Grandmother Knight Consulting: Wisdom for Life's Transitions
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December 21, 2011 Getting Ready for 2012
I tell people to stand in their power. Knowing what you want is so critical in having a vision. If you focus on how you can give and help others instead of falling into your own fear, step-by-step, day-by-day, you will accomplish what you want. You will get there! Joanne McCall
Hi Friends Yesterday, I had coffee with a long time friend, Joanne McCall. We met at the new Barrows Rd New Seasons. We had not seen each other in more than a year so it was past time to do a catch-up visit. We talked for a couple of hours, told each other how the last year has been and talked about heading into next year. I told her about my end of the year ritual of looking back over the past year to see what I've been able to accomplish, and what I haven't, and to begin to focus on next year. I love this time of the year. I find the personal ceremonies I do are so soothing and calming and centering and grounding and energizing. Even when I haven't accomplished what I wanted to, I find I'm looking forward to next year with excitement, and by the time the old year turns over to the next I have such energy of movement and anticipation, that I feel like a child waiting for Santa. Today is Solstice, and in the past few years that time has been a big focus for me. It always seems like the perfect time, on the darkest night of the year, to work on letting go of what I don't wish to carry into the new year. In past years I've asked for help to let go of generalized fears, feelings of insecurity, doubts about my personal power, feelings of lack, and so on. I love doing this process. It always feels so right and doing it, makes me happy. When I was talking with Joanne she told me about something she does when she's going through this evaluation time. Joanne said she calls on her 98 year old self and "asks" this self for input about direction, potential course corrections and how things look from her end of life, and so on. Joanne said her spunky 98 year old self always gives her wonderful advice, and so much hope. So, Joanne, I'm stealing your idea and will be "talking" to my gramma-self beginning tomorrow and asking her what my next steps are and how to go about looking at abundance, what is enough, and personal beliefs that keep me from abundance to let go of now before I move into 2012. Today is my letting go day and tomorrow begins my time of visioning what I want to call in. And talking to my 98 year old self is going to be a part of visioning the new from now on. How do you end one year and begin the next? Do you have a ritual or ceremony that you follow each year or do you just let the time flow as it wants to? Either way is fine. But I'll give you permission to steal my idea that I stole from Joanne, and talk to your 98 year old self and ask her or him for input about your life. Joanne said her 98 year old always tells her she is doing just fine, and to keep up the good work, as well as what things to change and tweak. I'll report back to you next month what "grannie Connie" has to say. Please share your ceremony and if you talk to your 98 year old self let me know what she or he had to say. I wish each of you happy, stress-free holidays as we each walk our paths. Connie, Grandmother Knight
November 22, 2011 -- Thanksgiving, Gratitude and Eclipses
Waking up this morning, I smile
Twenty four brand new hours are before me
I vow to live fully each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion. Thich Nhat Hanh
This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to time with both of my daughters and their partners, and to our great dinner. Do you have rituals or certain foods that say "Thanksgiving" to you, and that need to be part of your day? Funny, how difficult it can be to make changes to these rituals and food choices.
One of the dishes I always think of that came to me from my birth family is the all-American green bean casserole with mushroom soup and topped with onion rings. Even though I haven't made it or had it for a number of years, it still flashes into my mind this time of the year, along with turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes and pumpkin and mincemeat pie!
For the last few years I've gone to my youngest daughter's house for dinner, and this year is no exception. She and her partner have planned the menu and will be fixing the turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a vegetable (not green bean casserole!). My other daughter and I will bring the rest.
I love to add new things for us to try. Several years ago I began bringing horseradish-cranberry sauce, which is now a regular part of our meal. This year I'm also bringing a chocolate pumpkin pie (both recipes have been adapted from recipes I've found over the years). My older daughter's partner is making and bringing empanadas, something else new for us to try--and add to our dinner traditions.
Each year I love asking the question of each person I see, "What are you thankful for this year." This is such a great day to focus on gratitude. I'm grateful that I have been invited to my daughter's house to share time and good food with family and their friends. I'm also grateful that I'm healthy and have a wonderful group of friends and students surrounding me.
