Meditation Now!

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We get so wrapped up in the day-to-day that it’s easy to let spirituality slip to the side, if you even consider it for half a moment. Most people say they don’t have time to exercise, let alone the luxury of contemplating their own consciousness and place in the Universe.

Think you don’t have time to meditate? Think that spirituality is only something done on Sunday? Think again. You are a Divine Being in your own right. You carry within you a spark of Divine Creativity. You need to own that shit.

You can talk to Spirit at any time, in any place. The trick is, can you hear the answer? You can, I promise you. All it takes is a true desire and a willingness to open your heart to the answer. Want to know the best part? Spirit is infinitely patient. You do this work at your pace.

Obviously, the more diligently you work at any spiritual practice, the swifter and more dramatic your result will be. But – this is your journey. Take whatever time you need.

First, Naming. I use Spirit and Divine – I like the way they feel, and the positive emotions that come with them. You use whatever personal Name that you are comfortable with.

Next, Practice. To establish a personal connection to Spirit is not difficult. It only takes seconds, but it does take practice. No one ever got good at anything after one or two tries. So, practice, practice often. You’ll find it has all sorts of unexpected benefits – lowering blood pressure and stress hormones to name just two physical benefits. The spiritual payoff is immeasurable, and the joy of discovering those rewards is kinda the point.

Places to practice. Any place and time you have a few moments where you can pause, and take a few deep breaths. Closing your eyes, and twisting your legs into a lotus are not required. Need some ideas?

  • Doing the dishes.
  • Waiting to pick the kids up from school.
  • Waiting in line – anywhere.
  • In the shower.
  • Walking the dog.
  • Sitting at a red light.

Get creative. Let yourself play. Feel a little silly. Let all those negative thoughts, like “This can’t work!” wash through you. Don’t try and suppress them, just let them pass and keep practicing. You’ll find after time, your ego realizes it’s not silly, and stops sending them.

Does Spirit listen? All the time. Does Spirit answer? Yes. Practicing is how you learn to be able to hear that reply.

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All You Gotta Do Is Breathe

So, what’s the first step? Easy, just breathe. Do it now.

  • In
  • Out

How’d that feel? Was it fast, or slow? Where did the breath go in your body? Your upper chest? Your belly? Could you have taken in more air? Did it feel like a sip or a gulp?

Meditative practice starts with following the breath because it is a direct linkage to your subconscious brain. Unless you turn your attention to it, your autonomic nervous system works diligently night and day, pumping your blood, digesting your food, and working your lungs. By following your breath and consciously regulating it, you are sending signals back to the brain that are then passed on to the rest of the body.

And this is important because?

The autonomic nervous system controls ‘fight or flight’. It interprets everything you see and hear based on whether it’s a threat, or not, and then yells, “Battle Time!” or “Run Away!” causing your heart and lungs to work harder and faster, plus a whole bunch of other biologic reactions. Millions of years of evolution have made it a highly efficient survival system. It is not however, adapted for our modern world. The noises and stresses of normal urban life cause us to live in a state of near-constant readiness for battle or escape. The effects of this are clearly reflected in the near-epidemic levels of diseases such as high blood pressure.

Control the breath, and the message you’re sending to your brain is “We’re chill. No saber tooth tiger is about it eat us.” Your brain then tells your heart, organs and muscles to kick back and enjoy some downtime.

The more often you do this, the better it is for your body, and this has been supported through research.

How to Breathe.

It is literally our first action on the planet. You probably think you’re pretty good at it, since you’ve been breathing all your life. Think back to that In and Out breath earlier. Now, you’re going to do it again. This time, though, you’re going to do it mindfully.

  • Close your eyes.
  • Empty your lungs by pulling your belly towards your spine and letting it push the air out. Don’t force it, just exert a gentle pull.
  • Pause, count to three.
  • Inhale by pushing your belly outward. Imagine the air rushing down and filling your belly as it pushes out. Only after your belly is full, allow the air to fill the upper part of your chest.
  • I like to do a slow count of eight – count to four and fill the belly, count to eight and fill the chest.
  • Then, hold the breath. Feel it circulate through your body. Visualize it as swirls of energy, or streaming through the blood. Watch it flow and fill you.
  • Release the breath. Again, pull your belly toward your spine, and exhale slowly, with control. Empty your lungs completely.
  • Hold briefly with your lungs empty. Pay attention to how your body feels without the breath in it. Visualize the breath leaving your body. You might want to imagine it taking away things like stress, or pain, or worry.
  • Then repeat the cycle.

I like to use a count of eight for each portion of the cycle:

  • The Inhale
  • Hold
  • The Exhale
  • Hold

But use whatever count works best for you at that moment. If you’re sitting at a red light, maybe it’ll be a three-count for two breath cycles. If you’re in the shower, try an eight-count for ten cycles.

What matters is that you do it. A lot. In the bathroom for a few minutes? Seriously. Brushing your teeth? Waiting to order your chai latte or caramel macchiato? Take some breaths.

