empowered: looking back + moving onward

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well, my friends, 2015 is halfway over now. i say it all the time… time sure does fly, doesn’t it?

a lot has changed since i began 2015 in asheville, north carolina. of course, the biggest change has been my move back to sweden. my wife got a job, so we up + left life behind in our beloved mountains of north carolina, and traded it for the love of an international, academic, historical culture in the city of uppsala, just north of stockholm.

we’ve pretty much lived a life of transition since january, but i believe that we are finally feeling a bit settled. it feels like we are creating our home here. and we are so very glad to be living in uppsala, while desperately missing asheville still as well. but, as time marches on, so must we. and this is the homeless of our new adventures.

but to really honor  the time which has already passed by us this year, and to celebrate the right here + right now, i thought i’d do a little look back over these 6 months. and then, i’d do a little looking forward. and i’d like to do this all from the perspective of my word of the year.

first though, if you have no idea what i’m talking about, then go — >here and read this post.

ok. now, that you’ve read that (and perhaps even read the post that followed it), you know that the word that i chose as my focus for 2015 is empowered.

here’s what i wrote about the word at the very beginning of the year when it was fresh + new + exciting:

“i believe 2015 to be a year that calls for a lot of action, a lot of taking the bull by the horns, so to speak. and, i’m all ready for that. but, in order to make sure that i stay focused + active + motivated, i need that word of mine slapping me in the face day in and day out.”

well, let me begin my reflection by saying, yep. this word has been perfect. and i have thought about it practically every single day in one way or another. i have seen it, felt it, and i have kept it close to  my thoughts. so, as for being aware of my word so far this year, i get an a+.

i do not feel that i have failed to act empowered this year, though there has been little action. what i mean is, i saw the word as kind of a kick in the ass, as i said back in december 2014. i imagined it being the focus of a little pep talk to myself every day to get stuff done, to make things happen. yeah, like i said, to be active.

it hasn’t been the most active of years so far, though, in terms of “making my dreams come true” – on the outside. in the beginning of the year, i thought empowered would give me the power to do what needed to get done. i think i even may have seen it as a way to tell myself to “suck it up”.

but, i soon realized, after a job interview and a visit to a client, that i could not sell my soul at that point. i could not just do anything. and therefore, the job front has been sketchy + depressing stressful so far in 2015. i’ve been looking and applying and looking and applying like crazy though. all of my work has been behind the scenes… not really the action i intended. but, i had no idea what i really expected.

july full moon

in any case, while i have been exploring and looking for job that might suit my skills and abilities and not suck my soul dry, i have also been doing a whole lot of writing, meditating, and inward stuff that i didn’t know i was doing until a few weeks ago. i didn’t even realize that it had been such an inward time, especially since it has been balanced in such a social way – with friends + family + fun experiences popping up all of the time.

but, ever since moving into the apartment in march, i have hunkered down here while lina’s been at work. in conjunction with the job hunting, i have been creating my own little cocoon of empowerment. during the spring, up until midsummer a few weeks ago, i was living and breathing in that cocoon. again, this is not to say that i was anti-social or not active, but inside of me, from deep in my soul, i have been calm and grounded and searching. i’ve been doing tough internal work that just popped up. it wasn’t so much i decided to do it. it all just unfolded naturally.

perhaps all of the ingredients were just there: i moved back to sweden, moved into a new apartment, explored new places, found new inspirations, fell in love with my new city, faced the decisions and prospects and failures of job hunting, got into a serious meditating groove, experimented even more with the art of photography, and began writing my book.

so what has happened during these past six months, has been the empowering of my soul. of digging in and finding a deeper level of power within me that i had never discovered before. so, actually, i have been active. quite active. i’ve been letting the power simmer within me. and i have felt it rising to the top.

and you know what? just now, as we have crossed over into the second half of 2015, i feel that all that it within me is about to boil over. it is time to let that empowered feeling explode and spill out… the energy has been growing and it is now pent up energy, just waiting to be used and acted upon. in what way, i have no idea. i have no answers exactly, but i have my intuition. something is telling me, even my dreams at night are telling me, it’s now or never. it’s time. let’s rock this second half of 2015!

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now, just as i realized that this as how i was feeling, and as messages were being given to me in my dreams (like i literally dreamed last night that elizabeth gilbert told me what to focus on in my book), i also decided to have some fun and read my horoscope on tuesday. here’s what it said:

“It’s the power-building phase of your astrological cycle. To take maximum advantage, convey the following message to your subconscious mind: “I know you will provide me with an abundance of insight, inspiration, and energy for whatever intention I choose to focus on. And during the next four weeks, my intention will be to cultivate, expand, and refine my personal power. I will especially focus on what author Stephen R. Covey called ‘the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones.'”

umm… can you say, universe conspiring to make my dreams a reality? yes, this is the stuff of personal legends, of destiny, of a calling and an affirmation that i am on the right track. this felt like a door and a window and the whole world opening to me.

