What exactly is intuition?in·tu·i·tion
- The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
- A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.
I bet you can think of countless times you've experienced this type of feeling. That time you drove a different route than usual because it felt right going that way instead. Or the new friend you knew you would become close with. It could even be as simple as ordering an item from a menu instead of another because you felt it would taste best. It's useful to exercise our intuition because it helps us to trust it. We've all most likely experienced the positive outcome as well as negative. Remember those times you kicked yourself because you didn't follow your gut? Intuition plays a bigger part in our lives than we give it credit for.
Life doesn't need to be as hard as it is so why not
exercise our own inner navigational system and make life simpler?A fun and easy way to begin to exercise your intuition is with cards. These can be playing cards, tarot cards, oracle cards or you can even make your own cards and draw images or numbers on them.Let's say you grab a deck of playing cards. Take a few deep breaths, quiet your mind and be conscious of your center.
Shuffle the cards and draw a few out of the deck laying them face down. There are no rules to this, you make them up as you go and do what feels comfortable. For example, you could look at one of the cards or hold one and focus on it. What impressions do you sense? Some easy questions to ask yourself are: is it black or red? is it a heart? is it a high number card or a lower one? Then turn it over. Don't get discouraged if your guess is way off. Pay attention to what sensations you experience when you
do guess right. Everyone has strengths in different areas so while some might close their eyes and see colors or symbols, someone else might hear answers or feel temperature sensations. Remember that you can do this with others too. Get creative and have fun!
Native people throughout the world use herbs to accomplish this. One common ceremony is to burn certain herbs, take the smoke in one's hands and rub or brush it over the body. Today this is commonly called "smudging." In Western North America the three plants most frequently used in smudging are sage, cedar, and sweetgrass.Sage
There are many varieties of sage, and most have been used in smudging. The botanical name for "true" sage is Salvia (e.g. Salvia officinalis
, Garden Sage, or Salvia apiana, White Sage). It is interesting to note that Salvia comes from the Latin root salvare, which means "to heal." There are also varieties of sage which are of a species separate from Salvin Artemusia. Included here are sagebrush (e.g. Artemisia californica
) and mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris
). We have seen both Salvia and Artemisia sub-species used in smudging.
Sage is burned in smudging ceremonies to drive out bad spirits, feelings, or influences, and also to keep bad spirits from entering the area where a ceremony takes place. In Plains nations, the floor of the sweat lodge is frequently covered with sage, and participants rub the leaves on their bodies while in the sweat. Sage is also commonly spread on the ground in a lodge or on an altar where the pipe touches the earth. Some nations wrap their pipes in sage when they are placed in pipe-bundles, as sage purifies objects wrapped in it. Sage wreaths are also placed around the head and wrists of Sundancers.Cedar
There is some potential confusion here about the terms used to name plants, mainly because in some areas, junipers are known as "cedar" - as in the case of Desert White Cedar (Juniperus monosperina
). This doesn't mean that J. monosperina
wasn't used as a cleansing herb, though; in the Eastern U.S., its relative, Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginia
), was used ceremonially. However, in the smudging ceremonies we have seen or conducted ourselves, Western Red Cedar (Thuja occidentalis
) and California Cedar Incense (Libocedrus descurrens
) were used ... not varieties of juniper.
Cedar is burned while praying either aloud or silently. The prayers rise on the cedar smoke and are carried to the Creator. Cedar is also spread along with sage on the floor of the sweat lodges of some tribes. Cedar branches are brushed in the air to cleanse a home during the House Blessing Ceremony of many Northwest Indian nations. In the Pacific Northwest, the people burn cedar for purification in much the same way as sage - it drives out negative energy; but it also brings in good influences. The spirit of cedar is considered very ancient and wise by Pacific Northwest tribes, and old, downed cedar trees are honored with offerings and prayers.Sweetgrass
One of the most sacred plants for the Plains Indians, sweetgrass is a tall wild grass with a reddish bas and perfume-like, musty odor. It grows mainly on the eastern side of the Rockies in Montana and adjacent Alberta, Canada. It also shows up in some small areas of Wyoming and South Dakota. Its botanical name is Hierochloe odorata
. Some common names for it are Seneca grass, holy grass and vanilla grass. We have been told that a variety of vanilla grass grows in North Central California. But, how similar it is to the Plains variety we don't know.
On the Plains, sweetgrass is usually braided together in bunches as a person's hair is braided, although friends have said they have seen it simply bunched and wrapped in cloth. Either way, it is usually burned by shaving little bits over hot coals or lighting the end and waving it around, letting the smoke spread through the air. This latter method is how we were taught to burn sweetgrass in the sweat lodge - allowing the purifying smoke to get to all parts of the lodge.
We were taught that it was good to burn sweetgrass after the sage or cedar had driven out the bad influences. Sweetgrass brings in the good spirits and the good influences. As with cedar, burning sweetgrass while praying sends prayers up to the Creator in the smoke. High Hollow Horn says in the The Sacred Pipe
"This smoke from the sweetgrass will rise up to you, and will spread throughout the universe. Its fragrance will be known by the wingeds, the four-leggeds, and the two leggeds, for we understand that we are all relatives; may all our brothers be tame and not fear us!" Sweetgrass is also put in pipe bundles and medicine bundles along with sage to purify and protect sacred objects.