Here’s the catch. Come on! You knew there’d be one.

For each breath, think only about the breath. Nothing else. Focus entirely on that air moving in, through, and out of your body. Any thought that pops up, just let go of. And they will pop up.

  • “What should I make for dinner?”
  • “What did he mean by that text?”
  • “Should I binge Stranger Things or Oroville?”

Just let them go, and bring your focus back to your breath.

And practice. Did I mention how important it is to practice this? Do it when it feels weird, or clunky, or awkward. No one is looking at you funny. Just do it. You will get past that clunky, awkward stage.

Practice until it becomes second nature for you to mindfully breathe multiple times a day. Even if it’s just for one breath.

Pay attention to how you feel before, and after. Are your shoulders a little looser? Your belly less tense? What physical changes do you notice, but also, what mental changes do you notice? What effects do you notice the longer you practice?

Mindfulness, attention to breath, and attention to your responses will help you learn focus and concentration on your inner workings and energetic shifts. Messages from Spirit can come through loud and clear, like a bullhorn. More often though, they’re subtle. Learning to discern what is “you” from what is Spirit will be that much easier if you are already familiar with the ebbs and flows of your own energetic systems.

Can’t Fight Hate with Hate (Or, That Time I Got Jumped by a Dead Pope)

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It just doesn’t work. I recently had this confirmed for me with stunning clarity while I was traveling in Rome. I was attacked by a very powerful male spirit while touring the summer home of the Pope. It was one of the most disturbing and powerful psychic attacks I’ve ever experienced.

Then, I got to talk about it on Coast to Coast AM. On October 27th, I called in for open lines. Dave Schrader was hosting, and said he wanted to hear “Your scariest paranormal experiences.” I got lucky, and got right through. Big thanks to Dave and the Coast to Coast team for taking my call!

I was hesitant at first, and a little nervous. Sure, it’s one thing to type away, and hit post on my blog. Quite another to have my voice instantly projected around the world. The enormity of it hit me, and I felt like I was stumbling, reaching for how to describe what I’d gone through. Then my Guides whispered in my ear, and I knew what I had to say.

It’s all about Love. Love really will overcome all, heal all, even if at times it doesn’t seem possible. It’s often a nasty, painful process, and holding onto Love is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. When you come out the other side though, you’ll see how far you’ve come, and how much you’ve grown.

We have the free will to accept it, or not. But Love is always the answer. Everyone needs to hear this right now. The time right now is crucial. This is why my Guides nudged me to get up and call when I heard Dave say the phone lines were open. Why I got through without any trouble. The world needs to hear, in as many voices, and languages, and ways possible, that Love is the answer.

The challenge is accepting that truth. It’s easy to say, “Love is the answer, Love wins” when the sun is shining, and life is rosy. Holding on to Love though, in your darkest moments, will be your biggest challenge. You may find though, that it’s also your greatest strength.

I’ve had some astral fights. Actual battles. Throwing energy bolts, shaping weapons and dueling it out. There’s definitely an empowering sense of accomplishment to it. You’ve just vanquished evil! Or have you?

In my experience, anything I’ve fought has come back at me again, at some point in time. I haven’t defeated anything. I’ve even had my battle energies absorbed, and make the being I’m confronting stronger. That’s generally not helpful.

But evil cannot stand before Love. When I switched my strategy to loving anything that came at me, I was far more successful. Instead of being drained and vulnerable after meeting up with some nasty astral being, I was filled with gentle, energizing warmth. And the “bad guy?” Gone, not a problem anymore.

I had always wondered though; just how effective would Love be against some really Big Baddie? I don’t run into much more than very angry dead people in Seattle. I do encounter nasty critters sometimes while out travelling astrally, but that’s rare. I tend to stick to the lighter astral planes, avoiding the darker, lower levels. I know there’s bigger baddies out there than I’ve run across, and so the question has crossed my mind more than once.

I was answered on my recent trip to Rome. Absolutely, unequivocally.

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Castel Gandolfo is perched on the lip of dormant volcano. Until Pope Francis, the tiny hilltop community has been home to the Pope during the sweltering summer months. Pope Francis though has declined it’s use, and recently opened the palace and extensive gardens up for tours.

It was while wandering through this light, airy building, filled with paintings of past Popes, and some really spectacular antiques and paintings, that I was confronted by an angry male spirit. My Guides tell me it was a past Pope, but I was not given a name. He certainly considered himself of primary importance in the church. Swelling with righteous indignation he swirled around me, arrogant and commanding. “You don’t belong here. This is a holy place. You defile it! Witch! Evil!” And there was more, in increasingly rude and vile terms. Heat too; I was swamped in it. Yes, it was late summer, but we were above the hotter temperatures of Rome itself. The rooms were pleasantly cool, until sudden, thick heat swaddled me. Dark tentacles of negative energy wrapped around my auric field, probing, seeking to pierce through my shields to attach to my physical body.

