Profound Moments

The more I learned during my online reiki course, the more life started to make sense to me. There are no accidents in life, only synchronicities. I know this is a painful thing to think about especially if we’ve experienced something gutwrenchingly awful to our heart, mind and body.

I am of the opinion where time is not linear. Science has many debates going on about this, but here’s a quote I found which I truly love. Julian Balfour was quoted in Popular Science on September 18, 2012 stating the following: “The only evidence you have of last week is your memory. But memory comes from a stable structure of neurons in your brain now. The only evidence we have of the Earth’s past is rocks and fossils. But these are just stable structures in the form of an arrangement of minerals we examine in the present. The point is, all we have are these records and you only have them in this Now.” Keeping this in mind, your past, present and future are all happening right now. We can debate this until the cows come home, but this is what I believe.

During my online reiki lessons, I was taught how to do distance work using symbols and meditation practices. The teacher taught us not only could we send energy to someone else without touching them or being near them, we could also go back into our past and send love and healing to our past selves. BOOM! Mind completely blown. Anyone who takes a reiki course knows we are ALL taught this (again, this is why I don’t understand why online learning for reiki isn’t well revered. Kind of snobbish if you ask me, which you didn’t. However it’s my blog and I’ll bitch if I want to.) I had already believed in time not being linear, but I was astounded at this revelation.

With my being the ever skeptic person, I figured I’d just give it a go and test it out. One night while I was lying in bed I couldn’t sleep. It was the perfect time to try this distance stuff out and at the least, maybe the meditation would put me to sleep. I went into meditation while lying horizontally on my bed. I sent myself to a place where I was happy. I visualized sending myself back into my past taking hops based on the happiest moments so I was in good place emotionally. I went backwards to the adoption of the youngest child, my marriage to this husband, the birth of my youngest biological child, birth of middle child and birth of oldest child. When I got to this point I realized just how damn young I was having a baby. I sent love to myself at all of these ages and finally I sent myself to the earliest memory I have of being molested.

It was very hard for me to stay in this meditation seeing how sad and broken I was as an 8 year old little girl. There was no happiness in my eyes and I could feel the loneliness all over again. As I stood next to her I asked her to look at me and she was very hesitant. I was taught to be seen and not heard. I spoke very softly and carefully to her letting her know I was the grown-up version of her. She didn’t want to believe me, but I assured her it was true. I had a very long talk with her and let her know that no matter what happens to her, she was loved and as an adult she’d be happy. I promised her we had a life now, we were married with beautiful children. I asked her if I was allowed to hug her and she agreed. I felt her body relax and then I felt relaxed. I thanked her for allowing me to hug her which is significant because abuse victims don’t always like being touched.

While hugging her, I sent her love and healing energy using my symbols. When I was done talking to her, I brought myself out of the meditation and proceeded to ugly cry.  You know the ugly cry, chest heaving, can’t talk, eyes swollen kind of cry. I had to get out of bed and go to the bathroom so I didn’t wake up my husband.  When the snuffling finally stopped and I could calm down I realized I was different. I felt different as if  someone gave a damn. It was in this moment I realized I had truly learned to love myself, literally. I loved the little girl who had been emotionally and physically abused. I loved the good and the bad about myself. This was probably one of the most profound moments of my life. I felt the love I had given myself at that age come forward into now.

All I have are Nows. All any of us have are the Nows. Tomorrow is not promised and you don’t want to live with regret. Love yourself  T O D A Y. Don’t wait for someone else to love you first because it’ll never happen. You have to love yourself in order to allow others to love you wholly.

I am grateful to the Divine Feminine for allowing me to find this path. The amount of emotional healing I’ve done since moment is huge. I am not the same person and I am proud of myself.

Blessed Be and Peace be with you

Shelley

Losing the Metaphysical Virginity

If you’re still following my blog, you know I’m a smart ass and I like to make people laugh. Life is so serious and the things I’m writing about are very serious. It doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring.

Now, where did I leave off? Oh yes, the meditation thing. To me, meditation was something that those monks did and stuff those hippies from Yellow Springs do (I’m from Ohio and that’s hippy town out here). Normal people don’t do those things. Meditation is just sitting there quietly and I have no desire to sit quietly. The last time I sat and stayed quiet I was molested for three years so I’m all about talking. I will talk and talk to keep you at arm’s length away from me. If for some reason you can actually make it past my being obnoxious, then you stand a chance at seeing who I really am. But being quiet? Never got anything positive from that so how in the hell do you think that’s going to make me better?

