Gratitude

Gratitude

Today I want to talk about gratitude. Tonight is my home group’s gratitude dinner for alcoholics anonymous so it seemed a fitting topic. Lately, I have not been feeling very grateful. I have been feeling victimized by life and throwing myself a very elaborate pity party. That being said I keep putting one foot in front of the other trying to move forward. I want to focus on all the things I have to be grateful for so when I walk into that room tonight it is with me and I will truly be overfilled with gratitude.

Higher Power. My relationship with my higher power has always been tumultuous like every relationship in my life. I was either riding high on faith for my HP or resentful. It’s always been love or hate. Now that I have entered the program of AA I have learned to accept and walk with my HP. To understand that my HP is always there for me and truly cares for my well being. Even if I am being an obstinate little shit head, all I need is the willingness to believe and turn my care over to it and it’s will shall be done. I need to show more gratitude on a daily basis though and strengthen my bond with my HP though, especially during hard times. I acknowledge that and intend to work on it. I need to be living step 3 every single day.

“God, I offer myself to Thee – To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. 
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. 
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness 
to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. 
May I do Thy will always!” —Third Step Prayer.

Family. My family is big, dysfunctional, loud, all over the place and can get under your skin faster than anything, but they are mine. We have had blow out fights that ended in many tears and resentments but one thing is certain; we love each other. When I have hit rock bottom, which has been more frequent than I care to admit in my adult life, there has always been someone there to help me pick up the pieces. These past two weeks I have really bonded with my older sister and my nieces and nephews. They live a few blocks from my work and I never took the time to go over there because I was so busy with AA, two jobs, and life. Now that I have made it a priority, I am realizing how fulfilling life can be when you strengthen your bond with your siblings. My step mom and dad also deserve an honorable mention. The past year they have done more for me than I could ever begin to thank them for. Little things like coming to each one of my open houses to support my passion for real estate, and big things like buying me all new tires for my birthday so I had safe transportation. I know without a doubt that I always have a safe place to land with my family. For that I am grateful.

Friends. I don’t have many friends  but the ones I do have are quality people. Similar to my family, they have helped pick me up quite a few times the past few years. They made sure I had the best birthday I could under the circumstances I was dealing with and have brought immeasurable joy and laughter to my life. Whether I was a drunk party girl, or a sober AAer they have been there for me. Not all of them. I have lost a few on this journey and that’s ok. We are just on a different adventure. I am meeting more and more beautiful souls in the program as well. I believe by the end of my life fellowshipping will be my primary social life and I am totally down with that. If you aren’t clear, fellowshipping is when you “hangout” or socialize with other sober people in the program. It’s a way to build your network of support. I am grateful that at each meeting if you are new, they give you a meeting schedule with a list of phone numbers on the back. Some of those random numbers have turned into real friendships.

Myself. If you asked me a year ago what I was grateful for I would probably write about cats, wine, and money. I never would have even thought to be grateful for my own self. This is a sign of the growth that is taking place in me. I am finally beginning to see my worth, strength, hope and experience. I am grateful that I never give up on myself. I am grateful that I have had my own back for 30 years and made it through every bad day. I am grateful that I love myself enough to never give up on the things that matter no matter how hard things get. I am not perfect. I have relapsed and I have isolated and I have sat in self pity. But you know what else I did? I got right back up and at it. There is a fire in me that might weaken, but it never fully extinguishes. I have a fiery passion to succeed and live a beautiful life and I know that when the darkness fades there will be nothing but beauty because of the life I am creating for myself.

There are so many little things to be grateful for every single day and I too often overlook them. We had a meeting centered on gratitude a few weeks ago and you wouldn’t believe the things the women were grateful for. Seeing rainbows in the sky, having groceries, doing yoga in the rain, having a warm bed to come home to….what if we realized how blessed we are every single day for something as simple as groceries.

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“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”

I reached out to my social media friends for some blog ideas because the 4th step of alcoholics anonymous is kicking my ass. Someone said they would love a New York blog and since New York is one of my greatest passions and joys I figured it would be a good topic! I have blogged before about New York and how my love affair started, but this time I am going to talk about giving the gift of love to others. I have been to New York I believe 9 times. The majority of those times I went alone and spent it with my friends on Long Island, but there are 2 times I had the opportunity to bring my favorite people in the world with me.

