Feng shui your home

How to Upgrade the Energy in Your Home

Feng shui your home

“Energy efficiency” is a hot topic these days. With the Inflation Recovery Act of 2022 now in place, there are government incentive programs to help homeowners, renters, and businesses upgrade to more energy efficient abodes.

As exciting and timely as the above information is, this post isn’t about that kind of energy upgrade.

There is another energy upgrade which I consider equally — and ultimately, even more — crucial.

Feng shui your home

The kind of energy upgrade I’m referring to is the enormous, uplifting, endlessly creative, and divine universal energy that is available to each of us. Unfortunately, it all too often becomes unavailable or anemic because of stress, trauma, illness, and other hard knocks we received during our childhood and later, and even before, during earlier incarnations.

Far too many folks feel chronically overwhelmed, anxious, and fatigued. Others feel apathetic and depressed. These are all signs of blocked chakras; that is, the pinching off of one or more of the seven energy transfer stations that exist in levels between the bottom of our spine and the top of our head. Unbottling these bottlenecks takes time and intention. Meditation and mindfulness are two ways to unblock chakras.

But another proactive way to jumpstart recovery from blocked chakras is setting an intention to de-clutter your home and every other place where you spend considerable time.

Home Sweet Home

Your home is a direct extension of your energy field. Where is it pinching you? In which room(s) does your lifeforce energy feel absent or anemic? In which room(s) does it feel free to soar?

Is there discomfort-causing clutter in any of the rooms in your home? If there is, simply acknowledge what the clutter does to your mind, body and spirit every time you enter those spaces, and do whatever it takes to remedy your discomfort.

Feng shui your home

Are there closets in your home with unused clothing and/or other seldom-used items occupying most of the space?

What kind of internal energy emanates when you enter your kitchen, bathroom, living room, den, or bedroom?

How long has it been since you rearranged your existing furniture, or repainted a few of your walls, or done something else to creatively express your gratitude for the space that qualifies as your sanctuary?

What can you donate, sell, or dispose of in some other way that will open up your available space to make room for more energy and joy in your life?

By mindfully analyzing how you feel inside each room of your home and making prudent, spirit-lifting adjustments, you can access more of the universal energy that is available to improve your mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing.

Feng shui your home

Den/Office

About 40% of working people are working from home these days, the rest commute to offices on foot, on bike, via some transit system, or in a personal vehicle. But either way, whether you’re an employee, an entrepreneur, or an executive, you spend many (if not most) of your waking hours in a space that has the potential to numb your spirit or to nurture it. Naturally, I endorse nurturing it!

If your space is your own, consider Sthapatya Veda, that ancient system of Vedic knowledge that involves the connection between people and buildings. Similar to Feng Shui, these teachings from the Vedas hold that the design of a structure has an effect on our energy; if the design of the building is in harmony with the laws of nature, it will promote positive energy to those of us inside of it.

Also consider that minimalism and vibrant but relaxing colors will make you more peaceful. If you don’t have much say in your surroundings at work, bring to your work space a few personal items that elicit smiles and a sense of aliveness inside you.

Make Being Delightfully Present a Daily Pursuit

Our thoughts orchestrate our moods and attitudes. But our thoughts are not things; they are projections. Think of your mind as a movie screen that reveals in Technicolor the thoughts you’re having. Does your movie have a happy ending? If not, write a better storyline! You have the ability to influence the movies in your head to work for you. When you do this, universal energy gets freed up inside you to help you get where you want to go.

Always remember that you are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are less real than passing clouds, but they do (absolutely!) dictate how your body will react, so they can send you to the gallows or send your spirit and intentions soaring into the stratosphere.

Feng shui your home

Additional energy restorers include exposure to sunlight (remember your sunscreen!), enjoyable movement (fun exercises, gardening, sex 🙂 , laughter (the more, the better!) , gratitude, nature walks or sitting in nature, self-care (hydration, nourishing foods, meditation, all of the above!) journaling, creativity, healthy, sane boundaries, adequate sleep, and friendly, encouraging, supportive connections.

How many can you add to your repertoire of energy boosters? Most cost nothing but intention and a time commitment.

Feng shui your home

Henry Ford was right when he said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Your thoughts dictate the energy you’ll have access to as you sail in the direction of your goals. And since you’re a member of my tribe, I have every confidence that you will choose wisely!

The best way to control your thoughts, and thus control your life, is to practice meditation. But not just any form of meditation, Vedic Meditation is the best form I’ve discovered for truly creating the life of your dreams. And if learning this form of meditation is of interest to you, you can access my bestselling course by clicking here >>

If you want to take things one step further, you can join an incredible, supportive community of like-minded healers and truth seekers for a year-long journey that will help you cleanse everything from your thoughts, to your physical space, to your emotions and energy field. The next year of our most transformative program is starting soon. And you can learn all about it in our upcoming FREE Open House by registering here >>

Your Souls Plan

Awakening Your Soul’s Plan

Your Souls Plan

The Upanishads, which complete the Vedas, are among the most beautiful and influential spiritual texts in the world. The poems contained within seek to understand the meaning of life, the law of karma, and the pathway to enlightenment.

The Upanishads speak of three different types of self: the external self (Bahya-atma), the inner self (Antar-atma), and Param-atma (the highest self or Purusha). When we attain Purusha, we become one with the soul of the universe and finally transcend the cycle of reincarnation. Our ultimate purpose has been fulfilled as we finally reach the eternal bliss of Sat-cit-ānanda, unchanging truth, bliss, and consciousness.

Yet while enlightenment is our eventual destiny, the law of karma ensures that we each have a different road to travel through the cycle of samsāra. Each incarnation on this Earth gives you opportunities to cleanse your karma and learn the lessons you need to move forward on your spiritual path. Though you may not consciously remember it right now, your soul made a plan for you before you were incarnated in this lifetime. When you connect with your soul’s plan, you begin to live authentically and in harmony with your life purpose.

Your Souls Plan

Are You Fulfilled?

The idea of a soul plan might seem like a luxury in this busy and stressful world we live in. Yet I believe that it is only when you awaken your soul’s plan that you can really begin to live the full life that is your birthright as a divine being. To be in alignment with your soul’s plan is to have clarity of purpose and an inner strength that can meet challenges with confidence. Life will continue to happen to you, as it does to everyone, in all its joy and sadness, but knowing your soul’s plan keeps you moving forward on your personal journey.

Many students who come to me for energy healing do so because they feel restless, dissatisfied, or stuck. Life does not seem to have any real meaning or color. I often see clients who feel that time is “running out” and that the window for living a full life is closing rapidly. Regret and fear are two emotions that signal to me that a student or client is out of alignment with their soul’s plan. They have paid far too much attention to what society thinks they should want than to their own inner wisdom and truth.

Activating Your Soul’s Plan

If you have consistently felt bored, irritated, uninspired, or regretful for a long period of time, I encourage you to look within and see if you are in alignment with your soul’s plan. This is a time to be gentle with yourself and to stop piling on the guilt. All of us are connected to webs of people—our family, friends, and co-workers—who have strong ideas about how we should be living. It takes courage to reconsider these “rules” and take a step toward authenticity.

Your Souls Plan

I cannot promise doing so will be easy, but I can say with confidence that as you start to connect to your true self, the way forward becomes clearer. When you get out of your own way—and stop trying to force yourself into a suit that does not fit—your energy vibrations shift to a higher plane and obsessive thoughts and recriminations start to drop away. You learn to trust yourself.

Here are three steps that you can begin today to start clearing energy blockages and connect to your soul’s plan:

Your Souls Plan
  1. Cleanse Your Sixth Chakra

    The sixth chakra is also known as the third eye chakra. It is in the center of the forehead and in line with the eyebrows. Known in Sanskrit as Ajna, this chakra rules imagination, intuition, and self-realization. When you work with an energy healer to cleanse the sixth chakra, the door to your higher self opens. Imagine entering a library wherein the blueprints for your soul’s plan are waiting for you, bathed in a clear, illuminating light. This is the power of a healthy third eye chakra.
  1. Be Open

    To activate your soul’s plan, you must learn to trust yourself. Change can be risky, and you should not be pressured into doing something “different” just for the sake of it. But, usually, to live in true alignment with our soul’s plan means that we need to be open to new ideas and possibilities that may seem odd, at first, to the part of us that is used to playing by the rules. Often, you may find that even among the people who love you most, you need to give these new ideas time to percolate before you announce them to the world. There is no need to rush. You are allowed to take the time you need to build a bigger and more fulfilling life.
Your Souls Plan
Your Souls Plan

  1. Meditate

     


    As a teacher, it always amazes me how easy it is to be led off-track by the voices of others and so hard to listen to our inner wisdom. We often let the noise of opinions and belief systems and social pressure steer us away from what we know to be right. Over time, you cannot happily live someone else’s life. Meditation unlocks your soul’s plan by allowing you to tune-in to the quiet, still voice within that speaks for the real you. In the beautiful words of the teacher Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, “Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.”

If you would like to learn more about how to release energy blockages and awaken your soul’s plan, please join me for my new online course hosted by the Shift Network, Decode Ancient Vedic Face Reading & Energetic Body Types to Heal Childhood Trauma, which begins Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Space will be limited, so you’ll want to reserve your spot as soon as you can.

You can do that by clicking here >>

Living Authentic Life

Living Your Authentic Life: The Power of Energy Healing

Living Authentic Life

Who are you? As an energy healer, I often find that this is one of the hardest questions for new clients to answer. Most people respond with their job title or relationship status, or talk about their family roles (such as mother, sister, son, brother, or grandparent). These are all important identities in our day-to-day lives, but when the goal is spiritual transformation, I am asking for an answer that goes much deeper.

When I ask this question, I want to connect with your authentic self. Deep down inside, I think many of us know intuitively that we are not in sync with the life we were meant to live. There are so many ways in which our responsibilities and fears and egos pull us away from our inner essence. Over time, we lose contact with the inner self that was born into this lifetime for karmic reasons that go far beyond what we see on the surface. Few of us ever show this true self to the world.

This is my invitation to you to awaken your authentic self and nurture the spiritual light you have within. As you begin to heal, so, too, does the world.

Living Authentic Life

Seeing Behind the Mask

Many of my students are surprised when I tell them that they are living dishonestly. Reactions range from sadness to anger, yet my point is not criticism but compassion. We cannot connect with our authentic selves until we have the courage to take off our masks.

And I am here to tell you – those things are hard to get rid of! The masks we show to others began as a very early attempt to shield ourselves from trauma and pain. In our attempts to protect ourselves, however, we soon lost sight of who we really are. Reconnecting to that authentic self takes hard work and courage, but it can transform your life.

Cleansing the Throat Chakra

As an energy healer, I work to cleanse my client’s energy field so that he or she can release psychic injuries, express true feelings, and fully accept themselves. Much of this effort focuses on the seven chakras, each of which are governed by the spiritual laws of the universe and divine consciousness.

Living Authentic Life

When the fifth or throat chakra—which rules communication—is blocked, the truth becomes distorted, and we hide our true feelings even from ourselves. Clearing the throat chakra opens a channel to authentic expression. The mask behind which we have been hiding begins to dissolve and our radiant inner light shines through for the very first time.

If you grew up in a house of secrets, or if you were ridiculed and shamed for expressing your thoughts and emotions, you have throat chakra issues that prevent your real self from being heard. The process of cleansing your fifth chakra activates your inner light and allows you to examine your life choices, clarify your values and beliefs, and awaken to your life’s purpose.

Seeing Yourself Clearly

Cleansing the throat chakra is a powerful way to cultivate authenticity. Finding a spiritual teacher experienced in the Ayurvedic system and the mind-body connection is a positive step in this direction.

There are three additional steps that I believe can be very beneficial to your spiritual transformation from a place of fear to one of hope and authenticity:

Living Authentic Life
  1. Cut the lies
    That sounds a bit harsh, doesn’t it? Yet I say this with the utmost compassion and a personal understanding of how hard it can be to face the truth: allowing yourself to live with lies is virtually guaranteed to make you sick, both mentally and physically.

You must let those lies go. Now, this does not mean you want to confront every single person you know with The Truth. Telling someone that their haircut is awful or their taste in music is bad is just mean. I am talking about the big lies—about yourself, your relationships, your family system, or your job. When you stop participating in the toxicity—and I highly recommend working with a healer during this process—you find inner sanctuary.

