Taking the bull by the horns

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I love owning and operating The Smokey Crystal, LLC.  Not once have I had a day that I did not want to go into work, not one day have I disliked what I do.  I only have stress over finances because, let’s face it, running a small metaphysical shop doesn’t offer a windfall of cash immediately.  It takes dedication, invention, hustling, and love.  When I first received the message that we should open, I had a couple parameters that I asked from my guides.  I wanted to be easily accessible from all four direction, near the freeway, and had ample parking.  I received everything I asked for but it left me in a strip mall that doesn’t face the street.  Furthermore, it left me with a small sign at the street that is easily overlooked and doesn’t say anything about who we are.  I don’t complain, I just keep reinventing, hustling, and reaching out in love.  Then the other day I happened across a beam of light that could possibly signal the ability to make the change we desperately need so we can continue to help the community.
Mission Main St Grant

Chase Bank offers an opportunity for 20 small businesses to receive $150K to grow their small business.  I have applied, application has been accepted.  The next step is to gain 250 votes.  They want to know that people really do like what you are doing, that you know how to market yourself, and that there is an interest in what you are doing/selling.  I just started seeking votes yesterday and am at 11 so far.  I am continuing to reach out to everyone though.  All that read this blog, if you could please click through and vote (https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/42123), it would be appreciated.

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To explain I own and operate The Smokey Crystal, LLC (www.smokeycrystal.com).  It is a metaphysical/holistic store based in the Downriver area of Michigan (about 20 min south of Detroit).  We reach out to the community to try and help with education, fund raising, promotion, healing, guidance, and direction.  We have recently began supporting a non-profit organization called M.C.C.S. (www.michccs.com) who’s idea is to bring Unity back to Community.  I ask that if you find it in your heart, please click through and vote (https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/42123)to help us continue to help others.  We grow with the support and love of the community and community isn’t just local, it is global.

Bright Blessings to all!

Anna

Smokey Crystal

Mission Main St Grant

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One month into my lifestyle change

So, I just looked back over the online program I have been using to track my weight loss (myfitnesspal.com, it’s free) and I have been at this for a month.  It has been saying every day that if I continue eating like I am, given my current weight, I should be down 30 pounds from my starting weight in a week.  I know the last time I posted on here I had lost 10 lbs.  I will not be weighing myself for 2 more months.  I track my weight at my rheumatologists office and I am not due back to him until November.  So…how to I measure what I am doing then?

I have been keeping well under my sugar, carb, and calorie goals.  I have been asked by my cardiologist to reduce the sodium intake too.  Reducing the sodium has been the hard part as that stuff seem to be in everything.  I have been doing what exercise my body will allow me to do.  I had some setbacks this month as I returned to my ob/gyn and had a new IUD put in.  I use the Mirena which has to be changed every 5 years.  That was a difficult and painful procedure due to my size and the fact that my weight appears to be dropping lower in my abdomen.  I needed about a week and a half to recover from it, but I am back to exercising without skipping a beat (even exercised in the restroom at the restaurant today…lol), even extending the repetitions and/or the number of times I work out each day.

By the end of the day I realize I am feeling a little bit stronger and am more optimistic.  It finally feels like I have found something I can do and I am loving every moment of it.  I am still having some physical issues (like my right foot flared up again for no reason which makes it extremely difficult to walk or stand for any period of time) but I continue to push on.

I would be extremely excited if by February I was down 50-75 lbs.  Although the program tells me how fast I should be loosing weight, I am realistic and think it will take me a bit longer to get where I want to go.  I will gladly take 2-5 lbs a month.

As for any physical changes, outside of the increased muscle strength, I am noticing a slight decrease in my abdomen.  This is a good thing, then on the down side, I am noticing more easily a hernia that will have to be conquered when I get to a healthier weight.  One thing at a time.  I have a history of having difficulty in surgery and I have 2 surgeries I need (hysterectomy and hernia repair) and one I am thinking I may want (gastric sleeve).  We will see what insurance will do about skin removal surgery when that bridge is crossed.

So, what else has been happening?  Work is picking back up (smokeycrystal.com).  I love helping people and seeing the smiles when someone brings a handful of stones to the counter or a choice selection of beautiful smelling incense.  Our non-profit (michccs.com) is gaining ground.  We have enough to file for our 501(c)3 status now.  We just have to finish getting through the business plan (not my first plan, just a LONG process…lol).  We have begun looking around where we may be able to procure a building to put MCCS in.  That will come in due time, got some wonderful plans there to keep it going for years to come. 

