Be Not Afraid…to Start the Thing…

Van Gogh

Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. Thank you as always for joining me in this space and on this journey. It has been a while, but you have always been on my mind! It has been an extremely busy few weeks for me, but I am always thinking of cool things to share with you in this space. Thank you for your patience on the quiet weeks, and a big thank you and my deep gratitude to my friends and family who encourage me, support me, and remind me that it is ok to take a break from one thing to focus on other things. I have said it before, but sometimes I need to be reminded of my own advice. Fancy that! See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/9U0MN_6cupc

Now before I launch into the topic that has been on my mind lately, “How are you?” I mean, really, how are you? Are you hydrating? I have to confess that I fell off my water drinking, opting instead—and I say this with extreme guilt—for my favorite beverage—ginger ale. Ha. But, after many recent trips to the doctor and having blood work done, I remember why I was such an advocate for drinking lots of water to begin with. It’s so good for us. Also, before you start worrying, I am ok. The past few years have been difficult on a lot of people, and in this country where for most people health insurance is tied to work, I am very thankful for a stable career that I enjoy and along with it, good health insurance which allows me to check on my physical health as much as I need. I want to remind people that we never know what someone is dealing with. Some people, myself included are good at managing our stress, but sometimes we don’t even realize how much we are absorbing from the world, and how much what we are absorbing can be impacting our physical health.

So many uses for ginger ale lol!!

In astrology speak, my moon is in Capricorn—an earth sign—a very hard working sign, and admittedly, I enjoy work—the feeling of accomplishment, and the feeling of getting things done. It is easy to admit this because the balance to this is that I also like to play.

Anyone else?

By that I mean, I like to enjoy the experiences that life has to offer. This has manifested recently in a return to one of my favorite places—the Kennedy Center. We saw the entire Black Panther movie there, but with a twist. The National Symphony Orchestra played the entire soundtrack. There was also a special guest—a gentleman from Senegal, who played an ancient instrument—the talking drum. His music introduced the character of T’Challa. It was epic and amazing, and I cried because I am a water-bucket, and because I was so happy to be seeing live music again.

Wakanda Foreva…

My mom and I also had a mother daughter moment, and went to see Hadestown—the musical. I know the story of Orpheus and his love Eurydice, but this was a fun take on it, and the music was amazing. It also reminded me that even though I know the ending of a story, the journey to that end can be different, and interesting.

Mommy and me
Great show!

Knowing the end also won’t stop me from continuing on with something. In life I often wonder—if we knew how something would end, would we persist. I suspect that is why life is full of mystery—so that we live, because if we always knew the ending, we might be tempted to remain stationary—afraid of the sadder endings. Some of my saddest endings have made way for some of my most beautiful beginnings. So be not afraid of what life has to offer. And don’t get tied to endings; enjoy the journey. Albert Einstein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

Sunrise …

Some other fun things: I went to the amazing Van Gogh interactive art museum, popped up to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, went to the Spy Museum, went to the O street mansion where I immediately wanted to get rid of everything—it is a minimalist nightmare come to life, went for a long walk to the Tidal Basin and monuments, saw some good movies (I enjoyed Dune), and got some new books on Astrology.

Sunflowers!!!
My fav Van Gogh piece—the Night Cafe
I like black and white pictures 🙂
I agree…
FDR Memorial…still so relevant
On the CUA campus…
Basilica ceiling…
The Basilica
The Rosa Parks room at the O Street Mansion…

I also got to spend some time in nature—fall is here. It is one of my favorite seasons because the leaves are just so beautiful. The air is crisp, and there is a winding down into what is comfortable. Although things have been busy for me, I am looking forward to some downtime soon. In that time, I want to snuggle in my favorite chair, with my favorite books, and blanket. I can’t wait. We also went to Harper’s Ferry National Park, and visited one of the amazing wineries in Northern Virginia.

No man is an island…but these trees?
Shenandoah
Harper’s Ferry

It was at the winery where I had a bit of an epiphany. Virginia has well over 250 wineries, and over 100 of them are located in Northern Virginia. Yes, that means, when the 250th winery opened in that state, it knew that there were already 249 wineries, but it opened anyway.

I had a conversation with my good friend Camilla about this—you can check out her blog the Photolibrarian—but we were talking about starting things when there are already “lots of people” doing that thing. Ultimately, we agreed that if you get a vision to start something, and you are worried about market saturation, you should still give it a start. See Camilla’s blog here: https://thephotolibrarian.com

What is “market saturation,” and why should you start “the thing” anyway? According to an article from American Express, “A saturated market occurs when existing businesses meet all the current demand for a product or service. Market saturation often happens when multiple businesses are offering similar products or services to the same customers.” You can think of a marketplace overrun with people all selling or offering the same thing. Like, there being 100 wineries in Northern Virginia. I think you should still start anyway because you bring your own unique and personal touch to whatever it is that you are doing.

In my case, I started this blog and YouTube channel even though there are a million plus blogs and YouTube channels out there. You can’t look at what everyone is doing—I mean—if you are a business then you have to do your SWOT analysis, but don’t let that dissuade you. Plan, think about your end goals, and think about what you have to offer. This is the lesson that I learned from the wineries. There are so many amazing wineries in this area—they all offer the same categories of wines—reds, whites, rosés, and so forth, but they add their own touch to the grapes, the barrels in which they ferment the wine, their style, and their offerings.

On the beautiful day of our visit to Two Twisted Post winery, we had cheese and wine while sitting outside in perfect autumn weather, laughing, chatting, and sampling the different wines. The grapes were heavy on the vines, and the staff was friendly and chatty even while working hard on the next batch of reds.

The actual grapes on the actual vines!! You can volunteer to help do harvesting BTW!
Smoked Gouda and Crackers
Covid safe tasting cups…

Please do not let the fear of “well other people are doing it…” stop you from doing something. You have a lot to offer to the world, you have vision, and a unique touch that will allow the right people to come to you. Not everyone will resonate with what you have to offer, and that is ok, but we have to start somewhere. Florence Scovel Shinn said, “Do not neglect the day of small things, for little beginnings have big endings.” Everything that we consume today—from the clothes we wear to the food we eat, to our entertain and work, all started in the mind of someone—they ran with their vision. Audre Lorde said, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” I am believing in this for you—so I want you to believe in you too. This long quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic sums up a lot of the fears that we have! Fear not—you got this!!!

“Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder.”

I hope you realize how amazing you are and all of the things that you offer and have to offer. Just you being here on the planet is a gift. I also hope that this is a wonderful week for you—I hope you experience many beautiful, peaceful, and insightful moments that make you feel alive.

Believe in the me that believes in you 🙂

May the stars shine brightly over your week and may it be a beautiful one indeed! Until we meet again, dear friend, please remember to like, subscribe, comment and share. I appreciate you!

Learning a New Language

Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. This week’s video is a little late but I had a busy two weeks and busy weekends. I had a very lovely time as usual, so don’t feel bad for me hahaha. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/eOXrIHrOCt0

From a recent trip to the Pumpkin Patch for Spooky Season 😀

That being said I was in a training class the week before last and my instructor asked a question that really made pause to think. She asked how many of us knew a foreign language. There were many people who knew a multitude of languages, and for some of the people in the class English was their second language. In my own life I grew up with British English as my first language and then Jamaican patois.

