I am thankful for my bills

It sounds weird, I know. But I am. I’m not just thankful that I have money to pay them, I am thankful that someone thinks I can handle this responsibility and holds me accountable for it, every month. There are of course times that I wish these institutions were like my boss or my mother and a little more understanding.. but at the same time, my bills are things that I knowingly signed up for. I made the decision to move out, knowing that I would have to pay rent each month, more or less for the rest of my life… as well as utilities and internet and such. I knew when I started driving that I’d have to have insurance, and that the freedom of being able to go wherever I wanted, when I wanted, so long as I had gas, would cost me a monthly payment.

I’m someone who likes guidelines. I like knowing where the boundaries are. In fact, I’ve been known to push peoples’ buttons just so that in the future, I have that knowledge of what that person’s fuse is. Maybe that’s why I appreciate the hard lines of my bills so much. Ironically, appreciating my responsibilities is like a positive affirmation. Appreciating the fact that I am able to meet these responsibilities means that I will continue to be responsible when these bills have all been paid – and at that point, my investments in myself will really be paying off.

Of course, that’s not to say I’m fabulously wealthy and have a bunch of money to burn. I do live in an apartment. I have been shopping for a house but that’s just not in my 21-year-old budget. I drive a car that’s 8 or more years old and I regularly maintain it. This last year has been a  bit difficult for me. Between launching my own business and taking classes without changing my work schedule, I also decided to take on some more financial responsibility (in order to help my credit support buying a house in the somewhat-near future). So, no matter how thankful I am for my bills, I still had to curb my spending habits and teach myself some new tricks. Here are a few of the things I learned so that you can try them, yourself.

  • I always run up a monthly budget of how much inflow I will have (I round this down) and how much my regular bills cost me (I round this up). I also include some variables like gas and groceries. My new trick for this year was to specify how much fun money I was allowed between paychecks. This is the same theory behind building in some junk food into a new diet – allowing yourself SOME freedom to buy things when you are on a budget prevents you from going cold turkey and completely splurging.
  • the “3x rule” – if I find something I think I need, I wait until I have felt that ‘need’ three times before I allow myself to buy it. Especially because I have access to just about every electronic do-dad, every book, and every piece of music I could possibly want, this really helps cut down on extraneous spending.
  • pay yourself. Sometimes this is extremely difficult to do. Trust me, I know this more than anyone else. I have several ways I do this – both electronically and physically – but the important thing here is to save a little something from each check. This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and although I have ended up using a lot of these little savings for emergency bills as they’ve come up, that is exactly why it is important to save my money. I never know when I will need a little extra financial help.

I hope sharing my experience and lessons learned helps someone out there, especially with the fast approaching holiday. Please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Namaste ❤

Do things feel a little crazy right now? Blame the incoming MercuryRx

I’m not much of an astrology buff, but I’ve started to pay more attention when I notice things, well, going to hell in a hand basket. Mercury is a planet (duh) but because this planet is associated with communications and technology, it’s pretty obvious when it’s energetic influence is going sour. For example, without fail, I seem to get into some stupid fight with a close friend or relative every single time Mercury goes retrograde. Here’s another way to look at it – Mercury Rx is astrology’s version of Murphy’s Law. Ergo, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

What happens is the planet appears to be moving backwards through the solar system. It’s an illusion that occurs when the other planets around it aren’t moving in tandem with this small, red planet. Specifically, the earth wobbles on an axis which means it fluctuates between 2 and 5 degrees off-center at any point during the year. And when we’re tipped one way or the other, the earth feels like it’s spinning faster, which creates the illusion that the other planets are moving at different speeds. Think of driving on the highway with another car besides you. If that car slows down, it seems like they are going backwards – but it’s only an illusion that happens based on your point of reference.

Mercury hasn’t gone retrograde quite yet – it’s scheduled to be official on Thanksgiving (November 23rd for non-Americans) – but you might already be feeling the effects now. I’ve already experienced some quite agitated text-messaging and emails, and the timing really is quite impeccable. Energetically speaking, the environment feels very agitated, on the edge of chaos; not unlike TV shows where a place has been doused in gasoline and the viewers are waiting on the edges of their seats for that one little spark that will send the whole place ablaze. The good news is that sometimes, when we clear the air and get rid of those things that create static in our relationships, we usually feel a lot better afterwords. But there are a few more things I should probably tell you.

