Spirituality

Finding That Christmas Spirit

SnowWebb

Even the little critters have decorated for the holidays. My spider friends have glammed up their homes with crystals and turned their webs to delicate lace.

I’m not much of a Christmas person; for most of my professional life Christmas and other holidays have simply been another day on the job. I have lots of nostalgia related to Christmases past but the religious aspects are not part of that past or my personal spirituality. And for the last few years, well, I’ve been something of Scrooge; the Day Itself has passed me by with barely a nod of recognition.

It was almost the same this year.

You might have noticed a lack of posting on my part lately, here and on Facebook. It’s been a crazy couple months:

My mom has been sick since November and a couple weeks ago she had a stroke. As strokes go, she was very lucky and has only very slight residuals. But I did go to southern California to see her and help out. As much as I wanted and needed to be with her, well, SoCal is not my happy zone and it was an uncomfortable time for a whole bunch of reasons. Including a whole host of paranormal ones.

At the same time my sister ended up in ICU with a raging case of pneumonia.

And just yesterday, my reliable vehicle threw a rod. I guess I really should’ve given Fate a safe word. She apparently thought I meant “screw with everything all at once” when I said I needed some changes in my life.

Fate:  “Hey, cool! Here’s a metric buttload of crap for you to deal with!”

Me:  “No, Fate, no I meant I want that whole bestselling author thing I’ve been working on, not fuck up my family.”

But, as these things often go, what seemed like a total chaotic shitstorm at first turned out to be a challenge and an opportunity personally. I’ve found peace with parts of me and mine that needed some serious attention. I’ve found some new, unsuspected strength and resilience.

Most important, I’ve regained the Spirit of this season that I’ve been lacking for quite some time. I decorated, for the first time in years and it felt great. Now as I sit here on Christmas Eve looking at my beautiful tree I have so many things to be grateful for:

I have my health, a wonderful husband and sweet home filled with pets.

My mom and my sister are healing and getting stronger.

Cars are fixable.

I might not have a whole bunch of money right now, but I am wealthy with the love I am surrounded with.

A friend recently pointed out something that I really took to heart. My Scrooginess in the past has been based on my disgust with an overly-commercialized and hyped Christmas. I just wanted to ignore it as much as possible and get through it to the other side. I Bah-Humbugged my way through it and even took a twisted in glee in my bad feelings.

“Not this year.” My friend said. She told me that it was important to celebrate the Season so that we can fill our hearts with Peace and Love. It’s not about buying the latest doodad, or seeing who spends the most. This isn’t a competition. It’s a way to practice opening our hearts and having compassion for all. Even if it’s only for one day, you need to really feel it, and carry that feeling with you throughout the coming year.

Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?

How do you celebrate the Season? What traditions do you hold to, or what ones have you developed? I would love to hear how you share the joy of this time of year.

Paranormal, Spirituality

Wild And Weird, But What Happened To The Mayan Apocalypse?

Oh the best laid plans…you know the end of that quote.  I had all these plans to get so much writing done on my time off!  Blog posts queued up, WIP work, but darn reality anyway, threw me for a huge loop.

On the 19th, I woke up early to blood spattered all over the downstairs.  No kidding.  It wasn’t exactly a bloodbath, but someone had a big problem.  My 13 year-old male kitty, Jasper, had a ruptured abscess.

I know, ick!  He’d given no sign of having any issues, so it was a complete surprise to me.  I had a crisis and a meltdown.  I thought it was something way worse and I was convinced I was going to have to put him to sleep.  I cried a lot, then my brain kicked back into gear and I was able to get Jasper a little more cleaned up and a better idea of what was going on.  By the time Hub got home from work to help me get him to the vet’s, I had stopped crying hysterically calmed down, and figured out that maybe it wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought.  Note to self:  It’s better to think things through before going straight to “He’s gonna die!”

