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Hello and welcome! This is me with my friend, Kevin. Right behind us is a bountiful garden plot at a local community garden in Houston, Texas. I met Kevin about 2 years when I was working at a coffee shop ( he’s a phenomenal coffee roaster, by the way 🙂 Every time we talk I learn something new – his spirit is so gentle and kind. I put so much love and energy into this garden and knew I had to pass it along to someone who would love it even more than me. When I had my “Bali Blowout”, Kevin took home some awesome books and gardening supplies for his new plot! It’s so cool to pay it forward and literally leave the seeds I have sown for a friend to care for.

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Planting the Seeds

Last month I celebrated my 6 months of being alcohol free and I owe a huge thank you to the earth for providing me this garden for healing and introspection. My hands touched every seed and every pile of dirt. I am so happy that I remembered what it feels like to be at peace and that I exercised my natural instincts to be a better ME. If you know anyone who is battling addiction please be supportive and nurturing; I know this can be difficult but you could be saving someone’s life. Help them, or yourself, by seeking professional help and creating an open dialogue as to pave the way for a healthier life. Addiction is real and it has many faces. Know that there is someone out there to help you or your friend…The links below are a good place to start if you need help right away:

Suicide Prevention

Substance Abuse/Mental Health Helpline

Mariangela Abeo’s project “Faces of Fortitude” is a touching, inspiring response to the effects of suicide. Visit her Instagram page and check out her blog and let her know Stormy sent you.

 

Subscribe to my website here:

 

New Friends

About two weeks ago I made a new friend while I was was working on my blog at a local coffee shop. Boston is a library science major who is studying to become a librarian and continue working with youth within the community. It was great talking to someone who was also in recovery and who could relate to some of my emotional challenges. Meeting Boston was right on time and encouraged me to keep sharing my story with the world – you never know what positive effect your truth could have on a stranger. Boston is a veteran, writer, and advocate for equality. Check out Boston’s blog and Instagram!

My departure for INDIA is only 31 DAYS AWAY!

I still can’t believe I’m actually doing this…it’s so surreal… As of late, I’m feeling very confident and prepared for this new journey. You can read more about my experience preparing for my trip in my previous blog posts:

Stuff is heavy

Pushing Through

With just 31 days left, I am almost physically relieved of my possessions; for the most part, I’ve gotten rid of everything in my home and only have the bare necessities to live until I leave. Going to a place like India, specifically New Delhi, can be overwhelming and stressful without proper preparation. Of course, I don’t think you can ever completely prepare yourself for immersion into a new culture, new place, new language. However, you can at least provide yourself with some peace of mind by making a list and getting everything you think you’ll need. Reading travel vlogs and watching Youtube videos has helped tremendously! Sometimes you need the perspective of another traveler as part of this preparation. I recently found Marco Pino’s blog and got some great tips from him regarding traveling throughout India and beyond. I appreciate his perspective because he teaches yoga and meditation around the globe and has lived and worked in some of the places I want to visit. Also, I want to expand my own yogic and meditative practice so it helps to see someone like Marco doing what I want to eventually do. It’s important for me to continue networking and building a community of loving individuals like you!

Travel Packing Essentials

I thought it would be cool to share what I’m loving and using for my travels abroad. Since I will be traveling minimally, I have been mindful of weight/size of items and have been very selective about what I’m bringing with me. I’ll be traveling with one backpack for my carry-on and another bag as checked luggage. All of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. Should you decide to purchase any of these items, you will be supporting my journey at no extra cost to you.

  1. For starters, a great backpack is essential no matter where you’re headed. I have an Osprey backpack similar to this one and it’s super comfortable and lightweight, weighing just under 2 lbs. Plus, Osprey has great customer service and stands behind their product.


Osprey Packs Nova Daypack, Sandstone Orange, One Size

More travel bags:
Versatile Canvas Sling Bag / Urban Travel Backpack | Wear Over Shoulder or Crossbody for Men & Women, by NeatPack
Eagle Creek Travel Gear 2-In-1 Sling Backpack, Mantis Green, One Size
Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L Flight Approved Carry on Backpack

2. I hunted for a toiletries bag that was lightweight, spacious, and durable. This one folds down pretty flat and it’s nylon construction is mold and water resistant.


