Sippintea with Nat & Z

I had the great delight of being a guest on Natalie and Zarifa’s latest podcast episode!

Check it out 🙂

It was an honor to be a guest on this amazing podcast with these amazing ladies 🌺🌹🪐💫✨Check it out 🤩Posted @withregram • @sippint_natandz_pod ⠀
There is more to Astrology and horoscopes besides signs, planets and houses. So it’s time to get some deeper insights from our expert guest for this episode our friend Heather, the real-life unicorn. We mention her a lot here at Sippin T’, she is the lover of the cosmos, sunshine, books, positive thinking, the law of attraction, the deeper mysteries of life, unicorns, art, music, love, and so much more. You can visit her youtube page Celestial Goodness 1111 and her blog at https://celestialgoodness.com.
Tea on the Table: Ginger Tea

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sippin-tea-with-nat-z/id1526315358

https://open.spotify.com/show/6W1ADyHOD6leT0RW7J9lNB

Thank you in advance ♥️

An Introduction to the Chakras

Celestial Goodness: An Introduction to the Chakras

From Unsplash

As we are making our way through a time of immense cosmic change, I think it is important to have tools that can help us to stay grounded, centered, and at peace during times of great uncertainty. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/yfGZGwJaNvc

One of the tools that I utilize frequently, and that I actually think about pretty much every day is the Chakra system. Some people know about the Chakras through the practice of yoga and some people were introduced to the Chakras thanks to Aang in the Last Airbender.

Aang—The Last Airbender

I was introduced formally to the chakra system in 2014 by my friend Mr. Rishi and his family. They own the Good Luck store located in Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland. (https://goodluckprosperity.com) One of the services that the store offered pre-Covid, was that you could have an aura/chakra reading. I was initially a little skeptical, but I had a weird feeling that something was out of balance within me, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

At the time, I was always worrying about everything—how would I pay my student loans? Was I earning enough money to take care of myself? I had also suffered a heartbreak before that I hadn’t properly healed from. I could feel the grief collected in my heart space, but I had no sense of how to move past it. Later, therapy would also help with that, but one of the most helpful tools for me during this phase of my life, was in learning about the chakra system, and then utilizing different healing modalities associated with the chakras to create more balance and overall wellbeing for myself. Mr. Rishi and his family also held numerous workshops that taught me a lot about the chakra system. I am grateful for the wisdom that they shared with me.

Indigo Aura

It is amazing how ancient tools and techniques still exist that can totally transform our lives. Elizabeth Behnke said, “There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.” I can guarantee you that even though it may seem New Age at times, the Chakra system is a very ancient system. They are part of a complex and ancient energy system that is believed to have originated in India.

They were mentioned in the Vedas, ancient sacred texts of spiritual knowledge dating from 1500 to 1000 BC, and they have been mentioned in ancient Buddhist texts. Some say that there are hundreds of chakras in the body. Since we are going to utilize the system commonly believed to have originated in India, we will focus on the seven primary chakras—these seven chakras are traditionally depicted as lotus flowers. I will also add that there is so much that you can study and learn, about the chakras’ that the material that I will cover on the blog and on the video will just crack the surface; I really encourage you to do your own research and see what aspects of working with the chakra system works best for you. Today I am going to give an overview of the seven chakra system, but in coming weeks, I will break each Chakra down individually.

The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. ~ Mulan

So, you may have heard the term, “chakra” and might have wondered what they were. At the basic level, they are energy vortexes contained within the body. The word Chakra comes from the Sanskrit language and means, “wheel,” or “disk.” The chakras are like spinning wheels of energy, and they hold healing energy within. This energy is also referred to as Prana, and it is the essential and vital life force which keeps us healthy, alive, and vibrant. They run from the base of your spine up to the crown of your head. When our chakras are aligned, they help to keep us happy, healthy, vibrant, and whole. Having a blocked, overactive, or underactive chakra can lead to physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional imbalance. After my aura/chakra reading, we discovered that my heart and root chakras were not even spinning. Things were out of alignment, and those chakra points were drawing energy from the ones that were functioning properly. I could literally feel the imbalance.

Each chakra governs specific functions and has its own vibrational frequency, color, sound, and purpose. Having an understanding of the chakra system can help you in your own personal healing and manifestation journey. If your chakras are out of alignment, there are many things that you can do to help balance them. For example, you can eat foods of the color associated with the chakra, or you can wear clothes of that color. You can also engage in activities that help rebalance the chakra.

For example, dancing is a great activity, and depending on the moves can help rebalance a variety of the chakras. I remember going to an Estelle concert a few years ago. I love her music and vibe!!! She asked for volunteers to come dance on the stage. I ran up there so quickly and had a blast. Years ago, I would have felt super subconscious about my body and just being in front of people like that. When I came down from the stage, my mom said, “I guess we know whose root Chakra is working.”

Shaking my root chakra

It is very important to have a solid foundation in the root chakra. In a sense the chakras can draw energy from each other if one is imbalanced. Build a strong root, and develop the chakras working from the root to the crown. 

So just as an overview, here is a small summary of the seven chakras.

Root Chakra

The 1st chakra, the root chakra (Muladhara) is located at the base of the spine. It represents safety, security, and stability. Imbalanced attributes would be scattered energies, anxiety, and fears. When it is opened, we feel safe and fearless. We also feel good about our finances.

Sacral Chakra

The 2nd chakra is the sacral chakra (Svadhistahana). It is located below the naval, and represents creativity, sexual and sensual energies. Imbalanced attributes would be repressed creativity, sexual dysfunction, emotional isolation, and withholding intimacy.

Solar Plexus

The 3rd chakra, the solar plexus (Manipura—lustrous gem), is located below the chest. This is our source of personal power. It represents self-esteem, pleasure, will power, and personal responsibility. Imbalanced attributes would be low self-esteem, control issues, manipulation and misusing power.

Heart Chakra

The 4th chakra, the heart chakra (Anahata) is located in the center of the chest. This chakra is also the connector between the matter and spirit. The lower and upper chakras. This is the bridge between our mind, emotions, and spirit. It represents love, self-love, and it governs our relationships. Imbalanced attributes would be depression, difficulty in relationships, and lack of self-discipline.

Throat Chakra

The 5th chakra (Vishudda) is located within your throat. It represents the ability to speak and communicated clearly and effectively. Imbalanced attributes would be shyness, withdrawn, arrogance, and increased anxiety.

Third Eye Chakra

The 6th charka –the Third Eye (Anja) Chakra is located in the center of the forehead, between the eyebrows, and it represents intuition and foresight. This is the center of our intuition. It is driven by openness and imagination. Imbalanced attributes would be lack of direction and clarity.

Crown Chakra

The 7th chakra—the Crown Chakra (Sahaswara—thousand petal lotus) is located at the top of the head. It represents states of higher consciousness and divine connection. This is also the chakra of enlightenment, and the spiritual connection that we have to the divine, our higher selves, and others. Imbalanced attributes would be cynicism, disregarding what is sacred, closed mindedness and connection with spirit.

As the weeks progress, we will jump right into learning more about each chakra and different tools that we can use to help make sure that we are in alignment. 

Before we end for this week, here are some Affirmations for our Chakras. 

Chakra Affirmations

Root

–        I feel safe, secure, and peaceful

–        I trust myself

Sacral

–        I love my body—I am radiant, beautiful and strong

–        I allow myself to experience pleasure

Solar Plexus

–        I honor myself

–        I feel my own power and successful in all that I do

Heart

–        I am open to love, and I give and receive it effortlessly

– I live in balance and peace

Throat

–        I speak my truth and express it clearly

–        I easily communicate my feelings

Third Eye

–        I am connected to the divine wisdom of the universe

–        I am intuitive

Crown

–        I live in the present moment

– I am complete and I feel at one with others, nature, and the divine


Thank you for joining me here this week! I am looking forward to our journey into the Chakras. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may your Chakras be fully aligned. Thank you!

