The Gypsy and The Sorcerer

There once was an evil sorcerer, who lived in a large dark cave, on a mystical mountain, in a land far, far away.

Everyone in the region knew  that this man possessed a mysterious gift, and people traveled throughout the lands to seek his magic. But his powers fueled his ego, and he became hungry to gain more power. He wanted more followers, more gold. As his ego and lust for power grew, his true soul began to shrink, into a tiny  tightly closed, marble sized ball of energy, which settled in the bottom of his belly.  This was a powerful man, with no compassion. A master manipulator in every way. He took advantage of men, by emptying their wallets, he took advantage of women,by putting them into a trance, and entering them.

One day, a traveling gypsy came to a village, near the mountain where the Sorcerer lived. The Gypsy had her own magic and wisdom, but unlike the Evil Sorcerer, the Gypsy, had a warm heart. She smiled through her eyes. Her life had always been different. She was often “sent” places, for reasons that even she didn’t understand. She traveled by faith. Trusting  her life was being weaved together by the strings of Fate.

When the Gypsy neared the village, the Sorcerer felt her presence, her strength, her power. Wearing a dark black cloak, he set out down the mountain, to get a glimpse of this powerful Gypsy. He noticed her right away, and for the first time in a very long time, he felt a real sense of fear. He knew she had the power to destroy him.

The Gypsy felt his eyes burning on her, she looked up, stared straight in his eyes and felt his coldness. She knew right away, that this man was dangerous. Fully aware of the stare and potential threat he posed, the Gypsy felt that fate wanted her to spend some time in the village. At first, all the villagers stared at her, but one woman, walked right up to her, smiled, and held out her hand. The Gypsy instantly became friends with one of the most beautiful women in the village. The woman asked the Gypsy about her travels, her strange life, her strange stones and tarot cards.They talked and laughed and shared tea. The beautiful woman, wanting to share some knowledge, told the gypsy of the powerful Sorcerer up the mountain. She told the Gypsy stories of her visits to the powerful Sorcerer and how he chanted over her head causing her to become paralyzed. He “worked” on her, while she was unable to move, unable to speak.

The Gypsy sat quietly listening to the story. She knew fate had brought her to challenge that Sorcerer. She would spread true wisdom. She began to teach techniques of energy healing, she taught about nature magic, yoga, reiki, meditation, protection.

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The Sorcerer used black magic, to try to destroy the Gypsy. He sent curses her way, and even planted seeds of hatred in some of the villagers. The Gypsy endured accidents, misfortune, exhaustion, heartbreak, poverty, but still she continued.

At times, she felt his vampire energy trying to drink up her soul. She often saw him riding a horse by her house. He always stared at her. After a few years in the tiny village, and a few years of his attacks, the Gypsy was exhausted. Worn down, and feeling a little lost, she left the village, and continued her travels.

Time passed quickly. Four years past, and oceans apart, the Sorcerer was still sending psychic attacks. She met many shaman on her path, and they imparted wisdom and healing. During one healing session, it was revealed to her that it was the Sorcerer who was continuing to try to harm her. She worked to strengthen her protection magic and she developed a strong relationship with the angels, particularity Archangel Michael, and he shielded her from harm.

 

As the Gypsy grew in spirit, the evil Sorcerer grew old and tired. He developed a sickness in his belly.  It ravaged him. He shriveled down to bones.When he had only hours left to live, he looked back on his life with regret and sadness. All his power was gone. In a vision, The Gypsy appeared at his bedside holding a small teacup. With compassion in her eyes, she looked at the dying man, smiled, touched his arm and said, “I forgive you.” She offered him a cup of healing tea. She held the cup up to his mouth and helped him drink.  And after enjoying every sip of the special tea, he smiled at her, with warmth in his eyes, and took his last breath.

The Gypsy kissed his forehead and continued her journey.

 

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Dancing With My Shadow

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” ~Pema Chodron

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Balance between light and darkness. When the shadow self comes to visit, don’t fight it, invite it, learn, dance..