so, here’s what i’m gonna do for the rest of 2015:

i’m gonna let it unfold.

i am gonna stay dedicated and focused on feeling empowered. i am gonna continue to meditate every single freaking day. i am going to continue to exercise and take care of my body. i am gonna drink lots of water, as i have done. i am gonna keep applying for jobs. i am gonna explore a life coaching certifcate (spiritual guide). i am gonna write + create more resources to help others live a life filled with spirit and wildness and intention. i am gonna keep writing my book – scratch that… i am gonna FINISH my book. and i am gonna listen and stay open. i am gonna trust and remember that the process is a slow one, that it never turns out the way you imagine, and that non-action can still be action. real growth and transformation take time.

the first half of the year was me filling up my soul with even more empowerment than i could have imagined. the second half? well, it’s gonna be me using all of that power and creating big, soulful, magical things in my life.

i am ready to read the signs, to feel the power, and even more importantly… to unleash my power into the world.

HAPPY HALF OF THE YEAR! ONWARDS + UPWARDS!

the summer of love + freedom begins with tonight’s full moon

happy july, friends!

don’t you just love gazing at the moon? it’s like it’s this powerful, beautiful reminder that we are so small, and yet so important. and full moons are even more magical + beautiful, aren’t they? with all of their bright light, casting shadows even in the dark night. giving a cool, calm glow to everything.

lucky for us moon lovers, we’ve got 2 full moons in july. two!! that’s right, the month is book-ended with a full moon on july 1/2 and once again on july 31. and in-between the two moons we have lots to experience, lots to do, lots of opportunities.

it’s summer for us in the northern hemisphere. and we all want to relax some. we want to enjoy life, especially outdoors as much as possible. we want adventure. we want to just live life and feel free. (for a fun july playlist with lots of music about freedom click –> here).

even as we celebrate the carefree spirit of the summer season that is upon us, we have also begun to perhaps tap into where we want our life to go. and we know that, once this month is over, it’s time to get back to work. time to get down to business. to manifest our dreams. so, in the meantime during this month, as we enjoy life as much as we possibly can, relaxing + celebrating even the little things in life, seeking some freedom, we also have a month to begin to make some shifts to create that life that we have always dreamed of. think of it as preparation, but in a letting go, free-spirited, non-stressed kind of way.

and it all begins today, with this beautiful full moon which ushers in a summer of love – love of life, love of ourselves, and the love of living a life that is true to our truth and our souls.

you know, anything is possible in a summer of love. 

full moon rising

i came across a full moon blog post on elephant journal the other day, and it spoke very deeply to me. it was as if the writer had reached into my soul and connected with everything that is happening in my life right now. so, instead of trying to share my own thoughts (because i would just be copying hers), i have shared her article here for you to read for yourself.

here are some thoughts on tonight’s full moon + what it just might mean for our lives. enjoy!

On Wednesday July 1st, the moon will be full in Capricorn, and our emotions and desires will be running high—and hot!

Romantic love has been and will continue to be a big theme this year astrologically. So many of the movements and conjunctions of the planets have been about giving us the confidence to pursue what is in our hearts.

This month Jupiter and Venus (the goddess of love) have been dancing together in the skies and will cumulate on June 30th with an immense event—this passionate energy lends itself to the full moon in a big way.

Each moon, whether it is new or full is about asking ourselves a question. Lunar cycles are about initiating change, and giving our souls a check-up, to see where we are and where we want to be. After all the recent changes we’ve experienced this full moon in Capricorn is asking us, “Why wait?”

Emotionally, we’ve been doing a lot of purging from our lives, and in turn have also done a lot of self-exploration. More than likely, many of us have come into our own hearts the past month, and are very confident in what we need and want from our lives.

It’s has been like a light of truth shinning into our darkest places and letting us slowly illuminate whatever feelings have been hiding inside of us.

We have been taking our time and initiating change slowly in our lives—but all that is about to change.

We are going to wake up and realize with a shrug of our shoulders that there is no time like now to go after what we want. This moon isn’t about taking crazy chances, or big risks, but instead it’s going to feel like a light suddenly turns on, and we can’t deny ourselves what we want any longer.

Sometimes the only option we have is to jump right in.

full-moon-capricornimage from — > here

The wonderful thing about this moon in Capricorn is that although we are going to want to dive head first into our future, we are doing so grounded in practicality and the knowledge about our choices. This isn’t a leap of blind faith. Capricorn is an earth sign, and is known for its traits of confidence and practicality. Capricorn usually is slow to react, but because of its ruling planet Saturn being in retrograde through Leo until August, it’s all about initiating passionate change now.

There is no more waiting for what we know we want.

While this moon and the conjunctions of Venus and Jupiter are all about romantic love, for some of us that energy may translate into other areas as well. Under these conditions we may have completed the journey back to ourselves and our heart center—we may have discovered what our true passion is in life and possibly what career direction better suits us now.

It has been all about the journey to find our own individual truth and then making a life out of that.

