Spirituality

The Divine Reverence of St. Ignatius

This post is a slight departure from how I usually share the thoughts, feelings and poems that make up the music of my soul’s journey. The rebirth I’ve had leading me to this new beginning has my feet firmly planted in Divine love and has begun to take shape as I open myself up to more of God’s direction for my life. Every morning I am showered by God’s love, grace and mercy as I pray and meditate, experiencing this world in quite the same way the great mystic and revered St. Ignatius did. I want to thank my dear friend David Duncan of http://davidsdailydose.org who nudged me towards learning more about the life and teachings of this mystical saint. This is a deep dive into the resonace I share with Divine reverence for St. Ignatius.

Ignatius is a name of Latin origin believed to mean “fiery one” and can be compared to the word “ignite”. His famous quote, “go forth and set the world on fire” has always held deep meaning for me as a fiery Sagittarius. I must admit however, until recently I was afraid of my own fire, the immense passion I feel inside for how I process and perceive everything in life. I’ve been hiding behind others in relationships and now I am fully ready to step into my power by living out another one of his great sayings, “act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God”.

I recently listened to and learned so much about St. Ignatius from an audiobook called “Ignatian Mysticism, Exploring the Mystical Dimensions of the Spiritual Exercises” by Paul Countinho. Ignatius of Loyola, venerated as Saint Ignatius of Loyola, was a Spanish Basque Catholic priest and theologian, who together with Peter Faber and Francis Xavier founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus and became its first Superior General at Paris in 1541. The Jesuits are known for their missionary, educational, and charitable works. This order was the leading force in the modernizing of the Roman Catholic Church. Ignatius was a pilgrim, always moving and contemplative. I too have been moving around my entire adult life in a contemplative fashion. Mine is one filled with deep and serious thought, writing poetry and daydreaming about the many things that catch my heart as I dwell beneath the surface. My dear readers, that has always been where I’m most comfortable and how I spend my days.

What is a mystic…”a mystic is a person who has a direct experience of the sacred,unmediated by conventional religious rituals or intermediaries and absorption into the Divine. Since I was a child, I have experienced strong feelings, whispers and visions from Spirit yet up until recently never talked about or tapped into any of the wisdom being offered to me out of fear others wouldn’t understand or know what I was talking about. I’ve always known I was different, marching to the beat of my own drum they call it. In June of 2019, all that was always meant for me to learn from God was activated when I met and experienced my first shamanic healing session with my mentor and teacher Lindsey Luna. She performed the most sacred of healings on me, a soul retrieval, which sparked a deep and profound spiritual awakening. That healing finally erased all of the fears I had, cracked my entire world wide open, has since created many accelerated transformations and brought me to the path of becoming a certified master shaman. What I believe be God’s purpose for my life.

The way both St. Ignatius and I have come to know and understand God began through nature and specifically, we view the night sky as God’s masterpiece to behold. My own visions began years ago while I was star gazing. I have been seeing lights, shadows and angels for years now. We believe everything is interconnected and has one Divine identity. It is a right, not a privilege to receive the gifts and graces of God. The pathway to this deepening relationship is ever changing and constantly evolving. Never do I cling to just one experience or idea as my soul came into this life open wide to receive God’s love. Ignatius saw beyond the sexual identity of male or female, race, class or any other category we put people in modern society in today. He chooses to see the pure essence, the shared humanity and consciousness of Divine as One, the Universal law of One. This is true for all of us, including God. It is known in Ignatian Mysticism that no one figure is seen as female or male. We are both Divine feminine and Divine Masculine equally, an important fact that must be retained for balance and harmony to be restored to Earth.

By remaining open and allowing life to happen to me according to God’s will, as St. Ignatius did, we believe God finds us and not the other way around. I don’t lead God, I surrender to Him and He finds me. I have done my fair share of running from and denying God. It wasn’t until a suicide attempt and facing the trauma I have endured all my life that I really began to believe that I was worthy of God’s love. St. Ignatius too had suicidal ideation when he believed he wasn’t enough for God. He then came to understand that it’s not in the doing or finding, living for or overcoming God but in the surrendering to God, when we give ourselves over to the wisdom He is giving to us. God gives us unconditional love while we remain open, trusting with our faith in Him to receive it. God uses us as instruments to spread His message of unconditional love and through my healing practice, I am able do for others what was done for me. Ignatius himself said that belief is a very powerful thing….what if Mary didn’t believe what Archangel Gabriel told her about having a son whom we know to be Jesus Christ? As a shaman, all of the healing I provide is based upon the power of belief. This is an oath I wrote and intentionally follow.

