It is my pleasure to serve

I am exhausted. I really just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for about a week. And at the same time I am charged up and energized from the work I did this weekend.

I just returned from Hekate’s Sickle, one of the two major festivals my church puts on every year. Last year was my first year attending, and this year I was honored to be invited to participate as one of the ritual presenters.

Hekate ShrineIt wasn’t a large role, and yet it was important in that I was truly able to serve both the people attending the festival and the other ritual presenters. I was welcomed warmly even though I was not able to be present for any of the pre-festival rehearsals.

I arrived on two hours of sleep (plus what little rest I was able to snatch in the front seat of the car). We went straight to work when I arrived on site, and didn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. Then it was up early to do more the next day, with only about 3 hours of sleep. The most interesting thing to me is that I was not as wiped out as I would have expected (though I certainly am feeling tired now that I am home).

Realization hit me when my mentor and friend came down the path for part of the ritual on Saturday night. She stopped and thanked me for my sacred service. And I answered her, “It is my pleasure to serve.”

It truly is! To be able to facilitate transformation and healing for other people, to give of my presence in a loving and supportive way, to be able to contribute to my community – all of these bring me great joy. I am repaid in compliments and appreciation and love, as well as being able to spend time with some of the most amazing people. The act of serving in love and joy brought me energy.

What brings you joy? What fills you up? Find a way to do those things, even if they do not pay you monetarily. The rewards go far beyond any financial compensation.

Blessings,

Mary

Wake Up Call

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada. And I definitely have cause to give thanks.

ThanksgivingI spent most of the last week in bed recuperating, in between trips to the doctor and the hospital trying to figure out what exactly was causing the pain that put me in the emergency room. It turns out it was gall stones. Not deadly on their own, they certainly caused me plenty of pain just over a week ago.

There is a lot of contradictory information about gall stones out there. The mainstream medical solution to gall stones is to remove the gall bladder completely. Other information says the attacks can be controlled through diet. And other information says that there are often other underlying causes that contribute to gall stones.

I also received tons of contradictory advice from many of my friends and connections through Facebook. Many have had personal experiences with gall stones, and they run the gamut from wishing they had the surgery sooner to having completely healed themselves with this or that food or supplement.

For me, this is an opportunity to explore my overall health with a naturopath, something I have been considering for a long time. I’m still going to have a consultation with the surgeon, because I am not ruling out that option. And I also want to examine all my options. If changes to my diet can alleviate the problems with my gall bladder, and also improve my health in other areas, then I will make those changes. If I still end up needing surgery, so be it, I will have made changes that contribute to my healing.

I am grateful that my body is so adaptive, and that it has such a wonderful ability to heal itself.

I am grateful to my gall bladder for signaling that there was an imbalance in my body.

I am grateful that I have been given an opportunity to examine and reevaluate my food choices in order to allow my body to operate more efficiently.

And then, of course, there is also my family, my wonderful circle of friends, the support of my spiritual community, and all the other ways abundance manifests in my life.

What are you grateful for right now?

Blessings,

Mary

In Honour of Those Who Serve

Today is Victoria Day here in Canada. Some people equate it with Memorial Day in the United States, but really, it seems to be an excuse to have a civic holiday. Still, I woke up this morning with an intense gratitude for those who serve.

serving your communityWhen we think of serving, especially around this holiday, most people think of the military. While I have little respect for the institution of the military, I have great respect and gratitude for those who choose to serve in that way. That’s not the only way people can serve, however.

Almost everyone serves in some way. Teachers serve by sharing information and knowledge and feeding our minds. Farmers serve by growing food to feed our bodies. Nurses and doctors serve by helping us to heal when we become sick. Clergy and spiritual leaders serve by ministering to and feeding our souls.

And lets not forget about volunteers! There are many organizations, including the one I work for, that would not be able to keep their doors open without volunteers. The arts, sports, food banks and soup kitchens, senior care homes, the SPCA, and many other organizations that contribute to their communities rely on volunteers.

According to the book, Pendulum, we are moving from a me-centered society to a we-centered society. In a we-centered society, people do things that are for the greater good of their communities and humanity as a whole, as opposed to looking out mainly for themselves.

There are many opportunities to give back and serve our brothers and sisters. So many of them serve us each and every day. I serve my community through my church, leading and participating in rituals and discussion groups, both online and face to face. I receive no monetary compensation for it, and yet it fills me up and fulfills my need for contribution, to feel I am making a difference for something greater than myself.

