A New Year; a new beginning.
In Scottish and British folklore, the New Year’s tradition of First Footing includes a stranger crossing the threshold at the stroke of midnight, leaving a piece of bread for comfort, coal for warmth and a silver coin for prosperity.
What will your First Footing into the New Year bring?
As a day of quiet reflection (after often a loud and raucous end to the previous year), consider your own first footing ritual: bake some bread for comfort, wrap yourself in something soft and warm to read on the couch or by the fire; count your blessings, if not your coins, as your abundance and prosperity .
Baking Bread: Consider the process of bringing together all the ingredients, mixing in just the right amount of each, kneading the dough and allowing it time to rise in conditions just perfect for it to do so. Then of course, the baking; the smell of the yeast fills the air. Lastly, the outcome, the comfort in cutting the bread, toasting or warming it, and slathering something wonderful on top; the first bite. Pure heaven in your hands.
How is your life like the baking of that bread?
What ingredients are necessary for a well-loved journey?
How much of each ingredient is required?
How much time is needed to process and grow?
What will the outcome be?
What will heaven in your hands feel like?
Wrap Yourself in Something Soft: Create a retreat, even for an hour or two. Shut off the phone, close the door and wrap yourself in something warm and comforting. Read a book; listen to music or day dream. Invite in only that which comforts and inspires you.
What will you choose to read? Where will it take you?
What music will you play? Where in your soul does the music resonate?
What will you choose to surround yourself? What softness do you want to bring into your life?
Count Your Blessings: It’s the perfect time to count your blessings or create a gratitude board or journal. Create something with panache; use colors and textures. Or if the idea of a gratitude journal leaves you cold, create a gratitude bowl with shells or stones or glass. Count them as all the things you’re grateful for as you run your hands through whatever you’ve chosen to represent your blessings. Take out one that speaks to you in the moment, name it and carry with you throughout the day as a reminder.
A new day; a new beginning. There’re really no need to wait for the New Year and since it’s here, why not start now?
Most of us are familiar with the language of personality assessments. You’ve either taken one (or two or three) or administered one as a certified facilitator, or in some way – through reading or conversation - seen a glimpse into your psyche through a personality assessment.
If it’s Myers Briggs, you may be an ISTJ or ENFP; if it’s DISC, you may turn out to be a D or an I, S or C. If you’re evaluating yourself from the Herrmann Brain Dominance perspective, or HBDI, you may be assessed as analytical, interpersonal, imaginative or sequential. And so on … how many assessments are there and why do we need so many to figure out who we are and how we can all work and play nicely together?
What I’ve come to learn about these assessments, as wonderful as they are, is that they are all missing one intrinsic component; there is a missing piece and until that piece is identified, all these assessments keep us from being wholly imagined; these assessments actually keep us separate and incomplete.
So, I have a new assessment for you. It’s ground-breaking. The reason it’s unique… because there is only one question. That’s a relief, isn’t it? I remember thinking in the middle of a Myers Briggs once, holy Hannah, when will these questions end?? But don’t think for a moment because there’s only one question that it’s a trivial question. There is only one. It’s incredibly dear. No pressure.
Are you ready? Ok. Here’s your one incredibly dear question:
One Question (as opposed to question 1.) Are you here, on this planet, at this time, right now?
Answer - Circle One – (this is not an “all that apply” question for those of you who think existentially):
Have you answered the question to the best of your ability, without over thinking or second guessing yourself? Don’t second guess yourself now, by the way.
For those of you who said no (liar, liar, pants on fire), please know that if you’ve chosen “no”, the directions to follow are simple: please see the results for “yes” (because there are no results for no).
There is only one answer.
And since there is only one answer, there is only one outcome. No matter how you respond, or how many times you take the test, the assessment will always conclude one thing; assess you as one type: you are an SBHB; you and everyone else in the world.
How is that possible, when personality assessments are designed to create uniqueness, distinction from everyone else? How could an assessment with only one outcome possibly serve humanity and what is SBHB anyway?
