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Create Your Personal Power

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Here we are in the throes of the holiday season. For many of us, life is full throttle on a routine day, and along with the accelerated pace of the holidays comes the accelerated stress level. There's no controlling it: We don't add the holidays to our personal calendars -- they are cultural norms thrust upon us. While some people love every minute of the joyous season, others for a multitude of reasons find them a burden. In either case, adding the hustle and bustle of the holidays to an already busy schedule can send even the most accomplished Jedi master of multi-tasking into a chaotic state.

I'd like to share a simple creative exercise that you can do which can help you to re-center and focus on one particular area of your life that could use a little extra help. (Yes just one!) By creating a personal Milagro, you give yourself a visual reminder of where to focus your energy. It can be a powerful tool when you have a goal you want reach, a desire you want to reinforce, or a simple reminder to be present.

Milagro is the Spanish word for miracle. Milagros are religious folk charms traditionally used to seek help with a specific need, such as healing an illness, having a safe journey, or aiding in a quest for love. In turn they are often used as a gift of gratitude for having a need met or prayer answered. Different charms are designed to draw attention to specific needs, but they are personal not universal symbols. For example, a foot Milago could be used for an actual physical problem with the feet or it can represent an upcoming trip or a spiritual journey. The little charms are often carried for protection or good luck. They are left on alters and shrines can be attached to clothing, worn as jewelry or displayed in a home. According to folklore, there is a belief that displaying a Milagro may offer protection to a person or a home. A great resource book is called Milagros -- A book of Miracles by Helen Thompson and beautifully illustrated by Paddy Bruce.

So here is your exercise: Think about what it is you want help with -- finding inner peace, healing an injury, the energy to get something done that seems insurmountable. Pick something you want to focus positive energy on. Begin by creating some pencil sketches of personal symbols that you can combine together to represent this idea. They can be simple cookie cutter-type shapes or as detailed as you like. Make a unique design incorporating some traditional Milagro imagery such as flames, hearts, wings, and radiating energy. Basic body parts like hands, heads, feet, mouths and eyes are often used. When your design is done, place it over a piece of heavy weight aluminum foil on a surface with some "give" to it like a piece of felt or a magazine. With a dull pencil, trace your design onto the foil using light pressure to create an indented line. Color the foil design with marker and add a patterned border for embellishment. You can hang it in your home, as well as photograph it with your phone to make it your screen saver and take the handy portable version with you. It will serve as a reminder to yourself, and the universe of your intention, need, or desire. The more personal power you give yourself will enable you to give to others in return. I wish everyone a joyous and peaceful holiday season, happy creating!

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