South Carolina

There are many differences from being in California and being in South Carolina. Some of them are mind bending, others are joyful and yet I find that there are many preconceived notions regarding both states and the people who live there. I have found it remarkable and I have decided to write a bit about it.

Last night I met a man that lives here in Myrtle Beach. He said he was originally from Lake City. According to him he has traveled the world. Regardless it struck me how his view of me being from California went.

First of all he could never remember my name, I always find this comical for some reason. You can see them struggling, grasping to find what they have lost in their mind. I have been there many times. He asked where I was from and I said California. As goes every conversation the next question was what part of California. Most people don’t grasp the enormity of the state and locations are just words that mean nothing. My answer is Southern California. I lived in the mountains near Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear area. Immediately I became the place because the rest of the evening he called me Big Bear. For whatever reason I found this humorous. Maybe it was because I was flat out tired and didn’t feel good. Who knows.

He asked me two questions that stuck with me. One was what will be your epithet when you die? What is it that you want on your headstone? Once I clarified that I had zero intention of having a headstone because my final resting place will be the ocean. I answered his question. I told him if I were to have a headstone the only thing besides the vital statistics I would want on it would be my favorite Bible Scripture. I know, I know, me? The Bible? It doesn’t really fit but hang in there for a moment and it will all make sense.

My life, my beliefs, are that we are here to love. We are here to learn to love unconditionally. I just recently had a beautiful conversation about this very thing with one of my dearest friends, Mel. So with that in mind, and believe me when I tell you that all of my life this has been the ONLY thing I have ever said I wanted on my headstone because over the years it is the one scripture that I carry in my heart all of the time, the bible scripture I would choose is:

1 Corinthians 13:13

“Now abide faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.”

That’s it. That is my guiding light all of the time. It is how I try to live my life. It is who I am, in one complete sentence. Do I always succeed? No! I keep loving though and I hold that scripture close. It has gotten me through many days in my life and I imagine it will never change.

His second question threw me for a loop though. Actually it took me by surprise. His next question was “Coming from California do you find South Carolinians ignorant?” Really I was taken aback. I think I was so stunned that I had to take a moment to catch my breath.

There are a lot of preconceived notions about the Southern States and the people who live here. It makes no difference where you live you will hear people talk about Southern people.

My answer was not anymore so than what I saw in California as there is ignorance everywhere you go. He didn’t respond to that and the conversation ended at that point. It didn’t leave my head though. I have heard many different comments since being here. I have laughed many times because I can tell you that the people here also have preconceived notions on Californians.

Here is the thing though, people, no matter where they are from always think they know what other places and people are like. We walk in thinking we know. Sometimes we are open enough to allow ourselves to find out differently and other times we are so closed off that we are going to find exactly what we believe to prove our point.

Here is what I have found about South Carolina and the people who live here. I will share some preconceived notions that I have heard before and what I have seen with my own eyes and heart.

  1. Preconceived notion: All southern people are racists.  – My findings: There are many people here who are openly racist. They will tell you they are racist. Yet, they are not all racist. The majority of people I have met don’t dislike people because of their color as much as they dislike them for who they are. If you are an asshole they will call you on it right there. They will dislike you for your actions much quicker than they will for your color. So I find the preconceived notion incorrect.

The racism in this country is a central conversation in our nation and yet I believe that it is no more rampant here than anywhere else. I have seen all colors co-existing with little problem here. The language here is much different, less politically correct, than in California but with that said the language here, no matter how offensive it is to my senses at times, is more honest than what I have seen in California. In California we go out of our way not to offend anyone. Here they don’t. Which is more honest?

2. Preconceived notion: All southern people are ignorant. – My findings: Just as anywhere, and as I stated above, there is ignorance everywhere. Who am I to judge another? I can tell you that I have had some very intelligent conversations with the people here. They are funny, kind, intelligent, caring and giving. Many attributes that many elsewhere are lacking. You hear about southern hospitality all of the time and maybe instead of trying to find why there is something wrong with the south we should be taking lessons on how to be hospitable from them because they have that down better than the majority. Southern people are not ignorant.

They have their opinions. They share their thoughts openly. Yet, for the most part, you can disagree with them and they don’t get angry. They may think you are just that hippy from California who needs to get a grip but ultimately they will accept you just as you are. They listen with an open heart and they are passionate about what they believe yet they are accepting of you regardless of your own beliefs. There are great lessons there to be had if you are willing to learn.