Jamaicans say “tree” for “three” hehehe

Some people would say that patois is a dialect but there are a multitude of words from other languages. Some sources say that patois is “a blend of African languages, English, Arawakan (the indigenous language of Jamaica), French, Chinese, Portuguese, Irish, Scottish and Spanish.” Some sources say that the primary foundation is from the Akan people of West Africa. I took this bit from Wikipedia, because the construct of patois fascinates me. It truly lives up to the Jamaican motto, “out of many, one people.” “Jamaican Patois contains many loanwords, most of which are African in origin, primarily from Twi (a dialect of Akan).[40] Many loanwords come from English, but are also borrowed from Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Arawak and African languages as well as Scottish and Irish dialects. Examples from African languages include /se/ meaning that (in the sense of “he told me that…” = /im tel mi se/), taken from Ashanti Twi, and Duppy meaning ghost, taken from the Twi word dupon (‘cotton tree root’), because of the African belief of malicious spirits originating in the root of trees (in Jamaica and Ghana, particularly the cotton tree known in both places as “Odom”).[41] The pronoun /unu/, used for the plural form of you, is taken from the Igbo language…Words from Hindi include ganja (marijuana), and janga (crawdad). Pickney or pickiney meaning child, taken from an earlier form (piccaninny) was ultimately borrowed from the Portuguese pequenino (the diminutive of pequeno, small) or Spanish pequeño (‘small’).”

The epic debate, “My-lo” or “Me-lo”….

Maybe it is no wonder that when I was little and someone asked what I wanted my superpowers to be, I said, “polygot.” No, I didn’t want to be able to fly or become invisible. I wanted to be able to speak with and to understand anyone, anywhere on the planet. A polygot is someone who knows and is able to use several languages. This might have been what led me to pursing learning different languages.

When I was in middle school I started learning Spanish and that led to me going to an immersion high school. In high school I studied Spanish as my main language. I also took French and Japanese. When I started college I studied Spanish as one of my majors. I also studied Japanese intensely for one year. That’s when I decided that I should probably focus more on Spanish since there were other things I wanted to major in as well, and Japanese was just a little too intense. In fact, we had to learn not one, but three alphabets, Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Kanji was by far the most difficult for me. Escaping back to Spanish, my first love, was a welcome treat since I only had to deal with one alphabet that was a romance language, like English.

During college I spent time in the Dominican Republic and also in Madrid, Spain honing my language skills. So when our instructor asked us about our language skills and experience learning another language, I could do a mental flashback of my process. She reminded us that when we start learning a new language that we start with the basics—things like the alphabet, simple sentences, and numbers. But we also learn that we have to practice and we have to utilize what we learn. Repetition is one of the best ways to learn a language and also immersing yourself into that language and culture if you can. I know that this advice can be applied in many areas of our lives.

It is my opinion and it is just an opinion—that in today’s day and age, many people are used to seeing the more advanced or finished product of something. Social media may have a role in this but I do also think that a lot of humans want to start something and just be great at it. We want to be doing Picasso level art and yet if we start and jump to that place without putting in the work, the practice, the time and the focused energy we can miss some valuable and important lessons.

Do not doubt the power of humble beginnings…

I had this conversation with a friend recently. There is someone that I’ve known in my life who has never taken the time to hone a craft. Whenever they see someone doing something that brings them joy but mostly attention, this person will start to do the thing but after a while they will get bored with it. Some of that is because they find that even things that look simple on the surface can take a lot of work on the substantive level. So it is with most things in life. In Jamaica they say, “if you want good yuh nose haffi run.” Essentially, if you want good things you have to put in the work. I also think it discourages a lot of people when they don’t become an overnight sensation. I think the most common sensation is actually the person who has put in the work and keeps at it despite feeling discouraged at times.

And that is some of the lesson of learning a foreign language. Some days are going to be hard—you aren’t going to get it, you are going to say the wrong word or just not get it, but keep practicing and one day you will wake up as I did—dreaming in Spanish. There is a delightful day when you get it, you get the thing that you have been practicing. One of my favorite writers is Robert Greene. In his book, Mastery, he says that it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become a master at it. That book has so many amazing tidbits and treasures to support you on your journey to mastering something—anything.

For example, he says, “Some 2,600 years ago the ancient Greek poet Pindar wrote, “Become who you are by learning who you are.” What he meant is the following: You are born with a particular makeup and tendencies that mark you as a piece of fate. It is who you are to the core. Some people never become who they are; they stop trusting in themselves; they conform to the tastes of others, and they end up wearing a mask that hides their true nature. If you allow yourself to learn who you really are by paying attention to that voice and force within you, then you can become what you were fated to become—an individual, a Master.”

Who’s the Master? Sho Nuff (From the Last Dragon)

And this one, “Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”

My coworker’s plant 🙂

But I really love this one, “In the future, the great division will be between those who have trained themselves to handle these complexities and those who are overwhelmed by them — those who can acquire skills and discipline their minds and those who are irrevocably distracted by all the media around them and can never focus enough to learn.” So, I suppose this is my challenge to you—what are you a master at? What is something that you can apply time, focus, and some intensity to learning beyond a superficial level? What is the thing that you feel passionately enough about that even when it feels like the odds are against you that you will keep going? I want you to think about it, and then I want you to do it. One step at a time.

Be like the Karate Kid lol

Now, you might be wondering, how is she going to find a way to tie in astrology hahaha. You knew it was coming. Astrology contains its own language. It requires time, focus, and practice to get good at it. So the same rules apply. When you learn the basics, the alphabet, the numbers and the symbols then you can converse in the language. Most people who look at their birth chart for the first time feel overwhelmed because they see symbols, numbers, and lines that don’t make sense. However it is all about the language of astrology and it’s a beautiful one—as melodic as the Romance languages falling off the tongue. So a quick introductory class to some of the symbols that you might see when looking at a natal chart. 

You will see:

· The natal chart

·        The planets 

· The houses

· The signs

Once you get a little bit more familiar with these symbols, then you will be able to start to understand the language of astrology. We will get into that more in the coming weeks, but I just wanted to say a few words about the lessons that come from learning another language. Sam Altman said, “Hard work compounds like interest, and the earlier you do it, the more time you have for the benefits to pay off.”

Believe in the me that believes in you!!! You got this 🙂

So practice, take your time, don’t be discouraged, and above all, just keep going. May the stars shine brightly over your week and may it be a beautiful week indeed! Let me know in the comments what you are attempting to master or have already mastered. Maybe it’s another language! And as always, if you are enjoying the blog posts and/or videos, please like, share, comment, and subscribe. Thank you!

Our orchids are blooming and thriving…you can do it too!

Checking in…and a word on Why I love Astrology …

Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. It has been a while hasn’t it. The last few weeks have been pretty busy for me, and as is the case, sometimes you have to triage the things that are happening in your life.

Went to the Renaissance Fair…found my dream reading chair! :p
Saw this gorgeous piece in the Met!
Got in some nature at Great Falls
Experienced live music again

All of that and then some, but I am always thinking about this space thinking of things to share, and just reminders on the fullness of life despite what can sometimes feel like the world burning. So how have you been? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about anything delightful that has been unfolding in your world and in your space.

How are you doing? Really, truly? This inquiring mind would like to know!

Now before we get into what this week is about, I want to just have us get present for a moment. Wherever you are, whatever time it is for you, and whatever you are doing (and if you are reading this on the blog vs. watching the video, I want you to read this intentional…meaning, I want you to give your attention to it, and then visualize it for yourself.) We are doing a check in. You may watch this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/6XCMgwT5iN0

If you can sit in a comfortable place and in a comfortable position, please do so now.

How does it feel to just sit or lay down or just to be?

How does it feel in this moment to not have anything really to do but just breath and be?

How is your breath? How are you breathing? Turn your attention to feeling yourself breath. How does your body move with your breath? Take in a deep but comfortable breath. Close your eyes if you need to, and just allow yourself to feel yourself breathing in and out.