Outside of that, my guides have been waking me up at night and spitting pages of a fiction book out of me.  I am about 3 regular pages into it with much more of the story to come.  The only hint I can give is that it is about the life of a girl. :D  I have another book to work on, a life story to write, and 3 class materials along with a ritual to write for Michigan Convocation (Convocation.org) in February (whether they get chosen or not).  I am also reworking the classes I have been teaching at Smokey Crystal which should begin by the 3rd weekend in September.  If this wasn’t enough writing, I am working on adding in transcription work on the side.

Now everyone knows why I haven’t been on Facebook much anymore…lol.  I hope everyone has a blessed day and a fantastic week.  I hope to see all sorts of wonderful people at Smokey Crystal this week, I love keeping busy!

Anna

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Change is hard work

I haven’t told a lot of people some of what has been happening in my life. I have been keeping some things quiet until I knew for a fact that I’m doing the right thing. 4 months ago I began a very simple exercise program that was inspired by a conversation with my friend & spirit sister Kristi.

Every day I have taken an extra 15-30 min while in the bathroom to do upper body workouts. At first I was embarrassed. I thought I should be able to walk the store or walk the strip mall. Heck, I should be able to walk the dog,  But ending up in the ER 4 weeks ago thinking my foot was broke made me realize I was doing exactly the right thing that fit with my body’s abilities and malfunctions. Looks like I sprained a tendon and am much better now.

All this time I never stopped the exercises. They were all upper body exercises and although it hurt when I increased reps, I didn’t stop and that felt good. Up until a week before my rheumatologist appt I hadn’t changed my diet at all. Four weeks ago I received some good news when I went to my rheumatologist, I had lost 4 lbs. Just from upper body exercises while on the toilet..lol! I was excited but still cautious.

Three weeks ago I had a scare that made me change my diet permanently. I have been border line diabetic for a few years. For some stupid reason it didn’t sink in. Then it all hit me. I went to bed three weeks ago and couldn’t get to sleep. I was having PVC & PAC events. They were happening every 3rd-5th beat. My bp was up a little, but nothing dangerous, my heart rate was up, but again was nothing out of the ordinary. Then I took my sugar, it was 220! Normal is 80-100, 100-140 is moderate. You can see it was bad.  It could have been worse but I’m glad wasn’t. For my body any sugar level over 140 immediately effects my heart. Monday morning I made a drastic change that my body has been asking for. I have cut my sugar intake & carb to bare minimum. I have not regretted it one bit, nor had my body complained. Here I am 3 weeks after changing my diet and still exercising and 2 weeks since I seen the rheumatologist and I have lost another 4.9 lbs. I have a LONG way to go and a few more doctor appointments to get through to make sure my body is moving with me safely, but so far all doctors are happy and so am I. I know I didn’t put this on fast, I’m going to take off faster than I put it on, but I’m doing it.
If my body allows, this time next year I want to dance again. I lost weight before, but found it again. This time my mind is with my body and the transformation had no choice but to happen.
I will post periodic updates, but I wanted to share with everyone what I’m doing and what has been happening. Believe me. If I can do it, anyone can. I have been overweight my whole life with negative thoughts always going through my head. I’m going to tell everyone now, change your mind and you will change your body. Don’t wait until you have a scare, start today, one day at a time if your having a rough time, reach out to me. I will lend an ear and encouragement. I may be able to offer some tips or tricks too.
Bright blessings!!
Anna
Www.SmokeyCrystal.com
Www.michccs.com

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Going to the Modified Beach of Time

Sit in a comfortable, quiet place making sure your phone is on silent. If you feel comfortable in doing so, now is the time to put some music on. Close your eyes and go to your basic psychic level. Tell yourself that “you are going to go to the “Beach of Enlightenment.”