This year is the finale in a series of years, since 2012, that are meant to rearrange our lives and bring us back to ourselves. A lot is going to change this year, and while some change happens slowly under the radar, there will be other times like this summer that things are going to move faster than we ever thought possible.

The energy is antsy right now, but the most important thing is to breathe into whatever we are feeling around this time. Acting out of fear will not help us on this particular journey, and while experiencing fear over change or the new is normal—it’s not where we want to make our decisions from.

Living life big takes courage, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Lucky for us—starting with the energy on the Solstice and leading up to July 1st—whatever fears we had are going to fall to the side, because the desire and passion inside of our hearts is going to be pushing us forward.

This is the summer of love—and this is just the beginning.

July is going to be a hot and heavy month for us. Not only are we tired of waiting to manifest what is inside of our hearts, but this month is pushing us to take risks—because everything that has happened over the course of the past couple years all comes down to this moment.

“Once in a blue moon” is a phrase that we are all familiar with—it’s a phrase to represent special chances, or moments. In July we have not only one full moon, but two, and it is this second full moon that is dubbed the blue moon. Soon I will be releasing my special Full Moon in Aquarius: Once in a Blue Moon forecast, but for now, it’s important to be aware that this first full moon in July is setting the tone for the entire month.

Between the first full moon on July 1st and the second full moon on July 31st we are going to feel the pull of desire on our hearts in a breathless and very passionate way. We are going to be drawn to those that excite our soul and make us feel alive. We are going to crave only those relationships which honor our authentic truth, and we will find ourselves seeking out those opportunities that pull the strongest on our heart strings.

This moon is going to light the fire in our sacral chakra and move us towards passionate endeavors. Whether it’s investing time in a worthwhile project, or spending hot nights under the moon with our lover—we are going to be filled with passion for our lives.

We need to get ready for fireworks in all aspects of our lives, but most especially in our hearts—and bedrooms. We are passionate creatures, and like the tree, some seasons we lay dormant and others we bloom into possibility.

The planetary alignments and this full moon are throwing kerosene on what has already been smoldering…

And it’s all about to finally explode and light up our life in a big way—now all we need to do is enjoy the show.

full moon

what do you think? can you relate? as i said above, this is summarizing and explaining my current life situation in ways that i can hardly believe.

but no matter whether you feel any vibes from this article or not, the fact is that we do have a full moon tonight. and it is a time that is filled with energy and power and magic and beauty. so, if even for just a minute, look out your window or go outside and look upwards to the moon. make a wish, send your dreams up into the great beyond, and let the light and hope that this moon shines down on you fill your soul. let it ground you + inspire you.

we are so ready to get a move on things, ready to act. i know i am. but, what if we just let all of that beautiful energy just simmer in us throughout this month? to simply live in the present moment, letting it continue to mold + shape us + prepare us.

tonight,  we could use the energy from this full moon to help us state exactly what our soul is telling us, put into words the direction in which we are headed. it’s time to feel our passions leading us. to stay open to possibilities. and let ourselves  bask in the glow of feeling alive and knowing exactly what we need. think of this as the last few weeks to just let everything sit within in, growing and gathering momentum + power.

and then, remember, there is another full moon on the last day of the month. that one will propel us forward, to begin to manifest our dreams and to make sh*t happen. the universe will be waiting for us to grab on and take flight.

in the meantime, lets revel in the love + freedom that this summer month offers us. many blessings of light + love i send to you.

onwards + upwards! xoxo

full moon article written by kate rose. you can find her blog –> here

how to connect with nature: a meditation on the four elements

it’s no real secret if you peek around here on my website that i’m a nature lover. it’s also no secret that i’m a lover of meditation too.

nature has been a huge part of my life for as long as i can remember. from family holidays at the beach to camping in the woods on a mountain top to just running around in a backyard. the wide open sea, the wind in my hair, a campfire crackling at night, and a walk through a magical forest all touch my soul. nature connects me to myself, to others, and to the world around me. i see the cycle of life in nature, and i learn what it means to live an authentic, spirit-filled life from the trees and the flowers.

summer is the time when we have the joy of being outside the most – though i’d argue that all seasons are the perfect time to be outside. immersing ourselves in nature + exposing ourselves to the weather we remember what’s important. we remember to slow down and to soak in everything that is around us.

to say that i need nature like i need my breath would be an accurate statement.

for me, simply being in nature is meditating. there’s no need to plop down on a pillow and light a candle to meditate. just slip on some flip flops or stuff your feet in some boots, and take a walk.

observe + breathe. that is meditation.

meditation-four-elements

sometimes, though, it’s nice to do a meditation on nature. to gather some materials and symbols of nature, ponder them, and reflect on how nature inspires and nourishes us – physically + spiritually. and sometimes, we just can’t make it outside to meditate.

so, i’ve created a short meditation that you can use at any time. anytime that you miss being outside or need to connect with the physical planet. or any time you just want to honor mother nature and all of her glory. this is not a pagan, buddhist, christian, or any other religious meditation. it’s just one that i have created on my own to help me get back in touch with my inner flower child. so, if you are interested… here you go:

the four elements: a guided meditation
what you’ll need:

· pillow or mat. or a chair.