As you do this, I want you to scan your body starting at your crown—the top of your head. Mentally move downward from your head all the way down. As you do this, do you feel any tension in any parts of your body? I generally hold stress in my shoulders and upper back area. As you are working your way down, I also want you to picture a golden light washing through your body, and easing away any tension that you might be feeling. Allow this warm light to linger at any places that feel tense or tight. As this light washes down though you, imagine that it goes right down through your feet and connects you to the beautiful, firm, solid, green Earth. You feel grounded and connected, and everything that has been creating any stress or tension for you melts away. The Earth takes it, and will transform it into nutrients for the soil.

You feel a sense of peace wash over you, and I just want you to mentally say “thank you” to the Earth. I also want you to tell your body thank you. Because we put our physical bodies through so much. Now thank your mind for all the thoughts and all the things that it has to process daily. Now if you can, put your hand over your heart space, and just imagine sending an extra infusion of love to your heart. The powerhouse of your organs; the one that keeps us going. Imagine your heart accepting this love and then sending some back out to you—but instead of just surrounding you alone, it cover the entirety of our world. Now I want you to think of one person who makes your heart smile. Imagine sending them an extra dose of love as well.

Now think of one thing that you are grateful for this week. It can be anything, even if is this moment, where you are creating a sacred space within yourself. Gratitude helps to center us. It is a moment that bridges the past, present, and future. Something has already happened that made our hearts sing, and we feel that thankfulness in the present moment, yet we know that we can experience more of these moments in the future. Focus again on your breath. How are you breathing now? How do you feel now. Take another deep but comfortable breath and open your eyes. Remember that you can check in with yourself anytime, and anywhere by just remembering to connect with your breath. Thank you for doing this with me.

 

Now this week, I wanted to talk a little bit about astrology and my deep love and appreciation for this subject. In over a year since I have had my channel and blog, I have talked about it a lot, but I haven’t really shared some of the information that I know. To be honest with you, I have been a little scared to put myself out there more as someone who knows about astrology beyond the basics. In reality, I have studied this topic and mythology since I was about twelve years old, and in the past year, I have increased my studies—taking classes, attending conferences, and learning more from some of the best teachers in the world. I have also been sharing some of my understanding of astrology with friends and family, and have even been reading their natal charts.

Painting that I did in high school… 🙂

P.S. If you are interested in letting me practice on you, please reach out! So in overcoming one of my own fears—of what I really can’t tell you– I am just putting it out there to the world in this space that I am taking steps to become a professional astrologer (in addition to my regular work and side stuff haha), and that in coming years I will have a business that focuses on helping people learn more about themselves and how to navigate life by working with astrology and the cosmos. I will teach it, continue to learn it, and really dive deeper into something that I have loved for a long long time.

 

So what is astrology? 

Everyone has probably heard the question, What is your zodiac sign? Zodiac means, “Wheel of Animals” in Greek and refers to the 12 signs of astrology. When people ask that question, they are usually referring to your sun sign. Most people know their sun sign. To know your sun sign, you just need to know the day when you were born. That is the sign that the sun was in on that particular day. So for me, I was born in the middle of December. At the time of my birth, the sun was in the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. That makes me a Sagittarius.

There are 12 signs of the Zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. And there really is a beauty to the Zodiac. We won’t dive into that today, because this really is more of a dipping your toe in! But know that especially in Classical Astrology, there is depth, symmetry, and a true beauty to the structure of the cosmos. I hope that as I share more of this material that you will see it, and be able to apply it in your own life.

Now, that still doesn’t tell us what astrology is. Different people have different quotes for telling you what astrology is because it is truly a vast subject, but there are two that I really love. The first is from Christopher Penczak. He said: 

“Astrology is the science and the art of interpreting the heavens and its relationship to phenomenon upon the Earth. Bodies and movements within the heavens correspond to power and forces within ourselves and our environment. When patterns are too personal or immediate, looking at the “bigger picture,” of the heavens, and calculating patterns in the past and patterns to come give us a greater understanding.”

The second is from a class that I took with Rick Levine. He shared this quote:

“Astrology is firstly a discipline of mind, a technique for the development of holistic thinking. The study of the cyclic patterns of astrology places the mind in the habit of constantly perceiving things as wholes, rather than as unrelated parts. An understanding of astrology makes the mind aware that what is happening at any given moment is just one point, just one moment of an entire cycle of complex and intricate relationships. It gives one an objective awareness of the unity of all things, the conscious realization that all things are in some way intimately related to everything else.” – Michael Meyer, “A Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer”

 

What I gleaned from both quotes and my own studies is that there are patterns to life, and if we study and understand these patterns we can have a greater understanding not just of the world around us, but also of ourselves. Self-awareness is such a wonderful tool for making our lives richer and more meaningful. I also have to point out that in all major civilizations and cultures there has been some form of practice of Astrology. It all used to be clumped together with Astronomy, but over the years they were separated, with Astronomy becoming more scientific and recognized, and Astrology falling to the way of parlor games and fluff. Not for me though—it is still very serious stuff. That being said, there is a fascinating history, and there are a multitude of different astrological systems, and viewpoints out there about on this subject matter. For me, astrology has helped me to make sense of life when things have gotten wild and crazy, or when there has been nothing at all happening.

 

And we do hear about astrology in popular culture, especially as with this coming week we are getting ready to head into another round of Mercury Retrograde. I did a whole video on Mercury Retrograde, but I will offer my usual advice here. When most people hear the term Mercury retrograde, they clamp up and groan—oh no, my technology is going to break down, my travel plans are going to go haywire, and I better not sign off on anything major. Why is this? In Roman Mythology, the God Mercury was known as the messenger god. He ruled over communication, technology, travel, commerce, and luck. He was also a notorious trickster, hence why sometimes in retrograde times, it feels like someone is playing a trick on you! Mercury’s Greek counterpart is Hermes, and his Egyptian counterpart was the God Thoth or Djehuty—God of Wisdom.

I hear the complaints about Mercury retrograde all the time, and my response is always the same. Treasure the time. It is a divine gift; it is a time to seek inner wisdom. It is a time to reset and to slow down. Because Mercury is very close to the sun, it retrogrades very frequently in relation to the Earth. It does this about 3 or 4 times per year for about 3-4 weeks. When a planet goes into retrograde motion, astrologers say that it impacts the psyche internally. Instead of tapping into the planet’s energy externally, we must go on an inward journey to gain certain lessons and blessings.

One of the best analogies that I heard for Mercury Retrograde was this. If you drive your car every day, what is going to happen? Before long, it will need service—new tires, an oil change. Humans are the same way. We also need times of rest, time to recharge. When Mercury retrogrades and we suffer delays, we are sometimes forced to slow down, to see things from a different perspective, and to rest. Most astrologers suggest that in retrograde periods we should do things that begin with RE. REST. RECHARGE. REJUVENATE. REVISIT. REMIND. REVITALIZE.

So, this is what I am also encouraging you to do this week. Take time to sit with yourself, to check in, and to make sure that you are feeling connected to source and to your center. Practice gratitude, and remember that we all have a role in helping to craft the world that we desire to see and to be a part of. The past weeks have been beautiful, but there have also been heartbreaking moments in the world. You feel those things especially when you remember that we are all truly connected. Astrology helps me to remember this. It reminders me that we each have a role to play. So it is important that you do what you can, where you are to help the overall energy of the world, and you help do that by knowing yourself deeply, and also staying grounded and loving. You cannot pour from an empty cup, and the retrograde is here to remind you of that! May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be an amazing one indeed.

Go with the flow 🙂 Have a great week!

