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Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 7.42.14 AMA female elk without antlers launched herself into my truck last night in my dreams. She was very adamant about coming with me and my partner even though we told her she cannot come into the vehicle. She persisted. Eventually we had no choice and surrendered to her presence.

The Elk (Wapiti) carries a message of strength, stamina, protective of family, and balancing time with genders other than your own. They represent a five year cycle when by the fifth year you will have hit your stride.

This makes me think back to 2015 when I launched a business as an herbalist and faced fears of financial failure while leaving all other employment. I began making medicines and ghee, selling them at farmers markets, and building a foundation rooted in healing ourselves and our connection to Nature.

I remember saying, “I want to be a healer that people come to see when they need support getting back to their roots.”

The last five years has been about networking, community building, practicing skills, and learning through experience. Last year was rather difficult because it was the end of a 5 year cycle. I was leaving a relationship, home, and solid community that I imagined would always be the same no matter what happened. Yet, everything is always changing so I had to ride the waves of loss, fear, doubt, questioning my purpose and place in the world.

I knew that bringing products to farmers markets and festivals across the State would not be sustainable. I hired help, but the logistics and cash flow were challenging. My body ached. My mind couldn’t rest. I had to learn to say “No” and ask for help. I persevered as gracefully as I could.

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Yet, deep down, my heart longed for something else. I wanted a life founded in peace, connection to land, rooted in a home that I could tend and make beauty. I had been the gypsy medicine woman long enough. My root chakra was ready to plant itself somewhere it could grow more fully.

That’s when Spirit (and amazing friends) guided me to a house on three acres in Ashfield, MA. Very quickly, the home moved into my hands as an “owner.”  And, it is exactly what I always envisioned. Land to garden, raise small livestock, host workshops and retreats, invite family and friends for dinner parties. I still wake up every day humbled by the gift of this home, wondering how all this happened so fast?

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I look back 5 years and think of all my teachers, mentors, and friends who supported me every step of the way.

Chris Marano

Jade Alicandro Mace

Susan Sellew

Mike Brown

Greg Disterhoft

Nate Kraus -Mallet

Martin Legg

Colette Garrigues

Sam Wood

Gabrielli LaChiara

Margi Flint

Lee Albert

Laurie Magoon

Darryl Slim

Diane Gahres

Nini Melvin

Andrew Forsthoefel

Tamara McKerchie

Laurie Boulerice

Sulis Sunrise

Chris Morano

Sara Lepouttre

Pete McClean

Rose Khalsa

Grandma Gladys

Grandma & Grandpa Hardy

Mom, Dad, Leah

If you’re not on this list and you’re reading this…you’re here 🙂

I look back and remember all the gifts they have taught me:

Herbalism

Medicine Making

Goat Raising

Cheesemaking

Human Design

Farming

A good sense of humor

Brotherly Love

Sisterhood

How to make a home you love being in

Infinity Energy Healing

Positional Release Therapy Neuromuscular Technique

Yoga

Ayurveda

Shamanism

Lodge Ceremony

Loving Partnership

Trusting Oneself

Knowing when to let go

Facing fears head on

Not taking oneself too seriously

The Beauty Way

Thank you all so much for the gifts you have given me. Aho Migwetch. Humbly, I say thank you. I bow to you.

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Now, from where I sit, the green baby leaves have pushed out of their buds, awakening to a new season. The fresh growth reminds me of the antlers on the elk, falling and regrowing. My antlers are returning back to the Earth on this 33rd year around the sun. They have served me so well, I thank them.

What comes next for the 5 years ahead? No way of really knowing, but I pray to continue Walking in Beauty, the Dine (Navajo) saying which is about walking on the earth in love, compassion, reverence, and peace for all beings.

This blog has served me so well in the past 10 years, but now I must let it go, composting, adding fertility for what will grow next.

Thank you for reading, seeing me, hearing me, blessing me.

