Monday, December 30, 2013

Catholic Prayer: Morning Offering

Dear Lord, I do not know what will happen to me today.

I only know that nothing will happen that was not foreseen by You, and directed to my greater good from all eternity.

I adore Your holy and unfathomable plans, and submit to them with all my heart for love of You, the Pope, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Magickal Properties of Turquoise

If you're a unique sort of person who marches to the beat of their own drum, the turquoise might just be your best bet for a personal power gemstone!

The word itself is derived from the Greek word "Turkois," their name for the country Turkey, which was the main source of turquoise in ancient times.  This gemstone is formed by minerals such as copper or aluminum being pressed by the Earth's surface while water drips through the minerals for millions of years.

Turquoise is a mineral with a coloring that's so distinct that the robin's-egg color is actually named after it!  This rich blue-green stone can actually range in color from dark blues and greens, all the way to the lighter sky blue that is turquoise's namesake.  The gemstone is associated with the month of December, and can be found in many parts of the world, including China, India, many parts of South America, and the southwestern United States.

Native Americans consider the turquoise crystal to be a sacred and powerful stone.  In the past, turquoise was often carved into shapes of animals and birds, and placed into tombs as offerings, to attract positive spirits and to keep their dead safeguarded from evil.  Additionally, warriors would tip their bows and arrows with turquoise to ensure an accurate shot during battle or hunting.  The ancient Mayans would also use it to decorate artwork for their temples, forbidding people to wear it as it was revered as a stone of the gods.  In the Middle East, turquoise was used to create religious relics as lines from the Koran would be carved upon it and guilded.

When you are looking for a stone of protection, turquoise is an excellent choice.  It can help to enhance positivity and repel negative forces.  Turquoise is also soothing to the heart and mind, instilling calmness and clarity to a restless or grief-stricken soul.  Legends also say that a turquoise stone can foretell illness; if the bright color fades, it is said that the health is leaving the body of the gemstone's bearer.  When the stone returns to its normal shade, the person's health should return to normal. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Three Gunas

Gunas are a concept in Samkhya Hindu philosophy.  The word "guna" is Sanskrit for "string;" it can also mean "single thread of a cord."  They each represent a type of principle or motivation in the human personality. While there are several types of philosophy that refer to gunas, the Samkhya philosophy recognizes three of them: Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva.  Together, these make up the Triguna.

The guna that is known as Tamas (literally translated as "darkness") tends to be a self-centered and slow-moving motivation.  It can be described as apathetic, lazy, and senseless.  Emotions and actions such as hostility, bad reasoning, and self-delusion can often be rooted in Tamas.

Rajas, which means "passion," seems to go toward extremes.  While it is indeed a passionate and active guna, it also has the tendency to go overboard.  Rajas is active, creative, emotional, sensitive, but can also anxiety ridden, overly boastful, and aggressive.

Sattva is translated as "goodness," and this is the guna which one should strive to allow to shine.  It corresponds to our better nature: industriousness, compassion, and focus on helping and caring for others as opposed to material attachments.

It is said that everything in the world corresponds to at least one of these three gunas.  According to Samkhya belief, they are separate entities, yet they are all still somehow attached to one another.  Passion cannot exist without Darkness, which cannot exist without Goodness, which cannot exist without Passion, and so on.  They are a part of each other, while being apart from each other at the same time.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Prophecies of Nostradamus: Century VII

