Appreciation. It's the act of feeling deeper into gratitude for all our experiences. It's looking closely at the lessons we are receiving so as to better equip ourselves with the navigation of our path moving forward. It's accepting where we are at any given moment understanding we are spiritual beings having a human experience and it's okay to not have it all figured out yet. It's about understanding we can still appreciate every moment even when they literally suck because it's still a moment of living. It's still a moment of expansion. It's still another chance we are given to learn and grow in this lifetime.
Appreciation is trusting that every experience serves a purpose even when we do not fully understand them. It's knowing that we are co creating as one energy even when we feel separate. Appreciation is a form of balance. A love for all beings. A conscious awareness to self, others, Mother Earth and the Animal Kingdom. Appreciation is the foundation of gratitude and gratitude is the foundation of love and the love of life itself. Trust the process, trust your journey and immerse yourself in the appreciation of your unique energetic footprint as every step you take not only impacts but imprints on every single being within our universe. Ask yourself, what do you appreciate?
As we move into the holidays some people revert to the giddiness of a child while others are seeking the energy to just get through it all. The holidays can be both a blessing and a curse for many. One minute we are enjoying the lights, the music and all the yummy baked goods and the next we are in tears missing a loved one or in an anxious spiral of fear about the financial burden we feel in our perceived obligations to not only gift the ones we love with something but also our kid's friends, teachers and every single person that has provided a service to us throughout the year. Phew that's a mouthful and a mindful.
Whatever you are feeling this holiday season I want you to know it's ok and you are not alone. The holidays can trigger a lot of emotions and bring up a lot of unresolved trauma and pain. Whether you have lost a loved one, your kids are with your ex this year, you have a family member in the military thousands of miles away, or countless others reasons that make you feel like curling into the fetal position, you do not need to "RISE UP" for this occasion. #sorrynotsorry.
I know because I am one of these people. It started in my childhood and for decades to follow I put on a brave face pretending the holidays were pure magic while inside I was screaming for them to just go away. Every cell in my body was overstimulated with the lights, the music, the crowds, the obligations, the presents, the expectations, to the point where I would just become numb. Everything I did became robotic and I had to shut myself down emotionally and mentally to just get through it all. By the time New Years Day rolled around I was exhausted, and quite frankly, angry.
I turned all this around when one year my husband, children and I decided to open our restaurant doors on Christmas day to feed anyone in need of a hot meal while delivering pre packaged homemade meals to all the shut ins within our town. Our reasons for starting the tradition sadly were not 100% "pure" at the time. It was more about getting out of those dreaded family obligations however as we planned the event with the help of our kids, customers and friends it took on a life of it's own that actually became pure magic. We continued this tradition for the next three years, not to get out of anything but rather to continue with this beautiful tradition of community we created even just for a day. It absolutely changed my vision of what the season was truly about. It didn't mean my pain went away nor did it fix my childhood trauma, but it allowed me to channel my energy into something positive. Something that made me see the beauty of the season and be grateful for it even in my pain.
Since closing the restaurant to pursue my dreams of being of service in a different way I find myself falling back into those moments of not enjoying the holidays like I did for that short period of time in my life. I'm once again overstimulated from the lights, the noise, the people, the expectations and even the financial aspects of feeling obligated to get my teen daughter's entire list (don't worry it's not happening) all while having a son in the military, thousands of miles away at the moment. And you know what? It's all ok. I don't have to put on a brave face anymore. The holidays though presented as bright and cheery aren't always what they appear to be.
So, if I find myself singing along to Silent Night only to end up in a heap on the couch because it triggered me then you you know what? I'm going with it. If my son is unable to come home for the holidays guess what? I'm gonna ugly cry. If I need to lock myself away in Klarity Kottage for some peace and quiet away from all the noise then so be it, I will. Because not going numb this year and feeling everything I need to feel is awareness and awareness leads to growth and growth leads to expansion and expansion leads to healing.