The things that I have found here have been remarkable in the fact that the majority of the people I have met are genuinely caring and concerned for your well being. They will go out of their way to make sure you are alright. I am use to the California way of ignoring those around you. Most often you can stand next to someone for a long while and never speak a word to them and vise versa. Not here. You will have a conversation with just about every single person you see if you are open to it.

There is a lot of history here. Each state has it’s own. Some embrace that history and continue to live it, others strive to make life better than the history they carry. Either way the people here are beautiful people. They show love and compassion even when they are telling you how wrong you are. It is a beauty in motion if you really think about it. To have that passion. To know your own mind and yet be willing to accept another for who they are even when you don’t agree with them is pure beauty.

I have chosen to not engage in any political conversations because honestly our politics are such a mess that it has divided our country. I refuse to engage because I personally find nothing worth talking about anymore. Why create chaos when you can’t change it? Bad attitude or Reality? You choose. Either way I won’t engage.

All I can tell you at this point is that if you are basing your opinion of a place on what you hear then you need to get out and meet the people. You will be pleasantly surprised if you have an open heart and choose not to judge others.

I live by a non judgement stance. You have the right to your thoughts, way of being and how you live your life as do I. We don’t have to agree. There are many people I disagree with but I choose to look past our disagreements and love them because that is their world and in my world I choose to love the person not the choices they make. I work diligently to be non judgmental because I have not lived their life and I have no right to tell them what they should or shouldn’t believe. This is a constant regardless of what state I find myself in.

Ultimately I find the south a beautiful place to be. The people and the land offer more beauty, change and growth than I could have ever hoped to have and for that I will always be grateful.

Blessings,

Sage

 

 

Gratitude is an Attitude

I am sure that some of you have noticed that there haven’t been any posts here lately. Much of that has to do with the fact that I was in process. In process of moving. In process of traveling across the country. In process of finding my footing. I can’t say that I have accomplished the last one but it is slowly happening.

Over the last 8 weeks there have been many changes in my life. I am no longer in California but rather in South Carolina. I have a place to live and I have made new friends as well as re-established old connections.

To be perfectly honest with you it has been a roller coaster. Leaving your comfort zone always is. I left my family, my son, my kids as well as some very dear friends. I have been asked what I was running from a few times and my answer is always the same, I am not running from anything, I am running to a new life. Will I find what my soul yearns for here? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not, but I am here for a reason, even if I haven’t figured out exactly what that reason is, yet.

One thing I do know is that healing is a focus for me here. I am literally a block away from the ocean. The ocean is and always has been my healing place. Being here soothes my soul, standing on Her shores makes it soar.

There have been many trials since arriving here. Some I have gracefully flowed through and others I have struggled with deep within. All of them have helped me grow and clarify what I do and don’t want. It is a beautiful thing even when it seems to dark to see the light.

Through everything (some of which I will write about in another post) the one thing that I have found is that you can find gratitude in every single situation. No matter how bad things seem there is always something to be grateful for.

I have gotten to the point where each morning when I awaken I say thank you for another day. Come what may I am still here. I am still breathing. I am still able to think, laugh, cry and be me. Not everyone will have this opportunity today so I am grateful that I do.

When you stop and look you can see other things to be grateful for. I find the thunderstorms here in South Carolina a blessing. They cleanse my soul. I can hear the thunder roaring and watch the lightening flash and many times it is in sync with how I feel inside, this allows me to acknowledge the roaring within and when the rain begins I can let it flow out and away. I am grateful that I have found yet another way to flow with nature. It is a beautiful thing.

When I walk outside and look up I see blue skies or a cloud full of gorgeous clouds, either way there is beauty. This morning I walked out and the leaves in the tree in my backyard were moving rather frantically and as I looked up I saw a squirrel running across the limb of the tree. It reminded me this morning to face life with a playful attitude. I was grateful for the reminder.

My friends here have brought a myriad of joy. When I walk in I am received with smiles, hugs and love. For each of these encounters I am grateful. They have gotten me through some rough days.

I could easily focus on the things I have lost. I could easily focus on the people I miss. I miss many people, terribly. Instead I am choosing to focus on the beauty of the love that these beautiful people shared with me and continue to share with me even from afar.

My point here is that where you put your focus, matters. In every day you can find a way to be grateful. Whether it is in the weather, friends, the fact that you are here, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can choose. What will you choose today? Will you choose to be grateful or will you choose to stay focused on the things that are making your life difficult? Change that energy, embrace the beauty and love those you have with you and watch your world change. I am, each and every day.

Many Blessings,

Sage

My heart in Texas

Shattered heart. Broken woman. Lost in darkness. Grief stricken. Tired. Strong. Weak. No hope. No dreams. No trust.

