Reaching for Orange = A Great Holiday Gift!

Keep happiness simple,” writes Andrea of The Hummingbird’s Journal, in her recent post “take one step towards your happiness,” in which she also gives a nice shout out to my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life… Thank you, Andrea! 🙂

Reaching for Orange is helping people to happy up their lives… This book makes a great holiday gift for your loved ones… or for yourself! It is available on Lulu and Amazon.

(Please note that I make almost seven times as much on Lulu, as compared to Amazon, but I am ever grateful for all sales anywhere!)

Are you ready to get into the holiday spirit?

I love making the transition from Autumn to Winter feel festive, so a few days ago I happy’d up my mind with listening to the Nutcracker music whilst sipping hot rooibos chai and eating some plant-based gluten-free pumpkin pie with cranberry sauce. I also lit an aromatherapy candle with balsam fir needle oil and hung a few red and green sparkly decorations. Then I took this funny photo of my happy elf self:

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Dear readers, my mission as a spiritual helper is to help elevate the human species to healthier and happier vibrations. Please contribute to the elevation by giving copies of Reaching for Orange as holiday gifts this season! Imagine a world in which everyone is reaching that Happy Orange place inside themselves! Oh, the Joy! Oh, the Happiness!

May your December be filled with uncommon delight!

With so much love,
Sister Teja

 

Transformation Is Always Possible

What does the word “magic” mean to you?

One of my keywords for this month of November was Magic, and in my post “Monday Morning Musings from a Living Starbird” I wrote that I was really needing to experience some magic in my life again… What I meant by “magic” was something out of the ordinary that sparks an unusual quality of joy and fascination.

Well, many wonderful things happened this month, such as my younger son Gabe visiting us, and there was a lot to be grateful for… And yet, I still hadn’t experienced anything that felt like magic to me… until a few days ago… I was sitting at my altar singing the daily prayers, and I began crying over a deep grief in my heart… I prayed for help with the sorrow, and right then I looked down at the book I had just finished reading, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and I felt inspired to ask for guidance through the book.

Do you ever use books as tools for guidance? It is a very simple practice that you can do with any book. Just ask a question, then open to a page and let your eyes naturally fall somewhere on the page. Read that section and contemplate how it might contain some wisdom that relates to your question.

So, when I picked up the book, I asked for guidance with the grief that I fear will never heal… And I opened to this section:

“Sorrow, fear, and depression are like a kind of garbage. But these bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. We can practice so as to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. We should not throw anything out. All we have to do is learn the art of composting, of transforming our garbage into flowers. In the practice of Buddhism, we see that all mental formations — including compassion, love, fear, sorrow, and despair — are organic in nature. We don’t need to be afraid of any of them, because transformation is always possible. With just a smile and mindful breathing, we can start to transform them.”

Finally a bit of magic!

Dear reader, I was so amazed when I read that paragraph! Can you even believe how perfect it was? I was especially fascinated by “transformation is always possible,” because my question was essentially about whether or not the grief could ever heal… In total awe, I said aloud, “Thank you, my Deepest Self, for leading me to seek that guidance.”

Can you feel the magic in this story?

With gratitude and a joyful mind,
Sister Teja

 

Photo of Autumn flowers by Alicja on Pixabay.

 

Returning to My Real Roots

Fifty years ago today my parents were living in a one-room schoolhouse in Carbondale, Illinois, and my Mom was seven months pregnant with their first child… So, two months from today I will celebrate my fiftieth birthday…

I was born on January 29th, 1970 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Murphysboro, Illinois, and I was the only one in my family who was not born in Evansville, Indiana!

So when my younger son Gabe asked if we would pick him up from the Carbondale train station, I was delighted at the chance to return to my real roots. Of course I had to get a photo of my parents and me in front of my birth hospital!

I had not been back to that hospital since my birth, and it felt special to walk on the land and take these photos of the trees and leaves… (Post continues down below the photos.)

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As I approach this half-century birthday, I’m thinking a lot about age and time… To my parents and my older friends, 50 seems so young… But to my sons and my nieces and nephews, 50 seems so old! And to me, it just seems right in the middle, haha!

Time is such a tricky concept to contemplate, isn’t it?

With only 32 days left in this year 2019, what are you thinking about? What themes projected onto your trajectory this year? What ideas are surfacing for your 2020?

 

StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Anchor Resourceful States

 

May you appreciate that which moves you into higher states of consciousness.

May you access the inner and outer resources you need for your highest happiness.

May your weekend be blessed with an abundance of the highest love vibrations.

May you anchor resourceful states.

 

A Death Bell Tolled…

Several years ago, when I was leading weekly healing circles in Ashland, Oregon, in the Autumn when the leaves were decaying on the Earth I got stuck on the theme of death for many weeks. After about six weeks of readings and meditations on death, those who attended the circles began to wonder if I would ever stop talking about death!

In the Northern Hemisphere now, the trees are growing more bare each moment. As I write, the wind is swirling dried brown leaves through the air outside my window. The cold white sky invites me to turn inward and to contemplate reality. It seems that just yesterday the trees were filled with bright green leaves, but now they are emptying, like we all will have to do when our death time arrives.

Recently I came across my youngest brother’s college textbook, The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying, and I skimmed it to find a few jewels. Today I will share one… When describing the death rituals in America in the nineteenth century, the authors (DeSpelder and Strickland) say that in close-knit communities, a death bell tolled the age of the deceased, to notify the people. I found this totally fascinating:

“You can feel the silence pass over the community as all activity is stopped and the number of rings is counted. One, two, three — it must be the Myer’s baby that has the fever. No, it’s still tolling — four, five, six. There is another pause at twenty — could that be Molly Shields? Her baby is due at any time now — no, it’s still tolling. Will it never stop? Thirty-eight, thirty-nine, another pause — who? It couldn’t be Ben; he was here just yesterday; said he was feeling fit as a fiddle — no, it’s starting again. Seventy, seventy-one, seventy-two. Silence. You listen, but there is no sound — only silence. Isaac Tipton. He has been ailing for two weeks now. It must be Isaac.”

Dear reader, how did you feel when reading that passage? Can you even imagine living in such a community?

The way we think about death affects the way we live our lives. Are you comfortable thinking about death? When you walk on decaying brown leaves, can you feel the inter-connectedness of life and death?

Contemplating death helps us to happy up, because it reminds us that we are alive right now in this present moment, and we can enjoy life so much, even during difficult times.

What are you enjoying right now? What do you feel grateful for? Are you loving yourself fully today?

With reverence for life and death,
Sister Teja

 

Photo by Shelby Deeter on Unsplash.