Monday, December 29, 2014

The Gift of a Handwritten Card

When it comes to sending out Christmas cards, I'm old school - mine are handwritten and mailed. I still have some friends and relatives who do this as well, and it is always nice to receive their updates, along with good wishes, in the mail. Today, a card arrived from Canuck Place. In and of itself, this isn't that remarkable. My husband and I receive cards from other organizations this time of year. But this one was different - over the past few hours, I have reread it five or six times. Why? In addition to wishing my husband and I the best of the season, the handwritten message thanked us "for the contribution you have made over the years in memory of your son ... Mike!" Previous contact with the person who wrote it only consisted of a few emails earlier this year, with regards to the golf tournament. A cynic may say, "Well that's just good business." However, I say, "Thank you so much for taking the time to write this thoughtful card - it means the world to my husband and me, particularly when you refer to our son by name and add the energy of an exclamation mark." Personalized, handwritten messages - they can't be beat.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Candles Lighting the Way

This morning, I pulled out the mini Christmas tree and ornaments in preparation for tomorrow's family visit to Boal. It wasn't until I was out walking in the canyon, a short time later, that the emotions started swirling. I am thankful for this tradition we originally created to honour my mother at the cemetery, then moved to Boal after Michael and Kelly died. I know there will be some tears, that's a given, but there will also be a few laughs. And of course, there will be candles. Tiny, white ones clipped to the branches. Anyone who knows me well, knows this - I love candles. Surrounding myself with them is one of my favourite aspects of this season. There is something so pure and uplifting about candlelight. Earlier this week, while wandering through a spectacular garden light display, my husband and I paused to light two candles for Michael and Kelly, infuse them with good wishes, and place them side by side on a ledge in the rock grotto.  This Sunday evening, we'll be observing Winter Solstice with candles during the Lantern Festival in our city's classical Chinese Garden.  And over these next few days, when I recognize the need for additional grounding, a simple candle meditation will be in order.  Sitting cross-legged before a candle and with soft gaze, focussing on the flame. Visualizing the light making its way into my third eye and seeing the beam flow directly into my heart. Appreciating all the candles lighting the way, inside and out.
Photo credit: Two Wings

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Encouraging Messages

Working with the invisible continues to impress. After a long absence, I have stepped back into offering professional tarot card readings. By choice, I had not ventured into this arena since the accident, but I recently decided that it would be great to get out there again, so after making some enquiries, I committed to doing readings in a friend's store one day a week.  As it had been over three and a half years, I was a little anxious about how it would go, so I meditated on two themes of great importance when seeking connection with the invisible for the benefit of others - faith and trust. Also, in the early morning of my first day back, while walking in the forest, I humbly requested assistance from those in spirit to please draw near and bring their support to the readings.     
Well, it was a stellar day. Interestingly, none of the clients were from the area, none had ever stepped into the store, and to my knowledge, none had ever experienced tarot readings. However, all of them expressed feelings of being drawn in without having a clear idea of why they were there. During the sessions, numerous amazing connections were made, but the one that resonated most deeply with me involved the heart theme. When my last client of the day sat down across from me to begin our session, she complemented me on the tunic I was wearing and asked if I had, by any chance, purchased it from a shop located a short distance away. She referred to it as Get Blessed. I answered that I had, and with a smile, gave her the correct name, Get Dressed. We both chuckled at this Freudian slip. She said that on her way here, she had stopped in that shop and had considered purchasing the same tunic for herself, but in the end, decided not to. We then proceeded with the reading which turned out to have a strong love component. When we were done, she returned to the retail area and purchased a large decorative heart for herself. Before leaving the store, however, she walked towards me and presented me with a richly enamelled, metal heart, which she had purchased as a gift for me. Bright red, it fit perfectly into the palm of my hand, with just the right amount of weight. Hollow, this exquisite heart contained a tiny bell which rang sweetly when shaken. Across the centre, in white lettering, was the ♥ symbol along with the word YOU. What this woman could not have known was less than an hour before she arrived, I had picked up this exact piece and had felt a very strong connection. I shared this with her and added that I had considered buying it for myself but after some thought, had returned it to the basket instead.
I send a huge bouquet of love and gratitude to the invisible for the incredible messages of encouragement.  Clearly, I am on the right path.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Modifying Traditions

The early snowfall last weekend prompted me to begin decorating for Christmas much earlier than usual. My enthusiasm was also spurred on by my husband and I stumbling upon a mom and pop shop carrying an eclectic mix of items, including a stunning, vintage aluminum tree. It was born in the 50s, as was our home, and the two of us. This shiny tree now adorns our living room, perfectly. If I were a betting person, I would have lost big time - I never, ever imagined I'd have an artificial tree, never mind one made of aluminum!  Growing up, my family would purchase our tree the day before Christmas, then decorate it with real candles during the afternoon, for our German Christmas Eve celebration that night. Later on, with my own children, our tree would be trimmed with white lights a week before Christmas. This year, our new-to-us tree has no lights at all, and was fully decorated on the first of December. Modifying our traditions: details of how we experience this holiday season change over time, but celebrating the overall joy of it remains.