When the fires of pleasure burn bright – Celebrating Beltane

When the fires of pleasure burn bright - Celebrating Beltane

You may not have heard of Beltane per se, but most people have some knowledge of May Day. Although the spring “officially” started at the time of the vernal equinox, also known as Ostara, the 1st of May is when it feels that spring has finally arrived.

Since the equinox, the sun has come out to play more with longer days and warmer temperatures (generally, unless you live where I do). 🙂 Trees and flowers are blooming all around.

It’s a time for celebration and rejoicing! Summer and fun is just around the corner!

Traditionally Beltane was one giant party. In the pastoral British Isles, Beltane marked the true end of harsh winter and fickle spring. It was a time to start preparing the land and animals for the growing cycle and to rejoice in surviving another year.

Fire was a very important part of the celebration and was prominent in the rituals of old. Often communities would gather around large bonfires to honor the growing sun. Farmers would walk their livestock between the bonfires to ward of disease and ensure a fruitful harvest. And then the real fun began with all-night parties!

Being the time of fertility and growth, Beltane became synonymous with carnal desires. Think old school Carnival… but with less bling and more flowers. Having been cooped up all winter long with family and possibly some animals, couples would sneak off to the forest and wild areas to celebrating their youth and feed their passions. It was quite the randy affair.

Modern celebrations are perhaps a bit more restrained but no less energizing. It’s unlikely you’ll be in a place to start some bonfires, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live it up with a few modified traditions.

Let’s light our own fires as we move more fully into the wheel of the year.

Here are 4 fun and festive ways to celebrate Beltane this year:

U5LYW9UWS0May Day baskets – I’ve never taken part in this wonderful tradition but many of my friends have told me about it. It’s basically a more summery version of an Easter basket plus the fun of a “ding-dong ditch”. You create baskets full of flowers and candies and other fun summer items (maybe some bubbles or sidewalk chalk, etc.) and then leave in on your neighbor’s door. Ring the bell and then – run! Obviously, it’s a bit more fun if you actually know your neighbor, but still it’s always nice to receive gifts even from strangers. Bonus points if you do this for your secret crush. 😉 Learn more about the history of May Day baskets in this NPR report.

Mini Maypoles – I’m guessing most of us don’t have acres of land upon which to erect a giant pole into the ground and then run around it with 12 of your best friends, wrapping ribbons until the pole until it resembles a tilt-o-whirl gone mad. However, if you do have a sizable yard and the inclination to set it up for some serious fun… I highly recommend doing a Maypole dance. But if you are like me, living in an apartment without a lot of space to be had, then you can always do a smaller version of this awesomely strange tradition. Channel your inner Martha Stewart and go to the craft store to collect supplies. In this case, a foot long dowel rod will do. Ribbons, of course and perhaps some glue. Don’t forget a foam platform to place the rod into to keep it upright. Then decorate the rod as you would its larger cousin and add wild flowers if you’d like. Now you have a gorgeous minified version that can be a great centerpiece for your table.

20150711_135754Wild Flower walks – This is a great time to get out in the world and glory in the changing seasons. It’s not boiling hot yet (I really dislike heat), but not freezing anymore (unless you live in the great north). Go talk little walks around local nature parks and watch as the earth comes back to life again. Take pictures of the buds you find and then track their progress. I have a particular path I walk around near my home and I’ve taken pictures all year long. I skipped walking during the super snowy time, but it’s been amazing watching all the plant life and animal life opening up again.

Color your life – This is going to be on my list of fun things to do for a while. Coloring!! Bust out the sidewalk chalk (maybe received in a May Day basket), or your colored pencils and let your inner artist out! Spring is all about color as blossoms burst into life in all the shades of the rainbow. On my list to develop this year is my water coloring skills. I used to do some oil painting with my mom long ago, but water colors seem more whimsical and playful to me. Whatever you choose be sure to enjoy yourself!

Summer is now just around the corner. Beltane is a reminder that no matter how long and dark the winter may be, everything is permanent and change is inevitable.

How did you celebrate Beltane this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Celebrating the balance of day and night

Celebrating the balance of day and night

“Spring is in the air!”

