Sep 182011
 

Yikes, I thought, I’ve got way too much to get done! How can this be happening now?

Ever been there?

Last week, I found myself in a lot of pain. Physical pain. The whole right side of my mouth was tweaking on me, big time.

I had a lot to do but it was hard to focus, and I responded to the reality of what was happening by deciding not to struggle.

Instead of fighting the situation and pushing myself to get it all done, I just let go of it.

I surrendered.

I went down to the river deck where I always feel connected.

[Pull up a seat and join us. And click play.]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

My dog, Ollie, came with me and we just hung out. He’s my bud. We smiled at each other now and then and it warmed my heart.

I took my overdue library book with me and zipped through the end of it.

And isn’t it funny that in the pages I covered that day, I discovered a bit more about exactly this, about being one with our issues and our difficulties. (There was a section about physician and healer Leonard Laskow and his book Healing With Love. You can bet I’m going to read that one.)

Connecting with our challenges rather than pushing against them helps us find our wholeness.

It confirmed to me that I was on the right track. As I often say to myself: Embrace it as though you had chosen it. Not always easy but always rewarding.

Not that I needed confirmation, but that wa’s nice, and a fun synchronicity. I know with every cell of my body the importance of being centered. And going with the flow is a big part of that for me.

And this is where I find myself again today.

I’ve been to the dentist and now I’m on pain meds but this has all set me back and I’m still finding it hard to concentrate. I get to go to an endodontist this week. (What a name END-o-dontist. Really? Could a root canal specialist sound any more scary, do ya think?)

I’ve got so much to do. I’m still so far behind, and even more-so now. But seriously. These are my old patterns nagging at me.

I’ve got to stay in my center here.

So maybe I’m behind but it’s more important to me to trust the unfolding; to have a balanced and holistic response to whatever appears in my life. I’m no longer willing to automatically cater to my stressed out ego-self that tries to be in charge all the time.

Some people would push through, I know. I used to be one of them, and still am sometimes when that’s what makes sense.

But now I’m usually inclined to honor what’s happening. To embrace the present moment. Not just as a moment but for what it’s presenting to me. (Hmm, I never noticed: Present-ing.)

And I ask myself: So, how do I dance with this?

I look at the big picture, the whole picture, and then make as conscious a choice as I can about what embracing it means … and what to do next.

In this situation, if I really look at it, it’s a gift. It’s all a gift. It’s a break. And it’s a good reason not to wig out about the things I’ve been wigging out about. (Heck, maybe I even created all of this dental drama so I could have a break. But I digress.)

And so, here I am enjoying writing a post to you that I don’t plan to overwork (for a change). You can take it, right? If it doesn’t flow logically? If it’s not super useful? (Hey, I’m on pain meds, I have an excuse.)

I’m getting to share me, my thoughts, my heart, and a bit more about what I want this blog to be about anyway: The importance and wonder of living from our center.

Because that’s where the magic lives.

And I think that’s a pretty nice thing to embrace, now that I think about it.

How do you dance with situations like this? Do you find value in going with the flow? I know you have something good to share …

If  you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Want posts delivered to your reader or email? Click here to subscribe. Thank you!

Aug 252011
 

Don’t you just love it when a chronic physical issue just goes away?

Me too.

So today I want to share a little *magic* with you that can increase the chances of that happening in your life. Auto-magically.

I hurt my shoulder a few months ago. My chiropractor says it’s my rotator cuff, and that I need to baby it so it can heal. So I’ve been doing that … But I don’t see much improvement. If anything, I keep re-injuring it.

The other day, I decided it’s time I work a little magic with it. That can mean a lot of things to me (as you may know), but in this case I mean that I’m going to practice some Holographic Emergence with it. (And I just finished an astonishing session. Very fun.)

A Little Magic Does the Job

I have every confidence doing this will make a big difference.

Years back I developed bothersome TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint disorder; quite the mouthful). It was painful and had become chronic. After I’d had it for years it was recommended to me that I have surgery. Yikes. No way. I decided to get to work.

I used a combination of Matrix Energetics and Reiki on myself. Amazingly, I didn’t even have to do too many sessions (I did regular Reiki for awhile, maybe about 10 treatments, and about 3 or 4 Matrix sessions, all over about a 4 month period) before I simply forgot about it and later realized that the TMJ was gone. Completely gone! This was a few years ago and it’s never returned.

And so, it’s foolish of me not to do a similar thing with my shoulder.

Synchronicity as Confirmation

But here’s the cool thing. The morning I decided to do this–and to perhaps blog about the process–I was walking Ollie (our sweet old lab) and decided to listen to some Deepak Chopra on my MP3 player.

OMG! Talk about synchronicity! Everything he said was such an affirmation of what I’ve experienced ever since beginning my practice of Matrix Energetics. And to me it said “Do it!” It also said to share it.

It’s one thing to be familiar with the ideas, but when you live them, that’s when the real magic happens.

Some Magical Ideas from Deepak Chopra

So, without further ado, I want to share some of Deepak’s statements with you. They’re from his 5 CD audio set “Magical Mind, Magical Body“, and I’m only 1/2 hr. into it but I can already recommend it. (And I love that he sounds so excited as he talks about these things. It makes for an involved listening experience.)

• Health is not just the absence of a disease, it’s a joyfulness that should be inside us all the time. It’s a state of positive well-being, which is not only physical but emotional and ultimately even psychological and spiritual.

[Note: You can use that simple idea with great effect. Every time you feel frumpy, repeat the idea to yourself that you are well and express well-being and you’ll feel an instant shift.]

The body is not a frozen sculpture, it’s a river of energy and information. … You can not step into the same flesh and bones twice.

• You replace 98% of all the items of your body in less than one year.

• There is a deeper reality to the body and that deeper reality is what we want to see because from that deeper reality comes both the mind and the body. Both come from that deeper level of existence.

• A physicist would say: “Our atoms are particles that are moving at lightening speeds around huge empty spaces, they emerge from something which is just a field of pure potentiality, just a field of pure energy, and from that field these particles emerge. They’re fluctuations of energy and information. They emerge from a void. They rebound, collide, and then disintegrate into the void.”

• We have a thinking body. And you can’t imprison the mind in the brain. That’s an old notion, that the mind is confined to the brain. The mind is in every cell of our body.

You can’t even confine the mind to your physical body because it extends beyond your physical body into the whole universe. We are part of a thinking conscious universe that is basically a non-local field of information. We can call the universe a non-local field of information and energy with which this local expression (which we call the physical body) is exchanging energy and information.

• It’s estimated that the average person thinks about 60,000 thoughts a day … and 95% of the thoughts you have today are the ones that you had yesterday. So you keep creating the same patterns that give rise to the same physical expression of the body. If you go to a deeper level, witness the whole process, become conscious of it, then you’d realize that in fact there are choices here.

What we do is we take that chaos of energy soup, we ingest it through our 5 senses, and then we convert that into a physical reality in our own awareness, in our own consciousness. And we do it unconsciously most of the time that results in certain interpretations that are part of a cultural indoctrination.

There’s one part of you that doesn’t change. If you find that part of you that doesn’t change then you’ll be able to cause transformations in that part of you that does change.

