We’re still enjoying our time here in North Carolina. The other day, a red fox traveled across the backyard and a hawk circled above Gidget and Bella. Gulp. I love wildlife but not the type that considers my dog a tasty morsel.
Today, I think we’re going to the History Museum and perhaps travel to Chapel Hill for sightseeing. Then tonight we’ll see the famous paper lantern show in Cary, including the humongous colorful paper dragon. I’ll try to remember to take some pics. Meanwhile, check out Kristina’s Vlogmas, Day 14 where Rune and I are (semi) stars. Not.
Here’s the final post on the holidays. I probably won’t post this weekend. For one, Sunday is our travel day!
Me: What about Christmas and all of the end of the year holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanza? How should we think about and spend those?
Erik: It’s kind of the same message as for Thanksgiving. People have their traditions and that’s great, but don’t get caught up in the gift giving and being out in all the chaos and the people and the crazy fucking crowds to make those fucking sales. That’s great and fun and it gets people in the mood and it feels all season-y and stuff, but that shit can really pull you away from your focus. It can pull you away from taking this moment and savoring it. Getting caught up in, “I need to get this gift, this brand new item because it’s so great and the whole world wants it.” That can pull you away from your focus. Shouldn’t your focus on your family and your gratitude to spend time with them?
Erik: Try to make that change in your family. That’s what I want people to do. Mom, I want to challenge people to not be so focused on and even cut back on how much you spend and how many gifts you give. Challenge yourself to give in a different way.
Kim: He’s pointing to his heart.
Erik: I want to see how capable people are of stepping outside of societal rituals. Actually, I don’t want to see how capable. I want YOU to see how capable you are. So take a breath and slow down in the holiday season. Connect with people. Never pass up a chance to let them know you love them. Sure, gift giving can be fun. It makes people smile. Things are fun. Things are awesome. You can put your hands on them. They’re tangible, but make sure you don’t take advantage of and take for granted that time with that person. They’re so important, and you want to give them this great gift, but spend the time with them.
Me: Well, can’t you do both? I love to give gifts! I love that person just so much that I want to see them smile and happy.
Kim: He’s building on that already before you even asked it.
Erik: If that person is so important to you and you want to give them this amazing gift that you know they’re going to love, actually take time in giving that gift and let there be an energetic exchange, too. Make it a sacred moment. Make it more intimate to really get across the love behind it. It’s all about the energy exchange.
Me: How do you do that?
Erik: Oooh, that’s hard to put words to. Beyond the gift, exchange energy that will make the person feel better—that’s how I work with you, Mom. That’s how I fuck with everybody. It’s an actual energy exchange. It’s not just thinking, “Oh, I love them, and I’m so grateful for them.”
Me: It’s from the heart.
Erik: It’s sending from the heart, yeah! Picture this.
Kim: He’s showing me, do you remember the Care Bears cartoon, and they’d be like, “Care Bears, stare!” and light would come out of their chest?
Me: Oh, yeah. I haven’t thought about that in years. My two eldest kids loved that show.
Kim: That’s what he’s showing, like the rainbow Care Bear sends the rainbow.
Erik: It’s actually seeing yourself sending. That, you don’t need words for. It’s just an energy exchange. Make sure that the ones you love, whether it’s through gifts or not, know that you love them. You can use words; you can use gifts, but make sure it all comes from your heart.
Me: Right, not empty words. Can you visualize the love?
Erik: Yeah, visualizing the love almost puts something material to it. It makes it stronger.
Kim: He’s funny. He goes, “There’s just so much I want to talk about, Kim! Where do we go? What do we talk about?” He’s so amped up!
We both chuckle.
Me: Can you say three things other than that? Can you name three things they should know or do?
Erik: Three things through the holiday season, specifically?
Me: Uh huh.
Erik: As you’re going into your events, your gathering, your meals, whatever you have planned, go with an open heart. That’s what being here has taught me. Create deeper connections.
Me: What do you mean, “open heart?” What does that mean?
Erik: Being more accepting of people and who they are and what they bring to the conversation or what they bring to the table. We all have whacky family members we have a hard time connecting with, but go with an open heart and try to step in their shoes and feel what they’re experiencing or see what they’re going through. This is going to create that Oneness effect. We all are one, but we all fixate on being individuals and what makes us individual and individualism. If we can step out of that, because that’s ego, and step into love, then we’re a little more open and more a part of the One. That’s what we’re supposed to do and be anyway. Open your ears, too. Listen to people. Also, shed that filter of obligation. It’s not your obligation to do anything. You don’t have to go.
Kim: He’s going to use me as an example. He’s telling me to talk about it. I have a family gathering in West Virginia that I’m going to go to in December, and it’s always rough because my kids get carsick when we drive through the mountains.
Me: Can’t you give them a Bonine or something?
Kim: Yeah, I will. My Ma maw passed away so we have to get together.
Erik: Look at the event as, “What can I get out of this? What can I learn from this?” It’s not selfish to think that. The opportunity is being presented to you for a reason. Maybe there’s going to be a connection that’s going to get deeper or one that’s going to be born. So lose the filter of thinking it’s an obligation.
Me: So do things out of love, not duty.
Erik: Yeah, exactly. Use that.
Kim: He really likes what he said about individualism.
Erik: It’s okay to want to identify yourself and who you are, but sometimes you want to detach from needing that individualism so that it can come with an open heart.
