Hieroglyphs. Ogham. Runes. Emoticons. Tarot cards. Roman letters. Cyrillic letters. Arabic letters. What do these all have in common?
Symbols. Each image depicts an idea that the creator (and his culture) wanted to communicate to others. Pictures and drawings which have meaning only because they were assigned meaning. They have energy, because the meaning assigned to them contains energy.
Think of the swastika, for example. The original symbol in shamanic cultures represented the idea of divinity, of spirituality. We all know it was usurped by a culture which did its best to wipe out divinity and spirituality - and therefore the energy of the image changed.
Does this image - 8 - mean anything? As a drawing, no, it's just a twisty line. However our culture has assigned a numeric meaning to it. Turn it sideways - ∞ - and it has a completely different meaning.
I know people who fear runes and tarot cards, for instance, believing they are evil. These people assign the meaning "evil" to the images because that is the energy they are focused on, so that is what they see. I know other people who value these symbols, because love is what they're focused on, so that is what they see.
When we collect a whole bunch of symbols together, we have an entire system of communication. But the person perceiving (i.e. reading) the symbols will perceive through their own energy filter. This is why symbols and writing will never take the place of face-to-face communication, where tonality and physicality contribute to the meaning.
Is there any wonder why we so often mis-understand?
No, I'm not talking about what car you drive to a meeting or what you're wearing! I'm talking about how YOU show up to others as YOU! Do you put on a mask or do you show your true self?
I grew up as a very talented people-pleaser, and so that's how I showed up...as whatever others wanted me to be. I paid close attention to cues so I would know how to adjust for the situation. I had no clue who I really was, at the core.
As I gained life experience (i.e. I aged!) I learned that it was not only very uncomfortable to work so hard at pleasing others and never myself, but it no longer worked! The time had come to show my true colors. I discovered in the process that others much preferred that authentic self, with humor and wit, love and compassion, confidence and strength. When I saw those qualities in myself, I saw them in others - funny how that works!
I am now part of such a large, caring community of holistic and metaphysical people. For the most part, we all show up as we truly are, hearts exposed. That by no means implies we're doormats or overly vulnerable, but it does mean that we are not afraid to be authentic.
I recently met a woman who showed up as domineering, mean, abrupt and rude. I was shocked as I've been unaccustomed to dealing with that kind of energy. I don't know whether that is authentic for who she truly is. I can't judge, but also it is not important to me - it's doubtful I'd see her again. But it got me thinking about what seeds she's planting with that energy.
I choose light seeds!
Did you know we all have "set points"? Points during past, present, or future lives in which something significant happened?
I was recently reminded of this during a new meditation I was trying, in which an alternate "version" of me brings me a gift of knowledge. This "other self" had an awareness that I am currently seeking, and the gift was to bring that awareness in to my present-self consciousness.
This probably sounds odd to some, but makes perfect sense to me. Time is a man-made construct, so any concept of "now" and "then" is just our perception.
My studies and my experience have taught me that any time something amazingly wonderful, or alternatively, traumatic, happens a set-point is created, rather like a re-set point on your computer.
As well, other "mes" have understandings, knowledge, experience that you either do not yet have or have forgotten.
I find this topic fascinating, and have had some amazing experiences playing with those other Hollys. If it is a topic you wish to explore, seek out the best resource for you, whether a YouTube video, mentor or teacher, or healer, and give it a try. Release judgment and accept the gifts!
I was recently speaking with a friend with whom I have a great deal in common. We both had awareness lately of how we occasionally slip into older, less enlightened thoughts and behaviors. That's human nature, isn't it? The ego gets in the way of progress, working hard to keep you safe (by the ego's definition), when you know a better way to be.
In WordPress, Google Docs and other programs, there is a Revert function that allows you to reset a page to a previously saved version. When a problem occurs with the newest changes, you can simply click to go back to a version of the page that you prefer.