· create an elemental altar:  something that symbolizes a bird or a feather to represent air (i used a tiny paper crane). a glass or bowl of water. a candle to represent fire. a plant or a flower or fruit/vegetable, hopefully something with some dirt from the earth.

·any other religious or spiritual symbol you like to have around you when you meditate.

· instrumental music, if you wish. or you can sit in silence.

· a journal + pen, if you would like to write during or after.

what  you’ll do:

simply put, this is a meditation about the four elements: air, water, fire, and earth. it’s a chance to just sit and bring awareness to each element. one at a time. it’s a chance to let ourselves ponder each element + feel each element, noticing the things that we most likely take for granted every day. slowing down just enough to notice the sacred in the ordinary. it is a chance to reconnect with our selves, through nature.

the idea is not to empty your mind (cause that almost never happens to me!), but to simply still your mind. to slow down and to pay attention. and to let whatever feelings or revelations come + go as they wish.


Get present

first, find a good place to sit. either a chair at a table, or on the floor. or even outside, if you wish.

make your altar: place your symbols on the table or floor in front of you. line them up or make a circle. whatever feels right to you.

now, close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply + slowly. just sit there for a few minutes and let yourself land. leave behind all of the other busyness of the day and just simply be present. right here, right now. feel that you are getting in touch with yourself + with your surroundings. don’t try to empty your mind, but let your thoughts come + go, like watching a parade go by outside your window. just breathe. give yourself the gift of slowing down right now. of turning inward and tuning into your inner voice.

air

now, open your eyes and pick up your air symbol. hold it in the palms of your hands. look at it briefly, then close your eyes again, still holding your air symbol.

how does the symbol feel in your hands? what does it represent? keep holding it. feel the lightness of it. the lightness of the air all around you. do you feel any breeze? do you feel your breath moving in and out of your nostrils, filling your belly and your lungs?

perhaps air reminds us of freedom. and inspires us to fly as high as we can. where would you fly to if you could fly? how would it feel to you to soar way up in the sky?

perhaps the air can even inspire us. did you know that the word “inspire” comes from the same word that spirit comes from? and that the hebrew word ruach means breath, wind, spirit. they are all one in the same.

the air is inspiration, it is the breath of the spirit. it is the wind that keeps us alive and sweeps us up in its breeze, soaring high above where we ever thought we could be.

how high can you soar? where will the air carry you? what possibilities and dreams do you have out there?

just ponder. and breathe. let the wind carry you. the the air fill your lungs.

when you are ready, return your bird or feather back to its place.

water

now, pick up the bowl of water that you have. dip your fingers into it. submerge your whole hand, if you wish. maybe even pour some of it out on your hands or feet. interact with it.

hold the bowl in your hands. keep one finger in the bowl, if you’d like. close your eyes. and just breathe for a moment.

when you feel the water on your skin, what does it remind you of? what thoughts or memories come to you? what does water mean to you? do you enjoy being in water, or does it frighten you?

spend a few moments just soaking in your feelings and thoughts about water.

we need water in order to survive. it makes up about 70% of our bodies and about 70-75% of the earth’s surface. there’s no denying its importance. it nourishes us.

but, water can also teach us a lot about life. it is alive and flowing. think of a river, and how the water simply flows, making the adjustments it needs depending on the environment. sometimes it’s slow and lazy, sometimes it’s powerful and dangerous. but, it keeps moving forward towards its destination. it’s a never-ending journey, for once it reaches the ocean, it is then re-evaporated in to the clouds, falling once again to earth, and then flowing right back to the sea.

what can we learn from that? is there a destiny, a calling that you have? is there a purpose, or a way to live your life more authentically, true to your nature? what nourishes your dreams?

when you’re ready, return the bowl of water to its place.

fire

carefully pick up the candle and hold it in your hands. depending on what kind of candle you have, you may want to keep your eyes open. it won’t matter… staring into a flickering flame can be quite powerful and mesmerizing.

just breathe. deeply. and slowly.

imagine the flame that burns within you. the thing that is your passion. the person that you are burning to be.

for me, fire can represent our individuality. we all have a light burning within us. it is a light that connects us to each other, and yet, it is unique within each of us. this light is what transforms us, and shows us who we are created to be. it is the deep love of something or someone, the thing that sparks our soul.

what do you love? what are you passionate about? just sit with that for a while. let the answers arise from within you like the flame rising from your candle.

when you are ready, return the candle to its place.

earth

pick up your plant that represents the earth. if you have dirt with your plant, stick your fingers in it. put some in your hand.

close your eyes and hold your plant/dirt.

as much as we need to fly and be free in the air, flow like the water, and feel the passion of fire within us, we also need to be grounded.

