Have You Hugged a Tree Today?

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you…while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” ~ John Muir

Remember the old Joni Mitchell song about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot? Greater and greater numbers of the Earth’s people are gathering in cities to live. What if children begin to think our planet is made of concrete and asphalt?  With nature taking a hit at every turn—from global warming to the burning of the rainforests—it matters how each of us honors our connection to the natural world. Have you taken a walk in the woods this autumn?  Have you hugged a tree to show you care? Getting your regular nature fix shows not only that you care about the gift of that amazing maple tree in your yard, but also about your own divine connection to the natural world.

As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I make sure my ties to the Earth, the sky, the wind, the stars, the plants, and the animals are always intact. I have my favorite places in nature that support my spirit and strengthen my knowledge of the unconditional love and universal connection we all share. Are you making good use of the power of nature to soothe and guide you? The modern world seems to conspire against us by producing more and more distractions—from the television to the iPhone. How can we get back to our essential being? Have you stepped away from the pavement and onto the grass, the sand, even the mud in your bare feet lately?

You can invite joy into your life each day by communing with nature. Spending time in nature is a wonderful way to get grounded and feel calm and balanced. It’s a key to enhancing your sense of spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. Scientific research has proven that time spent in nature reduces anxiety and stress. Nature can bring you to the present moment as you focus on things that fascinate—from a spider building a web to a fish swimming in a stream. In nature, you feel connected to the universe and the chain of all living things.

Here are some ways that spending time in nature can enhance your health and contribute to your spiritual growth:

  1. Find an outdoor place you love and bring your journaling or meditation practice there. If journaling, try to capture the complete experience of being outside. What are the sounds, the scents, the sights you perceive? Is there something special to touch or even taste?
  2. Expand your knowledge in the experience of nature. Learn something new about the plant, animal, and bird life around you.
  3. If you can, visit the natural world at night. See how different the world looks and sounds.
  4. Pitch a tent in your backyard and sleep under the stars.
  5. Take your exercise program outdoors by walking, running, even doing yoga or tai chi in the park. Breathe in the fresh air.
  6. Paint, draw, photograph, or write about the natural world. Poet Mary Oliver writes about the lessons she learns from the birds, insects, and animals she sees during her daily walks.
  7. Focus on the simple beauty of one natural object—a butterfly, a rock, a flower.
  8. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Lie on your back and study the sky.
  9. Take a walk in the rain without an umbrella.
  10. Choose a favorite tree to study through its seasonal cycle.

As for that tree you are thinking of hugging, trees send their roots deep into the earth for energy and they also receive light energy from the sky above. Like all plants, trees convert carbon dioxide, of which our planet has too much, into oxygen. Breathe deeply while hugging that tree. Take in the scent and feel of the bark. Look up into the branches and leaves and marvel at the complex patterns you see. Feel yourself contributing to the life of the tree by breathing out carbon dioxide and breathing in the life-giving oxygen freely offered to you!

Learn how to meditate with ease and comfort with Deborah King! Click here to find out more.



Who’s Driving This Car?

Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans. ~ John Lennon

Are you one of those people who is always making plans? It’s a natural reaction to living in a world which seems way out of control. Do you have a plan—maybe even a “Plan B”—for the life that stretches out ahead of you? I once heard someone say: “Plan B? Why I am long past that. I’m already on Plans X, Y, and Z!” And she was a very young woman. That’s the trouble with plans; they have a way of spinning away from you—sometimes in a direction you never wanted to go.

If you find yourself pushing too hard, trying to assure that life will go according to your plan, stop and think for a moment. Where do your plans come from? Do they spring from other people’s expectations? Are you dodging fearful scenarios by planning ways not to encounter them? Where are you looking for guidance as you attempt to map out your life? Have you consulted the Divine Plan that underlies all of life, including yours?

It took me many years of struggle and study, prayer and exploration before I realized that almost in spite of myself, the Divine was at work in my life. How did I come to the path I am on today? I now see how divinely guided I was even when it didn’t look that way at all. On the surface, it may seem that my start in the corporate world was an aberration from my true path as a spiritual teacher and energy healer. But I soon realized that my career as an attorney, not to mention my abusive childhood, had been blessings in disguise. One of the tasks involved in effecting healing transformations in others is forming unbending intent—the same kind, ironically, that wins lawsuits. So much of the left-brained, linear, analytical thinking that I learned in law school and practiced as an attorney became surprisingly handy in the field of energy medicine.

