St. Patrick – The Patron Saint Of Ireland

 

When most people think about St. Patrick’s Day, they think of the color green, shamrocks, and drinking Guinness Stout (well, or the local favorite, Murphy’s); yet, few know the true story of Maewyn Succat and how he used his superpower of empathy to save the beautiful folks of early Ireland by reducing their suffering.

 

Early Life

St. Patrick was born Maewyn Succat around 450-500AD. His father, Calpornius, was a decorated Roman-British officer and a deacon at their local Catholic church. Although raised in a Catholic family, it would be years till Maewyn would understand his connection with God and lead others to deepen their own spiritual journeys. 

The earliest reports of the young St. Patrick’s faith were not recorded until his stint in slavery, believing that his imprisonment was punishment for his lack of proper catechism and belief.

At the young age of 16, Maewyn was stolen from his family’s house in Britain by a group of Irish raiders. He was smuggled into Ireland and forced into slavery for six long and painful years. 

During this time, Maewyn turned to his faith to help him cope with his daily struggles. He regularly had vivid dreams that he used to direct his focus. In his book, Confessio, Maewyn explains that he interpreted these dreams as his way of asking his higher Being, God, to guide him.

One of these dreams came to the 22-year-old slave the night of his escape. In it, he saw a boat waiting for him at the harbor. Following his vision, he indeed found a boat that granted him safe passage back to Britain. After another brief capture, Maewyn was finally reunited with his family.

For many, the story of Maewyn Succat ends when he returned home after his time in slavery. One night, Maewyn had a dream that he received a letter titled “The Voice of the Irish.” In the background of his dream, he could hear Irish denizens begging him to walk among them. Unfortunately, in the dream, Maewyn could not read the rest of the letter, but the message would shape the rest of his life. It would also become the foundation of his forever legend.

Maewyn soon traveled to France and trained in a monastery. Twelve years later, under the direction of the Pope, he would return to Ireland as a Bishop. After returning, Bishop Maewyn Succat’s goal was to spread Christian teachings and compassion to all he met. 

Bishop Succat brought gifts to Kings and lawmakers, while accepting no gifts in return. Over time, the public recognized his goodwill and compassionate nature and started calling him Patrick, Based on the Latin root for father, patr.  

 

Miracles of the Father Saint

While St. Patrick was not officially recognized as a Saint until the 1700s, there is no short list of miracles performed during his mission to Ireland. There are several reports of St. Patrick bringing the dead back to life, some of whom had been dead for a year or longer before being resurrected by the great saint.

St. Patrick is also credited for the lack of snakes in Ireland. During a 40-day fast, he is reported to have chased them into the sea after being attacked by serpents. 

Although scholars argue that the climate is too cold in the region to accommodate snakes, many believe the island was infested before St. Patrick arrived there. Some believe the story evolved over time, choosing to look at the tale as a metaphor of how the saint chased evil and blasphemy from a tainted land.

 

Modern Day Symbolism

 Shamrocks

This three-leafed national flower of Ireland is found decorating parties around the world. Traditionally, these leaves are worn on the lapel or pressed into books for preservation. St. Patrick used the flower to describe the holy trinity to those who were unaware of the Judeo-Christian belief. 

This lovely saint explained that three equal parts stem from the stalk, just how the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost stem from one’s own heart and faith. The lesson was so popular, many associate the foliage directly with the Saint’s life and mission. These days, adding a clover to anything qualifies it as a St. Patrick’s Day decoration.

 

The Color Green

In America, you might get pinched if you don’t wear green on the 17th of March, but the color green was not the official color of the patron Saint. St. Patrick was known for wearing blue robes, a color that was so popular, it became known as St. Patrick blue. 

Unfortunately, Ireland and Britain’s history is dotted with war and strife, which was seen as synonymous with the color blue. Ancient Irish flags are blue, and the original coat of arms of King Henry VIII was blue and adorned with a golden harp. 

Over time, the Irish considered blue to represent the English government and chose the color green to protest English rule. After the Irish Rebellion of 1798, green became a symbol of nationalism and the traditional St. Patrick Blue was lost to history.

 

Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potatoes

Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious feast. Over the years the meal has shifted to a holiday that celebrates Irish heritage and the ancient traditions of this magical homeland. Even with the change in how people celebrate this day, the culinary staples have remained the same.

Foods eaten on this holiday connect participants to Irish heritage, while also presenting access to those in need. Corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes were staples in the relatively poor country.

Before the modernization of farming, cattle was only kept in Ireland for dairy and manual labor. Beef was difficult to find and only available for the rich. The British introduced cattle farming to Ireland and popularized the dish, but the meat still struggled to make it on the table of many families. While Beef wasn’t cheap, Ireland was known for its abundance of salt.

Salt was so cheap in Ireland, grains the size of corn kernels were added to beef to keep the meat from spoiling as it matriculated down the socioeconomic ladder. This new preserved beef was named corned beef and became a major export for the country.

The use of potatoes and cabbage is a nod to the many times Ireland faced food shortages. Back then, tubers and hearth vegetables survived the cold and were often a constant on a family’s table. The limited resources at the tie led to culinary innovations like Shepherd’s Pie and other hearty dishes centered around vegetables.

Leprechauns

The tiny fairy-like beings of Celtic lore are usually found adjacent to rainbows or pots of gold, yet traditionally, Leprechauns are not affiliated with St. Patrick. 

Leprechaun Day is March 13 and celebrates these mischievous beings, who can either bring good or bad luck to those who meet them.

Though most people think of tiny bearded men in top hats, Leprechauns are historically thought to be cranky Beings who protect their own treasures, giving it to those who can catch them. 

Because Leprechauns are celebrated just four days prior to St. Patrick’s Day, the holidays have been slowly merged into one, with most ignoring the 13th outright.

Some argue that Leprechauns don’t mirror the core beliefs of St. Patrick, but, like the Saint, the Celtic fairies reward those who have faith in higher power. 

I LOVE fairies and leprechauns. It’s quite remarkable when one avails himself to you. Seek them out and surely they will appear before you!

 

St. Patrick’s Day In The United States

While the purpose of this holiday is to celebrate Irish Heritage, most of the modern practices were developed in the United States of America. During the great Potato Famine, millions of Irish migrated to metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago, and Boston. With them, these immigrants brought their own cultures and blended them with the preexisting colonial lifestyle.

