Meditation Now!

IMG_3073

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.

Issaquah8

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.

Haunted Hiking Trails

SaltH20

I love hiking! Ok, so I don’t backpack into the back country. Yet anyway. But I am so fortunate that here in the Puget Sound I have access to so many different types of hiking trails to explore.

Being out in Nature forges a connection between you and the Earth that you just can’t get in the city. The energies of the water, the trees and the animals all combine in a way that can only be described as magical. It’s good for you on all levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

If you’re at all sensitive to these subtle energies, you very quickly realize that you aren’t the only one out there on the trail.

Hauntings don’t only happen in the city. The spirits and energies of the dead can be found anywhere people have been, even if no one lives there now. Haunted forests, trails, ghost towns are found around the world.

I know what you’re thinking. “I want to go to there.”

You can start here, with this article. It says it’s a list of most haunted hikes in every state, but a number of them are abandoned asylums or other facilities that appear to require more like a short walk from the street rather than a hike through some wilderness. But maybe that suits your hiking style – no judgement here! They all have suitably spooky histories attached. In my home state of Washington they list the Iron Goat Trail, site of an avalanche that caused two trains to derail. Now I know my next hiking trip.

So maybe you pick a spot from the list above, or maybe you google “Haunted Hiking Trails in California” (or Rhode Island, or  – you get the idea) and set off on your adventure. Here’s tip Number One.

Don’t build up a great big set of expectations. Don’t count on the fact that you’re going to see or feel all the stuff from the descriptions. Because that’s one of the best ways I know of to not experience the paranormal.

Yes, some people have big encounters – physical, audible, visual – that are stunning. And yes, some places are notorious for consistent encounters. You may very well be that lucky; and if you are I want to hear about it!

Typically though these energies are subtle, and you need to practice tuning in to them. We can all do it to a certain degree. But it does take a conscious effort. The following can help you refine your paranormal senses.

Quiet your mind. Easier said than done, right? Thoughts creep, flit and fly through our minds constantly, and often we are not consciously aware of them. Thoughts resist being stilled and will work doubly hard to get your attention; especially when you first start practicing. Meditation is an excellent teacher of quieting the mind. It’s a skill you want to work on every day, so that when you are out in the field, you already know what to do and how to achieve that quiet mind.

Open your senses. More than what you see, what do you hear? Is there a smell that doesn’t belong – pipe smoke in an otherwise empty cemetery? Perfume in an abandoned cabin? Avoid attaching a judgement or analysis to what you experience such as, “that must be the miner’s pipe” or “the wife must’ve worn that perfume.” Did you feel a touch on your hair? Or feel someone brush past you who isn’t there? Be aware of, notice everything going on around you.

Go beyond your physical senses. Do you feel an emotion that seems to well up from nowhere? Or a thought that pushes at you from outside your skull? Again, avoid judgements and simply experience it. Or – do you get a sense of rushing or prickling inside your skin, like energy moving from one spot to another?

Wait patiently. You must be willing to sit in a quiet space for some period of time. Spirits do not appear on schedule like a show. This isn’t Ghost Theater. Sit. Breathe. Quiet your mind. Open all your senses. What do you experience?

Hiking a haunted trail gives you a twofer. You can connect with the nature spirits AND commune with the departed. Even if the haunted area does not bring forth ghosts, you can still use all of the above to reach out and connect with Nature. Water, Earth and Sky spirits are all around you. Can you sense them and hear their messages?

Is there a downside?

What do you do if the spirits you connect with aren’t entirely friendly? If you’re going to embark on psychic adventures you should probably have some psychic defenses. Because not everything out there in the other dimensions wants to be your friend.

Read about steps you can take to protect yourself next.

BWSnowTrail

 

 

 

 

 

Life Lessons in Unexpected Places

I loved the movie Galaxy Quest.

 

.

I loved it in all its cheesy glory. I mean, we all know what it wasn’t, right? It wasn’t exquisite art or high drama. It wasn’t an Academy Award contender. It was quite unashamedly escapist entertainment.

Every cliche, every nod to some other sci-fi production, they all generated that warm fuzzy nostalgia. It was supposed to make you feel good, to laugh. But could there be something more hiding within?

Never give up, never surrender.

That’s been my mantra for the last few years. I finally got the surgery I needed for an on the job injury. So now I’m sitting at home with my left arm in a sling, off of work for a few months, and about to dive into what is sure to be an excruciating course of physical therapy. With voice to text and the WordPress app on my tablet I may never type again.