These are all the things that I have felt and been this last year. Yet, here I stand. Finding a new way of being. Here I stand looking for a new tomorrow. Here I am living in the moment. There is pain. I will not say otherwise. There is doubt. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Sometimes seeing that hope and feeling it is the scariest thing on earth. If you have no hope you can’t be hurt. If you have no hope you can just get through and not have to worry about anyone or anything. If you have no hope you are existing, not living.

My heart has been broken so many times over the last 30 years that there are times I wonder how it can feel anything. There is always pain. There is always hurt. Finding happiness and joy is something I generally don’t expect, yet, I strive for it. I yearn for it. I pray for it. When it shows up I celebrate it. It isn’t often and when I feel it I revel in it. I bask in it’s light. My life has been filled with grief for so long that I wouldn’t know how to exist without it. I would really like to find out but I have a feeling that it is here to stay. I have had to befriend it just to breathe. The beauty of grief is that it is a great teacher. It teaches you to appreciate every moment. It teaches you that nothing is permanent, everything changes, in a blink of an eye. It teaches you that life is short and you are here for only a short time so you better make the most of the life you have.

A year ago my heart was shattered. I had no hope. I could no longer dream. I was buried in darkness and couldn’t find a way out of it. Grief became my best friend. Grief almost destroyed me. I felt as though I couldn’t take one more loss. You see over the last 30 years I have grieved, non stop. First it was the loss of my sons, having to start life over, losing that start and going home only to have my grandmother die, another start, then the death of my daughter and loss of my marriage, another beginning to face, so many friends that I can give you their names by the order that they died, another start, the loss of my dad, father in law, my “other” dad and my husband, 14 deaths in the last 6 years. Another start. To be honest I am tired.

I needed a change. I needed to find a connection. I needed to rejuvenate and find my place in this world. I planned my journey. Obstacle after obstacle appeared. They are still showing up. Then I felt the need to be the friend I wish I had, had this last year and I came to Texas. For the first time in years I felt joy. Along with that joy there has been a lot of pain. A lot of letting go. A lot of doubt. A lot of being unsure of myself. A lot of life.

The land here has spoken so deeply that each day I am amazed at the beauty in the sky, the earth beating beneath my feet, the life that pulses through even among the concrete. I find myself dazed many times. Just standing in amazement at the beauty of this place. I have yet to find words to describe it, yet, it fills my heart fully. The thought of leaving brings tears to my eyes, a crack to my voice and feeling of extreme loss.

The people here, the people of Texas. They are open, kind, warm. They have welcomed me as one of their own and I feel very much at home with them. I have made some beautiful friendships that I know will last the rest of my days on this earth.

In the short time I have been here I have found love, not the all engulfing, can’t live without you love of a partner, but rather a love that fills my being with hope. I gave up on hope a long time ago. I quit dreaming. Now, well now I have glimpses of hope, it isn’t long lasting, something always makes me dash it because to hope means I have to believe in another and I have a hard time with that. I just can’t put my heart in the hands of another because doing so means that I have to trust them and trust does not come easy for me. If I trust you enough to share my world with you then you have to be someone very special and there are very few that I feel that way about. Yet, there are glimpses of hope. There are moments of dreaming.

For me, the hope and dreaming means that I am healing. I may back up and step away. I may walk away and throw that hope and that dream away, I have done so many times since being here. Each time a piece of my heart is ripped open again, but for me, it is a sign that I am healing. It is a sign that someday I will no longer have a shattered heart and I will be able to hope and dream without feeling the acute pain of loss. That day isn’t here. The pain I feel in this moment, in the last 3 weeks has been great. Someday. Believing someday it will be, means that there is a sliver of hope telling me that there is healing happening. It is a beautiful way of being. Hope is here, healing is happening, and fear is fading.

This place, these people, they have opened my heart, it will be hurt, that I have no doubt about, it already has been, but the gift they have brought to my life is the true heart of healing. Love, they have given me love and in the process they have offered me hope. The journey to self is long and arduous, finding healing is a gift that is greater than any pain. Here I have found the beginning of that healing. Here I have felt joy. Here I have felt acute pain and I didn’t go to that deep darkness, instead I just kept holding on and I found solace in the land and sky. Here the sky brings comfort and the land reminds me that I am still alive and I need to live the time I have left with all of my being. Here I have found gratitude for the life that I have been given, pain and all. Here I am finding life over death again. Here I am blessed. Thank you Texas – both land and people you have helped me find a piece of me I had forgotten about. Thank you for the love!

