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Showing posts from 2014

The Cycle of Change: Darkness & Release, Light & Growth

We just passed through the winter solstice, the time when the  borders of the physical and spiritual worlds are closest, the time we embrace the longest night, which enables us to appreciate the gift of light.  The physical darkness and light cycle often parallels our inner cycles of darkness and light.  My therapist once said we never stop navitgating the highs and lows of life, but as we progress intentionally, the depths become less treacherous and the climbs less intimidating.  We eventually feel more stable, more even, more capable of sailing through those depressions in the road and more deserving as we enjoy the heights. Accompanying those depths, those dark nights, are fears, self-doubts, even stagnation, which becomes an enemy more than a place of security.  As we look into ourselves this winter, as we examine where we may have fallen and where we need to ascend, we may realize that we need to release old, outmoded relationships that no longer serve our highest good.  Is it s

Clearing Out the Joints: A Healing Meditation

Once again we see a blueprint for our lives in the Wizard of Oz. The first time we meet the Tin Man he is standing alone, immobilized, in desperate need of the oil can. In fact, even his jaw is locked to the point that he can’t articulate his need, and Dorothy somehow understands his closed-mouth muttering and frees him, joint by joint, enabling him to move. Many of us go through life like the tin man, not to his extreme, but enough of us suffer from knee pain, hip pain, TMJ, and various forms of debilitating arthritis. As we age we experience increased stiffness, foot, knee or hip pain, swollen or inflamed joints, and our physical stress likely has its origin in an emotional core. In our hectic lives, we’ve been conditioned to suppress emotions rather than process them through acceptance and reflection, resulting in storage of unfiltered energy that often collects in our joints, limiting our progress and mirroring the personal issues we need to confront. For example, if a sti

Ritualizing for Healing

Ritual is an act of devotion, an  invitation to the universe to activate our healing. Usually associated with religious and spiritual traditions and rituals empower us as we release and renew. Rituals help us navigate through life and boost our healimn with spiritual collaboration.  When we seek Divine  help, we purify through ritual.  Rituals often use objects of nature to link us to the natural world; one of the most familiar is ritualistic incense. In the Catholic Church the priest waves it toward the congregation for purification them. In Judaism as the Sabbath officially ends with the Havdallah ritual, which includes lighting an incense imbued with cloves which congregants inhale, a metaphor for retaiing  the sweetness of the Sabbath during the mundane week. Indigenous Americans smudge, whisking a burning cedar and sage wand over the body with the smoke.. The element integral to many purification rituals is water, a conductor and purifier. Water is regarded both spiritually

Dorothy and the Divine Feminine: First Isolation, Then Liberation

The popular distinction between prayer and meditation is that  prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God,  that universal force that perpetuates life.  We know that in real world communication models, both skills are necessary.for progress in relationships.  While we are encouraged  by our traditional religious traditions to pray, in the West we place little if any emphasis has been placed on meditation and usually look to Eastern customs when we seeking a deeper dialogue with the Eternal.   However, if we look more closely we will find examples in Western religion and in the culturally transmitted  stories that parallel those beliefs, fairy tales.  From Rapunzel locked in the tower and Sleeping Beauty separated from the world by thorny bushes during her long sleep to the created fairy tale-like fiction of Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz, we see not only the receptivity to spirit through meditation, but the female  characters taking the lead in meditative practice,

What Your Animal Communicator Needs from You

I had an appointment to read a cat this morning, so I went to the client's home, and as I usually do, I asked if she had aparticular issue she wanted to examine and she replied,  "Well,  I'm a skeptic, so I don't want to tell you anything that would influence you." I said, "OK, but asking these questions helps me focus in a very specific way so that we can find the answer to whatever problem yo u have."  This didn't convince her to reveal anything.  What would I have wanted to know?  If there was a physical issue, whether the cat had seen the vet over it, if there was a behavioral issue I could address directly with the cat. This woman called me, knowing my service was not inexpensive, so she must have had some level of awareness and acceptance that moved her to schedule the appointment. I held the cat, Eliot,  a sweet, mellow, orange and white tabby, very welcoming to me.  First I saw an area between the back of his skull and his shoulders and p

Erasing the Pain: 8 Techniques to Lighten Your Load

Two of the most destructive energies we can turn against ourselves, old anger and regret, find a home in our bodies no matter how we try to shake them loose. They destroy not only the clarity of our self perception but prevent us from moving ahead on a path that can bring us joy. Their lingering becomes what I like to call emotional disease from which so many of our current conditions grow.,including chronic physical ailments. digestive issues, weight gain.   Consider this metaphor: diabetes has been described as an internal worm that quietly eats away at our organs. We look healthy on the outside, but inside, we decay. The same is true for anger and regret.  . We might think we practice self kindness, but that little worm trapped within affects everything we do. How can we reverse this? We try many releasing techniques from meditation to conscious connected breathing and drumming circles to peel away layers of emotional wounds, but still, they remain, perhaps not the same shade of d

