Top 10 Reasons Christmas is NOT for Sissies

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Christmas is not for Sissies – Top 10 Reasons

1)  A big gold star goes to those of us who normally wouldn’t be caught dead on a 8-foot ladder….but make an exception to hang holiday lights.  :o

2)  ‘Shop till you drop.’  What!?   I’d rather drop first, and skip the shopping altogether.  Shopping this time of year is not for sissies! It’s madness out there!

3)  Hot cocoa is such a cozy Christmas beverage.  Unless, of course, it’s served at 5,778 kelvin – which will melt your face off.  Not pretty.

4)  The weather outside really is frightful.  At least in areas that get snow and ice this time of year.  Sometimes venturing out in a ‘winter wonderland’ ain’t so wonderful.

5)  Gift bags rule, wrapping paper drools.  Kudos to all of the wrapping-paper-challenged who dare to fold and square in spite of the vexing crinkles that foil.

6)  You know you’re not a sissy at Christmas when you don the knee braces and Ben-Gay before spending untold hours in the kitchen.   Cooking should be a competitive sport this time of year.  Bless you merry cooks and bakers for laughing in the face of personal injury and getting those tasty goods out!

7)  Holiday traffic. Need I say more?  Not for sissies.

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8)  Cats!  If you have one and deck the halls for Christmas – you are definitely not a sissy.  Every new Christmas bauble and sparkle is fair game for the felines.  I found an ornament in the bathroom sink.  Don’t know how it happened, but I know there was a cat behind it.

9)  Dogs!  How many times do we have to tell them not to drink from the Christmas tree water container?  And what’s up with the overly affectionate advances on the stuffed Santa pillows?  Off!

10)  Sometimes keeping our sanity this time of year can be a Herculean feat.  The holidays are so out-of-the-norm.  New stuff, a break in usual routine, visiting friends and family we normally don’t see.  It’s a tsunami of uncommon experiences.  This can potentially uproot a body who’s been quite alright in a comfort zone every other day of the year.  Hat’s off to those of us who embrace the unique situations Christmas might toss our way.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I dig the holidays.  But they can present some challenges.  Our early ancestors experienced challenges too.

This was a hard time of year for early humankind.  In fact, some of the roots of Christmas traditions today were born from early darkness.  Specifically, the darkest day of the year.  To explain, the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, and hence, the darkest.  It was a time that was symbolic of unknown’s and mystery for early peoples.  The solstice brought up questions like:  “How harsh will the weather be this year?”,  “Can I provide for my family through the winter?”,  “Will we be spared illness?”, “Do I have enough food?”.

To counteract some of these fears, civilizations and cultures (especially early Europe) started to employ good juju.  For example, they brought evergreens into the home to brighten the gloom.  The scent of pine is invigorating and proven to lighten the mood.  The sight of an evergreen bough indoors is inspiring against the stark, snowy landscape outside.  Interestingly, this practice eventually grew into our modern day Christmas trees!

Another example:  Candles.  Early traditions included ceremonies around lighting candles.  This symbolizes the return of the light…the promise of lengthening days and eventual return of spring.  Fire and candles are icons to the eternal light that is always present – even if not evident all the time.

There are lots of old practices that uplift this sometimes anxious time of year.  Check out my Symbolic Meaning of Christmas post to explore a few.

Let’s face it.  Christmas isn’t for sissies.  It certainly wasn’t for our ancestors way back when…and even though our challenges have morphed, in many ways, today’s challenges are just as stressful.

We can transform holiday anxiety.  How?  By being grateful.  By having a laugh.  By poking fun at some of the lunacy that goes on this time of year.  By appreciating what we have.  By giving to others who need more than we do.  Just thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading.

I hope all your holiday moments are magical and mostly stress-free. :)

Brightly,

Avia

Natural Phenomenon – A Symbolic Moment

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Someone asked me recently to describe a memorable experience had in Nature. It was hard to pin down just one remarkable communion, but this one moment in time was a real soul-shaker for me….

I remember walking on the sun-baked earth, flat and expansive, somewhere between Midland and Odessa, Texas. It was evening, and the moon was full, casting illumination across the parched expanse. A breeze lifted the heavy heat of the air, and a light sprinkling of rain began, which suddenly gave birth to a torrential rain.

In seconds, the cracks in the earth began to fill. My shoes became sponges as I continued to walk through the accumulating rain (squish, squish). Just as suddenly, the rain stopped and the moon returned, lighting my path once more. In the distance stood a lone mesquite tree – short and squatty – a rebel to stand out so staunchly in the flat dessert terrain.