As I type, I feel like I’m hitting the question mark key on the keyboard far more often than I’m hitting the period key. The good news is, your spirit guides want you to question. Why? Because they have answers if you’re only willing to listen. And how do I know? Because this was a guided meditation to meet one of my spirit guides.

I knew I couldn’t do the meditation at work because it’s just too stressful there. When I left work, I made sure to pack up my Kindle, my headphones and my binder with my study book. I knew I didn’t want to do it during the evening because I’d be too hyped up so I saved it for bedtime. I kept wondering a million things: what it was going to be like? Was I even going to be able to do it? All normal human ego crap too like “Is this really going to work?” or my favorite was “What if I do this meditation and she’s going to make me quack like a duck when I hear a certain sound?” I am not kidding you, this is the crap I thought. Paranoia! Not to mention I wondered if spirit guides even real? I mean come on… if I had spirit guides how in the hell did bad stuff keep happening to me? (There is an answer to this and I will get there one of these days in my posts.. it’s all heading to that.)

I finally sucked it up at bedtime and took my Kindle and headphones with me. My husband asked me what I was doing and I told him I had this stupid meditation I had to do as part of my Reiki training and I wanted to do it in bed in case I fell asleep. He just looked at me and went on about his business. I wish I could say I didn’t do weird stuff a lot and he was affected by this, but I can’t. He’s pretty nonplussed by stuff I do anymore. It’s now time and I get all settled into bed, put the headphones on and get the Kindle ready (no I’m not making any money from Amazon mentioning the Kindle, but I love my Kindle). I hit play on the guided meditation and I lay there and wait.

Music starts playing and it’s soft, calm music. It strikes me that I actually find this music pleasing (I’ll think about that later). She starts talking and she really does have a very soothing voice. She begins to guide me through the meditation. I realize, that I can actually visualize this. Um what? My inner voice says “Don’t over think this will ya? Just go with it.” Ok then… Go with it I will. It’s been 18 months, but I still remember the basic meditation. I visualized walking through a forest where it was quiet and calm. I could hear birds chirping, animals moving, crickets… wait. I’m hearing this? What in the … “You’re overthinking, just GO WITH IT.” Ok ok…

As I’m walking through this forest I can hear water running. I get to the edge of the forest and there’s a lake with a mountain in the background. The water’s edge has a row boat tied to a pole in the sand. I untie the boat and row myself over to the mountain. Now mind you, she’s guiding me through all of this. So far, I’m just visualizing what she’s telling me. I get to the mountain, get out of the boat, tie it up again and start walking up the mountain. A path presents itself and it winds all the way up the mountain. At the top of the path, there’s a house and something to sit on. I’m told to sit and wait for my spirit guide to come out. Now I’m on my own. I’m sitting there just waiting, twiddling my thumbs.

The next thing I know, here comes someone. I’m stunned. I almost don’t even know what to do. I wanted to wake myself up, but I was too damn curious at this point to see what was going to happen. The guide addressed me by my given name of Maria. It rattled me. I don’t allow people to call me Maria at this point because I don’t like it and I was brave enough to tell my guide so. My guide addressed this immediately and said I was given the name Maria for a reason and whether I was ready to embrace it yet, was up to me, but they would not be addressing me as anything other than Maria. I just nodded my head as the spirit guide said “Come walk with me.” We got up and walked around as they talked to me and imparted information to me. At this point it doesn’t occur to me I’m still in human form laying on a bed. I am fully and completely involved in this new reality of mine. We go on with the conversation until we were done. The spirit guide bid me adieu and went back into the building. Lisa’s voice came back on and it was time for me to go back the way I came.

I followed her steps to get back to my body. The sound track stopped. I took off my headphones. I sat up in bed. I had no idea what just happened, but it was real. It was as real to me as typing on this keyboard right now. What my spirit guide imparted to me made complete sense. I knew right then and there I wanted to do it again. I knew I had to do more meditation because there was more for me to learn. So much more.