Clean Space, Clean Mind… Preparing for new seasons…

Hello beautiful people and welcome to this week’s dose of Celestial Goodness. Thank you as always for joining me in this space and on this journey. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/JpqklUE8W4M

August has been one of those months that has felt like several months packed into one. I sat down recently to look back over my calendar, and to see what things need to carry over into September, and I was really amazed at how much happened. I will make another video/post on that another time. Each month, I like to plan out some goals for the next month. This has been a very cool way for me to keep organized, anchored, and it serves as a great tool for remembering some of the things that I have done—both for my personal and professional life.

Now in August, I kept saying to myself, “Oh wow, that did happen, just last week!” Or, “I can’t believe that it has been three weeks already.” From learning astrology, and from just being on the planet for as long as I have now hahaha, I know that life can be like that—sometimes it feels like nothing is happening, but then at other times it feels like everything is happening all at once. Paulo Coelho said, “Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all, or having everything happen all at once.” So August felt like a month with a lot of good reminders about life in general, lessons, blessings, and shifting tides.

High tea at the Empress in the Mandarin Oriental…an August highlight…

 

A few lessons from August:

·      Sometimes you need support. My houseplants remind me of this all the time. We need other people. Thank you to my people for infusing my life with love. 

·      Life will one day end. I had a dear relative pass away in the last month, and her burial was in August. Death always reminds me that this life is temporary. How are we deciding to show up in life?

· There is a quote that says, “Don’t let others pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace.” I would alter that a little to say, just don’t let them pull you into their storm. You don’t have to pull them into your peace, but don’t leave your peace for them.

·      Laughter and love are always healing, soothing, and necessary. There is so much power in a hug, so much joy in laughing with people, and so much peace in knowing that we are love and loved. 

So I say, “Thank you August for your lessons and blessings.” Now I am looking forward to September and to the fall. Gregory David Roberts said, “For this is what we do. Put one foot forward and then the other. Lift our eyes to the snarl and smile of the world once more. Think. Act. feel. Add our little consequence to the tides of good and evil that flood and drain the world. Drag our shadowed crosses into the hope of another night. Push our brave hearts into the promise of a new day. With love; the passionate search for truth other than our own. With longing; the pure, ineffable yearning to be saved. For so long as fate keeps waiting, we live on.” And we do keep living on, through whatever seasons we enter next.

I love all the seasons, because they have different things to look forward to, but this year, I am greatly anticipating the fall. I am looking forward to apple cider, the crisp but damp smell of the leaves in early October, sweater weather, and just the inward vibes that fall seems to bring with it. How do you know when you are transitioning into a new season of your life? What are the signs for you? I think that in the same way that seasons change, we can also feel when something is shifting in our personal world. I read a quote somewhere once that said, “Sometimes in the winds of change, we find our greatest direction.”

From an astrological standpoint, we are currently in Virgo season. That statement will mean different things to different people, but since Virgo is a mutual sign, it means that we are in an in-between. Mutual signs—Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius prepare us for the next season. Pisces comes before Aries, astrologically that is the beginning of Spring. Gemini before Cancer, and the beginning of Summer, Virgo before Libra, and the beginning of Fall, and Sagittarius before Capricorn, and the beginning of winter. In that sense, these time periods in our year are not just a sign of the changing season, but also a sign that something is ending. I have a whole blog and video on the beauty of letting go, so this is not about that. Rather I have been thinking about how we welcome the changing seasons, and how we welcome change in our own lives.

Behold, my Virgo mummy in all her glory! ❤

Also, having a Virgo mother who woke me up a lot on weekends to clean up—listening to her favorite oldies—I think that the simple act of cleaning up is one of the most powerful ways to welcome a change and to let something go. When I was growing up I was a pretty messy kid, but my mom was not. She was pretty organized, and like things to always be “in their place.” She drilled this into my head, and I think over time it really settled in. Even when I went to live on my own, I still would try my best to make sure that things were organized. Over time, this has evolved into me wanting things to be neat and orderly, and I can see the lessons and blessings from this. Mind you, I am not the neatest person that I know. I know several incredibly orderly people, who always have everything in place and who are immaculate in their ability to keep their space and their lives in some orderly and consistent manner. Admittedly, I am more cyclical. There are some spaces that will always be extremely neat (living room, bathroom, and kitchen for example), and organized (lessons from mommy), but then I might have clothes pile up in the basket, and then I have to take care of them type cyclical. Papers might need sorting on my desk, type cyclical.

A stock image lol, but mom’s ideal living room. Organized! LOL

Over the years, there are some important things that I have learned from my friends about cleaning and organization. Gretchen Ruben said, “Outward order contributes to inner calm,” and another powerful quote is, “Once you learn how to see how your inner turmoil manifests itself through your surroundings, you can reverse engineer this, mastering yourself by mastering the space in which you live.”— Shoukei Matsumoto, A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind. I believe it. Whenever things around me are disorganized, it almost feels like I can’t think properly. I feel like I need to organize so that I can function better. Clean your space, clear your mind. It is also easier to find things. I read somewhere that when things are out of place, people lose hours trying to find important papers—even their glasses. And it is also cost efficient to stay organized. Why? You don’t go out buying things that you already have!

So while I am no Marie Kondo, I would make the suggestion that in anticipation of a new season coming, and possibly a new personal season for your own life, that it is time to do a little “fall cleaning.” It is time to make room and make space for new blessings. 

Some tips:

· You don’t have to do everything all at once. Start with one room or space, and then cross that off your to do list. Along these same lines, it might be a useful tip to spread this out over time. Instead of trying to do everything on the weekend, maybe commit an hour or two to one room/space/task during the weekday.

In my office… a space that I try to keep organized pretty regularly…

·      Put things back in a specific place and commit to training yourself to putting and keeping things in their designated space.

·      Dust regularly. This is probably the lowest hanging fruit, but as someone with asthma, it is also essential and makes a difference.

· Use music to help motivate you. All those years ago when mommy would put on a certain playlist, I already knew it meant cleaning time. But singing along helped the process.

·      Remind yourself that someone out there could use some of the things you don’t need or use anymore. Trip to Goodwill anyone? 

·      My younger sister has a rule, one in one out. If you bring in something new, she is all about getting rid of something else to help create less clutter. I am not quite there yet, but it seems to be a concept that works for some people.

·      Solicit help. If it is within your means to do so, you might decide to pay for some cleaning services, or even get someone you care about to help. You can also use different smart gadgets to help you stay organized, and to clean up! 

· Just start, and if you fall off the cleaning/organization wagon, just start again. You got this!

 

I will say that I also had to look deep within myself once and acknowledge why I was holding on to certain things. Based on the way in which I grew up, there was an internal fear that we might run out of something. Or that I had to hold on to things like clothes or shoes and wear them till there was nothing left. Once I got older and had the ability to not have to do some of those things, I realized that it did impact some of why I hung on to things. Sometimes we have to let things go to make room for the things that we do want. If no one has told you this ever, let me say it. The universe is expansive and abundant, and you will be taken care of. You can let go of the ten thousand plastic bags you have under the sink or in that cabinet. Truly, it is ok. So, all of this is to say that I feel the winds of change coming in, I feel fall coming in, and I think it is a good time to think about what that might mean for my own life. To aid that along, I might spend some time deep cleaning, throwing some things out or donating some items, and then prepare myself for something else coming in.

These were just pretty! :p

As we move into the next week, I hope that you will feel more organized, and also more prepared to handle the next season of your life. May the stars shine over your week, and may it be a beautiful one indeed. If you are liking these posts and videos, please do like, share, comment, and subscribe. Also, feel free to share any of your cleaning or organizational tips! Thank you.

