It is a journey…

Photo from Pixabay

Hello dear friend,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying this last month of the year (and the decade, whoa – time flies). Today, I want to talk about my mental health journey (yes, again, haha – kind of becoming the main theme here, isn’t it?).

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It is in the cards…!

Let me share some of this amazing manifestation energy with you! I was overflowing with energy the day this was recorded and felt called to “Carebear Stare” it out to all of you, so that you too may share in that high vibrational energy. Wish big, my friend!

Hello dear friend,

I hope this finds you well. I think I’ve previously mentioned that I read Tarot for myself on a daily basis, yes? Since starting my Tarot journey this past winter, I’ve learned to pay attention to recurring patterns across my readings. For example, back in April and early May, the Judgement card kept coming out over and over and over again – which ended up making sense later in May and early June, when I felt called to pursue the second level of Reiki training – a personal leveling up and a response to what feels like a higher calling. I’ve also seen the 5 of Pentacles over and over since late July. While the 5 of Pentacles is often interpreted as a card of loneliness, exclusion, and loss, it has not come across that way to me in the readings in which it has shown up. It is so clearly referencing a date – and I was so, so thrilled to discover why! It has been very apparent to me that it is referring to December 5th and 6th, which is why my sister and I paid great attention to events happening those days.

I made the video linked above early last month when I was able to (rather miraculously) manifest a trip I did not expect to be able to take – and yes, I’ll be traveling over the 5th and 6th (!!!). As the trip draws closer, I’m seeing the Star card and the 9 of Cups with more and more regularity, and I associate both with wishes coming true.

Gosh, I don’t know what else is going to happen, but please, my friend, wish big this month, but especially so this week! The energy feels so high and so positive – it would be such a shame to let it go to waste when it so clearly wants to support us in chasing our dreams.

All of my own readings, and the other readings I’ve been watching, have this recurring pattern of messages indicating high energy supporting manifestation right now. I feel like all of December has this vibe of…I’m not entirely sure how to explain it, other than to say it feels like the Wheel of Fortune is turning and bringing about positive fortune for all those who request it, so long as it is in alignment with the highest good for all.

I know the wishes I’m currently making, and my friend, as I said previously in my “I’m wishing” post, I hope you feel comfortable making big wishes, life-changing wishes, wishes that would result in a dream-come-true feeling of bliss for you. I hope you wish and wish often, my friend. You deserve to wish – and you deserve your wishes to come true.

Until next time, sending you love, light, and so much supportive energy,

Katie

Myself, A (formerly?) Distorted View

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Hello dear friend, 

Have you ever had one of those moments that stops you in your tracks and leaves your cheeks burning and chest tight as guilt/shame/regret sit sour upon your tongue? Have you ever been suddenly presented with a view of yourself so at odds with your own self-perception, that it leaves you wondering what other flaws in your personality are still hiding from your own view? A moment that makes you feel slightly sick to your stomach as you are faced with a proverbial mirror that reflects a “you” that you thought you would never be? I sincerely hope not, but if you have, too, maybe this will be relatable for you… 

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Platform, Voice, and Responsibility

Hello dear friend, I hope you are well.

Recently, I saw the clips below on Twitter. These clips, but particularly the second one with J-Hope, struck me as relevant given my two posts here (Miracle Pill and The marks we leave).

Clips from Bring the Soul: Docu-Series on WeVerse App

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – particularly with resuming writing here, with starting the Reiki/Tarot channel on YouTube, and with attaining Master level in Reiki training – though I don’t have a large platform at the moment, as long as my voice is reaching even one other person, don’t I have a responsibility to choose my words with care?

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Pursuit of Happiness

Cards from The Universe Has My Back Oracle Deck

Hello dear friend,

I pulled these cards the other day when asking what I need to know right now – “Happiness is my birthright. I am a spiritual being here to have a human experience and I’m here to get closer to love.” Gosh, could I have pulled a better combination? Maybe, but this one is pretty awesome, no? I think the messages here are such important ones to remember – but they are oh-so-easy to forget, especially as I get caught up in the mundane, repetitive tasks of daily life. But gosh, what an idea. What a marvelous point of view – to go beyond the idea that we have a right to the pursuit of happiness to the idea that happiness is an innate right in and of itself.