Balanced~Tiff

 

The Swamp to The Salty Sea:Everglades National Park

Saturday morning, I woke up feeling tired.   Even after a cup of ‘bullet coffee’, (coffee with butter, coconut oil, and a little cayenne pepper), I still felt low energy. Luckily, we had plans to go camping, and I knew some leisurely hiking would be the perfect cure.  Nature is the best healer.

We packed up and headed out for what we thought would be a camping trip in the Everglades National Park. The drive down to the Everglades, into Homestead, is one of the most awful, depressing, (what have we done to the earth?), drives one can take. We listened to Harry Potter, and The Half Blood Prince on CD, and that made the drive much better.

Slowly the concrete nightmare, gave way to large commercial crops, and then the park entrance. Once inside the park, we entered a whole different world.  Nature. Beauty.  Quiet. Healing. Balance.  MOSQUITOES…

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And Alligators-Such different, ancient, scary energy

The park doesn’t take reservations, and while the campgrounds are very rarely full, they were full. Booked, for the holiday weekend. Once again, as often in life, we had to be flexible, our plans were forced to change.

While swatting mosquitoes, and walking on a boardwalk over a swamp,  we all agreed we were a little bummed but not totally devastated, that our camping trip would become  a day-trip.

Winter in the Everglades, is said to be less “buggy,” but the mosquitoes were intense.  Not everywhere or all the time… BUT, we could be walking quite comfortably, and out of nowhere,  swarms of mosquitoes would rush out and attack us… and yes, we were all wearing repellent. We saw the sweetest (but also funniest) seeming family wearing matching mosquito suits, faces fully covered. There was a moment, where mom, dad, and kid, were all looking through there binoculars at the same time, and in the same direction, with matching clothes. 🙂 

We saw Hawks and Ospreys literally EVERYWHERE. I felt the need to be very quiet and just listen and feel. As to be expected, we saw several alligators. And in Flamingo, which is the very southern part of the park, the southern tip of the Florida, we saw two manatees.   Manatees are fascinating to watch (and swim with), so gentle and magic, and very different from alligators.. ..

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Hawk Watching Over Us-Spirit Animals

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Down in Flamingo, where we saw the manatees,. there were hundreds of birds, called Black Skimmers hanging out on a pretty shoreline,  they literally skim the water when they fly, it was so beautiful to watch them. They are beautiful and VERY loud.

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Mermaid Pose By The Salty Sea

We stayed in the park exploring, until after sunset, and Florida sunsets really are beautiful.

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Driving back, that night, we snacked on gluten free and vegan (uncooked) Smores. Dark Chocolate. Mmmmmm..  I smiled, feeling so grateful to have these moments, these memories with my kids, my family, our mother Earth.

From the Swamp to The Sea, Mother Nature, You Amaze Me.~Tiff

 

 

Even In The Cold

I am wearing three pairs of socks, wrapped in blankets, drinking hot ginger tea, and still shivering. South Florida has gotten slammed by a cold front. It is 39 degrees, or about 5 degrees C. Brr.

 

The trouble with these cold fronts down here, is that, they come out of nowhere, and two days later, it is 80 degrees again and everyone is swimming in the ocean.

As the cold front moved in, so did the flu. I have been sick. Really sick. But I kind of feel grateful for the opportunity to relax. To be completely aware of how my body feels, to spend time alone, and to put natural medicine in my body. Garlic, ginger, honey, and lemons. Healing potions.

I guess what I mean is that, here I am, drowsy, cold, and with the flu. But, I have this wisdom, this knowledge, this power, this awareness, to know what I need to do to recover. To be healthier than ever.

 

This full moon in Leo, is a perfect opportunity to reclaim our power, our wisdom, our health,  our magic. Whether indoors and wrapped in blankets, or outside, take a moment to see the magic in the mudane. Take a moment to honor the cycles..

