Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie died today.

I rolled out of bed this morning after having a pretty awesome nights sleep. I immediately checked my cell phone to see if I had any messages. I do this as part of my daily ritual and while I tell myself that it's because I need to see the time, it really is because I want to see what's going on in my world. 
No, not the news.
I can't watch that because I inevitably end up withdrawing into my shell and hiding out with my emotions for at least hours, sometimes days.
My window into the world is Facebook and I have tailor made my newsfeed to only show me things I am interested in. I think this is fabulous, except for days like today. 
Today was very different. 
Today I found out that one of my role models and inadvertent mentors left this world for good. 
When I powered up my phone, the first thing I saw was a text message from my best friend. 

"David bowie died yesterday. :'("

I thought I had misread this.
I didn't even have both eyes open yet and it's my rule that if I still have one eye closed, I can go back to sleep. When the meaning behind the text actually sank in, both eyes popped wide open and disbelief set in. 
My Facebook feed confirmed it. 
How horribly sad. I lay there just waking up and thought how horrible it must be for his family.
Then the reality began to dawn on me:
DAVID BOWIE was dead.
Ziggy Stardust was dead.
Aladdin Sane was dead.
The Thin White Duke was dead.
Jareth, the Goblin King was dead.

The first and the last one hit me hardest. 
I was surprised by my reaction. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not one to have what I would consider to be "role models." I'm very much my own person, so much to the extent that it has caused a fair share of emotional stress in the past. I have people that I respect, but not a lot of people that I like enough to emulate or put on a pedestal. In this way I am very much my Capricorn sun sign, yet today as I'm laying in bed, I felt a giant black hole open up inside my chest and I started to cry.

My first thought was, "alright, buddy, suck it up," but then I remembered sitting in the living room of my childhood home, Labyrinth on the television. The ending credits rolling on the screen and me pushing rewind on the VCR and dancing around the room with excitement while I listened to the loud whirring sound that the tape made as it exchanged spools. And then that defining CLICK that meant it was ready to go again and me exuberantly pushing PLAY so that I could watch the Goblin King dance with all of his minions for the umpteenth time that day.
I was six years old. 
So, today, I decided to let myself cry a little for the loss of a big part of my childhood. 
I let myself cry for the loss of a man who created a stability for me when I was a kid and even through my teens and early twenties. 
The thing is- I didn't even realize any of this until this morning when I got that text message.
I never analyzed my relationship to this man I had never met or the character he played in one of my all time favorite (especially during my childhood) movies. The emotions that welled up in me at the news of his passing were INTENSE so I decided I should look at it a little closer.
What I found was interesting. 
David Bowie helped define my identity.
His character in Labyrinth, which I clearly remember once watching 11 times in two days, introduced me not only to the idea of magic (which is pretty much how I make my living as an adult) but to the idea that gender stereotypes could be broken. 
You see, I was raised in a very Christian household and was later put into a severely strict private school, but for some reason (thank the gods) my mother didn't mind me watching movies like Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal. This means that when I was six years old, I met Jareth the Goblin King and became just as lost in his maze as Jennifer Connellys character ever was. 
With his severe eye makeup, tight pants, punk rock hair, high heels and fabulous black gothic cape, David Bowie, a.k.a. Jareth, opened my very young eyes to what my world could be if I wanted it to be. He instilled in me a sense of experimentation that has stuck with me all my life.
He made me feel like I was OK when everything else in my life- on purpose or inadvertently- told me I was not.
He was an idea that stuck with me all through my childhood and into my teens when I discovered his music. Space Oddity BLEW MY MIND and is probably one of the main reasons that I love science fiction so much. 
David Bowie was a huge influence on me through all of my work in art school and he was instrumental in me having the courage to come out to my parents. He is the reason I had the guts to be myself at such a young age and is one of my heroes ( not just for one day, but for life) because he did things HIS way and was not afraid to stand up and say exactly what he thought.
All these things, I learned from watching him, reading about him and listening to his outrageous music. 
I learned from him that I could be whatever I wanted to be as long as I had the strength and the will and the courage to make it happen.
David Bowie was fearless. 
So I became fearless. 

