We forgot to tell the bees …

We forgot to tell the bees …

I don’t remember where I first heard of “telling the bees,” but I had a beautiful reminder of the soulful tradition when I read The Beekeeper’s Promise last summer. 

The practice of notifying the hives or telling the bees when a momentous event (usually the death of the master or mistress, but also births, weddings, children, etc.) appears in many European folklore traditions, as bees are often seen as a link between the physical and spiritual worlds. Some say it has its roots in the Celtic culture; this resonates with my soul beautifully.

I though back to this when my dad died in October. He wasn’t a beekeeper … yet he had a large and far-flung “hive” of family and friends. His address book (translated to an Excel spreadsheet over the years) was massive. My siblings and I spent hours on the phone reaching out and sharing the news of his passing. In the process we shared laughs, tears and a reconnection with people we hadn’t talk to in years. It was healing just to have those conversations, even while we knew we were sharing sad news.

Because Dad died during the pandemic, gathering was limited to family and the closest friends, with a private funeral Mass and no calling hours. Still, we felt so very grateful we at least could gather in church to send Dad on his way. His faith was strong; not having a funeral would have been unimaginable.

So many thousands of others this past year weren’t so fortunate. The unimaginable became the everyday. So many missed funerals, cancelled weddings, newborns with no grandparents to visit … so much loss of all kinds. Lost jobs, lost incomes, lost friendships, lost beliefs, lost hopes … in too many cases even lost faith as the things we used to believe were bedrock began to crack into pieces.

Collectively, we had no way to tell the bees. 

Life continued.

For many it looks entirely different now … even if nothing really changed on the surface. For me, it’s a greater clarity of what’s important in my life, and what I can (should) gracefully and gratefully let go. It’s the gathering of the tribe, when we reconnect back around a central hive and share our stories. It’s the moments around a fire pit, the shared meals, seeing the band play live again.

Just beginning to tell my stories again, I’m exploring my feelings and realizations — even though I don’t have it all figured out. For me, writing is how I get there. Putting the foggy gray feelings into black and white forces me to makes at least some sense of it all. 

I’m not the same person I was in the winter of 2020. Yeah, I miss her. She was a lot of fun, relaxed, happy, productive. Still, I’m learning to embrace who I’ve become. She’s still fun, with an extra portion of grace and strength and some eyes-wide-open disbelief at some of the things I never noticed before. 

I need to speak my truth of the loss and fear and darkness of last year, so my hive begins to understand. 

I need to tell the bees.

Carol Pearson is the founder of the 10 Little Rules book series, and the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, on Etsy, and at select retail stores. Follow 10 Little Rules on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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No, I’m not a hot mess

No, I’m not a hot mess

I’m walking along the beach listening to one in a series of mediations from the Chopra Center on the energy of attraction and manifesting desires.

I’ve listened to this series probably five times; each time through it I have a powerful experience of manifesting a particular dream or desire — a new client, a buyer for my house, an outcome with a relationship. And each time, my faith in the process is renewed.

This time it was a simple idea that rang through me: The more whole we realize we are, the more powerful our intentions.

“When you pursue love, beauty, creativity, innovation, meaning and a higher vision of life, the energy of attraction becomes much stronger.” Deepak Chopra, M.D.

The key to easily manifesting desires is remembering we are indeed whole, at a deeply spiritual level. We are not the hot-mess train-wreck lovable disasters we joke about. Yes, on the physical plane we may have lacks, needs, struggles, traumas, scars, yoga hair, bad credit scores and frustrations that keep us mired. Yet when we move deeper into the core of who we really are, we find that center where we are indeed whole. Unbroken. Undamaged.

Still resonating with this idea, I looked down at the sand on the edge of the surf, and saw the tip of a conch shell sticking up. I unburied the shell with my foot, and pulled out a beauty … 6 inches long with gorgeous coloring and a beautiful swirl. And just to reinforce the lesson for the day, there was a hole in the outer level of the shell.

It was exactly what I needed to find.

Here was this thing of exquisite natural beauty, not perfect by a shell hunter’s standards, yet absolutely whole. I held the shell in my hand, almost in tears at the perfect lesson. (This shell will live on my desk so I never forget that the outer “damage” doesn’t matter … wholeness exists on a much deeper level.)

