Your Who What’s and Where’s

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What’s the Cure for Easafrust?

meditation

OMG! It’s so noisy in here!! It’s Easafrust!!

Black Panther, Round 5

This wasn’t a comment I made to my best friend while we waited to get seated in our favorite Cajun restaurant in town. Nor was I at the theater listening to all the chatter before I saw Black Panther for the 5th time.

Nope, I was noticing the loud chatter that was going on in my head when I first sat down to meditate.

Every Day

After a journaling exercise I do ever day, I settle back and meditate to one of my favorite recordings. Other times I opt to set the timer to 20 minutes on my iphone and go through a relaxation technique that helps me quiet my body so I can then open up to possibilities that exist beyond the noise.

Because it doesn’t take long to get boisterous inside my head again. But I’ve definitely noticed since I’ve consistently and unrelentingly practiced meditation, I’ve become all-round kinder, gentler, wiser, and more likely to do an about face when 55 some years of practicing self-criticism/not doing enough-ness strikes a blow to my resolve.

Easafrust Defined

I suffer from “Easafrust”. That means I’m frustrated pretty easily because I feel like I work so hard and lose faith when I don’t see immediate results.

NOTE: If you’ve ever suffered from the need to please disease, you may also have a strain of Easafrust that flairs up in your life.

So my fellow officiant, does your life show any signs of Easafrust?

Long Term Prescription

If so, then my prescription for you is to start a meditation practice. It’s a long term prescription, like an herbal remedy takes time to work. Not fast acting like an aspirin.

So you have to be prepared for the long term. If you want a quick fix, you’ll do what I’ve done way too many times. From a state of worry, concern, panic, hurry to get something done you and I jump onto the bandwidth of the latest quick fix including

  • 30 seconds of our time entrusted to Mr. Fancy car and mansion will make us rich quick,
  • Weight will come off or clomp on effortlessly in just 20 minutes a week
  • Doubting or Believing who really can make America great

In other words, we’ll look for someone else to cure your problem but our desire to do the right thing is obliterated by all the noise of worry and fear.
The only way to completely find what’s true and right for you, to set your path in the direction of your best what’s next, is to turn inside yourself.

Get quiet. Listen.

Wait for IT…

…AND THEN take action.

I know it’s not easy. Like I said in the beginning, it’s noisy in there.

In a Worse Situation

But what’s noisier is when you and I make a choice out of fear and worry and then we find ourself in a worse situation, have to back peddle or apologize for years or wish we had the $500 we just spent on an online course that will only work if you take the NEXT course the teacher offers.

I remember when I was looking around for a new, more lucrative career option. I love animals so I checked out all things dog-related. I even considered starting a business picking up dog poop for people in their back yards. I considered going back to school to learn website design, event planning and eventually I thought about caring for Alzheimers patients.

But nothing felt right.

Then I just sat down and said, I have to meditate through this. I’m getting nowhere fast. It was noisy in my head, absolutely and for sure.

What Else Can I Do With My Life?

Bit by bit, I relaxed my body, quieted my mind and just used a simple affirmation: “Spirit shows me what else I can do with my life”.

That was it. Time in, time out. Noisy to quiet to noisy, freaking busy thoughts.

And to quiet now and then. Still no big voice came out of nowhere, no flash of insight.

What’s In That Email?

But one day I got an impulse to open up an email from Louise Hays. (My confession – I loved her presence in the world but I didn’t have much time to read so I rarely opened her emails.)

In the email was a recommendation for a person who taught students how to add value to their work. It occurred to me I didn’t have to start anything new. I could add to what I was already doing! How fun would THAT be!

A Huge Difference

I took the course. I found faith again that things COULD change. The investment (which was substantial) made a huge difference in my income level.

Next I felt that I needed a life coach, someone to help me stay on track. Because the thought persisted, rather than resist I checked out a few coaches for hire but connections didn’t happen.

Synergy Strikes Again

Then in a moment of synergy, I got a LinkedIn notice from an old friend who happened to be a life coach. I emailed her back, told her what was going on and hallelujah — she offered to coach me for free. (I LOVE YOU NANCY!!)