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A headache started to throb. I pulled out my selenite disc, holding the protective crystal to my solar plexus. The pressure of his hatred eased, pushed back by the cleansing crystal, but the headache continued to grow. He poked and tested at my shields as I walked, “Begone! Leave my home! I will not tolerate such foulness polluting my chambers!”

So we traded, back and forth. I would push him away, or he would back off, judging how next to strike. The full pressure of his aggression eased when I got out of the palace but the headache continued to grow. He followed me – sometimes closely, sometimes distantly – as we continued on our tours. Always there though, reaching with his tentacles of black energy, probing, testing.

Our last stop was the Catacombs. They don’t even know how many are buried there, and it was used by ancient Christians because it gave them a relatively safe space to gather that was outside the official city limits.

I heard the screaming before I got off the bus. I’d already told my husband I couldn’t go in. I wasn’t up for it. He wasn’t either, although for non-paranormal reasons, and we called for a car to take us back to the hotel.

Ordinarily I would ground and use the Earth’s energy to augment my shields and energies, but this path was closed, horribly so. The ground, even outside the Catacombs was saturated with death, grounding just tapped into the energy of all those souls.

Not helpful. All I could do was focus on holding my shields and expanding my heart chakra field so that it encompassed all of me. My Guides gave me their love and support, helping keep the physical symptoms at tolerable levels. The angry Pope’s malice was lost in the overwhelming energies of the Catacombs.

Finally, the driver arrived, and the heavily tainted energy receded as we sped away. The pressure against my shields eased, as did the headache and the nausea. By the time we reached the hotel, I was feeling much better. Enough to go out shopping around Rome with my husband through the late afternoon and evening.

All was fine until night fell. The headache and nausea crept back, and I started to feel dizzy as well. I realized that the angry male spirit, who I thought I’d shaken off, still lingered. It might have just been that it was night, but his energy levels were stronger, and he was relentless. Heavy black limbs struck again and again, wrapping around my shields and squeezing while trying to worm in toward my body. I was in an astral fight, struggling to look and act normal for my husband as we wandered the streets of Rome.

At times, I was able to override the physical sensations when I was able to hold my energies and shields at full capacity. But it was draining, holding my shields in that manner. Returning to the hotel, I lost sight of the angry Pope again in the general psychic noisiness of the old building. Exhausted, I immediately fell asleep. Only to bolt awake around 1:30 am. Crushing fear and anxiety had my thoughts racing and my heart pounding. Gradually it slowed, even as the consuming fear grew.

He wanted to kill me, he said so, over and over. He was the source of the fear. He was proud of the anguish he inflicted, grinning as he drove harsh waves of negative energy at me. The level of his power, and the depth of his anger – which to his thinking was fully justified – only confirmed what my Guides had already told me.

Away from the death-soaked grounds of the Catacombs however, I was able to ground, drawing the loving, healing energy of Mother Gaia up into my physical form. It washed through me, soothing, and energizing. I reached for my Guides, and was bathed in their loving support. I took it all in, and the darkness and fear fled from my being, shrinking from Love.

I offered Reiki to the Pope. I offered the Bridge of Light to help him cross over, and be healed of his hate and anger. I showed him the path. I filled the room with the loving energies from my heart chakra, from Mother Gaia, and my many astral allies. He hissed at me, and vanished completely. The nausea and dizziness from his attacks dissipated like mist in the sun. I was whole, and my heart filled with bliss, banishing any lingering shadows. “He’s truly gone this time.” My Guides whispered with absolute assurance. I slept peacefully then for the first time since leaving home.

You might never be in an astral fight, but at some point in your life, you are going to face Love and Fear. Probably more than once. Each time you choose Love, you heal yourself. Maybe just a little, maybe a whole lot at once, but the healing is real. Let yourself feel it.

CGGardenMary

TV I Love – Black Mirror

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It’s on Netflix, and if you haven’t seen it yet, go! Go now and add it to your queue. Go on, I’ll wait.

Ok. Are you old enough to remember the series The Outer Limits? Or am I dating myself again? Black Mirror is very much like OL, in that each episode is self-contained. No continuity or regular characters, just one shattering episode after another.

Unlike other series on Netflix that I’ve binge-watched (Stranger Things, Daredevil) where I would power through 3, 4, or even 5 episodes in a sitting, I can really only take 2 episodes of Black Mirror. Because they’re that good, and that twisted. I study them because someday I want to be able to write like that.

They’re science fiction, but not in the Star Wars/Trek/Guardians of the Galaxy sense. The fiction part of the science is fully plausible by our current standards, it just hasn’t been done yet.

They’re dystopian, but not in a post-apocalyptic sense. Viewers will see themselves and current society in every episode. You’ll be fascinated and mortified at the same.

They are dark. They take our deepest fears, our worst urges, and petty foibles and push them the very limits.

They are twisted. In the “Wow, I never saw that coming” sense.

They hit you hard, from Episode One. But one episode in particular has stayed with me, and I just can’t quite shake the emotional reaction I had to it. It’s the second episode of the second season, called White Bear.