Quick word of advice. If you are about to have surgery on a joint like a shoulder or knee, take the pain meds. Take them around the clock. Don’t try and be a tough guy. Do what the doctor says, even set an alarm for the middle of the night. Trust me on this one.

But this was a fight every step of the way. Ultimately one I couldn’t fight all on my own, I had to hire an attorney. I did question myself all along. Was I doing the right thing? Why did I have to fight so hard for treatment that was so obviously necessary? Was there something I wasn’t seeing?

Sometimes life throws situations at us for a reason. Sometimes we are supposed to struggle because we are supposed to learn something.

There were lots of points where I could have walked away. And that is exactly what the companies opposing me wanted, because it would mean they didn’t have to spend money and fulfill their obligations. They worked very hard to try and convince me that my pain and my injury were not worthy of their consideration. They marginalized and minimized me.

Giving up would have meant a lifetime of pain and increasingly restricted physical abilities for me. That’s not high drama or exaggeration. After being injured my activity level, my ability to enjoy my hobbies gradually degraded. I went from being an active person who gardened and exercised to one who sat around most of the time. I gained weight. I became depressed. For the first time in my life I could not exercise or physical therapy my way out of an injury.

I did a lot of soul-searching and did a lot of meditation. I realized I had a choice. I could give up. I could walk away. That was certainly the easiest path at least in the short-term. At several points along the way my obstacles seemed almost insurmountable. My challenge, my lesson was to overcome those obstacles and take that harder path.

I refused to compromise on my quality of life. I fought for me because nobody else would. When I had exhausted all the options I could see I had to know when to ask for help. I won’t deny there was a certain gritty satisfaction in shoving all their marginalizing and minimalizing bullshit right back in their faces.

It was not an easy lesson. But it was a valuable one. It’s also one that is still evolving, but I am already stronger for it.

Never give up, never surrender. Not on yourself. Not on your dreams.

What have you had to fight for? When have you had to overcome insurmountable odds?

Weird Weekend – Reiki, Is It For Real?

Two years ago I completed my Reiki Master Teacher training.  Reiki has been a journey that has quite literally transformed my life.  I am a better person because of it; I view people with far more compassion, I am kinder to myself, and I have level of contentment that I had not thought possible.  Yeah, really, it’s that good.

In this post, I wrote about what Reiki is, but the bigger question people want to know is, does it really work?  Ask someone who’s had Reiki, and you’ll probably get an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’  The most commonly reported effect of Reiki is relaxation; which everyone needs more of!  Our western society today is one that is driven by stress…we speak of needing caffeine (to speed us up), deadlines, gym, angry customers or bosses, after school stuff for the kids, not to mention paying the bills, keeping a roof over our heads and, especially in today’s economy, getting and keeping a good job.  We go, go, go, nonstop from the moment we crawl out from under the covers bounce out of bed till we drop our heads back onto our pillows late at night.

This is not normal.  This is not healthy.  If you think differently, you’re fooling yourself.  The whole body needs to be cared for; not only the physical, but the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our life require tending and nurturing.  We all need ‘down time’ or ‘me time.’  That is, we all need time to recharge and re-energize ourselves; we need to de-stress, to relax and to connect with the divine within.  There are many, many paths to this, Reiki is only one.

But does it work?  This is what most people want to know before they shell out hard earned cash for someone to lay hands on and say that healing energy is channeled through them.  I mean, can you think of any more woo-woo statement than that?

So, can its effects be measured?  In this study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Reiki was found to improve outcomes in patients after a heart attack.  This article discusses how Reiki produced measurable physiologic changes associated with relaxation and stress reduction.  This last article is not Reiki focused, but discusses how distant healing techniques produced statistically significant improvement in outcomes for AIDS patients.

In case you don’t follow the links, I’ll let you know that these are not blog posts, or opinion pieces in popular literature.  These are clinical trials published in peer reviewed journals.  Do they “prove” Reiki works?  Absolutely and conclusively?  No.  Do they demonstrate that Reiki, and other complementary spiritual healing techniques are worthy of further study?  Unequivocally, yes.

Reiki is not a magic bullet, it is an adjunct therapy.  It does not ‘heal’ or ‘cure’ the recipient, but it is doing something to facilitate improved health in those who receive it.  For those who are looking for a gentle, non-drug alternative to increasing their well-being, Reiki is a sound choice.