Once you are meditated down visualize a door in front of you.  When you open the door you see a stone spiral staircase.  You begin to travel down the staircase, one step at a time.  You feel the first step, the coolness of the stone walls beneath your hands, the smoothness of the stone beneath your feet.  You continue to take the second step, then the third.  Noticing a bit of light at the bottom of the stairs you feel some grains of sand on the third step that the breeze has carried in over the years.  You continue down, fourth step, fifth, at the sixth step you see the bottom, only one more step, you can see the archway and feel the warmth of the suns rays coming through.  You take the seventh step and walk through the archway into the sand.  The sand is beautiful, warm, and peaceful.  The sun is bright but not blinding, there are enough clouds to keep the day comfortable with a few birds flying around in the distance.  You see the lake in the near distance at the edge of the sand.  The lake is calm and peaceful, gently lapping at the shoreline with the gentle breeze.

When you start to look around, you see that from your left, all the way around to your right is a sheer mountain of beautiful colored stone.  Spend a few moments enjoying the beauty and warmth of this magnificent place. Feel the peacefulness.

This feels like your perfect oasis. 

You find a comfortable place on the beach, sit down and relax.  While sitting there, you say, “I would like my spirit guide(s) to come visit with me now.”  Allow yourself time to relax and be patient with them.  Someone or something may appear, allow yourself to hear what they have to say.  Listen with your mind, not your ears.  Alternatively, you can say, “I would like my God and/or Goddess to come visit with me now.”  Again, be patient and open to their arrival, once again listening with your mind.  Give yourself time to listen and converse with whomever appears, knowing that you are in a safe space to commune with them.

You don’t want to keep them all day as they have other work to do too.  Thank them for their presence and aid.  Ask them to continue to guide and help you even when you are not in meditation and bid them a fond farewell.

Once they have departed, remind yourself that you can return here anytime you wish.  Now you are going to walk back over to the archway, heading back up the stairs.  You step on the first step and feel that familiar cool stone with a little bit of sand on the step.  You take the fifth step, then the fourth, now the third.  You feel the coolness of the stonework, no more sand on the steps, nor can you see the archway behind you but you can see the doorway in front of you.  You take the second step, then the first.  Taking the handle by the door, you turn the knob and walk back into the quiet room.  You take a few steps, closing the door behind you.  You start to feel your body again, taking time to feel your feet, then your legs, next your arms and hands.  Finally your eyes and head.  Take a few deep cleansing breaths and open your eyes when you are ready.  Take a few moments to digest your experience, then if you need to move from your position, do so slowly and turn off your music.  Now is a good time to journal your experience so you can compare it to what you experience next time.

First, let me tell you that each person’s experience is individual and unique.  Some people end up going up the stairs instead of down; others see night instead of day.  None of this is wrong; it is what you make of it.  The point is to find a safe, peaceful place where your guides and/or the divine feel comfortable in approaching you as you feel comfortable in being approached.  Second, whatever music you use, make sure it is instrumental (without lyrics) and it makes you feel comfortable.  If it Bach’s 5th symphony or the sound of water lapping against a shoreline, it’s okay.  It is about something that makes you feel relaxed and takes the everyday sounds away from your mind for a little while.  Finally, it does not matter if the meditation is 5 minutes or 20 minutes, again, it is about what works for you.  Ideal is 15 minutes, but some people can go as long as 20 or 30 minutes while others are antsy after 10 minutes.  Do not beat yourself up if you cannot sit in one place for too long, it will happen, you have to give yourself time.

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Breaking the ties that bind: Energy cord cutting

We encounter many people in our lives.  Everyone we get emotionally close to leaves what some call an etheric cord between him/her and ourselves.  The closer that person is emotionally, the larger and stronger the cord.  These “cords” act like tubing that transmits energy between each person.  “Cords are a method of high speed communication and sharing energy. Healthy cords create a nurturing sharing of information and energy. Unhealthy cords can be a huge drain or a means of control.”  This is how sometimes when your child or partner is ill or stressed, you can feel it, or you feel drained and tired during that time as well.

Sometimes fear and insecurity can create cords that can keep us close to that which we are trying to get away from.  “The fear may be characterized as co-dependency, attachments, fear of abandonment, or feeling unforgiven, and more (Virtue, September 2011).”  You can recognize these cords by the inability to get away from that thing that you are trying so hard to remove yourself from.

