The Power of Ojai

How to Identify Powerful Places (the Magic of Ojai)

Why is Ojai such a magical place? One reason is the vortexes.

In December of 2017, a massive ring of intense wildfire surrounded Ojai. The blaze, called the Thomas Fire, was on a rampage, burning up everything in its path of destruction through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Evacuation orders went out as the fire overtook the entire Ojai Valley, sparing only the village itself, as it roared all the way to the beach and back. Locals know that the seven vortexes in the valley provided protection for the town.

So what are these vortexes that create the mystical energetic charge of Ojai?

First we have to take a look at Ojai’s Dragon, a geo-metaphysical force of nature.

Every major ancient civilization tapped into Earth’s electromagnetic field in one of three ways:

(1) Through ley lines—the energy channels of the Earth’s geomagnetic field. These lines, often running above fault lines, caves, and water, were historically sacred spots for the most important structures in a community.

(2) Through the world grid—the symmetrical pattern of Earth’s powerful energy meridians. The grid connects points on Earth where great stresses (seismic, atmospheric, and magnetic) are generated, such as Giza, Stonehenge, Easter Islands, the Bermuda Triangle, and Ojai. Great thinkers like Nikola Tesla and Buckminster Fuller helped complete the universal World Grid map.

(3) Through Xuan Kong Feng Shui—the geological sister school to the science of acupuncture that uses Earth’s magnetic points to pinpoint where Qi, the life force energy, is released. Natural landforms are identified as special places that create a powerful energy of transcendence. And here is where Ojai’s Dragon comes in.

Ojai’s big Dragon is a large mountain range, bounded by water, that encircles the whole valley and “brings heaven to Earth.” The big Dragon has an entourage—four Divine Celestial Animals with their own powers connected to the mountains that release Qi. Each mountain corresponds to a constellation as seen in the ancient Chinese skies. In the north is the Black Tortoise, a “guardian spirit” that protects the community; in the south is the Red Bird Phoenix, which generates luck for the future; in the west is the White Tiger, which generates powerful Qi for women; and in the east is the Azure Dragon, the leader of the celestial animals, which generates Qi for men.

Different places in the valley are influenced by different types of Qi as the geophysical setting generates tons of deep-earth energy.

Ancient sandstone and shale landforms direct the air from the pristine places above Ojai into the whole valley, and since the valley runs east to west, the lines of energy flow in a gentle path all around the valley, making Ojai a “rare Feng Shui jewel.”

When matter—in the form of water, wind, dust, or magnetic fields—moves, it can move in circles and begin to spiral, forming a vortex. Think of those satellite images of hurricanes, where you can see the rotation of the spiral energy. The giant mass of planet Earth rotates around its axis and creates two huge vortexes from the North and South poles—the magnetic poles of the planet. There are four major vortexes created by Earth, but there are also millions of smaller ones.

How can you tell if there’s a vortex in your area? If you see a tree that has bark spiraling upward, you’re probably inside a vortex. Or if you’ve ever seen a lawn with a perfect super-green round area, there’s a vortex underneath it. Ancient stone circles often had their stones placed around the perimeter of a vortex, as these sites emitted such strong energy that they were considered sacred.

In Ojai, you can feel the magnetic pull of the vortexes that come from the natural land formations and from the minerals in the water that is around and underneath Ojai. It’s always a good thing to have the protection of the Ojai Dragon against the wild forces of nature that could seek to destroy this powerful spiritual location, as well as the spiritual boost it gives you to be in a place with such high energy.

Both residents of Ojai and visitors there can feel the energy of the geomagnetic vortexes and the pull of the Topa Topa Mountains. Come be part of the flow when you join me in Ojai for our “Hallowed Reunion” retreat, would love to share this amazing place with you!

Light Up Your Life

Light Up Your Life

Winter Solstice is a time of great symbolism and a time of reflection as the darkest and longest night of the year gives way to the return of the sun. Solstice actually lasts for 3 days, since the change in the Sun’s path is so slight on the days around the solstice that the Sun seems to “stand still.” The “high noon” of Solstice is when the Sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn. This year, that moment is on December 21st at 5:22 p.m. EST.

This is a great time to ask yourself: What in your life needs to emerge from the darkness into the light? What seeds have been nurtured in the depths of your being that want to find expression in the light?

All ancient spiritual teachers had some type of ceremony to honor the return of the sun, and they left us some vivid reminders. Stonehenge in England is known for its precise alignment with the movement of the sun and has been a sacred place to celebrate the solstice for thousands of years. The same is true for Newgrange, a burial mound in Ireland that is over 5,000 years old. It has a 62-foot passage leading to a chamber. During winter solstice, the rising sun comes through the top of the chamber and lights the room.

All over the world, there are festivals and rituals to mark the beginning of longer days and the return of the Sun, symbolized by Christmas tree lights, menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and Twelfth Night bonfires. Another of the ancient customs comes from the Druids and Pagans, who still call their celebration Yule and burn a yule log. The log, an emblem of the returning Sun, is a huge block of wood, meant to last for the 12 days of Christmas, turning night into day and illuminating the house.

There is something within us all that needs to know there will be light after the darkness of the longest night. So how will you celebrate the Sun’s return to greater light?

You could make your own yule log. Each type of wood has its own spiritual qualities, and the type of wood you burn in a ritual can indicate your hopes and prayers for the new year ahead. Aspen brings spiritual understanding; oak symbolizes endurance and strength, victory and triumph; pine (fir, juniper, cedar) can bring prosperity and protection; the yew tree connects with immortality and longevity; and birch is associated with rebirth and regeneration, as well as fertility.

You can decorate your yule log with candles and greenery. A sprig of holly ensures your family’s safety and brings good luck. And do you know the song about “the holly and the ivy?” Ivy lives on after its host plant has died—a reminder that life goes on. It symbolizes healing, protection, and the binding of lovers together, so it’s associated with loyalty and the powerful bonds of family and friends. And then there’s mistletoe, associated with peacemaking and the end of discord, not just kisses, although nothing wrong with them either!

Wrap your log loosely with ribbons of different colors. Here again, see what you want to symbolize. Red, which we associate with Christmas poinsettias, holly berries, and Santa’s suit, is used to indicate passion and prosperity and good fortune. Green, the other color associated with the Yule season, is a reminder of the evergreen tree, and therefore everlasting life. White symbolizes purity and truth and represents purification and spiritual development. Gold, of course, is the blazing sun. It was one of the gifts brought to the newborn “light” of Jesus by the Magi, and the first menorah was made from a single lump of gold. Gold ribbons invite in wealth for the coming year and a sense of revitalization. You can also decorate the log with pine cones, dried berries, cinnamon sticks (makes a lovely smell as the log burns), along with the ribbons and the cuttings of holly and ivy.

When you’re ready to burn your yule log, you can do it in a fireplace or outside in a fire pit. Write down an intention for how you will live in the light during the coming year and stick the paper in with the log. On the night of winter solstice, set up an altar with pictures of your loved ones and spiritual guides, and turn off all the lights in your house, and then meditate. At the end, and facing the altar, say a blessing for the return of the light.