Watching all the videos of the memorial services all over the world tonight- fans singing and crying and celebrating his life- I realize I'm not alone in these feelings. This man, over the forty years of his incredible career, changed the face of music, fashion and gender stereotyping. And I think the icing on the cake is that he described himself as a "closeted heterosexual."
I think that Mister Bowie was fabulous in everything he did and the world is a much better, stranger and more odd place for having known him. 
He will continue to fascinate people for many many years to come, I am sure, but tonight.....

Tonight he is sorely missed. The thought of all the people that have the courage to be themselves because of Jareth and Ziggy- those thoughts are beginning to fill in that giant black hole that opened up in my chest when I read that text message this morning. 
Thank you for being brave enough to live YOUR life, David, instead of someone else's.
Mission accomplished.
Rest well.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The significance of the number 108

AWESOME DAY today at the Dallas Psychic Fair.
Thank you Cheryl Andrea for yet another fabulous opportunity!

I was asked a question today that I thought deserved some explanation. A customer was asking about my prayer beads or JAPA Malas if you will. They were curious why the number 108 was so significant. I explained to them that the 108 beads were representative of many things in many cultures. The 108 earthly desires for instance. This number, and multiples of it can be found throughout many different cultures, bearing varied symbolism and content. 
All of my malas are made from reiki charged crystals and have either 27 (1/4 of 108), 54 (1/2 of 108) or the actual full strand of 108. This is not done arbitrarily, it is full of purpose and gratitude for those teachers and artisans that have come before me.

Please read the article I have posted here to see which meaning for the number 108 resonates with you.

If you feel so inclined, I would love to spend some time with you in one of my yoga classes at Miracles of Joy where I can actually teach you how to use a mala with a Sanskrit mantra. When I was introduced to this practice during my 200 hour yoga teacher training, it literally changed my life. 

Have a bright week.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Hallows' Eve

Ever since I was a child, I have loved Halloween. A lot of times people look at you funny when you say that Halloween is your favorite holiday, but I have never cared. My favoritism is split evenly between Halloween and Christmas. They both have been brutalized by the media and by the capitalist consumer driven society that we live in, but they are still pagan and beautiful at their heart.
It's that heart that I love.
Closing my eyes on Halloween night, I have always been able to tune into the otherworldliness that this night lends itself to. Since I began meditating, I can perceive an odd thrum the closer we get to this day each year. A thrum just noticeable enough for me to be sure it isn't my I overactive imagination running away with itself.
Beyond the candy and the costumes and the orchestrated blood and gore (I could go on and on about the media, but that is a different blog), Halloween is about honoring the people and things in your life that have made their exit into their next.
Samhain is an ancient pre Christian Celtic festival of the dead. It was believed that this night was when the dead walked freely and when the night was over, these spirits made their final exit into the other world.
On this night in ancient times, the celts would leave offerings and burn fires to appease the spirits and protect the living.
Halloween, as we know it, is the product of the Christian church attempting to eradicate pagan holidays.
Most people aren't aware of the fact that when their kids go trick or treating, they are continuing a tradition that symbolizes a belief that is older than the church.
The ancient celts believed that when a spirit wasn't appeased with an offering (a treat) that they would wreak havoc and cause problems for their family (a trick).
Funny how things evolve, get watered down and accepted as mainstream in a different way, don't you think?

All that aside, I love Halloween and am glad that the tradition has been preserved in some way, shape or form.
Although I could do without all the blood and senseless gore that people tend to like in these modern times.
Everyone be safe.
Happy Halloween!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

C.R.A.F.T.S. Class (Creative Re Attunement For The Soul)

