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!!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Samhain Thoughts

Hello Friends and a Blessed Samhain to you!

The seasons are changing, light becomes dark and a new year is ahead of us. What does Samhain mean to you? I don't mean the textbook version, I mean, how does this day, this time of year, this belief and/or this spirituality affect your life?

My Celtic ancestors considered this day as the new year, saying goodbye to the harvest and summer; and hello to a time of rest, contemplation and darkness. I also say goodbye to the harvest and the comfort of having warm and tolerable weather. I've prepared physically for the oncoming cold and darkness, but mentally, I'm not there yet.

I took an especially long walk yesterday in the woods. It was pouring rain so I was completely alone besides the odd critter rushing past me on the trail. It is like a walking meditation for me to be in the woods alone. I can appreciate all that I have with such emotion! Gratitude is the key to happiness.

Lots of quiet time, contemplation and Tarot helps me to come to terms with the long months that lie ahead. I also reflect on the past year and do a 60-card reading for the year to come! One card for each month, then 4 cards under each month for the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. I write my interpretations in my spiritual journal and I check back every month to see how I'm doing. 

Not only do I read the Tarot, I use other divinatory guidance tools. I have Oracle decks, Runes and an amethyst Pendulum. I use these daily but I also spend time with them at Samhain because I find their energy is so much stronger.

I make short term and long term goals - especially for my finances. 2020 is the year I finally buy my home and property and I won't let anything stop me this year. I won't rent beyond next summer. We couldn't find our dream home last year and we made a lot of mistakes - but we learned from them. We are even okay with buying a cheaper property that isn't necessarily our dream home, fixing it up and selling it in a few years while we continue to find that perfect spot to call home forever!

Last night I did a very emotional ritual to speak with those I've lost - mainly my childhood sweetheart Marty, my grandfather Wilfred and my two late pugs, Winston and Spencer. It's always a sad ritual, but as I remember the wonderful memories, my heart fills with joy that I was so lucky to have them in my life - even for such a short time!

We all shall pass and I want to live life to the fullest and not lament over any regret!

Bless you friends! Sending love out to all of you with wishes for a great year ahead! 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Solitary Joy

Hi Friends :)

Do you enjoy alone time? Do you enjoy silence? Or do you feel more comfortable around other people? I'm definitely a solitary person who NEEDS quiet! One of our neighbours constantly has her radio playing and it's very annoyingly placed right by her always open window! I think I'd go nuts with a radio playing all day long. In fact I go nuts when I'm in the bedroom with our window open because that's all I can hear!

I've been in my relationship for over six and a half years now. Before I met Alex, I was alone for eighteen years. And I mean ALONE. No dates, no interest, no nothing! I rarely spoke with anyone unless it was my therapist, a doctor or the cashier at the grocery store...oh, and of course my dogs! :) I was recovering from burnout and family issues; and I had no interest in sharing that version of me with anyone. I chose to be alone. At first it was very lonely, but I guess I got used to it and started to value my solitude.

As I started to feel better in 2011, I started to feel like I wanted to share my life again. It was an inner struggle because I know myself, I'm not a social butterfly at all. I felt slightly shy about expressing the need for time alone when I was just starting to look for a relationship! I didn't know quite how to sugarcoat this:

"I'm looking for a loving, passionate and romantic, long term relationship. But...I don't want to meet your friends, I don't want to go to your family's Sunday dinners and I basically want to stay home and never socialize or leave the house. Will you go out with me?" LOL

But I figured I'd need to be honest from the get go. I joined an online dating service and laid it all out on the line - as diplomatically as I could! I was very clear about the burnout I suffered, my lifestyle and the fact that I'm very much a solitary, independent person. Of course, I also mentioned that I want to spend my life with someone I love, that I'm a romantic and that together time was just as important to me.

It took a few years, lots of dates, lots of disappointments...but I found Alex and he found me. We were a 95% match according to their computers. And the best part? He loves his solitude as much as I do! He was estranged from his family as I was; and he wasn't very social at all. Very good match!

I got to thinking about this subject because lately Alex is spending a lot of time recording a new album. He's in his studio pretty much all day, then we have a quick dinner and he's back in there until he comes to bed.

I miss his company of course, but I kind of like my alone time. I spend my time doing hobbies that I really enjoy, reading, trying new recipes, making cheese; and watching horror movies because Alex isn't big on them. I spend lots of time with the pets too which makes me very happy!

Having solitude is important for both of us and it works for us.

I have a tendency to not ask for help when I sure could use it. Being alone for nearly 2 decades (and with my upbringing), I am hardwired into thinking that the only person I can really count on is myself - so I tend to take on issues and problems alone. It took me a while to re-program myself into knowing that I can rely on my partner and it's okay to ask for help. In return, I'm there for him when he needs help with anything as well. Asking for help can be a scary thing, because it involves a great amount of trust in the other person. When you've had terrible experiences with other human beings, it's a risky thing to be vulnerable. But once you know you can trust that person consistently, asking for help is a relief! Allowing someone to help you is not only good for you, it's good for that person as well!

