Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

The Art of Gift Receiving

It took a long time to realize that when people give me something, it's because they want to and the best way to honor that is a gracious acceptance and open appreciation.  I'm not an asker.  If I ask for something it's because I have lost hope and I will ask my parents first, and only.  Actually, my kid's school is looking for donations for a new adaptive playground.  I ask for them sometimes.  Something about being born to my parents makes them always the safe people to go to in asking.  There's safety in knowing they always want what's best for me and there's security in knowing they will sacrifice their own needs for my sake when it's possible. A beautiful friend of mine just made a huge career jump from finance to acting.  The payoff was huge.  There's something about people in entertainment.  They are all of the dreamers and visionaries in our society.  They are idealists. They have really strong beliefs. Like me, they desire attention for their craft.  When I was working as a television extra (I'm a native from L.A., it was a rite of passage) I loved that I could get a job because I was cute or beautiful or had a great smile.  Casting directors always compliment when booking.  It was what I needed and helps keep me grounded when weeding through the dating sites full of men that want to get to know me better, even if I am only being polite.  I'm starting to be a little rude and even catty.  I may have to take a break soon.

Squirrelly rabbit trail aside, this beautiful friend of mine is acting which means character development looks like intentional play and scavenger hunts.  She was working on bartering a few weeks ago and I was happy to help.  She was contacting person to person to trade goods and services.  I gave her Japanese panel art that had been sitting in storage, and she gave me a session with a certified spiritual life coach.  I wanted to help my friend and she wanted to gift me with something that would help me grow.

I am a Christian, and most Christians would freak out at the idea of seeing someone who is a clairvoyant and practices candle magic and tarot reading, but I'm not going to ever be typical or like most others.  Look here for That Time I Was a Practicing Witch.  I looked at the session as receiving a gift and when you receive, you take it as it is given, being open to the blessing they offer.


I was early in the area and spent some time in Pan Pacific Park.  There were children playing and people with their dogs.  There were so many baseball Dads and it felt good.  I walked around to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and read the inscriptions on the black granite pillars. I walked along to the children's museum and had a moment of indescribable grief.  The weight of all I was surrounded by really hit me and I was crying in solitude as I touched the tiny holes left as symbols for children.

I remembered a man that always wore a cap on his head, with a faded number tattooed on his forearm.  I remembered the ghost of a smile that would touch his lips but never his eyes. No matter the burdens on his heart or the sorrow in his bones, he always had kindness for others in his warm and calloused handshakes or the care he took in seeing to the needs of his wife. Years beyond his passing and I am still blessed by the memory of his gentleness.


She was petite. She greeted me with a warm hug and her energy wrapped around her in a way that was expansive, but held in check.  It reminded me of a cat, playful and powerful yet indifferent to anything that didn't grab her attention. We walked to her home and the sounds, smells and sights were very east asian.  There were rich reds and bright oranges with dark woods and plush silk pillows.  The lights were dimmed and the room was bathed in the light of the setting sun in the west from a south facing window.  She had me stand with my arms out to my sides and fanned the smoke of burning sage all over my body as she spoke out her intentions or "smudged" me.  It's not a scent easily forgotten. It was a purification to start the work she was preparing me for. She offered me something to drink and it's a habit to decline.  We sat and talked.

I went through the dramas and traumas that are in the blog and even a few details that I normally keep much closer to my chest.  She is intuitive and repeated the same thing a really long Meyers Brigg test and Core Values Index told me.  I shoot from my heart and everything is grounded in love.  She asked what I wanted to do next and I told her I was receiving a gift.  This is her time to bless me in any way she felt was right.  She did a tarot reading and it reaffirmed what I had been hearing from her and others anyway, but there was a shift and I heard what I needed to.

In love, she pointed out that right now I am balancing everything and it is a heavy burden.  Right now finding love would mean I'm attracting someone else to care for and my spirit guides are trying to protect me from that.  I need to be filled to attract someone who is also filled.  I told her about a situation that had been on my heart and she described the meaning of mishegas, and told me there is plenty of hope for a shiksa like me. She said the name, shiksa with love and joked about there being plenty of jaffrican americans before me that have been willing to convert. She is Jewish and had never dated another Jew because it felt like she'd be dating her relative. It inspired hope.

We moved on to candle magic.  She mixed essential oils in a mug and picked out an orange candle.  She anointed the candle and placed some oil on my hands and I placed it behind my ears.  Years ago it would have gone around my third eye, but I wanted it behind my ears where the smell would wrap around me during the guided meditation when we lit the candle.

I spread out on a comfortable and blood red couch and let my eyes focus on the blue tchotchke hanging above the tall window facing her balcony. I lit the candle and she started playing soft music and began her guided meditation to clear any chakra blockages and purify any energies.  It had been many years, so being intentional with not allowing racing thoughts was more of a challenge, and at times my mind just went blank in being in the moment.  She asked right away if I had felt anything.  She said she felt my third eye was going mad and I have my own clairvoyance.  It wasn't until I woke up this morning that I remembered the familiar tingle that settled around my chest and the weight of energy flowing through my forehead.  I imagine it as energy.  It might have just been a buzzing feeling of stillness that can't be processed because I'm not used to it. I left in a much better mood than I had been in.  She was a gift to me and I highly recommend her. Visit Gypsy Rogue here

I stopped at the Grove because I had never been there before, and I wouldn't let the fear of it being a couple destination stop me.  It was so much like the Americana.  I enjoyed walking around for a bit and was really excited that I left and didn't have to pay for parking because I didn't make it an all day trip.  On the way home I sang too loudly and laughed into the wind.  I stopped at Phillippe's for a French Dip and potato salad dinner.  I didn't take it to go, but sat alone and smiled at other diners. It was a night of self care and a blissful evening of healing and fullness.

The Vulnerability of Men

That Time I Was a Practicing Witch