Minor Inconveniences…

Thinking about the world…

Hello beautiful people, and welcome to this week’s dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. I appreciate your time and your presence. So, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to summon the energy to write something this week and to film my video. Something happened on Thursday that I am still grappling with, and it seems a bit surreal that I am taking it so seriously, while the world seems to carry on as though this event was just another day in the office. I don’t want to make a mountain from a molehill, but yet, my mind keeps wandering back to Thursday. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/EzVyLSgSs7g

On Thursday morning, I woke up and went out to the living room to greet the sun. Our apartment has great views of the East and the West, so I am fortunate enough to be able to see some beautiful sunrises, and sunsets.

In the wee hours of the morning when the rest of the world is sleeping, and I can hear some gentle and not so gentle snores from you know who—Plant daddy lol, I get my coffee or tea, talk to the plants, and just marvel at the magnitude and magnificence of nature. Each day is like witnessing a painting. In these precious quiet moments of the morning, I can hear myself think. I can feel my heart beating, and I can be reminded of the beauty of it all, even when the world might wake up later, and try to get me to think otherwise.

So, as it was on Thursday morning, I drank some tea, and then went to take my shower. I have a eucalyptus bundle hanging in the shower, so everything steams up and smells so good. I had to remind myself that I was in fact, not commuting to my home office, but to my actually workplace, and I needed to hurry. It took me a while to get ready, and then I realized that I might miss the train/metro that I planned to take. I felt agitated and a little annoyed. Since the pandemic, the morning trains were running every 17 minutes, and on my line, they were single tracking. I remembered that before the pandemic, the morning trains came every 3-4 minutes. I sort of admonished myself for feeling inconvenienced, when much of the world had been greatly turned upside down by the pandemic. This was just a minor inconvenience.

I walked over to the metro, across a small bridge, and a bubbling brook—leaves were scattered everywhere from a recent storm, and I had to be careful where I walked—another minor inconvenience. There is a small hill on my path to the metro, and I lamented a little how because of the mask that I was wearing, I was literally huffing and puffing, and nearly worked my way into an asthma attack. But really, this was a minor inconvenience. I had my inhaler, and honestly, wearing my mask was not that big of an ask. I made my way to metro, and looked up at how long I had to wait for the train—7 minutes. When it came, I was able to find a seat. I remember how in the before times, the train at this stop would be packed with people. I wondered; would we ever go back to that? I don’t know. I have to change trains, and when I did, I just missed one, and the next one was delayed. I felt annoyed. Why aren’t the trains running timely? I felt inconvenienced.

What I imagine crossing the creek to get to metro… (not what I actually see lol)

But I did not need to be in a hurry. I made it safely to work, and chit chatted with coworkers—some who I had not seen in almost 16 months, and got settled in for the day. All of my concerns at that point were about work things—how is the technology, what is my team doing, where should I start that day on my projects, did I have any meetings, where would my friends and I go for lunch? In the middle of a meeting, we started getting alerts that one of the buildings on our campus was being evacuated for a suspicious vehicle. Being on the Capitol complex, means getting alerts all the time for random things, but this felt serious, and it was triggering. Many people that I know still see alerts and think about the events of January 6th. It is never far away from my mind, and so these alerts brought it front and center.

On a calmer day…

The next several hours unfolded very quickly, and while I was pretty calm, when I made it home, I found that I was trembling—shaking, and very cognizant that the day could have taken a turn for the worse. Long story short, a man came up to the Capitol Complex, parked in front of my workplace, and threatened to blow up two+ city blocks. While some of us were able to evacuate, some coworkers had to remain in the building because of directions from the police as the situation unfolded. My coworkers and I were calm and everyone truly cared about the well-being of everyone else. My phone was filled with messages from friends, family, and acquaintances about the unfolding situation, and whether my colleagues and I were okay. Once we were out of the building, we walked far away, wondering about our coworkers still in the situation, but also relieved to be out of harm’s way.

Thank you for your messages ❤

I saw online that some people didn’t believe that it was real, some called it a distraction for what was going on in Afghanistan, and the rest of the world, and some people later would say, “well they got him, and he didn’t have much in the car. It wouldn’t have done anything.” It was very real to me, and I can’t help but wonder, what if he did have tons of explosives in the vehicle and decided to detonate. Would my loved ones know how much I cared? Would my life have mattered here? Would I have left a positive impact on this planet? I don’t want to dwell on the incident, because this post isn’t about that. It is more about how all of the minor inconveniences of the day, melted away in the face of potential danger. It is about how when faced with “what ifs,” the things that I thought about—the important things in my life really did come to the forefront. It also made me look at my minor inconveniences in a new light. There is a Taoist fable that goes like this:

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses following. The man and his son corralled all twenty-one horses.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

We will see…

I feel that sometimes what inconveniences us can be looked as bad by some, but in other situations, it might be leading to something good. Thursday was filled with inconveniences. I didn’t get to do the work I planned that day, or to have lunch with my good friend as planned. But I did get a speedy reminder to appreciate this life because it is so fragile. I considered myself as someone who loves life anyway, but I felt gratitude to be able to make it home and hug my love, and to tell my family and friends once again that I loved them. I took the next day off, but I was a little agitated. Everything seemed to go on as though nothing happened.

I needed time to process the trauma, and I will give myself the space and grace to do that as it rises up in my mind. I won’t let the fear of what ifs, prevent me from living—from going to work, or from doing anything, but I felt the stress and the anxiety building in me from this. I suppose like the farmer in the fable, I will have to see… I know though, that I do feel more inclined to take time for myself, to tell the people that I love how much I love them, and to savor everything that feels like joy, like happiness, like love.

My message today is that life can bring the unexpected, we can feel inconvenienced, and yet, out of all of that, there might be some nugget of a reminder that we can’t take anything for granted—most of all life itself. I hope that wherever you are this week that the stars shine brightly over you, and that as one friend said to me, that you walk in the light, and that you are protected from the ills of the world.

I shared this quote from L.R. Knost on my Instagram page, and with my team after the incident, but it is worth repeating. “Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. All things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go, love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.” For everything wrong in the world, I do believe there are always people who will and who are rising to the occasion. You may not see them, but they are there—doing, helping, changing, and casting a loving light on a world that needs it so very much. If you don’t see it, remember that you can always be it.

One small step at a time, will take you further than you ever knew possible. May you be blessed, protected, and may there be divine intervention and intercession wherever it is needed now. Thank you.

We are all just Houseplants :)

Hello beautiful people and welcome to another dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. I appreciate your time and your presence. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/7Gj0PYT8u3c

My succulents 🙂

So, one of my dreams is that my space be filled with beautiful, luscious, green plants that are all over. Sort of like the rain forest, without the snakes lol! I love plants, and I love to see that pop of greenery because it enhances any aesthetic. I also truly believe that plants just do something for the heart, the mind, and the soul. There are actually studies that have been done to corroborate this. Having indoor plants can do all of the following:

• Boost your mood—some say that having indoor plants actually makes you happier. The natural aesthetic beauty from the plants helps to calm the nerves, and adds to making your environment feel more like a sacred space and a peaceful sanctuary away from the rest of the world.

• Research has shown that having plants reduces stress—both physiological and psychological.

Chopper and Vegeta 🙂

• They purify the air—The air inside of our home can be filled with toxins that can cause allergies, headaches, and other health issues. Plants can help to remove these toxins that include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. NASA did a study on foliage houseplants and said, “Both plant leaves and roots are utilized in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed buildings. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone, while higher concentrations of numerous toxic chemicals can be removed by filtering indoor air through the plant roots surrounded by activated carbon. The activated carbon absorbs large quantities of the toxic chemicals and retains them until the plant roots and associated microorganisms degrade and assimilate these chemicals.” You can find the link here: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/19930073015

• They also increase humidity which is actually good for us. Plants release water—moisture vapors into the air which increase the humidity of the air around them. This can help fight against colds, respiratory illnesses, and dry coughs.

