Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A New Decade, A New Beginning

Hello my Friends!

We are entering a new decade! Can you remember what you were doing at this time back in 2010? I can! I was revamping myself. I'd just been through the toughest nine years of my life, recovering from burnout. I was battling depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder for so many years. I still deal with those things but overall I have them managed. (I don't believe these mental health disorders are every cured).

Summerside Harbour, PEI (2010)

I took this photo on January 3rd 2010. I was living on Prince Edward Island. I remember this day like it happened yesterday. I was having a severe panic attack and I jumped into my car at seven in the morning. I ran to the beach and jogged along the shore for what seemed like hours. It was probably about 10 minutes. I was only wearing my pajamas. During a panic attack, one doesn't think! I was all alone, the ocean wind was bone chilling. I remember getting down on my knees and shouting out for help as tears fell down my frozen cheeks. As I knelt there, I started to listen to the waves, feel the sand beneath me, feel that biting wind on my face. 

That was when I had my epiphany! Nobody can help me but ME. 

Summerside PEI Sunset (2010)

The sunset that evening was beyond beautiful. I realized that much of the time I suffered was necessary to grieve the abusive upbringing, the betrayals, the deaths and the failures. But I also realized it was enough. I knew that I had to get off my meds, get my life back and move ahead in my healing. Nine years of therapy wasn't doing much; nor was visiting a doctor who basically whipped out the prescription pad. I'd been moving around a lot at that point, but I decided it was time to nest a little bit.

Spencer and Winston

So that spring, I packed my beloved (late) pugs into my car and headed back to the Laurentian mountains to start all over.

My "Therapy" Chair!

I spent a lot of time on this bench near "Big Dear Lake". I thought about forgiveness (what it really means), about how life is so short, about time wasted, regrets...though I spent (spent $$) nine years in therapy, the most significant healing I experienced was sitting on that bench by the lake. The healing that I needed was within me and Nature brought it out. ❤️

The Twins (2011)

I thought about my spirituality. I thought about what makes me feel passionate. I tried new hobbies, I developed a love for photography, I developed a special love for Nature and all critters in the woods and waters. I dabbled in painting and writing and poetry. I'd lost nearly 100 pounds that I'd put on due to the meds I was taking. I was finally feeling so happy, grounded and at peace! I was in great shape physically, mentally and emotionally. It took me so many long years to go from feeling extremely desperate and suicidal to feeling happy in my own skin.

Life wasn't always good, but it is now. If you're going through a hard time, have faith, it WILL get better! Make the choice TODAY to do everything in your power to be HAPPY! And if you're not ready, take your time, but don't make the mistake I did - don't get into a COMFORTABLE RUT. My biggest regret is losing nearly 20 years of my life to negativity, pain and depression. If I'd known better, I wouldn't have wasted all of that time. Pull yourself out! Life is way too short!!

Love you all! xxx

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ask Yourself One Question Today

Christmas Morning 2019

What is the one thing I can start doing or stop doing that would have the biggest impact in my life?

It's an interesting question and a very simple one as well; but the answer could make a huge difference for you! I pondered this question over the last few days because I really felt like something was missing from my life. I also felt like I was spreading myself too thin.

I'm making some changes for myself that will be very healthy for me. I'm going to spend more time developing my skills as an artist, writer and photographer. I'm going to focus on quality, not quantity. I have a few ideas for a home business and I've been procrastinating a little due to lack of organization - I didn't know where to start! But I'm buckling down because I want to have things in place by the end of 2020 to launch my new business ideas.

I'm going to spend less time doing things that I feel are 1- time-wasters, 2 - things I feel obliged to do and 3 - things that produce anxiety for me. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we fall into roles - roles we think we should be falling into naturally; or because society taught us that that's what we should be doing. I've spent a lot of time on people and projects that are just going nowhere so it's time to put a stop to that and focus on areas where I shine. 🌞 

What about you? Is there some meaningful change you can implement that will have a positive effect on your life and for your future?

