I’ve recently been revisiting that book, The Secret. It’s not quite as trendy as it was about 5 years back, but its discussion of the Law of Attraction is as relevant as ever.
The book’s thesis – that thoughts are magnetic –feels right to me, and is being backed up by science. Focusing your mental and emotional energy on a particular goal helps align it with the creation energy all around us.
Buutttt….how do you focus all that awesome energy when you don’t really know what you want? Or your “wish list” changes from week to week? Let me tell ya, as a kid, writing my list out for Santa was a bitch.
Needless to say, when your goals change as much as Madonna’s face, the Law of Attraction is just busy trying to keep track.
So here’s an awesome exercise I learned from Miss Oprah:
1) Pick an area of your life you’d like to change: your body, your lovelife, your work, Whatever.
2) Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the one side write “What I Never Want Again.” On the other, “What I Do Want.”
3) Now think about your goal. Let’s say it’s a better love life. Think about your last (or current) partner. What about that relationship really, really bugs/bugged you? Go for the first things that come to mind: the fact that he/she drank more than Snooki? The way they clammed up whenever you really needed to share your feelings? The back that had more hair on it than a Yeti?
Don’t drill down into every pesky little annoyance; stick to broad strokes to begin with. Write them down on the one side of your list.
4) OK, so the things that you NEVER want to experience again? The exact opposite is what you DO want. Example: “I never want someone who drinks ‘til they puke” leads to “I want a partner who’s sober or only drinks a little.” Example: “I never want someone who ignores me when I need a hug” becomes “I want someone who is affectionate and attentive.”
This is a really fascinating exercise. I find that it really helps you zero in on the core essence of what you want. Its kinda like a dose of Ritalin for a jumpy brain.
And it will help the Law of Attraction know where to find you.
Let me just start this blog by saying that I need a good foot massage. And a drink. Or three. The last few days have been spent with either friends or clients, all of whom have had some bout with serious illness. Lyme disease, cancer – the biggies. I’m wiped.
Their struggles have been epic, and it was painful to hear just how difficult their lives have become. In one case, a dear family member didn’t survive her cancer. In another, my friend’s work life has been completely derailed by her illness. It has been unbelievably rough.
Needless to say, each of these clients/friends had one question in common, namely, “Why?”
I do not pretend to have the answer to that one. That’s waay above my paygrade. But what I DO know is that people who have a major issue in their life — an accident, death of a child, special-needs kid, serious illness – have taken on a brave karmic challenge.
The way I understand it, before we incarnate, we decide that we need some “extra credit” in the Karmic School of Life. By willing to live out an especially hard experience here on Earth, we make up for lost opportunities in past lives – or for having been a soulless putz. It’s the mother of all summer school courses.
Clearly, making that decision to live through such a hard experience takes major cojones. But it doesn’t mean that it makes it any easier once you get to this side and actually undertake the journey.
The point is, such an extreme experience is bound to lead to some form of enlightenment and understanding. Its not just for you, either – all those around you that are affected by it will also have a chance to up their game.
My friend with the Lyme disease shared a lot of information about what she was going through, information that I knew would be helpful for another person in my life who was dealing with the illness. In two hours over sandwiches, she had turned her problem into something helpful for another.
The client who had lost her sister to breast cancer realized that the experience of going through those devastating few years had brought positive change to her otherwise dysfunctional family.
Someone like Stephen Hawking has shown that, while his body isn’t under his control, his mind soars free, free to make astounding discoveries in science.
There are others: the mother who lost her child to a drunk driver and started “MADD” or John Walsh, who suffered the loss of his son Adam, yet turned that horror into a crusade to find other criminals through America’s Most Wanted. Talk to the parents of a special-needs child, who will admit that the practical realities are difficult – but how that child has been a gift in what they teach them about love and endurance.
I’m not trying to minimize the difficulty of surviving or living with a tragedy or tough situation – but when you consider the sheer bravery of the soul willing to take that on, well, thank yourself for being such a badass. And offering us all a chance to grow in profound ways.