What Are We Feeding?…

Thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey, and wow what a journey it has been. I looked back recently over some of the topics that we have discussed, and I felt such gratitude to be able to share these thoughts and this information with you. As I have been sharing, I am also still learning and remembering the importance of these things topics as well. Thank you for showing up, for providing feedback, and for interacting with my dream and my vision. I really can’t tell you in words how much I appreciate it. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/uGpM8sXl8GU

Before we go any further, I just want to check in with you. How are you doing? You sleeping ok? Are you drinking your water? How is your breath? Are you tense? Take in a deep breath with me, and release. Deep breath and release. Ahhhhhh… Put your hand over your heart and feel the beating. You are alive. You are here. That in it of itself is a beautiful miracle. Check in with yourself periodically. It is amazing, how informative the body is about what we are feeling and experiencing. There is a lot going on in the world and in the cosmos, and more than ever…checking in with yourself and utilizing tips for self-care will prove to be lifesaving and life-changing.

So what does this year, 2021 hold for Celestial Goodness? Well, I hope to continue to provide content that uplifts your soul, content that inspires you, content that reminds you that you are absolutely loved and needed here on the planet for a time such as this. I hope to provide content that speaks to your genuine, authentic self, and that reminds you that some things and days may be hard, but you can get through it. I hope you will feel that each day is a gift, and that you will live your absolute best life with great health, prosperity, and overall amazing well-being.

Over the holiday season, I took some time off from work and pretty much everything to have some actual downtime. What is downtime for someone with a Capricorn stellium in their 6th house of work? Hmm. Little astrology joke there. Anyway, I made all of these plans for things that I was going to accomplish (reading, writing, and planning content for Celestial Goodness), and things that I would get ahead of so to say… I have a draft of my vision for the year, but I was going to sit down with 100 gel pens and make it more beautiful. (See my video/post on vision boarding). Well none of those things happened, and honestly it was lovely. I was able to rest, truly rest, and catch up with some family and friends through actual conversations, or long messages that you simply have to savor. I got a chance to dip in the sea, and that made my heart sing.

I did map out a few things that I wanted us to discuss on the blog and channel, and I was feeling pretty excited about it all. The downtime, and the mapping out of content, was just what my soul needed. I returned to my day job this past week, and hit the ground running. I caught up on things, and I felt productive. I got up early in the mornings, made my tea, greeted the day, and just was able to cross one thing after another from my “to do” list. 

On Tuesday evening, I reviewed the draft that I initially had for this week’s video—it was to be on the Chakras. And then Wednesday came. My normal day job is on Capitol Hill, and although because of the pandemic, most of us are teleworking, we are not disconnected from the things that happen at our physical duty station.

While the day started regular enough, soon we were getting one alert after another of the buildings being evacuated, suspicious packages, and everyone knew something crazy was happening on the hill. Something that wasn’t quite the norm for alerts. I wasn’t going to talk about this, the “storming of the Capitol,” but I was not prepared for the way in which those events would hijack my energy, time, and focus. Some of us watched the events unfold horrified at what we were seeing. My phone lit up with friends and family checking to make sure that I was ok. I was physically ok, but mentally? Emotionally? That remained to be seen…

There have been many conversations about the events of the day… Questions about how this could have happened? I don’t think there were any astrologers or people who follow the cosmos who were totally shocked. Something big and brazen was in the stars for the day.

In looking at the astrology of the day, the planet Mars—(the god of war)—was leaving his home sign of Aries (also the God of War in mythology). Mars and Aries both represent themes of anger, ego, desires, and action, and a fiery energy. The planet Mars moved out of the sign of Aries after an unusually long stay—Mars usually stays in a sign for six to seven weeks, it stayed in Aries for six months. Mars now headed into the sign of Taurus—the bull, and as it did, it crossed the 29th degree—a critical degree, a degree in which something wild and big was bound to happen. Astrology has helped to anchor me during trying times… to help make sense of things that don’t seem to make sense and this day was no different. Mars needed to go out with a bang.

As I felt the energies of fear, anxiety, and anger settling in across the collective, I could feel my own energies starting to deplete. I felt sick, tired, upset, and sad. I unfriended people from my social media and real life who were saying the most crude things. That too made me feel down. I love people, and I generally do not mind knowing and friending people who have a wide range of opinions, but this felt different. I can’t tell you what it felt like, just know that it was in my gut and it didn’t feel good. In discussions with some friends who were feeling similar, I said, “We may lose people, but we should never lose ourselves.”

The polarizing energy of this time means that we will have to make hard decisions about what we stand for and what we will accept in our space. For me, I have made the decision to protect my peace and my energy at all costs. I know what it means for me when I don’t. I know the emotional pain that becomes physical pain when I allow myself to be pulled into someone else’s dramatic storm. I have lost myself before, and on the journey of rediscovering myself, I promised me, that I would be true to me even if it meant letting some people go. And that is a reality that I have lived. I have let friends and family go, set up necessary boundaries, and strive for a peaceful existence. It can hurt, but we earn our places in each other’s lives. You don’t get to just be here. I don’t just feel entitled to be in anyone’s world, and if there is ever a moment someone doesn’t want me in their world, I will honor that and go in peace. Also, I don’t mean earned as in you pay me lol, but actually we are exchanging energy, love, and time. Those things matter to me.

Back to this past week, I worked on Thursday, but my soul truly wasn’t in it. I moved at what felt like a snail’s pace, and even when I did all my usual things to focus—breathing, and meditation, nothing seemed to work. I decided to take Friday off. I limited my time on social media, and I moved inward. I took a walk and as cold as it was the fresh air felt good, comforting somehow, I listened to things that uplifted my soul, I talked to a few people that I know and love, and we laughed. I laughed at one point until I actually had tears rolling down my eyes. I hugged my love, and I cooked us a yummy meal. Cooking is strangely therapeutic.

I watched some anime and the season finale to Star Trek Discovery, and I cried some more because I love that show. Such good reminders on life. There are four amazing quotes from the star of Discovery–Michael Burnham, which seem to speak to this moment. “Being afraid of everything means you learn nothing.” “The only way to defeat fear is to tell it no.” “The real world doesn’t always adhere to logic. Sometimes it is up. Sometimes it is down. Sometimes you are lost. Sometimes you are found.” “That’s how we find our way, by choosing to walk forward together.”

Commander Michael Burnham

And then after my day of self-care, I could feel myself coming back to myself. Some of us do not have the luxury of taking a day to come back to self… the world doesn’t stop for us to grieve and process, and make sense of things. Yet, I will implore us individually to not ever give into the energies of fear and hate. Each of us has a part to play, and we make the decision each day about what energy we will feed. There is a supposed Cherokee legend. I don’t know that for sure, and while it is very simplistic for me, and doesn’t take into account the importance of some elements to our shadow side, I do think it reminds us that anything in excess can be dangerous. The story goes like this: 

“One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that
goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” the grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “which wolf wins?” the grandfather simply replied, “the one that you feed.”

And so, what will we feed?

What am I choosing to feed? What are you choosing to feed? I told my mom recently that the way I feel about these times, last year, this year, and 2022, is that one day you are in your kitchen, and you say, man this kitchen needs to be replaced. The sink doesn’t work right, the stove might cause a fire, and so you, without any training in kitchen repair minus some YouTube videos and HDTV, decide to take a jackhammer and just rip the kitchen apart. Somewhere in the middle of all this, but far enough in where you can’t turn back, you say wow, the kitchen is torn up. I can’t go back to the way things were. And while you did what you could to do repairs, you end up calling in professionals to help fix the kitchen back. They do an amazing job because that is their craft; it is what they have been trained to do. You marvel at how amazing the kitchen looks now, and you can barely even remember the old kitchen. This is my analogy for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Change does not always look pretty. Sometimes we just know a change needs to be made. That was our instinct, to rip things up. I feel that right now, as a collective, we are somewhere in the middle of the repairs. The professionals in my mind are those who can help us navigate the storms—the therapists, the healers, among others.

We also have a role…and one day we will get up, and walk into the new kitchen. Life is born from chaos and destruction…another quote from Discovery. When crazy things happen in the world, I try to see it as a tipping point for necessary change. It may unfold slowly but it will come. In the meantime, I encourage you to take care of your peace as best as possible. Guard your energy, create healthy boundaries, and learn to say no—even if the no is to yourself. No I will not doom scroll. Not I will not engage in unnecessary arguments with people whose minds won’t be changed. No I will not let anyone pull me into their storms. Your energy is important, and if you want to see the kitchen be fully renovated, aka, if you want to see the world be better, then we have to help make it so. I think we can—together. I am hopeful and will work towards that.

