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!

Happy Birthday to Celestial Goodness

Hello beautiful people and welcome to your weekly dose of Celestial Goodness. Even more than ever, I want to thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. Today marks our 52nd video, and a year of my YouTube channel Celestial Goodness1111 and blog www.celestialgoodness.com. So HAPPPPPPPPPY Birthday Celestial Goodness. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/6_y-MugKJFE

This had been a dream of mine for a long time—to share uplifting content, to spark the inner fire that we all have within us, and to remind us of the beautiful things that still remain despite the chaos of the world. As a Sagittarius, I do love to learn, but even more, I love to share what I learn. There have been a lot of people who have poured into me on my own life journey, and this space really reflects how some of those teachings, that love, compassion, and kindness have helped me to transform my own life for the better.

By that I mean, a life of trying to find balance in my overall wellbeing. It means finding balance for my mind, body, and spirit. It means maintain a deep connection to the earth, and to remember the love that connects all of us here on the planet. It has been a space and place to remind us of our inherent intuitive wisdom, but also a space where we can tap into the wisdom that we learn from others, and from our collective and personal experiences. I have shared things that have been deeply meaningful to me, and things that have been super personal. Thank you for absorbing whatever you needed, and thank you for your encouragement, support, and presence.

Thank you for being with me here on this journey as we learn, evolve, and continue to navigate what it means each day to be human. I truly believe that when we take care of our well-being, when we care for our physical wellbeing, when we care for our mind, and when we care for our soul and spirit, that it reflects outwardly and allows us to have good relationships with others, and with the Earth. I think this is important for many reasons, one of those reasons being that we get to experience living our best life. We get to experience the peace, the prosperity, purpose, and joy that so many of us seek. I wish all of these things and more for you.

As we move forward, I hope to continue bringing more delightful, useful, and informative content. I will look for ways to make this content more accessible, and allow it to transform as it needs to. We still have so much yet to learn, there is so much that is left to unfold in this life, so much to experience, people to meet, places to see, and cool things to do! 

I made my first official post on my blog on May 24th, 2020 and my first post on YouTube on May 25th, 2020. My blog post was about Dancing with our Fears. It started with this line, “the writer Susan Jeffers has a wonderful book called, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” In her book she says, “Often we think, I’ll do it when I am not so afraid. But in reality, it works the other way around. The doing it comes before the fear goes away. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.”

This blog and channel for me have been a lesson in commitment, consistency, discipline, overcoming fear, and taking hold of my own anxieties. It has also been a reminder that there are so many beautiful people in this world, and so many beautiful experiences for us to have. When I have sat down to record my videos, I take my time, and each time I have gotten to my destination.

In her book, “Big Magic,” one of my favorite writer’s Elizabeth Gilbert says, “Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because your creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.” She also mentions that while fear can ride along in the car with her and creativity, fear has to ride in the back seat—it cannot drive. And that is where I find myself—on a dance—a beautiful and elaborate dance with my fears. For many years, I let fear lead, but this past year has taught me that even when I feel nervous, or fearful, that I can still do the thing that needs doing. Fear can ride along, but it can’t drive. Perhaps there is something that you have wanted to do, a vision, a dream, or just the initial tingles of something to come. Take your time, and begin the drive. If you knuckles turn pale, that’s ok, keep driving, keep going. One day, you will find yourself face to face with the most amazing view of something that only you could create. I can’t wait to see it…. Keep driving, keep dancing.

It has been amazing to take a look back at all of the amazing thigns that we have discussed in the past year. One of the prayers that I wrote before my video on water really jumped out to me again.

“I am deeply conscious of all that is going on in the world right now, and so we will begin with a small prayer. To the divine, all knowing, all loving energy of this universe, we pray that our collective mission will be to move this planet and humanity towards a place of more love, more kindness, more compassion and more joy for ourselves and our fellow human being. We desire a better world for everyone. Please protect those who are in need of protection at this moment, please fill the hearts and minds of those who need it with love. Inspire and provide us with the energy to do what we can, where we are, with what we have, so that this world may be one that we desire to see. May we all be blessed. May we keep our hearts open to love. Blessings to you!”

If you missed any of the videos or blog posts, please do take some time to check it out. We started off talking about how to create sacred space for yourself. This is a personal sanctuary where you could carve out some space for you. This space is where you can go to find some peace from whatever is happening in the rest of the world.

It is a space that you decorate and mold according to your personality and your needs. After that we discussed the elements—air, fire, water, earth, and spirit, and what we can learn from each.