The earliest parade was thought to originate in Boston, but in 2018, a study at USF discovered the first St. Patrick’s Day parade may have been celebrated in 1600 in St. Augustine, Fl. Currently, there are hundreds of St. Paddy’s parades celebrated around the globe.

Since 1962, Chicago has dyed the cities central river green for St. Patrick’s Day. Before the first ceremony, the city would annually test sewage levels by adding dye to local water. It’s rumored that a rogue group of plumbers dumped a large quantity of the dye into the river as a harmless prank, but a long-lasting tradition was born from their fun!

The massive volumes of Irish immigrants who had moved to Chicago had called for larger celebrations for the Saint. The city responded by annually dying the river to illuminate and honor Irish pride and culture.

 

The Core Beliefs of St. Patrick

Like most Masters and Gurus, St. Patrick was born with a different name. As he traveled around Ireland and shared his beliefs, people whom he healed and touched, later renamed him. 

St. Patrick selflessly helped those in need and cared not only for the physical needs of others, but he nurtured the spiritual connection he knew they lacked. Ol’ Paddy’s love may have been watered down throughout the years, but through the ceremonies, parades, shamrocks, and Saint Patrick’s Day Catholic masses, the saint’s message of love, healing, community, and religious fervor remain in tact and as potent as they were back in the day.

Calling out to St. Patrick and other saints and Light-Beings, we acknowledge our connection to all beautiful and loving Beings throughout spacetime. Invoking a saint, guru, master, or avatar helps us connect with the light and embed into our lives. 

Hail St. Patrick! With Love And Loyalty, We Invite You To Fill Our Lives With Hope And Goodness!

 

 

 

When Love Is Difficult To Find

We are always looking for experiences outside ourselves. We use these experiences to help us decide whether or not to be happy in any given moment. We continuously seek relationships, with the hope that each one will give us a missing part of ourselves. We buy cars, take trips, cut our hair, and work out. We run from place to place, hoping for at least one moment on this day, we will have a moment of unfettered joy. We might not even care about the joy at this point in our lives. We might simply be yearning for flashes of feeling free. 

Why are these moments of feeling joy and freedom so rare? Why does love and freedom escape us? Why can’t we find love and freedom – right now, right here? What is wrong with me?

First of all, there is nothing wrong with you. Love is the most difficult action we can take in this world. The problem is that we believe love to be a feeling. It’s not. Love is an action. Some of us believe love to involve romance. It doesn’t. There is nothing loving about romance. Romance is a projection that does not involve the other person. It involves what you are projecting onto the other person. It also requires that the other person give you something very specific. When this specific gift is no longer available, neither is the romance. Love is not romance. Romance is not love.

Romance involves neediness, demands, projection, desire, enabling, and passive aggression. Love is simply an action whereby we choose to serve and honor another person. Love is not demanding, needy, or hurtful. And while it’s never complicated, we often complicate it. Instead of looking for love within ourselves, we expect to only experience love from others. We might become so unreasonable that we’ll shame the other person into becoming the exact image of our unreasonable and unconscious idea of love. 

We prefer to objectify our lovers, manipulating them into servitude, rather than educating them by becoming an example of love. As we imprison others, we become imprisoned. 

So, where is all the love that’s available to me? 

Love is only available from source. You are connected to source. Once you become love, you’ll basque in it, which in turn will reflect onto the other people in your life. They still might not meet your secret expectations, but those expectations will pale in comparison to your embodiment of love. As you live in love, you’ll want to serve others – and all the details will fade away. You’ll obsess less, project less, and demand less. You’ll live in the moment more and more, and you’ll be satisfied. When you seek love from within, you achieve a durable, lasting love. It’s a river of love that continues to give – if you allow it. No matter who comes and goes in your life, this love can never be taken away from you. 

Some people believe that God is love. I believe that God is love. I believe that the whole Universe, and all the realms and Universes throughout our ever-expanding creation are one Being, all born from love. We were love long before our physical birth in this life. Some of us might bring former life memories and attitudes into this life, and potentially corrupt it. We might learn bad habits in this life and disconnect from love. Regardless, we can always return to our birthright – LOVE. It’s a choice in every moment of every day. 

What Does It Mean When We Say “No Excuses”?

Throughout our lives, we see many people succeed and many who fail. We might workshop those who reach the tops of mountains, and we might dismiss those who suffer defeat. As we wander the planet pursuing our passions and interests, we might secretly worship one of the world’s “winners” in our mind’s eye, hoping that one day we’ll achieve a status equal to theirs. Amid our own victories and failures, we learn what works and what doesn’t. We either improve, pivot, or die. If we’re honest with ourselves, we might admit that we rarely learn from our mistakes. Because we might be a little stubborn or addicted to behaviors and beliefs, we might never free ourselves from bad habits and misconceptions. It all comes down to our excuses. 

The idea of “no excuses” is simple. You either want to grow and improve your conditions, or you do not. You might want to expand your horizons or keep everything the way it is. If you want to truly change and advance your position in the world, it won’t be easy. It will not only require self-sacrifice and hard work, it will require you moving beyond your temporary self-identity and ego, and into a state of humility, honest, and wonder. If you’re too enthused with your identity and ego, you’ll continue to defend the notion that excuses are real. They are not. 

An excuse is a statement that we use to justify our inability to find pathways to improved conditions. It’s often contrived out of thin air and presented within ourselves in such a way that it brings us shame and lowers our electric vibration. When we have 4 or 5 excuses, we believe we have a legal, defensible case against ourselves and our potential. We then use our minds to take ourselves to spiritual court. Even with the best intentions and most innovative slights of hand, we’ll lose this battle every time. We are too smart for our own good. 

Here are a few reasons why your excuses are contrived fantasies that you’re using to defeat yourself and defend laziness:

1: You have skin, bones, a brain, a heart, and passion. With these elements, you can accomplish nearly anything. What most often happens is that we get distracted and depressed, and we refuse to shift our behaviors toward a more enlightening feeling or position. When you add our addictions to social media to the mix, you have a stew that can only breed mediocrity and complaints. 

2: Your ideas and passions are not that complicated. It’s not like your goal is to fly to a distant nebula on a magical, nuclear, cocktail napkin. Your desires are most likely based in reality, which gives you a fighting chance at bringing them to life. 