“I vow to be open and honest with myself by follow the path of Spirit. I trust in where I’m being led and that the highest good is the first priority in my healing practice. I promise to allow Spirit’s guidance be the primary source for all the healing I perform and provide for the good of my clients and myself. Everything I ask for is based upon the power of intention and my magic is manifested from it. I use love as a superpower to heal first myself and others who choose to work with me. I remain true to my own spirit and my role as a conduit for the Divine on a Universal level. In light and in shadow, always with love ❤Namaste 🙏

“Reckoning”

St. Ignatius practiced three ways of praying to communicate with God and I identity with all of them as a daily practice. For many years, I had been yearning to see the face of God and was having spiritual experiences that I now understand much more fully. This is the beauty, mystery and great wonder of the journey of the soul.

The first way is through contemplative prayer, praying from the heart. I open up the core of my being to the wondrous mystery of life which orchestrates transformations to occur. Contemplation is the realization of things, not revelations, of my own spiritual identity. The authentic truth and voice of my soul. Communication with God in this way brings me to sobbing tears as both St. Ignatius and I experience through all of our senses….feeling, seeing and hearing the wisdom of God as musical notes, chords and spheres. I regularly see colored circles called auras around other people. The more I exercise this muscle of prayer, the more my spiritual experiences grow.

The second pathway of prayer is through meditation, which is an observation of the reflections of the mind to include memory, understanding and will. During this time I make resolutions and experience revelations (ah-ha moments). I’ve been deeply devoted to my meditation practice for over ten years now and is one of the most beautiful gifts of healing for the soul.

The third and last way St. Ignatius prayed is through what is called “application of the senses” which is a consciousness, presence and awareness of God. Breathing in, drinking of the image of God in all living things with all the senses. I go into an altered state of consciousness to communicate with Spirit which is how I provide healing for myself and others as a shaman. I’m aware of all the dimensions not merely the 3D physical plane. St. Ignatius practiced this too as a way of life, living and experiencing the world through the senses. Believing strongly in the flow, the tremendous gift that all of life is granted us by the Source of all, an infinite and all present God.

Last summer while I was studying to become a shaman and during my apprenticeship, I continuously and intentionally opened myself up to the miracle of Divine essence through all of creation, becoming recharged by God and began to view the whole of creation as sacred. By the end of July I became aware for the 1st time that I was actively channeling Spirit and I believe this poem is a direct message from St. Ignatius. In it, I feel the white rays of the Sun and the Light, Jesus Christ. I now understand that I have been unaware during my life how often I channel Spirit because my soul is so open. My work has helped me control my vessel so I can sleep more easily and not be awakened by them all hours of the night. That fact was a regular occurrence for Ignatius too until he established boundaries with Spirit over when he would receive messages.

“Divine Reverence” written 7/25/20

My dear readers, I took twenty-two pages of notes from this audiobook and could go further with the similarities and beliefs I share with St. Ignatius. I’ve learned a great deal more about myself through his life and am completely fascinated by him. I feel a deep endearment and a kindred love towards the man. I am an Ignatian Mystic. I believe with my whole heart that true power comes directly from my relationship with God as I continuously open myself up to receive Him. Love is not merely meant to give but to receive. By receiving God, I deepen my relationship with Him which provides meaningful purpose for my life. I am a woman of God, who possesses me and who uses me to help heal others, a gracious and humbling honor. I enjoy and celebrate the fullness of life with its intimate pleasures. I’m committed to a total union and communion with the Divine. After all of the darkness and trauma in my life, finding my identity within the Divine and experiencing the interconnectedness with all of life makes my heart sing and my body dance. I’m free to bask in the sunlight of Spirit, eternally grateful, full of peace, joy and love.