[Note: Deepak uses the word “you” but then goes on to complicate it. You can discover that part of you that doesn’t change easily and simply. Just visit  John Sherman’s website and take advantage of what he so generously offers.]

• Now if I said the mind is omniscient it would sound sort of mystical. That it knows everything, it’s omnipotent, it’s omnipresent, it would sound almost like I’m talking in mystical terms. But in fact, in scientific terms, that’s an accurate statement.

Now once we recognize that — even to have the insight — is to begin to cause transformations in your body. A person’s body is nothing but an expression of all the ideas they have about it.

• If there’s a fluctuation that changes at deeper levels of energy and information then it causes, spontaneously without having to do anything, you don’t have to brainwash yourself about this. You just have to have the insight. And the insight itself causes the changes.

Patterns of Light and Information

So, these are some of the ideas I use — that have become a part of me — as I work with my shoulder. Or more accurately, this pattern of light and information that I perceive as a shoulder. 😉

Like Deepak says, recognizing this reality helps create a transformation all by itself. It’s what gives us a lot more power than we think we have otherwise.

And therein lies your magic.

So this is the world I get to play in every day.

Want to join me? Or have you already?

(Need some extra magic in your life? Consider booking a Holographic Emergence session.)

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Want posts delivered to your reader or email? Click here to subscribe. Thank you!

Jul 222011
 

I was listening to a business coach do a sample session this morning, and it was fascinating.

He was so good at helping people get past their blocks, and what he was doing seemed a lot like intuitive coaching to me (or how I would imagine good intuitive coaching).

I checked his website to see if he presents himself as an intuitive coach. Nope. Not a word about that.

But boy, did this guy listen.

He listened to what people said, and maybe more importantly, he listened to what they didn’t say. He read between the lines. He heard the thoughts and felt the feelings behind their words.

He then used his perceptions to help reveal, clarify, and organize. He worked with the callers to zero right in on areas where new awareness, decisions, and action can make the biggest difference. It was amazing.

And I got thinking…

Deep listening and intuition have a lot in common.

Do You Listen?

How well do you listen? If you’re like most of us, not very well. I often notice that very few people really listen anymore, and I’m just as guilty as the next person.

I think this happens because we’re usually on a mission of our own. We’re in active, output mode.

And then when we are in input mode, we’re often in a super-mental space (e.g. surfing the internet) or a zoned-out space (e.g. watching T.V.).

Or when we’re straddling the two modes, like when we’re in a conversation, we have our own thoughts going full-throttle in our head. “Ya, that’s right…” or “Well, that’s not exactly true…” or “When will he stop yapping so I can tell him about my much more interesting experience/thoughts/whatever…” Right?

And in groups, too often the person running a meeting has their own agenda and just does not give others their due.

Of course it’s not always this extreme, but I think most of us could listen much better than we do.

The Value of Listening

But oh, there are so many great reasons to listen. Here are just a few.

For the Other Person

Sometimes someone will want your counsel or advice. If you can really tune-in to what they’re saying instead of listening mostly to the commentary in your head, you’ll be much more helpful.

And when you’re really tuned in, you sometimes notice that what they’re saying might even contradict what you’re hearing at a deeper level. Their head is saying one thing through their mouths, but their heart is saying something entirely different.

Sometimes people just need to talk, and they don’t need or even want your advice. In these cases it’s powerful if you can simply be present for them. If you’re truly present, you’ll also be listening. The presence in and of itself is healing at many levels.

For Both (or All) of You

True listening can bring you closer. It’s intimate. It feels good.

Today when my husband and I walked to the mailbox, he talked about something that was bothering him. Mostly I listened. I responded with a few simple thoughts, and later he thanked me for listening and talking with him. I didn’t even say anything of significance. But he said he was feeling a lot better. And so was I.

If you’re open and prepared to really listen in the first place, it’s more likely that someone will open up to you. They know that judgement and unsolicited advice will not be thrust upon them. This is especially true of our kids, even our grown ones.

In groups it’s just as important. Instead of having an agenda or an out of control ego, it’s so much more productive and satisfying to open to all the ideas and really find the best way forward for all involved.

Listening can go a long way toward strengthening relationships.

For You

Of course, when you listen and as a result add positively to someone’s life — even in a small way — it feels good. So there’s that.

You also stand to gain not only new information but new or deeper insights and understandings. And not only about whomever you’re listening to, but about yourself as well. This is always good.

And if, like me, you enjoy exercising your intuitive muscles, then all the more reason to do this.

In fact, I’d say being intuitive is almost impossible without knowing how to listen.

The Lost Art of Listening

So if we make a decision to listen — and I mean really listen — how do we do that? What does that mean?

Well, first off, I’m sure you know. You just may not have thought about it or make it a point to do it.

Here are a few things that can point the way to good listening.

1. Remind yourself to listen.

Deciding to do this and then following through is the biggest step of all. In other words: Ya gotta wanna.

2. Make it a point to not interrupt.

You may be good at this already, but I know I have to work on this one all the time. Especially when I’m excited about the topic.

3. Leave space. Take a breath.

I’m getting better at this but I used to pack my jyotish readings so full of information there was very little room for discussion. But I’ve found that the more interactive they are and the more I can be there in the moment with them, the better. So now I try to leave a lot more space.

Discussions — and especially those that are even remotely related to counseling — are not just about information. The more you can tune-in and respond in the moment, the more useful it is.

Things come up you could never anticipate, and they are exactly what’s needed at the time.

4. Open your heart.

Did you know your heart is one of your best organs for listening? Maybe even better than your ears.

Consciously make a decision to listen with your heart. You’ll discover what that means as you do it and it will make all the difference. This is true especially when you’re talking with someone about a disagreement or working through something similar.

Note: One of my regular commenters came up with his own really good #4, which so happens to do away with a need for #6. (Thank-you, Irving!) I like it so much I’m putting it here for you.

4. Open your heart

Open your heart. Really feel concern for the person you are listening to. Try to see where they are coming from and place yourself in their shoes. When you do so, you will really listen and understand what they are trying to share. And as a result, they will feel better also.

If you do this well, you suspend judgment naturally. After all, if you see the big picture and understand the reasons behind it, how can you judge?

5. Stay focused.

Have you ever talked with someone who’s looking around, or otherwise distracted? Someone who’s trying to multi-task and not being attentive? Not real pleasant. Don’t be that person.

6. Suspend judgement.

It has no place here. Let it take a hike.

7. Stay humble.

You don’t have to have any answers or words of wisdom. Accept that you don’t know, or that you don’t have to know. Stay open inside too, and you may be surprised at how much insight or understanding just appears out of nowhere.

Listening can be such an enriching experience for everyone involved, and I’m going to give listening — really listening — a more concerted effort for awhile. Care to join me?

Do you have other pointers for listening deeply, or thoughts about why it’s so valuable? Want to share them? I’m listening…

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Want posts delivered to your reader or email? Click here to subscribe. Thank you!

Jun 072011
 

Something about the idea that your life might be snatched from you at any moment makes you consider what it means to you.

A little while back I mentioned I was in the midst of a health scare. Well, I’m thrilled to say I’m fine! Thank-you to those of you who wrote (in the comments and privately) to offer your support. I so much appreciate it!