It could be: “The wheel of the year has turned once more. Tonight, the darkness starts to retreat and the light begins its return. The sun returns to us once more.” Then light the log or some candles, and say, “The shadows vanish and life continues. We are blessed by the light of the sun, and the inner sun of our divine self.”

Rituals are reminders. This time of year, in the midst of the usual holiday chaos, align yourself with the solstice and mark the birth of more and more light in your life. It is your light that brings you immortality.

Cathy Gabrielsen PTSD Blog

5 steps to heal PTSD

Guest blog by Cathy Gabrielsen

Cathy Gabrielsen

When I start asking over and over again if I am OK, if the situation is OK, if the kids, the weather, the roads, are OK, then I am headed for a PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) episode. When I repeatedly ask if you are OK, if you are sick, if your partner or your kids are sick, then I am PTSD. I need constant reassurance that everything is OK. Because a few times in my life, things were definitely not OK.

I am a regular person: a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend. I am just like you, except I was in a war. The war I survived wasn’t on a distant battlefield; instead, it was right here, close to home. Our traumas, our triggers are all unique, but the effects of PTSD are all eerily similar.

One of the many significant challenges of PTSD was the not knowing. Not knowing when I might be triggered, not knowing how long the episode might last, and not knowing how severe it might be. This not knowing was crippling for me. In one moment I was perfectly fine, and the next, I was in a haze, suddenly feeling like I had just time-traveled, I was in this bubble alone, and then came the fear, the shaking, the paranoia, and the tears of despair. What was beginning to surface were emotions from old traumas that were stored deep within me. Trauma like having had my high school boyfriend nearly die in front of me, never to recover; trauma from having had cancer as a young mother, and who knows how many other traumas. Day by day, a part of an old wound would resurface and I would suddenly go PTSD.

To this day, I will never know why the emotions came on the days they did. To this day, I will never remember how long those moments were – if they lasted minutes, hours or days. The only thing I remember is how I felt. What I did not know was that it was pure fear, fear of the remembering and fear of the re-experiencing, as if it were the first time.

But those terrorizing moments, days, weeks, when I was in PTSD eventually passed. It was in those moments when I felt free that I began to get the clarity I needed. Those moments of clarity were the beginning of my surviving PTSD.

On the days I was clear, I talked to my doctor, and I always took the medication, but what I also did was to search for additional ways to heal. I found meditation and energy healing, practices that created a safe space for me to heal. I started to integrate these alternative modalities into my day, in addition to the steps set in place by medical professionals.

It has been over a year and a half since my last PTSD. I am well, I am free of the past, and I have moved on to a better place. I let go of the experience, I put it down as a step on my path to healing, with the intention of never seeing it again.

During the time of struggle, my family was deeply affected by my experiences and pain. They were at a loss, never knowing what to do. Emotions are contagious. When happiness is around us, we are happy, when stress or anger are close to our personal space, we feel it. When I was in PTSD, so was my family to a degree, they saw it, and they felt it even if they didn’t name it. I can remember listening to my husband on the phone, whispering to my doctor, asking questions, for which there were no real answers.

What I found in my search for true emotional and physical wellness, was that healing had to start and end with me. What I encourage family members to do is be a part of the healing plan. Start to incorporate some of the suggestions below into your life too. The fear is real in a person struggling with PTSD, and the concern of living with someone in PTSD is real, in the family members and friends, who witness and love someone through it.

True healing from PTSD is about getting the fear out of your body and out of your energy field. I am no longer taking any medication; I continue with meditation and energy healing and other alternative modalities to stay well. I strongly suggest you follow doctor’s orders while incorporating the following steps into your day-to-day plan, and hopefully, you too will find peace and wholeness.

How I healed from PTSD and how you can too:

  1. Connect. A connection to Source is a path to healing PTSD. The greatest healing will come with a meditation practice. Take the time to connect to a deeper part of yourself and a higher Source of power through prayer and meditation. Connect not only with yourself but with others. Make a list of people who you can call or talk to when you are struggling and reach out to them when you need to. Developing a connection, or a deeper connection with animals and nature is also very healing. Take a silent walk outdoors, keep the phone off and allow yourself to be present. Put your feet on the ground and feel rooted into the ground. If you can’t get outside, look outside and feel the beauty and peace all around.
  2. Awareness. Discover how you feel. Spend time alone, be contemplative, and write what you are thinking; soon you will discover why you feel the way you do. Take the time to become aware of what brings you joy. Find joy in a new activity, something you have always wanted or dreamed of doing, try something new and in the outdoors! Find something that brings you joy, like that perfect sunrise or new flower in bloom.
  3. Walk away. When you find yourself relieving the trauma, or are in the anxious/panic moment, imagine you are walking away from it. There is no help in reliving it or re-experiencing the event; that will do no good. Intend to put the event in your hands, the whole experience, imagine putting it on the side of the road, or in the trash can, or give it to an angel to carry away to the light, but get rid of it so you can move on without it.
  4. Communicate. Get yourself a small notebook, write the truth about how you feel, what you want to let go of, and keep writing. You may not know why you feel the way you do, but communicate what it is you feel, then let it go.
  5. Be Positive. People with PTSD can experience the sounds, the smells, the tastes, the experiences as if they are happening again at that very moment. As you heal, make a note of what positive experiences you have had. Just ask someone you love to describe the person you have become and write the words down. Somehow, I became better for having experienced the worst, and so can you.

Healing began with me by connecting to a higher power through meditation and prayer, by engaging in energy healing, and by grounding myself in nature. I became aware of my feelings, so I could recognize when it was time to walk away from the fear. I also began to communicate in ways I had never done before. And finally, I exchanged joy for fear, seeing a life free of PTSD and full of positive possibilities.

Healing from PTSD is possible – I know, because I healed. You can too!

A speaker, writer, and practitioner in the energy healing field, Cathy Gabrielsen is a LifeForce Energy Healing® Graduate. Her Grabrielsen Healing Center is located in West Chester, PA and provides both individual and group services.

Limiting Beliefs

Heal Your Limiting Beliefs (But First Discover Them!)

Do you ever feel like you are running in place instead of moving toward your goals and dreams? Like you’re pounding away on a hidden treadmill going nowhere. Clearly, something is holding you back, when your path seems to be blocked, and chances, you are blocked by limiting beliefs you don’t even know you have.

What’s a Limiting Belief? 

Just like 15th-century Europeans who believed that the earth was flat, you may have unexamined beliefs that are incorrect. Such beliefs may be limiting you, holding you back—especially those that stem from fear-based thinking. Fear is always limiting, as opposed to opening, expanding and freeing. When you start to look closely at your personal beliefs, you may be surprised to find that some actually close doors rather than open them. Limiting beliefs can stifle your vision, your potential, and your power. You won’t set sail to explore the world if you’re afraid you might fall off the edge.

Where Do Your Beliefs Come From?