In that moment I knew 1 + 1 no longer equaled 2. Logic went out the window and I was not afraid. For the first time in my life I knew I was onto something. Shit was changing for me and I was ready.

Blessed Be and Peace be with you
Shelley

BTW….

Rule #1 in the metaphysical world, never ever give details about your spirit guides, familiars, spirit animals, other realities, etc. You protect the identity of all of it. Why? Because there are people who exist which will use this information against you. When you are happy and living a good life, people get jealous and want what you have. Regardless of how hard you had to work to get it, they think there should be a shortcut. And whether you believe in spirit guides, meditation, witches or reiki I want you to hear me now, it all exists. Not only does it exist, but there is a white, black and grey side to all of it. You cannot have the good without the bad. Yin and Yang exists for a reason. Anyone who is working with black magic does not wish you happiness. If they get a hold of any of your spiritual information, it’s on like Donkey Kong. PROTECT YOURSELF. You can talk about the generic stuff like I did in this post, but never, ever share the true details with anyone. I made that mistake and I paid for it. Lesson learned.

Universal What? Get the F Outta Here.

Someone I know had this brilliant idea that it was time for me start learning more about the metaphysical side of things. You know because learning about essential oils and admitting there’s they work wasn’t enough to rock my boat. I guess this person figured my little canoe was already rocking to side to side, might as well just flip that bitch over and get soaked. None of this toe tapping the water to see if it feels right, oh no… PLOP. Into the water you go girl. Sink or swim.

I start hunting and pecking around to look up what Reiki means. If you go to reiki.org and look up the meaning this is what you’ll find “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.” Pardon me, but W T F is life force energy? Are we talking about all of that hippy crap I’ve read about? Scoffed at? Laughed at my entire life? Why yes, yes we are.

A dictionary meaning was a little more along the lines of something I could potentially understand. I am a very logical person. 1 + 1 must ALWAYS equal 2. Period. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.  Here is what dictionary.com states “a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.” It was still a bit more than I could handle, but hey, I’m trying to be open. I’m trying not to be closed-minded and open myself up to the possibility there must be something to all of this.

I decide that I’m going to be cheap about this. My poor husband has always just sat back and watched me dive into a million projects whole hog and supports me to the best of his ability. Sometimes he shakes his head at me and just watches me flail about. I didn’t want this to be just another “thing” I spent thousands of dollars on later abandon it all and apologize for spending so much money. He truly is a saint and I have no idea how he’s kept me all of these years. I think he loves our kids and just put up with me to keep them 🙂 Anyway, short story later, I find udemy.com and discover a program that’s super inexpensive and I do the Lisa Powers Reiki I, II and Master certification.

<standing on soapbox> If anyone has done in person classes and scoffs at the idea of the online stuff, I’m going to tell you right now to shut it. I won’t deny you likely had an amazing experience in person, but that doesn’t take away from what I experienced. No comparisons… you don’t get to steal my joy.<getting off soapbox>

I start taking the online class. I print everything out ahead of time, I three-hole punch it, I put it in a binder. I get my headphones so I can listen to this in my office at work during lunch and I get completely prepared. I am so 1-2-3 prepared it’s not even funny. I start the course and she’s talking about what Reiki is, the history and how it works. She’s talking about how energy emanates from the practitioners hands. All I can think of is how damn cold my hands are all of the time. Then during the course of learning, she teaches you how to feel the energy. Put your hands together, rub them back and forth as if you were warming them up because you’re cold. Now pull your hands about 1/2″ to an 1″ apart. What do you feel? For me, my hands were tingling and they got really warm. Clearly they only got warm because I rubbed them together right. I mean this energy thing is just some hokum someone came up with make money. Right?!?

Nope. This shit works people. The more I learned to work with Reiki the more I felt a huge difference. I can be as cold as anything, but the moment I start working with Reiki whether it’s on a client or on myself, I start getting warm and not just my hands. I have to keep my healing room fairly cool because I get so hot I wind up sweating so I have a warming pad on the massage table so my clients stay warm. I had never, ever felt anything like it. I tingle, noticeably.

The instructor teaches you how to meditate. Now, wait a minute. First you’re expecting me to believe in this energy crap and now you want me to meditate? Dude… there’s no taking it slow any longer. Suck it up buttercup.

