The Global Awakening

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Many people are hurting right now – both on a personal and collective level, as we look within and without – we see and feel the pain. Pain caused by fear, hatred, and injustice.

Yet, brothers and sisters, our global family has been dysfunctional for a long time. We may wear masks, put on happy smiles, choose to ignore or deny certain truths, and delude ourselves that everything is all right. Yet sooner or later, all that stuff boiling under the surface is going to erupt. Like any disease, the longer you ignore it, the worse it becomes.

Welcome to our reality check.

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We are experiencing global birthing pains. A global dark night of the soul. In order for transformation to occur, we must face our darkness and release our
fears. This is our growing pains.

We’re on a path of evolution and that should give us hope. The status quo is shattering so healing can take place. This isn’t the first time we have experienced this, if not in most of our lifetime.

In the United States, our two Presidential candidates are merely a reflection of our country’s deep seeded subconscious, rising to the surface, into the light, to be faced. What will we choose to do with what we see?

Many different souls have recently, and throughout 2016, sacrificed their lives in order that we may wake up.

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The only thing you have control over is yourself. You may need to avoid media posts for awhile if it negatively affects your vibration, or to avoid manipulation. The drama is just beginning. The most important thing you can do is shine your light. The world needs the Light Bearers. This is what we came here for. Hold space for your brothers and sisters who are hurting while helping to transmute the energies that need to leave.

Make every moment count.

Love.

And once you’ve loved, love some more.

Peace Be With You

Your Personalized 2016 Forecast

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I recently reviewed my 2015 Forecast while I looked through my journal entries and reflected on my experiences, lessons, and growth throughout 2015. It was so amazing to see how the deep wisdom contained in my 2015 Forecast manifested throughout the year and it gave me peace knowing I’m on the right track.

I gave thanks, let go, celebrated, and now embrace new opportunities and change on a fresh slate for the new year. I have my road map and awareness of key themes in 2016.

I’d like to offer you the same ammunition. Your Personalized 2016 Forecast will show you:

•Your 2015 in Summary
•What you learned in 2015
•What you aspire to in 2016
•What will empower you
•What may challenge you
•Relationships
•Career/Work/Finances
•Health & Wellbeing
•Spiritual Journey/Inner Fulfillment
•How you need to focus your energy
•Most important lesson for 2016
•Overall outcome for 2016

READY, SET, LET’S GO!

$75 (suggested donation)

Contact me to order your 2016 Personalized Forecast

Dear Men

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Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.
C. JoyBell C.

We women know what you’ve had to endure. Considered the “dominant” sex for thousands of years, there was a lot of expectations and pressure put on you to be strong, brave, and courageous. Life was about being a hunter, a warrior, and a provider with no room for weakness. You had to make hard sacrifices to survive or fulfill your duties. You were expected to be tough and never allowed to show emotions or fear.

But old paradigms are crumbling and the male species is evolving. Having core truths, beliefs, and perceptions shattered to pieces after thousands of years of DNA encoding is no small feat. It leaves one broken, lost, confused, and shaken, possibly even grasping for the old ways to avoid embracing the unknown that exists in change.

Us women have been riding this wave of change for awhile now, supporting each other along the journey. In many ways, it’s probably easier for us, as our natural tendency is to share our struggles with our Sisters. But rising above oppression, abuse, and violence is a painfully scary, and often times, deadly, task. Our fight for equality still continues. We’ve had to learn how to be independent and provide for ourselves, while also opening to our true feminine nature, we’ve had to learn how to be receptive.

Which brings us to now. Many of us women have learned to be authentic and vulnerable. We have opened our hearts to you and let you in. We have shared our souls with you. We really do accept you for who you are, and just want to love and nurture you.

But men, after thousands of years of being warriors and conquerors, fearlessly charging into battle with weapons drawn, the love and heart of a woman terrifies you and sends you running away like a scared puppy with his tail between his legs. Why is that?