We Are the Flame

When we pray at a house of worship or go to a healing center we often light a candle or sit in the glow of candles already burning.  Some are lit in memory of loved ones, some are lit to empower Divine requests, some are lit in honor of a significant any case we all feel a deeper connection to the Spirit as we enter the dome of  that gentle light.  Whether it's 100 flcikering Novena candles in a Catholic Church,  Shabbat calendabra or  soft orange glow in a Buddhist sanctuary, we touch  something greater than ourselves when we yield to the flame.  But it is not the candle itself that acts as a  lightning rod; that's merely a symbol. We’ve heard many times that we are the keepers of the flame, but we could dispute that because we are much more than caretakers. We are not the keepers; more accurately, we are the flame itself. All living beings house the flame, that spark of the Divine. Call it soul, spirit -- it's the essence of the eternal that propels us, m

Releasing Animals from Our Burdens: A Joint Meditation

It's been long known that our animals come to us from a higher dimension to aid us in handling the challenges that the human experience presents. We see this evidence historically in the relationship between the "witch" and her familiar, the cat; the strategic placement of goldfish in an establishment designed by Feng Shui priniciples, even the deep and silent bond of a cowboy and his horse (how many Western songs of dedication were written by rough and tumble outsdoorsmen to their horses?).  I think even of the traditional Tarot card, the Fool, ready to embark in innocence and possibly folly alongside  his faithful canine companion, who will surely guard him from danger, warn him of obstacles, and support him when he stumbles.  Why is this?  Because these animals have selflessly entered our lives, choosing to help us by absorbing much of our pain and sorrow.  They cushion us from the hardest blows. I've heard many people, referring to a death, divorce, or other lif

Animal Abuse: Are We Accomplices?

Animal Abuse: Are We Complicit? The treatment of commercially and industrially used animals, held against their will and acted upon by human beings who wield power under the banner of Scripturally assigned dominion has perpetuated a society in which nearly all of us by are in fact complicit in their suffering.  How?   Through our habitual consumption of products that rely on animals for testing or through our engagement in activities I which animals are used for our entertainment.  This is not the place to debate the consumption of meat vs. Tofurkey   Many physicians and scientists believe that for  some people,  animal protein is necessary, and when that is the case, people with conscience follow the traditions of indigenous tribes by thanking and blessing the animals who provides their sustenance. The issue here is  much larger than such this.. Who  among us has never taken a pharmaceutical drug  for a physical condition? Is there a woman in the room who has never used masc

Seven Lessons We Learn from our Animals

Here's a  Buddhist parable about the inevitability of death. A woman, angry that her son had died, demanded that the Buddha restore him to life. He agreed to do so on the condition that the woman find one person in the village who did not know the sorrow of death. She went on her way, determined to find that person, but weeks later returned after visitng every house, finally understanding no one s untouched by death. This is the one constant, in the world. There are those few who have been fortunate in their lives not to have yet experienced the loss of a loved one  but we all eventually will. The only certainty of life is death.  However, some of us experience it more frequently than others,each time  just as painful as the last: those of us who choose to live with pets. If we are fortunate,  we share their companionship for a full 12 to 14 years....but the physical separation between us inevitable.  This is the equivalent of a parent losing a child about

On Those Disturbing Animal Abuse Photos: "Ah, Humanity!"

Just when you think there is hope for the natural world you get assaulted with stories and photos of animal abuse even from the most unexpected sources, like the Danish zookeepers who made a public spectacle of their orchestrated bloody baby giraffe murder. I am not going to repeat the details here; you can find the references easily on an Internet search. Then there are the recurring photos of Michael Vick's butchered and wounded dogs and the many many daily postings of local animal abuse cases on Facebook. I don't like viewing these but I glance at them. Not with the curiosity of an onlooker slowing down to suck in the details of a car wreck but as a woman compelled to feel the suffering of other beings so that the fire within me illuminates the path for healing work. I, like millions of others, am drawn to volunteer in cruelty prevention and abuse recovery.  I do it through animal communication and Reiki. And while I don't pray for the parallel suffering of the perpetrat

White Light Immersion: A Simple Healing Meditation

Today I would like to lead you in a white light meditation. We are going to completely immerse ourselves in light.  We are going to create a tent of healing light around ourselves, our animals and our loved ones.   Sit with your animals alongside you if possible.  If they are elsewhere, just visualize them,   and consider any others you want to include in this healing.   Imagine them alongside you.  If you are not particularly visual, just mentally state their names. to bring them in.    The Universe knows your intention. Begin with slow, deep breaths.  A pattern of repeated breaths helps you to focus and relax.  Inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth to these counts:   in to four....hold for four....release slowly to eight. Repeat this until it feels natural.  You will settle in to this deep breathing very easily.  This is also contagious.  See how your animals' breathing also slows down and how they drift into meditation with you. Visualize a bright,

Heart Connection: A Meditation for you and Your Animals

     We all know the restorative power of meditation and its related modalities such as guided visualization, chanting, deep breathing, the combinations which create  powerful inner experiences that not only calm the body and mind but that open channels to the spiritual realm, whether it is our own higher self or the messengers of Light that accompany us on our journey. Those of us who meditate in our homes with our animals present know that as we slow down the mental chatter and reach elevated levels of awareness, our pets undergo notable changes as well.  We see this as they settle in and begin audible deep breathing, often going so far out into the ethers that when we return to waking consciousness we find they are still in the depth of the meditation.  It looks like slumber, but it isn’t.  They’re traveling to higher planes with us, and they do this easily.      The explanation is their openness and receptivity to the subtle energies that surroune us;  they eagerly join our