Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Last Year of My 20's

The last year of my twenties. A year that once seemed so far away as  I longed for 21 throughout my teen years. Each year a new stepping stone in my life bringing the good, the bad, and everything in between.  My twenties have brought experience, loss, gain, celebration, mourning, love, friendship, education, and wisdom. A time that seems to go by slowly while you're in it but you then come to realize how quickly these years go by. Here I am, spending 365 days to close the final chapter of a decade that has been defining.

I am one to celebrate my Birthday in big ways, always knowing I want to write a post as a declaration for my upcoming year. Last year, I wrote 28 things I learned in 28 years and this year I knew I wanted my birthday declaration to be different, more transparent, and more about the now and the future. Walking into my 29th Year, I look at my 20's and now understand how crucial they are. I have a deeper appreciation for each moment that I have lived through over these last 9 years. The negative release of "why" has become a glass window which allows me to become more aware and present in the positive acceptance of the word. Life is a series of these questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. They create our stories. They give us a foundation to build our lives upon - a decade upon. There is a design. There is a reason. There is a direct meaning to the structure of our very being. My 20's have been nothing short of giving me the knowledge as to what that very being is. 

Each year has been different; at 20 there was detail to how my life would turn out to be. I laughed at the saying, "Life happens when you're busy making plans," yet I now recognize the truth behind that concept. Every single thing you do, say, or think will send you down your life path at a different speed and angle. Every little thing matters, even when you say it doesn't. Because the truth is, Life Matters. My Life and Yours. There are consequences for the troubled, redemptions for the seekers, and reward for the grateful. We have lessons to learn, wisdom to gain, and memories to make. A carbon footprint we will leave behind that tells of our existence and time on this earth. 

We all have a gift that we were presented with the moment we were born. We have the gift of life. As humans, we don't know what to do with this beautiful gift that we see as a weight to carry. My gift was presented differently. It was a gift that I've spent most of my life trying to figure out how to piece together. It was a gift that was presented with a time limit yet one that was estimated. But now, I'm 29, and life has taught me that every single person who is born into this world was presented the same gift and our times will always be different and unknown. We fear time. We fear not knowing. We shouldn't be afraid of time, we should embrace it. We should fear the unlived life, instead of laying with fear of the rushing sand in the hourglass.

In the past, I would have stressed on regret. I would have labeled myself with my mistakes, the pain I've caused others, the stress, the "what if's" and the "should have been." Not now! Now I stand strong with my convictions. I stand in confidence. I am not made up of the negatives nor am I made up of the positives. I am made up of the in-betweens. No shame or loss, no lack, and failure run through my veins alone. They are intertwined with success, love, joy, stillness, peace, and gratitude. 

I sit differently with turning 29. I sit with clarity and transparency. My 20's have taught me to no longer linger on the mundane. They have taught me that there is nobility in living a good life that is simple and quiet. They taught me that family and fiercely loyal friends are important. They taught me that all good things are done with pure, clear intention. I don't get to decide every detail about my life but I do get to choose who I want to be in my life. A Lightworker - a roamer and seeker - a healer - a gypsy who is free yet grounded - a wife - a future mother - an aunt - a daughter - a friend - a listener - a writer - a student - a teacher - A person who is exactly who she says she is. 

As I begin to close this chapter in my life, I lead into the next with gratitude. I'm eternally grateful for my 20's. To the people who left, I thank you. To the people who stayed, I thank you. To the ones who arrived, I thank You. The Highs, The Lows, the twists, the turns, the shadows, the light, the deaths, the births, and every single detail that wrote itself - I am forever in debt. 

Let's do this 29, We got a chapter to finish!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Bedroom Mirror

Around this time (9:30am) last year, I was pouring my heart into a blog post titled "Once an Abalar Girl." That would be posted in the early hours of the following morning: May 31st, 2018. 

Several Hours later I was sitting alone in my childhood bedroom, for the very last time. It was dark, cold, and completely empty. I sat against the wall next to my closet doors and looked at the dim reflection I saw of myself, except, it was my reflection of 6-year-old me. A green-eyed girl with dirty blonde hair ready to make the room her own. The room was empty then too but, it was mine, and it was ready for the stories that would be written in it. 22 Years later, I sat again, in an empty room, that was full of secrets, laughter, tears, dance moves, and memories. All I could do was cry. 

I haven't been back since. A house that is no longer home, a town that no longer feels welcoming. I have felt out of my body for 365 days, trying to find my way back to a secure location - like a small child who got lost in a department store and can't find their way back to their mother - trying to find my way back to that reflection in the mirror. 

As we grow up, every adult leaves their inner-child behind. We don't do it on purpose though. We were either told we had to grow up and do adult things. Or we just got involved with worldly pleasures that were like shiny objects keeping our attention. And I've asked myself many times this last year, why? how? when? The last time I saw my inner child, was this time last year, screaming out "Don't Leave!" - To myself and to my parents. Her reflection was sad and abandoned - yet, I promised her I would be back for her, even though I didn't exactly know how I'd get there. 