Why can you fight against nations but not for the heart of the woman you love? It’s okay. We accept your fear. We want to see your sensitive side, your tender side, yet we understand how terrifying it is to tear down all the masks and walls and stand naked, raw, and vulnerable, with nothing but faith to guard you.

But I need to ask you to do some soul searching. We know you don’t want to hurt us but you do. Do you really want to settle for a life of mediocrity in order to feel safe? Your job and friends may be satisfying, but deep down, do you want to be alone, just so your ego is protected? Or are you willing to risk it all to have it all?

Once upon a time, couples did marry for love. They stuck it out through thick and thin. That was before too many options destracted us. We’ve become so paralyzed by choices that we make no choice at all.

Many people are aware that the Universe is bringing together Soul Mates to prepare us for Sacred Marriage, in order to unite the Divine Feminine and Masculine, and restore order and balance on Earth. This is part of our evolution and it’s part of a grand design.

Men, we know you can do it. Rather than being in love with the idea or fantasy, we challenge you to rise up and be brave, have courage, and be fearless in making love a reality in your life. Don’t let anything stop you from ending up in the arms of the woman who truly loves you. The one you can’t stop thinking about,  the one your heart yearns to be with, the woman who sets your soul on fire and ignites a passion deep within that you’ve never felt before. We ask you to stop fighting it and surrender.

Because how do you want to look back upon your life? With regrets and what-ifs I had only taken a chance? A life never lived because of fear? I can’t promise you it will always work out but you will heal and you will grow and you will be better for it. We women believe in the spark of divinity within you.

We are waiting. But how long until another man with the courage to love outrageously steals her away with the willingness to give her what she deserves? The gamble is yours.

I hope you look back on your life, proud you chose to go after the woman who held your heart, with a lifetime of magical moments as memories that took your breath away, and made it all worth it. The truth is, we need you and can’t do it alone.

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If you’d like to read about what is actually happening inside your brain when you start to fall in love, read this article:
But, many of you know first-hand how falling in love can turn you into an obsessed, needy, and insecure person for a time. You don’t have to have emotional issues from the past to feel this way.”
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-hardy/201203/the-early-stages-falling-in-love

💗
Rebecca

Living With a Debilitating Disorder

Fibromyalgia is a wide spread chronic pain disorder that also causes fatigue and many other symptoms. For more information, click on fibromyalgia symptoms. It’s also considered an ‘Invisible Illness’ meaning there are no outward signs that someone is sick, and thus, look fine and capable. I didn’t ask for this disease, nor did I want it.

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Wasted Dreams

To be honest, I judged those with fibromyalgia before I fully understood it, unfortunately, through personal experience. Even though I had friends with it, I couldn’t help but wonder if, at times, they were hypochondriacs; whiny, lazy, and using their diagnosis an excuse. Now I’m on disability, only able to work PT. As a former perfectionist and over-achiever, I hate that I have to endure the judgments and accusations about not being a “productive member of society”, questioning my own value and worth. A good reminder that we ultimately end up being judged the way in which we judge others.

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What’s even more annoying are the well-intentioned people who think they have the answer. I believe my condition was brought on by multiple traumatic events. At one point, I was able to work full time when I could afford five hundred to one thousand dollars a month on healing treatments. Now I do what I can: eat the best that I can (there’s always room for improvement and financial barriers, as well), walk, hike, yoga, aerobic exercise when able, meditation, Epsom salt baths, essential oils, TENS unit, medication management, and massage and acupuncture when I have some extra cash. It’s about learning to cope and manage your stress.

I have my good days and bad days, just like anyone else. I feel like the good outweigh the bad but the bad days can be a nightmare if you take into consideration what I consider to be a good day.

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Beautiful View

A “good day” is when I’m able to maintain my positivity, spiritual connection, and inner peace despite my pain level being at a 7. I smile despite feeling like I have the flu but I can accomplish my daily goals, responsibilities, and function like most SAHM’s. I push myself even though it feels like I’m going to collapse. When it starts to feel like I’m being beaten with a baseball bat and nauseous from the pain and fatigue, I rest, and find relief to continue on. I’m a good mother; patient, involved, and attentive to my children.