A Healing Journey

During the past month, while I was in limbo on this subject, I’ve had quite the journey.

And even though I wasn’t ill (as it turns out), I find myself more whole now than I was before.

And I continue to heal, from wounds of all kinds.

I’m eager to tell you about some of what’s transpired and the significant gifts I’ve been given. Because they’re available to you, too, if you decide to accept them.

I’ll do this over a number of posts (and/or maybe an e-booklet, I haven’t decided).

And for now, here’s one of them. Enjoy.

A Moment of Irritation

Last week, my husband made a call to a store to ask about something. The woman transferred his call to a different department. It rang and rang. Eventually she came back on, and he explained that he just had a simple question and wondered if she could help him.

He hears a huge sigh from the other end of the phone. Eventually he got his question answered, but here’s where our story takes off. At the sigh.

It struck me. She’s getting paid to help people. Okay, maybe she has a more defined role within that job description, but when you work with customers, you help people.

Embrace The Moment

What if, instead, she had said/thought “How can I help you?” with a true desire to help and with some amount of enthusiasm? Sincerely shifting her focus to be of help and embracing that new direction as exactly where she was supposed to be in that moment?

I’m not judging her. We’ve all been there, at least I have. Stressed. Behind. Irritated at those things life throws at us that are not on our agendas.

But I’ve got a new appreciation for the saying “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”

I know she’d have had a much more pleasant moment (and so would my husband and possibly other callers) had she been able to turn on a dime and embrace the moment as it was. Even if she still needed to delegate him off to someone else, it would have a whole different energy than the chore that it seemed to be.

That’s Nice, But…

Probably we’ve all thought about this idea, and even applied it to some degree.

But if you’re like me, you often slip back into old patterns, and before you know it you’re back at your agenda and getting annoyed at anything that pulls you from it.

The difference is that this time I haven’t done that.

Why? Well…

I think it’s because I’ve gained a new appreciation for life. I’ve been reminded in a big way of how precious it is.

And this kind of thing is exactly what life is.

And I love life.

I’m tired of fighting against it in any way, shape, or form. I really don’t want to do that any more. Lord knows I’ve already done my share of it, plus some.

Life Is a Gift

When I was 29, I got clean and sober. I could so easily have died many times over while I was out there using whatever various and sundry drugs came my way. But I didn’t. I don’t know why. It was grace. A gift. A second chance. A third, fourth, and a fifth (pun intended).

My life today is all extra! Free!

And so is yours, if you think about it.

It’s all icing on the cake.

So, I’m done complaining about the icing on my cake.

I don’t care if it’s too sweet, if it’s chocolate ganache when I want vanilla butter-cream, or vanilla when I want chocolate, or whatever. Okay, maybe I do care, but that’s normal. That’s a preference. Preferences are also a delectable part of life.

I am watching myself bid goodbye to the futile exercise of resisting what is.

Resistance feels yukky and I don’t want to waste my life feeling yukky.

We’re alive, for God’s sake! Alive! And Life happens for us, not to us. I mean, what a precious gift to be walking this earth right now.

Seriously.

Rediscover the Joy

Here’s an exercise that can help this way of being become more automatic.

Watch for moments when you find yourself feeling:

  • irritated
  • annoyed
  • impatient
  • stressed
  • angry
  • resentful
  • fed up

(It works with any emotion but these are the easiest to start with.)

When you notice you’re feeling that way, ask yourself:

  1. What if I just wasn’t here (on earth, alive) at all? Which is the better alternative?
  2. What if all this is “extra” life? A bonus? A free gift? (Dessert, if you will ;-)?)
  3. What if nothing has to be a certain way, and I’m just here to enjoy the experience of it and experience the joy of it?
  4. How would I feel about this situation then?

It doesn’t mean you aren’t supposed to feel how you feel. Feeling is a part of your energy body and is a great indicator of what’s going on at other levels of your being.

And it doesn’t mean that you don’t make note of the discomfort and go about changing the situation if it makes sense to do so.

But if you sincerely ask and answer those questions, you’ll find it much more easy to embrace that situation fully and to move forward from there.

You’ll no longer resist or fight it, but instead, you’ll be in the flow of it. In the flow of your own life as it is.

And then comes the magic.

Your emotion will lose its charge. It will bend and shift a little — or maybe even a lot.

Everything becomes just kind of amazing. Everything.

And you’ll be able to embrace your life as though you had chosen it. (Because, of course, you have.)

You’ll truly enjoy it, all the way down to your toes.

And maybe best of all — at least for us cake lovers? You’ll realize that you do, indeed, get to have your cake and eat it too. And you get to love each and every bite.

Your Turn

Please let me know how this works for you. I’m very curious if I’ve managed to home in on and communicate the mindset that has made such a difference for me.

Or maybe you have variations on these questions or altogether different ones that help you more. Please share!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Want more? Click here to subscribe. Thank you!

May 232011
 

Dying’s not a sin; not living is.

Jack Lemmon’s character Jake in the movie Dad

I’m in the midst of a bit of a health scare, and have been finding myself examining just what this thing called life actually is, and what it means to me. Of course, I’ve done this before, but situations like this (and on the tails of just having lost my sweet Jasmine) bring a sudden raw clarity about how precious and fleeting our lives are that just isn’t always there otherwise.

On Roses and Poo

We’ve all heard the expression “Stop and smell the roses”. This is great advice. Some of us have gotten really good at it, too.

The problem comes when we get a whiff of poo. I have yet to hear the expression “Stop and smell the poo.” And just for the record, I’m not exactly suggesting that.

But what I am suggesting is that you do stop and appreciate that you can smell the poo. (And the roses too, I suppose. ;-))

Now, Law of Attraction people (of which I am one, to a degree) would say that the poo provides contrast so you can become more aware that you want roses. That you don’t have to settle for poo but instead can attract roses. This may be.

Life and Its Content

But even at best, the Law of Attraction still only addresses the content of your life. As fun as it may be to learn how to attract roses instead of poo, you’re still just playing in a world of manifestation. Of content.

And by content, I mean everything that appears to be other than your unchanging true nature, your essence. That includes your thoughts, emotions, psychological makeup, energy body, physical body, etc. Even these that seem so close are content.

And life itself is bigger than just content. Much bigger.

The real thrill is learning how to relate to that content so that you can appreciate the richness of it all. All of it. Even the poo.

To be really alive, no matter what.

A poo-free life of roses sounds nice. But even if possible, would it be? Really? Would life be anywhere near as interesting with no challenges, no “negatives”, no poo?

Embrace It All

By far, the best practice I’ve run across (and I’ve run across plenty) in this regard was discovered by John Sherman of River Ganga.

The simple practice he teaches pulled me out of the quicksand of what was becoming an alarming depression after a few huge blows that left me gasping for air.

The need to keep a distance from your own life, the need to maintain a wary watchfulness over what’s coming and going in your own life … that need vanishes. It just goes away.

And life is revealed to be what it’s always been, which is an endlessly challenging, rewarding adventure that is deeply interesting in its own right; that is unpredictable, wondrous; that consists of problems and solutions, desires and aversions that come and go, that have no effect other than to capture our interest.