You’ve probably been hearing that a lot lately. Maybe it lights you up and gets you excited for all the spring cleaning, planting and generally more energetic activities that warmer weather brings. There are few people who can resist the allure of longer sunnier days and higher temperatures. Even though winter is my favorite season, even I get sick of the constant scraping of snow and ice from the car, all the bulky winter sweaters and the never-ending dinners of soup and root veggies.

When spring comes, I’m ready to get out there and start soaking up the sun and fresh air again!

But there’s more to this season than fluffy bunnies and chocolates coming out the wazoo.

The pagan holiday of Ostara, also known as the Spring Equinox, marks the day when the sun’s annual trek along the north-south axis reaches its zenith at the Earth’s equator. Although it’s said that the night and day are equally balanced on this day (literally meaning “equal night”, in Latin equi – nox), that’s not true in all parts of the world.

And as I mentioned in a previous post , balance is not always about equal amounts. Life is never fully balanced. It’s more of a tight-rope kind of walk, tilting this way and that. It’s about constantly shifting your weight wherever it needs to be in order to stay on the wire.

In winter our energy was being stored and used in small bits, as needed. Generally winter is about finishing up old work, tying up loose ends, not starting whole new projects. That’s for the springtime when the energy is rising again and new growth comes easier. Now’s the time to begin new endeavors and get the most of the natural cycle of death and rebirth.

So to make the best of this new sun-filled energy, here are five activities to celebrate the coming of spring.

Get out in nature!father daughter walking

In many places in the northern hemisphere, snow is melting, grass is beginning to poke its head up again and birds are making their triumphant return. Now is a great time to get out in the crisp air and experience the return of plants and animals after their winter hibernation. I’m excited to start doing my morning walks again, minus the snow boots and pants! Though it’s still quite chilly in the morning, seeing all the budding life around me makes it worth the brief moments of cold. So go out to the park, take a hike or a field trip to the zoo to watch the babies getting to know the world. Nothing says spring like baby animals! 🙂

Get crafty!

RKVZU56K73Obviously the best known spring craft is painting Easter eggs. This is one of my all-time favorite traditions for sure. But that’s not the only way to bust out the spring creativity. If you’re a gardener, then why not paint your own flower pots? You can get simple ceramic pots at the store and with a little paint and love, create a happy home for your little seedlings. If you’re in a place where you can see dry sidewalks again, maybe it’s time to grab the kids, some chalk and go to town decorating your walkways. Kids have a really hard time with cabin fever, seconded only by their parents. Make the arrival of spring a family affair by heralding the warm weather with some fun outdoors.

Go and get your play time on!AFD3CB0246 

Which leads into tip #3 – go outside and play! Sure you may still need a light jacket (or even heavier one) but as the days have more light, it’s a great time to take advantage of it with some after work playtime with the kids. Break out the bubbles, play a rousing game of tag or hide and seek. There has been some pretty intense wind in my area lately. If you are experiencing similar crazy weather, then get a kite and put it to good use! There’s no better lesson about balance and harmony than trying to keep a kite in the air!

WV6Q25F8ZJTill the soil and start planting!

Spring of course is the time to think about sowing the seeds for new growth. However, planting can take many forms. Sure there’s the usual flower pots to work on and getting the garden ready for the big planting time. But think also about your figurative seeds you want to plant. Has there been some habit you’ve been meaning to start working on? What about that scrapbooking project you keep thinking about doing? Make this the time to start laying down the seeds of new projects and don’t forget to nourish them as you would your physical seeds. Watch them grow throughout the spring and summer so by the time the fall comes, you have real progress to show for your efforts!

NS5Q6MVMZQWho doesn’t love the smell of baking?!

Finally, one of my other favorite traditions in spring is all the holiday breads and cookies. Each family has their own tradition, and my mother used to make Easter bread. Mmmmm… yum! Dust off your bread tins, cookie sheets and bake up some delicious symbols of abundance! This is a great way to show the coming spring that you’ve not only survived the winter, but you’re ready for more growth and abundance to find you! If you have any favorite recipes, teach them to your children and keep the traditions going.

However you celebrate Ostara/Spring Equinox, be sure that you laugh and have fun! Spring itself is like a big joke upon the cold, harsh winter. Yes, winter will come around again but at the end of it we’ll be around to play and rejoice in the energy of rebirth.