3: You have already tried sitting around, complaining, and building a case against yourself.

4: You already know which of the people in your life you no longer value. You’ve been keeping them around so you can feel validated. Its within this codependent model that we grow mental and emotional infections that can prevent us from ever evolving. 

5: You have made mistakes and you have created some unique, winning scenarios. Even with a predominance of failures, you still have enough data to thrust you forward with confidence. 

6: You’re sick of your attitude, so why not try something else?

Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, this life of yours is happening. It’s ON. It’s moving forward with or without you. Why not get over yourself, admit you’re blocked, and choose to change your daily routine so you can advance your life to the next level? Whether you’re in a wheelchair, convalescent home, army barracks, or depressing job, I would guess that all of your excuses are fabrications to justify your incorrect beliefs about yourself. 

Change your beliefs and you change your life. Go get em!

How To Set Boundaries And Sometimes Say Goodbye

 

We’ve all been there – stuck in a relationship with someone who drives us nuts or seeks to harm us. We don’t know how to free ourselves from the chains and bondage. We can’t seem to fathom a life without them, even though they impede our happiness. It’s a serious problem in the world today. With family constructs built upon foundations based on guilt and codependency, we all find it difficult to push back, draw the line, and break ties. But, haven’t you had enough? Aren’t you ready to reconstruct how to think about and enact these things? Do you want a change?

For those of us with big hearts and never-ending pools of energy, setting boundaries can be difficult. We might be in the midst of experiencing something deeply inspiring and truly wonderful, yet somehow we’ll allow an old flame, sibling, or arch-nemesis to mess us up. It’s an old story: “Life was going along so well – until ding-dong came along and hurt me again!” 

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

 

 

How To Set Boundaries With Confidence

1: When the other person is not around, write down how you feel now that you are separate from them. Continue to imagine other scenarios where they are not around and note how you feel. 

2: Make a list of the people who enable this relationship to continue. You know who I’m talking about: the tangential people who appear to be invested in you and the other person being connected. Write down their names and what you believe they continue to receive from you having this relationship.

3: Make a list of how your life would change if this harmful person was no longer in your life.

4: Make a list of the types of people you would prefer to have in your life. You can also list their attributes. 

5: Write an email, letter, or text to the person with whom you want to set boundaries. Share a clear list with them, nothing what the boundaries are, and what life will be like with these new boundaries in place. Ask that they respect your request. If the person is dangerous, send a copy of the communication to your lawyer and best friend. Send the communication and move on. If they have follow-up questions, that’s okay, but set a 24-hour time limit, then hold firm and move on.

6: Write and send emails, letters or texts and tell these people about the new boundaries you’ve set up. Ask them to either support you in this endeavor or remain detached and out of your way. 

7: Remain clear, firm, and positive. Stick to your plan. Release anyone from your life who is not supportive of this pursuit. They don’t deserve you and they might find other ways to trip-you-up in the future. 

Remember: Setting boundaries is about protecting yourself. It is not about offending the other person. While the other person might want to feel offended, it is their illusion to relish or release.

How To Say Goodbye To Someone (maybe forever)

1: Be very clear about how you feel about this person. Make sure that your decision to remove them from your life has come after a long series of events or over many years. 

2: Forget whether or not they deserve one more chance. They probably don’t. 

  1. Write an email, letter, or text to this person outlining (as briefly as possible) why you need to move on without them. In your communication, share what you learned and what you still have not learned. If you can sincerely say “thank you” for something they gave you, do that with an open heart. Don’t gush, just state something positive. Send the communication and move on. If they have follow-up questions, that’s okay, but set a 72-hour time limit, then silence. 
  2. Notify the people whom you both know in common. Ask that they respect your decision. If you need to cite a few reasons, that’s okay. Just don’t vomit all over the page when communicating with these people. Keep it simple and move on.

5: Honor how you feel, release our emotions, and pray for everyone involved. 

It’s difficult to make drastic changes to the relationships in our lives. As we get older, we realize that having 20 friends can be exhausting, but having 1, 2, or 3 best friends can be energizing and freeing. It’s all about freeing yourself so that you can attract and choose positive experiences that bring you clarity, joy, love, and happiness. You can do this. Be clear, honor your feelings, and move on. It’s time.

Is Anger Your Enemy Or Your Friend?

The human mind is so complex, it’s a wonder that we can feel anything at all. When an event occurs in our life, it doesn’t pass through us, it lingers, sometimes for decades. When we experience challenges, we spend more time obsessing over how bad we feel, rather than creating a plan and acting upon that plan. When our relationships change, we carry the related emotional fodder for far too long. For some reason, we’re not adept at having an experience, freeing ourselves, and then moving on. The same can be said for our lingering feelings of anger.

First of all, it’s 100% okay to feel anger, even celebrate it. You might want to throw a party for your anger or use it to fuel the birth of a new business. Anger can be extremely inspiring, provoking, and transformative. It’s like carrying a forest fire in your pants. 

If you’re feeling anger, it’s your friend. If, because of your anger, you’re acting outrageously or putting others in danger, the anger is truly your enemy. Keep in mind that your anger didn’t ask to become the enemy. It just came up. Like a bubble in a can of soda, it emerged as real, moved upward, and then rested at the top for a moment. What you might not realize is that anger has an expiry date – if you permit it. 

If anger is bubbling up inside of you, see it as bubbles of nothingness. Consider this: The anger was born from a prior experience, and provoked into existence. Since the event that angered you is longer happening, why hold onto the emotion that stemmed from it? Even positive emotions can restrict us and enslave us to the past.

Your anger was useful for a time. It helped you make some decisions. It assisted you in the evolution of your ability to discern. Your anger was an ally – until it began interrupting your experiences around happiness, connectedness, and love. 

If your anger is still causing you to disconnect from your goodness and heart, you’re giving it too much power. You might need to venture into the woods and pound the earth for a time. You might need to do a ritual or religious ceremony where you call upon your higher Being to heal and help you. You might simply need to find the tears beneath your anger so that you can soften your heart and reconnect with all the goodness around you. 

Don’t let your anger manage you. Don’t allow it to maneuver you into being someone you are not. Don’t invest in it or plan to use it for too long. Let your anger have its day – and then set yourself free from it. You’ll be happier and more successful if focus on the positive aspects in your life. Doing so, your anger will naturally dismiss itself from your field of view. 