I won’t spoil it, I want you to watch it and feel all the feels.

Come back once you’ve seen it, and let me know what you think. Because when I got to the end of the episode, I found myself thinking – That looks like a really good, horrific idea. I wonder when that’ll happen?

The storm is coming in and I may be snowed in – guess what I’m going to watch!

 

Why Do You Believe in the Paranormal?

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Losing Mom wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part is dealing with the aftermath. Trying to keep siblings from gouging each other’s hearts out ranks right up there in the Top Two Most Difficult Aspects of Losing a Parent. Then there’s cleaning out the mountains of debris and accumulated detritus crowding Mom’s home of close to 50 years. And oh boy, could she pack it in! Every crevice and cranny was stuffed, quite literally to the rafters, with…everything. I found report cards from every grade. Every. One. The silly notes I passed between friends at school. Faded art projects. And while I have no desire to actually keep the majority of the stuff I unearthed, it still gave me a pretty serious pang to have to throw it all away.

Now comes the paranormal part…

Mom’s house is 1500 miles away from the home I live in now, in Seattle. I was last there a couple months ago, after Mom passed, to help with cleaning and to pick up some items. I stayed in my old bedroom and listened to the sounds of the house around me as I lay awake late at night. This creak, or that sigh as it shifted in the wind, and the clicks and whirrs of the appliances and heating system were all so very familiar.

Also familiar was the sound of Mom’s footsteps as she’d walk down the hall to the bathroom. Her tread was light, but still thudded softly on the thick carpet of the upstairs hall. And there – the squeak of the loose floorboard right outside my room. Two nights in a row, I heard those footsteps, and that distinct squeal that could only be the sound of weight pressing on that creaky spot. The first night, she even paused outside my door, and tapped on it softly.

Did I get up and answer? Nope. I’m ashamed to admit that when the absolute reality of life after death smacked me in the face at 1 a.m. I was afraid. Not of Mom. I wasn’t afraid of her spirit standing there on the other side of the door.

Nope.

It was a purely visceral reaction to the validation of everything I believed. The fear was because I sorta held onto a bit of doubt about – everything. That night, that tiny bit of doubt was obliterated.

Even after decades of paranormal experiences – physically running into ghosts, communicating with them, and having those experiences validated by other sources, I still held onto a tiny kernel of skepticism. And I was okay with that. I was okay with the dichotomy of believing and not believing. My own Schroedinger’s Cat scenario – both real and not real. I could tell people, “Well, this happened, but…” As if that ‘but’ gave me, and everyone else, a way to dismiss what I was legitimately experiencing.

Hearing Mom walk the hallway, just like she did in life, erased forever any lingering doubt I might have had. And that was just a bit terrifying.

It was also freeing. I no longer had to cling to that little kernel. There was simply no other explanation for the sound of her footsteps, and the creak of the floorboard than the presence of her spirit walking past my door. Period. And if her spirit was real, then it suddenly made everything else I’d seen, or heard, or felt, just as real.

The second night, Mom once more stood outside my bedroom door and gently tapped. This time, I talked to her. She was concerned about some family stuff, and I reassured her. She wanted to let me know she was okay, and still around. I told her I was grateful she came back this night, after I was so afraid the night before. We had a good talk, comforting, and she faded away. I knew she wouldn’t be back.

And that was okay. Because although her body was gone, her spirit lives on. I no longer have any doubts about that at all.

Tell me, what made you believe? I would love to hear your stories!

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Where Can You Find Ghosts, Aliens and Bigfoot? Paracon!

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On Saturday, Oct. 22, I drove out to Concrete, WA for Forest Moon Paranormal’s first Paracon. Concrete is tucked in the mountains near the Washington-Canada border, at the base of Mt.Baker. Multiple UFO sightings, an active Bigfoot population, and the town of Concrete itself is extremely haunted. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect location for this event. And it is unbelievably beautiful. I mean really, just look at this!

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Paracon = Paranormal Conference, in case you were wondering. It was my first, and I had no idea what to expect. I was hoping to hear some interesting speakers, maybe learn something, and this Paracon really delivered.

Every speaker that I heard did such a great job of presenting their topic, answering questions, and being available to talk with anyone. I got there late, so I missed the Bigfoot presentation, and only caught the very end of the UFO talk, but here’s what I did hear.

Ghostology 101 with S.J. and Russ Wells of F.O.G. Paranormal.

A thorough, basic primer on the how-to’s of paranormal investigation. Their discussion included definitions of common paranormal terms, safety considerations, and some really amazing pictures they’ve taken on investigations. What I really liked, and haven’t seen in many paranormal groups, was the respect and compassion F.O.G. maintains for their human clients AND the spirits they find during investigations.

S.J. and Russ have been investigating the paranormal for well over 30 years. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, and are experiencing paranormal activity you would like investigated, contact S.J. and Russ at F.O.G. Paranormal

Tying the Paranormal Together with Christina George.