“Let love shine in” written 6/27/20

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In light and in shadow, always with love ❤ Namaste 🙏

Spirituality

Grace, humility and patience

I’d say these three values have been tested and strengthened the most over these past two and half months my dear readers. I’ve written here many times that I firmly believe that God brings us to everything He knows we can live through. Period. The less we resist the challenges life presents to us the easier it is to integrate these values into our character. Surrender. Release. Let go. This too has been a focused mantra of mine. Forgive me my dears, for I never want to portray any of this as being easy yet the concept is simple. With daily intentions and practice, we all have the ability to manifest a life beyond our wildest dreams! I am living proof of that my dear readers.

I have been thoroughly enjoying this holiday (in the U.S. we are celebrating Memorial Day) and because it’s been raining off and on ALL weekend, I have spent my time bingeing some Netflix documentaries and mini-series. The one that really grabbed my heart is called, “Unorthodox” about a young women’s life as she grows up in the Hasidic community and ultimately discovers that their world is not for her as she leaves to discover her own true path. The parallels I drew to my own life, healing and self discovery were quite evident in each of the four parts of this series. The main character, Esty, definitely had to learn to show herself some grace while being patient enough with herself to discover her place in this world. I believe the humility she already possesses as a young women in her ultra Orthodox Jewish faith helped her a lot as she forges through the many obstacles of leaving the only place she has ever lived and travels to Berlin, Germany. This is a true story written by a woman who actually did just that in hopes of uncovering her true authentic self. From the very beginning she even tells the man who is to become her husband by means of an arranged marriage that she isn’t like the other girls, she is different.

For those of you who have been reading my blog here, I too have expressed that I have always felt different from my peers. The black sheep of my family. Many of the scenes like the one of her bathing in the kosher bath as a way of purifying her body before her marriage resonated deeply with me. Her attempts at being reborn through becoming sub servant to her new husband in order to birth his children and repopulate the world with more Jewish people in order to make up for the millions lost in Holocaust is both selfless and remarkedly relatable because I believe we all experience some level of dysfunction in our lives. It’s meant to serve a purpose I believe in deciding what we ourselves believe in and are committed to carrying on with or what we decide isn’t part of our belief system and should be left aside. I don’t mean any disrespect to this community, that isn’t my intention with this post. My heart in many ways related to and broke for Esty because she was forced into many situations that were not her own choice. God has given all us free will and we come into this world as sovereign beings yet because of societal conditioning are thrust into certain circumstances and situations not of our own choosing. There in lies the dysfunction.

Coming to terms with own beliefs and forging a life we can truly be ourselves in is crucial to happiness. I myself have lived most of my adult life in an inauthentic way. Doing things to make others happy in hopes of gaining acceptance and love no matter if I was hurting myself in the process. After Esty makes friends with a group of musicians and is finally feeling accepted, one of them tells her some truths that were both necessary yet hard for her to swallow. Again, such is life. Are you my dear readers telling people things just to appease them, be accepted or make them feel happy yet not exposing them to the real truth of a situation in order to spare their feelings? Wow. That one hit close to home. I have often been the bearer of bad news so to speak because I am honest to a fault at times and don’t always sugarcoat my words. I have also been on the receiving end of such harshness and now reflecting back upon those situations, I’m thankful for them. Definitely a shift to how I viewed those situations at the time but isn’t that also another beautiful part of life? The mystery and discovery of what certain things are meant to teach us over our time here on Earth. Our opinions and judgements, perspectives and perceptions can completely shift. I believe just as life itself is, all things are relative and cyclical.

In that part of the story, even though she felt sad she ended up changing her entire approach for her audition in Hope’s of obtaining a scholarship she was yearning to get to a prestigious music academy. That is the very essence of all of life’s choices my dear readers. We can learn from these setbacks, shift and go in a conpletely different direction or we can take on a victim mentality and allow whatever hardship to destroy us, quit which in the long run turns into a resentment. Allowing others to cast judgements that we then use to disempower ourselves is a hard reality to face down the road. Believe me, I have lived through many situations and circumstances that I don’t regret now but at the time wished I had handled differently.

