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Welcoming Winter (Poem)

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The snow descended from the mountains
just like the wolves descend upon their prey,
whisking the snowflakes all about,
letting each one go their own way.
The chill in the air grew colder,
rushing all living souls inside their homes,
while the treacherous winds fling about
as we all rush to shelter ourselves from the cold.

Surrounded by the rainforest on one side,
with the mountains on the other,
each one of us braces ourselves,
welcoming the harsh Alaskan winter weather.

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Shores of Alaska (Poem)

7f369970a12a095219050ce4144a3438The snow falls down,
Gently placing itself on the pier beneath my feet,
While it melts from the instant touch of the sea.
The clouds hug the night sky,
While all of the stars say goodbye,
As I stare blankly into the dark sight before me.
It is always like this,
Every winter since the dawn of time,
Yet it does not faze me,
For I welcome it into my life.

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Meditation: Garden of Your Soul

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Turn on your preferred meditation music, and get comfortable by either sitting down in the lotus position or laying on down on your back. Close your eyes and sink into your position, as the music washes over your entire being. As the music makes its way gently into your mind, your mind will be cleared of any toxic and negative energy, and you will then become lightheaded.

At this time, your mind will dive into another world, a place where it will lead you to your final destination. In your third eye and in your mind, you will see yourself standing on the pier, overlooking dark waters. The dark waters whisper to you to take a dip, go ahead and take that dip into the smooth dark waters and let your body float down to the bottom. Before you can reach the bottom of the ocean, a bright light will make its appearance, seducing you to swim to it. Swim over to the bright light and feel your body being pulled through, the weight of your body has been reduced to feeling as though you are light as a feather. Once you are pulled all the way through, you will find yourself in the middle of a dirt path. You look down and you are now in a brightly colored outfit that suits your personality, and you feel ever so free to be your true self.

As you walk down the dirt path, you can see something coming into view, it is a temple, but this temple resembles your inner soul, your place that you can call home. Look at the details of it, remember the way it makes you feel, feel the energy coming from it and let it soak into your soul. Remembering these things will bring you closer to home, in your heart and soul.

Make your way into the temple, and walk about the smooth floor with your bare feet, and absorb the energy coming from the temple into your body. As you walk about the temple, you look outside, and there you see is a garden that resembles your complete home of your inner self. Walking outside and into the garden, you feel the delicious sensation of grass touching your feet. The sweet perfume coming from the flowers fill the air around you, making your mouth water. As you walk around the garden, while you smell the delicious air, and feel the tree leaves brush up against your skin, you hear something behind you. Turning around you see an animal presenting itself to you, knowing that it will not hurt you or you hurt it, you walk closer to the animal ever so cautiously. The animal rubs up against you and a sensation runs through your body. For some unknown reason, you know this animal, you know that it is apart of you. Suddenly the animal guides you around the garden, no words are needed for this conversation between the two of you. For your minds are connected, just as your hearts and souls are too. You realize that this animal is your spirit animal, one that guides you and protects you. You let yourself go, and put yourself into the animal’s control, letting it help you throughout your life and never letting you go. The animal leaves your sight, leaving you in the garden. Suddenly, you feel a tug on your body, making you realize it is time to come back. You walk through the temple once more, to find yourself on the dirt path. You walk up the dirt path, to where you had first arrived, then the bright light reappears to pull you back in. You find yourself in the dark waters once more, so you begin to swim. You reach the surface of the water, and find yourself wading back and forth. You know you don’t need to reach the pier, so you slowly wake from your meditation, bringing you back to reality.

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Celebrating Yule

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All around the world it is now Yule (Winter season), and what better way to celebrate this years Yule than with some fresh snow and Mother Nature gracing us with her beautiful presence through the chilly morning air as the snow falls all over the sleepy towns and cities all over the world. For the most part, no one really celebrates Yule, unless you are either Druid (like myself), any form of paganism, animism, or celebrate through your Native American roots. And the only time most people around the world celebrate Yule is during Christmas time when they are decorating the tree and filling it with presents underneath. There is nothing wrong with that at all, but there are a few other ways to celebrate Yule time.

Give or volunteer to aid a stranger – Going down to your local food pantry or soup kitchen to give your time to help others is always appreciated by those who do not have the money for food during the holiday time. So by helping out, you will be able to chat with those that come through the line, give them a nice warm meal, and assure them that they are not alone for the holidays.

12 spirits for 12 nights – This is your own “12 Days of Yule”, where you can begin on December 20th to January 1st. You can light a candle each night (12 total) and speak a prayer for the ancestor you honor.

Ancestral cookies – Take an old family recipe and bake those cookies in the shape of unique figures of animals, people, trees, and gift them to others.