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Fallen Angel

My “bad days” are when my pain level is at a 10. It feels like I’m being tortured; like my spine is shattering into a million pieces, my sacrum is being busted by a jack hammer, an ax is going through my shins, and the pain throughout my entire body is so overwhelming; stuck at the surface like I’m going to explode and felt so deeply I cannot move. I hold back the tears yet inevitably, I can’t hold back my emotions. Feelings of confusion, anger, powerlessness, shame, fear, and despair. I wonder if I’m cursed. I don’t want to lay in bed anymore, suffering. I have a million other things I’d rather and should be doing. My kids deserve the attention I’m unable to give at the moment. I am so tense that the energy is blocked and I can’t release the pain. I can’t relax enough to relieve the fatigue.

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Crying Angel

No matter how much I pray, fight it, or try to will it away, its agonizing horror greets me each morning. Its grip holds tight throughout the night. It sounds so crazy that I don’t even understand it. I’m angry that this pain gets in the way of living life on my terms. I don’t want to surrender to the reality of my limitations. I feel guilty that my kids are affected by my pain. I fear that it will never go away, that I won’t be able to support my children on my own, or that I won’t be able to fulfill my purpose here on Earth. I begin to feel hopeless.

Beautiful Angel

Beautiful Angel

Like I said, thankfully, the good days outweigh the bad. Most days I’m able to accept my suffering. But that doesn’t keep me from wishing or hoping that one day there will be a cure or that I’ll have the financial means to seek the healing that can improve the quality of my life.

I don’t write this for pity, attention, or sympathy. Honestly, I keep this truth about me pretty well hidden, like a shameful dark secret. This is my attempt at being authentic and vulnerable to give a voice to my wholeness; my dark and my light. It’s an attempt to raise awareness and support other sufferers of this illness.

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Transformation

I’ve heard Source tell me repeatedly, “Your pain is your power.” I’m not quite sure I believe that or understand yet, but I have to wonder if love could be the key to my healing? Maybe I’m just a dreamer. I long to be showered with love and affection, finding refuge in the safe, strong arms of a man, a quality of tenderness and care that may bring me back to homeostasis. Whose touch, embrace, and Soul may be a healing balm able to penetrate the deepest layers of my Being.

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Angel of Hope

I’ve done my work. Thirteen long years of facing my demons alone and shining Light in the dark, paving a pathway to healing. Yes, on my bad days I question everything. I doubt and grow impatient. Yet I continue to stand in my power and never give up. I know my heart is pure and I know what I deserve. I have to believe that the answers I seek are on their way. I’ve witnessed too many miracles to believe otherwise.

Never Lose Faith,
Rebecca

Perfect Love

My daughter and I cuddle up every night and watch “Charmed” on Netflix. In S2:E10 – Heartbreak City – Drazi, the demon of hate, attempts to destroy love. Phoebe, played by Alyssa Milano, assists Cupid to vanquish Drazi, and along the way, learns some valuable lessons from Cupid.

Phoebe was having bad luck in the romance department. Cupid told her it was because her heart was closed, which irritated her and she vehemently denied. He pointed out to her that her fear of losing those she loves has caused her to close her heart to love in order to keep her safe, which in turn, prevented her from attracting love.

Deeper yet, Cupid taught her that the message and the Messenger are separate. People can come and go in and out of our lives, sharing love with us. What’s not important is if they’re intended to stay. What is important, is that we open our hearts to receive those messages of love. People are not perfect. We fail. We make mistakes. We cannot become attached to the Messenger. Just as fear cannot exist in love. Perfect love casts away all fear.

I was surprised that this show had such a profound effect the following day during my meditation that it helped clear some major blockages in my own life that I had failed to see.

I’ve been single for 13 years, and like Phoebe, thought I just hadn’t found the ‘right one’ yet. How many of us, who claim to be open and ready for a relationship, if you took an honest look, still harbor feelings of fear around love? None of us want our hearts broken again. We want to avoid the gut – wrenching pain of betrayal or the sting of rejection. So we wear masks and build up walls.