Christina George is a paranormal investigator and radio host with Paranormal Connections. Christina’s talk centered on the idea that all paranormal aspects are linked. Historically, this idea has not been popular in the para-community. The ghost investigators didn’t have much to do with the UFO peeps, and neither had anything to do with Bigfoot crowd.

Christina has over 20 years in the paranormal field, and has found that people who experience the paranormal often experience all of it – spirit contact, seeing UFO’s, developing psychic abilities. So if you’re going to investigate, it makes sense to expand and investigate all of it. Otherwise, links and commonalities that are vital to understanding these phenomena can easily be missed.

Experiencers: The Importance of the First Hand Account with Dave Scott of Spaced Out Radio.

Dave shared his personal experiences – with ghosts, aliens and Bigfoot. More than just telling his stories, Dave’s presentation illustrated something that everyone who’s had a brush with the paranormal thinks at one point or another – Am I the only one who’s experienced this?

No. You’re not. You’re not crazy, you’re not alone. And it is critical to get out, find like-minded folks and share what you’ve seen. Many experiencers never speak up because they’re afraid; of losing family or friends, of being ostracized, even of losing their job. Dave pointed out that even in paranormal investigations, the person’s individual experience is sometimes cast aside as unimportant – because it cannot be measured, or otherwise validated. This is inherently wrong. Our experience is crucial; what we see, what we feel, must also be recorded and shared.

He did point out that it’s important we do this in a safe environment. But those places are out there. The three groups I’ve mentioned are all a really good place to start.

I was so impressed with all the speakers. The common thread through all the presentations was one of respect. Respect for people telling their stories. Respect for the beings who trigger the phenomena. Respect for other investigators. There was a definite sense of cooperation and camaraderie between all the participants and speakers. I have been experiencing the paranormal my whole life, but I am a total newbie when it comes to trying to network with others who have. The people at this Paracon were all welcoming, friendly and it was a huge relief to be able to talk and share openly.

I have to give big kudos to Eric Cooper, his wife Issy, and everyone who worked so hard to put together and pull off this event. Eric is the founder of Forest Moon Paranormal, a paranormal crisis team. Forest Moon is one of the few groups I’ve found (the other being F.O.G) that considers the spirit’s well-being when they are helping clients affected by paranormal activity.

What so many people forget is that ghosts are people, usually people who have suffered a terrible, traumatic event in addition to dying. These spirits are often in pain, frightened and confused, which can cause them to lash out in anger. As I nurse, I can attest to the fact that living humans do this – I’ve seen it first hand. Humans in fear and pain, whether they’re alive or dead, deserve to be treated with compassion and respect to help ease that fear and pain. The good people at Forest Moon and F.O.G. never lose sight of that when they respond to a client’s request for help.

This event will be back next year. I know I’m planning on being there.

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TV I Love – Westworld

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Wondering what to watch in this long, cold stretch until Game of Thrones returns with the summer? I have one word for you.

Westworld.

I never saw the original movie with Yul Brynner, so I came to this with no expectations or preconceived notions. I knew the basic premise – robots in an amusement park of the future – but that’s about it.

I have been blown away.

The actors are all fantastic! The entire cast deserves high praise for their portrayals. Of course, Anthony Hopkins always delivers. Ed Harris is chilling, Thandie Newton is delightful, and the list goes on.

The writing is smart, and the story compelling. It raises questions about the fundamental nature of humanity. Sure, if you want, you can just watch the surface action – killers and robots in a mock Wild West. Or you can follow where the writers really want you to go, and examine concepts of consciousness and the meaning of life. Deep, right? I love it!

Westworld will draw you in and hold fast. Three episodes in and already I’m counting down to next Sunday. Watch this one. If you’re hungry for complex story lines, characters you’ll love (and love to hate), and a show that makes you think and feel, you don’t want to miss Westworld.

Check out the trailer. Don’t let the “mature” label scare you. If you’ve watched Game of Thrones you won’t see anything that’ll shock you.

3 Easy Ways To Get Psychically Clean

Remember this?

 

She wasn’t dusting or scrubbing. She was cleansing the house energetically and releasing beings that were stuck in that physical location.

“Oh, that’s just a movie!” No. Sticky, dense, negative energies – and entities – are very real, and can attach themselves to you. Anyone who wants to engage in paranormal activities needs to be aware of this. If you’re already in the field, you know this.

Cleansing can be as simple as wafting a smudge stick, or as complex as a full exorcism. Exorcisms are best left to the professionals – shamanic practitioners, priests trained in exorcism, mediums who can speak to the spirits. However, personal energetic hygiene is just as important as washing your hands.

What Needs To Be Cleansed?

You dust, vacuum and mop, what else needs cleaning? People’s emotional detritus tends to collect and hang out, in living spaces, in public spaces. Pretty much anywhere you can encounter leftover emotions. We all leak negative emotions. Have an argument? A crying spell? Pissed because your boss yelled at you? Those emotions have energy, and the stronger the emotions the more likely they are to linger like so many emotional dust bunnies. If enough of them build up, they can start to take on a sort of life of their own. If the emotions or events are traumatic enough they can start to act like spirits or other supernatural entities.