Here’s hoping you find that which helps you heal.

I really love hearing from you!  Drop me a comment, tell me of your Reiki experiences, let me know what you think.

P.S.  All pictures are under copyright to me.  Please ask permission before use.  Thank you!

Wild Wednesday – Taming The Wild Garden

A gardener’s work is never done, but even if you let things slide you can still reclaim what you’ve neglected.  I certainly neglected a corner of my garden.  It looked awful; scruffy and overgrown with weeds and grass.

This is half-way tamed.

See how long and luxurious that grass is back behind my grape and trellis?  Now picture that grass spreading all the way across the rest of the picture, surrounding the grapes and filling in wherever there’s dirt.  That’s what I started with, this is about half-way done with getting rid of the grass and weeds.

Have you ever pulled out a thick carpet of healthy grass by hand?  It’s not easy, I definitely got my workout today!  But what to do with all that grass?

Wild Wednesday Chicken Tip:

You can feed your weeds to your chickens, as long as you haven’t used any pesticides or weedkiller around them.  Hub and I call it ‘giving them some chicken salad.’  Okay, maybe that’s only funny to us.  Anyway, chickens love dandelions and grass, luckily two things I have in abundance.  They best part is you don’t even have to knock all the dirt off the roots, they love to scratch through it for bugs!

Araucana chick playing queen of the hill.

It took me all day, but I managed to transform my cluttered, scruffy neglected garden corner into this:

I had stared at that corner for weeks thinking, I gotta do something about that, but wasn’t sure what.  Aside from the obvious need to remove the overgrown sea of grass, I wanted to make it a useable space, but I didn’t know what I wanted there.  I was dealing with other projects, and because I wasn’t ready to do anything with the raised bed in that part of the garden either, I just sort of shrugged my shoulders at it.

As I tugged on grass, sifted the rocks out of the dirt, and carried each and every one of those pavers, it occurred to me that gardening is good for a number of things.

It teaches me that it’s okay to prioritize things.  That corner could have grown quietly for another week or two if need be, and had gone to the wild side while I took care of more critical projects.  Did the heavens fall from my neglect?  Heavens no!  One of the best lessons I ever learned was that perfection is not necessary.  I learned to let go of the obsessive perfectionism of my youth, and it’s done wonders for my stress level.

It keeps me active and physically fit.

It gets me outside, closer to nature.  I’ve learned to appreciate the movements of the seasons, and it gives me a deep sense of spiritual satisfaction to take my garden through the yearly cycle.  Gardening is a very spiritual experience for me, the physical activity is fairly routine, and this frees my mind to practice certain meditative techniques.

I take time to appreciate the beauty surrounding me, and say a little prayer of gratitude.  Does that sound cheesy?  Take a few moments with the flowers in my garden and see if you still feel the same.

I’m kind of into purple and pink, and it shows in a lot of my flower choices.

Gardening also teaches me patience.  Somethings are really worth the wait, the time and the care you put into them.  Even if you don’t get immediate dividends, the waiting itself can be a positive experience.

For example, I started an asparagus bed.

That’s not very exciting at all, is it?  Asparagus is best started as a crown, every little mound there contains one of these little beauties:

Kind looks like one of those face-hugger beasties from Alien, doesn’t it?  I’m lucky to live in a place where asparagus will grow like a weed…once it’s established, which is the tricky part.  You can see I’ve dug down (well to be honest, loving Hub dug the bed for me) made little mounds and lovingly placed each crown on it’s own little pillow of dirt and compost.

Cover them up, water and watch them put up little spears, adding more dirt as they grow upwards until the whole bed is filled in at the end of summer.  I’ll watch them put up little spears, which will turn into little ferny things, waiting for the bed to establish itself.  During that time, I’ll still have to maintain them, keeping their bed weed-free and watered.  I’ll do this for the next three years, only then can I enjoy my delicious, home-grown asparagus.  No, that’s not a typo…three years until I can harvest.  Once that bed is established though, it will produce for up to 30 years.  It’s a good thing Hub and I love asparagus, huh?

One of the best things my garden has taught me, is the value of delayed gratification.  It’s helped me develop my patience and, as odd as it sounds, an appreciation for waiting.  Think about that.  We all spend, or waste, time waiting…in line, at a stoplight.  Do you spend your time building your irritation, and focusing on how tense you are?  What if instead you gave yourself permission to let go of your anger and frustration?  Give yourself permission to take one or two deep breaths, and relax.  Focus on something you’re grateful for…your kids, your husband, your dog, your health, the list goes on, instead of concentrating on how angry you are to be sitting in traffic.