I begin a new blog next month and will send you a message with a link. “Farming for Justice” was appropriate in college when I was learning to farm and studying environmental justice, but now, I know that justice is only handed to us by Great Spirit. We cannot dispense justice. True peace lies in our hearts ability to forgive and let go.

What I can see from the mountain top (my writing chair) is the next 5 years will be devoted to deepening the medicine ways through prayer, sweat lodges, healing, teaching, forgiving, and stewarding the land the way Spirit intends. I also want to be a doula for end of life, so if you know of any one who mentors around this, send me their way. I want to assist people in dying well, dying in beauty.

I hope you will join me on the journey of living well during this gift of life on Earth we have been generously given!

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All my love,

Hannah (& the goats)

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Rumi & Dylan

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On the day the cherry tree blossomed

Rumi and Dylan were born 

My sister was here 

It was shorts and tank top weather

We watched the goat mama push her kid with confidence

Licking his silky body dry 

He sang his sweet song announcing, I’m here, Mom

Fluffy white sister watched with anticipation

To see the brother she knew so well 

In the womb

Brought into the light of an afternoon sun

Innocence of being born on fresh hay 

Knowing exactly where to find the milk

Simply stunning

We watch in awe as sisters born of the same mother 30 years ago

Welcome to this world, little one

We call you Rumi & Dylan

For the poets of truth and song

 

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Let Her Breathe!

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It is NO COINCIDENCE that COVID-19 impacts the lungs. 

A dear friend sparked my mind when she stated that the coronavirus could be a message that the lungs of the earth need space to breathe. Since the virus has slowed down transportation of our bodies through air travel and driving our cars, the atmosphere is cleaner than it’s been in 50 years. Places in China, India, and Mexico City are actually seeing significant changes to air quality. 

Could it be this is a blessing for all of our Lungs?

I remember when I went to New Delhi, I was shocked. I could not breathe, my lungs ached and I got a dry cough within a day of landing. I was miserable. A mask did not help. I felt like I was slowly suffocating within hours of arriving. Can you imagine what it’s like to live in a place that has such poor air quality you will inevitably have a lung condition?

Clean air is a human right for all. Just like clean water, shelter, food. 

I have taken for granted the air where I am from in Massachusetts. Forests thrive and keep our air pure. Each time I step outside, I inhale deeply, so grateful for the clean air! 

Let us see COVID-19 as an opportunity to reevaluate our lifestyles and how they impact the air. 

Let the Lungs of the Earth breathe as Great Spirit has intended. 

Let us drive less, work from home if possible, buy groceries for friends and family, stop flying in these metal tubes that emit more carbon in one trip than your car in 10 years.

Food delivery / security services, may they grow, restructure, strengthen. Get creative.

US Postal Service, what an amazing service. 

Technology, oh yes! What a blessing it can be when used properly.

If we can zoom, talk on the phone, and send emails instantly, why are we destroying the Earth’s lungs by transporting our bodies all over the map? 

Connection is crucial, obviously. We are ALWAYS connected whether or not in physical body. Get closer to the ones you live with, see every day, and cherish them. They are right there in front of you. Call your beloveds. Connect to your higher powers and thank them for your life. 

Root into the Earth where you are and recognize you are alive and supported by the Great Mother beneath your feet, ALWAYS. 

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Let her Breathe

Plant more Trees

Grow deep roots

Know you’re connected to all

Cleanse the System of all that no longer serves the higher good for everyone regardless of race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, political views. 

Let things fall apart

Hold onto what really matters

Love

Love deeply

Love the Earth’s gifts

Honor your birth, what a blessing to be alive at this time
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WHEN WE LET GO….THERE IS SPACE TO BREATHE IN WHAT TRULY NOURISHES THE HEART…

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Are you ready for change?

 

BREATHING EXERCISE:

Inhale. Gratitude.

Exhale. What are you ready to let go of?

Pause at the bottom of the exhale. 

Inhale. What are you ready to create?

Pause. Gratitude.

Exhale. Release what no longer serves you.

Pause at the bottom of the exhale. 

Repeat 7 times.