It was June 2014 (maybe 2013?) that I brought my best friend since Kindergarten with me. We stayed with my friend Greco in Northport Long Island. THE CUTEST LITTLE TOWN EVER by the way. This trip might have been my favorite of all time. We took NYC by STORM. We stayed for a week and did just about everything you can think of to do in NYC. We went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, got our caricature done in Battery Park, visited Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in Greenwich Village, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, ate pizza in Little Italy, went to the broadway show “Of Mice and Men” starring James Franco, danced on the bar at Hogs and Heifers and threw our bra at the wall (just like Julia Roberts has done, so don’t judge), went to a Yankees game at Yankees Stadium, saw Heidi Klum shooting a commercial, went to Tiffany’s and Bergdorf Goodman, explored central park and the city. My friend, bless her heart, was too afraid to use the subway so we did A LOT of walking. One of the days we walked from midtown Manhattan to the Brooklyn Bridge. We got to spend an entire day swimming at Robert Moses, my favorite beach in the world. We always ended our city adventures by taking the train back to Long Island which I am positive has the best food hands down. Paradise Pizza. Northport Deli. Its a town full of Italians that want to stuff carbs down your throat. Before we were headed to the city for the last time we stopped at a little restaurant in Northport for a glass of wine. It was around noon and the waitress was your typical Italian, heavily accented lady “you girls can’t have wine on an empty stomach, let me get you some bread and butter” – we loved her. We still refer to her as our Italian substitute mother.

 

I am eternally grateful for the many opportunities I got to visit New York, all the fabulous things I have done and seen and it’s all thanks to my friend Greco. If it weren’t for our friendship I never would have had the capacity to visit so many times and I never would known to go to Montauk or go wine tasting in the Hamptons. I woudn’t have had such an authentic New York experience every time I went. We aren’t as close as we used to be but I will always be appreciative of the summers/winters I got to spend in New York.

*HOVER OVER PICS FOR CAPTIONS*

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Carrie’s apartment

 

 

 

 

 

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Northport, Long Island
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Eataly- Manhattan
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Winery – The Hamptons
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RIP to all the wine I consumed there.
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Feelin myself after a bottle of wine – The Hamptons
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Brunch with Babes – Manhattan
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On the Long Island Railroad coming back from the Yankees game!
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“Take us to the most country, hole in the wall bar you can find” – Hogs and Heifers, NYC
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Doin the most to make sure you knew we were tourists.
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“How did he know to give us wine glasses?”
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Sup Lady Liberty
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Brooklyn Bridge
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The infamous Naked Cowboy!
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Starry Night- at MoMa
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Why am I so basic?
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Spring in Central Park
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9/11 memorial museum
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Making friends at Gunther’s Pub – Long Island
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““If Louis was right, and you only get one great love…New York may just be mine. And I can’t have nobody talking shit about my boyfriend.” -Carrie Bradshaw

On another note, can we talk about how much my life was centered around Alcohol? I am pretty sure I had a strong buzz in every single picture. BUT, I have no regrets. I had the time of my life! Every time. Below is a homage to all the food I have consumed in New York.

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My first White Castle
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Pizza, always Pizza.
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I think that is calamari in the back- which, EW I don’t eat.
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Starting to understand why I am a bit chubby.
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Northport Deli, Buffalo chicken Hero
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Eataly
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Gnocchi – when pizza is not available.
475
Breakfast pizza
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Artichoke Pizza – Chelsea
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chicken Parm – Robke’s in Northport
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I cheated on pizza – Financial District

So there you have it and maybe now you understand a little better why I am so New York obsessed.

 

 

 

Checkin’ in.

Checkin’ in.

Good morning beautiful people! I haven’t written in far too long. I am not neglecting the blog, I am just in the midst of working on my 4th step in AA and in doing so I have chosen to write my life story. As you can imagine, a lot of living has been done in 30 years and I am still only on the childhood years. My 30th birthday was on Friday the 20th and it was far from what I imagined it would be and it had potential to be better but I made the best of it and got to spend quality time with the people I love and that is all that matters.

I haven’t been sleeping again so work and meetings have been a struggle.  Everyday I am so exhausted that I swear I am going to fall asleep by 8 PM and every night comes and goes with me tossing and turning through the night. When I do sleep it’s that awful half sleep where you are half aware you are somewhat awake, but asleep enough to have weird dreams. I am also suffering horribly from my fall allergies. This is the worst time of year for my poor allergies and this year is no exception. I have come close to taking my septum piercing out so many times because I am tired of blowing my nose around it.

I am also struggling with some light depression. It comes and goes in waves and is expected. I am not trying to shut people out, so if you know me personally, me not reaching out or forgetting to call you back isn’t personal. I just kind of retreat into myself when I am struggling with my mental illness. It’s not a form of isolation it’s just me getting back in touch with myself. As an introvert empath, it’s hard to absorb a lot of people’s energies when I am feeling a little blue myself so I choose to stay at bay.

So, that’s all I got for now. I will be back, especially with Samhain around the corner and as promised will do the second part of the Samhain postings. Blessed be!