Not all is lost; you can remove yourself from the unwanted attachments in your life through two methods.  The first is cord cutting.  Cutting Cords doesn’t mean, “I don’t love you or care about you anymore (Virtue, D, 2011).”  “Cord cutting doesn’t necessarily lead to break-ups or abandoned relationships (Virtue, D, 2011).”  It just means you are moving forward to heal yourself and by doing so, you are releasing yourself from that which no longer works for you.  However, “unless you resolve the underlying reason why you corded in the first place, the cords could keep coming back (McKell, B, 2008).”

Now I am sure it is easy at this point to think, “If they just keep coming back, what’s the point?”  Well, if you are seeking a change, this is the first step in realizing these cords need to be cleared.  Next is understanding why the attachments happened.  Then you need to go about fixing what was wrong that created the attachment.  Finally, you will be able to free yourself from the attachments of the past and move forward to a bright and beautiful future.

We don’t grow up with the thought in our mind that we want to be with someone who is going to beat on us or put us down every day.  We dream about being swept away to a magical world where life is going to be perfect.  What we seem to have forgotten from those magical storybooks and movies we have seen and read so much about growing up is that getting to that beautiful life was a struggle, filled with difficulties and obstacles that were learned from along the way.  None of it is insurmountable, as I still believe nothing in our path is more than we can handle, but unless we are like that quiet mouse carefully watching everything, or just blessed with a golden road, we are bound to be tripped up now and again with some struggles along the way to happiness.  Once we overcome these struggles, we are ready to free ourselves from them and move forward to our happy ending.

To begin to release these cords, you must start with meditation.  If you find your mind wandering during meditation, start your meditation by focusing on one object that you like along with listening to a musical piece without words that you enjoy.  The object that you choose could be a stone, a picture, a figurine, etc.  While looking at it, focus your mind; take in all the details of that object.  Don’t let your mind wander while focusing on this object.  At first, you may only be able to focus for about 5 minutes before your mind begins to intrude on all the “other things” that you could be doing.  Don’t become discouraged, this is a good start.  At minimum, do this exercise at least 3 times a week, each time trying to add 1-5 minutes.  Once you have yourself built up to about 30 minutes of calm focused meditation, you can begin to work on releasing the binding cords.

Find a quiet, private place, meditate and focus on your abdomen.  As you do so, you will begin to notice many different tubes coming out of your body leading off into what appears to be nothingness.  Do not be alarmed, these are the ethereal cords.  All the cords may appear to be a misty white color, some could have different colors, and some will be smaller than others.  As you look at them, you may recognize (have in instinctual impression) where some of these cords go to, others you may not.  You can put your hand around these cords and feel the energy running through them, from this energy you can tell who the cord belongs too.  You should do the cord meditation 3 – 4 times to fully understand and see what is there before you begin cutting anything.  Once you are comfortable with what you see and you know whom all these cords belong to, you can do one of two things:

1) You can imagine a good pair of scissors in your hand that you will use to “cut” the unnecessary cords from you, or

2) You can wrap your hand around the unwanted cords, gently pull them from your body and “plant” them into the ground.

Either way you are accomplishing the same goal, to rid your body of the unwanted attachments.  Take your time when releasing these cords, really look them over and understand why that attachment was there and why you are ready or need to let it go.  Thank the universe for bringing you to this point of release.  Then when you are ready, cut the cord and let it go or pull it gently and plant it into the ground.  I will warn you that this is a VERY emotional process.  It is okay to cry, it is even okay if you only let go of a couple at a time.  The point of this exercise is to remove the bad cords, grow and learn from it as you release them so you can heal and move forward toward better things.

Once you have released the unnecessary cords, review the cords that you left attached.  Take a moment to feel the love from these cords, allow that loving energy to comfort you during this time as these “wounds” heal.  Make sure you forgive yourself for allowing the “bad cords” to have developed.  You have now released yourself of the cords that were attached to people whom have drained you for however long you have known them.  When you are ready, feel free to rejoice in this since of freedom.  Now that you are free, you that can shine brighter with renewed energy and optimism.

Many bright blessings to you along your journey.

Virtue, D. (September 1999). Angel therapy to lift your spirit. Retrieved from http://www.indigosun.com/old_files/Sept99/angel_therapy.htm

Virtue, D (2011). Etheric Cord Cutting. Retrieved from http://www.amagicalworld.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18&Itemid=33

McKell, B (2008). Cutting Energetic Cords. Retrieved from http://www.soulconnection.ca/node/366

Anna Calhoun is a teacher of metaphysics and an owner of Smokey Crystal where other services such as psychic readings and Reiki are offered along with merchandise.  You can find out more at http://www.smokeycrystal.com.

