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

Leaning into love

This post has been on my heart for some time now. All the pain and suffering I am watching out there is for a reason. God and the Universe have put us into a forced reset. We are being made to rebirth ourselves. We are being asked to look deep within, for humanity’s sake. The systems that we were living in were and are broken. How we treat our planet, each other and most especially ourselves. Where are our values and what’s our top priority? These two things have been misguided for sometime now. Time to start anew.

I know it’s incredibly frightening at times. So many of us are out of work, myself included. We’ve been pulled out of our “normal” day to day lives and made to stay home. Left to our own devices. At this point we are all in a grieving process for what once was. I believe that whatever God sends us through, especially on a global scale like this, is because we need to learn something and this pandemic is serving as God’s lesson of love.

We are created out of love, by love, with love about love and for love. Everything we are is love, our entire being sparked into creation from it. Life in the beginning is innocence. Learning from our loved ones how to be, think and act. Then the cruelty of the world gets ahold of us. Conditioning starts and programming begins forcing us to forget about the love. Parents and caregiver’s mean well but the time constraints of allowing for and explaining feelings to a young person gets less and less attention if at all. Carrying on with what society deems important, what success looks like all the while replacing love with stoicism, vanity, greed, capitalism etc. We learn to lose our origins of love while searching for acceptance, validation and worthiness.

I don’t claim to know when or how exactly all of this takes it’s turn but what I do know is that love and feelings…..specifically feelings become messy. We are asked time again to ignore them and “being strong” and told by our parents, “look what you made me do”. Our innocence is tarnished by others judgements and opinions. The choice becomes clear. Either conform or be cast out. I know many whom have chosen to conform. They have just as many problems as those of us who are cast out.

Me……I have always felt different. Weird. Not like the others. My senses operate on an extra sensory perception level. Fun fact and an important piece that will tie this part in later😉 Did you know that we don’t even have tools to fully measure the sights, sounds and colors of our Universe? We have only measured something like 4% of the electromagnetic field which our Universe is made up of. I state this because from a young age I felt, smelled, watched in awe and heard so many things I couldn’t fully process or explain. From a young age I felt misunderstood and on the outside looking in. I did my best to conform, learning from the ones around me how to behave and get by. My parents loved me and raised me the best way they knew how. They weren’t equipped to raise a child like me who was born with all her senses on high like somebody turned the dial to max during my conception. Like all of us growing up I did what I was told so I could be loved and accepted as one of them.

It’s taken me years and years of self introspection to know what makes me unique is my soul. Getting into touch with this inherently free part of myself is the best gift I could have ever given to myself. It’s taken this slowed down pace our world is in recently for me to truly embrace and understand these qualities about myself on an entirely new level. I love living out every bit of my quirky weirdness, walking through life leading with my big heart first and using the innate ability to understand our world on a deeper level that keeps me curious about others along my path. I have always been fascinated by the human condition and what makes us tick🤔

We are all in this thing called life together. Why not allow ourselves to love each other unconditionally? No matter what we look like, what gender we identify as, what our beliefs are, the balance in our bank accounts, one thread is constant and that is we all have struggles. That’s what this virus is teaching me as it affects anyone no matter of these aforementioned reasons. Some of us have learned to hide it better than others. I wonder, does that make them better than the ones that wear their hearts on their sleeve? As I see it, it’s our feelings that make us human and sets us apart from other animals. Our ability to express them. There is strength in crying and a hugely powerful releasing quality. Scientists even study different kinds of tears under microscopes to determine their chemicals. All play an important role. I’m reminded here of one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite actors, Johnny Depp.

Wise words

By now my dear readers you should know that I consider myself in that latter group. I have always walked to the beat of my own drum. Since my senses are heightened putting me into the extra sensory perception category, there was always something that was too loud, too bright, smelled too strong, felt too deeply etc. I was often told to betray what I was picking up on because I was too much, at least that’s the message I received. My Mom has told me how she and my Dad knew I was different from birth because of how I reacted to the world in an extra sensitive way. I was born fully encased in the vernix, the doctors call it vernix caseosa.