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Tapping Into Our Wisdom, Beach Yoga This Week

Happy Healing. And Howling..Even in The Cold. ~Tiff

 

The Beauty in The Sunrise and Sunset

A few weeks ago, I taught a beach yoga class that I will never forget. A beautiful strong class.We went into a very deep meditation.  We were all blanketed in this magical feeling, and for many minutes after class officially ended, we sat silently, softly smiling, everyone feeling that ‘Yoga high’.

Well, that high ended with an accident, a horrible accident, that shocked us all, and left me confused, frazzled, and ultimately feeling very guilty. 

The ocean was wild that day and the lifeguards had put up a red flag. It was warm out, blue skies, but very rough water.

One of my students (who is also a friend, healer, and a teacher),he walked to the shoreline, and decided to dive into the water. He unknowingly dove into very shallow water and his shoulder hit the sand very hard. He came up with his arm hanging several inches lower than it should have been, and his collar bone sticking out, it was grossly out of place. It felt like this weird nightmare, caught in between these two worlds,  and I  really didn’t know what to do.

The lifeguard came over and kind of knocked us back into reality. He was grounded in the situation, and he gave us firm instructions. He also said to my student, in his macho but caring lifeguard voice ” Dude, I know you are in a lot of pain, but we saw that dive and we all thought you broke your neck. You are very lucky.” I am sure he didn’t feel very lucky. And as reality sat in, so did my guilt.

My student was rushed to the hospital, and had to have surgery. And I  kept thinking, “if he hadn’t come to my yoga class, none of this would have happened.” 

I have tried to remind myself that I didn’t instruct him to dive into that shallow water, but the guilt is still there. The concern is there. The pain is there. The memory of this beautiful man, soaking wet with a horrible injury, is still is fresh in my mind. And I have to process and work through that feeling that somehow it was my fault..

I have tried to remind myself that although this has changed his life, it likely has put his life on a track that could only open up because of this accident.   It was the tragedy of my sons seriously broken arm, that forced me to homeschool him, and ultimately allowed us to take a trip to the Azores, a trip that changed our lives, and led to the birth of my daughter. A beautiful path opened out of a very painful situation.  There is a way to look at this situation (any situation) and someday understand the reason. Because there is a reason behind everything. But just because my student will get through this doesn’t mean it isn’t insanely painful. I know it is.

Recently, I have had two very close friends experience intense tragedies, both involving death, in nightmarish ways. My heart goes out to them.

 

We all experience misfortune. And right now, in this moment, my heart goes out to anyone and everyone experiencing grief, loss, sadness, guilt, pain, or fear. Experience it. Surrender to it. Pray. Love. Forgive.

Life and death are mysterious…We can be jolted out of our bliss at any moment. In an accident or even death. Samsara.  This life is impermanent. We only have so many breaths. Everything is in a constant state of transformation. Death included.

I have been doing a meditation about death, and it is surprisingly healing. When we realize our life is impermanent,  we try to make each moment count.We live each breath.  We see the beauty in the sunrise and the sunset. 

Namaste, Tiff12248193_10204499516517914_5042567486272250404_o

 

Protected By Angels

The moon is rising as I write these words.. Something so incredible and frightening just happened, and it can be nothing but a miracle. Magic.

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My Beautiful Magical Daughter..

My daughter, Luna and I were just outside enjoying this special full moon day. We picked out magical wands, (special sticks), and I made up some weird songs about the moon rising and the sun saying goodnight.. We sang and danced while holding our sticks and laughing.

I started watering some trees we just planting. Luna was close by,  she was exploring, picking up pine cones, singing, and swinging her wand. She was having fun. She walked over to an outdoor solar powered light and grabbed it and started shaking it.  She was only about 15 feet away from me.  I noticed a bunch of bugs flying around her. Thinking little of it, I laughed and told her to come back, but she just kept laughing and singing and shaking the light. I walked closer to her, when in shock and total horror, I realized she was surrounded by  WASPS. She had disturbed a wasp nest that was inside the solar light, and there were about 20 wasps  (or more) flying around her.  She was oblivious to the danger. She was having fun, she was singing, and laughing ,and they were buzzing. Literally circling her.