Nature is filled with such abundant lessons, and they are constant, right in front of us at all times and all seasons. With fire, we learned to shine and to not be afraid of our power to create, yet we also learned that fire has the power to both create and destroy, and both are essential. Sometimes we need to destroy what needs to be let go of from our lives. Water teaches us how to flow. Water is such a powerful element, it can be soft, yet it can take out almost any obstacle in its path. Air reminds us of the power of our minds and our intellect, and also the beauty in new beginnings. Earth reminds us to ground, to decompress, and reconnect to nature. In nature, so many things make sense. The element of Spirit reminds us that a connection to the Divine can be helpful in facing whatever happens in this life. It also reminds us that love even when we can’t see it, can’t feel it, is still present. We just have to open our hearts and mind to it. It’s like what Dumbledore said to Harry Potter, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Turn the lights on my friends. The time is now.

On the channel, we have also talked about hope, inspiration, friendship, travel, reading (we talked about my favorite book—The Alchemist). One quote from the Alchemist, “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” It’s true!

We talked about caring for our physical wellbeing—are you moving enough? Are you sleeping enough? Are you drinking enough water? I learned how my body responded to intentional rest and hydration—let’s just say it was happier lol! We talked about meditation, and I shared a meditation that I wrote. We made a journey through the seven chakras, and learned how we can incorporate more of the chakra energies in our lives. We talked about astrological and cosmic happenings. By the way, this is a huge cosmic time.

Right now we are in Gemini season. Gemini is an air sign—a sign of the intellect and communication. We are also going to be experiencing two eclipses—a lunar eclipse in the sign of Sagittarius on the 26th of May, and a solar eclipse on June 10th in the sign of Gemini. We will have Saturn go retrograde, and Gemini will go retrograde as well. We also have the planet Jupiter in the sign of Pisces—a place where it is extremely happy and content. Any of these things by themselves would be a lot, but all together the energy can feel intense. I have made videos about weathering retrogrades and eclipses, but this is just a reminder—ground, and use any of your healing and coping mechanisms to face anything that comes, especially unexpected things that happen quickly. All of these things indicate endings, and beginnings in some area of our lives. Because of the Mercury retrograde, there might also be the usual breakdown in communication and technology—enhanced because we are in the sign of Gemini—a sign ruled by Mercury. I love retrogrades because they remind us to slow down and smell the roses. That is my advice for you now. Slow down where you can, rest where you can, and be as much in the flow of things—laughing as you need to, to make the most of this time. I have also heard several trusted astrologers say that it is a time when you should attempt to become as clear as possible about what it is that you desire in your life—especially now.

Going back to our reflection on the past year, we have also talked about visualization, vision boarding, and affirmations. I hope that all of these tools have helped you in some way. Please check it all out, and know that I believe in your dreams, your vision, and your ability to live a beautiful and prosperous life.

In her book City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert said, “In my experience, this is the hardest lesson of them all. After a certain age, we are all walking around this world in bodies made of secrets and shame and sorrow and old, unhealed injuries. Our hearts grow sore and misshapen around all this pain – yet somehow, still, we carry on.”

I am pairing this with a quote from her from her book, Eat, Pray, Love—a book which transformed my own life. She said, “We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.”

So here is what Celestial Goodness is hoping for you now—that you know your treasure, that you see it, hold it, and live it daily. Thank you again for being here. I hope that we have many more beautiful experiences together. Promise me too, that you will take action on one of your dreams. Just one small step will get you there—whether you are driving along with your fear or not.

May the stars shine brightly over your week and may it be a beautiful week indeed. If you are liking these videos and blog posts, please do like, comment, share, and subscribe to both the blog and channel. You are appreciated.

A Moment of Grace

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. Last weekend, I shared travel tales from Greenville, SC. This past week was a busy one for me; this isn’t surprising, I am usually busy doing something, and I enjoy that. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/d0og8Ojax1c

However, there are weeks like this past one in which I found myself overthinking about a lot of things.

So real…

I thought about things that I had to do, things that I didn’t do that I wanted to do, or have hoped to do by now, people that I hadn’t thought about in a while, other people’s problems and as someone wise pointed out—“you are trying to solve the problems of the world.” Heavens. One of the good things though is having people who care enough to tell you when you are going down that road, and then remind you to come back to the present moment.

Visual representation of me trying to solve the problems of the world…

Through years of working through my own stuff, I have many different coping methods for bringing me back to center and coming back into the present moment. I am thankful for that. I learned a long time ago that overthinking is one of those byproducts of either being too far into the future or too far into the past, and that staying too long in either place is no Bueno. Unsurprisingly, by the time Friday rolled around, I was mentally tired from keeping up with my regular work, adulting, and thinking about life in its entirety. Ha. I also started beating myself up a bit about all of this, and realized after a very delicious nap that what I needed really was to offer myself a little grace.

