Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis

In energy medicine, we teach that nightmares come from an imbalanced sixth chakra – the “third eye” which connects us to higher wisdom. Sixth chakra imbalance can come from denying the truth or running away from our obligations.

Could it be that sleep paralysis attacks also come from an imbalanced sixth chakra?

It was in the corner of her room sometime between midnight and daybreak.

It lunged at her, fangs bared, a dark void of anger where a face should have been.

She tried to fight back, but couldn’t move. She was paralyzed, lying in her bed as a vicious and deeply terrifying creature stalked her from the edges of her room – lunging, then receding, biting at her arms.

…And then she woke up.

This was the memory that a student came to me with: a terrifying night attack that had haunted her for a great deal of time. What was it? Where did it come from? And why had it selected her for torture? Together, we worked to discover that it was an episode of “sleep paralysis,” where you find yourself almost awake but unable to move as your dreams turn against you. It’s an awful middle-ground: you feel trapped in your body as you’re being attacked.

It’s terrifying. But the good news was my student wasn’t alone. Throughout history, many cultures have discussed, analyzed, and interpreted sleep paralysis. In China, the attacking spirit is known as a “sitting ghost.” In Egypt, these visitors are seen as evil djinn who are exacting a curse upon you.

Sitting ghost, djinn, demon. What they all have in common is a profound sense of despair as an intruder invades your sanctity and attacks you.

What’s more troubling is that these intruders are all in our own heads.

This was of little comfort to my student, who felt betrayed by her own mind: “How could my body and brain conspire against me like this,” she asked.

What could she do? What should anyone do when you’re having an episode (or recurring episodes) of sleep paralysis? Is it really as simple as writing it off as a bad dream? Or are there steps you can take to protect yourselves from these night-bound terrors?

Sleep paralysis attacks occur in up to 40% of people at some point. They’re normal. They’re like super nightmares. The idea that these attacks are manifestations of darkness may be rooted in cultural traditions, but those beliefs might also be doing more harm than good. In countries where sleep paralysis is understood to be a natural phenomenon, the rates of recurring attacks are lower than in countries where it is thought to represent real evil.

These dreams only have as much power as you give them.

In energy medicine, we teach that nightmares come from an imbalanced sixth chakra – the “third eye” which connects us to higher wisdom. Sixth chakra imbalance can come from denying the truth or running away from our obligations.

Could it be that sleep paralysis attacks also come from an imbalanced sixth chakra?

Was this “intruder” perhaps a representation of denied truths or an unwillingness to listen to her own intuition? Was my student, perhaps, feeding this intruder by running away from her truth or not listening to her inner guidance?

When we run from our dreams, we cut off the good and the bad – the nightmare and the vision. We replace a healthy relationship with sleep with one of fear and dread, feeding the darkness. I helped my student recalibrate her sixth chakra. I guided her to her inner voice. She found her higher wisdom and silenced her inner critic. From there, she took the brave step of embracing her dreams – both beautiful and scary.

This intruder only had as much power as she was willing to give it. And her inner wisdom helped her cede none. She gave power to herself instead.

To this day, she’s never had another attack.

We give fuel to our inner demons. Or we can snuff them out. We can do so by following our inner voice, living our truth, and following the wisdom of our higher selves.

It’s time to learn how to listen to ourselves – our intuition. Our medical intuition course specializes in how to tap into our own intuitive healing powers – our own higher wisdom – in order to bring peace and wellbeing. Our class has already started, but there’s still time to join us on the journey.

Follow along, and learn how to tap into the healing wisdom you already possess.

Collective Unconscious

The Collective Unconscious – Our World Tree of Emotions

Collective Unconscious

I was driving through Colorado last year, on my way to a wedding. I love weddings: young love in full bloom, familial love growing stronger; weddings are beautiful celebrations of love’s connectivity. The love is infectious.