I’m reminded of this video I saw a year or so ago, featuring a talk by Mo Gawdat – I really resonated with the message that happiness isn’t those moments of high excitement and joy, but rather “the absence of unhappiness”. What an interesting, thought, no? I remember being particularly struck by the simple exercise he shared that showed we can shift our moods so quickly. As someone who has often struggled with negative thought patterns and cycling thoughts, this idea of using distraction as a way to pull myself out of negative emotions had me nodding along. But I also remember thinking – well, yes, it helps while I am distracted, but the feelings come back when the distraction ends.

Though it took me many years to learn it, it is at those moments that I need to gently remind myself that I’m a soul having a human experience and I’m here to learn. I need to remind myself that I can approach the learning experience through a lens of love – for others AND for myself. Because when I come at a situation when I’m centered and calm in the knowledge that I am loved and safe and that the energy never dies – I know I can take on anything life throws at me. I know I will never again fall as far as I have before – and I know I can soar far, far beyond the dreams I can currently imagine.

I don’t know where you are in your journey, my friend, but I do know this – if happiness is my birthright, than it is absolutely your birthright, too. I also know that you, and I, are here to learn – and though the lessons might break us, I know we are also resilient enough, strong enough, and loved enough to always bounce back. And in case you need to hear it today – you are loved. You are so, so loved. You’ve survived so much and come so far – look at how strong you are! I’m so proud of you. I’m so glad to know you, even if just energetically through sharing this connection across the internet. I’m glad you exist.

Until next time, my friend, sending you lots of love and energetic hugs.

Love always,

Katie

The marks we leave…

Dear friend,

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I don’t know about you, but sometimes the days blend together so quickly that I can hardly believe weeks, or even months, have actually passed while I’ve kept moving forward as best I can. I’ve been thinking a lot about my journey lately – how far I’ve come since this time last year, and the year prior – and how my journey might have changed if I had made different decisions during moments that are clearly pivotal in the rearview…

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Miracle Pill…

So this came through my email a few minutes ago thanks to Live Nation…I don’t even have this artist listed as a favorite, so why this came to me today, I don’t know. That said, it REALLY makes me angry when people judge others for using medication to manage mental health.

Dear Goo Goo Dolls,

Not cool. As someone who takes medication to manage suicidal ideation and panic attacks, this facetious “Are you sad? Take a pill.” commentary is not only offensive, but blatantly adds to the already overwhelming stigma other mental health warriors face. And given National Suicide Prevention Day just passed, I find this even more unsavory- how insensitive can one be? It makes light of the many struggles people face before they even muster up the courage to seek help. Do you know how long and hard I fought with myself before I chose to seek medical help over taking my own life? Do you know the hell I went through when my first medication failed and I had to taper off it entirely before I could even begin to try another one? Do you honestly think I wasn’t also in therapy, surrounded by concerned love ones, and still fighting with every breath not to give in to the overwhelming urge to end my life?

Do you know what it’s like to feel like the you that is “you” is no longer in control of your body? Do you know the overwhelming guilt and shame I felt, knowing I was hurting everyone around me? Do you know that the real issue isn’t that I was “being selfish” and “only thinking of my own pain”, but that I honestly believed I was such a burden to EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING GOOD IN MY LIFE, that the only thing I could do to make things right by those I love, would be to remove myself permanently? Do you know, can you even possibly imagine, how it feels to have that thought running through your head at full volume 24 hours a day for months on end? As the you that is “you” keeps trying to remind yourself that you aren’t a burden and people would be hurt if you left? Do you know how hard it is to convince yourself that you need to stay when everything in you is saying you should go? Do you know what it is like to be afraid to breathe too deeply because it isn’t “you” controlling your body and you are literally terrified that any small move you make will be the one that allows the depression to fully take over, to lift your body off the couch and head to the kitchen and…? Do you have any idea, any at all, how scary that is? How much it hurts? How much I still look back and wish I never had to face those thoughts? Do you know that I TRIED to heal myself without medication? Do you know it is simply one of the MANY tools in my mental health kit to keep myself sane and functioning as a member of my family, my friend circle, my job, and society in general? 