Anyone, ‘sensitive’ or not can pick up on these lingering psychic dust bunnies. Depending on your level of discernment you may recognize that these emotions are not your own. Nausea, headaches, sudden, unexplained sadness – all of these can linger and reattach to you! You don’t need to be psychic to cleanse, but you do need to be clear on what you’re doing and how you’re going to go about it.

Here are three ways you can cleanse your aura and living spaces. Use them all, or find the ones that resonate best with you. With each though, your intention, your attitude and your mindset are all critical ingredients.

Thoughts Are Things!

Remember, when dealing with the spiritual and astral realms your thoughts make and shape the energies, so use them wisely. None of these techniques will work if you simply go through the motions. You must engage and be present when using any of these. Also, before using any method, prepare yourself.

  • Pause
  • Breathe
  • Calm your mind

 Set Your Intention

This is essential. Say, think, or visualize that any negative or harmful energies be released, dispersed and returned to the Earth for renewal. Hold onto this intention as you are cleansing.

When your mind is calm and your intention firmly in mind, begin. You can use these methods individually, or sequentially. Using more than one has a cumulative, or additive effect. I usually try and get a sense for what I need, and if I need more, I do more. There is no harm in overuse of any of these practices!

Smudge

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Smudging is the burning of sacred plants to clear out negative energies. Sage is the most commonly used, and nearly everyone will say “Burn some sage!” if paranormal activity is mentioned. But, it’s certainly not the only choice.

Sage is easily available; smoke shops and metaphysical stores carry it pre-bundled and ready to use. However, others, like palo santo wood, cedar, sweetgrass, and frankincense have all been used to clear spaces for centuries. Each one acts to cleanse, but they all have additional properties to be considered before using – protection, healing, blessing. Read up on your choice before smudging to ensure it’s in alignment with your intention.

Smudging is essential housekeeping if you actively participate in spiritual practices or seek out paranormal activity.

Trust me on this. I have made this mistake too many times to count. If you are in any measure psychic, or you investigate the paranormal – cleanse your aura and your space regularly. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in how you, and your home feel. You’ll also be amazed at how much your discernment and psychic abilities increase when you consistently clear out the “junk.”

So what does it mean to smudge? You light the sacred herb, and brush the smoke around yourself – top to bottom, front and back – and visualize the smoke dissolving any negative attachments. You can trace the herb bundle itself around your outline, or use a feather to waft the smoke over you.

To cleanse a house or other building, walk clockwise around the space, brushing the smoke towards the walls. Pay extra attention to corners, especially if they’re a little cluttered (like my house!), doorways and windows. Imagine the brushing dislodging the attachments and the smoke gathering it up and carrying it out of the space, really see it going out windows or doors.

Also pay attention if burning ash drops on to the ground. You may want to carry a small, fireproof tray to catch ashes as you walk. Make as many circuits of the room as you need until you feel the energies lighten. Continue moving in a clockwise direction through your entire home until you have cleared each room.

Smudging is excellent for:

  • Regular energetic cleansing.
  • Clearing new items that you bring into your home.
  • After guests leave to remove any lingering emotional traces.
  • After you’ve ‘had a bad day’ or are feeling as if you have attachments clinging to you.

Smudging is not typically how you get actual spirits to vacate. If you’ve got a resident entity, you will likely need more, and that is beyond the scope of this article.

Showering

Well, duh! But this isn’t your quick, jump in-and-out rinse. This is a longer, deliberate ritual to wash away negative attachments from your body and aura.

My latest career was in nursing. I have, in the past, worked with people who hated me. I have had daggers glared at me. I’ve been called every name in the book. Usually by people having the worst day of their life. Not their fault, but the emotional energies still bombarded me. By the end of my shift, I would feel loaded down with the psychic weight of every hateful thought directed my way. I could sense them sinking their hooks into my aura. Left there long enough, they would burrow in until they merged with my own energies.

Waving a smudge stick didn’t always dislodge those emotional daggers, although that was usually my first step. If I needed more muscle because it was a particularly bad shift – or if I’d neglected my energetic cleansing for a few days – I would charge the water coming out of the showerhead to remove the attachments.

To charge the water:

  • Bless the showerhead and water.
  • Visualize that the water is filled with pure light.
  • This light can be white, silver, blue, lavender, or whatever color feels most appropriate to you. But make it bright and strong.

As you scrub, visualize removing the energetic attachments. Or you can state affirmations, such as “I now remove any attachment that does not contribute to my highest healing good.” Visualize them swirling away, being carried down the drain and out to the sea where they will be dissipated and renewed.

