To step into the new year here at the farm means to step into Siberia a cold and snowy world.  Capricorn’s January is always a bit of an  bleak austere harsh glacial inclement month in our world. Sidewalks porches, driveways Trails are accessible only by skiis or snowshoes. Even with crampons and ski poles, walking is an icy challenge and one that sometimes sees me on my backside.  The expansiveness and lavish generosity of previous seasons feel like a hallucination are receding memories. All things grind to a halt, even the cars that won’t start because it’s 20 below zero.

This time of constraint may frequently sometimes make me restless, but when I surrender it as a gift.  In the stillness, small pleasures rise to the surface to be noticed appreciated.  To survive a five minute walk without getting frostbite, to warm cheeks, fingers and toes after a bracing walk, to spend hours drying soggy winter gear by the wood stove,  to watch the full moon light up the snowy landscape, to wait in the cold freezing dark while the dog takes her time going pee,  to feel the cold air in one’s lungs while observing the  the winter sky, to savor the gatherings of people inside together because it’s too cold to go outsideto watch the tow truck guy pull the family car out of a ditch: In the rush of other seasons one can race by these moments, but in winter, there is a chance to drink them in.

All kidding aside, I am grateful for the way winter pares down the sensory input so that things that really are deep pleasures can be reclaimed and cherished. I mean, who thinks about warm toes in July? Winter gives us ample opportunity to go into our heart’s where true expansiveness and solace lives.

This brings me in my usual round about fashion to the topic of Abundance. When the Angels assembled their Angel Sets  I was struck that they chose Gratitude  for the Abundance Angel Set.  The Angels are lateral thinkers. They solve problems in unexpected ways.  With the choice of Gratitude they suggest that the way to feeling like we have enough is to look more clearly at what we already have.

Here is how they explain Gratitude  on the website, “The alchemy of gratitude is that it lifts us out of our mind ideas of less than into an experience of life as an immeasurable blessing. It sweeps us out of the doldrums of restless disatisfaction into a primal experience of joy. Gratitude is a very high vibration state of being. It is a state in which we use our free will to give back to God the love our Creator has poured into us. This moves us into an energetic circuit that brings us closer to oneness with God.”

I love that feeling in the flow of abundance doesn’t always have to be about receiving more, but sometimes can simply mean experiencing the blessings that we already have.

For many months, I have had this desire to talk a bit about the experience of being disinherited by my family of origin.  This is not an experience I would wish on anyone, but it did teach me a lot.  It is still teaching me a lot. Certainly it helped me break free of my ideas about abundance or where abundance comes from.

I was not fully  prepared for this experience even though the Angels had been trying to get me ready for many years.  Sometimes I get what feel like very random and bizarre Angelic messages, and very early in my work with the Angels, like 30 years ago, I received a message that I would not get anything from my family of origin.

I could not really wrap my head around this information.  It was a very clear message but also so strange and out of the blue that I decided that perhaps I had heard wrong or perhaps there was some way to understand this message as not about being personally cut off from what I had always expected would be rightfully mine one day.  I wondered if there was going to be a fire or some event that would destroy my family’s home. I even wondered if global warming was going to flood my parents’ Connecticut home. I couldn’t begin to grasp that the extended family’s camp in the Adirondacks was in this category of coming loss, and so my husband went on to spend several summers building a four bedroom cabin for the place, a building we would never see again.

Even though I had never felt my mother liked me at all, I just couldn’t grasp this kind of action being taken against me.  I put the message aside, but I would think of it again and again as the years unfolded and events increasingly suggested that this was not a far-fetched thing to prepare for.

If you have read this blog from the early days, you may remember that I had a very troubled younger brother who wanted to kill me and my children.  For reasons I do not fully understand, other members of my family of origin including my parents, my other siblings and my extended family chose to minimize my brother’s death threats and see me as overreacting to the situation.

I had always been in charge of this brother from a very early age.  My parents were so wrapped up in their own struggles with alcohol by the time my brother was born that it fell to me to look after him.  Sadly this meant events like taking him to the emergency room to have his stomach pumped from alcohol poisoning when he was 10 and I was 17.  I continued to try to keep him from hurting himself throughout his young adulthood, but I didn’t really understand what I was up against.  As the years went by, he grew increasingly unstable.   When he began to threaten to kill us in order to try and extort money from my parents, I took his threats seriously because I had been with him in very violent and scary circumstances.

For reasons, once again, I didn’t understand,  my husband, my children and I were left on our own to deal with my brother’s escalating threats and violent behavior.  Even when examining the disintegrating course of events years later, it’s hard to understand how the threats ended up isolating us and casting us into the role of the problem in the family, but that happened. And it happened with a strange feeling of inevitability.  Everyone outside our immediate family backed away, and we too stopped looking to them for support of any kind but saved what energy we had to deal with the immediate threats on our life.   In the end, after more than a decade of threats and sorrowful dramas,  my brother died of a drug overdose, and we no longer had any connective relationships with any of my family of origin.

In so many ways, my brother was like an enormous light exposing  the hidden truths in my family or origin.   When push came to shove, members of my family of origin each wanted something else more than they wanted to help me or my immediate family feel safe from my brother’s violence.

A younger Molly who had found it hard to imagine being disinherited had become someone who had learned that family sometimes did the most horrible things to one another and not because anyone deserved it.

I had also become someone who found that solace and a sense of tranquility could be found in terrible situations if one was willing to stop looking outside oneself for solutions but surrender to the journey into one’s heart to anchor in the Divinity that lives within all of us.  An abundance of peace, of love, of comfort was all there within when I stopped looking for it from without.

So this wintry period of our family’s life showed us our own inner resources and their infinite nature.  We got stopped in our tracks by circumstances beyond out control, and in that quiet found unexpected inner strength and love.

By the time I learned that the Angels had been telling me the truth and I had been disinherited by my mother, I had discovered that the resources I actually needed were already within me.  Yes, it hurt to have someone, my own earth mother, clearly indicate she hated me so much that she wanted her last interaction with me to be this act of disinheritance. However, in all the years of loss- loss of external safety systems, loss of people, places and things, loss of how I had viewed what life was about- I had found things I hadn’t known were there.  I knew things about myself that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

More importantly, I knew that Divinity would never disinherit me.  Divinity’s love is with all of us always. That is abundance, the only real abundance.  Divinity’s Love is with us always.