My wish for you this holiday season is that you truly see, even if only through my words, that you are not alone in your feelings. That one moment you can be flying with reindeer magic and the next you can be bunking with the Grinch. To see the light you must first be left in the dark. It's what you choose to do in the dark that makes a difference.
You've heard that one right? I'm pretty sure it's a classic in the quote/meme world yet so many of us try and do it all the time.
Why is that?
What keeps us from taking care of ourselves first?
Is is guilt?
Are we too busy?
Is it lack of self worth?
For me it was all that and more. I believed I was too busy. I believed I wasn't worthy. I believed that if I stepped back for even a moment that I would drop one of the balls I was juggling and everything would come crashing down. The guilt of even taking a moment for just me was insurmountable. How dare I.
And then I had no choice. A hospitalization stay was my wakeup call to learn to start taking those moments and so I did. As hard as it was, I took that first moment and then another and those moments over time turned into an hour, that hour turned into a few and before I knew it I was taking full days and even consecutive days FOR ME. Because I finally understood that RECEIVING was necessary. For me to be able to function at my highest level in all areas of my life it was no longer optional. If I didn't take care of myself I would begin to die, literally or at least figuratively and for me there was no difference. I could no longer just exist, trying to survive each day and being stuck in the hamster wheel of my life. By creating moments I was creating the energy I needed to live intentionally.
Now, years later, with my understanding of energy and the harnessing of my own combined with how I show up in the world both personally and professionally while giving and receiving, MATTERS. If you are trying to pour from an empty cup the energy you are sharing is not strong, it's not pure and it's not in your highest good. You are out of balance and when this happens we open the door to many physical as well as mental and emotional issues such as depression, resentment, anger and even illnesses.
That being said I share this experience with you not for sympathy but to invite you to take a deeper look at your own existence and to think of November not only as the month of giving but also as the month of being open to receiving. You are allowed, you are worthy and you are incredibly deserving of refilling your cup.
Heck even the flight attendants tell us to put our own mask on before assisting others. Why? Because they know that we can be of service to others in a far greater capacity if we take care of ourselves first.
So plan out November as a month to refill your cup.
Get OFF your phone more and get a massage, have coffee/tea with a friend, curl up with a good book, take a yoga class, sit down to color, journal or create, meet up for a walk, explore a new hobby (or come see me)
Take this time consciously with no apologies. Know that when your cup is full your energetic frequency vibrates higher and the higher you are naturally and consciously aligned with universal energy as your own the more of an impact you can make not only your own life but the life of others too.
Receive with an open mind and an open heart. We are all worthy of receiving all the universe has to offer and more.
With love and intention in your highest good always,
After spending September "Reflecting" with my High Vibe Tribe members and on my own personal and professional life I am ready to step into October where we will begin to work on the "Art of Releasing".
For many this can be challenging as we are committed to many things that may not necessarily bring us joy but none the less still have to be on our "to do lists." Others feel they must do things out of obligation and then you have those who feel that if they were to let go of even one thing that their entire life would unravel. The stress and anxiety of releasing can be overwhelming if you don't know where to begin however in my experience the process of organizing our thoughts and priorities creates the ability to release and let go of what no longer serves us allowing us to create the energetic space to welcome new and exciting energies in.
Yes, I do believe learning to release is an art form. It takes courage, passion, insight, self love and the ability to create healthy boundaries for ourselves. It's the moment we remember to put ourselves first and allow our own needs, wants and desires to take the fore front of our thinking and our actions.
I use Acrostic poetry in my practice as it helps me breakdown and express what it is I want for the theme of the month guiding me to what direction I need to take to stay in alignment with myself. Release stands for:
R – readjust or release
E – energies and events
L – life situations/behaviors/actions/objects
E – effects or affects of each in your life (physical, spiritual, emotional)
A – affirm abundance in your highest good - ALWAYS
S – Self balance is a necessity not a luxury
E – emerge awakened and standing in your truth.