The dreams and desires that come from our deepest selves hold the key to bliss. Honor what your heart is telling you, and set aside the idea that you have to fix yourself, or anything and anyone else, before you can be worthy of your dream.

You just have to look past what you think is missing to see the complete and beautiful reality.

Bliss on …

Carol Pearson is the founder of the 10 Little Rules book series, and the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, on Etsy, and at select retail stores. Follow 10 Little Rules on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Squirrels Need More Pockets

Squirrels Need More Pockets

When you think about how to make your home safe for children, you think about sharp corners, outlets and stairs. When you have a child with severe allergies, you look to your pantries, beauty products and cleaning supplies. Something that you may not think about are squirrels. Yeah, squirrels. Those cute little furry rodents carry all sorts of stuff, only to drop them all over the place.

We have this neighbor who feeds the squirrels. I don’t mean that he leaves a peanut or two out for the squirrels, but that he has made his entire backyard into a squirrel city. There are squirrel homes, cameras aimed into the squirrel homes and lights that is reminiscent of a red-light district. It is a bit much. His backyard is fenced, but some of the cameras and the tires and the houses and random junk meant to be a squirrel playground, loom over the fence line.

Unfortunately, we didn’t know that this odd zoo was a neighbor when we bought the place. Just like we didn’t know that peanuts and their shells carried over to our yard would be an issue for us until after we had Hank. We certainly didn’t know that squirrels don’t have pockets. Ok, we knew that, but like, seriously. They drop nearly everything; I am convinced that they are the reason why I have an abundance of wild raspberries.

When we realized what an issue the peanuts were, I did talk to the neighbor. I was met with a shrug.

Since then, I’ve heard stories from other neighbors that he has been feeding and providing squirrel love nests for at least 35 years. I guess every neighborhood has that *one* neighbor, right?

Because of our neighbor’s love of nature, we worked with Hank when he was younger to make sure that he knew what a peanut shell looked like and to not touch it. I take care to do checks in the yard to pick up any shells/nuts that have been carried over from one of his squirrel children.

It really just goes to show you, when you think that you have it all under control, a squirrel could change everything.

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Endlessly, beautifully, creating ourselves

Endlessly, beautifully, creating ourselves

We’re supposed to have a dream right? 
Some big fat uber sexy goal? One we’re ‘never supposed to lose sight of?’ 

But what if we don’t? 

What if just getting through whatever day at any given moment is about all the dream we can handle, let alone sexy? 

And what if we’ve let ourselves get so loaded down with whatever it – good, bad or otherwise – that we’ve all but even forgotten the concept? 

What if we have gotten so far away from thought provoking conversation and stimulating brain activity that we feel all but invisible? 

And what if we’re essentially very happy – but there’s just that little something missing? The thing you just can’t quite put your finger on? 

You look to the only person who can change that. 

The one person who may not know how at this very moment – or even what. 

The one person who in the end you DO KNOW you can ALWAYS go to to get things figured out. 

The person who knows to grab a good book, crank up the dance music, take a shower and do – or not do – her hair. 

Take a class. Research a small project. 

You Sunshine. It’s you. YOU are the one with ALL the power. 

You just may not remember it. 

And yes, the only thing more important than accepting help when you need it is asking for it. 

Good. Solid. NO STRINGS ATTACHED, open, honest help. 

Just never EVER forget – no matter what – you absolutely CAN take care of you my strong and MOST BEAUTIFUL friend. 

So do that …

and the rest will come. 

See you when you get here. ❤️

Amy Hege Atwell is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, available at www.10littlerules.com, www.thepaintedmermaid.com, on Etsy, and at retail outlets including her shop The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

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Define yourself

Define yourself

Judge not lest ye be judged.

At first glance this reads as a religious statement or perhaps the lead in to some strong comment chastising others for having made said judgement.

But what if we all read it — and better yet manifested it — as a mantra if you will to release the pain and heaviness that comes with judging others?

And what if we then opened our minds to the concept of ‘there but for the grace of (God, the Universe, Allah, your Higher Power) go I’? The idea that under different circumstances you too – regardless of your beliefs – could have fallen subject to whatever the situation at hand?

And then there is Alexander Pope’s ‘To err is human, to forgive divine’ – a critical concept that BECAUSE be we are indeed human, is easier said than done.