Typically, your most important beliefs are unconscious. You haven’t examined them because you don’t even realize they exist. Over 90 percent of your core beliefs originated in childhood, coming from your parents or caregivers, school, and culture. These subconscious views run the greater part of your life and shape your potential to be happy or unhappy, rich or poor, healthy or not so much. You have inherited what you believe, most of which is unconscious, and all of it dramatically influences your life.

Do You Know What You Believe?

Questioning your beliefs is an exercise well worth the effort. It’s part of the process of self-discovery needed for spiritual growth and healing. It will free you from all kinds of limitations in life, including fear and living according to what’s right for someone else but not for you. You’ll want to ask yourself: “Where did this belief come from?” and “Does it still work for me, or is it limiting me in some way?” If you think that an idea no longer fits you, ask yourself what might suit you better.

Here are some of the personal “belief” areas you’ll want to examine:

Religion – this is usually the primary limitation for people when they want to expand their consciousness. What, if any, childhood faith were you raised in? Do you believe in the tenets of that faith now? Do you practice them? Are they fear-based? Are you aware of unconscious beliefs from your early education about religion that may be negatively affecting your life today? Also, consider your beliefs about the religions of others. Do you automatically reject others or their thinking because their religion is different from yours, even if you give only lip service to your own?

Politics – So many people automatically exclude everything from the “other side,” assuming that no good can possibly come from it. Do you automatically decide that everyone who opposes your viewpoint is 100 percent wrong? How much do you expose yourself to the beliefs of the other camp? If very strong feelings arise when you look at this area of belief, consider it closely and make sure that love and not fear is ruling your outlook.

Social Values – Where do you stand on the right of women to make decisions about their own bodies, the death penalty, gay marriage, social welfare programs, and other important topics? I always try to read well-written pieces on both sides of every issue and then consciously recheck my position. Have you thought through your own views on these issues recently, or do you automatically determine that there can be nothing of merit on the other side?

Race – We’d all like to think that we’re blind to skin color, but the truth is that we inherit racial prejudices from our family of origin, our schools, and our country—and these are very hard to delete. Bring your feelings into the light and really examine them.

Money – I can almost guarantee that if you have money problem, they can be traced back to certain beliefs you inherited from your family of origin. What are your beliefs about abundance and your own relationship to it?

Relationships – What subliminal or even overt messages did your mother and father give you about interpersonal relationships? How healthy is your relationship to yourself? Is your self-talk positive and empowering? Do you believe in your worthiness and potential? What about your relationship with a significant other?

Why Is It Vital to Question Your Beliefs?

Most of your preconceived beliefs are unconscious unless you make the effort to shift them into your awareness. Here’s why it’s important to bring all of them into your consciousness:

  1. Your unconscious beliefs may inhibit you from becoming all that you are meant to be. It’s nearly impossible to expand and grow, to take in new information and make new choices, when you are confined to operating solely according to preexisting ideas.
  2. If you want to work comfortably with others, you’ll need to be able to accept their beliefs and treat them with the same respect you would your own.
  3. A person with a lot of fixed beliefs is acting from fear. Being afraid to give serious thought to the activities and opinions of others means that you are judging them without really giving their ideas your full consideration.

To free yourself from limiting beliefs that keep you “running in place” instead of growing into your greatest good, give some thought to your beliefs. Find out where you really stand. Free yourself to be open-minded and self-determined, think what you want to think, be in the driver’s seat of your own consciousness!

Happy energetic group

Your energy matters

Have you ever noticed the power of your smile? How different does it feel when you walk onto a crowded elevator with a smile instead of a look of irritation? Your smile is evidence of positive energy shining forth—sending waves of peace, tolerance, hope, and comfort into the world. Does it really matter whether you cultivate positive energy and project it forth? Nothing could be more important. Our world’s wellness depends on the kind of energy you contribute.

Energy Matters

In an energy-driven universe, we are givers and receivers. We are conduits of energy and we can decide what kind of energy we take in and give out. The news tells us the world is hurting. Too much hatred, anger, fear, greed, mistrust, incivility, rudeness, and selfishness have been going unchecked. And the greatest of these is fear—fear of not being enough, not having enough, fear that there isn’t enough.The good news is that individually and together we can use our positive energy to counter this absence of love.

I think of Rumi’s call to action: “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.” Ask yourself what energy you are you sending forth into the world. Do you bring light? Do you focus on love and unity? How do you present yourself to the world—your face, your body language, your words? What are your rules of engagement—-kindness, courtesy, laughter, openness, curiosity, respect, love?

You have the power to heal the world with your energy. You can change your energy, grow it, cleanse it, clear it! Here are five essential healing energies you can work with:

Compassionate Energy

The power to love and care for one another may seem to come naturally, but actually it is a learned behavior that is modeled for us. We love because we are loved and we know how love feels. Each day you can model compassion by consciously sending loving energy to the people you meet.

Creative Energy

Did you know you are a creative genius? The power to dream, imagine, invent, and build is part of who you are. With our creative gifts, we humans can envision a hopeful, sustainable future and travel there together. You bring joy to the world each day that you work, play, dance, sing, play music, write, paint, design, have fun, or teach someone else to do the same.

Courageous Energy

Every day that you spend living in faith rather than wringing your hands in fear is a great day for the world. Believing in a benevolent universe and a positive future takes courage. Being a role model for faith in the ever-present goodness can help heal the world. Be one of those who appreciates the good, who smells the rose, pets the dog, and shares a laugh at every opportunity.

Cooperative Energy

Can you imagine a world where cooperation—not competition—is the rule of the day? There is too much emphasis on who wins and who loses. Cooperation allows everyone to bring their gifts to the table. We can begin by choosing cooperation over competition at every opportunity.

Connective Energy

Quantum physics has confirmed what traditional wisdom has always told us. We are one unified energy field. When a tree falls in the forest, not only is there a sound but the air quality on the other side of the globe is diminished. We are connected and what affects one, affects us all. Unity is our foundation. Whatever you can do to strengthen your connection—to Source, to the natural world, to your fellow humans—do it today. Smiling at those people in the elevator blesses us all!

Checking in with your energy

Checking In with Your Energy

Every year when vacation season arrives, you can’t miss the “Summer Reading” ideas that pop up in newspapers and magazines, bookstores and libraries. Figuring that you are going to have lots of time on your hands as you bask on the beach, makers of summer reading lists offer great new books you will definitely want to check out. As much as I love a good book, I’d like to suggest another kind of “summer reading” this year. Why not use some of that sweet breathing space to take a personal energy reading? If your summer respite is meant to give you new zest for life, it really helps to check in and see what your all-important energy is up to. Is it purring or sputtering? Is the rhythm right? How is your energy shaping your life right now?

Energy Is Life

Everything is energy—both the Universe that surrounds you and the inner energy system that is your life force. The state of your personal energy field is reflected in how you feel, how smooth-flowing or difficult your life feels. Does your energy feel light and bright? Or heavy, dark, and stuck? What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Do you experience worry, dread, anxiety, even fear? Or do you wake up with joy, excitement, gratitude, anticipation? As my friend Louise Hay loved to say, it’s the difference between “Good morning, God!” and “Good God, morning!”