As I was driving to the wedding, driving away from Denver and into the thin air of the Rockies, I passed groves of aspen trees. Thin, white, spindly. Like a whispering wood of spirits that guarded over the mountains themselves.

I had seen these groves before, and I certainly wasn’t the first to be moved by their quiet gravitas – John Denver beat me to it in Aspenglow by a few decades. But as I passed the aspen, I couldn’t help but feel that there were fewer groves than I’d seen previously. Where once there were ranks of groves of aspen – like a silent army of trees – there now appeared sparser outcroppings – a scouting party of aspen.

It turns out that aspen trees aren’t individual organisms. In a grove, each “tree” is a genetically identical “shoot.” All shoots are connected through an extraordinarily rich and detailed root structure. When you look at a grove of aspen, what you’re actually seeing is one giant organism – one giant tree dispersed among the thousands of shoots.

Aspen have been fading in Colorado mostly due to severe drought. When the waters dry up, the aspen die. Because they are interconnected, death affects the entire grove. The pain is experienced by the whole, connected organism – not just the individual shoot.

We wouldn’t know this simply by looking at the trees. We’d simply marvel and wonder how all these individual trees died all at once. Because we’re only looking at the surface. It’s only when we dig deep enough to see the vast, collective consciousness of these aspen can we see how they live and thrive and wilt and die as one.

I am reminded of the retreating aspen when I think about us today. We, all around the world, are hurting. Many of us are sick. Many have died. And many of us mourn the loss of the ones we love. We’re suffering. And while we know that there are millions around the world – just like us – carrying this burden of suffering, we somehow believe that our pain is contained only within ourselves. Our sickness is contained in just our own little shoot. Even though the shoot next to us is also in pain. All the shoots are sick. But we believe that the pain, the grief, the anguish is individual.

Carl Jung, one of the founders of psychology, posited that there existed a vast collective unconscious. Each individual’s psyche was a persona that emanated from this collective unconscious. This “world spirit” was the birthplace of our archetypes of father, mother, safety, danger, hero, and countless others. We, then, are primed to analyze our world through these hard-wired archetypes.

I want to take this one step further. This collective unconscious isn’t merely responsible for how we perceive the world; it’s a profound energy feedback loop that connects us all with each other. It’s our aspen root network. Look around: even in people who have been lucky enough to avoid the coronavirus, rates of mental illness have been skyrocketing. Anxiety, depression, and substance abuse have all increased. As individuals, we suffer when the whole of the world suffers.

There is a blight upon our connected unconscious – a blight that began with a virus whose initial pain sent shockwaves and secondary tremors through our collective psyche. We’re feeling the anxiety of the world.

Why is it hard to recognize this? Perhaps it’s because we’ve come to respect our own crucial roles in this pandemic. Each of us knows to mask up, wash our hands, stay six feet away from each other. We’re critically in tune with our own, singular bodies. But because we’ve been so focused on how we operate as individuals, we’ve lost sight of how we operate as a collective. And therefore we get surprised and confused when anxiety or depression is upon us. “I’m healthy,” we think. “I exercise, I wash my hands. I do yoga and take my probiotic. So why am I so scared?”

We’re scared because the grove is scared. We’re anxious because a soul we’re connected to is anxiously awaiting to see if her mother will make it off a ventilator. We’re depressed because another connected soul can’t see his grandchildren for the holidays. We’re sad because our collective soul is sad.
So what do we do when we know that there is a blight upon our grove?

I think back to my trip to Colorado, about driving away from the aspen and up to the wedding. I think about all the smiles, the tears, the dancing, the kisses, and the relationships strengthened at this celebration of love.

And I remember feeling invigorated and filled to my fingertips with love and generosity.

So my answer is to love. Love yourself, love your neighbor. Love your dog, your cat. Push the love out there like rain in a drought. Replenish your grove, because it’s the only grove we’ve got.