Sweetgrass is very rare today, its territory severely cut by development, cattle-grazing, and wheat fields - and tradition Indians in the northern Plains are trying to protect the last remaining fields. The best way for most folks to get sweetgrass is to buy it at Native American retail outlets. This gives support to Indians who can help the fields from being depleted. Smudging
To do a smudging ceremony, burn the clippings of these herbs (dried), rub your hands in the smoke, and then gather the smoke and bring it into your body, or - rub it onto yourself; especially onto any area you feel needs spiritual healing. Keep praying all the while that the unseen powers of the plant will cleanse your spirit. Sometimes, one person will smudge another, or a group of people, using hands - or more often a feather - to lightly brush the smoke over the other person(s). We were taught to look for dark spots in a person's spirit-body. As one California Indian woman told us, she "sees" a person's spirit-body glowing around them, and where there are "dark or foggy parts," she brushes the smoke into these "holes in their spirit-body." This helps to heal the spirit and to "close up" these holes.
Recently we did a "light" house cleansing for a friend. We use the term "light", for this is a relatively simple ceremony as opposed to some that are more lengthy and complicated. Our friend had some serious emotional and relationship problems, and he felt they had left a heavy and dark atmosphere. First, we prayed together to the Creator and to the spirits for help. We then, burned sage, purified ourselves, and took the sage to all the corners, closets, and rooms of the house. We pushed the smoke with our hands to cleanse every bit of space - lingering over dark or cold spots that "felt" uncomfortable.
We used sage first in order to drive out the bad influences. Then we purified ourselves with cedar and, then repeated the cleansing process throughout the house with that. Then sweetgrass was used in the same manner to bring in good influences. All the time we prayed for help in this cleansing. Finally, we took a candle over the whole house and pushed its light into every corner. The People of the Pacific Northwest Coast taught this "lighting-up" of a house to us. We've been doing this type of house cleansing for ten years, and it never fails to "clear the air."
One more note about smudging. It is very popular among many novices to use abalone shells in smudging. There are many Native elders who are pleased to see so many new folds smudging themselves, but - some are concerned that abalone shells are being used when burning the herbs. On the Pacific Northwest Coast, for example, some holy men have said that abalone shells represent Grandmother Ocean, and that they should be used in ceremonies with water, not burning.
We know enough Native elders in the Northwest, the Plains, and California who don't use abalone shells - but instead clay or stone bowls - that we don't personally feel comfortable using a shell.
In any case, smudging is a ceremony that must be done with care. We are entering into a relationship with the unseen powers of these plants, and with the spirits of the ceremony. As with all good relationships, there has to be respect and honor if the relationship is to work. --Adrienne Borden is of Chippewa heritage, and Steve Coyote is of Cheyenne background. For original location of article - Click Here
Our Native elders have taught us that before a person can be healed or heal another, one must be cleansed of any bad feelings, negative thoughts, bad spirits or negative energy - cleansed both physically and spiritually. This helps the healing to come through in a clear way, without being distorted or sidetracked by negative "stuff" in either the healer or the client. The elders say that all ceremonies, tribal or private, must be entered into with a good heart so that we can pray, sing, and walk in a sacred manner, and be helped by the spirits to enter the sacred realm.
I found this article
awhile back and had to share. For some, Reiki can be a bit hard to wrap the mind around. I think Keith did a great job of tackling the explanation of distant Reiki. I also really enjoyed his book Touching the Light
, he's pretty awesome :)The Effectiveness of Distant Reiki by Keith Zang
Reiki is a form of energetic hands-on healing that originated in Japan. Most people know and understand Reiki as an “in-person” form of treatment, treating everything from stress to helping to speed healing after surgery. It is increasingly being utilized in hospitals throughout the world and Reiki volunteer programs are becoming recognized as viable accompaniment programs with traditional western therapies. But what many people don’t realize or have much faith in is the ability of Reiki practitioners to send Reiki energy to anyone, anywhere in the world and get great results doing so.
Reiki is considered a spiritual form of energy, but physical, tangible energy nonetheless. In our scientific society we are just now beginning to understand Reiki as a more detectable form of life force based energy, and not so much as some sort of intangible, etheric or “magical” energy. Before radio or television, to talk about such things and possibilities would have been considered impossible, fanciful, or even considered witches magic. But as the understanding of radio and television waves became understood, it soon lost all of those qualities and became firmly rooted into scientific fact. I believe that this also will begin to happen with Reiki energy. As we develop machines sensitive enough or in tune to measure and quantify it, it will lose a lot of its mystery and become firmly rooted in western and eastern medicine.
As radio and television waves can be sent over distances, so can Reiki. There is a bit of a difference with the Reiki energy, as it is more spiritually guided, and the senders and receivers are often human. But Reiki can also be used within the traditional animal-vegetable-mineral kingdoms as well as used in the spiritual realms to help lower vibrational energies achieve higher vibrational status. But for the sake of this article, I am going to concentrate on the sending and receiving from humans to humans.