You tell me – what are your favorite spring traditions? Leave a comment below.

Springtime and new growth – The Birth of SpirWitchuality

birth of spirwitchuality

When I was little, I loved created graphics using Print Shop. (Anyone remember that oldie but goodie?) For a few years I would print out homemade calendars and color them in on New Year’s Eve in a solid, yet still unsuccessful attempt at staying up to midnight.

There was one graphic that I kept for many years, lasting on my wall all the way through high school. It was of a little rose in a vase. This time I didn’t color it in, but left the dark black outline to contrast against the white page. Then in pencil I wrote:

To: Heaven
From: Dacia

Yes. I gave heaven a printed out clipart rose. I’m such a sweetheart. <3

I tell you this story not to boast about my cuteness as a child (though I was damn cute!) or to brag about my mad computer skills even back in elementary school, though they were pretty mad for the time. No, I’m telling you so you understand that spirituality ran deep for me even then.

I’ve always been connected to divinity and found ways in my life to express it, even as a young child.

Some paths seemed more natural than others. For instance, I knew when I was young that I’ve lived many lives. It was clear to me that my soul was much older than my little body. I was also intuitively drawn to the tarot and thus my aunt gave me my first tarot deck when I was 14.

Then there were some paths that didn’t seem to fit all that well. I went to Catholic mass for several years, was very involved in the choir and even when to a Christian summer camp. (I have to say that the adult summer camp I went to last year was much more exciting, but that’s probably because we had happy hour every night.) Although I loved the ceremony and ritual of Catholicism, I couldn’t get behind the doom and gloom, sin and evil part of it all.

So I melded my natural inclinations and beliefs with whatever I found that resonated with me through the years, be it the story of the Good Samaritan or the tale of Buddha’s enlightenment and peace loving principles. Eventually, I came to claim Wicca as my predominant spiritual practice, though I still mix it up with anything that fills me with divine wonder.

And what does all this mean to you? Why am I blathering on like this? Because, just as spring is beginning to peek it’s head out, my business is blooming and growing into its fullest expression.

I’m so pleased to announce the birth of SpirWitchuality! The home for alternative spiritual exploration.

SpirWitchuality is my term for discovering and living a spiritual life in harmony with “witchy” principles. Such as a respect for nature, communion with divinity on your terms, opening up to guidance by the universal powers and trusting your own intuition and inner knowing.

It’s become increasingly evident lately that all things “woo-woo” are being more widely explored and all sorts of people are turning to new age-y ways to help deal with the modern day stresses of the world. I’m thrilled to see this trend and can’t wait to help all those spiritual seekers find the truths that resonant with them best.

I have great plans for upcoming classes, freebies and workshops, oh my! Lots will be unfolding as the year progresses, so keep an eye out for updates. And if you’d like to find out more about my services now, come on over here and read more! Until then, love and light to you all!

Oh, and don’t worry, I’m not going to go too crazy like this new age sister. 🙂

Need to open up your heart? Here are two simple tools to help

need to open up your heart- rose quartz and lavender oil

I love February! And not just because it’s my birthday month, though I’m sure that helps. I honestly and truly love Valentine’s Day too! This is one of my favorite holidays of the year. You may be thinking, “oh, that’s nice for you but you probably have someone to spend it with.”

Actually, I’ve rarely ever have someone to celebrate it with in the newly traditional hallmark way of the holiday. No, I’ve loved Valentine’s Day for as long as I can remember for the global love it inspires in me.

I used to get so excited to make my little valentines box at school and then writing out all the cards to my friends. I love to spread love and having a special day to show and share that is a wonderful thing for me. Of course, I don’t believe this should be the only day to show you love someone, but that’s another story.

I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm for this holiday. In fact it’s a pretty divisive one depending on your dating or marital status. So I wanted to use this month’s blog to give you tools and inspiration to help you, wherever you are in the relationship world.

First up in my series of love – using crystals and oils to engender love and heal the heart.


