It’s a New Year…

happy-new-year-background-with-golden-confetti_1048-4402…there’s simply something special about a brand new year. It reminds me of a brand new baby. There’s an innocence to it that only happens at the turn of the calendar each year when it lands on January 1st. It’s somehow easier to make a fresh new start when the new year hasn’t started yet.

I have a ritual I do each year before the clock turns midnight on New Years Day. I reflect upon all the previous year brought my way. All of it. Both the happy and the hard. I then decide what I’d like to remain and what I would like to release and let go of never to return again. Sometimes it’s my own patterns, sometimes it’s a painful experience or memory that I choose not to let consume me any longer. I did just that two days ago. As I sat down for my annual, “year in review”, I wrote down all the things I wanted to let go of and then promptly burned the pages, and flushed any remnants down the toilet, flushing twice for good measure. After saging the room sufficiently, I pulled out all my vision boarding supplies to be very clear with the Universe what my hopes and dreams were for the new and lovely 2018. It included things that I would like to experience, people I would like to meet, my work in the world and the ways I would like to contribute along with how I would like to feel while living my next 365 days.

It felt good. To put my inner world in the outer world. 2018 is going to be great in all it’s unique glory. Thank you for all the lessons 2017, hello 2018…

Grieving the Holidays

134917-GriefGrief is like rolling thunder. It comes in crashing like a tidal wave throwing us off center. I’ll never forget the times I’ve been in grief mode in my life. Trying to stay above sea level is challenging enough without the holidays being thrown in the mix. If you’re grieving a loss this holiday season be sure to take time to take care of yourself.

I’d like to share the below blog I wrote a few years ago as I was helping with a GriefShare program. It still rings true today and is a good reminder for all of those grieving the loss of a loved one this holiday season. Remember you are not alone in your feelings of loss.

As the holidays approach the longing we experience for our lost loved one can intensify leaving us feeling lonely and not in the holiday spirit. During this difficult season of grief it is even more important to rely on those around you for support and encouragement. It can be easy to avoid attending holiday gatherings or skipping out on traditions you used to hold close. Even though this may be a normal reaction it is important to still consider doing the activities you once shared with your loved one. Avoiding these traditions can lead to isolating yourself and pushing those away whom want to be a comfort to you. When you find yourself focusing on how hard the holidays are going to be this year remember the good times you shared with your loved one. A fun holiday memory or a special moment can bring happiness to your heart. You are able to honor your loved one by engaging in some of the same holiday traditions you enjoyed together. This can serve as a time of remembrance with your past memories bringing you joy.

When you’re feeling down let those you trust know how you’re feeling and how they can help. Scheduling time with those close to you can serve as a time when you can be open and share your grief process with them. It can be something as simple as going for a drive with a friend or meeting up for a coffee with a family member. Simply remember to take care of yourself this holiday season, be kind to yourself and patient with your grief as it is a process and you’re not going to feel better over night. Do something nice for yourself to pick your spirits up. Watch one of your favorite holiday movies, take a bubble bath or get an ice cream cone. For those few minutes allow yourself to take your mind off of your grief and just enjoy the moment.

When all else seems to fail rest in the comfort of our Lord, knowing He is there to carry you when the load seems too much to bear.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

This verse reminds us that we are never alone. God is always with us. Don’t hesitate to ask for His help and comfort in getting though this time of pain. As someone who has gone through my first holiday season without a very special person, my dad, I know that it’s not an easy road, but know that the love you shared is far bigger than any pain we feel. Love truly is the only thing that remains and allowing our spirits to rest in this knowing may bring comfort during a time that feels comfortless. My wish for you this holiday season is for you to remember and share fond memories of your loved one knowing that it is only a matter of time until you will meet again.

Keep the Faith

faith

Easier said than done, am I right? Can I get an Amen? 