While focusing on that mesquite tree in the moonlight, I was stopped-short by a behemoth strike of thunder. Lightning followed, cracking open the night like an onyx egg. A tendril of lightning touched a slender branch of the tree and ignited it into a bright fire suspended in the black night. Softer rain then fell, but the fingertips of the mesquite tree kept burning.

I sat and watched this for as long as the fire flickered at the end of the branches. Eventually the fire was quelled, and so was I.

—That was a very symbolic moment for me; namely, it represented all four elements (fire, earth, air, water) in a crazily unlikely, but well-choreographed dance. It was Nature’s allegory about balance, and how sometimes oddly cool things can happen at the most unexpected moments.

So, allow me to ‘pay it forward’ and ask you to contemplate a moment in which you bonded with Nature in such a way as to make it memorable and profound for you. I found re-experiencing this moment really shifting – I hope the same will happen for you.

Brightest,

Avia

Other Pages of Interest:

Meaningful Messages from Nature

Tuning Into Nature’s Symbolism

Moon Meanings and Symbolism

Symbolism of Trees

The ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse. A No Nonsense Guide

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Full ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse is upcoming!

The blood moon (also known as hunter moon, harvest moon and/or falling leaf moon) is not uncommon.  However, what’s unique about the blood moon this month is that it’s a full lunar eclipse.

The term “Blood Moon” is fairly new in modern, popular media.  In truth, it’s a term that’s been used by earth-worshippers for a very, very long time.

Blood moons commonly happen during the months of Autumn (Sept-Nov).  In the old religions, and ways of life, this is a time of hefty harvest as well as slaughter.  Blazing bright foliage is reminiscent of the color of blood.  Slaughter of cattle is obviously a blood-related event.

This is a painfully simple explanation for the connection between “blood” and “moon”.

So what’s it all about, Alfie?  And what are we supposed to do with this blood moon stuff!?!?

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind during this blood moon lunar eclipse:

Get Grateful:  As this is a time of the long-held traditional harvest, we might give thanks for what we have gained in our lives while admiring the blood moon.    An attitude of gratitude is powerful any day of the year, but especially during the full harvest moon.

Get Picking:  This is a full moon.  That means it’s a great time to do some harvesting of our own.  Our modern world may not muster every villager, gather in the fields and harvest crops…but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fruits to pick.  Consider ideas ripe for the harvest that need to be picked and worked on.  Also consider loose ends that need tidying before the long winter months hit.  Part of harvest is prevention.

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Get a Clue:  This is a full lunar eclipse.  Symbolically, a lunar eclipse speaks to us about stuff that is a major presence in our lives.  We know it’s there.  It shines brightly in our lives.  Nonetheless, it’s often blocked by something (time constraints, the ego, ignorance, denial, etc).  During this blood moon eclipse, it might be a good idea to recognize and appreciate the ‘big obvious’ in our lives.  This could be as simple as recognizing mentors, family, our kids or special friends in our lives.  Those people who always shine, but our business or whatever gets in the way of giving thanks for them.

Get a Life:  Blood is a big deal.  It means life.  It is the ocean in which all life might continue to exist on this earth.  This blood moon eclipse might be a good time to get in the flow of that concept.  This could mean paying attention to our health concerns.  It might mean re-devoting ourselves to our “life-blood” which could be our passions, our children, our community…that big aspect of our lives that insures life moves forward.

Give it Up:  Blood is about sacrifice.  Not trying to freak you out, but it’s true that blood has been steeped in the concept of sacrifice since ancient times.  Consequently, this might be a good time to consider the sacrifices others have made for you.  Blood moons are a time for me to thank the military men and women who shed their blood in service to our country.  This is also a good time to consider what kind of sacrifices you can make to better yourself, others, your community, the world.  What can you shed that will lighten the world?

These are just a few symbolic ideas that hold hands with the full blood moon.  However you intend to acknowledge this special lunar eclipse – I hope all your moments with Lady Luna are illuminating.

Brightly,

Avia

More Symbolic Lunar Delights…

Moon Meaning and Symbolism

Full Moon Names Per Month

Moon Signs and Personality Types

Moon Symbolism and Meditation

 

Overuse of the Word Love?

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Overuse of the Word Love?

Preposterous, I say!

However, years ago I remember a public speaker (whose real name shall remain anonymous…mostly because I can’t remember it. We’ll call him Al.) made an observation about the casual use of the world love.

He remarked on how the word love is used at the drop of a hat….

‘Oh, I love that color on you!’ or ‘I love noodle soup at Joe’s Diner.’

You get the idea.

I see Al’s point, which was: Overuse of the world ‘love’ might diminish its importance. Or, using it too often in casual context may tarnish the value of the sacred concept of love.

I’m not inclined to take this viewpoint, and feel the term ‘love’ should be stuffed in every inch, crevice, nook and cranny of our life experience.