In many spiritual circles it is seen as magic, only 1 in 80,000 births are babies born en caul birth which is also called a “veiled birth.” Most often occurring during a cesarean birth. My mother delivered me vaginally which is even more rare to witness. She likes to tell me how all the nurses were in awe of me and told her how immediately special I was because I was born in an unbroken sac of white jelly like substance.

I can’t tell you for sure whether or not being born this way has impacted my life today in scientific terms. All I know is what my Mom has told me and has continued to be in awe of regarding this fact of when I was born. My Mom is and has always been my biggest cheerleader. I love you dearly Mom❤

I have been receiving many messages, none of which are veiled about what this time is meant to teach us. That my dears is love. Lead with love first in all your interactions and you can never go wrong. In times of doubt, ask yourself, “what would love do next”. The poem I wrote below , “Rhythm,” is my ode to the people in this world who have felt just like me. The weirdos, the freaks, the misunderstood and the loners. The sensitive ones. We have experienced the dark side of humanity and therefore know how beautiful and awe inspiring the light is. This shift is going to make it possible, I can feel it. We can hold each others hands while we ALL dance in a circle around the light. I can feel it my dears, can you?

“Rhythm”

I have been pushing myself outside the box by attending poetry slams. This has been one of my goals in this new year and since I haven’t attended one for a few months, here’s a video of myself reciting “Rhythm”.

In my bathroom studio

Please check out my first book of poetry available now on Amazon entitled “Emotional Musings” and stay tuned for my 2nd book to be released soon entitled, “My Soul’s Language” by Maria Teresa Pratico 😊

Spirituality

Living my life as an empath

I’ve written some previous posts about being an intuitive, emotional and physical empath. Some of my very first memories in life are of being so curious about others. I would stare at people, drinking their feelings and thoughts in. It’s always been distracting and often times overwhelming to have others most inner concerns, heartaches, joys and life’s problems swirling around my mind as I tried to focus in class. It has taken me many years to accept and cope with my life as an empath. Learning how to protect myself, my individuality and my emotions was key to my own inner peace.

I can admit that it’s always easiest for me to help others than to help myself and I for years did just that. I wasn’t even on my list of priorities. It felt like my heart was open and bleeding all the time. Like a bandage being pulled from a scab that is never going to heal. I was always exhausted, confused and looking for an escape route mentally and emotionally that would release my mind so I could rest. Heck, I had no idea of what was going on inside of me and I didn’t talk about it to anyone. It wasn’t until I was well into my 30s that I even learned there were others like me! I remember talking about it with my therapist and thinking, this is a thing?

Empaths, energy healers, light warriors and mystics are all people who can feel others feelings instinctively. I am someone who intuitively understands what others are feeling emotionally, I can read thoughts and even sometimes feel their physical pain. The feeling pain aspect is an interesting one because it can be really upsetting for me to endure something I know isn’t actually happening to me.

Right now my fiance, who is a former professional football player, is going through an immense amount of pain in his entire body. Most specifically, his knees and his head. He sustained numerous concussions during his career and coupled with severe mental illness causes him daily debilitating headaches. We have spent almost six years together as a couple and for most of them he has complained of daily headaches.

Almost three weeks ago he started a new program that is a study on brain supplements and a new light device called a BrainPro. It looks like a halo or a pharaoh’s helmet. He wears it three times a day for twenty minutes a session and it’s ultraviolet light penetrates his skull rejuvenating his blood vessels. More blood flow creates healthier cells and has actually relieved his headaches finally!! It’s a bonafide miracle if you ask me.

On Thursday he was able to receive stem cell injections in both knees in hopes that his bone on bone knee pain can be eliminated and he won’t require knee replacement surgery. This man has seen so many doctors, has had hundreds of tests run, x-rays and MRIs. The last one he had was in September of 2017. When the doctor who injected the stem cells looked over his scans from that time he gave him news that we hadn’t known. He has a broken knee cap, broken bone spurs, a broken bone in his ankle and tons of arthritis throughout.

When I got his call while I was at work giving me this news, I broke down in tears. To hear that the man that I adore has been walking around with broken bones and suffering in pain proved too much for me to bear. The guilt and sorrow I feel not knowing what the cause was is completely encompassing my thoughts and feelings.