How DARE you belittle the struggle the goes in to even contemplating using medication. And how DARE you shame those who are willing to use ANY tool they can in their battles to KEEP. MOVING. FORWARD. To keep surviving. To keep choosing to stay. Shame on you.
So no, I won’t be buying your new music. Ever. And yeah, you probably don’t care. That’s fine. I got this off my chest. And if someday you see it and it makes you pause for just a moment, that makes this rant worth it.
With all due respect, I sincerely hope you grow up. 

Yours Sincerely,
Katie

How do you say goodbye?

Hello self,

This situation sucks. We know it. We also know we aren’t the first to go through it, nor will we be the last. How do you say goodbye to someone yet living when you both know they are dying? How do you say goodbye?

You leave to visit family a few days earlier than planned, stunned by the news. You frantically scramble to adjust your hotel reservation dates. You go to the doggy daycare in person to request permission to board your dear Gunny later that day. You spend the rest of the day completing all your necessary tasks – get the car inspected today because you don’t know if you’ll be back before the month ends, put together Gunny’s food and medication for Thursday through Tuesday…and add enough for a few extra days, just in case, pack and triple check that you have everything ready. Try to sleep…only get two and a half hours of shut eye before the alarm blares and you race out of bed. Look at your sister, notice the haunted expression she keeps trying to hide as you swallow down two cups of coffee before you get on the road. Pick up Starbucks for you, your sister, and your Mom and drive north to pick Mom up. Say hi and bye to Dad and Annie-girl. Drive and drive and drive, switching off with your sister on the thirteen hour trip. Why didn’t you fly? Too expensive – $845 one way per person…Wonder over and over and over if you’ll make it in time.

You do. You have dinner with your Mom and sister before Mom leaves to visit her brother while you head back to the hotel to unpack. Your sister reads tarot spread after spread, seeking…god, you don’t know what. You practice Reiki and silently thank your teacher for fitting in your level II attunement the night prior. Mom comes back and you get to bed around 11…somehow you sleep in until nearly 7, before spending the day with your uncle at the hospice. The pattern over the next few days – you all go to pick up Grandma, go to breakfast, pick up lunch for your uncle, spend a few hours with him at the hospice. He looks surprisingly good…but for the fact that he’s the thinnest you’ve ever seen him, he has no color in his face, his fingertips are getting more blue by the day, and you try not to focus on how often he seems to stop breathing for a few seconds, how often his voice fades to nothing as he’s speaking, how much your visits seem to exhaust him…because he lights up when you show up. He laughs and cracks jokes and you all try to pretend everything is fine. You leave for the day, letting him rest. Drop Grandma off at home and head to your remaining family on Dad’s side. You pick up your step-grandmother for dinner. You are thankful for her tight hugs when you arrive and when you leave. You enjoy dinner with her, then take her home and spend a few hours chatting in her garage as she has her after-dinner smoke. You all say good night and you, Mom, and your sister head back to the hotel. You spend an hour sending Reiki energy to the hospice center and all within it, to your family, to yourself. You try to sleep. Wake up. Rinse and repeat. You find yourself feeling more and more drained by the day. Your coping mechanisms are helping less and less by the day. Two days remain and that stupid voice of Nox returns. You applaud yourself for recognizing it is a Nox thought instead of a Katie thought, but you are struggling. You tell Nox to go away. You try to pretend you are fine.

Your last day in your parents’ hometown arrives. So how do you say goodbye?

You end the last visit to your uncle with a tight hug that lingers longer than usual and you reminded him that you love him so very, very much and he tells you the same. He smiles as he walks away and you try not to cry. Mom, you, and your sister have a late lunch with Grandma and your other two uncles on Mom’s side. Drop Grandma at home and proceed with the usual evening routine. Hug your step-grandmother longer and tighter as you say goodbye for another year. You head back to the hotel and pack up as much as you can. You don’t practice Reiki that night because you took time for that in the morning that day. You try to sleep, but your sleep tracker says you got barely five hours.

