Although Thanksgiving is a week past, I thought a gentle reminder that the gratitude and thankfullness towards and about everything in our lives stay in the front of our daily practices. This is no new thought but sometimes even I get caught up in the drama of daily life and let it suck me into a moment or two of whinning or complaining and thinking negative thoughts. I know it happens to you too! Instead of being hard on yourself for falling off the gratitude wagon just pull back, take a moment, say a prayer and be thankful for whatever is happening right then.
I can hear you saying now “Oh sure be thankful that I just got a speeding ticket, or my boss, husband, wife whoever just lit into me or is being a pain..” and I say” Yes. Be thankful for that.” Why? Because it is easy to be thankful for things, people, situations that are good but being thankful for not so good things can transform us.
Here is an example: A woman who was very unhappy at her job and with her life in general came to me for a coaching session. At our first meeting she complained about injustices done against her, her bad boss, her crappy pay etc. And while I did listen momentarily, I told her that I can coach you on getting out of this situation but first I would like for you to be thankful for all those ”things” you just told me about.
The look on her face was priceless!! LOL and hen she said “ What? Are you kidding?” ” No, I am not kidding” I said. I explained further; Be thankful that all this is happening because YOU are creating an experience to give your self permissioin to move on in life by creating negativity. At this point, two things happened:
1.) She realized and accepted that she is the only creator in her world and that she can re-create it
2.) She ”got” that by focusing on the negative she kept getting more of it.
Next I asked her what does she want? Get clear on what you want, be thankful for what you have created because good or bad the truth is you are not a victim you are the creator of your world and you can re-create it, again and again.
We worked together for the next 12 weeks, I helped her get clear on what she wanted, coached her step by step towards that goal, and in the end we celebrated together her new job with great pay and good people to work for and with.
What are you thankful for today?
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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.
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.