JoeThorntonI promise, no April Fool’s jokes here.  You’ll be getting enough of those from other people.  I’d like to share with you a long-running April Fool’s gag from my family. 

chocolatebunnyWhen I was growing up, my grandmother would cook a big roast and we’d all go over to her house for dinner.  One year, that dinner fell on April 1st.  My father called her up and said, “Your roast is burning!”  My grandmother panicked, hung-up the phone and raced to the kitchen only to find out that all was well with the roast.  My father immediately called her back and announced, “April Fools!” and everybody had a good laugh.  Subsequently, every April 1stthere after, he called her and told her that her roast was burning… and she fell for it.  Well, at least for the next five or six years.  But the called became tradition and everyone looked forward to it.

Another tradition in our family was the annual Easter basket hunt.  It wasn’t a simple seek and find situation at all.  It was a true challenge.  Ever year my mom would hide my Easter basket and write a series of clues that I had to solve in order to find the treasure.  She would hand me the first clue and once that was solved, it would lead me to the next clue and so on until I triumphed.  

easter77 cuThe hunt would usually take about an hour or so and sometimes the clues would be very easy or obvious, but there were always some that were real stumpers.  But the event was one that everyone looked forward to, including all the adults.  In fact, it was so much fun for everyone, one of my aunts begged to be allowed to participate, so the following year, we both had our own set of clues to follow.  

One of my favorite clues was, “Go to the fork in the road”.  Now, we lived on a small, long, straight road.  No forks.  But at the end of our driveway, along the berm of the road, Mom had stuck a fork in the ground and laced within the tines was the next clue.

Despite pranks and even without clues leading to chocolates, spring is a beautiful time of year.  The trees are budding, the grass is greening and the flowers are starting to bloom.  We can start opening windows to let the fresh air inside and going for walks. It’s magnificent!

Being that it’s April, traditionally we’re looking forward to the April showers that bring May flowers. And when it rains, we can get pretty wet.   But we all have umbrellas and we carry them inside.  That internal umbrella is joy.  We all have it inside of us and we all know how it feels.  The more we allow ourselves to feel joy, the better a place the world… and our lives… will be.

Easter MaggieWhat’s my joy?  It sure isn’t the big things in life.  While the big things do bring some happiness, it’s the little things that bring the most joy.  I experience joy when, for no special reason, my husband does something just a little special just because he wants to see me smile.  And it’s not that special something I smile about… it’s his desire to see me smile.  

For me, joy is feeling the warmth and the weight of my dog Helo’s head resting on my foot as I type this. It’s anticipating the blooming of the daffodils out in the yard and the taste of my lunch yet to come.

What brings you joy? Notice it.  Celebrate it.  In fact, let’s all celebrate our joy every day.  Let the joy in you blossom.

And here’s hoping that your roast isn’t burning!

 

Joe Thornton

Great Conjunction Co-Founder

JoeThorntonIt’s March!  And dare I say… time keeps “marching” on!  Yeah, that was a pretty bad pun.  But hey, there’s no charge for the floorshow!

DaffodilsaroundthepeachtreeWell, spring is almost here; it’s just a matter of days away.  I grant you, it doesn’t yet feel like springtime, but it’s coming and with it all the reawakening, freshness and new possibilities.

Because of the odd weather we’ve been having in NE Ohio, for weeks now, the Daffodils in our yard have been sprouting.  Soon the crocus start to appear and the grass will be turning green again.  Trees will begin to leaf and the sun will shine warmer each day.  Nature is coming back from dormancy to share its beauty.  

While each season holds a beauty of its own, I find springtime a fascinating season.  I’m intrigued by the contrast between the old and the new, the life coming back from a seeming death, the colorful against the gray backdrop.  

This time each year, a poem that my mom taught me when I was a kid rings through my mind.  I wanted to share it with you.  I’m sorry, but I don’t know the name or the author.

Spring has sprung

The grass is riz

I wonder where the flowers is

We all know that the flowers are soon to come. And with them, let’s each of us set our hearts to blossom and bloom with them.  Let the springtime fill you with joy and hope.  Allow the kindness, warmth and love inside your heart to spread and flow freely to all those you meet.  

YellowSunFlowerDon’t leave all the color and beauty up to nature.   Spread it around.

I also wanted to “plant a seed” with you about a couple of upcoming events we’re currently organizing for you.  We’re going to have a very special guest speaker in August and they’ll be autographing their books afterward.  We’re also going to be celebrating art in a very special way.  Once all the plans are finalized, we’ll be making the announcement for these events.  We’re excited and can’t wait to share them with you!