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Creating a sacred space for magickal work

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Too often, many people talk about divination being a bad thing.  So many people have had negative encounters with Ouija boards they are a now deemed scary and bad.  Divination in itself isn’t bad.  It is the need to know how to properly perform it and any other work you wish to do.  Magick attracts astral energies.  Those energies are all types.  Just like beautiful flowers can attract bees that can be dangerous to us, so can any magickal work attract things that can be harmful to us if we do not put into place the proper safety space.  There are dozens of different ways to create a safe space, it is all about intent.  Below is a very simple method to create a safe space that I have successfully used many times.  The only thing I have changed is the Divine calling.  Everyone has their own belief system and regardless of what yours is, using the term Divine will cover it or you can insert your own specific Deity(s) in place of the term Divine.

First use a broom or look up the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram to clean the space you are going to work in.  Even physically sweeping gives the mind a clean space and removes any stagnant, unwanted energies from an area.  Next you may want to sprinkle the area with blessed water, Florida water, or salt water to run off any remaining energies and bless the space.  You should follow that up with burning a cleansing incense (provided you do not have allergies to incense) such as sandalwood, dragons blood, or sage.  If you are allergic to the incense, just have a small bowl or pot of dirt in your space to “absorb” any remaining negativity.  This will prepare the space and remove any unwanted energies within it so nothing negative becomes trapped in your working space.

Next, take a moment to focus your mind.  Once focused, use a knife, wand, or your finger and visualize a blue flame of energy coming out of extending about 3 feet around you (further if you need a larger working space).  You are going to turn in a clockwise circle, creating a “safe space.”  It will look kind of like a bubble surrounding your space when you are done.  Nothing negative or harmful can cross this bubble while it is in place.

**IF YOU MUST LEAVE THIS SPACE, and it is strongly advised you do not, use your knife, wand, or finger to “cut” a doorway for you to slip out of and close it right  back behind you.  When you return to your space, “cut” the doorway again and seal it back.  I must strongly warn you that leaving the circle is not a safe idea and you are exposed to whatever energies you have attracted to your magickal work.  You should always make triple sure you have everything you need before starting and allow yourself a couple hours of undisturbed time.  Make sure phones will not disturb you (silence them for awhile) and make sure you use the restroom before beginning.**

Now begins bringing in positive energies to protect the bubble you just created and keep you safe.

Look or turn to the East and say:

Hail guardians of the East, Protectors of air. I call you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space. So Mote It Be.

Look or turn to the South and say:

Hail guardians of the south, Protectors of fire, I call you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space. So mote it be.

Look or turn to the West and say:

Hail guardians of the west, Protectors of water, I call you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space. So mote it be.

Look or turn to the North and say:

Hail guardians of the north, Protectors of earth, I call you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space. So mote it be.

Move back to the central altar, and stand facing east and light the White Candle and saying:

Dear Divine, that which brings life to the Earth, the nurturer of the world, Blessed Divine of the Earth and Sun, come forth and bring with you blessings and guidance on this journey.

Perform whatever work you wish to do at this time…

When completed, reverse the above process.

Dear Divine, thank you for your presence and aid. Stay if you must, go if you will, hail and farewell.

Hail guardians of the North, thank you for your presence and aid.  Stay if you must, go if you will, hail and farewell.

Hail guardians of the West, thank you for your presence and aid.  Stay if you must, go if you will, hail and farewell.

Hail guardians of the South, thank you for your presence and aid.  Stay if you must, go if you will, hail and farewell.

Hail guardians of the East, thank you for your presence and aid.  Stay if you must, go if you will, hail and farewell.

Visualize your protective bubble closing down, put out any candles that may be burning, then you can go about the rest of your day.

-Picture from: http://tigerladysblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/protection-bubble-energy-creating.html

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Empathic Assistance

Empathic Assistance

Coping tips for Empaths

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Be the change that you wish to see in the world. — Mohandas K. Gandhi
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. — Oscar Wilde
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Martin Luther King Jr.

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Fathers day fun

Fathers day fun

This is how we spent fathers day :)

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