Thursday, December 1, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS DECEMBER 2016

December...is so much more than Christmas or the month for other religious holidays...which of course is very important to most of us...so I am not trying to discredit or diminish these sacred holidays in any way...because they are important. But I feel the spirit of Christmas...that of giving...and living from your heart and inner spirit ... needs to be embraced...not only at this season...but kept alive...and practiced each and every day... by everyone...not just during the holidays.

I am not sure when or why we as a society stopped caring about each other...the way I know we all should... and could...after all we all are humans...living together on this place called Earth. And I truly believe most people are good and loving...I really do. And to be honest it wasn't that many years ago...that we all in fact...connected more...to our neighbors...to our communities...and to each other. I know this for a fact...because I remember well doing so!

Maybe it is technology... fear...lack of trust of others...world events...the stress we create...the need for constant having more...or the bubble we surround our own lives in... wanting to ignore what is going on around us...that is causing us to retreat...and disconnect more and more from other people. I don't know...maybe it is all of these and more. All I do know for sure...is that within each one of us...is this.We all  have goodness within us...the capacity to care and love...and give to one another...it is part of our story as human beings... our humanity... and encoded in our DNA...that no electronic or machine can ever replace.

Personally...I truly know in my heart that living from a place of the inner spirit or the heart center...is up to each one of us...not our world leaders...or any other institution outside of ourselves. Sometimes I feel that to a certain extent we have all become sheep...you know following what everyone else is thinking and doing...in order to fit in. We all seem to huddle these days in fear and mistrust...and think we are connecting with each other through a computer. Now technology is a good thing......but certainly not the end all to actually connecting to another human being...or giving or receiving a hug...a smile...or extending a listening ear and an open heart heart. It is to some degree...isolation. And making a choice to be distrustful...or live in fear...because everyone else is...is just insanity. If any type of disconnect needs to happen...it is our sheep mentality...fear...worry...distrust...and using technology to relate and connect with others...constantly. When you give in to thinking and behaving like the masses...you are giving away your personal power. This is not in my opinion taking responsibility for your own thoughts or actions...and it certainly is not wise...mature or even emotionally healthy for you or anyone else for that matter.

Make a promise to yourself this month of December...the month of spiritual awakening...of hope and faith...to live from your heart...from this moment on. Reach out to others...stop to talk to others...offer help...listen to how others are feeling...give...lend a hand...care again...like your life depends on it...because in truth it does...everyone's life does. Refuse to get caught up in fear...worry...and distrust of others...because truth is...these negative emotions are a cancer...to your body...mind...and spirit...and to the world.

GIVE...CARE...CONNECT

From this moment on...because no matter what is going on...or what isn't...living from your heart...is the highest calling you will ever have...or hope for.

Live from your heart.

Happy holidays to you,
Victoria

POEM

"From December to March,
there are for many of us
three gardens-
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye."

by Katherine S. White

WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS...

December 10th...International Human Rights Day...December 12th...Feast Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe...December 13th...St. Lucia's Day... December 21st...Winter Solstice...December 22nd...International Arbor Day...December 25th...Christmas Day... December 25th...Hanakkah begins... December 26th...Boxing Day...December 31st...New Years Eve



FACTS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER...

The Anglo- Saxons called this month 'Winter Monath' or Yule Monath because of the custom of burning the Yule log this month.

FOLKLORE... Deep snow in Winter; tall grain in Summer-...Estonian Proverb

A fair day in Winter is the mother of a storm- English Proverb

GARDENING TIPS...
Prune back any grape vines...as well as pruning your evergreens. Plant any bulbs...and also plant onions and garlic this month. Be sure to remove dead or dying trees and shrubs.

HOMEMAKING TIP...Be sure to wax all your wood furniture this month...as having the heat on and the fireplace lit...can really dry out wood. Clean out your fireplace..before you light that first fire of the season.

FULL MOON...December 13th

FLOWERS...The Holly and Narcissus

GEMS... Blue Topaz and Turquoise

TEACHINGS... Connecting to your inner spirit and opening yourself to live a more heart centered
life.


WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

Light candles throughout your home...on this longest and darkest night of the year...as a symbol of your own inner light. Find a time at some point during the evening...to sit in silence and pray for others...the planet...and all areas of the world where there is conflict and strife. If you know of anyone who is ill...grieving...or having any problem of any kind...pray for them...too. By praying...you are coming from your heart...and sending "light" and goodness out to the world...in times of darkness.



LIVING FROM YOUR HEART  NEW YEARS EVE CELEBRATION

It really is up to you to make changes in the world and also make a positive difference in the world...and that means living from your heart...instead of the ego driven mind. One of the easiest and most simple ways you can begin to live more from your heart...is to think about what you are going to say...before you say it...allow your heart to guide you on how you treat people...and making choices based on compassion and love.

This of course does not mean...when you live from your heart...that you let others hurt you... stop expressing how you feel...or have feelings of anger or sadness...what it does mean is that you respond differently...not from your ego mind that wants to hurt back or lash out at others...but rather from a place of wisdom...and grace.That is...responding in a heart space of of expressing how you feel in a calm...but firm way...without attacking the other person. It also means...treating others...the way you want to be treated...that timeless but always truthful...living by the golden rule.

On New Years Eve...set your intention to living a more heart centered life...by lighting a candle...and then sit in silence...prayer or meditation...pondering within your heart...how you treat other people in negative or hurtful ways. When you are clear on this...write it out on paper...being totally honest with yourself.

When you are complete...read over your written list...and make a promise to yourself...that you will let go of treating others in negative ways...and begin to live from your heart. Ask for guidance from your understanding of God or the Higher Power...for your desire to be a more loving and heart centered human being. Blow out your candle...and then carefully fold your written list...placing it it a place where you can you take it out and read it each day...as a loving reminder of how you want to live from your heart.



SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS...

...FOR YOUR HOME

Keep candles lit this month throughout your home...to remind you of your own inner light. Use fresh natural pine cones...and evergreen branches to decorate your home with...instead of plastic items.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

I know you have ham or turkey leftovers...so here is a quick and tasty potato recipe to freshen up those leftovers...in style.


MUSTARD ROASTED POTATOES
Serves 6

2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
2 yellow onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the potatoes in halves or quarters...depending on their size...and place them on a sheet pan. Remove the ends of the onions... peel them and cut them in half. Slice them crosswise in 1/4-inch-thick slices to make half-rounds. Toss the onions and potatoes together on the sheet pan. Add the olive oil...mustard...2 teaspoons salt...and the pepper and toss them together. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the potatoes are browned on the outside and tender on the inside. Toss the potatoes from time to time with a spatula so they brown evenly while cooking. Serve hot sprinkled with the chopped parsley and a little extra salt.


PARMESAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Here is another easy and very good side to go with those leftovers. And it has cheese!
Serves 6

1 large head cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the outer green leaves from the cauliflower and cut the head into florets...discarding the stems.Place the florets on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 30 minutes...tossing once...until the cauliflower is tender and starts to brown. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and Gruyere and bake for 1 or 2 minutes or just until the cheese melts. Season to taste and serve hot or warm.


...FOR YOUR HEART

Make hand-make thank you cards for your received holiday gifts...tucking a piece of Rosemary in the envelope.