 

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Crossroads

I asked the Coronavirus COVID-19 what messages it has for humanity. Here is the transmission:

  • Slow down. Pause. Stop business as usual. Get still. Be quiet. Listen. 
  • What do you really value?
  • How can you be of service to the world?
  • Capitalism is killing our planet, it is time to recognize our impacts are threatening our own survival, not to mention millions of “other” species. 
  • We are all ONE. One global tribe. All races, classes, genders, we must unite as One.
  • What kind of foundation would you like our economy built upon? Clearly the current economy is fragile, volatile, and does not serve marginalized groups of people.
  • It is time to strengthen our ecosystems, immune systems, and prepare us for change.
  • It is time to cleanse, let go, let die, and say goodbye to systems that do not serve the Greater Good for All. 
  • Please cultivate and act with compassion to the vulnerable populations. 
  • Be the Light. You are Love. Embody your inner truth. 
  • Practice loving kindness and care, which you know deep in your bones. 

I believe humanity is at a major Crossroads. It is time to reflect, re-evaluate, and reconnect to our core values. This is a Great Awakening moment. 

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Which path will we choose?

Love or Fear?

Hope or discouragement?

Surrender or react?

Trust or doubt?

Peace or panic?

 

Allow the old systems to combust. Throw them into the fire. Watch them burn, transforming into  pure energy. Kali, the Goddess of Destruction teaches us to let go, let die, burn away what no longer serves. 

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Now, pause. See the opportunity before us. It is time to go deep within our wise selves and begin to create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. 

I envision this next two weeks (and, the entire future) could be transformative in very, very positive ways. Let’s raise our vibrations to be the love.

  • Call each other more to check in, connect
  • Be in nature
  • Breathe in fresh air
  • Strengthen our nervous systems, therefore immune systems
  • Show up for our loved ones
  • Donate food, time, energy, skills
  • Ask for help
  • Have more fun! 
  • Plant new seeds
  • Ask yourself: what do I really want to offer while I’m still alive that will move our global tribe forward?

 

In Community,

Hannah

 

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Turtle Island

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painting by Roger Creus

Last night, I dreamed of Turtle Island, which is the Creation Story  for the Ojibway/Anishinabe people. I dreamed that an enormous mama turtle made a nest for her eggs in the middle of a path under a bridge. As a group of people and I walked along the path we came across her, and I told everyone to give her space. Let her be. She needs more of our support to grow new life for our planet. The turtle knew in her bones how to lay her eggs, but she is running out of room. Humans have taken over more than they need to live and other creatures are suffering because of our ignorance and greed. 

Watching this mama turtle made me sad in the dream. I wish our human tribe would wake up! Please, don’t go back to sleep, our Great Green Earth needs us. Protect lands, stop clearing forests, clean up the oceans, rivers, streams, and love each being as your kin. We are all related. We are one big family even if we don’t always agree with each other. 

Kindergarteners learn to share, so, adults, please remember this lesson. The earth is not ours for the taking. It is ours to care for so all beings, and future generations, can thrive. We are here to be stewards for our short time on Earth. This opportunity is a great gift, so please wake up and live this dream into reality. 

Turtle Island is hurting. The animals are dying, the trees are suffering, the plants are disappearing. I call on you to re-evaluate your life. Right now. In this moment, are you fulfilling your dreams? Are you happy? Are you contributing toward building a more beautiful world? Or are you sleeping through life? 

No shame in either. Accept yourself where you are right now.

Some days I am sad and all I can do is grieve the loss of the Earth’s precious resources. 

Some days all I can offer is my love to the birds that sit on the treetops. 

Some days I sit by a river and pray for healing on our planet so all beings can be free.

Some days I teach classes about honoring the Earth and how to make herbal medicines. 

Some days I sleep-walk and forget this precious gift of life. 

Some days I write. 

Some days I sing to the 7 directions and offer tobacco to the Earth. 

 

However you choose to honor your birth, your walk, your expression of gratitude for the Earth, is beautiful. You are already enough, doing enough, simply by being you. 

