I’ve been thinking about New Year’s resolutions lately.
The tradition of making a resolution on New Year’s began over four-thousand years ago. Historically speaking, resolutions were make to the gods. In Rome, they were made to the god Janus, after whom the month of January was named.
Over the centuries people have resolved to lose weight, to exercise more, stop gossiping, to be a better person, become more involved in their community and on and on and on. The types of resolutions are endless. People have been passionate about making their resolutions and standing by them.
But are resolutions really kept? Let’s be honest, here.
While it’s been a long-standing tradition to make a Resolution (with a capital “R”), it’s been an equally long-standing tradition to break one. It’s not that people don’t want to better themselves or try to make healthy changes or even just stand by their decision. It’s a simple matter of stick-to-it-ness and creating new habits.That’s the hard part. It’s creating new habits that’s tough. Soon after beginning to modify one’s life to meet a new resolution, a day comes when acting on that resolution slips the mind and then guilt sets in. Then soon that Resolution has gone the way of the Dodo.
Another New Year’s, another broken Resolution. We feel guilty, anxious and, often, like a failure.
Simply put, a resolution (lower case “r”) is the goal of creating a new habit. We all have a lot of habits, both good and bad. But a new resolution takes time to become a habit. If your resolution is to start drinking a glass of water every morning, it’ll take about 21-days for that to become a habit. If you’re trying something a bit harder it’s going to take longer. If, for example, you resolve to exercise more it could take 66-days before it becomes habitual. 66-days can be a long time and those 66-days will always be the hardest.
There’s another factor that we tend to put on ourselves and that’s the pressure of having made a resolution to begin with. That adds a level of pressure that no one needs and that we can seldom live up to. So it sets us up for failure more than for success. Those thousands of years of resolutions, broken and lived up to are a lot of pressure.
I decided long ago that New Year’s resolutions are bunk. They’re way too much to try to live up to. When I want to make changes in my life, I don’t want thousands of years of pressure on me. I want as much positive energy and support a I can get.
I continually try to improve myself and my life but I won’t make a resolution. I will, however, try to focus on creating a new habit and I’ll allow myself to stumble and make mistakes; that’s only human. I try my best to be patient and hang on for those 66-days till my new habit sets in.
Does it always work? Oh, heck no! But that’s actually part of the beauty of it; the striving and the effort.
So let’s all get together and resolve to not make Resolutions! But if you want to try to create a new habit, I’ll be happy to lend moral support!
I am one of those people who like to be told or to say, “Happy Holidays”, but I like being told, “Merry Christmas”, too. I wish people, “Happy Holidays”, certainly not because I have anything against Christmas, but because there are multiple holidays being celebrated. Christmas and New Years are only two of them. I want to honor everyone, their beliefs, and their celebrations. It’s all about love and joy.
I’ve looked them up and there are a lot of holidays in the month of December. Being a non-religious Spiritual Center, we rejoice in all of them! I wanted to share some of the holidays with you. There are far too many for me to list them all, but I’m going to share the biggies and some that stood out to me.
I would like to wish everyone who may celebrate any of all of the holidays a very, very:
Happy Winter Solstice
Happy New Year
And if that’s not enough celebrating for you, try:
Happy Special Education Day
Happy National Cookie Day
Happy National Rhubarb Vodka Day
Happy Dewey Decimal System Day (I may be dating myself with this one)
Happy National Ambrosia Day
Happy National Cocoa Day
Happy Maple Syrup Day
Happy Boxing Day
Happy National Bicarbonate of Soda Day
Please don’t be offended if I left off one of your favorite holidays. There are just so many and my fingers are getting really tired from typing!
But we, the Great Conjunction family which includes myself, Joe Thornton, John Michael Thornton, Teresa Kinney, and Suzanne Olesko, would like to wish each and every one of you a very happy and joyous holiday season. We are grateful for you, your participation, and your support to help us keep going and conducting our outreach programs.
From our family to yours, have a happy holiday season! Love & Joy!
I know that I have been incredibly fortunate while others have had things much worse than I, but it’s been a pretty tough year. Still just speaking for myself, my year began with learning I’d have to have spinal surgery immediately followed by the death of a very dear friend then segued into a global pandemic in full self-quarantine mode. I eventually had my surgery, leaving me essentially incapacitated for half a year.