Try this a few times and see if it doesn’t put you in a better frame of mind.  I’m really curious to hear how it works for you!  Please drop me a comment and tell me if you found sitting at stoplights or standing in line a little more bearable if you take a few seconds to breathe, and relax.

Energetic Cleansing For Anyone

Do you ever feel just worn down?  Maybe it’s been a really stressful day, maybe you’ve been running around like your hair is on fire, chasing after kids or pets or errant employees.  Have you been sitting in a cubicle staring at a screen for hours on end?  It may be more than just physical or mental exertion wearing at you.

Is this how you feel at the end of the day?

As an energy worker and healer, I am especially sensitive to the emotional and energetic auras of the people surrounding me.  As a healthcare worker, and a natural empath, I feel an almost constant drag on my own energetic resources when I’m at my ‘day job’, and take extra steps to protect myself from being drained.  But by the end of the day, I usually find that I’m at a pretty low ebb, and it’s not entirely due to being on my feet for most of my work day.  I’ve developed a quick and easy energetic cleansing method to help remove any negative, or heavy energies that may be clinging to my own aura and energy field.

Negative energies?  What’s that mean?

Even if you don’t buy into the whole metaphysical and paranormal aspect of what I’m talking about, I’m sure you can all relate to these scenarios:

The co-worker who can suck all the life out of the room, just by walking into it; this person makes you cringe, internally at least, as soon you spot him because you know he’s going have something to complain about.  He’ll tell you how a work task went wrong and it’s not his fault, or just how generally terrible his life is.

The acquaintance who always has the disease du jour, and can’t wait to tell you every excruciating detail of her symptom progression.

That other acquaintance that dumps every emotional upheaval on you, cries on your shoulder, and is always in crisis.  But then has no time for you when you need to vent.

Have you ever noticed that after an encounter with one of these people, you suddenly feel less spring in your step?  That you feel, well, drained after being around them?  It’s not your imagination, they are sucking off your energy, and this is what’s making you feel so low.

The good news is, you can help yourself feel better, and you can do this very easily.  All you have to do is take a shower, something I’ll bet you do every day.

No need to stand under one of these, although it does feel amazing.

Really?  That’s all there is to it?

Not entirely.  For those not metaphysically minded, I’d be curious if you tried this experiment, and how it goes for you.  Stand in your running shower and still your mind.  If you need to hold some sort of image in your head, try for a clear running stream, or waves crashing on the beach, or you can just try for soothing blankness.  The idea is to still your mind, and halt the thousand odd thoughts jamming through it, just for a few moments.  If worries about paying the phone bill, or helping the kids with their homework intrude, just sort of gently push them away, and return to that stillness.  Take six deep breaths.  Try and imagine the air, packed full of relaxation, filling your lungs from bottom to top.  Count to four, slowly on each inhale, then exhale out for another count of four and imagine letting go of all your stress and tension.

Six slow breaths, while keeping your mind still and focusing on breathing calm in and stress out.  Does that really work?  Try it, and you tell me.  But if you want some science behind it to satisfy your left brain, then here it is:  Running water produces negative ions; a negative ion is an electrically charged particle, floating around in the air.  Natural settings, beaches, running streams, waterfalls are full to brimming with these negative ions, while indoor and city setting may have levels in just the hundreds or even zero.  Negative ions have been shown, in multiple studies, to have positive effects on human cognition and emotions.  When you breathe in during your shower, you breathe in these negative ions.  Once they hit your bloodstream they trigger the release of serotonin, the feel-good, mood elevating neurotransmitter.  Thank you, WebMD.  Now, you can go buy a fancy, spendy negative ion emitter, or use the free one you already have in your home shower.

An ideal negative ion generator

I’m going to move on to the metaphysical and paranormal aspects of energy cleansing now, so I’ll say goodbye to the strict left-brainers and thanks for stopping by!

A clean energy field leads to a happier, more balanced you!  We all know the energetic vampires of our acquaintance, and if you’re actively engaged in energy work, spiritual healing, mediumistic or other paranormal activity, keeping your aura clear is of paramount importance.  Bits of psychic detritus will be attracted to you and cling, just as you go about your daily life, even when you’re not doing psychic work.  Humans, both living and dead can and do attach lines to your energy field and will drain you.  Many spiritual traditions draw a direct linkage between energy drainage and physical sickness, so it is important to cleanse yourself of these energetic attachments to maintain your overall health.