Kitty came home from the vet’s that night, and I said many grateful prayers while I watched over him.  He was pretty weak the first couple days, and it’s a good thing I did have time off.  He wouldn’t eat or drink on his own.  He would drink water if I gave it to him in sips from a syringe.  He nibbled delicately at the baby food that I presented to him on a spoon, but would turn his head away after a bare half-teaspoonful.  Which meant I was spending an awful lot of time on the floor of my bathroom to keep him hydrated and fed.

Sleeping is what he's best at.
Sleeping is what he’s best at.

Now we’re in the home stretch, and he is well on his way to a full recovery.  Yay!  Stitches come out Wednesday and my two weeks of keeping Jasper isolated from the rest of the animals can finally end.  His brother, Sage stands outside and paws at the door, missing his wrassling buddy.  Sister Magic, on the other hand, has appropriated Jasper’s favorite sleeping spot in his absence.  It will be good to finally be able to get things back to quasi-normal.

Then, it was the holidays.  Meh.  I just was not that into them this year, the commercialism seemed overdone and tacky.  I wasn’t even sure I would put up a tree, I was in such a bah humbug mood.  But Jasper on the mend seemed like the best present I could ask for, and I began to feel a bit more celebratory.  So when Hub put up the tree on the 20th, I put up the ornaments.

I did end up decorating the tree once Hub put it up.
I did end up decorating the tree once Hub put it up.  Can you find Han Solo and Gene Simmons?

Then, there was visiting with the grandkids.  Let’s just say, I never knew how much fun it was to run and scream and race through the house wielding an inflatable sword while chasing down a three year-old.  It got better when youngest grandson would abruptly slide to a halt and reverse course to dash after me, screaming just as loud.  I let him catch me and beat me up with his own inflatable weapon… a mallet with who on it?  Thor of course!  Joy!  I haven’t had so much fun since I was a kid!  Writing anything was a distant second to running and playing with small children I haven’t seen in months.

But what about that Mayan Apocalypse?  Big Nothing? Or…?

Oh Mayan Apocalypse, you were hyped and feared, but where were you?  No asteroid slammed into the Earth, no massive pole shift rearranged the continents and, to my utter disappointment, no aliens appeared in the skies above.  Worst of all, NO zombies!  So what was it all about?

It doesn’t matter what everyone else said.  In short, the Mayans said this was the end of one age and the start of another.  Sure other ages had ended in cataclysms, but this one was different.  This one was about a spiritual change.  You can read about it yourself, in this interview with a Mayan Elder.

There were lots and lots of expectations and predictions about this date.  What was I expecting to happen though?  Nothing so Earth-shattering.  But I wanted to observe the solstice and the galactic alignment as a sacred day, so I took the 21st off.  (And I wanted to be home, just in case there were zombies!)

The winter solstice is a time of rebirth, renewal and sparking the sacred fire of creativity, and I treated it as such.  I did a little something that day of everything I want to achieve in the coming year; writing, gardening, eating better and exercising, taking better care of myself and opening myself to greater spiritual growth.

It worked.  I felt the shift within, and I felt my meditations, my awareness step up to a new level.  I felt that influx of energy from the universe and knew that everything I wanted was within my reach.  More, I realized that the only one holding me back was…me.

I’m not saying I’m suddenly this perfectly aligned, spiritual being.  Ha!  The one thing about this date that got left out of all the hype:  December 21st marked the shift, the end of one age and the start of the next.  It was never about instant enlightenment or instant change, but about one cycle ending and another one beginning.  ‘Beginning’ being the operative word in that sentence.  We are at the very start of something wonderful, but all change comes with a measure of chaos and upheaval.  This next cycle is about raising our consciousness, about tapping into all those wonderful abilities that are latent or sporadic and bringing them fully to fruition.   We have a very long way to go, but I feel confident we can all get there.

I found this meme making the rounds on Facebook:

Apocalypse

I take great joy and hope from watching old, outdated systems of thought and behavior die away to be replaced gradually with ones involving more humane treatment of our ecosystems and ourselves, greater awareness of Spirit, and greater realization of just how powerful we really are.

How did it go for you?