Maybe even your reason for wanting to find a relationship is fear based: i.e., fear of being alone, fear of failure, financial fears, etc. As a result, you come across as insecure and desperate.

It’s not healthy to be blind to or deny those hidden truths within us. It’s okay to be authentic and vulnerable. That’s when our wounds are given the opportunity to be exposed to the light, to love, and to heal. Admit to yourself what is holding you back from attracting what you really desire.

Because the ‘Independent, I don’t need anyone, sex with no strings attached’ attitude is so last decade. It’s a false sense of ego and it’s time to vanquish those demons – anything that stands in the way of expressing your Divine nature, which is Love.

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Yes, there are times when being alone is a necessary and sacred part of your journey. For this kind of love can only happen when we love our imperfect selves, perfectly. Yet, the time has come to unite and harmonize the Masculine and Feminine in Truth and Power and Love.

To me, perfect love is the pure intention of sharing the gift of love with another, the desire to touch another’s soul so deeply, that even in your absence, they are never the same again.

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Perfect love is kindness, gentleness, and respect.

It is service to another with the hope of easing their burdens.

Perfect love is someone wanting to stay up all night, exploring and excavating the unearthed recesses of your mind.

It is someone who accepts all of you just the way you are.

Someone whose gaze reaches the core of your Being.

Soft kisses on fingertips.

Whose smile lights up your life and makes all your problems disappear.

Someone who wishes to share in your happiness and joy, as well as your sorrows and pain, and everything in between.

Whose scent makes you feel safe and calm and warm.

Passion that can create a whole other Universe.

Perfect love is star gazing together and dancing under the magic of the moonlight.

Small gifts to know you are cherished and sweet texts to know you’re on their mind.

It is the person who takes a seat next to you on this crazy ride called life, buckles ups and holds your hand through the ups and downs, white knuckles, hair blowing, screaming and laughing, exhilarated from sharing this adventure with you.

Whose touch awakens your senses and sets your soul on fire.

An embrace that melts all physical boundaries, where all that remains is your True essence – LOVE.

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Love Always,
Rebecca

Remembering Your Divine Essence

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Last night I was working on an oracle card reading for myself. In my journey toward finding real love and finding the next step in my journey, I must remove the final walls and barriers I have built to protect myself and present the real me to the world instead of putting on the masks which were once helpful. I must have complete faith and trust in God to provide for me, symbolized by the Dove. I let go of feelings of guilt, did some past life healing, and drifted off to sleep.

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The symbolism in the dream I had is so powerful (and personal) I wanted to share. I had a new baby in addition to the two beautiful children I have now. However, I stuck her in the cage with the kids’ guinea pigs and forgot about her. I would check on her and the pigs occasionally and feel bad for neglecting her. I’d hold her and feed her some and put her back in the cage.

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I began to notice that the cage was freezing up with ice and the pigs could no longer be fed. I continued to be destracted in the care of my baby.

One day the pigs were dead. It was awful. I blamed my kids and others for not taking care of them. I mused about why it was so easy for me to leave my baby in there and forget about her. I talked about what an easy pregnancy she was and how she never cried for food and nurturing so I failed to notice her need. I felt deeply sad and ashamed.

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It was time. It was time to free her from the cage and be her mother. To feed her consistently, hold her warmly, and love her always. I cried as I fully embraced this beautiful child of mine. She was so sweet, so calm, so patient with me. Vibrating pure love.

All day long, I have been thinking about that precious baby and how healing it was to finally SEE her. To spend time with her.

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Of course that darling angel was me. I share this dream in hopes that through meditation and prayer, you as well can find and connect with your inner child, your source of innocence, your Divine nature, and make peace with her. We are all darling angels in God’s eyes!

Sweet dreams and take care of yourself!

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THE BEAR AND BOUNDARIES: Week of June 12-18, 2015

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POWER ANIMAL ORACLE CARDS by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D.