SBHB stands for Spiritual Being Human Body. So, there you have it. We are all spiritual beings in a human body. One assessment/one outcome. The distinctions we see that we may hold onto dearly aren’t nearly as important as the things we may not see that make us the same. This physical form gives us distinction, and at the center of it all, we are one.
For those of you who are still protesting or making this wrong, I’ll grant you that some of us are more connected to the spiritual and some of us are more connected to the body. So for you, there is a distinction. You may be sbHB, of this world and in this world so your spirit seems really small and not nearly as important as the things of this world. You may be SBhb, not of this world even though you are in this world and so the worldly things, including body, seem very small to you. Whether caps or lower case, we all have a spirit and we all have a body. It’s exactly like those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t: Neil Diamond still exists.
I want to make it clear that spirit does not have a religious connotation, unless for you it does. For me, it doesn’t. So I’m writing from the pure context of spirit as our one connection to each other and the Universe.
We are spiritual beings in a human body. We are here in this human form to remember and learn how to connect; how to love. We are trapped in the confines of this tiny, human form, so our expansive souls will yearn for more. And they do, don’t they?
As you search for yourself, as I have, and find some comfort and distinction in personality typing, as I have, pay attention – is there still a missing piece? Is there still a yearning? If yes, remember that there is really only one question, one answer and one type. And you are it. SBHB*.
The question now is: How will you interact with others knowing this? How will you be in the world, knowing this?
*SBHB typing is a product of the Universe. All rights to reproduce belong to you as a member of the Universe. Please give credit to the author in any republishing or reuse: Linda Lombardo, Creative Journey Coaching, CPCC, Renaissance Soul certified, and SBHB.
Lately, I am acutely aware of the small lives around me: butterflies, dragonflies, spiders and most recently, snails. I’ve become so aware that when I take the dogs into the backyard, I actually say to them, “Watch the snails!” I say it to myself too now, except sometimes, I forget. When I leave the house going to the car or the backyard, I take a few steps before hearing the ominous sound… crunch. I’ve stepped on a snail. A small life ended.
I forget because my mind is on where I’m going, not where I am, although try telling that to the snail.
I feel terrible when that happens. My lack of presence had an impact on a life, no matter how small. What I’m beginning to realize is the impact it’s had on my life.
I realize how easy it is to be where you’re going and not where you are. Have you ever looked around your house and realized that there are objects that haven’t moved in ages? Dusting doesn’t count, by the way, if you subscribe to that discipline. I’m not talking about furniture (well, maybe even furniture). I’m talking about the lost button on the counter, the blender, the jewelry you wore throughout the week, taken off and carefully placed on your dresser to become its own little work of art by the end of the week. How often do we navigate through our homes unconscious of what’s around us because we are focused on where we are going, not where we are?
We ask each other, “Where are you going?” all the time. When is the last time someone asked you, “Where are you?” When is the last time you asked someone else?
My thought this week is to be more present; to be where I am and ask myself the question “Where are you?” Perhaps if I did that more often, if we all did that more often, there would be less forgetting things, fewer accidents, less ominous crunching in the world all the way around. Certainly, there would be a lot more snails.
Where are you right now? And now? And now…?
Picture yourself driving along, perhaps on your way to work with little or no time for detours or distractions. You may have just enough time to stop at the deli and get something quick for breakfast, if it all goes according to plan. Now picture, just when you think you're home free, you can taste that bagel and cup of coffee; you run smack dab into a road block.
That is my state of being nearly every morning. I am always just making it places on time or I am just the tiniest bit late. It’s not that I can’t get somewhere on time. I can and often, I do.
One of the curses of being a Renaissance Soul is that there is so much to do all the time that mornings are never simple. There’s the dog to walk, the clothes to choose (No. That cannot happen at night because tomorrow is another day, Scarlett), email to which one must respond, and in my case, a whole other business to attend to before going to the day J.O.B. That’s the everyday stuff. Then there’s rearranging some furniture or concocting something from all the leftovers in the fridge or transplanting the rose bush in the garden. My father referred to me as “Last Minute Linda”. It was not a term of endearment. He didn’t understand that Renaissance Souls have so many passions, they simple cannot and will not choose. They must do them all and believe they can fit it all in before breakfast.