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Celebrating A New Solar Year

A Glorious Sunrise on Winter Solstice Morning 2019
Happy Yule Friends! A Blessed Solstice to you!

I woke up to a beautiful scene this morning. We are celebrating the end of the solar year and the beginning of a new one. The Sun really made an entrance today! I see the Sun as the giver of life on this planet - without it, there would be no life - (despite what those epic disaster movies want you to believe where people seem to be able to survive in an ice age!) 

I'll be lighting ice lanterns this evening, lighting candles and feasting with my hubby. We'll be having a meal that celebrates the harvest but also symbolizes light and fire. It's going to be lovely. I'll post photos of our feast with my recipes tomorrow on Rain's Garden.

During the longest night of the year, let's be thankful for all of our blessings. Winter and dark nights can feel quite cold and lonely. I admit that I often have cabin fever, especially when February rolls around. But I try to make my life cozy and comfy to help me feel gratitude for everything and everyone I've been gifted with. I love seeing a little bit more light each day!

Do you celebrate the Solstice?

Friday, December 13, 2019

Love, Beauty, Gratitude and a Happy YOU

I woke up this morning and looked at the calendar and thought, oh neat, Friday the 13th! Though this date honestly doesn't mean more to me than those terrible horror movies from the 1980's! (Which I admit I watch every year lol)

Friday is Venus' day. The day of love, beauty, romance and creativity. You don't need to be in a relationship to celebrate this day! Show yourself some self-love, self-care and do something to make you feel beautiful inside.

I have been under the weather the last few days - pretzel overload me thinks. I was in bed all day yesterday which isn't a good thing for me, I get so bored. I'm not a good "bed rest" patient that's for sure. I browse a lot on Pinterest out of boredom at times and I came across a quote that asked:

The quote focused on the YOU. Are you living the life YOU really want to live?

So many people live by the expectations of others or by the "rules" of society. Some people live in loveless marriages, stay together for the kids or for fear of being alone. Many people work jobs that they hate and it makes them physically ill and bad-tempered. When we shy away from the status quo and follow our own paths, a lot of the time we are mocked or plain misunderstood by others. It's a shame but it's a reality.

The life I really want to live is in progress I suppose. There are some things I definitely want to change. Some of them I work furiously hard towards, and for some odd reason, others I just don't bother with!

I decided to write out a list:

1. What is making me unhappy with my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional life?
2. How do I envision my happiest self, my ideal life?
3. How will I transform my life? This step requires a plan, lots of detailed steps and a timeline.
4. What is a priority? This step requires listing all of the changes I want to make in priority with baby steps on how to begin each one, one at a time.
5. What will keep me motivated? 

Number five is easy for a few of the changes I want to make. But for others, I feel like I really need a supportive kick in the butt to feel like I deserve all of the happiness that I can have in my life. I know this sounds defeatest, but it's really hard-wired thinking that was drilled into me as a kid that I didn't deserve anything good in life - that I was simply a burden. Many people who grew up in abusive families become people-pleasers, as I did. It's hard-wired and very difficult to change - but I'm taking baby steps every day to change it.

In order to help with those baby steps I started a Gratitude Practice. Every morning when I wake up, I brew some coffee and sit down by myself for a little while. I don't touch the computer or my phone. I just enjoy what I see out the window; the warmth, aroma and taste of my coffee; and the gentle snoring of the fur babies.

I write three pages in my Gratitude Journal. Even if I don't have three pages to write, I do it anyway, even though I may be repeating myself! This compels me to think deeply about what I am thankful for.

I add at least one little slip of paper to the Gratitude Jar that I made a week ago. It contains things that make me smile - and it could be anything. This morning I wrote "Alex rubbed my head before I fell asleep." I think this is a lovely way to catch happiness in a jar! When I'm feeling down I just have to empty the jar and read all of the slips of paper. This makes me grateful for the little things in life.