Sometimes we just need a nap…

Grace can mean many things to many people, and depending on your level of religion or spirituality, it might also have a specific meaning. When I am talking about offering myself grace, I find myself thinking about offering myself some kindness, some compassion, and some peace. I am giving myself a pep talk, and it is a simple one that says, it’s ok. Right here in this moment, you are trying your best, doing your best, and sometimes it doesn’t mean that there won’t be issues, it does mean that if you rest and give yourself some grace, you can approach whatever needs doing from a more focused place. 

I also have a card deck by Cheryl Richardson called the Grace Cards, and sometimes when I am feeling like how I was feeling this past week, I will sit somewhere quiet, try to quiet my mind a bit, and have a conversation with the divine. It is not necessarily a prayer, more like a conversation—I speak, and then listen intuitively to how my body feels, and if I sense any thoughts that would represent a response.

Speaking of my body, checking in with myself and listening to my body has also been helpful. A quick way to do this is to lay down or sit straight up. Close your eyes and starting at the top of your head, pretend you have a scanning wand, and go from your head to your toes. Scan slowly and see if there are any places that feel tension, tiredness, or where you think you might be holding on to something. Also, check to see how you are breathing. And give yourself the gift of a deep, slow, and loving inhale and exhale. I generally hold stress and/or tension in my upper back and shoulder area. If you have found any places on your scan that feel tense, mentally visualize massaging that area. Also send that place some loving energy. You can literally say, I am sending my shoulders loving energy for all the things it carries. I also say thank you to my body, because it does so much for me. Sometimes it is easy to take for granted what works well because we grow to expect it to. We don’t realize how much our bodies for example are doing until something is not working right. In this small way, I offer my body some grace.

On the Grace Card deck, Richardson says, “There is a benevolent force of energy available to guide your life, and it always has your best interest at heart. This energy is grace. When you open yourself up to its influence, you’ll begin to see the signs, symbols, and messages that are placed in your path to lead you in the right direction.” I may pull one, two, or three of these cards depending on what I am guided to pull in that moment. Recently, I pulled two cards and asked, what is it that I need to know right now—here at the end of this week.

The first card was “Peace.” The back of the card said, “When we balance silence with activity, we discover true peace of mind—the source of all joy and happiness.” The second card was “Chance.” It said, “Take the leap. Divine protection is always by our side.” These really spoke to me. I ended up taking a solo walk of 5 miles. In that time, I let my mind wander freely, and I came to a place of peace with some of the things that I had been overthinking. I also took a very long nap after that, and really that was probably some of what I needed.

For the other card, that spoke to me as well. There are a few things that I really want to do—dreams, goals, and musings from my vision board. For some things, I know that the only thing stopping me is that I haven’t actually taken the leap. This was just a reminder that it is never too late to pursue a dream. Sometimes we needed the time to build in either experience or training, but we can’t stay in the cocoon too long. I also like to remind my loved ones that if they try something and failed, it really is a more valuable experience than never having tried at all. I also have to take my own advice.

From a recent walk!

So, this week is as much a pep talk for you as it is for me. I know so many of you have things that you are thinking about doing—things you are overthinking—problems that need solving. I would say this—offer yourself some grace this week. Rest as you need, and then get up and take even one small action in the direction of what needs doing, saying, or releasing. I am going to pull three cards from the Grace deck, and just whatever resonates for you, take that into the week. The amazing thing about life and about everything being connected in some ways, is that no matter when you read or see this, adding your desire to have an appropriate message come will result in that happening. So thank you in advance as well for contributing to our collective Grace.

To the divine, I ask that these cards provide a clear message and guidance for whoever needs it. Let this be a reminder of the love, protection, beauty, and grace that is all around, no matter how the world seems to be. Let us be reminded as well of our role in helping the world to be a better place for everyone. Thank you.

The first card that came up said, “Direction.” Its message was: “Look for clues. Grace will lead us to the exact events and experiences we need at precisely the right time.”

The second card said, “Listen.” Its message was: “When we feel overly attached to an outcome, it’s simply an indication that we need to reconnect with our Wise Self.”

The third card said, “Support.” Its message was: “Expect help. A Divine power more magnificent than anything else that exists on the planet is ready to support our every move.” 

I think this message is pretty clear. There are things churning in the cosmos, stars aligning for us, and places we need to be, and people we need to meet. All of these experiences lead us closer to the things that we desire for our lives. We do need to listen though, and this is the type of listening that requires a connection with our self. It requires us to do that soul listening, to tune into the wisdom that is inherent in all of us, should we choose to embrace it. Finally, we are always supported—divinely supported—even when we forget. I think this is a reminder as well to stay in the flow of things and life.