Me: Yeah, especially around that time of year.
Erik: Most definitely that time of year because people can be brutal. They can be fierce and brutal and cold.
Kim: Now he’s going on the complete polar opposite.
Erik: You should see the energy it creates around Christmas time, Mom. It’s just people in this collectiveness that creates this really colorful higher vibration. Everybody gets higher, vibrationally, because they’re excited. They’re anticipating greatness. So that collectiveness shifts. Mom, you should see it. Around the earth, the colors get brighter when the vibration gets higher. Everybody wants to be happier. It’s pretty fucking cool. You should see it.
Me: Cool! Can one of the bullet points be about how this holiday season can be different because of all the bad stuff happening in the world, the scary stuff going on in the world with ISIS and the refugees?
Erik: Yeah, there’s a lot to consider there. No matter where you are in the world, I want to challenge you to look around and think—
Kim: He’s warning me that this might not be received well by everybody.
Erik: Challenge yourself to look around and find ways that you live in excess. When we talk about refugees and all the nasty things going on in the world, are there ways you can sacrifice—
(Pause as Kim listens)
Kim: Oh cool!
Erik: Are there ways that you can sacrifice with intentions to help them? Think about this. It’s not just sacrificing things. Let’s say you do. Let’s say you have too many clothes and you go and donate a bunch of them. It’s not just the gesture that helps others. Sure, maybe you’re going to clothe the local needy, but it’s the—
Kim: Man, I love this!
Erik: –energy you’re putting behind the gesture. Wherever you want to send it, it will go. So let’s say you donate food or clothing to your local shelter, but if you say, “I’m doing this out of love because I feel bad for what the refugees are going through,” that energy, Mom, is going to be sent there. That vibration is going to be sent there. If it’s intended to help them and lift them up, they’ll receive it. It’s love, Mom. It’s a love thing, and nothing can stop it.
Kim (darting a hand across her chest): He keeps going like this, showing the energy dart.
Erik: Well, it doesn’t really dart. It just exists.
Me (laughing): Okay.
Erik: Any time people can look around and find ways to help others, even if you’re helping somebody here with you that you know, that gesture of love that you’re exchanging or whatever you’re trying to give them, if you want that energy to be sent—
Kim: Wow, this is a totally new concept. Geez he’s talking fast!
Erik: I’m going to use an example so you can understand it the best you can. Let’s say a girl comes to Kim’s shop and she needs clothes, so she donates the clothes to her. Kim can do that to her because she wants something for the refugees like helping them find safety. Having that material exchange makes the energetic existence you’re sending stronger wherever you want it to go.
Kim: This is a whole new idea to me. It’s so cool.
Me: So it goes from that girl to the refugees?
Erik: It’s wherever you assign it, Mom.
Me: Okay, I gotcha.
Erik: It’s a two-fer. You’re helping this girl, but the energetic exchange can be with her, but you’re also putting matter onto the energy that you want to send over, so it makes it stronger.
Kim: This must be really important to him because he’s making my throat chakra hurt.
Me: Oh wow.
Kim: It’s really loud.
Erik: I just want people to think more worldly. There’s a lot of shit that’s happening in the world, and there’s a lot of hate. If that’s where you put your focus, that’s what you’re going to see. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself and think, “How can I save the world.” You can start in your backyard. Or your front yard.
Kim: He’s goofy.
Erik: People are aware of the nasty stuff because they focus on it, but there’s just as much love and kindness in the world so focus on that. You don’t see it, but all kinds of loving gestures happen, Mom. Kind gestures. Good, loving things. You just don’t see that stuff publicized nearly as much.
Me: I know.
Erik (scratching his head): That’s fucked up. Why don’t we do that?
Me: Yeah, why?
Erik: Aw, I should have known that would turn into a question for me.
Kim: He stuck his foot in his mouth.
Me: Well, you don’t have to know the answer to it. Yeah, but why? Sure you see human-interest stories that are uplifting, but most of them are fear-based in the media.
Erik: You’re right. It is fear-based. It’s the drama attached to it, the shock factor, the “Oh my god!” that people are drawn to. Then they feel the need to share and spread it. It’s harder for people to be vulnerable, and that’s when you see these kind gestures and uplifting stories that mush your heart. That connects to people. Almost everyone can connect to feeling good, but it’s harder for people to be vulnerable and connect like that.
Me: That’s true.
Erik: I love you!
Me: I love you, too! Any last thing you want to say about the end of the year holidays?
Erik: Just enjoy them with your family and don’t take it for granted. The best thing people can do for themselves is approach it with complete newness, and open heart, an open mind and open ears. That will help everybody get the best experience possible. Also, don’t gather around the table or in the living room in loss. Sure, some of you have gone through a loss and that’s part of your experience, but don’t let that become your holiday.
Erik: We want happiness for you, the best, so you should want that for yourself, too.
Me: Yeah, and not feeling guilty that you’re enjoying something that they’re not because they are.
Me: I’ll cook all your favorite stuff, Erik!
Erik pretends like he’s looking over my shoulder as I cook. He wafts the smells toward his nose.
Me: That’s good because I like to cook since I don’t like to clean up. Everybody else has to do the clean up. It’s just awful!
Kim: I do both.
Me: Oh, you have to do both? I clean up as I go.
Kim: We usually have about 20 people at our house.
We say our usual goodbyes.