All in all, I’ve tried to rise to every challenge thrown at me and even tried to learn lessons along the way. There have been times this year I know I succeeded, but there have been occasions where I let things get the best of me. But I'm still here and I’m ready to begin again.
I know we’re all, essentially, been in the same boat; time to leave all this behind and head toward a better future. To help us do that, we’ve asked a member of the Great Conjunction family to guide us all in a two-part workshop beginning this Tuesday, December 8th.
Victoria Price will help us to examine and take stock of 2020 in the first part of this workshop called “A Box Full Of Darkness: Reconcile & Release 2020”. Together in this workshop through journaling, guided visualization, and simple rituals, we’ll open our boxes full of darkness and consciously, and with commitment, prepare to move toward the light.
Victoria, if you recall, is not only the daughter of Hollywood legend Vincent Price, but is an interspiritual/interfaith minister, author, and motivational speaker. Victoria is the perfect person to guide us through this experience.
The second half of the workshop will take place on January 19th entitled “Everything Is Waiting For You: Welcome A New Year With Intention”.
The entire two-part workshop is $32. To attend the complete workshop, sign-up here: https://greatconjunction.org/events/eventdetail/124/-/a-box-full-of-darkness-reconcile-release-2020-part-1-with-victoria-price
If you wish to attend only the second half held in January, please sign-up here: https://greatconjunction.org/events/eventdetail/125/-/everything-is-waiting-for-you-welcome-a-new-year-with-intention-part-2-with-victoria-price
I hope you can join us for a cathartic and educational workshop.
I, for one, am ready to move forward.
It’s been one heck of a year, hasn’t it? We’ve experienced lock-down and self-isolation, a global pandemic, an embittered presidential election campaign, had to learn new ways to stay in touch, to communicate, and even new ways to work. And here at home, spinal surgery and a long, somewhat arduous recovery process. It’s been an emotionally taxing and even physically exhausting year for us all.
Our presidential election process has finally come to a close. And we have made history in two important ways. More people voted in this election than ever before (bravo and good for you!) and we’ve elected our first woman (of color) into the vice presidency.
We need to take a moment to think and to follow the lead of our new president-elect and realize that this is now a time to heal. We need to heal as a nation, as a brotherhood, and as a planet. We must all do our part to be compassionate, loving, and live with open hearts. We are all one. Not just one nation, but one world, one people. We need to lift each other up and realize that by doing so, we all can rise up and we can succeed.
When founding Great Conjunction Spiritual Center, we decided to make it part of our mission to try and raise the vibrational level and help everyone to grow. To achieve that goal, we offer a variety of avenues to learn and expand our personal horizons. We have three such events coming up that we’re really excited about and each of them are lead by returning members of our Great Conjunction family.
First, this month on Tuesday, November 17th we have Psychic Medium Sara Sachs of Pittsburgh for the fourth year in a row. Everyone is invited to join us for this online evening of messages from Spirit. Those who join us may receive special messages from departed loved ones. Those of you who have attended Sara’s Victorian Flower Seances in previous years know just how gifted Sara is and how amazing the experience can be. You can sign-up using this link: https://greatconjunction.org/events/eventdetail/126/-/gallery-readings-online
Our next event is especially unique and is a two-part workshop being facilitated by our friend Victoria Price. The first part of the workshop entitled “A Box Full of Darkness: Reconcile & Release 2020 (Part 1)”. The goal of the first part of this workshop is to help us better understand and reconcile our feelings and attitudes about the epic year of 2020. The second part of Victoria’s workshop, “Everything Is Waiting For You: Welcome A New Year with Intention (Part 2)” is about taking a new approach to a new year by affirming our intentions and learning simple daily practices that will allow us to continue moving toward the light and living wholly and with love.
The dates for this two-part workshop are Tuesday, December 7th from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm and Tuesday, January 19th also from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Sign-up for both of Victoria Price’s workshops for only $32. https://greatconjunction.org/events/eventdetail/124/-/a-box-full-of-darkness-reconcile-release-2020-part-1
Let’s plan to make 2021 just what our new president-elect suggests, a time to heal. Let’s begin to heal each other, our nation, and our planet. And I’ll continue to heal my spine. Together we can live in hope and in love.
Please remember to stay safe and wear your masks. I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!
