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September

“That’s the thing with magic. You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.” ~ Charles de Lint

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Newsletter, Off-the-Wall Musings
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Each month, “My Better Day” newsletter contains tips for your yoga practice, yoga quotes to bring yoga off the mat and into your life, affirmations to brighten your day and motivate, and more!  It is my wish for your well-being that I send this newsletter to help make your day a Better Day!

In this issue:  Yoga quote, Practice yoga pose, Meditation on the go, Chakrascope, Hand Mudra, Featured Card Deck and Quote, Healthy News, Featured Recipe, Favorite Yoga Music / DVD, Happenings at Better Day Yoga LLC, Final Relaxation Quote.

Namasté,

Sandy Krzyzanowski

Founder, Better Day Yoga LLC

“That’s the thing with magic. You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.” ~ Charles de Lint

The Renaissance Festival here in Minnesota ended the first weekend of October.  I’ve always considered The Renaissance Festival as my own personal “Brigadoon”.  It’s a magical city that appears for awhile to fill your life with enchantment and then, it’s gone.

I’ve often dwelled on just what makes this place and time seem so magical.  Let’s see.  You get to don a costume/persona of your choice, if you care to, act like a fool and go unnoticed—or better yet, get noticed AND enjoy it.  What’s more, you’re surrounded by people in a light-hearted, jovial mood because letting down your barriers lightens the load for everyone.

This year I had the unsurpassed joy of going twice!  As I was planning to attend the fair for a second weekend, a surge of unquenchable joy rose within as I realized—I GET TO WEAR MY PURPLE FEATHERS TWICE!  Oh joy upon joys!  (You see, I just expect you to humor me here, but that’s the point!)  Wearing a hat made of purple feathers goes with the territory, is totally acceptable, and is just plain fun!  When you are filled with childlike excitement, do you really care who approves?  Should you?  No way!

First let’s talk about the color purple—rich, royal, magical, deep purple.  How can anyone NOT look better with that addition?  I swear it gives me magical powers when I put them on.  You all know I believe in magical beings (just like the Irish and my research showed) from my March newsletter (http://betterdayyoga.com/tag/march-2011).  So it should come as no surprise to my regular readers that my purple feather wreath seems to embody faerie magic.  Yes, you heard me.

Ted Andrews book, Animal Speak, confirms the magic of feathers. This book introduces you to the personal messages nature’s creatures are trying to deliver when they make their appearance known.

Feathers represent the energy of flight since they’re required for birds to fly.  “When a feather comes into your possession, it can help give lift to some area of our life.” They connect us to the energy of the bird they come from, but also to the energy of the air.

The elements (earth, air, water, fire, ether—there are other versions of the elements as well) are associated the “Faerie Realm.”  The air element is associated with the power of your communication, your voice, your mind. Feather goose quills were one of the early writing instruments. Through feathers, we bring the spirits of the air into our life. So it should come as no surprise that my purple feather wreath brought some faerie magic along with it!

Ted Andrews reminds us that every feather is a fetish—or charm where mystical, magical powers reside.  They remind us of the energy we are aligning with connecting us to the more ethereal energies of life.  Through this alignment, we receive direction on how to bring our wishes into reality. (See the “Answer Feather” in the bullets at the end.)

“Logic only gives man what he needs… Magic gives him what he wants.” ~ Tom Robbins

Have you watched the movie Field of Dreams?  Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, doesn’t want to believe he’s hearing voices, let alone that they’re telling him to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his cash corn crop.  He fights the magic because we are all told magic is make-believe. But if you believe it, and believing it allows magic to come into your life, why fight it? 

The baseball diamond becomes a magical place where the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other seven Chicago Black Sox players banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series appear to play baseball.  They enter the baseball diamond from the cornfield that is on the perimeter of the baseball diamond, and they exit the same way, disappearing into the stalks of corn as they walk in.  The mantra from this film is the message “if you build it they will come”.

So if you build or create welcoming ground for magic to manifest, it will come.  Not maybe, not as a joke for a short time, but as a constant companion in your life sprinkling faerie dust on everything you do.  You can “will” magic into your life, just like you can “will” distress into it.  There’s that Law of Attraction again.  It doesn’t care what you focus on.  It simply hears your focus, considers it your desire, and creates it.

So when I say that placing the purple feather wreath on my head makes me feel like I embody faerie magic, believe me when I say the day is spent feeling magical and enjoying every last drop of it!  Remember I mentioned dropping the barriers?  Allowing the inhibition of being an “appropriate adult” to fall away is part of letting go of the “shoulds” and grabbing onto the “why nots?”.

Who’s to say that the barrier we wear called “normal” isn’t a mask as much as my magical feather wreath is?  What if the person you are when the barriers are dropped is the “real” you?  When you repress what you are, a vibrational energy is waiting to be expressed that will eventually bubble over.  Why not let the real you out to play in your own way?

“Pretending to be a normal person day after day is exhausting” ~ Suzy Toronto.