As we worked together, she off-handedly recommended a meditation recording she’d had success with that I still listen to. This mp3 has made the hugest difference in my life. More faith. More imagination. Much, much better attitude.

All because of meditation.

In It For The Long Haul

The noise STILL crops up. Heck, I’ve been practicing being worried for a long time so that noise probably isn’t going to be rewired in my brain “EASILY IN JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS.”

Meditation is like starting a business that thrives — you have to be in it for the long haul.

But if you don’t start, if you don’t find the method that’s right for you, the chance you take is continuing to make decision from noise and then you really don’t know WHAT you’re listening to

As one wise person was once told (and I paraphrase here): Wisdom and love comes from the still, small voice inside.”

If you’re game to give meditation a good try, I’ve put together a guide to the steps I use to get into meditation. You can sign up to get it below.

There’s also a link to a meditation I recorded that will help you get into a state of receptivity. It’s pretty close to the MP3 meditation I’ve been using for so long, but I’ve amended it so it’s geared for an officiant.

And because I know I might not have the style right for you, here’s a link to another teacher who knows the value of meditation by Rick Rebman. Check out 5 Powerful Benefits of a Quiet Mind.

Kinder and Wiser

When you’ve given meditation a consistent try, you’ll begin to notice you’re kinder and wiser. Subtle changes will  surprise you when they happen.

You’ll be gently shown the next steps because they’ll line themselves up for you and just plain feel right.

The Self You Want to Be

The success, the answers, the self you want to be begins to take shape, right before your very eyes.

Namasté
Rev Crystal Y

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!

The Way You Look as an Officiant

First time wedding

The Way You Look

I think you’re beautiful,

This is true, first and foremost. I don’t care what your age is, whether you’re skinny, tall, overweight, bulky, baggy, saggy or boney. You’re a part of this world, and you’re beautiful.

Your situation may be far different from mine. You might not have the money to dress well (or want to), especially in the beginning of your career as an Officiant. It’s okay. You’re amazing. Look at all you’ve been through! What’s true about how you look and what it’s important, is because who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t see what you look like.

Now — remember how beautiful you are as I ask you:   how do you feel about the way you look when you officiate? Good? Unsure? Like a million or a couple of bucks?

All of it affects your confidence level. And people are drawn to confidence because they want it for themself. Confidence is a healing power, and a business building asset.

So let’s reexamine the expectations of the way you look outside as an Officiant first.

Next week we’ll talk about reinventing the way you think about yourself as an Officiant inside.

Reinventing the role

Reinventing the role of Officiant is making leaps and bounds up and down and all around these days. Examining the way you look as an Officiant is part of that reinvention process we’re in.

On one of my favorite podcasts, co-host Rev. Clint  tells about being asked to dress up like Elvis at one of his first weddings. He didn’t care for it and never did it again.

Las Vegas isn’t the only cool place in the country

Some of you may shout, “Oh contraire! I love to dress up, dress out, dress oddly.” Theme weddings are not only held in way cool Las Vegas or cultish New Orleans alone. You may have one in your own backyard!

FB Group research

You can see what other officiants are wearing in their posts in various FB groups. The clothes they wear ranges from super casual to robes with cleric collars, to a suit and tie, or an elegant dress. You can see some of us dressed in our choices in our Private Facebook Group.

(Side comment:  Any man of any age or size looks GREAT in a tuxedo.)

What you wear obviously reflects your knowledge of the couple you’re officiating for – whether their wedding is formal or casual, beachy or woodsy.

Going Too Far

I had a conversation with an Officiant on FB about her groom wearing a t-shirt that had profanity in big bold letters on it. You can read that rant, Why Our Officiant Relationship is Unique.

Her acceptance really took me aback but that may be what’s important to her — anything goes.

Few Basic Guidelines for the Way You Look

In any event, here’s some guidelines I use for this reason:  Officiants deserve to be a respected member of a couple’s wedding day. I have a hard time thinking that respect is being generated when the groom wears F__k on his shirt.