When we practice that better way and that is our "normal," the backtrack feels off somehow. The awareness of "off" is what allows us to re-engage that new, more aware way of being. That is our chance to hit the "Revert" function in our internal software! "Oh, wait, no wonder this doesn't feel right. Things have been going so well with my newer thought patterns and manifestations...but I slipped. Let's go back to these better ways - Undo - RESET!"
Pay attention to the manifestations you're experiencing. If they are not what you would choose, then reset to a better way!
I've been on Facebook for a very long time and I appreciate the network I share with. I am also discerning regarding accepting new friend requests. Recently I was reminded of the importance of my boundaries of what is acceptable on my news feed.
Someone I met at a gathering friended me, and because she seemed a pleasant person I accepted. I had only seen a couple of posts in my timeline from her and it was very obvious that we had social views on the opposite end of the spectrum from each other. And that's fine! I believe everyone should post authentically on their own page. Last week, this person shared a meme that was vile. I was disheartened that someone would create it, let alone that anyone would share it as appropriate. And so **click** UNFOLLOW! I felt relief about that.
In my work life, I LOVE being my own boss...I get to decide with whom I work, and I am able to honor boundaries there as well. I have conversed with prospects who either felt angry to me, or operating from ego or fear. I have had unfortunate experiences with a couple of clients who used me to work through their own issues. And through these boundary tests, I have learned that loving ME first is the most important thing. As I honor who I am, what I believe, and what energy I work with, I am more open to those who will benefit from a working relationship with me...those who understand that honoring self first fills your well so that you have abundance to share with others.
And those with whom I choose to not create a relationship will find the perfect match for their energy - but I am not that match!
Now, nay-sayers, be aware I am NOT talking about love. I send love and light everywhere I go. That's a very different thing from honoring personal boundaries.
Become more aware of what you feel when meeting people for the first time, whether live or virtually. Honor yourself and your boundaries, and share your energy as you choose.
It's interesting to be a solo-preneur as I approach retirement age. I've been able to let go of the societal, workplace prejudice about the "older American" and tired work habits, and really delve into work that delights me.
Are there workplaces which truly value the skill that older people can bring to their businesses? I haven't found them. But an experienced worker as a freelancer...now that's another situation.
The entrepreneur's image is necessarily based on their work ethic, personality and talent. A young adult stepping out into entrepreneurship may be perceived as not yet having the skill and authority necessary to not only run a business, but also to provide superior service to clients.
However, a middle-aged individual (and older) has reserves of business and life experience just waiting to be tapped. The sage, the expert, the wisdom-keeper. Assuming we have good work records, we have earned the respect of our associates and network. People tend to think, "Well, if he (she) has come this far, he (she) must have a lot to offer."
I am happier in work than I have ever been, and happier in my life as well. These, of course, are closely intertwined. Now, I am grateful for that shove off the cliff, although at the time I was terrified. I have, like that wonderful bottle of Cabernet, aged to perfection...and I know I will share my "sage-ness" with clients for years to come!
Everyone is talking about resolutions for a new year - pro or con? Or about goals - pro or con? I prefer the concept of visions. No, not mystic visions, although those are fine too! But as a process of manifestation, I like the idea of creating a vision of not only what I want my life to look like, but how I want it to feel.
Many spiritual teachers talk of using emotions as your guideposts, and I agree. For decades we've heard about, "My gut instinct was...." When you are faced with a decision, for example, and one solution feels better than the other, then that's the one I'd go with. My "higher self" knows what she's doing, mingled in there with all the other spiritual energy and guidance available to me. She communicates with feelings.
When I feel "off" I know that feeling is a message, and I quietly seek the reason behind it. Sometimes there is no actual solution, as it's a temporary energetic imbalance. But sometimes the feeling is related to my thoughts, or something I should not have eaten with food sensitivities, or perhaps something I'm contemplating doing.
I remember what life was like when my feelings were awful and I didn't know that they were symptoms. My creations were usually negative. Many years later, now I have seen the results of using positive feelings to guide me to achieving my visions. And when I feel and express gratitude for my creations, I get more of them!