Remember to be grateful. You are alive on a planet filled with beautiful trees, flowers, rivers, lakes, and creatures. You have enough health to be able to function in this world and experience some of its joys. You can communicate with other living Beings. You most likely have a place to life and have food in your fridge. You were also born with an unlimited capacity to think, feel, and experience. You are a miracle. Never forget that. 

If you have yet to forgive someone or own your part in a series of difficult events, it might be time to forgive yourself and everyone involved. This will put your anger in service to your evolution.

2021: Chinese New Year Invites Wonderful Celebrations & Rituals!

2021: Happy Chinese New Year
2021: Happy Chinese New Year
A Shutterstock Licensed Image

 

For many Americans, the last day of the year is the 31st of December. On this eve, you’ll find millions of Americans jettisoning fireworks, eating expensive meals, having family and block parties, and watching the Time Square ball drop, all in anticipation of counting down the last few seconds of the year. When the crowd yells, “Happy New Year!,” groups practice all sorts of traditions, including:

  •       Kissing someone to declare a desire for more love
  •       Making resolutions toward specific achievements
  •       Toasting to new beginnings in life, love, family & career
  •       Practicing rituals to initiate personal transformation
  •       Launching fireworks to celebrate the light & magic ahead
  •       Eating & drinking a lot so they pass out numb & clueless

No matter your tradition, many people worldwide initiate new and clean calendars to signify the rebirth of their journeys. Through a variety of intentions, rituals, prayers, and meals, they hope to create a rejuvenated life and inspire beautiful transformations in themselves and every relationship among their families and friendships.

On New Year’s Day, it’s truly a NEW DAY! LET THE REBIRTH BEGIN!

Last year, people were stuck at home, staring at the blank walls, forced to face their inner truths. Though many people are still struggling with the new realities of workflow, social distancing, and new-style productivity, this year feels different from others. This year truly feels like a new beginning, unlike any others prior. It’s this year that we all hope to escape the follies, crushing challenges, and remarkable shifts that occurred throughout 2020.

Many Americans have already started their journeys to revise, celebrate, and improve themselves. For those observing the Chinese New Year, it’s a little different, more theatrical and ritualistic, and a bit more complex and exciting. And this excitement is about to begin! 

Observed on the first new moon of the year, the Chinese New Year is not so different from the one celebrated on the 1st of January, yet it offers a chance to improve specific aspects of life, relationships, hearth, and home. 

For the Chinese, this holiday is about expelling the negative aspects so that there is ample space for the positive to emerge, strengthen, and manifest. 

Before The New Year Festival Begins

On the 3rd day of the eight lunar month, Chinese people offer prayer, food, and burning incense to The Kitchen God known as Zao Jun. This day is thought to be his birthday! 

For many, Zao Jun’s wife is also considered a Kitchen God. Families might leave little bowls of rice, candy, cookies, and more to humble themselves to these loving, empowering Gods. 

This activity is repeated on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month in northern China and the 24th day in southern China, just before the New Year festival begins. Chinese believe that this is the day that The Kitchen God reports to the Jade Emperor in Heaven. 

This time period is often known as The Kitchen God Festival or The Little New Year, where families prepare for the rituals and cooking they’ll soon perform so they might clear the past and invite the new.

Families often offer candy or sweets to The Kitchen God so that he’ll have a good feeling when he reports the family’s activities to Heaven. Yes, this is a form of spiritual bribery! A family might even construct a paper effigy of Zao Jun in order to invite Heaven’s most auspicious responses and providence. 

Yard and garage cleaning are also part of this festival. During this time, even the tiniest bit of waste is removed from the property. Prayers are offered, incense is burned, and all the residents are cleansed. 

Throughout this process, it is said that all of the negating or blocking spirits are asked to leave and all those who remain are requested to nurture the family and all of their belongings. 

As legend and historical reports have it, Zao Jun was actually a human being who lived on the earth, but under a different name, Zhang Lang. Zhang Lang married an amazing human being, someone who was truly virtuous. Sadly, he soon diverted his love to a younger woman.

Although this karma took away his eyesight and turned him into a beggar, his former wife encouraged his remorse, and he began weeping. Soon, his vision was restored. With guilt in his heart, he thrust himself into the kitchen fire and died. Over time, his former wife built a shrine over the fireplace which began his evolution from broken man to divine Being. 

Zhang Lang, in the form of Zao Jun, continues to be an inspiration for many Chinese people to be earnest, honest, forthright, loyal, and humbly in service to the family. 

It is also said, because of her humility and love for him, that his former wife is far more powerful than he. May all kitchens and homes benefit from this lesson!

Observing the Chinese New Year at Home

 Like most western New Years’ events, the Chinese New Year is celebrated on the eve of the holiday. But unlike its counterparts, the Chinese New Year includes over two weeks of festivities and rituals that follow the eve, and many days of prep work before the year begins. 

Before observing the Chinese New Year holiday (New Year’s Day), many Chinese and observant families will first clean their house and throw away (and give away) and unused items. 

The removal of clutter and garbage is not only symbolic of the negativity the house hopes to purge from the last year, but is a literal decluttering of the lives of everyone living there. 

It’s interesting to note that any items used for New Year’s cleaning are put away before New Years’ day. This prevents anyone from sweeping away the accrued and potential good luck.

After everyone cleans their houses, they decorate them in red and yellow lunar patterns. The decorations vary from house to house, but may include lanterns, knots, traditional Chinese gowns and many handmade streamers. Paper symbols are cut with scissors and hung in windows. The symbols can vary but usually represent the animal of the year. 

Once the house is clean and fresh, householders begin to relax. They look forward to celebrating the year for up to 15 days.

New Year’s Eve 

 Every eve of the Chinese New Year, families will gather around for a reunion dinner, one that’s similar to the Thanksgiving meal of American households. Distant family members will travel from around the world to sit with relatives and celebrate the coming year. 

During this reunion, adults give their younger family members (children and teens) money (cold hard cash) in red envelopes. How cool is that?! 

This is symbolic of the hope for prosperity in the new year. The amount of money varies from family to family, but usually ends in an even number to promote good luck and positivity. 