How much can one person take? Apparently my spirit guides have a massive sense of humor.

To be continued…

Blessed Be and Peace be with you,
Shelley

Essential Oil and … Spirit Guides?

Now it’s late April, early May of 2016. As a previous non-believer in essential oils, I find it rather hysterical I keep telling everyone “I have an oil for that.” I even bought myself a t-shirt with this saying on it.

I started out in one of the major MLM companies (multi-level marketing). I was all gung-ho at first and spent far too much money on oils. It is my opinion the one I joined taught their people to believe the oil wasn’t worth as much if it wasn’t expensive. It was only expensive because it was so pure. One only needs to start truly researching essential oils to find out that isn’t the case. The only guarantee of a pure oil is a GCMS report (gas chromatic mass spectrometer). The GCMS report clearly states whether or not an oil is unadulterated. I discovered in a relatively short period of time the oils were not as pure as the company stated. I was also able to see if I did the math correctly that the prices were so high to account for the “freebies” and the commission one was making on the product. Nothing about these were free. The money an associate would overpaying for their actual order is more than covering the cost of the ones they’re “giving” to them for buying a certain amount each month. There is a reason why these MLM companies can spend so much at convention, etc. Their associates are paying for it with their hard-earned money.

By doing my research I was able to find other essential oil companies who had GCMS reports and were far less expensive. However my favorite one has become so popular now they aren’t as inexpensive as they were, but they are still very reasonable. I still purchase from them and sell the oils myself as a wholesaler. I am fiercely loyal to specific brands (I don’t mention them here because I don’t want anyone to think I am being paid by them.)

Finding less expensive oils led me to doing more blending and being able to charge a more reasonable fee for a custom-blend for others. I started going to a few little craft shows to sell my wares and share my knowledge. I’m a bad sales person in that I will teach you do it yourself and tell you that you don’t need my products. I feel it’s more important to spread awareness than sell a product.

It’s also important for me to explain here I am a firm believer everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe it’s all pre-determined because we have free will as human beings. However, one thing always leads to another…

When I start blending, I begin by pulling out a white 3 x 5 index card and write down the oils I use so I can keep track of how many drops I’m putting into something. If it works, I want to repeat the recipe right? In theory this sounds great. As I start to blend, I hear numbers in my head: 6 drops of this, 7 drops of that, no only 1 of that. Sometimes I’ll get this brilliant idea to add an oil I didn’t even know therapeutically would work well. I am brilliant so why shouldn’t it work, right? <insert eye roll> I am smiling so much I think my face might hurt, I can’t stand still, but I spill nothing. I feel so energetic, alive. Next thing I know, the blend is done and it smells perfect. I am sure it’s going to work really well, but I don’t know why I am so confident in the blend.

Two hours or more have passed, how in the hell did that happen? I swear it only took me about 15 minutes to blend. I look at the recipe card to see what I’ve done and there’s not one tick next any of the oils? WHAT? I just spent apparently 2 hours doing this and I didn’t write a damn thing down? W T F?

Let’s review what’s happened here:

1. I just knew how many drops to use. I didn’t have a math equation, I didn’t think about it, it just happened.
2. I added an oil which I didn’t even really know the therapeutic properties. So let me look it up now. Hrmpft. It actually has the things I needed. Well isn’t that interesting?
3. Time just disappeared.
4. I get into this mode where I believe I am unstoppable. I am smiling, humming and just happy. I know whatever I am making is going to work out well and if it doesn’t, I’m not upset. It just gives me an opportunity to make it better.

Even as I write this I laugh to myself. Just a few short months before this I’d have said you were crazy about essential oils working, nevermind me being the one actually using them and blending for other people.

Things are changing fast for me at this point.

I started talking to a friend of mine about my blending experiences. I didn’t understand what was happening, but I knew it was profound. She started talking to me about Reiki. Before this point, I had no idea what it was. She starts explaining to me what Reiki is and I kind of scoffed at her. Universal energy? Seriously? Are you kidding me with this? My spirit guides had set me off on another path. Time to explore!