For centuries humankind has turned to nature to help with everything from a bellyache to the larger questions of life. Two of the oldest used tools in our tool belt of Mother Nature are crystals and essential oils. There is so much to say on the subject of both, but I’m going to take it slow for now and just mention one of each and their use in regards to love.

rose quartzRose quartz is a beautiful stone that everyone should have in their home, whether or not you “believe” in the power of crystals. It’s a soft pink stone that corresponds to the heart chakra. (More on chakras to come later…) It’s a stone of unconditional love, compassion and healing. According to CrystalVaults.com, rose quartz may have been used as early as 600 B.C. as a love token. And it keeps that distinction this day.

The easiest way to use rose quartz to bring love into your life is to hold it in your hands and envision clearly the kind of love you want to receive. It’s important to make it clear in your mind and feel the joy it would bring. Also, rose quartz can help ease your heart if you’re feeling sorrow or discomfort. Again, hold it in your hand and imagine all your heartache going into the crystal. But be sure to cleanse your rose quartz later so the low energy doesn’t get stuck there. You can put it out under a full moon, or even run it under water for a while to release the energy.

Love spells are more than just trying to bring you someone to be with or make someone you like fall in love with you. In order for anyone else to come into your world to love you, you must first love yourself. If you don’t have that basic need fulfilled then no one, not even Mr. Super-Right will make it better. For a greater understanding of love spells, check out The Witch’s Heart by Christopher Penczak.

NI0YGOJIMKNext up – essential oils, specifically lavender oil. Lavender oil is one of the most commonly used oils. It was used as incense and perfumes for ancient Egyptians and as a disinfectant in medieval times. Nowadays it’s commonly used as for relaxing and uplifting your spirit. Lavender oil is great for releasing tension and unease. I use it by putting a little oil over the pulse points on my wrist and rubbing it in well. You can also dab a little behind your ear, if you want to smell it more often. Or, of course you can put a little bit literally over your heart and let the oil work its magic there.

For simple spells using lavender and other oils, I highly recommend Deborah Blake’s amazing Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook.

In the end, the most important thing about love is making sure your cup is full. Take time to love yourself first before you give all your love out to others. There will be more tips on that next week!

Challenge for this week: get some lavender oil or a rose quartz and see how they make you feel. Let me know in the comments below what you chose and how it went.

Daring to Desire: A Revolution in Planning

daring to desireLast week, I wrote about how I’m breaking away from old-school New Year’s resolutions and choosing a theme word to represent my year. This is the year to TRANSCEND. It’s big. It’s bold. It’s uplifting and challenging and all around inspiring for me. This week we’re going to go a step further and talk about desire.

And discover how desire can lead you back to yourself.

Desire is such a powerful word. We often think of it in terms of secrets. Like, my secret desire to meet my verra own James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser (preferably in the 21st century) and be swept off my feet. Well, maybe I’ll just keep that one to myself. 😉

But desire doesn’t have to be a hidden source of inspiration. In fact, one gorgeous soul is bringing back the power and usefulness of desire, in her groundbreaking book – The Desire Map.

“Feelings are magnetic. Each feeling is a beacon that attracts a reality. Love attracts love. Generosity elicits a generous response…what we focus on expands. So choosing to focus on life-affirming feelings is the surest way to create the experience you want.” – Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map

Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, is a mind-blowing new approach to planning and activating goals. This is a heart-centered method designed in reverse from what most modern women are used to doing. See, we’ve all be taught to create the goal line or benchmark objectively and then do everything in our power to achieve it. But what if our goals aren’t truly aligned with our hearts?

What if you want to be successful in work, but really don’t want to climb the corporate ladder to get there? Or you want to be healthy and athletic but deeply, intensely hate running and would rather stick toothpicks under your fingernails instead of getting up at 6 am to train? What do you do then? Enter… your desires.

“You need to have Soul-centered goals. You need to go about fulfilling those goals in life-affirming ways.” –The Desire Map

When you choose how you want to feel first, it makes achieving your goals so much more enjoyable and frankly much easier as well. So, you want to be healthy? How about a daily yoga routine that makes your body strong and your mind calm? You want to earn the big bucks and still contribute something meaningful to society? Start your own enterprise and begin making an impact while making your dough!

But how do you begin? Start with deciding which feelings you want to create or build upon for the next year and then mapping out the objective goals flows much more freely. And don’t worry if this sounds difficult, The Desire Map does a wonderful job walking you through figuring out your Core Desired Feelings, which you then use to plan the rest of your year.