Century VII

The arc of the treasure deceived by Achilles,
the quadrangle known to the procreators.
The invention will be known by the Royal deed;
a corpse seen hanging in the sight of the populace.
Opened by Mars Arles will not give war,
the soldiers will be astonished by night.
Black and white concealing indigo on land
under the false shadow you will see traitors sounded.
After the naval victory of France,
the people of Barcelona the Saillinons and those of Marseilles;
the robber of gold, the anvil enclosed in the ball,
the people of Ptolon will be party to the fraud.
The Duke of Langres besieged at Dôle
accompanied by people from Autun and Lyons.
Geneva, Augsburg allied to those of Mirandola,
to cross the mountains against the people of Ancona.
Some of the wine on the table will be spilt,
the third will not have that which he claimed.
Twice descended from the black one of Parma,
Perouse will do to Pisa that which he believed.
Naples, Palerma and all of Sicily
will be uninhabited through Barbarian hands.
Corsica, Salerno and the island of Sardinia,
hunger, plague, war the end of extended evils.
Upon the struggle of the great light horses,
it will be claimed that the great crescent is destroyed.
To kill by night, in the mountains,
dressed in shepherd’s' clothing, red gulfs in the deep ditch.
Florense, flee, flee the nearest Roman,
at Fiesole will be conflict given:
blood shed, the greatest one take by the hand,
neither temple nor sex will be pardoned.
The lady in the absence of her great master
will be begged for love by the Viceroy.
Feigned promise and misfortune in love,
in the hands of the great Prince of Bar.
By the great Prince bordering Le Mans,
brave and valiant leader of the great army;
by land and sea with Bretons and Normans,
to pass Gibraltar and Barcelona to pillage the island.
eye, feet wounded rude disobedient;
strange and very bitter news to the lady;
more than five hundred of here people will be killed.
The great younger son will make an end of the war,
he assembles the pardoned before the gods;
Cahors and Moissac will go far from the prison,
a refusal at Lectoure, the people of Agen shaved.
From the marine tributary city,
the shaven head will take up the satrapy;
to chase the sordid man who will the be against him.
For fourteen years he will hold the tyranny.
He will come to expose the false topography,
the urns of the tombs will be opened.
Sect and holy philosophy to thrive,
black for white and the new for the old.
Before the city of the Insubrian lands,
for seven years the siege will be laid;
a very great king enters it,
the city is then free, away from its enemies.
The deep entry made by the great Queen
will make the place powerful and inaccessible;
the army of the three lions will be defeated
causing within a thing hideous and terrible.
The prince who has little pity of mercy
will come through death to change (and become) very knowledgeable.
The kingdom will be attended with great tranquillity,
when the great one will soon be fleeced.
The besieged will color their pacts,
but seven days later they will make a cruel exit:
thrown back inside, fire and blood, seven put to the ax
the lady who had woven the peace is a captive.
The fort at Nice will not engage in combat,
it will be overcome by shining metal.
This deed will be debated for a long time,
strange and fearful for the citizens.
Ambassadors of the Tuscan language
will cross the Alps and the sea in April and May.
The man of the calf will deliver an oration,
not coming to wipe out the French way of life.
By the pestilential enmity of Languedoc,
the tyrant dissimulated will be driven out.
The bargain will be made on the bridge at Sorgues
to put to death both him and his follower
The citizens of Mesopotamia
angry with their friends from Tarraconne;
games, rites, banquets, every person asleep,
the vicar at Rhône, the city taken and those of Ausonia.
The Royal scepter will be forced to take
that which his predecessors had pledged.
Because they do not understand about the ring
when they come to sack the palace.
He who was buried will come out of the tomb,
He will cause the fort of the bridge to be tied in chains:
Poisoned with the spawn of a pimp,
the great one from Lorraine by the Marquis du Pont.
Through long war all the army exhausted,
so that they do not find money for the soldiers;
instead of gold or silver, they will come to coin leather,
Gallic brass, and the crescent sign of the Moon.
Foists and galleys around seven ships,
a mortal war will be let loose.
The leader from Madrid will receive a wound from arrows,
two escaped and five brought to land.
At the wall of Vasto the great cavalry
are impeded by the baggage near Ferrara.
At Turin they will speedily commit such robbery
that in the fort they will ravish their hostage.
The captain will lead a great herd
on the mountain closest to the enemy.
Surrounded by fire he makes such a way,
all escape except for thirty put on the spit.
The great one of Alba will come to rebel,
he will betray his great forebears.
The great man of Guise will come to vanquish him,
led captive with a monument erected.
The sack approaches, fire and great bloodshed.
Po the great rivers, the enterprise for the clowns;
after a long wait from Genoa and Nice,
Fossano, Turin the capture at Savigliano.
From Languedoc and Guienne more than ten
thousand will want to cross the Alps again.
The great Savoyards march against Brindisi,
Aquino and Bresse will come to drive them back.
From the bank of Montereale will be born one
who bores and calculates becoming a tyrant.
To raise a force in the marches of Milan,
to drain Faenza and Florence of gold and men
The kingdom stripped of its forces by fraud,
the fleet blockaded, passages for the spy;
two false friends will come to rally
to awaken hatred for a long time dormant.
The French nation will be in great grief,
vain and lighthearted, they will believe rash things.
No bread, salt, wine nor water, venom nor ale,
the greater one captured, hunger, cold and want.
The great fish will come to complain and weep
for having chosen, deceived concerning his age:
he will hardly want to remain with them,
he will be deceived by those (speaking) his own tongue.
God, the heavens, all the divine words in the waves,
carried by seven red-shaven heads to Byzantium:
against the anointed three hundred from Trebizond,
will make two laws, first horror then trust.
Ten sent to put the captain of the ship to death,
are altered by one that there is open revolt in the fleet.
Confusion, the leader and another stab and bite each other
at Lerins and the Hyerès, ships, prow into the darkness.
The elder royal one on a frisky horse
will spur so fiercely that it will bolt.
Mouth, mouthful, foot complaining in the embrace;
dragged, pulled, to die horribly.
The leader of the French army
will expect to lose the main phalanx.
Upon the pavement of oats and slate
the foreign nation will be undermined through Genoa.
Within casks anointed outside with oil and grease
twenty-one will be shut before the harbor,
at second watch; through death they will do great deeds;
to win the gates and be killed by the watch.
The bones of the feet and the hands locked up,
because of the noise the house is uninhabited for a long time.
Digging in dreams they will be unearthed,
the house healthy in inhabited without noise.
Two newly arrived have seized the poison,
to pour it in the kitchen of the great Prince.
By the scullion both are caught in the act,
taken he who thought to trouble the elder with death.