This year we will also be treated to a Sagittarius New Moon/Solar Eclipse at 10:10 on Thanksgiving evening (Pacific time). Sagittarius can bring with it travel and communication, new traditions and philosophies, a time of opening and pushing the boundaries out to make room to try new things. Though Sagittarius can also bring gluttony and judgments, I want to be open to and to focus my attention and intentions on the first group of qualities.
I love doing spiritual rituals on days like this one. If each of us do our own personal spiritual rituals to send out positive energy to those around us and our leaders I think we can help make our world a better place. I plan to get up in the morning and meditate and drum for peace and harmony. I also want to do some drumming at the time of the eclipse that evening. I hope you'll join me. You can drum or pray or meditate or send Reiki or pull a card or several from your favorite deck of inspiration cards or just sit quietly, imagining mother Earth and her people at their best.
If we all send the energy of gratitude and the intention for hope and peace we can help change the planet.
I wish for each of you a happy, healthy, abundant and stress-free holiday season as we walk our many paths Connie, Grandmother Knight
October 25, 2011 -- Daylight Savings Time Ends for 2011
At night make me one with the darkness
In the morning make me one with the light. Wendell Berry, Earth Prayers
Do you find it difficult to switch from Day Light Savings Time to Standard Time each fall? I sure do! I dread the sudden change to early darkness that occurs on the first few days after we switch our clocks back for winter.
As we move toward the Nov. 5, I begin thinking things like "I hate it when we change from Day Light Savings." Hating things always draws the wrong energy for me. From past experiences I know that when I say or think that I hate something, a new lesson is about to drop on me from the heavens.
I feel most comfortable and am most productive after dark, so it always surprises me that the time switch is so difficult. So why isn't it easy?
First of all, it's is uncomfortable because it's an enormous change all at once. One day it's getting dark at 5:30 pm or later and the next day darkness arrives much closer to 4 pm.
Second, I do love the night and I love staying up late, but I also love the sunlight streaming in and waking me up early in the morning, even though I usually turn over and fall back to sleep!
Third and fourth, it seems colder all of a sudden.And I tend to stay home more during the winter because it seems so much darker outside at night.
OK so instead of being the victim of this transition from summer to winter I've decided to try a new approach to this seasonal transition. Here is what I've decided to try this year:
1. The biggest thing I want to do is see the time change in a new light. Instead of dreading it, I want to begin to look at ways I can turn my feelings around. It's a great time to do inside and inward things: writing, journaling, reading, art work that I haven't had time to do for a year or more. Making holiday gifts for family and friends.
2. I've decided to do some journaling about the time change and see what comes up. Already, I see that it's a time to "rest and nest." I've got my warm slippers out and the winter windows in place to keep my house more cozy. And I've found that I feel more peaceful.
3. Lots of hearty soup is waiting in my freezer. I just need to make sure I have salad fixins' to go with the soups. This will help me stay away from my urge to eat badly.
4. I'm considering getting a "Happy Light." In just a few minutes a day these full-spectrum lights are a great cure for the winter blues. I have thought about getting one for years, but in the end have just put it off. I think ordering it now and beginning to use it right away could be really helpful.
5. I plan to go sit in a Starbucks with a cup of tea at least twice a week so I can make sure I'm around people. I'll take my computer and work on my writing while I'm there and feel like I've accomplished something when I get home.
6. I'm putting together a ceremony to celebrate the change and embrace the lack of light. I'll actually do the ceremony before bed time on 11/5. I've already gotten some small candles and can use my Soul Collage cards and my drum to help me search for what darkness really means to me. Part of the ceremony might be to get up early and go to my favorite Hillsdale farmer's market on Sunday morning, 11/6. This will get me out for a walk, some fresh air and some nutritious treats for the following week.
If you have other great ways to make the most of the time change, please share them. And if you try any of these suggestions, let me know how they work for you.