I chuckled when I drew this card for you guys today and nodded with confirmation. I’ve been simultaneously working on three blogs while also intending on doing an oracle card reading from my new deck for this week. I published the blog on my daughter’s baptism yesterday and was going to publish my blog ‘Healthy Boundaries, Healthy You’, later this week. In light of the ‘Boundaries’ oracle card pulled, why don’t we just condense the two? Apparently, boundaries are a hot topic right now.

A few weeks ago, I ended up in the ER with excruciating leg pain. I feared I had a blood clot as I could not remember injuring it. I could no longer walk on my left leg. After tests and x-rays, nothing was found and the doctors didn’t know what was causing my pain. This wasn’t my first go-around with mysterious symptoms that stumped the doctors. I mean, Spirit had been telling me for a few weeks already to set some boundaries and take time for self-care, guidance I continued to put off for “another day”. I was severely burning myself out and it wasn’t pretty. So for a week I was forced to spend a lot of time in bed where I received hours and hours and hours of messages from Spirit. I got rest and reflected on my life. Then my ankle miraculously healed and I could walk again! I know better. But how many of us know we need to set boundaries and tend to ourselves in order to be healthy, and yet, have trouble acting on it? Why do we do that? Hopefully, I’ll shed some light for ya here.

I realized many people, myself included, have a hard time being responsible for themselves. That’s what it really comes down to. Wait. What? But I’m like über-responsible. Let me try to explain….

Personal Responsibility
All we can control in our lives is ourselves…our thoughts, our feelings, our words, our beliefs and perceptions, and our actions. Yet how many of us take on the responsibility of others in an effort to avoid looking at yourself, or in an attempt to control your environment? Maybe you blame others for your own unhappiness, feel resentful or unappreciated, or avoid responsibility all together and expect others to be responsible for you. Some of this behavior may border on enabling but it can be anything from feeling responsible for other people’s feelings, i.e. ‘My partner is unhappy. It must be because of me. I need to make him/her not unhappy.’ You may feel the need to judge or change someone’s choices or opinions. You may take what they say personally.

Guess what? It’s not all about you. Boundaries. Every single person has the autonomous right to be however they want to be. Everyone is walking their own journey, responsible for themselves, and it’s not our business to interfere. Sure, there may be consequences. Again, not your responsibility, as painful as it can be to watch. Allow others to make their own mistakes, their own failures, their own victories, and learn their own lessons.

It’s hard but as soon as you realize and accept that everyone is walking their own journey and the only person you are responsible for is you, you’ll begin to be able to let go and find peace. Rather than feeling like you have to’ get sucked into other’s dramas, you’ll begin the exciting journey of actually living your own life!

A lot of parents struggle with guilt, questioning whether they are giving their children enough attention, enough stuff, enough experiences. By law, you are only required to provide food, shelter, clothing, and an education for your children. Everything else is a privilege. Of course, you want to give your child your love and time. It is recommended that each child gets 10-15 minutes a day of one on one attention. Kids can get pretty demanding and manipulative trying to get more out of you. I think it’s important to teach children healthy boundaries. Teach them the value of their own responsibility and personal space by modeling it for them, rather than perpetuating a lot of the entitled, spoiled kids we see today.

It’s a  normal human trait to desire appreciation and acceptance, yet not when it’s rooted in dysfunction. My self-worth is not rooted in taking care of others and having them validate those distorted efforts.

To serve is to love unconditionally, from a pure, giving, and humble heart, within the scope of your limitations and boundaries, putting your needs first.

Our separateness is just as sacred as our Oneness. Then there’s the whole belief that ‘everyone is a reflection of ourself’ and that ‘everything we attract mirrors our own vibration’. I struggled with that. How could the sociopaths I had attracted into my life be a reflection of me? I have recently learned that those who cross our path aren’t necessarily a mirror image of us but bring up in ourselves that which needs to be healed or revealed within. Maybe it’s an inability to be assertive, a lack of self-love, or to trust your intuition. We all have much room for improvement and many obstacles standing in our way of realizing our full potential.