Share a meal – Gather your friends and family up, go into the kitchen, and all of you create a meal together then sit down to enjoy it together as well. Spending time with family and friends is something that everyone needs, especially during Yule when most people are out on trips and with their own relatives. If you and a few people you know are all alone for the holiday, get together and share a meal together, while you enjoy each other’s company.

Celebrating Yule is an amazing time of the year where a lot of magic can take place right outside our own front doors in the cold harsh unforgiving nature that is Mother Earth, and celebrating it with others is the best part of it.

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Healing From the Core – Weight loss

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Scales, they are the epitome of evil; they can make grown women and men cry just by the number that is on the scale. And pretty much all of you know that I haven’t really stepped on a scale in quite some time, in fact, I threw out my scale way back in the beginning of the year. And here we are, just a couple of weeks away from it being 2017 all over the world. And you know what that means, resolutions. Every single person on this year is going to make a resolution of some sort, for some it might be to move to another place, for others it is to finally settle down, and for some it is to lose weight.

Now here is the problem that I have with people trying to lose weight, everyone seems to think that once they lose that 10,15, 25 pounds that they will have a healthier relationship with their body; not only that, they seem to think that the number on the scale is what matters the most, which to me is utterly horrifying. First off, before you start losing the weight, you need to establish a healthy relationship with your body now. Not after you lose the weight. If you establish a healthy loving relationship with your body then you will still love it after you lost the weight. You shouldn’t be at war with your body, that is the media and society telling you that. You don’t need to be downing every diet pill that is out there just to lose a little bit of weight just because others are telling you to lose the weight. And you certainly do not need to lose the weight just to please others (however, I would like to interject here, if you are clinically obese and are on the verge of Type II Diabetes, then you need to speak with your physician).  Secondly, that scale that you have stored in your bathroom next to the shower or toilet, you need to toss that thing out the window and straight into the dumpster. Why? Because scales are completely inaccurate on many different things. For example, it does not take into consideration the organs, bone density, the meal you just ate, breasts (ladies your breasts weigh anywhere from 1 pound to 23 pounds, depending on size); those are just a couple of ways the scale is inaccurate.

If you want to lose weight than please do it the healthiest way possible, it isn’t that hard.

Love yourself – Yes, it sounds like being selfish. And in a way it is, the reason why you need to love yourself and accept yourself is due to the fact that you have been brainwashed by society and by the media since your birth to hate yourself for not looking like one of the many photoshopped models that you see on the runway. Instead of believing in our society and believing in the media, start believing in yourself; as cliché as it sounds, you know I am right on this. Every morning or evening, after you have taken a shower, stand in front of your mirror and look at your body. Name three to five things that you love about yourself, they can be about your personality, character, body, anything. By the end of the year, your relationship with your body will be healthier and more loving. **Everyone has flaws, it is just how we are all made, and it is great to embrace them.

Nourish yourself – Food is meant to nourish us and give us the energy to carry us throughout the day. It is not something that we need to torture ourselves with. And it is certainly not what we should be harming our bodies with. Eating the nutritious foods that are available in your stores and local farmer’s markets will help your body get the nutrients it needs, all the while you are enjoying the food. Eat whole, clean, simple foods. Basically, anything without a label is going to be great for you. On this note I would like to say that when you cook and bake for yourself, you are able to see what ingredients are going into the product itself. Unlike what you find in packaged processed foods and fast foods, where you clearly have no idea where that meat or other product comes from.

Exercise – It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you move around. Dance, swim, ski, snowboard, running, hiking; anything that gets you moving. Exercising at least four to five days a week for at least thirty minutes will keep your body healthy. Don’t make exercising feel like a chore, make it fun. Do something that you love to do and just do that for thirty minutes or so to get you moving. For myself, I am a Pilates Instructor and Muay Thai Instructor who loves to swim, jog, hike; play volleyball, tennis, and practice what I teach. You know what makes it even better, is when you have a partner with you; it can either be a friend or it can be your pet. Exercise for both you and your pet does wonders.

Catch those zzz’s –Sleep is a big thing, and trust me when I say this, for those who don’t get the number of hours recommended (8to 9 hours), they end up gaining weight. During the night (or day for some of you who work night shifts), your body is trying to run through the entire day and trying to loosen up your muscles, help in aiding digestion from the meals you had throughout the day, and letting loose of all of the stress that lingers in your body. Sleep is such a beautiful thing, and I think everyone on this planet agrees.

Release the stress – Stress is a big factor when it comes to weight loss, when you have a lot of stress reigning in your body, your body will try to fight back but to no avail. Instead you will have gained stress weight and then you will become more stressed, making yourself even more agitated. Yoga, meditation, retreats, camping, anything that will reduce the stress and help you relax will relieve that stress weight.

