Normally when I travel alone, especially on a quest (which isn't very often if you know me), I take an altar. Have altar will travel is my motto. I did this in '05 when I traveled for my Feng Shui training and last year when I went away to a 3 day full moon feminine retreat. When we travel as a family, I don't typically travel with an altar (don't ask me why). I decided on this trip to not take an altar as I knew I would be picking up some items along the way, and I did.
The last couple of years I have seen lots of folks publicly declare their gratitudes during the month of November, the month of gratitude and today is day two. I am grateful for the sacred items I picked up today, such as this Archangel Michael that will be placed above our front door for protection and these lovely candle holders with Nag Champa candles to bring a beautiful scent to our home.
I have them in my hotel room on my Sage Woman magazine and a reminder of the feminine spirit that lives within me. These are not all that I am grateful for today. I am grateful for this time to myself, for being able to veg out in front of bad TV, for the wonderful Sisters I met tonight that are also here for my conference and for the bread we broke together over dinner as we got to know one another. For all of this and more, I give thanks.
Is there anything as lovely and as promising as freshly laid eggs? I am sure there is but this was a lovely promise for me yesterday. I want to tell you how I received the eggs and about my immense gratitude and I want to tell you what these eggs mean to me.
You probably remember that nearly a year ago I embarked on Elemental Space Clearing Certification with Denise Linn, renowned expert on sacred space and best-selling Hay House author. As part of the certification, I am required to offer 18 clearings (preferably with no charge, though if we are already in this field we are allowed to do so). Despite having been doing this work for nearly half of my life in some way or another, I decided to take the route of offering these services at no charge. Why? Why is this a requirement and why take this road and where am I now?
There was a time when spiritual training was lifelong or at least lasted a long time. There were apprenticeships and mentorships and while you may have been out there doing the work, there was study and intention. We now live in a fast paced world where people are receiving energetic attunements via the internet (I have released judgement on this one) and are declaring that they are a shaman based on having read a book. There are amazing things happening in the world and there are also those practicing without the knowledge to energetically hold their clients - many different modalities.
I once sat in a marketing class with a young woman who was dressed in a boho style and draped with jewelry and when we went around the circle and said what we hoped to gain from the class, she said she wanted to be a spiritual guru like Harv Eker teaching others to be spiritual gurus. What? That was her goal. To be a famous spiritual guru. (My secret wish for this girl was to achieve what she wanted but first to find a phenomenal teacher to show her the way along with a little humility.)
These things have lead me to where I am today. I have performed 10 clearings toward my certification. 1 of which I did accept a monetary payment for. The others, well, let's say those who received the clearings gave me other gifts. I have received dinner, lunch, a beautiful drawing by a 5 year old girl, lovely emails of thanks and yesterday, well, yesterday put me in an interesting place.
I teach a class called Step Out of Your Fear and Into Your Story. In this class one of the things I talk about is learning to accept payment for your services and stand in that worthiness and step out of poverty consciousness. I say that we no longer are paid in chickens and eggs. And then, yesterday, my client was so happy with the clearing, which she received at not charge, she quickly went to her hens and gathered a dozen eggs for me to take home to my family.
There was a shift that happened for me. It was a final step into this tradition and this work. There are 8 clearings remaining before I achieve certification. But, now, I feel I can return to accepting monetary payment as opposed to standing in the place of student only. This is not new work for me. I have been doing it for so many years.
The gratitude I felt when receiving those eggs was immense and intense. We will enjoy those eggs as a family (well, I won't but my family will enjoy what I cook with them!).
I am a big believer of what I call "going to the mountain". Truly receiving our spiritual training and becoming as adept as we can through long study before going out into the world to declare we are experts. I am not an expert. I have SO much still to learn in this life. But, these eggs were symbolic to me that I have been reborn and am ready to go forth into the world to share this work.
Today, I sit in this gratitude and humility as I prepare to share what I do this weekend at the Galactic Expo in Nashville!
I hope to see you there.
Sometimes in life, there are things that we hide. From our friends, our family, our partners...and ourselves. They are hidden away behind the doors of cupboards and when we open the doors everything comes tumbling out. When I made the decision to create this challenge I knew I would be opening some personal cabinet doors that needed to see the light of day, scrubbed free of the mismatched lids and broken handles. It took me 2 years to find the courage to actually create this work or at least open myself to it. Maybe that's why last week stalled for me. A migraine, full schedule, I simply could not find it within me to tackle these darn cabinets.