From a mountaintop of self-acceptance, self-love, and hope for the future, some days all we can do is humbly say is, Thank You. 

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painting from Turtlegang

 Other tangible ways to care for Turtle Island:

  • Educate about protecting and honoring the environment
  • Write: for yourself, blogs, politicians, books, articles. Just write!
  • Decrease consumption of resources 
  • Grow your own food or buy from local farms
  • Make your own medicine or build a relationship with a local herbalist/healer
  • Fly as minimally as possible
  • Heal your inherited beliefs of separation, which allow you to oppress others based on your gender, class, race, sexual orientation, religion. 
  • Remember your connection to ALL. You are not separate. We are all interdependent beings. Isolationism allows for oppression of others and the natural world.
  • Join other projects that align with your heart’s calling
  • Adopt a child rather than birthing another (contentious, I know!) 
  • Express your feelings of despair, anger, hopelessness, rage
  • Pray 
  • Be generous to organizations you trust if you have excess finances
  • Love every being on Earth as much as you can muster
  • Forgive. Forgive yourself, your ancestors, your parents, your political leaders
  • Practice compassion, even for those you despise
  • Take action from love, not fear
  • Speak out, speak up, raise your voice.
  • Conserve nature’s “resources” aka “gifts”: water, oil, gas, electric, soil
  • Be open to change. Adapt. Be flexible. 

Thank you.

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Abundance: set your mind free

IMG_5340A friend invited me to do a 21 day meditation (from home) devoted to realizing the abundance surrounding us. I had a lot of resistance to this commitment (and still do), so I dove in out of curiosity. 

The voice that told me not to do the meditation said, “I already feel really abundant, sometimes overly so, and wishing I had less stuff, commitments” and more time to myself for reading, writing, yoga, walking in the woods.” 

After acknowledging my resistance to adding one more thing into my daily routine, I softened into the invitation. After all, it’s only one 15 minute meditation and journaling, I can make space for it. 

What is coming clearer as I approach day 4, is that abundance is a mindset. It is not really about material objects and money. Those things ebb and flow like water. Possessions can be sacred, they come and go, hopefully providing enough to survive and thrive. 

True abundance, for me, is believing I am enough, I have enough, and I will always be provided for by Great Spirit, especially when times are challenging.

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The second day into the meditation, I had a wide open day marked in my calendar as “DAY OFF,” which, to be honest, I have never really obeyed. I don’t schedule anything that day, but I rarely sink into the spaciousness. What is a day off? Is there ever really a day off? From what? What am I trying to create space away from? 

I noticed myself compulsively grasping for my “to do” lists. Let’s get organized and use this time to plan for the future projects that I need to accomplish by the end of the week. 

But, my list was empty. I actually did not have much I needed to do. This is rare. Maybe its because winter is a slow time? Or maybe it was a joke Spirit was playing on me, chuckling while I reached for anything that would keep me in motion.

Rather than breathe into this satisfaction of accomplishment, I panicked. WHAT’S NEXT? I need something to keep me going, being productive, showing something for myself. I need to prove my time on earth is valid. I need to earn my keep. Everyone else is working today, how could I possibly rest? 

These voices grew louder as I held my pen to paper trying to squeeze out something, anything TO DO. 

Side note: this was around 1pm, and I had already spent the day cleaning my house, reorganizing the living room, doing laundry, feeding the animals, going for a walk, doing yoga, reading, dishes, stacking wood, on and on. So, I hadn’t really been sitting there “doing nothing” all day. I had been in what a dear friend calls, “Queen Time,” puttering around tending to what I want when I want without any obligations from the outside. 

Yet, even in this abundance of time, I was putting expectations on myself. The obligatory task master was inside me. I had internalized the voice of capitalism, that “my worth is measured by my productivity.”

When oppression is internalized, it is far more effective than people oppressing one another because the oppressor is no longer externalized, it is coming from within. How efficient, right?!