How connected are you to the harmonious energy of your Source? Are you drawing the power you need to thrive? If you feel uneasy in any area of your life—relationships, health, career, finances, self-esteem, faith—a summer energy reading will help you reset and make a fresh start. You can clear, cleanse, and recharge your energy. You can cultivate the positive, healing energy you want and achieve greater levels of peace, wellness, love, and joy.

Five Steps to Your Energy Reset

Try these proven ways to plug in and power up your energy this summer:

Step into nature for instant empowerment.

Just think how good it feels to walk barefoot in the grass, look up at the blue sky, and take a deep breath of fresh, fragrant air. Summer is a perfect time to get out and enjoy the natural world with all of your senses. If your energy feels stale and cramped, there is nothing like sunlight (or moonlight), flowing water, the wind in the trees, and direct contact with Mother Earth to give you a new perspective. Borrow energy from nature!

Keep a journal for the truth about you.

Not sure how you feel or what you think? No one knows more about your inner life than you. It’s just that occasions to reflect on your thoughts and feelings are too rare, unless you make it a priority. Take some summertime quiet to look within. Keeping a journal and taking the time to reflect and record helps you discover insights into your life. If you need to make changes, your feelings and thoughts help you see what is really important, what is really affecting you—not the opinions of others but your own deep truth.

Serve others for connectedness and unity.

Summer brings a gift of longer days and milder weather. Look for some new ways to give and serve that will help you jumpstart your energy. Do what you love and the energy will follow. Help an elderly neighbor with yard work or home maintenance. Start a community garden. Volunteer at the library for summer programs for kids. Love pets? Volunteer at the animal shelter. Finding a cause that speaks to your heart gives you a feeling of fellowship and hopefulness. Energy grows with connection to others.

Learn to meditate for clarity.

When you meditate, you plug in to the greatest power source of all, an energy much greater than your own. Learn to meditate from an experienced teacher who has felt the power of meditation in a deeply personal way. I consider meditation the cornerstone of my spiritual teaching and energy healing work. To connect with the ultimate Source of understanding and clarity, meditate daily. You will be keeping the door open to your greatest spiritual growth and happiness. Healthy energy is joyful!

Say “Please” and “Thank You!” Pray and Affirm!

What do you want? What are you grateful for? Where should you direct your energy for your greatest good? When you pray, you acknowledge the goodness in your life and ask for the direction you need to reach the things you desire. When you address the Source of All Being, you open a channel of communication that empowers you. Pray for a peaceful mind free of worry, fear, regret, and guilt. Give thanks for loving protection and guidance. Affirm “I have a peaceful, loving heart.” Feel your energy soar!

To learn more about your energy and the power of energy healing, join Deborah’s LifeForce Energy Healing® school. Start at the level where you’re comfortable.

Chakra Health

Power Up Your Chakras!

As the daily news continues giving us reasons to be nervous and worried, anxious and afraid, angry and confused, how are you doing in this struggle between fear and love? We know what fear looks like, and we know we have to rise above life-destroying fear and seek life-affirming love. Each of us has the power to choose and use the unlimited energy of love available from our Divine Source. Take a look within. Is your connection to your loving Source clear and open? Is the energy of your love at the ready, flowing and powering your mind, body, and spirit? For the challenges we face, taking good care of your personal energy centers, your chakras, can help you fight fear.

Your Chakra Power

As invisible but vital energy centers, your chakras are designed to move energy between your personal field and the universal field. Your wellbeing depends on the energy you bring in, and your life of joy, fulfillment, and service depends on the energy you give out. Love can’t reign when fear is blocking the channels. When clear and balanced, your chakras are the means by which you replenish your energy and maintain your health. Without the healthy flow of energy through your chakras, you might feel empty, depressed, and powerless. Each chakra represents an aspect of higher consciousness that is essential to your life. As a system, the seven basic chakras integrate your mind, body, and spirit; and each has a physical, emotional, creative, and spiritual component.

Your Chakra Gifts

Each of your chakra centers is important because each one allows you to call forth different skills and strengths and bring them into the world. Keeping your chakras clear and balanced allows you to access your highest gifts and talents—those powerful energies that are your contribution to the world! Here are some of the ways your chakras affect your life:

First Chakra – This foundational chakra located at the base of your spine keeps you grounded and rooted, firm and secure in the world. However, fear of destructive events like those we are experiencing in our world today combined with personal fears about safety, security, and stability can disrupt or distort the free flow of energy in the first chakra. Taking a walk in the beauty of nature, actually touching the earth with your bare feet, can bring you back to the foundation of your being, make you feel present and safe, and strengthen your first chakra.

Second Chakra – Located about half way between the base of your spine and your navel, the second or sexual chakra is the center of your emotions and desires, and your interactions with other people. In the work of moving away from fear and toward love, a balanced second chakra is vital to helping you enjoy healthy intimate relationships and overcome feelings of guilt and shame that may interfere. Bathing in the ocean or a bath of sea salt and baking soda strengthens your second chakra as it restores you to the purity of your true nature.

Third Chakra – Located at the solar plexus and the center of your body’s metabolic fire, the third chakra is the seat of personal power. This primary power center is the source of will, purpose, and action—that which “moves” you in the world. If managing your energy in a healthy way to reach your goals and fulfill your purpose is a challenge, you may need to devote some loving attention to your third chakra. Physical activities such as gardening, sports, T’ai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates can awaken and recharge this energy center, especially if performed outside in the early morning sun.

Fourth Chakra – The fourth or heart chakra is the bridge between the three lower chakras that connect you to the earth and the three upper chakras that connect you to the Infinite. When the heart center is in balance, you are content, caring, compassionate and forgiving. Heart chakra balance gives you the courage to give and receive love even when fear and anger threaten to close you down. How precious is an open and compassionate heart in today’s world! One of the best ways to boost your heart chakra is by giving and receiving love with a pet. Animals are great role models for the unconditional love that heals us.

Fifth Chakra – When fifth or throat chakra energy is free-flowing and balanced, you are free to speak your truth. You are empowered to express who you are, what you feel, and what you believe. Speaking for your beliefs and your truth is essential for you to express the love that can overcome fear in the world today. Writing down your feelings with total honesty can help clear and charge your fifth chakra. Take time to use your “voice” to write, sing, read aloud, and communicate your true feelings.

Sixth Chakra – The sixth chakra or “third eye,” located between the eyebrows, is the source of intuition. When balanced, this chakra helps you keep an open-mind and have faith in your inner guidance. It supports your sense of the interconnection of all humanity and helps you seek the truth in any situation. When this chakra is out of balance, you may feel out of touch with your intuition and struggle with fear-based negative thinking and narrow-mindedness. Daily meditation helps you awaken this chakra and lets you increase your inner wisdom and your ability to “see” clearly.

