Tuesday, December 28, 2010

5 Signs You Have Holiday Hang Over

Each year late December rolls around and I can see the glassy eyed tell tale signs that my co-workers, friends and family are suffering from holiday hang over. It affects each of us in different ways, but the symptoms are clear.

Sign 1: Casual day takes on a new low
Do you consider going to work in your PJs? While most of us won't actually show up in the new snowflake flannel nighty we got for the holidays, we do settle for our most comfortable jeans usually reserved for the hang out BBQ in the backyard, wool socks and shoes that could almost pass for slippers.

Sign 2: Fruit trumps chocolate in a head to head match
Would you choose a fresh fruit basket over a box of chocolates? Normally one to indulge chocolate in all of its forms, has the over-eating binge finally caught up? Today, I walked by a perfectly good box of Godiva chocolates and grabbed two clementines. My mouth watered, usually reserved for decadent desserts, at the possibility of getting some much needed Vitamin C.

Sign 3: You long for an empty mailbox
Have you avoided the mailbox lately, fearful of getting yet another card you must return? I love sending and receiving holiday greetings but by the end of December my stamps are used up, and my ability to write thoughtful notes is a skill of the past.

Sign 4: Missing Meeting Syndrome attacks
It's hard to believe, but you start to long for the routine Monday morning meetings. A predictable agenda that doesn't take much emotional contribution looks awfully good after weeks of special occasion celebrations.

Sign 5: Christmas music makes you cringe
At the beginning of December you couldn't get enough Jingle Bells. And today, one more chorus of dashing through the snow and you're ready to throw the radio out the window.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms I encourage you to take two naps, drink lots of water and return calls next week! You'll be doing yourself, and those you care for a big favor. Trust me, I just retyped this sentence four times, and I'm still not sure I got it right! Time to shake off the cookies and get back to reality. I think I'm just about ready.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Power of Energy

Last night a few friends and I went to a seminar led by a medium. Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, let me tell you a bit about the journey that led me to the outing.

First, I will tell you up front I do not practice any particular religion but I do consider myself spiritual. I believe there are many things that science can not explain, and while I don't presume to understand what they are, I accept they do exist. I practice yoga and I believe the human mind is capable of amazing things. Second, I'm very skeptical of any one individuals ability to talk to dead people, or to do other energy based practices like heal with their hands or read the future. So it was with low expectations but sincere curiosity that I said yes when my friend, almost reluctantly asked, "Would you like to go to a strange class Friday night?"

Held in a small bookstore in Braintree about 20 people joined Suzane Northrop http://www.suzanenorthrop.com/book.php

for 90 minutes of discussion. The first 15 minutes was a bit discouraging as she told us about her amusing, but not particularly insightful, troubles travelling through Massachusetts on Rt. 93. Then she talked about how she receives, I should say how she believes we all receive, messages from those without physical bodies.

Towards the end she passed along a message from one audience members husband, another from a brother who recently passed, and a long time gone Mother still wanting to give out advice.

Was Suzanne really talking to dead people, or were the folks in the room somehow projecting to her what they needed to hear? I can't tell you with certainty. But what I can tell you is there was a lot of acceptance and comfort in the telling of contact from afar regardless of the source. The energy in the room was palpable and calm. The audience felt connected to their loved ones, but strangely also to each other.

Rest assured there was no group hug after. But Suzanne did indulge my curiosity by joining my friends and I for a couple of drinks. She spent almost two hours answering every question we could think to ask about her "gift" and the people she helps. We talked about her travels to Japan, Czechoslovakia, and other parts of the world. How much more accepting and open to the idea of energy people are outside of the US, how much more connected we would be if we opened our eyes to seeing the connections. Did I get proof she talks to dead people - definitely not. But I did get proof that she helps people and she does it by understanding what they need to know. Regardless of the source of that knowledge, I consider that type of skill a true gift.

Last night, none of my loved ones spoke to me through Suzanne. At least not in the way the audience might have expected. But I could feel my Grandmother with me - in just the same way she's with me every day. In my thoughts and in my heart. Maybe I didn't need Suzanne to send me a message because she's already always with me. Perhaps Suzanne's gift is simply helping people remember what they already know. Perhaps she's really sending messages from dead people. She can't prove it either way, and by her own admission she doesn't try.

Yes, I'd like to believe that my grandmother is watching from afar. Getting to know my kids and learning how much her life influenced me. But at the end of the day does that really matter? What I know for certain is that she's with me in my heart and my head. That she influenced so much of how I show love to my kids, how I make my pasta, how I over feed by guests, how I tell jokes with my girlfriends. Whether that's because of the time we shared together while she was alive, or is being fed by her contacts from afar doesn't matter. It only matters that she does live on with me.

With last night's experience fresh in my mind I have a renewed commitment to bring my best energy to my kids, to my work and to my friends. After all, when I'm gone who I was is what I leave behind. Whether or not Suzanne can pass along messages to my loved ones. And I'd say that reminder was worth the $30 seminar fee.