Dopp Kit Hygiene Bag for Men By Bomber & Company – Best Shower Toiletry Travel Case

More toiletry bags:
Zero Grid Travel Dopp Bag – Toiletry Kit for Men, Shadow
Silicone toiletry bag travel kit, leak resistant dopp bag for travel shaving kit
TumecosTravel Toiletry Dopp Kit Travel Shaving Accessories Electronics Organizer Bag

3.  A travel tote is great for shopping and can double as a laundry bag or personal item while you’re on the plane. I like this bag because its compact, easy to clean, and comes in loads of colors.


BAGGU Standard Reusable Shopping Bag

More compact travel bags:
EcoJeannie 4 Pack Large Super Strong Ripstop Nylon Foldable Reusable Shopping Bag
Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag Luggage
Daygos Lightweight Foldable Waterproof Shoulder Bag

4. Keeping your valuables safe is top priority. I recommend using a travel belt like this one to keep your passport, cash, and bank cards safe. RFID technology blocks scanners that can be used to steal your sensitive information. The belt is low profile and fits comfortably under your clothing.


AIKELIDA RFID Blocking Travel Wallet – Money Belt & Passport Holder – Black


More RFID blocking wallets/belts:
BAGSMART Travel RFID Blocking Wallet Passport Holder Cover Credit Card Organizer
RFID Passport Holder & Neck Wallet / Neck Stash
Zero Grid Passport Wallet – Travel Document Holder w/ RFID Blocking

5. Packing cubes help you to keep your belongings tidy and organized. In the case that you have to remove everything from your bag, your belongings will stay neat and organized in your cubes. They come in a variety of sizes ranging from small to xlarge – a set like this one is plenty for my packing needs.

 
Shacke Pak – 4 Set Packing Cubes – Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag (Dark Grey)

More packing cubes:

Packing Cubes Travel Set 7Pc 2 Large Cube Organizer Laundry Shoe & Toiletry Bag
Bago Packing Cubes For Travel Bags – Luggage Organizer 10pcs Set in 12 Colors
Packing Cubes 3 Set(M)/ 5 or 9 Set(XL/L/M/S/Shoe Bag)Luggage Travel Organizers

6. TSA approved locks are great for any zippered luggage to keep your bag closed. For any checked bag, your lock has to be TSA approved so the lock can be opened by airport baggage handlers.

 
TSA Luggage Locks (2 Pack) – 4 Digit Combination Steel Padlocks – Approved Travel Lock for Suitcases & Baggage

More TSA locks:
Master Lock Padlock, Set Your Own Combination TSA Accepted Cable Luggage Lock
TSA Approved Cable Luggage Locks, Easy Read Dials with Alloy Body
Utopia TSA Travel Lock ( 2 Pack) – Digit Combination – Lightweight Zinc Alloy – Set Your Own Combination

 

More Content

In a future journal entry I will add other travel essentials with links and info. These 6 items are a good start if you’re gearing up for a short or long-term trip and they’re all items you can utilize when you’re not traveling. Do your research and purchase what makes sense for you and your travels. I have one more haul to do before my departure next month and I’ll be all set! Once I start regularly recording videos, I can give you more details on packing, getting visas, etc. The plan is to create a Patreon account to streamline my content and the ability to monetize it. Do you have a Patreon account? Any tips/tricks you’d like to share? To date, I have not been as consistent as I need to be with journaling and posting on social media. I’m still learning as I go and thank you for rolling with me. I feel that once I get across the water it will be easier for me to work on my journal because I will have more time to dedicate to my projects. When I’m off from work, I’m still running around tying up loose ends. Fortunately, most of the big tasks are out of the way, including getting my visa for India and finding a new owner for my car.

GoFundMe Update

I’ve been raising funds to help offset travel expenses and cover costs for future projects. So far, friends and family have helped me reach about 10% of my $10k goal. With their help, I’ve paid for all airfare and accommodations through July plus the cost of visas and a passport. If you would like to contribute or share the link click here:

GoFundMe Page

Yoga Training

Through Marco’s blog, I found the Himalayan Yoga Tradition teacher training program. When I get to India I will be traveling to Rishikesh and will visit this institute to learn more about their teacher training. The cost for the 200hr yoga certification starts at $1400 (USD) and is recognized by Yoga Alliance and CYA International. Once I have raised enough money through my GoFundMe and other outlets I will travel back to India to complete a yoga certification. Your contribution will help me reach this goal and continue on my path to teaching yoga and meditation.