  1. Say hello to the real you
    So many of the things we think we believe are there just because someone else put them there. As you create a space for your truest self to emerge, you will want to reconsider what to keep and what to discard. What are your values? Do you have a clear awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, light and shadow sides? What spiritual traditions resonate with you and what kind of life do you want to lead? When you turn inwards, and stay with these questions through contemplation, journaling, and meditation, you will find that connecting to your true self becomes easier and more joyous.
Living Authentic Life
Living Authentic Life
  1. Examine your choices
    As human beings, most of us naturally want to please the people that are important to us. We want to be successful, attractive, and accomplished in their eyes. We want to be seen as good people who do the right thing and conform to the norms of our respective societies.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it is essential to examine your choices (probably more than once in this lifetime!) and ensure that the path you are on is going to get you where you want to go. When you travel someone else’s journey, or cling to old ways of doing things just because you do not want to make anyone uncomfortable, you are shutting yourself off from personal authenticity.

In the beautiful words of The Buddha, “Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.”

When you look within, cleanse your energy field, examine your choices, and reject the toxic lies of yourself and others, I believe your authentic self will step out from the shadows into the light and shine, beautifully.

If you would like to learn more about how to release energy blockages and become your authentic self, please join me for my new online course hosted by the Shift Network, Decode Ancient Vedic Face Reading & Energetic Body Types to Heal Childhood Trauma, which begins on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Space will be limited, so you’ll want to reserve your spot as
soon as you can.

You can do that by clicking here >>

Become an Energy Healer

Becoming an Energy Healer: Do You Feel the Call?

The world seems to be in a state of constant crisis. Between wars, pandemics, political unrest, job insecurity, and environmental trauma, the toll on our bodies and spirits is profound.

Environmentally, culturally, and spiritually, we know that there is real pain in the world today. It is easy to give in to the forces of darkness and cynicism. There is much work that must be done to heal our planet and many people are crying out for positive and uplifting solutions to their individual and shared trauma.

Become an Energy Healer

More than ever, our world needs people who want to be of service to others. The power of energy medicine not only heals us as individuals but enables us to bring light and compassion to those in need of spiritual transformation. As energy healers, we learn to help others open the door to their higher selves.

Positive change begins with you

One of my esteemed teachers, may she rest in peace, Louise Hay, often liked to say, “The power is within you!” I passionately believe this. Every time an individual chooses kindness and love over division and hate, the world begins to heal.

Do you sense that you have intuitive gifts that could be cultivated to help others find their spiritual path? Are you drawn to the light of spiritual transformation? If so, I invite you to consider becoming an energy healer.

My own journey with energy healing has taken me to many countries and I have learned from sages and shamans around the world. In my mid-twenties, I found myself adrift as the hard-charging life as a lawyer I had been living ground to halt. I knew there had to be something more to life and within me than constant struggle and pain.

Become an Energy Healer

When I chose the path of energy healing, I connected to my authentic self and aligned with my soul’s true purpose. Could this be your destiny, as well? If you feel a yearning to awaken your inner light and nurture others, then I think you may have your answer. Your higher self is calling you to help create peace in the world.

Here are three ways you can begin to shift to a higher energy frequency and activate the gift of healing that is within you:

Become an Energy Healer
  1. See Yourself Clearly and Awaken Your Higher Self
    Over three thousand years ago, ancient Egyptians inscribed the instruction to “know thyself” above the entrance to the Temple of Luxor in Ancient Kemet. Thales of Miletus, in the sixth century BCE, believed that self-knowledge was the key to enlightenment, while the Upanishads advise Atmanam viddhi, “know thyself and be free.”

This wisdom reverberates across the millennia to us today. A true energy healer must first see himself or herself clearly. The spiritual practices of meditation, journaling, prayer, and devotion can assist you to clear away trauma and ego so that you can stand in the clear light of your divine essence and gifts.

  1. Compassion for Others Begins with Compassion for Yourself
    So many of my students first come to me convinced that they are ready to change. They are “high” on the prospect of moving forward and want to see results immediately.
Become an Energy Healer

Yet with just a bit of digging, we soon find energy blockages that are holding them back from the full life they are meant to lead. When we begin to address these lower vibrations, blockages, and trauma, emotions start to tumble out with the force of those flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz.

Anger turned inward is one of the most toxic emotions that I deal with as an energy healer. When you release self-hatred, and forgive your mistakes, you open a channel to universal love and compassion. You also create a space within which your inner gifts can reveal themselves and thrive.

As Buddha tells us, “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” To see yourself with compassion is to understand and to forgive; and, when you forgive, you begin to change.

Become an Energy Healer
  1. Cultivate your connection to Source Source is the primordial origin of unconditional love, compassion, and the healing light of the universe. When you cultivate your connection to Source, as you understand it, you become a vehicle for the spiritual transformation of both yourself and others. Your life’s purpose is revealed, and your divine essence is awakened.

We each have healing gifts that can be cultivated to empower ourselves and others. I would love to collaborate with you to activate your inner healer.

Please join me for a FREE event that I will be hosting in partnership with The Shift Network this Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT.

Space will be limited, so you’ll want to reserve your spot as soon as you can.

You can do that by clicking here >>

Lucid Dreaming

The Power of Lucid Dreaming

Lucid Dreaming

Today let’s talk about the power of lucid dreaming — it is such a powerful tool when it comes to activating our intuition. Some of you may be lucid dreaming already, even if you aren’t familiar with the term. But even if the idea is foreign to you right now, it’s possible to learn how to step into your dreams, change your story, and orchestrate your destiny, right here and right now.

Lucid Dreaming

First, what is it: lucid dreaming happens while you’re asleep but aware that you’re having a dream. You fully realize that your conscious mind is hovering over your dreamscape, and that you can think, act, and change the things that happen in your dream to get an improved outcome.

Learning how to lucid dream can take time, but once you know how to do it, you may well find that your creativity — even during the day when you’re wide awake — starts flowing more easily. You may also feel an arising sense of calm permeating your soul.

Anyone can benefit from opening this pathway to greater awareness and self-knowledge. What happens is that when you have a lucid dream, you become the director of your subconscious.

You are familiar, I bet, with daydreams. During a daydream, your mind flies off to some imagined place and you engage with it as if it as if it’s actually happening. Daydreaming is a lot like immersing yourself in an unfolding movie. It’s an act of imagination while you’re fully conscious but you become unaware of your present surroundings.

Lucid Dreaming

You can get lost in a daydream. Some people live their lives there, content to imagine wonderful things rather than taking real steps to make them happen. “Get your head out of the clouds and your feet back on the ground,” is something a lot of daydreamers heard as kids.

Daydreaming begins with a compelling thought, memory, or fantasy. From there, the daydreamer’s imagination takes flight. The longer the daydream, the deeper the dreamer becomes immersed in his or her private fantasy land.

People who daydream a lot generally find it easier to become lucid dreamers. That’s because daydreaming is a lot like practicing lucid dreaming while awake. In fact, visualization is one aspect of a robust lucid dreaming practice.

Lucid Dreaming

When you experience lucid dreaming, you can confront challenges, fears, and hang-ups to become happier in your own skin. Lucid dreaming has the power to release repressed memories and even cleanse bad karma. This is one of the reasons that the Vedic sages were so keen to develop their lucid dreaming abilities.

So, let’s start our journey through lucid dreaming with the Vedic sages, who have practiced the discipline for thousands of years. The Upanishads describe four states of consciousness. The first three are waking (jagrat), dreaming (svapna), and sleeping (suṣupti). Dreaming (svapna), resonates most closely with our Western notion of the subconscious. In Vedic philosophy, both dreaming and sleeping are considered more important, in a spiritual sense, than waking (jagrat).

While dreaming, a sleeping person frequently is required to acknowledge the vibrations emitted by past deeds and karma. Psychic unrest, events of the day, and other intense experiences may also give rise to dreams. Generally, good dreams correspond to dharma, the path of rightness, while bad dreams are adharma, that which is evil or wrong. In Vedic culture, extending from ancient times, the world itself, or what we all think of as reality, is an illusion—that is, nothing but a dream—made by the God Vishnu.

The fourth state is pure consciousness, called Turiya, which is reachable through meditation and good works. To reach pure consciousness is to truly understand the infinite and to cease from suffering and reincarnation. Turiya exists beyond dreams and beyond time.

Every culture has tried to understand the meaning of dreams so they could trigger their power to change mindsets, perceived limitations, and unhelpful life trajectories. Tibetan Buddhist monks, for example, practice Dream Yoga to strengthen their mind’s ability to detach from their bodies and move fearlessly through their dreams as active participants.

Lucid Dreaming

Ancient aboriginal cultures throughout the world have embraced the spiritual and divinatory power of dreams, too. Many of you may be familiar with dream catchers, the traditional Native American artifact that catches bad dreams and allows good dreams to pass through.

Lucid Dreaming

Here’s another example: the Māori in New Zealand, also known as Tangata Whenua, the People of the Land, believe that your spirit leaves your body during dreams, and your dreams can warn you of omens and deliver premonitions.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that dreams give us insights into the past, present, and future. Aristotle talked about lucid dreaming in his Parva Naturalia, which was written in the 4th century BC. He wrote, “often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream.” In other words, we often know we’re dreaming, and that we’re caught between two worlds, neither fully awake nor fully asleep.

Several centuries later, Saint Augustine, the Christian theologian born in Algeria, believed that lucid dreams happen when the soul briefly leaves the body to get a glimpse of the afterlife.

Early psychotherapists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries took lucid dreaming seriously, considering them a key to unlocking the human personality and desires. Sigmund Freud believed dreams let us process fragments of memories, repressed anger, and sexual impulses that hang around in our subconscious. Things that might be too painful or destructive to express in daily life can be set free in a dream. By entering the dream as an active participant, he felt that patients could rewrite the early scripts of their lives and release embodied trauma. Though many of us in the energy medicine world today have moved away from Freud, his early dream analysis was an important step along the road to understanding the mind-body connection.

Lucid Dreaming

Before we leave Freud, I also want to mention his notion of free association. Freud believed that letting patients make their own connections between their dreams and real life was a far better method than forcing interpretations on them.

As I mentioned earlier, your dreams reflect your unique journey through life. This is important because, as you begin to lucid dream, you might need some gentle guidance to help you interpret your flashes of insight. There are many pathways to understanding lucid dreams. But with practice, you can learn to trust your inner wisdom and intuition.

Lucid Dreaming

Ultimately, you have the power to make choices and to influence how your story ends in the dream state and when you’re wide awake. This is another reason that the Vedic sages paid attention to dreams; they are an aspect of karma.

Unfortunately, as they so often do, scientists initially distrusted the idea of lucid dreaming because it was hard to test. Many scientists thought of dreams as more-or-less a neural garbage disposal unit that “cleared out” our brains while we slept. But by the 1970s, technological advances for sleep studies helped bring Western science around to the idea that our brains are doing important work while we dream.

Scientists now know that lucid dreams usually occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a period of very deep sleep with lots of observable brain activity. Current evidence strongly suggests that lucid dreaming therapy will soon be incorporated into Western medicine.

Today, popular figures like actor Leonardo DiCaprio and novelist Stephen King talk about their practice of lucid dreaming, which suggests that all of us will want to give it a try. The Nightmare on Elm Street movie used the power of lucid dreaming to help terrified teen-agers overcome evil. And in the recent television hit, Evil, a scientific skeptic turns to lucid dreaming as one way to try and beat the devil. We might call this a “lucid dreaming uprising” in which our modern world is reaching for ancient wisdom to reconnect with our intuition and spiritual essence.

So, by now you’re probably wondering how to activate the power of lucid dreaming into your life, right?

Swami Satyananda Saraswati originated a twentieth century school of Yoga Nidra. In 1976, having founded the Bihar School of Yoga in the 1960s, he built a system of guided meditation that helps devotees enter the lucid dreaming state. His system draws on the ancient tantric practice of nyasa, which combines the power of touch along different parts of the body with specific Sanskrit mantras. 

Lucid Dreaming
Satyananda’s approach isn’t directly connected to traditional Vedic texts, but it does have historical precedents in the Vedic philosophy. It’s interesting to note that the United States Army and other big organizations have used the Yoga Nidra approach developed by Satyananda to treat soldiers who experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lucid Dreaming

There are some foods that can enhance your ability to lucid dream. Foods rich in vitamin B6 are linked with greater dream recall and intensity. One of the roles of vitamin B6 is to convert the essential amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and niacin. This conversion helps your body regulate appetite, sleep patterns, and mood. Foods that help enhance lucid dreaming include chicken, soybeans, turkey, tuna, venison, lamb, salmon, halibut, shrimp, and cod. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, good lucid dreaming foods include kidney beans, pumpkin seeds, tofu, cheese, and soy sauce.

It’s best to eat these foods and take vitamin B6 during your evening meal, just a few hours before you retire for the night.

Here are a few practical steps to enhance your ability to experience lucid dreams.