Monday, December 2, 2013

How to Cut Toxic People & Negative Friends Out of Your Life

Connections with other people are one of life's greatest joys. Interacting with those that you love and who love you can make the difference between an awful day and an amazing one.

However, we all have people in our lives who are less than perfect. In fact, no one in this world is perfect! There will be times when our best friends, loved ones, and life partners will have bad days. They might grumble, they might be negative, or they may even be snarky and mean to us. Or, we might be the ones who are feeling negative, and will do the same to other people. This is normal and natural -- everyone has good days and bad. If we love each other, we'll put up with it, because the bad is often outweighed by the good.

But there are also people who don't quite fit this mold. You know the types I'm talking about -- the drama queens, the judgmental jerks, the negativity sinks, the time wasters, negative friends, and the users. (I have a book about emotional vampires, which you can peruse here, which goes into greater depth about the types of emotional vampires that we deal with on a day to day basis.) When you care about someone, but they are depleting you, perhaps it's time to have a heart-to-hear with them about what's going on. It is okay to speak up and explain to your negative friends when your needs aren't getting met. Don't assume that you're being selfish just because you're standing up for yourself and your own well-being. (Also… here's a radical thought: What's so wrong with being a bit selfish now and again, anyway?) Dump that toxic friend! You do not need to spend time with someone who's draining away your energy.

If you've already had these conversations with those negative friends, and you're still searching for ways to end a friendship gracefully, chances are that your needs are still not being met. I'm assuming that you've already taken a good, long look at the friendship, including the parts that you had played in your dealings with this emotional vampire.

You may be feeling as though you've tried all of the solutions that you can -- speaking from the heart, setting limits, enforcing boundaries, or saying "no" once in awhile, only to continue to be met with disrespect, negativity, or a lack of reciprocity. It's now time for you to cut this toxic friendship from your life, so that you can invest that time in focusing on bigger and better things.