The meals change from region to region, but the symbolism is the same. Whether it’s dumplings, noodles, stews, joe, meat, or cake, each meal symbolizes the need for resources to sustain the family. Whether it’s dumplings or cake, loved-ones share their plump dough as prayers of prosperity for all involved. 

After the meal, families often head to the temple. Similar to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim New Year’s services, many view the Chinese New Year as not only a chance to find renewed lives, but as an opportunity to renew their faiths.

This Spiritual Renewal is typically followed by returning home and observing the last few hours of the year with close family. Everyone enjoys lots of home-cooked food, reflects on the previous year, and looks forward to the wonderful opportunities ahead.

Toward the end of this day, all cleaning tools, brooms, dustpans and the like are stored for a time so that luck cannot be swept away!

The First Day of the Year

At midnight, fireworks and noise makers are heard throughout the streets. While western traditions have less specific and often vague explanations for the bright displays, traditionally, the loud noises are meant to scare away negative energies and the spirits that loom in the house. Along with these explosions, Lion or Dragon dancers might be present to partake in the ritual of removing the old and welcoming the new. It’s customary to continue the dances with giant Dragon and Lion puppets throughout the night to scare any lingering spirits that might out-last the fireworks.

In recent years, Disney and other Hollywood entertainment companies have done a much better job presenting theatricalized Chinese culture. While prior attempts were often sloppy, incomplete, or insulting, today’s movies illustrate authentic representations of Chinese rituals and dances. 

Shou Sui

After the midnight ceremonies, in observance of this night (known as Shou Sui), doors are locked and remain locked until the light of the morning. In some households, everyone in the family remains awake throughout the night to encourage a long and prosperous life for all family members. 

If children participate in this late night and early morning, it is said they will increase the longevity of their parents. Throughout the year, many Chinese prayers include the hope for longevity for parents and grandparents. 

During the remainder of New Year’s day, families honor deities and elders, showing respect to all those who existed prior, most notably, the people who made their lives and families possible.

Day 2-5

Day 2 of the Chinese lunar calendar is considered the beginning of the year. During this time, married women will travel back to their birth parents, after spending the eve and first day with the families of their husbands. This day is the first one that traditionally targets an individual God. The God of Wealth is celebrated by opening new businesses, giving money to others, and praying for a prosperous year.

book-live-intuitive-reading-with-paul-wagner

This is also a day of discussing, releasing, and forgiving past behavior related to money. It might be that one or more members of the family had a bad habit in relation to finances. This is the day they solve the riddle of how that habit came to be – and they resolve to release it for all time. 

Traditionally, women in China are entrusted with the being responsible for all financial matters within the family structure. While adherence to this tradition has lessened over time, it’s still a vital part of the philosophy. Men, on the other hand, are given a stipend, an allowance much like American parents give to their kids. 

This distinct cultural aspect has proven incredibly effective for the Chinese people. While men often have a great deal of non-specific, outward aggression, women tend to strategize around their aggression, in favor of the family. 

Day 3

This auspicious day of ritual looks towards the God of Blazing Wrath. People burn paper to ensure they avoid any misfortune. During this day, many people stay home and refrain from welcoming any strangers into their lives. For the most reckless among us, this third day tends to invite unfortunate events and general bad luck. 

Day 4

The fourth day of the Chinese New Year features a Spring dinner that’s most often shared among friends and family. Meanwhile, businesses tend to return to their usual schedules and pursuits. 

Some business owners will combine a few of the rituals they performed at home on this day, all in service to the primary pursuit of growing and protecting their companies. 

Day 5

This important day is considered the birth day of the God of Wealth and is celebrated by lighting more fireworks to draw the attention of the deity. Just like the New Year’s eve, dumplings shaped like money bags are consumed in his honor.

Day 6 and 7

After the official 1st day of the New Year, cleaning is generally forbidden for a period of time, most notably on the sixth and seventh days. 

Sweeping and removing items from the house could have led to positive energy accidentally being thrown out. But on this day, the Horse’s Day, all the accumulated trash is thrown out in fear that holding onto excess could potentially invite more negative energy going forward. 

 Following this final removal of trash on the sixth day is the personal or seventh day. On this day, many Chinese people consider making personal growth their number 1priority. Throughout the day, individuals will reflect on how they have personally grown over the prior twelve months. 

During this time, expensive fresh foods are often prepared according to ancient traditions and eaten thoughtfully and communally. Dishes containing raw fish and vegetables are consumed to ensure continual growth and prosperity.

Day 8, 9, and 10

The tenth, eleventh, and twelfth days of the Chinese New Year celebrate the Jade Emperor. Exact days vary from culture to culture, but typically the traditions are true to each region. 

Some families burn incense and offer food on golden paper, while others have large feasts adorned with red lanterns. In many families, the household will pray and respectively bow to the Jade Emperor and all the Deities below Her. By respecting these Gods and those who provided for others, the house hopes to glean good fortune for themselves and those in need.

It is said that the the most earnest families who truly honor the Jade Emperor enjoy the most auspicious and wondrous new year. 

Day 15 (Last day of the Chinese New Year festivities)

Two weeks after the Chinese New Year’s day celebrations began, the Day of Lanterns is observed. During this time, families light candles to guide ancestors to the eternal light. Lanterns are lit and carried throughout the house and community, inviting happiness and good fortune for all those who witness their soft glow.

 In ancient times, the lanterns were red to symbolize wealth and positivity, but over the years, lanterns have taken many shapes and sizes. While some are shaped like golden Dragons, others include riddles that lead children on scavenger hunts. During these hunts, children experience adventure and self-discovery. 

 Regardless of the shapes of the lanterns, the breathtaking landscapes, filled with little beacons of light surely help to lift the mood of all those who attend. The Lantern Festival is a day to anticipate goodness, fortune, and happiness. It’s an inspiring day when new hopes are created and old hopes are fulfilled!

Applying the Philosophy of the Chinese New Year

While the typical American New Year’s Eve party might be solely celebratory in nature, the Chinese New Year is largely dedicated to hope, reflection, and new beginnings. These more thoughtful types of activities are akin to performing ancient rituals. 

 Each New Year is a chance to celebrate life. Each day is an opportunity to better yourself and all those around you. Use every holiday as days of renewal so that you continually improve your vibration and reach closer to the light – the light within and the light throughout eternity. 