Join me, if you can, on a journey where I show you how to focus the energy of love and light into healing. Our medical intuition course will help you activate your higher heart, so that you can share that positive healing light with the world. Our class just began, but there’s still time to jump right in! We’re saving you a seat!

Connect with yourself. Connect with the world. And let the healing begin.

Protest at capital

Be a servant of the light

Has morality gone out of style?

The shocking events of last week made me think of 9/11, as there are some disturbing similarities.

Both were insurrections against our government. 9/11 was led by foreign terrorists; January 6th by domestic terrorists. Both were designed to take down our government.

I talked about last week’s events – particularly about my own failure to take action sooner – on Facebook Live as well as in a blog. But there’s so much more to say.

We all felt helpless last week. Today, I want to talk about what each of us can do now to protect our country from terrorists.

Let me preface my remarks by pointing out that I’m neither a politician nor a pundit, I’m a spiritual teacher. What could be more “on-brand” for a spiritual teacher than the subject of morality?

This violent attack reminded me of the book, The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis – a great Christian writer. To make a long story short, in that book there are people who support one God named Aslan and others who support a God named Tash. Each supporter believes their God is the savior, while the other God is the destroyer. At the end of the book, it is revealed that Aslan is the true God.

Let me paraphrase C.S. Lewis: “If you do violence, though you say it is by the light, it is darkness who you serve.”

I thought a lot about that on January 6th, watching an attack unfold against our country.

We watched as a mob of angry Americans (yes, sadly, Americans) invaded our Capitol. They brought with them weapons, flex cuffs, and tear gas. They erected gallows. They hunted through our halls of democracy in search of elected lawmakers that they wished to execute. This is not hyperbole. Insurrectionists were screaming “Hang Mike Pence.” They were following the directives of their President.

This was scary. Because, at the end, the still attackers believed their cause was just. Just like the terrorists who hijacked the planes on 9/11 believed their cause was just. Both believed it was their moral obligation to carry out a violent, immoral attack.

Immorality. This is what the attack wrought on our country. Ultimately, it is the actions themselves that were immoral and unjust. These are the actions of betraying our principles of democracy, rule of law, and peace.

It’s hard for us to wrestle with these concepts. When we’re kids, we’re all taught that there is good and bad. Good is good, bad is bad. We see it in the movies. And, almost always, the bad guys know they’re bad. They cackle with evil laughter and have their plans foiled by the dazzling good guys.

Reality, though, is a lot more confusing, isn’t it? Look around, think back. So what do you do when you are faced with groups of people who adamantly believe that their cause is just. My answer is: look to their actions. Quoting C.S. Lewis… “if any man do a cruelty, then, though he says the name Light, it is Darkness whom he serves and by Darkness his deed is accepted.”

Many of the attackers on Capitol Hill swore by the light. They swore by God, or some version of something they believe is godly to guide them during their attack. But the actions were not godly. The actions were unlawful and ungodly. The actions were a betrayal.

Christ said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Caesar, in this case, refers to the administration of the physical world: the rule of law. Christ calls his followers to respect the administration of the physical world. Our nation is a democratic republic – a government where we vote for representatives who exercise the will of the people. We must respect that even when we don’t like the results of that vote. If we feel so strongly that we don’t like the results of a vote, we need to move to another country that doesn’t have a democracy, Russia or China perhaps.

And when we are enflamed with a passion for our beliefs, we must not let our actions lead us down the path of darkness, no matter how divine we believe our cause. We must always be just, no matter how disappointed we are personally in the vote of the people.

People who commit crimes need to be held accountable for their actions. Adolf Hitler engaged in a failed coup in 1923. He went to jail but was treated leniently. Ten years later, he seized power. Likewise, Hugo Chavez attempted a coup in 1992. He was pardoned, and thereafter regained power. From there, he plunged the country into authoritarianism and chaos. If an abuser is not held accountable, he or his minions will strike back harder and harder.