Online Store

You can shop my store for incense, custom apparel, and other home additions. I would still like to add other items to the store like musical instruments and literature. Is there anything you are particularly interested in? Let me know below…

I am also accepting requests for advertisement on my website and other outlets to help support fellow artists and businesses while creating income for myself while I am traveling abroad. If you or a friend are interested, head over to the communicate page to send me an email.

Until next time…

Thank you for being here and spreading positivity and love – Take care of YOU.

Thank you for listening and being here. Thank you for being supportive, from near and afar.

   Several days ago, I had a

meltdown.

I felt so overwhelmed with anxiety as I was sorting through my stuff, in every sense of the word – sorting through my physical and emotional baggage. It’s one thing to travel light, it’s another to travel across the world with only 15lbs of belongings.

I literally packed my laptop, clothing, and a makeup bag and after weighing it with my luggage scale, it was already overweight. Knowing that I’ve already purged and culled everything I own I just slipped into a panic. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way, so anxious and worried. Suddenly, I was faced with the reality that I must be having separation anxiety. Not just in a physical sense.

Have you ever gotten rid of all your belongings? I would love to hear your story. Use the “Communicate” page to subscribe and share your experience.

It has been almost a month since my last journal entry; until recently, I have felt so overwhelmed by this huge transition of leaving the country. On the surface, its very simple: save money; discard everything; book flights/accommodations; LEAVE! In reality, it is so much more than that. There is such a long list of tasks, tasks that must be completed and not put off for later. Procrastination is not an option. Every week I have to re-visit my list and check it twice so I can stay as organized as possible.

One of the most frustrating aspects of preparing for this departure is how it affects social interactions, like work, for example. This thing happens, this shift. Suddenly, you have an “exit plan” and become very isolated, and disregarded because of it. You become this beacon of light that shines on the darkness. This, of course, creates an underlying tension between you and the detractors. Haters ‘gon hate.

When someone ask you how your day is, do they really want to know?

Do they envy your positivity? Your honesty?

What are you supposed to talk about if you cannot bring up your own life in conversations?

Most days, I am up early and working on building my business and planning my travels. All of this happens before I go to my day job and sometimes runs into the next day

if

I

have the

energy

to stay up late.

 

Yes, I am tired, and my mind is switching through channels trying to sort through thoughts and emotions as to move through my day in light. Some days are harder than others because I have SO MUCH TO DO. It has become clear to me that I cannot share my journey with people in the workplace, for it creates space for opposition. As long as I do not have any input, I am “safe”. When I voice my opinions, or question “authority” I am “aggressive and dismissive”. When I have a bad day, I am not allowed to work through my feelings because I am not seen as a sensitive being. I am seen as a worker, a tool.

What about my mental health?

I show up for work while I’m bleeding, while I am physically exhausted, while I am recovering from emotional trauma, while I am

sliding down

a spiral of anxiety and nervousness.

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Because I do not victimize myself and self-deprecate, I do not have permission to be human. I must be a well of information, advice, emotional support, and entertainment…but who supports ME?

Have you ever needed a mental health day but went to work instead?

What was that experience like for you? Follow me on Instagram and give me some feedback. Tag me and use #themagnitudeoflight to share your post.

I want to know because there needs to be a dialogue about mental health in the workplace, especially for people of color. I am so disgusted by employers using such negative words and tactics to describe/address an employee’s so called behavior and attitude. Why do we, as women (and men) of color, have to be angry and aggressive? Where are our graces? Maybe I am actually sad or having a hard time processing…But instead of being asked if I need to talk or if I need a breather, I am psychically attacked, threatened, and shamed.

I have to share this with so you know you’re not alone. Do not let anyone use your light against you. Continue to learn and connect with positive beings so you can be your best self in spite of negativity. It is not my intention to come off as negative, it is my intention to use my experience as a teaching moment. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Create something of your own so you are not at the mercy of other people. Trust in yourself, first and foremost.

