It’s Independence Day here in America, a time to celebrate our Freedom and Independence. Every year Americans celebrate this day with fireworks, picnics and other get together’s to remember this important day in history.
For me it rings true on a whole other level as I yet take another step towards that ultimate feeling of freedom and independence and what it means to me. Freedom can mean different things to us all and freedom is the word for a large umbrella that encircles so many different aspects. Freedom can be as simple as having the right to choose or as difficult as being enslaved with a life that is dictated and not truly yours to live.
Freedom this year and with a war still ripping our world apart, is surely viewed differently this year. Especially from the ones who are close, living this nightmare every day, trapped, yearning for that feeling that is freedom. My heart continues to go out to all who suffer and who have lost, who are separated and can only dream of the word freedom. This year we remember just a little more beyond the picnics and fireworks. This year we pray for a world united and at peace.
It’s Father’s Day in the US and much gratitude goes out to all of you hard working, always being there, providing for your family, strong shoulder and rock kind of Dad’s. May you feel loved and appreciated this holiday and always.
Father’s Day was a few weeks already in Germany and I was lucky enough to be there and celebrate the day with my adoptive Dad. Today my thoughts wonder back to him as they do on most every day. Without a doubt do we both miss our outings exploring the town, or just chilling on the couch next to his in home hospital bed to watch a show like Jade Fever, Gold-rush in Alaska or any other kind of documentary series. It didn’t matter what it was but what it came down to was spending time together and today I am grateful that I have realized this during my stay and that I made the time for him to be a priority. How often do we get carried away by life and hindsight bares a hard lesson! I am grateful I did not have to learn such a truth and that I included him into my day whenever I could. I was too young to do this with my biological Dad, but losing him so young in life has taught to be more aware, to love with all my heart while carrying this extraordinary heart on my sleeves, vulnerable for the world to attack. It has taught me to not hold back on the feelings, to live from a heart-space instead of a head-space. To go with my gut and to trust my intuition. And more important to not deny it, but to follow it without questioning the reasons.
Today on Father’s Day, my wish is that you hug your Dad just a little tighter. That you make the time for him to be included in your life, in your day, in this very moment. Today, I hope you are proud to be such an amazing part of his legacy and I hope that you can show him exactly that. May your bond today and always be strong, not taking any moment for granted, never underestimating this moment, realizing that it will never come back. Have a wonderful holiday and thank you to all the Dad’s wherever you are. You are important and loved.
Today on Father’s Day here in Germany I give thanks to two special men. My birth father and his brother, my adoptive father. Both of theses men have played a vital role in my life and have left footprints all over my heart.
Today, as an adult I’m happy I got to spend the day with one of them and travel to the birthplace where my two fathers along with four more siblings were born. It sure was a trip down memory lane, especially for “dad” who hasn’t been here in many years. I’m still hungry for my family history, for the little tidbits and stories that are still remembered and talked about on occasion with a smile. I’m glad that I had the chance to learn a few of them.
Happy Imbolc blessings beloved readers. Flashback: I haven’t used the word beloved in quite some time and it used to be a word I was quite fond off. But that seems so long ago, and it has lost it’s value to me. Today, it just merely needed to be acknowledged as it appeared out of surprise, out of nowhere.
Last night we celebrated a new moon and the energy is very powerful right now. With it, it brings the opportunity to celebrate life as well as open a doorway in your life. This February new moon ignites our fight to make dreams come true. It also proves to be a lucrative time for investments that become beneficial now. But this is not all and while each sign maybe impacted slightly different, some things are the same for all of us. We feel new energy stiring within. The long dark nights and days are making way to new life, to new beginnings, to making our plans a reality soon.
On top of the powerful energy already, we are celebrating Imbolc today. The beginning of the new lunar year and the flow of fresh energy. Imbolc is a fire festival that celebrates the home and the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It marks the midpoint and is quite literally called midwinter. The days are growing longer and have been since the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. For some of you this is a mid point where you are halfway through your summer with father winter coming your way. For me it is spring that is around the corner, followed by summer. Tomorrow is also Groundhog Day and if you believe in this tradition, you will learn how much longer winter is said to last. Will it end quickly or will we be faced with another 6 weeks of dormancy.
For now and with the celebration of Imbolc we acknowledge our cabin fever as we yearn to unburden ourselves from the long, dark days. I have to say that I am somewhat of a homebody and spending time inside doesn’t really bother me all that much. For one I have created such a comfortable, cozy space where I am surrounded by my favorite things, it simply doesn’t matter to be inside. I never feel trapped or confined despite this tiny tiny space I am in. I see the longer days and the darkness as a welcome balance to slow down and cram less into my day. It’s a time for meditation, for slowing down and for simply breathing. Alongside of dreaming and making new plans, following hobbies and crafts and what not. However, I know this is not the case with many and that cabin fever mentioned becomes a real issue.