Whatever your particular journey has been, rest assured that nothing happens in your life that isn’t part of the Divine plan. Everything will serve your higher purpose in some way. Take a moment to re-imagine your own story, to see the obstacles and traumas and disciplines of your life as the necessary foundation for your spiritual development and the accomplishment of your true purpose. Your Divine plan has been in place all along as a source of safety and comfort.

Students sometimes tell me that they think letting go of what they cannot control is an admission of failure. But it can be exactly the opposite. Surrendering to a higher power, or simply to the concept that forces larger than yourself are at work in the universe, is empowering. Letting go, relinquishing your need to have it your way and allowing other options and possibilities to emerge, opens you to receiving and achieving success.

Balance between voicing your desires, taking action, and allowing what is meant to happen is key here. Stop pushing…relax…allow…surrender. Ask yourself the following questions:  Do I tend to direct and orchestrate excessively? What is my underlying fear? What would happen in this particular instance if I just relaxed and let go?

Answering these questions truthfully, without pretense, can be part of your healing. Surrender isn’t simply a word or a thought; it is a state of being. If you tend to over-control both yourself and those around you, make your new mantra: “I choose to surrender to the powers of the universe in the running of my life, my health, my relationships, my finances, and all the small stuff, too.” You will feel a lot more relaxed and you won’t feel so alone.

The classic steps on the road to surrender are:

  1. Make no judgments.
  2. Have no expectations.
  3. Give up the need to know why.
  4. Trust that unscheduled events are a form of direction.

A mantra of surrender called the Serenity Prayer is said by Twelve Step groups in all it’s various incarnations: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Want to learn more about the healing power of spiritual surrender? Click here >>>>


Champions of the Seventh Chakra

What do you think of when you hear the word “champion”? Someone who rescues another from a burning building or dives into the water to help a struggling swimmer? Performing brave deeds is one form of being a champion but there’s another kind of champion too, one whose help is needed all the time just about everywhere. These are the Champions of the Seventh Chakra.  They are people you know in today’s world, using their special gifts and talents to help others on a global scale.

I call them “Seventh Chakra” champions because their ability to do the work they do comes from their “open” seventh energy centers. The seventh chakra energy center at the top of the head is called the “crown chakra.” It’s your connection with Spirit, your Higher Power, and the Universe. This energy center opens outward and upward, pulling light energy in from above and flooding you with an experience of transcendence. You are no longer merely human when this center of energy is awakened; an enormous power lights up your consciousness.

A person with an open seventh chakra energy center is a beautiful sight to behold. Let me describe some of my nominees for the league of “Seventh Chakra Champions:”

Someone with a truly integrated seventh chakra is 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. President Carter and his wife Rosalynn founded the nonprofit Carter Center whose mission is to prevent disease, defend human rights, resolve conflicts, and ease poverty around the world. Habitat for Humanity, which builds low-income housing, is a special cause for President and Mrs. Carter. Beyond raising money, they have hammered nails for Habitat with their own hands. In 2002, Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his international work as a peacemaker and humanitarian.  He cites his spiritual faith as the inspiration for his mission to help all God’s children obtain food, shelter, health care, and a chance to live in peace.

If you were the richest couple in the world, what would you do? Here’s another team of Seventh Chakra Champions who are using their power to serve and heal. Bill Gates’ fascination with computers led him to co-found software giant Microsoft.  Today, he and his wife use their wealth to fund the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which works to advance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty around the world. Bill and Melinda Gates encourage other super wealthy people to sign the Giving Pledge and agree to give 50 percent of their money to charity.  They are credited with giving away billions and saving an untold number of lives. They also affirm that extreme wealth isn’t required to look at the world with openness and caring and do what you can do.

If you look forward to watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show and enjoy her good-natured, humorous antics, you may recognize that Ellen is another of our “Seventh Chakra Champions.” She uses the power of her personality and her role as a TV talk show host to encourage tolerance, kindness, and giving. Among the causes she has supported are: Susan G. Komen for the Cure (breast cancer awareness), “Be Kind” (anti-bullying), The Humane Society, Feeding America, Children’s Health Fund, The Gentle Barn (home for abused animals), and many others.

