Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quieting Your Brain to Connect with God

I was recently introduced to a story about Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist who suffered a sudden stroke that left her with serious brain trauma and debilitation. In her story, she tells how this experience was a blessing that connected her with God, by allowing her to quiet the logical/scientific part of her brain in order to experience the rest of it...the part of the brain that is more connected to the Divine. Faith has been described as belief in the absence of proof, which would require that we rest the logical and proof-driven side of our brains that currently dominate our world and rely on the more intuitive, feeling, knowing side of our brains, which have often sat dormant for most of our lives. We rarely allow ourselves to think without proof, because we have been so conditioned not to believe something that can't be proven.

In our hurried and logically trained Western minds, we seldom go to the quiet place in our brain, the place of our soul's thoughts, the place of God. We have heard, "Be still and know that I am God", which directs us in how to connect with God but which we rarely practice. Our lives are full of action, talking, doing, and are very rarely still in the quiet for long enough to really connect with God or with our soul, our true selves. Our worship, for the most part, means listening to others for our God-connection, or telling others about our God-connection, but involves relatively little of the true quiet where we can be one with God without worldly distractions...where we can be what we feel rather than what we are expected to be. The Holy Spirit (which I relate to our connection to our Highest Self) wants to reside in us to fully reunite us with God, but we seldom hear its call, being too involved in our thinking-and-doing modes to truly listen. Instead, we listen to others' versions of God and deny ourselves the full and real experience. God becomes a thought process of rules and edicts, rather than a direct feeling of Oneness.

Jill Bolte Taylor, an intellectually gifted woman, was forced to quiet her mind due to the stroke, and now sees her experience as a wonderful blessing despite the tremendous difficulties that she encountered. She urges us to go to that place of quiet solitude, that place of feeling rather than thinking, that place of profound expression that we seldom reach in our culture. Her message is powerful, especially since she is a scientist who has spent most of her life heavily ensconced in the logical portion of the brain.

This is a great story to help explain the real connection to God that is not in the things we do outwardly, is not based in a particular belief system, is not based in logic or even in studying what other people or institutions tell us to believe, but in finding our own truth, in finding our own soul deep within us. We cannot find truth until we are willing to relinquish some of our pre-conditioned thoughts, but once we access that place, our lives are changed miraculously because that is where God resides within us. True faith is birthed in this place where we release our need to make God work logically or to satisfy others' litmus is where we access a power beyond what we have ever thought possible, where miracles evolve and begin to flow through us and to us. Jill Bolte Taylor's experience is a great example of that, and worth discovering.

CLICK HERE for a video of one of Jill's speeches.
CLICK HERE for Oprah's series of web interviews with Jill.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What Would Jesus Do?

The phrase What Would Jesus Do? has become a common one in our recent culture, particularly in churches and religion. The idea is a noble one, to think and act more like Jesus by pondering what he might do in given situations. But it has also become a cliche that doesn't really get followed all that carefully by many of those who use it frequently. In many of those same places or from many of the same lips that utter that phrase, there is little correlation in actions.

Many of the very churches that have sermons or classes backed up by that phrase have come to judge their own "success" by how many members they have, how many people are in their pews each week, how big their building is, how big of an addition they have planned for their building. The idea of following Jesus often relates to the act of "brick and mortar" building... gymnasiums, bigger sanctuaries, impressive dining halls, and more classrooms that only get used a few hours a week and sit idle at most other times. Yet, in our stories of Jesus, I don't recall him ever building a church - and he was a carpenter! And while there is nothing inherently wrong with that kind of success, its focus, and the focus on outward signs of success and public displays, often detract us from a truer connection that lies within the temple of our souls.