Removing these attachments requires your focused intention.  It’s not enough to just jump in and rinse off, if you have significant attachments that have burrowed deeply into your aura or physical body then they will need a little boost to get them to release.  The other thing to remember is this; on some level you have given permission for this attachment to form, it could not attach otherwise.  This happens on a conscious as well as unconscious level.  When we share our feelings, when we empathize with another, when we give an ear to a friend, we help shoulder a little of their burden, we lighten their load temporarily, but we are not obligated to bear it indefinitely.  So while you do, on some level, give permission for attachments to form, you can also withdraw that permission, and that is key to energetic cleansing.

Focus your will and attention.

Before I begin my energetic cleanse, I take a moment to ground and center myself, and take the cleansing breaths I described above.  I bring my full attention into my body and aura, and let outside cares drop out of my mind; this moment is wholly for me and my health.  I take the time to reconnect with my body by focusing on every part, from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head; I let my attention ‘look’ at every part.  I also let myself feel every sore spot, ache and pain, relaxing the grip I have held on suppressing these sensations through the day.  I take full ownership of my body; it’s joys and pains.  Then I direct my attention outward to my aura; I’ll even put out my hands to feel it’s gentle curvature as it surrounds me, and feel for any rough spots.

Once I am fully connected to my body and aura, I then state my intention, I use this phrase:  “I completely remove from my being any and all attachments that do not contribute to my highest healing good.”  I hold this intention firmly in my head, and let the water cascade over me completely; ducking under the showerhead is a great idea, but you can also pass your hands over your head and face if you don’t want to get your hair wet.  I visualize the water removing every piece of heavy energy; everywhere the water goes it removes those attachments.  I hold this image, along with my intention for several breaths, imagining a curtain, or veil, travelling down from crown to feet, washing away that heavy energy.  You’ll feel it when that last bit washes away.

Next, if I sensed any gaps in my aura, I’ll seal and smooth those over with a little Reiki.  I like to hold one hand over my heart chakra and the other over the gap while I’m offering the Reiki.  I take a few last moments to visualize all the attachments being carried down the drain by the water, holding my intention of release until they disappear.  By the time I step out, I feel like a new woman!  Little aches and pains are usually swept away and I feel renewed and energized.

Remember these key points:

Hold that intention!  If your attention wanders and you begin to fret about the day you had, or the one still to come, you are not cleansing.  Refocus your attention back to yourself and repeat your intention:  release those attachments!

It may take some practice get the feel of holding your intention and focusing your attention.  Give yourself permission to make mistakes, this is how you learn; just remember to keep trying and it will get easier.

Breathe deeply!  Move that air and circulate those negative ions, get as many into your bloodstream as you can.

Take a moment to really feel yourself free of that heavy energy, notice how much better, how much lighter you feel.  When you step out, clear your mind and ‘check in’ with your body and your aura, feel it completely whole and shining.  Tell yourself this is your body’s natural state!

I find that this exercise, used daily, highly beneficial.  My psychic senses are clearer and my stress levels greatly reduced.  If I’ve had a hard day on the job, and just want to turn in to a slug, this cleansing will restore me.  But don’t take it from me, try it yourself; I’d really love to hear how it works for you.  Drop me a note and tell me how you felt before and after.  Try it for a few days, then hold off for a few, and see if you notice a difference.

Waves and beaches are natural energizers

Reiki, Reiki, No More Achy!

Image

I need to say a little bit now about Reiki, because it really has transformed my life.  Reiki is amazing, Reiki is healing, and Reiki is simple.  About 4 or 5 years ago I took a class in Reiki, and received my level 1 attunement.  It was truly a life-changer, but I didn’t know that at the time.  Last year I completed my Master/Teacher training; Reiki is something I’m still discovering.

What is Reiki?  You can find it defined all over the web as ‘universal life energy’ or ‘life force energy’.  It is a form of spiritual energy healing, or you can think of it as a very intensely focused prayer.  Reiki energy is said to flow through the practitioner and into the recipient.  Reiki can promote healing on 4 levels:  emotional, spiritual, physical and mental.  Practitioners and clients both claim to have experienced various physical sensations during a treatment, including; heat, light, cold, pain relief, nausea relief, muscle relaxation as well as energetic flows, emotional releases, a sense of deep peace and stress release.