Make a dream pillow and infuse it with a meditative essential oil. It can be any comfortable pillow, and an essential oil like bergamot, clary sage, lavender, mugwort, orange, rose, roman chamomile, or sandalwood. You can also diffuse essential oil into the air using a diffuser instead of putting drops on your pillow. (Some people have adverse reactions to essential oils that touch the skin, so a diffuser may be best for them.)

Lucid Dreaming
Lucid Dreaming

Sleep in a cooler than normal room. To keep from feeling hot or too warm and uncomfortable during sleep, throw open a window or run a fan to keep your body temperature feeling exactly right for you. Studies have shown that sleeping in a cool place improves the frequency and duration of REM (dream level) sleep.

Exercise/Yoga Exercise and yoga several hours before sleep has been shown to enhance REM sleep.

Turn off all electronic devices with lit screens one hour before bed.

Regular meditation is another way to prepare your mind for lucid dreaming, as does setting your intention to lucid dream. For example, you might write in a notebook beside your bed your intention to lucid dream just before going to sleep every night as a way to prepare your subconscious. A nightly routine can also help signal your brain that you’re shifting from the waking to the dreaming state.

Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming is powerful, so it can also be unsettling because there is no way to cleanse past karma in just one or two lucid dreaming sessions. So, please recognize that this technique, just like meditation, requires time, practice, and devotion. If your past trauma is intense and/or painful, it’s especially prudent to find a teacher or spiritual guide who can gently guide you through the process. Those of you saddled with post-traumatic stress disorder will want to make sure you have support in place before you try out lucid dreaming.

Finally, I must mention that the renowned inventor Nikola Tesla, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, and author Lewis Carroll are among the many creatives and mathematicians who have drawn upon the power of lucid dreaming to unlock creativity and access the wisdom of their subconscious minds. In the final analysis, lucid dreaming, like meditation, opens our hearts to what is timeless and lets us see things as they really are, stripped of the half-truths and lies we often tell ourselves when we’re awake. In the words of Carl Jung, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” Becoming a lucid dreamer activates your power both to see the darkness and to move beyond it into the light.

Lucid Dreaming is just one skill that you can master that can help you see beyond the physical bounds of time and space and obtain wisdom from realms beyond ours. And it is one of the skills taught in our bestselling Astral Wisdom course. Learn to design the life of your dreams by mastering the out-of-body experience by accessing this course here >>

Law of abundance

Abundance Comes from Within

Law of abundance

Did you know that the greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of abundance? Whatever it is you want—peace, joy, laughter, happiness, strength, a dream career, a better connection to Source, a deeper alignment with your higher self and life purpose—anything your heart desires can be attracted to your life with an abundant mindset and an open crown chakra. With this one shift, you can literally change everything!

The Source of Happiness

You’ve probably noticed that there are people who seem to have it all: health, wealth, successful careers, marriages, partnerships, and most of all, they are honestly happy. From the outside looking in, it may seem as though the material prosperity they’ve achieved created their happiness, but the truth is that it’s usually the other way around. Internal perspective, clarity, and alignment with your soul purpose leads to external abundance. Abundance begins within you, with your thoughts and attitude, and with the proper mindset, there’s no limit to what the universe can provide for you.

Law of abundance

You Get What You Give

The world is a closed circle; energy can’t be created, only transformed, and every single thing on this planet is linked to every other thing through the unified field. This means that you are connected to your neighbors and everyone else, to the physical earth, and to higher planes and Source, and what you do affects your personal energy as well as the energy around you. You see this in little ways every day. Think about how easy it is to get sucked into someone else’s bad mood when they’re nearby—their energy can literally drag yours down.

But the reverse is true as well, and positive energy can also spread like energetic wildfire. In fact, that is what you are doing by studying energy healing and walking the path of light; you are helping to raise your own vibration, which raises the vibrations of those around you, and collectively, the universe at large. This is no small thing—energy may be invisible, but it is more powerful than anything you can see with your eyes, and as it heals you, it heals the whole planet.

Ask and You Shall Receive

It is this same principle of interconnectedness that guides abundance. Your thoughts and emotions have their own energy, and what you think about, obsess about, will eventually manifest. You give it weight by thinking and feeling about it so much. This has been proven in studies that show how effective prayer is. Thought and emotion together push that energy out into the world where the desire can be formed and returned to you. Abundance is as simple as a consistent, meaningful request to the universe, accompanied by giving back what you hope to receive.

Law of abundance
Law of abundance

Shift Your Focus

So if you spend all your time thinking about the fact that you don’t have enough money, the universe sees that as a request, and you will be provided with a continued absence of money. If you constantly lament the fact that you’re not in a relationship, it will be hard to find one. If you are always worried about getting sick, then the universe will provide you with an illness. The universe will give you what you put your energy into, so if you want to manifest the good, you have to shift your focus and attitude.

If you want more money, start donating what you can spare. If you want more love, adopt a pet. Be of service without expectations. True abundance is an inner knowing that you are living the best version of yourself, so switch from focusing on the lack of what you want to focusing on bringing what you want into your life so you can be that best version.

Sometimes I find students can’t manifest their desires because they don’t really believe they deserve them. If your thoughts contradict your emotions, the universe tends to hear your feelings. You may think you want more peace, but if you secretly feel you deserve to be punished for past mistakes, you will continue to be punished. Energy healing techniques like meditation and journaling to release those negative emotions can help you adjust your thoughts toward the positive, and allow you to attract the abundance you want and deserve.

Open Your Crown Chakra

Another way to create internal abundance is to open your seventh chakra, which sits at the top of your head and is connected to thought, consciousness, information, and intelligence—all aspects of the process of knowing. When the seventh chakra is clear and balanced, divine energy can flow into it from the universal field, expanding your consciousness, and providing you with a greater awareness of what you are truly meant to do. With this knowledge, you then have the potential to manifest the life you want to have—the life you were born to live—and the abundance you seek.

Law of abundance

Of course, the Crown Chakra is just one of the several chakras you should focus on in order to find true balance, peace, happiness, and health in your life. And while this is too much to discuss in an article, we do have a resource that will help you gain this transformational knowledge (which can literally impact every part of your life). It is our bestselling Secrets of Chakra Wisdom Course. Learn more about it here >>

Law of abundance

Purpose Leads to Abundance

The more open your crown chakra, the more connected you are to your higher self, which allows you to really understand your purpose on this earth. Purpose is what many successful people attribute those successes to, and I see this quite often in my energy healing courses and workshops as well. Students who have won the lottery or finally reached the tenth floor executive office suite and are still not fulfilled are usually not following their true path—the roadmap their soul laid out for them before incarnating. Sure, they may look “successful,” but they are miserable, so does that really count as success?

People whose abundance blooms out of motivations deeper and more personal than money or fame are always happier. Real successes are life achievements that are in perfect alignment with your soul purpose and are therefore fulfilling and meaningful on a spiritual level as well as a personality level. My purpose is this—teaching you energy healing and how to live a healthier, happier life, which has made me happier and healthier, too.

When you find what you are meant to be doing on this earth, no matter how much money you make, you’ll have no shortage of fulfillment and joy. And chances are, you will make more money, have more peace, resiliency, love, and everything else your heart desires as well, for true abundance is what you feel in your soul, not just in your bank account.

Of course, becoming the type of person who can welcome and attract abundance requires effort for most of us, a process for overcoming past traumas and healing. And if you are ready to begin your personal journey, consider joining our flagship LifeForce Energy Healing Level I program >>

2023 Martin Luther King MLK Day

Celebrating Martin Luther King’s Legacy

2023 Martin Luther King MLK Day

January is a month for reflection and hope. From festive celebrations on New Year’s Eve to the widespread tradition of making resolutions, January gives each of us an opportunity to pause and consider how we might best use our time and energy to thrive. It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, in the ceaseless daily demands that pull on our attention and distract us from the bigger picture. Taking a moment in January to envision and write down your goals for personal and spiritual growth is a gift that will pay dividends over time in terms of a life that has purpose.

In the United States, commemoration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (January 16, 2023) is in keeping with this spirit of reflection and renewal. The federal holiday was established in 1983 and recognized in all fifty states by the year 2000. Martin Luther King (MLK) remains America’s most globally famous and influential civil rights leader. Hiroshima, Japan, for example, acknowledges MLK Day each year, due to King’s unwavering commitment to nuclear nonproliferation. MLK Day is also officially recognized in the Canadian provinces of Toronto and Ottawa.

2023 Martin Luther King MLK Day

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States took place between 1954 to 1965. It began with the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation in the public schools was unconstitutional and culminated in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Martin Luther King’s public career dovetailed with this crucial period of American history. Already prominent in the Black community as a Baptist minister, King reached national fame—largely via the then new technology of television—as the leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This successful 381-day organized protest resulted in the Supreme Court striking down segregation on Alabama public transport as unconstitutional in November 1956.

Following this victory, King continued to lead civil rights marches throughout the segregated South. He was instrumental in creating the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), headed by Black clergymen, and in organizing the movement around the principle of non-violence. Non-violence, in this case, did not simply mean refusing to meet aggression with a counterattack (though that was crucial).

Instead, non-violence as a tactic drew from a deeper moral and spiritual worldview. In promoting nonviolence, King incorporated the teachings of Jesus and the recent example of Gandhi’s peaceful and successful resistance in India to the British Empire to argue that civil rights activists had to lead by example. Meeting violence with violence ultimately reduced the humanity of everyone involved and provided antagonists with a pretext for yet more aggression. In his own words, now etched in the south wall of the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C., “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

2023 Martin Luther King MLK Day

To end the cycle of violence, and to embody the righteousness of the civil rights cause, King urged those who participated to remain nonviolent. While by the late 1960s, many activists began to waver in their commitment to passive resistance, King held firm that long-lasting change could only be achieved through sustained non-violence. Indeed, in 1966, following passage of the Voting Rights Act, King moved the marches to the segregated neighborhoods of Chicago and other Midwestern and Northern cities, making the case that segregation was not only a Southern problem but an American one.

2023 Martin Luther King MLK Day

It is easy to forget today how radical some of King’s ideas were in their time. As with anyone who is commemorated in a statue, a stamp, or a holiday, the edges of history tend to blur a bit. King was a revered figure in his day, but also a polarizing one, and he was certainly a complicated man who worked under near constant public pressure. By the late 1960s, he began to link the cause of racial justice to social justice and started work on a planned Poor Peoples’ Campaign. His involvement was cut short by his assassination in Memphis, TN, on April 4, 1968.

Yet while King, like all consequential figures, often divided his audience, the lasting impact of his life and work is assured. King was on the front lines of the mid-century Civil Rights Movement from Montgomery to Selma to D.C. to Chicago. He believed that reconciliation was not only possible but inevitable, and, in this, he continues to represent the best of the United States. Just as he drew on the deep heritage of Christianity, and the long history of non-violence, King grounded his speeches and writings in the United States Constitution. He did not seek to work outside of that framework, but rather to have the United States live up to the ideals contained in the Declaration of Independence and the 14th Amendment.

As we pause for a moment in January to reflect, to plan, and to think about our own spiritual journeys, it is relevant to remember that King’s actions and writings do not sit frozen in the past but provide inspiration for the present and future of peace and justice. As he wrote, in an August 1967 address to the SCLC, “we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.” When we celebrate MLK Day in the United States, we are not only looking backwards at our history, but moving towards a more perfect union.

2023 Martin Luther King MLK Day
Celebrating the Vedic New Year

Vedic New Year: Global Traditions and Our Relationship with Time

Celebrating the Vedic New Year

Calendars are flexible and so is time. The Gregorian calendar, the solar dating system commonly used today, was created by Pope Gregory XIII in the late 16th century. It is itself  a revision of the Julian calendar, established by Julius Caesar.

“I like to think of a new year being possible at any moment, as every moment is a kind of doorway,” said Joy Harjo, the United States poet laureate. “You can go any direction.”

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, arrived this past year in September with the sounding of the shofar.

Sometimes I think of time as fluid, almost reversible, the way that music can be. Playing the scales, I can play them forward or backward, and lose myself in them, for a moment, not having a sense of direction, or, for that matter, a sense of time.

December 31, which comes from the Gregorian calendar, is an internationally accepted marker of the shift from the old year to the new. However, many cultures adhere to different dates and traditions. The Chinese Lunar Calendar, for example, is based on the cycles of the moon and the sun. In 2023, New Year’s Eve celebrations in China (and in Chinese ethnic communities around the world) will begin on January 21 and end on February 5, the day of the Lantern Festival.