How do you serve your community? Whatever way you choose to serve, I am thankful that you do.

Blessings,

Mary

When Was the Last Time You Counted Your Blessings?

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada, and it has me thinking about how truly blessed I am. This summer I did a video about the power of gratitude.

So today, I’m taking time to count my blessings.

I am grateful that all my basic needs are met – food, water, shelter, clothing.

I am grateful that our landlord is happy enough with the arrangements that he has let us continue living here long after we initially agreed.

I am grateful for the work that helps to maintain those basic needs.

I am grateful for my husband, David. He is so supportive of me, and he does so much work around the house, with very little complaint. I am glad to have him as my partner in life.

I am grateful for my boys. They always forgive me when I make parenting mistakes, and they remind me to play. Their hugs and snuggles are worth the frustration I sometimes feel!

I am grateful for my parents and my sister. Even though we are far apart, I know you always support me.

I am grateful for my friends. I consider you my family of choice. Your encouragement helps me to keep going when I feel like giving up.

I am grateful for my mentors. You challenge me to stretch outside my comfort zone, and help me grow beyond my limitations.

I am grateful for the beautiful nature that surrounds me.

I am grateful for the many opportunities I have to learn, to grow, and to express myself.

I am grateful for the challenges I face. They help me have more compassion and understanding for myself and for others.

I am grateful for my health.

I could keep going – there is much more I am grateful for. I am definitely feeling the abundance that surrounds me.

What are you grateful for? Take a few moments today to count your blessings. You may be surprised at what comes up.

Blessings,

Mary

Scarcity Rears Its Ugly Head

Saturday was my last day of work for about a month and a half. I’ve known this day was coming for several months, so I have had lots of time to deal with the scarcity conversation about money, and I’m actually pretty calm about that. I trust that the Universe is taking care of me in that respect.

Scarcity vs AbundanceThe lack and scare-city reared its head in a different way last week, though. Before I received the layoff notice, I had been planning to go camping with a group of friends this weekend. I had submitted my request for the time off, and I was really looking forward to it, because I had missed it the last several years (because of work). Once the notice came, though, that ended all thoughts of having this weekend off. I needed to be there to help shut things down, and I wanted the money for the coming time off.

I was bummed, of course. So my family started thinking about heading down just for the last night, after I got off work. There was going to be a ritual Saturday night, so we would still be included in some of the festivities.

Then last week we heard that the ritual was going to be at 5 pm instead of 7. There was no way we could be there for 5. And I started questioning whether it would be worth driving the two plus hours to get there if we would be missing all the events of the weekend. Then one of my mentors offered to do a couple of workshops, and I felt even more that I was missing out. The “poor me” voice in my head was having a heyday!

I was feeling bad, which means I am out of alignment with myself. I asked myself what I was really upset about. This event was bringing up all the times I had missed out on something because I had to work, or because I have children. I thought I had dealt with that and taken responsibility for the choices I have made already! And why was I suddenly feeling the scarcity of missing out on this one experience? Most people would still be freaking out about having enough money to last for the layoff.

And then the insight struck me. I’m not truly open to receive abundance financially if I am focused on the lack in other areas of my life. If what I focus on I receive more of, then focusing on missing this experience is not where I want to place my attention and energy!

I started looking for the abundance of other experiences I was having, or could be having. I enjoyed a wonderful potluck with other staff and Board members from work at a beautiful home on Quadra Island overlooking the Straight of Georgia. The next night I had a very enjoyable and entertaining evening with some girlfriends, one of whom has moved to another village several hours away, and was here for just the one night. On the way home I saw the stunning Aurora Borealis. I went for a walk with another friend to a beautiful park called Nymph Falls, and shared some good conversation with her.

And probably the most important – I got to sleep in my own bed! (Me and the ground don’t see eye to eye when it comes to sleeping.)

I am grateful for the abundance and variety of experiences I was blessed with this weekend, even if I missed out on other experiences. I trust that I was exactly where I needed to be this weekend, doing exactly what I needed to be doing, with exactly the right people. Thank you all!

Where are you having “lack” conversations, and how can you shift them to abundant conversations?

Blessings,

Mary

How to Recover from Hell Week

Last week was particularly busy for my family. It seems the theater bug has bitten my whole family.