As a Reiki Master-Teacher, I will Reiki the water and showerhead, and I can tell you that water is bright! You should use whatever energetic methods, prayers or blessings resonate with you. Whether you are initiated into an energy healing modality or not, realize that your visualization, your thoughts and intentions, carry a potent energy of their own. Use them to bless the water, and cleanse your aura.

When you are done, visualize sealing any holes in your aura, healing any tears, so that your energy field is whole. Picture your aura as a smooth, protective barrier that completely envelops you.

Grounding

This is a perfect spot to sit and ground!

This is a perfect spot to sit and ground!

Grounding is one of the easiest cleansing techniques, but it is powerful for all its simplicity. All you need to do is get your body in contact with the Earth.

Not standing in your high heels on concrete. Not sitting on the steps of your condo or school. (But, if it’s all you’ve got, then gotta do what you gotta do.)

Nope.

I mean get out and get in touch with Mother Earth. Take of your shoes, and get your toes in the grass, or sand, or dirt. Sit against the trunk of a tree and rest your palms against Her. Any spot where you are in full contact with the Earth, will do – a park, the beach, out on a hike. Minimize the man-made ‘stuff’ between you and Her and try to have some of your skin touching the skin of the Earth, even if it’s just your palms.

Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Visualize yourself connecting to the Earth through your soles, palms, anywhere you’re in contact with Her. Open these connections wide and release anything that does not contribute to your highest healing good. Use affirmations similar to “I release any and all attachments…” as you did in the shower. Really see these attachments dropping off you and down into Mother Earth.

Synchronize your breathing to your visualizations. As you exhale, imagine the attachments falling away. As you inhale, visualize clean, renewing energy flowing up into you through your connections to Mother Earth. Sit as long as you need to feel clear and refreshed.

Don’t feel bad! You’re not polluting! As with the shower, think of it as putting those attachments into a giant recycling bin so they cannot move on and attach to another person. Mother Earth and the sea are vast, and readily absorb those energies, cleansing and renewing them.

Try all three techniques. Play with them! The real beauty of energy work is finding your best modality. Take your time; be observant of how you feel and what you experience. Adjust and adapt as you need to, just be sure to keep your intentions clear at all times.

Let me know which ones work best for you!

Our Pets and Reincarnation

I had a totally different post planned to put up, but then I found this trailer on Twitter. Have your tissues ready.

I watched this and thought it one of the most heartwarming trailers I’d seen. It’s based on the book of the same title by W. Bruce Cameron and it spent 52 weeks on the NYT Bestseller list! So I was more than a little startled to see some haters calling this trailer “horrible” and “depressing” and “worst dog movie ever” because, you know, the dog dies.

Sorry. Spoiler alert. But maybe the title of the blog post was a clue?

The hardest thing any pet parent has to face is the loss of a much loved pet. The very worst part of letting an animal into your life and heart is the sure knowledge that you will eventually bid them farewell. I’ve done this more times than I want to think about, and with more species than your average pet owner.

There was Pagan, and Domino.

DHappy

Magic

CMagic

Honda

Scan 16

Harpo

Scan 7

Akela

Scan 4

And that’s not even half. Each one takes a piece of your heart when they go, you feel like that spot in your soul will never again feel right. I have been so fortunate to have a deep bond to many, many animals, to experience the love, communication and understanding that looks magical to an outside observer. I know I’m not alone in this. I know that I’m not the only one to have a much loved pet return to me either, both in a body and in spirit.

What if the premise of A Dog’s Purpose were true? What if our pets (and us too!) come back to experience life after life? The above-mentioned haters also found this tragic. I’m sorry for them. I think it’s beautiful. It means we, collectively, never truly die. That we get do-overs, and a chance to explore every delicious, beautiful, and yes, painful, facet of life.

Reincarnation as a spiritual concept is found throughout many ancient, sacred texts. Even the Gnostic Christians claimed that reincarnation was the true, secret teaching of Jesus. The number of people who believe in reincarnation is staggering. Just counting those who claim to practice religions with reincarnation as a fundamental tenet you’re looking at about 25% of the human population. Even some quantum physicists are now saying our consciousness moves into another universe when we die. First Law of Thermodynamics, right?

But that’s humans. What about animals? Do animals have souls? Just ask that of anyone who’s had a pet that they loved and lost. You can read about how my cat, Magic, came back to visit after I lost her to bone cancer. The internet is full of stories about how the spirits of pets come back, both as ghosts and reincarnated into new, furry bodies.

But how do you know? Truth is, I can’t offer up any proof that would satisfy a cynic.

Answers to the most perplexing questions in spirituality are at their core inexplicable. They must be experienced. They must be lived. It doesn’t matter how many holy books you read, how many churches you sit in, or how many drum circles. They can guide you, point out a path, but you’ll never really know unless you make contact with the numinous.

I have. I know that everything has a soul. A spirit. That spark of the divine that is never extinguished. From the trees in my yard, to the cat curled in my lap, to the wolf puppy that greeted me with recognition in his soul. We had known each other in lives past.