These suggestions can help you implement building a good reputation so you can feel more confident and are aware of your choices.

The way you look
Rosalind Lynch Church looking official in the middle but doesn’t overshadow the Bride

1. Never upstage the bride. Choose more conservative attire, even if you’re doing a theme-based ceremony.

a.  The bride and her partner need to be the center of attention. I’ve seen some officiants look so flashy that it almost looks like s/he is competing for attention. One example is a new officiant wore a cocktail gown with a low v-neckline. She was sexier and flashier than the bride who was quite overweight.

Wearing White

b.  Watch your own use of white and off-white. Even in contemporary weddings there seems to be a touch back to tradition that the bride is the only one wearing white or off-white.

2. Let your couple know what you like to wear and make sure they don’t have expectations that you’ll arrive looking like a pastor or conversely, a wild woman.

AND /OR

3.  Ask your couple if they have a preference for how you look and/or dress. Oklahoma Wedding Officiant
a.  One of my fellow officiant teams wants their couple to make a clothing preference choice for their wedding. They’ve got photos on their website of them dressed in each different optional outfit. I’ve heard others do this as well. I do not.
b.  Do you think you’re expected to wear a collar, a robe or a stole? Check with your couple first to see if this is really true. It’s pretty safe to say that many contemporary couples are absolutely fine with your wearing contemporary clothing.
c. Every couple is different. Some care, some absolutely don’t. Others WANT you to be comfortable whatever you wear.

4. Be prepared for nasty, windy, cold or stifling, hot, humid weather.
a.  If It’s cold, I always let the couple know being cold is my least favorite activity in the whole world. I warn them I may wear long pants and a raincoat, wool coat rather than my usual simple dress. I also make sure I know they are the center of attention, not me.

If It’s Hot

b.  When I’ve done a beach wedding (which is often synonymous with HOT, I always ask beforehand if it’s okay to wear flip-flops or go barefoot. A lot of couple’s end up kicking their shoes off or dressing down a notch or two when there’s a wedding at the water’s edge.
c.  Wear a hat to protect yourself from mid-day sun. Make sure you batten down the hatches if the weather forecast is supposed to be windy.

5.  Check your pearly whites.  I’m embarrassed to mention this. I’ve failed to look in the mirror with a smile to check for spinach and sesame seeds several times when I’m in a hurry.  Therefore,
a.  Floss or brush your teeth before you grab your ceremony and head for the wedding site.
b.  If you make videos for or about your couples, check your teeth, especially after meals and then get in front of the camera.

6.  Bless the wind. Full skirts? Do I need to tell you to prepare for your Marilyn Monroe above the sidewalk vent moment?

7. Don’t work in the garden before your wedding. OMG I’ve done this way too many times. Then I’m digging dirt out of my nails or trying to touch up nail polish as I’m walking into the venue. And yes, I took a shower! Digging in the dirt can be so rewarding but wait until you get back to pull those weeds or plant those sunflower seeds.

8. Put your outfit together and ready the day before. (Forgive me sounding like your mother…)
a. Make sure your outfit is ironed unless you like the wrinkled linen look. Even an inexpensive outfit looks better when it’s been freshly ironed. TIP:  Sometimes if I have a long drive to a wedding site, I’ll wear my jeans and change into my marryin’ outfit once I get to the location.
b. No spots, and is clean.
c. Women, if you wear them, make sure you always have an extra pair of nylons available. Those pesky runs probably aren’t going to be too distracting but still. I always feel better when I’m put together. (Hey that rhymes!)

Please leave a comment — gimme the shelter of feedback!!

Tell me what you think of these suggestions. What have you worn? Can you post a picture of yourself in what you usually wear on the blog or on the FB page? 

I’d love to see, and I’m sure other officiants who follow this blog would love to see what your wedding clothing is.

Want more ways to reinvent the traditional officiant role? Get the free download, 5 Stress Free Ways to Officiate an Unforgettable Wedding. Watch for it to pop up if it hasn’t already.

What did you get out of the post? Let me know.  Email me at crystal@officianttraining.com.