Reiki is generally thought to be energy, universally accessible to all, channeled through a practitioner to a recipient.  There is some question as to whether a formal Reiki attunement is necessary to be able to channel Reiki.  The practitioner does not generate Reiki from within; rather she acts as a channel for the energy to move through her to the recipient.  Reiki is offered, not given or otherwise imposed onto another; acceptance of Reiki and its potential to heal is strictly at the choice of the recipient.

Image

I’ve used Reiki personally to control chronic pain, offered it to friends who were suffering the same, to spirits to help them cross to the other side, and to animals that were distressed or in pain.  I’ve felt its effects personally, heard them echoed by the people who’ve received it, and watched animals visibly relax, even fall asleep, under its influence.

More than the immediate pain relief or relaxation, Reiki provides me with deep, personal satisfaction, and an abiding sense of peace.  I use Reiki every day, and over the years I’ve found my attitudes changing on certain issues.  I find that things that used to irritate me before:  too long a line at the grocery store, whining, crying kids, or petty, mean spirited people, now I find it much easier to step back, and see people and situations with greater compassion.  I stress less about the little things, and the bigger things too.  I used to be a hardcore conservative and now I’m a complete lefty liberal.  Go figure.

Image

Reiki encourages it practitioners:

At least for today:

Do not be angry,

Do not worry,

Be grateful,

Work with diligence,

Be kind to people.

I am very far from perfect when it comes to accomplishing all of these every day, but I try, every day.  I am constantly astonished at how very good it feels.

Have you ever had a Reiki session?  Are you a Reiki practitioner?  Let me know what your experiences with energetic healing have been!

Image

All pictures in this post are taken by and under copyright to ME!  Please ask permission.

A Psycho What?

 

Psychopomps deal with the dead.  With death.

Dying.

Whether we want to admit it or not, each of us is fascinated with death.  Death touches us all.  Whether it’s the horror of our younger self upon discovering our first expired little gold fishy or the screaming, tearing, aching loss of a beloved.  The kind of loss that makes you long for death too.  Yeah, you know that one, don’t you?

Some of us are obsessed with our own death:  denying, avoiding it, welcoming it, and embracing it.

Religions of the world comfort or terrorize us with their versions of the afterlife.  Teenagers are constantly on the brink of expiring, as in:

“But if you don’t let me go to the mall with my friends I’ll just die!”

At some point, everyone has (or will) truly wanted to die.

Clinically, death is defined as the permanent cessation of all vital bodily functions.  Thank you MedicineNet.com.

Does that mean we just stop, cease to exist?  Is it truly just like flicking the proverbial light switch?  ON:  you’re there.  OFF:  blankness, nothingness.  If all you’re considering is the physical body, then the answer is yes.

But what about that vital part that is you; the part that dreams and thinks, talks and loves?  Your mind, your personality, your soul?  According to all the spirits I’ve spoken with, physical death of the body is only one transition of many.

I’ve been in ICU’s; I’ve seen death firsthand.  I’ve held my beloved animal companions as the pink juice entered their veins and eased their final pains.  I’ve also killed animals to make food.

I’ve watched spirits cross the veil and shine brighter than the sun with the joy of finally going home.  When they turn back to smile and wave at you in thanks, it feels like being swept up in a loving, grateful hug and the very atmosphere sparkles and vibrates.

I can tell you this; that vital spark that is you, your essence, your soul, is eternal.  The part that is ‘you’ will continue to exist when the body that currently carries it is nothing but drifting dust motes.

In that sense, we do not die.  We only use a body for a while to experience the physical plane.

Think of a body like a car.  Maybe you’ve a pretty good one right now; sweet, fast and oh so pretty to play with.  But as the years go by things break down and that glossy paint job starts to oxidize.  Eventually, you’re going to want to trade it in for another, maybe an SUV this time instead of sports car.  Before you know it, you’ve forgotten all about that old junker and are busy playing in your shiny new SUV.

Yes, I mean reincarnation.

What about god, heaven, hell or the Bible, Koran or Torah?  Of the three, I’ve only completely read the first and someday I’m sure I’ll go into my opinions and experiences with religion.  Right now though, I’ll say; religion is a great comfort and spiritual fulfillment for many and I fully respect that.  So if Jesus and his camp, or Mohammed speak to you and satisfy you, then rock on!  I celebrate with you!

Are you Buddhist?  Do you resonate with Native American beliefs?