dirt is getting back to basics. it reminds us to stay rooted. to be strong and firm, like a tree that is planted in the earth, that stands strong , even in the midst of the storm.

the earth helps us to remember our own roots, our organic and natural ways of being. this is authentic  living at its best. perhaps that’s why many of us love camping or gardening so much. we get our hands and bodies dirty. we commune with nature. we simplify and return to the earth.

feel the dirt in your plant or in your hand. breathe deeply. remember that who you are is exactly who you are supposed to be. you are strong, alive, and have everything within you to grow tall and to reach for the sky.

take some time to ponder: do you feel grounded? are you living your life true to yourself, stable and attached to your soul? do your roots go deep?

just be with yourself. reconnect. touch the ground. feel the energy pulsing in the earth. it is from here, all things grow.

when you are ready, return your plant to its place.

closing your meditation

close your eyes once again and just breathe. in and out. deeply. slowly. let the images + thoughts swirl around inside you. feel the energy that nature brings to you. and give thanks for the inspiration that you have felt.

when you are ready open your eyes and gaze at the symbols gathered before you. let them that be reminders of this meditation. but, more importantly, let them be reminders of who you are and who you are called to be.

before you return back to you daily activities, i invite you to close by rubbing your hands together vigorously so that they produce heat, then place them together in front of your heart, against your chest. breath in + out, deeply three times. then bow your head, giving thanks for this time that you have taken for yourself.

finally, enjoy this video/music as you move from meditation back into your regular routine:

if you feel like it, journal or blog your thoughts. take a photo of your little elemental altar that you used during the mediation and share it on instagram (use #fourelementsmediation). if you would like to chat further or have any questions, please email me at liz [at]belovelive dot com or leave a comment below.

i truly hope that this meditation gave you a chance to slow down and to reconnect with yourself, inspired by the wonder + beauty of nature.

namaste.

onwards + upwards! xoxo

// sing to the mountain lyrics //

Let the fires burn tonight
Let the jugs of wine get drunk
Let the truth be known tonight
Don’t go let yourself hide

Go and sing to the mountain
Go and sing to the moon
Go and sing to just about everything
Cuz everything is you

Listen to the rhythm
Of your heart play like a drum
Listen to the night call
Singing songs from all around

Go and sing to the mountain
Go and sing to the moon
Go and sing to just about everything
Cuz everything is you

And let your voice go
Let it pierce through your soul
And let your voice go
Let it pierce through your soul

the summer solstice: magic + light + energy = time to follow your bliss

it’s nine in the evening as i write this, and the solstice is upon us.

monday-sunset-june

monday’s sunset

today, in the northern hemisphere, we are celebrating the longest day of the year. the day that is the culmination of all of the light-gathering that has been occurring since the winter solstice back  in december. every day since then, we have been marching forward to this very moment. this moment when light and warmth and heat are the most powerful + abundant.

we celebrate being alive. being aware. and where we have come from since our last solstice.

tuesday-sunset-june.

tuesday’s sunset

what did you imagine for your life back in december? whether you were celebrating the solstice back then or not, it was the end of 2014, and with that ending, i am certain that we all said a few prayers or had a few dreams and wishes for the new year that was upon us. what were yours? do you remember?

if you were reading my blog back then, then you might have even joined me in picking a word for 2015 – a word to light your way, to inspire you + to guide you. what was your word? have you thought about it? have you used it? is it still relevant?

 if you didn’t pick a word, then what would your word be now – for the last 6 months of 2015 that lie ahead of us? what do you want or need to focus on?

wednesday-sunset-june.

wednesday’s sunset

as part of my summer solstice celebration today, i have gone back to my journal and my blog posts at the end of 2014. i have reread the things that i wrote, and brought up the old feelings and hopes that i had locked deep inside me as i wondered what 2015 would bring me as i chose my word for 2015: empowered.

here’s some of what i wrote last december about choosing the word empowered.

“for 2015 i am focusing on the power that is within me to push me to follow through with many things that i need + want in my life. the word feels just perfect to me. ultimately it is simply a kick in the ass. a movement from being to doing. and yet, all of my action comes from a deeply grounded place within me. it feels like a balanced word. a balance from the power that i can draw from the well of my soul, that thrusts me forward. it’s a word that reminds me that there are things to do and a life to live and it’s time to make shit happen. no holding back. i am fearless. powerful. ready. disciplined. that right… i’m empowered.”

in many ways, i have been embracing + living out my word. but, in many ways, i also have much, much more to do.

however, when i slow down just enough to really think about it… though i may not have burst on the scene of 2015 with guns blazing, like i thought i would. and, even if it has taken me some time to “find myself” again, now that i am back in sweden. i realize that it needed to take me a while to settle in.

but, here’s the critical part: in all of those processes over the past 6 months, i have found myself now at a crossroads, a jumping off point. it’s as if i can just now see that the first 6 months were the groundwork i needed to do in order to launch into my active cycle of empowerment for the second part of the year. i’ve been building the power within, and now it’s time for it all to burst out and push me forward.