 

 

Counting Blessings

My life is blessed. It is far from perfect. Just as everyone else in this world there are trials and tribulations. Things happen that rock my world. Things that hurt so deep that I wonder if I will ever recover. When I look at the larger picture though I know that my life is blessed.

I have love in my life. My family is there no matter what ups and downs I face. I have friends, real friends, the kind of friends that no matter what time night or day I need them, they are there. Bumps in the road do not deter them. They are always there and vice versa.

I have a roof over my head. I have food for my body. I have my beliefs and my path that bring me peace. I may cry and I may hurt but always I have the knowledge that when the world seems upside down it is because something great is on it’s way. I will persevere. I will survive.

There is nobody alive that has not faced hurt. There is nobody alive that has not faced trials. Our record for getting through it all is 100% thus far.

A bad day does not mean a bad life. A difficult year does not mean several difficult years. It just means that life will be a bit rocky for a while and climbing the mountains in front of you just means when you get to the top the view will be beautiful.

So as I work through the trials. As I work through the pain of loss and the lesson of letting go I grasp onto my faith and knowledge that this too shall pass. Lessons tend to repeat themselves until they are learned. All I can hope is that this lesson, the lesson of loving, losing and having to let go is done repeating itself. It is getting old and I am getting tired of the lesson. Do you ever get to that point? The point where you say “enough already I get it!?” I am there.

This time it will take me time to recover. I don’t love lightly. To give my heart is something I have yet to learn to avoid. I never want to. I can’t be anyone but who I am and because of that I grieve those I lose, whether they walk away or die, loss is loss and grieving is grieving. My time to grieve is not over. I still have more to learn. In the process I will work to deepen my connection with Spirit and move on in life with the sole focus of achieving my dreams and staying on my path.

Yes, my life is blessed. I am loved. As the losses mount up I am reminded that life is to short not to live it. Live fully, love wholly and be you always.

In Her Service,

Sage

Allowing Life

It has been a year since Mike passed away. This last week has been a week of reflection. Where did I change? What perspectives have shifted? How is my life different than it was? The list is endless when it comes to the questions that I ask myself. For me these questions are necessary to keep moving forward. I am not good with staying stagnant and I am always looking for where I am, in this moment, and why I feel the way that I do about anything that comes up. It is one of the ways I keep myself in check and aware of my own way of being.

Sometimes asking the hard questions brings up things that I don’t much feel like facing. I know that not facing them keeps them hidden in the shadow and growth is in the shadows of life. So many just don’t face their shadows. So many just take their thoughts and ways of being as “just who they are” and they never change that because it is their comfort zone. Living in your comfort zone is a nice place to be but it doesn’t seem to help me grow much so I try really hard to step out of it as often as possible.

Anyway, a couple of things that I have seen and learned this last year are things that I knew but had pushed to the back. Most are related to relationships. I am good with relationships as long as I don’t have to pursue them. I am not good at pursuing people I figure if they want me in their lives they know where I am.

One of the things that came forward is that no matter how much you think you love someone if it is not returned you are fighting a losing battle. You can’t make someone love you. Why would you want to? If it doesn’t flow freely why do you want it in your life? Many times when you are pursuing someone you are pursing what you imagine it will be like and not facing the reality of what it is.

Sometimes leaving someone you loved in the past is best left in the past. People change and not always for the better. Some people stay right where they were when you knew them and never move forward. Life knocks them down and they turn ugly and bitter. They stay knocked down. They can’t find the strength to get back up. It is not a pretty sight but you can’t fix them. You can offer them a hand but they don’t have to take it and when they don’t you have to let go or they will pull you down there with them. Letting go sucks but it is a part of this world we live in.

Another thing I have learned is that sometimes you have to put your dreams on hold. You face obstacle after obstacle and you know that this is showing you that the timing is all wrong. I am there. I know what I am suppose to do but life keeps throwing one obstacle after another in my way so I have to keep climbing over and getting through all of the obstacles.  It is alright because when the time is right, when I finally get through all of the obstacles I know that the journey will be there waiting for me. In many ways, I look at the obstacles as part of my journey. You see I have to face the fears, find the trust and walk through the obstacles before I can get to what I look at as my journey. That means that I am on a journey within a journey and nothing will be a waste of time. I know that it will be better than I ever dreamed and I know that I will then be right where I am suppose to be. For now I am biding my time, doing what I need to do and seeing where it is taking me in the future. Obstacles are temporary set backs but they are not permanent deterrents.