On one such morning, I’m on my way to work –having already lived a whole lifetime - with no time for detours - when I see up the telltale signs of detour up ahead: “men at work”. Now that’s a misnomer already because these road crews often include women in more recent years. Going there would be a detour of another kind, so today, I’ll stay the course.
Orange cones, heavy machinery, and dusty looking men in orange vests, some with signs that say, “SLOW”. As I approach, certain that this detour is only happening to me because I am nearly late/just the tiniest bit late, I am already grumbling. One of those grumbles sounds a lot like, “What kind of a job is this any way? Who grows up saying, ‘I want to stand in the middle of the road with a sign that says “SLOW’ and get people in the cars to slow down.” Yeah, right. That’s not a job. I have a job. (This job, as I think of it, involves standing up in front of a room, telling people what they should do.)
As I asked myself the question and the man with the SLOW sign continues to give me the hands pulsing downward gesture, “Go slow, com’on, go slow”, I hear a voice in my head, “Angels”.
What? I look at the man, kind of rough, already dusty from all the road work and I see him for the first time. He is an angel? I let my foot rest a little heavier on the brake and do as he requests.
The world works in mysterious way. In this human form, you’d hardly recognize him. It is only because I asked that I got the answer. If I hadn’t asked, continued to grumble, rolled down the window and said, “Great it was either this or breakfast, so I guess I don’t get breakfast now”, I would have missed it. It was as if I’d been given the answer because I took the time to ask.
Who else but an angel would stand in the middle of the road and give everyone going to work at break neck speed, perhaps even running late, such a profound message? “Slow down, com’on, slow down”.
So here I am. There’s heavy work being done in the world – big machines and lots of dust. It may not be my personal work, and yet, here’s an angel in an orange vest, letting me know that even though it isn’t my personal work, there’s heavy work being done and I need to slow it down so it can happen.
What if we asked that question of everyone who caused us to detour, slowed us down or (metaphorically) caused us to miss breakfast? Who are you anyway? What if when we ask the question, we listen for the answer? There’s a concept. What if even in human forms, we all act as angels from time to time and rather than question it or see it as a detour or road block, we accept that there is work being done in the world that we simply have to slow down for, even if it isn’t our personal work?
I had the privilege of working with Jen Eramith, Akashic Records Channeler recently and the first question I asked was not will I find love; will I have money? My first question was, "What is the restlessness in my soul?"
It's something I've had all my life, even as a child. Even in the now-ness of joy, the restlessness stirs.
According to the Records, my soul is very old and very expansive. I haven't lived a lot of human lives because my soul just isn't interested in squeezing itself into the small box of a human life and if you think about it, it IS a small box, isn't it? Then why am I here? I am here now because of the increasing number of enlightened, expansive souls on earth. Even as a teen, my favorite expression was, "Desperately seeking my own kind". I'm also here because of the path that the world is on; visualize birds living in cages, when suddenly, the doors to the cages pop open. What do the birds do? Some may immediately fly away, seizing freedom; others may cower in their cages, even though freedom awaits because this is all they know; this is what's safe. I am waiting for the cages to pop open; I am waiting to show you that you can fly. You can, you know.
Something that came up again and again was the feeling of being trapped. In past lives, I was literally and figuratively, trapped. I will certainly seek out Jen again to understand the meanings of literally being in prisons (note the "S" at the end) in past lives. From the Records came my father's voice, "You make your bed, you lie in it". Scary. In my reluctance to be trapped, I've neglected engagement. I say no before I get to a place where I'm trapped. My lesson in this life and the healing lies in this simple act of saying yes to people, places and things and if I have to say no somewhere down the line, saying no and living with the disappointment of others. I have to trust that I can say no; it makes it easier to say yes for the things I want now.