We’re hitting the Memorial Day weekend, and although its become associated with barbecues, beer and that scary moment when you display your winter-white legs in shorts for the first time, it really IS about “memorial” — as in, remembering those who’ve passed on in service to our country.
Whether you’ve lost a military family member — or any family member or friend — I want you to know that they will probably be at that barbecue with you. When someone crosses over, it does not mean that they cease to be involved or aware of life on this side of the veil. To the contrary: they’re still keeping an eye out for us.
To me, crossing over is like graduating from high school. You may be heading to college, but you’re still in touch with those kids a grade or two behind. If those “kids” are family members, you want to keep in the loop, maybe not quite as much as when you were alive — but still.
You’d be surprised at how many times a spirit has let me know that they were at a special birthday or graduation. They know about a new grandchild — or even the new addition you put on the house. The point is, they keep in touch. It’s like they’re checking your Facebook page. So you might want to keep the sketchier “selfies” off of it. Just a suggestion.
Anyway, those who we are deeply linked to, either by blood or circumstance, remain in our karmic phone book. They are busy with new experiences on spirit-side, but they don’t forget us. In fact, they’re closer than we think.
Most of us think that death takes us to a place far, far away; but in reality, they’ve just switched into a higher energy form. They move so fast that we can’t see them. Hey, Star Trek fans. ‘Memba that episode where Kirk is “sped up” by some alien chick? Here’s a refresher:
That’s kind of like how it is for our loved ones on the Other Side. They resonate at a level that we don’t easily experience; dimensionally, they live about three feet off of our ground.
For them to “appear” to us is not easy. They must slow down their vibration, which takes some doing. As a medium, I need to raise mine as they lower theirs — and then we meet somewhere in the middle, energetically speaking. When they show themselves to a non-medium, the process is even harder, so be super-grateful for that gift.
Because the process is tricky is one reason you may not see a loved one soon after their passing. They’re getting used to their new state; its like falling asleep as plain old dumpy you and waking up as Angelina Jolie. Takes some getting used to. That bit of down time is good for us, as it lets us adjust to this life without that person. Not fun, not easy, but necessary for our growth. Wanting to “see” them again is a natural response, but being too desperate and needy isn’t good for them or you.
Grief is a powerful teacher. And understanding that our loved ones continue to live on, albeit in a different form, takes time. Just know that they are as close as your thoughts and memories.
The other night I dreamt I was about to go on stage in front of thousands of people, to play bass with the Stones. Only I don’t know how to play. And unlike flying or breathing underwater, I didn’t know how to do it in the dream, either. Here I was gonna be standing next to Charlie Watts, a frikkin’ awesome drummer and one of my heroes. And I’m clueless. Clue. Less. It still gives me the willies when I recall it.
I know where that particular dream came from: reading an article about the band in Rolling Stone earlier. But there are other dreams that offer up more than just a psychedelic rehash of the day.
Like those wonderful ones where you encounter someone you’ve lost and they look wonderful. They practically shine. And you know – you just know –that they’ve visited you from the Other Side. Or the one where you get a “preview” of something that’s about to happen. This is where dreams serve a really useful purpose, to “download” info from other dimensions. Our conscious brain is in “sleep” mode – literally – so we can access different channels.
You may not think you dream, but you do. It’s a vital physical function; in fact, I think I read somewhere that, when test subjects were prevented from dreaming (as in, being woken up repeatedly), they got really sick. Umm, for the record? I would cut a bitch if someone did that to me. Anyway, the point is you do indeed dream — you just aren’t so hot on remembering them.
Dreaming is where we work stuff out on the physical plane, but more importantly, its where we access higher dimensions. Training yourself to remember what you learn in Dreamland is not as hard as you might think.
First, keep a notebook and pen by your bed. Second, set your intention to start remembering your dreams As you drift off, tell yourself that you WILL recall what you’ve experienced in the dream state. If you wake up in the middle of the night from a dream, jot down what you remember. Do NOT tell yourself that you’ll do it in the morning. Trust me, you probably won’t. So roll over, turn on the light for 10 seconds and scrawl it down. Just like Jerry Seinfeld with his awesome idea for a joke…..which he then couldn’t read.