One of my favorite views. Two of these plants were gifts from family & friends!

• They mean something special. Often some plants come with a certain association—some are said to increase your household abundance, while some are signs of friendship, love, and peace.

New pothos and unicorn 🙂

• Some research says that plants may help you heal. People recovering from illness who were more surrounded by greenery healed faster than those who had no plants around them. Google it for yourself!

• Plants have been shown to help boost productivity.

• They look so good! They really add to the beauty of a space!!!

Our fern. So pretty!

Let me add a little disclaimer, that before getting certain plants, you should do your research. This is because you may have allergies, you might have pets—some plants are harmful to pets, and depending on where you live, some plants may have a propensity towards attracting pests, mold, and insects.

Now all of this wasn’t just to sell you on getting a house plant haha, rather, I made an observation while I was watering some of our plants. Yes, I said, some of the plants. That is because not all of the plants needed water at that time. Once upon a time, I would have overwatered each plant in my space, thinking, “Isn’t this what you need? Lots of water and some light?” Well it turns out that not every plant needs the same thing. As I have been learning from my love who I jokingly call “plant daddy” lol—I can actually hear him saying, “I am not, I just find out what each plant needs, and does that…” ok, so he’s still essentially a plant dad. Am I right?

Loved this pot…

Yes, so, apparently, each plant needs something different. Some of our plants savor the sunlight—they just soak it up. Some plants prefer the shade, or cooler darker places. This might be because in their natural habit, they sat on the forest floor under a canopy of trees and they didn’t get much light. That situation created the conditions under which they thrive, and so sticking them in a lot of light is no bueno. I also realized that some plants barely need any water to survive, while some need tons of it. You can tell when you have been overwatering a plant, or exposing it to the incorrect conditions for its existence, by how it looks. Maybe it has wilting leaves, or it won’t hold water, or the tips of the leaves are turning brown. It doesn’t mean one plant is better than another, it is simply about what conditions that particular plant needs to exist.

Lucky bamboo

One lesson that I learned from “PD” was that we also need to repot the plants when their roots start to grow too much. If they stay in the small cramped place, their roots will overtake all of the soil, and the plant will die. In one attempt to save one of our plants from such a fate, we got the correct soil, and when he took the plant out of the original container, I could see the roots had tightened together. After we repotted into a larger container with healthy soil, I could see the drastic change in the plant.

Roots need space to grow…

Humans are similar to plants. All during the pandemic, I have seen a meme floating around that says that humans are essentially houseplants with more complicated emotions. Treat us right, and we grow. Treat us poorly and we will wilt away. So I suppose this dose of Celestial Goodness, is not only convincing you to get some more plants into your life, but to also realize that there are some important lessons that we can learn from our houseplants.

• Sometimes you just need some sunlight…but other days, it is ok to be in the shade, curled up in your blanket, reading a good book. As we learn from the plants, do what you need to do for your to thrive.

One of my favorites 🙂

• Sometimes you need to be repotted. You may have grown beyond a place, people, or a situation. It is ok to realize that you need a larger sea to swim in, or a bigger pot to grow in. You also need to be in the right soil. You need to be in the right place for you. Not doing any of these things can actually be detrimental to your existence.

• There can be too much of a good thing. There can be too much water, too much sunlight. Even things that we perceive as good, can become not so good when we have too much of it. *Insert chocolate, ice cream, and other things here* LOL.

• One of my favorite life lessons. It is ok to let go. Plants let go of dead leaves all of the time. But as people, we love to hang on to things that we should let go. I am just saying that it is ok to fight for things we love—as the song says, we gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them, and know when to walk away.

Reaching for the sun

• Sometimes you need some support. My sister got some morning glories from one of our good friends who has the green thumbs of all green thumbs. Both of them put their morning glories against plant trestles. The morning glories needed something to support their growth. We need our network, we need other people, because some days are rough and you need someone to lean on.

• One thing can grow from something else. I learned that you can cut a piece of a viny plant like the pothos and place the cut piece in some water, and it will also grow. I love that. Sometimes we have a good idea, and it might not be the time for it yet. But in the future, we may find that it can grow from something else that we do. No experience is wasted.

Loved the colors

I think plants are beautiful, and they just add so much to a space. I talk to our plants, and ask them to grow. I ask if they are happy, and if they are getting everything that they need. Sometimes I feel like I can hear them whispering back. I have to give a shoutout to all of the amazing people that I know who are plant lovers and who have green thumbs. And also to the people who like me are learning, and who hopefully our love of these magnificent blooms will help us overcome any obstacles we face on our plant journey.

Being like every other Caribbean person with an aloe in the house lol!

If you have any good tips, please feel free to share them! I hope that in the week ahead, you will find the things that help you to thrive, whether it is more support, sunlight, or water. May it be abundantly beautiful, and may the stars shine brightly over your week. Please remember to like, share, comment, and subscribe if you are enjoying the blog and videos. Thank you!

Knots

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. Well intended to be weekly, but alas, the last month has been one for the books. I think I have been through every emotion possible—we had a death in the family of a dear relative in Jamaica. Often I find myself looking through the window and thinking about her life. She always encouraged me to be my best, and for that I will always be grateful. I have also been moving—physical moving from the place where I spent most of the pandemic, and from my home that I have known for many years. I learn a lot whenever my life has a transition point, and this time around is no different. As my newest life chapter unfolds, I am looking forward to sharing lessons that I learned in this space with all of you. So, as always and even more than before, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. I appreciate your time and your presence.

Evening sky from the new place… up in the clouds!

So knots. If you are like me, you’ve encountered at least one in your life, whether literally or figuratively. When I started writing this up, I initially said that I wouldn’t say consider myself an expert in untangling knots but that after some reflection on some of the situations that I have been in my life, I am at a minimum above average in untangling a mess. Haha. You can see this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/M4wiLMcACPE

Recently, I had to sit and untangle some of my jewelry. I have no clue how jewelry manages to tangle up. It’s almost like the pieces come alive and say “hey do you want to tango with me,” and in the middle of steamy jewelry tango they get so entangled that it seems impossible to untangle them. In this case, I had gotten lazy to pack a handful of jewelry for travel in the way that I normally pack them. I have a travel pill container and instead of pills, I put each necklace or ring in its own little pod. This usually means that nothing gets tangled. It’s brilliant. Of course did I do that? No, absolutely not, that would have been too easy—that would have been too much like right.

So yea, I hadn’t done that. Instead, I just threw all of the jewelry into a little bag together and kept it moving. So much to my chagrin—when I was ready to wear them, they were tangled up in knotty bliss. I ended up finding two necklaces and two brackets tangled together in an impossible knot. My first thought was one of despair. How did this happen? Should I blame the jewelry for being naughty? No, in reality it was my own fault. Maybe I should cut the necklace? Or one of the bracelets. Well that wasn’t practical. I actually got the scissors to try and cut one of the bracelets—but I saw that embroiling the scissors would leave it’s sharp edges jagged.

There is a lesson here. If you are like the scissors—you come to realize in life that even if you seemly have the ability to cut away another persons problems that sometimes you entangling yourself only serves to cause you harm. Sometimes you need to stay out of another’s entanglement. Sometimes you have to let what’s unfolding in another’s life play out so that they can learn the lessons that they need to. Back to the knot—also a product of my own creation. Like some of our life problems are, right? I saw the red flags. I knew that if I put these jewelry together this could happen, and it did. Sometimes we see the red flags and yet we continue on with something. But again, back to the knot. I sighed and looked at the knot deeply. Where do you even begin? I looked at each part of the knot and then began to see where things could be loosened. Once I did that I was able to follow the end of one necklace and focus on that part. Sometimes we have to give a problem our intense and intentional focus. I worked on one section at a time. Slowly, mumbling to myself at first, but then I zoned into the task at hand.