Nothing in this world is permanent. You can plan your life yet that doesn’t mean that life will adhere to your plans. How many times do you wake up in the morning with a list of things that you need to get done and half way through your day a wrench is thrown into the mix and you aren’t able to stay the course? This is life. It is never going to be exactly as we plan and in many ways that is a beautiful thing.

I think about all of the plans I have made in my life that didn’t happen. I didn’t plan on having anymore children after my third son was born and yet I had a beautiful daughter and my darling son. I didn’t plan on having my only daughter die, instead she was suppose to be my last, if she had been then Jeremy wouldn’t be here and I honestly can’t imagine my life without my son.

I didn’t plan on ever having to bury my husband. We were suppose to grow old together. Sit on the front porch and watch our grandchildren grow up. We were suppose to have a lifetime of memories to share with our kids and leave for our grandchildren. We were suppose to love each other until we were old and senile. Now I find myself alone. He is gone and I am left to figure life out again. I didn’t plan this. He was suppose to me my last love. This is not how we planned our lives. Those plans are gone and so is that life.

We plan and the Universe laughs. So what do I learn from this? How do I find a life without plans? How do I just let it all go and see what happens? This is not how the world works right? We always have to plan. Well the last year has taught me that planning is of no use, at least not in my life, all I can do is let it all go. Be where I am led to be when I am led to be there and allow life to happen. It has been an interesting way of being. What are you doing Monday? I have no idea. What are you doing next month? Hmm, let me get back to you.

I imagine that allowing life to flow, following the Universe’s lead and going where I am led to go will lead me to the life I am dreaming of. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but me. All I know for today is that life is a roller coaster and I am along for the ride. When I slide into my final base I hope that I have someone standing next to me, laughing and saying thanks that was one hell of a ride. I know that somewhere out in this world there is someone dreaming of me just as I am dreaming of him. Life is to short to be alone forever and we all need someone to laugh with.  So go out and love and allow yourself to be loved. It is what life is all about. Throw the plans away and just allow!

 

In Her Service,

Sage

 

 

Stepping Out Of Our Comfort Zones

My son, Jeremy, taught me a very valuable lesson this week. He doesn’t know it but he did. You see he was homeschooled and because of that he had to get his GED. He went to school for the testing before Mike became sick. That is going on well over a year and a half now. It came time for his testing and he was unsure of himself. Especially with his math. He doesn’t like math and it is his weakest subject. He was sure he would fail the test and even after taking it he was sure he had failed. He was none to pleased with himself. I kept telling him he could do it, that I had faith in him, but he didn’t have faith in his ability. He did it anyway. He took the tests. He stepped out of his comfort zone and didn’t delay taking the test. He knew if he failed he would be able to retake the test but he wanted to pass them all the first time. He passed! He passed all of his tests! I am extremely proud of him.

The lesson he taught me though was that no matter how unsure, or how sure, you are stepping up and stepping out of your comfort zone may not be easy but it is well worth the risk.

You see, I know that I have been called on this journey. I know that I have to leave. Regardless of how it turns out, whether I have to come back home, the point is that I have to trust. I have had a lot of issues with trusting people for many years. I trust me but I have made a million mistakes in my life and sometimes I will back away from what I know I should be doing because I don’t trust myself enough to know that what I am knowing is a sure thing.

I am one of those people that believes that some things happen to delay you from something that you think you need to do only to point you in a new direction. That is what I believe has happened here. I was determined to head a specific way and then everything was delayed. I believe that there was good reason for the delay and I now find myself heading in a direction that I would never have anticipated. I have a renewed excitement. I can’t wait to leave.

Yet, I have worried about all of the things that are still unresolved here at home. It hit me last night and again this morning that I need to step out and step up and trust that everything is working out the way it is suppose to. Me staying here isn’t fulfilling what I have been called to do and me leaving will. If I leave with unresolved issues I have to trust that they will be resolved because I am suppose to go. So I am going.

So to my son, Thank You for the lesson. You are an inspiration to me. Sometimes we just have to step out of our comfort zones and let things be what they will knowing that one way or another it all works out in the end.

In Her Service,

Sage

New Normal

It has been 5 years now since my dad died. I cannot begin to tell you how hard his death was. I was devastated when he died. He was my hero. Since his death I have lost my father in law, aunt, cousin and ultimately my best friend my husband Mike.

One of the most important things I learned when my dad died was that waiting for “normal” to return was futile. I kept waiting for things to get back on an even keel. For life to show me some sort of resemblance to what it had been. Then one morning I was blessed to actually hear the words “this is your new normal.” It was life changing.