The key to releasing and creating self-balance in our lives is to become more aware of our life in itself. When we are not balanced from the inside our outer worlds can never be in balance. By learning to reflect on and then release what no longer serves us we create awareness on what is triggering us in areas of our life and can create healthy boundaries for ourselves when moving forward. It is not only necessary to learn to release for self balance but for the balance of the planet. As we know better, we do better, and when we do better we create space for others to do the same.
You can begin to feel the shift in seasons. The darkness in the early hours, the chill in the air that leads to the warmer temperatures by afternoon. Wearing layers needing to be shed throughout the day for self-comfort then adding them back in later in the evening as the cool air comes back to kiss us goodnight. September, my birth month, has always held a special place in my heart as a beautiful time of REFLECTION.
What is it you want or need to reflect on this month? Whether it's your personal life or your business take some time to think about your year and how you have showed up in it.
Reflection is more about bringing awareness to your life, the intentions you have set, the dreams and hopes you have for the future and helping you to stay on that path. When we take time out to do this, we open the doors to acknowledging our own inner truths and the stories we have been telling ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to shift, to expand and to realign with what's truly important.
I created an acrostic poem that I use to help me in my time of reflection. It gives me a few guidelines as to different areas in my life that are important for me to stay aligned with.
R - Reevaluate
E - Emotions
F - Feelings
L - Life
E - Energy
C - Compassion
T – Truth
Again, these are just a few and will get you started on bringing awareness to your reflection practice. This is not about finding the faults in choices or decisions we have made; this time is simply a wakeup call to your higher self that it's never too late to fall in love with the reflection in the mirror and all that you have to offer the world. As I always say, "As we know better, we do better and when we do better, we create the space for others to do the same."
Reflection when done with compassion is a beautiful experience we can learn and grow from. So, I invite you to do just that. Reflect with compassion and love for where you have been, what you have learned, where you still want to go physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually as well as financially while re-creating your visions for tomorrow.
Expectations. They are absolutely everywhere and can be crippling. Not just the expectations we have of ourselves but the ones we hold on to for others or others hold on to for us. This being said many expectations come from our own wants, needs or beliefs and have absolutely nothing to do with another. We assume someone knows what we are thinking or feeling and if they don't just "get us" we feel hurt or rejected, maybe even angry and begin to hold resentment to the individual for not knowing or doing what we want or need in any given moment. We "expect" them to just know. Not everyone is a mind reader (some of my friends actually are) so without open communication of what you NEED to be seen, heard or just acknowledged majority of the time your needs will not be met and you will be left feeling horrible about the interaction you just had.
This also goes for expectations of self. We often think we should BE more than we are. A better spouse, a better parent, a better friend, that we can make sure everyone around us is taken care of and everything on our TO DO lists are completed in a timely fashion. That we can somehow be super woman or man and be able to do it ALL. Well if that is your expectation of yourself then may I suggest you take a moment to realize your expectations are rather harsh. We can not do it all or be it all without boundaries, self care, support and/or we risk complete burnout. (I know, I've been there)
Instead may I suggest you create an open line of dialog on what you need with trusted people you know you can count on and if you don't know who that may be know that I SEE YOU. Allow yourself to surrender to the knowing you are not the "be all or do all" and that's okay. To have compassion for yourself and others in their expectations as we all have or have had them and need to re access our ideas of them moving forward. That as we know better we do better and as we do better we create the space for others to do the same.
Here are a few things you can do to create positive expectations for yourself and others.
Expectations of self are not all bad. When they come from a positive driving force looking to become more aware and expand ourselves they can be magical. It's in the knowing of the difference between negative and positive expectations that creates the balance for your life.
With Love and Intention Always - Kelly
Upon meeting people I often hear how lucky I am to have the gift of animal communication and yes I do truly see it as a gift. But as I look around I see the amazing gifts that should not be overlooked but often are in the light of others.