I'm not gonna lie.
I was blessed by the universe today. I feel as if I am beginning to find the real reason I am here.
About six months ago (it seems like a lot longer) I realized a few patterns in my life. I was in one of my yoga teacher training classes, in a meditation, and it just hit me. The realization that while almost every door I have tried to step through in the art world has slammed in my face ( I received my art degree in 2008 and have been struggling to use it ever since, not uncommon, I am aware, but frustrating nonetheless) while every door that I knock on in the world of metaphysics seems to open right up and lo and behold, there is usually a red carpet rolled out for me on the other side.
So, this day in yoga, I was guided to my answer and it was such a strong one that it literally almost knocked me off my mat.
I had to find a way to engage both sides of my life. A chimera of sorts, a melding of the two. This was the only way I would ever truly be happy. Marrying my two great loves together and using them both in a distinctive way to help people anyway that I possibly could.
Phase one was the products from my company, The GreenMan Studios.
I started with japa meditation malas for use in mantra meditation. They were practical, helpful and beautiful. I then moved on to include products made from stones and crystals, candles, bath soaps, bath salts, herbal sachets and easy "spell" kits.
Phase one was well received and continues to be sought after. I show my product at fairs and have it in several shops. I love the fact that it is kitchen witchery and I channel a lot if my creativity into it.
Today I enacted phase two.
I came up with the idea a few months ago. I wanted to teach a workshop on how to channel your creativity. Eloy helped me come up with the creative reattunement title, I talked to my dear friends at Miracles of Joy and we decided on a date.
I have spent the last month trying to define my creative process and what I have realized is that through my life in all my years of making art, I channel more of it than I ever even considered possible. I close my eyes and the images and crazy colors and ideas are just there in technicolor on the back of my eyelids running around like crazy dervishes or dust devils, burning roman candles just begging to be set free.
It comes so natural to me that I didn't even really realize my process until I sat down to analyze it.
I have a constant connection to this source of info. I realized this through talking with my reiki master about meditation when I was twenty nine years old. Until then I had thought that everyones thought processes tan like mine. It took me some effort to change my perspective and realize that I had a gift.
That realization set the stage for my wanting to share it with everyone who was willing to listen.
My class today sold out.
Ten wonderful people came to me and let me guide them through a chakra clearing meditation where we focused on the fifth chakra or throat chakra. In the meditation, I had them fill their bodies with a white light, connect to the core energy of the earth and come up through their root chakra, spinning it counterclockwise to clear out any negativity. We then proceeded through each chakra until we got to the throat where we infused a golden divine light into the normal blue of the energy center. We then moved up to the radiant white light of the soul star six inches above the crown of the head and made our connection with the divine, asking them to give us the key to our creativity. Then we went back down, zipping up all the chakras as we went, disengaged from Mother Earth, put away the white light and opened our eyes.
Then I had them high tail it to the craft table where we started painting immediately to preserve that connection and see if we could get it down on paper.
And we did. Everyone in the class created at least two pieces. The first was inevitably the better due to the immediacy of the meditative connection.
It was truly amazing and fun for me to walk around changing bowls of water and moving paints and brushes around the tables.
It was interesting to see the colors that people were drawn to and what kind of brushstroke a they used. It was very telling of their emotional state.
The work that was produced was if an exceptionally high caliber given they were mostly beginner students.
I was thoroughly impressed and it seemed as if they all were too.
They left happy and I feel like they would all do it again.
I have already received the go ahead to do another class soon at miracles of joy.
Next month on the 17th I am teaching the workshop at a massage clinic in Arlington.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that while I was talking them through the meditation, Eloy and I were walking around behind them doing reiki/energy work on them. He enjoyed himself and so did I. Unbeknownst to me, my mother had arrived at the class ( she surprised me by taking the workshop- a pleasant surprise) with severe neck pain. While I was working on her energy, I saw grey tendrils of wispy smoke like materials around her head and shoulders, so I removed them from her aura.
She was pain free after the meditation.

I love what I do.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spirit can be a bit dramatic...

So I have been wanting a new job- a career- for quite some time, but to be truthful with myself, I haven't really started actively looking until just recently. Something has recently shifted and I don't know what it is, but now I can actually visualize myself working in a different type of environment.
That being said, I had my first interview this past Monday.
It was for a staffing coordinator position at Cornerstone Staffing. A friend of mine works there and she had given my resume a little push.
I went in and I aced the interview. We laughed, we talked, I was completely honest and it felt really great. I felt like I had the job. There was no nervousness and everything seemed like it went incredibly well.