When we have life changing events happen, a death of a loved one, a divorce, an accident, it doesn’t matter what the event is, it changes our lives. We often wait for our lives to get back to normal. What we don’t see at the time is that our lives are now presenting us with our “new normal.” We never get to go back to the way things were before the event. It is a hard pill to swallow most of the time. It is heart breaking. We crave the normal that we knew. As humans we are not good with change. We are creatures of comfort.

I was very fortunate that I learned this lesson when my dad died. I am not sure I would have been as prepared as I was when Mike passed without this lesson. You see there are many things that shift and change when your spouse dies. It is different than any other death you have been through. All of a sudden your life as you knew it is no longer. You no longer have that person to talk to, to turn to when you are happy, sad, angry or any other emotion you can think of. When you crawl in bed at night there is an emptiness that is indescribable. You are use to having your person there and all of a sudden there is no snoring, no breathing noises to lull you to sleep. The world is different. You adjust, no doubt, but knowing that this is your new normal helps alleviate some of the waiting for things to return to what they were.

We don’t necessarily have to like the new normal that we find ourselves in. Embracing it gives us the opportunity to move forward. It isn’t always easy and there are days when it seems impossible. You take one step forward and three steps back but the next day is a new day and you awaken and try again.

We move forward whether we want to or not. Life continues to go on. The birds still sing. The sun still rises and sets. We still continue to breathe and we live. The alternative is not an option so embracing the life we have and finding a new comfort zone is what we strive for. As we do so we create our new normal and somewhere in that normal we find laughter, love, yearning and life again. There is always sadness but we befriend our grief and live again.

Finding your new normal does not mean you ever forget. You never forget what came before, you just accept that your life has changed and what was is no longer. You have changed, your life has changed and the future you once dreamed of has changed. It is alright, you will dream a new future. You will live your life and move on, you just won’t forget what was.

Have you found your new normal? It is this journey we call life and at some point we will all face finding it. May your “new normal” bring you solace and happiness.

In Her Service,

Sage

Spiritual Disconnect

Turtle

 

Recently this picture was posted in a group I am in.  As a response a member asked (paraphrased) if the reason that people in the U.S. are emotionally and spiritually bereft due to what our Ancestors did to the Native Americans.  This got me thinking on why people in the U.S. are so disconnected from Spirit.  I am not discounting the history of our Ancestors.  There is a lot of hurt and pain in their actions that we have to live with but ultimately I feel that there are several reasons that we are disconnected and here I will address a few of them.

1) We live and walk on concrete and asphalt.  We wear rubber soles on our feet.  We are surrounded by buildings and artificial light.  We very seldom feel Pachamama (Earth) under our feet.  We do not feel Her rhythm or heartbeat.  We do not see the sun rise or set.  We are disconnected from the very planet we live on.

2) We are always trying to obtain “more,” we are very seldom just satisfied with what we have and even less grateful.

3) We have no rituals from our homelands.  We are disconnected from any ritualistic ways that our Ancestors may have had.  The rituals we now have focus on work and obtainment not on the land and appeasing the Gods.  Any rituals that our Ancestors had were destroyed by religions that did not want us to know about them.  We find through archaeology some of the things that our Ancestors did by piecing the artifacts together but very few true rituals exist today unless we had a grandparent that carried them forward and few did!

4) We have no ceremonies.  We celebrate holidays with an abundance of food and family but most ceremonies to honor are gone.  The current ceremony is watching the game of whichever sporting event is on during the family get together.  There is little honoring going on and most have forgotten what the meaning of the holiday is.  If you are not a Christian then most of the holidays celebrated in the U.S. are not significant to you as the majority are based on the happenings of Jesus.

If you are pagan you know that the majority of these holidays were taken and changed to fit the story that is told by the church.  There are many similarities but things have been changed enough that the ceremonies once practiced are no longer in full form so we recreate to honor our beliefs.  As honorable as this is and as necessary as it is for those of us walking alternative paths we still miss the connection with our Ancestors because it was not their ways.  We can only continue to work at the connection and follow their lead when we are creating ceremony to ensure that they are included.

5) Lack of prayer!  Most people pray for things, for miracles, for money, for whatever item they feel they can’t live without today.  Prayer has turned into a pleading rather than a conversation with Spirit. Any thankfulness is an after thought rather than a forethought.

The majority of people do not walk in prayer.  Prayer is there to fulfill a need not to communicate with the Gods/Spirit.

I believe that our Ancestors walked in prayer.  They believed they were at the mercy of the Gods and made offerings to stay in their good graces.  They made offerings to the dead knowing that the dead were still available in their realm. They made offerings in thankfulness and in hopes that they would be blessed. They were blessed because they were thankful.  Their offerings were given from the heart.  Things that meant something to them.  Not things that they ran to the store and bought!