Everyone should experience the numinous.  Really, everyone.  The world would be a better place if all humans would take the time to allow the divine to shine in their soul.  It is our birthright.  The instant that light illuminates you, it changes you.

To know the spark of the divine within you makes it nearly impossible to look at another human being as anything other than your brother or sister.  It  gives you the compassion to look on other beings and see past their negative actions to the core divinity we all possess.

Psychopomp, from the Greek psychopompos literally means ‘guide of souls.’  A psychopomp is one who guides spirits to the afterlife, whatever that might be for the spirit.  Psychopomps can be non-bodied, purely spiritual entities or flesh and blood physical creatures.  Like me.

I didn’t know I was a psychopomp until a few years ago, had never heard the term, even though seeing and talking to ghosts became quite common.  I did notice though, where I had regular contact with a resident spirit, they would eventually ‘move on’ and I would no longer be able to sense the being.

My old lady friend in my parent’s house moved on sometime in my early twenties.

What makes me a psychopomp?  My friend and teacher says it’s in my energy signature, it’s easier for disembodied beings to ‘see’ me.  I’m sort of like a lit-up sign in the astral plane.

Once they find me, I point them toward the veil and call their loved ones on the other side to come and help them cross.

It really is very cool.

I get asked ‘aren’t you afraid?’ a lot.  It’s true from time to time I encounter beings who are doing their best to be big and scary, but typically my answer is, no.  Ghosts, spirits are still people, still related to me on the most fundamental level.  The beings that I help cross are often themselves scared or frustrated, lonely or confused.  It’s a joyful and beautiful thing to watch that fear and confusion drop away, revealing their true self as they cross.

Everyday Ghosts

A shade was hanging out in the corner of the elevator, looming and angry.  It was a short ride up from the parking garage and before I could get a good look, the doors opened on my floor.  A couple waited for me to exit, so I bid the hovering spirit so long.  I knew I’d see that ghost again; he was filled with pain and longing.

His name was Steve.  I saw him several times in an underground parking structure and the elevator.  He was always dripping wet, cold and shivering; sodden hair that looked black streamed down his thin, narrow face that held equally dark and suspicious eyes.  It took me a little while to get to know Steve.  He didn’t entirely comprehend that I was actually talking to him and that I could see him.  He’d been ignored or run from for some time and his thoughts were angry, frustrated and mistrustful.

When he did talk it was with a sullen, depressed air; he’d tell me he drowned in the nearby canal which didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  No one swims in it; it’s kind of a nasty place with lots of big ships passing through.  This spirit was reluctant to talk about the cause of his own demise because whenever I’d try to get longer conversations going his energy would get prickly and irritating, right before he disappeared.  Then one day I saw him standing in a dark corner across from my truck.

“Hey there.”  I said, cautiously.  He hadn’t yet told me his name.  He grabbed anxiously at his left elbow, a reflexive tic and glanced furtively side-to-side.

“Hi.”  It no longer held a sullen tone, but was still cautious.  “You really can see me.  No one else can.  It’s weird.”

I shrugged.

“It’s sort of what I do.”  I said.

“I can tell some people know I’m around, but it scares them, and they don’t ever look at me or talk to me.  Sometimes they jump.”  That brought on a tiny, spiteful smile.

“That must be pretty frustrating, all these people around and no one wants to be near you.”  He just nodded, now looking hurt.

I am pretty straightforward with the dead, because there’s just no way to soft-pedal it.

“Look, you do know you’re dead, right?”

His dark eyes locked on mine, and I could tell he wanted to deny it, but it would only be a half-hearted lie.

“Yeah, I drowned.”  Instead of trying to get out of him what he was doing in the canal, I just nodded.

“Okay, but are you getting tired of hanging out in this parking garage?”

“I can’t leave.”  He said it with definite finality.  “I’m stuck here.”

I laughed.  “No, you’re not stuck at all.  You just think you are.  Would you like to get unstuck?”  He frowned at me, disbelief once more crawling across his features.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, do you want to go home, get out of here and go join your loved ones?”

“You mean like, Heaven?”

“Sure, if you like.”

“I can’t, I don’t deserve that and I’m afraid if I leave this garage of where I’ll end up.  This kind of sucks, but it beats frying for eternity.”

At this point, he was still across the driveway from me.  I took a moment to consult with my spirit guides and call them in for assistance.  I felt their loving presence surround me and support me.  I then invited the spirit to come closer, to join me in the car.