From Pintrest

Thank you as always for reading (and watching) and for being here on planet Earth at a time such as this. May the stars shine brightly over your week. Take good care of yourself. Please and thank you!

A New Chapter

If you are reading this, welcome to 2021. Rainer Marie Rilke said, “And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.” The new year really is like a blank, new page, brimming with the potential for awesomeness. Ultimately, you have the pen in your hand, and you help to write the story. What will you write this year? What will we all write together? Edith Lovejoy Pierce said, “We will open the book. Its pages blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” You can find this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/tvE7gSQVgsg

While we think about that, I hope that you had an opportunity to release the things from 2020 that no longer serve you, to think about the lessons learned, to save the best memories of the past, and to set some new intentions for 2021. I love to approach the New Year with gratitude. First, gratitude that I have made it here. I think that each day that we get to do this thing called life is a true blessing, and it means that we aren’t quite done doing what we need to do here, whatever that is. I know people who did not make it this side of 2021 and so will we live for ourselves; we can also live for those who no longer can. For me, I believe that part of why we are all here is to use the gifts that we have been given as service to humanity, and while this does matter, I don’t think that is all there is. We are also here to enjoy life, to relish in the delicious experiences that make us human.

Second, I feel gratitude for the past experiences that have taught me so much—either about my own strengths, or about my limitations. I know when I can give a little more, but I also know by listening and paying attention to what I have learned that there are times when I need to rest and reflect. Finally, I also feel gratitude for the pure potential of what awaits us in the coming days, weeks, and months. Josiyah Martin said, “The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” We never know how any year will be, how it will ultimately unfold, and although most do bring a mixture of experiences, I can only hope that they next one will be the best one yet. Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, it will be happier.” We can certainly hope…

A few years ago, I started the practice of setting a new word for the New Year—this would be a word that helped me to anchor myself in the experiences of the year, and it would also help to give the year some direction. T.S Elliot said, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” In previous years, I have used the words: balance, flow, vision, growth, love, and so forth. Every time that I have selected a work, the year has given me an opportunity to prove that it really was the word that I needed for that particular year. For example, once when I chose balance, I ended up working and tending to my social life more than taking care of my physical health. I ended up having a situation where I fell down the stairs, twisted up my ankle, and canceling everything that I thought was too important to cancel. I really learned that there is a time for everything under the sun—and that anything done in extremes can be dangerous to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Brandon Sanderson said, “Somehow, we will find it. The balance between whom we wish to be and whom we need to be. But for now, we simply have to be satisfied with who we are.” 

I think that this year for 2021, the word that I will choose is flow. This is a repeat word, but it reminds me of one of my favorite elements—water, and some of my favorite life philosophies.

Flow

Lao Tzu said, “Those who flow as life flows, know they need no other force.” I like that and this quote by Donna Goddard, “Life changes and often we just have to go with the flow not knowing its course. Things can change because there is something better or different for us and if we don’t follow our leanings then that which once seemed fine will start to feel unsatisfactory and will dismantle because it is not right for us anymore. It becomes a burden rather than the blessing it once was. We have to trust that as we were cared for in the past, we will be cared for in the future.”

And this one from Erik Pevernagie, “Let us join the flow of ethereal vibrations when love is at our fingertips and encounter the mystery and wonder of unsuspected instants. Let us dip into the marvel of the budding and the blooming spray of our dreams brightening up our path.”

I have shared a few quotes on the beauty and potential of the New Year, and here are a few more; I hope that they inspire you. 

David Bowie said, “I don’t know where I am going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

Neil Gaiman said, “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

To follow up on that, Craig Lounsbrough said, “Packaged inside of every mistake there lays a great lesson. And while I don’t want to take the mistake into the New Year, I most certainly want to take the lesson that’s packaged inside of it.”

I never want people to feel afraid to make mistakes—because it means that you at least tried, and there is a beauty in that as well!

Rainer Maria Rillke, “And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”

Nido Qubein, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” 

Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

What do you want life to be like in this new year? Whatever it is, I am rooting for you. I hope that this is a year filled with hope, with love, and with opportunities for all of us to rise to the occasion and show the best of humanity! Also, I hope that you also get to choose a word for the year ahead, and that it helps give your year good direction, and anchors you in some amazing experiences. It is a shorter blog and video this week, but I just wanted to pop in, say Happy New Year, and give you something to think about in the coming weeks. I have some exciting content planned, and I really do appreciate your presence here. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a beautiful one indeed!

Happy New Year

Releasing 2020 & Setting Intentions for 2021

Over the last two weeks, we looked at some of the big events going on in the cosmos, and we thought about the changes that they might bring for our own lives. We learned perhaps that while some change can be unexpected, some changes bring much needed and beautiful events, experiences and people to our world. As I have said before, change is the most constant thing in the universe. Helen Keller said, “A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.” See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/rddOcyhxk18

I do believe that in the year ahead, there will be some big changes for a lot of people. Our world has already changed in ways that so many of us could not ever imagine. Now that we have arrived at this juncture in our collective history, I wonder what now? What can we do to help create the world, and the lives that we desire for ourselves and for humanity as a whole? One of my favorite astrologers Rick Levine, says, “Think cosmically, but act locally.” So while we are thinking of bigger changes, sometimes the most important thing we can do is to focus locally or inward. Rumi said, “Yesterday, I was clever and I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise so I am changing myself.”

 It is my hope that as we move into the New Year and a new energy, that we will all take some time to reflect, and to think about how we would like the New Year to be. I am making this video both as a way to reflect and imagine, and as a reminder to incorporate some of the tools that I mentioned throughout the year. Maybe in the next coming days, you can retreat for a moment to your sacred space, to spend some time in quiet meditation, visualization, and a bit of daydreaming. How would you like 2021 to be? What were some of the lessons that you learned in 2020? 

In just a few days, we will have closed the door on the year 2020. While some of us imagined that it would be a big year, we had no idea how intense and eye opening it would be on so many levels. This year I learned more about balancing the range of my own emotions—from sadness to joy. Sometimes these emotions happened so closely together that I felt almost guilty for feeling one or the other. Now I sense that it is all a part of the human experience. Do you have any ways in which you release the things that no longer mesh with your life? I think as we prepare to enter a new year it is a great time to mentally, spiritually, and physically release the things of the past that no longer serve your life, and to set some intentions for what you would like in the future.

In one of my first videos, I talked about creating sacred space. If you have some time in the next few days, I would highly suggest either creating or retreating for a bit to your sacred space. You might decide to light a candle, and play some soft music. Write down your intentions, and anything that you feel gratitude for from 2020. You might even surprise yourself. I love to write these things down on actual paper with a pen. But this should be a personal exercise for you, so you can get creative or not, as much or as little as you like. I think that this does require doing an inventory of your life, and I do think that requires some very serious thought.

Here are some questions to ponder:

·       What are the things that you want for your life in the following areas: What do you want for your spiritual life? Financial life? Physical, emotional, and mental health? What do you want from your relationships? From your career? 

·       What do you have as far as goals in these areas? 

·       Is there anything that you would like to start—your own business? 

·       Any new hobbies?

·       Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to when it is safe to do so? 

·       Any people that you would like to see? 

·       Are there any grudges that you are holding on to?

·       Do you have a lot of things that you haven’t been using that you could donate or sell?

·       Are there any new skills that you want to learn?

·       Do you need to relax more? Rest more? 

As you spend the time in your sacred space, allow the questions to come. Allow the answers to come, without judgment from you—just allow your mind to think things through. In a previous video, I talked about visualization and affirmations. Now is a good time to close your eyes for a bit, and just spend a little time visualizing the answers to the previous questions. Before we do that, we will do just a short breathing exercise.

Take in three deep breathes and as you inhale, I just want you to picture yourself inhaling love, good health, prosperity, and all that is yours by divine right. As you exhale, I want you to exhale any of the stresses from 2020, anything that cause you pain or sadness. The important lessons will remain, but the feelings will drift away. You will feel your body becoming more and more relaxed with each inhalation, and you do feel a sense of hope about how things could be. 

Remember Shakti Gawain’s tips for affirmations from Creative Visualization:

1)     Always phrase affirmations in the present tense, and not in the future. It is important to create it as if it already exists.