You pack up the car and you manage to upset Mom by insisting you want to drive. She cries for three hours and doesn’t stop until you reach the first stop on the Ohio turnpike. Your sister wakes up and texts you to ask why Mom is upset. You explain. You let Mom drive for the next few hours, but before you get back on the road, she talks about how hard she was trying not to break and you feel guilty, but your sister reminds Mom that she needs to let those emotions out – it isn’t healthy to keep them inside. You remember your posts on this blog about how long it took you to learn to process your emotions in a healthy way. You let your sister and Mom switch off driving for the remainder of the trip home while you sit in the backseat with your headphones on, listening to your “I can do anything” playlist in an effort to re-center yourself and send Nox away. You find yourself tracing the symbols you learned during the Reiki II course into both of your palms over and over and over again throughout the day as you watch the scenery go by.

You get back to your home state in the early afternoon and drop Mom off at her and Dad’s house. You stop in to say hi to Dad and to Annie-girl before heading back home. You drop the suitcase off at your condo and head out to dinner with your sister, and then you pick up Gunny. You return to the condo and take the first deep breaths you’ve been able to take since the 22nd. You take an extra day of leave to decompress emotionally and to rest. You end up sleeping most of the day on the 29th. You go back to work and it is hard. Explaining where you were and why is hard. Hearing people’s condolences is hard. 

You know your uncle is still here, but god, you jump and cringe every single time the phone rings. You dread picking up calls from Mom. You know that call will be coming some day soon. You continue to send Reiki energy to the hospice center and your extended family. You try to go about your day without thinking the worst. Nox is quiet again, and you are grateful.  

You wait. You wonder if you should reach out to your uncle since he’s still being active on Facebook, but you don’t know what to say. You find yourself fighting back tears at odd times and for strange reasons. You wait and you wonder…how do you say goodbye?

Love from yourself,

Katie

I’m wishing

Hello dear friend,

I hope you are doing well. I’ve found myself thinking about wishes a lot lately, both in terms of what I am wishing for and wishes in general. I’ve found myself listening to two songs over and over lately – Airplanes by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore (linked above) and Wishing On A Star from The 10th Kingdom (which is a FANTASTIC miniseries – I highly recommend it if you like fairytales). What I really like about these two songs is the message that we can wish on things other than stars.

Okay, yes, I know we wish on candles and we can always wish without wishing “on” something, but how often do we do so? When was the last time you made a wish? I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found it easier to wish for something to benefit someone else – like “I wish for my friend to get that job she wants” or “I wish for Mom’s test results to come back clear” – it is just so easy to offer a quick wish or prayer for something to work out in someone else’s favor. But when it comes to making wishes for myself? I find myself feeling almost…guilty, I guess, about making wishes without having a reason to do so – like seeing a shooting star or blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, for example. I know that goes back to the ongoing inner work I’m doing to acknowledge my own worth, and yet, when I think of making wishes, I keep thinking about Into the Woods – I keep hearing these warnings to be careful with my wishes. I hear these warnings echoed when it comes to discussions of manifesting what you desire – be careful. Identify your why. Know that the universe will choose the easiest path – beware of situations like “The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs.

It’s easy to see why wishes on my own behalf can be…scary? bad? something to think through? There are certainly enough examples in literature and film that offer warnings about making wishes for some form of personal gain. But is it really wrong to want something that benefits one’s self? I don’t think so, not at all.

It is not wrong to dream of success, abundance, love; it’s not wrong to want more or to want to make your life better somehow. I think it is absolutely okay to make “selfish” wishes…with the caveat that it work out for the highest and greatest good of all involved. With the caveat that it brings no harm. With the caveat that we understand if the wish doesn’t come true, it is because it would not actually be in our best interest – and with the understanding that if we aren’t granted one wish, it is because something else is in the cards for us. That’s the attitude I’ve been reminding myself to take as I listen to those songs about wishing. I’ve been reminding myself that I’m allowed to wish for anything I currently desire, so long as I end the wish with “let it happen for the highest and greatest good of all” – and that’s helped. It has helped with that odd guilt I feel over making wishes for myself. I’ve been wishing for things for myself and the betterment of my own life for the first time in a long time – and I sincerely hope you feel comfortable doing the same. I hope your wishes come true, so long as they are in the interest of the good of all involved in the outcome. I hope you feel comfortable making big wishes, life-changing wishes, wishes that would result in a dream-come-true feeling of bliss for you. I hope you wish and wish often, my friend. You deserve to wish – and you deserve your wishes to come true.

Until next time, my friend,

Katie