn’t want any pictures of my “disaster”, and again I was close to tears.  What the hell?

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I came home sobbing and my husband probably thought I was in an accident.  I explained how I barely made it through the painting.  He asked me why I was crying.  I honestly couldn’t tell him.  He just held me and told me everything was going to be all right.  I yelled that something had to be wrong, as I felt like I was breaking.  I went to bed.

As I reflect on my day, I can think of a few things that led me to the breaking point:

  1. I just got back from vacation and was very busy at work.
  2. I still wanted to be on vacation.
  3. I came back from said vacation with ear pain, and while the doctor said it wasn’t an infection, it still hurt like hell.
  4. That same doctor told me my blood pressure was high, which I scoffed at.  Until she showed me the computer screen of the last year or so.  Gulp.
  5. My family has a long history of high blood pressure and medication to treat it.  I don’t want to go on medication.  She told me to eat less salt and less calories.  That equaled DIET to me, a sore subject for the majority of my life.  One step at a time I told myself.
  6. Monday I worked a full day, saw the doctor, then was at school until 10:30 at night.  I was tired.
  7. I was overwhelmed-work, school, my own business, social commitments, potential health issues.

It was a shitstorm for sure.  It happens from time to time.  I was determined not to remain mired in the negativity.  I had to DO something.

Step 1…I woke up this morning determined to banish that grey.  I pulled out my paints and covered my entire picture with white paint.  I then painted a colorful sunrise with trees reflecting in the water.  I used just about every color paint I had.  The trees didn’t look the same in my new painting, but I told myself nature is like that.  I felt better.  Kudos to my friends who all said they liked my old painting too.  It just didn’t resonate with me.  I have done over 50 paintings and they are all super colorful.  The grey one ended up reflecting my bad mood.  I knew if I left it alone it would be a reminder of my awful day at work.

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Step 2…I downloaded an app on my phone called “Lose It!” and have started tracking my food intake.  I went through my crock pot recipes and went to the grocery store.  I stocked up on vegetables for rice bowls (which I love) and ingredients for at least 4 crock pot meals.  One change at a time.  This week the focus is on cooking more and eating out less.  I am motivated by my desire to NOT be on medication.

Step 3…with my back issues, I have been not going to the gym, but instead seeing my chiropractor.  Not working out for over a month has been a serious bummer, but my back feels a lot better.  I see my chiropractor tomorrow and I am going to find out when I can go back to the gym and what I can do.  I need workouts back in my life!

Step 4…establish priorities.  Work is going to happen, so I can’t really change that.  School just started, so my homework is low, but I have to drive an hour round trip 3 days a week for class.  I love school, so the driving is a sacrifice I am willing to make.  Health issues addressed in #2 and #3.  I am looking forward to a low key weekend, and they are forecasting snow, so maybe Mother Nature is determined to help me out.  As far as my own business, I have a lot of thinking to do.  It is a labor of love, but when it becomes just labor, I will have decisions to make.  I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

It is likely you will have a day like mine.  Maybe you are still stewing over a bad day that happened a while back.  I say to you, spend some time in reflection, then develop a plan.  Spend your energy moving forward instead of remaining in idle, or possibly reverse.  Take the wisdom, stand tall, and forge on!

Just typing this all out is making me feel better.  More in control.  A woman with a plan.  I won’t let one craptastic day ruin my week.  I will go forward and conquer!

Well, as soon as I turn my shirt around–I just realized the tickling on the front of my neck is the tag.  Yesterday I would have cried, today I just laughed.  On the road to recovery!

Closing 2017 and Opening 2018

For many, 2017 has been a year they would rather forget.  A year filled with WAY too much politics, scandal, weather disasters, shootings, celebrity deaths–it was definitely a tough year.  I say we let 2017 go gently into the good night and begin 2018 on a strong note.

What inspires me are quotes and nature, so I thought why not put them together?  Contemplate the words of wisdom and enjoy the beauty.  I think that is a wonderful way to remember 2017 and prepare for 2018.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle

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“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu

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“Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.”
– Alice Morse Earle

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“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

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“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”
– Mother Teresa

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“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.” – Maya Angelou

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“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn

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“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“People are always asking about the good old days. I say, why don’t you say the good now days?” – Robert M. Young

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“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

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My blog will be on hiatus until January 10, 2018.  Have a safe New Year’s Eve and I look forward to connecting in 2018!

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