So our past and present relationships with partners, friends, colleagues, family members, in their dysfunction, can help us to see what wounds we need to heal. And yes, some of those wounds are painfully dark, yet it is a gift to have them brought to light.

We also came here with karmic lessons we wanted to learn. Many believe we choose our parents before we come to this physical plane. Our parents, our first teachers, in spite of their issues, may have been our perfect teachers, reflecting for us the deep lessons we needed to learn for our growth. From this viewpoint, it’s easy to feel love, compassion, and forgiveness for even the most difficult relationships.

As we go through this week, learning to set boundaries, say no when needed, take full responsibility for your own life and happiness, and let go and accept that you can’t control or change others, paying attention to the areas where you yourself can change, remember this is all an illusion. We are all just walking each other home. We have created scenarios to help with our soul’s growth but don’t become attached to the scenarios. Evil forces and falsehood are working hard to create the illusion of separation. Pray for the grace to put your false self to rest, thank your ego for its assistance navigating this world,  and follow the lead of your Higher Self. Affirm Divine timing, intervention, synchronicity, and miracles along your path. Be filled with joy that you’ve been blessed with another day and pause to dance with each other along the way!

In gratitude,
Rebecca
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Your Angel Card Reading for January 25-31, 2015

From: HEALING WITH THE ANGELS ORACLE CARDS BY DOREEN VIRTUE, PH.D

From: HEALING WITH THE ANGELS ORACLE CARDS BY DOREEN VIRTUE, PH.D

In this angel card, you see the angel sitting in darkness, protected by a casted circle, and yet, amidst the darkness, there’s a spark of light, from a magical creature.

Spirit shared a vision with me yesterday:

Imagine yourself surrounded by Divine White Light

Connect to Mother Earth through the soles of your feet

Center yourself in your heart chakra, where Love resides

Cast away all fears (God/Goddess are always there to support you)

Now imagine that Divine White Light as a powerful magnet.

With no fear, and complete surrender and trust in the Divine’s will, timing, and intervention, you attract everything you need and desire for your highest and greatest good! What kind of things is your energy field attracting? Affirm that what you need and want is ready to be manifested in your life by your magnetic energy field.

Expect a miracle this week. Sometimes a miracle seems like the only solution to a problem. Be open to allowing God to help you resolve your challenges in ways that may surprise you–what I like to call Divine Intervention, or miracles. As you notice the blessings, miracles, and magic all around you, you will experience even more!

Create magic. Be magical. Have a miraculous week!

Love & Light

Contact me for your personalized reading! rebecca.heavenonearth@gmail.com
Heaven On Earth Ministries

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Finding Balance

I finally had a chance to do my 2015 Reading. The cards said my most important lesson for 2015 is Balance. Synchronicity! That was going to be the topic for this week’s blog! The ascended master pulled for this week’s oracle card reading was Lady Nada. She helps balance and harmonize the masculine and feminine energies within you. What exactly does that mean?

We know what it means to be out of balance: giving too much while not being open to receiving; too much work, too little play; analytical mind while being out of touch with your intuition/feelings; over-spending, not enough saving; not giving yourself permission to take care of yourself, socialization vs. alone time, etc. It can be easy for our lives to fall out of balance with chaotic schedules and demands for your time and energy. Our planet is extremely out of balance from the destruction and abuse of our Earth’s resources for the sake of industry and consumption.

In Chinese philosophy, the yin-yang is a symbol of balance. Yin is characterized by the feminine energies–the moon, dark, cold, being, receiver, nurturer, intuitive. Yang represents the masculine energies–the sun, light, warmth, activity, giver, protector, analytical. Yin-yang is the fusion of two cosmic forces, each containing a “seed” of each other. The belief is that two apparently opposing forces work together to make up the whole. Seeming polarities are complementary, inter-connected, and inter-dependent in the natural world. You cannot have light without the shadow.

The Shiva Lingam in Hindu culture represent the cosmic egg–full of creative potential, from the union of the masculine and feminine energies.