Internalized oppression keeps the wheels of the system going far more smoothly and effortlessly. Having an awareness of the ways we internalize oppressions (racism, sexism, ageism, classism, homophobia, ableism, anti-semitism, etc) is a powerful practice.

From this moment on, I refuse to internalize oppression and any other ways I have adopted voices that do not serve my Higher Self. I free my Soul from the shackles. Freedom, real true freedom, comes from within. 

This brings my mind to the prisoners and slaves who are incarcerated by another person or system. I do not know how they feel, and hopefully never will. Compassion swells around my heart for those millions of Souls. Those who set themselves free in their minds, are my heroes. 

Here are poems from former teenage, black male prisoners who call themselves “poet ambassadors” in an article: “‘Our Minds Are Still Free:’ These Former Prisoners Find Strength Through Poetry.”

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photo by Tyrone Turner of WAMU

 

Knowledge is Power some disregard and ignore THAT

And that’s one thing I know for sure is a FACT

Cause the more you know the better off you ARE

Wisdom and knowledge align you to shoot for the STARS

They’ll be trials and tribulations along the WAY

And it’s impossible to keep them all at BAY

As humans we all do wish that we COULD

But through knowledge what’s bad can be made to be GOOD

Things occur in life that we don’t APPRECIATE

We all wish that these things we could ESCAPE

But one thing despite this is Life goes ON

And knowledge helps you refocus to keep going STRONG

Reading is a Vital way of learning new THINGS

It’s interesting the enlightenment that books can BRING

One thing I think we all really should TRY

Is learn as much as we can before we all DIE

Cause one thing for certain is die we all SHALL

But keep learning to live better for the here and NOW

Cause life gets hectic This Fact I Confess IT

This is Reality so please don’t REJECT IT

Some could care less, and with Folly their CONTENT

And when Knowledge comes forth they Abandon IT

Be mindful of some things that People SAY

And know what to retain and what to throw AWAY

Knowledge and wisdom help you to Blossom like a FLOWER

So 3 words I’ll leave you with is Knowledge is POWER

-Myron

 

I was born black, but told not to be proud

I went to school to learn, but was called dumb

I asked for a future, but was given a jail cell

When I spoke knowledge, they raised their guns

What am I suppose to do? I’m young, black and dumb

No! this isn’t true

I’m young, black, and educated!

I know my rights — plus we were both made from the same thought

That makes us equal — rather you like it or not

I am not ashamed or afraid

I am a king who has the power to make peace I say!

I am not here to shed blood or raise war

I’m here to show you liberation…

-Brandon

 

 

I am humbled by their bravery and wisdom. May we all choose to liberate our minds. 

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Always Doing your Best

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The Day Sky

 

Let us be like

Two falling stars in the day sky.

 

Let no one know of our sublime beauty 

As we hold hands with God

And burn

 

Into a sacred existence that defies-

That surpasses

 

Every description of ecstasy 

And love.

-Hafiz

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The first light of the morning is deep purply blue. Snow and trees contrast one another. Darkness and light, one could not be without the other. I start a fire, make a cup of coffee, and sink into the seat by my altar. 

No agenda. Listening to what is ready to be heard. These precious morning moments, when we’re alone with our Souls. 

Recording my dreams from the night with pen and paper. Stream of consciousness without the analytical brain on quite yet. 

What is the feeling from last night’s journeys to the stars? I want to be “right.” I want to be seen and accepted as I am. 

Release all fears surrounding approval and validation. Gift it back to the light of consciousness.

Where does this fear of “not fitting in” originate? Possibly early school years, relationships with friends, parental guidance. 

Regardless, what is right for me may not be right for others, and that is more than ok. 

We cannot live life trying to fit into the constraints of another. Life is about growing into who we are becoming. The Soul already knows. The acorn will not grow to be a maple tree. We are evolving each day, and if we listen to the Soul, we will not be led astray. 