Now, most bury their dead and forget about them.  They don’t feel the connection to them because they do not honor them in anyway.

6) The disconnection of the land is profound.  We no longer know where our food comes from let alone what is in it or how it is made.

Microwaves have replaced cooking.

Televisions have replaced dinner tables where families sat and shared their days.

Our Ancestors cooked their meals, they planted their food and killed their animals for meat, clothing, utensils and many other items they would use throughout the year.

7)  We live in a disposable society.  Nothing is made to last.  We have significant waste.  Something breaks and we buy a new one.  We want for nothing.  We buy food and don’t eat it so we throw it away.  We are not invested in the production so we have no qualms in the tossing out of things.

8) Our survival is not dependent on others.  We no longer depend on a tribe of people to survive or do their part.  The majority feel that their survival depends on how much money they make and what they can afford.  No longer do we have to depend on others to help us get through a rough winter or stock the cabinet with food to get us through the dark months of the year.  Now we can go to the grocery store and buy what we need whenever we need it.  Sick?  You don’t need a Shaman and the Spirits to heal you, instead you go see a doctor.

9)  We no longer see the person sitting next to us as connected to us.  There is hatred and discrimination based on religion, color, sex – anything “different” than what we view as “us.”

We hate over politics.

We hate over religion.

We hate over social classes.

We hate over skin color.

We hate over what we call foreigners.

We hate over sexual preference.

We look at others as being “less than” and hate when someone is “needy.”

Hatred begets anger, anger begets hatred, it is a vicious cycle and all of it stems from judgment and a perspective of self against the world.  If someone isn’t like us we hate, we judge, we don’t understand their ways so they have to be wrong.

10) Lack of communication – We live in an age of technology where we have the opportunity to reach millions yet we don’t know how to communicate.

We start with our own judgments and we voice our opinions based on our perspective at that moment in time.  The problem comes in when someone disagrees with us.  We do not keep an open heart and approach differing opinions with love and listening.  Instead we take offense and immediately find that person offensive.  We become angry and divisive.  We have lost the ability to listen to others because the world revolves around “me” and “my opinion.”

We no longer lead with our hearts.  We do not walk in compassion.  Everything is based on logic and the brain and what we “think” we know.  In turn no matter what the other is saying we can twist it to what we believe it to be.  Our media does this daily and we follow suit.

None of these things happened over night.  They have been years in the making. We are the only ones that can change our perspectives.  We are the only ones that can create the change we are seeking.  We start with our connection to Spirit/God/Goddess and we slowly build upon it.  These are just a few things off of the top of my head that seem very obvious to me so I tend to find it surprising that so many don’t see them.  Hopefully, something here struck a cord and your perspective has changed a bit by reading this.

Can you think of other ways we have become disconnected? I would love to hear your thoughts!

In Her Service,

Sage

I Am Weary

I am tired. Actually the word I think I am looking for is weary. I am weary. For several months now I have been working on getting everything in order to leave. It has been a lot of work. It has been an emotional ride. One that has taken me to places within that I never thought I would go. This last week has been really tough. It has brought more loss and more questions. Questions that I have no answers to. I find it difficult when I have more questions than answers. It makes me feel chaotic within.

I feel very disconnected at the moment. Maybe it is due to all of the retrogrades going on. Mercury in retrograde always messes with me. It started today and will stay there until May 22. Besides the outer manifestation of this planet being in retrograde I always find myself going deep within and finding the self reflection of everything going on in life. Generally, I end up changed because my perspective gets shifted and life becomes new again. Maybe this is what is happening now. I really don’t know but am hoping that this is what it is.

My life has always been about being responsible. I am the oldest of 4, actually 6 but that is another story, I grew up being the oldest of 4. I always took care of my 3 siblings. I went from that to marriage, kids, and more of being responsible. Over the last 43 years everything has been about being a responsible person, sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I failed but it has always been the focus of my world. Today, I just want to not be responsible for anyone or anything other than myself. Today, I just want to disappear and never have to worry about being responsible again. I know this is not an option but it is how I feel. I am tired of being responsible. I am weary of life itself.

My decision to leave has hurt some. Those that love me most. They don’t understand and in turn have chosen to take it personally. It hurts my heart and makes me angry at the same time. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. I was trying to find a way to live my life, to heal my own pain, to move forward. It wasn’t an easy decision but it was one that I felt I needed to make. I have stayed in a place I have hated all of my life for the very people who are now upset and feel betrayed that I am leaving. Somehow betraying myself is better for them so I should continue to do so. It hurts me deeply. It also makes me deeply angry. Angry at the selfishness of it all. Angry that I am left feeling as though I have done something wrong because I made a choice for me. I am working on my anger over it all but honestly I do not know that my feelings of needing to be selfish for myself will change anytime soon. I know deep in my soul that I need this change, even if my head is making me question every little thing.