thursday-sunset-june.

thursday’s sunset

it’s time to fly, baby!

and you know what? it really is time for us to fly. that’s what the summer solstice is all about. what we’ve been holding close to our hearts for the past six months is aching to be released into the here and now. the energy has been building, and today, when the sun is high + the day is long + the light is oh so bright, today, is the culmination and gathering of all of that energy.

midsummer-sunset-june.

friday’s sunset: midsummer’s eve in sweden (not take at my apartment. we are at a party)

the word solstice means the standing of the sun and it is also time for us to stop, be still, listen to our inner voice, remember past promises to ourselves and make preparations for the road ahead. on the solstice we have the luxury of being still and gathering all of that energy. at the winter solstice, we cast our dreams out into the universe, inspired by the magic of the winter darkness. since then everything has been on its journey outward towards manifestation, the journey towards light. with the summer solstice the process of everything turning inward begins once more. now is when our intentions are set to propel us towards our dreams.

today, during the summer solstice, we are at our brightest, most filled with magic and light and energy. as i read somewhere else, “the soil of our soul is ripe for manifesting”. now is the time, friends to live with our true purpose. to embrace fully our own true path.

we are filled with energy, excitement, expectation, and positivity. if we don’t quite feel that way today, the feeling will come. everything in the universe is conspiring with us to help us follow our bliss. right now, as if the light + power of midsummer were not enough, the moon is becoming is increasing in size, towards its next full moon.

saturday-sunset-june.

saturday’s sunset

the bottom line, friends, it’s time for some freaking awesome action.

have you had a change on your mind lately? has your soul been whispering to you of your dreams? this is it. this is the time to begin to act on it all. have courage. believe. trust. and leap into the great, unbelievable unknown.

we are all bursting at the seams in one way or another… it’s all of that energy that’s been building up since the winter solstice. it is ready to be released. you are ready. i am ready. today is the day that we start marching forward into making our dreams into a reality. we really can start to live our bliss. it’s time to break free from all of our fears and struggles and embrace that freedom that is calling our name. nothing is impossible. anything is possible. the life that we have been created to live is right there in front of us…

summer-solstice-sunset-sweden-2sunday’s sunset: the summer solstice!

so, accept + celebrate the journey that you are on. take some time today to reflect now where you have been since the winter’s solstice. and set your intentions for where you want to go.

by all means get outside if you can. bask in the sunlight, enjoy the long day. let that energy rush through you, preparing you for the next part of your journey.

i, personally, just went outside to take the above photo, and sat on a bench for about 10 minutes, just breathing in the air. a stranger walked by me and went into my building, greeting me with an infection, joyful “hello!” – not a super common thing, for swedes to just randomly stalk to strangers. but, with the sunset + his hello + all of this energy, i just felt as if i was overwhelmed with joy + excitement in the simplicity of the beauty of the moment.

go and celebrate this solstice, my friends, knowing that who you are + where you are, are perfectly aligned, with the universe. everything is set. we’ve been journeying to this moment since december (and since our whole lives). the light has filled us and we are bursting with anticipation. it’s time to claim the life that we want to live. to claim our own unique purpose in life.

and to shine like the sun.

a blessed solstice to you all!

onwards + upwards! xo

all of the sunset photos are taken by me this week as we journeyed toward the summer solstice today. i wanted to record the late sunsets that we enjoy here in sweden, where the sun does not set until about 11pm. the light has most definitely affected me and energized me. magic + love! woo hoo!

A Prayer to the Sun

The sun is high above us
shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful sun,
we honor you this day
and thank you for your gifts.
Ra, Helios, Sol Invictus, Aten, Svarog,
you are known by many names.
You are the light over the crops,
the heat that warms the earth,
the hope that springs eternal,
the bringer of life.
We welcome you, and we honor you this day,
celebrating your light,
as we begin our journey once more
into the darkness.

prayer from here.

it’s time to make a move: embracing our truth under a new moon

tonight, we’ve got a magic new moon up in the sky above us.

during a new moon, the moon reaches its minimum brightness. it is the lunar phase that occurs when the moon, in its monthly orbit around the earth, is between the earth and the sun. therefore, at this time, the dark (unilluminated) portion of the moon faces almost directly toward Earth, so that the moon is not visible to the naked eye.

moon

photo from flickr. an almost new moon.

with new moons, the seeds of change are planted. truths are revealed. while full moons call us to take risks, to think big, to be bold and to take action. new moons call us inwards (perfect timing this week for having just gone through discombobulating mercury retrograde). they can be used as times of retreat, times to draw near to nature. to let our wild, free spirits frolic about. they are times for self-discovery, revelation, and new beginnings. fantastic times to set intentions.

this new moon is extra special, though, because of what we’ve just been through:

the last, powerful full moonmercury retrograde have given us lots of information and confusion, all of which are barely just beginning to make sense. but with the previous full moon + the end of the mercury retrograde period (but, remember, we are still in it’s shadowy, reflective phase), we have also been given a big ole burst of energy to propel us forward. do you feel it?!