May our understanding of the power in darkness and the power of change increase as we walk on our paths. Connie, Grandmother Knight
August 26, 2011 -- Autumnal Transmutations
Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you have left. ~Hubert Humphrey
This is the week every year that I start thinking about the transition from summer to fall.
Like most of you, I've spent a couple of months doing summery things--inviting the warm air in through open windows, looking at my wonderfully blooming lavender plants, picnicing with friends, eating abundant summer fruits and vegetables, hanging baskets of flowers outside my house, traveling to the beach.
Fall will be here soon and I really love this season because of the gorgeous, colorful changing leaves, the crisp, clear weather, making apple butter, green tomato relish, the wonderful time before winter weather arrives, and the sense that it's time to get moving and get something done.
Fall isn't even here yet, but I've seen a tendency on the news to promote worry and "futurizing." And I can and do easily buy into worry thoughts about the weather and the economy. These are unsubstantiated fears and apprehensions. I want to stay positive.
This year, some strong astrological aspects are making me particularly vulnerable to fears. But the other side of these powerful aspects can be a deepening of faith and intuition, and healing of fears.
I choose to be open to this second side of the aspects and keep myself positive and not get pulled into the fall/winter depressing hole of worry. Besides, when has worry ever actually helped anyone? Never, that I know of!
In my Visioning Your Life class I'm the leader, but I also get a chance to work on my own visions. I'm beginning another class in the fall. So my goals are to focus on staying positive and working on my book of inspiring money stories. I'm planning to get a head start this weekend with the Virgo New Moon. I'll do a little ceremony to get this work grounded and visualized.
If you want to use the seasonal changes to catapult you into personal change and think this class might help, here's what a couple of participants had to say about the summer class.
From DG: I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for the Visions class, but after the first one I looked forward to going every week. This class is inspiring and positive, and you won't want it to end. At first, I really didn't know what my vision was, so the guided meditation really helped me know what it is. I even found my creative side in this class! Connie makes the class fun, and she has so much information to share. This is a class that I would like to repeat in the future.
From DWW: Taking Connie's class was a very wise decision for me. The class gave me support, direction and inspiration. I was able to view the blocks to my success with my new business and also create a support system for my progress. Connie has a huge resource of presentation skills and wisely knows when and what to use to help you on your journey.
If you are finding that the transition between the summer and fall is encouraging you towards a new life vision or you just feel called to make some changes, read the class description below and consider joining us. The energy of a group always increases transition energy.
If you have to do it on your own, do a little drumming or ceremony or meditation or prayer to begin manifesting your dreams and visions. And good luck.
I send you peace on your path. Connie/Grandmother Knight
July 28, 2011 -- Peace Pilgrim
A pilgrimage is a gentle journey of prayer and example. My walking is first of all a prayer for peace. If you give your life as a prayer you intensify the prayer beyond measure."-- Peace Pilgrim
Do you have a spiritual teacher who has taught you about how to live your life? Peace Pilgrim is one of my favorite teachers. She has helped me get more comfortable with uncertainty and trust.
For those of you who haven't heard of her, Peace Pilgrim walked away from all of her possessions (except what fit in the pockets of her tunic) and began walking for world peace at age 45 back in 1953. She said she'd remain a wanderer until humanity had learned the ways of peace.
For the next 28 years she walked until she was given shelter and fasted until given food. By the end of her life in 1981 she had walked more than 25,000 miles, crossing the US almost seven times to spread her message of peace.
From the moment I heard about her I was drawn to learn more about her life and her message, and to see what she could tell me about my path. I didn't want to let go of all of my worldly possessions and walk as she had. And for a while I was afraid that "Spirit" would ask that of me. Why else would I feel such an affinity for her?
I finally got the message that she was not in my life to teach me about walking, but about trust. And Peace Pilgrim, to me, is all about trust. At 45 she stopped living for what she could get and turned her focus to giving and promoting peace--peace among nations, groups, individuals and inner peace.