Remember, too, that you are a miracle, born from light, sound, and stardust. You are unlimited in every direction throughout all trajectories of your person and all of the related reflections throughout spacetime. 

Truly, you are eternity embodied. 

If you’re ready for a variety of beautiful and transformative rituals, check out my Free Resources page for Rituals & Declarations – and much much more. You might enjoy exploring and performing The Seven Arrow’s Ritual and The Ritual of The Changing Of The Book Of Life. When performing rituals, we invite all Beings to join us in our transformation and liberation. 

 

LIGHT, LOVE & BLESSINGS TO ALL!

 

7 Simple Ways To Open Your Mind And Move You Life Forward

Open Your Mind with 7 Simple Methods
Open Your Mind with 7 Simple Methods
A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

 

It all sounds cliche: “Let’s free ourselves!,” “Be Happy Now!,” “There are no excuses – just do it!” It’s true, these ideas are now very popular. Almost everyone on the planet has heard these taglines from somewhere. They’re so popular that we’ve become immune to them. We’ve given up on ourselves and we too often accept defeat before our prime. What isn’t so popular is taking action to embody these positive ideas. What isn’t popular is understanding who we were, who we want to be, and the disparity in-between. What isn’t popular is absolute positivity, especially in how we think about ourselves. 

We’re so busy living in the past, we haven’t space within our minds and hearts to imagine something miraculously positive for ourselves in the future. You can change all that!

Here’s the reality: You can free yourself from limiting beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and habits. You can be happy when you choose to be happy. It all depends on how much you are willing to release your current intentions, attitudes, and addictions. When I say addiction, I’m not referring to substances, which are also problematic, I’m referring to the chemicals that arise from specific self-negating thoughts and behaviors. 

To begin and excel at being free, clear, and positive, there are many things we can do. Here is a list of 7 ideas that many people have incorporated into their lives. Each one of them is powerful all by itself. If you can invite all 7 of these things into your life as habits, you’ll be further along than 99% of Planet Earth. 

Let’s get to it!

1: Continually forgive yourself and others. Allow yourself to think lovingly of the people who have hurt you. Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes, even huge ones. There is no other way to truly embody a new piece of knowledge. We must allow ourselves to make mistakes. Acknowledge them, endeavor to do better next time, and move on! Everybody will adjust.

2: Understand and embrace your most endearing and empowering attributes. If you cannot claim your gifts, beauty, and magic, who else will? Yes, our moms love us, but they love us because they want us to love ourselves. When we appreciate our best attributes, we love ourselves, we honor our births in this world, and we pay tribute to our mothers. Doing all this, we reduce the barriers that prevent our futures from unfolding.

3: Stop obsessing over the past. It does not exist, except in the dark corners of your mind. We love to think about the things that occurred in the past, even things that never happened. Truth be told, no matter what the memory is, our minds have already polluted it. After 5 years, most of our memories contain only 20-50% of the actual events. During those 5 years, our little brains conjure ideas to validate our contrived self-concepts. If our memories were stocks, they’d never produce any dividends. Let them go. Be here, right now, in the present moment.

4: Celebrate small victories until victory is a staple in your life. If we cannot get a solid handle on how wonderful you are, it’s vital that you create a plan and celebrate every small step. By doing this, you’ll get in the habit of appreciating yourself, which is required to move forward and free yourself.

5: Meditate and pray often. By meditating we release self-limiting thoughts and feelings. When we clear our minds and hearts of energy and activity, we create more space for ourselves to grow. Khalil Gibran said, “Out of the well our sorrows dig, flows joy.” Breathe in white light, exhale. Focus on your inhale and exhale. Do this for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night. It’s as simple on that.

6: Find ways to selflessly serve others with zero expectations. Whether it’s volunteering at a charity event, taking care of your aging family members, serving a local homeless shelter, or donating to a Native American community: giving works! It will help you get over yourself for a moment, and it can fill your heart with love and joy. Selfless service is the highest calling on Planet Earth. 

7: Live in gratitude, every minute of every day. Too many people complain about every little thing in their lives. From how their mail is placed in their mailboxes to bad customer service, too many people get caught up in the details rather than the gratitude. It’s petty and small-minded. When we consider the remarkable number of wonderful things and people in our lives, we release our negativity. When we release negativity and embrace gratitude, it’s remarkable what the Universe will bring to us. Stay humble. Be grateful. Always!

Remember that millions of people have less than you. Millions. Remember that you are the embodiment of light. If you didn’t know it, let me tell you: you are made of stardust and you are part of an ever-expanding Universe. Don’t play the small game. Play the big game. Get out of your own way, practice the 7 steps, and decide to free yourself from the past. It’s time to grow!

 

 

Forensic Forgiveness: Digging Deeply To Find Your Freedom

Forgiving: A woman breaking free from her chains through forgiveness
There is profound power in forgiveness. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

 

Forgiveness is the most powerful action you can take in your life. If you focused on forgiving yourself and others for a period of 3 months, you would reduce a long list of harmful things in your life, including:

  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Sickness
  • Self-neglect
  • Self-loathing
  • Procrastination

Many religions speak of forgiveness, which is wonderful. While many church and temple leaders provoke the egos of their followers, hoping to insight contrived singularity, hatred, and division, we’re lucky that some spiritual places still teach peace, love, connectedness, and forgiveness. 

There are three kinds of forgiveness: 

  1. Rehearsed: Rehearsed forgiveness is something we do when we feel obligated to forgive ourselves or another person. Religions are good at teaching us rehearsed forgiveness.
  2. Intellectual: We contrive a state of mind that imagines forgiveness. We construct behaviors and ideas related to forgiveness. We can live this way for years and years, without ever getting to the heart of the matter.
  3. Fully-Embodied: This involves a deep commitment to yourself – and deep emotional and spiritual work. It takes focus, prayer, meditation, positivity, and vulnerability. Without each of these aspects, fully-embodied forgiveness cannot occur. 

The deeper we go, the more expanded we become. In my forensic forgiveness process, I instruct people to sit quietly with the thoughts of who we need to forgive. Follow these steps:

1: Imagine this person or group. See them fully in your mind’s eye. 

2: If possible, even in the midst of all of your anger or sadness, find some love for them. Even a tiny sprinkle will do. 

3: Focus on one person for a while. Imagine how they hurt you. Allow the imagery to come to mind. 