The first bad news is that Mercury isn’t supposed to go direct until December 14th, and even then, it will take a few days to go completely back to normal. The second part is that Mercury is going retrograde while the Sun is in Sagittarius. Do you have any Sag friends? As a Sag, I can tell you that this particular Mercury Rx isn’t going to be subtle in the slightest. It’s going to be blunt and less-than-tactful. Be careful of foot-in-mouth syndromes. And I’m not talking just locally, there will probably be some national or even global implications.

There will be lots of feeling like things have just piled up and have gotten out og control. For example, if you’ve been with your guy or gal for a while now and have put off telling him/her a few things about what irk you… now is the time where they will come barreling out of the closet and quite possibly ruin your afternoon.  Now, granted, I’m also in a season of my life where I am pruning out certain things and people from my life, and trying to encourage what I’d like to keep, so maybe this is just for me. But for the most part, the biggest thing about Mercury Rx is the constant little annoyances that pile up and make life really frustrating.

During this holiday season, it might help to keep thinking about things that you are grateful for, or to keep a stress ball in your pocket. Perhaps switching up your exercise routine and adding in some more Reiki or meditation can help keep those irritations from bugging you. I personally like blue calcite and amethyst when Mercury retrogrades – blue calcite is a stone that aids communication and amethyst is a healer and soother. I’ve also used lavender essential oil, which helps me fall asleep at night.

What activities and tips do you have for surviving Mercury Rx?

Did you know you have a 24-7 spiritual support network?

When we are on this earth, we have multiple forms of support. We’re all familiar with our nuclear family (brothers, sisters, parents), our extended families (cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents), our friends, our co-workers, our colleagues, neighbors, employers, religious authorities, and so on and so forth. But did you know you also have a support team made of spirits who have no other job except to be at your shoulder?

Your spirit guides are beings of love and light who are enlightened enough to function as guides. They differ from angels because spirit guides have had human incarnations, whereas angels are messengers who may take human form in order to get their jobs done. Spirit guides don’t do the work for you, and they don’t give you specific instructions for what to do – but they are exceptional at providing support, sharing experience, and inspiring you. You may have anywhere between 3 to 40 guides at any one time. These spiritual agents help us get through the most difficult times in our lives, as well as encouraging us to take care of ourselves and to have fun.

Want to learn more about these helpers? Read my post, the 411 on Spirit Guides.

Because Quantum Mechanics says so

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going with my mom to our annual scrapbooking retreat. It’s hosted by the Village Creek Bible Camp in a beautiful valley in Lansing, Iowa. Coming to camp is a mini-vacation. The valley is gorgeous with all the fall colors, and there’s something very special about the camp experience itself; meaning the shared lodgings, cold showers, sleeping in bunk beds and of course, being knee-deep in friends we haven’t seen in a whole year.

Mom and I have done this for a few years – her scrapbooking, vending, teaching, and helping other ladies put their memories on a 12×12 paper while I run around the camp – but this was the first year I had Reiki under my belt. I was so thrilled to offer some Reiki treatments on the side as everyone else worked on their pages. Since recently receiving my Practical Reiki Master attunement, I really appreciated the opportunity to practice on some very deserving women. I’m hoping next year I can bring my massage table and have a dedicated space for ladies to come experience the wonder that is Reiki.

I’ve been hesitant to share about my time with VCBC because it’s a Baptist bible camp, and I’m not Baptist. I’m fully aware that I am not Baptist and I’m also fully aware that the camp IS Baptist, therefore I am aware I will be hearing things I might not otherwise choose to encounter. However, after doing this for a few years, I’m comfortable being there, and I sort of know what to expect. This weekend’s speaker talked about giving things to God. Essentially, I interpreted it as, there are times in our lives when we try very, very hard, and we might be wasting our efforts by trying so hard, so learning to let go and trust in the process can go a long way towards getting us on or keeping us on the path we need to be going on.