Celebrating the Vedic New Year

In India, there are multiple days and festivities associated with the new year, depending on the region, culture, and calendar that one consults. These traditions began to emerge approximately three millennia ago. To fully understand New Year’s within Indian history requires study.

Here we look at some of the most significant differences and Vedic traditions. In each case, celebration of a new year is a time for joy, spiritual reawakening, new beginnings, and the release of bad karma.

A Short Overview of the Vedic New Year(s)

Celebrating the Vedic New Year

Per the Vedic calendar, Ougadi (Ugadi), the New Year, will take place on March 22, 2023, and is a public holiday, though states and regions may differ from the federal government regarding which days are officially recognized. Ougadi is primarily celebrated as the official New Year by the Hindu Telugu and Kannada communities, though celebrations occur across India with great fanfare.

In Vedic astrology, the timing of the new year corresponds to the movement of the Sun into Aries and the start of the first month (known as the Chaitra month). This is an auspicious time for karma removal, spiritual dedication, and new projects. The Vedic New Year also recognizes the day on which Lord Brahma, the Creator, created the universe. 

Diwali (or Deepawali), known in English as the Festival of Lights, is another tradition associated with the concept of a new year and the need to celebrate and reflect. Diwali began as a celebration of the summer harvest and takes place in the fall season. The next Diwali will take place between November 12 and November 16, 2023. 

Let me emphasize that India is an extraordinarily diverse country wherein regions may differ culturally, linguistically, historically, and ethnically. Western states, such as Gujarat, and areas in northern India are most likely to associate New Year’s Day with Diwali, as described above.

Other regions and/or cultures may celebrate the New Year at a different time. For example, the Marathi New Year (Gudi Padwa) will take place on March 22, 2023, as per the Hindu calendar. Sikh Indians in Punjabi celebrate the New Year (Baisakhi, sometimes known as Vaisakhi) on the 13th or 14th of April each year, to recognize the birth of Sikhism as a faith and to ask for good fortune in the coming year. As with the Vedas, comprehending the richness of India can take more than one lifetime’s worth of effort!

Celebrating the Vedic New Year

Several gods and goddesses are evoked in Vedic New Year’s celebrations, again depending upon the region and cultural traditions. For many Vedic believers, Diwali reveres the Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu and the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Meditation is one way to honor the power of Lakshmi.

Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Parvati and Shiva, is also evoked by many Vedic believers as he is the god of new beginnings and good luck and has the power to remove obstacles. The mantra Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah roughly translates as “I bow to Ganesha, who is capable of removing all obstacles. I pray for blessings and protection.” This is a devotional mantra to use when asking for protection and guidance as you navigate the challenges of a new year.

Celebrating the Vedic New Year

Diwali has spread from India to include countries such as Guyana, Fiji, Sri Lanka, and Singapore (though dates may differ), as well as many adherents of Buddhism and Jainism. While dates and traditions may differ widely, common to all these celebrations is a focus on family, spiritual reflection, knowledge, hope, and joy. Indian tradition holds that adherents should begin to prepare for Diwali thirty days in advance through various cleansing and organizing rituals and customs that clear out the old and make way for the new.

Some Final Thoughts

Vedic philosophy is rich and complex, spanning such interrelated concepts as vedic astrology, ayurveda, meditation, and the chakras. It requires sincere devotion, a spiritual teacher, and a commitment to stay the course even when things become challenging. This brief overview of the New Year in the Vedic tradition can give you only a glimpse of the bounty that awaits careful study.

One way to become more familiar with the wisdom that the Vedic New Year brings is to seek out Diwali celebrations. Diwali is celebrated throughout the world and the spectacle of food, generosity, and beautiful colored lights can inspire and uplift. I love the unique traditions and history of this area of the world and enjoy sharing them with you.

In closing, you may also find the Lakshmi Gayatri Mantra to be a powerful way to honor Lakshmi and the New Year and to seek abundance and good fortune: Om Mahalakshmyai Cha Vidmahe Vishnu Patnyai Cha Dhimahi Tanno Lakshmihi Prachodayat.

Much can be learned from the Vedas, including mantras, which can be leveraged to enhance (and often simplify) your daily meditation practice. It is this sort of meditation that is taught in our bestselling Vedic Meditation course, through which you can also receive your very own personal mantra. Click here to access it  now >>

Celebrating the Vedic New Year

I wish you a happy and abundant New Year.

2023 Happy New Year

New Year, New Light: Five Ways to Make This Your Best Year Yet

2023 Happy New Year

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. —Helen Keller

What makes it feel so good to turn the page on a new calendar year? The open days ahead are waiting to be filled with exciting new adventures, voyages of learning and discovery, meaningful new connections with fellow human beings, the joy of serving those in need. It’s the hopeful promise of new beginnings. The calendar waits for you to chart a course and the possibilities are endless and exhilarating!

There is just one vital ingredient necessary for creating a joyful new chapter in the book of your life. It’s both an awesome responsibility and a glorious opportunity. You have the power to make what you will of your new year. Will it be bright with love, laughter, hope, happiness, faith, and dreams? Only you can decide.

You know it’s true that your mind and thoughts have a say in the future. You are a creator of this world. You came here to contribute to the betterment of all. There are a vast number of ways that you can serve to lift humanity out of the lower energy frequencies that feed fear, greed, and violence. It is in your hands to generate a better world through the power of your heart in alignment with a focused mind. When you align with the love in your heart, you immediately begin to see life with new eyes.

How can you make yourself ready to turn a new page and create new beginnings? Meditation and prayer put you in direct communication with Source. Journaling will put you in touch with your own emotions, and along with forgiveness, will help you keep negative energy from blocking your way. Strengthening your connection with Source is the first step to creating the purposeful and meaningful life of your dreams.

As a light-filled spark of the Divine, your soul longs to experience good and to help others do the same. By focusing on the positive and the good, you’ll be able to bring more of it into your life.

Here are five ways you can shine new light on your life and make this your best year yet:

2023 Happy New Year

1. Focus on positive thoughts – Use your powerful creative mind to imagine all the good things that could happen, rather than fearing what could go wrong at every turn. Look at yourself and your endeavors with the eyes of a kindly parent who hopes every good thing will come to their beloved child. Create a dream of your happiest, most purposeful life and nurture it. Use affirmations to reinforce your goal of always thinking positive. “Wonderful new doors are opening for me all the time.”

2. Seek out positive people – Build a circle of like-minded friends. Look for people whose spirit lifts you up and inspires you. Have a beautiful dream and gather together with those whose dreams match yours and who offer support and encouragement. Who is living a life you admire? Who is doing work you love? Who is teaching what you long to learn and how can you become a student in that field? Open new vistas by attending courses and workshops that will expand your life’s possibilities.

2023 Happy New Year
2023 Happy New Year

3. Speak positive words –Words have power so use them to your advantage. Use your words as affirmations to create self-respect, confidence, and good will. Speak kind words. Practice kindness in order to feel good and be a comfort to yourself and others. Be a role model for loving, respectful behavior. Be “for” something rather than “against.” Mother Teresa declined to join a march “against” war but said she would be happy to support a march “for” peace. Read the work of a spiritual teacher you admire to help build your vocabulary of positive words and ideas.

4. Take positive action—Find ways to serve others while pursuing your dreams. Whatever you love to do, make, build, or create contains an aspect of service and empowerment for others as well. Focus on making a contribution by doing something you love. What would you love to see and do? Expand your vision and understanding with a visit to a new neighborhood, a new city, or a new country. Experience a culture or cuisine that is new to you. Make a new connection with the world in a positive way. Counter negative, destructive forces in the world with a focus on those who are working to make it better. How can you help them?

2023 Happy New Year
2023 Happy New Year

5. Channel positive energy – Be a role model for well-being in the world. Spread joy and compassion. Take good care of yourself. Notice what makes you feel good. Create a happy mood when you need it—smile often, laugh, dance, sing, hike, swim, head for the playground and swing! Release negative emotions. Make unconditional love your set point emotion.

In your bright new year, you have the power to create the life you want and to help heal the world, as Gandhi said, by being the change you want to see.  If you would like to learn more about the field of energy healing and its role in building the life of your dreams, check out my LifeForce Energy Healing I Certification Course here.

And I will be so honored to be with you at the beginning of a bright new year. Join me for my weekly Facebook Live show starting January 24, 2023.

Winter Solstice

Vedic Fire Ceremony: Commemorate the Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice is upon us. We’re at a turning point as our planet Earth makes its annual rotation around the sun. For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the next 24 hours will be where we get the shortest amount of sunlight because the sun is lowest in the sky. In fact, the sun appears so low in the sky (because of the tilt of the Earth on its axis) that it seems to set in the same place as it came up—an illusion that makes it look like the sun isn’t moving at all.

That’s where the term “solstice” comes from. The Latin solstitium translates as “the Sun stands still.” Solstice has been a special moment in time even during the Neolithic era, as seen in ancient sites like Newgrange in Ireland, which is aligned with the winter solstice sunrise, and Stonehenge in England, which is aligned to the winter solstice sunset. Back then it was a time for feasting before the famine months of deep winter set in. Cattle were slaughtered so they wouldn’t have to be fed during the winter; the wine and beer brewed from summer’s harvest were now fermented and ready to drink. So, the heart of Solstice was family and friends getting together to feast and exchange gifts, just as we do today.

Winter Solstice

And because the event heralded the beginning of the return of the sun, it was the time to celebrate the birth of the sun god in cultures around the world. The birth of Jesus was set as December 25th because it was the date of the festival of Sol Invictus, the sun god of the Roman Empire, and to incorporate indigenous Yule traditions into a Christian framework.

The Romans did it up in grand style, honoring the god Saturn with the festival of Saturnalia in the days of solstice. Businesses would close down and there would be big banquets, music, gift-giving, and nonstop parties—with an abundance of candles symbolizing the returning power of the sun’s light.

What does Saturn have to do with solstice? Solstice begins on the first day of the astrological sign of Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn. That heavy planet is known as a spiritual teacher, preparing you for the obstacles you have to surmount on the path to liberation—like getting through the long dark night of the soul.

In the Vedic tradition, the winter solstice is called the dawn of the year, knowing that the budding flower of time will unfold over the following year. According to Vedic Astrology, the Sun gives access to exploring your future with strength and courage. The sun is the eternal atman, the spiritual life principle of the universe, and the source of much of your energy. It sustains and empowers life through the balance of the seasons. 

Winter Solstice

Just like the first two hours of the morning are when you receive the seed principle of the day, the returning light of the sun at solstice will help you receive the seeds you need to plant for new growth over the coming year. It’s right now, and not January 1st, for the time for New Year’s resolutions.

Winter Solstice

Join me today in a Vedic fire ceremony for winter solstice to revisit the past year and reflect, without judgment, on what you need to cast off, and to invite in a focus for setting new goals that will help you move in the direction of your dreams. The energy of the solstice supports you in letting go of old habits and beliefs and opening up a fresh chapter in your life. The Sun God starts to rise again, and your soul ascends to spirit.

On the winter solstice, the sun reaches the dark zenith of the underworld, where true light is reborn stronger than before. It points to achieving peace, prosperity, and wisdom. 

Since the start of the solar year celebrates the rebirth of the Sun, it’s a wonderful time to meditate on darkness and light, and what they mean for you.

So close your eyes, and take in a deep breath and exhale any tension in your body, then let your breathing become slow, deep, and easy. It is the dark of the longest night of the year. The dark of deep space between the stars and planets. The dark of the depths of the seas. The dark of the womb.

Imagine you are walking alone in a dark forest. It is dusk and there is no moon. You walk slowly on a barely visible path, past trees shrouded in gloom. Your heart is heavy.

Winter Solstice

You have been through a challenging year and you worry about what might be coming in the next year. You made mistakes, you suffered loss, you had pain. You tend to be hard on yourself, and all you can see are your failures—the times you closed your heart, the times you reacted in anger, the times you saw someone in need and turned the other way. A new year lies ahead, and you know there will be new challenges and new uncertainties.

Not far away from the dark woods you know that people are caught up in a whirlwind of activity. They may have lost sight of the meaning behind the holidays—the rebirth of the Light.

Winter Solstice

It’s a time of depression for many. Maybe you’re dealing with a difficult diagnosis, or you went through a traumatic event this past year that you’re still reeling from. Or, like so many, you may be feeling the pain of the world—there are so many in desperate situations who are dealing with poverty or war or persecution. Or you may be feeling the pain of the earth as mankind continues to deplete her resources.

You keep walking as night takes hold of the bleak beauty of the wintry forest. The darkness grows deeper.

The darkness holds your unseen worries, the anxious thoughts that circle endlessly in your head and don’t let you rest, the fears for yourself and those you love. Will you be safe? Will you be healthy? Will you have enough sustenance—not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually?