John Sherman, A Worldwide Meeting – March 12, 2011

And as I continue to do “the looking” as he calls it, my relationship with this fascinating thing called life continues to improve.

John’s simple approach is radical and powerful, and he is a generous and humble man. I can’t recommend him enough.

And if you go to his site, I’d love to hear what you think.

The Privilege of Life

On a related note, my sweet, 79-years-young friend Christopher Foster of The Happy Seeker is launching his course today titled “How to Look (and Feel) 10 Years Younger in 4 Weeks”. Christopher has a beautiful spirit and much experience and wisdom about how to fully embrace life.

But aging isn’t an enemy. And it doesn’t need to be a drag. It’s a privilege, rightly.

Christopher Foster (from his new course)

I was lucky to be able to review his course materials and can tell you that if you actually do this course you will come away with useful insights and new habits that can make a marked improvement in how you experience life — no matter what your age.

I just know you’ll love his simple yet profound wisdom, and this world will be a better place because of his sharing of it.

And while you’re at it, check out his interview today on our mutual friend Tess’s inspiring blog The Bold Life.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, and share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

Feb 142011
 

This seems like an auspicious day to let our hearts loose. Don’t you think?

And who knows what that will look like … feel like …

(Probably pretty good!)

It’s time to play!

Check in with your heart and you’ll know I’m right.

At least that’s what my heart is saying to me.

Enough! of the control.

Enough! of the planning.

Enough! trying to do it “right”.

If I listen, my heart says to lighten up.

If I listen, I have a new direction. Inward. And outward.

Toward expression, expansion, and experimentation.

Based on my heart song.

Toward freedom … no, not toward it but reveling in the freedom that is already at hand.

Toward lila, Divine play. Creating freely, for the joy of it.

If not now, when?

I’m listening today. Are you?

Stop a moment.

Right now. Close your eyes. Listen to your heart. (Smile. That helps you hear it. :-D)

What is your heart saying? How can you let it sing today?

Will you?

Happy Valentine’s Day! I wish you a happy heart and joyous creating.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, and share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

Jan 122011
 

As we’ve all learned by now, when it comes to colds and flu, the first line of defense is common sense. It involves not only good hygiene in public especially, but also keeping yourself humming along in a nicely balanced and relatively happy state.

But even with our best efforts, the best and most healthy of us sometimes succumb to the occasional cold, even if it’s only once every 3 or 4 years.

That was me over this last holiday season. I’m so not used to it and don’t have a lot of patience for it.

Here’s how I knocked it out in 4 days flat. (Of course, you don’t need to do all of these, just use whichever ones appeal to you.)

Note: I am only skimming the surface of most of these fields of healing. This is out of necessity else I’d have to write a book. If you look down the list I’m sure there will be some things you can apply right now depending on your level of knowledge, and I do offer a few links for more information.

1) Take homeopathic aconitum napellus

This is always my #1. This is the first action to take once you get the itty-bittiest hint that a cold might be coming on. I am convinced that this is the reason I only get a cold once every 3 or 4 years. This stuff is like magic. You feel the beginning of a symptom, you take an aconitum, no more symptoms. Voilà.

2) Use other homeopathy as indicated

It’s rare, but every now and then the cold gets a good enough hold of you that the aconitum doesn’t do it. At that point you may use a few other homeopathic remedies depending on your symptoms.

For me, I had some post-nasal drip so used kali bich and hydrastis candensis. I also began taking the Schuessler cell salts regularly.

All in all, over the whole 4-day period, as symptoms shifted slightly, I’d also used pulsatilla, influenzinum, occillococcinum, rhus tox, nux vomica, and bryonia alba. (Note: Some of my symptoms were more flu-like than cold, so I was hedging my bets. Since I don’t do flu shots, it could have been either or a combination.)

3) Get adequate vitamins and minerals

Vitamin C and zinc are good to be taking all the time, either in your diet or as supplements. I make doubly sure I am getting these if/when a cold is coming on.

4) Drink water

Drink lots of water! This can’t be overemphasized. On about my 3rd day I forgot about this and could feel the cold getting worse again. As soon as I picked back up on the water intake, the cold began to recede. Amazing stuff.

5) Keep your throat relatively germ-free

This is important early in the process but also good during, since you can actually reinfect yourself even as you recuperate. But the idea is that your nose and throat are often where the virus enters your body and if you can keep these areas clean you are likely wiping out a good number of those troublesome little partiers.

3 effective ways to do this are:

  1. Use a tongue scraper — very satisfying (these are good to use all the time, not just when you feel a cold coming on)
  2. Gargle periodically with water that has a drop of tea tree essential oil in it
  3. Take a zinc lozenge such as a Cold-eeze™.

6) Decongest

If you’ve got head congestion (and who doesn’t when a cold is starting?), there are several things you can do to minimize it.

  • One effective way is to put a drop of tea tree essential oil in a pan of water on the stove and gently breathe in the steam (not too close!)
  • Use 1/2 a drop of ravensara essential oil behind each ear
  • And one of the very best decongestant herbs is mullein. It grows wild around here and I collect/dry it to use, but you can get it at a health-food store. Just make a tea from it and drink it periodically throughout the day. You’ll notice a difference.

7) Drink ginger tea or spicy chai

This is based on the principals of Ayurveda, but a cold in the body is usually a kapha condition, and consuming food or drinks that help increase pitta is helpful. (If you want a reference book about Ayurvedic remedies, Dr. Vasant Lad’s The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Remedies is a good one.)

I like to do this by making some ginger tea; it’s fast and easy. All you do is grate some ginger root into a pan (I use the equivalent of about 1/2 a large carrot) and add 2 qt. of water. Simmer this for about 20 minutes. After it’s almost cool, add a touch of your (wholesome) sweetener of choice and strain it into a pitcher. Drink warm cups of this with soymilk added throughout the day.

The other drink I like is homemade chai. You can find my delicious recipe at the end of this article.

8 ) Stay warm

A cold is called a cold for a reason. It’s important to stay nice and cozy warm while you recover.

Sometimes I will use a heating pad (I know, this isn’t “natural” but it’s easy and I recommend it) but the very best thing is to take a nice hot bath with some epsom salts (they help pull toxins from your body) or a jacuzzi if you have one. Ahhh! This is especially helpful before going to bed.

9) Get a lot of sleep

When I have a cold, my sleep is disturbed. Even when I sleep, it’s lighter than usual and I wake up feeling like I was awake all night. Very odd.

Besides following general guidelines for getting a good night’s sleep, flower essences can help. I like the combination that is the equivalent of the Bach Sleepytime formula: White Chestnut, Rock Rose, Clematis, Impatiens, Cherry Plum, and Star of Bethlehem. I have a spray bottle of it and I also have drops which I put in my water glass near the bathroom sink, to sip if I get up during the night for any reason.

If I’m really not sleeping well at all I will sometimes resort to taking an antihistamine. Your body will not get deep natural sleep that way but in my experience it’s better than nothing so I do keep those on hand. Nothing’s better for healing than a good night’s sleep.

