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New Year’s Ceremony – Invite Your Blessings In

There is an old New Year’s Eve tradition that my daughters and I have adapted and used in our lives for many years to invite the blessings we desire into our home.  I want to share this tradition with you so that you may begin the New Year with a strong intention and allow all of your blessings to come to you this year!

On New Year’s Eve Day do some cleaning and clearing. Sweep the floor, take out the garbage and straighten up and clear excess clutter.  Before midnight, cleanse and purify your home to clear the old energy using incense or sage.

Make your space inviting, as if company is coming to visit.

Then just before midnight say “thank you” and “good-bye” to 2016.  You can do this in a ceremonial way by mindfully turning out the lights in your home while saying the following:

“Thank you, to this year, for all that has been.

Thank you for all I have learned.

I let you go and wish you well.

I forgive and make amends.

2016 brought blessings, lessons and times to remember.

2016 brought opportunities to love, forgive and to grow.

I release all that I do not wish to bring forward with me.

I surrender to the Divine all that was

and let 2016 be a memory forever more.”

Say the words as you go from room to room, extinguishing any candles and turning off the lights.

Just before midnight one person will step outside with a candle and matches or a lighter. If you are alone, you get to do this part as well.

This person outside will be bringing in the New Year.  Traditionally this was the youngest bringing in the new.

As you do this, whatever age you are, invite your inner child to bring in the New Year.

Light the candle and at midnight knock on the door and announce, “2017 is Here!”

The door opens and you bring in the New Year announcing all the blessing that are here!

Whatever it is you are hoping this new year will bring, announce it in such a way as, “It is here!  Abundance is here!  Health is here!   Love is here!”

The person with the candle will go through the home bringing the new light into the home and declaring the blessings that come with this new year.

As they go in each room let the candle light the way, and turn on lights as they go through the room.  They may also wish to light candles as they go.

Announcing, “I am 2017 and I bring you prosperity.”  And “I am 2017 and I bring you love.” State all that is good as you go through and you may want to make it pertinent for each room.

In the living room, “I am 2017 and I bring you good times with family and friends.”  In the kitchen, “I bring you healthy foods and more than enough to share.”

Make it whatever you desire for 2017!

Eventually the light will have gone through your whole house and the house will be lit up!  Filled with all the blessing you desire in energetic form.

After the house is filled with light and blessings, break bread, or pop open the champagne.  Whatever you choose to eat and drink to celebrate and anchor this positive energy into your life.

I hope you enjoy this simple New Year Ceremony.  And I wish for you a New Year filled with bounty, love, good health and joy!

Have a beautiful New Year’s Eve!

Cat RunningElk

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Have Yourself…Whatever Kind Of Christmas You Want. It’s Okay.

 

 

A few days after Thanksgiving I brought a couple boxes of Christmas decorations up from the basement storage space.

 

Then I lugged my fake tree upstairs and put it in the corner of my living room.  Stepping back, I stared at the tree wondering why it seemed so much smaller than it did last year.

 

Last year I really wanted a live tree.  Actually every year I think about getting one, and debate round and round the good and bad of the whole thing, and then never do it.

 

But on Solstice of last year feeling especially festive I set out to get my live tree, only to find they were all gone!

 

Not one to easily give up I kept shopping for the perfect Solstice – Christmas tree for me and my family.

 

And the day before Christmas I found one that delighted me at the local Salvation Army thrift store.

 

Yeah, okay, it wasn’t live, but it was a really nice live-looking fake tree.

 

Or so it seemed to me at the time.

 

I brought it home and joyfully decorated it with ornaments I have collected from near and far.  Ornaments that include wolves, teepees, peace signs, whales, bears, hedgehogs, and assorted other creatures one would expect to find on a Pagan Christmas Tree.

 

And my tree looked just grand to me.

 

So this year as I stood there looking at my Salvation Army tree I pondered why it seemed so much different than I remembered.

 

I studied the top of the tree and discovered there was a hole where an additional tree part would fit to make it much taller.

 

Back to the storage locker I went searching for the missing tree top.

 

My daughter’s Amber and Grace saw me studying the tree once more when I came up from the basement empty handed.

 

With a heavy sigh I told them I couldn’t find the top of the tree.

 

They looked at each other and Amber said, “No, Mommy, it was missing the top when you brought it home last year.”

 

Grace concurred and I simply said, “Oh,” and I then acknowledged my gift of seeing things as whole even when they aren’t.