Each of these “champions” embodies the kind of connection to Source that can empower anyone to work for the greater good. An open seventh chakra helps you build this connection. Each day, you can invite spiritual growth and welcome the divine into your life through prayer, meditation, or communion with nature. If you wonder whether your seventh chakra is open, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I trust that I am safe and connected to a universe that wants to support me?

Do I have a ritual that connects me with my God or with nature?

Do I have a sense of joy that comes from my purpose in the world?

Can I imagine myself connected to everyone and everything?

Energy healing opened the door for me to realize my true purpose, and today I serve as a Master Energy Healer. However you hope to serve, whatever you dream of pursuing, energy healing provides access to your higher self, where all your answers reside.


Make Friends with Your Journal

Does the word “journaling” give you scary flashbacks to high school English class? Do you see worrisome visions of blank pages, broken pencils, and ticking clocks? Maybe a threatening red pen hovers over your newly-hatched sentences? If you are a reluctant writer who thinks you couldn’t possibly have the time, patience, energy, courage, clarity, or gumption to start a journaling practice, give yourself a hug and think again.

As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I have seen the miraculous benefits of journaling. It can awaken self-awareness and help heal emotional wounds. Journaling is a simple but powerful way to get in touch with your feelings and recover your authentic self. When you give it your honest and heartfelt attention, your journal becomes a safe place to release negative feelings and discover buried truths.

Your journal doesn’t need to be hard work. You are not creating War and Peace, (although you may uncover some battlegrounds from your past). Your journal is not for a grade or for anyone but you. You are simply trying to capture the truth of what you think and feel. The more freely you capture words, the better. Give yourself complete freedom to write.

Be completely truthful in your journal. Say it like it is. If you’re angry, be angry. Write it out uncensored. The point is to be authentic. When you can trust yourself to be truthful on the pages of your journal, you can trust yourself to be truthful in the world. Just watch how your whole body relaxes as you express your truth. The movement of your hand over the paper or keyboard can release toxic energy and make room for healing energy to enter.

Why are so many important truths buried inside, unexpressed and even unknown? Children are often taught by society that feelings are bad and shouldn’t be felt, let alone expressed. Stuffing down emotions is the cultural norm. Yet in order to have a fulfilling life, complete with a healthy body and relationships, you must own your emotions. They are a natural part of you and need to be experienced fully and then let go. To be truly strong and joyful, you have to live in truth. Journal writing helps you do that.

Here are a few guidelines for getting the most out of journaling:

  1. Do it daily. Like brushing your teeth, create a habit that ensures good emotional hygiene. Get the old energy out, and then keep up the practice to prevent new toxins from accumulating.
  2. Use pencil and paper or keyboard and computer; both are equally effective. Your goal is a stream of consciousness, which will come about merely by using your body (your hands) to communicate.
  3. Be honest. Practice rigorous honesty about your feelings no matter what they are. It’s time to honor your emotions and this is the place to do it. Don’t hold anything back.
  4. Don’t edit or judge your writing. You are trying to tap into your deepest feelings, not create a perfect composition. You’re doing something important for your well-being, and that requires letting the thoughts and feelings flow uninterrupted.
  5. Keep your journal safe. Make sure it is tucked away in a secure place so you have the privacy you need to be honest with yourself. To be uninhibited in your journal writing, you need to know that it won’t be subject to the scrutiny of others.
  6. Share only if you want to. If there is a trusted friend, therapist, or other loved one with whom you want to share your writing, by all means do so. Revealing your truth to another person, who then gives you unconditional acceptance, will increase your ability to process out the energy.
  7. Be committed to the truth. Use your journal as a self-healing tool for your personal growth, self-improvement, emotional health, and physical well-being.

The goal is simple: to get to know yourself better. Telling the truth about your life is the first step toward positive change.

Because I believe so strongly in the value of journaling as a component of energy healing, I always include questions for your journal in my weekly newsletter. Use these questions to expand your self-awareness and develop your intuitive power. You’ll soon discover that your journal is a healing friend