I think of myself as a pretty peaceful person, but I've always been a worrier. This week I talked with a friend who said she was recently able to let go of worrying. She finally realized after struggling to keeping her house because of the mortgage crisis that even if she had to go live in her car she would be taken care of.
After our talk it hit me that worrying is just another form of not trusting and basically there's a lot in life we can't control. I've learned over the years that worrying doesn't give me any more control. And worrying does not bring inner or outer peace.
How scary, but also how freeing to be like Peace Pilgrim and let go of what we no longer need and begin a journey. What do you need to let go of to have a peaceful life? What steps toward trust do you need to take?
Each of us must find our own path to peace. For me remembering to recognize what I'm grateful for is my best way to deal with what I can't control. It also brings me a great deal of inner peace. And I have a lot to be grateful for!
I send each of you love and gratitude. May your paths help you trust and to be grateful every day. Connie/Grandmother Knight
May 31 2011 -- June and July Eclipses
The reliable Sun, by contrast, rises prosaically in the morning, arcs in dignified fashion through the sky and sets in the evening, as predictable as a traffic light. But we never know quite where the Moon will be or how it will look. The Sun may be brighter, but the Moon makes up the deficit by being mysterious, strange and as full of surprises as a deck of cards. from The Book of the Moon by Steven Forrest
This coming Wednesday is the first of three eclipses occurring between June 1 and July 1. None of these eclipses will be visible here in the northwestern United States, but all will be felt. This first, a Solar Eclipse in Gemini, is at 2:03 pm on 6/1; the second, a Total Lunar Eclipse at 1:14 pm on 6/15 in Sagittarius; and the third on 7/1 at 1:54 am is a Solar Eclipse in the sign of Cancer.
The moon rules the tides as well as our emotions and during a Solar Eclipse tides tend to be higher and our emotions are more powerful, too. Eclipses are extra strong New or Full Moons. So what ever you'd see with that phase normally, it tends to be much stronger if the moon is eclipsed.
A New Moon is adding light or waxing, and is symbolic of a seed being planted. A full moon is decreasing light or waning and is symbolic of illumination, manifestation and then beginning to let go.
Gemini which can bring restlessness, versatility, spontaneity, logic, nervousness and/or scattered energy, also brings intelligence, communication and a sense of the two sides of one personality. Gemini is active, sometimes so much so that it feels chaotic.
The eclipse does not hit until Wednesday and I've already begun to feel pulls from others--more phone calls, emails, Facebook requests. Just today I've had half a dozen requests from friends to meet for lunch this week. I'm excited to be so popular but my calendar just doesn't have enough lunch spaces for all of the requests!
Gemini is friendly. It's also a help if you have something you need to say and have had trouble saying it. Ask the Gemini devas to help you think it through, and say it.
If you have a communication project, such as writing or speaking or a class you want to teach, Gemini can help you begin your project.
And at the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse on June 15, the Sagittarius can help you take it up a notch, broaden your audience and increase the prosperity of this new project! The Lunar Eclipses will help you shine the light on the project and see it manifested before the light begins to fade in the waning period.
I'm excited because these eclipses are activating portions of my chart that will help me begin and complete several projects that are important to me!
My first astrology teacher taught me many years ago that eclipse energy can sometimes last more than a year and each month the transiting moon hits that spot, we'll be encouraged to work on this project again and again.
For me, I'm being called to write and to dig in on a project I began a couple years ago. I'm already feeling the energy and have been writing up a storm. And the eclipses and other transits are pushing me hard to get busy!
If you are a Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo or Pisces especially, you, like me, could be feeling this energy. And all of us have these signs somewhere in our charts. I'd love to help you find the best ways to utilize these eclipses in your life.
May your path be filled with peaceful and powerful ways to communicate this month. Connie
May 2, 2011 Doing Our Best!