 

And I realized that if I couldn’t see the tree as whole, that maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.
I had gotten out the decorations and hauled up the tree because that’s what you’re supposed to do after Thanksgiving.  But I really wasn’t in the Spirit of Christmas, or Solstice, or Kwanzaa for that matter.
Last year I was doing it because it was fun.  And my eyes saw beauty.

 

This year I was coming from a place of ‘should’ and I saw ¾ of a tree.

 

So I quit trying.  I left the boxes in the living room and the cat is enjoying perching on one of them.  The other box has come in handy as an additional coffee table.

 

The tree, or ¾ of a tree, is still standing in the corner.

 

Maybe we will decorate it this weekend, if spirit moves us to do so.  Maybe we won’t.

 

I’ve come to a place of peace with this holiday season and I’m quite okay with a mediocre Christmas.

 

Instead of stressing out trying to make it what we think it ought to be, I decided to just let it be whatever we want it to be.

 

If I feel jolly, then maybe those decorations will come out of the box.  If not, it’s okay.

 

This weekend we are planning to unplug from all electronic devices, play some board games, read books, maybe go to a movie…and probably order Chinese.

 

We all need to get rid of the heavy load of a perfect Christmas.  That idyllic Norman Rockwell Christmas is still pushed upon us in Hallmark movies and commercials wanting you to buy, buy, buy!

 

And sometimes, some years, it’s fun to run around looking for the perfect tree and presents.

 

And sometimes, some years, it’s insane.

 

So if you are feeling at all like me this year, I give you permission to have a mediocre Christmas.

 

Some Christmas’s will be great.  Cherish those.

 

Some Christmas’s will be challenging.  Forget those.

 

And some will be just okay.

 

And that’s okay.

 

Cut yourself some slack.
Stay in peace at Christmastime and always.
In love,
CRE
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Winter Solstice

Embracing the Dark – Finding the Lightcandle light.jpeg

It is Winter Solstice and while we know the days will begin getting longer, that the sun is returning…we also know that it is a slow process.  It is the first day of winter and so we must make peace with the dark cold days of the season.

This year rather than pretending it isn’t dark and cold, I am embracing it.  I have taken off my pastel bedding and placed a dark brown bedspread on top of extra winter blankets.  A few extra pillows, dark curtains and I have my own hobbit hole for hibernating.

Rather than keeping the overhead lights on, I find it better to go with the flow of Mother Nature and light candles.  Our bodies long to stay in touch with the natural world and so low-lighting in winter is healing to mind, body and soul.

We often find ourselves ‘under the weather’ in the winter time, as our bodies naturally long for more rest and less activity.  Just like our relatives in nature, we need a hibernation time.  So instead of waiting for a cold or flu to put me into bed, I voluntarily spend more time resting and taking it easy.  From my cave like bedroom I do my work, propped up on pillows yet feeling healthy I am giving my body lots of tlc through the dark days of winter.

We need time away from the rest of the world to consider what has been, what is finished and what we wish to birth in the new year.  In my own sacred space I spend extra time meditating, dreaming and visualizing how I can be a brighter light in my own life and others’.

The Winter Solstice is an opportune time for deep contemplation and meditation.  We make peace with the dark parts of life and we wait for the light to return.

And just as our ancestors did, deep in meditation beside a fire we find the light that is eternal.

Rather than resisting the darkness, embrace it.  Go into the deep dark space inside yourself and make peace with it.

Rather than resisting any seemingly negative feelings, dive in.  Instead of putting on all of the overhead lights in an attempt to pretend it isn’t dark and cold, light one candle and be at peace.

Shine the light of truth on every aspect of life and find the good in it.

Just as one candle in a dark space is enough, one positive thought can turn your world around.

One act of kindness, a willingness to overlook a wrong, an ability to forgive one hurt…one light in the dark makes all the difference.

Be at peace with the darkness in you and around you. And as we drop the resistance to the dark, the light returns.

Wishing you a peaceful Solstice –

in darkness and light,

CRE

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.  – Helen Keller

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My Walls are Crumbling

My walls are coming down.

Well, at least one of them.

I have a limestone wall at the end of my patio. When I moved in all the rocks and grout were solid. Every stone in its proper place.

The mice, chipmunks and birds are pushing away the stones to create a place of warmth and safety.

I watch the chipmunk create a burrow and  I hear the rock crumbling.

I see the birds digging out the grout near the top as they settle into a safe, cozy home for the winter.

I calmly sweep up the crumbled stone hoping my landlord doesn’t mind how much I am feeding the little ones encouraging them to stay.

I am watching the stone wall come apart as the old ways of my life giveaway with each day I stay in the same place.