Most of the evidence that exists for distance Reiki is anecdotal, but does have merit. I have been doing distance Reiki since 1998 and have done over 1000 distance sessions, many professionally. Often times I don’t know anything about the person I am working with other than their name and their location on the planet. I try to keep it that way so that I am working with a clean slate, and no preconceived notions. Mutual times are arranged usually via e-mail or phone. At that time the receiver of the Reiki energies will find a comfortable place to relax, put on some soothing music, and perhaps have subdued lighting and candles. I have found this to be the most receptive state where much can be accomplished. Then a half hour or hour is spent sending the recipient Reiki energies, just as if I was there with them. The session is done just as an in-person session would be completed, starting at the top of the head and working down to the feet on both sides of the body. Sometimes a surrogate may be used such as a human shaped doll. Envisioning the person shrunk down to smaller than normal size but in front of me is also effective. Either way can work but it is recommended for anyone starting out to use a surrogate. Any stuffed animal that has 2 arms and legs, torso and head will work fine.
The responses received after finishing the session and the subsequent writings or discussion with the client over the phone are varied and often times extremely positive. There have been many occasions when the recipient felt as if I was right next to them doing the session in person. They could feel my hands on their body, extremely warm and healing. This happens when a good connection is established with someone, and I am clearly able to discern the areas of the body that need balancing and healing. Others feel sensations such as warmth or coolness, see colors, feel light or heavy, or simply fall asleep. Sometimes after only one session the recipient feels much better and after several days of the body continuing to heal itself, the chief complaint is gone, and balance has been restored, alleviating the condition. Often times, though, several sessions may be needed to allow the body continued exposure to the energies to affect complete healing.
Throughout the many sessions that have been done, I have received feedback about complete healing of chronic back pain, old traumas, speed of healing after surgeries, deep, undisturbed sleep, relief from chronic pain, relief from side effects of chemotherapy treatments, and many other maladies. I believe that there is nothing that Reiki can’t help. As it is spiritually guided life force energy, it is boundless energy, able to help mankind with any physical, emotional, or spiritual illness. Reiki allows the practitioner to be the conduit of the energy to send it to the recipient, so that the awesome healing potential of the human body can be realized. When energy blockages are removed, and powerful Reiki energies are applied, the body can heal itself of anything. This is one reason why it works so well as an accompaniment to western medical therapies. Integration of both methods creates a very powerful healing environment.
Distance Reiki can be utilized by anyone that has received their Reiki 1 attunement. Some people believe that it is only possible after a Reiki 2 attunement, but I have found with many of the students I have taught, that they are very willing and able to send Reiki via distance at any point in their development. As with any other skill, the more it is utilized, the better the practitioner will become. Skills such as medical intuitiveness will come quickly to most that practice on a regular basis, especially with people whose conditions are unknown to them. The key is to relax, let the energy flow, and trust what you are feeling and seeing. After a number of sessions are completed, the practitioner will begin to feel different areas of dis-ease within the recipient’s body, and will begin to recognize the areas that need work the most. For some, this intuitiveness will be developed to fully scan and instantly know the areas that need the most attention just as the practitioner/recipient connection has been made.
Time and distance are no longer a factor to help others with their healing. With distance Reiki, wonderful results can be attained. It can be done anywhere, and at any time. Mutual times do not need to be set up, but it is important to get permission from the person either verbally, or through their higher spiritual self before sending the Reiki energies. Practice is the key. The more it is practiced, the better the practitioner will become as their talents develop. Intuitive listening and trusting is a key part of the distance session. Also, as with in person sessions, distance sessions can deplete your energies. Replacing those energies is also important for longevity and health of the practitioner. Meditation and exercise can help replace those energies so that more distance work can be accomplished with maximum efficiency. If you are a Reiki practitioner, trust your abilities as you trust in the source of those energies. The creator has given mankind this gift for unlimited healing, no matter what the physical distance between the practitioner and the recipient.
Keith Zang, MME, BSEH, RHt is owner of the Moonglow Retreat Center near Olympia, WA. with his wife Enny and two beautiful children Luna and Mesa. To contact please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
For some the word "meditation" invokes many thoughts.
I can't. It's too hard. I don't have enough time. I can't relax right now. I don't know how. I'll do it tomorrow. Maybe later. I don't want to. I have way too many thoughts running through my head.
Meditation is simply relaxing with you eyes closed while trying to quiet your thoughts. That's the easiest description I have. There is no certain amount of time that a meditation has to be. There is no certain place you have to be in or position. If you closed your eyes right now and pictured yourself on a sunny beach and concentrated on hearing the waves crash for two minutes, that would qualify as meditation.
Meditation is good for you. You don't have to take my word for it, type "health benefits meditation" into Google and see for yourself. Meditation effects us on all levels, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
Think about it. The point of meditation is to tune into your quietness within. Our thoughts govern a lot about us. We have tons of thoughts running through our brain all day. Many subjects can arise such as work, family, the past, the future and so forth. Depending on if we feel positive or negative about certain thoughts, our emotions are then effected by our thoughts. Our bodies can then be effected by our thoughts and emotions in all sorts of ways. Its like a domino effect.
What meditation can do for you is give you peace. Your thoughts slow, your emotions can rest, your body is relaxed and you feel good.