2)     Always phrase affirmations in the most positive way that you can. Affirm what you do want, not what you don’t want. 

3)     In general, the shorter and simpler the affirmation, the more effective. 

4)     Always choose affirmations that feel totally right for you.

5)     Always remember when doing affirmations that you are creating something new and fresh. You are not trying to redo or change what already exists.

6)     Affirmations are not meant to contradict or try to change your feelings or emotions.

7)     When using affirmations, try as much as possible to create a feeling or belief, an experience that can be true. Temporarily suspend your doubts. 

Here is a reminder of some Examples of Affirmations: (Florence Scovel Shinn & Shakti Gawain)

–        I am at peace with myself and with the whole world. 

–        I love everyone and everyone loves me.

–        My good now flows to me in a steady unbroken, ever-increasing stream of happiness.

–        Divine love floods my consciousness with health, and ever cell in my body is filled with light.

–        I give thanks for radiant health and endless happiness.

–        All that is mine by Divine Right is now released and reaches me in great avalanches of abundance, under grace in miraculous ways.

–        My life is blossoming in total perfection.

–        I am whole and complete within myself.

–        I now give and receive love freely.

–        I am an open channel of creative energy.

–        I always communicate clearly and effectively.

–        It is ok for me to have everything I want. 

–        I am open to receiving all the blessings of this abundant universe. 

For me, one of the ways that I release something is that I write it down as well, and then I might ceremoniously burn the paper. I release the ashes into the wind with loving thoughts.

I am thankful for each experience in my life because it helped make me the person that I am today. I also used to do this thing, where I created a little pouch, and if there was anything that I was worrying about, I would write that down on a paper and put it in the pouch. I would pray for some divine help on the issue, and give it a time frame. I want this resolved in 30 days, or in 2 weeks. Whenever I would worry about it, I would just look at the pouch and know that there would a resolution for the highest good of all involved.

Another pro tip, is that if there is someone in your life who is causing you grief, Marianne Williamson suggests praying for their happiness for 30 days. The theory is that happy people generally don’t have time to create grief for other people. So either they will stop whatever they are doing, or if won’t bother you anymore. I have mentioned this before and I think it is important to repeat that it is better to walk away from some people and situations. It might be hard, but your life will be better for it.

I hope that you have the courage to release whatever isn’t serving you or whatever is blocking your from living your best life. I also hope that you have the courage to embrace whatever comes to your life. As you go into the New Year, it is my personal wish and prayer that your intentions be made manifest, and that they unfold in beautiful ways, and bring supreme joy to your life. Have a wonderful holiday season, and a beautiful New Year. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a delightful one indeed.

The Grand Conjunction and the Age of Aquarius…

Last week we talked about the impact of eclipses and how we can deal with change. I mentioned that the solar eclipse on December 14th was setting the stage for a much larger cosmic transit. This week we are talking about that larger transit, and also answering the question–why does everyone keep talking about the Age of Aquarius? See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/22sTba-7T5w

Depending on where you are in the world, if you look up at the night sky, you might see what looks like an unusually bright and very large star. What you might actually be seeing is the conjunction of the two largest planets in our solar system—Saturn and Jupiter. It is a remarkable sight; Pluto is also close by, adding its own shimmer to the mix, and we can only just marvel at how amazing the cosmos truly are. This coming together of Saturn and Jupiter, however, has a more important meaning, than just a beautiful celestial sight, it foretells a new beginning for all of us. Some astrologers have hailed this momentous meeting as the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. You may have heard the song “Aquarius” which most people refer to as “The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” A few lyrics say,

“When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius
Aquarius

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius
Aquarius…”

It’s a catchy song from the late 1960s by the group “The 5th Dimension” and it really highlights what some people think of when they hear, “the Age of Aquarius.” That would be themes of love, harmony, and just the elevation of humanity’s collective consciousness to a place of more empathy, compassion, and peace. The Age of Aquarius has been referred to as the Age of Freedom and Technology. Some people claim that this period will usher in a time when we are more concerned with the purification of our physical and spiritual bodies and cleaning up and taking care of the Earth. Some people say that it will usher in major innovations in everything from space travel, communication, and overall technology, while also encouraging the breakdown of systems that simply do not work anymore. Saturn in Aquarius transits have brought us the internet, the fall of apartheid, and so much more.

But what does this have to do with the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter? 

Well, on December 21st/22nd in some parts of the world, Saturn and Jupiter will have conjunction (a meeting) in the sign of Aquarius. This is important for several reasons. When Jupiter and Saturn meet it is called a Grand/Great Conjunction. They are also called “King Makers” or the “Royal conjunction.” It is said that when Together Jupiter and Saturn combine expansive and imaginative vision with the structure and discipline needed to both manifest results as well as strip away the inessential. This is momentous for many reasons. Although Jupiter and Saturn conjunct every 20 years, this is happening on the Winter Solstice at 0 degrees Aquarius. This indicates a new beginning. It is also the first time in over 200 years that these two planets are meeting in an Air Sign, and over 600 years since they met in Aquarius. It is the closest that Jupiter and Saturn have been since 1623. 

I mentioned that this meeting takes place on the Winter Solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest amount of sunlight and the longest night. From that point, the days will begin to lengthen in terms of sunlight. The Winter Solstice also marks the day that the sun will enter the sign of Capricorn. This is a cardinal sign, and it means that this is the beginning of a season—the beginning of something new. When Saturn and Jupiter meet on this day, they will do so in the 0 degree of Aquarius. The 0 degree in astrology is called a critical degree. The 0 degree is also representative of a new beginning and a new journey ahead. Aquarius is the 11th sign of the zodiac. They are the last air sign in the zodiac, expanding on the lessons from their air counterparts—Gemini and Libra;

In modern astrology, the planet Uranus rules Aquarius—Uranus is the planet of the unexpected, but Aquarius’s traditional ruler was Saturn—the sign is coming home in a sense. 

It confuses a lot of people that Aquarius is an air sign because their symbol is the water bearer. However, they are indeed an air sign. The “Water Bearer” represents symbolically and eternally giving life and spiritual food to the world. The water from the vessel washes away the past, leaving room for a fresh, new start. The sign of Aquarius is forward-looking and growth-oriented. Concerned with equality and individual freedom, Aquarius seeks to dispense its knowledge, and its vision of equality and individuality, to all. This is important because when most people think of the energy for next year these Aquarian traits are what they are picturing. That of the humanitarian, the visionary, the intellectual, the innovator, and the progressive. Those are what I call the best of Aquarius. Like all signs, they also have their shadow side, and can be cold, eccentric, and distant. In fact, earlier this year when Saturn spent some time in Aquarius, the entire world experienced Saturnian themes of “restriction” with Aquarian themes of “social distancing.”

So is this conjunction the beginning of the actual Age of Aquarius? 

First, I should explain what an astrological age actually is. Wikipedia has a great definition.  “An astrological age is a time period in astrologic theology which astrologers claim parallels major changes in the development of Earth’s inhabitants, particularly relating to culture, society, and politics. There are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs in western astrology. Advocates believe that when one cycle of the twelve astrological ages is completed, another cycle of twelve ages begins. The length of one cycle of twelve ages is 25,860 years. The 25,860 years cycle is called the Great Year. 

Some astrologers believe that during a given age, some events are directly caused or indirectly influenced by the astrological sign associated with that age, while other astrologers believe the different astrological ages do not influence events in any way. Astrologers do not agree upon exact dates for the beginning or ending of the ages, with given dates varying by hundreds of years. Most astrologers calculate that one astrological age is around 2160 years, and because of this calculation, some figure that the Age of Aquarius has not started as yet. The ages move in reverse through the Zodiac, so instead of going from Pisces to Aries, we would be going from Pisces to Aquarius. Also, most astrologers do agree that the “age” doesn’t begin on a particular day, but that it is the result of a gradual transition called a “cusp.”

So the question of whether we are in the age of Aquarius or not is a difficult question. I will call the Age of Aquarius a bit of a salacious controversy in astrology because there is disagreement about this. There are three viewpoints here. 

The first is that it hasn’t started yet, and will start anywhere from 2500 to 3500 CE (Common Era). The second is that it started and we are in it. The third viewpoint, and the one you will probably hear the most about into next year is that it is about to start. 