I’ve always admired his talent, his personality and who he is as a person but now I’m calling him a warrior. To witness him enduring such an excruciating level of pain on a daily basis is awe inspiring. He also suffers from auditory hallucinations, voices in his head. Yet still he gets up, puts a smile on his face and makes everyone around him feel special.

While we go through these next eight weeks together for this study, I have been asked to document it. My goal and the goal of this program’s director is to not only relieve the pain these players have but bring awareness to the powerful organization that owns the game of football in this country. I’m referring to the NFL. I would like to share with you an excerpt from my notes so far to give you my dear readers a peek inside….

My heart breaks as my emotions run high but I try to get what needs to be done intelligently accomplished. Lincoln is in even more excruciating pain, he can’t settle down and sleep is out of the question.Therefore, I’m not settled and my sleep is hugely interrupted. I am working 8 hr shifts back to back on little to no sleep. My patience is worn thin as I try to make it through each moment without screaming at the top of my lungs WHY US???? The blessings are still abundantly clear now which makes for an interesting paradoxical situation. We now FINALLY know why he has been in so much pain. His headaches are FINALLY being relieved by the brain supplements and Brain pro device he is wearing 3x a day religiously. That is a miracle in my mind and I can’t deny that. Since I have known and I’m sure for much longer than that, Lincoln has suffered from daily severe headaches. I keep telling him that he is my warrior. I can’t imagine or even attempt to wrap my brain around the amount of pain and suffering that he must endure on a daily basis. It absolutely blows my mind. He has sacrificed his entire body for the game of football. The NFL as of 4/19 hasn’t compensated him a dime. Sure they and their many umbrella programs have covered certain medical procedures, bills etc. Those were only granted after my begging, pleading, emails, written applications, phone calls and so on demanding they help him out. He was a big running back that the 93-95 Cowboys teams used as a battering ram in practice mostly and to back up Emmett when he couldn’t play or to save him from injury. The NFL has no humanity, people are walking $ signs and are definitely expendable in their eyes. For a nonprofit billion dollar industry it is beyond incomprehensible. Blood, death and suffering is on their hands and they are still fighting to not claim responsibility for it. It makes me sick to my stomach yet when I ask Lincoln and some other former teammates that he is close to now if they knew what they knew now, would they do it all over again? There answer is always the same, a resounding HELL YES!!! That is the power, glory and prestige we as a society have put upon these football warriors. For me this brings up the question of whether we have really created a positive outlet for those who want to pursue professional football. Where are our morals, ethics and values? Does the quality of life AFTER football mean so little to the powers that be that allow this machine to continue to grind forward season after season???

You see my dear readers, life as an empath isn’t always easy. I understand that God’s purpose for me here is to help and heal others. I’m thrilled and overjoyed when I can be an outlet for others. I’m blessed to walk this path and be on this journey. I believe the people we meet and everything that happens is for a deeper reason. I hold onto this belief and nurture it when I need to. No regrets, nothing but ❤

Mental health, Spirituality

Choosing love while I remain true to myself

It’s been an amazing six months of personal growth and accomplishments dear readers. I recently posted a poem of mine on my IG profile under the handle @emotionalmusings (I have reposted it here) that revealed a personal truth. I have purposely held myself back from success for the past 40 years. Why you may be wondering? For fear of failure, for fear of not being good enough and finally because I didn’t believe in myself. It has been a long and winding road for me. One that required lots of twists, turns and quiet self reflection. Ultimately it took losing everything, my sanity, my personal safety and my home for me to discover that in the end love for myself is the only superpower that I needed. Something that was inside me all along, I just wasn’t accessing it!

If someone had told me that being involved in an extremely difficult domestic violence relationship eight years ago would be one of the catalysts for my evolution, I would of never believed them. Getting punched in the face is quite jarring yet it showed me over time that I wasn’t as worthless as I believed myself to be. There are no magic pills, absolute directives or a master plan to figure out one’s purpose here on the journey. I’m among one of the people in life who had to learn these important things the hard way. Perhaps you can relate. Please put your own story in the comments below!

Perhaps it’s my hard headed Calabrese roots, my fierce independent nature or my insatiable curiosity for why things are the way they are that has led me down a more difficult path than most. A dear friend of mine recently stated to me that I always seem to have so much on my plate. That is definitely true. Juggling lots of “life balls” is all that I know and something I have had loads of practice with since I was quite young.

