There are 9 days until Christmas and for many of us the pressure of the holiday is on. It is funny, I think that one of the most amazing times of the year can bring out the best and worst in us. Today, I invite you to take 5 minutes from your crazy schedule and breathe. Breathe in the moment and let out all your anxiety. Know that all is well. Accept what is right now and not what you wished it to be or not be. By participating in this moment, right now you can move forward with deeper meaning. Worry and stress never made things better or your wishes appear faster. Your wishes never get here when stuck in worrying.
I came across an ad from a department store posted in a newspaper years ago and here I share it with you with a few of my own added. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and many blessings to all. May we acknowledge all our blessings that are here now already in our lives big and small.
Last Minute Gifts – That Money Can’t Buy.
Keep a promise, Keep a secret
Share a dream, Share your time
Send her favorite flower or write him a letter of your love
Let someone have the last word
Give a smile, Return a smile
Laugh at his favorite story — again
Let someone in line, go in front of you
Listen to a child
Listen to an adult
Love your pet, Rescue animal from abuse and neglect
Remember those who have no one and be there for someone if only for a moment to say hello
Say something nice to someone you like
Say something nice to someone you don’t
No matter how or what you say or do sharing your love
is the finest thing we can do, always.
Merry Christmas. Sweet Dreams and Many Blessings.
This week marks the 7th year anniversary of buying my home, my first home. I celebrate it every year and my house is included in my daily gratitude list along with family, friends and people, situations, pets and things I am thankful for. But I also celebrate it because it is one of many things that prove to me that the power of prayer, affirmations and visualization do work in manifesting your dreams. And gratitude goes along way too in keeping the good in your life that you have been blessed with.
Like most single women I had been living in an apartment all my adult life. The last apartment I lived in was amazing. It was on a top floor of a building, beautiful views of the city I lived in, a fireplace and was for an apartment quite spacious at 1400 square feet. My life was going very well. I had a great job, plenty of money, good friends and I was in love. You could say my life was on fire! Then one night that all changed when the man I was in love with was killed in an auto accident. My world fell apart and I fell apart. Without going into deep detail of how and why of that part of the story I will keep it at I got to a point where I didn’t care about life anymore and let everything go. I lost the will to live and consequently lost all my financial means. At my sister’s urging and then she and my dad coming to get me and my cats, I moved from that city back to the city wear my family lived. In fact, I moved in with my mom and step-dad.
Living back at home with my parents, in my mid-thirties, broke, depressed and mentally lost was not the life I had planned on having a few years earlier. For the first year I did nothing but mope. I thank my family for putting up with me and being there for me when I was not at my best. But there does come a time when enough is enough. It happened one day when my step father and I were sitting on the patio talking. He said to me “I don’t like seeing you this way. You are not this type of woman. However, if you don’t get a job in the next 30 days I am kicking you out. You can go get a job at the Wal-Mart.” Shocked and mad I stormed off to my bedroom like teenager. Looking back that was the best and most loving thing he could have done for me – Tough love. I was mad about him telling me he was going to kick me out of their home and madder that he suggested I go work at Wal-Mart! Being a successful retailer from the world of high fashion and luxury, I thought to myself, how dare he suggest that I work at Wal-Mart. Does he not know who I am? The truth was I forgot who I was. His comment lit a fire in me that had been dead for quite some time.
I thank my step father for that comment because if he hadn’t said that I don’t know what would have happened? I do know that he would have stayed true to his word and I would have been living in my car! My birthday weekend was approaching and my dad gave me a plane ticket to visit an out of town friend. I considered moving to the state my friend lived in and day dreamed about a brand new start in that city. But then I had the nudge that the place for me was where I was living now. Just not with my parents. When I got back to my parents I had a new attitude and new vision for my life. First thing to do is get a job and no not at Wal-Mart. (No Offense to Wal-Mart I shop there weekly).
Once back at my parents I made a list of where I wanted to work. The type of store I wanted to run. It had to be luxury clothing, luxury brand, financially solid company, good people and good pay. I got very detailed about it. I visualized myself being at work, how I felt, what I wore etc. One day while searching online I saw an ad for a store manager for a most fabulous luxury brand and I immediately applied. I was so excited about this company. Long story short, I had the job within a week of applying for it.