10) Avoid sugar

I had some type of sugar (a cookie or something, I don’t remember) and could immediately feel it in my body. It was as if I got set back to when I was feeling my worst. I suggest avoiding big doses of processed sugar if you can.

Subtle But Effective Remedies

I began by saying I would tell you how I managed to knock my cold out, but to be more precise, that’s not exactly what I was doing.

11) Get the message: You’re out of balance

First, don’t be mad at or feel you have to attack the cold. A better way to think of it is that the cold is a sign that you’re somehow out of balance or you wouldn’t have gotten it. It’s a messenger of sorts. And so, we get the message and take the actions that counteract our particular imbalance.

12) Think about what might have brought it on

I don’t mean that lady who sneezed on you at the grocery store. I’m talking about your life situation, especially some type of disturbance.

For example, this time I had just gotten a box of old diaries out of the closet. There was other old stuff in there that I started going through; old letters, some photos, cards I’d saved, etc. That is exactly when I first felt the cold symptoms. And they weren’t as obvious as sneezing or a sore throat (although they might be for you); it was just something “not right” with my body. But bingo, that was it. So make a note of that as it will be helpful as you move forward.

13) Do affirmations

Louise Hay wrote a book ages ago that I have gotten some great insights and benefit from. It’s called You Can Heal Your Life and toward the back she lists affirmations for each illness. It’s based on what she learned about the source of disease.

I looked up “Colds” and the probable cause she lists for that didn’t resonate with me (Too much going on at once. Mental confusion, disorder. Small hurts. “I get three colds every winter,” type of belief.) I looked up “Post-nasal drip” (yes, this gal gets specific) and that one did (Inner crying. Childish tears. Victim.) The moment I read it I felt an immediate  clutching in my heart area and felt like crying.

So I wrote the affirmation for that one on a piece of paper and repeated it often. Over the next day or so, and as I considered when my symptoms started, I realized that the probable cause for colds was a definite match too.

Here are the two affirmations I did, from her book:

Colds: “I allow my mind to relax and be at peace. Clarity and harmony are within me and around me.”

Post-nasal drip: “I acknowledge and accept that I am the creative power in my world. I now choose to enjoy life.”

As I look at these now, I see they might seem trivial, but if you’re familiar with the power of affirmations, you know they can pack quite a punch by addressing unconscious hang-ups.

14) Write or talk with someone

As you become more aware what emotional state is causing or related to your cold, it’s very good therapy to process that to some degree. I find writing in my journal is extremely enlightening and cathartic. Seeing the issue in black and white helps get your head around it, and solutions flow onto the page as well. I highly recommend it.

15) Use flower essences

I’m especially fond of the Bach Flower Essences. Although there are others I’ve played around with, the Bach set seems complete and sufficient for everything you might run into.

It’s helpful to use whichever essence will support you in healing whatever related emotional issue you’ve uncovered above. If you’re not familiar with these — or even if you are, I think Mechthild Scheffer’s book Bach Flower Therapy is one of the best available and pretty much the only one you need.

Two that I remember using were Crabapple and Rabbitbrush (this one is not Bach but I made it myself years ago and it’s for overwhelm, which matches Louise’s possible cause for colds, above.)

16) Practice Tolle’s method of being present in your body

In Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now, page 103, he gives a process for enlightening your cells with presence.

Essentially, you “flood” your body with consciousness. Close your eyes and choose a part of your body to focus your attention on briefly at first: hands, feet, arms, chest, etc. Feel the energy or life force inside those parts as intensely as you can. Stay with each part for 15 seconds or so. Then let your attention run through your body like a wave a few times, from feet to head and back again. Do that for a minute or two. Then feel the inner body in its totality, as a single field of energy. Be intensely present in every cell of your body. Do this for a few minutes.

This is a preventive tonic for the immune system and can also work as “medicine” for any current disease. It’s powerful. You can actually feel the difference immediately.

Specialized Techniques

If you have access to or are trained in these next/final modalities, I highly recommend you practice them since they may be the most powerful of all.

17) Reiki

I am a Reiki practitioner so I gave myself some Reiki treatments. Full-body is best and in the beginning I also focused on the swollen glands in my neck area. There are also some good books about which areas to focus on for certain ailments.

So here’s a reminder if you know how to do this. And if you don’t, you may consider getting a treatment. These can be done long-distance, even while you’re cozy in your bed.

18) Matrix Energetics

I am trained in Matrix Energetics and so I used this to help shift the imbalance into a more “useful” condition. There’s nothing magic here, even though it’s so surprisingly powerful that it seems like it sometimes, and I will be sharing over time some techniques you can use yourself.

I will also be offering Matrix Energetics related services pretty soon. Stay tuned.

19) Connect with healing guides

I actually have a few particular guides who show up regularly when healing is called for. I always feel a shift as they work with me, sometimes with the condition clearing up completely.

If you know how to connect with your guides, invite them to help you or ask them if they can usher in some other guides who specialize in healing.

If not, then you may want to get a session with someone who can call this help in for you. (The Matrix Energetics related services I just mentioned above will include connecting with guides as well.)

20) Actualism

My husband trained in and practiced something called Actualism lightwork for several decades and he led us through a session related to the Divine Mother energy. Powerful and soothing.

If you have any experience at all with using energy, light or consciousness to heal, now’s a good time to practice it! If you don’t, but would like to, stay tuned to this space since being able to effectively develop those skills is a large part of what I am here to share with you.

My Chai Recipe

These measurements are approximate. You want it to be fairly concentrated.

  • Ginger root (about 1/2 of a large carrot’s worth, grated)
  • Star anise (whole, about 2 T)
  • Cinnamon (1-2 sticks, or 1-2 t powdered)
  • Fennel seed (about 2 t, ground in a pestle)
  • Cardamom seed (about 1 t, ground in a pestle)
  • Black pepper (about 15 twists from a grinder)
  • Clove (about 1 heaping t whole or 1/8 – 1/4 t ground)
  • Nutmeg (about 1/8 t, grated)

Put all ingredients in a pan with about 2 qts. of water. Simmer, covered for about 25 min. After it cools some, strain into a pitcher. Sweeten just a touch with agave nectar or your sweetener of choice. Serve hot (Ayurveda would technically say warm) with soy milk (I use vanilla soymilk). Yum, and so good for you!

Here’s to a happy and healthy winter! (Or summer, as it may be. ;-))

I know there are lots more natural/vibrational remedies; these are just the ones that popped into my mind over those 4 days. Do you have any favorites you’d like to share?

Disclaimer: These suggestions are not meant to take the place of medical treatment.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, and share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

Jan 052011
 

“We’re here to live this storm of wild wonder that is the unfolding of phenomena within our minds, within our consciousness. And when the fear of it goes, then our reception of it is wondrous beyond belief.”

John Sherman, at a Worldwide Online Meeting, Dec. 18, 2010

A few nights ago, I was kneeling on the living room floor with our two dogs as they vied for and got my full attention. The little old slobbery boxer nuzzled under one arm while the goofy, angora-soft lab pushed his way under the other. Multi-colored Christmas lights sparkled around the window, and the hauntingly beautiful, other-worldly music of Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco filled the room.