It’s like cancer. You must excise the cancer completely or it will grow back stronger. We must excise this cancer – lawfully and morally. We stopped the first attack. But our next actions determine whether these terrorists will strike again, and if their next attack will be more damaging.

The solution is not violence. The solution is not to overturn the will of the people. The solution is to use our rights and our abilities to make a difference. Voting, lawful assembly, calling and writing our lawful representatives. If you believe, as I do, that what transpired on January 6th was nothing short of a direct attack on our rights and our democracy, then I encourage you to find your representatives. I encourage you to write to your representatives and urge them to speak out for democracy and the rule of law, to remove this cancer from us. Here’s a quick link to find your Congressman. Here’s another to find your Senator.

Speak out for justice. Be vigilant. Be a servant of the light.

ProtestorsatCapital

Yesterday was a dark day.

I can’t even seem to put words together about what happened. We all saw on TV as a mob of seditionists laid siege to the Capitol. Our Capitol. A temple to democracy was attacked, defiled, and invaded. It was an insurrection. For all those of you who are participating in this call outside the US, I know you are just as shocked and horrified as we are, those of us, here in the US. It was a bleak day, really for the whole world.

I try not to be political in public, because I understand that you and I may not hold all of the same opinions. And that’s ok. I don’t want any differences of opinion to intercept and otherwise invalidate your healing process. My goal, above all, is to help you heal. For that, I set aside my politics and you set aside yours when we come together to find spirituality, strength, and self-empowerment.

But yesterday wasn’t about differences of opinion. Yesterday was a violent attack on all of us, and the truths we most believe in. It was a traumatic wound on the soul of our country, and on all of us. As one whose career is dedicated to helping people heal, I would be doing a disservice to myself and all of you if I didn’t examine this attack like I do all other traumas I’ve dealt with, personally or professionally. We have got to get at the roots of this darkness and discover how to heal.

So that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

When I turned on the news yesterday, like you, I saw scenes of carnage that are incompatible with American life. We are a democracy. We vote. Our votes matter. And we respect the results of the vote. We may disagree. We may protest. We may speak publicly and forcefully, and engage in peaceful and meaningful protest, as I am doing now, and as many other Americans have done before.

But we don’t override the very mechanisms that grant us freedom – no matter the rationale. So, how did we get here? What happened to us? Yesterday, after the insurrection was quelled, I heard a lot of brave men and women say, “this is not us.” “This is not America.” I understand what they mean when they say, “this is not who we are.” They mean “this is not what we were raised to value.” But the point remains, the people who perpetrated this atrocity were Americans. This is, unfortunately, who some of us are. Not all of us. Some of us.

I’m not a history professor. I’m a healer. But I know enough about our history to know this didn’t happen overnight – and what happened yesterday, while despicable – wasn’t a complete surprise. America has seen its fair share of violence. The Civil War, where people took up arms against the government for their right to own other people. That’s not democratic. That’s a wound on our soul.

Yesterday, people took up arms against the government because they didn’t like the result of a lawful election. That’s not democratic. That’s a violent assault. How did we get here?

In any type of violence perpetrated such as this: there are three types of people. The perpetrators themselves, those who fight back, and those who are complicit – the enablers. It’s time to talk about the enablers.

Let’s take a step back for a moment, and think about a smaller example. Let’s think about violence in the household.

Imagine a father, like my own. He’s a strong man. He provides for his family. Good money. Good home. Good schools. The kids have the best toys. The wife has beautiful clothes. On the surface, it appears neat and orderly. But the father can’t control his temper. Every time a child does something he views as wrong – forgets to put a toy away, doesn’t say “yes sir,” the child gets beaten.

The mother, of course, hates this and is secretly horrified. She blots the cuts with iodine and puts ice on the bruises. But she doesn’t leave her partner. How could she leave? He is the provider. How can she afford to care for her children at that level? Her husband hasn’t hit her. So she turns a blind eye. She plays it down, she says to herself, “He’s not a bad man. He just does a bad thing once in a while.” She dismisses it, yet again, telling the kids, “Don’t talk back to your father next time.” “He still loves you.”