I was on my way! After I got my job I then knew I was ready to move out on my own. I had a new love in my life too, a puppy and he was going to get really big and needed a yard. An apartment was not what I wanted. I wanted my own home. All odds were against me but I knew it was time to get my own house. When I get a feeling deep down in my gut and a knowing of certainty about an idea or thing in my heart then to me that is God speaking to me. It’s always been that way for me, how I know God is telling me something and that no matter what if I just keep my faith in Him/Her it will come to pass.
My dream House:
I made a list of all the things I wanted in my dream house. At first it was so grand and big and there is nothing wrong with that but I realized I didn’t really want all that yet. Besides, I knew that I was not mentally prepared to manifest a huge mansion at this point. It is important to know your limits so that you set yourself up for success and not failure when visualizing. If you can visualize something grand but can’t accept it as true then it will not happen for you no matter how much you see it. You have got to see it, taste it, feel it, hear it and touch it in your mind. So here is the list that I made for my house:
1.) 3 bedrooms and 2 baths
3.) Big fenced in backyard
4.) Two car garage
5.) High ceilings
6.) Nice neighbors with no kids
7.) A patio
8.) Safe neighborhood
9.) At least 1500 square feet
10.) Sprinkler system
I visualized this house every moment I had but mainly before I went to bed. I would spend at least an hour visualizing my home and me living in it. I used affirmations and I prayed to be guided to this home. I also read two books mainly that inspired me and helped me with affirmations; The Power Of Your Sub-Conscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy and Your Word Is Your Wand By Florence Scovel Shinn. I highly recommend both of these books in creating and manifesting anything you desire.
Searching for my home:
When we had time my mom would go with me and we would drive all around looking at homes. It helped that my mom at the time was a real estate agent and we could look all over. She helped a lot. I found a really cute house near my parents and it almost met all the criteria. That one did not work out for me. The search continued for about 2 months.
One Sunday afternoon my mom took me to a brand new community that she had previewed with her office mates earlier. We drove up to it and looked around. There I found another home. It was a darling little home and brand new. It was there that I decided that I want a brand new home not a pre-owned home! I wanted a home of only my energy and my cooties! I almost purchased that little home but decided that the drive from it to my store was much too long – at least an hour each way. So on the way back we stopped at another new community and went in and asked the agent if they had any inventory homes available. He was with another customer at the time but said yes and directed us to the house.
This IS the one:
We drove up to the house and it was so cute, brick, new landscaping, cream colored trim and door and brand new. Mom and I walked inside and I felt from that moment that I was home. We looked around and I walked to the back master bedroom and I looked out the big window and in the yard next door the neighbor lady had the most beautiful blooming roses. A side note here: Roses are my personal sign that I ask for from my angels and or God for confirmation on decisions or direction. When I saw those roses, the only roses I saw on all the visits to all different homes I looked at combined with the positive feeling from walking in the door to this house I knew this was the one. This is my house.
My mom could tell she looked at me in the living room and said “I can see on your face this is the one isn’t it?” I said yes, I think it is. It has everything on the list I mentioned above. I asked my mom to wait outside for a moment as I always did so that I could feel the energy and talk to the house alone. It only took a few moments before I emerged from the house because it told me already that it belonged to me.
Next was purchasing the house. I have never purchased a house before and was told that it was a big difficult process. I guess that is and isn’t true but I do know that when God promises you something it will come to pass. I was turned down for the loan three times. I had only had a new job for 3 month’s; I didn’t have much credit – not bad credit just no credit or record of long payment. I had paid my car off 6 years before and didn’t have any credit cards etc. But I didn’t let that bother me, I kept my focus on seeing it and believing it was my home. The final time I was turned down I broke down and went outside and sat on the bench on the side of my parent’s home. I said “God, I don’t know what else to do? If this house is really mine then I give it over to you to give to me”. About 15 minutes later, my mom came out and sat down next to me. After telling me some words of comfort she hugged me and the she said, “Well, I have one other mortgage loan person we can call that I know of do you want me to call him?” I said “Well, ok but if it doesn’t work out with this person then the house is not meant for me”.