Everything that has happened thus far is truly a blessing and being able to admit that fully is real growth. By living with a false sense of reality, we only hurt ourselves. Up until this part in the story, Esty has faced so much rejection. Mostly within herself yet she keeps courageously plugging along trying to make her dreams come true. When her hopes seem lost, she calls her Grandma, her bubby and the woman who raised her and because the fear of being cast out by the community is too great, her bubby hangs up the phone on her. Again, Esty must decide if that setback will crush her and force her back to the only home she has ever known. Ultimately we are shown that she has the bravery it takes to keep going despite it all. Even when all the chips are down, she finds the strength to keep believing in herself. She wants a better future for herself and her unborn child. That part really struck a chord with me as a mother and somebody that has felt like a failure for so long.

This year has been one of complete transformation and rebirth for me on all levels. As a mother, partner, daughter, sister, friend and most importantly as a woman. Rediscovering myself and remembering what my purpose here in life is has been the most beautiful, painful, tedious and challenging experience of my life thus far. I’m grateful to have discovered what I call my soul language and my true authentic voice. I wrote this poem as a way of expressing that.

I have also started my apprenticeship to become a shamanic healer and in doing so I had some “homework” to commit to doing. I did a lot of sitting with myself, talking openly to God and spirit. Communicating with the spirit animals that resonate with me, learning about tree spirits…..stuff like that. I know many of you probably think as my partner does that that’s totally weird and a foreign feeling activity for you personally. It’s all part of my own journey however and I fully embrace it! God has brought me here to a place of learning more about why I have these extra sensory perceptions and gifts. My path is truly my own and in discovering more about myself I have been given this message. The following poem sums everything up quite well. This is where I find myself and I am eternally grateful to be awake, alive and present for the present that God has given me! Peace, love and light my dear readers….love yourself and one another.

Please check out my 2 books of poetry available now on Amazon at the links below.

Spirituality

Every day is a gift

This post is going to be a bit different than my other posts my dear readers. This one a journal entry, a peak into my inner world.

Opening my eyes this morning, I greet the day with enthusiasm and curiosity for what God has in store for me. What lesson will I learn today and what experience will touch my soul. These are my first thoughts as I reach for the book I read every day, Mark Nepo’s “The Book of Awakening.” I like to use whatever he reflects upon in the daily passage for my own journal prompt. A mix of where I find myself in the moment and a pearl of his wisdom. I usually write my entry afterwards. Here’s today’s entry:

Breaking patterns and strengthening bonds is the work at hand. Yesterday went so well with Lindsey, my heart feels so full! Ty and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon together. He treated me to dinner.  Even my partner surprised me with a sweet present that I wasn’t expecting, the best kind of gift! I know since arriving here at my parent’s house, me energy has been unsettled. Showing myself grace while being gentle, I will figure out what feels best here. Of course I have my lounge chair set up outside by the lake, my happy place. It’s where I can observe nature, speak with God and receive messages from my spirit guides. I told Lindsey that as a “homework” practice this week for my apprenticeship to become a Shamanic healer, I will reestablish my self journeying which plainly means I will be intentional about spending more time solo outdoors, in self reflection. I have to feel my way through because that’s my best asset and my strongest sense as an empath. God, please help me to learn my place here and lead with love in every endeavor, especially as it concerns others. Thank you for bringing me this far along my journey. Thank you for helping me heal by recognizing the truth and knowing the beauty you provide for us here on Earth. I’m grateful for the focus I have in following my soul’s path and purpose. I trust that you have brought me here because I’m ready to learn more and what a gift that is! God and your helpers, the angels surrounding me, are continuing to help me heal. Continuing to walk this path in truth and love isn’t a responsibility I take lightly. It’s only with the courage and love you God provide me that I have gotten through the darkness. For in darkness, I have discovered myself and gathered the strength I needed to walk into the light. It brings tears to my eyes when I can sit in meditation and feel the beauty of everything here you have created in every living thing. Each and every day is a gift!

img_20200519_084658_694

My dear readers, treat each and every day as the gift it is. God will only bring you to and through what you can handle. Trust in Him. Live each day to the fullest my dears for life is precious. From my heart to your heart. So much ❤

Please check out my 2 books of poetry, links below……

Spirituality

Breath is life

I am so happy to say good bye to April and welcome in May😊 Last month was one of the hardest of my entire life. More details to come on that subject in future posts but for this post I would like to express my new found love for breathwork. You may be thinking my dear readers, what is breathwork? Here’s Google’s definition: Breathwork defines various breathing practices in which the conscious control of breathing is said to influence a person’s mental, emotional or physical state, with a claimed therapeutic effect. Last evening I participated in my second such course offered and facilitated by my dear friend Christina Tucciarone aka @comealivewithchrissymarie on Instagram.