As individuals, we have come to place our identity with God in what church we attend, how big it is, who else goes there...rather than in the simple act of loving one another, no matter what our varied backgrounds, no matter how "bad" we see another, no matter how different his thoughts may be to ours. We place more emphasis on whether or not others are willing to convert to our chosen belief system than we do in loving them just as they are. What we need to understand is that touching, loving, and, uplifting others is not about a place or a building (no matter how outwardly impressive). It is about what dwells in our hearts...about giving up the need to judge others or decide if they are good enough for God. The Biblical passage, "Your body is a temple" means different things to different people. For me, it not only means that we should take care of ourselves and have heathly habits, but also that we are God's real church. We do not need dogma or doctrine, we do not need brick and mortar, we do not need fancy pulpits or impressive construction...we simply need the act of loving unconditionally, as Jesus did.

In further attempting to do as Jesus did, we should remember that he questioned the established religious beliefs. He dared to seek and show a better version of God than the existing religious authorities had created. How many of us truly act like Jesus in that way? Even the religion that asks us to follow Jesus (and tells us that we cannot have God if we don't follow Jesus) often condemns those who act as he did in this attacking those who dare to seek more or share a new vision of God...attacking those who actually attempt to "do what Jesus did". In this way, many are acting more like those who condemned and crucified Jesus rather than followers of his example.

The next time you hear or say that phrase, "What would Jesus do?" or see the acronym WWJD, take the time to think it through for what Jesus actually did and how he behaved, or at least in the very limited glimpse of his behavior that the chosen 4 gospels allow us to see. Dare to read the now available hidden gospels that the Church went to great lengths to cover up, even killing in order to eradicate their messages. (Hmmm...there must have been something pretty good in there if they were that afraid for us to even get a chance to read them!). In your daily actions, ask if you are doing all that you can to truly know God in the manner that Jesus did, or are you simply taking the more chosen and prescribed route. If you are not doing everything you can to see more, then you are not fully serving God, yourself, or humanity by even attempting to be all that you can be and allow God to be all that God can be.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Gratitude for a Miracle...and the Power of "Feeling Prayer"

My friend Ruth's elderly father was in the hospital recently with failed kidneys. He had been there for several weeks and had been on dialysis to keep his body functioning. His condition was not good, obviously, and I asked if she would like for me to come to the hospital to try some Reiki on him, adding that I understood that his generation sometimes has a very hard time with anything like this, so it would not hurt my feelings if she turned down the offer.

Ruth agreed that it might be a little strange for her dad to receive Reiki, since he might not understand that it is just a method of deeper prayer. He even considers her practice of Reflexology to be a little "woo-woo" and out there! So I offered to do a Reiki prayer candle for him and she thought that would be great. I knew that many people had been praying for him, and did the 15 minute candle prayer/meditation, asking that it magnify my own prayers as well as those of others. A couple of days after this, Ruth emailed me to let me know that her father had suddenly rallied, and that she knew that the Reiki energy was a turning point. His kidney function had started regenerating (which is almost unheard of after complete failure). We continued distance energy with a group prayer candle at a Reiki meeting, and within a couple of weeks time, her father was completely off of dialysis and heading home from the hospital...a miracle in action!

Scientist Gregg Braden has done tremendous work in connecting science and spirituality/religion, showing the congruence therein. He has traversed the globe studying and practicing the ancient forms of "feeling" energy that deepen the practice of prayer, invoking meditation that connects one's soul to God in a deeper way. His site (see "Recommended links") sums up many of his studies. His book, "Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer" is an easy read that summarizes the history of prayer and how we lost the art of feeling prayer centuries ago, leaving our connection to God less powerful than it could be.

This scientific and spiritual analysis confirms the things that I feel through Reiki and other deep meditation. Once we learn to feel our prayers truly and deeply, rather than just speaking them, we can create miracles. This "feeling" is faith exemplified. Rather than just asking and waiting, we connect to the energy of God and feel the prayer being answered... feel the love of God healing our wounds and making us whole again. In doing this, we are demonstrating that we truly do have faith that the miracle will occur, and we know that faith is the energy that creates miracles.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Trusting Your Gut...And Venturing Into the Unknown

This past week, I followed my gut and took a trip. Several months ago, I came across a Bed & Breakfast Inn for sale and had felt very curious about it. The odd thing was that I had not particularly been interested in such an endeavor in the past, but suddenly was very interested and very curious about this particular property... in Kentucky...and quite far away from my home in Georgia. My curiousity stemmed from a sudden strong feeling that one possible avenue to venture into with this healing work would be owning an inn, one with enough business to make it a viable operation on its own, but where healing work and retreats could take place in the down season. I don't know positively that this is the one direction for me, but I do know that the thoughts are coming to me as one possible option for sharing gifts and educating others about the many wonderful things that are happening on the spiritual front.