Missoula Children’s Theater came to town this past week. If you haven’t heard of them, they run a wonderful program for children. Two actor-directors travel around in a red F150. It carries the whole set, scripts, costumes and props to put on a one-hour play, usually a version of a well-known fairy tale. Children from all of the local schools are invited to audition after school on Monday. Those who are chosen rehearse all week, and perform twice on Saturday. At the end of the evening, the actor-directors pack up their truck and move on to the next community.

All three of my boys auditioned, and all three got parts in The Pied Piper!

A few weeks ago, my husband received a call and was asked to audition for a reader’s theater production of Norm Foster’s The Foursome. Reader’s Theater is where the actors read from scripts. They use limited sets, props and costumes, relying primarily on expression to convey the meaning of the play. His performances were also this week.

Stop. RelaxSo basically, because of other events scheduled for Sunday and Monday of last week, it has been a pretty crazy two weeks. My husband and I declared this Sunday a day of rest.

I slept in for the first time in…quite a while. I had a very strong desire to stay in my pajamas and not do anything all day, except maybe surf the net. And then the sun started shining through the front window, and it called me to move my body. So I compromised. I put on my yoga clothes and did yoga for the first time since sometime last fall. Or maybe even last summer.

I forget how much I enjoy the yoga DVD I have. (Jada Fire’s Expressive Yoga for the Soul if you are interested.) And I was truly amazed at how much stronger and more flexible I am since I have been working out on the Wave Vibration Fitness Machine at my chiropractor’s office. Some day I’m going to get one to use at home!

It felt so good to have a day with nothing really planned. It is so easy to get wrapped up in all the projects I am involved in. I sometimes forget that I need to schedule down time as well. Rest and relaxation are an important part of keeping balanced and maintaining positive mental health. When balance and mental health are not looked after, everything else becomes much more difficult.

The only thing I scheduled for the day was a phone call with a friend that I hadn’t talked to in ages. It was refreshing and energizing to catch up with her, and laugh with her. Again, it definitely helped with the balance and positive mental health.

I am very grateful that I, and my husband, took a day off, a day of nothing, a day of rest.

Blessings,

Mary

Blessed With Abundance

Yesterday was Christmas, a time when some of us think about our own brand of spirituality, some of us take joy in giving, and some of us are all about getting (I won’t even call it receiving).

I was a little bummed as I put out the Christmas stockings, and mine was only half filled. There were no presents for me under the tree (well, there was one, kind of – it was for me and the rest of my family). I didn’t let my slump last long though. There were quite a few presents for my boys, and I had been a little worried that they would have precious few gifts to open. And I did buy myself a present a few days before Christmas.

holiday blessingsI enjoyed seeing them get excited about the items my husband and I had found for them. I started seeing the abundance all around me: the abundance of gifts for my children, the abundance of birds in the trees outside, the abundance of love in my home, and food in my cupboards, and activities to keep my mind engaged.

I spent the day cooking for my family, and was gifted with the thanks of full tummies throughout the house (which, in a house with three growing boys, is a rare blessing indeed!).

I even went for a walk in the sunshine with my sweetheart for the first time in many weeks.

By the end of the day, I was feeling full to overflowing with blessings in my life. And so I share some of my blessings.

Until January 15th, 2012, use the coupon code “holiday11” to save 50% off your next order of guided meditations. And may you be blessed with abundance this year!

Blessings,

Mary

Redefining Free Time

Law of attraction teachers will say that to receive what you want, you have to know what you want. Be very clear about it.

For several years now, through coaching, meditation and journalling, as well as other tools, I have working to get clear on what I want. For me, it boils down to these three things:

  • Time freedom
  • Raise my vibration
  • Earn my living from my spiritual work

I’ve been actively working towards these three goals for over two years.

Free TimeRecently, I’ve noticed just how jam-packed my schedule is. Added responsibilities at work, rehearsing for a play, extra-curricular activities for my boys, and my own regular activities have left me with very little free time. That first goal feels ever so elusive right now!

One of my core beliefs is that my outer world is a reflection of my inner world. So it occurred to me during my morning meditation last week that perhaps my lack of free time has something to do with how I am thinking and talking about time.

I thought about that for a little while, and sure enough, all of my language about time was negative. “I don’t have time for that”, “when have I had time”, “in all my copious spare time” (read that last one with a heavy dose of sarcasm).

