2014 Wrap-up Challenge: Present Your Gifts

By JD Hancock from Austin, TX, United States (Merry Christmas 2010) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Since I decided I would take whichever day was left for my blogging challenge, I kinda suspected I would get Christmas Day. Yet I figured I would wait and write my post on the day I was “given.” It is indeed Christmas Day and I am relishing the quiet while I type. This post is my present to all of you.  So in that spirit please read on…

First I want to let you in on a little secret. When I devised this challenge and created the theme, I was hoping that focusing on gratitude would lift my spirits. I was imagining that those who were called to participate would connect to form an energetic web of light that exuded grace, miracles, and blessings. As per usual, this challenge has proved to be miraculous in scope with surprises at every twist and turn. And it isn’t even finished yet!

When I looked at my aspects for my solar return chart ( birthday chart) for November 6 2013 , I saw that Saturn would be exactly on my Sun. The solar return chart illustrates the events of a one year cycle from the day of your current birthday through the next. With an exact Saturn to Sun conjunction and Pluto in Capricorn squaring Uranus off and on all year, I had a hunch this would be an arduous year for me. I reflected on my first Saturn in Scorpio transit and recalled the losses, disappointments, and successes. I recalled graduating from Temple University’s Master’s Program in Counseling Psychology , making amazing friends, and living alone (without family or room mates) for the first time in my very own apartment. It was a difficult cycle, but oh so rich in lessons and blessings. This year is no different in that regard.

The children’s story The Little Engine That Could immediately came to mind when I was reflecting about this year. It is a story about chugging along productively, despite the obstacles. Please consider this story as you read along:

Which lessons did you learn?

I learned so many things this year. I learned that my greatest fears can be made manifest. February is one of my favorite months but it was brutal this year. On the same day I discovered I had skin cancer that required surgery, I also was told that my long time friend and neighbor had abruptly passed away. What we focus on with our attention and intention is what persists. Worries about Cancer finally showed up as Cancer. The good news is that it was treatable and gone from my body. A scar remains to remind me of past battles and my ability to choose my thoughts differently in the present moment. My friend is also gone, but her passion for animals and all of nature certainly live on. I also learned that I can keep redirecting my Self, even when I am tempted to give up. Like that little engine, my natal Saturn in Capricorn teaches me the wisdom of striving to improve and to move mountains one tiny step at a time.

How did you serve others?

I served others by clearly communicating my limitations. This is not typically my sweet spot as I prefer to pursue excellence. Yet being genuine and transparent requires honesty and admission of human imperfection. I also served others by unabashedly sharing my love and affection. I rarely say anything I do not mean so sometimes I worry that I may come off as phony. However, it is more important for me to cherish those I love and shower them with my expressions in the forms of truth and light. My heart never fails to lead me in the right direction and it served me well this year.

What blessings did you receive?

Generosity from family and friends was often unexpected and never taken for granted. With financial difficulties dominating most of this year, I always had more than enough. Sometimes the sources were unexpected. Not only was I gifted with opportunities to travel, enjoy art , celebrate nature, and dine with abandon, I was given one of the best presents ever, NO JUDGEMENT. I was gifted unconditional acceptance for being me! I hope to pass it onto as many souls as I can. The value of acceptance is beyond measure and is difficult to put into words. Let’s just say it is priceless.

Speaking of priceless, I have made so many amazing new friends this year that feel like eternal long- lost connections.  I have also developed closer bonds with the established ones and re-united with an oldie but goodie. My WordPress family continues to grow by leaps and bounds in a spiral-like motion. One click leads to another and all of a sudden I am collaborating with my moonies or chowing down on curry in real-time with a “new” bloggette buddy.

 

wikimedia.org public domain

Was there something you lost that turned out to be a blessing in disguise?

This question was created many moons ago. When I developed a Grief and Loss group at my program, I collaborated with a wonderful soul who was part of the team that I supervised. At some point he asked me if we could expand the focus of the group and suggested we look at all types of loss. This question came out of that process. Months later when Special K cereal began the campaign ” What will you gain when you lose?”, I knew the Universe approved of this query.

I discovered that I can make a difference with lasting impact, despite an eventual outcome that was not to my liking. I had 2 full-time jobs this year: One temporary and one “permanent”. Both assignments required I work harder and longer than typically required. Learning new skills usually comes easily and quickly to me, with boredom being the harshest obstacle to transcend, This year, it was not the case. I had to familiarize myself with tricky computer programs and databases with little help or support and often under immense pressure and scrutiny. Very, very Saturn! I also had to endure the toxicity of work environments that were unstable and unforgiving. Ultimately both assignments were taken from me, swiftly and without much explanation.