Then there was the full moon. And, the dam burst. I'll be revealing more about this over the next few weeks because I believe that for many of us, there are things that will be revealed. Actually, I believe that is true for all of us. I have been in homes that were immaculate and beautiful, just like their owners, except for that one closet that held the remains of a marriage gone bad. I've been in homes that were so full of trash and animal waste that it was a reflection of how the homeowner viewed themselves. I've been in homes somewhere in between.
Maybe your cabinets or your home do not reveal some deep dark secret or pain. Maybe they are a reflection of the fear or missing out or the inability to say "NO" when you are always saying "YES". Whatever it is that we are shedding light on, I hope you will sink into this process, the decluttering, the releasing, the reorganizing. This is the year. It is the year of the self. The year of stepping into who we are individually. I believe in this work and if only one of you has their world rocked by this work that is rocking my world, then I will celebrate from the mountain of life! Now...roll up your sleeves, pull out your bins and get ready.
Part 2: The work begins.
"Order is the shape upon which beauty begins." - Pearl Buck
From a journal posting on September 16, 2016
If you have seen my vision board on my FB page or blog, you will see a huge component of self-care including yoga, healing, travel (yes, this is self-care) and retreat. This weekend I said, "yes" to it all and stepped off the cliff and into the void at the first Wise Woman Full Moon Retreat in Nashville.
The invitation came months ago and I siad, "no". My thought process was that I was launching my own reatreat and could not attend someone else's and I had a potential speaking engagement on the table. I mean, really, I only have so many hours in my day. As the wheel of the year turned and life became fuller and a little more chaotic, my well began to empty and no matter what I did, I could not seem to refill.
Four weeks ago I sat down at my computer and emailed my friend - the retreat facilitator - and asked "Is there room for me?" She said yes. I immediately began to second guess myself. Road block after road block presented itself and mirrored to me the things that I so desperately needed to clear.
Despite it all I continued to say "yes", prepped my family, moved heaven and earth, loaded the car, packed my basket of items to take from class to class and hit the road. Here I sit, alone at a beautiful retreat center outside of the city during a break and my only task is to fill my well and for that, I am grateful. I think of few times in the last 20 years that someone else held my energy, took care of me and nourished me (think delicious vegan meals all weekend).
I await the unfoldment.
(Below are my altar supplies that I sat up outside my tent on the first day - the dry day. Abalone shell, sage, circle of women candle holder, Angel Radiance candle, rose quartz heart and my smudge fan all in an African fair trade basket.)
ad as well as new friends in the pool and on the beach. What does it mean to be Spirit led? Where does that ultimate point of surrender come? Do we really listen and know when we are being guided?
I had an incredible example of this that morning as I went for my early morning walk. After leaving the condo and heading down the short walk to the beach, twice I attempted to turn right to follow what had been my morning routine all week. Twice I felt my body being turned left. As in my body was literally being turned.
Deep breath. I think I'll go left. And, I'm glad I did.
Much like other parts of the Atlantic coast, the dunes of the area where we stayed are home to nesting sea turtles from May to September each year. I was privileged to watch the little lady above walk down the beach to the water, have breakfast, then swim back in to walk back home to her nest. I had seen the turtles in the dunes. There were two nested right along the path that we walked each day from the pool to the beach. They gave great delight to all of the residents that week - young and old. It's interesting to see the magic that these creatures hold for everyone and reminds us that it is for good reason that native cultures have always revered the turtles of our world.
But, what does it mean for me?
Being at the beach, I didn't have access to my go-to book, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. You better believe I kept my mind on that book and was looking forward to the time where I would be able to sit down and absorb Ted's wisdom on this encounter.
Last night while in bed, the Moon and I snuggled up and read what Animal Speak says on Turtles. What I learned was this: In that moment, I allowed myself to be Divinely led. I LISTENED to the nudges of Spirit. I heard from Spirit through the message of the turtle that I need to slow the train down, there is plenty of time and that by slowing down I will be able to see the correct opportunities ahead. The turtle showed me that I need to listen more - which is something I have been working on all year. And that at the rate I am going, there could be more missed opportunities.
I've been pushing for some things for my family which would have life altering - in a major way - impact on us. I have been desperate for this change to happen. Sometimes in the life of a blogger, we bare it all. In this case I'm going to hold some things to myself. The message of the turtle has allowed me to finally begin to see the forest despite the trees in the way. This week, I have found a peace in a situation that I have not had for some time and have been able to give our family a respite from considering the change I have so long desired. I know that the turtle's message was not only for this situation but for other things in my life.