When you first wake up from a dream, try not to move. This will keep you in that state between the worlds where it will be easier to consciously recall what you’ve experienced. Once you’ve captured a theme, image, whatever jot it in your notebook.
If something really stands out, ask yourself what it means – then go with the first impression or thought that you get. Don’t overthink it. Stay in that muted place where things flow without a lot of intellect behind them. Dreams reach us on a very subtle level; use more of your gut to interpret them, and less your brain.
There are some great dream interpretation books ( I like Mary Summer Rain’s Guide to Dream Symbols) and sites out there, but don’t discount what your own bad self tells you.
Once you’ve built up your recall muscle, you can direct your dreams towards something specific. For example, you can invite a deceased loved one to visit you in the dream state. Don’t force this; they have things going on on the Other Side. They don’t sit around, flipping through Us magazine, waiting for your call. Make the invitation, then let it go. Trying too hard blocks the energy.
You can also ask your Spirit Guides to provide an answer to a question by way of your dreams. Even if you don’t know who your guide(s) is, simply throw up a request for information. You can assign them a name if you want, or just say, “Yo, Guides – I need some help here with (fill in the blank).” They don’t stand on formality. Then see what they send you. And don’t be surprised if the answer/info you get is different than what you expect. Receive it with grace and say “thank you.”
One note – don’t get frustrated if you don’t get anywhere in remembering your dreams. Keep setting the intention, and eventually you will.
There’s an old folk trick to help the dream recall process along. Place a glass of water by your bed. When you first wake up, drink it down to help remember. Or to get the stank morning breath out of your mouth. In the meantime, enjoy a blast from my 80s past. And the exquisite Annie Lennox. In my dreams, I have her voice. In real life, my singing voice is closer to Linda McCartney’s.
I was having breakfast at my local diner yesterday. It’s the kind of place where everyone pretty much knows everyone — and the hostess, “L,” knows I’m an intuitive. So as I worked on a short stack, she sat with me and asked why she’s all of a sudden started seeing the spirits of her dead loved ones.
They’ve been in her kitchen, by her bed at 3 in the morning, even in her car. She’s pretty freaked out, seeing Gramps who died 30 years ago. Yeah, it sounds all cool til its YOUR dead aunt riding shotgun on your way to pick up the dry cleaning. So why is this happening?
Well, L has had a rough couple of years, culminating in some serious surgery a few months back. I suspected her new ability was connected to this time period and she realized that it was. My take on it is that her beloved relatives are letting her know–in no uncertain terms — that they’re supporting her during this phase. Her troubles have made her focus on what’s key in her life, and the rest of the noise has dropped away. I like to think she’s been “cracked open” a little bit, and is now able to physically see who’s always been around her.
Some of you may know from my recent Facebook posts that I was out in Minnesota recently, after my sister entered the hospital. Something similar happened ; the urgency of her illness made me hyper-focused. I wasn’t cluttering my pointed little head with thoughts of cleaning litter boxes or my next deadline. And as I sat in that hospital room, I heard our mother’s voice more than once. Like she was right there (and still telling me to comb my hair off my face).
I think it has something to do with our energy frequency. During a tough moment, our focus is sharpened on the Now. Think about the aftermath of any tragedy, where people describe having seen angels around them, or perhaps deceased loved ones. They’re always there, but because we’re “clear,” we can physically see them, even as they vibrate at higher speeds. These are glimpses into the other dimensions all around us. Beautiful.
Meditation can help to make a space where we can more easily experience these higher-vibration experiences. Know that those we miss are always there, riding shotgun as we go to pick up the drycleaning. And surrounding us with their love.
I was cleaning out some stuff the other day and stumbled across this. Words very much worth paying attention to. Oprah couldn’t have said it better.
THE NATIVE AMERICAN CODE OF ETHICS
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.