I had put this particular thought on the back burner for a few months while continuing to study and practice the things that could make me more helpful to others, but it had crept back into my thoughts. About two weeks ago, I received an email from the owner, who has fallen on poor health, to see if I still had an interest in the inn. I took this cue as a sign to at least go look at the place and planned a spontaneous trip to see it. Whether or not any purchase ever transpires, I know that my willingness to follow that hunch and act upon something somewhat far-fetched was rewarding. We so often live in our well-planned worlds, never venturing into the unknown, and doing so can be invigorating no matter what the outcome. The simple act of following can strengthen and reward us by helping us open our minds past the known and scheduled existence that we fall into.

I also used this trip to venture farther north into Ohio to visit a new friend that I have met on this spiritual journey - a woman whom I have only spent a total of a few hours with, but feel like I have known her for a very long time, and as if our journey was supposed to converge for the good of each of us and good of others. Through her, I had heard about her friend Denny, who was in a bad accident in January and had been in a coma and with brain damage, and is now going through a difficult recovery process to regain his physical and mental capabilities. When I heard about his story, I felt immediately connected to him and his family and started following the website that charted his progress, while also praying and sending distance energy to him. I was so touched by his family and their faith and commitment, and knew that I would somehow be connected to them for mutal blessing. Several weeks ago, when one of his daughters called me to ask me to do another Reiki prayer candle for her dad, because they felt like that was his turning point, I was moved to tears. Their acknowledgment strengthened my faith in the magnified power of "feeling prayer" and Reiki.

I met this family and spent the day at the hospital with them, again feeling like our connection was meant to be and that I was blessed to know them. As odd as it was for someone to come to town (a virtual stranger) wanting to pray and provide Reiki to their husband/father, they welcomed me with open arms, and we had some great moments. I know that Denny's accident and recovery - and the strong faith of his family, friends, and new friends like me - has a purpose to touch and inspire many people on many levels. It has already inspired me - to watch his continued progress and watch the faith that so many are placing in his recovery - to watch the willingness of the family to venture into unknown possibilities with courage and strength. And for me, to experience how wonderful it feels to let go of restraints and just act on intuition was an experience in itself. I am already so blessed just by venturing to meet these people and share their path with them.

Many of us are quick to help our friends and loved ones when they are in need, which is great, but we seldom look past the needs of those not in our immediate circle - to strangers - to offer our love and support. Perhaps it is our fear of being rejected, perhaps it is just that we don't feel truly connected with anyone who isn't right around us or who isn't "one of us". Once we learn that we are all connected and that unconditional love - like the love of Christ - means giving even to those who we know little about - without the expectation that they be "like us" or think "like us" in order to feel a connection or to give freely. Giving love and support to strangers can teach us that we all are truly connected and that we all have the same needs of feeling loved and valued exactly as we are, without any strings attached, without any expectations in return.

So many times in life we are afraid to hang it out there. We have instincts or callings, but if they are not within the norms of what most people do, we worry about what people will think if we follow them. I can tell you that the simple act of taking an unusual step, the act of just being what you feel instead of being what you think you're supposed to be to fit others' mold can be the most liberating step that you can take, and can connect you to the power in your soul that you may not have felt in a very long time, if ever. Live in the moment! Follow your curiousities and intuition even if they are odd or unconventional, and you will be amazed at the joy and satisfaction it can lead to. Do something unusual or daring, and you will benefit from the simple process, no matter what the ultimate outcome. Trust your own instincts in faith, and they will lead you to a greater version of yourself. They will lead you to blessings and miracles.