What about you? Are you more of a solitary person? If you're in a relationship, how important is alone time for you and your partner? Are you comfortable asking for help or do you tackle problems solo?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Insomnia Insight

Hi Friends :)

I went to sleep last at around 10pm - totally exhausted to the point where I couldn't put two words together. Then BAM! Wide awake at 1:30am. I guess I've been lucky the last few months, I haven't had any issue with insomnia! 

I tend to fight it a little bit. I lie there, staring at the ceiling, willing myself to fall back to sleep. But then I eventually give up as thoughts start to fill my mind and I'm way too distracted at that point to even rest. So I get up. Usually I make a chamomile tea and pull out my colouring pad. I have a pad of paper full of mandalas and objects that I have waiting for me when I can't sleep. I just sip tea, listen to relaxing music and colour. A lot of the time, that relaxes my mind enough where I'm tired enough to try to sleep again!

Last night though, no such luck. Alex got up a few times asking me if I was coming back to bed. He even offered to put on a movie with me so we could both fall asleep to it; but I was too far gone at that point...wide awake! So I decided to write a few Tarot spreads. I started this blog in 2017 with the intention of posting often as a way to keep spirituality and self-improvement present in my every day life. 

As we all know, life gets in the way sometimes. But I also believe that if we really want to do something, we will always find a way to do it. Sometimes our reasons are very valid, but a lot of the time, they are simply excuses due to procrastination, laziness, perceived busy-ness, writer's/artist's block, disjointed priorities, mental health or physical issues or we just simply don't feel like it. 

We all have obligations that need to get done for the home and family of course - and some aren't as pleasant as others - but we do them out of love for the people who depend on us!

But when it comes to hobbies and things that used to spark our interest, feeling obligated to do these things (for whatever reason), makes it a task, not a pleasure. If you force yourself to do something out of obligation, it will be quite obvious to you and those around you that you really aren't enjoying it. I've started blog post after blog post, with a feeling of obligation, and I've never posted them because they are simply boring and stale.

Many times I opened this blog and stared at it, wondering why I lost that spark...why I was posting once every month or so when there was a time that I couldn't wait to write my next Tarot spread, my next self-improvement post or come up with a really thought-provoking piece of writing!

After thinking on this for a while, I figured things out. 2019 has not been a stellar year for me!

- I got royally screwed by two realtors and my dream of home ownership was put on hold another year. 

- I was having issues in my personal life (that are now thankfully solved).

- One of my dogs was attacked by a loose dog and I had to stop my morning dog walks.

- My garden and outdoor activities suffered as we had a dreadful summer.

- Sciatica and piriformis pain ruled many months.

- Dental pain lasted nearly 2 months.

And now? Just plain old physical, emotional and mental exhaustion has set in from all of that trauma.

I'm not one to throw in the towel or have a pity party (for too long! 😉), but evaluating the last 10 months put a good perspective on why I feel the way I do. Having that list is also helping me to figure out how to shake it all off and learn from it all. 

I usually see the glass half full...I know the value of time...I know we are not long on this earth...I know that love is what rules me, and I've learned that it's my choice to either wallow in pain, anger, regret and pity or take one giant step forward and keep going. 

Everyone has their cross to bear, so to speak. My cross, at least the heaviest one, is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's a sneaky little mental health disorder. It can fool you into thinking you're doing just fine then it comes at you with a vengeance...just to remind you that you are never going to be rid of it. I used to feel so much bitterness for having this disorder! I was angry at the world. But at some point when you are in chronic pain and dis-ease, you need acceptance and you need to take matters into your own hands on how to live with it. Otherwise, existence is just too overrated. 

Anyway, these are nocturnal insights! I write these Tarot spreads for anyone who reads the cards, I find that the Tarot always gives great understanding! Poor man's therapy! But the questions I come up with can also be food for thought for those who don't read the cards. You can use these questions as a tool for thought and self-improvement.

My favourite time of the year is upon me - October, Autumn, Halloween, Samhain...and then Yule and Christmas time...I want to enjoy every moment! Please share with me if you want to. What cross do you bear and how do you accept and live with it?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Seeing The Joy In What You Have

Hello Friends! A Blessed Mabon to you!

Today is the Fall Equinox and I have bid a fond farewell to summer today. I'm very much enjoying the cooler nights, the changing of the season, the warm cozy meals, sweaters and blankets and the beauty of the colours of Autumn. The air at this time of year has a special fragrance doesn't it? 

Today I am celebrating what I have in my life, what I'm very grateful for, what brings me joy. I used to only live for the future, I had a case of the "when-then's"...when the winter is over, then I'll feel better...when I buy my house, then I'll be happier...when I find love, then I'll feel complete...I'm sure some of you can relate!

I changed my thinking around quite some time ago. I make do with what I have with dreams of the future of course! But I live in the moment as much as I can and I'm grateful to be alive, despite the challenges of chronic pain and the world around me.

Where is the joy in your life? Look around you! Life is so short, drink in every moment! Celebrate the abundance of life! Celebrate the harvest by baking some bread, or making an apple dish. Write a gratitude list. Think about what you need to leave behind and make honest efforts to do so. Go spend time outside if you can, walk the dogs, pick some beautiful leaves and make a centerpiece - enjoy yourself!