New Moon Healing

New Moon Healing

I don’t have the words to heal my soul right now but I know the only thing  that can begin to start healing is writing. I do not process things. I hide under a rock, under a blanket, under a sea of wine or vodka because I will drown the shit out of any kind of emotion…that is until I joined the program. I have learned a lot about life and the roller coaster ride it takes us on. I may not know nearly enough to feel serene right now, but I feel hope and that is a start.

At the present time I will not get into what is ailing me in details. I need the time to process it as best as I know how so early in sobriety and let the waves of stress and sadness wash over me.

But I sit here with tears in my eye and a war in my mind. Tomorrow I turn 30 years old. There have been so many bad days in the history of my 30 years but I also know that I have survived every single one of them. So maybe I am not spending my 30th birthday the way I expected. Maybe I am not going to some fabulous winery with fabulous girlfriends and getting to do all the things I envisioned myself doing at 30. What I will do though, is work on not shutting people out. I will continue to work on growing my business. I will read books that make me smile and surround myself with people who love me.

I have to remind myself when the panic rises in my chest and I feel like a lost little girl that I am not the director of my life. I can only control how I react, how I pick up the pieces and how I grow from it. I must remind myself that worrying has never accomplished a single thing except give you premature wrinkles. Since I have successfully convinced many people I am only 24, this is not something I wish to partake in now. Besides, I spend too much on my skin care to give into bothersome frown lines.

When all else fails “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Tonight is a new moon in Libra and tomorrow. A moon I have looked forward to all year. Maybe tomorrow I will have the strength to write about what that entails. Witchy friends, please keep me in your thoughts.

Blessed be.

 

The History of Samhain and it’s Relation to Halloween

The History of Samhain and it’s Relation to Halloween

My journey exploring Wicca and Paganism began sometime at the beginning of last year. The snow was still on the ground and I was in emotional turmoil. I began checking out every book I could on the subject out of pure curiosity to distract myself and ended up partaking in celebrating some of the Sabbats (although not very well planned out and I hope to get better as time goes on.) I still celebrate Christian holiday’s but I honor the Sabbats as well. As many of you know, Samhain is coming up quickly and some consider this to be the most important Sabbat. It was actually in reading about Yule and Samhain that opened my curiosity to the Pagan way of life. These were holiday’s that were honored and celebrated well before Christianity was an organized religion. Christian’s took dates very near if not exactly the same as Pagan holidays and spun them in their favor. There is a stigma and belief that these Pagan holidays are associated with the Devil and evil. Those of us who are aware of the history can find some humor in that notion because it is completely the opposite. For that, I wanted to do a piece on the history of Samhain and how it has evolved into modern day Halloween.

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THE HISTORY OF SAMHAIN

Samhain, pronounced Sow-en has been dated back more than 2,000 years  to the ancient Celtics. It has been a misconception for some time that Samhain started as celebration of the God of the Dead, however Samhain translates to “summer’s end”. They believed this was the end of summer and the beginning of the new year. Samhain Eve began at sunset of October 31st and November 1st began the new year and start of winter. This is because the Celtics followed a lunar calendar. Historically the celebration commenced on October 31st and carried into November 1st.

HOW THEY CELEBRATED 

At dusk on October 31st local villages began the formal ceremonies to celebrate Samhain, which usually commenced with lighting a large bonfire. These fires were considered sacred and were given sacrifice in the form of crops and animals to give thanks for the previous years crops and herds. These were also considered cleansing fires. To burn the old and make way for the new. The celebration continued with costumes and dancing around the fire. There were three main reasons that the ancient Celts wore costumes during their Samhain rituals:

  1. To honor the dead who were permitted to rise from the other world and be reincarnated or set free.
  2. Hide from malevolent spirits and escape being tricked by them
  3. To honor the Celtic Gods and Goddesses

Many times they did divination of a sort. The methods used in ancient times vary much from today. They would read tea leaves, rocks, or twigs. Some believe the first tarot cards were crafted during this era around Samhain. There is no evidence to support this but it is a legend that has passed down through the years.

After the celebration was finished the villagers would take clubs to catch on fire from the sacred bonfire and bring it back to their homes to light their hearths. They kept the same fire burning for months throughout the winter. Then they would place food and drink on their door steps to appease mischievous spirits who might try to play tricks on members of the household.

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SAMHAIN BECOMES HALLOWEEN 

Christianity cropped up in 800 AD and with it the Church in England tried to bring Christianity into old Celtic festivals and rituals, Samhain being one of them (check the similarity between other Pagan Holidays such as Ostara and Easter, etc.). Pope Boniface IV claimed October 31st as “All Hallow’s Eve” and November 1st as “All Saints Day”. This is when the evolution of Halloween begins. The rituals varied but many are similar to how we celebrate the commercialized version of Halloween and they began at this time. Peasants would attend the festivals in the streets on Samhain and beg for food in return they would pray for the giver’s family to be free of trickery from the spirits. Families passed out “soul cakes” to the poor in return for these prayers. The church encouraged passing out soul cakes rather than leaving food out for the spirits as was done in earlier times.