It’s hard to hear that, I know. It’s happened to so many of us. It happened to me. Someone I loved, my mother, turned a blind eye to my pain, occasioned by my darling father, and I’ve carried those painful memories with me for decades. When someone turns a blind eye to another’s pain, what they’re doing is two-fold. First, they’re rationalizing the abuse, so that they don’t feel bad about their choice to allow it. Second, they’re (subconsciously or otherwise) deciding that the benefit is greater than the pain being inflicted on others. They’re saying “my house, my position in the community, my prestige, is more important than your black eye.”

Hearing that, you might be horrified, and you are right to be. But we need to ask ourselves the hard questions – truthfully, how often have we been complicit? Have we sat back at the office and watched as a colleague wrongfully took credit for someone else’s work? As a coworker was sexually harassed? As someone was racially profiled? Have we sat back, in the family, as a family member was bullied, telling
ourselves, “it’s really none of my business.” Just last year, I squelched my urge to confront a family member for doing just that, rationalizing it as “really, none of my business,” when, in fact, I just didn’t want to create a fuss and be unliked by yet another family member. Or have we sat back as a friend was criticized unfairly or excluded or marginalized, and excused our silence as “really none of our business” or excused his remark, saying, “he was just kidding.”

Have we all sat back thus far, as we’ve been witnessing the supposed leader of the free world, who is clearly a bully, a sexual abuser, a racist, and a liar, and, most recently, an insurrectionist, and turned a blind eye? Because it didn’t affect us personally? Because we benefitted financially, that’s the excuse my family uses, to enjoy those lower taxes? Or because, in my own case and perhaps yours, I worried that in speaking up I’d lose clients or friends or the few relatives I have that are still speaking to me?

It reminds me of the time last year that, quite innocently, I said “black lives matter” here, on my FaceBook page, and watched as over 2,000 people unliked me in the next hour. Seriously! I had no idea that I had said anything controversial, as I couldn’t imagine that anyone who liked my page, because they want to meditate with me, or learn about energy healing, or receive spiritual guidance – how could those good people possibly countenance a white man standing on an innocent black man’s neck until he died, right in front of all of us?! But after that, I turned even more of a blind eye as the situation unfolded and we, as a country, watched as this bully of a president became more and more emboldened to abuse people, since none of us were brave enough to stand up and criticize him.

At the Capitol yesterday, the logical conclusion of enough people turning a blind eye played out in real-time with deadly consequences. So when I saw politicians say yesterday “this is not who we are,” I think “well, OK, you didn’t participate in this attack. You are not a perpetrator.” But then I challenge them to answer, “are you perhaps an enabler?” “Did you turn a blind eye?”

Let me change my choice of words. Blind eye is a weak expression.

“Closed eye” is a better one. A blind eye implies you cannot see. A closed eye means you choose not to see. And a lot of us Americans chose not to see what has been implicitly building in our country for years, as well as in many other countries around the globe.

Some of these otherwise good politicians chose not to see because it helped them get elected. They chose not to see because it got their preferred policies enacted. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: they chose not to see.

I know this might be upsetting. And understand that I am not saying that the reasons – getting elected, getting policies passed – are implicitly bad things to do on their own. We all have things we want. It’s not a bad thing to have a nice house, have a nice paycheck, stay married, or get elected! It becomes immoral when you accept darkness as the path to achieving these goals. But it there’s one thing I’ve
learned, is that closing your eyes to a bully is accepting darkness and does nothing except embolden his or her behavior.

This is not a new concept. You’ve heard the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” before, right? That’s an example of “accepting darkness” as a way to achieve what you want. You rationalize the darkness. You said “it doesn’t directly affect me.” Or “I’m not directly part of it.”

But it does affect us. Because serving as an enabler is a temporary position. It is untenable. You either become consumed by the darkness until you are the same as the bully, or the bully turns on you and you become the next victim.