The Caduceus, from Greek mythology, has been adopted to symbolize health or the medical profession. In actuality, the double snakes represent duality and the unification of polar opposites. The snakes represent balance and harmony. The staff, rod, or wand acts as a conduit between the body and mind, physical and spiritual, heaven and earth, the mundane world and the ethereal. The wings are symbolic of ascension, messages from the divine, or a connection to a higher power. The Caduceus is a powerful alchemical symbol of unification of opposites, balance, and transformation. Its reflection is seen in Kundalini, the sleeping serpent of cosmic life force that awakens and ascends up the spine, awakening the chakras, and ultimately, finding union with the Divine. It also echos the double helix of DNA, the building blocks of life, where each strand holds information from the whole.

That’s what balance means: to be whole. Finding balance is the key to your Higher Self.

How can one achieve balance? Quiet reflection and appropriate action steps would be a good start. I think the chakra system is such a complete representation of the self, and I’ve been doing meditations to balance my chakras. It’s a profound tool for finding areas of your life that are out of balance or blocked, and working to restore wholeness for optimum performance and health. I will write about my experience with kundalini, and the guided chakra meditation experience once I’ve completed. It involves the opportunity for artistic expression. As well, Tarot is a helpful and beneficial tool that can provide insight into how to bring your life into greater harmony and balance.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! What areas do you want to bring back into balance and how do you plan to do that? What does balance mean to you?

~Blessed Be~
Heaven On Earth Ministries

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THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE

Yesterday, on New Year’s Day, our family celebrated our 2nd Annual Gift of Gratitude. That is, throughout the year, we wrote down things we were grateful for and collected them in a gift bag. While the kids got drunk on sparkling cider (read: sugar high), we passed the bag around, each pulling out a slip of paper, reading the things we had been thankful for in 2014 and reminiscing on each of the blessings that had come our way this past year. Anything from family activities we had done, having food to eat, to times of peace and quiet, that as a parent, are greatly appreciated. Each one of us had been thankful for the library–the gift of a wealth of books to check out for free, fun summer activities and programs, and their summer reading program, which allowed the kids to earn prizes each week to local restaurants. We were grateful for the members of our community, who helped us pack and move in August, during the week my mom was in the hospital with a blood clot and life threatening infection. Whose generosity toward our family helped give my kids a bright Christmas. There were so many things to be thankful for! Even our black cat, my familiar, Jezebel, was thankful for a warm house, food, water, snuggles, and the occasional tuna as a treat! I am grateful that I am teaching my children the gift of gratitude — the ability to pause, take notice, and give thanks for the abundant blessings in their lives. We look forward to this special New Year’s Day ritual, full of lots of laughter and memories.

I realized when the bag was empty and we were all done, that I should have included the hardships, as well. I feel like they were left out, though intentionally, at the time. But I realized that each of those trials and painful experiences were a gift. They taught me lessons, allowed me to grow, made me a stronger person. My goal for this year is to include those difficulties in our GIFT OF GRATITUDE. Then on New Year’s Day 2016, I can reflect back on how those obstacles benefited me in the end.

Struggling with fibromyalgia and PTSD, I focus on my limitations and my suffering more than I should. I forget to be grateful for my health in other ways. After my car accident that left me in a wheelchair for six months, I realized how much we take the ability to get up and walk around for granted. To be able to use your arms to carry things or shower on your own. When I get sick or have some other temporary issue going on, I’m reminded how much I take for granted the times when I’m not dealing with those problems. So, despite my chronic illnesses, I am going to focus on the health that I do have.

Some of you may have experienced incredible loss in 2014. As you continue to heal, I send you my love, and hope you’re able to recognize the shimmer of light amidst the darkness.

I encourage you to do any variation of our GIFT OF GRATITUDE. Many people do a ‘Gratitude Jar’. Keep a Gratitude journal. Acknowledge what you are thankful for. Focus on your blessings rather than lack. Adopt the attitude of gratitude. Allow the power of gratitude to magically transform your heart and your life; manifesting all that you need and more.

I’d love to hear from you! What are you grateful for?

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