“You make a lousy anybody else BUT you are the best “you” in existence!” ~ Zig Ziglar

This year I added an enchanting addition to my magical wreath costume—a one-of-a-kind handmade copper chain necklace containing several copper-wrapped smoky quartz crystals.  While the feather wreath makes me feel magical, this necklace makes me feel like I can RULE THE WORLD! (Said with a loud voice and both hands raised to the sky as I tilt my head back and gaze up acknowledging the source of my power.) It was an early birthday present from my husband.(See the write-up at the end of this opening write-up for where you too can find a magical piece of your own to get your own mojo on—Krista Artista Gallery!)

My Chakrascope section below highlights stones and their energetic benefits.  To take an excerpt from the introductory paragraph below: For those of you unsure on this subject, consider that it’s scientifically proven that everything is energy.  Nothing is really solid.  Why wouldn’t the energy of a stone work effectively with the energy in our bodies just as some research speculates that the energy of computers, cell phones, and microwaves may affect our bodies?  Quartz crystals are used in wristwatches, cell phones, radios and computers for their vibrating factors and precise frequency.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_oscillator

“Smoky quartz is a stone that brings abundance, prosperity, and good luck. Smoky quartz is an excellent stone for removing negativity and negative energy of any kind and transforming them to positive energy. It is also a very protective and grounding stone. It enhances survival instincts, and can help one reach personal and business goals, as well as assisting in making wishes come true.

Emotionally, smoky quartz is excellent for elevating moods, overcoming negative emotions, and relieving depression. Smoky quartz relieves stress, fear, jealousy, anger and other negative emotions by transforming them into positive energies. Smoky quartz is very comforting and calming, and can be considered a stone of serenity.”  http://www.crystalsandjewelry.com/metaphysical_healing/stoneinfo/smokyquartz.html There’s more, but isn’t this already plenty?!

I have to add that when I first saw this necklace, I really had no idea what the energetic benefits “technically” were—I just knew how they made me feel, and had faith that energetic benefits were there.  It’s all good!  Placebo?  Who cares if my belief created the magic or the magic was already there waiting to be sourced.  I judge by end results, don’t you?

So couple this sense of empowerment with the magical faerie energy from the purple feathers, surround it with the whimsical energies of The Renaissance Festival where everyone comes to enjoy letting the child inside out to play, and you have a recipe for an enchanted day!

Did I leap tall buildings with a single bound?  No—but had I wanted to, I’m fairly certain I could have given the opportunity!

“I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.” ~ Leigh Standley

Now it’s your turn.  What do YOU need to feel magical or empowered?  How can you drop your “normal” barrier mask so the “real you” can come out?

  • Halloween is the perfect time to experiment with the costume of your choice to embody the energy you are looking for. Consider it a “prop” for the “real” you and let your “ideal” you out! (See my October 2010 newsletter’s chakrascope section for more on costumes. http://betterdayyoga.com/tag/october-2010.)

Isn’t it comforting that the following history of Halloween costumes reminds us of the belief that the good spirits of friends and loved ones know the real you behind the mask, so you’re free to try on your new persona without judgment?

If you haven’t celebrated Halloween in a long time, or if you are curious about Halloween’s history, here’s an interesting background:

“October 31 was the last day of the ancient Celtic year and the Festival of Samhain, the Celtic god of the dead.  As one year became another, the Celts believed, the spirits of the dead could return from the beyond to share joy and happiness with their living loved ones.  Feasting, dancing, and singing celebrated this opportunity.  Enormous bonfires lit the night sky, welcoming revelers and spirits alike.

But fearing that some of the returning spirits might have less than honorable intentions, people often donned masks and costumes to hide their true identities.  The good spirits of departed friends and relatives of course knew those behind the masks and could make contact for a joyous reunion.  The light of dawn, marking the start of the Celtic New Year, recalled the spirits to the spirit world.

In 835 Pope Gregory IV proclaimed that the last day in October was to be known within the Catholic Church as All Hallow’s Eve, or ‘All Holy Evening’. On this date, he decreed, Catholics everywhere were to gather and remember those who had given their lives in the name of their faith.  The next day, November 1, became All Saint’s Day (also called All Soul’s Day), a time to remember all who passed on.

The Catholic Church views this ‘communion of spirits’ as a reminder that there is a continuous link between the souls of the living and the souls of the dead.  Says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Church’s official teachings, ‘Between them there is an abundant exchange of all good things.’  Various Protestant religions also observe these celebrations.”  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Communicating with Spirits by Rita S. Berkowitz and Deborah S. Romaine.

Most of us, of course, are simply enjoying some light-hearted fun along with the younger children celebrating the “trick or treat” ritual of free candy and ghost stories around a campfire.  It’s all good!

  • Need a professional photo for your job?  You deserve to have it done right and pay for a full photo shoot where you’re treated like the star you are.  I had to foot the bill for a professional photo at my previous place of employment, so I decided to go for it and never regretted it for a moment!  Have some fun with it!
  • Find your own magical feather. It doesn’t have to be a feather wreath as mine was!  “The Answer Feather is a traditional healing tool for those seeking answers. Pick the feather you are attracted to and keep it with you throughout the day. Thank the feather and release it back to Mother Earth, or cleanse it in the moonlight and use it for another question.” Monague Native Crafts, www.monague.com.
  • Try your hand at dancing—be it in the privacy of your own home with curtains drawn or out in public.  Intimidation be damned!  Dance with complete abandon.  Let the energy of the music move through you.  Let the energy of your inner muse come out!“Music is the strongest form of magic.” ~ Marilyn Manson

I subscribe to receive email messages from Mike Dooley’s “Totally Unique Thoughts from the Universe”. http://www.tut.com/resources/notes/   Here is today’s message since I thought it was synchronistically appropriate.  They never fail to brighten my day!