Chrissy has an amazingly powerful presence as both a leader and a teacher. She and I have worked together a few times and I feel so blessed to call her my friend. I sincerely appreciate her devotion to what she teaches coupled with her insightful guidance during each session. Last night I really appreciated her steady reminders to push through the resistance that can be felt once the body is fully oxygenated. There were three rounds of active breathing for 7 minutes and then a minute each of holding the breath and releasing it at the bottom. During the first round I immediately felt pulled to the wounds from my inner child and an intense sense of fear and sadness. My entire body went completely numb. I knew instinctively that my body was attempting to dissociate. This coping mechanism is something I developed at a young age during the sexual abuse I endured. It served as a survival technique then and I must admit for most of my life over the past 35 years.

In the past year, since acknowledging and healing from this dark secret I have experienced a spiritual awakening that has transformed my life in such a way I view it has the Maria I was before June of 2019 and the Maria I am now. Going in and out of dissociative episodes when I found myself involved in intense emotional situations has been both a subconscious and conscious way for me to escape from reality. Over the years I had become very keenly aware of what was triggering me yet at the height of those experiences I was dumbfounded as to how to stop them from occurring. It felt humiliating afterwards when I would “wake up” and realize how much time I had lost. During the recent Divine Intervention session I had, Mr. Adifon confirmed that I regularly lose hours and still days of myself. Maria feeling Maria 100% of the time is very new still. Last night was a reminder of how going to that detached place no longer serves me.

I began to explore what little Maria was telling me. I listened and began a running dialogue in my mind with her, soothing her fears and reestablishing trust by vowing to not abandon her again. The human brain fascinates me. How such an intense level of fear and panic can create a whole new space for our psyche’s to travel to if just for a visit! My mind created this safe space, like a holding pattern for little Maria to still exist in yet not feel what was happening. Violation of a child is so seriously shameful.

However damaging that experience has been to my life I don’t regret it. I have learned so much about myself and the world around me from every single experience, everyday and in each moment over the past 42 years. Putting all judgements aside, good, bad, ugly and beautiful what I have learned is how vital all of it is to living a full life.

Here are some of the main things I have learned about myself over this past year……but most assuredly had them solidified last month. These were the messages I told little Maria I was proud of her for. Experiencing the pain of long held fear is absolutely terrifying when first felt yet in moment last night I knew I had to take control of my healing and be my own hero.

You are not afraid of change, you welcome it with an open mind and heart.

You have an intense love and trust for others, humanity fascinates you and you never meet a stranger.

Keep wearing your heart on your sleeve and remain proud of your free spiritedness.

You allow your big heart to lead in and through life’s ups and downs. Don’t ever change that Maria.

Empathy and intuition are your superpowers.

You my dear little Maria are extremely resilent.

Keep the people you love whether family or friends close to your heart creating friends for life!

It was an awesomely amazing hour. I cried a lot with becoming so flushed with emotion, sweat and gratitude seeped out of every pore in my body as we finished and wrapped up the session. I quickly composed myself and tucked myself under my trusty weighted blanket. Then I grabbed my journal to document the experience. I then took a separate sheet of paper out and wrote down the things I knew were time to release and let go of. My convictions growing deeper with every step towards the backyard, I read my own words aloud then lit the paper on fire. I closed the ritual with a personal prayer.