Because I love to be creative and artistic, I also started a Gratitude Art Journal. Every morning, without fault, I draw or paint a scene that makes me happy. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, just a doodle if I want. This taps into my creativity each morning and creates a visual image of what I'm grateful for.

I'm very big on gratitude and I love this practice I started! It really is motivating me to continue taking those baby steps to change the things in my life that make me unhappy. Baby steps is the key. A little progress is much better than no progress at all. In five years, I could be sitting in the same rut or I could be celebrating all of the changes that I made through self-love, discipline and hard work. I'd prefer the latter!

You are a beautiful person and deserve all of the happiness in the world. Let's all live by that truth!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Savings Goal For A Rainy Day

Hi Friends :)

It's that time of year when it is way too easy to overspend! What is it about Christmas and the winter holidays that turns people into heavy spenders? It's almost like I forget that I have a budget this time of year and my attitude towards borrowing from the credit card is very lax. I always figured, ah heck, I'll pay it back in the new year! At least that's how I used to be! Now I have other goals in mind and despite the flashy advertising and the Christmas spirit, I am sticking to my budget!

As many of you know, my biggest goal is to purchase a home in 2020. My pre-approved mortgage from last year expired in May, so I'll be re-applying at the beginning of March. I have savings goals and debt-repayment goals. These are coming along as planned so far despite some surprise expenses over the last few months.

During the months of October through to January is the time period where I spend the most money; so I make sure to budget accordingly. That way I don't feel deprived. I know myself well, and if I feel as though I'm forced to live like a pauper...I'll fail at sticking to the budget.

Alex and I don't go out at all anymore and it's just us and the furballs. When it comes to celebrations, we basically eat and drink our way through them! :) We still give each other gifts, but we have spending limits and we stick to them.

This week I'm actually starting my holiday planning. I'm figuring out the holiday meals, baking, and crafts I want to prepare. I'm starting to paint a few Christmas cards that I want to put in the mail next week. I'm thinking of how we'll be ringing in the New Year as well. Then Alex's birthday is in January. In order to reign in the spending, I am planning for all of that during the next few weeks.

How do you set goals? I think that having a plan is the most successful way to do it. I use three keys to goal setting/planning:

1. Intention
2. Action
3. Affirmation

For example: 

1. My intention is to buy my home and property in the spring of 2020. 

2. The action I'll take involves saving enough for the down payment; paying down more of my debt; searching the real estate pages; contacting agents; planning visits and working with my bank for the mortgage and purchase of the home. (As part of the "action" plan, I have all of this in much greater detail but it's very long so I won't copy it here!)

3. I am creating financial success. I will "nest" in 2020. I happily discover new ways to be frugal. I enjoy the process of the home search. I love myself enough to take care of myself during this process. I am excited to start this new chapter of my life. I will find my home in 2020!

I'll admit that last year there was a lot of negativity surrounding the home search. I think this was due to our lack of knowledge of the way things work and our frustration over dishonest real estate agents. We learned a lot about mortgages, insurances, real estate agents, property taxes, legal aspects of the buying process, zoning and the value of due diligence. We learned to take what most seller's agents say with a grain of salt and rely on our own research, our buyer's agent's wisdom and our instincts. 

This year it's all positive and it will happen. :)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Waning Gibbous Moon

Hello Friends, :)

Are you feeling off lately? A lot of my friends have mentioned that, especially yesterday (November 13th), things haven't quite been "on" for them. Same thing happened to me and I was wondering if the Moon was affecting some of us!

When the Moon wanes, it could affect us by making us feel a bit unorganized; giving us the need to slow things down a bit and de-clutter our lives. My mind was definitely unorganized the last few days!!