I’m reminded of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who in the leadup to World War II, agreed to Hitler’s demands for a piece of Czechoslovakia to satiate his territorial hunger. Chamberlain declared afterward he had achieved “peace in our time.” He couldn’t have been further from the truth. Britain soon found itself engulfed in a terrible war. Chamberlain’s successor, Churchill would finally lay out the reality, saying: “you cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth.”

Hitler was a bully. Chamberlain, and so many others, believed that if they gave Hitler what he wanted, if they appeased him, he’d be satisfied. He’d stop bullying. They were gravely mistaken. A bully is never satisfied. And the bully eventually swings at you, the enabler.

Hard truth, isn’t it. This is what we saw yesterday at the Capitol – many who had enabled this bully by turning a closed eye found themselves facing his very real and very violent ire. A good friend said to me this morning “well, those congress men and women now know what it feels like to be a small business owner in somewhere, say, like Portland, where their store is burned to the ground in the name of peaceful protest.” She is right – we should have rounded up the Proud Boys and jailed them way back in Portland, long before they became this emboldened by our failure to be brave and take action.

“That is how we got here.” We got here by enough of us watching a bully tell us exactly what he wanted – to jail his political opponents and invalidate an election – and simply believe “oh, if we humor him, as we have in the past, it will soon be over, he will simply have to leave.” He didn’t. He incited an insurrection. This isn’t about conservative vs liberal. I’ve often been on Fox News, as a contributor on family values; conservatives have things of value to bring to the table. So it’s not about conservative values, many of which are very decent and worthy of pursuing. This is about democracy vs a dangerous despot.

“How did we get here?” “We got here by enough of us turning a closed eye.”

To be clear, not everyone turned a closed eye. Not everyone participated in this failed insurrection. A lot of brave people have stood up to this darkness. They’ve called a spade a spade. They’ve said, “this is a threat.” And they’ve fought back. I do not want to discount that. I want to applaud that. People on both sides of the aisle have said: “No. This is unacceptable.” And these people have not stopped at words. They put their words into action.

Mitt Romney, the Republican Senator from Utah, was the sole Republican who voted to convict President Trump in his Senate Trial, if you think back. He said, “I support a great deal of what the President has done. I have voted with him 80% of the time. But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented, and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.” That’s very impressive.

And he’s just one of many brave politicians, activists, and officials who put their careers and lives on the line to stand up for what is right: justice. Look at how brave the men of the Lincoln Project have been, sacrificing their political careers, pretty much, to stand up again this bully. They stood up when, really, no one else was willing to, in the Republican party.

Last night, our democracy, and with it our sense of justice, was attacked. But justice and democracy prevailed. Law enforcement was able to repulse the insurrection, and Congress was able to execute its duties – to count the certified electoral vote tallies. As Congress reconvened to count the certified vote, I was heartened to hear politicians on both sides of the aisle condemn this anti-democratic
attack on our country. Defying his boss, Vice President Pence, assured us that he would “keep his oath to the American people.” Senator Chuck Schumer said “Democracy’s roots in this nation are deep, they are strong. They will not be undone ever by a group of thugs. Democracy will triumph, as it has for centuries.” Senators cheered. Many Republican Senators who had previously voiced their support for
continuing the President’s attacks on our election results rescinded their support. Senator Lankford, who had been speaking when the mob attacked, changed his speech when he returned. “We disagree on a lot of things and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room, but we talk it out and we honor each other. Even in our disagreements, that person, that person is not my enemy. That’s my fellow American. And while we disagree on things, and disagree strongly at times, we do not encourage what happened today. Ever.”

What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. Everyone’s eyes were forced open. You can’t turn a blind eye when you’re literally under attack. And at that point, sides need to be taken. You can’t enable the darkness. You can turn against the darkness or you can be the darkness, it’s that simple.