As it stands right now, in this moment, my trip has been delayed. I had hoped to leave early and that did not work out. I focused on the actual target date and that is not working out either. Now I am looking at next month. My guess is that it will be after Mercury goes direct on May 22nd. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and see which road you are suppose to take. Right now I am working towards following my dream but allowing life to happen and unfold as it is meant to. I am weary, I do not know where I am going but I know when I get there it will be fabulous. My heart hurts, my head is filled with unknowns, my body is yearning and my life is unfolding as it should even if I don’t understand it all in this moment. I am trusting that Spirit knows what is next and will tell me when the time is right. Until then I dive deeply within and try and figure out all of this chaos that is swirling about.

 

Hugs

Do you ever have a day where something shifts? Where you know that your heart just took a giant leap and your perspective has changed, forever?

A couple of weeks ago I was meeting my friend Raven in the parking lot at the post office. I had my son, Jeremy and soul son Kity with me. As usual we all stood in the parking lot talking. I had packages to mail and things to drop off for Raven so once business was taken care of and we had finished our visit we were all hugging each other good-bye.

Hugs, I am one of those touchy, feely, huggy, type of people. I am a believer that there is nothing more healing than the touch of someone who cares for you. A hug can make a lot of pain just disappear. A hug can change the whole energy of one’s day. Hugs, they should be what makes the world go around.

So back to our hugging each other good-bye. We had completed our hugs and were headed to our perspective vehicles when this woman spoke up. She said “Are those hugs for anyone?” I said, “Of course!” and immediately I turned around and headed straight to her. I gave her a huge hug and before you knew it there stood Raven, Jeremy and Kity standing in line to share their hugs with her too. You could tell that it meant a lot to her. She proceeded to tell me that she had been a widow for 30 years and that her kids and grandkids were not huggers. She missed having hugs. I gave her another hug and said good bye. Wished her well and got into my car.

Today, I met Raven for lunch, next to the post office. As I was pulling out of the parking lot I thought of that lady. I had just spent several minutes hugging my friend and telling her how much I am going to miss her. For me, hugging is a part of who I am. I can’t imagine my life without hugs. Seriously, I meet someone and I hug them. Obviously, if I am doing business and a hug is not appropriate I will shake a hand but hugs are the ticket for this girl when at all possible.

I was thinking of this lady in the parking lot. I understand how hard it is to have your spouse die. I understand how empty one feels inside when you roll over in bed and there is nobody there to hold. I understand how awkward it is to reach for a hand that is no longer there. I understand. Life changes. In ways that until you have lived through it you just don’t understand. You miss the knowing looks, smiles, the slight touch of a hand, and hugs.

This lady made me realize how blessed I am. I have a lot of people in my life that are huggers. I can’t imagine not hugging those that I love but more importantly I can’t imagine feeling like my family and friends didn’t want to hug me. I can’t imagine how lonely one must feel that you feel the need to ask a complete stranger for a hug. I can’t imagine. To me the thought is heartbreaking.

This whole thought process has taken me weeks to digest. I see so much ugliness and bitterness in the world we live in but alongside of that I see a lot of love too. This whole thing made me once again realize that I never know what another’s story is and how their path has led them to the place they are today.

So in closing I thought I would share my thoughts on all of this. There is a lot of sadness, bitterness and loneliness in this world. Some people have closed themselves off to experiencing the beauty in the world we live in. What is needed more than anything is for us to meet people exactly where they are in this moment in time.

We do not need them to be the people we want them to be, we need them to be them. We need to accept others right where they are. They have their stories, their pains, their own horrors just like we do and yet they, too, are still standing.

Maybe a bit more bent. Maybe they have built walls around themselves so they can hide from others (I am a firm believer that we humans build walls without realizing that we are not keeping others out but rather barricading ourselves in), maybe they are afraid to open up because they don’t want to be hurt again, maybe they are filled with fear, there are a million maybe’s but ultimately what matters is that we love and accept them just as they are in this moment in time. No expectations. No desires to change them. Just meet them where they are.

Next thing you know they will be greeting you with a hug. Why? Because hugs should be making the world go around and by loving them just as they are you are showing them that they are perfect just as they are in this moment in time.

In Her Service,

Sage