It's also a good time to de-clutter your self. Do you need an attitude adjustment? :)  My attitude towards certain things could use some fine tuning that's for sure. Sometimes we don't see it until we finally take some time to slow down and think about it. My tendency to be a people pleaser turns me into a doormat at times, and I need to change my attitude towards needing to make others happy before I make myself happy. That's just one thing I've been working on a lot this year. How about you?

Friday, November 8, 2019

Things To Come - Divination

Hello Friends 😊

Do you believe in premonition and divination? I wrote this Tarot spread a few years ago when I was trying to tap into my inner fortune-teller!

I used to be a staunch realist. I only believed in what was right in front of me. I saw the world for what it was - a harsh, cold, lonely and angry place where you just kind of waited out your existence, then you ceased to exist. I was also an atheist at the time and this was my attitude of the world around me. I despised humanity!

I have mentioned this often, I was brought up in a misguided fundamentalist Christian environment. I say misguided because the message of love and hope that Jesus promotes wasn't used in my upbringing. It was about control and fear. I abandoned Christianity many years ago but I have much respect for anyone whose faith gives them a sense of security, love and hope.

I am very much against any religion or spirituality that promotes hatred, ridicule and violence.

So, getting back to my original answer is yes, a little. I don't believe anyone can predict the future because life is too unpredictable and nobody has control over anything that may or may not happen in this world. 

I've had premonitions. I've also had dreams that baffle me when I wake up; then freak me out when what happened in my dream is happening to me in real life.

The Apple of My Eye: Jack

I had a premonition two nights ago. I dreamed that it was snowing and that my car was covered with ice. I know...this is pretty standard in the mountains in November!! But in my dream, my hound dog Jack was in the backseat of the car as I tried to scrape the ice off the windshield. I had started the car while I was scraping, then suddenly the doors locked and Jack was trapped. I didn't have another key and my phone was also locked in the car. Jack was staring at me helplessly as I stared back, trying to desperately figure out how to get him out of that car.

This dream woke me up in a panic. I got up from bed and made sure Jack was safe. I went back to sleep then forgot about the whole thing.

This morning, I wanted to run to the grocery store and I decided to bring Jack with me. He howls whenever I leave the house without him and Alex was still sleeping so I always bring him with me to make sure he doesn't wake Alex up. I brought Jack out to the car, saw the ice on the windshield and sighed heavily. I put my purse in the car and I was going to start the car and close the door, then I just felt like something was wrong. I felt like a déja vu was happening. 

I couldn't remember my dream from the other night, but my gut was telling me to go back into the house to get Alex's set of car keys. I started the car with my keys, closed the door and accidentally pushed the lock function on the door. Jack was inside the locked car - but I had my extra set of keys so it was okay. That's when I remembered the dream and had a jaw-dropping moment!!!

I don't think I'm psychic, but I think that my unconscious mind is good at warning me of things I need to look out for. 

I did the above mentioned Things To Come tarot spread today. In the back of my mind, I'm always hoping the cards will tell me that I'll purchase a great home and property next spring! I wonder sometimes if my interpretation of the reading is influenced by this wish. 

This is the card I drew for #1: the significant event to come. It's the Two of Wands from my Fairy Tale deck. I'm not one to follow a textbook meaning of a card. I follow my first impression and the meaning behind the fairy tale itself. This is the fairy tale "City Mouse, Country Mouse". In short, the city mouse visits the country mouse and pompously "poo poo's" her simple lifestyle, insisting that she come and experience the "exciting and luxurious" life he leads in the city. She visits and is in danger at every turn so she says to him: 

"I would much rather live a simple, peaceful life in the country than an exciting, dangerous one in the city." 

I found this card very significant, it confirms my values and shows me I'm on the right path in my life.

To me, this is divination. I use my intuition, my unconscious mind in dreams and my interpretation of messages I receive through card-reading. I also keep an open mind and awareness of what's going on around me in Nature. I have learned to listen to my gut feeling and respect it. 

Do you use divinatory tools like Tarot or Oracle cards? Runes? Astrology? Let me know your thoughts on this subject!!