I’d like to share with you a 9 minute clip I recently found on another blog. It talks a LOT about quantum mechanics so I had to watch it twice – once to learn there’s a lot of things I don’t understand about quantum mechanics, and the second time to go back and make sure I understood the message it was trying to convey – so please don’t let the highly technical jargon scare you off.

 

Religion has been telling us for years that giving up our focus on the outcome of a problem will open us up to the infinite possibilities that MIGHT happen. Sometimes they say it like ‘let Jesus take the wheel because he knows where the curves in the roads are’ or ‘trusting in God is a lot easier than trying to plan out every second of your life’, but they’re still saying it if they use different words. Quantum mechanics says that when we try to force things into a specific identification (i.e. trying to find the exact location of the basketball on the court), we limit the possibilities to fit our perspective.

Quantum mechanics phrases it a bit differently. In the video, they talk about how inappropriate it would be to ask the specific location of a basketball when it’s size is uniformly distributed across the basketball court, when no one can see it, because no one is there to observe where the basketball exists. It’s very trippy, don’t be embarrassed if you don’t understand it right away. Our position as an observer, in any situation, changes the outcome of events.

This is identical to one of the core operating functions of Reiki. We are told repeatedly through our studies and in classes that all we have to do with Reiki is to set the intention for it to be present – and then we let it do it’s thing. We can intend healing for a specific issue, but we cannot control the solution that Reiki will achieve. Lots of people (myself included) have tried to do otherwise and it’s a complete waste of effort. The Reiki will go wherever it’s supposed to, and that’s all we can ask of it. Like I told the people that I worked with this weekend, we come to VCBC and we hope to scrapbook. VCBC doesn’t do the scrapbooking for us. But it DOES allow us the opportunity to scrapbook, if we so choose. And if we’re not too concerned about scrapbooking (being productive), we might actually have a good time, reconnect with old friends, and have a few laughs.

The point is, we can save ourselves a lot of grief and struggle if we trust in the process and allow things to happen as needed. Louise Hay has an affirmation I like to say a lot – “Everything is happening in it’s own time”. Repeating this affirmation, and reminding myself that sometimes things don’t work for a reason, brings me a lot of peace and comfort. Life doesn’t need me constantly making it ‘go’ in order to keep things running. If there’s something I want… I’m okay with letting it happen in it’s own time and possibly being greater than I could ever imagine, rather than stressing out about it when there’s nothing I can do about it.

I know one thing, that I know nothing

When I began looking for a spiritual teacher, I think I was under the impression I’d only have one teacher. I think it was a dreamy notion but it certainly wasn’t practical. Case in point, the first spiritual person I really met managed to get me to buy a book or a crystal or a box of incense whenever I visited, but didn’t teach me a thing. The second one is a medium working around here and she wanted to charge me $200 if I wanted more than a few minutes of her time on her lunch break. The third one seemed to be more of a teacher, since she offered to teach me Reiki. But unfortunately, she’s just as human as the others were.

In my previous blog entry I talked about my experience with Reiki was so far. I didn’t talk much about the people I encountered. The reason I am hesitant to bring up this area of discussion is because I don’t want to come off as a wholly judgmental person or that I am ripping anyone apart. That is not my intention at all and I hope that I can convey that through the way I talk about specific people. But I do want to talk about a few things so that others might have this knowledge in mind before they go see another teacher, or to connect with others who may have had similar issues. Continue reading

My journey with Reiki – so far

So far, my journey with Reiki has been a bit sporadic, compared to others. I remember reading about Reiki when I was in high school, in particular, the areas where the symbols were addressed, and that particular day, fellow students became interested and ended up saying ‘ooh, what sacred symbols they are if they’re published in a book’. I got to a point where the authors of both books I had said I needed to find a teacher in order to actually learn Reiki. So I put the desire to learn Reiki up on a shelf. You know, that shelf of things that you think about but can’t see yourself doing? I have a lot of things on that shelf, sadly, but that’s for another time. Continue reading

What makes one a good friend?

This morning, I asked this question on Twitter: “does a true friend support you no matter what, or can they tactfully tell you when you’re making a mistake?”

This particular question has been weighing on me for several weeks now, in more ways than one. In fact, it’s an issue I’ve always struggled with. I wonder if it is one I will continue to struggle with after the course of this month, or whether I’ve learned my lesson. Continue reading