Don't take anything personally. Agreement #2 of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
We're all trying to do the best we can. from a conversation with my friend, Jillian Fraioli
Hi Friends Recently, I had several people in my life who were being overly critical and their criticism hurt my feelings. I didn't understand why they were being so harsh. I began to feel whiny and to take it personally. I've also talked to other people who've experienced the same thing with bosses, partners, relatives or even friends. So, after an embarrassing amount of time feeling sorry for myself I did what any astrologer worth her salt would do: I began searching the astrological transits and I asked myself, "what's happening now?" When I pulled up my astrology program and began looking, the first thing I saw was that six planets were in Aries. Aries represents courage and force, but also very young child energy and extreme impatience. So maybe instead of just being critical these people are actually just impatient and maybe having a tantrum? The second factor I saw was the moon, which was one of the Aries planets. Later tonight it will move into Taurus and tomorrow, into the New Moon phase. But tonight it's in the dark phase, which symbolizes things dying away to provide perfect mulch for the new seeds about to begin their life. As I looked at these aspects this morning I realized I'd turned a corner and no longer felt whiny. My feelings were still a little tender, but now I could see other sides. It was no longer personal. There are other planetary aspects that are equally strong but looking at these two brought me back to center and out of my self-focus. And that's what I needed. Do you have an over abundance of critical people around you now? Are you stressed, fearful (and who isn't right now?!), feeling picked on, taking things personally? You might ask yourself what's really going on. Are you or they anxious and stressed? Are the criticisms real and truthful and things you need to look at or just nit-picky things you need to disregard? Or is it time to make a change? Tonight, before you fall asleep use the intuitive power of the dark moon and ask your spiritual guardians for insight into what is actually going on with the bothersome people in your life. Then, listen to the first thoughts you have when you wake up. These first thoughts may surprise you. You just have to remember and listen. I'm amazed at how much I've have been able to let go of, just since yesterday. And friend Jillian, (quoted above), helped me see that I'm just doing my best. So, finally, remember that we are all doing our best and try not to take things personally! Hugs to all and thanks to Jillian for her wonderful insight. And may your path be peaceful and grounded this month and my you see that you are doing the best you can. Connie
April 1, 2011 Aries Awareness
Often we find it easier to think our way around things rather than to feel our way through them: What can we do to pull ourselves out of a bad mood? What can we buy, remove, or repair that will reduce or solve a loved one's anger or sadness? In retrospect, I realize I have spent many hours problem solving emotional facts I just needed to feel. I know now that my frequent labors to understand what went wrong, while somewhat useful, often were distractions from feeling the sadness and disappointment necessary to heal and move on. Book of Awareness by Mark Nepo
Hi Friends I recently had a day when I was not feeling very well, and I was impatient and grouchy. Someone kept interrupting me and I could barely hold my tongue or be patient with them. I felt they were being rude to interrupt me and keep me from what I was doing. The more I tried to be patient, the less patient I got. I just couldn't seem to turn my feelings around. Later, I made a comment to a friend that I didn't feel well and it was causing me to be much less patient than I'd normally be. She said she often found that when she was sick or had low energy, the feelings she had were the real ones--the ones she tried to cover up and not accept. Her words made me stop and think about what was happening with me. I remember author Raphael Cushnir in his book, One Thing Holding You Backtalking about how not accepting our feelings keeps us from our potential. I realized that I was feeling angry at my interruptor, but I was also angry at myself for not being able to tell her I was busy. Then I realized in the midst of everthing I didn't even know what I was feeling and this brought out guilt and shame. Later, after going through this process and facing all of those feelings and having a good cry, I realized I felt much better both emotionally and physically. I had allowed myself to feel what was going on and then had released it. What a surprise! This month we will experience seven planets in Aries, which has many positives, but can also bring out impatience and flashes of anger. We will all have a wonderful opportunity to work on new ways of dealing with this explosive energy. I'm not advocating allowing anger to take over, but this is an opportunity for us to see how these feelings affect us at a physical level and move the energy on through rather than ignoring and hanging on to it. Let's also send out prayers to the planet that we will be able to use this Aries energy toward courage and new beginnings instead of anger and rage against each other. To help you through your own Aries struggles this month check out Raphael Cushnir's website (cushnir.com) or his book (One Thing Holding You Back) or email me for an astrology reading. And may your path be peaceful this month. Connie