“D” the person who was a mortgage loan officer called me. I sent him all my information and while talking to this person they told me that they will get this done. I said ok. I thought from previous experience that I would have to wait another 2 or 3 weeks for an approval, however, he called back within a few days – I was approved! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you God. On November 18 with my mom by my side we drove to the title company and I signed my papers and got the key to my house. Mom and I went out for a celebration dinner and we drove up to my house to say hello to MY new home! I moved into my home that weekend and have been here now for seven years.
I would like to add one other amazing part to this story: The sales realtor for my home was very patient and kind man. But the house was an inventory home belonging to the builder who developed the community which means it is there to sell. And while I worked hard to get approved for the loan the time it took waiting for approval made the home available for someone else to buy. Gene (the realtor) and I would talk every few days and after I got my home he told me that this home really was meant for me because not once in all the weeks of Monday morning sales meetings did his boss pressure him about this particular house being sold. In fact, he told me that his boss never mentioned the house. His boss mentioned all the other inventory homes for sale but not this house. He said he was always bracing himself for his boss to pressure him about selling it and not waiting on me too long, but his boss never brought it up.
After a year of living at my home I was thinking of Gene and how kind he was and what a big part he played in me getting the home and wanted to call and say hello. I called the home office of the builder figuring he had been moved to another community. But no one knew who he was that I talk to in the office. Then my mother who was at a realtor function met someone who also knew Gene and was told that Gene had passed away a few months earlier. I like to think of Gene as a little angel that helped things move along and I am forever grateful to him too in playing a part in getting my home.
Everyday, I am thankful for my home. I show it my gratitude by taking care of it, enjoying it, appreciating it, decorating it and filling it full of love everyday. You can laugh if you want I don’t care but I usually hug and give it a kiss too! I wrap my arms around the column between the living room and dining room and hold tight and visualize love going all through it. I thank it for warming me in the winter, cooling me in the summer and protecting me and my family and for saying “Welcome Home!” to me everyday.
Do you feel a change in the air all around you? The breezes are changing from the warmth of summer to a crisper, sharper rush against your face. Summer has ended and autumn has arrived. The days are getting shorter and the nights becoming colder, darker and longer. It is growing closer to October 31st when we will celebrate Halloween; the day when the veil between the spirit world and ours, the living, is the thinnest — so they say. Our shops are filled with costumes for the little ones to dress up as something frightening, fun or bizarre and go house-to-house trick or treating. Some of us adults dress up too, and have our own Halloween parties. We watch scary movies and indulge in tricks or treats of the adult persuasion. Pagans, Occult and Satanic believers have claimed this as their “most important holiday”.
What is Halloween really about? Why do certain religions take it so seriously while most Americans see it as just another multi-million dollar retail industry and a night for trick or treating? Let’s hop on the magic broom and take a trip back in time to understand a little more of the mystery and history of Halloween. oooooweeeeeaaaawwww!
About 2000 years ago, 5th century B.C.. in what is present day Ireland, England and France, a people called the Celts lived and ruled. Can you imagine what life was like for those people? 2000 years ago, there was no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no phones or computers, no cars, no grocery stores? Life for these people was hard and they depended on Nature, as volatile as she can be, she is all they had and all they knew. So, the ending of summer was likened to the ending of human life. The bright, sunny, bountiful days of life and fun ended on October 31, and the onset of autumn, days shortened to long, dark nights of cold and scarcity of food began. What is now Halloween was originally called Samhain (sow-in) the Celtic new year.
The Celts believed on the day of Samhain the veil between the spirit world and the living world was the thinnest. They believed that the laws of time and space were suspended for a short period, allowing the spirit world to mingle with the living. It was believed that the spirits of the those who had died the previous year were in limbo and that they would come back on this night to possess the bodies of living people for the next year. Their belief was that by possessing another living, human was their only hope for an afterlife. Of course, the living did not want to be possessed and who would? So, they would extinguish their home fires, which would leave their homes cold and uninviting to roaming spirits. Then they would don various masks and costumes of the ghoulish and frightening type to parade around in and be as destructive as possible to scare away spirits looking for living bodies to possess.