Imagine my surprise when I got the email this morning saying that they thought I was wonderful but they were going to be screening "additional candidates."
Then I got a text message from my friend that worked there and she informed me that the only reason that they weren't going forward with me was because I had not given notice before I left my job at World Market three years ago. While I think this is a ridiculous rule, it is what it is and while I was a bit disappointed, my main reaction was to ask WHY?
Why did this happen?
Why was my situation with World Market keeping me from advancing now?
That was over three years ago and I do not regret walking out of that job. The Manager there was terrible and I had to leave. It was a matter of doing what was best for me at the time, so why was it slapping me in the face now?
Instead of being frustrated and depressed, I got up and went to a yoga class. I was sitting there barely into a meditation when the answer hit me like a brick.
I had to make amends.
I had thought of this before. I had almost messaged my old manager a few times. I have been doing a lot of clearing work on myself since I started this path a few years ago and I knew that this was something that was definitely blocking me. Every time I thought about the way it all went down back then, I would get seriously angry.
So this was obviously something that I needed to clear and let go.

As soon as I got out of my yoga class, I got on my iphone and sent her a message on facebook. We have nine other people from World Market as mutual friends so she was not hard to find. I told her that I had recently realized two things.
1. That I still harbored a lot of anger toward her for the way that she treated her supervisors when she managed the store and that I needed to let it go. I told her that I forgave her for that.
2. I told her that I apologized for being so unprofessional in my manner of leaving. ( I went on vacation and couldn't make myself go back to that horrible situation so I texted her and told her I was out.)

I also told her that I didn't need a response, that I just needed her to know these things.

And the clincher to this- and how I know that I was really being told by spirit to do all this- is that I had a reply to my message within half an hour.
Apparently she had almost messaged me several times as well. She apologized for her behavior and I could tell she was sincere. She has totally turned her life around and is working on some stuff that really seems to be where her life path is supposed to be going.
I am very happy for her. We messaged back and forth several times through the day.

My only regret is that I should have done it sooner- back when I first thought about it. Then I might have a good job right now.

I was talking to my spirit guides earlier and I told them that I think this was a bit dramatic, but Eloy (my partner) made the point that with the way I am with my stubborn personality, this is probably the only way that I would have ever broke down and messaged her.
He's right, as usual.

So, that's clear. Where do I go now, Universe?
I am definitely listening.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My First Shamanistic Journey Experience Pt 1

"Tree Hugger."
"Nature Boy."

Take your pick. At any point in my life, any of the above words would have been adequate to describe my personality.
You can blame my mother and you can bet she would be proud of the accusation.
My first conscious memory involves running around on the green grass in our front yard, picking dandelions and laughing wildly. I was five- perhaps younger. After that it would be the "nature walks" that my mother and I would go on. For some reason I want to say that we did it every sunday, but that could be me romanticizing.
The point is, my most important memories- the ones I am most fond of- involve me being immersed in nature.
A healthy love of the planet and all of its beauty was one of the most relevant and valuable things that I took with me from my childhood. My mother had always felt that way and she passed it on to me. Little did she know that I would take it so much further.
After rejecting christianity in my teenage years, I turned, as so many teens do, to Wicca. Looking back,  I realize now that it was more about me giving all the people whom I perceived as oppressing me a great big middle finger. I played with love spells and bindings with deadly accuracy and spent many years floundering through a series of terrible, short lived relationships as a result. I kept doing it because I could feel the power in the spellcasting and I kept getting what I was asking for. It took me some time to realize that while I was getting what I was asking for, it never took the form in which I envisioned. There was always something a little bit off.
I eventually stopped practicing in the first years of college because I got bored with it and the people I had called into my life weren't into it.

Fast forward from 2001 to 2009.
I had never lost my feel for nature and the beautiful things that the planet provides for us, or the feeling of that indefinable connection. After I got my degree in December of 2008, I felt a void. All the time that I had spent concentrating on my art projects was all the sudden free time. Eloy, my partner (of 7.5 years at the time of this article) had been spending a lot of time out of town for work and I needed something keep me busy.