I have a challenge for you. Take 2 minutes today and close your eyes. Picture the most relaxing place you can think of and slow down your thoughts. Then try again tomorrow and the next day. If you can make it a daily practice, what will happen is that it will become easier to slow your thoughts down, you will begin to go longer than 2 minutes without even trying and you will begin to look forward to doing it every day. And then your life will begin to change in ways you will never know, unless you begin to incorporate this invaluable health practice into your everyday life.
Your Daily Practice – Morning Each day is a new beginning. Your task today is to learn the practice of consciously entering your body and your day. Begin by focusing attention on your entire day from morning to evening.
Review your plans for today:
- Think about where you need to be and with whom you need to be.
- Do you feel stressful about this day or do you feel comfortable?
- Do you feel prepared for today's events?
- Are you projecting fears and expectations into this day?
Your First Chakra
- Allow the truth 'All is One' to penetrate your body
- Drop your attention to the root of your spine.
- Feel yourself magnetically connected to every part of life:
- The fragrance of the earth
- The oceans and rivers
- The air
- Your family and friends
- The planet
- Identify your fears for today and pull them into your consciousness.
- Acknowledge the strength of the energetic circuitry connecting you to all life.
- Visualize that strength replacing your fears for today.
- Standing tall.
Your Second Chakra
- Allow the truth 'Honor One Another' to penetrate your body.
- Move your attention gradually up your spine to your lower back, hips and genital area.
- Feel the fire and vibrant energy of this area.
- Focus that energy toward the key areas of this chakra:
- Relationships: Who am I going to be with today?
- Work: What am I going to do today?
- Money: How do I feel about it today?
- Creativity: What am I going to create today?
Your Third Chakra
- Allow the truth 'Honor Yourself' to penetrate your body.
- Breathe deeply as you shift your attention to your solar plexus and abdominal area.
- Focus on your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself today:
- Am I feeling strong? Frightened?
- Do I need someone's approval today?
- Will I need to be courageous?
- Remind yourself of your boundaries, dignity, inherent honor, and integrity.
- Make a spiritual promise in terms of how you want to live your life today.
Your Fourth Chakra
- Allow the truth 'Love is Divine Power' to penetrate your body.
- Raise your attention up to your heart, the center of love.
- Welcome the people you're scheduled to meet today into your meditation:
- Where you feel love for them, send more, boundless love.
- For those you feel challenged to love, say the prayer , "Let me learn more about how to love them today."
- Think about who you need to forgive today; release the rage, bitterness or hurt feelings from your heart.
- Tell yourself "Forgiveness is not easy, but today I ask for one more step toward that goal."
- Release the prayer that you want to look at today through your heart and not through your fears; that you want to feel gratitude for events that do or don't happen as they should.
- Keep your attention on the right way to walk into this day, with a heart full of love.
Your Fifth Chakra
- Allow the truth 'Surrender Personal Will to Divine Will' to penetrate your body.
- Move your attention to your throat area.
- Define your needs and desires for today and let go of doing the same for others.
- Make the choice to love this day instead of fearing it.
- Envision choices that result in positive attitudes, memories, and feelings about yourself.
- Vow to express yourself honestly.
Your Sixth Chakra
- Allow 'Seek Only Truth' to penetrate your body
- Focus your attention upwards to your mind - the world behind your eyes.
- Go beyond the limits of the rational mind and accept the Divine's Plan for you.
- Prepare your mind to enter the day feeling good and not generating illusions, false truths or fears.
- For today, release old grudges, beliefs, attitudes and patterns that no longer serve you.
- Remember that everything in your life is there for a reason and to teach you truth.
Your Seventh Chakra
Invoke this prayer
- Allow the truth 'Live in the Present Moment' to penetrate your body.
- Pull your attention up and out, and hold the idea 'live in present time.'
- Let go of the past and do not anticipate the future.
- During the day, practice the discipline of telling yourself, "This is all I have. This is all there is to my life right now."
I am committed to feeling a bond with each person I meet, to respecting my own integrity and honor, to living within the energy of love and compassion and returning to that energy when I don't feel it, to making wise and blessed choices with my will, to maintaining perceptions of wisdom and non-judgment, to release the need to know why things happen as they do, and not to project expectations over how I want this day to be and how I want others to be. And finally, my last prayer, 'to trust the Divine'. And with that I bless my day with gratitude and love.
Your Daily Practice – Evening As you prepare to enter sleep, review how you used your energy during the day, how you invested your spirit, what you learned about the investments you should or shouldn't have made.
Review the events of today:
- Think about how you feel about yourself and your life now that the day is over.
- Ask yourself, "How do I open myself to receive guidance as I sleep?"
Your Seventh Chakra
- Focus your attention on the crown of your head where your energy connects most directly to spiritual guidance.
- Return to the truth that there is a divine reason for every single experience in your life.
- Reflect on the million things that happened to you today and be appreciative of them all.
- Remember that everything is a divine design for our learning and for our blessing.
Your Sixth Chakra
- Focus your attention on your mind.
- Ask yourself, "Did I invest my energy today in any negative attitudes, beliefs or perceptions?"
- If so, identify them, take a deep breath, call that energy back and release it with the thought "I don't need this negativity."