What did I learn? Sometimes to clear a knot you have to let go. Yes letting certain parts of the mess fall naturally showed where things had slack—these were areas begging to be loosened and the areas that were the most easy to resolve. At other places I needed to tighten the area. In all stages of this I had to be patient. The problem with this knot was that it was multiple smaller knots that added up to the larger knot. Taking care of small problems before they become too big can actually help to prevent problems from getting worse.

There was also a major lesson in patience for me. The minute that I thought I was close to untangling my mess and got impatient I made another knot. Frustration begats frustration. If you need to walk away and come back to the issue, sometimes that is what you need to do. Apply this to relationships and to any situation in your life. A cool head can prevent many a crazy situation from escalating. Patient application, learning by trying—seeing what worked and what did not and then having the willingness to try new solutions helped immensely. As I sat doing this I realized that life operates in a similar fashion. We might find ourselves entangled in some knotty mess. Maybe it’s because we were negligent on something or maybe we chose to ignore the red flags that this the situation could unfold in the way it did. Sometimes we just find ourselves in the middle of something. In the time that I have been alive I learned that many problems are solvable—someone I heard once said “everything is figureoutable.” I agree—with effort and patience we can figure things out. If you find that one thing doesn’t work don’t be afraid to try something else.

Eventually you will free the knot and hopefully learn a good lesson in the process.

Smiles from me to you!

And yes, sometimes the lesson is that some things you have to let go. There is courage in that. I hope that if you have a problem this week that you are able to find the best solution for you and for your life. May the stars shine brightly over your week and May it be a beautiful week indeed! And if you are liking these blog posts and videos, please do subscribe, like, share, and leave comments. I would love to hear from you. Thank you!

Triaging Life

Triaging life—what are you making a priority?

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, and especially today, I want to thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey.

I was talking to my mom before I wrote this up, and I said to her, “I just want to feel better.” She said to me, “You are stressing yourself out, and honestly you just need to relax.” She was right of course. I was feeling a sort of heaviness from not having created much over the last several weeks. As you may have noticed, or maybe not, I have not posted either a blog post or a video in a few weeks. You can find this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/LiGgRVhJo_8

In truth, the summer months have been good to me—I have absorbed family and friends—really feeling their presence after the long night of the pandemic. Sitting together in the physical space and presence of someone that you love is truly a priceless feeling. Being able to have long, rocking side to side hugs with my friends, that has been pure joy to my heart.

Cheers to good times with good people

We have also been busy with some travel—the last year really grounded me in the sense that I was not able to travel. I love to travel for a variety of reasons, and it is especially delightful if my travels lead me to the sea. So, it was with great joy that I got to experience a lot of the sea. As mentioned in previous posts, we went to the amazing beautiful Turks and Caicos, and then we got to experience the Atlantic Ocean in the Tybee Island—the Eastern most point in Georgia. After that, I went with some of my favorite people for a quick trip out to Ocean City.

Turks and Caicos…a dream
The lighthouse on Tybee Island
The Atlantic Ocean
Ocean City

The sea was never far, and my soul felt it. There is such a peace for me from hearing the water, from seeing it stretch out for miles into some mysterious and beautiful horizon point.

Enjoy the ocean sounds 🙂

Whether at sunrise or at sunset, the sky over the sea is always like a divine painting sprawled on an endless canvas.

And yet, somewhere along the way, some water born bacteria creeped into my body.

Enter from stage right, helicobacter pylori, or h pylori. Somewhere along the way, I started to feel really nauseous, dizzy, and faint. These are the symptoms for many ailments, so I made my way to my doctor for a series of blood tests and questioning. Science and medical technology are always something that I will be grateful for. Based on what I told the doctor, they were able to recommend a test which seemed a little weird at first. I had to blow into a bag, and then drink a clear liquid that tasted like some kind of weird Kool-Aid. I waited about 15 minutes and then blew into another bag. They air sealed the bags and sent them off to the lab, where their suspicions were confirmed.

The treatment for h pylori has been two weeks of two different antibiotics and an acid reflux pill. I was also given an anti-nausea pill because that was one of the main symptoms—the inability to hold my food down. All of this made me feel very weak, and most days I truly struggled to get through the day. While my brain said, “you need to be doing something.” My body said, “no, you need to rest.” And my friends and family said, “What advice would you give to us?” Use my own words against me, will ya? Ultimately, I had to submit to rest, and also the researcher in me found out as much as I could about h pylori. As it turns out a very larger portion of the world’s population has h pylori, but it doesn’t always do anything. Sometimes it just sits there in your tummy. Other times it causes stomach ulcers. In addition to my treatment, a few people also mentioned taking a probiotic, and I added that in.

This whole experience provided me with a valuable lesson. We can make plans, but sometimes we have to be flexible for what might unfold. In my case, I had tons of plans for the last few weeks, and ultimately, I had to triage things. Some days I had just enough energy to make it through the day—doing my regular work—slowly to my chagrin, and then making dinner lol!

The soup I needed to make lol! (Jamaican chicken soup I made previously)

It reminded me that sometimes our life requires triage. What are you triaging? What is triage? It is the act of making some things a priority—it is assigning a degree of urgency to a patient’s treatment by the severity of their condition or likelihood of recovery with and without treatment. This is a pretty common thing at the hospital, but it is also something that we do in our own lives. We make things a priority.

My peace is always a priority :p

Stephen Covey said this about life. “The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.” I also came across a quote that said, “Make yourself a priority; at the end of the day you are your longest commitment.” I felt that. So over the last few weeks, my priority has been on health, recovery, and rest.

Also shout out to this one for taking the best care of me ❤

We can feel so guilty about taking rest and about making ourselves a priority, but trust me—everything else that you want or desire in this life depends on your ability to also take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup either, so whatever you are trying to do for the world, requires that you make your care an important part of the equation.

Looking forward to more good times…ok…ok 😀

And that really is my message this week. In the game of life—we must triage somethings. We can make all the perfect plans that we want, but things can happen that seemingly cause everything to fall apart. Flexibility, and adaptability are very essential and beneficial tools for living. This week, triage yourself—do something nice for you, even if it is simply taking a nap. There is healing and peace to be found in the simple things—water, sleep, and stillness. Take care of yourself and may the stars shine brightly over your week!

Kindness

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. You may have noticed that I did not make a blog or video post last week, and this week’s blog and video post are up later than the usual time. In the recent weeks, I have spent some much needed time with some of my most treasured people. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/iaDFP5822ds

This quality time did wonders for my soul. There is a certain joy that comes with being in the physical presence of people that we love and care about, talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. I plan to experience many moments like this in the coming weeks and months with various friend groups and family members. The hugs especially, mean so much after not being able to hug for over a year. After everyone left, and my love and I settled back into our regular pandemic life routine, my allergies and sinuses joined the party with a big flare up.

I did not feel great, and spent most days just doing what I could to make it through the day, and then try my best to rest in the evenings. I just needed rest more than anything, and so I rested, and it felt nice. I will never apologize for resting over doing anything else. Rest is healing, necessary, and a valuable part of life’s equation. So if you are ever feeling exhausted, fatigued, or just wiped out, that is a major sign to rest.