You have everything you need – USE IT!

For the women reading this, know that you are MANY women and you are a life force. You are energy. I recommend you read this book – you’ll probably read it two or three times. Once you finish reading, pass it on to a woman in need.

It’s amazing to see who your real friends are. It’s never the people that are all up in your business and in your face all the time. It’s the people you haven’t seen in forever…the people who watch you and think of you unbeknownst to you. About two months ago I was inspired by a man on YouTube playing crystal singing bowls and was hooked! I saved my tips from work and sold off some of my belongings to buy a seven piece set of bowls. *I’ll be selling these in my store soon. I also will be working on another signature t-shirt for your wearing pleasure ;)…..

……So I began offering sound meditation at a local yoga studio in Houston, Texas… Of course, it takes time to create a following when you offer a meditation class, yoga class, etc….I’ve been so discouraged by the lack of support and I am just now feeling like I’m back in the fold. Since offering the meditations, I have not had one “friend” enroll…. Everyone tells me they’re going to come, but then the class rolls around and no one has enrolled…I’ve put flyers up, advertised in local print media, advertised with Eventbrite (and other local online outlets), posted on social media, distributed business cards, sent emails and text messages, made phone calls and so on….And still nothing. While I want to remain optimistic and positive, I must admit this creates much frustration for me. Let’s be clear, I am not discrediting the people who have supported me in other ways, and I’m not just talking about material support, I’m just questioning whether I should continue dedicating energy to these meditations…..I just need someone to show up.

What do you think? How was it when you started your own business? Was it lonely…rewarding…challenging?

 

On a more positive note, I have booked accomodations/flights through JUNE! It can be tricky finding places to stay in a foreign country. There are so many questions:Is it safe?How far will I be from the airport…the city center?How do I pay? Is this a “fair” price?Is there a cheaper plane ticket?I plan on writing an e-book detailing tips and tricks I’ve used to make this transition as smooth as possible. Subscribe to my mailing list and you’ll never miss a journal entry!

 

I’ll also be talking about how to monetize your website and run an online business remotely. While I’m no expert on the matter, I’ve learned A LOT in just a few months and want you to avoid some mistakes I have made so you can be prosperous and happy!

If you are a digital nomad who can offer me some advice, PLEASE do not hesitate to join this conversation. I am open to advice for myself and my readers.

The countdown continues! There are 60 days until I depart Houston for India! I am nervous, excited, scared, happy, worried – ALL OF THAT AT ONCE! For the last two weeks, I have experienced extreme nausea. This is probably my anxiety showing up in my gut…its just hard to deal with. I literally feel like I’m going to barf through the day :/ Speaking of anxiety showing up, I’ve also been sweating profusely. My hands, feet, and my back are drenched by midday. I’ve worn SmartWool apparel for over 10 years and have rekindled my love for their socks because they help to wick away the moisture and keep your skin dry. I normally opt for 100% cotton but since I’ve been sweating, I tend to get chills after my sweat cools. Something as simple as changing my socks from cotton to SmartWool makes all the difference.

 

You still there? I know this journal entry is pretty long…Since I will be traveling for several months, I will be utilizing affiliate links to offset travel expenses and earn some cash. Any ad on my page is one that I have chosen. When you purchase through my website, you are supporting ME. I am conservative in my selections of products and services to recommend and welcome any feedback you may have. It might not seem like much, but a dollar here and there adds up and can be the difference between a room with a bathroom or one with outdoor facilities.

 

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Do you have Facebook/Twitter?

Follow me on TWITTER

Follow me on FACEBOOK

Please visit my GOFUNDME page to learn more about my plans! Make a donation and share the link on your social media to help me reach my goal – I’ve almost reached 10%! It’s all good:)

I appreciate you and respect your choice of contribution to The Magnitude of Light. YOU are my new friend. With YOUR help, I can dream even bigger than yesterday. Thank you for your understanding and LOVE. I’ll be back next week with more updates for you and am looking forward to reading your stories! If you’re in Houston, the next meditation is Saturday, March 24th, 1030 to 1130am.