And none of this releases the ‘offender’ of responsibility on their end, but rather puts US in a place of less angst and more peace, thereby making us more approachable, and open. Not to ideals we find deplorable or behaviors less than ideal but to the idea that it is ok to come home – that it is ok to change your mind, admit your mistake or even just shift and soften your views, whichever the case may be.

For at one time or another, we ALL make mistakes. Or change our minds.

And at the end of the day it is far better to ‘judge not lest ye be judged,’ in the knowledge that ‘there but for the grace of god ‘go you’ and that to err is indeed human, to forgive, divine.

Namaste.
See you when you get here

Amy Hege Atwell is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, on Etsy, and at retail outlets including her shop The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

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Rethinking whalebone in a post-pandemic world …

Rethinking whalebone in a post-pandemic world …

It reads like something you might have seen in any media outlet this time last year.

“From Syracuse, N.Y., to Idaho Falls, Idaho, some stores were shut, while others limited hours and crowd capacity, or encouraged phone orders. Merchants discouraged exchanges and returns to limit transmission,” notes this post from WWWD.

Sounds right … even though the author is describing the impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak on the fashion world.

“Through the fall of 1918, sales of blankets, comforters and winter underwear (a precursor to today’s stay-at-home ath-leisure?) were up, while sales of ready-to-wear and children’s wear were hard hit. (Many mothers were afraid to take their children to stores.) Suit sales also dropped.”

It was the 100-years-ago version of Netflix and chill.

As our fashionista ancestors came out of the pandemic and the post-lockdown depression morphed into the Roaring Twenties, they made some choices. Flapper fashion began to rule the runways (this was the age of Coco Channel, Lanvin, Gucci, etc) and one thing in particular was relegated to the burn bin: the corset.

There was a lot of burning going on.

“This was also the time when women were given the right to vote in the United States. This new found freedom and desire to have fun, caused a shift in female fashion,” writes Jordan Anderson in NSS Magazine. “It was the birth of a new woman who abandoned the traditional corset silhouette for something much more freeing.  Dresses were shorter,  looser with a lower or non existent waistline and more revealing aspects like short sleeves and lower bust lines as trends moved further away from the Victorian era of dressing.”

The parallels can’t be ignore. Now, strong, clear voices are calling out oppression … in all its insidious, rib-cracking, air-sucking, life-stifling forms . Glass ceilings and walls are cracking under the strain, and there’s growing awareness that the old normal isn’t simply undergoing growing pains; it’s gone.

The political and social shockwaves took a personal joy ride for me yesterday, talking with my daughter when she called from California. We had one of our beautifully rambling talks, and got on the subject of buying clothes as she begins to plan going back to the office. (It was her comment about the Spanish Flu and the corset drop that inspired this post. She is always dropping these profound nuggets into our conversations, one of the reasons I love talking with her.)

Like so many of us, she feels that she’s gone through some profound change this past year. She likens it to packing for summer camp, when you get to decide who you want to be around so many people who don’t know you from “before.”

The challenge? Being intentional with her choices. Does she buy fast fashion that will last her a season or two, then get pitched? Or will she opt for fewer, higher quality pieces that will stay in her wardrobe for years?

The same discussion goes for relationships. Do we still want to amass a “following” on social media that we call friends, or will we spend our time cultivating deeper connections with lasting value? Neither is “wrong” (you do you, girlfriend), as long as you decide, with intention, how you want your life to look.

As we remember how to be public beings again, are we going to strap on the mental, social and emotional corsets of old, bound to the way things “should” be done, longing to ease back into the familiar? Or will we look around with wide, clear eyes and realize yes, things have changed, in ourselves and each other? Things are profoundly changed now, in ways we can’t measure yet.

Me, I’m spending a lot of time deciding on the next best version of myself, and how she moves in the world. What matters to her, what turns her off. What fills her soul, and what drains her. What makes her better … and what brings her down. I need this guidepost to navigate so much that is new to me right now, so much change and disruption and blossoming and retreating and growing and shifting, so much light and dark fighting for me attention.

This is the work of a lifetime, an epic moment in our country’s and our world’s history. And maybe it deserves more than the ratty pair of yoga capris I’ve lived in for the last several months. Or, maybe that just doesn’t matter right now.

(Update … my daughter just informed me she went to Target sans bra after our conversation. And I couldn’t be prouder.)