Seventh Chakra – The seventh energy center or “crown chakra” is located at the top of the head. This is your connection with spirit, your higher power, and the universe. Opening outward and upward, this chakra draws light energy in from above and fills you with an experience of transcendence. Meditation, prayer, and communion with nature are powerful tools for boosting the seventh chakra. Keeping this connection free-flowing, balanced, and clear is your key to bringing all-powerful love into our world.

Working to take care of your chakra energy centers is simply making sure that you have access to all the powers, the gifts, the talents, the energy and the light that is you. Get ready to share your gifts, to move forward in love, to inspire and encourage others, and to live a life of love and joy.

You can learn more about the health of your personal energy centers and how to supercharge them here in the Secrets of Chakra Wisdom Course.

2018ElephantBlog

Help Save the Elephants

“Elephants cannot be manufactured. Once they’re gone, they cannot be replaced.” – Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Founder of Save the Elephants

You probably don’t remember the first time you saw an elephant. Was it on a TV screen, in a book or a magazine, or maybe at the zoo? You may have been a child with a stuffed elephant on your toy shelf or a pair of elephant-patterned sleepers. This iconic animal has been a part of human consciousness for millennia—think about the ancient Hindu god Ganesh, for example. Always believed to be highly intelligent as well as mighty in strength, elephants are not mythical beings like unicorns or dragons. Elephants are real, and they need our help desperately if we are going to keep them with us on planet Earth.

And we do want to keep them! Elephants are gentle giants, largest of all land animals. They play an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystems in which they live. Both African and Asian elephants form female-led, tight-knit groups consisting of a dominant matriarch and her female relations plus their calves. Living in groups makes individuals safer and allows them to devote more time to caring for and teaching the young. Research shows that elephants have amazing long-term memory and can recognize themselves in a mirror, showing self-awareness. They understand what other elephants are feeling and comfort one another. They also assist other injured elephants, and even mourn their dead.

What makes elephants special in addition to their intelligence and self-awareness? Their amazing anatomy! Here are some details from the International Elephant Foundation: The elephant trunk serves as a nose, a hand, an extra foot, a signaling device and a tool for gathering food, siphoning water, dusting, digging and much more. Elephants don’t drink with their trunks, but use them as “tools” to drink with. This is accomplished by filling the trunk with water and then using it as a hose to pour it into the elephant’s mouth. Elephants can swim – they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.

And then there are the elephants’ precious tusks. Most precious to them, and they should be allowed to keep them! Both male and female African elephants grow long tusks. Tusks are actually elongated upper teeth embedded deep in the elephant’s head with up to a third of the tusk hidden from view. They have a variety of uses: as a tool to dig for food or water and to strip bark from trees; as a weapon in battles with rivals; and as a courtship aid. The tusks of elephants grow throughout their life and can weigh over 200 pounds.

Each year tens of thousands of elephants are killed for their tusks. Although people do care about elephants being killed in Africa, they may not be aware of the full story and the implications for world peace. Because of the high value of wildlife trafficking, organized crime and terrorist organizations have a stake in the black market operation that brings in billions of dollars and funds civil wars in Africa as well as global terrorism. According to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “Stopping poaching is no longer only about protecting the planet’s natural resources. It is also a national security issue, a public health issue and an economic security issue.” The Elephant Crisis Fund proposes using “the best ideas and actions from a diverse coalition of effective leaders, non-profit organizations, institutions, media, scientists, and governments.”In other words, it will take a village, a global village, to solve the elephant crisis.

Ironically, one of the most popular elephant stories of all time is Jean de Brunhoff’s children’s book The Story of Babar (1931) which begins with Babar the baby elephant being orphaned by hunters. Today, aid organizations are working to protect the animals from poachers while keeping their natural habitat intact—no easy matter. In fact, this crisis of existence for the elephant is a spiritual crisis for humans. While some humans are destroying, others are choosing to protect.

You may remember another classic children’s book, an elephant tale which portrays the heroic efforts of Dr. Seuss’s Horton to save an entire civilization. “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful 100 per cent!” are Horton’s words to all the naysayers who don’t think his mission is possible. Horton’s efforts defined his noble spirit, just like our human spirit must grow and be defined by our effort to defend and protect our planet’s most at-risk members.

For more information on elephants, check out my newest course.

SOH-Blog_02272018

Vibrational Sound Therapy for Healing

My childhood was dedicated to music. As an adult, I returned to the study of music briefly when I gave myself a term at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just to have fun with music. While there, I attended a weekend workshop taught by the conductor of the Paris Symphony. He was very gifted. The ten of us attendees sat around in a circle, he would make a sound, and we would answer with a sound; there was no other conversation that weekend. I fell right into this experiential lesson, and I could feel my body changing as it was bathed in this spontaneous creation of sound. After the workshop, I walked outside, and suddenly I was hearing full chords and harmonics. Wondering where that music was coming from, I realized it was from the sound of an overhead jet. I had been initiated into a state where music was everywhere, and I remain there today.

Each healer works differently, but for me, the channel I use the most is sound. I actually hear a note or particular chord that tells me what healing channel I’m on. The notes identify which guides are there. I am like a resonating instrument, picking up the sound that’s coming in. I listen to a person’s body to hear what key she is in. If I hear a particular tone, I know I’m hearing cancer. I can listen still deeper and hear the state of her soul and her deepest longing. I connect to Source and hear which note will help that person, and then I direct and transmit that healing sound to the individual. Sometimes I use my voice to sound out the tone; sometimes I send the tone silently.

Everyone and everything in the universe vibrates at a certain frequency, which we refer to as sound. When you connect with other beings or things that have the same frequency pattern as yours, you are in alignment with them. In other words, you resonate with them. We are happiest when we’re around people who have very consistent frequencies that match our own. Our resonance gives us a feeling of calmness and peace. Even better is when we’re around people we love and who love us. Love’s particular frequency is higher than all other commonly known frequencies. When you are expressing the energy of love through sound, it has the power to heal. The consistent and pure tones of the higher emotions— hope, love, optimism, belief, happiness, joy, freedom, and so on—nurture your nervous system and the beating of your heart.

Conversely, when we’re around hurtful people who are yelling, screaming, and making loud noises, we want to run because we’re responding to their negativity. The sound of fear, for example, is much like a scream. It isn’t healthy for your heart function or for your immune or nervous systems. If someone stood near you screaming in fear for a couple of hours, you would likely want to escape the situation. Now imagine subjecting your kidneys to the same frequency as that scream—it’s not hard to believe that they might suffer some ill effects after prolonged exposure, is it? But this is what happens when fear stays inside you for a long period. All the lower emotions—frustration, impatience, doubt, worry, hatred, jealousy, guilt, unworthiness, despair, pessimism, and powerlessness—are distorted sounds that can eventually break down your physical health. Erratic and inconsistent frequencies, such as those from phones, computers, cars, planes, and electricity, can also be distracting and unsettling.

When you are facing a difficult challenge or negative situation, tuning in to your body as if you were tuning in to your favorite radio station will help you reach its healthy frequencies. Raising your vibration is as much about the purity and consistency of your sound frequency as it is about raising your frequency. A consistent frequency means one that doesn’t waver. Love, for example, is a pure form of consistent frequency, so when we resonate with the frequency of love, we are bringing ourselves into that vibration, which leaves no room for negativity.