Wow! September’s here already! Fall is about to begin and all the beautiful colors and cool, crisp days with it. It’s my favorite time of year, can you tell?
I hope you’ve all had a safe, yet enjoyable, summer. We have. But because of that surgery I had in June, our lives are still in a slightly more extreme state than many. We’re still at the same level of quarantine as when the pandemic began in earnest last March. Other than for follow-up appointments with my surgeon, I’m still house-bound. While I recover, I’m still at a higher risk level. But it’s not just for my health, but we’re still taking extra precautions because of my (soon to be) 82 year-old smoking, diabetic, wheelchair-bound father, who, as his doctor put it, if he becomes infected with Covid-19, that’s the end.
John is still the only member of our household who goes out semi-regularly and that’s just to do the shopping. He’s our protector and hero. And to try to help our hero, one day I jumped online and found out how to make masks. So I cut up some old bed sheets and went to town. Now’s he’s got quite a stylin’ look every time he goes someplace. If you should run into him at the market, you won’t see his face, but you’ll know those kind and loving eyes.
You’ve all basically been with me on my surgical journey, so let me give you an idea of what’s going on and where we are now. In case anyone needs it, here’s a recap. I was diagnosed with a rare condition in my neck, which caused my spinal cord to be bent almost in half. If untreated, I would most likely become paralyzed. In June I had spinal surgery to correct the issues and they inserted two cadaver bones, a plate and six screws to fuse my vertebrae together. Since then, I have been wearing a brace 24 x 7 (except when showering) and using an electro-magnetic bone growth stimulator four-hours every day. However, in a couple of weeks I meet with the surgeon again for a status check.
So where are we now? Right where we were when we started; still locked into this contraption and staying as immobilized as possible. Still no bending, twisting, lifting, driving, etc.
This kind of restricted movement, I believe, is difficult for everyone who’s had to experience it. But before the surgery, I was told that this restriction of movement and the brace were only going to be for four-weeks. I knew I could get through that… with some help from John and with some patience on my part. However, we’re now approaching three-months of this. I’m incredibly frustrated that I have to be this way so much longer than expected. Personally, I believe setting realistic expectations is a good thing. Unfortunately, that wasn’t done with me. And while I’m being as patient as I can be, I don’t know if I’m patient enough.
In every situation and experience, we should learn something. I know that what I’m meant to learn is this:
So, how am I doing with my lessons? To be quite honest, I’m getting much, much better at asking for help. I still apologize, but I am better at asking. Besides, in a lot of situations, if I don’t ask for help, I’m stuck!
As for as letting other’s do your share of the work, well, that’s probably been the easiest since I’m just physically unable to do so many things. I don’t like the fact that John has to do the chores that I normally do, but I simply have to accept it and be sure to show extra appreciation to John. And I am truly grateful.
That leads us back to the biggest lesson I’m learning: Patience. We all know patience is a virtue. But I’m not so sure I’m doing as well as I’d like in the virtue department. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly trying and trying hard every day! But this is a tough lesson for me. I love instant results. Having patience means that you’re the tortoise not the hare. It means you can wait and all in its time.
I can be patient and calm, or I can be impatient and frustrated. Patient, impatient. Calm, frustrated. To be or not to be.
Some days I’m feeling rather virtuously patient. Some days I’m not feeling all that virtuous.
I find some days to be very frustrating. I get frustrated with the situation, frustrated I can’t do the things I want to do and mostly frustrated with myself for getting frustrated.
I’d like to be able to sleep in my own bed, but the brace and the angle at which I need to sleep plus the fact that I sleep very little while being all trussed up like this, I would keep the dogs but John awake all night with me. Not good. Instead, for the past three-months I’ve moved into our living room full-time.
I miss the little things in life, too. Things like getting down on the floor and playing with our three puppies. Even just feeding them. I miss being able to help carry groceries into the house. But alas, they are too heavy and I’m not allowed to lift them. I would like to vacuum the living room, but that’s on the “too strenuous” list. I would love to be able to mow the grass. I actually love doing that; I find it soothing, very Zen.
I know that everything will get back to normal. It will. But that’s where the whole patience thing comes into play.
My biggest lesson is patience.
I can be patient and calm, or I can be impatient and frustrated.
To be virtuous or not to be virtuous.