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Dr. Edward Bach, flower essence master, writes about parenthood in his book Heal Thyself

“Fundamentally, the office of parenthood is to be the privileged means (and, indeed, it should be considered as divinely privileged) of enabling a soul to contact this world for the sake of evolution. The whole attitude of parents should be to give the little newcomer all the spiritual, mental and physical guidance to the utmost of their ability, ever remembering that the wee one is an individual soul come down to gain (its) own experience and knowledge in (its) own way according to the dictates of (its) HIgher Self, and every possible freedom should be given for unhampered development. The office of parenthood is divine service…”

Now, I do not believe Dr. Edward Bach had children, and neither do I, but I have been raised by parents who followed a similar theory (whether or not they knew of Bach), and as a result, I have felt divinely supported by them while still maintaining a connection to my Soul and God’s plan. For this freedom, I thank my parents, and my Soul for choosing them.

The ego wants to be loved and validated for its actions and words. Doesn’t it feel so good when someone validates us? Of course! 

When someone is upset with us, disappointed in our actions, angry with our choices, that can feel terrible. 

Can we remain equanimous to both approval and disapproval? This is the true practice. 

When we’re in line with our heart, there is very little room for the voice of another to sway us. Speak from your heart, learn what you need to fulfill your destiny, and trust yourself. Now, this can be hard for others to digest especially when your way is not fitting with their perceived plan. Allow others to have their feelings but do not take them on as your own. Discernment is key here. 

Each day I intentionally release all that is not mine and gift it back to source because otherwise I walk around like a confused emotional zombie carrying other people’s muck. It was NEVER yours to carry. And, if it was keeping you safe in the past, so be it. The past is over. Start anew. 

Who are you without those old beliefs and patterns? 

Now, this does not mean ignoring other people’s feelings when they are expressing them. It is your choice when to listen and when to set a boundary. This dance is not always easy, but the more clear you are in your “YES” and your “NO,” the more easeful it will be. 

When you are given the gift of another person who get this, who sees you, who loves you as you are, fully accepting you, receive them whole-heartedly. Our bodies don’t last forever, yet love never dies. Enjoy this union with another soul. When you can love and accept yourself fully, it’s a hell of a lot easier to do this for others.

Lay the groundwork inside yourself. And let the beauty of another meet you in the Garden of Eden. (The real one – not the patriarchal story of Adam & Eve). This is where the true magic happens.

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I have never felt like I “fit in” with others. Does anyone, really? Think back to grade school. Trying so hard to be liked, not to be bullied, wearing the right clothes and hair styles. I did some pretty nasty things to fit in back then. I’m not proud of them. And, I forgive myself. We’re always, always, always, DOING OUR BEST. 

IMG_1705Remember this one: WE’RE ALWAYS DOING OUR BEST. 

Breathe in that statement fully. Say it again and again. 

Release all that judgment constraining your heart. 

Let go of your ideas about who you think you are.

Soften the muscles around your belly. 

Release your jaw.

Exhale, with sound, the pressure you put on yourself 

And others.

 

How you doin’? 

Check in. Write. Breathe normally.

 

Now, breathe into this: I AM ENOUGH. I TRUST MYSELF. 

 

Feeling fear? Questioning the accuracy of this statement? Grieving all those times you did not trust yourself or feel you are enough? 

Allow whatever is arising to be, observing the emotional body.

Imagine a brilliant yellow-white light pouring into your crown and all the way down to your feet. Feel the connection between earth and sky. You are a child of Spirit / God / etc. 

 

Pausing here. Notice what’s going on around you, outside, in nature. 

Get present. 

Here, the sun is rising and the trees in the south are lit up like they’re on fire. Pink flames illuminating their grandeur. Wind comes.The pink light dissipates. Now it’s back again in full flames.

Life is far too short to be living someone else’s dreams, mi amor. 

It is never too late to change. 

Free yourself of those shackles. Nobody else can do it for you. Call on your guides for assistance. They’re always watching over waiting to be of service. 

 

Who are YOU, really? Tell me, what is your heart saying as it beats freely in each moment?

 

I am Love.

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