I long to move on to something new, but Divine Guidance has a hand on my shoulder whispering, “Wait…”

My Guides are asking me to give up the old ways and stay open to new ways.

Let the walls of my life crumble, They advise me.

I try to open my mind to this new way of living but I become afraid. I don’t know how to do things any differently from how it’s always been.  I look to the past for comfort and assurance.

Even though my life seemed unconventional and different to others, it had a certain structure and order because it was what I knew.

Every six months to one year I moved.

Every new town brought new connections.

Every new connection brought new blessings.

This way of life taught me and my children to be open and flexible and a little bit scrappy.

Even though it was almost constant change that kind of change became order in our lives.

The changes were a structure that I built over time.  And perhaps a wall was created, too.

 

I would like different results in my life than I have had in the past.  That means I have to give up the ways of the past.  I sit wondering what to do next and long to reach into the bag of tricks I have always known and repeat the same old.

We pray for change.  We long for something better in any or all areas of our lives from finances to love to career and family relations.

In my coaching career I have seen firsthand how just when life is about to open up most people want to turn around and run back to what they have known.  Most people are afraid when their dreams are about to manifest.  Because it’s unfamiliar they make excuses to turn back.

They focus on the past and wonder why it keeps repeating.

But if we want change we have to be the change.

We have to let go of the structure and order and the way it’s always been done if we want our lives to change.

So instead of focusing on the past we can choose to look at what is in front of us, trusting we will be shown how to navigate a new life.

We must let the old ways of life crumble to make room for new blessings to come.

If you want your life to expand –  your money, love, career  – be willing to let go.

As the walls of your life begin to fall away you will see the possibilities before you. Life is always seeking expansion and growth.  Let it happen.

The walls of my life are crumbling and all I can do is sweep up the debris and throw it away.

My own feet are still, and yet I feel the Universe shaking it up underneath me.  I am staying and my world is changing.

 

I look out my living room window and see another creature has found a nook in my wall and more stone crumbles to the ground.

I let go and prepare to stay another year.  I release some clutter and make room in my own life for something new.

I quit thinking I have to do something new and simply sit and let new things come to me.  I give up the search and accept whatever may come.

Here I am, feeding what is and allowing what has been to fade away.

Be open to new ways of living, new ways of serving, new ways of prospering and new ways of loving.

Let go.  Let go. Let go.

Be willing to let change happen inside you.

Let Spirit tear down the walls , the structure and the way it was.

And you, too, will find new life attracted to the warmth and comfort of who you are.

In total surrender, peace and love,

CRE

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding My Fire

I was really comfortable under an old pine, lying on my blanket.  The sun was setting and I felt like staying until the park closed.

So it was surprising when my Guides told me to get going.

I looked around to see if there was any imminent danger I had not noticed in my meditational state.

This 1600 acre park is a god-send for me while living in Kansas.  It is my place to seek solitude in nature and as the suburbs of Kansas do not have too many dangerous wild animals, I wasn’t sure why I was being told to hurry up and go.

But the message I was getting from my own Divine Guidance, which shows up for me in the form of numerous spirit guides and ancestor spirits, was telling me that I needed to leave quickly.

Having learned the hard way over the years that They do know best, I heeded the warning and packed up my things and hurried to my car.

Once safely inside the car, the sky now pitch black, my Guides told me that I did not need to go straight home.  Instead They instructed me to drive through the park.

It seemed strange that They had taken me away from connecting with nature in one of the best ways possible, lying on the ground, to now connecting in a car, the way so many humans do.  But I listened, put down the windows and drove casually around the lake.

As I drove They told me of my fire.

I took that as a deep message and gave thanks that my passion for my work was returning.  I gave thanks that after last years lightning strikes stopping me in my tracks, that I am getting the green light to be in the world as teacher, healer and sage once again.

As I considered all of the meaning behind ‘my fire,’ a beautiful bonfire up ahead caused me to catch my breath.  It was burning in a perfectly encircled stone fire pit on a cliff overlooking the water, the flames lighting up the otherwise dark night.

“There’s your fire,” They said to me.

I pulled off to the shoulder and admired it.  I so wanted to go sit by the fire.  I so wanted to go enjoy more sacred time with those who guide me on the other side.  I really wanted to park my car and go up to the fire and be.

And my Guides again said to me, “That’s your fire.”

I pulled out my glasses, reserved only for such important moments, and observed more closely who was at the fire.

No person was there.

I could see more spirits there, and they were motioning for me to join them.

As I pulled into the nearest parking lot I paused again and looked around.  There were a couple of college age girls at a shelter nearby.  I figured the fire was theirs so I sat in the car wondering what to do.