There are two ways that you can go about this: The easy way (which is often harder!), and the hard way (which is often easier!). Either can be effective; it simply depends on the type of negative person you are cutting out of your life.

The easy one has one basic step: Just cut them out. Quit calling or texting them. Stop taking their calls, unfriend them online, quit inviting them to your functions, and stop going to theirs. If you have mutual friends, you must also resist the temptation to talk about them with those friends. The drawback of this is that there could be some backlash, particularly if you're close. However, if this "friend" has done an egregious thing to you, betrayed a major trust, or committed some significant act of betrayal, it may be the way to go.

The hard way involves keeping the negative friend in your life. However, you'll simply be spending less time with them. (I must admit, I've done this method before! It works!) This method is much better for people that you do like, but are just too difficult to be around all the time. Maybe they're very high-maintenance, very negative, or just really different from you in uncomfortable ways. Perhaps they don't respect your boundaries and don't seem to respond well to discussions or other attempts to correct it. However, if they genuinely mean well and are not going out of their way to hurt you, the "hard way" is worth a try. It will take a lot more time, but will also be much easier on your friendship. Encourage this person to branch out and do new things -- this way, there'll be less time for them to bug you. ;) Pare down your communication: for example, if you speak on the phone every day or two, try cutting down to a couple times a week. If you hang out every week, try canceling from time to time and see if you can get it down to a couple of times a month. Make a plan to reduce the amount of time that you spend with him or her. Write it down on your calendar if you need to, but stick to the plan. On the occasions that you do talk or hang out, keep things positive and cordial. I'd also recommend that, during any conversation that you do have, you try to insert details about things that are keeping you so busy -- talk about your kids, your job, any hobbies or interests or obligations which might take up your time. You don't need to complain about these types of things (unless they truly are driving you nuts!), but making sure to acknowledge them will help take the edge off with your friend.
If you have mutual friends, and you try the above method, you may be required to spend time with this person anyway. That's okay! Sometimes being in a group with the toxic person can make things a lot more palatable. You'll both have other people to talk with, and you can even spend time together in a more controlled setting.

A few words of caution: If you're trying valiantly to keep things civil and the other person is not being accepting of the way things are, things could get dicey. Try the following phrases to diffuse tension:

"I understand."

"I'm sorry."

"Let's talk about this later, when we've both had time to calm down."

Whether you actually agree with the above statements is not the point. Diffusing a tough situation is the name of the game. Anyone who is going to throw tantrums, though, might need you to revert back to "the easy method."

Does this technique sound passive-aggressive? I know that some aspects of it certainly are. However, when you're dealing with an emotional vampire, sometimes it's much easier to do things gently as it helps to minimize the drama which is the emotional vampire's lifeblood. It also helps to preserve your sanity, as well.

Having an Awesome Life, Lesson #12: Share Your Awesomeness

This is the final lesson in my "Having an Awesome Life" series.  If you've taken the time to follow my advice all year, you've likely found lots of improvement in your life.  Congratulations on making the effort to think more positively, to connect with others, to pursue your dreams, and to enjoy as much as you can about the way things are... as well as opening your mind to how life can improve.

Now that you've begun on your path to ultimate awesomeness, the final step is to take other people in your life along for the ride!  If you've begun to notice that other folks in your life seem aimless, sad, anxious, or bored... share your knowledge with them.  Be supportive of others' quests to improve their situations, and be the great friend or confidante who can assist as their voice of reason, their sounding board, and the wind beneath their wings!  Celebrate your differences, similarities, and everything in between.

This is the season of love.  Sharing your knowledge, giving of yourself, and taking the time to really connect with your loved ones is the crux of this joyous time of year.  Regardless of your religious affiliation, you can enjoy spending time with those around you and celebrating the simple concept of togetherness.

By spreading this message of awesomeness, you are showering love on those who surround you.  Real love is about giving, sharing, helping and supporting.  Spread your happiness and contentment around and share the lessons that you have learned with the world!  Become the guru of your own social circle; promote love, awesomeness, and mental well-being wherever and whenever you can.

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