March 3, 2011 Food Memories From Childhood
Food is our common ground, a universal experience. James Beard
Hi Friends I was out running errands today and found myself listening to Fresh Air. The guest, Grant Achatz, chef from Alinea Restaurant in Chicago, talked about how important taste and smell are. At his restaurant they serves items like pheasant tempura, fried with apple cider and impaled on flaming oak leaves. The flaming oak leaves bring back childhood memories to him and many of his customers of raking the leaves out to the curb and then burning them (which was legal back then!). Listening to the show I began to think about my own food memories. What I remember most are the stories around three items: vegetable soup, hot cocoa with toast and foil stew. First, my mothers vegetable beef soup is something I can still almost taste and smell. My mother always made hers with a beef soup bone that had way more meat on it than now. She used a large can of tomato juice, cut-up potatos and onions and canned mixed vegetables. My Mom used no other seasonings than salt, pepper and bay leaves. I now make this soup with chicken and any vegetables I find in my refrigerator. And though my soup is really good, it's not quite as good as the memory of my Mom's. Second, hot cocoa and toast was my summer breakfast of choice. And the toast was always left overs from my Dad's breakfast. I loved dipping the toast in the made from scratch not a package hot cocoa. The thought of that cocoa and toast makes my mouth water and takes me back to those carefree summers in Missouri! The third food memory is foil stew which I learned to make on a Camp Fire Girls overnighter. Everything is wrapped in foil (thus the name) and put on open coals. We made individual packets with hamburger, pieces of bacon, potato, onion and carrot, canned kidney beans and one canned tomato with a little juice. This is another meal that makes my mouth water as I type. I also remember us at the campfire telling funny stories the summer I first made foil stew. I tell you about these three food memories not because they are anywhere close to gourmet meals, but because they immediately take me back to my childhood and to times that were carefree and fun. These memories are so nurturing to me and my spirit. Just thinking about them is calming. The weather here in Oregon has been rainy and gray skies for days, and the rest of the country has had it's difficult weather as well. And the bad economy is all you hear about on the news. It's hard not to feel down at least some of the time. While fantasizing about these foods I found myself smiling and feeling lighter. What are your favorite food memories from childhood and how do they make you feel? If food is not your thing maybe a couple of childhood adventures will do the same thing for you. We can all use memories that will make us chuckle and take us away from present struggles for a minute or two. I would love to hear your food or other memories and how they make you feel--and receive any great recipes you'd like to share of childhood food turn-ons! And may our path be all it needs to be this month. Connie
January 31, 2011 -- I Told You Wrong Last Month!
The past is never dead, it is not even past. -William Faulkner
Last month I suggested that you begin the New Year by looking back two years at what has been happening in your life. I suggested you look at what you wanted to accomplish and had been successful at as well as what you had not accomplished. I said I always looked back a year as part of my year end ritual.
After clicking the send button for my email I began my own year end ritual and wow, was it enlightening!
I asked myself "what's been happening in the last 24 months?" At first, I couldn't think of anything. Then, a few changes popped into my mind: I've retired from a full time job, spent six months trying to figure out who I was now, started leading Full Moon drumming circles, begun sending out a monthly email. I spent about five minutes on the past and then felt I was ready to move forward.
But what about really looking at my experiences? What was successful, what wasn't? I didn't want to look at any of that.
This exercise showed me that instead of really exploring the past I was mainly looking forward. What do I want to do next year was what I wanted to focus on. It's a great question when I have all the appropriate answers. But reviewing the past is important, too. To move forward I need to know what hasn't been completed or what I've missed in order to know where to step next.
So, I'm still soaking up the essence of my past two years. And, at the same time I'm contemplating what my focus will be for the coming year. I'm taking my time this year. After all, what's the rush?
I think a trip to the coast is called for and a walking meditation on the beach to see what the waves have to say.
Let me know if I can drum for you or send you energy as I walk on the beach. May your path be all it needs to be this month. Connie