A Spiritual Message from a Cactus; Nourish it or…?

cactus-with-leaves-2Spiritual messages and reminders come in many forms but no matter how or when they come it is important to learn what they are trying to tell us. Our spirits must be nourished and filled with dreams, passion, enthusiasm and creativity or they eventually shrivel up into an empty shell and die of thirst…

A few days ago I was ready to let go of the last remains of a cactus I (barely) kept alive for over 25 years. Truth be told it’s been sitting dead on my windowsill for some time but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. That cactus was the first thing I bought when I moved out of my parents house. Perhaps it represented a right of passage or perhaps it represented life itself. Whatever it represented at any given time my heart is saddened by the realization that I killed what was once a living, breathing thing.

I remember when I bought it and if memory serves it was only about 12 inches high. I cared for it faithfully. It outgrew its pot, was replanted and grew some more. I was quite proud of how it was flourishing with new “arms” sprouting all the time. What started out one taller spine with one little arm was over 5 feet tall with dozens of arms! It was a beautiful shade of green with little leaves constantly sprouting from the end of the arms and main spine. Although it started to fall over to one side and I could no longer move it, I would turn the pot so it would rest against the wall. I felt and communicated with the spirit in that cactus and knew that as long as I gave it nourishment it would stay happy, healthy and growing.

One day I had a cleaning person come to my apartment and when I returned home from work, there was my cactus tipped over on the floor. The main spine had split and a few of the arms were dangling from the place where they were once firmly attached. They oozed white liquid and I clearly remember crying hysterically about my broken and obviously bleeding cactus. Sadly I could not save the main spine but I did replant one of the small arms. It took root quickly and season after season it sat on my windowsill and grew although not as full or tall as its mother.

For whatever reason, I stopped watering my cactus as often as necessary even though it would tell me what it needed by turning slightly brown. I would look at it and be too tired or too busy to simply get a glass of water to water it. I’d tell myself ‘I’ll water it tomorrow’ and maybe I would get to it,  but soon my tomorrows became more frequent. A cactus has an amazing resilience. If it doesn’t have water it lays dormant using little energy to live but after so many tomorrows (about 3 years worth) my cactus was brown and shriveled. I wept as I moved it from the windowsill to the front door so I could get rid of it. Yes it was dead and it was finally time to let it go.

The day after I moved the cactus I put it back into its corner home to take a picture for this post and I noticed green at the tips of the spine and arms. Wait, maybe it’s not dead after all! Is it possible to bring it back to life after years of neglect? Could a bit of water, and love and light make a difference? I don’t know if my cactus will fully spring to life again but I can tell you that for now it is watered and the small green tips are getting greener and expanding.

Like the cactus our spirits are very much alive inside. We are more resilient than perhaps we give ourselves credit for. At times we may feel ‘dormant’  but once we begin nourishing our spirits with love, excitement, passion and light we have the ability to come back to life.  If you’ve had a stressful time or painful experience it is natural to want to push it aside, isolate or dull the pain  so you can’t feel it but a sprinkling of forgiveness and love goes a long way! Your spirit may be calling out for water now. Find the nourishment it needs! Your spirit wants to shine brightly and light your way.

As long as your heart is beating and you have breath in your body there is always hope. It’s never too late to nourish your spirit and find the spark within. If you are always too busy or too tired or stressed to nourish your spirit and you want to wait until tomorrow that’s fine but how many tomorrows will it take before you wake up to find years have passed? There’s no tomorrow better than today to start nourishing your spirit.

What are you enthusiastic about? What do you love? What are you passionate about? What excites you? Find those things and live vibrantly again! Today is the first day of the rest of your life! Choose today to nourish your spirit and soul!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2013-2015 All Rights Reserved

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The Autumn Equinox-It’s Harvest Time!

In the northern hemisphere September 21st marked the vernal, or autumnal equinox; The beginning of fall and the autumn harvest.  Have you ever heard ‘you reap what you sow’? Fall is a wonderful time to take a closer look at life’s harvest.

Did you plant any seeds in your garden of life in the beginning of the year that are ready for harvest? Is some of your crop still in a growth cycle and not quite ripe enough to pick? Are there bulbs you’d like to plant so they can flower in the future?

Harvest and planting is a perfect metaphor for life. It gets one to thinking about what it is that we are reaping NOW in our lives, what is still in process and what seeds we would like to plant for the future. If you are focused on things that happened in the past, worrying about the future or current  problems, you are not planting seeds for the future. All creating happens in the present and your ‘vision’ is the seed to plant. If you don’t have a dream, you can’t plant the seed!

“My mind is a garden. My thoughts are the seeds. My harvest will be either flowers or weeds.”~Mel Weldon

Whatever you are harvesting now, take a moment to reflect on what type of seeds you planted and all that happened after you planted them. Did you water the garden? Clear out the aphids? Fertilize? In other words did you care for your seeds to support growth?

Once you plant the seeds for what you want, if you are aware and paying attention, you are given information on the steps you need to take to reap a bountiful harvest. This information is useful and can point you in the right direction! Are you heeding the signs? It may be as simple as your intuition telling you to take a different route home or something more profound like getting the flu so you have to stay home and care for yourself. It could also be a nagging feeling that doesn’t go away until you pay attention to it.

The universe works in collaboration with you and you really do reap what you sow. If you are not happy with your harvest, what steps are you willing to take so that once you plant new seeds you are able to recognize what your garden needs to nurture it? There is no quick fix! While occassionally there are instances of immediate gratification, growth takes time and care. You may even find that you don’t really want to take the steps and that’s OK it’s where you are; BUT if you aren’t happy with the way things are going, take some time to turn within to look at what type of seeds you planted and how you cared for your garden.

Whether you are reaping the rewards of your harvest or deciding to plant different seeds it’s time for your garden to flourish! Harvest and honor the crop you preciously planted then plant new seeds to move on! Fall is a wonderful time to “Fall” in love! “Fall” into a fresh cycle! “Fall” into fun! “Fall” into a new YOU reaping a bountiful harvest!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2010-2014 All rights reserved

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