Of Gentleness and Strength – Welcome to the Year of the Sheep

Originally posted on Mommy Mystic:

Welcome to the Year of the Sheep! Or Goat! Or both! Depending on whom you ask. February 4th, 2015 is the first day of the Year of the Sheep/Goat in both the Chinese and Tibetan calendars – specifically the Year of the Female (or Yin) Wood Sheep/Goat. Although Chinese New Year’s Day and Losar (Tibetan New Year) will not be celebrated until the new moon on February 19th, the 4th is the start of this lunar cycle, and so really the first day of the related energy shift in both astrological systems.

Over the last few years, exploring the energy and meaning of the lunar New Year shift through astrology, imagery, and mythology has become one of my favorite posts to research and write. But I have to admit, despite having been born in a year of the sheep/goat myself (or maybe because of this), I initially found this…

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Around the World in Nine Photos

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

It’s in the grip of North American winter that I often dream of escape to warmer climates. Thanks to the WordPress.com Reader and the street photography tag, I can satisfy my travel yen whenever it strikes. Here are just some of the amazing photos and photographers I stumbled upon during a recent armchair trip.

My first stop was Alexis Pazoumian’s fantastic SERIES: India at The Sundial Review. I loved the bold colors in this portrait and the man’s thoughtful expression.

Photo by Alexis Pazoumian Photo by Alexis Pazoumian

Speaking of expressions, the lead dog in Holly’s photo from Maslin Nude Beach, in Adelaide, Australia, almost looks as though it’s smiling. See more of Holly’s work at REDTERRAIN.

Photo by Holly Photo by Holly

In a slightly different form of care-free, we have the muddy hands of Elina Eriksson‘s son in Zambia. I love how his small hands frame his face. The gentle…

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Valentine’s Day: The Sacred & The Profane

<3 From My Spirited Soul to Yours: <3

May the sacred & the profane, married in we fractured imperfect human beings, serve as a catalyst towards Wholeness & Perfection.

With worldly love as our teacher, schooling us in the ways of Divine Love, may we find Ultimate Connection in the process of losing our self. 

Whether or not it is obvious, Love is always present. Indulge.

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Little ol’ me, with PTSD?

I’ve been living with terror & anxiety since September 5, 1974, the day my dad died. Helpless, I was 8 & had long watched him shrink, suffer & die from cancer. My #1 & he didn’t even warn me, or say goodbye?! I was in complete shock, sidled with the dread of when my mom would leave me too; as well as the opposite fear & responsibility  of being left alone to tend to her & myself. (She no doubt felt the same way). Mom had sleep apnea although there was no term for it back then. I just remember running downstairs to her bedroom in a panic to see if she was still alive, almost every night. When I did sleep, solitary on the second floor, I had nightmares of walking home from school to a boarded-up house. Once a ‘normal’ kid, my health & well-being were never the same.

At the time of loss, it’s all about survival (mental, emotional & physical). You know, when well-meaning adults say, “The children are so adaptable; I’m amazed at how resilient they are!”  That makes me upset. Duh. When we are a dependent child, what other choice do we have but to be resilient (at least temporarily)?! A lot of times the adults fall apart (openly or not, but kids are sponges, taking it all in) & there is a role reversal that occurs. Adults acting stoic doesn’t help. Strong (including tears), yes. Cold & stoic (denial), no. I felt I was such, for almost 40 years. Coping skills can usually only last so long & take us so far before something starts to unravel.

Some are lucky enough to have remarkable built-in resources &/or outward support of some kind, enabling them to press on, & on, rising up, & up, with remarkable success. Some are likely to become dependent & addicted on other sources in order to slog through. For most of us, our system protects us by allowing us to dissociate from certain traumas. Some are forced to confront deep healing, going through the gunk enough to come out on the other side. Some are not, or do not. The conditions of life are extreme & every soul acts/reacts/copes/thrives in a way as unique as their very fingerprints. Therefore it is best not to judge, under any circumstance. None of us is EVER privy to ALL the information (in regards to our own selves, let alone another)!

I’m glad I didn’t know what lay ahead. For us, a family of six in one house was quickly reduced down to just the two of us, my mom & I. As it is with life, a variety of things ensued for all. Most recently, dementia came for my mom & has been holding us hostage ever since. As much as humans tend to worry about the future & want to know how it’s going to go, I don’t think any of us would really benefit by knowing ahead of time what we will be required to face (even if it were a beautiful dream coming to fruition). In just a few short years life can change dramatically, for better or for worse.

It wasn’t until I got divorced at age 39, did I seek counseling for all the unbearable distress that seemed to surface out of nowhere.  The therapist even went so far as to call it, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (I didn’t believe her at first. After all, I’m not a war veteran, at least not externally speaking. Surprisingly I hadn’t read anything about it till just now, that short link above. Hmm, it fits). After ten years of re-associating, I have no doubt of her diagnosis.

From this experience, compassion, empathy & understanding have become my default mode; an automatic state of being which I can offer to myself, loved ones & clients. Though dealing with others & the world at large can still be overwhelming, I’m finally painfully aware & at least know what I’m dealing with. I’m supremely grateful to Dr. Metz for supporting me through this healing  journey with his gift of insight & special brand of energy medicine.

I know my momma isn’t long for this world now. She has yearned to reside beside the heavenly hosts (which now includes, siblings, friends, & offspring). I am getting older by the minute, too! …We shall see…We shall see…How will things transpire for she & me? I can’t help wanting & needing to know… After all, I’ve been waiting with terror & anxiety for 40 years…Who, what, when, where, why & how?!

As I often do, I humbly bow my head & calm my heart with prayer to let go & have faith.  “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom his love commits me here, ever this day be at my side to light & guard, to rule & to guide.  Amen.”

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Tavis Smiley on MLK: Find a Way to Love

As you may know, Love is a favorite focus of mine. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a living proponent of such, which included his call for non-violent action; a sense of justice driven by, & framed within, Love.

In honor of him & his birthday this weekend, I offer you this very short yet very inspiring video link: Tavis Smiley references his new book, Death of a King, speaking on MLK, Love, Grace, Forgiveness & Radical Empathy.

Let Love be our greatest aspiration.

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2015: Angelic Uplift

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As the New Year Dawns Upon You,
Whenever & Wherever You Find Yourself:

May your heart feel uplifted & supported throughout the daily risings & settings to come; the inevitable darkness, the beckoning shadow, & the incredible lightness of being.

Remember that sometimes when the light is brightest, it allows the darkness to come into focus.

<3 Blessings, Maggie <3

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Quotog for the Masses by Maggie Begley

My fellow Spirited Souls:
Whatever it is you celebrate this blessed Winter day, may you imbibe the Love that surrounds you EVERY day, in EVERY season. (You’re getting a dose right now, from me)! :) Thank you for all your support, virtual & otherwise. :)

Life is but a Play in which we are all actors…2015, what do you have in store for your cast & crew?!! Hmmm….And on we go, Spiritual Warriors; enjoy the show.

<3 Maggie <3

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Definition of Term:
quotog (KWO-tog, noun)
1. a term that connotes an original quote paired with an original photograph, created by any given Spirited Soul who possesses artistic proclivities & sensibilities.
:)

Origin: As far as I can tell, that would be me, Maggie B.

Example Usage: “What a lovely Quotog you posted.” Or, “You are quite the Quotog.” LOL.

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