You may wish for the darkness to dissipate, but the darkness is necessary. It is the womb of your being, where the seeds of your future germinate. What have you planted deep inside yourself? What plans are being formulated for your future? Are you feeding your potential for spiritual growth? Is a desire to serve others, to relieve the suffering of others, ready to emerge?

Let’s take a moment to plant seeds of focused intention. These seeds will grow to be the gifts from the darkness for you. Success lies in finding the solution to a problem. Whatever issue comes to your mind, know that there is a solution waiting for you, that you can find that solution today as you bring more light into your awareness.

Create in the light that arises from the darkness. When you allow yourself to go deep into the darkness, to explore its depths and its edges, you honor both the dark night of the soul and the rebirth of hope and vision. 

Winter Solstice

An old teacher of mine used to say, “You have to kneel before you can leap.” Think about it. If you want to jump up in the air, you first have to crouch down to get the momentum you need to spring up. The same is true for spiritual growth. You have to stop fearing your own inner darkness, the uncertainty of life, the depths of your emotions, the dark night of the soul. You have to embrace that which is hidden and honor all the parts of yourself—the high and the low, the powerful and the weak, the light and the dark. 

Are you ready to release whatever no longer works for you?

Winter Solstice

Are you ready to shed whatever is taking up too much of your internal space? Is negative self-talk overriding your hopes and dreams? Are you letting your light shine brightly, or are you hiding it? Are you tired of not living up to your potential?

Set the intention you need right now to release whatever no longer serves you and get ready for rebirth and renewal.

Feel how those good intentions are lifting the darkness a bit. Join me as we breathe in the crisp night air and inhale the invigorating scent of cedar and pine. The first stars are breaking through the darkness of the night and we can now walk more confidently by starlight. There are sounds of rustling in the forest, but it all seems so benign as we suddenly see through a gap in the trees to a spot of light in the distance.

We come to the edge of the clearing and we see someone who beckons us forward – we feel welcomed. A faint glow seems to emanate from the fringes of her robe, it is a woman, with a wrinkled weathered face peering out from the hood of her robe. She is tending the small fire and invites you to sit with her on the blanket that is laid out on the ground. Join her and warm your hands at the fire, then sit and stare at the flames as the sweet smell of burning cedar perfumes the air.

Winter Solstice

She tells you her name is Brigid, she is the early Celtic goddess of healing, poetry, and fire, from the ancient lineage of Druids. She has woven ribbons of red, green and white, the colors of the Druid holiday season, into her silver braided hair. She speaks to you gently, slowly, thoughtfully, as she continues to watch the fire, saying:

“You have nothing to fear from the darkness, for she is your mother and the mother of the Light. Forget your burdens for a while. Take rest here. The light cannot return until the darkness is complete.”

You watch as she reaches into a bag and takes out some herbs. She holds the plants to her lips and murmurs a soft chant in a language you don’t recognize, then throws the herbs into the fire. Pungent smoke washes over you, and you grow sleepy. The old woman advises you to lie down and enter a dream state. You feel yourself pulled into a semi-sleep. As if from a faraway land, you hear her voice.

Winter Solstice

“It is time to be magical, my dear, in this sacred clearing. You are here to honor the gods of the coming light, whose power gives life to everything which is alive. She says:

“We all come from the Goddess

And to Her we return

As our ancestors worshiped Her

On air, land, and sea.

Mother, I feel you under my feet.

Father, I see you where the eagle flies.

You shall reach us, you shall teach us

And reveal our fate!

Burn bright, flame within me,

Kindled in the eternal fire.

In your dream-like state, you feel that deep peace, the peace of spirit that passes all understanding. Knowledge arises within you of how to proceed in life. You gain the wisdom that is the gift of the difficulties you have encountered and overcome.

Winter Solstice

Slowly you wake up. Looking up into the night sky, you see the stars, twinkling in the dark sky.  Brigid says, “See the turning of the wheel, the endless cycle that connects us all. May you be guided to the returning light.” And say with her: I am both dark and light. I am both dark and light. 

Slowly you rise from the blanket and offer your sincere thanks and gratitude to this ancient woman who has gently given you such solace, such relief from the sorrows you were carrying alone in the dark. You have received the blessing of the ancients and a spark of new life and can carry on. You feel connected to the Source of all life and can sense the swirling nurturing energy of the dark. 

You remember the ancient Vedic prayer for illuminating your life, a famous chant from the Upanishads.

From non-being, lead us to being

From darkness, lead us to light

From death, lead us to immortality

And may the infinite light arise within you.

Winter Solstice

The Vedas are ancient texts that hold the keys to personal healing, self-fulfillment and enlightenment. Within the Vedas, you can find the Sutras – mystical phrases that hold within them immense transformational power.

Right now, you can experience the “seeding” of these 20 sacred phrases in your consciousness — and transform your personal energy field.

The Shift Network has bundled Deborah’s bestselling Sacred Tools for Modern Master course – in which she teaches the Sutras – with three other offerings. Right now, you can get all 4 bundled for just $98! And you can pick it up by clicking here >>

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

That Old Mercury Retrograde

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

We all know what Mercury retrograde is, right? It happens when the planet, Mercury, appears to be moving backward, relative to earth, but, in fact, is just slowing down, in a sort of “moonwalk.”

Communication snafus at this time of year are common and travel can be a nightmare. Your flight lands in New York City while your bag goes on to Chile. 

There are usually three retrogrades every year, but in 2022,  there are four.  And this last one carries us into the new year – it  starts on December 29 and ends on January 18.

In Vedic astrology, Mercury retrograde isn’t necessarily a bad thing. According to Vedic teachings, life is intended for spiritual growth and this growth is facilitated by karma, the idea that every thought, every action, has a corresponding reaction. Given this, Mercury retrograde is just another opportunity for spiritual growth. So it shouldn’t elicit an “Oh no, not again.” 

As I mentioned earlier, communication and travel can be challenging. But there’s also an upside. Any place you travel to during a retrograde is a place to which you’ll return. So, if you’re planning to travel during the 3 weeks from Dec 29 to Jan 18, as I am, be sure your destination is a place you want to visit again. 

Say What You Mean

As far as communication is concerned, say what you mean when you say it, especially during Mercury retrograde. One of my students really disliked her job but was afraid to quit. Then during a recent Mercury retrograde, she was told she had to take on the responsibilities of a colleague who was gone on vacation.  It meant she would be working 10 hours a day six days a week and just thinking about it exhausted her. Without thinking she said no to her boss, telling her, “I’m underpaid as it is.”

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

She said her boss looked stunned and stared at her in disbelief as she picked up her purse. But before she reached the door, the boss offered her a promotion at over one and one-half of her current compensation. She had reacted viscerally, without censoring herself, and it had paid off. That’s classic Mercury retrograde: she said what she meant to say, it was the truth, and, in her case, it paid off.

Mercury also rules cars, computers, and anything with moving parts. So, the advice on that front is don’t purchase anything with moving parts during a retrograde. But suppose your computer crashes a week into the retro and can’t be fixed?

The computer is vital to your employment and you can’t wait.

Another one of my students faced this dilemma. She Googled around until she found a place that rented computers by the month. The price was reasonable. She rented her dream computer and at the end of the retrograde, she loved it so much she bought it. That part of the fiasco worked out to her benefit.

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

Mercury rules the conscious mind and any profession dealing with writing, teaching, speaking, books, or publication. Mercury is the messenger, the left brain is its vehicle, and it usually speaks to us in terms of logic and reasoning. In Vedic astrology, when Mercury is retrograde, our intuition deepens and the coincidences – the synchronicities – can be awesome.

As described in the Vedas, all of us, everything really, is under the control of time. Inexorably, we are pulled from one stage, or level, to the next, each step determined by our own karma. But, remember, our karma is totally under our own control, as we have free will.

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

In his book, The Astrology of the Seers, David Frawley says:

“What we call the planets are no more than points of light in a vast energy network, connected intricately by subtle lines of force, linking the entire solar system into a single organism. Though the planets appear like small points of light in the distance, their energy fields are present on Earth, and they are responsible for many of the formations of the Earth life and of our own bodies and minds.”

The Hidden Nuggets

So, with any Mercury retrograde snafu, don’t panic. Nearly always, there’s a hidden nugget or treasure. One of my new students owned a two-year-old American bulldog, Abby, who had developed a bad limp. My student told me he took Abby to the vet who determined that she had a torn ligament. He got a date for the surgery – the day before Mercury turned retrograde, when it was in the “shadow” period. The vet’s assistant left a sponge inside during the procedure, and the surgery had to be redone! Wisely, my student waited until after the period of retrograde, and the second surgery went without a hitch, plus the vet reversed the charges so it was a win/win after-all! Mars rules surgery, something to think about before you schedule one.

Vedic Astrology Show Coming Up

Mercury retrograde is a part of Vedic Astrology which is a big topic, and one I will cover in an upcoming Facebook/Youtube show right after the New Year, on January 10, 2023. All we need to know today, in order to understand Mercury retrograde in that system of thought, is that the stars and planets have a powerful influence on our lives. The ancient Vedic texts tell us that our karma is directly related to the stars and planets and that, in fact, this branch of their science is the very focal point of the Vedas. And I use the word “science” intentionally, as the study of astrology in the Vedas, or what is called “Joytish,” is both incredibly profound and highly scientific. Our scientists are just beginning to discover what the ancient seers knew over 5,000 years ago. We can only hope that our James Webb Space Telescope can begin to catch up to the Vedas one day soon!
Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde
Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

The stars themselves have no conscious benevolence or animosity toward us – they are only sending out positive and negative energy that affects us in much the same way that the natural world we live on does. When I was a mountain climber, I knew that the mountains themselves had no attitude pro or con toward me; they just “were,” and if I incorrectly “read” them and journeyed into them in bad weather or on loose rock, to my peril, that was my mistake, not theirs. It’s the same with the stars and planets; they are inherently neutral to us; it’s up to us to use common sense about the effect of their movements on us each individually, and act accordingly.

Famous People Born during Mercury Retrograde

They include such luminaries as Prince, Buckminster Fuller, Steve Jobs, Madonna, and Lady Gaga! Not a bad lineup, right? If these people were able to shine as they have, then the rest of us shouldn’t feel daunted or intimidated by just 3 weeks of a retrograde.

The Three Rs

One of the standard pieces of advice you’ll hear about Mercury retrogrades is that you should stick to the three Rs: revise, review, reconsider.

In other words, don’t start anything new, don’t make submissions, and don’t sign contracts for anything – a sale, a purchase, a deal. What these bits of advice are really saying is give your dream home, creative projects and manuscript or screenplay, the best chance ever by waiting until after retrograde.  Sign the contracts and deliver your project or manuscript when the energy whips through the universe without obstacles or challenges. But even when you don’t wait and sign during a Mercury retrograde, there can be unexpected nuggets. A writer student of mine got evicted during retrograde (not good), but while camping at her folks for a month, she serendipitously met a publisher guy through her parents, and, voila, got a good job copywriting for him right after the retrograde. That was the nugget she wouldn’t have received had she not had to move.

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

According to the Vedas, our futures are determined by both destiny and free will. Destiny, in fact, creates our free will. Her destiny to live at her folks’ house, briefly, created the situation where she had the free will to end up working in the publishing business.

Those Cycles

Mercury retrograde is just another astrological cycle – like a lunar phase, like the return of a planet to where it was when you were born.

It has its own protocols, its own guidelines. But because it rules the all-important communication, its effects spill over into many areas of our lives. Yes, there can be negative consequences, but the long-term impact is often quite positive, as you’ve seen in the earlier examples.

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

These retros last about three weeks. You can keep track of them on any number of websites and it’s definitely to your advantage to do so. They enable you to plan things in advance: trips, engagements, weddings, moving, the sale and purchase of a home or car or computer, and when to publish your book.

Yes, friends and family may remark that your reliance on astrology is a waste of time. Until they have a personal melt-down during Mercury retrograde.

During retrogrades, people you haven’t seen in years may suddenly reappear in your life – your ex, a childhood friend, a former partner, people you haven’t been able to find anywhere online. It can be a great time to mend fences. 

Vedic philosophers and astrologers understood the power of Mercury retrograde long before Western science. In the words of Bertram Malle, a renowned social cognitive scientist at Brown University, the serious study of astrology “provides a powerful vocabulary” to understand “life’s challenges and opportunities.” I now want to turn to the Vedic perspective, as it has so much to offer those of us on our learning and spiritual journeys.