4: Grieve each image that you see and feel. 

5: Allow other images to emerge, including images that are tangential to your experience with this person. 

6: Grieve each one of these images as well. The more imagery you can feel-through, the more expanded you become. You must release these emotions. You must connect with what was so horrible so that you can now decide to let it all go – and never look back. 

7: Repeat this out loud, as if speaking to the person who harmed you: I am love. You are love. I am sorry. I believe on some level that you are sorry. I forgive myself. Truly, I forgive myself. I forgive you. Please allow me to forgive you. Self, please allow me to forgive this person. I forgive you. I love you. It is done. 

8: Please understand that this person is you. Because he or she is truly you. There is no other in this world. There is no separation between other living Beings. Like vines on a tree, we are a collective consciousness. Forgive yourself, forgive others, and you’ll forgive all of the future experiences that have the same attributes as the situation you’ve been focusing on here.

9: Admit that somehow you invited this person into your life. Somehow you attracted this aspect of the Universe. Take responsibility for it. Don’t play the victim – that’s a game that nobody wins. Forget the lawsuit, forget the revenge. Just accept the lesson, make a list of what you learned, make a list of what you still need to learn, promise you won’t do this again. Then move on with your life. 

Two of the bigger pieces of forgiveness include: setting boundaries and letting go. When we forgive someone, it doesn’t mean that we have to forget everything about them. We might even choose to limit our exposure to them. In some cases, even with family, we might choose to completely release them from our lives. Letting go requires that we release our attachments to what happened. If we set our boundaries and limits correctly, we can protect and preserve this “letting go.” If we’re not careful, we can unwind the deep work that we’ve done. Always protect yourself after forgiving someone. 

Remember, too, that your primary relationship is with the Universe, not others. When you decide to let go of someone, the Universe will support you. Forgive yourself, forgive others, set boundaries, release all of it. 

 

 

The Sacred Nature Of Our Emotions: How Ritual And Release Inch Us Toward Awakening

The Sacred Nature of Our Emotions Through Ritual and Release
The Sacred Nature of Our Emotions Through Ritual and Release
Expand your Self by understanding your emotions. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

 

Emotions Are Little Bundles Of Energy 

 

In order to truly appreciate and understand our relationships with emotions, we must first understand electromagnetism. 

 

As electrically charged particles interact, they create an electromagnetic force. Particles attract to form bundles or matter, thereby emitting energy. These forces are then transported, giving birth to light and other electromagnetic radiation.

 

Atoms come together because of this magnetic pull, weaving together to form our physical realities. 

 

To put it simply, we would not and could not exist without electromagnetism

 

When applied to emotions, we find that our thoughts forge these tiny energy-Beings. We experience an emotion when a charged thought enters our mind. This can be something positive, like feeling happy while thinking about a close friend we saw last week, or more towards the negative end of the spectrum, such as the shame we feel when remembering an embarrassing moment. Ya know, that time you suggested peanut butter during foreplay. 

 

Positive emotions (i.e. joy, peace, relaxation, etc.) elevate our lives and relationships, and can boost your immune systems. In short, positive emotions can help keep you healthy. 

 

Negative emotions, on the other hand, will drain you of focus, energy, light, and health. Hate, blame, denial, anxiety, depression, and fear are just a few of the less desirable emotions that you may experience over your lifetime. 

 

Just remember, everything is temporary, well, except your expansive and unlimited nature!

 

It doesn’t take much energy to create emotions. With every experience we have, emotions are birthed, absorbed, and used to form responses with the help of our personalities. Ongoing, our emotions are effortlessly filtered through our individual combinations of perceptions, beliefs, and prior knowledge to result in either dissolved, tabled, repressed, or fully expressed emotions. 

 

Emotional responses are invoked easily as our ideas and thoughts bounce through our minds, hearts, and bodies. These free-flowing processes result in ultra-compacted and powerful (potentially volatile) raw energy. 

 

The energy of your emotions is so strong that it not only affects your own life but can even affect those around you. If you’re a  super-hero or -villain, your emotions could set a barn on fire.

 

While each emotion contributes its own energy and frequency patterns, they all come together to form one collective Being. Every emotion you experience has the power to heal, fuel your reality, or create destruction. They emit their own electromagnetic discharges as they continue to move around and live within you. 

 

The energy emitted can and will impact your overall vibrational frequency. Positive emotions like love and peace have similarly positive vibrations while negative emotions like hate and fear vibrate at a lower frequency.

 

Over time, this compounding of emotions can shape your personality and reality. 

 

If you hold on to grudges, suffer from anxiety, or tend to obsess over prior traumas, you can’t release anything. Chances are you’ve already experienced the consequences in the form of fatigue, foggy brain function, or the seemingly ubiquitous bad luck you claim to have. 

 

If you fill your life with more positive emotions like forgiveness, acceptance, gratitude, and joy, you might find that your experiences are quite the opposite. The stats point to feeling healthier, more active, and luckier – and you’ll probably enjoy a sprinkle (or waterfall) of positive, happy accidents.

 

Don’t underestimate the power of emotions

 

If all else fails, BE GRATEFUL! Your gratitude will emit one powerful bundle of energy! 

 

As we emote and react to external stimuli, we release electromagnetic discharges and chemicals that others can pick up on. I’m sure you’ve experienced this even if you didn’t realize it at the time. 

 

Think back to a time when you were in a movie theater and felt the buzz of excitement at the film’s climax. Or the hushed, weighty silence of worry and concern that falls when a professional sports player gets hurt mid-play. What about the infectious laughter of a baby? 

 

Emotions are powerful, and as such, they should be treated with respect. 

 

Are you forced to endure them, unable to change your trajectory because of past events?

NO!

 

While it can be difficult to control our emotions, especially in cases of high stress or trauma, we can still take steps to improve, if not choose, them. 

 

“Amma’s happiness is when you
find bliss within yourselves.”

— Amma

 

How Can I Change My Emotions For The Better? 

 

The good news is that your nature, soul, and body are all made up of energy – just like our emotions. This means that our vibrations and intentions rule our realities, giving us the power to make improvements based on intentional action

 

After all, each of us is composed of light and sound. 