My Guides continued to admonish me, “It’s YOUR fire, Cat.  Go to it.”

I felt ridiculous and shy about approaching the fire.  I was in fear that I would be intruding on someone else’s space.  I was concerned with appearing a bit too bold walking up and stepping into that sacred circle.

As my Guides continued to tell me the same thing I could see one of my own Guides already in the circle tending it and motioning to me to come.

So finally I turned off the engine and got out of the car.

Casually I approached the girls,”Hi, um, I was wondering…is that your fire?  It’s really nice.”

One of the girls walked right up close to me and said, “No.  And it’s the strangest thing.  Some people came, pulled up, got out of their car and made that fire.  Then when they had it going real good, like you see it now, they just left.”

I could see my Guides standing around us with their arms folded smiling at me.

“Yeah, they pulled away maybe five minutes before you pulled up.  I thought that was so odd that someone would come and make a fire and then leave!”  she finished with a chuckle.

“Well, then, I think I’ll go and enjoy it,” I said taking a step in the right direction.

“Sure, somebody should!” she said and she joyfully joined her friend on a nearby picnic table.

My Guides gave me a simple, “Told you so,” as I entered the sacred circle.

Everything I needed was there for me.  Bottles of water, a stack of firewood, my Guides.

But what I needed to find most of all was there…

I found my fire.

If you haven’t found yours yet, try lying on the ground someplace quiet and still.  Under a starlit autumn night you will see it.

Tap into the truth that is within you. We all have something we need to share, to give, to express in this world.  You came with a plan and a purpose.

And I am holding space for you, knowing in the right and perfect way you, too, will find your fire.

In love and light,

CRE

Need help connecting with your Guides?  If you feel disconnected, Cat can help you open up to the Guidance that is always there for you.

 

 

 

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Mouse Medicine – No Fear Here!

I’m not as afraid as I used to be.

No, really.

Watering plants on my patio the other night I placed my hand against the stone wall as I reached above to water a hanging basket.  Then I paused and moved my hand away thoughtfully.

The rock wall has many openings from where the chipmunks appear and disappear. Sensing something close behind my hand I decided to give it some space.  Whatever was lurking there…I felt it’s presence.

But I’m not afraid.

No, not at all.  I love all the little furry creatures that scurry around!

I finished watering and sat down to enjoy the quiet moonrise and the cool autumn air.

Quiet as a…you know what…it appeared.  This tiny dark creature peeked his head out of the exact spot in the rock wall where I had sensed a presence.  It climbed out of the hole where I had my hand as if to say ‘hello.’

And I didn’t scream.

I expected a chipmunk, but instead the creature that in the past has made me quite jumpy, to the point of standing on a chair, came all the way out to greet me.

And I kept my feet on the ground and said, ‘hello,’ back to him.

He wandered over my flower pots looking for the birdseed that is often scattered all over my patio from the chipmunks, birds and squirrels who enjoy the daily feast I provide.

Rather than remembering the fears I have known, I chose to focus on his adorable cuteness.  And I remained very still.

Inside I applauded myself for not squealing, jumping of running.  In my head I was doing my best to focus on his positive qualities.

Such as his cuteness.  His innocence.

And I appreciated his bravery, and mine.  And I felt we were having quite a sweet intimate moment.  Just the two of us, in the moonlight, peaceful and still.

I guess he could sense my peace so he came a little closer, and I decided right then that maybe I needed to go inside.

In a relatively calm manner I went inside and watched him from my living room window.

The cats and I perched on the back of the living room sofa and observed his adorableness from behind the glass.

Really, I’m not afraid, I was just giving him some more room to roam.  I chose to come inside so he would be more comfortable, and could find what he needed…really.

I was so convinced that I had overcome an old fear that I went into my daughters’ bedroom to share with them how brave I have become.

As soon as I said, “There is a mouse on the patio…” and before I could finish telling them how I’m not afraid anymore they asked, “Did you scream?”

And, “Did you jump?”

I said with great pride, “No.  Not at all.  He was cute.”

And then, just when I was relaying my courageous moment on the patio I felt something that to me felt just like a mouse scurrying up my pant leg.

And before I could finish my tale of bravery, I screamed loudly, jumped wildly and threw whatever it was off of me frantically.

Then with both daughters laughing quite dramatically, and a bit out of control I might add, I looked down and saw one of our cats looking at me also with great amusement.

Seems he had come up to me and at that most opportune moment brushed his tail against my leg, resulting in a feeling that I am certain is just like the feeling of a tiny mouse crawling up your pants.