Yoga Asanas

The Sanskrit term for retrograde planets is Vakri, which translates in English as ambiguous, evasive, and indirect. It is not wise to meet a retrograde planet “head on” and try to power through the vibrations it releases. Far better to bend and be flexible in responding to this agitated energy. This wisdom is mirrored in the Vakra Asana beginner’s pose in yoga, which gently twists the spine to strengthen it and make it more flexible.

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

Vedas believe that we are driven by two forces – fate and individual will. If we are too passive during Mercury retrograde, all sorts of arguments, problems, and misery can occur. But if we insist on having our own way during this phase, and our energy is too forceful and arrogant, we are likely to bang our head against a wall, accomplish little, and might even find ourselves going backwards from our goals.

Better to keep in mind the wisdom of yoga and make a conscious effort to approach Mercury retrograde openly and flexibly. No one expects someone in Vakra Asana pose to twist so hard that they break their back. It is a gentle pose designed to open energy pathways and release negative tension. This same wisdom can apply to gracefully bending into a Mercury retrograde cycle. Go with the energy and surf it. Best not to try to master it or defeat it.

Individual Karma

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

Vedic astrology emphasizes the analysis of individual karma. It seeks insight into all the forces—past, present, and future—that influence one’s life path, and which collide or merge with the paths of others. The concept of karma—often misunderstood in the West—means that every thought and every action create a reaction that reverberates through time and space.

The Vedic tradition also holds that the point of life is spiritual growth. We may enjoy our pleasures, relationships, and dreams here on Earth, but a well-lived life is devoted to reaching spiritual Enlightenment. The Vedas believe that the position of the planets and stars exert a direct influence on our karma and, hence, our journey to Enlightenment.

Mercury, known as Budh, is one of 9 planets in Vedic astrology. The Sanskrit root verb for Budh is buddhi, meaning logic, intellect, and reason. Mercury retrograde throws our rational mind into disarray, distorting communication and increasing the likelihood of bias and misperception. 

Cleansing Crystals

Yet Mercury retrograde also offers opportunities to cleanse negative energy and clear the ground for new initiatives and adventures. Several crystals—particularly when used in conjunction with meditation and breathwork—can help you to unlock the positive energies of Mercury retrograde. Labradorite is renowned for its calming and grounding effects, for example. Hematite is another grounding crystal that helps to pull negative energy from the body. Black tourmaline, a root chakra stone, helps to release anxiety and fear. Lapis Lazuli can be used to reconnect with your intuition and inner wisdom.

Vedic Astrology Mercury Retrograde

There is an ancient mantra that, with practice, can help to focus the mind and connect with the power of Mercury: Om Shree Budhaya Namaha. Om represents the Divine and the earliest emergence of sound. The next three words can be roughly translated as “Salutations, auspicious guru, I bow to you.” 

The Vedas developed a system whose insights and tools for personal and spiritual enlightenment endure. With effort, humility, and self-reflection, this ancient wisdom can help you to use the power of Mercury retrograde for good. The stars and the planets influence our fate, but we have the power and responsibility to study these forces and make choices in our lives.

Reminders

Mercury retrogrades are our reminder to be present and to embrace epiphany. Don’t fear the retrograde. All Mercury’s “moonwalk” backwards is doing is, showing us our lives from a different perspective. That offers us clarity and a deeper level of consciousness, a better understanding of ourselves and our world.

Like everything else, Mercury is a part of an interconnected net of energy. That is why we are so affected by it. And there is great knowledge and wisdom that lies in the cosmos, but it’s only obtainable by those who have the skill to access it. If you’re interested in traveling beyond space and time, to gain access to this wisdom, and design the life of your dreams, consider joining our bestselling Astral Wisdom course by clicking here >>

Yogananda

Meet Mystic Paramahansa Yogananda

Yogananda

Unleashing Your Inner Intuitive Power

I want to talk to you today about Paramahansa Yogananda,  the mystic known as “The Father of Yoga,” who was born in the late 1800’s in India and died in the 1950’s in Los Angeles. Today, everyone knows Yogananda as the man who wrote Autobiography of a Yogi, the book that Steve Jobs read every year of his adult life. But more on that key fact in a moment!

Yogananda is one of those rare people who totally embraced his intuition.  Because I know from personal experience just how hard it is to honor your intuitive hits, I’m sharing his story today to encourage us all to listen to our own intuition. His story is a blueprint we can follow.

Yogananda’s mother died when he was only 11 years old. Even then, his  awareness of the spiritual was light years beyond the ordinary. His mother was instructed by a holy man to give a sacred amulet she had to her son, telling him to keep it close, until it disappeared. A few years later, Yogananda began his search for an enlightened teacher, and he met with many sages and saints on the way.

Yogananda

Finally, when he was 17, he met Swami Sri Yukteswar. That’s when the precious amulet his mother had left him simply vanished, having served its purpose, by identifying Yukteswar as his guru. Yogananda described his first meeting with Yukreswar as being the “sacred rekindling of a relationship that had existed across many lifetimes.”

He trained under Yukteswar for the next ten years; Yukteswar told Yogananda that he had been sent to him for the express purpose of spreading the concept of yoga globally, especially in the West.  One day, while in meditation, Yogananda saw American faces pass before him, and he realized that was a sign that he was to go west and spread the word about meditation and yoga.

In 1925 he established his first center in Los Angeles. The first major Indian teacher to settle in the US, The LA Times called him “the 20th century’s first superstar guru.”

Yogananda

Hollywood was ready for him: he attracted celebrities like bees to honey. His ability to talk about the human spirit and God, without being dogmatic, was like a breath of fresh air – he was a spiritual prodigy, a spiritual genius. He loved to tell his audience that “God is in your spine!” The timing of his message couldn’t have been more perfect: with the world poised on the edge of an atomic revolution, he spoke of his beliefs of meditation and yoga being a “science,” and said that if you had sufficient meditation power, you could do anything.

Yogananda

At a time when the West was just beginning to wake up to the spirituality of the East, George Harrison of the Beatles was becoming more and more disillusioned with money and fame and began seeking a deeper meaning in his life.  His search with Ravi Shankar, the virtuoso sitar player, led him eventually to Yogananda.  As a member of the Beatles, the most popular pop music band in history, George helped to propel an entire generation of the western world into an awareness of Eastern spirituality. As Deepak Chopra put it, it happened “overnight.” George repeated the “Christ-consciousness” language that he picked from Yogananda, who urged his followers to find in themselves that same consciousness that Jesus exhibited, with compassion, equanimity, and love for all humanity. Yogananda’s embrace of Christ and His teachings made him even more popular in the West. George’s Here Comes the Sun album, and the single, My Sweet Lord, inspired by a two-hundred year old gospel classic, switches mid-way from “Hallelujah” to “Hare Krishna,” in the lyrics, demonstrating that they are one and the same; the lyrics acknowledge that Krishna and Jesus are the same energy. People loved the songs as they validated their own personal search for the God force. When George Harrison was invited to the White House to meet President Gerald Ford, he took him a copy of Yogananda’s book, telling the President it was his favorite gift to give.

And what’s really interesting is that the Beatles 8th album, and my personal fav, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, has bits of pieces of India in it, as well as Yogananda and his guru and his guru, on the cover! Seriously!

But Yogananda created a perfect storm for America’s worst issues, issues that, unfortunately, we still have today: media hype, religious intolerance, ethnic stereotyping, and blatant racism. It wasn’t long before he was put on a government watch list and kept under surveillance by the FBI as well as by the British authorities, who were concerned about the growing independence movement in India. Focusing on the fact that he was a person of color and attracting a lot of married women, whose husbands resented him, a confidential file was kept on him. Ahead of his time, Yogananda didn’t quite get it when he wasn’t allowed to speak in Miami, being the wrong color, and he flaunted convention when he performed a marriage between one of his male Indian students who followed him West and a white woman; that did not go over well at all.

Yogananda

After some years, he traveled to Europe where he visited Assisi, the home of St. Francis, the Athenian temples, Socrates’ prison cell, Palestine, and the regions of Jesus’s ministry, and of course Cairo, to see its ancient pyramids up close and personal.  He also met with living western saints like Therese Neumann, the woman who manifested the stigmata, the wounds of Christ.

Yogananda

He traveled back to India, when his guru, Yukteswar, died, in the desired yogic tradition, sitting up; he simply allowed his consciousness to exit his body. While there, He met with Mahatma Gandhi and the female saint, Anandamoyi Ma.

Later, he had a supernatural visit from Yukteswar, who appeared to him in the flesh, while he was meditating, telling him that he was now guiding him from the astral plane. Wow, that must have been something!

Once Yogananda came back home from his travels, he was shocked to find that his best friend from childhood, Dhirananda, a man he had trusted like a brother, had betrayed him. Some years before, he had invited Dhirananda to the US to help him run his Center in Los Angeles. He made him a Swami and treated him like his “right-hand man.” He left Dhirananda in charge of the Center while he traveled extensively. When he returned home, however, after one long trip,  he found that Dhirananda had opened a competing spiritual center close by and had attracted many of Yogananda’s students away from him. However, Dhirananda just didn’t have the personal magnetism that Yogananda had. Ultimately, Dhiranada abandoned the competing project, threw off his monk robes and Swami title that Yognanda had given him, married a Caucasian woman and moved to Michigan, no less, where he became a well-respected university professor. The ultimate blow was 6 years later, when he sued Yogananda. And then there was a second lawsuit, also from yet another of Yogananda’s disciples, again for money. Back at the Center, Yogananda never really recovered from what he perceived as these ultimate betrayals, calling these two disciples his “two Judases.” It’s important for us to acknowledge this side of Yogananda, the human side.

In 1946, Yogananda stopped traveling and wrote a memoir:

Autobiography of a Yogi. It launched a spiritual revolution, selling more than four million copies, has been translated into 45 languages, and is considered among one of the 100 best spiritual books of the 20th Century. 

The Autobiography has been an inspiration for many, most famously, Steve Jobs. Jobs first read the Autobiography as a teenager. Later, he went to India and re-read it there, and, after downloading it on his iPad, he faithfully re-read it once a year.

Yogananda

When Steve was planning for his own death, he asked that the Autobiography be given as a parting gift to everyone who attended his memorial service. Imagine being handed that little package covered in brown wrapping paper as you left the memorial and headed to your car, to open it and find out it had Yogananda’s book inside – what a message to you that would have been to rely more on your intuition than anything else. Clearly, that was the message from Steve to his guests at his memorial – that we should actualize ourselves from our own intuition, since that’s what the book is about – the message would have been to look inside ourselves and realize what we find within. That’s what it means to become self-realized or self-actualized. Steve was big on intuition, and that’s one of the most important things I can teach you – use your intuition above all else; it never lies to you.

Yogananda

Yogananda, using his Yogic gifts, was about to foretell his own death, telling his followers when it was time for him to leave the world. That evening, he told his dinner companion  that “it will just be a matter of hours and I will be gone from this earth.” He spoke at the dinner and then simply fell to the floor, and left his body, thus achieving mahasamadhi, or the conscious exit from the body. We should all have that kind of leave-taking be our goal!

Yogananda’s lessons for us as seekers include many key teachings: first, that we can have direct personal experiences of the divine, especially through daily meditation; secondly, that even though we have personal flaws, the purpose of our human life is the evolution, by way of our individual efforts, of our limited mortal consciousness into God consciousness; thirdly, that we are evidence of the complete harmony and oneness of Jesus’s original teachings as well as original yogic teachings, and that these original truths are the common scientific foundation for all truth.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Yogananda:

The Western day is indeed nearing when the inner science of self-control will be found as necessary as the outer conquest of nature. This new age will see our minds… broadened by the now scientifically indisputable truth that matter is, in reality, a concentration of energy.”

If you’d like to learn more about the “Father of Yoga in the West,” and how he made ancient Vedic teachings more accessible to a modern audience, check out the video, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, produced by Gaia. You can sign up for membership and access this documentary (along with tons of other valuable content) right here >>

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

What lies in the shadows: The true meaning of Halloween

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

It’s Halloween 2022, where we mock danger and death in an attempt to master our fear of both.  Many make popcorn, grab a chair, and join friends or family to engage in the ritual of looking for the scariest possible thing on TV.

During Halloween, the squeamish need not apply. 

But beneath the bravado and misleading attempts at mirth, other emotions and acknowledgments stir: the very real sense — and the rock- solid belief, in many cases — that disembodied spirits do move restlessly among us, looking for ways to connect.  But to what end? That’s what gives a lot of people pause.

Who are these disembodied spirits? Do they wish us well … or not so much?

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

Today, I’m going to address that question. And the answer won’t necessarily pacify. Because there are indeed some spirits who are not nice. In Germany, they’re called poltergeists, “pelting ghosts.” But the good news is that most spirits are more likely invested in the wellbeing of the loved ones they left behind.