Yesterday, I’m glad to say, many who had previously enabled the darkness finally said “enough is enough.” I am grateful for that. I am glad that the light prevailed yesterday. But it doesn’t shake my fear that it had to get this bad for enough to be enough. It had to get to the point of a coup attempt for some to say, “no, I draw the line.”

“You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth.” I have to tell you, many many Americans have had their head in the mouth of a tiger for years. Decades. Yesterday, millions of us found the tiger’s teeth on our head, perhaps for the first time. We felt that fear.

Some of us had our eyes opened. Others of us said, “this is what we’ve been talking about all along.” Where do we go from here? First off, believe people. Believe people when they say they’re a tiger. Don’t say “oh, she’s not really a bully. She’s not really a tiger – she’s just painted up like one.” Believe people when they say “a tiger has my head in its mouth.” Don’t say, “oh, the tiger’s teeth aren’t that sharp.” “It’s not my head in its mouth.” “You shouldn’t have put your head so close to the tiger.”

No. Believe them.

To those of you who are struggling to process what happened, understand that your pain is valid. We are Americans, and our country was attacked. By other Americans. Our values were desecrated. That’s real pain. Don’t ignore it. Don’t chastise yourself for not being productive; for being complicit. You were assaulted. We were all, collectively assaulted by domestic terrorists. To those of you who have sounded the alarm, answered democracy’s call, and fought for our freedoms, I thank you. I thank you deeply from the bottom of my soul.

To those who participated in this assault, I urge you to stop and think about the damage you have caused to our country. Think about what you want – and what you were willing to sacrifice to get it. Nearly 250 years of fighting to build a robust democracy, that’s what you would sacrifice. Along with countless lives. That is darkness, and immorality.

Yesterday was January 6th. It’s the day that Christians celebrate as Epiphany – the day that the Magi found Christ. Epiphany means the manifestation of a divine being. But it also means the sudden realization of a powerful truth. Yesterday, two powerful forces were manifested: that of the darkness – of demagoguery, and that of the light – of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

There was also the realization of a powerful truth: that morals matter. Personal gain cannot be at the expense of morality. It doesn’t matter if this takes place in the home, in a relationship, at the office, or even at the country’s highest offices. Morals matter. The light matters.

I urge all of us to reflect on the devastating and scary events of yesterday, as well as the powerful triumph of the light over darkness, and hold this truth sacred: the light wins. The light wins when we embody it.

So, from here on out, let’s all be a lot braver, stronger, and embody the light. Let’s be willing to stand up and forcefully call out a bully’s behavior, to his face. Let’s be ready to call out a sexual abuser, right to his face. Let’s be ready to call out a liar, right to his face. And an insurrectionist, right to his face. Or we will face the consequences of enabling that darkness. I shudder when I think of all the times with this particular bully, this abuser, this bigot, this liar, that I swept it under the rug, telling myself, soon, he won’t be in office, not to worry, this too, shall pass. I ignored his lies about President Obama’s birth certificate. I cringed, and I bet you did to, when we saw him mock the disabled journalist. I stuck my head in the sand when all the women came forward and credibly claimed unconscionable acts of sexual violence and assault, as he relished that he could “grab ‘em by the pussy.” I looked the other way when he said on national TV, “Russia, are you listening.” I kept my mouth shut when it came to light the President called our troops “suckers” for dying in World War One. I didn’t say anything when he conspired with a foreign government to corrupt our election, and I stayed silent through countless other atrocities, like when he called white supremacists “very fine people” at Charlottesville.

I didn’t even raise an eyebrow when he called John McCain, a man we all respected, a “loser.” Really. Why? Mainly, because I didn’t want to hurt our relationship. Yours and mine. What if I offended you? Because I’m here to help you heal. And, let’s be honest: I love having you as a friend. But by me turning a blind eye to these assaults on all of us, I enabled his actions. I risked saying through my silence, “these actions aren’t a big deal.” Let me be clear: these actions were and are a big deal. If any of you came to me and told me you had been treated the way that this bully treated people, or those insurrectionists behaved yesterday, I would have done everything in my power to validate your pain, and work with you to heal from it. So that’s what I’m doing now.

