Because Hope Blooms in the Dark
Note: Today I transferred all my newsletters from Constant Contact to Substack. My apologies for content which is repeated. Next week we will have a fresh start! Meanwhile, here are 8 steps I’ve used to keep going when I feel stuck within Life’s cycle of ebb and flow.
By Kelli Lynn Grey
I move my body. Dancing to 90s alternative, Lana Del Ray & a new genre of viking music helps me the most. So does going outside and walking through the pines to the Marathon station next door. So does vacuuming and rolling around on the floor with my children.
I play with fire. My ex-husband once gifted me a small but functional, cast iron cauldron. Its lid and handle make it portable and also perfect for burning slips of paper on which I’ve written down things I need to call in, as well as things I need to release. It does take some skill to do this safely though. If you try it, you alone are liable for the results.
I alter my space. The simple act of shifting something in my environment helps me re-frame obstacles and move through them rather than being blocked by them. Sometimes, I do this by designating shelves or tables as actual altars. I intentionally place photos, stones and art there which grounds me and uplifts my spirits. Other times, I do this by re-organizing the contents of my closets or simply clearing my space. However, my favorite way to do this is by infusing the air with aromas I like by burning incense and diffusing essential oils. The aromas are linked to memory and can instantly shift my state of mind.
I tell myself a story. I like to do this by reading cards and by making intuitive collages. I feel that cards, whether they are a traditional tarot deck or inspirational oracle cards, all represent different archetypes which arise during any human’s experience of life. When I intuitively pull them, I’m able to see my present moment through the lens of the story they tell, and this usually brings me peace. As an alternative to the cards, I also enjoy intuitively cutting words and images out of old magazines and books. Armed with a glue stick, I piece these together into collages. I don’t think much about them as I’m making them. Rather, I study my art when it’s complete and ask myself what story it’s telling me.
I read (or listen to) other people’s stories. This takes me out of my own head, inspires action and reminds me that I am not alone. There is infinite power in sharing our stories.
I write my way through. Writing (whether it’s an essay, news report, poem or private list) always helps me clarify what I actually think and feel. When I’m ready to write about something, I’m ready to face it, and my writing typically provides an action plan. Sometimes, my writing itself is also the action plan because, by selling it, I’m able to continue financing my life.
I connect with plants as medicine. At the time of writing this, I am 37-years-old. I live with a number of chronic mental and physical health conditions, from depression to cancer. While I am not qualified to give any medical advice, I can say that I’m at my best when supplementing regularly with plant-based medicine. I first realized this 10 years ago when the decision to try St. John’s Wort stopped my frequent thoughts of suicide. It is one of my top plant allies. Another major plant ally is cannabis. My other newsletter The Seed is an excellent resource for learning more about how to cultivate a relationship with cannabis now.
I take small steps toward a more financially stable life. I recently have been intrigued by an email campaign launched by Witch Magazine’s founder Carolyn Elliot and financial coach David Burns. Within the campaign, Carolyn and David propose that Money itself is a spiritual entity in a physical form, and they offer a course to help people develop their relationship with money as such. While I did not enroll in the course this time around, I did take their basic advice on how to connect with the spirit of money, and this did lead me to try some apps intended to help me better manage the money in my life. The three I’ve found most helpful are listed below:
Chime (an online bank which rewards direct deposits, instantly kicks a portion of your earnings into savings and eliminates overdraft and returned item fees)
CashApp (an app which makes its simple for both individuals and businesses to receive, spend and invest funds anytime, anywhere)
Root (a car insurance app which rewards good drivers with lower rates)
I think it’s clear that money has vast potential for misuse, abuse and destruction, as well as for sustaining modern life, creating new opportunities and providing the safe foundation from which many of us are then able to heal and thrive. Embracing this paradox, and others like it, is key to blooming in the dark.