And why are there three thoughts on this? Because, it all has to do with calculations. 

As with the birth chart, where there are three different methods for calculations, there are also different methods that people use to calculate other astrological happenings. This can be super frustrating if you just want a clear answer. I have my own intuitive feeling that we are at either the beginning or moving into what I would call the Age of Aquarius. One of my favorite astrologers says it ain’t so, that there are just a lot of cosmic energies that will tap into Aquarian energy, and that when the Age of Aquarius begins that it won’t start until a vernal equinox. Another astrologer that I admire said that the Age of Pisces is over and we are entering the Age of Aquarius, and that we each have an important role to play! I will actually let you decide for yourself. How do you feel about this intuitively?

I think that whatever you believe, we can all agree that the conjunction on the 21st carries with it a heavy energy of change, and the beginning of something new. Most people would welcome a new energy after the year that 2020 has been. I don’t think it will mean that things change immediately, but there is definitely no going back to how things were. There is a new energy unfolding, and as this year ends (maybe what we can actually do as a people is commit ourselves to helping create the type of world that we would like to see, and then taking actions to make it so. We may not be in the Age of Aquarius, but that doesn’t stop us from living more peacefully, more compassionately, and in a more loving way with those around us. I hope that as we look up to see the beautiful conjunction in the night’s sky, that we feel inspired to live the ideals that are the best of each sign—ad especially the best of Aquarius. More love, more harmony, more understanding, and more peace. May the stars shine ever so brightly over you week. Thank you!

Endings and Beginnings

When I was in college, and discovered the wild world of going out and partying with my friends, I fell in love with a song called “Closing Time” by a group called Semisonic. (See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/Q03lgd0_gPE )

This is one of those songs that literally signifies that the night/morning is over. Bars play it to say, “Alright, pack it up, time to go,” and people played it at house parties as a way to kick people out of the house. LOL. I remember singing it—rather mumbling it–while stumbling back to the dorm on cold Wisconsin winter nights and mornings. There was a line though that really stood out for me; it has stayed with me, and remains in my conscious mind to this day. “Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end…” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lived this line now…

I have discovered that life is an epic series of endings, beginnings, endings and new beginnings. Sometimes we have time to prepare for an ending and sometimes they catch us completely unaware. Sometimes we are yearning for a new beginning, but not quite sure when it will come. Sometimes we don’t even realize when something has begun. We fall into a beginning. But sometimes we are aware, relieved, and delighted that something has ended or that something has started. If the seasons are any indication, everything is in constant motion—spring, summer, fall, winter…then back again to spring. Endings and beginnings are a natural part of life and nature.

Lao Tzu said, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

In the Tarot, this is reminiscent of the Tower card, which in its traditional depiction shows a tower burning.

The tower had been struck by lightning—signifying upheaval, and unexpected change. There are two people falling from the tower, one person is seemingly reluctant—falling in a way that indicates that they were not ready for this change and will be forced out of the tower, the way that the other person is falling seems to indicate that they jumped willingly because they know that change is inevitable.

One more modern day description of the tower card from Biddy Tarot says, “The lightning represents a sudden surge of energy and insight that leads to a break-through or revelation. It enters via the top of the building and knocks off the crown, symbolizing energy flowing down from the Universe, through the crown chakra. The people are desperate to escape from the burning building, not knowing what awaits them as they fall. Around them are 22 flames, representing the 12 signs of the zodiac and 10 points of the Tree of Life, suggesting that even in times of disaster, there is always divine intervention.” This description provides a reminder that is so important to remember, especially when change proves to be stressful. There is always divine help! I believe that the cosmos are always moving and shifting in ways that ultimately serve to support us, but some of the transits can really add a jolt to our lives.

One of the cosmic happenings that instigates major endings and beginnings in our lives are eclipses. I am sure that if you have been alive on this planet for longer than a year, you have probably heard mention of an eclipse. In ancient times, people saw eclipses as bad omens, foretelling everything from poor harvests to the apocalypse. With advancements in science, astronomy, and astrology, we have a better understanding of the energy that comes with eclipses, and we know that often they speed up changes in our lives. As a side note, we are having this conversation now because in the weeks ahead, the cosmos are setting the stage for 2021 with some huge transits.

One thing that is setting the way for what many astrologers are calling a new day in our generational and collective consciousness is the Grand Conjunction between the two biggest planets in our solar system—the cosmic gurus, Jupiter and Saturn. This conjunction will take place on the Winter Solstice, December 21st in the sign of Aquarius. One of the events that is setting the stage for that transit it a total solar eclipse this week in the sign of Sagittarius. This eclipse hits pretty close to home for me, because my birthday is the day after the eclipse, and I was born at the same degree in Sagittarius where the eclipse falls. This won’t just impact me, but also my birthday twins—happy birthday!!! You guys know who you are. I saw that the eclipse was coming and intuitively felt it was a big one. I can consciously recall the eclipses of 2017—those were in the sign of Leo—my rising sign and it really changed my world.

My dream birthday cake set up lol!!! Unicorns everywhere!!!

Now, a lot of this will sound like a foreign language, so if you have any questions at all, please reach out, and I am happy to answer them. My email for this channel and blog iscelestialgoodness1111@gmail.com. I will also make a supplementary astrology video in coming weeks to just provide you with some basics. I’ve been interested in astrology since I was at least 12 years old. It is one of my hobbies, not one week goes by where I haven’t either listened to or read something astrological. Up until recently, I was afraid to call myself anything more than an amateur but I’m truly being modest if I say that. However, true to my Sagittarius sun nature, there is always more to learn. I love learning about the world, about people, and I especially love the cosmos and the mysteries of this great universe. Ok, back to eclipses. 


So what is an eclipse?

There is the scientific definition of an eclipse, and then there is what I call the astrological definition. According to NASA, an eclipse takes place when one heavenly body such as a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another heavenly body. There are two types of eclipses on Earth: an eclipse of the moon and an eclipse of the sun. All Lunar Eclipses happen at a full moon. All Solar Eclipses at a new moon.

During a lunar eclipse: Earth moves between the sun and the moon. When this happens, Earth blocks the sunlight that normally is reflected by the moon. This sunlight is what causes the moon to shine. Instead of light hitting the moon’s surface, Earth’s shadow falls on it. This is an eclipse of the moon — a lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse can occur only when the moon is full. Sometimes when the moon orbits Earth, it moves between the sun and Earth. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth. This causes an eclipse of the sun, or solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow onto Earth. You can have a total, annular, or partial eclipse!

An astrological definition of an eclipse that I like is by astrologers Aliza Kelly Faragher and Sophie Saint Thomas. It says, “Eclipses are dynamic cosmic occurrences that activate the lunar nodes. Simply put, the moon glides across an elliptical that is constantly rotating around the zodiac. The highest and lowest points of this orbit correspond with the lunar nodes, which appear in our birth charts as south and north nodes. The south and north nodes, often referred to as the Nodes of Fate, symbolize our past and future — our karmic pathway. Accordingly, eclipses activate these nodes within our birth charts, illuminating our destiny.”

So they are like little destiny activation checkpoints. Eclipses are actually pretty frequent. They occur approximately every six months, and they happen in in groups of two or three. We refer to the transits of eclipses as “an eclipse cycle.” An eclipse cycle takes place when eclipses in a series are separated by a certain interval of time. This happens when the orbital motions of the bodies form repeating harmonic patterns. A particular instance is the saros, which results in a repetition of a solar or lunar eclipse every 6,585.3 days, or a little over 18 years. Eclipses also occur in opposite signs. Within the zodiac there are 12 signs. We can break the zodiac down into polarities. This is a sign and its opposite sign.

The last series of eclipses were in Cancer/Capricorn. In this year they shifted into the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius. On November 30th we had a lunar eclipse in the sign of Gemini—this occurred by a full moon, and on the 14th of December we will have a solar eclipse in Sagittarius. This is by a new moon. If in your own chart you have a presence of the sign of the eclipse, you may be more impacted.