Suddenly I found myself having an experience of rapture. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I felt that movement around my heart. You know the feeling —  that humming like there’s an earthquake starting in there? I could barely contain myself.

I was simply and excruciatingly thrilled to be alive. Intensely and unreservedly alive. And every cell in my body was bursting with the wonder of it.

Don’t you just love it when you feel such appreciation for the gift of being alive?

Embrace the Storm of Wild Wonder

It’s not that I was happy because I have my precious dogs, am in a warm & cozy house, am married to the love of my life, or any/all of the obviously positive gifts that have been bestowed upon me.

I was happy even though I don’t have a fancy house, I lost my life saving a few years ago, I’m a basket case when it comes to being productive, and despite all the apparently difficult or challenging situations that have presented themselves.

As far as I could tell, I was happy because I was saying yes to it — to all of it — fully and completely. I was momentarily allowing myself to fully embrace life without the fear that is so often lurking around in the nooks and crannies. I was without the often-present sense that I am somehow at stake here. I wasn’t keeping life at arm’s length for fear that I would be hurt. I wasn’t judging some things as good and others as bad.

This means saying yes to the adventure. For me right now that’s to the launching of a brand new career at the ripe old age of 56. For you, of course, it’s whatever comprises your adventure; those things that excite you and challenge you at the same time.

But at an even deeper level, we say yes to trusting enough in the now to let go of control (as if we ever had control anyway).

We say yes to being alive in a world where everything changes every minute and every second. Where nothing is ever the same from one blink of the eye to the next. Where the unknown looms hugely in front of us, and there are no guarantees.

We say yes to allowing the living, breathing being that we are to be fully alive and to shine its light gloriously in each and every moment.

Dissolve the Fear

Of course this exhilarating fearlessness occurs in our lives from time to time. But isn’t it always rather fleeting? Lately, it’s becoming much less so for me, and more and more a part of who I am.

I’m sure that’s in large part because just over a year ago I discovered a simple – dirt simple – process that has been slowly but surely dissolving the fear, just as promised.

This fear-dissolving process consists of a simple act of looking. Looking at yourself. And I don’t mean psychologically or emotionally. I don’t even mean spiritually. I mean looking at who or what you are at your core. The simple nature of you.

And you don’t even have to see who or what you are, or understand it. You just have to look. And if you do this periodically, then over time the fear melts away.

Is that amazing or what?

I’ll continue to share on this blog what it feels like to have the existential fear of life gradually disappear, and the significant impact it’s had on my experience of life.

I’ll also share more about how you can do it even though I’ve already said it all (yes, it really is that simple).

For now though, if you’re interested in learning more, you can hear it from the proverbial horse’s mouth at River Ganga Foundation. John and Carla Sherman offer a bounty of information in the form of transcripts, audios, videos, and their book Look at Yourself.

I’ve been a spiritual aspirant all my life yet this is a whole new paradigm from anything I’ve ever come into contact with. I highly recommend you check it out.

What are you saying yes to, or what might you want to say yes to that you’ve not? Please share!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, and share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

Dec 172010
 

Yesterday I went into town to do a little gift shopping for my son and his family.

It quickly became an experience that was both ordinary and extra-ordinary at the same time.

There’s something I do intentionally sometimes but this time it happened spontaneously. The whole shopping experience became a pure joy for me and I know it was uplifting for the people I interacted with.

Let me explain so you can do it too, if you want.

Little Pockets of Intimacy

It started on its own, right at the beginning when I was walking across the parking lot toward the store. I paused and waited while the security truck drove by. My eyes caught those of the driver and I smiled and nodded. He smiled back and waved. “Hmm, that felt nice”, I noticed as I proceeded into the store, just a little bit lighter on my feet.

Inside, the store was bustling and everyone was going every which way, all very involved in their own little worlds as they efficiently got their shopping done. I have to admit, that’s how I usually shop. Very focused. Oblivious to much of what’s going on around me. (Sound familiar?)

I didn’t consciously intend to do this but at some point I noticed that I was really connecting with every person I had even the slightest interaction with.

And I mean really connecting. I’m usually friendly and often end up in a conversation or two, but this was different.

It involves taking an extra moment — or maybe just a more intentional & present moment — to really see them. As a person.

And the response was remarkable.

Most people did a physical double take. They’re just not expecting it. And then they came back with something “extra”, like “Have a nice day!”, or a big smile, or even something to continue the connection, like talking about the weather or something like that.

There was sweet little old Chester in paints, who philosophized out of the blue about how everyone should live life on their own terms. There was the checkout lady who who got up at the crack of dawn to score a Barbie Dream House for her granddaughter. Or the other one who was eager for snow so her nieces and nephews arriving from Texas could enjoy some winter sports.

But the most noticeable thing in every case is that they all just kind of lit up. They glowed. Their eyes sparkled. They radiated something nice that I could feel from 3 or 4 feet away.

And so did I. I know because I could feel that too, and boy did it feel good!

The Joy of Acknowledging Oneself

What I’m describing is akin to what is known as namasté in the East, and more and more prevalently in the West these days too. It’s a greeting or acknowledgement that means the God or the divine in me honors the God or the divine in you. (Or for those of you who saw Avatar: “I see you”. :-))

And are we talking about two different Gods?  I think not.

As Michael Brown says in his powerful workbook The Presence Process:

“By setting our intention to appreciate the Inner Presence of another, we simultaneously make a choice to give ourselves an opportunity to look directly into the eyes of God.

We simultaneously give God the opportunity to look back and give us a wink.

We give ourselves an opportunity to remember that we are all connected cells in One body that has One mind, that feels from One heart and that dances from One spirit. “

But whatever the deeper reality, I wanted to share this with you because I highly recommend it. If you do this already, maybe it can serve as a reminder. And if you don’t, it’s very simple.

For example, here’s what you can do at the checkout counter.

1) First take your eyes away from all the things. The credit card machine and the groceries or whatever.

2) For a moment just look into the eyes of the person on the other side of the counter.

Do this with an intention to acknowledge and contact their inner presence.

3) Just smile at them or ask them how they’re doing, or whatever you want. That is, unless whatever happened at step 2 put you immediately at step 4 — not uncommon.

4) And then watch what happens. You will see and feel an obvious response. They suddenly become very present.

5) And notice that you, too, are even more present along with them. And notice how good this feels.

It’s really beautiful.

Food for the Soul

And ultimately, it’s very nourishing. So much so that after a busy day — even after being around the disparate energy of a bunch of people, which we all know has the potential to be draining — you feel uplifted and energized rather than depleted.

And really happy to be alive.

Of course you can do this with anyone at any time. Friends and family included.

Try it out over the holidays and report back. I’d love to hear if you got such a jolt of good juju as I did.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, and share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

Dec 102010
 

Do you ever feel like this picture looks? Just a little too “out there”?

Yup, me too.

And I’ll show you a quick way to turn that around.

But first let’s take a look at a primary cause.

(Hint: And it’s not because you have too much to do.)

Who’s Calling the Shots?

In these fascinating days of interconnection, with web surfing, wiki everything, and gadgets galore, rarely a day goes by that we aren’t influenced by other people.

Yet most of our connections have a tiny hidden cost.