I have friends with numerous children that are absolute bossbabes multitasking their home and business lives without breaking a sweat, business coaches and marketing machines that lead others to six figures with their gifts of organization, knowing their numbers, and having systems in place to do it all. I know chefs, including my husband, that have the gift to create foods that take you to that place of feeding your soul, remind you of grandma's kitchen or even a resort on an exotic island. I even know mediums that will help you stay connected to loved ones and tarot readers that will help guide your path with their gift of insight. Unlike me I even have those friends that have an eye for color, decor and more.
Every single person has a gift to share and no gift is better than another. Shine your light and share your gift without comparing it to others. Whether you are a gifted leader, speaker, writer, artist, entertainer, organizer, planner, multitasker, yogi, empath, psychic, entrepreneur, listener, hugger, or awakened being; your gift matters.
So the next time you think I'm lucky to have my gift? Think of everything you have to gift to this world and with gratitude realize that someone out there is probably looking at you and your gift as "lucky" too.
This morning as I completed my reiki meditation outside at the base of my favorite tree I opened my eyes to witness one of my beloved black vultures preening his flight feathers nearby. As I watched him a billowy white feather released and slowly drifted down to Mother Earth. In this moment I was fully connected to the oneness of us all and it was a beautiful confirmation that my spirit guides were with me supporting and acknowledging my inner thoughts and feelings as white feathers are nods from the angels that they are near, watching and protecting me.
It is a beautiful reminder that messages are everywhere if you are open to seeing and receiving them. They may come to you as an animal such as my vulture did representing new beginnings as well as my connection to the mother goddess or it could be a person put in your path needed in that exact moment to assist you in some way. They come from the written word or a song lyric that resonates for you just as you read or hear it reassuring you that you are on the right path. It may be a lost loved one coming to visit through a bright red cardinal landing near you as they enter your mind. Many people even find solace in heart shaped objects such as rocks or leaves found in nature that are whispers of love from people closest to us that have passed over.
When we become aware of the energies around us, understanding that energy never dies it just changes form the ability to find comfort and healing become much greater. Knowing though you mourn the loss of a physical presence their essence, their being is still very present to support you throughout your life.
The question of whether or not it's a true message meant for you can vary depending on the person or the circumstance. For me the cardinal is a message that someone is in need of my love and compassion yet for others as said before it's a symbol of a loved one coming to say "Hi." As you learn to become more aware of your surroundings and notice what you are thinking and feeling when a message arrives is the key to learning how or if a message is meant for you.
You can learn by sitting with the messages for a moment, whether it's an unusual animal that crosses your path or a written word that makes you pause. Breathe into and connect with them to see how they are relevant to your life in this moment whether personally or professionally. Is there a theme to the messages? Maybe you are receiving messages aimed at self-care, or co-dependence, maybe even protection or a new career? I have found that when I do this my path becomes much clearer as to which direction to take. If you aren’t sure how they are relevant jot them down in your journal and as you go on with your day(s) more and more messages will come along to confirm the first. You will start to see a pattern that can be pieced together like a puzzle leading you to unexpected answers that could very well make for a drastic change in how you live your life on a day to day basis as your awareness deepens. You will find over time you will actually be asking and seeking answers from the divine and when asked, you will receive them as well as become proficient in the knowing of what each message means for you.
What I have learned most about messages is they are nudging guides to which path to take and will continue to show up until you receive them both in negative and positive ways so take the time to be more present in your day. Notice what is surrounding you and watch with amazement all you can learn from the subtle messages available to you everywhere.
Often times my clients feel embarrassed and offer apologies for shedding tears when their animals are suffering or have passed. They make excuses for their grief and say things like, “I know it was just a dog but,” or try to justify why they wanted to max out their credit cards to save their beloved fur baby. I’m here to tell you you NEVER have to apologize for the deep connection and unconditional love you have for your animal.