I follow my heart always and air on my emotional side most often over my intellectual understanding of any given situation. One may say I through caution to the wind. I pride myself on leading with my human foot when faced with adversity or confrontation. I love that about myself and the more I choose to follow my heart, the more confident and content I become. It has taken years to gain this inner peace and now that I have discovered it I desire more of it!

The self loathing, self doubt, feelings of inferiority, and uselessness seem light years away now. I have survived some dark years. I firmly believe that without those years I wouldn’t have found my path of enlightenment. I give thanks for that time, I don’t regret it. Important life lessons and poor life choices resulted in some truly brighter days.

I write and post a lot about the need for more of us to show empathy to one another. In my opinion we must become love warriors against hate and evil doers. It’s those people among us that are crying out, in a more negative way, for love and acceptance. Humanity’s fate is under attack. It’s ugly and it evokes fear. I feel it is the root cause for people to in turn act in an ugly way towards each other. Bottom line…..ugliness, fear and hate needs to be challenged. The only recipe for change is love. Love is the only answer my friends.

Love hard, whole heartedly and often. Hate is easy. It takes more courage and faith to choose love over hate. In a real and genuine way, I challenge you to try a little more love in your life. Especially with complete strangers. A bit more empathy will open your heart to more understanding of not only that stranger but for yourself.

Trust me. I am living proof. I have survived, now I am striving. This is what winning looks like😁

current events, Spirituality

Planting seeds of empathy and love

I’m not a “green thumb” by any definition despite the fact that my mother is a wonderful gardner. She and my father loved spending weekends in our lush backyard pruning, planting and cleaning our grounds at the house I grew up in. In this post I want to focus on a different kind of planting and that is in cultivating a more loving society.

In light of the extreme terrorist attack recently at Christchurch in New Zealand, I myself am searching for an answer as to why such violence exists in the world. For centuries we humans have fought over, waged wars even over the concept of beliefs. I recently read an article in The Washington Post, “In the United States, right-wing violence is on the rise” published on November 25, 2018 that discussed the rise of violence from right-wing white supremacists.

Over the past decade, attackers motivated by right-wing political ideologies have committed dozens of shootings, bombings and other acts of violence, far more than any other category of domestic extremist, according to a Washington Post analysis of data on global terrorism.

This violence has been on a steady rise since President Obama but has surged while Trump has been in office. I don’t want this post to become too politically charged however the facts are the facts. People in power do have a lot of influence over our society.

Intellectually I understand that I can only control and manifest change within myself. As an energy reader, healer and communicator, I firmly believe in the laws of attraction. What you put out into this world always comes back to you. Therefore, I choose to love no matter what. Good, bad or indifferent….the one answer is always rooted in love.

I believe our God, however one may choose to define it, intended our purpose here on Earth is to show and practice love with our fellow man. This involves active tolerance and acceptance in the face of adversity and misunderstanding. We don’t have to agree with everybody but we should allow for the differences that exist among each other. I believe if somebody believes in God and then acts in a completely contradictory way, that person has some reckoning to do. God is love. Period.

When my boys were little I used to tell them that they didn’t have to like or be friends with everybody but they must love everybody. It requires courage to love, a vulnerability to allow ourselves to feel for another. Discovering and nurturing our connections is what life is all about. Celebrating what we can relate to and have in common with one another is far more beneficial than what divides us and makes us different. Differences should be celebrated and accepted because uniqueness is what makes each of us an individual. We are a stronger force together than when we are divided into smaller groups.

Today and everyday, I choose to plant the seeds of love, tolerance and acceptance. I choose to stand up and chastise wrongdoings and hate filled violence. Each one of us has to search our souls and decide what we believe is right and what is wrong.

Inclusivity and acceptance must be in the forefront for the future of our society to survive. It is not us vs. them. There is no “invasion ” of any country by immigrants. Rising violence is driving huge numbers of people from their homes to seek asylum in a different place. What if that was your relative or friend? Would you be so quick to chastise that person?

I encourage you dear reader to be a seed planter of love and empathy. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. We must keep the lines of communication open in order to learn from one another. Evolve or die. Learn and grow or wither away. Let’s destroy ignorance by growing more love. The urgency is now and can’t be put off until tomorrow.