Around the holidays especially, with all kinds of parties and family gatherings, there are usually a lot of quiet demands on us. There are tenacious old patterns, unspoken expectations, and assumed obligations, all sneaking a little piece of our attention.

Or maybe like me, you’re learning some new skills and have a lot of “teachers” in your life. We absorb what they tell us like sponges. We watch who does it right and who does it wrong. We listen to what to do and then how to do it better.

Whatever the situation, we’re often so constantly connected that we don’t notice that little pieces of our attention are “out there”, scattered all over the place. And this is true even when the influences are good ones.

Before you know it, the voices of everyone else create a cacophony and added together are much louder than your own. To make matters worse, they don’t all say the same thing, in fact they often say the exact opposite.

They pull you every which way.

If you check in with yourself, you notice you’re scattered, spacey, off balance, and drained. You’re easily distracted. Maybe even little health issues are popping up or you find yourself mindlessly eating all that “bad” stuff. Again.

Aggh!

An Effective Practice

Believe it or not, there’s a quick and easy way to reclaim yourself. It’s something I discovered quite a few years back.

I’ve done this many times and every single time I’m amazed at what a huge difference it makes.

You’ll suddenly be calm and balanced. Collected, centered, and grounded. Best of all you’ll feel congruent and integrated again.

And it’s so simple.

You are going to pull yourself together. Literally.

“This is really America in therapy, people trying to get themselves together and be whole.”
David S. Viscott

A quick study of the words whole, holy, holistic, and health shows that they are all related. No surprise, is it? And holy is “that which must be preserved whole or intact, that cannot be transgressed or violated”.

Sounds pretty good to be whole, doesn’t it?

How to do it

It’s so easy.

1) First of all, decide you want to be all in one place again. Whole. (Speaking of words, did you know “decide” comes from the Latin decidere, to cut off? This is what you are doing when you decide, cutting away from the other options, the distractions.)

Deciding alone is a powerful step.

Do it right now. Can you feel the difference?

2) Next, be aware that all your connections are like tendrils going out from your body and connecting with everyone who’s influencing you.

Take a look at them in your mind’s eye, and who they are connected to. Who is influencing you? Who are the first few people who come to mind? Who are you trying to please? Or learn from? Or who are you trying to influence? Who are you keeping tabs on?

A few will be obvious, and you don’t need to worry about the ones that aren’t.

Spend a minute or so doing this.

3) And finally, just disconnect your tendrils and pull them all back in to yourself.

You can do them one by one, in groups, or all at once — whichever seems most effective for you.

See them all receding back in, so that you are a smooth, egg-shaped energy system.

Then put your focus on you … and take a few moments to notice how soothing and solid that feels.

And you’re done!

Don’t be fooled by how simple and obvious this sounds. It’s really powerful.

When I do this, I immediately feel a shift in my energy. Then for days — and I’m not kidding — I have so much energy I barely know what to do with it all.

I feel clear and uncluttered. I have laser-beam focus without even trying.

You’ll find that you not only feel much better, but you are much more effective at what is important to you. Even when you’ve got lots to do, you’re able to focus calmly on your priorities.

And best of all, you can still work and play with others but your own presence is more concentrated. And your relationships are more healthy again.

If you find the need to do this, I’d love to hear what your results were. Or do it preventively, even better.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, and share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

Nov 052010
 

Today is the first day of the 5-day Festival of Lights.

It’s a powerful time that we can either let slip by or take a moment to harness so we can direct its energy in a conscious way.

The Festival of Lights, or “Diwali” which means row of lamps, is a major holiday in India. It’s based on the lunar calendar which matches the natural rhythms of life more closely than the more arbitrary dates of our western solar calendar.

Celebrate Your Inner Light

The story behind Diwali varies by region but all agree that it’s a celebration of the victory of good over evil, of light over darkness.

This refers in part to our inner light of consciousness which dispels darkness and ignorance, including the ignorance of us as anything other than the unchanging, immanent reality. It’s the light of our presence shining through our conditioning.

It’s a time of renewal much like Christmas is for Christians.

Diwali’s also a time for honoring Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, in hopes of increasing prosperity in the upcoming year. The planet Venus is related to Lakshmi and is especially strong right now since it’s retrograde in its own sign of Libra.

Around Diwali time, there are also other holidays in various cultures that are related to the goddess Kali (the destroyer): the Celtic festival Samhain, the Day of the Dead, and Halloween. And like Diwali, they also relate in one way or another to the Moon and its relationship to the Pleiades (aka the Seven Sisters, or Krittika in Vedic astrology) where the Moon is exalted. If you look up in the midnight sky this time of year, you will see that unmistakable constellation directly above.

Tonight is also the the new Moon and this one especially is very auspicious for doing any inner work.

Natural Support to Embrace Light and Prosperity

Over the next 5 days, the planets and stars are supporting us in allowing our light to prevail over darkness in our lives and in welcoming prosperity at the same time.

In addition, the energy of people all over the world attuning to this holiday and celebrating these same gifts further increases the power of these 5 days and nights.

I definitely want to take advantage of this, and thought you might too!

5 Simple Rituals

Here are 5 short but potent rituals you can do to invite light and prosperity to become constant companions in your life.

  1. Get quiet inside. Take a little while to feel the light of your presence glowing within you. Move through your body and feel it everywhere. Notice that the light isn’t confined to your body at all.
  2. Light a candle while inviting the universe to support your light and to help it shine even brighter in the coming year.
  3. Go within and see or feel the light within you that is wanting to shine into this physical world. What form might that take as it expresses itself? See what bubbles up. Whether you know the answer or not, light a candle and acknowledge that you will do what you can to allow that expression of your light as you move forward.
  4. Take a moment to appreciate the abundance that is already yours. If you can, speak it out loud. I am grateful for __________. Or I enjoy _________. Or I love _________. Choose the one that lifts your spirits the most. Do this for at least 3 minutes.
  5. Be grateful that all that you can possibly need is already yours.

You can pick and choose, or do them all. You can do them individually or combine several into one ritual (I especially like numbers 1 and 2 combined). You can do them once or repeat them each night.

And of course, you can (and should) use your own intuition to modify or add to these ideas as you see fit. I’m sure there’s at least oneyou could customize to make it feel even more powerful to you.

And if you have any rituals you’d like to share, please do. Maybe sharing rituals is part of what wants to shine through you!

May you shine brilliantly and may fortune and prosperity be yours now and in the upcoming year. Namasté.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please subscribe — and share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

Oct 142010
 

Whatever could toilets and sacred moments possibly have in common, you ask?

A lot, actually, and your day will be all the better for knowing what. I promise!

Have you been appreciating how profoundly precious life is lately? If you’re like me, you forget every now and then.

Well, here’s a beautiful story that might jog your memory periodically, at least for awhile while it’s fresh in your mind. And maybe, like me, for long afterward.

Today I read a post by Kara of Conduit of Joy! that I found very touching. It in turn reminded me of something I’d read by Denise Linn that I still think of often, even though I first read it 8 months ago.

Essentially Denise shares what transpired between her and a friend who had just received the devastating news that she only had about 5 more days to live. (And I think I have problems?!)