Another tale revolving around the extinguishing of home fires was so that everyone could go and light a fire in unity — the Druidic Fire, which would be kept burning continuously in Usinach as a common source of protection. This night of Samhain was also believed the easiest of evenings for the Druids or Celtic Priests to make predictions about the future because of the close presence of the otherworldly spirits. For the Celts, a people in a land and time that depended so much on the laws of Mother Nature, these prophecies were most important in providing direction and comfort for the long, cold, dark winter ahead.
For a person thought already to be possessed by evil spirits, this night is when the Celts would burn these people at the stake. Hmmm, now that is a scary thought! This was thought to teach the spirits a lesson about what would happen to them should they decide to possess a living person.
Around 43 A.D., the Romans conquered the Celts, adopted Samhain and then meshed Samhain with their two holidays in October. Feralia, the passing of the dead; and Pomona, to honor the goddess of fruit and trees. The apple, being the symbol for Pomona, is thought to be the reason for the tradition of ‘bobbing for apples” or “apple paring fortune telling”.
The word Halloween comes from the Catholic church and is the corruption of All Hallows Eve, November 1, and All Hallows Day or All Saints Day, for the observance of all the saints in heaven. During the rule of the Romans, spirit possession belief on Halloween declined and the holiday became more of a ceremonial day with dressing up still included.
Early American settlers, who were mainly of the Protestant faith, did not condone Halloween very much. It was more celebrated in the southern New England colonies such as Maryland, where beliefs and customs from various European cultures and the American Indians meshed, and a distinct version of Halloween began to emerge. Halloween was then celebrated by “play parties,” which were community events, to celebrate harvest time with ghost stories, fortune telling and song and dance.
Trick or treating was not part of the Celtic traditions, but rather from 9th century Europeans, originally called “souling”. November 2, All Souls Day, was a day on which early Christians would go from village to village, door to door, begging for “soul cakes,” which were squares of bread and currant berries. The more soul cakes a beggar received, the more prayers they would pray for the donors’ deceased loved ones. The belief being that a soul walked in limbo immediately after death and all prayers, even from strangers, would help the soul into heaven.
The lighting and carving of pumpkins, or jack-o-lantern’s, originated from an Irish folk tale. The tale says a man named Jack, who was a drunkard and trickster, one day tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Once Satan was high in the tree, Jack carved the holy cross on the tree trunk, trapping Satan. He then made a deal with Satan that he would let Satan down if he promised to never tempt him again. Then, when Jack grew old and died, he was not allowed into heaven due to his evil ways, nor was he let into hell because of his trick on Satan. Instead, the devil gave him an ember to light his way in the cold dark. The ember was placed in a hollowed out turnip so that it would burn longer. The Irish used turnips for many years as their jack-o-lanterns. When the Irish began coming to America because of the potato famine in Ireland, they found that pumpkins were more bountiful in the new land than turnips. Thus began the use of hollowed out pumpkins as their jack-o-lanterns, which are still popular today.
Throughout the early 1800′s, American’s celebrated Halloween with singing, dancing, dressing up and parlor games. Young, single women at this time believed that on Halloween they could foretell their future husband’s name and appearance through tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors. Now that is an interesting way to find a man! Compared to online dating and blind dates, there can’t be much more of a margin of error! Something I might have to check out myself this Halloween!
By the late 1800′s, parents were encouraged to remove any ghoulish or frightening Halloween tales that were of superstitious or religious basis. Halloween had its own American ways now. Through the 1920′s and 1930′s, Halloween became a community celebration with parades and local parties; and vandalism started to become the rage instead of pranks. The baby boom during the 1950′s revived trick or treating. Because of the large number of children, this was a way to involve the community with each other. Town leaders got vandalism down to a limit and the holiday became a “children’s” holiday. In theory, tricks or pranks being played on families could be avoided by providing little treats for neighborhood children. A new American tradition was born and continues to grow today. Americans spend about $6.9 million dollars on the Halloween holiday, making it the 2nd largest American holiday.
So there it is the histor and mystery of Halloween. It is not a holiday born out of evil practices. It is not an evil day. It came from the Celtic celebration for New Year’s Day and medieval prayer rituals of the Europeans. The day, like any other, is only as good or evil as one makes it out to be.