I quickly but calmly, picked her up and slowly backed away from the nest. I am still in shock and disbelief.She did not get stung. She must have had an angel protecting her.  My sweetheart believes it was his little brother (who died many years ago), looking out for Luna. I just know, I will remember that image of my daughter smiling, surrounded by wasps, fully protected by some sort of magical force, and I will remember to believe. There is so much we can’t see.  So much we don’t understand.  I am so grateful.

Happy Full Moon.. Honor the Magic~Tiff

As The Path Is Revealed

Yesterday I had lunch in a tiny village named Anjos.  It is the village where my ancestors are from. Yesterday, while enjoying the beauty of the day, the waves, the village, I noticed a small rusty  piece of metal in the ground near our picnic spot. Always drawn to old things, treasures, history,  I tried to pick it up.. The rusted  piece of metal was bigger than I thought. I started digging. I kept digging. What I thought was a tiny piece of metal, ended up being a very old and large 16th century cannon. There are two other old cannons nearby, rusting away. Pirates massacred the village hundreds of years ago… And just a little under the surface of the earth, a piece of history was revealed. 

Uncovering History..
Uncovering History..

As The Path Reveals Itself Often our lives play out in very unexpected ways. Lately, I have been feeling growing concern for my son’s future. He is so smart, that I fear an island this small, lacks opportunities for his growth, development, education. HIS FUTURE. Sometimes one persons paradise is another persons prison. My son has had alot of fun here, no doubt. He fluently speaks Portuguese.  But he is starting to think about college, jobs, a drivers license, etc.. and these things are much more difficult on an island of 5000.

In helping me get some clarity, I asked my Buddhist teacher for advice. He did a divination, a type of astrocartography. Astrocartography, in a simple explanation,  can show us the places on Earth that resonate well with our personal energy and path, and the places on Earth where life will be difficult. Based on Astrocartography, this is a very  difficult place for me to live. I have the energy of Saturn running right through this small island. And I feel it. The island is beautiful, no doubt. I have gotten to share and spread the magic of yoga. I have met amazing people here. Friends, family, TREES. Adventures.

Teaching Yoga in Anjos in the Field Where I Found The Cannon
Teaching Yoga in Anjos in the Field Where I Found The Cannon

But I have also been tested. I have had to learn to put up big boundaries. My boyfriends family, tried to cross my boundaries many times.  But it is a different culture with different family dynamics, different expectations, different and very specific gender roles. If a man here is seen unshaven,too thin, or looking a little scruffy, it is believed to be the fault of his wife or girlfrend. She is to blame. SERIOUSLY!  Living in a different country, especially a country with very old-fashioned ideas, behavior, and rules really forces us to tap into our inner strength. ( The younger generation is slowly creating change-thank goodness).  Living in a different country, especially a poor country, is also a huge eye-opening lesson. A lesson in privilege, a lesson in history, a lesson in economics, and a lesson in life.

I have been praying for clarity and doing lots of energy work. And although, the path has not entirely revealed itself, it is very likely, that we will be moving back to the United States at the end of summer. At least until my son,who is nearly 16,finishes high school. He qualifies to dual enroll in college starting this fall. College Application submitted.

On a very exciting note, over the weekend there was a Science Contest here, a big contest with teams from all of the islands in the Azores. My son was the presenter for his team!! His team made it to Nationals!!They will be heading to the mainland of Portugal next week! YEAH!

And on a funny but slightly traumatic note: NEVER let your boyfriend (who has never cut hair) experiment on yours.. AHHHHHH!!!! 😉 It will grow. This I know. The lessons we learn. Peace and patience as the path is revealed. -Tiff

I have so many stories. I am starting to write a book about my experience here, The Good, the bad, the ugly. It is certain to be a page turner!  I would love advice, funding, encouragement, publisher connections.. Ha!,)