 

Remember to TAKE CARE OF YOU.

 

How are you? I hope this journal entry finds you well. So much has happened since last week! The video above is from my first free meditation at Menil Park. If you haven’t already checked it out, read last week’s journal entry about my experience.This week has been super productive and I am proud of myself for pushing through the fear and sharing my passion with the world. I have been busy carving out and prioritizing tasks to better manage my business, The Magnitude of Light, and prepare for my departure:

  • Secured local advertisement for the meditations with Natural Awakenings magazine (see March issue for ad copy and article).
  • Clothing purge! To keep things as simple as possible, I will be traveling with carry-on luggage only – no checked bags. IMG_1923The challenge is that my maximum total weight for carry-on + personal item is 20lbs. IN-SANE!
  • Opened business account (I did this all ONLINE)! Having a separate account for my business helps to ensure my expenses are kept separate and makes it easier to adhere to budgets. Stay tuned for a money matters entry…
  • Purchased cool luggage

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  • Purchased new mallets for my crystal singing bowls and other supplies for the meditations.
  • Started working on the online shop, it should be published by March (subscribe to the mailing list and you’ll get an email when the shop opens).

I’m certain I’ve left something off the list, but you get the idea. BUSY.

Plus, this week I will be offering my first moon meditation at Yoga House Houston; as the first meditation approaches I am filled with more nervousness and excitement each day! I would be thrilled to have people join me for my first meditation under the guidance of the Solar Eclipse and New Moon – what a special event!

Although the weather was gross this weekend, I made my way to Menil Park for my second free meditation. Saturdays normally draw a great amount of foot traffic and prove to be beneficial for my meditative practice. I had the pleasure of meeting a sweet guy named Casey who was visiting from Oregon. He was kind enough to capture this picture for me:

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For those of you in Houston, look forward to more free classes at the park.What is new in your life?Have you started a new project or relationship?Set any goals?I’ve been flushing out lots of ideas and plans. In addition to growing The Magnitude of Light, I would like to create a non-profit organization to facilitate community organization and educational projects locally and abroad. If you are available to assist me, please send an email, I could use your help. The goal is to create a program customized to each country I travel to which connects to the local community in Houston, Texas and possibly other cities in the United States. To do this, I have to create relationships with organizations and people who are on a mission to better the world. My first stop is Bali, Indonesia; local families need our help to educate their children. Let’s work together to make positive changes! Visit the support page to send me an email and contribute to The Magnitude of Light.
As we move into a New Moon/Solar Eclipse, this is a great time to engage in new relationships and experiences. Please subscribe and engage with me via the communicate page. This is what The Magnitude of Light is all about – meeting new people and learning from each other!

If you’re in Houston, hopefully I’ll see you February 15th!ENROLL NOW

See the sidebar for upcoming meditations and follow me on Instagram.

Take care of you.

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   It’s 4am in Houston and I’m still awake, clearing my mind. For me, channeling my thoughts is integral to my meditation – I have to organize my headspace. With the Moon in Virgo, I have honed in on my personal health, and focused on creating a more consistent routine for myself. Lately I have been feeling that my throat chakra (chakra 5, color blue/green) is compromised. Then, after further reading, I understood there is a correlation between this energetic imbalance and my back pain. Right in the middle of my back is an aching knot that radiates with every breath. My respiratory system is weak and I am feeling every bit of it throughout my body. Starting my day with singing bowl meditation in the park alleviated some physical and emotional discomforts. Today provided me the positive reinforcement I needed! I visited the Menil and offered a free meditation on the lawn. The love I welcomed from people I’ve never met was much more than I could have anticipated, and I certainly needed it. I met Susan, Richard, Lacey, Mason and three others whose names I cannot recall at the moment, plus a dog and a chorus of birds.

What did I learn? An open heart leads to an open mind.

By allowing myself to be vulnerable and placed in the center of the unknown, I connected with seven individuals who were drawn into my sphere. They so kindly greeted me and put their fears and insecurities aside to learn more about me and the vibrating sound of crystal resonating around them.