I look forward to hearing your stories about leading a couple in their I Do’s.

Namaste,

Rev. Crystal

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Sober, Stoned and Legal Issues

Legal issues

Legal Issues Guide

One of the biggest questions asked in the officiant Facebook groups I’m part of are about legal issues for Officiants. Now, I’m not super up on all legal matters, but I do know some. Better to know some than to ignore the good.

To get the guide Sober, Stone and Legal, fill in the form below and it’ll be quickly delivered to your inbox.

The following video is from a Facebook Live I did on Thursday, November 9, ’18. Let me know what your biggest takeaway is.

Please consider yourself invited to join the private facebook group if you’re not already a member. Click here to join:   I DO Wedding Officiant Prep .

Is Online Ordination Legal?

For more information about why online ordination is legal in the United States, one of the largest internet ordination services, the Universal Life Church gives you the history including legal battles for the right to ordain on the internet, as well as see a copy of their Articles of Incorporation by clicking HERE.

Thanks for caring!

I look forward to hearing about your experiences leading a couple as they say their I Do’s.

Rev Crystal Y

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Reminding Yourself of Joy in Marriage

Joy In Marriage

Finding Joy with Joy Fetel on Ted TalkSome of my former couples want to rediscover joy in marriage. I admire all of my couples when they set out for themselves the task of being married to the same person for the rest of his or her life. When I found a Ted Talk on Finding Joy  (click here to see the video don’t click on the video) on an old friend’s Facebook page, I loved what she was talking about.  Ingrid Fetell Lee’s ability to bring out the playful side of ourself is so refreshing! Because our joyful side unfortunately gets confined in squares and boxes, expectations and judgments.

The squares and boxes of expectations and losing sight of life as an adventure. One of the wonderful things about meditation is it has a way of loosening the fear of adventure — because after all  — adventure exists in the unknown future — and feels kind of, well, round.

Round as joy?!?!

Ms Ingrid talks about round objects carrying more of an energy of joy. I thought of of Native Americans who lived in round structures.

Of the geodesic dome that Buckminster Fuller invented based on the strongest structures in nature. Living in a round structure makes a huge difference in the energies contained there. Round structures help reduce the use of utilities too.

What about the wedding ring?

What about the wedding ring? Nice and round, right? Depending on how or even whether as an Officiant you do a ring blessing, how could this notion of round being a symbol and way of carrying joy into the world be used as a reminder of more than eternity.

Not that eternity isn’t enough!

Defining Joy

To set up a common ground with this Ted Talk, joy is defined as an “intense,  momentary experience of positive emotion, one that makes us smile and laugh and feel like we want to jump up and down.”

Get the picture? Feel the feeling? When I’m not focusing on being nervous but on serving my couples in their wedding ceremony, I feel like jumping up in down after I’ve pronounced them married.

Although I might also add, I feel like I have a tail and I want to wag it because I’m so happy for the couple.

Joy That’s Fickle

I love feeling that way no matter what! Because as an aside, joy is awfully fickle if it depends on my couples, the weather, my dogs’ health, where I’m sitting or how much gas is in my car/what it will cost to fill the tank up.

Joy then, has to depend on an internal compass.  Joy in marriage, depends on that same internal compass, not on the other.

So I came up with this little paragraph that I’ll offer my couples as an alternative to the ring blessing I usually do.

Check this little compliment to finding joy in marriage out and of course, leave me a comment about how it lands with you.

And I’m totally open to edits too. As in many things, this wording is just a place to start. The ring as a symbol can emphasize the potential of joy in marriage.

Draft Ring Blessing

“On your wedding day, you are full of joy for the love you’ve found in each other.

“You’re about to exchange a beautiful ring, a symbol of the unending joy that found you, and drew the two of you together to allow joy to flow through you to each other day after day.

“Joy comes not in having reason to be joyful, but in letting out from within you the joy you have CHOSEN to share with another, not BECAUSE of another.