Really though, it’s easy to say, “hey, chin up, keep the faith”, to someone when they’re going through a tough situation. But is that ever really what we want to hear? We may not always want to hear it, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

What I’ve found is that keeping the faith is all that’s gotten me through some of the rougher patches life has thrown my way. When we feel like we have nothing left, about the only thing that will get us through is faith. Faith that one day life will feel better again. Faith that the deep feelings of despair, depression, isolation, loneliness, and so on will one day fade to a distant memory. Faith that even the obstacles will make us stronger. Faith that with time and distance all wounds will heal. Faith. Faith. Faith.

It’s funny how things work out when you look back. As I began the journey of writing my first book, I so cleverly titled “Faith Walk”, I never imagined God would put me through some inner trials to truly learn what real faith is. But you see what I’ve learned is that you get what you ask for. I wanted to understand faith and the only way for me to do that was to experience it firsthand. Faith led me home. To myself. My dark night of the soul began somewhere between picking my life up and moving over 500 miles away from the only life I’d ever known and finding myself returning back where I started only this time with more acceptance of who I really am. Faith is what got me out the door in the morning when the only thing I really wanted to do was curl up in a ball and not face the world again after feeling like my dreams vanished before my eyes. Faith is what told me to keep going even when I felt like I failed miserably at my first attempt to go into business for myself or when I came running home after a failed attempt to live in another city in another state on my faith that it was where I was meant to be. I’ll never forget that deep feeling of “failure”and despair that only faith would tell me would subside eventually. During my faith walk I realized that failure doesn’t truly exist. I swear us humans make failure up as a way to punish ourselves for making choices we thought were right but not ending up as we hoped. What I did learn instead is that there is no such thing as failure. There is only learning, wisdom and growth. And finally, faith is what led me to God. And understanding we must first experience before we can teach.

One evening not all that long ago, as I lay in savasana after a yoga class intending to find my inner zen, I told God I hadn’t heard from Him in awhile, and I’d really like to. There between my deep, relaxing breaths, I heard, “Angie, Faith is believing even when there is no evidence.”

Oh yes, of course, evidence doesn’t come before faith. In that moment, I knew the dreams I once carried were still my dreams. Nothing had changed except for my faith. It was all still possible. Just because it wasn’t happening in my timing didn’t mean it wasn’t going to. As, I sat there in my yoga class taking a few last deep breaths, in and out, I could exhale a little deeper. Knowing that building my faith was the biggest part of my journey all along. It wasn’t about building a new life in a new city and a new business to go along with it. It never was. It was always about building my faith even when there was no evidence that I should remain faithful. All of the things I longed for, the business I so desperately wanted to build, the book I longingly wanted to muster up the courage to finish, the people I wanted to meet along my journey, the ones I envisioned I would help and the ones that would help me. The life I longed to live. They were always going to come after I built my faith. Not before. And in that moment, after months of feeling depressed and directionless, I knew it was all still possible. One day I would no longer be stuck. The gates would open wide for me once again for my spirit to roam free. And it has. All I had to do was keep the faith.

If you were like me and you knew you had a purpose and it hasn’t come to pass yet, remember it is still possible. Work on building your faith and watch what faith can do.

To All The Brokenhearted

HealingHandsI love the work I do. The reiki, the readings, the mending of the broken hearts.

You see, we are all brokenhearted about something. Something that was painful. Something that didn’t go the way we had hoped. Something we find it unbearable to let go of. Something that came along our path that caught us completely off guard and knocked the wind right out of our sail.

The relationship that went south, the baby that didn’t make it to full term to see the light of day, the deep sting of death and the grief that follows, the child who is suffering in silence, the depression that is unrelenting, the job that didn’t pan out, the dream that hasn’t come to fruition, the absent parent, illness and the list goes on and on. But you get the point. We all have things. Things that we would rather avoid or better yet never have to experience in the first place.

Well, to all my brokenhearted friends out there in the world, know that you are not alone in your suffering. There are people who care and understand the weight of the load you’re carrying. You are never alone. You are so loved by all of the stars in the sky that shine upon the infinite, divine being that is you. You matter. We all matter. The pain will lessen. The strong grip it has around your neck will subside and you will be able to breathe deeply once more. Healing is not only possible but it is a gift waiting on the other side of the pain.