   I plan to offer more free meditations around the city in addition to the meditations at Yoga House Houston. Follow The Magnitude of Light on Instagram and Twitter for real time updates. Another goal is to obtain my yoga certification so I can further my personal practice and continue to build the The Magnitude of Light community. I have been researching yoga teacher training in India; maybe I will travel there after my time in Bali. I’ve always wanted to travel to India and get lost there…If you have any insight please share!

 By the way, how was your SUPERMOON?! Did you charge any crystals? Do you have a favorite gem right now? My favorite gem of the moment is quartz, I’ve been carrying it in my pocket for about four days. After a week or so, it should be tuned to my energy and its healing properties will be strengthened. What do you think of a weekly moon post? Take a moment to communicate with me and give me some feedback; I would like to stay connected with you.

To keep things exciting, I promised to share a video in exchange for reaching 40 Instagram followers. While I was editing the video, I liked the idea of including the awkward parts, rather than trimming them away. Thank you for being here with me and The Magnitude of Light to witness this process.

Take care of you.

 

Welcome, and thank you for being here. It feels like just yesterday that I decided to embark on this incredible journey.

 

I am so grateful to announce you can now enroll for your meditations!

 

Everything you need is available on this website:

  • Simply follow the link “Meditations”. The meditations are offered as new moon, full moon, or first/third quarter moon meditations.
  • Explore each page for more information and scroll to the bottom to enroll.
  • Make your way to the “Communicate” link so we can connect.
  • Share The Magnitude of Light!

All meditations will be held at:

YogaHouse Houston

4001 Almeda Road

Houston, Texas 77004


All inquiries should be directed to The Magnitude of Light. Use the “Communicate” link and you’ll get a response via email.

Thank you for your support. I look forward to guiding your meditation.

Take care of you.

 

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This week has been so positive and fruitful. I am thankful to the people who supported my material cleanse this weekend. There remains a large collection of books and other possessions, but overall the “Bali Blowout” was a huge success.

How does one narrow down their life to a bag or two?

When is there enough comfort in having yourself?

It was so beautiful to connect with old and new friends while they rummaged through my belongings. Watching a friend leave my home with my favorite necklace or that book I hunted down on eBay was so surreal…the physicality of leaving is so heavy.

I’ve moved away from Houston before; I have traveled across oceans as an adult and during my adolescence, and yet, nothing quite compares to this moment in time. I’m really moving to Bali…I am really doing this.

In a society where we are taught to go to school, go to school again, work, have a baby, work and go to school, when do we have time for ourselves?

When is the last time you created new memories with strangers?

When is the last time you went on a vacation and really allowed yourself to vacate?

Would your younger self be satisfied with the life you have chosen? With the being you have become?

Throughout the month of January I will be preparing for the meditations I will be guiding with The Magnitude of Light. I’m new to this digital world and would greatly appreciate your following on Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. As The Magnitude of Light continues to grow, you will have access to original literature and content to support your meditative journey. Meditation is so much more than serenity – it’s discipline. I hope you join me in offering this gift to the world. Remember to practice positivity and self-love.

Take care of you.

Welcome to The Magnitude of Light!

This journey is all I could ever ask for and more. I recently decided to choose the life I want to live and trust myself in ways I never thought I could. For years I have allowed myself to be enveloped by fear and consumerism.

Fear no more!

Everyday is another chance at life and I plan to take full advantage of my newfound confidence.

You can certainly gain control over your life and lead yourself into greatness if you trust yourself.

In today’s age, there are so many ways to create your own lane and create your own destiny. From working remotely, to starting your own business, to saving your money and hitting the road!

You can do it!

There have been so many people and instances to encourage me to take this huge leap of faith.

Kale in the garden

Within the last month I decided to pack up my life and move to Bali, Indonesia! It has been exhausting and exciting to sort through all of my belongings and fit my material life into a backpack and small carry on.

Too many books

It is important for me to share this journey with you as I prepare to leave Texas behind and start anew.

In the midst of this transition, I will be guiding sound meditations at a local yoga studio. For the last three years, I have intentionally focused on meditating and creating a safe place in my mind. While I still have a lot to learn, I am ready to guide others through meditation. This, too, will be a new journey for me and I am ever grateful for this moment in time to channel healing energy.

Thank you, again, for exploring The Magnitude of Light.

Take care of you.

-Stormy