5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.
6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth, whether it be people or plant.
7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.
8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.
11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.
12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.
13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.
14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of one’s will within this universe.
15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self, all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others, especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.
18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you can not nurture and help yourself first.
19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.
20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.
This is the time of year when we start getting that “spring cleaning” itch. As the weather warms up, we want to open the windows and let in some fresh air, banishing the stale old winter vibe. You can tell when a room “feels” funky, can’t you? I know I sure as heck can. So cleaning — spring or otherwise — has a calming, healing effect on us.
Whenever you’re vacuuming, washing windows or flipping a mattress, you’re doing a version of “space clearing,” moving molecules (not to mention cat hair) around. But there are some other tools you can add to your bucket to really bring some energetic freshness to a space. Here’s what I like to use.
SAGE: This is the classic clearing tool, breaking up anything negative and resetting things back to neutral. You can buy sage in several forms, but I like the stick form myself.
Sageing – or “smudging” as its often called — is easy. Light the end of the sage bundle, then blow out the flame. The sage will begin to smoke. I go room by room, walking in a counterclockwise motion and moving the bundle up and down to thoroughly cleanse the area (in nature work, counterclockwise is the direction used to reverse or undo something). I pay particular attention to corners, since stagnant energy can hang out there, just like dust bunnies. BIG SAFETY NOTE: Keep a fireproof container under the sage, to catch any random sparks. You can use a shell, like this:
I carry a ceramic dish filled with sand under my sage stick; when I’m done, I extinguish it by grinding it into the sand.
When smudging, open a window to carry the stale vibes out of the room. Oh, and one more note: sage smells kinda like pot. So be prepared for some funny looks from your neighbors. And maybe a Cheech and Chong joke or two.
SALT: Salt has long been known for its power to ground energy and keep negativity away. After a good vacuuming, I’ll put a pinch of sea or kosher salt in the corners of a room. You can also sprinkle a bit near your front door to keep bad vibes from entering your home or office.
SOUND: I love the sound of bells and chimes. There are windchimes all over my backyard — and a few in my house, too. Chimes have the power to break up stale energy. Tibetan singing bowls can do that, too when you use them in a space clearing.
I’ve gotten so many questions on how to make the bowl” sing,” and there is a trick to it, so here’s a quick how-to demo (and please pardon my Bad Hair Day)….
Once you’ve gotten the bowl to sing, walk around the space counterclockwise, hitting corners and closets to break up old energy. If you don’t have a bowl or bells, clapping your hands can also clear a space.
WATER: We wash our faces, dishes, clothes, floors and dogs with it. And it clears away energy funk nicely, too. I fill a spray bottle with water and a drop or two of lavender oil (just ’cause it smells nice). Then I hold my hands over the bottle, putting an intention into it to purify whatever it touches. I spray this energized water into the corners of a room, again moving in a counterclockwise direction.
Anyhoozle, doing a regular space clearing will make a huge difference in how things flow. People will be less cranky, animals will behave a little better , everyone will just feel …better. And by the way, don’t limit these techniques to your home. Clearing your office and your car, anywhere you spend a lot of time, is a good habit to get into.
So put down the Swiffer and get your sage on, already. ‘Cause this is the only kind of funk you want around you…
Any other ways you get rid of unwanted funk? Share it in the comments!
Quick review: before we incarnate, we make a deal with a fellow spirit. For our part, we agree to take on the hairy experience of human life – which is jampacked with experiences and relationships designed to help our soul evolve. For their part, they stay on the other side, keeping an eye on our progress and helping us stay on track.
Whether we know they’re there or not, they do their best to offer opportunities, new people, coincidences and info that — if we pay attention — can help us keep moving in the right direction. (This is a super-short overview of the subject. A couple of great books on the subject are Ask Your Guides by Sonia Choquette and Spirit Guides by Iris Belhayes and Molly Sullivan). Moving on.