After month of self reflection, planning, and goal setting, aspiration and ambition are beginning to stir. Enough is enough and the tiniest enthusiasm is starting to awaken beneath the surface. This is the time to let our creativity and imagination help manifest these dreams. For me it is still a preparation phase as I ready myself for my journey to Germany. I will be leaving mid march, in just over a month that will fly by in no time. The time is finally here and much awaits. Tomorrow we will also take a look in addition to the New Moon and to Imbolc to see which Spirit Animal has stepped forward to further support us through the month of February.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and a warm holiday season. As we take a break from the blogging world, know you are thought of with love and kindness and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being in my life.
It’s going to be a white Christmas this year and the next snowstorm is on the way. With it, significant amounts of snowfall is expected and severe warnings to wrap up travel have been issued. It’s a Christmas we all envision, with a world covered in an innocent blanket of white. Picture perfect, my world is surrounded by snow covered pine trees and the occasional deer strolling by. For me it will be a quaint, simple Christmas and I will focus on as many comforts as possible during this time that so easily could have me feeling the holiday blues. It’s still a time when loved ones on earth and in heaven are missed just a little extra.
I have felt Mom’s presence more than ever this season, and I know she is by my side. I can see the effort she has made, coming to learn about my side of things vs being so focused on her view like she has been all these years in her time on earth. Now in heaven, nothing is secret anymore as she looks into my heart and sees my deepest thoughts and pain. Everything and all is on the table. There is no mistaken anymore, no more misunderstanding, it’s all there. It seems as if old ways of thinking have been released, and without any spoken words from her, the message couldn’t be any louder. I feel her support and she is showing it through ways I could have never imagined. It makes the holidays “without” even more bittersweet and she will be with me throughout a little bit more than usual. I will find some one on one time with her, to dedicate my love all over to her and to thank her while remembering her and her memory.
So huddle and be close to your loved ones this holiday season. Count your blessings if you have them to unite in person. Take a moment and slow down, to breathe it all in and feel every moment with every sense. Create new memories that will be passed on for years to come and enjoy this season of love and giving.
The forth candle is being lit tonight in our Advent weekly celebration, and it is called the candle of Love. You can revisit all the other candles here. Tonight’s candle takes me on twists and turns as I walk down memory lane and life in general, pondering the meaning of love and how it has affected me.
Love is universal, a language we all speak. Love makes everything better and love conquers all. Love is the answer when we want to shout and love warms our hearts in ways nothing else can. Love has always been a big part of my life, not always present and often lacking in ways I needed it to be. In recent years a new way of love has come my way and I have tried to practice it ever since. What I am talking about is unconditional love and I came face to face with it in the most memorable experience. It’s a very personal story to me, and one of great pain. It’s about a daughter chasing a mothers love for all of her life. It’s a story of love present but expressed through material things. It’s a story of bitterness and regrets. A story of accusations and grudges. A story that has pushed me to the edge and inflicted a pain that manifested for decades. It’s a story of immense sadness, of lost time and moments I didn’t think I could bear. Through it all, not only forgiveness was born but also a love that had to dig deep and in the end become unconditional.
This kind of love is in my life with everything today, even for myself. It’s blame burns brighter than any candle or flame. It’s all in, all forgiving, all understanding, all accepting, all embracing. Even during times of great injustice and hurt inflicted by others. For me love is everything or nothing. Love and your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone. Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. Wikipedia describes it to be associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love. This type of love has no bounds and is unchanging. It will always have a special meaning to me and in the end I wouldn’t wish for a different teacher showing me the ways of unconditional love.
Today, this 3rd week of advent, we are yet to light and celebrate another candle. We started with the Prophet’s Candle of Hope, and moved to the Bethlehem Candle of Peace during our second Sunday. This week brings another essential needed amongst all humanity as we celebrate the Shepherd’s Candle of Joy. In Christianity this candle takes on a big meaning as the shepherd’s served witness to Jesus’ birth and emissaries of joy. Joy is something we can experience each and every day. Joy and it’s meaning varies from person to person, depending on what we perceive as joy.
The dictionary describes joy as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. A delight, jubilation, triumph, a rejoice. The Oxford English Dictionary claims to be better and defines joy as a vivid emotion of pleasure arising from a sense of well-being or satisfaction. It describes it as a feeling or state of being highly pleased or delighted. Joy is something we associate with spontaneous action. Joy can motivate us and help us aspire to great things. Is joy dependent on others and needs to be brought to us, or is it a state of mind, just as we can deliver joy to others. Perhaps the feeling of joy starts with us and it is something we can also gift to ourselves? My exploration of the Shepherd’s Candle takes me just a little deeper this evening as I contemplate the true meaning of joy. I am recalling ways it has impacted me and how I have used it to bring joy to the world and to others. Again, I ask myself to see what is, what is great, what can be changed and what needs adjusting. Today it is joy I am focused on as I sit by the fire remembering the last time I felt this vivid emotion of pleasure and satisfaction. It is joy and a spontaneous action that I want to pay forward to someone else this holiday season. Seeing their delighted faces will tell me all I need to know when the time comes. Maybe it is in the form of a present, a thoughtful notion, an act of kindness, a warm hug, a thought and wish of wellness sent across the miles. Maybe it’s in baked goods and a little extra cheer. Maybe it’s a matching pajama family party, or maybe I’ll sing Christmas Carols of the top of my lungs….mmmh…ok, I think I’m getting carried away from the Joy of life and Christmas, but you get the point. Have yourself a great 3rd Advent.