Something else I learned: I am a professional wanderer. It's where my magic, intuition and creativity lie. I don't have a track. I'm on the right track not having one. I came here to be; to show up and expand the light. In all the lives I've had as spirit guides and angels, I am living my human life as if I'm an angel and spirit guide. Yes, this is where I literally cried.
I hope my sharing this with you creates resonance in your life. Even though it is my path, my record, restlessness, feeling trapped, saying yes and no, and searching for meaning are all part of the small, beautiful box that is human.
Give back an hour to the earth on Saturday, March 26th at 8:30 PM. The following is from http://www.earthhour.org/About.aspx
Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries/territories participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries/territories officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.
On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.
Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time). This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.
What do a bowl of ripe red raspberries and our dreams have in common?
As I sit here with just such a treat, here's what I notice:
1. They are huge
2. They are succulent
3. They cost dearly
4. They are to be savored
5. If they are not eaten within a day or two, they get moldy and rot in the container. Nice.
In January, I spoke of new beginnings. By February, I'm curious: have they been savored or did they rot in the container? No excuses, no wringing of hands. It is what it is. Savor that. It was originally my idea to write every day. See how that went?
What I learned is every day is not practical for me. That dream was huge, like the raspberries-on-steroids this morning. Rather than give up, I ask myself, "What can I do?" and once a month seems infinitely more possible. Mark the months, not the days; measure progress in the big picture, not the everyday. In the long haul, you'll have accomplishments; you'll have failures ( um, opportunities) and overall, where they take you is really where the focus is the sweetest.
Mid-winter is a terrific time to give up: it's cold (in many places), our cellular memory screams hibernate. Spring is a much better time to make changes, yeah, Spring. Whew. Glad that's over. Yet, it's the perfect time to savor the dream and begin creating the story that will take you into the Spring and closer to your dreams.
Mid-winter is the perfect time to go within and renew; it's also the perfect time to dive deeply into something new. It's your perfect time wherever that timing takes you. This time is dear. Savor it.
Woke up early, took the dogs, a cup of Earl Grey and my Rilke Book of Hours to the backyard and still peaceful morning. I opened the book and read, "there will be a book that includes these pages and she who take it in her hand will sit staring at it a long time, until she feels that she is being held and you are writing."
This is the end of poem whose German name escapes me. It goes like this:
"Dear darkening ground,
you've endured so patiently the walls we've built
perhaps you'll give the cities one more hour
and grant the churches and cloisters two.
And those that labor - maybe you'll let their work
grip them another five hours, or seven,
before you become forest again, and water, and widening wilderness
in that hour of inconceivable terror
when you take back your name from all things.
Just give me a little more time!
I want to love the things
as no one has thought to love them,
until they're real and ripe and worthy of you.
I want only seven days, seven
on which no one has ever written himself -
seven pages of solitude.
there will be a book that includes these pages,
and she who take it in her hands
will sit staring at it a long time,
until she feels that she is being held
and you are writing."
With too many tears too early in the morning, I connected with my deep love of the world from a place that includes the rough bark of an ancient tree to a hawk that sits atop a light pole as its ancestors once sat atop a craggy promontory to the mysteries of the ocean deep.
As I look for my greater purpose, I think it has always been there: to love the Earth enough to save her beyond all reason; as I love those who are close to me; as I choose to be loved.
Did you ever notice that just when it's time to take a huge step forward, something comes along that sets us back, opens old wounds, or shakes our confidence? It's only the Universe testing our commitment, clearing out the cobwebs, getting us ready for the magical leap that's about to take place.
Recently, I experienced just such a rock in the road when I chose a family commitment over a financial gain. I think I must have insulted the Universe because all the "mishaps" that took place immediately following my decision were too many to go unnoticed: huge car bills, a short escrow resulting in a higher monthly mortgage payment, dental bills following a freakish accident in the F1 storm we had not long ago.
I had to claim my choice and make peace with the Universe. Family over finances. Once I made the claim to my choice, life settled down and it was clear that I made the right choice.
Sometimes, you've just got to claim it. Was I tested? Yes. Was my confidence shaken? Oh yeah. Now, I'm making that magical leap and know in my heart that everything will be just fine.