Now go out and blossom!

 

Joe Thornton

Great Conjunction Co-Founder

Annette Noyes Head Shot 2This card is about clearing the way and overcoming obstacles or opposition to your ideas and/or projects. Part of overcoming will be to stand firm in your convictions. Don’t allow group-think to carry you along with the herd. Rise above; it’s time for some individual action.wands07

The Seven of Wands also indicates that your current “location” may not be best for you. Have you been thinking of opening a business and have a store front picked out? That spot may not bring you the traffic you need to be successful. Review all your research and/or leasing paperwork just to be certain. Alternatively, have you been thinking it’s time to move jobs? March would be a good month to set that change in motion.

Whether you stand up for your intentions, move jobs, or change business locations, it’s all going to be a bit frightening and you’ll struggle with insecurity and doubt. This. Is. Normal! A little trepidation tells you you’re paying attention and the project, business, or job matters to you. Remain calm, resourceful, and above all else true to your Highest Self.

 

Happy March All!

Annette Noyes

The Emerald Box Turtle

Annette Noyes Head Shot 2

four of pentaclesThe Four of Pentacles indicates stability and security for this coming month. Coupled with your integrity and idealism, you're able to build a solid foundation upon which to stand and from which to run your life on the material plane. Being careful and orderly, management of material resources will be wonderfully efficient--you'll be getting big bangs for your bucks.

The caveat with this card is that it teeters on the brink of Scrooge-y-ness. One is tempted to pinch pennies even harder to get an even better result in managing your resources. But the problem with that is you then create a guided cage around yourself and retain too much karmic energy. There must be equal give and take to remain balanced.

So, instead on focussing on the use at all of resources, focus on the proper use. Be generous to others with less because charity is indeed a "proper" use of your resources. And as you give to those with less, you'll find a deeper appreciation of and respect for the bounty within...your intangible abundances.

Have a good month and keep warm!
Annette Noyes
The Emerald Box Turtle
www.theemeraldboxturtle.com

Joe 1968It’s that time again when people are asked to, “Be my Valentine”.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and that makes this is the perfect time of year to ask a question that I spent many years pondering. “Where is Love”?

The first time I heard that question came at an important time in my life. I was quite you and it was 1968. I was a four-year old boy, my parents had divorced and my three elder sisters lived with our mother while I lived with my father. For some odd reason no one completely understands, my mother and my sisters disappeared from my life entirely.

My stepmother took me to see the new movie “Oliver!”, a musical version of Charles Dicken’s “Oliver Twist”, about an orphaned boy who was abused and only wanted to be loved. In the film, Oliver sings a song called “Where Is Love?”. It really resonated with me.

At that time in my life I felt completely rejected and unwanted. I had no idea where my mother and sisters were and I was lonely, scared and confused, just like the orphan Oliver in the movie. So when he asked, “Where is love”, I really understood him. And I wanted that answer, too.

I thought Love was somehow bound to my mother and, because she was absent from my life, I had no love. I was, therefore, unlovable. No one did or could love me.

It’s funny how children think about things.

Years later, once I had grown up, I began to realize that love didn’t come from just one source and I had, in fact, always been surrounded by love. My father loved me to pieces and my stepmother as well. I also had grandparents who loved me. I just felt too much of a whole inside to experience it. Like Oliver, I kept wondering where is love?

Gratefully I have come to realize that love comes from all sorts of sources. It comes to us from friends, family, lovers, devoted pets and from the Universe as a whole. I have many friends who love me as well as do my dogs and cats, my aunts, sisters, in-laws, my father and especially my amazing husband. And I feel that love every day and I revel in it.

Most importantly, love must come from inside us.

RuPaulLove is not something that is only to be received; that is selfish and empty and meaningless. Love is something that it must be given to others and it must be given openly, freely and wholly. We all must open your hearts and give of it freely and constantly. Only then does love have meaning, have balance and have value.

But we cannot just give love to others. We must love ourselves first and foremost. The entertainer RuPaul has a quote that I love: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the (heck) you gonna love somebody else?’

Now I’m happy to say, I know where love is. It’s here.

So this year, don’t ask someone else to be your Valentine, be your own. Love yourself. Once you can do that, the love will flow freely and you will be surrounded with love.

 

Joe Thornton

Great Conjunction Co-Founder

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