Much like your emotions, your intentions are also based on vibration. The more unwavering the vibration or frequency, the stronger your intention will be.It’s incredibly powerful to hold a firm intention to send love to someone who needs healing. However, if your intention isn’t firm, you may find it difficult to effect healing.

When your thoughts are aligned with the highest vibrations, they reach the core frequency of love that can be heard throughout the universe. That’s why thoughts backed with focused intention are the greatest forces for healing. This premise leads us to the fundamental goal for all energy healers—to reach our core frequency and send out a force of positive thoughts and intentions as often as we can to help heal the world.

* This article is an excerpt from Heal Yourself — Heal the World (Simon & Schuster, 2017) and has been reprinted with permission. To read more about sound healing in the book, order a copy on Amazon.

Sound Healing Methods

More on sound therapy for healing

Blog Article

Sound Healing Methods: 7 Ways to Raise Your Vibration

Tibetan Tingsha Cymbals

Sound is a powerful healing modality in energy medicine. One of the best things about the many sound healing methods available is that you don’t need to be a natural musician or have special training — all you need is your voice and basic skills. Check out the entire article and add these 7 sound therapy methods to your healing regimen today.

On-Demand Workshop

Highlights of the Sound of Healing

If you’re interested in taking your sound healing technique to the next level, enroll in the Sound of Healing workshop today.

Taught by New York Times bestseller Deborah King, the Sound of Healing is a 10-part, on-demand, self-study, go-at-your-own-pace video workshop in which you’ll learn new sound therapy methods that you can use to heal yourself or others. From understanding seed sounds for each chakra to witnessing and following along with a hands-on-healing session, this sound healing certification course will show you how to create harmony — body, mind, and soul.

ayurveda insomnia

Insomnia No More

Sleep. You’re always getting too little of it. Or even if you’re getting enough, chances are, it’s not the right quality. Or if it’s the right quality, it’s the wrong type. There are even different types of insomnia.1 With all these different variables, does anyone have the solution to perfect sleep? At first glance, it would appear the answer is “no.” The CDC reports that 1/3 of American adults don’t get enough sleep and even when we go on vacation, 63% of us still struggle with sleep.2 3

Arianna Huffington recently wrote a book about sleep where she explores how sleep can impact multiple areas of your life: physical, mental, psychological, professional, social, and even sexual. Arianna was inspired to write The Sleep Revolution after she collapsed from sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and burnout in 2007 due to a high-stress lifestyle; her fall was so hard, that she broke her cheekbone.

Most people (luckily) won’t suffer from a catastrophic breakdown like Arianna; rather, they’ll find they fall into bad sleep habits, such as “catching up” on sleep during the weekend after getting too few zzz’s during the work week. Or, they may struggle to get their bodies and minds back on a good sleep schedule when we “fall back” or “spring forward” for Daylight Savings. Regardless of the cause, addressing sleep issues will help you live a more balanced and healthier life. Moreover, if you are currently on a healing journey, restorative sleep is a crucial component to your long-term success.

In American culture, we look for a quick fix for anything that ails us – including sleep. As of 2014, there were over nine million Americans using prescription meds to get a good night’s rest. While this is certainly concerning, the alarming statistic is around emergency-room visits related to those prescriptions: in a four-year period, there were twice as many people hospitalized because they had “overmedicated.” This study, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration, did not even address the fact that sleeping pills, like Ambien, are dangerously addictive; they also interfere with your meditation and daytime clarity as well.4

So, what can you do get a better night’s rest? Take a page out of your energy healing handbook.

Ayurveda for sleep

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest healing system and literally means “the science of life.” Originating in India, Ayurveda considers sleep one of the three essential parts of good health (the other two are proper diet and balanced sexuality). In fact, sleep is so central to optimal health in Ayurveda that the word for “natural sleep” is Bhutadhatri – a combination of the Sanskrit word Bhuta (your physical body) and Dhatri (mother). Bhutadhatri nourishes one’s body like a mother nurtures her child.

Below are three Ayurvedic sleep remedies to help you achieve health physiologically, psychologically, and neurologically:

1. Indulge in a cup of warm spiced milk

Turns out, the old wives’ tale of drinking warm milk to fall asleep has merit. Take that warm milk one step further by adding a spice like cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg, and you will have a good night’s sleep in a warm mug.

This Ayurvedic sleep remedy is based around the mother-nurturing concept: milk is the first thing that we consume after birth, and drinking warm spiced milk as a part of your bedtime routine will have a nurturing effect on our body and mind. Science has also shown that there are components in milk that support the quieting of the nervous system, which in turn promotes restful sleep.5

2. Just breathe

Before you head to bed, practicing your breathing exercise can have a powerful effect on your energy – and your ability to fall or stay asleep.

Pranayama is the control and extension of the breath that activates your Prana (your life force energy). To begin your Pranayama breathing exercise, start by focusing on and connecting to your heart. Once you have made a connection, inhale deeply and chant “om” on your exhale. The “o” sound should be three times as long as the “m” sound. Repeat until you feel nourished and ready to fall asleep.

3. Go to bed no later than 9 or 10 PM (and wake between 4 and 6 AM)

Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Who knew Ben Franklin was a follower of Ayurveda?

When you sleep from 9 or 10 PM to 4 to 6 AM, you are giving yourself a natural boost of sattva to start your day (sattva is Sanskrit for optimism/clarity). An important part of Ayurveda psychology, sattva is best described as the amazing happiness you feel just from being alive, which children so easily embody.

And be sure that one of the first things you do in the morning is step outside for a moment and take in the early morning light. Daylight sets you up to be more awake during the day. (Note: if you live in the north where daylight hours are limited in the winter months, invest in a quality light box that you use upon waking to simulate daylight.)

As a part of your early to rise routine, get your physical exercise in before noon. It’s better to wake up early enough to go to the gym before work rather than going in the evening if you are over the age of 25.

Drinking warm spiced milk and practicing Pranayama is often the easy part of a natural sleep remedy. It’s the going to sleep at 9 or 10 PM (and waking at 4 to 6AM) that most people struggle with…after all, life today, with all of it’s online distractions, has no such schedule.

So, what else can you do to get a good night’s rest?

Work with nature, not against it

While we are all special flowers in our own right, nature is rather impersonal and plays by the physical laws of the universe (and not your night owl tendencies). Your body is part of nature and there’s no sense in fighting against your innate programming (spoiler alert: you’re not going to win this round).

You are programmed to go to bed when it gets dark and wake when it’s light. Your biological rhythms – controlled by your internal body clock – affects everything from body temperature and appetite to hormones and sleep timing. These biological rhythms tie back into the three pillars of Ayurvedic health: sleep, proper diet, and balanced sexuality; if one area of your health is off, the others will suffer as well.

So, the secret to getting your zzz’s isn’t a magic pill or potion; once again, ancient energy healing wisdom, combined with being in touch with your body and Mother Nature, and getting to bed at a decent hour, delivers a sleep solution that will put you on the path to living your best life.