The first part of the book describes the concept and helps get your feet wet in this incredible new system of goal setting. Then the second part of the book (my favorite) is a workbook where you journal out all the things you want or don’t want and eventually come to claim your Core Desire Feelings.

“Constant racing for success creates habitual and unconscious goal-setting. We need to re-learn how to move toward our dreams – with the trust and well-placed devotion.” – The Desire Map

I’m a big fan of CDFs now because it gives you something to reach for but takes the pressure off achieving it. That may seem like a contradiction but it’s really not. Say you want to break into a 6-figure income (which seems to be all the entrepreneur world talks about these days!) but you can’t seem to bust through the last barrier. With traditional goals, you start to feel like a failure for not reaching your dream. You start to doubt, fear, and berate yourself for not being a better businesswoman.

Now look at it from another angle. Say you’re desired feeling is CULTIVATE. And you’re bringing that CDF into your work, cultivating relationships, cultivating your skills and learning every day, or cultivating your services to make them the best they can be. Now, if you’re feeling that growth and expansion that Cultivate entails, and you’re still shy of the big 100K by a few thousand, will you still feel like a failure? Or like a woman who’s marching to her own drum at her own pace and building a solid base to grow from?

“Feeling good increases your flexibility, resiliency, effectiveness, and magnetism.” – The Desire Map

Who wouldn’t want to feel good about their life? Suddenly doors will open for you to bring more of those feelings in and success will become inevitable. And any perceived failures won’t set you back, but merely show you the right path to grow into your CDFs. You start working in tandem with the universe instead of trying to force your life into what you think it should be. In the end, you become more fully YOU. And that’s a glorious thing my dear.

Today, I encourage you to get a copy of The Desire Map and start feeling your way to abundance and bliss.

Have you already figured out your CDFs for 2016? If so, tell me in the comments below.

Self-care in the Holiday Season

Hello friends! I have to say that this time of the year is my favorite. I love winter! It’s time for snuggling with my cat, drinking hot chocolate and a digging into a good book. Which doesn’t differ from much of the rest of the year, but it’s pretty outside with snow making everything look like another world. 😉

And because there’s so much that is special about this time (not to mention lots to do!) I’m taking a couple weeks off from the blog. But I’ll be ready to rock and roll in the new year!

Until then from my home to yours:

Creating Serenity from the ground up!

Empowerment Guide with tarotHi all! I’m so excited to have had my first real interview with Sheila Morgan of Homegrown Serenity! Despite the wee technical glitches, we had a great time chatting (on both occasions!) and I can’t wait to see how my dear friend’s project develops.

If you haven’t seen it yet, click here to watch the interview in full.

But first, I want to give a big shout out to all of you who are new to me!

Welcome!! I’m Dacia Dyer – a tarot reader and intuitive life coach.Tarot reading

Are you tired of feeling like you are being pulled along by life without any real input of your own? Are you no longer sure if the path you’re on is the right one for you? Are you yearning to feel the passion and hunger for life again?

It’s time to start co-creating your life again. Time to stop letting events happen at you or around you. You have more power and control than you realize. Would you like to find your passion again? I can help.

I call myself an Empowerment Guide because I guide women to find their inner wisdom and power, allowing them to reconnect to their soul’s purpose and live their passionate life.

Want to know more about me and my coaching? Check out my most popular posts below. And don’t forget to get your free copy of my Daily Empowerment Ritual here.

My most popular posts:

And if you don’t know Sheila Morgan yet, then hop on over to her site here and check out her inspiring project of finding serenity by interviewing 100 people!

I can’t tell you how honored I am to be the first one to talk with this amazing woman. Watch this space for more deep diving interviews into “how people find Serenity in their everyday lives and how they apply it.”

Thanks again to Sheila for her time and patience learning how to do all the video work!

What a difference a year can make!

difference of a year

“It’s already November!?” I’ve heard that refrain all over recently, including from my own lips. It always seems surprising that a year comes to its end and yet we experience it annually. But I have to say, this past year has been quite the roller coaster for me. From starting my own business and quitting my full time job to my Italian matriarchal grandmother passing and me traveling again a lot, things have been happening to keep my on my toes. And I have to say that a lot of the good stuff all started from one little decision I made about this time last year.