- Review any and all judgments you made about yourself or others, take a very deep breath and release them.
- Look at the positive things you invested in today and be grateful.
- Repeat the prayer, "I release the desire to know why things happen as they do and the need to have my expectations met."
Your Fifth Chakra
- Move your attention to your center of will and choices, your throat area.
- Did you make choices that enhanced your life today? If so, bless those choices, take a deep breath and decide to put your energy into more of them.
- What choices drained your energy? Review them, call your spirit back and tell it that you disempower those choices and release them.
- Ask yourself "Did I speak with honesty and integrity?" If not, call your spirit back and release those words.
- Take a deep breath and direct your will toward blessing the whole of your own life and all the people who are in your life.
- Finally, say the prayer, "I release my will to divine guidance."
Your Fourth Chakra
- Take a deep breath to the center of your emotions, your heart.
- Review all of your emotions; are you angry? hurt? sad? Release all the negative feelings so you don't take them into your sleep with you.
- Move into and feel the energies of love, compassion, appreciation of other people, and love of this life. Envision those energies as rose petals and walk through your entire day with the image that you are leaving those petals at every place you have walked.
- Concentrate now on attitudes and feelings about love, on your need to be loved, and on people you love dearly. Ask your spirit to enter only into loving thoughts through the night.
- How have you done with forgiveness today? Place each person you need to forgive in front of you and to each say, "This is what I need to forgive you for and I am working at doing that".
- Now flip the coin and ask forgiveness of those you have harmed.
- Picture leaving the rose petals with the prayer "I want to be at peace with you".
- Say the prayer, "Teach me more about the divine power of love as I sleep".
Your Third Chakra
- Move your attention to the center of self, your solar plexus.
- Ask yourself, "Did I take care of my physical body today? Did I maintain the attitudes and belief patterns that best suit me?"
- Take a deep breath, stretch out and feel the entire strength and health of your body. Identify any areas of weakness and loss of power. Call your spirit back.
- Did you live up to your honor code or do you have to remind yourself to live it better tomorrow?
- Were you judgmental or critical of yourself or others today or did you extend kindness and compassion?
- Pray "Give me guidance on who I am and what my task is in this life; why I am with the people I am and how to best serve that role".
Your Second Chakra
- Direct your thoughts to your spine, lower back, hips and genital area.
- Do you have any negativity that you're carrying in regards to your relationships? Finances? Job? Creative ventures?
- Feel all those fears, go into them and ask yourself, "Why am I so afraid of change?"
- Release those fears with a prayer of trust to the Divine: "Move into my life. Change what you need because I am here for service. I may fear the changes but I trust the changes."
- Now focus on the positive side of relationships, finances and creativity. Celebrate all the people whom you love and enjoy, the blessings you have and the ideas you have brought forth into the world.
- Conclude with this prayer: "I offer myself as a gift-giver; let me use the gifts given me by the Divine to serve and honor others."
Your First Chakra
Visit Caroline Myss' Website
- Focus on the base of your spine, your connection to Gaia, force of nature.
- Place your body in a relaxed position and request Gaia,"Watch my body and give me guidance as I seek to resolve the issues I've put forth".
- Take a deep breath and imagine your spirit beginning to lift and leave your body. Feel yourself unhooking as your energy begins to move through all your chakras, out the top of your head.
- Stand over your body watching it sleep and then allow your spirit to let go, with the blessing, "I'll see you in the morning".
I remember having lots of toys and lots of stuff when I was a small child. It was all over, crammed into every corner of my room. If you looked under my full size bed you could barely see cracks of light coming from the other side. The room was not so big to begin with and inside was a nice bedroom set that took up lots of room. So wherever I could fit stuff I did, so I didn't have much room for me. Can you ever have enough toys and stuffed animals? Back then my answer would have been, no! I wanted everything and I remember crying at my mother if I wanted something and couldn't have it. I was raised as an only child and my mother was very poor growing up so as she got better jobs, her salary went up and we both were able to have pretty much everything we wanted. I know she wanted me to be happy and what I thought made me happy back then was stuff, stuff and more stuff.
Growing up I do remember my room being clean sometimes, the floor clear of debris but mostly I remember having way too many clothes overflowing out of my closet and drawers and lots of knick knacks, basically crap I didn't need but thought I had to have. Only when I moved out for the first time into an apartment with my best friend was I to experience empty spaces in my living area. It was pretty nice when clean up took about 5 minutes. I lived in one other apartment after that and then ended up in the place where I am now. Over the years I had accumulated more and more stuff. Gifts from Christmas, gifts from Birthdays, gifts for no reason and oh yeah, I loved to shop so lots of gifts from me to myself. Some of these things went right from the holiday or shopping bag right into a closet or drawer not to be touched again for months with tags still attached. So what was all the hubbub about? I really had to have this stuff or was happy to receive so I could hide it away and forget about it? It made no sense but I couldn't see that at the time, I was too busy acquiring more stuff. What couldn't fit in the house would be boxed up and banished to the garage.