Ah yes, the holidays. A time to gather, give thanks, enjoy each other’s company and be merry and bright. It’s a time for giving, for random acts of kindness, of being just a little friendlier and forgiving, and a time for caring warmth and the spirit of Christmas within our hearts. But for many it’s a time that emphasis what’s been missing or a lack throughout the year. It can make the already lonely world an even lonelier place. It can make the hurt sting just a little more, and it can bring a aching heart nearly to the breaking point.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday but for most of my life it was a time I felt torn between my family here in the States and the one of my homeland in Germany. For me it was always a time, hustling, running a busy retail store, while missing so many traditions and customs I grew up with in Germany. Christmas always felt incomplete, or different I might correct myself. If I dare to say that it was incomplete, I say so because certain expectations were not met and these days I work hard to shed those expectations and catch myself whenever I become aware that I am holding them. To me expectations are linked to disappointment, to hurt and a further ache within my heart. I work hard to avoid it and do what’s within my control, the rest is not up to me.
But it is true and Christmas always held a certain longing for me. Whether it was traditions that I missed or whether it was being away from the people that meant so much, I could never be in two places at once and therefore I could never escape that feeling. Well, I brought onto myself by leaving like Mom always used to say. In other words it was my fault and I wanted it that way. Now I had what I was asking for. In reality it was more like I could have never imagined all the details, some small and insignificant at the time, and how big they would become one day. At that young age I could have not realized the big picture and everything that it would involve. I could have not known that it was a lifestyle change that would impact my forever. I was young and in love, I lived for that moment, my immediate, and while I practice this today because that particular moment, the NOW is all we ever have, I gave little thought to the future and what would and could be.
It’s been two years since Mom has passed and I feel her more and more these days. Especially over the last 6 months, there has been more of a presence and I could swear sometimes she messes with me and gets a good laugh in. I have written about signs from your deceased loved ones before, when feathers appear or the communication through electricity which seems to be Mom’s favorite lately. I be sitting here typing away on my lit electronic keyboard and it starts to flicker and light up like a Christmas tree, becoming unresponsive until the debacle decides itself that it’s enough. I go in the bathroom and the light can be operated form a switch in the wall or the ceiling. It’s set to operate from the switch yet it doesn’t work from time to time and only functions from the ceiling until I reset it. Yet nobody has turned it on from the ceiling. Or I go to bed, phone charging on my IHome station and all of a sudden the entire room is illuminated because Mom starts messing with the phone, turning the screen on. “I know you’re here”’ or “Not now Mom” is usually what I mumble and what comes over my lips with a smile. I do miss you and two years later it all still feels so fresh. Grief is love unexpressed and some holes can’t be filled, not all pains go away and not all hearts are mended like they were before. Grief changing us forever, so hold tight to the ones you love, for every moment is special and precious.
Today we are celebrating the 2nd of Advent. Our first candle, the Prophet’s Candle was lit last week, with the candle standing for hope. Hope, something we all need, hope something we need to believe in and keep alive. Today’s second candle is called the Bethlehem Candle and represent Peace. Also something we all need and Peace is a central theme of the advent season.
Peace is one of those words that people use a lot and depending on what religion and philosophy they follow, peace can vary and be highly different from person to person. Peace is not always associated with our state of the union, with the world or with war. Peace is much greater and it is what we encounter or lack on a daily basis. While world peace is the ultimate goal, peace can also be described as the physically well being of people. We can find ourselves during world peace and still be at war, not feeling peaceful inside.
Peace can come from keeping hope alive, from trusting in all that is and in all that is yet to come. Peace is not just an act, but also a feeling, a state of being. It’s a feeling of harmony, of alignment, of kindness and mindfulness. It’s a feeling of compassion and looking after each other. It’s a feeling of understanding, of patience and of banishing judgement. Peace is universal. It’s a language we all understand and are capable of bestowing through our actions. Christmas is known as a season that is more giving and more forgiving. More random acts of kindness can be found during this time than versus other times. It’s a time when we allow the heart to be involved just a little bit more, and by doing so we might even experience a moment of bliss and satisfaction. Have you noticed how good it feels to give? Have you ever been so excited to gift something that you could hardly wait for the person to unwrap it, so you could see the joy on their face and likewise feel their excitement?
And while we can’t buy gifts to feel these moments all year around, I think there are plenty of other ways we all can contribute to all little more peace for the world, for our neighbors, for friends and family and for ourselves. Challenge accepted while wishing you a week full of peace and hope.