So, as they say- Ask and you have already received it.
I was walking through a bookstore with a friend in early 2010. She had expressed a passing interest in Wicca. I thought- well, I have that experience so I can pass on some info to her. It will be fun. We went to the Metaphysical section in Half Price Books. I was planning on getting her "To Ride a Silver Broomstick" By Silver RavenWolf. It had been my favorite book when I had gone through "Phase One" as I have come to call it.
Little did I know that in the ten years that had passed, Ms Ravenwolf  had become quite the author. I found her book on Hedgewitchery and after reading the first few chapters that introduced me to quantum thinking- my life has never been the same.
I saw the book there on the shelf and in my memory now, the book stands out like it was glowing. I was drawn straight to it and I sincerely believe that it was Spirit telling me "YOU ARE HERE" as if I was looking at a map in a shopping mall.
It started me on a path that would take me from that book to studying Green Level Witchcraft (aoumiel is a wonderful source of information if you ever want to read her books) to Tarot, Reiki/Theta/Galactic Healing, Crystal therapy and beyond.

Studying all of these things I have always moved through them, searching for a common thread. A feeling of connection was definitely there but I could never find the concept that acted as the glue. A deeper sense of levity in all of these modalities was somehow alluding me and it was that lack of cohesiveness that didn't allow me to study any one to its full extent.
Past Lives, witchcraft, crystals, herbs, voodoo, Gaia Theory, Basic Metaphysics, Reiki, Healing, Divination, Tarot- I knew somehow that it was all connected, yet every time I reached for the idea, it would skirt just out of my reach and seemingly sit in front of me and taunt me.

Throughout my Master/Teacher Reiki training and working at psyschic fairs as a Tarot reader, I have met many people from many different walks of life. I was introduced recently to the practice of Shamanism, which is apparently the mother of all the practices that have lent themselves to witchcraft.
To put it in general terms, it is simply getting back in touch with the natural order of things and being aware of your connection to the universe through metaphysical dealings with nature.

I went to a Shamanistic Journey Meditation tonight.

To put it in not so general terms- Shamanism is my gamechanger.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Serendipitous Synchronicity

The definition of Serendipity is finding something you didn't expect to find or a "happy accident." The term Synchronicity means two or more things that develop seemingly unrelated to each other, and are unlikely to occur by chance, yet are observed to interact with each other in a meaningfully related way. Synchronicity was coined in the 1920's by Carl Gustav Jung, whom I need to look up because i keep seeing his name and hearing his quotes EVERWHERE. Which is exactly the phenomenon which brings me to write this blog post.

I sincerely believe that when you are on the path that you are supposed to be on, your "souls journey" if you will, everything falls into place like puzzle pieces clicking together. One thing leads you to another and you can use these things like sign posts along the way.
For instance, one of my "signposts" is the number 44.
Fours in general appeal to me simply because they seem to me to be a number that lends itself to equality. I don't know why I think that but I always have. 2+2=4 seems very soothing to me. Call me weird, you won't be the first, trust me....
So obviously the number 44 is twice the fun. I first noticed them in middle school when a friend pointed out that they were everywhere.
I started seeing them in license plates, street signs, advertisements, street addresses, phone numbers even odometers when I started driving.
44 started to become a familiar friend and the more I paid attention, the more I realized that good things seemed to happen to me when 44 was around.
I started using it as a guide. All of my good jobs have had a 44 in their address, phone number or company store number.
I had a job once as an ad/signage guy for world market and there were no 44s present. I really didn't like the job and I was beginning to question whether I should be there or not. Then I got promoted to Supervisor and I had a 44 in my alarm code. My job got better.

My point with all this talk is simply to say that Spirit is guiding us even today in this scientific, technological age.
We just have to be open to the guidance. By training our minds to take time out of the crazy hustle and bustle of each day we can get back to what really matters.
Take a walk in nature, sit and meditate for a while or just take some time out for YOU. Listen closely and see what happens.
It just might be a miracle.