I decided to really and truly create a vision board.

It all started on a trip to Seattle to visit a friend in October of 2014. We had been talking about doing some vision boards for about four years. But between her time spent taking care of her little ones and my constant moving around, nothing seemed to come of our talks. Last year though – I was determined to get a vision board done for real!

So I researched a little about doing them (I’m a big fan of some good old fashioned research) and got started on creating mine. If you haven’t heard of a vision board, it’s basically a visual representation of your goals and dreams. Usually created with clippings from magazines to create a coherent collage. It’s crafting with a purpose. I however decided I was going to go high tech.

See, I’m not a big magazine reader and never seem to connect with the images as much as I’d like when collaging, so rather than spending $4 a pop for a magazine I’ll likely never read or use again, I searched on google images to find exactly the right image for what I had in mind. It worked like a charm! Instead of thinking of collaging as this interminable search for something not-quite-right, I got just what I was looking for in a matter of seconds and could download, print, cut and paste on to the giant poster board I got from the craft store. And it made the whole process faster, fun and more enjoyable.

Looking at my vision board now, which hangs in my bedroom where I see it all the time, brings me great joy and I’ve really created a lot of what is on there. I’m traveling more (I even got to snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef!) and I now have a job and business I truly love. I’m bringing more spirituality into my life on a daily basis. And I’m working on creating healthier habits, through exercise and healthy meals. I don’t have all the things I wanted to get this year, but there are definitely much bigger strides than if I’d just gone on with the business as usual mentality.

Looking back on where I was one year ago, struggling in a job I wasn’t enjoying, feeling lost and frustrated with my life. And feeling like my life was passing me by as I went to marinate in a cubicle all day. I’m struck at the profound difference of my life now. I work from home with my adorable cat companion as co-worker. I go take walks during the day to re-energize and be in nature and I get to help others create the lives they want. It’s just astounding to me how much can change in about 300 days. I hope your new year brings you beautiful, remarkable changes. And one way to help that along is to create a vision board.

What changes would you like to see in your life in the New Year?

Leo and vision board
Bonus photo: Leo “helping” me with my vision boarding.

P.S. The style of vision board I used was “The Sea of Life” map from an article by Martha Beck in O Magazine. I liked this better than having just random pictures placed all over a poster board. It feels more action-orientated as well as inspirational.

 

 

Gallery The Magic is in the Middle

BONUS: Pictures of Summer camp!!

It is now the one month anniversary since I was at Strategy Summer Camp. It may seem a bit strange to celebrate an anniversary of something that was not so very long ago, however my summer camp experience was one of those amazing trips that exists almost out of time and space. You know, those times in your life that because of their powerful impression sit just outside of space. It feels like happened just yesterday and at the same time like it was a thousand years ago. That was Summer Camp.

As amazing an experience as it was, it’s been very difficult to integrate the lessons I’ve learned there into my daily interactions. As much as I want to bring that magic to everyday life, it’s not so easy. Partly, that’s because we, as a society, generally don’t spend every day quietly contemplating life by a lake or blowing off the ever expanding to-do list in order to spend the afternoon crafting or napping. (And why the hell don’t we?) Instead, we rush around and try to get ALL THE THINGS done in an impossible amount of time. Then, and only then, we think that we are successful and accomplished if we can manage to tick off those little boxes each day.

But the truth of the matter is it’s not completing all the tasks that’s important. It’s enjoying the process that matters.

I was listening to the Happier podcast, with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft, earlier this week (an old episode, I’m slowly catching up). And they had given a Happiness award to their father for his motto “Enjoy the process.” It’s so true that it’s clichéd. In our productivity driven society we need to see the end result before we allow any happiness to seep through. But the end result is just one piece of the puzzle.

Currently, I am reading Rising Strong, by Brené Brown (among about 10 other books – I have a slight reading addiction problem). In a moment of synchronicity, the part I read today was titled “You can’t skip day two.” It talked about how difficult the struggles of the middle of any story/class/work can be and frankly how much it sucks.