“Today as you place this ring on your beloved’s finger, repeat these words, ‘I give you this ring as a symbol of the joy I feel in loving and committing myself to you. ‘”

I hope this option inspires you to let out some joy from within you, and maybe wear some pink and orange polka dots!

Namaste

Rev Crystal

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Comparing Shaman and Quickie Officiant Styles

Shaman or Quickie Officiant

Are you a Shaman or a Quickie Officiant?

Do you know what style of Officiant you want to be?

While there are shades of grey in between the two types of Officiants, in order to be found by the kind of clients / couples you want, you need a good picture in your head of who you’re serving.

I have a primary type, and occasionally I bend and get involved with ones who aren’t my ideal client. I’m a Shaman Officiant but I’ll do last minute Quickie ceremonies if the couple lets me add more meat.

Here’s the two types of Officiants as I see them:

The Quickie Officiant

An extension of a Justice of the Peace. The Quickie Officiant does shorter weddings for a minimum fee. His or her ceremonies are primarily out of a book they purchased from the online ordination service. The Quickie Officiant is primarily concerned with the number of weddings he or she can do in a day without as much regard to the content and movement of the wedding ceremony. They delight in drive-through weddings, last minute bookings, and love crazy theme weddings.

The Shaman Officiant

This Officiant is a creative personality. S/He has researched options and has compiled resources to help him or her put together the most stunning, inspiring ceremony possible. They may love theme weddings like Zombie or Star Wars, but they’re as happy to be part of a contemporary ceremony as they are a traditional ceremony.

So where do you fall in this spectrum?

One isn’t better than the other. What matters is how you see yourself. Because the people who need what you have to offer are looking for you. Are there common traits that go with being either a Quickie or a Shaman style Officiant? Let’s see…

A Few Pros and Cons of Being A Quickie Style Officiant

There a couples who only want a quickie wedding. Being reminded of the joys and responsibilities of marriage don’t matter to them. So your role as the Officiant is not as involved.

You have to depend on volume and probably more marketing because your fees are lower and you have to do more ceremonies to make enough money to live on.

Your couples may love each other dearly and be together forever. They want a simple, “I Do” and done wedding ceremony so they can be on with the joys and transformations of being married. They’re a no fuss, no muss couple.

OR — the couple has no depth. They don’t really care if their marriage succeeds or fails. At least consciously.

You can usually arrive at your wedding when it begins because you probably won’t have many set ups for special ceremonies. If you’re late it’s more than likely not a big deal.

The vows you offer your couple or that they usually bring to the table are traditional.

Your ceremony, exchange of rings and vows and pronouncement is usually over in 5 minutes at the least, 10 minutes at the most.

Pros and Cons of Being A Shaman Officiant type

Your couples tend to be more involved in creating their ceremony. They know the wedding ceremony ritual is an important statement and a community event.

You have a role to play because you realize you’re stepping into a role typically prescribed to men and who have a religious organization or tradition behind them. You are your own unique acceptance or twist on this role.

As a Shaman Officiant you investigate and care more deeply about your relationship with the couple, and may in fact, be a friend or family member.

Have to arrive early to a ceremony site to make sure more elements are set up correctly so they come off without a hitch or few hitches shall I say, during the live ceremony.

You take your time preparing a couple’s ceremony. That’s the good news. The bad news is it takes much more time to prepare a ceremony.

Your wedding ritual typically lasts from 15 to 30 minutes.

Your fee is much higher than the Quickie Officiant’s due to the greater prep time and delivery.

You truly want your couples to be sent off into their happily-ever-after by a really great ceremony.

You depend on referrals, more content marketing and networks, and good reviews to earn your living as a Shaman Officiant.

Tools  to Succeed as either a Shaman or Quickie Style Officiant

So, what kind of Officiant are you? What tools do you need to take on your job to the best of your ability?

Remember to check out the Ready, Willing and Able Officiant Prep Program to see how it can meet your style, and your needs.

Being an Officiant is a wonderful profession. Enjoy it no matter what your style is. And know I believe in you!

I look forward to seeing you the first one to walk down the aisle!

Rev Crystal Y

For information on our new officiant prep online courses, fill out our simple Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!