So, here’s to restful sleep!

Mountain-Range

Top 3 Reasons to Try Energy Healing

 

purple

 

What is energy healing? It is the practice of tapping into the universal energy field for information and then making small shifts in the individual’s personal energy field in order to help someone heal of mental, emotional, or physical distress. Because all three of the key aspects of humanity: mind, body, and spirit, are inextricably linked, when one part gets sick, the other two sides of that triangle also become unbalanced. Energy healing heals the whole person, acting through the personal energy field to get at problems under the surface of the body and the psyche.

Energy medicine saves lives. It saved mine, eradicating the cancer in my body when I was twenty five. As a master energy healer, I have worked with thousands of students who can attest to the fact that they were healed and/or saved with energy medicine. If you let it, energy healing can save your life, too, whether you need physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual healing.

If that isn’t reason enough to give energy healing a try, here are three more:

1. Energy healing can heal almost anything.

I have been an energy healer and spiritual teacher for decades now, and I know from experience that there are no limits to what energy healing can accomplish, provided it is in line with the soul’s life plan. Physical injuries and diseases, crippling emotional pain, completely closed-down chakras, all of these ailments and more have been healed with energy medicine. I have seen energy healing face some of the darkest sources of pain a human body can withstand and win, lifting the weight of that pain and providing relief for the patient.

I even had a remission from cancer at the hands of an energy healer, which is what motivated me to begin learning about energy medicine. I became so amazed and enthralled by what I saw and learned that I ultimately left a thriving career as an attorney to devote my life to energy healing, helping people become the best versions of themselves and fulfilling their true life purpose.

Now this is not to say that if you have a serious illness, like cancer, that you should ignore modern medicine. Quite the opposite! When you need healing, use all the resources you can, and that means energy medicine in concert with traditional medicine. Meditation and journaling are other helpful ways to reach your innermost desires and get in touch with your higher self to assist in making any decisions you have about your health.

 

Fotolia_1418327_M ADJ

 

2. You are already a healer.

Our ancestors were able to heal themselves and others without any special training because back then, humans were more regularly in touch with their higher selves and the unified field. Capabilities such as reading or sending thoughts between loved ones, being fully grounded in Mother Nature, and yes, energy healing, were not considered “supernatural” the way they are today. These skills and abilities were common and widespread in ancient humans, but have since been overshadowed and ignored in favor of technology and our fast-paced intellectual culture

Don’t worry—the capacity for energy healing still resides within you! Though the memories of how to access these “powers” have been buried, the information is still stored our collective unconscious. With practice and training, you can reawaken these innate abilities.

Healing courses or workshops can provide you with the training and instruction you need to get started in energy medicine, or improve your practice if you’ve already begun. An experienced energy healer can also double check that your own energy field is in proper shape to treat others.

3. Energy healing boosts your spiritual development.

Whether you are healed by an energy healer or heal yourself in the process of becoming an energy healer, your spiritual progress gets a lift. One of the most common stumbling blocks for seekers of the light is imbalances in their chakras caused by emotional trauma or unresolved emotions. These imbalances are called distortions, and a distorted chakra can wreak havoc on your energy field by blocking the flow of energy like a clogged pipe, even shutting it down completely. Both scenarios can result in physical pain and suffering that is a direct reflection of your emotional pain.

 

shutterstock_35273035

 

Energy healing helps to clear those blocks from your chakras and restores your energy field to its optimal state of unrestricted flow. With your energy field in good shape, you can begin to expand your consciousness and reach higher states of awareness.

One of the best things about a practice of energy healing is that it forces you to stay centered and grounded. You cannot heal others without a clear energy field, and a clear consciousness free from ego and fear, which means you must vigilantly maintain your own spiritual health. Meditation, expressing and releasing your emotions, and staying in tune with Mother Earth are all helpful in keeping yourself clear of negative energy.

The benefits of energy medicine are more than I can express with words, but I can say that a happier, healthier life, expanded consciousness, and being able to heal friends and loved ones are just the tip of the iceberg.

If you would like to learn more about the life-changing and life-saving field of energy medicine, check out my Hay House LifeForce Energy Healing Online Course, which is a twelve week program designed to teach you how to heal yourself and others, and will certify you to be an official energy healer!

 

 

 

MLK

Are You a Hero?

01142014_AreYouAHero

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Monday, January 20th, we honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.—the inspiring leader and real hero in the fight for civil rights.

 

In 1955, Martin Luther King Jr. graduated from the seminary with a doctorate in theology prepared to lead a church, but the racial segregation and prejudice that existed in the South at that time compelled him to take action on a much larger scale. He studied and adapted Gandhi’s technique of nonviolent resistance to overcome the problems faced by his people. He spent his life giving speeches, leading protest marches and boycotts, sacrificing his own safety, comfort, and freedom in the pursuit of racial equality.

 

King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 to a quarter of a million people on the Mall in Washington, DC, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the following year. Five years later, he was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was about to lead a protest march.

 

Who can be a hero? Anyone who sees an injustice and propels themself into action on behalf of others in need, or in defense of a cause. Like Martin Luther King, Jr., heroes often risk their comfort, financial security, and/or personal safety for the good of others. But you don’t have to risk life and limb to be an everyday hero. For example:

 

  • Danielle Gletow posts the wishes of foster kids online so they can be granted. She said, “I’m here to be the mom to all these kids who might not feel like they have one.” Her group has helped make more than 6,500 wishes comes true in 42 states.

 

  • Estella Pyfrom created “Estella’s Brilliant Bus, using her life savings to fund a mobile computer lab that helps tutor thousands of low-income students in Palm Beach County, FL. As she says, “It’s not just a bus, it’s a movement. And we’re going to keep making a difference.”

 

  • Duncan, Dylan, and Isabella Frost, three siblings who live in Denver, collect turkeys, canned goods, and money each fall by holding a Frost Family Turkey Bowl before Thanksgiving. This year, the flag football game scored 60 turkeys and $700 for the Denver Rescue Mission, which serves 100 different agencies during the holidays.

 

  • How about all those teachers who use their own funds to buy school supplies for their students? They are also heroes, going above and beyond to inspire the up-and-coming generations.

 

Each and every day, there are dozens of opportunities to step in and get involved. The next hero could be you! You know you would help if you witnessed:

  • a child being bullied at school, or an adult discriminated against at work
  • a victim of domestic abuse
  • someone who has had too much to drink and is about to drive
  • an animal that is being neglected or abused
  • an inappropriate or offensive comment is spoken
  • someone who is hungry, homeless, or in need of medical attention.

 

As an energy healer and spiritual teacher, I talk about how you can spread our light by “becoming the change we want to see in the world.” I urge you to take your inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as from those who have made a difference in their own communities. You can be a hero, too!

Sunset-Birds

A New Year and a New You!