Flow

So that is my message for you this week. If you can take a few moments to check in with yourself—to see what your mind, body, and soul need from you right now, please do. Please remember that for all the things that you want to solve in the world, and for other people, that kind of charity begins at home. Home is you. You too need rest, and love, and reminders that the present moment is truly a gift. We cannot change the past, so don’t become a prisoner to it. Learn what needed to be learned, and move on wiser and focused. Don’t spend too much time in the future either, because the present moment is what creates the future, and what needs your energy the most. Take care of you, and offer yourself some grace this week.

Sending you lots of good vibes this week!

May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a divinely inspired one! If you are enjoying these videos and the blog, please continue to like, share, comment, and please do subscribe to the blog and the channel. We are almost one year old! Thank you for your support, encouragement, and for trusting me with your time.

Greenville, SC…Southern Hospitality

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. I hope that all of you had a wonderful last week, and that you are enjoying life wherever you are. Last week we wrapped up our conversation about the seven chakras. What a lovely journey that was! I hope that you are able to apply some of the tips to your own life for healthy chakra living.

Speaking of journeys, I recently took a real trip to Greenville, South Carolina. I can honestly say that Greenville, South Carolina—there is also a Greenville, North Carolina, had never been on my radar of top places to visit within the United States. I am glad that I opened my mind to a visit there! See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/Id6oL9I7vSg

I have a list of places that I would like to visit, both domestically and internationally, and at the top it says “This or Better.” I trust that if there is somewhere that I should see, eventually I will end up there. I suggest making such a list for yourself, as you never know when you may get an opportunity to have a little adventure and to cross a place off the list. I also suggest picking a variety of destination types—go somewhere for great food, or for great natural treasures, or for a great cultural experience. All of these different experiences add to the kaleidoscope of your travel experience.

My 2017 list 🙂 …it’s amazing which places I have seen since!

Last fall we went to Asheville, North Carolina for a long weekend. It was cool, but I learned quickly that traveling during a pandemic required a lot of advanced planning, making reservations, and just being as patient as possible.

The Biltmore

As the world, begins to open up bit by bit, and as my travel party and I were all vaccinated, we felt that a weekend trip was in order. One of my best friends grew up pretty close to Greenville, and so that was some of the inspiration about why we went. It is similarly situated to Asheville, so I had something to compare in my mind. I have visited South Carolina before—during the Solar Eclipse of 2017, my family and I drove down to see the end point of the eclipse, which happened in Charleston.

Pineapple Fountain, Charleston, SC

That was an experience. During that trip we also made a stop in a place called Moncks Corner to see the Mepkin Abbey—home to Trappist Monks, and home to the Mepkin Gardens which are both peaceful and stunning.

Monck’s Corner, Mepkin Abbey Gardens

Greenville, SC is approximately a two hour drive from Atlanta, GA, 1.5 hours’ drive south west of Charlotte, NC, and about an hour south of Asheville, NC by car. There is also the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport if you are interested in flying in. For our Greenville trip, we chose to stay at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Greenville.

Aloft Hotels are part of Marriott Bonvoy, so if you are staying, make sure to connect your Marriott account so that you can get points. The Aloft was perfectly situated for walking almost anywhere we wanted to go. It was clean, organized, and unique.

They also welcomed dogs—we didn’t have a dog, but it seemed like Greenville as a whole was very pet friendly.

Our room offered a great view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Greenville is located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so if you are a nature lover, this is a big plus.

Our hotel was located pretty close to Main Street, so once we checked in we were able to go exploring. I found the downtown area to be really beautiful, clean, and filled with fountains and artwork. There are also butterfly exhibits or artwork all over town. The city really promotes art and music.

Downtown off Main Street…

Our stroll took us to Reedy River Falls and to see the Liberty Bridge—a pedestrian suspension bridge that allows you to get a great view of the falls.

Before we went onto the bridge we stopped for a sweet treat. At Spill the Beans, coffee bar and ice-cream shop, we tried a unique ice cream creation. They let you choose a base and then your toppings. After that they blend it all together. I think I had a vanilla base with pineapples, pistachios, mango and Nutella. It was a beautiful day weather wise, and so we enjoyed our ice cream while taking in the natural beauty of the falls.

Later that even, we went to dinner at a place called the Trappe Door, which was conveniently located across the street from our hotel. It had a Belgian pub theme, and reminded me of the Ratskeller in Memorial Union, at the University of Wisconsin where I went to school. The food was excellent, and the service was even better.