I like the multi-sensory (i.e. holistic) approach: vision board (literally, vision), aromatherapy, movement (keeping the energy flowing), drawing or writing my goals (kinetic), meditation. These tools allow me to connect with those wiser energies to make my visions, what and who I want to be, with a physical reality.
However you do it, allow yourself to vision for the new year!
It's a well-known fact that the holiday season (or any time of celebration, for that matter) can be a challenge after the loss of a loved one. Good cheer, family gatherings, parties, music and decorations all lose something when your life has lost someone important to you (human or animal). This was very fresh and raw for me last year after the loss of my 30-year best friend and her son (within a day of each other), but this year will be better.
I won't get into the clinical/advice aspect of dealing with grief; that's not my point here. I do want to address how I've dealt with it, in case others may find it helpful. Warning: exposed vulnerability!
My Christmas holiday was for a very long time spent with my now-deceased friends, my "family of choice," with much laughter, singing, wonderful food, and warmth. And so last Christmas found me alone, hurting, caught in that troublesome place between longing to be with someone who loved me and wanting desperately to be alone to grieve. Push-me-pull-you. Wishing for that feeling of fun and mystery I had as a young child and with my friends, and knowing it was no longer there.
This year I have healed a bit from that urgency of grief. I take great joy in decorating and music, traditions, coziness, even if just for me - always have. I know for a fact that what I focus on grows, and so, with a clearer heart and whether I'm alone or not, my intent this year is to truly savor my experiences, my close friends, the joys of nature and the season. To know that life does indeed go on. And that the love and warmth I feel will only grow from here.
Make it the happiest of holiday seasons! And so it is.
I recently wrote about how important it is to incorporate play into your time. Play can be a component of "down time" if it is restful, but if play for you is competing in sports, running, or other physical activity, it's also important to remember to rest.
I've always been a hard worker, and as you fellow entrepreneurs know, running your own business is more work than you may have expected. I love the work I do for my clients, and find it vastly fulfilling, but I tire more easily that I used to. (We all know sitting in front of a computer for hours is not healthy!)
Even after all these years as a VA, I am just now getting to the point where I remember to take frequent breaks. Every hour or so I stand and stretch, do some Tai Chi moves, or deep breathing. I take at least half an hour for lunch, and include some light housework (which I usually find restful), light reading, or simply gazing out into the woods. Then in the mid-afternoon, I'll take another "consciousness" break for a few minutes to get away from the computer and back into the real world. What an incredible difference this practice has made in my mood, stamina and productivity!
One problem many business owners struggle with is keeping strict office hours. It's easy when working from home to get so lost in the deadlines that you skip meals, rise too early, go to bed too late, and forget to hydrate. I know a business owner who has made himself so busy that he has neglected his spouse, the properties he owns, and indeed his own well-being. There can be nothing effective or efficient about that!
Take a few moments now to bring to your consciousness how often you rest during the work week. "Log off" often throughout your day, and then at the appropriate time for your business and family situation, "shut down" and let tomorrow take care of itself!
I have noticed several times in recent years that I don't play enough. And I think that's the case for many people. We get so caught up in the "must do" and "oughtta do" that we ignore the "wanna do."
Play, of course, can mean different things to different people. Racing or working out may be play for some, while artistic projects may be for others. Sometimes play is recreation, sometimes stillness, and sometimes creativity. The key is that playfulness is its own reward; the goal is not results but enjoyment.
I've always been a fairly solitary person, but what defines play for me depends on my mood. Sometimes it's having fun with friends at the local medieval fair, and sometimes it's spending hours reading a wonderful book with a cup of tea. Although I can't relate to those for whom play is very competitive or action-driven, I can understand how these activities would appeal to people.
Regardless of what play looks like for you, make sure you actually DO it! All work and no play doesn't just make Jack a dull boy, it leads to all sorts of stress-related dis-ease and emotional disturbance! We are human BE-ings, and enjoyment of that BE-ing is key to a healthy, holistic lifestyle.