I've seen that reflection flicker before me throughout the last 365 days. If a song came on or if I found a materialistic item, or when I've traveled to Idaho to visit my family. That 6 year old me really screamed out back in October at the beginning of the holiday season.  After my major anxiety attack and ending up in the ER, all I could do was cry out for my parents. I was in the kitchen one evening making a recipe of mom's when I accidentally dropped the spoon I was mixing with. Instead of picking it up and going about - I sat on the floor and cried. 28 year old (married) me, sitting on the floor, crying out for her parents. And there she was, my inner child, that green-eyed girl with dirty blonde hair, sitting beside me. 

Since October, I've been talking to her again, that child within me. Talking about our dreams, our favorite songs, and memories. We have so much healing to do, together, but we are healing. I still look into the mirror, hoping to see that reflection from time to time, but I know she's there even when I can't see her. I feel her though, every morning when I talk to my parents via facetime, or when bohemian rhapsody comes on. 

I often think about the family living in that house now. Is there a little girl looking at her reflection in that front bedroom? Does she have it decorated in bright colors? or cheetah print? Does this family fill the space with love and laughter? And, do they think about us, my family? Do they see the little cracks and dents while wondering where it came from? Do they see our reflections in their mirrors? Do they love Abalar as much as I do? 

Around this time (9:30am) last year, I was pouring my heart into a blog post titled "Once an Abalar Girl," That would be posted in the early hours of the following morning: May 31st, 2018 -- And now, 1 year later, here I am...still an Abalar Girl, just with a different address. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

It's Gemini Season 2019

Happy Birthday, Gemini Babies!
( May 21 - June 20 )

We are waking up to the sun changing over from Taurus, the Bull, to Gemini, The Twins - And let me just bias-ly say: 'Tis The (Best) Season! Once again, Bias Betty over here!

Duality: Masculine
Triplicity (Element): Air
Quadruplicity (Quality): Mutable
Polarity: Sagittarius

Gemini is our lively, energetic, researcher, communicator, and adaptable to new situations. She brings more questions than answers because she is a student of life that loves to do her research and learn about everything she can. 

Her Symbol: The Twins - the first to have a human symbol, rather than an animalistic symbol. The Glyph (written symbol) represents two figures, which has two meanings. One being human arms or lungs which is what Gemini rules. The second are two upright lines bounded by the top and bottom lines that represent wisdom, learning, and the powers of the mind to gather/store information. 

Gemini's are, more often than not, completely misunderstood. They are humorous which some know is sarcasm but others take on as arrogant. Gemini is known for their responsiveness but because they are ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication, they may respond rash and suddenly causing miscommunication - this is a shadow side of Gemini. It's better to not take things so personal when in communication with a Gemini where words can be taken wrong. 

Gemini is ruled by Mercury -  The Planet of Communication. The easiest way to point out a Gemini is if they are talking a lot. Geminis love to talk and have a constant urge to communicate. They love writing, texting, reading, talking, public speaking, and are great at Self-Expression through many forms of Communication. Gemini's tend to be creatives, writers, and performers. (Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Blake Shelton, Sir Paul McCartney, Clint Eastwood, John F Kennedy, Tupac, and Johnny Depp are just a few Gemini's)

Gemini's love to have deep conversations that are philosophical and full of depth. If a Gemini is not talking, it's because they don't feel like the conversation is going to end well. They aren't much for small talk and will communicate this through their body language. The Bright Side of Gemini is their willingness to understand themselves and those around them. They truly believe we are all connected and can discover that through the transparency of communication. Gemini loves a good conversation over coffee or tea. They love being the center of a conversation but they also prefer one-on-one conversations for better social connection. They are nonjudgmental and open-minded to hear what everyone thinks - remember if a Gemini doesn't know or understand something she will ask questions; a total Researcher!

The Shadow Side to Gemini is her anxiety. If she feels anxious or uncomfortable this will make for small talk, which she hates. And because of her dislike for small talk, her uncomfortableness can often turn into Gossip. Gemini in low-vibration can overshare, talk without listening, get defensive (ego), and close herself off to others completely. You'll know when a Gemini feels low-vibration because she will ramble and then go into hiding to ground herself again. 

How to Work with Gemini Energy

No matter what your sign, you can work with the energy of Gemini this sun season. It is time to ask ourselves the questions that will make us sit and think about our lives. (very Gemini). If you aren't into writing or journaling - this is the perfect month to start as Gemini will help direct you.  Write down your true desires and ask yourself if what you are doing in your life now is aligned with the vision of your life. It's time to tap into Mercury-Gemini Energy and really communicate what you want for your life. Is everything in place? Or are you still finding the missing pieces? Say YES to what is jumping in joy in your heart. Say NO to what does not align with your vision. By journaling each morning or night - you are aligning with your true self. Set a timer for 10 minutes and free write - no prompt, no first-hand ideas. Just your hand and the paper. Start a daily gratitude list and add on to it every single morning. Writing allows you to become aware of yourself fully and without judgment. If your writing leads you to vulnerability - breathe! Continue to pour your heart out because this is you needing to heal. 

If your sun is in Gemini (hey-ooo that's me!) - you may find yourself bouncing around in social settings. This is the perfect time for you to get active in your community or social group. Start the conversations and really tap into what your intuition is communicating to you and through you. 