“It’ll make it easier to talk and I have to get on the road before traffic hits.  You can ride along with me, and decide if you want to cross the veil or not.”

He blinked once or twice and blinked out.  I felt the familiar astral wind of a passing spirit and then a ghost was seated next to me in my car.  This close I could see the drops of water beaded on his face.

“Do you want to tell me your name yet?”

“Why aren’t you afraid of me?”  He was almost indignant.  “If a ghost had talked to me, or jumped into my car I’d’ve freaked the shit out.”

I started the ignition and turned to face him.

“Because you’re not the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.  You just look lost and lonely and like you could use someone to talk to, so I’m offering to talk, but I’m driving out now.  You can come along or not, it’s your choice.”

His head cocked but his attitude changed.  He didn’t smile, but his energy lightened and he warmed up to me.  I drove out of the garage and he looked around.

“Wow!”  Yeah, he really said that.  “I forgot what the sun looked like.”  He was quiet for a few seconds, watching the play of sunlight on clouds and water passing beyond the window of the car.

“Steve.  My name is Steve.”  We were pulling around the corner and up onto the riser of the bridge crossing the canal. It’s quite tall and famous for it’s suicides.  An image formed in my head, of climbing the rail, looking down and the sickly sensation of plummeting.  A few moments later, Steve confirmed he was one of its many victims.

“Never thought I’d see this view again.”  He said it conversationally, almost lightly but I could hear the strain in his voice.

“You jumped?”  It wasn’t exactly a question.

“You know, I really thought the impact would have killed me.  It’s so high!  I was so high.  It kinda sucked, the drowning part.  I hadn’t thought about that.”

“Why’d you do it?  What was so horrible in your life that you thought ending it would solve it?”

Now he turned angry eyes on me again.

“I was a bad person, okay!  I stole from people, I did drugs, and I hurt people.  I hurt my family.”  The last was a mutter and he went quiet, jaw set.  Steve never did tell me why, but that’s his prerogative.

Talking with a ghost isn’t like a having a conversation with your BFF.  They don’t always use words.  Instead they will often project an image, a sensory feeling or an emotion.  He didn’t so much tell me what he’d done as show me.  He was right; he really wasn’t a very nice guy in life.  However, escaping the body means escaping the worries and hang ups of mortal life.  Trouble is, some people don’t let go after they die and that can keep them earthbound.

He rode silently for the rest of the drive, fading in and out, but by the time I got home he was still around, perched on the passenger seat.  Steve followed me into the house, looking around, amazed to be out of the underground garage.

“How’d you get me out of there?”

“You got yourself out.  I just reminded you that you could.”

I went into my meditation space and looked at Steve.  He was prowling around the room, looking out the windows and peering at my knickknacks.  He didn’t seem to notice my spirit guides standing near me at first.  With one exception, my animal spirit guardian, a large black dog who paced to always position himself between Steve and myself.

“I don’t think your dog likes me much.”  He was back to semi-hostile.

“He’s just doing his job and he is kind of protective.  He won’t hurt you though as long as you’re not trying to hurt me or mine.”  I projected trust and confidence with my next words.  “I’m sure you’re not thinking anything of the sort, right?”

Steve relaxed fractionally and became curious.

“What am I doing here, anyway?”

I lifted my hands in a shrug.

“Whatever you want to do.  It’s your choice.  You can wander around this neighborhood, you can go back to the garage or you can go home by crossing the veil.”

I asked my guides to bring the veil in close and to call in Steve’s loved ones, family that had already passed, spirit guides and guardian angels, to come and assist him across and home.

He didn’t want to go.  He saw it and the angels there to help him and kind of freaked.  Still fearful of wrathful deities because he’d done bad things in life, he backed away from crossing.

I asked my guides to pull the veil back and calmed Steve down.

“I’m sorry, it wasn’t my intention to frighten you.”  I told him.  “Relax; you’re perfectly safe here.  Nothing’s going to harm you, I promise.”  I did my best to project soothing thoughts but Steve was not listening.

Frightened, he disappeared but was back the next day.

“What’s ‘crossing the veil’ and did I really see an angel?”

We had a little chat about what he had seen; that he didn’t have anything to fear and that his loved ones truly were waiting for him on the other side.  No punishment, no judgment, just welcome home.  It took him several days, but eventually he chose to go and join those waiting for him.  He passed through the veil, waving to me and wearing a smile bright as the sun.  A day or two later he came back to say thank you.