I would not be able to do the story justice by piece-mealing it here… I think you would love reading the whole thing yourself (it’s short and quick, and don’t miss her p.s.) But I will share two potent quotes that I’ve taken away from it that enhance my life whenever I am fortunate enough to remember them.

In speaking of her friend:

“She said that she has realized that her entire life she’s been more afraid of living than of dying…”

WOW. Well. I can identify with that one. Can you? But it doesn’t really make sense to live that way, does it?!

And her friend said of knowing she only had a few more days to live:

“It makes every moment precious. When I go to the toilet, I know that there is only a limited number of times that I will be able to do that . . . and it makes it a ’sacred toilet moment’. When I go to sleep, this makes it a ’sacred sleeping moment’. Every bit of food, every conversation, and every moment . . . no matter how seemingly mundane, is precious. I’m cherishing it all. Really we should always be doing this.”

I absolutely, unequivocally loved this! It’s just perfect. Did you know a toilet discussion could be so, well, poignant? Holy? You may beg to differ, but anything that can make such a mundane thing so inspirational is good, grounded spirituality in my book! Gotta love it.

It also makes me aware of how blessed I am to be able to live fairly simply and to have the space and time to experience and appreciate without being overwhelmed. It’s common for me to be in awe of even simple things — which I quickly see are not simple at all, but totally miraculous!

And thanks in part to gentle reminders like these two posts, I get to appreciate yet again just how precious life is.

What is it that prompts you to do that?

Thank you for reading and sharing this virtual space. I guess I can enjoy the sound of one hand clapping, but two is so much more fun. Blessings to you!

[Photo: Egor Gribanov]

Sep 292010
 

Do you want to have more access to your own inner guidance, your intuition, but have trouble finding the time? Well, I have good news: There IS no need to dedicate a chunk of your precious time!

I’m going to tell you about  a really handy tool for helping you do this today. Right now, in fact. It can make your intuitive voice a constant companion. It enables you to practice your intuitive awareness while you’re doing other things and the resulting clarity and guidance will help you do those other things even better!

And it couldn’t be more accessible. It’s a simple timer!

Now, I know this may sound a little nerdy, but I have benefited so much from using a timer that I don’t care! I use this tool often. It’s great for reminding me to check in with my intuition. (It’s also excellent for any kind of mindfulness practice.  And if you are wanting to be more intuitive, I highly recommend a mindfulness practice of some kind. They go hand-in-hand and make a beautiful couple!)

I use a regular kitchen timer attached to my waistband, or if I’m at my computer I use a digital timer that runs in the background. Use whatever kind of timer is most convenient for you.

Depending on what intuitive skill I am practicing, or what activities I’m involved in that day, I will set it to go off anywhere from every 10 min. to every hour. Use your own judgement.

Okay okay, you say, so what do I do with it already?

Well, the main thing is you use it to remind you to pause, just for a few minutes, and check in with what you might be sensing in the moment. You can make this as simple or complex as you want. But essentially:

1. When I decide on an interval and set my timer for the day, I also set an intention with an affirmation. For example,

When this goes off today, it will gently remind me that I am intuitive and constantly receiving impressions. I will easily slip into a space where those impressions and what they mean are all very apparent. My intuitive muscles are getting more awesome by the minute!

If there is something in particular that you are wanting to receive answers about, go ahead and make that a part of your intention. Often intuition works more easily when it has a compelling purpose.

2. So then, when the timer goes off, step out of what you are doing if possible. (I suggest that in the beginning you don’t do this while doing things that require undivided attention, such as driving, etc. Eventually, you will find that doing this actually helps you be more attentive, but for now, let’s just play it safe.) It might help to close your eyes.

3. Be aware of that stillness and that space that is always present sort of encompassing everything. Some people experience this as their heart space.

4. Move out of your thinking mind as much as you can. (And if you have a few extra minutes, you can use these remarkable tools to make sure you’re in an open intuitive space.)

5. Next, just open to anything at all that might be trying to get your attention. Ask if there is anything that it would be helpful for you to be aware of, then see if anything comes to you. It could be in the form of a thought, a physical sensation, a knowing, an inspired idea related to what you were doing or what you asked about in the beginning of the day.

If nothing comes, that’s okay! If something comes that you don’t know what to do with, that’s okay too! You’re exercising; it’s progress whether it looks like it or not.

6. The rest of the exercise is free-form. Here are some ideas; do all or some or none!

You can ask yourself any or all of the following questions, or make up your own either beforehand or in the moment. Note you are not asking your thinking/rational mind. Remember, you’re in your heart, so ask your heart:

• What thoughts or impressions have I had (or am I having) that might be intuitions?

• What is trying to happen (I love this question. Really useful!)

• What do I need to be aware of that I now have no awareness of?

• What new concept can I become aware of today that will help: enlighten? heal? [whatever]?

• How is [so-and-so] doing right now? (Useful if someone close to you is of concern, OR if you are just playing and can confirm later on.)

Glance over my post on awareness for more ways to exercise your intuition, and insert any of those practices here.

Check in with your various bodies: physical, emotional (and see if it’s coming from you or someone else), mental (even though you are not “IN” your head, you can still see it from where you are!) and spiritual. Just see what’s up and if it’s helpful at all. (I’ll do this right now as an example; here are my notes):

Physical: A need for a big sigh, indicating I’m not relaxed. Tense. Take a moment to shift around and roll my shoulders. That’s better.

Emotional: Not. Involved in mental activity. (That’s okay, makes sense!)

Mental: A little jumbled. Preceding part of this post is only outlined (at best!), still gathering and organizing thoughts.

Spiritual: Not sure what I even mean by this in this context, but it seems important to check in anyway. I notice that the question that pops into my mind is: What frequency am I operating on? Answer: A little heavy. Something tells me I would do well to take a moment and lift myself; that way this post will come from a more inspired (spirited) place. There are lots of ways to do this, and I’ll cover them in another post. For now, I will simply remind myself how lucky I am to be getting to write. And about this. I enjoy it, and remember that this is fun and I’ve chosen it. There, much lighter already!

7. And finally, play with this! See what YOU can come up with. Improvise however you want. Keep it fun and it will be surprisingly rewarding. You will very likely come away with some useful insights or guidance that would otherwise have escaped you.

Don’t worry if you don’t get a lot of impressions in the beginning, or if you aren’t able to connect them with anything meaningful. Maybe there’s nothing at all that seems significant right away but this exercise will invariably get the juices flowing. Frequent checking in is an important step toward it being second nature, or even first! 😉

Eventually, you will find that the timer works like training wheels, or even brakes if that’s what’s called for. Pausing to “check in” becomes automatic, and even without the timer you will go for quite awhile as if you were using it when you don’t even need to. And if you’re like me, you might find you’re getting wobbly again after awhile, or racing headlong down the hill, and you want to use the training wheels (or brakes) again for a little while.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Now is the time to use your intuition! Go!

And now, share your experience with us! [It’s painless, I promise. Just click on the response link, bottom right.]

Or do you have some additional suggestions to share? Comments? Questions? Let us hear from you.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please subscribe – and please share it on Twitter and with your friends. Thank you!

[Photo: fdecomite]