i do. i am itching to get down to business. my business. the things that i feel most called to do, the ways that i am called to live my life.

i am so glad to be done with the retrograde, glad to be done with the waiting and absorbing and digging in, and ready to begin the manifesting and making shit happen phase.

now, that doesn’t mean that i have everything figured out about my life. i still feel confused, but i no longer feel stuck. i’m ready to move forward. i’m ready to continue learning as i set off on this next phase of my journey.

which is exactly what this moon energy is all about. big changes are possible, my friends, if we are willing to channel our motivation + set off on our own path, embracing our own truth. yep, this new moon tonight is here to spill out it’s energy onto us,  giving us confidence and hope.

new-moon

photo found here.

i have been trying to listen and observe and feel and tap into my soul lately. and i just feel that i cannot wait any longer. i’m inspired. i’m determined. i’m energized. i am peaceful and calm inside, and yet antsy and anxious all at the same time. but, it’s a good kind of anxiety. motivational anxiety. like i am only a week out from the beginning of an amazing journey.

people, it’s time to make our dreams a reality. 

there is so much energy swirling around in the air right now. from this inspiring, empowering new moon to the light + warmth + life that comes from the summer solstice, which occurs in just a few days (there is tons of energy + newness + light with those of you experiencing the winter solstice too). the whole earth is buzzing with energy. and that energy is spilling over into our lives, just waiting for us to bottle it and put it to use in our lives.

some of you, like me, may even be finding it hard to sleep. last night at midnight i still was not ready to go to bed. and my eyes popped open this morning at 5:30, feeling rested + energized + positive. i’m telling you, if we just remain aware. if we slow down and observe what we see + what we feel, then we will get wrapped up in this energy, and it will give us all that we need to push forward. to follow our dreams.

what is most important, my dear friends, is that who you are is exactly who you are supposed to be. you are an amazing person, with so much potential. and you have all of the power that you need within you already. what’s happening in nature is simply something to inspire you to chase after those dreams, to embrace your true self, and to live life to the fullest.

nordic-sunset-

the sunset from my apartment building at 10:45 pm: energy!

so,in order to capture all of this energy and begin to live our truth, it’s a good idea to take a few moments to just be today. it’s time to tune into the messages that we have been receiving. to listen + feel + to prepare ourselves to leap forward.

today it’s all about gathering all of that information + all of that energy in one place. unplug for a little while to day + go to your inner sacred space. take some deep breaths and let your bare feet feel the grass today. prepare yourself for the energy + possibilities that are on the horizon.

today is about trusting those dreams that we’ve had forever, that we keep dreaming but never acting upon. we already have everything we need. we are already equipped to live the life that we want. we are empowered people.

so, today, we sit and let everything come together. we set our intentions for living an authentic life. and then, beginning tomorrow we run with it… because it’s time!

remember, though, to just live life. to enjoy it. to embrace it. change is coming, if we let it, but it will not happen overnight. our dreams, our authentic lives are out there, and they are within reach. so breath deep, remember your truth, stay aligned, and let the changes begin!

happy new moon blessings to you all!

onwards +upwards!

mercury retrograde is over: what the hell just happened?!

in no way am i an astrologer, nor do i want to be. but, i do appreciate and look to the skies for inspiration. i see such a beautiful connection between nature, the universe, and our experiences in life. so, with that said, i enjoy reading about what’s happening “out there” and seeing how it relates to what’s happening down here, and more specifically, in my life.

and i believe that it is all connected, that things all relate to and affect and inspire each other.

the energy that pulses through you and me is the same energy that lights up the night sky and is sent to us through the warm suns rays. it is the same energy that is hidden in the ground during the winter as the flowers and trees slumber, waiting for spring to arrive. it is the same energy that mystically connects us to each other, giving us that feeling of deep connection to another human being. we are the sun, the stars, the moon, each other. we are body + spirit. we are one.

“we are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands.”
― Carl SaganCosmos

moon-sky

with that belief/worldview of a divine, cosmic connection, it is interesting to me how nature affects and inspires us, so i follow and read different reports, mostly moon phases (as i feel so inspired by the moon), and i let those connections throughout the universe empower me on my journey in life.

and lately, three’s been a lot of stuff happening up there in the stars.

recently we have been in a phase called mercury retrograde. honestly, i don’t know much about that, but i do know that it means that the planet mercury is the closest to the earth than is ever gets. and it appears to suddenly be moving backwards in the sky, seemingly from the west to the east instead of from the east to the west. of course, the planet does not change direction or slow down, but its relation to earth and how we see it from our sky makes an optical illusion.

in roman mythology + throughout history, mercury is known as the messenger god. quickly couriering messages and information between the gods + goddesses. i discovered that the planet mercury probably received its name because it moves so quickly across the sky – like a messenger.