The past few days, I’ve been thinking about how I can change my thinking about time. It’s not been quite as clear as I had hoped. The first thing I need to realize is that I have chosen all of the things and activities that I am currently involved in.

I choose to go to work (the biggest allocation of my time) in service to my family, so we can continue to have a place to live and food to eat.

I chose to audition for the play, and then to accept the part I was offered. And I really am having fun and enjoying the new relationships I am building.

I chose to enroll my boys in karate, to encourage physical activity and self discipline.

I choose to continue writing my blog, and organizing my spiritual circle, and coach my clients. It fills me with joy to witness others grow and expand.

I really have more freedom than I thought I did, once I stop and re-frame how I see my time being used. Time freedom is more about who I am choosing to be, than what I am doing with my time.  Choosing to be in love and gratitude, no matter what I am doing, is my mission for this week!

Blessings,

Mary

PS. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada!

Christmas and Birthdays and Yule, Oh My!

It’s Sunday night, and I’m in the middle of making cupcakes for my youngest son’s birthday party tomorrow.  His birthday is later this week. Tomorrow night, I will be going to the Christmas party for my work.

Earlier today, we went to a Solstice Celebration and potluck.  Last week, I went to a surprise birthday party for a close friend of mine, and my middle son’s Christmas concert.  And earlier this month was my husband’s birthday.

It seems like this time of year is exceptionally busy, and not just for me.  Everyone I know has multiple events, invitations and gatherings.  I also happen to be a last minute Christmas shopper, mostly because of the other events earlier in the month!

While Santa day looms up ahead of me, this year I am extremely grateful that I have my meditation practice and now my Life Coach to help me keep my balance and stay centered.

The feeling of overwhelm has threatened to, well, overwhelm me several times in the past few weeks.  And I have been so much more able to catch myself as I start to drift into the anxiety because I start each morning with meditation and intentions.

And in my coaching session just this morning, my coach pointed out that I am accomplishing a lot, and I have more time to work on my projects coming up very shortly.  Thank you, Hazel!

Oh, and hot chocolate helps too! 😉

What are you doing to keep your cool during the “silly season”?

Blessings,

Mary

The Goddess Treatment

This weekend I received the Goddess treatment, and I have to say, I could learn to like it! In fact, I enjoyed myself very much, and it’s something I definitely recommend to every woman.

I spent the last three days at the Divine Feminine Diamond Retreat, with Lourdes Elardo-Gant. I met Lourdes through my husband, and we have played Cash Flow with her and her husband several times.  She told me about the retreat she was planning, and invited me to come and present.  I was thrilled!

Then, a friend of mine signed up for the retreat as well, so we were able to attend together.  We both had a wonderful weekend, and I am so grateful.

The retreat began Friday morning, when my girlfriend picked me up.  When we arrived at the hotel, we were escorted to a beautiful room down by the ocean, where the gas fireplace was merrily heating the room.  We were served tea, and the first thing we did was choose a Goddess card for the weekend.  My card was Hathor, and the message was “Receptivity”.  I had to laugh because just before drawing the card, the intention I set for myself was to practice receiving!

Right away, we headed up to the spa for a glorious relaxation massage.  It was blissful, and a very good opportunity for me to practice receiving!  After the massage, we enjoyed a gourmet lunch at the restaurant upstairs.  Now that is a relaxing and luxurious way to begin a retreat! I definitely felt like a Goddess!

Friday afternoon, after a guided meditation on Ho’oponopono, we got to work.  We played some more Friday night, exchanging Goddess gifts and watching a movie from Spiritual Cinema. Saturday was more working with partners, doing some self exploration.  We had another long gourmet lunch to break up the day, and Saturday afternoon I was on!  I am pleased to say my presentation and guided meditation about Ideal Relationships went beautifully, and I was happy with the feedback.

Sunday morning, we did some more work, before being treated to a limo ride to lunch at another gourmet restaurant.  After lunch, we toured the Comox Valley in the limo, before returning to the hotel for another afternoon of meditation (Seeds of Enlightenment) work and play.

All in all, I had a wonderful time, learned about myself not only as a coach and presenter, but also as a participant.  Thank you so much Lourdes!  I’m going to be treating myself like a Goddess much more often! 🙂

Blessings,

Mary