“How about next time you go to work, the mall, or a labyrinth, you glide, slide, and twirl a bit? Wink, smile, and wave? Dip, bend, and high-five? Strut, saunter, and beam?

Just a bit?

Teeny, tiny?
    The Universe”

  • Looking for something a bit less intimidating to try on?  Try putting a smile on your face even when you don’t feel one.  This is where “fake it ‘til you make it” comes from.  Wearing a smile will create the feeling of the smile—I promise!  Smiling releases your “feel good” endorphins.  (Option to add broad, opened shoulders for a feeling of confidence, and lift your chin up a bit.  There! “Presto changeo!”  A new you!)

Try my new favorite go-to method for peace and ease:

Thich Nhat Hanh suggests using a half-smile technique in his book The Miracle of Mindfulness.  Half-smiling when you first awake along with three deep breaths, when you find yourself sitting or standing anywhere, while listening to music, and when irritated—all with three deep breaths.  Trying it when I’m irritated works for me, calming my mind.  It also surprises the person you’re irritated with!

A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.  – Charles Gordy  

  • Thinking of a new hair-do?  Experiment with hair color!  I’ve been swearing I’m going red some day—and slowly have been experimenting with red highlights.

“What makes that 4 percent of the world’s population so dangerously different? And why do so many women suddenly want to be one? According to sources at Clairol and Wella, red is the biggest rising at-home color.

Redheads are supposed to be hard to quell. The Romans considered the Picts to be some of the most mighty warriors they’ve ever faced. And the Picts were always said to have red hair.”  The Roots of Desire by Marion Roach.

I think it’s because women have become comfortable with their power,” Roach says. “What do you do when you’re in a difficult situation? You power up. ‘I now feel that, much like Dorothy’s shoes, I’ve had it on me all the time*.’ And for new redheads, “it’s really OK that you chose it yourself.” (*The author, Roach, is a natural red-head.)

http://www.azcentral.com/ent/pop/articles/0712redhead0712.html

Okay, it occurs to me that the purple feather wreath and the red hair suggestion might make some think of the “when I am old I will wear purple” poem and the reference to red hats.  I have heard that the purple referred to in this poem refers to eccentricity, and the red refers to attitude. I like this description of the book:  “..its declaration of defiance against convention appeals to all those with a secret desire to throw off the strictures of propriety and set out deliberately to shock and be outrageous.”

So yes, go ahead and associate those attributes with me. Who says you need to be “old” to do that?  I will never be old. I will always be that young girl!  Eccentric?  Perhaps.  Attitude?  You bet!  How about you? What do YOU want to be known for?  We could all take a page from Betty White’s page:  http://blog.music.aol.com/2011/10/13/betty-white-im-still-hot-video/

  • KRISTA ARTISTA GALLERY—Home of the “magic attic” where I teach yoga Thursday evenings!  Come find your own magic!
    Wondering where you, too, can get your own one-of-a-kind piece of magical jewelry to get your own personal mojo on?  Krista Artista Gallery in Anoka has the most unique, one-of-a-kind, well-priced jewelry I have ever run across—and that is saying a whole heck of a lot!  Anoka is also the Halloween capital of the world—bonus!To use the language of the Renaissance—“Get thee to Krista Artista’s!  You shan’t regret it!”  Each week Krista has rearranged her wide variety of hand-crafted temptations to make room for more enticing treasures, and I invariably find several pieces that speak to me—loudly! Yes—I hear voices, doesn’t everyone?I believe that the energy of the crafter is contained within the piece.  Maybe that’s why, when I walk into Krista’s store, I am surrounded with an overwhelming feeling of good juju energy.  Perhaps this is where the “magic” in the attic comes from—or perhaps it’s the huge heart of the owner, Krista, who hand picks each and every item in her amazing store.  She has been a blessing in my life hosting my yoga classes for over a year now as well as the meditation workshops I just completed.  Come find your own magic in her store!

    Krista Artista Gallery features the work of more than seventy local artists, with everything from paintings to pottery, woodcuts to woodturnings, jewelry to glass.  Whether you’re looking for a hand-dyed tablecloth, a one-of-a-kind handbag, or something stunning to hang over your sofa, you’ll find it in our fun and friendly shop. http://www.kristaartistagallery.com/

    So how will your magic manifest in your life?  You get to choose.  The power of your transformation lies in the form of your intent.  Intend now to create your own magic.  Remember the magic of the feathers?

    Feathers “remind us constantly that, regardless of appearance, we not only have the capability of flying to new heights, but we each need to do it in the manner that works best for us.” ~ Ted Andrews.

    “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~ Roald Dahl