As an aside, today I’m able to tell you I was blending intuitively. Meaning, I had Spirit Guides telling me what to do and I was trusting it. I didn’t understand it then, but I did know I was trusting it because I thought I was being brilliant. The happiness, the humming, the energy I felt while blending… that’s all Reiki energy my friends. Universal Life Force just working through me to get to the person who needs it. You blend some healing energy with essential oils, you have a recipe for emotional and physical healing.

Until next time, Blessed Be and Peace Be with you.

HAPPY YULE!!
Shelley

Excuse me? Who, me? Seriously!?!

In April of 2016 I took an Aromatherapy Certification course with my girlfriend, Trisha. It was a weekend spent in the home of the people teaching the course. It was an amazing experience and the food? WHOA!! The wife of the gentleman teaching the course could cook like there’s no tomorrow. If you left the table hungry, that was your fault, but I digress.

We met wonderful women during this weekend from different walks of life. One of these women was from Russia. Her name is Nikita and she had a wonderful accent. She was so knowledgeable already on essential oils and helped to explain some things I may not have understood. During our breaks and after the days teachings were over, Trisha and I started talking to Nikita about different things. Nikita was very into the metaphysical side of life which was something I knew very little about.

We were talking about Astrology, numerology, past lives, etc. It was very interesting to me, but nothing I had ever considered myself to be interested in prior to this conversation. I mean sure I’d read my horoscope growing up, but didn’t everyone? I also messed around with energy once as a kid, which I totally forgot about until writing this post. I was a sleepover in probably 5th grade. We played the game “Light as a Feather, Thick as a Board.” Five little girls were able to actually lift another 5th grader off the floor with just our finger tips. That scared the bejeesuz out of me. We also played Bloody Mary that same night. (BTW, not for nothing, but I didn’t sleep that night.) As if I hadn’t learned my lesson enough, one night we played around with a Ouija board. NOT a very smart thing to do when you have no idea how to protect yourself metaphysically. The damn white thing moved on it’s own and told us it was a 6 yr old child who had been murdered. I was done. Threw the board out and never looked back.

To me, this were all just games. Stuff which wasn’t real and kids just played around with because we were the only ones dumb enough to believe it. Adults told us we were silly and just left us to our devices. My mom did read Tarot cards when I was younger. She had a very bad experience with them when I was about 15 and she never touched them again.

Nikita continues on talking to Trisha and I’m just sitting there listening. I had a look of disbelief on my face and plain as day Nikita said “You have the gift. I don’t know why you’re shocked at the conversation.” Excuse me? Who, me? Seriously!?! You have got to be kidding. And that’s exactly what I said. I shook my head no way and Trisha looked at me and said “Yeah, you do.” My jaw dropped open. We had been friends for about 9 years up until that point and NOW is when she’s telling me this? My head was spinning in disbelief. Trisha repeated what she had said previously. I hadn’t been open to hearing about many things she believed in and she was afraid to talk about them to me for fear of being judged. So.. here we were. She got all into oils and the great beyond was staring me in the face whether I liked it or not. Crap.

This one fairly innocuous conversation was a snowflake which turned into a snowball. One I never expected to snow again much less grow into a snowball. My life was about to change in a very big way. I had no idea.

Blessed Be – Peace be with you
Shelley

**Nikita’s name was changed to protect her true identity.

Creek comes to town!

In December of 2015 I was having hot flashes so bad, I thought my husband was going to kick me out of bed. Covers on, covers off. I ain’t Daniel and this sure as hell ain’t Karate Kid. It was horrible! I didn’t want more medication because I was already taking so many. I had bi-polar II disorder, thyroid issues, migraines blah blah blah. I considered myself pretty healthy even though I was overweight (still am!). But this getting old shit was for the birds. I’d had a hysterectomy when I was in my late 30’s. I was left with one ovary and I was guessing it was time for that ovary to start failing.

Our oldest daughter Creek came to visit with our grandson for Christmas. She saw me going through the hot flashes and started talking to me about essential oils. I laughed at her and told her I didn’t need her Granola/Hippie Mom crap. I’d suffer through it and be just fine thank-you-very-much. She got pretty frustrated with me. I just rolled my eyes at her and asked her how much she liked it when someone rolled their eyes at her? HA! No fun right? She was pretty much like “whatever old woman, just suffer.” I smiled and went on about my business. A few days later she’d had enough of listening to me bitch about sweating and getting irritated as the hot flashes hit me. She sat me down and told me I had absolutely nothing to lose if I allowed her to make something for me to try. I told her it wouldn’t work, but to go for it. I took her to the store and bought some cheap over the counter essential oils. She cringed at the idea, but you work with what you’ve got.