It all depends on the lives those departed spirits led and how well they learned the lessons set before them while they were on our side of the veil, and how prudently they navigated the adventures, activities, and relationships of those lives while living them.

Some of them are sad, some are angry, and a few are even malevolent. But again, malevolent spirits are in the minority, but that fact doesn’t make them any less problematic.

We live in a world of duality. Both good and evil, light and darkness coexist. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the same conditions exist on the other side.  Not everyone makes it out of here “healed and happy.” Sadly, some leave in worse shape than they arrived because of  influences that sabotaged their psyches and twisted their perceptions to create self-defending, ego-directed fortresses against further scarring. Trapped inside the resulting inner darkness, some souls succumb before they can rescue themselves from the torment and terror of their troubling incarnations.

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

What is inner darkness? Basically, it’s our resistance to knowing the truth about ourselves. It is only when we can admit that nobody is perfect that we can begin to tear down the walls we erected because of ham-handed influencers in our lives who made us feel we didn’t measure up. Those who view themselves as failures or no-good develop blockages that stifle the free flow of cosmic light and energy, the lack of which creates the darkness that encompasses them.

Souls on both sides of the veil can be impacted by erroneous concepts of themselves. So, today, I want to help you overcome any unhelpful beliefs and attitudes that you may have about yourself, because I don’t want anyone in my tribe transitioning to the other side and remaining trapped in regret, misery, anger, or shame. All lower emotions.

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

The first step is to recognize what’s going on inside you. What mind tapes are repeating in your mind? Whose voices do you hear when you castigate yourself for a perceived misstep or failing? A negative, caustic parent? A sibling or teacher? Or is the voice, gasp, your own?

As women in this culture, we have been indoctrinated to support and serve everyone else in our spheres of influence without feeling indentured or complaining. We are trained to have false expectations about the ways in which we should show up and serve. 

But men don’t have it a whole lot easier. They’re indoctrinated to walk off pain, tolerate emotion (rather than express or share it), and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

When we agree to embrace and abide by these burdensome conditions, jealousy, envy, unhealthy competitiveness, pettiness, insecurities, judgments, hatred, and false pride can show up.  And when they do, we castigate ourselves for having them. It can become a never-ending circle of dysfunction and quiet despair.

When you desperately desire an outcome, dark forces can beguile you with a tempting offer. Just how far will you bend your ethics to get that inheritance, that big promotion, that top prize? Whenever you resort to lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, or trampling over someone else, the dark forces celebrate, while your essence grows dark. And the most damage occurs when you lie to yourself and employ ego and pride to cover your tracks.

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

Every time you ignore, hide, or deny your negative feelings, the darkness gains the upper hand. So, the best way to deal with your unhelpful feelings is to acknowledge them so you can process and let them go with loving-kindness.

To maintain your personal positive power, remember the Biblical command from Phillipians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

And a warning about the evil and violence that comes by way of entertainment venues. If you are vulnerable, it can slip into cracks in your energy field because of unprocessed traumas you’ve endured and pull you down.

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

Darkness can also take advantage of you when you don’t take good care of yourself. Abusing alcohol or prescription drugs, doing recreational drugs, eating junk food regularly, or not getting sufficient sleep and exercise can be all that dark energies need, to get hold of you.

There are three categories of dark energies that are most prevalent. I’ll identify them and give you some tools for dealing with them.

The first category is psychic attack. This happens when people aim their shadow or dark side at you. You’ve heard of “the evil eye,” “the stink eye,” and other expressions of malevolent mental maligning. Whether you can recognize them outright or not, you have “frenemies,” people who may say and do all the right things when you’re with them and then stab you in the back by maligning you or sabotaging you after they depart. Parents who are jealous of their children instead of being proud of them for exceeding their growth and reach, and stalkers and abusers are among those most likely to engage in psychic attack.

You know the signs of being under attack here. You feel off-balance. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them, measuring each of your words as if any of them might cause an explosion or backlash of some kind. And you pretty much can’t stop thinking about that person, which is exactly what they want. You are corded to each other in a dysfunctional relationship because of the prevailing negative energy that they are sending out.

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

Cords are streamers of light that connect us to each other, chakra to corresponding chakra in our bodies. And cords are connected on the 4th level of the universal energy field, so even when someone dies, our cords to them can continue on.

Some cords, of course, are good, but a negative cord can be established by any kind of abuse. In my case, I had a negative cord to my father, who sexually abused me, but  a positive cord to him because otherwise he was by leaps and bounds my best parent; he did indeed love me, and I him. When I was able to “cut the negative cord” by forgiving him for the sexual abuse, the positive cord allowed me both to forgive him and to do my best to understand the kind of compulsion that drove him to interact with me in inappropriate ways.

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

Cutting negative cords can be relatively easy in most cases. One of the  methods I use and teach is called The Sweeping Breath, and I teach it in this Program: LifeForce Energy Healing® I

The next category is energy vampires. These dysfunctional folks use a form of psychic attack that drains you of your energy. They make mountains out of molehills, and they are drama queens and kings. Everything minor mishap becomes an overwrought major catastrophe in their retelling of the tale. They complain about everything, especially their illnesses. Usually, they blame everyone else for their problems. 

Sometimes, we can be too nice to energy vampires. We can give them as much as they want in the way of attention or help, which only makes us co-dependent and increasingly weary and dispirited. 

It’s up to you to stop it. And it’s easy to do! Spend as little time as possible with them. Call off their telephoned monologues with “Gotta go, my dog is asking to go out” or something else — anything else — that requires your immediate attention and positive energy.

Remain as calm and detached from their negative energy as possible. Don’t try to fix their problems; leave them empty and unfulfilled. If you  can, just walk away. And do your best not to be in enclosed spaces with them, like cars, small rooms, or elevators. Avoid eye contact. Assert your boundaries.

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

When the energy vampire in question is someone you simply can’t avoid, figure out what type of energy vampire they are. There are five types:

The betrayed energy vampire (also known as the psychopathic mind/body type). The fear-based energy vampire (also known as the schizoid mind/body type). The insecure energy vampire (which is the oral mind/body type). The passive-aggressive energy vampire (also known as the masochistic mind/body type). And, finally, the robot energy vampire (the rigid mind/body type). For more on body-types, check out my Inner Secrets of You course.

And then there is the slimer. The slimer energy villain will hit you with one of the most common types of low -level psychic attack. They will cut you off in traffic, treat the souls in customer service poorly, you know the type. If your energy field is vulnerable, even the briefest online or phone encounter with a slimer can do it.

You end up feeling lousy and don’t realize why. You may start coming down with a cold, or old issues may surface, or you’ll have a sudden urge to eat a huge serving of junk food. If the hole in your energy field is near your heart chakra, you may revisit grief as old feelings of betrayal surface. If the hole is in a lower chakra, you may turn to an old, addictive pattern of behavior. Usually sliming isn’t conscious on the part of the attacker, but that doesn’t make it less powerful and harmful.

2022 Hallows Eve Halloween

Here’s what to do when you feel slimed: take a clearing bath. Add one pound of baking soda and one pound of sea salt to comfortably warm bathwater and soak in it for up to 20 minutes. After draining the tub, rinse yourself in the shower and wash your hair. Notice how fresh and clean you feel afterward! Then follow that up with a good night’s sleep to fully recharge your energy field. The resulting smile will remind you that you’ve handled the situation wonderfully well.

Other ways to dislodge psychic slime are to go for an ocean swim (the saltwater will work wonders) or sunbathe nearly nude for twenty minutes.

Let’s wrap this up with a few reminders. Remember, your toxic emotions make you vulnerable to dark energies. The more you live in the light, the less you’ll hear from dark energies; they really can’t bear the light! So protect your personal energy and power at all times. Keep your energy and emotions clear. Ask your spiritual guides and divine mentors for guidance. And finally, clear your home of unwanted energy by smudging with sage, sweet grass, cedar, or juniper. When you smudge, open every closet and cabinet door and make sure to smudge around every opening and the mirrors in your home.

Another easier and faster way to clear your space is to sit there and take slow breaths to center yourself. Then picture in your mind a white tablecloth or sheet that covers the entire floor beneath your feet. Using your energy and with focused concentration, start to raise the white sheet off the floor. It will go up right through you because it’s energy. Raise all the dark energy above the sheet up, up, and away! Let the white sheet take away anything that is depressing, negative, sad or anxious within your space and within you.

Would you like to experience the energy and power of this time of year by reliving a powerful retreat? You can, by gaining access to our Highlights of Hallowed Retreat video series. You will get the full retreat highlights live from the spiritual vortex of Ojai, California. Click here now to learn more >>

Mediumship

EDGAR CAYCE & MEDIUMSHIP

Mediumship

So, let’s talk about mediumship, Edgar Cayce, and contacting our love ones on the other side, a very fun subject! Connecting to “the other side,” or what’s commonly called “mediumship,” is the practice of communicating with the dead. During a typical reading, the medium conveys messages from the deceased to the living. There are two types of sessions with a medium: in the mental type, the spirit supposedly takes over and controls the speech of the medium. In the physical type, the communication may claim to include voices, rapping on walls and tables, and movement of objects. Wild for sure! The practice can be traced back to early times when shamans in our communities provided guidance to the tribe by talking to the spirit world. The heyday of mediumship was back in the late 1800’s, when spiritualism, a movement that focused on mediumship, was in vogue. They didn’t have TV or internet back then, so this was evidently their form of entertainment. Mediumship is generally frowned upon by most modern religions but is mentioned in the Old Testament. Mediumship has seen a real rise in popularity recently, that’s why I want to address it today.

Mediumship

So, the question is – why talk to the dead, is it helpful, and is it safe? I can assure you that when someone on the other side weighs in during one of my healing sessions with a client, to offer insight or direction, I pay attention, so yes, it can be helpful. However, I teach that guidance from the other side be allowed to come to you, the practitioner, naturally, in the course of the session with the client, as opposed to you, willy-nilly, reaching out to the other side. Further, I believe that any information received should be used solely for the purpose of helping that individual heal. Here’s why:

  1. A common problem I have seen with individuals who make a practice of regularly reaching out for information from the dead, is that individual medium’s third and sixth chakras, that is, their power center and their third eye, get blown all out of proportion by doing this work, to their ultimate detriment. You don’t want to have that kind of imbalance in your energy field as it can affect your body, mind, and spirit, in negative ways. Again, I distinguish the limited practice of occasionally receiving information or advice from a loved one who reaches out to you, the practitioner, during a healing session, to aid their loved one back here on earth. When these fairly rare occasions occur, you, the healer, quietly, and with no fanfare, gently guide your client based on the information received. That way, you don’t fall into the old ego trap, and try to impress with your abilities.
  1. Another problem I’ve seen over a lifetime of practicing and teaching energy medicine, is that spending too much time in the areas beyond this realm in order to connect to someone on “the other side” is a risky endeavor: it’s not uncommon to pick up undesirable connections “out there;” some of these connections may be just minor annoyances that a qualified practitioner can later clear for you, but other connections I have seen can be as serious as outright possession. My experience is that it takes a lot of skill and self-awareness to know when you are “out there,” when you are safe, and when you are not. It seems like it never fails that when someone tells me they feel like they have “picked up” some dark energy, they will also volunteer they have worked with a medium. Even more problematic, I’ve found, when I’m asked for help by a medium, is that they are often quite bound up with negative energy and spirits they’ve accidentally encountered.
Mediumship

Now that I’ve laid out the dangers of mediumship, whether practicing it or receiving it, I want to distinguish the time-honored and valid practice of you personally connecting, whether alone or under the umbrella of a trusted teacher, to your ancestors, to animal guides, to ascended masters, and to the divine, which I do daily, and encourage you to do also. We can all benefit from continuity beyond this earthly realm, and that continuity can help heal ourselves, or someone who has requested our help. At the same time, however, we want to accept the wisdom that spirits beyond the veil can impart in a state of humility and quiet devotion – never use it to impress. 

So now, with all those provisos, I want to tell you about the life and legacy of a man with the most amazing abilities in the area of obtaining really valid guidance from beyond this realm. I’m talking about Edgar Cayce, of course. I discovered him when I was in my 20’s and devoured everything I could read by him and about him. I was ultimately invited many years ago to his campus in Virginia Beach, to his Center for Research and Enlightenment, to teach there.

When Edgar was a young man, he totally lost his voice; he couldn’t speak at all for a whole year. Desperate for a cure, he let a traveling hypnotist, and hypnotism was very big back then, put him in a trance, and, for as long as he remained in the trance, he could speak, but as soon as the trance ended, he couldn’t talk again.