01082014_NewYear

If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am. ~Cyril Cusack

 

It’s that time again! Time to box up the decorations, put away your party clothes and get serious. New Years Day signaled an end to the excess of the holidays and a fresh start to a brand new year. Before you break out your journal and start setting goals and writing lists, think for a moment – what’s the secret to making your New Year’s resolutions stick?

 

Take your time, and set goals based on who you are, not the person your mother or father or significant other think you should be. Don’t take other people’s standards as a mandate that you need to change. Does a picture in a magazine or a critical comment from a friend make you feel like you have to whip yourself, home, or career, into shape? Before you start jotting down “to-dos”, spend some time contemplating what you really want, and get in touch with your own feelings.  You make the rules, and there’s no rule that says New Year’s resolutions have to be nailed down in the first week of January. The best way to make sure your resolutions will stick around is to set goals that are appealing and meaningful for you.

 

Think out of the box when it comes to health and fitness. Getting in shape, eating healthy and losing weight are popular resolutions that tend to show up on the same lists year after year. If your healthy intentions routinely go awry, shake things up a little this year. Instead of counting calories, set a goal to eat more veggies and swap out coffee and soft drinks for herbal tea and cool water. If the gym doesn’t inspire you, go for walks or snow-shoeing. Take baby steps, and have fun along the way!

 

Schedule time for fun. New Years resolutions don’t have to be hard work. Here’s an easy one – resolve to spend more time doing things that bring you happiness and fulfillment. Exactly what that means is different for everyone. For me it’s spending time in nature, meditating, going to movies with my husband, and swimming. For you it might be discussing a good book with a friend, taking your dog to the park, or taking a long walk on the beach. Think about what activities bring you joy and make it a priority to schedule them into your day.

 

Get help if you need it. While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, smoking or engaging in other addictive behavior, many are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change on their own. If you plan to kick a destructive habit, know that there is a world of help and support available. If you’re ready to make a change, enlist the help of a friend, counselor, and/or support group, and take time to heal the unprocessed emotions that might be contributing to your addiction.

 

Can’t think of a resolution? Try my old standbys. As a spiritual teacher, I encourage journaling and meditating – they can absolutely change your life. Choking down and suppressing your emotions is all too common in our society, but to be truly healthy and happy you have to acknowledge your feelings and live in truth. Journal writing can help you to do that. If that sounds appealing to you, it’s simple to start. Resolve to write in your journal every day, use a notebook or computer – whatever you like, but most important, be honest! It’s time to honor your feelings and your journal is the place to do it. Don’t hold anything back!  Meditation is another way to tap into your feelings – a daily practice of 20 minutes can be an amazing gift you give yourself. Meditation will help you manage stress, heal your body and your psyche, and find your true path in life.  In every one of my healing courses, I teach my students about the power of journaling and meditation – I urge you to try them!

 

As you look forward to starting the New Year and progressing along on your journey of spiritual growth, I urge you to start from a place of unconditional love, and be sure to include yourself. Shine your light on you and the people around you, and give yourself the gift of self-love and acceptance!

Anticipate-Light

Anticipating the Light

Newgrange, Irland

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned
that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
~ Albert Camus

 

As the seasons continue their relentless cycle, once again we find ourselves nearly at year-end, facing the darkest day of the year. December 21, 2013 marks the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, when we’ll experience the shortest day and longest night and see the sun peak at its lowest point in the sky. The term solstice means “sun stands still,” and for a fleeting moment the sun actually seems to pause in the sky – a signal to the world that the long night is over and we can look forward to the weeks to come when the days lengthen and the sun once again begins to work it’s magic here on earth!

 

For most of us today, the challenges of winter don’t go much beyond travel delays, ice on our windshields and the need to bundle up in warm coats, scarves and gloves. To others, the grey, gloomy days of winter can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) a mood change that’s associated with the change of the seasons. To ancient cultures, the winter solstice had much greater significance as each year citizens calculated their odds of living through the winter, dreading the approach of cold and darkness as they longed for spring to return.

 

The longest night of the year marks the return of the light in many cultures and has long been held as a sacred time of year. We can see evidence of these ancient tributes in places that were built to acknowledge this astronomical event, and in many of today’s winter holidays and rituals.

 

At Newgrange, a Stone Age passage tomb in Ireland, the sun shines down its long passageway into the central chamber at the first crack of light on the winter solstice. Each year, people gather at Newgrange on winter solstice to wait for the dawning of the light, and just as it did over 5,000 years ago, for seventeen minutes as the sun rises the whole chamber is illuminated. It’s an extraordinary experience to wait in the darkness for the longest night of the year to come to an end, as the old sun dies and the new sun is born. In 2007, for the first time, the illumination at the passage tomb was broadcast live so that people around the world could experience this magical moment in their own living rooms.

 

Gods have a way of appearing just as things are at their darkest! The infant Jesus, whose birth is celebrated right around the time of winter solstice, brought light back into the world. In the days of the Roman Empire, many of their gods were born near the time of the solstice: Apollo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Horus, Mithra, Osiris, Perseus, and Theseus. In the third century, their festivals were combined into one “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” on December 25th. In Japan, the sun goddess Amateratsu emerges from her cave at this time of year.

 

Simple rituals, ancient and modern, help us to shed our own light on the darkness. All over the world people gather together with loved ones, light candles, decorate their homes, share meals and/or exchange gifts. All these winter holidays—Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Saint Lucia Day, Dong Zhi (which literally means “the extreme of winter”), Diwali, Koleduvane (a festival in Belgium for the birth of the sun), Gody (in Poland), Shabe-Yalda (rebirth of the sun as celebrated in Iran) – are celebrating the return of the light during the darkest time of the year.

 

As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I encourage you to remember that without darkness, there can be no light. To celebrate the seasonal cycle, why not develop your own personal rituals to mark the passing of darkness and the ascension into the light! Take a hike to a high outdoor peak, attend a meditation retreat or energy healing workshop, create a special journal entry to process any darkness that you have accumulated this season, or find a way to spread some light to others who are experiencing hardships or depression.  Enjoy this mystical and hopeful time of year!

dk-blog-prayer2

Connect to the Light with Prayer!

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness.

It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

When you think about prayer, what comes to mind? Does your mind flash back to your childhood, when you dropped to your knees every night at bedtime and asked God to bless your friends, family and pets?  Do you picture yourself chanting out prayers at church, harmoniously in sync with the rest of the congregation? Or do you remember hasty deals made with your God, praying for the safety of a traveling loved one, that your biopsy will turn out to be benign, or that you’ll ace that job interview?

Prayer can be all of those things, and more! As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I encourage you to explore a new dimension of prayer – as a conduit to the light. Regardless of your faith, prayer is a beautiful way to connect with your own spirituality.  Through meditation and prayer, you can open up your heart to the power of unconditional love, and flood your spirit with the light of higher consciousness!

My new blog at HealYourLife.com explains how you can use prayer in this enlightening way! Try this technique in your daily life, and open yourself up to the forces of light and love in the universe.

Interested in exploring other ways to expand your consciousness and live in the light? Check out my brand new book, Entangled in Darkness: Seeking the Light, and join me on the path to enlightenment!