We bought some Clary Sage, Lavender and something else, I can’t remember. (I make my own now and sell it.) I bought a diffuser to put the oil mix in and sat it next to me on my end table in the living room. I wasn’t really pleased with the smell of Clary Sage (not a personal favorite), but she told me to suck it up and just deal with it. I diffused every night after work and every night while I was sleeping. I noticed a difference in the recurrence of the hot flashes after the first couple of days. Then they slowed down much more noticeably and after three weeks, they were gone. That’s about the same time length a pharmaceutical medicine would have taken, but this was all natural. I was shocked!

Now I had to call my daughter and tell her she was right, oh the horror! Her response was “SEE I TOLD YOU!” After she was done with her rightful boasting session, she told me that essential oils do so much more and she really wished I would just listen to her. <insert rolling of my eyes> I responded with telling her I would have loved it if she had listened to me growing up or even now, but does she? No. Not only no, but hell no. We both laughed, but it stuck with me there had to be something about this aromatherapy thing.

The next month I had called my girlfriend Trisha to catch up with her and see how she was doing. Life hadn’t been easy for her and I just wanted to check on her. I mentioned the essential oil thing to her and she started prattling on about how many oils she uses on a daily basis. What the hell?? Was I the only one not aware of this? Trisha was honest and said she didn’t think I’d be open to it so she just never told me. That made me take a step back. Was I really that closed off to new things? The answer was yes. I had become one of the things I never wanted to be: Closed-minded.

I asked Trisha to explain more to me so we decided to get together for a dinner. She lived in Indiana and I lived in Ohio. We were only about 2 hours away from each other so we met in the middle. She spent the whole time talking to me about oils and other things she liked. I thought she was crazy for most of it, but I was willing to listen about the oils. Baby steps man. You can’t expect me to believe in the great beyond when I’m just learning about essential oils LOL. There was only so much my mind could handle.

I started doing research and discovered so much more than I ever thought possible. I signed up to be a Young Living rep and quickly discovered it wasn’t really the right path for me. Yes I loved oils at this point, but not the business model. Through more research and diligence, I discovered you can actually take a class to become a Certified Aromatherapist. I signed Trisha and I up for the class and let Trisha know. It was her birthday weekend and she was all for it!

In April of 2016, Trisha and I became certified through the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, level 1 Certified Aromatherapists.

What happened during that weekend is a whole different blog post.

Peace and Blessed Be.

**Creek’s name was changed to protect her true identity.

From Bitch to Witch in just 48 short years!

You too can change in just 48 years, seriously it shouldn’t have taken that long, but I’m a wee bit stubborn and I don’t really listen well.

I grew up going to the First Baptist Church of Fairborn where my Granny went for many, many years. My brothers and I were put on a church bus every Sunday morning for a long time. We would sing songs on the bus and I’d get to go to Sunday School. No parents were on the bus, but they did have some chaperones. (This was the 70’s afterall.) Every now and then I’d get lucky and actually see my Granny at church and that’s really why I was happy to go. I was baptized on January 15th, 1980 and I remember this day like it was yesterday. I wanted my Granny to beam with pride from the congregation. However, my beloved Papaw was too sick for her to leave the house so she stayed with him. I was 10 years old at the time and didn’t really understand what the commitment meant, but a whole lot of people kept saying they were proud of me. Getting positive attention at the age of 10 was something I really desired so I was happy these people were proud of me.

Shortly thereafter, my mom started dating a man who went to a church near Miamisburg. Now, I have tried like the dickens to remember the name of this church, but I cannot and it’s probably for the better to be honest with you. My mom and I started going to this church with him and his younger children who lived at home. My mom eventually got engaged to this man who was very active in his church at the time. We went every weekend, much to my chagrin. My mom would make me wear a dress (oh the horror LOL), but I agreed on one condition. I had to be able to wear my ball cap too. She gave in and allowed me to do this so I looked presentable. I never did understand why jeans and a t-shirt weren’t ok for Church. Did God love me less because I wasn’t wearing a dress? I was told not to ask such silly questions. I really did like this church because it was much smaller than the last one and the people were much friendlier to us. Everyone remembered my name and I enjoyed class. I even got to help carry candles for service and light them. Man I was special!