If your moon is in Gemini - Breathe! The Moon rules our emotions and you may find that our Gemini New Moon (June 3rd) could be extra emotional for you. Remember, Gemini is all about communication - so do not hold yourself back from having those conversations with yourself and the others around you. It may be very therapeutic for you if you use that Gemini open-minded energy to protect you. The best thing for you to do during this season, Gemini Moon or not, is to meditate to ease your anxiety. 

Happy Gemini Season, My Loves!
This Gemini Heart is ready to communicate, ready to write, ready to read, ready to share the love with herself and with you all!

How are YOU going to align yourself with Gemini?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

10 Minute Morning Meditation

8.5 years ago, I would be stumbling out of bed and be trying to find my way to the kitchen with only one eye open. Moans and "ughs" leaving my lips and I'd wish to be asleep for even 10 more minutes - and then, I got old. Just Kidding, I established a morning routine that helped me become a morning person, which makes me feel old. Oh My God, is this almost 30? 

For the most part, my morning routine has remained the same: Get up, feed the dogs, wash my face, make some coffee, light some candles and incent, read and write, do yoga, get ready for the day. But I recently, aka 4 months ago, decided to add meditation to my morning routine. Let me rephrase that: I decided to add meditation to my morning routine as the very first thing I do before I even get out of bed. I meditate twice a day, sometimes more if time allows it or I feel the urge to center myself. But I found that I can wake my mind, body, and spirit up more if I give it the opportunity to slowly. Many of us hit the alarm, jump up, and go go go until we are out the door. I'm not that person and you shouldn't be either. You also shouldn't be that person who jumps on your phone or computer right away to check emails and Instagram stories. This is a habit that I have been dedicated to breaking and because of my dedication, I came up with a 10 minute morning meditation routine - which also gives me permission to stay in my warm bed 10 more minutes. Who doesn't love that?

The Meditation

1. Begin by taking 3-5 deep breaths in. This will activate your lungs and other organs, telling them it is also time to wake up. As you are doing so, begin to stretch your body as long and wide as you can. I put my arms straight up so I can get that good stretch in my back, rolling my wrists and wiggling my fingers along the way. I do the same with my legs and toes. Seriously there is nothing like that first initial stretch in the morning. 

2. Place your left hand over your heart and your right hand over your belly. Do a few breathing cycles and feel your stomach expand and deflate with every breath. This is allowing the connection between your brain and your body to happen - its also making you consciously aware of yourself and your breath. 

3. Next is what I call the " 4 to 1 Method," and it's essentially a verbal gratitude list. I know you will still get up and write in your gratitude journal (if you don't do that, you should) but the 4 to 1 method is bringing awareness right away to your day. It's a tonic (positive) way to begin your day. So let's break it down:

  • FOUR: I want you to list 4 Things you are grateful for. It can anything or anyone, big or small, random or intentional. I usually do two big, two small. EX) I'm grateful for having a home to rest my head AND I'm grateful for my pink fuzzy socks. I'm grateful for shampoo OR I'm grateful for running water. It doesn't matter what you choose, just feel the gratitude as you are speaking it into the world. 
  •  THREE: Set 3 intentions for the day. By setting intentions first thing before you even get out of bed - you are setting the mood and pace for the rest of your day. Instead of jumping up and rushing in a hurry, you've made the conscious decision to create your vibration intentionally. EX) I will move slowly but diligently through my work. I will focus on what is working.
  • TWO: Next, List 2 people who want to send your love to. I found that we often jump on social media to see what others are doing and because social media is more toxic (negative) nowadays, sending love to 2 people first thing in the morning gives you a love vibration, thus a happy vibration to work with. Bonus if one or both of those people aren't positive influences in your circle. EX) I'm sending love to my wonderful mama AND I'm sending love to that lady who cut me off in the Walmart parking lot last week. 
  • ONE: Finish off your 4 to 1 list with ONE thing you love about yourself. If you just rolled your eyes at me, then you really need this one. By listing something I love about myself every morning, It has really helped my confidence and built up my self-love and worth. In return, when you feel good about yourself, you treat others in that same way. It's a win-win.
4. I like to return to my breath for a few more deep breathing cycles after I've finished my 4 to 1, just to recenter myself and give myself a few more moments of relaxation before I start my day. Then I will slowly begin to wiggle my body again, wiggle my jaw around to release tension, and slowly open my eyes. Instead of jumping out of bed, I swing my legs over to the side, planting my feet firmly on the ground, bring my hands into prayer position by my heart, and take a few deep breaths in. I finish with saying Thank You 3 times, and bow my head to "Namaste."  - My Day can now begin!

Over time I hope you come to see a change in the way you feel after starting your day with this simple 10-minute meditation. The way you've trained your mind to wake up slowly and have a moment to yourself. Making the effort to begin your day with intention and tonic vibration. It truly sets the motion for the rest of your day. 

From my soul to yours, sisters, Namaste! 
Love yourself first but don't forget to love other people!

Instagram: @ash_felkner || Twitter: @ashleefelkner