Live with intention first, action next. This is where I’ll be.

Carol Pearson is the founder of the 10 Little Rules book series, and the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, on Etsy, and at select retail stores. Follow 10 Little Rules on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

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Fear … the worst motivator a gal ever had

Fear … the worst motivator a gal ever had

Being afraid … of missing out, of losing out, of disappointing people, of not being enough … of anything and everything. It’s a great motivator to force us to make decisions. When you’re afraid you feel the need to do something … ANYTHING … to make the feeling stop. It forces us to think of solutions to our current situation, and do something about it.

Here’s the problem though — the decisions I’ve made when I’ve been afraid have pretty much not moved the needle toward the life I imagine myself living.

Sure, if you’re facing actual physical danger the motivation of being afraid is life-saving. But really, folks, how often is the tiger lurking behind that tree a real tiger with real claws and real fangs? (Happy guy with the bobcat in his driveway not-withstanding. Google the video if you haven’t see it yet)

When we are in that state of uncertainty or anxiety, and feel the need to act, how do we avoid doing something we might regret a ways down the path?

Rule #6 – Name Your Fear

For me I reach for Rule #6 for a Blissy Life … Name your fear. Be still for a moment and listen to your heart to help you understand what you’re really afraid of. More often than not, my immediate fear is replaced by deeper wants or needs that won’t be satisfied by a quick decision … decisions that might even make the problem worse in the long run.

This is especially true for me when I’m afraid of “breaking the rules.” Going off book from the expectations of others (or myself) and taking my own weird, gorgeous path. I strongly believe that fear is the main reason we too often accept society’s “rules,” instead of living by our own.

The idea of following our own path, disregarding the safe and the predictable, is scary. What if I fail? What if I disappoint people? What if I change my mind?

So we take the easy, less frightening path …and miss out on on what could have been amazing.

What are you afraid of? What keeps you up at night? What prevents you from choosing what your heart wants, instead of what you “should” do? Maybe it’s time to take a deeper look at what’s really driving that anxiety. Behind the fear is the real “why” we can all embrace if we have the faith and the love to do so.

Much love

(A note on anxiety)

Anxiety can be a symptom of real and urgent mental health conditions. Reach out to a health professional if your anxiety is getting in the way of you living your life. And know that you have my love, support and understanding. I’ve been there.

Carol Pearson is the founder of the 10 Little Rules book series, and the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, on Etsy, and at select retail stores.

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the truth about Wandering

the truth about Wandering

I am a beach girl. Plant me, park me and leave me be and I couldn’t be happier. But my soul speak begins to stir and the aching to explore the length of the beach, the plethora of shells, even all the human interactions takes over. I used to love company on my walks and but it seems that all my chosen partners rushed the explorations for one reason or another so the ease and fulfillment that came from my adventures slowly turned to a hurried pace and worry for my companion’s comfort. 

The company I longed for on excursions became an albatross around my neck until their lack of enthusiasm became my own. 

Their dispassion for my comforts slowly took the thrill from me. 

Until I sat… stagnant, uninspired. Even grumpy most days. 

I was not filling my cup. 

Recently I travelled back to my old college stomping grounds. Wistfully revisiting old haunts and memories. Happier times. More spontaneous and adventurous. I hadn’t been back for over 20 years. 

But ever so slowly my companion allowed me to direct each adventure, slowly refilling my cup in those cool mountain springs and out of the way bookstores. Rambling with no purpose. Just driving and exploring, not knowing what was around the next bend or “hollar.”

I reflected one treasure I had kept since my college days, an old bumper sticker. Purchased my freshman year and always proudly displayed in my dorm. “Not all who wander are lost”.

It struck me then …  and continues to. For some reason I never stuck it to anything permanent. I felt like it needed to be fluid just as the printed words reminded me to be. I have lost this little treasure time and again in all my moves and transitions in life, only for it to resurface in some box or stuck away book it seems, exactly when I need the gentle nudge again in my life. 

Even to this day. 

Our passions are our own.

We can not expect others to blaze the trail with us.

And we most certainly can not let others take the thrill of such passions from us. 

Seek your truth. 

Protect it.

Live it and know it. 

Go Wander!

 

Micki Beach, owner and lead instructor at Tree of Life Yoga Studio in Oak Island, NC, is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Her book is available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at select retail stores and in her studio.

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