Validating our collective pain and wounds. So that we can heal and protect ourselves from getting wounded again. We’ve got to be brave.

All of us. From the top down and the bottom up. I’m up here, putting myself out on the line, asking you to be brave with me. Let’s all acknowledge our complicity, agree never to be complicit with a bully or an aggressor or a liar again. Despite our politics. Or perhaps, even better, because of them. As we saw last night, in the Congress, is much light on both sides of the aisle. Let’s all embody the light, together.

Christmas star conjunction

The Great Conjunction

Christmas star conjunction

Hi Friends,

Today is January 5th – a day that many people around the world celebrate as Epiphany or Three Kings Day. For Christians, it celebrates the day that the 3 wise men followed an unusually bright star in the sky to lead them to Bethlehem.

Today, I want to talk to you about this star. More importantly, I want to talk about how stars can be our guiding lights.

It’s not entirely clear what exactly the Star of Bethlehem was. Some suggest it was a supernova – the explosion of a very large star. Others say it could have been a comet. But one really neat idea is that it was the alignment of two planets in the night sky – so closely aligned that they appear to be one very bright star.

This is called a conjunction. And we just had a very great one last month.

On December 17th, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn aligned in the Southern sky so closely that it appeared to be a single star. True, in reality, they are two planets that are millions of miles apart, but to us on Earth, it appears as if two bright objects slowly combined together before drifting apart.

Isn’t it sort of funny how these planets aren’t even touching, but for us: they put on a dazzling show that won’t be replicated for hundreds of years? I love to think about that. I love to think about how we have navigated by the stars, planted our crops by the stars, dreamt by the stars, and kept record of our stories by the stars. All the while, these stars exist so far away from where we stand, that it baffles the mind to comprehend.

We, here on Earth, are the recipients of the particular position and light that these stars cast. Nowhere else in the Universe do the stars look quite like they do on Earth at night.

Some might look at this reality and suggest that putting emphasis on these astronomical events is misguided – that it is only an illusion from our viewpoint on Earth. I don’t believe that. Just because the Stars exist independent of us does not mean they don’t serve as guides for us.

Think of the Sun. It rises in the East. If you wake and follow the Sun, you will walk East. It has guided you. Does the Sun exist solely to guide you? Doubtful at best!

It’s the same as how the trees are dependent upon the Spring warmth to bloom. Without Spring, the trees will not flourish, but that does not mean the Spring exists solely to make the trees bloom.

This is how I felt watching the Great Conjunction last month. Yes, I know that these planets are fixed in their orbits, and that they are millions of miles apart, but they have created an alignment for us to view on Earth that is worth pausing and taking in.

And the one thing I kept coming back to is: what could it mean?

What could that Great Conjunction be leading us to?

All I know is that I felt an urging, a sense of profundity, and of connection when I saw that Great Conjunction. I am hopeful, therefore, that this union of the planets might foreshadow a union of two great forces coming together to make something brilliant.

What that brilliance might be? Well, perhaps you need to look to the stars to find guidance of your own.

The stars are out there, friends. They may be lifetimes upon lifetimes away, but their light shines on the Earth constantly. And I encourage you to look to them for guidance and support. Their light has granted many travelers safe passage over the millennia – and I know they’ll do the same for you.

Trust in their light. It’s the same light that the sun brings down on all of us – the light that provides warmth, energy, and life for all of us. Their light is affirming, and powerful. And if you’re ready to take the next step to learn how to harness this majestic healing power of light and energy – the same energy that guides us from the stars – then I encourage you to join me on my transformative and empowering journey of Medical Intuition, where we’ll learn how to read and heal with the powers of light, intuition, and energy.

Find your guiding light.

Deborah