The costume aspect of Halloween comes from the original Celtic practice of dressing up. People believed that the veil between the other world and our world became thin enough for spirits and ghosts to walk among us. Costumes were used to confuse spirits as to who was a mortal and who was a ghost. They believed it prevented them from trickery. In much later years after English Settlers carried different aspects of different parts of Samhain to America, the costume tradition stuck and eventually became a commercialized part of the holiday. The commercialization of it really began in the late 1800’s. Communities decided to start throwing parties and festivals that were appropriate for children and adults. It was encouraged to remove any sort of grotesque context from the festivities and rather focus on games and food. Between 1920 and 1950 the centuries old practice of “trick or treating” came back to life. Similar to beggars asking for soul cakes, children dressed up in costumes and asked for treats.

By the time the 1990s arrived American’s were spending upward of $6.9 billion on the holiday on candy, decor, and pumpkin patches.

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SAMHAIN TRADITIONS WE STILL FOLLOW 

  1. Black and orange is the color scheme. We associate these colors instantly with Halloween but they were originally much more important a part of Samhain and the Sabbats. Black represents the time of darkness after the death of the God. The waning light of October is represented by Orange and shows Yule is on the way.
  2. Jack-O-Lanters. The ancients that celebrated Samhain used to light candles and put them in hollowed out Gourds for the dead to follow the light as they walked the earth on Samhain.
  3. Tricks or Treats. It would now be frowned upon to give children or beggars home baked treats on Halloween but the idea originated with them as well as placing food outside the door to protect one from trickery.
  4. Costumes. Although much more commercialized and more geared towards children, there is no doubt that dressing up in robes and costumes on October 31st began more than 2000 years ago.

So there you have it. A brief but thorough explanation of how Halloween came to be. Today we celebrate it with trick or treating and watching slasher movies, but Pagans still honor it as a sacred holiday. Do I believe the veil thins on October 31st and our dead walk the earth? Not necessarily. But I do believe it’s a good time to focus on ancestral history, the turning of seasons, and honoring those who have died. That is for another blog. Coming up on the 2nd part Samhain blog series: altars, rituals, foods, and what modern day pagans really do on Halloween!

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Collaboration with Sarah Fawn Empey

Collaboration with Sarah Fawn Empey

I recently had the opportunity to do an interview for the wonderful, witchy, Sarah Fawn Empey. The universe and our blogs brought us together for this opportunity. She has a wonderful site with not only blog posts, but other witchy resources. To see the blog head here –> Interview with the witty witch

While you are there, click the home button and check out her services and posts!

I PROMISE to bring you a blog about the Full Blood Moon tomorrow. I have been caught up in listing real estate and my sobriety journey or else it would have published Monday. Keep coming back, there are a lot of fantastic, magickal happenings in the month of October…one being my 30th birthday 😉

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Grief.

Grief.

I am sitting at my computer at a loss for words. Tears are streaming down my face.

When I woke up this morning it was to the news that America has suffered its deadliest mass shooting. On the heels of trying to process this news, I found out one of my favorite artists, Tom Petty has died. There is only so much an empath’s heart can take.

We should not live in a world where we fear going to events that are meant to unite us. Football games used to be a time for friends and family to get together and have fun and now people are battling over whether you should sit or stand for the national anthem. Mass killings are happening at concerts. The divide is killing us. Literally. What is happening to this country? I used to be proud to be an American, now it’s a fucking joke. We need to come together again. It does not matter if you are conservative or liberal we all have red, American blood running through our veins and that blood is being shed.  How do we overcome this?

I don’t want to get into politics but the change has to start somewhere and it isn’t happening in the White House. It isn’t happening with the lawmakers. It needs to start on the foundation of our country. The American citizens are the backbone of this country and the sooner we realize it and band together, the sooner we can start to recover.

To those that think the mass shooting had nothing to do with politics…I wouldn’t be so sure. If you have been watching American Horror Story Cult, you get a glimpse into the fanatics and the chaos that can ensue from something like a historically brutal election. People can come unhinged. When the climate of the country is so volatile, volatile minds will start to react.

POTUS- your country is unraveling at the seams. What are you going to do?

“I say to you all, once again — in the light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” – Albus Dumbledore

YOU ARE VOLDEMORT TRUMP!

I am not just praying for Vegas. I am praying for every city and citizen of this country.

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