I left the room with the hysterical laughter still rolling and retreated to my own bedroom and stayed there for quite some time, until the laughter finally subsided.

Maybe I have learned to suppress my fears.  Maybe I can delay them and displace them and deny them.  But they are still there.

Our fears will always be a part of our lives.  But don’t let them own you.  Don’t let them stop you from doing what you feel called to do.

Just acknowledge them and step away from them best that you can.

I have learned to laugh at mine on a good day.

I cry about them on a bad day.

On my best days I acknowledge them and move on cause really, I’m still afraid.  But I will go forward with my life anyway.

Mouse can enjoy the patio tonight.  It’s getting too cool to sit out there anyway.

In love, joy and sometimes fear and once in awhile outright panic,

CRE

Read More About My Mouse-capades! – The Mouse, The Moon and the Jumping Mother!

 

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Dem Bones – Skeletons in My Circle!

The skeletons of the past will never completely go away…
Every time we reflect on the past…there they are.
I sat in a sacred circle of my own making, watching the snail crawl through the western slope of my personal medicine wheel.
Robin chirped in the south.  Only a few feet away he spoke to me clearly to look around.
In the east a butterfly appeared.  I smiled, grateful for the positive signs around me.
Then I turned around as the Robin directed me and faced the North.
A complete coyote skeleton sat as if still alive, the pelvic bones sitting on their haunches, the spine and chest perched upright.  Only it’s head was out of place on the ground next to the upright body.
Shocked I wanted to move away.
Instead I sat still, my curiosity trying to figure out how and why this could be here. It was sitting so attentively- as if it had walked up and died just for me.
I took in the truth that I had come to this spot not even noticing the bones beside me.  I had taken time to pray and meditate, my eyes focused on butterflies and birds.
It was the snail that slowed me down and the Robin that directed me to turn around and see what was behind me.
I bravely focused on the remains beside me and asked for guidance in what to do.  Did I need to bury the bones, hide them deep under the ground?Or should I just walk away in peace and find a better place to pray.
I sat with the bones and listened to their message.
Something was dead and finished, but still following me.  It seemed I was going through my life oblivious to the skeletons of the past shadowing my present.
I knew I needed to find a way to be at peace with the past, while also embracing the new possibilities in front of me.
The Robin vanished.   The snail tucked itself away behind a leaf and the butterfly flitted away from my sacred space.
I sat facing the skeleton and wallowed in the past a little longer.
I allowed the remains to haunt and paralyze me for some time before accepting what I needed to do.
I would continue to invite more of what I didn’t want into my now if I didn’t bless and release the skeletons of the past.
When we find the past haunting us, repeating over and over, it is because our minds are still stuck in the past.  We ask, “Why did that happen?”
We want to fix, heal or understand something that is unalterable, over and done.
There is a reason it happened.  But the reason may never be completely revealed to us.
The truth is the past was exactly what it needed to be…and faith is trusting that what happened in the past was for a reason.
Skeletons are back there.  Our work is to no longer be attached to them.
Don’t dwell.
Have faith it was all for the best and go forward expecting even better results in all areas of your life.
I chuckled at the strong message Spirit showed me. I smiled at my need for big, bold messages like coyote bones on their haunches haunting my meditation time.
Spirit knows how to reach me.  I thanked the coyote, the snail, the robin, the butterfly and the past.  And I walked away.
It is up to us to choose to focus on the here and now, and no longer dwell in what happened, or didn’t happen, back there.
Give thanks that we do not have to wallow in the mire of the past.  I gave thanks I could bless the remains, and move on.

 

Accept what was, bless it and release it.

 

Then look forward to a better tomorrow.
Love and Blessings,
Cat RunningElk
How to…release the past…
The past will always be back there. We all have a few skeletons in our closet that will haunt us if we dwell on what’s back there.
Nobody’s perfect and no one’s past is free from pain and suffering of some kind.
We tend to look at the past pain, defeats, failures and want to beat ourselves up.  We want to ask “Why?” when we need to learn to  say “Thank You.”
We need to learn to trust all is in Divine Order and those events you don’t understand were for a reason.  Learn to forgive, bless and release.
Begin with affirming, “I am willing to forgive everyone of everything, including myself.”
Work with this statement, affirming forgiveness, for as long as needed. Some repeat it several times a day for several weeks. Some concentrate and work intensely for a few days.  You are ready to move on when you feel a shift inside.
Then lovingly and sincerely say, “All is forgiven.  I now can bless and release the people, events and past that once hurt me.  I bless and release them in peace.  I am free.”
And so it is. And so shall you be.
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