This particular spirit guide is the big kahuna; there will be other guides whom you can call on when you need help with something specific. For example, a “doctor” guide can assist with a health issue, or a “parenting” guide with kids. They come and go, but your main guide is always there.
Of course, the process of working with guides is way easier if we can recognize them and consciously develop a relationship. Here’s a way to meet your guy…or gal.
MEDITATION TO MEET YOUR MAIN SPIRIT GUIDE
Start by placing a notepad nearby to jot down your experience afterwards. Close your eyes and take a few deep centering breaths. Envision yourself surrounded by protective white light. You are completely relaxed and safe in this space.
Now see a beautiful garden path. You’re surrounded by lush greenery and flowers. The path slopes gently downwards into a wood. Walk along this path, enjoying the scenery as you go down, down, down.
You see a cottage in the distance. Continue walking downwards on the path, drawing nearer to it.
You arrive at the cottage. Notice how it looks. Notice the doors and windows. There’s a charming brass knocker on the door. Lift it and hear it fall, announcing your arrival. Now open the door and step inside.
There’s a gentle fire burning in the fireplace. There are two comfy, overstuffed chairs in front of it. One is for you. And the other is for your guide. Who is sitting there? What do they look like? What are they wearing? Keep in mind, they may surprise you. You may expect them to be in long white robes, but be open. I had one guide show himself as a white man wearing buckskin — he had been a woodsman in a previous life, kind of a “Jeremiah Johnson.” The point is to go with what you first see.
Now ask your guide their name. Again, the name may surprise you. When I first did this exercise, my guide said his name was something like “Rael.” Well, that is just waaay too out there for me, so I asked if I could call him “Ray” instead. Now he shows up wearing a pair of sunglasses like Ray Charles. That works with my sense of humor.
OK, so now you’re sitting in your chair with your guide. Ask him if he has a message for you. It may be short. Ask him how he will identify himself in your daily life. With “Ray,” I know he’s around when any Ray Charles music comes up on my iPod. In your case, maybe your guide will let you know they’re there through a symbol, a feeling (like tingles or cold chills) even a smell. Again, stay open and go with the first thing that hits you.
Tell your guide that you appreciate them being there for you and that you want to work more closely with them as you move forward. This cottage will be a place you can meet in future meditations. This is also where you will be introduced by your guide to any other spirit helpers.
Now, its time to leave. Say goodbye to your guide and exit the cottage. The path stretches out before you, sloping gently upwards. Walk along this path, feeling the warmth and love you experienced being with your guide.
Continue walking upwards, gently upwards. You feel yourself coming back to the here and now. When you’re ready, open your eyes and return to the present. Jot down your impressions, messages and insights. And — this is important — stay alert for any sign of your guide in your everyday life, and thank them for their presence.
You don’t have to go into a meditation every time you need help (good if you happen to be driving)– just ask. But it’s a good practice to regularly spend time meditating and building a relationship with your spirit guide. It will make it easier to interact with them, but mostly, it’s just good manners. You know those “friends” who only call when they need something? Don’t be one of them.
To me, spirit guides are a wonderful resource for navigating the ups and downs of life. Like factory air conditioning and OnStar, they come standard with our life. Why not use them to make yours run smoother?
Ever have an encounter with a guide? Spill it in the comments!
During my meditation this morning, I got a message that went something like, “You don’t have to do it all yourself.” This is pretty much spot on, being the perky little control freak that I am. It put me in mind of this card:
When this card comes up in a reading, it indicates someone who’s taking on way too much or doing most of the work in the situation. And you can see that he’s in danger of tripping and dropping his bundle — which means, he has to pick them up again and he’s probably in a hurry and his back is hurting and he’s feeling like he has to do it all and wah wah wah….you get the idea.
The advice behind the 10 of Wands is to share the load — but for control freaks (like me), that can be tough. However, each of us has a team we can call on to help.
They’re always awake (even at 3:20 am). Their phone is always on and never goes to voicemail. They never get tired of hearing your problems. They don’t judge the size of your ass. They are assigned to you from the time you’re born and stay with you until you cross over. They’re not allowed to leave you, no matter how big a pain you may become.