But silver linings abound in both cases. Without any provocation from me, I was showered with gratitude for my service. When I returned to the temp job to pick up some belongings, I encountered one of my clients who was deemed ” difficult”. She peppered me with questions about my departure which I could not answer. She told me how much the clients loved me and what a difference I made. I was overcome with emotion and brushed aside tears. At the other job, I had an opportunity to provide supervision to new therapists who were beginning to hone their skills. I developed a rapport with one young woman who initially questioned her decision to work in this field. In just a few months, she was blossoming into a confident, savvy, compassionate clinician. She soaked up all that I offered her and was open to my observations of her group and individual sessions. She repeatedly told me how much she learned from me and how much my attention and guidance meant to her. I was so sad to sever that bond, yet so excited to see how much she had benefited by my presence in her life. 

Did you receive any “gifts” in terms of powers or skills?

I did not receive any new powers or skills, but had ample opportunities to refine and practice my intuition and  increase my capacity to reach out to others. My experience of synchronicities has snowballed into an almost daily phenomenon. Nurturing and honoring each “episode” had brought me more and more. I question the purpose of these “happy accidents” less often, and prefer to take them in with appreciation. As someone who loves new experience and detests change, taking risks has often posed a very paradoxical challenge for me. While I have many times found myself led to be a pioneer and move in unfamiliar territory, it was never without a trace of anxiety. When a surprise invitation appeared to interview a film director, I thought I was dreaming ( not the lucid kind !) and was initially skeptical. Fortunately I followed my intuition and faced my fear of uncertainty. Skyping with Shawn and interviewing her for her film Saturn Returns is an experience that I will always treasure. It comes as no coincidence that I wrote about a film on Saturn during such a Saturnian-filled year!

 I discovered a core belief this year ~ that life is unsafe for me. I think I always knew this at some level, but this year’s journey brought it to awareness. But here is the thing: every single risk I took resulted in so much joy and love. When I am in that space, no fear can touch me and I am at one with all that is, the great IAM. For example, I spent Christmas Eve with a dear friend at her home. I only knew a few people there and was worried I might feel out-of-place. I cast these worries and doubts aside and reminded myself how great I feel when I am open. Well I made a new friend at the gathering with ease and grace. Within seconds I felt that we were meant to meet and the host told me she thought we would connect! This year has really reinforced for me the magic of being innocent and open. The little engine that could really chugs along when unencumbered by expectations, projections, or judgements.

By Kelvin Kay, en:user:kkmd [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to all of you who have accepted me, warts and all, into your hearts and into your circle. I am excited about this new year and expect to open new doors and walk through them with excitement and awe. My recent decision to embrace radical gratitude was wise, but not without its own set of unique demands. However I leave 2014 inspired to embrace my life and begin to grasp the magnificence of being human. I invite you to do the same.

May your heart be open to receive the gifts already on their way.

 

Postscript: I wanted to end this with a song and at 8:10 pm one popped into my head that really summarizes 2014. In a word, Brave.

 

next post: astro sister Ka at Fiesta Estrella

 

image credits:
1st image: By JD Hancock from Austin, TX, United States (Merry Christmas 2010) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image: wikimedia.org, public domain
3rd image/ header image: By Kelvin Kay, en:user:kkmd  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License
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36 thoughts on “2014 Wrap-up Challenge: Present Your Gifts

  1. Pingback: 2014 Wrap-Up Blog Challenge – Present Your Gifts | Psychic Pharmacy Tech

    1. Hi Aleya,
      So glad that you were pat of my journey this year. The more I get to know you, the more I notice how much your honest exuberance brightens my heart and spirit. We have walked down some similar roads ( in Italy and in life ) and here’s to a golden road in 2015 leading us back to our highest expression of our BEING.

      thank you for being you.

      love,
      Linda

      Like

  2. Pingback: 2014 Candies | Glorialana's Blog

  3. Linda… this was indeed a beautiful read, your honest and openness is something that attracted me to you in the very beginning of our acquaintance.. And I am so proud of how you have taken every negative within your year to turn it around into a resounding Positive experience.. I Know Linda that your love and energy has touched many in your everyday as well as your cyber space life.. You have touched mine.. and I am so Happy we met and got to share our thoughts together..

    I know dipping into my own psychic awareness that 2015 will blossom beyond your wildest expectations.. Because you now so understand that you are indeed the Driving Force of your Destiny.. And Yes you CAN.. and you KNOW you Can.. either Chug or you can Hooot away full steam ahead and arrive at any destination you set yourself ..

    Happy New Year to you Linda.. and Many more Blessings I know will travel along your tracks with into 2015..
    Love and Hugs my lovely friend..
    Sue xxxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue,
      This sweet comment has almost left me speechless 🙂
      Well, almost! I have tried to turn all of it around because I refuse to spend any more time feeling bitter and hopeless. Life is a miracle and I am just starting to grasp the enormity of this statement. I do have some dreams and plans for 2015 and also hope for some pleasant surprises beyond any expectations. The Source continues to amaze me with miracles beyond the scope of my human limits.