My next roommate was my live in boyfriend who gave a look up and down at all of my belongings and deemed it "shit". Not only was it shit but "too much shit!" He is a very honest and organized person and while my things were stacked and packed in other nooks and crannies of the home we shared, his room was always the vision of ship shape, very neat and tidy. Mostly his complaining about my things would just get on my nerves. I let myself be quite offended at times because of his rantings of how I should get rid of things or clean and organize things. What he meant to do is inspire me to clean but what happened was I got angry, shut down on him and didn't clean or organize anything. A funny thing I remember about those times was when he would bump into something or grab something causing a domino effect of things knocking things down, these were called my "booby traps".
It wasn't until after he moved out that I started getting down to business with the clearing out and getting rid of things. In previous blogs I speak of this change I was going through and a side effect of my growing and changing was realizing that my house didn't look the way I wanted it to. I really did have too much stuff and I didn't want it anymore, I felt suffocated. Cleaning has been a gradual process and it's still happening. It feels good to fill up a trash bag with stuff and just give it away or throw it away. I've managed to really make a significant dent in the things I own and I really do feel better when I look around. I was like the little old lady who lived in a shoe, except I had so much stuff I didn't know what to do!
I've owned this book - It's All Too Much
for years. I just picked it back up again and realized how great it is. I still have many things that need to go and I needed a pick me up and to put things in perspective again. I think Peter Walsh does an excellent job of easing one into the cleaning process. He pretty much covers anything and any area of the house you can think of. Before the initial process he asks you to "Imagine the life you want to live". This one sentence, to me, has a mountain of meaning. If you aren't living the life you want to be living, organizing your belongings is a great way to get started. Just to give you a small example of the content I'll write down the topics covered in one of my favorite chapters.Excuses, Excuses
I Might Need It One DayExcuse #2
It's Too Important To Let GoExcuse #3
I Can't Get Rid Of It - It's Worth A Lot Of MoneyExcuse #4
My House Is Too SmallExcuse #5
I Don't Have The TimeExcuse #6
I Don't Know How It Got Like ThisExcuse #7
It's Not A Problem-My Husband/Wife/Partner/Child Just Thinks It IsExcuse #8
It Isn't MineExcuse #9
It's Too OverwhelmingExcuse #10
____________________ Insert your own, you know you've got one cookin ;D
So maybe you already keep a tidy house that makes you feel good to walk into, that's wonderful, give yourself a pat on the back. Some of you might know that you need to get started with making your house into your perfect vision of the way you want things. Or you might be stubborn and think that everything is exactly the way you want it, no change needed here - but is it though? I was there, so I understand, it really had to be up to me to decide to make the changes and only then did I get my butt in gear. It all starts with - Imagine The Life You Want To Live...P.S. This book is one of many covering this topic, do some research dig around descriptions and reviews on amazon etc. and find the book that catches your attention.
A couple of weeks ago I found a site called Meetup.com. I was looking for a group that got together for Reiki shares. Found quite a few of them and also decided to look up groups that met for meditation. So last night I decided to venture out of my hobbit hole and go to a meditation meet up in Berkeley. I've determined that I must get out more, into the world and meet people and challenge myself by experiencing different situations. OK, I ran out of Netflix... Kidding! So I left my comfy home and ventured out to sit in a room with strangers for over an hour and be completely relaxed. It went well, really!
Last nights leader of the med was a lady, soft spoken and reminded me of Juliette from Lost and I began the meet by forcing thoughts of Lost out of my brain (I had just finished watching the last episode of the last season that morning, it was awesome). She talked about what was going on in her life right now and sharing her feelings a little before the med and I tried to be there as much as I could. Between her voice and the hypnotic carpet design I was becoming totally relaxed and it was getting hard to keep my eyes open. She led us in our breathing until all was quiet and we were just 8 people halfway in a room and halfway somewhere else in the universe. I think I was able to sit still for a good 20 minutes before getting a case of the fidgets. My eyebrow itched, my feet were falling asleep, a hair was tickling my cheek, meditation time for me was fading but within 5-10 minutes she began to bring everyone back by having us pay attention to our breathing.
Then she started guiding us through breathing exercises. We breathed into our bellies, our knees, our feet and our heads. During this exercise I noticed what a shallow breather I am most of the time. I was easily taking in double the oxygen than I normally take in except when I'm Yoga-ing. So we breathed in and out and in and out, it was just the simplest thing and it felt really good. At the end of this exercise our leader asked if we would like to share any feelings about what we had felt during our breathing. She scanned the room expectantly looking for the first volunteer. The guy next to me went first. Right after I decided I had nothing to say, something to say popped into my head. Two others took turns sharing and I jumped in after them. I mentioned my shallow breathing and how I became aware of how unaware I usually must be of my breath. When we were focusing on our breath I knew exactly where I was. I wasn't in 1985 playing with Barbie dolls or in 2015 sipping a dirty martini on my yacht. I was in Berkeley with 7 other people right here and now. I kinda said something to the effect that experiencing life in this moment is a lot more enjoyable for me and that when I breathe like this it helps me to focus on whats going on around me.