now, since mercury has much to do with getting information out and communication, it is said that when the planet mercury goes into retrograde (looks like it’s going backwards), then messages, communication, travel, information all get screwed up. that the influence of the “backwards” motion and slowing down of the planet tend to affect us here on earth.

whether that is actually true or not, i could not care less.

what i do care about, is that it signals a time of slowing down. of reflection. of perhaps crossed-wires and miscommunication. a time of confusion. a time out, where old things/issues/fears/problems/worries/habits seem to resurface, letting us hash out, once again, those things we are trying to move past.

moon

photo sent to me by my sweet instagram friends @bokmalet.

and, it’s not easy. it feels a little bit like everything that can go wrong does.

it’s often a bit painful, feeling like you’re stuck and going nowhere, unable to move forward, exhausted and distraught by the opening up of old wounds + fears + difficulties. basically it feels like the wires are all crossed, that all communication and understanding is on the blink. yeah… mercury is moving backwards, not delivering his messages and keeping people plugged in and on track.

and while there are many bad things associated with mercury’s retrograde, i think there are a few amazing things to consider also.

when mercury is in retrograde, we have a chance to remember. we may remember our dreams, or remember a dark, difficult phase in our life. and in our remembering, we can review it all and reset ourselves back on the path to move forward. it is the perfect time for our soul to ponder its destiny. a retrograde can be a time of communicating with your self, to remember your own personal story and where you’re headed.

as of today, we are coming out of a three week mercury retrograde period.

it began on may 18 and ended on thursday, june 11. but, today, the 13th of june, the planet begins its march forward again. (on the 11th it stopped “moving” backwards. on the 12th it was stationary. and today, the 13th, it is released + begins its journey forward again).

sunset-eleven-uppsala-sweden

at the beginning of the retrograde, people were writing all about how life would most likely look way different to each of us at the end of the retrograde. as the days went by, i thought about that, and saw no changes. noticed no mixed -up messages. felt basically nothing happening.

in fact, instead of slowing down, life was speeding up for me. during the retrograde weeks, we had three different visitors, a wedding, lots of time with friends + family, my love’s birthday, and a whole bunch of stress. like. a. lot.

it was only this week, as i began to settle into “regular” life again, that i was able to see that mercury’s retrograde had, indeed, affected me + my little family. there were definite moments of scary, dark memories that returned. old ways of living, that my love and i don’t want to resurface, but that wanted to rear their ugly head.  there was no time to just be. my meditation was stuck and non-existent, thus closing off my own communication with my soul. i had no contact with my parents (who i usually text with every single day), as they were experiencing some travel woes in canada.

and i felt as lost as ever in trying to find a job, or what i am supposed to “do”. like a person in space, dangling in zero gravity at the end of their rope attached to the space station. flailing about. but, flailing slowly about. opportunities keep arising, but nothing, i mean nothing, seems to be leading to anything else. i realized that i have been grasping at straws, and continue to do that, only to not know what i should really be grasping for..

yet, i felt calm and at peace inside, even thought everything was spinning around outside of me. some good, some bad. some inspiring, some disheartening.

sunset

and suddenly, on thursday, as the retrograde ended, i found myself thinking: what the hell just happened?!

what the hell happened i still don’t really know. and i don’t think i should. i realized that i had just been caught up in a whirlwind of a few weeks, with a bunch of great time + and bunch of stressful times, and everything in between. that the retrograde had possibly, actually been affecting me. my confusion was (is) apparent. but, now is the time to sit with all of those crazy mixed-up messages and see what they mean. now is the time to reflect.

this is the shadow period. a week after the retrograde, as the planet slowly emerges back into our night sky.

you see, after a period of confusion like this, we can’t just “know” everything. that’s how it is with life, isn’t it? we need perspective. we need to sit + ponder a bit. we can’t just eat a big lunch and then go swimming. well, we can, but we’ll pay for it with lots of stomach cramps. it’s like a tornado just hit, and we are left with the aftermath. the process of cleaning up and assessing the damage, of even begin able to wrap our heads around what has happened, takes a long time. and it should.

it’s ok to slow down now. we need to slow down now. these past 3 weeks have taken me, shaken me up, confused me, scared me, enlightened me, inspired me, and frustrated me. i need to let the dust settle some. i need some patience to let things unfold. i need to let peace and calm reign in my life, so that i can get a little perspective. i need to just breathe. adjust. get grounded.

even the planet mercury takes a day after stopping it’s backwards movement to just be stationary before moving forward again.

this is the time to face ourselves.  it is a time of reckoning. we can either choose to run and hide as we have done many times before, or stand firm on solid ground, face up to our truths, learn the lessons that we need to learn, and seek to align our lives even more with our true authentic selves.

this is the shadow period. it’s time to rest. relax. recuperate. and look at ourselves. this is the time to go deeper. the window that is available during this time has the power to set us free. all will unfold in time. all will be well. for now, let’s just breathe.

onwards + upwards!