Solar eclipses correspond with new beginnings and unexpected opportunities. Lunar eclipses help us realize the external implications of these shifts—our internal shifts. Eclipses impact everyone differently based on your natal chart, and ultimately your sign. Some eclipses may impact you and others will not. The eclipse on the 14th is in the sign of Sagittarius, and it is likely that other mutual signs—Pisces, Virgo, and Gemini will also feel some affect in some area of your life. Another important point is that eclipse energy is energy that you may feel immediately, or it will unfold over a 6-month period or longer. If you would like to look up your natal chart, I recommend the following: www.astro.com

I also found this helpful website for helping to determine how to find which house in your natal chart will be impacted by the eclipse. https://www.lunarliving.org/moon/finding-lunareclipse-solareclipse.html#start

I think it is very useful to know this information, and it can help you to prepare for certain things that may unfold in your life. After the August 2017 eclipse, a lot shifted in my own life, and a lot of energy moved quickly. Within 6 months of that eclipse, I had been in a car accident that forced me to get a new car and release some old energy, traveled for 5 weeks to do some deep soul healing, met my current partner, and received a promotion.

At a cafe in Abuja, Nigeria

I can look back at past eclipses as well, and actually mark major moments in my life. It can be that intense. Eclipses can definitely speed things up in your world. And it is not only your world, but the entire world is changed. So all of that to say change happens, but I think if you are cognizant of that, and prepared, you are better equipped to handle endings, and to embrace beginnings. You won’t always be prepared for change, and that is ok too, just take things one day and one moment at a time.

In South Carolina to see the eclipse, Aug. 2017

I think this quote from the Curious Case of Benjamin Button is perfect for dealing with change. ““For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

This transit also prepares us for the Grand Conjunction on the 21st of December which is the Winter Solstice—a change in season and sign. I will talk about this conjunction in another video/blog and explain—is this the Age of Aquarius? Really all of this is saying what we already know to be true. Our world has changed and is changing. The question is what role do we play in this? How can we help to not only live our best life with the tools that we have, but also help visualize the world that we want to see? Stay tuned!

May the stars shine brightly over your week, and it may it be a good one indeed.

Keys to Forgiveness

Last week, I had a lovely conversation with my mom. Thank you to everyone who watched that episode or read the blog! It was fun, but I also saw it as a meaningful way to cultivate some additional memories with mommy. She provided me with many useful nuggets of wisdom, and I will treasure those for as long as I am alive.

Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about the topic of forgiveness. Maybe that is because this year has reminded us so intently and intensely about the fragility, but also the beauty of life. Some things don’t seem worth holding onto when we know that it will all end. Doesn’t it make sense then to use the time that we do have to focus on the things and people that we love? Shouldn’t we focus on what brings meaning and joy to our lives? It does to me. Check out this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/Lu-9trkl3lk

Having been on the other side of this perspective—having experienced depths of pain that nearly brought me to my personal limits, I can say that it is much better on this side. I share this information because there was a time in my life when I did not think this way. There was a time when I wanted to die. I am thankful for the people who poured into me, and helped to pull me from the quicksand of despair. It is work, and I don’t want to diminish that, but I want you to know that putting in the work, does work. Because I have been there, and because for the past several years, I have been genuinely happy, I can say that there is always hope for a better day and a better live. As long as you are breathing—thriving is possible. Release the things that no longer serve you, and free your mind. Peace of mind is absolutely priceless. 

Recently, I have had numerous conversations with different friends and relatives about forgiveness. Within that conversation, two questions came up pretty frequently. One was, “how was I able to forgive someone for something that happened?” and the second was, “how long does it take to forgive?” When I was having my conversation with my mom, she said two things that really stuck with me that pertain to forgiveness. In two situations, she talked about forgiveness. First, she said that she learned about forgiveness from her own parents. Second, she said, and I quote, “I have also learned to forgive because it is in forgiveness that you heal. When you forgive others, you are in a better place. I believe in sister Karma, and I believe that when you forgive someone, a higher power takes care of them and you are not destroyed in the process.” I think the crux of this for me is when she said that in forgiving, you are not destroyed in the process. 

My younger sister often says that holding on to grudges or certain old feelings, and not learning how to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. That is a little drastic, so she also says that it is like holding on to a burning log and expecting the other person to get burned. Essentially, she is saying that holding on to something that may need forgiving is allowing someone to occupy space in your mind rent free. 

In my opinion, forgiveness is something that occurs between people and it is also something that happens on an individual level. I think that most actions that precipitate needing forgiveness happens in interactions with others. Marianne Williamson in one of her books said –this is not verbatim–that we can live our whole lives by ourselves and never learn the lessons that we need to learn. But we can spend three days interacting with other people and our soul will receive such a profound evolution based on the lessons that we learn from one another. That thought has stuck around with me too. I also think that forgiveness is deeply personal, and sometimes the one who needs the grace of forgiveness is the self. Sometimes we need to forgive ourselves for things that we perceive that we did or did not do.

The Greater Good Magazine from Berkeley has an amazing and in-depth explanation of forgiveness:

“Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

Just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.

Instead, forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from corrosive anger. While there is some debate over whether true forgiveness requires positive feelings toward the offender, experts agree that it at least involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings. In that way, it empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.” ~ Greater Good Magazine, Berkeley 

I really love that within that explanation of forgiveness is also the inclusion of an important point. Forgiving someone does not mean that you forget what happened, or that you have to be close to that individual ever again. It just means that you are realizing those feelings so that they don’t cause you unnecessary stress, high blood pressure, and even just bitterness and an inability to move on with your own life. I think when we hold on to certain things, it doesn’t allow us to move forward because we apply the previous experience as our point of reference.

For example, if you had your heartbroken, you might be tempted to think that everyone will break your heart. I think it gets worse if you have multiple heartbreaks. We can talk about healthy love another time. If you think every relationship will lead to heartbreak, you might not even try since you want to protect yourself. However, in doing that, you are missing out on what could be a beautiful experience. You aren’t hurting any of your past loves by doing this. They have probably moved on. Let yourself do the same. I tell my friends—if you want to get to Tahiti and you live in DC, you are going to have to take a plane or a boat. Most likely a plane. If you are afraid to fly, you will never get there. Forgiveness is a little selfish, but that is perfectly fine. Why? Because you do deserve to live a happy and healthy life.

On my own life journey, there have been people that I have had to release from my life. This includes people that I loved very deeply. The pain of heartbreak is very real. I once asked my mom if someone could die from heartbreak and she said yes, there is actually a medical term for it. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Broken heart syndrome is a temporary heart condition that’s often brought on by stressful situations and extreme emotions. The condition can also be triggered by a serious physical illness or surgery. It may also be called stress cardiomyopathy, takotsubo cardiomyopathy or apical ballooning syndrome.” I will talk about this when I talk about chakra’s and how Mr. Rishi and his family helped save my heart chakra!

I can tell you from personal experience that most pain does not feel good. I have felt the pain of betrayal, ungratefulness, the breaking of my trust, and even physical harm. This video is about redemption from all of that though. I think that how we forgive is situational. Was the incident major or minor? Is it something that we can recover from—really recover from and not just how we feel at the moment? Can something be salvaged from this? Should anything be salvaged? We can love people from a distance. I would tell my younger self that it is ok to let some people and some situations go. There are indeed lessons, blessings, and people and situations that will last for a moment or a lifetime. As far as the relationship with self, forgiving yourself can be hard, but with practice, you can and will get there. One day, I got up and realized that some of the things that bothered me, just held no power over me anymore. I was doing the work to heal from those things, and it feels like learning another language. You practice, you learn, and one day you understand.

In the height of a major transformational moment in my life, my aunt presented me with this Buddhist Forgiveness Prayer. I repeated this frequently, as many times as I needed to. Whenever the thought of something came up that filled me with pain, anger, or rage, and I knew that I needed to be in a calmer place, I would say it like a mantra. It says, 

“If I have harmed anyone in any way either knowingly or unknowingly
through my own confusions I ask their forgiveness.

If anyone has harmed me in any way either knowingly or unknowingly
through their own confusions I forgive them.

And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive
I forgive myself for that.

For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself,
judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions
I forgive myself.”

I believe too that as we are experiencing life, there will be many moments where things will happen and we will have to dig into our tool kit to find ways to handle situations. This prayer is in my forgiveness tool kit. 