The more use of the word love the better!

Love Love Love Love Love Love Love Love!

Oh, and one last thing,
*love*

Brightly,
Avia

PS: Spread the word (LOVE).

Symbolic Pearls of Wisdom

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Spherical, lustrous, secretive…pearls are proof that spectacular symbolism can be found in the smallest packages. How appropriate too, as it seems the most revolutionary impact is thrust from the softest cycles, prompted by seemingly miniscule particles.

And such is the life of the pearl. They’re born from irritants. A microscopic parasite or bit of debris makes the mollusk cranky – causes a defense reaction within it’s bowels – and would you believe from an event of irritation and defense, a pearl is conceived.

Talk about turning unpleasantness into advantage!

I can dig this. Especially knowing the symbolic landscape of pearls. Their watery domain is synonymous with emotions. Water, especially the gaping mouths of the sea, sings to us of fathomless psychic stirrings within oceanic consciousness.

Do you sense a disturbance in the force? An emotional upheaval?

I fancy the pearl has something to say about that…

• Envision consciously crafting your defense mechanisms into more seductive solutions.

• Sculpt your emotional reactions to irritants into masterful works of art.

• Meet adversity by curling within and churning up your inner-intuitive-enzymes.

• Convert pain into purified pastel poignancy.

Be moved. Be cultivated. Get your shine on.

 

Spinach and First Dates

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A dear friend of mine is dating, and that got me thinking about my own dating experiences.  She’s feeling the bloom of new romance. From first date to current, she’s reveling in that intoxicating experience of getting to know someone.  I’m utterly thrilled for her!

My friend is classy, eloquent and highly impressive.  It sounds like her new beau is her equal on all counts. Rock on!

I wish I could say the same for myself.  I’ve got a fabulously awesome partner right now…but that wasn’t always the case.

To explain…I’m not the most orthodox gal.  I’m wired a little funky, and I don’t comply to society’s idea of femininity.

I could write a book about the epic failures I’ve had on first dates (or consecutive failed dates, for that matter).

I’ll suffice to just share this one…

Meet Ben.  Accountant.  Shy.  Well-meaning guy. A good guy.  Really trying hard to make an impression, but we both know within the first hour we’re not really a smart match.  We even admit it to each other!

As Ben relaxes a little, and the pressure is off (because we both know a 2nd date is out of the question), he asks me:

“So…Avia, if you were to describe yourself in under 5 minutes with total, brutal honesty…what would you say?”

This is not the question to ask a ridiculously honest Sagittarius who has had a few Lowenbrau’s on a date.  So I asked Ben, “Are you sure you want the low-down?”  He said, “Absolutely”, with a sly grin.

And this is what I said…

“Photographic memory.  Attended 4 prestigious colleges.  Kicked out of 3.  Earned a degree at the college that didn’t give me the boot.

Don’t always follow the rules, but know how to conjugate a verb, and how to avoid dangling participles.

Multi-Lingual in HTML, XHTML, CSS, SEO, and not too shabby at Spanish.  Pretty sure I could get around in Italy too.

French horn player for 15 years. 3 of those years as a pro, and sat as an alternate for a major metropolitan symphony.

Refuse to drive an automatic.  Jeep driver, always with a standard.  Drove a 18-wheeler too.

Clocked 80,000 miles on a Harley Softail.  Super fun.

Put a few people through school.  Donated thousands to charity. Support my local SPCA.

Been 250 pounds with a fantastic stuttering problem, compounded by an ugly skin condition and chained to an asthma inhaler.  Conquered all that in my 30s.

A product of two amazing parents who are still well-respected and completely awesome.”

There might have been more I divulged to Ben, but I remember keeping it under 5 minutes.

At the end of my deluge, all Ben had to say was this…

That’s all well and good, but you have a big piece of spinach between your front teeth.

Isn’t that nice!?!?

This brings me to the point of this post…

Was I bragging to Ben?  Am I bragging to you?  Yeah…maybe I was, and maybe I am.

But the Universe has a funny way of bringing us down a notch.

It’s fabulous to be aware and proud of our remarkable achievements through our lifetime.  But my experience has taught me not pull out the braggadocio to the enth degree.  Lest we get caught bragging with spinach in our teeth! LOL!

Mostly, I want this post to remind all of us that it’s not what we say about our achievements….it’s what we do with them.  I’ve learned to live as an example…not just talk about stuff I’ve done.

Being a mentor,  an illustration of the best action is the most effective tact in showing others what we’re made of, in my opinion.

Just thinkin’.

xo

PS:  And learning how to laugh at ourselves is a major plus. (see image above).  ;)

FYI:  Ben and I still keep in touch via pen-pal.  He’s a great guy.