They are your Spirit Team, made up of your spirit guides and a guardian angel. I wrote about spirit guides here –but one of the questions I repeatedly get asked is, “How do I work with them?” It’s really not that complicated: just tell them what you need. That’s it.
I’ll give you a way to meet your guide(s) later — but in the meantime, even if you don’t know their name or anything about them, just reach out. I suggest taking a moment before you go to sleep to send up your message, but you can do it anytime. They don’t stand on ceremony. Something like, “Hi Spirit Team– I could really use your help in knowing how I should handle the situation with Mark. Please send me a sign or some information. Thanks.”
Then keep your radar up. Your Team will always deliver, but it may be subtle and it may not show up the way you expect. The point is to offload some of your burdens on to them. They live for this stuff, so put them to work on your behalf.
There have been a number of great “teams.” Like these guys….
Or this crew, boldly going where no man has gone before….
But YOUR “team” has ’em all licked. And they are at your beck and call, ready to take some of the weight for you. Remember the message I got this morning? “You don’t have to do it all yourself.” You don’t!
Let the late, great Levon Helm and The Band sing us out….
Let’s face it: no matter how spiritual you try to be, at some point, you will encounter people who are — to put it bluntly — pains in the ass. They push your buttons, work your last nerve, make you want to punch something. They can be a co-worker, neighbor, boss, family member, client. They are someone you can’t easily get away from. Here’s how they dealt with it on Seinfeld:
Other than “Serenity now!”, there are some practical tricks you can try. Like the Ice Cube method: write your personal PIA’s (pain in the ass) name on a slip of paper. Put it in any small container filled with water and stick it in the freezer. Their ability to interfere, aggravate or otherwise drive you nuts will be sharply curtailed.
This is an old bit of sympathetic magic that doesn’t harm the person, which is very important. According to the laws of nature magic, whatever you put out will come back to you “three times three” — this is why Wiccans include “with harm to none” in their workings. So as much as you’d like to punch them in the snoot, please control yourself and head for the ice tray.
My sister has a boss that would make the Dalai Lama lose his shit. She had tried everything to make their working relationship better, but he continued to belittle, insult and interfere. I told her about the freezing method; she went home and stuck his name in her big downstairs ice chest. Guess what? The next day, he started heading towards her in the hallway, with that look on his face indicating that he was about to deliver his usual morning beatdown- but all of a sudden, she saw him stop dead in his tracks, turn around and go back to his office. Since then, he’s largely stayed out of her hair.
There’s a variation on this technique involving water. If there’s a PIA you need to sit near, say for a meeting or event, put a glass of water between the two of you to block the negativity. I read about a fellow psychic who did outdoor fairs. There was one other reader no one ever wanted to work near; she was a raging PIA and her negative vibes kept customers away. Well, our psychic found herself stuck next to the PIA, and there was nothing she could do about it. So she poured a cup of water and set it between their tables. Guess what? She got more business than any one who’d ever been placed in that slot before.
If you have a really irritating neighbor, put water in mason jars and dot a few along your property line. If you live in an apartment, put it against a common wall. Just make sure to dump the water down a sewer drain and NOT in your home’s system. Don’t want that janky vibe coming back into your domain.
Crystals are another helpful tool to block the aggravation of a PIA. Wearing them or keeping a chunk in whatever space they may show up in works. Rose quartz has a gentle, loving vibe that will increase your understanding of why a person is being so obnoxious.
If you need to up the protective wattage, black obsidian will absorb the bad juju coming off that person. One of my friends who read in bars –not something I recommend — used to keep a giant piece of black obsidian in her bra to protect her heart chakra. Kinda made her look like she had a third breast, but it did the trick.
For that matter, wearing something black will also have a shielding effect.
These are all stopgap measures. Over the long term, consider that when someone in your life is rubbing your fur backwards, they’re giving you a chance to learn something — if its only to learn creative ways to swear silently. “Serenity now!”