 

Here are just a few of the ways you can move, dissolve, improve, integrate, or awaken electromagnetic discharges and emotions so that they continue to work more in your favor: 

 

  • Stop judging your emotions. Let yourself feel them, even when it hurts. Try to love your emotions as little friends showing up to teach you something. Your emotions are your roommates! LOVE THEM!
  • Allow yourself to safely express negative emotions in order to minimize their internal effects on you. If the negative feelings persist, even after venting, take up a preferred modality like journaling, completing a healing ritual, or going for a walk. It’s also okay to punch the earth and scream – or throw a pretty lamp against the wall (as long as you don’t hurt anybody, including yourself!)
  • Be your authentic Self—open yourself to a pure encounter with your core self – your nature – your divinely inspired spirit
  • When a feeling is positive, share it with those around you, and let it fill you your heart. This will expand your vibration and provide healing light for your entire Being.
  • Take note of how much energy an emotion takes to sustain when you realize its presence.
  • Choose the higher perspectives in every situation and you’ll find that your emotions will follow your lead. Never dismiss negative emotions without first accepting and understanding them. It’s also important to keep control and not let any emotion influence your present relating and decisions.
  • Meditate, pray, forgive others, forgive yourself, and participate in rituals intended to uplevel your vibrations (Check out these FREE resources that provide an extensive starting point for encouragement and self-improvement!)

 

Is Negative Energy Something To Fear? 

book-live-intuitive-reading-with-paul-wagner

The short answer is meh, not really. Actually, no. While there are spirits in this world that do need to be exorcised, the likelihood of being hurt by that kind of energy is so unlikely that it’s almost impossible. 

 

If you feel oppressed by negative energy it’s probably emanating from you, not someone or something else. This realization should be taken with optimism because that means you’re in control. You can take control of your actions and monitor your responses. 

 

Take active steps to alleviate symptoms of bad energy. A walk in the woods or a park stroll, daily meditation, and incorporating essential oils into your regime are all great ways to reduce stress and raise your vibration. Consider praying for your enemies as well. 

 

If the negative energy isn’t going to cause you physical harm, should you feel bad for purging it from your space? Absolutely not! 

 

If a spirit or energy is making you uncomfortable, you are allowed to clear the blockages. 

 

There are a lot of ways to remove negative energy: burning sage, engaging the spirit with love and positive intentions, praying, and completing cleansing rituals, to name a few. 

 

I regularly have spirits visit me or wander near to me. I tell them I love them and I ask that they follow their own light or the light that leads to eternity. I encourage them to feel whole and love the divine. 

 

If you have a friendly or cranky ghost gracing your existence, befriend them and then encourage them to wander elsewhere. You might also check the rituals on my Free Resources page – on PaulWagner.com to learn more about this. 

 

Love Yourself Through Meditation 

 

A common theme you’ll find throughout these articles and across the teachings of most masters & gurus is the importance of meditation and prayer. Oh, and gratitude. Are you grateful today?!

 

The ability for meditation & prayer to improve our lives is something that has been evaluated for years and continues to impress scientists to this day. Skeptics continue to question the benefits, but studies still show the medical benefits of meditation. I mean, my heavens, when the TM movement headed to Washington DC to meditate for a while, there was an insanely drastic drop in crime. 

 

Meditation works. It aligns you with your nature, releases toxins, sets you up for a peaceful few hours, and sends positive vibes throughout creation. Meditate and your peace & positivity will land on distant shores and within far-away souls.

 

One Harvard study found that participants who meditated over time showed an increase in gray matter within the prefrontal cortex, helping with executive decision making. Conversely, areas of the brain corresponding to fear and stress become smaller over time. Improvement was seen in other areas of the brain as well, including cognition, emotional regulation, empathy, learning, and production of regulatory neurotransmitters.

 

Despite the evidence of success, a lot of people won’t start meditating because they believe they don’t have the time. But you don’t have to dedicate hours at a time when you first start. 

 

Start by meditating 2 minutes a day. That’s it. When you feel comfortable, start adding more time each day. By easing into it, you’ll create a long-term habit that will provide you clarity of mind. 

 

You can also use mantras to help detach from your overactive mind and increase focus on the highest of vibrations.  

 

If the idea of meditation and mantras still sounds too difficult to overcome, try mindfulness. 

 

Mindfulness, at its most basic of definitions, can be boiled down to paying attention to your ongoing experiences and choosing peacefulness in relation to every thought, action, person, response, and feeling.

 

You don’t have to be perfect to reach mindfulness. Even if you feel broken or disconnected from your heart, you can create a connection to clarity and stay aware of your effect on others

 

You might only be able to reach mindfulness for a few moments at a time when you begin, but that’s still progress! 

 

Healing And Releasing Relationships 

 

What can you do to improve your relationships with the people in your intimate, immediate, or distant circles? If emotions and energy are contagious, you can bet that improving your energy, mindset, and clarity will immediately improve your relationships with everybody you’re connected with – including yourself. 

 

Sometimes a relationship can be improved or uplifted by something as simple as opening a conversation. If you’re picking up on negative energy because of a miscommunication, the two (or more) of you can try sharing your feelings with each other – but without any blame. If we share in a way that inspires the other person’s compassion or empathy, we’ve created a pathway to healing. 

 

Unfortunately, there are also times where the toxic person in your life takes things a step too far. It may hurt to have to release them. You might even feel a deep loss for a while. Truth be told, you will ultimately feel better when you surround yourself with authentic individuals who do not seek to oppress, control, invalidate, or guilt you. When your circle of friends is vibrant and full of light, you will be, too!

 

If someone does you wrong, forgive them! As a matter of fact, forgive the fuck out of EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE! The emotions that result from forgiveness will yield wisdom. Wisdom informs our actions. 

 

Forgiveness allows us to release imagery and emotions that otherwise restrict us.

 

Overall, we are bursts of sound and light – all energy – all infused with the divine’s imprint. Everything around us and everything in the universe is made of energy. 

 

Like attracts like, so if you’re emitting higher vibrations, you’ll attract high vibrations!

 

Remember to take care of your health on every level – physical, emotional, and spiritual. Try Kundalini Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or essential oils to boost overall health. Did I mention Gratitude and Forgiveness? Oh yeah, I did. Good! Do that!

 

If you’re interested in more information on prayers, rituals, mantras, or even encouragement, you can check out my free resources page. 

 

Remember that you are the embodiment of light and love. Live according to your highest potential!