As I drove home I contemplated the benefits of living in the present. Our minds are endless oceans of past and future. And right in the middle is this movie of the present, of what's going on right now. Its like the security camera that's always on and recording but is the guard on duty paying attention or eating donuts counting holes in the ceiling. Memories can be so lovely to recall, the happy ones that is. Or they can be an evil torture device playing over and over. Depending on how memories or thoughts of the future make you feel they can be a blessing or a curse. This afternoon gave me a perfect example of awareness. I went to the bank and used an outside machine then I got in my car and left and I only went down the street when I realized I didn't have my bank card. I pulled into a parking lot and tore my purse apart, checked my pockets and looked in the floor board. It was nowhere to be found. That's ridiculous! - I thought. I just had it! Where could it be? Panic wrapped around me and I tried to break free. This is simple, fine OK I lost it I'm just going to go back to the bank check the ground and if it isn't in there I'll go inside and have them cancel it and I'll get a new one. It will be an inconvenience but its a good thing I realized so soon after that I had lost it. It wasn't outside so I went in and the teller asked my name and it turned out a lady in the back was trying to get a hold of me by phone to tell me they had it. Whew! I tried to recall the time from when I was at the machine outside to the time I got to my car to drive off the first time. It was blank. I don't even remember what I was thinking about, I was in la la land and completely not paying attention to what was going on.
I can honestly say that's happened countless times in the past, doing things but on autopilot. When you're not in this moment you are somewhere else. Wherever you are, how is it making you feel? How are you reacting to the outside world that's live and happening now while you're somewhere else? What happens right now is shaping our lives second by second. Its like knitting a scarf except when you screw up a row in real life you can't pull it all out and do it over. It makes me wonder how many situations like the above (lesser or worse) could have been avoided if I had been paying attention and how many potentially not so great situations I did avoid by paying attention. And then the opposite, how many wonderful moments did I miss out on or did get to experience by being aware of what was going on around me. We have such great power in our moments... We are in charge of creating our lives and it's always been that way and will always be that way...
Getting laid off last year was a shock to me. But something in me knew that change was on the horizon. The company I worked for was affected greatly by the downward spiral of the economy so it was no secret that all of the employees would have to feel it also sooner or later. We had been through tough times before and we managed to get through them and I had seen business pick up but it just wasn't enough. There was someone else that could not only do my job but a fill a few other positions when needed. So naturally I would have to be let go. I cried all that day, red and puffy faced. I'd stop crying and then it would just start up again and I would giggle to myself at how uncontrollable it was, women and their water works, haha! I typed away at reports, trying to get things cleaned up and packed up so that I could go on to a new phase of my life. My two bosses didn't know what to think. They had considered that I may be angry and storm out but I explained to them that of course I would stay the day and I wasn't mad, I understood why they had to let me go after 8 years. This guy filling my position has a family and a mortgage and I was happy for him that he could keep his job.
I had had a couple of conversations with my family and friends very close to the end of my last day about how I could collect unemployment and that it could probly get me by, if I was to ever be let go until I got a new job. I had never needed to do that before. I left the other jobs before this one of my own will so this was all new. So I was actually a little mentally prepared which was nice. The unemployment came right through and it was enough so that I could keep my place and pay the bills.
Time has passed by so quickly, that was almost a year ago. Since then I've lost 2 of my cousins and had 2 of my cats become ill. Last November my cat Lux had stopped eating and I hadn't realized it until it was almost too late. He was acting very lethargic and his breath smelled weird, like mediciney, and taking a closer look past his jet black fur I noticed that his skin was actually yellowish green! I took him to the vet and they determined through tests that he had Fatty Liver Disease. $1,600.00 later (holy shit!) which was just over a 3 day period they told me that nothing was blocking his liver, which was great, but that he needed to get food in him and it needed to be right away because he was going to die if he didn't. The vet said that I could keep him in a facility that would install a feeding tube into him or take him home and see how things went. Not only did I not have money to do the feeding tube thing but there was no doubt in my mind that I'd rather have him at home and that he would rather be home with me as well. So began a rigorous daily schedule of force feeding him and having to give him an IV. I had to stick a gigantic needle under his skin while holding him in place and monitoring the fluid going into him and then stopping it off when he had had enough. Lemme tell ya! Not fun folks, not fun at all, for either of us. This went of for around 2 months. And finally my Lux came back to me, thank god. He started eating and drinking water by himself and regaining his awnryness. I love him so much and everyday I pick up his heavy butt and smother him with kisses, I think he weighs more now than he ever did.
In mid March I learned that my cousin who had been battling cancer for the past 4 years was in the hospital and not doing well. She lived just a few cities over but the last time I saw her was last November or December. She had cancer in a few areas and it had been that way for a while so when I heard she wasn't doing well, like really not well, I just couldn't believe it. I visited her in the hospital and I stopped dead in my tracks. I don't even know how to describe it really, when you see someone and realize that they are very ill. The light was shaded but I saw enough of her in just a few moments to see that her skin wasn't the right color. Like Lux her skin was yellowish even though she was tanned to begin with. Her wig was off and she had about an inch of hair that was salt and pepper colored. Her nails were perfectly manicured, french style. The tears started to come up and tried to stop them and act natural. I said hi and went beside her bed and sat down. Her boyfriend was with her and we all talked for a bit. Janet was on pain medication so when she fell asleep the tears I had kept back came out and I couldn't stop them. I excused myself to the hallway and cried out there.
