Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Little Voice

The other day, The Little Voice inside my head told me not to do something and then I did it anyway. A few minutes later, The Little Voice inside my head told me to be careful when I was doing the next thing and I wasn't. An "accident" insued. Everything turned out ok and in the time between the accident and when I knew everything was ok, I was in deep judgement of myself for not listening to The Little Voice, also known as my intuition. My teacher Jen helped me to feel a lot better by telling me something that her teacher Ramesh used to say, "Intuition isn't right or wrong, it just is." "It's not that you didn't listen to your intuition," Jen said, "you just didn't do what it said." And maybe even if I had, what happened would have happened anyway, maybe what happened is my destiny. And maybe that everything turned out ok is my destiny. This learning that I've done around it is definitely my destiny.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"This is Fun!"

I've been confused about the holidays. I'm not crazy about eating lots and drinking lots. I love giving and receiving gifts, but I don't love the pressure some folks put on themselves to give LOTS of gifts. My mom works in retail and her only day off all season is Christmas Day; to go visit her means to spend just that day with her, a day when I also want her to rest, but that's not up to me. Then there's the whole weather part, which is real, and kinda surreal. All my New York friends have been talking about how warm it is up there! There's a snowflake icon on my phone's weather app for Taos for the rest of the week! Every time I watch TV news "Holiday Weather and Travel" seems to be the headline! Has it always been like this?

I am so happy I know about a website called mysticmamma, I look to it each New Moon and Full Moon and also at the "gateways" that are the change of season. Cathy Pagano, a contributor to mysticmamma, articulates why I've felt confused and helps me find an intention for the last few days of this year. She says, "We mark time with these celestial events, celebrating their symbolic meaning on our religious holy days, although we have commercialized them to such an extent that people no longer look forward to them. Which is a shame since celebrating these celestial changes gives our psyches a chance to let go and move on through celebrating with loved ones, music, food and good cheer."

Eureka! And thank you Cathy P! It is my intention to let my psyche let go this last week and a half of 2015. "This is fun!" will be my mantra.

In the spirit of letting go and relaxing, tipsandtricks will be taking the day off on Friday December 25th, 2015. Happy holidays, and see you next Tuesday!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Deepest Night

Dear Tipandtrickers,

The next time we meet, we'll be on the other side of light.

Winter Solstice is on Monday December 21st at 9:49pm Mountain Time.

One of the many great lessons I've learned from Melody Beattie is to honor our own "Holy Days." Some of us get down with Christmas, some Rosh Hashanah, others Halloween. I've recently taken to calling myself a birthday stalker; for whatever reason, my birthday and other people's birthdays make me so glad.

I can't say exactly why the shortest day of the year is one of my favorite days of the year, but it is. This upcoming deepest night, just like any other change of season or moon phase is an opportunity.

The always inspired Lena Stevens of The Power Path recommends a ritual for this Solstice:

"Make an offering that you can either burn or bury of something written or drawn on a piece of paper folded up. You can add symbolic objects, photos, incense, sage, and decorations. Tie it up or just fold the paper around your offering. Say a prayer where you ask the Spirit of the WEST and Pacha Mama to receive that which you are letting go of, leaving behind and completing on this solstice. Breathe all the energy and emotions connected to your release into your offering and then bury or burn it, releasing it to spirit. Make sure to include great gratitude for all the lessons, wisdom and growth you acquired over the past year. Include forgiveness and compassion for yourself and for others.

Once you do a ritual like this it is important to fill the new space with something fresh and new. You may not know what that is yet, but you can symbolize it with flowers, beauty, love and joy. And for those who do know exactly what you wish to bring in, write it, or draw it and place it on an altar or in a place where you can honor it daily as you move."

Whatever you do or don't do to acknowledge or not acknowledge, I wish you peace.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Another Tipandtrick About Listening

"Most people think when they're listening. You don't need to think of your response. If you're truly listening your answer will happen naturally, organically."--My Teacher Jen

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Learn About Fear"

"What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it."--Jiddu Krishnamurti

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I used to feel overwhelmed a lot, inundated by all there was to do, and lots of times, not sure how to do it. Thankfully I've learned to ask for help, I've learned about my most productive time of day, I've learned I like lists, and to put one foot in front of the other. This year, so many good things happened, I climbed to the top of San Pedro Volcano and Wheeler Peak, I applied to go back to school to get my masters in counseling and got accepted; big picture stuff. And lots of weird things happened that have never happened to me before, I got A WHOLE LOT of dental work, tipsandtricks dealt with an infringement case and currently, I'm in the process of a manged tax audit courtesy of the state of New Mexico. I moved into a bigger house with a lot more to take care of, I'm teaching teacher training next year, leading a retreat and I want to save energy for the people I love. Thankfully, I was told it's best for me to try and function at 73%. Yes, one foot in front of the other, send the stuff to the accountant, make a list when it's time to make a list, add to it if I got something done that wasn't on it, just so I can cross it off. Feeling overwhelmed is a mix up of small and big pictures; feeling responsible *for* instead of responsible *to.*

"Magic and power don't come from contemplating all that lies ahead, how much needs to be done, all that might go wrong, whether we'll get through. That's fear. We won't find magic and power by denying, escaping, or ignoring our feelings, even feelings of being overwhelmed. Feel what you need to feel. Release it. Go forward in love, one moment at a time." --Melody Beattie

Friday, December 4, 2015

Apparent Setbacks

"You can use apparent setbacks or challenges to propel you forward." --Kay Kamala

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Back when I lived in New York, I went through a short phase where I got into fights with cab drivers. It was during the time I lived in Greenpoint, a place that most drivers didn't seem interested in going. The final straw happened when I was trying to get home from E. 38th St on the evening of my birthday, my favorite day of the year.

Getting in a cab always felt like such a treat, I would relax, sit back and space out. On this particular night, my relaxation came to a screeching halt when I realized my cabbie was taking us on a tour through Queens. When we did finally arrive back at my apartment I refused to pay the entire fare and some nasty words were said.

Talking to my teacher Jen about the incident shortly thereafter, she spoke of collaboration and how sitting in the back seat of a cab is not an opportunity for passivity, but for teamwork. Thankfully, striking this balance ended my chapter of cab driver clashing.

Some of us believe, for some reason, we have to do everything by ourselves, some of us even think that's the only way things get done properly. For me, this belief system and acting it out for many years, created a kind of hangover: I was tired. The net effect of this was often a refusal to participate when things needed my attention.

There's an Al Anon concept that states, "Participation is the key to harmony." It's been a pretty mind blowing practice for me to collaborate in scenarios where I would normally defer, and to ask for support in situations I in which I used to soldier on solo: to think of each meeting with one other person or many other people as a collaboration.