Toss the scale – Like I said before, the scale is inaccurate and therefor should not be in our lives. It does nothing but causes grief and hatred towards ourselves. There are many other ways to see your progress to a healthier you, and one of those ways is to look at the fit of your clothing is one way, for when they get looser and start to fall off that is a key sign that you have lost the weight.

Don’t listen to the media/society – Let’s be honest here, the media and society doesn’t know their head from a hole in the ground, in fact that they seem to think that you need to look a certain way to “fit in” or to be considered beautiful. But we both know that everyone is beautiful in their own way and their is no such thing as a “one-type”.  If everyone looked alike then it would be very boring.

Don’t fall into the fad diets and pills that these companies are pushing on you, because they are going to be more deadly than helpful; learn to love yourself, nourish your body, exercise, and live a life that is less stressful and more relaxing, and you will become a healthier you.

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To Never Give Up

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(Joan Sutherland at the Old Met in Lucia)

 

We all had dreams when we were younger, some of us wanted to be astronauts, others wanted to be the president, and some wanted to be actors or actresses. Yet, once we start growing up and start hitting middle school we get asked again about what it is we want to be when we grow up. And we are told to be realistic. At that point, a lot of kids start thinking about what it is they want to be (the backup plan), and many go onto medical school, become lawyers, or become teachers. Although many of us go to school become something more “realistic”, our dreams and passions are put on the back burner, and they are just left there for us to fantasize about what your life would be like if you were an actor or actress, or if you had become that astronaut. And that is all you do, just fantasize.

Here is the thing, instead of just going for a backup plan of your choice, why don’t you go with what you are truly passionate about? Why don’t you go down to a talent agency and put in your resume and headshots, and start working with an agent? Why don’t you go apply to college, to study the field that you want to be in? To be an astronaut? To focus on whatever your heart and soul is pushing you towards? Because society, your parents, and other adults who have put aside their own dreams and own passions tell you that you should be realistic, that you should forget about it because you will never become that. And they are wrong. You may not become the next A- lister of Hollywood, or you may not become the president; you will however be able to land roles of a lifetime, the roles that you will get to share your experience with to your grandchildren. You can still make a difference if you don’t become the president, in fact, you could be the next congressman or the next politician who will make a difference in someone’s life.

Some of us are even afraid to admit what it is that drives us, what it is that makes us want to reach towards the stars with our dreams and start following that path. And some of us are afraid of telling others what our true passions are, for the fear of judgment and ridicule will hover over our heads. I know. For years I have never told anyone, never told anyone of my passions and would always practice them in secret. To be a writer, yes, that is a passion of mine that I have been following for years and thoroughly enjoy it and truly am content with. Helping others to better themselves and to heal themselves, brings joy into my heart. To be a ballerina and to be on The Met (Metropolitan Opera) stage and sing my lungs and heart out; those are the two things that I have always wanted to do but have never pushed myself to do them. Why? Because there is that voice in the back of my head from all of those years of listening to others telling me that I will never make it and that it is unrealistic. However, despite listening to them, I practice. I practice my singing skills (I grew up in a musical household and on the stage, despite being introverted), and sing opera songs nearly everyday to see how high I can hit the notes. And with the help I had during my junior year of high school, my musical instructor figured out that I am a natural second soprano, which I did not know. I practice dancing, for dancing brings me joy and lets me be me. In everyday life, I can trip over my feet just by walking because I am a clumsy fool; however, when I hear music, I do not have any problems at all. For the music and I have become one and I can easily glide across the floor. Maybe one day I will make it to The Met. Maybe one day I will get the chance to perform in The Nutcracker. Maybe? If that word leaves my mouth one more time I will scream. Because there should never be a maybe attached to a sentence. Because one day I will get to The Met, and one day I will get to a part in a production on stage as a dancer.

Never let someone tell you that you are never going to make it, never let anyone tell you  that you need to be more realistic and that you need to settle for some job that you do not like. Because you will be miserable. Miserable because you have not done the things that you have wanted to do, miserable because you sit at home on a Friday night binge eating a tub of ice cream because you had never pursued your passions. Instead of listening to society, to all of those who question your talent, your passions and your dreams, this is what you need to do… never give up. That is it. That is all you need to do. To never give up.

 

 

 

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Frozen Moon (Poem)

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The days have become shorter,
The nights have become longer,
the first frost has descended.

Most of the population has scampered off home,
While I stand beneath the frozen moon light.
No need to hide in the warmth,
No need to hide beside the fireplace,
For the warmth of my jacket is all I need,
As I watch the frozen moon tonight.