Elizabeth Gilbert recounted hearing Iyanla Vanzant talk about her own experience with forgiveness. She said, 

“”[Iyanla] My love of you — it’s got nothing to do with you. I’m trying to save myself. So I love them. I get to choose my relationship with them. Doesn’t mean I will invite them for Thanksgiving. But I can love them from my altar and from my prayer table IF IT MEANS MY FREEDOM.” [Elizabeth]. I wept when I heard this. Your forgiveness of people who have harmed you has nothing to do with THEM.  Your forgiveness is about YOU trying to achieve liberty from the prison of your own suffering, your own anger, you own grief, your own darkness, your own obsessive thoughts, your own indignation. Love is the only way out of that prison. Radical, outrageous, nearly impossible, superhuman LOVE.”

I think this is how I saw forgiveness ultimately. I needed to free myself. I wanted to be happy and live my life without holding on to regret, or without beating myself up for things that I did or did not do. Self-love helps you to forgive yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend.

So, I guess to answer the questions that I had with my friends—forgiveness can take time. It is also personal and individual to you and the situation. Be gentle with yourself, but know that with practice, with time, and with your commitment to your healing, then it does get easier. I hope that if there is something that you are holding on to in your own life, that you can find the grace to afford yourself some peace and personal freedom. I am rooting for you. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be an amazing one indeed.

A Conversation with Mommy…

Special guest star! Mommyyyyyy

Last week we talked about leaving a lasting legacy, and so this week, I have a special surprise for all of you, and a special guest! My mom. The amazing right + left brain queen herself. So we are going to have a conversation and I hope that it will leave you feeling inspired, uplifted, and warm inside. You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/yoLIfdoWUh4

For those of you who may not have a good relationship with your mom, or who have lost your mom in some way, we are both sending you an extra burst of love.

I will ask mommy some questions, and I hope that you all feel the wisdom from her words.

1)     Celestial Goodness: So who are you? LOL! Beside mother, how would you describe yourself?

Mommy:  That is a great question. I do see myself as a spiritual being having a fantastic human experience here and I think I borrowed that phrase from someone else, but I do love that. I also believe that not only am I a mother, but I am a protector. I am a historian—I have a certain historical perspective to my entire life, and I do see myself as a bridge from the previous generation to the future. 

2)     Celestial Goodness: What is something important that you feel like you learned from your parents?

Mommy:  I have learned how to be loving and caring. I have learned forgiveness—how to forgive others. I have learned to be a lover of education and knowledge, and I have learned to respect the land. 

Celestial Goodness: And in turn, I have learned those things from her. 

3) Celestial Goodness: What was the experience like for you leaving your life in Jamaica to come to the United States—especially with me, a young kid in tow?

Mommy: It was definitely a culture shock. Imagine leaving in the middle of summer and stepping right into the middle of winter. That was my initial experience. I have had to learn the culture very very fast, so that I could impart knowledge and give you a fair amount of direction.

Celestial Goodness: That’s a very Virgoan answer, and I am here for it!

4)     Celestial Goodness: What are some of the things that you are most proud of in your life?

Mommy: I am most proud of my children. I think they have been my greatest asset. They have given me strength over the years and courage, and that is the thing that I am most proud of. I think it will be my lasting legacy:

Celestial Goodness: We are proud of you too mommy!

5)     What advice do you want to share with us, your children? 

Mommy: Mainly, I would like to say, “stick together,” look out for one another, and they are to love each other regardless of what happens between them—all of you. I would prefer that you forgive and love each other. It is in love that we have the key to moving forward.

Celestial Goodness: I am glad that we get along, so that is easy advice for us to follow.

2 of Mom’s 4 ❤

6)     I know that as your kid, I always use to just see you as “mommy” and not someone going through their own life issues. What has helped you the most in surmounting life’s obstacles? Do you feel that your outlook and thinking about life and all that comes with it has evolved over the years?

Mommy: Definitely, my outlook on life has evolved over the years. I have always had a deep desire to do my best so that my offspring, that’s you guys can e better than I am. I do see myself as a foundation for better, and that has given me the drive and the strength to go on. I also love to travel and read, and these things have changed my outlook on life.  I like to question things. I do believe that sometimes I am very curious, and I have imparted some of this curiosity in my children as well. I think I have taught you guys to question things, to be inquisitive, to go out and explore. 

Celestial Goodness: I have seen that evolution in you over the years.  I feel like I have grown up with you.

Mommy: Absolutely, you have grown up with me.

7)     What advice would you give your younger self?

Mommy: I will tell you this, several years ago, I wrote a letter to my future self, in which I told my future self that everything would be fine. Getting back to your question, some things I would tell my younger self is to make the most of every experience that you have, because at the end of the day, the experiences that you have are what you will remember most. Remember that experiences matter. The decisions that you make will have an impact on you, but live your life to the fullest, and enjoy every moment!

Mommy in her younger days!

8)     What about me, most reminds you of yourself?

Mommy: Number one, you love to laugh. I think I love to laugh. I am usually a happy person. I am not as happy a person as you are, lol, but you’ve gotten some of that and then expanded it into making it your own which is great. I also believe that my love of travel. I have passed that onto you.  You have taken it to a higher level and I am proud of that. It is a great thing. Then, the love of knowledge and books. You have even taken that much further than I thought and that too is great!

Celestial Goodness:  I want everyone to know that when I was little mommy was a teacher. When she was going to work, she left me assignments to copy passages by hand from the Encyclopedia. So, your real life Encyclopedia Brown right here. 

Mommy: I also believe that I have tried to give you guys roots and wings, and I am firm believer that if you give your kids firm roots, they will come back because they know their roots. They will also remain grounded. 

9)     When and how do you think we became close?

Mommy: Well, I would say that I never thought we were never close. There were times when my role was more of a protector and director to your life and the things that you wanted to do. Sometimes those things don’t go well together. I have given you enough roots. I have to respect that you are a separate individual from me. As long as I have taught you all the things you need to be taught, you can go on your own path. I have always respected that everyone has their own path which is perfect for that person. When you grew up, we became closer and that is a good thing. But there was never a time when we weren’t close and that’s a good thing. 

10)  You have become quite the avid and brave traveler. Mommy has been to Egypt, Greece, the UK, Scotland, various Caribbean Islands, Mexico and more. What is your favorite place that you have gone to visit? Where would you like to visit when we can?

Mommy: I really love Egypt! I think it is full of history, and there is something magical about Egypt. I love the sunrises and sunsets. They are remarkable. I love Scotland—in the summer time. The summer is far different than the winter time—the lush vegetation. There is so much different type of greenery—green grass, the hills, the vales, the rocks.

Celestial Goodness: mommy and I actually took a road trip through Scotland, and we had quite the adventure.

Mommy: Most of all, I love love Jamaica. The water, the lush vegetation. 

Celestial Goodness: That’ home. Where would you like to visit when you are free to travel again?

Mommy: When I am free to travel again, I would love to visit Ireland. I would also like to go on Safari in Africa. 

11)  Is there anything that you regret not doing?

Mommy: No.

Celestial Goodness: Does mommy not have regrets?

Mommy: I don’t regret because some things that I have not done, or missed opportunities, there was always a reason for it. At the time, I didn’t know why, but later on, I realize the reason these things happen. The things that have happened in my life have created the unique person that I am today.

Celestial Goodness: Here is where I get my philosophy on regret. I don’t think we should dwell in the what-ifs but in the reality of right now. 

12)  What are some things that you are grateful for?

Mommy: If I start telling you of all the things, there would be ten session of this episode. I am grateful for my children, life, health, laughter, my family, friends, walking, the ability to breathe the air. I am also grateful for what people would call negative occurrences in life because I learned from them and became stronger.

13)  What are some of the biggest lessons that you learned in life?

Mommy: Some things that you hope and wish for that don’t work out…when they did not work out, that it is ok! Be happy about it and thankful. I have also learned to forgive because it is in forgiveness that you heal. When you forgive others you are in a better place. I believe in sister Karma, and I believe that when you forgive someone, a higher power takes care of them and you are not destroyed in the process. Love, and forgive and enjoy every moment of your life. 

14)  What is your hope for your children? What is your hope for the world? The world has changed so much this year; I think most of us are hoping that as humans we choose a better way. We talked about legacy, so what is your wish for your children and for the world?