That connection is a mirror of our own light. Our truest form before the world begins to condition us to see and feel things differently about ourselves and each other. They are pure love with compassion and non judgement. They see our souls and love us just as we are faults and all. No matter what you are going through, no matter how much you are beating yourself up, no matter how down you feel, they are there as your biggest supporter reminding you that you are enough just as you are. I can’t speak for any human that loves the way an animal does. How can we? The human mind is complex, we over think, we rationalize, we are opinionated, we love with conditions, we make mistakes and continue to make the same ones. Heck, we can try to be the best person in the world with the most beautiful intentions yet still judge one another. We are human.
Some of us are fortunate enough to naturally have that connection to an animal. We have allowed our walls to come crashing down and let that animal in to help heal us on levels we aren’t able to comprehend at times with our human minds. They are our teachers in understanding the deep emotions of compassion, empathy and unconditional love not only for them but for ourselves. When we spend quiet time connecting with our animals we begin to let go. We let go of stress, anger, fear, self judgement and even pain. We find stillness and in stillness we can find peace.
Animals are earth angels placed here to help each and everyone of us on our journeys whatever they may be. They are natural born healers placed here as reminders of the pure love we all are here to share for anyone that chooses to open their hearts and make a connection. So remember no apology nor justification is ever necessary for loving your animal the way you do. My hope is for everyone in their lifetime to experience that special connection to an animal, even just once, as they are love and show us what true love really is.
By – Kelly L McCarthy
Let’s be honest, unless you go deep within the woods where no human life exists, there will be noise and lots of it. Our world is bustling and busy and very rarely do we experience a moment of quiet so how can one possibly learn to find quiet within among all the chaos?
Many people struggle with the word meditation, as did I. We see it as it is portrayed in the movies or television where one is sitting cross legged with a straight back, arms outstretched resting gently on your knees with a finger lightly touching the thumb to represent a specific symbol and chanting the word “om”.
Finding that “place”, the one depicted in movies where the guru tells you to “just be still and know that you are.” was extremely difficult for me to grasp. I would try to sit in a quiet room desperately attempting to shut out all the noise around me and all the thoughts racing in my brain while feeling the heat of frustration creep over my body with the realization that the self induced stress of failure was creating more harm than good. It was from this place of surrender and non judgement that I realized the quiet meditation that I longed for was actually already in my every day moments. I was simply unaware of it.
I began to take notice and found them while reading a book, writing, drawing, listening to music, taking my dog for a walk, hiking with my husband, enjoying a cup of hot tea by the fire while daydreaming or even listening to a podcast. These were the moments that I could feel myself calm and aligned even when things were bustling around me. I was in “my zone” so to speak and when I focused on how I felt in these moments I realized these are all forms of meditation for me. I learned to relax and instead of shutting the noise out I accepted it as part of the moment. To listen to it, learn from it, feel it’s triggers and then breathe through them. The noise became part of my guiding meditation as to what I needed in my life.
Now, years later, meditation has become an essential part of my chosen profession as an animal reiki practitioner, communicator and educator. It is important for me to stay aligned on a daily basis to be the best channel I can be for my clients and students. As much as I would love to spend most of my time in the realm of my inner light and where it takes me chanting my way to a place of zen it’s simply not possible in this one dimensional world. We are spiritual beings living a human life which means we have schedules to keep and lives to live. There are days that I simply find the quiet in moments instead of sitting for unlimited amounts of time to channel and chant. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy it when I do, it’s simply to say that my schedule does not always allow for it so have found a way to connect just as deeply in other ways.
Most importantly through it all I had to focus on compassion for myself in the process of this revelation. It wasn’t always easy but over time meditation became a daily habit because my expectations were that of following my feelings not the teachings of others. To allow the noise to speak to me gently, sharing their messages and wisdom as to what I was feeling within the noise to help guide me. To understand that what may work for one may not be the answer for others. How each one of us connects to our divine being is a personal journey that comes with practice, patience and self awareness through non judgement, self love and compassion. But that my friends is a story for another day.
Kelly McCarthy is a passionate universal energy teacher, intuitive practitioner and insightful sacred speaker located in Litchfield County, CT. Though not a published author yet, once in awhile she feels called to write about something that speaks to her.