How? You have to be willing to still your mind and listen for those subtle clues. You have to be willing to put in the time to practice – whatever method you choose. Yoga, meditation, dance, journeying all can help you with quieting the mind so you can hear the messages from your soul. More than that though, you have to trust the knowledge that comes to you.

That is the hardest part. Trust. Your mind will want to tell you you just made it up. So will science. So will some of your friends. You have to trust the message and put it into practice in your life. There is a certain element of surrender with this, because sometimes it’ll probably be pretty scary. Not in the ‘you should spend all your money on this stock’ sense. No, this trust usually involves risks of the heart.

Sometimes your heart will break. Sometimes the one you love will leave you. But what if the purpose of life is to experience love in as many different forms and varieties as possible? That’s pretty difficult to accomplish in just one lifetime.

Maybe dogs are the lucky ones. They have so much love to give, and we have so much to learn, that they voluntarily return to us again and again, helping to open our hearts and teach us about unconditional love. And loss. And how to love again after heartbreak.

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Books I Loved – Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews is the pen name of a husband-wife writing team. They have multiple series containing an impressively long list of titles. How am I only just finding out about them? Glad I did though.

Magic Bites is first in the Kate Daniels series. Set in Atlanta after a magical apocalypse, Kate Daniels is a bad-ass mercenary. I kinda love it when female leads are as tough as tougher than the men. In this first offering, Kate is set on the trail of the bad guys that murdered her mentor.

Fast-paced, with lots of action, Magic Bites reeled me in and demanded to be finished. It has what you’d expect in a paranormal thriller – magic, shapeshifters, vampires – but this writing duo gave this jaded paranormal reader vivid new takes on the standard themes. It hooked me hard and I am moving on to the following books.

Head on over to their website and find one for yourself.

Dragged Into Compassion

Lily Pads

I think it was the Dalai Lama who said “Compassion is my religion.” It really resonated with me. I tried my best to follow it, in what I thought were trying times.

There was a co-worker who really tested my resolve on the path of compassion. This was an all-around unpleasant person – to me, to other co-workers, to the clients who came into the office. Often while wearing a false smile and speaking in an over-the-top sugary voice that just screamed condescension. But, in the end it was an excellent lesson. I came to see this person, not as pure evil – and I really, really wanted to paint them into that role! Rather, as a being in deep, never-ending pain. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual pain ran so deep that lashing out was the only behavior this person had left.

It was sad really. I got to the point that I all could see was this person’s pain. I was very proud of myself for getting to that place. I thought – “Hey, this compassion thing is easy!” HA!

Here’s the thing. Don’t boast to the Universe. She will take you at your word and make you prove it.

I haven’t been around much. Here, posting my bloggy offerings, on Facebook, or Tweeting out to the Twittery peeps, I’ve been gone more than I’ve been around. I should’ve been though. I should’ve been all over cyberspace, sharing my love of all things paranormal and spiritual with my fellow fringe dwellers because I haven’t worked since February 29th. I had big plans to make my time off my big push to really get my blogs dialed in tight.

So instead… The Universe had other ideas.

Right before Christmas, my mom had a stroke. Not a bad one. She could still walk, talk and do all the things that were “normal” for a feisty 80 year-old. But she kept having them. Then other issues cropped up and by March 1 we were both having surgery. I got my shoulder fixed, and she got part of her guts taken out. Twice. Both of us.

And if that wasn’t enough, my siblings had not one, not two but three ICU stays and major back surgery shared between them.

The cherry on top, mom passed away the day of my sibling’s back surgery. Yeah. It’s been a fun year. I had more stress, more pain, more family fights than I had ever dealt with before. And that was just the beginning.

I wanted to say Fuck It! I think I did a couple times. No, no I’m sure I did. But again, the Universe had other plans. Each time I wanted to smack a sibling, or yell, or beg mom to get up and move, because otherwise she wasn’t going to get better, I heard a tiny voice inside me whispering.

“Let go. Let go of that anger. Just love them. That’s all they need. That’s all you need.”

Okay, sometimes I had to go cry, or take deep breaths, or meditate, or all three, but I did it. I let go of the anger. I focused on the love. I held onto that compassion. My previous experience with that co-worker made an excellent practice ground.

You know what? It feels amazing. It’s fantastic, freeing and so very blissful. I know it sounds so freakin’ New Age fluffy bunny but when you let go of anger and just hold onto love, magic happens.

There is a calm that comes over you when you view negative actions through the lens of compassion. So often we react to perceived insults, but is that what was really meant? The truth is, when you see the other person’s motivation is pain and grief, it opens your heart.

It’s not easy. But it is worth it. The Universe is very forgiving.

She’ll give you plenty of opportunities to practice, and reward you generously when you succeed. Baby steps are better than no steps. The real trick is, don’t beat yourself up when you lapse back into thinking “That rotten bitch!” Stop. Breathe. Center yourself and remember something about that person that made you smile. Then, smile. Even if it’s only for a second. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels.

Try it. You have absolutely nothing to lose and so very much to gain.