After that, another hypnotist offered to help him, but when Cayce got hypnotized by him, he was able to diagnosed himself and found he was suffering from a psychological paralysis and then suggested to himself a treatment that worked. That’s when the local hypnotist said that Cayce should offer trance healing to the public, that clearly, he had a gift. A secretary recorded Cayce’s readings after he had already done about 8000 of them; eventually some 14,000 of them were memorialized in writing. I have read many of them. They are available online and today I’ll share a thumbnail version of some of his most profound insights.

Mediumship

Cayce said he got all his information for the requested readings from the Akashic Records, a term he coined, by the way. His subjects didn’t have to be present for him to do his work. My experience in this field has been the same: you can see from my work with guests who call into my Facebook Live show on Tuesdays that the call-in need not be physically present for me to get the information I need to help them. I’m getting the info from the same place that Cayce did, that is, the Akashic Records. And I can train you to get information from the Akashic Records too, in a safe way.

When Cayce was asked to explain the Akashic Records, and I just talked about them at length on a recent show on FaceBook and YouTube, he said they were “the record which each individual writes upon the thread of time and space.” Cayce said that, after our death, each of us is presented with our personal Akashic Record, an accounting of our karma. Cayce’s readings indicate that we each write our own life story with what we think, what we do, and how we interact with everyone and everything. Just as an aside, my own experiences with Near Death Experiences, which I talked about a few Facebook shows back, along with all the studies I’ve done on the NDE’s of others, establishes that we do often go through a life review during the NDE.

Cayce usually couldn’t recall later what he said to a client during the trance state, and when I’m in the slightly altered state that occurs when I’m getting information for you and helping you, I can’t usually recall much of it later either. It’s as if the information just flows through you, but doesn’t stay in your consciousness, and Cayce’s experience was the same. Nevertheless, I am 100% present when the info comes in, which is an important distinction: One of the things I want to be sure to mention is how dangerous it was for Cayce to not be conscious and present during his readings; another man, John of God, by the way, also followed that risky practice of not being conscious. When I worked with John of God in Brazil some 20 years ago, I saw with my own eyes just how dangerous it was to have another consciousness take over your mind and body. And we all know how sadly John of God’s life has turned out, my heart goes out to him, despite the horrific nature of his crimes. But we’ll talk about John of God another day. The important thing to know is that you need to be fully awake, aware, and present whenever you’re working to help heal someone or in contact with the Akashic Records or souls beyond the veil for someone else. I am always fully conscious of myself and my guest, and what I’m saying and doing during every reading and healing. That old style of reading and healing where the practitioner allowed their consciousness to leave their body is dangerous because negative entities can enter your body, mind, and spirit, and take over. 

Another classic mistake that Cayce made was that he overworked, and consequently died young at 67, as do others who can’t seem to say “no” to the needs of others. When I see that personality attribute, I recognize it as a need for approval that isn’t healthy; it means the healer is out of balance. Been there, done that. In case the shoe fits ☺

Edgar Cayce’s immense library of readings has been grouped into six categories: (1) health; (2) philosophy and reincarnation; (3) dreams; (4) ESP and psychic phenomena; (5) oneness; and (6) spiritual growth, meditation, and prayer. In the decades since his death in 1945, many terms that he invented — including Akashic Records, spiritual growth, auras, soul mates, and holistic health—have become an integral part of our language.

 

Edgar Cayce made a number of prophecies that are of interest to us today:

Mediumship

First, he predicted, long before they occurred, the stock market crash of 1929, World War II, and a shift in the electromagnetic poles of the earth that started in the year 2000 and is still going on and is likely a major cause of us moving into the New Age.

As for the future, he also made these prophecies that have yet to occur:

When asked if human life would be extended beyond what was happening in his day, he said yes, it would be extended considerably longer.

When he was asked, “Will we discover the design for a self-fueling  machine?” Cayce said we would, which offers hope when it comes to the climate crisis and ways to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, since they are devastating our ecosystem right now.

Cayce revealed that since humanity’s consciousness has evolved and expanded over time, a New Age and a new understanding of humanity’s relationship to God would appear right about now; that each of us must work with our own soul development to resonate with this new consciousness. He also said that an ancient “Hall of Records” from Atlantis would be rediscovered that would signify the manifestation of this new level of consciousness. 

Cayce prophesied that eventually China will become the center of true spirituality. In light of what’s going on right now in the world, this is an especially interesting insight.

Mediumship

He also had plenty to say about reincarnation and karma. His readings essentially counseled those fascinated by these subjects that one’s past lives should be of considerably less concern than one’s present life. I couldn’t agree more: I’m always telling my students to focus on this lifetime, since this is the one where you can make changes. He said that although we retain skills and lessons from past lives, it’s important to understand that the value of this life is to evolve further by adding skills and lessons by living, growing, and being of service in the present. Our abilities from past lives are provided to help us fulfill our purpose in the here and now. He also said that we pre-select our surroundings before each incarnation (parents and family, location, time period, etc.) that will best help us learn the lessons we need for completeness.

Cayce stressed that prayer (talking to Source) and meditation (listening to Source) affects your consciousness and your vitality and that the survival of our planet literally hinges on those of us who view life in all its diversity as crucial elements of a sacred whole. 

And now — to answer the question that nearly everyone asks after they’ve learned that we survive death — ‘’What are our loved ones  doing on the other side?”  Edgar Cayce had this to say: “When we die, we merely change form and are very much alive. Death is only passing through God’s other door.”  I very much agree with this – so let’s make the most of ourselves while we have the advantage of a physical body!

Mediumship

If the idea of tapping into wisdom from beyond this Earthly realm is of interest to you, think about enrolling in our best-selling Astral Travel course. It will teach you to safely go beyond what we experience here in physical form, to attain knowledge and guidance that isn’t otherwise available. Click here to learn more now >>

Ayurveda diet

Eating with the Seasons

 

Your Ayurveda guide to healthy eating for your body type

Ayurveda is an ancient energy medicine protocol based on the idea that the universe is composed of five elements — air, fire, water, earth, and ether — and so are humans, and all other life forms and matter, as living progeny of the universe.

The rishis (accomplished and enlightened seers) proclaimed that, as microcosms of nature, all five elements exist in each of us and are represented by three doshas (energies).

Ayurveda diet

VATA (air and ether) is the force that directs nerve impulses, circulation, respiration, and elimination.

PITTA (fire and water) is the force that governs digestive metabolism and organ and tissue systems.

KAPHA (water and earth) is the force responsible for growth and structure (protection and integrity of the being or element).

These three energies are where your body connects with your mind—the place where your thoughts turn into matter that affects how well balanced you are as a being. When any of these three energies  go out of whack, Ayurveda offers specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help reduce the turbulence so your body and mind can be restored to balance. In Ayurvedic terminology, a healthy person is defined as “she whose doshas are in balance, appetite is good, all tissues of the body and all natural urges are functioning properly, and mind, body, and spirit are cheerful.”

Your unique mind-body constitution is called prakruti, which means “nature”— your individual nature and body type. It is immensely helpful to learn what your mind-body nature is — which of the three energies are most prominent in your make-up — so you know how to keep them in balance.

TAKE STOCK OF YOUR MIND-BODY BASELINE

By looking closely at your tongue, face, eyes, nails, and lips over a period of  time, you can learn which of your energies need to be adjusted. Ayurvedic practitioners can also determine which of your energies are on overload by taking pulses similar to those acupuncturists consult to determine how strong, weak, flat, fast, or shallow these indicators are.

Ayurveda diet

DIET, EXERCISE, DAILY, & SEASONAL ROUTINES DETERMINE LEVELS OF WELLBEING FOR ALL THREE MIND-BODY ENERGY TYPES

If you’re principally Vata, your key to optimal wellbeing is regularity. If you’re experiencing poor digestion, if you catch colds easily, or if you develop insomnia and fatigue, you’re likely experiencing excessive oppositional energies.

If you’re quite Pitta, your key to optimal wellbeing is moderation. When you find yourself flying off the handle or experiencing inflammatory conditions, or if you’re  a super-stressed workaholic or overachiever, your energies are out of balance in this area, and need a tune up.

If you’re mostly Kapha, your key to optimal wellbeing is stimulation. When your energies are out of balance, you will most likely experience sinus congestion, poor circulation, and sluggish digestion which can lead to obesity and depression.

Ayurveda diet

Ayurveda outlines a set of seasonal guidelines known as Ritucharya. The guidelines serve as prescriptions for diet and lifestyle changes throughout the year to help  keep your mind clear, lift and fulfill your spirit, and help ensure vibrancy within your entire body.

According to Ayurveda, each year is divided into two periods, each covering three seasons:

Uttarayana, the cold months, containing the seasons Sharath, Hemanta, and Shishira

Dakshinayana, the warm months, containing the seasons Vasanta, Grishma, and Varsha.

Why eating for the season is crucial to greater wellbeing

If you’re a nature lover, as I am, you have probably noticed how differently wild ones behave and eat during the four seasons we usually think of: spring, summer, winter, and autumn. Their bodies, like our own, instinctively recognize and respond to seasonal environmental cues and conditions by processing nutrition so their bodies can prepare for the upcoming span of time that lies directly before them.

Ayurveda diet

Meat-eating mammals become voracious as the cold winter months begin to announce their arrival. The bodies of bears, raccoons, wild cats, and wild dogs in their hemispheres begin to fill out as some species ready their bodies for hibernation and other species prepare their bodies for days or weeks of starvation. It’s almost as if Nature/Source has placed a calendar in their craniums that prompts them to consume as much as they can find.

Well, surprise, surprise, surprise (as Gomer Pyle would say)!  We humans have the same internal promptings.  As the cold months approach, we begin to crave foods that help calm us even as they pack on extra fat, even though you aren’t environmentally bound to seasonal deprivation, as were our ancestors, not long ago, before refrigeration and mass transportation. But our bodies are still designed to operate the way they were back then, so eating in opposition to your promptings can set you up for a compromised immune system, unhealthy weight gain or loss, less healthy and robust skin and hair, and some illnesses. So, eating with the seasons does two things: It makes you feel good and it’s a powerful way to help ensure your wellbeing physically, mentally, and emotionally.

In the West, the Ayurveda practice of Ritucharya is characterized by four seasons, unlike India where there are six. In both countries, though, the energies go through a cycle of accumulating, aggravating, and palliating during the seasons, so our goal is to keep them as balanced as possible by way of lifestyle and diet.

Ayurveda diet

In the U.S. and in Canada, Vata season runs from autumn to early winter, mid-September to January, Kapha season happens from February to May, and Pitta season goes from June to mid-September. But, depending on where you live in the U.S. or Canada, always take your cues from your natural surroundings and fellow creatures. Up against and above the 54th parallel (the border between the US and Canada), the winter season is considerably longer.

Balance your diet by way of opposing energies. What I mean by this is that,  during Pitta season, as just one example, the weather is frequently hot, dry, light, and sharp, so counter those with cool, heavy, and bland foods; avoid sour, spicy, salty, and overpowering foods.

DIETARY INSIGHTS AND INFORMATION

Meat

Beef increases Pitta and Kapha but reduces Vata. It is heavy, thick, tastes sweet and its post-digestive effect is sweet. Eating beef heats your body. Beef increases Pitta and Kapha and reduces Vata.

Chicken is moderately okay for all three mind-body types. Sweet and astringent, its post-digestive effect is pungent (stimulating). It is strengthening.

Fish increases Pitta and Kapha but reduces Vata. Eating fish heats your body.

Dairy

Unsalted butter is sweet, astringent and cooling. It promotes intestinal absorption. It increases Kapha and reduces Vata and Pitta.

Unsalted cheese is sweet and sour and cooling. It increases Pitta and Kaphs and decreases Vata.

Cow’s milk is sweet and cooling. It increases Kaph and decreases Vata and Pitta.

Eggs are sweet, astringent and heating. Post digestively, they are pungent. Eggs increase Pitta and Kapha and decrease Vata.

Ghee is sweet and cooling. Taken in excess, it increases Kapha. Taken moderately, it is good for all three energies. It promotes digestion and strengthening.

Goat’s milk is sweet, astringent, and cooling. Post digestively, it is sweet. Increases Vata, decreases Pitta and Kapha. Relieves cough and fever.

As always, consult your health care provider before you undertake any new health regime.

Ayurveda diet

It’s important that your routine, diet included, fits your doshas – the combination of three energy sources that create your unique makeup. When you don’t align with the energy that is unique to you, that is when you feel out of balance. To get started on a deeper exploration of Ayurveda and the wisdom it holds for your health and well-being, take my Dosha quiz to find out which doshas are most prominent in you >>