Things happen in relationships and my mom and this gentlemen broke off the engagement. The following week my mom and I showed up at the church. I was happy to be able to go, but a little sad because if he was there I wouldn’t be able to sit with him and his children. I loved him. My dad lived in Florida and I never got to see him. He stepped in as my dad and spent time with me. He also had children I loved very much just like my own siblings. Anyway, my mom and I showed up at church and I will never, ever forget this moment for as long as I live. The Reverend came outside with his pasty white skin and thinning dark hair with his robes on and met my mother and I on the church steps. He explained very politely to us it would be much appreciated if we would find another place of worship. It wasn’t appropriate for us to show up there after the break-up of the engagement as it would be too painful for the gentlemen and his family. My mom said she had no desire to find someplace else. The Reverend immediately changed his tone and was very clear. “You are no longer welcome here. Please leave now.” I was devastated.

I had lost another father figure, siblings and now a church. If this is what religion is about, you can have it. I was done. I was forever tainted about Christianity from the moment on. As I got older, I tried different churches. I felt like my skin crawled every time I walked into one. I didn’t mesh with their ideology. One thing became very clear to me, I was not comfortable with being called a Christian.

In my early 30’s, I started researching and found out about Judaism. I took classes with our oldest daughter to convert to Judaism. My husband was raised Jewish so he wasn’t required to take the class with us and the other children weren’t over 13 so they didn’t have to either. When class was done and we graduated, it was time to become official. My husband and I along with all 4 children made our appointments for the mikvah and took our vow to the Jewish culture. Girls went first, then the boys (you never do this together, ever.) We celebrated Jewish holidays, shabbat every Friday, my kids went to hebrew school, all of it. It felt better than Christianity did, but still not right. Eventually I gave all of that up too. It didn’t fit.

Lost. I felt lost. Something was missing. I was tired of religion. I figured I was just different and alone and I’d never find my place.

On and off over the years I’d heard about Pagans and I distinctly remember the Christian view on it. I was so pre-programmed about all of the bad things about being a Pagan, that I never got to learn what it means TO BE a Pagan. The meaning of paganism is very simple and absolutely nothing I was taught: Paganism is term first used in the fourth century by early Christianity for populations of the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism, either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population or because they were not militates Christi (soldiers of Christ). It has evolved over the years to now mean simply this: polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion. Pagans pray to and respect different deities of many different pantheons (including Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Ganesha, etc) and they worship nature. Pagans see the absolute beauty in nature. Everything has a spirit: trees, rocks, blades of grass, animals. If it’s in nature, it has a spirit.

I am a Pagan, specifically a shamanistic witch. There are so very many different types of paganism too. The list goes on and on so I was amazed at this! I had to figure out what type of pagan I was (however, I had a little extra help from a friend who clued me in).

I believe nature has many lessons it can teach us about life. There is a balance to everything. The hawk eats a mouse as a way of survival. The mouse has then learned it needs to become much more calculated in its way of thinking so it doesn’t get easily eaten. It finds ways to search for food so it doesn’t become prey. Hawk teaches us that by flying above and looking down we need to be able to see the whole picture before we make a decision. Just because that chicken looks good enough to eat, is it too heavy to carry? Are there predators nearby to watch out for? If you just sit peacefully in nature and watch, there’s so much more to learn. So many lessons which could benefit people on how to treat each other.

This is a religion which makes sense to me. It is absolutely not how I was raised, in fact I was raised to believe anyone who don’t worship Jesus Christ will go to hell. I do not believe that. I believe there is a place in the world for every religion. Everyone serves a purpose to keep the balance in life. You cannot have too much light or too much dark. Yin and Yang. This is the true balance of life.

We each carry light and dark in our hearts. It’s how you harness that energy which will separate you between good and evil.

This is a very short synapses of how I became pagan. I’m actually looking forward to writing about how I’ve healed my heart and moved on to some amazing things in my life.

Thank you for joining me.

Peace and Blessed Be.