I wrote the poem below on Friday, before the breathwork course last evening. I’m so grateful for understanding and accessing my intuition and continuing to heal my inner child wounds. Life never ceases to surprise and amaze me. As always, with an open mind and heart I humbly bow my head and give thanks to God🙏

Intuition

Spirituality

Held in God’s grace

Ever since my session with Joel Adifon, a Divine Interventionist who refers to himself as a Divine Catalyst and Supernatural Creative, I have felt quite the stirrings of a major shift going on inside me. Believing in the power of Gods, Saints, Annointed Ones, Masters and Angels to restructure my life, with an open mind and heart, I gave verbal permission to Mr. Adifon to work a miracle on me. It’s not something tangible I can even describe but what he told me during the session has been ringing through my mind since Friday.

He explained that I would feel very tired for the next two days and if I so chose I am welcome to call upon the spirits of those who stepped forth. First he asked me if I had a family member I was close to that passed over and immediately I knew my Nana was with us. I could feel her 20 minutes before the session even started! I sat in the backyard and raised my hands to the sky shaking, quivering with energy as I knew Nana would be there, as she always is, to support me and hold me in grace. I sobbed uncontrollably, in a completely non judgemental way. That has been happening ever since actually. All of a sudden throughout the day I fall to my knees in gratitude and wonder, sobbing while thanking God for his mercy and grace. For bringing me this far, through all of the trials an tribulations that have made up the fabric of my life. In awe is a good expression of how absolutely beautiful this experience is for me my dear readers!!

He echoed a lot of information that I already had heard through previous energy clearing sessions yet the work he does is beyond space and time. There are so many levels to our vast Universe, I am still new to understanding it all. I’ve written before about my spiritual awakening 10 months ago and since then I have definitely achieved a higher state of consciousness. It’s remarkable the beauty and synchronicities I experience on a daily basis.

Even as I sit here writing about this, I am taken aback at how my long held need to explain and understand things in the spiritual realm has shifted. I am surrendering the need to do so. I simply surrender. I simply know. Letting go and letting God has taken on a whole new meaning at my core where we are all held in love.

Besides my Nana stepping forward to work their magic, Archangel Raphel, saint of healing was present. I have had whispers of his presence around me for months now through the visions I experience. Some Tibetan monks also joined us as well as a saint I feel has resonated within my being for many years. Growing up Catholic, I have always been mesmerized by St. Francis, patron saint of animals and the environment. I’m a huge animal lover and nature enthusiast, believing that I can and do communicate with them on an intimate level. Much like I will be learning to do soon in my apprenticeship to become an energy practitioner as a Shamanic healer.

A quote of St. Francis’s that I deeply resonate with is, “for it is in giving that we receive”. I am a big believer in these words, I receive so much joy in giving. For me, throughout my life I often times believed that I didn’t deserve to receive anything. That I wasn’t good enough. Being sexually abused will do that to a small child’s psyche. During the healing process over the past 10 years I have worked diligently to reframe these thoughts and beliefs. Suddenly I can feel everything just coming together in such a way that I know Universe has my back in all ways.

A big take away for me was his recognizing that I lose myself for hours even days at a time. I developed a knack for disassociating as a coping/survival mechanism early on during the years I was abused. I simply internalized the pain and detached from myself. I have made HUGE strides in piecing myself back together. In the past I could be stuck in a dissociative episode for a month or more. Hearing him acknowledge that I still have a tendency to do that and be reassured that he was stitching me back together gave me this overwhelming feeling of calm.

This morning and every morning since, before I sit in meditation, I speak with St. Raphel and ask for his continued healing presence in my life. Then I usually feel as though I’m being hugged and then I release by crying. Today this poem flowed out of me. I want all of you, my dear readers to know this. God’s grace is attainable when you simply ask for it. We are all His children, created from love and light. That is our one true calling, to live by loving each other as God intended us to. Amen, Amen, Amen😇🙏

“Being held in Grace”

If you want more information on working with Joel Adifon, please leave any questions in the comments below.

If you like my poetry you may go to the links below. I have two books of poetry available on Amazon. Your interest is greatly appreciated. Everyday I strive to live my motto, “Triumphing over Trauma”

https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Musings-Maria-Pratico/dp/1798567504/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=%22emotional+musings%22&qid=1587010926&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087H7D1VS/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Emotional+Musings&qid=1587663034&sr=8-3