When she had went into the hospital her sister had been in town and a couple of days before I visited she had needed to go back home. I called my other cousin in Ventura and told her that they all needed to get here as soon as possible. Within 2 days my other cousins, her sister and nieces all came up from down south. We visited the hospital everyday and prayed. It became apparent that cousin was not expected to recover and the hospital began the process of recommending hospices. So that's it, I thought. So she's really going to leave us? She's going to be in bed being pumped with morphine for her pain until she goes... This really f**king sucks. She was able to get into a really great hospice in Alamo and all of us were really relieved. All of the staff was so kind. It was quiet and clean it was there that we all adjusted to the fact together that we were really, really going to lose her this time. I think it was the first day that we visited her there, we all piled in the room and were saying hellos and she said to her sister "I'm dying aren't I?" She knew what was happening. We all took turns sitting in the room with her, holding her hands and just being with her. We all saw a new side of each other and we all bonded in a way that can never be undone. Days had passed and cousin was still with us. Her sister and nieces had to get back home, reluctantly they left. Not too many days later she passed away.
One of my other cats had started having digestive problems and finally I had narrowed down what food she could eat that would stay down. I had really wanted to take her to the vet but I just couldn't do the test after test thing and see the charges increase with everyday. I love my cat to death but really, vets don't speak animal. They can only tell you what's wrong to a certain extent and I decided that I was going to take care of her and figure this one out myself. In June I went to Oklahoma for the annual family reunion and to see my mother who is living there. About halfway through my visit I started reading a book she had on her coffee table Reinvening the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra, I had sent this to her last Christmas. I didn't get too far into it but what I read really clicked in my head. A switch somewhere in there flicked on and my mind raced around thinking about energy and how it's in us and our bodies and healing ourselves and powers that we had over ourselves that it seemed like a lot of people didn't realize. Seems like whenever somebody gets sick in any way its right off to the doctor to get fixed. So what about what caused the sickness? We don't just magically get sick for no reason.
I was looking for energy healing and I thats how I found Reiki. I had heard the word before but didn't know what it was really. By the time I got back to California I had already found someone in the bay area who could give me the attunements necessary to become certified as Level 1 which means the Reiki you give can heal on the physical level. After the attunments it was time for me to give my teacher Reiki. She layed down and I put my hands over her and my hands heated up. Energy gushed out of them and I stood in awe as my hands moved and guided themselves around her. Wow! What a feeling.
Two weeks later I went back to my teacher for Level 2 which means you could not only heal on a physical level but emotionally, mentally and distantly. I was in a rush for a reason. Another cousin of mine had been in and out of the hospital for years and for the past month. It seems like she was getting better everyday but she was still so sick. I wanted to be able to send her healing even though I was far away and I knew it had to be soon. The day after I got attuned to Level 2 my cousin passed away, I was too late to help in any way. So I decided that I would help from now on and since then I've been treating my cats, my friends and family and others.
A big thanks to Jack for this. He had to put it on a DVD for me to get me to watch it haha! I will never think of genes and energy the same way again. Bruce Lipton has been talking about this for years and years and has proof even that genes do not control us. What we were taught in school was way out of date and completely unverified. Glad I know now :)
The next book destined to rock my world was Remembering Wholeness
. My cousin recommended it to me last October when I visited her in Ventura, days before I was to be laid off from my job of 8 years.
My cousin is one of my most favorite people in the world. She is a shiny, hilarious pixie of positivity and I love her more than words. She makes me laugh really hard, so hard that it actually hurts and I can't breathe and sometimes almost pee myself. We've been cousins forever but haven't really been involved in each others lives until the past few years or so. She is a healer, a great story teller and very inspiring. Last August/September she became very ill and was going to need major surgery to get better, there were also going to be undesirable side effects that would remain up to 6 months after surgery. I wish I could share her story like she does. I am a poor re-teller of stories so I won't even try, haha. This was a gigantic wake up call for my cousin. She drew on all the strength she had, prayers, and help from angels.
She was in the hospital for a week doped up on pain killers because the initial discovery of this illness hit her so hard. She had endured a night of excruciating pain and in the morning her house guests found her curled up in her bed, white as a sheet and rushed her to the emergency room. After the week she was able to get home to her children and rest and assess the situation. The doctors pressed her to make a date for surgery and she was able to keep them at bay for about 2 or 3 weeks. She told them if her illness was still there after those weeks she would go ahead and have the surgery. They indulged her request and at the end of that 2 or 3 week period she went back in for a check up where the doctors discovered she was completely healed and the surgery would not be necessary.
Absolute miracle. She told me about how this book was a great help to her and that I had to read it. When I got home from my visit I went onto Amazon and bought it. Love me some Amazon! So now that I had had about a year to study my pesky ego and learn to keep it in check most the time (it's an ongoing thing) it was now time to address the possibility that I not only controlled the inside of my head but what happens on the outside too, my life around me. This book addresses the power of positive thinking, healing ourselves, creating the life we want and stop creating a life we do not enjoy, God,The Universe and so so much more. Carol Tuttle covers a lot of ground in this book, basically all aspects of our lives.
Carol is a big fan of JC and mentions him quite often so please do not let that keep you from giving this book a chance. It's not geared toward a certain religion what so ever.