Monday, November 28, 2016

Living In Gratitude

Everyone who knows me well knows me to be a very positive and optimistic person, and very few outside of my family ever see anything different. Honestly, that's because that's who I closest friends and family can attest to that, but it's not how I've always been, I've had a dark period of my life where I was very negative. So how did I change?

After I lost my previous husband I had a grace period before grief really hit...I thought I'd dealt with all of that as he was slowly dying and it was done. (I now understand the "denial" period of grief.) I also spent that time remodeling and refurnishing our house with the inheritance money, figuring whenever it was gone I'd just get a job...this was 2007-2008. It was amazing how fast that money disappeared! And when it was gone, there weren't any jobs, the market was depressed. All that I could find were temporary jobs, and the only way I kept paying the utilities was through those and borrowing money from my friends and family. I got very depressed.

Then I came across the books "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne and "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay, and honestly they changed my life. I learned affirmations about being worthy and loved, that all is well in my world, and to wake up every day giving thanks for all that was around me. I learned to ignore the negative and focus on the positive because you get what you focus on the most. I learned to send out vibrations of abundance and love, and to forgive myself and everything around me...and it worked. 

I started getting better temp jobs that I liked, each one being better than the last as I tweaked my manifestation visualizations, and finally landed one that lasted long term, though it never went permanent and cut down from full time to part time...but by then I'd also met Steve and was remarried with two of our four sons living with us, and we were starting a Reiki business together so it was all good. 

We've been through a lot of changes over the years, and there have still been times that it's been scary for us financially with both of us being self-employed, but through it all I continue to live with "an attitude of gratitude" every day, focusing on all of the positive things in my world from bird song, sunshine or rain to either of us getting a new client...and I focus on the positive things in the lives of those around me too, being genuinely happy when someone has success in any aspect of their lives. 

I'm human and it's not always easy, but the core of my nature is sunny and optimistic so if I get into a negative state I don't stay there long. It might be harder for some whose nature is more pessimistic, but everyone can achieve living in a state of gratitude if they try. It's a matter of looking around you and seeing the beauty in what's there, seeking things to appreciate and be grateful for, and consciously trying to find that silver lining in every cloud that does come along. 

My father gave me a perfect example of that last one! When 9/11 happened, my parents lost the majority of their retirement fund and decided to invest the last of it into a clothing consignment store. They had some issues with shoplifting, but overall were doing well. Then they got a new neighbor in the strip mall, a man they later found out who had burned down his previous businesses but had not been proven to be at fault...and his new business became the eighth that he torched. They lost their entire inventory to smoke damage and my father's comment in our phone call about it was, "Well, the fire trucks are close to our store and our sign is in all of the news footage so we're getting a ton of free media coverage!" 

Yep...that's where I get it from. My dad is one of those chronically happy and optimistic people as well. He never needed to read about it, it's just who he is, and I guess this apple didn't fall far from his tree. But there are still times that I need to remind myself to focus on all of the beauty and abundance around me. 

So, when I get down, depressed or into a negative state I just focus on the thought "attitude of gratitude" and start looking around and giving thanks for everything I see, then I turn inwards and focus on giving thanks for everything (and everyone) that I can think of for at least a few minutes straight several times throughout that day rather than just my morning and evening sessions. Try it, and I think you'll find it makes a huge difference in your life! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Journey

So, who am I and how did I get here? These are questions I've spent decades asking, quite honestly! However I now find that I have a lot of those answers. Finally. So let me share them with you!

I've been drawn to the metaphysical and mystical, or the world of "woo woo", for most of my life. I started meditating in my early teens, lighting a candle and sitting on the rug in the middle of my bedroom and trying to follow what little I'd heard about meditation. Off and on I'd be drawn to the "occult" section (as it was known back in those times) of book stores and find interesting titles, and on one of those trips in my late 20s I bought my first Tarot deck, a Rider-Waite-Smith, which then got lost in a move before I got much use out of it. I found it garish and unappealing, with cards that were just way too big to handle, especially since I had a difficult enough time shuffling regular playing cards. 

Also in my 20s, but earlier--around 20 or 21--I had a friend who hurt his back and I was guided to place my hands on his back and start healing it. It was like getting a streaming download of information from Spirit...and it left me completely drained afterwards! Every time I was around someone who was hurt in some way my palms would throb and if they allowed me, I'd place my hands on the area and heal their pain, but afterwards I'd need to eat and sleep like I'd been deprived of both food and sleep for a week. During this time I was also raising my sons and taking them to church where I taught adult Sunday school.

Around age 39 I started being drawn towards finding another method to heal that wouldn't be so draining even though it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it used to be, just because I knew there had to be a better way than using my own life force energy to do so. That's when I discovered Wicca and Witchcraft and that the Goddess I'd read about in "The Mists of Avalon" was still worshipped today and I dedicated myself to Wicca and started studying it in earnest...much to the dismay of many around me, but I didn't let that discourage me. I also bought another deck of Tarot cards...a couple of those and some Oracle decks as well.

I have since left those practices, but still remain very connected to Nature, the Divine Feminine (as well as the Divine Masculine), and Spirit...but am now more Spiritual rather than following any religion since I've found all religions are just too dogmatic for me. There's good in each, but none fits me perfectly. (My husband likes to say he practices "Jarecki-ism", and I like that other words, "I have my own beliefs."

I've been through three divorces, one widowhood and am now married very happily for the fifth time...which apparently is my personal "charm" number. I was 44 when my late husband was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle, and during this time I sought solace in a haven
I'd found called The Mesa Creative Arts Center, owned by Brad and Kate Silberberg (sadly Kate has since also passed on), who became my dear friends and mentors. I also started to study to be a Doctor of Naturopathy, a decision I made after having a doctor tell us that, "it's not the cancer that kills you, it's the chemo that does" and deciding that western medicine could no longer be the direction I could go anymore. (I spent years working and studying in it, having been a Medical Assistant, a CNA and a nursing student.)

The Mesa is where I became a Reiki Practitioner and started attending a lot of classes to become more and more immersed in the "world of woo-woo", getting healing, readings, and starting to consciously work on further developing my intuition and psychic gifts...and starting to really focus on starting to read Tarot and Oracles for others. I started meditating again as well, and this is also where I met my current husband, Steve, at a Reiki Share. 

Today my studies continue on several topics, and now I teach what I've learned over the past few decades. I am now a Reiki Master/Teacher, a professional Tarot and Oracle reader, an Intuitive Energy Healer and a teacher of many things. It's been a long journey, but I've appreciated every bit of it along the way and am glad to be where I am now...and to help others find their way by providing a haven, a safe space, for a new set of people as was once provided for me. I've been blessed, and it's my pleasure to share those blessings with others.