After dinner, we strolled along Main Street. You can learn a lot people watching, and also just slowing down to pay attention. I learned about how students from Sterling High School played a role in ending segregation in the area—including at the lunch counters at the Woolworths, and their role in integrating the library and other public spaces.

We also stopped by the Savannah Bee Company to do a honey tasting—we also did this in Asheville, and if you ever get to do a honey tasting at a honey bar, I highly recommend it. One unique flavor was the Black Sage honey, which had a very herbal undertone. We also stopped in a crystal shop—shocker—and got to take in a beautiful sunset.

I am a big fan of including time on trips for some downtime and rest. So we had a little break, and then met up to go to the Swordfish Cocktail Club. You do have to make a reservation by phone in advance, but this place that gives the vibe of a speak easy was super worth it! The club clearly values quality of the drinks they make. Everything was beautifully presented, and the drinks were delicious. Each drink was a work of art—science meets art.

All of the bartenders were great, but Brad, who we garnered was one of the co-owners, wanted to make sure that we had a good experience, and we did. One of the drinks that I had took twenty minutes to make. He placed it in a salt water container, and allowed science to do something fancy.

What resulted was a beautiful frothy beverage (that came with a spoon). When I took my first sip, it felt as though I had been transported to the far East—for an evening under the desert skies. He also taught us about good gin, and after swearing gin off after college, I felt like, I could make a pleasant return.

Probably the best gimlet ever…

We topped the night off with warm milk infused with Brandy, and homemade (at the cocktail club), cookies. Needless to say, I slept really well that night.

The next day we had brunch at Tupelo Honey, literally also right outside of the hotel door. Everything was scrumptious.

One of the trends that emerged during the pandemic that will probably stay is restaurants using QR codes that you can scan to see the menu. I think this will be around even after the pandemic. Of course, everyone does not have a smartphone, so they will always probably have some menus on hand, but this cuts cost, and having to clean down paper/plastic menus.

After brunch we went for a walk/mini hike on the Lake Placid Trail at Paris Mountain State Park. The park was beautiful, lush, and green. I love to be out in nature—there is something peaceful, healing, and soul stirring about seeing greenery, and hearing the natural flow of water. We also drove all the way up the mountain after we walked the trail, but there was limited parking, so we just got the scenic view.

Glammed up for outside…

Afterwards, we explored a bit more of Main Street. This included stopping at one of the many art galleries that are in the city. The one we visited was the artist guild of Greenville. I got two prints, one by a black artist and engineer named John Pendarvis. The other piece was by an artist named Pat Grills. He was actually in the gallery at the time and gave us a tour pointing our pieces by different artist that were really notable. He was a very kind soul, and even signed the print that I bought from him. He taught art and art history for the Greenville County Schools for over 42 years. A few years ago, his students surprised him and his wife with a trip to Europe. He and I talked about some of the travel experiences there, which was super cool. You just never know where you will meet a kind soul.

After our art gallery visit, we stopped at a super cute coffee shop called Coffee Underground. I had an amazing white chocolate beverage and a piece of apple cider pie. We laughed and chatted and then headed back to the hotel for some downtime.

Later we met up with the parents of one of my best friends for a delicious dinner. Nothing beats a good meal and good company! Post dinner we marveled at the beauty of the city at night, went for drinks at a place called Up on the Roof, and laughed and chatted into the night.

On our final day, we had brunch at a place not in the downtown—but worth the drive—called the Fork and Plough.

I really enjoyed my visit to Greenville. I think if you are planning to take a trip during the pandemic—and yes—we are still in it—and even once it ends, it helps to do some research and planning in advance. 

We made reservations at a lot of the places that we went to. This is helpful especially at busy meal hours. 

Also call ahead to make sure that places are actually opened. One of the galleries that we wanted to see seemed like it was open according to Travel Advisor, but Google seemed to indicate that it was closed. When we got there it was permanently closed. 

Also, open your mind to new experiences and sights.

Luggage sculpture in downtown Greenville

These are some of the things that make travel fun—you never know when you might fall in love with a place. Greenville reminded me that Southern Hospitality is a thing. Everyone, everywhere we went were friendly, kind, and helpful. I always felt safe, and I really was pleasantly surprised at how cool the town was. Someone we met at the cocktail club, had grown up in Greenville, and said, “Don’t tell anyone how amazing it is here…” Well, the cat’s out of the bag! Enjoy, and if you ever visit, let me know how you enjoyed it.

Have a beautiful week!

As always, may the stars shine brightly over your week, and if you are enjoying these videos and blog posts, please like, comment, share, and subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel. Have a beautiful and adventurous week!