The middle is hard… but that’s where the meat of a story is. That’s Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, where they never seem to be getting closer to Mordor (and yes, I may have fallen asleep during that movie once or twice). That’s The Empire Strikes Back and Luke loses his hand (but finds his father!) That’s where the hero fights his villains and loses. When you think he won’t be able to make a comeback.

Frankly, I’ve been struggling since summer camp because I’m in the midst of my middle. I’m definitely not in the beginning anymore and nowhere near the end of my new story. It’s horrible and terrifying but when I look back, it’ll be the sweet marrow that I’ll remember the most about this period.

Are you currently stuck in your “middle” in a story? Do you need a break to remember all the good that you’ve created so far this year?

If you’re in the Denver area, join me for a “Harvest your Year” craft and discussion event, this Monday, Sept. 28th at 7:30 pm at For Heaven’s Sake, 4900 W. 46th Ave., Denver, 80212

summer camp 1

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At the Corner of Dichotomy and Juxtaposition

At the Corner of Dichotomy and Juxtaposition

As many of you know from the last post, I’ve recently returned from Stratejoy Summer Camp, hosted by Molly Mahar. It was 5 days of ridiculous fun, light-heartedness and deep reflections – just my kind of vacation!

The timing of the trip was very interesting for me. In a way it was just right, as I was dealing with a very recent death in my family (more on that here), and needed some space to sort out the vast array of emotions I was feeling. But it was also a rather difficult time to be on vacation as the guilt of not being at home at such a hard time kept rearing its head.

It took me the first night and next morning to begin reconciling my guilt over the death and my joy for being at camp. It was one question asked at our first morning reflection session that helped me bring peace to my tumultuous heart. The question Molly asked was, “Where am I not allowing myself to be a juxtaposition (being and “or” instead of an “and”)?

At the time I couldn’t answer it and left that space in my journal as a “TBD” entry. Then we had our “quiet hour” where we couldn’t talk to anyone else and just had to sit with whatever thoughts or emotions the reflection session brought up. I have to say I LOVED quiet hour!!

(ASIDE: As a naturally quiet and contemplative person this was probably my favorite time of the day and I highly recommend everyone to start instituting something like it during your day. Even a quiet 15 minutes will bring more peace to your life.)

Anyways, during my first quiet hour, I felt something unresolved in my heart and had to figure it out before I could be completely immersed in the joy of summer camp. I finally realized that it was my conflicted feelings of my grandmother passing.

Obviously, I was horribly saddened by her death and couldn’t believe she’s really gone and at the same time I was glad she is no longer suffering. I was also glad to be enjoying my time at camp rather than waiting and watching for her final breath (as I had been a couple weeks before).

For some reason my head couldn’t combine all those feelings in to a coherent concept. I thought that if I was glad at her passing then I was a horrible person for wishing her dead. But if I’m only sad at her death then I’m completely selfish for wishing her to still be in this world but in great pain. How can you choose between that?! Either way I sounded like a total bitch.

Then I had a moment of clarity and decided to just talk to grandma and let her know what was up. I spoke to the wind, knowing she hear it, and said something to the effect of: “I’m so sorry you’re gone but I’m glad you’ve moved on to the next world. However, I can’t focus on that sorrow right now as I have this thing to do and I want to enjoy it while I can.”

And not so surprisingly I heard her reply (she always was one to get the last word in). She told me to do what I had to do and not to worry. I had permission to be both incredibly sad and deliriously happy. It was all okay.

It was okay to be “and” instead of “or”. I didn’t have to choose then and I don’t have to choose now. I can be saddened by her passing and glad that the agony is over for both our sakes. Other contradictions I now reclaim are: that I can love being in nature but not a hard-core nature girl. (Five days of camp was quite enough for me, thankyouverymuch!)

I can love to sit and watch tv or read books for hours, but also love getting up in the morning to do yoga or walk or dance even. I can be sentimental and keep all these little keepsakes but also detest clutter and keep a clear and organized home.

As Amin Malouf points out in his wonderfully complex book, In the Name of Identity:

None of us has to choose to just be a mother or an employee. A wife or a daughter. A businesswoman or an artist. We are always all of these things. Yes, sometimes one will take precedence over the other, but they don’t ever exclude each other entirely.

So now it’s your turn… where have you not been allowing yourself to be a juxtaposition? What “or” in your life do you wish to turn in to an “and”?