Rest up buttercups

I have moments where I just do the absolute most, but my body will always remind me to rest. So I hope that you heed the signs that your body sends to you when you need to rest. Take a nap. Lay down. Sleep without turning the alarm on. I know that because of our societal structure not everyone will be able to easily do this, but if you can carve out some time in your life for rest, I promise you that everything else will feel more manageable.

So, after resting, I sat down to brainstorm about what to talk about this week. I have a running list of possible topics, but during the past week, the word “Kindness,” kept coming up very strongly. The dictionary defines kindness as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Seneca said, “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”

Is kindness something that we have forgotten during the pandemic? Lately, when we have been out running errands or driving, I have noticed an uptick in road rage or just very aggressive driving by some people. I wondered if this was because I have not done a lot of driving in the pandemic, and maybe things just seem extra fast and weird. But others have noticed it too.

Then I watched a segment by Trevor Noah where he mentioned that it seems like people don’t know how to behave anymore since they have been mostly locked inside for more than a year. He mentioned how people have been fighting flight attendants, throwing things at athletes while they are playing their sport, fighting cashiers at the grocery store and just employees in retail and the service industry in general, and just being so nasty. I had hoped personally that when the pandemic was over that maybe humans would be nicer to each other since a lot of things that we took for granted were not available to us during the pandemic.

I have had conversations too with folks in the service industry especially, who thank me for my patience because they have been short staffed, and they are doing the work of several people. That compounded with more people being out and expecting pre-pandemic levels of service. As things begin to open up, my wish and hope is that people be kind to each other—as much as possible. We have to temper our expectations right now of what service means. Someone giving their best is generally offering good service, but if they are short staffed or just have more people than usual, it might not appear that way. Of course, this opens up other topics.

For example, there have also been people out saying that people don’t want to work, that they would rather stay home and collect an extra $300 dollars than work. I think it is unfortunate that we can live in a time where someone can stay home for an extra $300 and feel that they are better off than going into a job and others can be judgmental about that without knowing anything about that person’s life. Are they a caretaker? Has transportation services been cut in their area and it is difficult and costly to get to work? Was the environment that they were in toxic? Having worked in the service industry, I know these jobs are not easy—being on your feet all day, and suffering all kinds of behavior from coworkers and patrons alike. Some of these positions also do not pay a livable wage. Everything seems to be going up in price, and yet, we expect people to live on tips and below minimum wage. It is unconscionable. Not to mention if people have children and need child care which is often very expensive. I do believe that most people want to work, want to feel that life has some purpose, and that we are all contributing to society. That is a whole other conversation though. But I hope the pandemic made us really look at the things that are not working—and really think about ways in which we could make things better. One way in which things could be better, is if we all extend a little bit of kindness to our fellow human being. Bob Kerrey said, “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

The events of the past year have deep implications on so many different levels, and I think it will take many years for a lot of people to heal from the mental strain, the grief, and just the ways in which our lives were turned upside down. This is different for everyone and will look different; some people did not experience the same depth of change, but we can all remember that we can’t look at someone and know what they have gone through. Did they lose someone or multiple loved ones? Did they lose a job? A business? Something that they had devoted resources and time to? Did they end a relationship? Did they hit rock bottom and feel devastated by that? Did their mental health suffer?

Recently, Naomi Osaka the tennis player announced that she would be focusing on her mental health. People lambasted her for wanting to tend to her sanity over “contractual agreements.” Nothing is more important than our health, and our mental health is included in that. I will always stand with anyone who says, I have to take care of my mind, my sanity, and my well-being.

Let us be kind to others now, and to ourselves. In extending kindness to ourselves, we can extend rest without guilt, we can take care of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and we can revel in the things and moments that bring us joy and peace. To our fellow human beings, we can extend some kindness—a thank you, a moment of patience, letting someone merge in front of us on the road, understanding that lines may be longer because more people are out and people are still finding their way back after a year that impacted the entire world. We can help out in our communities; we can reach out to someone to listen and lend an ear.

There are so many ways that we can be kind. I think it is more important than ever right now. Charles Glassman said, “Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.” Albert Schweitzer said, “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” And because I love to quote Lao Tzu, he said, “kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” What a loving place this could be if everyone extended even an extra ounce of kindness? What can we do today, right now, where we are, with what we have to make this world a better place for everyone? This is the question for the week. But kindness is the answer. Scott Adams said, “Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” I believe in this. I believe in kindness, and I believe in our ability—you and me—our ability to light a candle in the form of the human spirit, and to watch as that candle lights another and so forth.

None of us will forget the experience that we went through in the last year. This is something that impacted the world over, and we are still emerging from the collective dark night of the soul. I hope that as we have adjusted to a new way of living and being, that we have not forgotten what it means to be human, what it means to interact with others, what it means to live, love, and commune together. I am calling on you and on me to step up now, with an extra dose of kindness. To yourself and to others. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

If you are enjoying these posts and videos, please do like, subscribe, comment, and share. And may the stars shine brightly over your week, and may you both give and receive an extra dose of kindness this week.

A Moment of Peace and Joy

Half Moon Bay, Turks and Caicos

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me on this journey and in this space. This week’s blog post and video won’t be long. Check it out here (especially to hear the sounds of the sea and an inspirational message): https://youtu.be/XP2OqKXF6VA

First, we are in a Mercury Retrograde and if you have spent any time here you know that I love to use this time to rest, re-center, and rejuvenate.

It is also a good time to slow down, and chuckle—seriously—chuckle when things don’t go as planned. That is especially true for things dealing with travel, communication, and technology. So, if the VPN doesn’t work well this week, it might be time to say, I will get back to this, I am going to go take a walk.

Take a walk, like this iguana on Iguana Island…

Second, I am in the middle of a really special time. I consider myself as someone who works hard, and also likes to play and relax hard. During the pandemic, I did not really take any long blocks of time from work—essentially, I did not take an actual vacation, and I also did not get to see my college friends for our planned 20 year friend reunion. There was so much wrapped up in the last year in terms of grief, disappointment, and just an assault of things that shocked the conscience. Last week, not only did I take actual time away from everything, I was able to take my first international trip since the pandemic. We went to the Turks and Caicos islands.

Someone is super relaxed

I had never been there, and will make a video/blog on the trip later. It was phenomenal. I will also mention in my future post and video how I used astrocartography to help select the location for our vacation.Hahaha…

When we got home, my best friend came to see us, and so it’s been a lot of laughter and late nights. Later in the week, I will get to take a little adventure with my mom, sister, aunt, and love. I can’t tell you what this has all meant for my spirit. Unfettered joy, love, and peace have filled my soul completely!

Me and three of my best people ❤

I feel an extra ounce of gratitude for what it means to hug my friends, to spend time with my family, and to experience something truly beautiful. Being the water bucket that I am, I tear up just thinking about what we have all been through collectively! But the human spirit is resilient if nothing else, and as we emerge from a long night, I hope we retain the lessons that we learned from seeing the stars at night, but I also hope that we let the sun warm us—like the sun did for me in the Caribbean.

Glowy and happy

I hope we remember the joy of touch—of a hug, or the joy of having conversation face to face with our fellow human being. I had talked to a lot of strangers this week, and I think the consensus is a feeling of grieving what we all lost, but also one of learning to feel hopeful and happy about the future again. Please enjoy this short video for this week, as well as a video of the beautiful sea—a few minutes of peace for your day! And also a handful of the thousands of pictures that I took in the Turks and Caicos.

If you are enjoying the videos and posts, please do subscribe to both my blog and YouTube channel—Celestial Goodness1111. I appreciate it immensely. And may the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be as joy filled as it could be! Lots of love and beautiful blessings to all of you!~ Celestial Goodness

Have a great week!