Thank you Spirit. I heard you and I hear you.
You are invited to STEP OUT OF FEAR AND INTO YOUR STORY!
This class, normally taught in a group setting, is now offered online through my Teachable site at the introductory rate of $10.
Are you a visionary, healer, psychic or teacher? Do you have gifts to share with others? Does your fear of rejection and inability to stand in your story hold you back? Have you ever found yourself reluctant or embarrassed to share your heart-centered business at a function, networking event or a dinner party?
Then, this course is for you! Learn why you need the triedand true technique of the elevator speech to help you share your story, and thus, your gifts, with the world.
Course includes a lecture, slideshow and downloadable workbook to support you in crafting your story in a concise and confident way.
What are you waiting for?
There are days when my calendar is full and I am pulled in a hundred directions and many people/things need my time and attention.
I have lived in the space where I was focused and used an altar each day to keep me on my path and have lived with no altar, no intention, no consciousness around manifestation. Which one do you think gave me more peace and success?
The first altar I ever had in my home was under a bay window in our living room. It was enormous! I used a yard sale coffee table and my table contained crystals and candles, incense and statues, my journal, nature items and anything else I felt moved to add. For several years I prayed, meditated and focused while at the altar. I did ceremonial work and even brought Nathan into a couple of my ceremonies there.
That altar served as a visual, grounded representation of my spiritual path. In 2001, we moved from our apartment into our home in Murfreesboro and I packed that altar away with the intent of finding the perfect home for it on our new space.
That. Never. Happened.
Thanks to a challenging pregnancy and becoming immeresed in Motherhood, I never unpacked that box. And, my spiritual path went from a bright burn to a hidden pilot light. And, I went from being a very focused person into someone who wandered through life.
Did the lack of an altar impact my spiritual path? That's sort of like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. I don't know for sure. But, I would say YES. That lack of a visual reminder hindered my continuation of my spiritual path. Did I abandon my path completely or my personal faith? No. But, it definitely went from being at the forefront of my life to being like an old favorite pair of jeans that I put aside into they fit me once again.
My heart has been pulling me to once again do altar work. It was not until recently when I began walking the path toward Elemental Space Clearing Certification with Denise Linn that I focused on this once again.
As I moved into this space, I began once again lighting candles as a way to focus and then recently I added a small altar space to anchor this energy in again. That altar is featured in this post. This week I'll be adding more images and thoughts around this profound work.
The last couple of weeks have been hard. I have looked at it repeatedly and attempted to find the source of my stress. In some ways things seem "normal" but when I really sat and considered the bigger picture, I saw the stressors. Taking the advice of my vibrational healer, I diligently did what I could with the energy I had and but took short naps to re-energize. I thought it was just me but encountered folks all during the past week that had a similar story to tell.
How do you stay in-sync with the Universe when you have these energetic lows? This was my question to myself all through the week. Truthfully, I was able to stay "in the flow" for the most part and in keeping with the theme of life, I was presented several other people who needed that reminder to stay in the flow despite the curve balls life keep throwing at them. (The answer to the question is self-care, BTW.)
Sacred mirrors are everywhere and it is our job to look into those mirrors and see clearly. I had several women show up at my door, literally, or ask to meet in a coffee shop in despair and without hope or just sad and needing a pick a listening ear. What did this women have to tell me about myself? Were they a reflection of my own feelings that were part of my lows last week? I think we all know the answer to that.
Thanks to my ability to "listen" to myself and to say "no" when I needed to say "no" and to give myself self-care - a bath and a few naps - I was available for others when the need arose. Not only that, I was able to spend most of the weekend outdoors walking and completing long overdue projects such as the potting bench I have almost finished! Had I not given myself the grace and love I give others, that could have not happened.
Today, as I sit in the sunshine on my patio and give thanks for the ability that I have to pursue my dreams and take care of myself, I know that others feel that these luxuries are not afforded to them. For many, it is true, self-care and nourishment are not available. But, for many others they are! Look at your life and the patterns of lows and despair. Find their source. Reframe your thoughts. Give yourself care and love.
When you find yourself in those places, those lows and tempted to move into despair, be kind to yourself and ask yourself: How can you be available for others when you are not available for yourself?
I’m Dana Croy and I am a modern day mama. Balancing family and work is not always easy (not to mention a little self-care). Though being Mama to two fantastic kiddos is a huge part of my life, that was not always the case. I wear many other hats and invite to sit down and find harmony with me.