      Love to you and I am so grateful you and I have found our connection. Words cannot express how happy I am that you are in my orbit.

      Wishing you a glorious dazzling 2015!

      hugs,
      Linda

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have only around half an hour here on WP as I have my Granddaughter today who isn’t to well. .. So while she sleeps I thought I would just pop on here

        I also smiled as I read your WP statics.. 111…. Brilliant.. Now if that is not confirmation that the Universe is working with you what is..
        I awoke last night and the Clock said 1:11 too I keep going forwards then back from 4:44 to 111… 🙂 All good..
        Will be popping around to comment upon your stats real soon..
        Special Hugs.. Sue xox

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope abundant health return to you and your beloved granddaughter. I am also seeing 222, 333, 444, and 555 with more frequency but still jump for joy in my heart with the 111s and 1111s. I feel so loved by your care and respect for me as me. My wish is that you receive the same blessings of kindness, wisdom, and comfort that you bring to the planet.

        cosmic hugs,
        Linda

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It sounds like quite an amazing year, Linda. I love your closing thought about the magic of being innocent and open. I can’t be reminded enough about that holy combo… It seems you would have required access to more than a little of this medicine to wade through the challenges you described here. It strikes me that your intention for creating a web that would offer grace, miracles, and blessings may have been going on all year, just running in reverse… 🙂 Only when we get to the end do we realize what we’ve really been up to all this time…

    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael,
      Why haven’t we met sooner? 😉 I am really diggin’ our dialogue. The openness and innocent way of being is inspired by my encounters with Sarah Webb. She is one of the wondrous beings and amazing teachers who arrived during a year that I would not repeat if given the choice. 2013 was such a banner year for me, so the rocky pathway of 2014 was incredibly painful to navigate. Yet it is for my benefit that I am not permitted to fast forward past what is unpleasant or inconvenient. The spark of Divinity within me requires all the experiences that I attract into my life.

      I agree that while the web i was referring to was the community assembled for the blogging challenge, this energetic matrix has been surrounding me all year long ( and most likely throughout my existence).

      peace to you,
      Linda

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Linda — thank you for hosting the “Challenge” and treating us to such a beautifully wrapped gift (YOU) on Christmas Day. My this next solar cycle bring a continuing harvest of luscious fruits of our efforts and bravery that we have made and displayed in 2014. Love to you, Alia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alia,
      Such a treat to find you here. You are so welcome and I have to say that your blog really inspires me to do better and move forward. You speak your truth and do not shy away from following spirit’s call.

      love and light,
      Linda

      Like

    1. Hey Sindy,
      I knew you would enjoy the transparency. Being vulnerable is new to me, but seems to be the way to go..
      The leader in you sees the leader in me. Remember who walked me through WP country when I arrived on the shore close to 2 years ago.

      love and light,
      Scorp sis

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Being vulnerable is new to me too, us Scorp’s do not like to show vulnerability but it is refreshing and it feels inviting.Well I may have been a help when you were new to WP but you took the reigns and flew girl. ❤
        So much love. I look forward to years to come in friendship.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Linda, for this very heartfelt post.

    This past year was a reminder to me too to recognize and trust a deep intuition that I’ve always had. Something for me to be more attentive to, for sure.

    I’m glad you were able to have the skin cancer diagnosed and treated.

    I appreciate your loving, supportive attention that you give to me, and to so many others here in the WP family.

    Happy holidays and best wishes for 2015 to a fab Gemini moon sister!

    Love,
    Debra

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deb,
      This year has really driven home the point that my intuition is so much more accurate than my ego and when I disregarded its warnings, the little I led myself astray. It is okay though, as every path will give us something to chew on 🙂
      Thanks for your involvement and interest in my life both on and offline. We share a rare connection that continues to grow and flourish.

      May 2015 be a time where more and more of your dreams be made manifest, moving you closer to your Center.

      xoxo Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  7. beautiful linda! thank you for sharing your heart with us. i am so grateful that we have connected this year and so grateful for what you share through your light and heart. i love the integrity you embody and i love your reference to the little engine that could…one i often refer to and think of…it IS perfect for this year i believe, both for you and the collective. with so much love and big warm hugs. merry christmas sweet friend ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Tania for your support and encouragement of the values we share. your presence is soothing and healing, while wise and on point all at the same time 🙂
      Perhaps we as a collective can fuel this train full of strength, passion, and joy through the new year into eternity…

      ❤ to you,
      Linda

      Liked by 1 person

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