Mommy: My greatest wish for my children has always been that my children would be outstanding citizens. I wish for them to be happy, I always say it is better that they are happy than something else. Happiness is important and it is not something that you can put a monetary value on. I believe my children have an innate strength that they came into the world with and abilities, and my wish is that they fulfill that and live out their truest potential. For the world, I wish for a just society that respects each individual, and allows each person to be the person that they came into the world to be. I wish we would respect the land, care for it, and love it. It is our home.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone for joining mommy and I as we have this conversation. I hope that you may also feel inspired to talk to your loved ones about their life. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be an amazing one. If you are enjoying these videos, please do like, subscribe, share, and comment. Thank you as always!

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about legacies, and the legacy that I will one day leave behind. Some of this is because I have become so intimate with the concept of death in recent years, and this year in particular it has been such a constant. When we think of those who passed away, we naturally remember something about them—what they were known for, how they made us feel, what they inspired within us, and so much more. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/Oj5zmvS54W0

There are people who have passed away in my own life, ages ago, that still influence how I live my life. I often think of my paternal grandparents, and my maternal grandfather. I am fortunate enough to still have my maternal grandmother, alive and in my life. Whether they are here in the physical or on the other side, they have impacted my life in profound ways.

My maternal grandmother is full of wisdom and teaches me endless lessons about life. She reminds me to see the blessings in situations, and to think deeply and intentionally about the life that I am living and want to live. If I start worrying about something, she will always encourage me to look at things in a different light. I did not fully appreciate this when I was younger, but as I am getting older, I see what a gift it is to be able to choose our perspective.

My paternal grandmother was a fiery advocate and big supporter of her community. People came from all over to see her, and I just remember that her presence often felt larger than life. Sometimes when I feel nervous, I think of her courage.

My paternal grandfather was a friend to all and had a great sense of humor. He told great stories, and I remember when I was little sometimes he would cook us lunch because the school was nearby. It was whatever it was, but always made with love.

My maternal grandfather was an entrepreneur, a community builder, and left a legacy of kindness. My mom and aunt tells me the story of how he found someone stealing from his land. Instead of punishment, he asked the man for some details about what was going on. He found out about his struggles and gave him a job working on the land.

Both of my grandfathers were farmers, they loved the land, they loved their community, and they loved Jamaica. While I feel that they were rooted, my grandmothers had and have wings. My grandmothers utilized their vision to create paths of future progress for their descendants.

This notion of legacy also came up because my mom has been sewing an amazing quilt. She has drawn pictures on fabric that mean something for some aspect of her life, or from some major life event for her. She embroiders the pictures with bold and beautiful color threads. Now please understand, my mom is what I call a right and left-brain person.

She is logical, analytical, but also super creative and talented with artistic endeavors. One of her amazing talents is at sewing. I hope that nothing major ever depends on me sewing because I can barely sew a good hemline. LOL!!! Back to the quilt—the quilt is amazing, and one day while we were talking, I think she said, she hoped that one of us—her four children—would want it. I volunteered myself immediately… I will take it! I just feel that it is being made with so much love, and it is a beautiful way of remembering major moments in her life. I think this quilt made me think about some important moments in my own life, and what it is that I want to leave as my own personal legacy. How would I want to be remembered? William James said, “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

I also thought about my dad because I know that one of the things that I definitely got from him was my sense of humor, my cooking skills, and he has a kind heart. Both of my parents do. My dad also seems to know everybody in his community. We can’t go anywhere without someone saying hi. He will give people a ride to insert location here at the drop of a hat, help with things, and try to connect people to necessary information. I have been told that I am similar in that way.

I carry the lessons that I have learned from not only my parents and grandparents, but from everyone who has left a mark on me with me every day. This also includes my aunt, who in my eyes exemplifies vision, hard work, and creating a lasting foundation.

She reminds me of something that I read once about the Iroquois Native American tribe of people. Under the principle of the Great Law of Peace, is also the Seventh Generation Principle. It is based on the ancient Haudenosaunee philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future. My aunt thinks about the future a lot, about what will be left for future generations, and what foundations are we creating right now to ensure that they have something to build from? This is what leaving a legacy is about; it is simply asking the question, “What will I be remembered for?” What will you pass on to the next generations? This is not just financial or physical resources, but also maybe your values, or your character.

Joan Moran said, “The idea of leaving a legacy is the need or the desire to be remembered for what you have contributed to the world. In some cases, that contribution can be so special that the universe is unalterably changed. However, for most mere mortals walking this earth, most will leave a more modest legacy that doesn’t necessarily change the world but does leave a lasting footprint that will be remembered by those whose lives you touched. You hope your life matters in some way.” If you are watching this video, I want you to know that your life does matter. It does matter what you do here, the kind of energy you put out, and the way that you treat others and yourself. 

Former president Barack Obama said, “I saw myself as a relay runner. I would take the baton and I would run my leg of the race. And then I’d pass the baton to someone else. . . Each generation tries to make progress knowing that what we do is not going to be perfect. . . But, hopefully, we’ve run our leg of the race effectively – and the world’s gotten a little bit better.”

Shannon L. Alder said, “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” And of course, Maya Angelou one of my favorites said two things that I love. “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” She also said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” There is a video clip out in the ethers of Maya Angelou called, “God Put A Rainbow in the Clouds.” She said, “When it looks like the sun wasn’t going to shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds. Imagine! I’ve had so many rainbows in my clouds. I had a lot of clouds, but I had so many rainbows.” She actually equated rainbows to all of the people who have ever helped her along her life journey. She said that she carried them everywhere with her, and that we should always be willing and ready to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. “The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God — if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.”

Recognizing that as we go through life, you are going to interact with other people, and have an abundance of life experiences, you are constantly building on your personal legacy. You might not always believe it or feel it, but you are having an impact on someone, and on this place and this time. You matter, and so I think it is important to be intentional about what kind of legacy you want to leave here. Whether it is big or small, it matters. 

Stephen Covey, the author of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” also has an exercise that he calls the “Obituary Exercise.” Essentially, you are picturing your own funeral. It sounds morbid, but just follow where I am going with this. He says, “In your mind’s eye, see yourself going to the funeral parlor, parking the car, and getting out. As you walk inside the building, you notice the flowers, the soft organ music. You see faces of friends and family you pass along the way. You feel the shared sorrow of losing, the joy of having known, that radiates from the hearts of the people there. As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face to face with yourself. This is your funeral; all of these people have come to honor you, to express feelings of love and appreciation for your life.

As you take a seat and wait for the services to begin, you look at the program in your hand.  There are to be four speakers.  The first one is from your family…who have come from all over the country to attend.  The second speaker is one of your friends, someone who can give a sense of what you were as a person.  The third speaker is from your work or profession.  And the fourth is from a community organization where you’ve been involved in service. Now think deeply. What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life?  What kind of husband, wife, father, or mother would you like their words to reflect?  What kind of son or daughter or cousin?  What kind of friend?  What kind of working associate?  What character would you like them to have seen in you?  What contributions?  What achievements?” I really want you to sit with these questions, and allow them to help you create the sort of values and legacy that you would like to be remembered for…except that you can live them now, each and every day.

So here are a few tips this week from Celestial Goodness for creating a lasting legacy. 

1)     Don’t be afraid to share your story. Leave a paper trail. Yes, leave pictures, journals, words, or something so that those who come after you can have a sense of who you are. 

2)     Offer yourself in service to the world. Whether that is time or other resources, and whether that is big or small, even the tiniest actions can having a lasting impact. This includes supporting causes and people that mean a lot to you! It also means standing for something, and being a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. 

3)     Give the gift of your time to your loved ones. Spend some quality time with your loved ones. Don’t get so caught up with life that you miss the magic in the moments that you spend with your loved ones.  Sweet conversations, creating memories, and just enjoying the presence of other people. 

4)     Be honest and authentic in everything that you do.

5)     Live your values daily, pass them along, and be an example of that to others.

6)     Be generous and kind. Share your blessings. 

7)     Enjoy your life to the fullest, whatever that means for you.

8) Love, and love some more.

It can be weird for some people to have to think so far ahead, but it is so important! Thinking ahead, thinking about some of the questions that I asked here are important in helping to define who you are, and what you want your own legacy to be so that you can live it now, and that you can live a full and amazing life. I believe in that for you. Let me know if you had any epiphanies! May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a good one!