If you would like to follow Denny's story and send your own prayers and loving energy his way, the website is
(The Caring Bridge site is an excellent tool for communicating information and progress of long term patient situations - so if you know anyone with that need, pass the site link on to them!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Seeing and Seeking Beyond the Ordinary

My husband loves nature photography, particularly floral and botanical shots. This is not his profession, although he has a real gift that he is developing into a rather serious hobby. ( I recently sat down to view and choose some photographs to use in a project, and I was so struck by how profoundly more beautiful simple things can be if we take the time to look beyond the surface as he has - if we look beyond what we usually see through our filtered lenses. Such overlooked beauty exists in so many things around us - if we will view them from varied and deeper perspectives.

The way we live our lives is often similar to this. We only see the surface of our existence, but never really go deeper to see more - never getting real or taking the time to see how much more we can be. I think we fail to do this, in part, because we are afraid to know how beautiful and talented we really are. We choose to live mechanical, mundane lives, coloring strictly inside the lines that society has prescribed, instead of living boundlessly and becoming everything that God made us to be. It is so much easier to believe that we are not special or to run from our uniqueness that we rarely dare to discover our true beauty or our true gifts. If we know there might be much more to us (or even much more to God), there might be too much expected of us, too much upheavel to our scripted lives, so we often settle for the ordinary - in our lives and in our faith.

Imagine how much better the world could be if we let down our specified guidelines for how everyone should progress through life - if we started to celebrate our uniqueness rather than ostracizing those who are different and criticizing those who think or live differently than we do. If we did this just long enough to let our own beauty and gifts shine through and to encourage it in others, we would see many problems dissolve in our own lives and those around us. Doing this collectively on a large scale would create tremendous improvements in the world. We often think of miracles as only tangible physical "cures", but sometimes greater miracles occur when we simply change the way we think, both toward ourselves and toward others. For me, this is what the message of Jesus was all about - creating miracles through loving one another. It sums up what he tried so hard to teach, but has often been misunderstood.

Take the time to look beyond the surface and the obvious in your daily path, both visually and within yourself. Dare to let go enough to find the things that make your soul sing, no matter how strange or different they may seem to the rest of the world. Dare to look beyond the surface to see more. If you surrender to your greatest self, your highest self (the miraculous creature that God made each of us to be) you will be a renewed person who lives in joy and touches those around you. What a great way to live each day! It may not be easy to live authentically from your soul, and it may cause upheaval with some around you, but each time you do so, you will begin to rediscover your true self.

If we wish to free ourselves from enslavement, we must choose freedom and the responsibility this entails. - - Leo Buscaglia, Author

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Only Thing We Have to Fear...

In my healing work with others, I see many miracles...changes in a person's outlook on life, changes in their physcial health, changes that provide them a new connection to their souls. Many miraculous changes happen suddenly, others through a course of progressive steps. I am often told that I have changed someone's life, which is a very touching thing to be told; however, I know that it is all through the healing energy of love...the healing power of God, if we choose to love unconditionally, as God loves.

It is because I have seen so many rapid changes and miracles that I write this blog, because I know that it is an important message to get out to people - to make them that life is really much easier than we make it. The answers - and our bliss - are right there for us if we only ask and let go of our judgments about ourselves and others. The first step in doing so is often the most difficult, because of our own fears of venturing out. Yet I have seen time after time, that once this step is made, and once one is open to miraculous transformations, that they begin to flow regularly and with ease.

Our societal conditioning makes us think that we cannot heal or that we should not expect other difficulties of our lives to be better. It is this failure to believe that prevents miraculous things from happening. A small amount of belief will start us on a new path of change, a new path that will lead to a more beautiful existence, but we have been trained to believe that they will not occur. There are many miracles happening in the world of spiritual healing, yet many of these things get ignored or stifled by the more powerful elements of our society - those who don't want us to be empowered or to no longer need them. Ironically, some of the very institutions that should connect us to this powerful information actually do the opposite, and try to diminish it.

Franklin D. Roosevelt told us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. How appropriate those words are, not just to the nation in distress when he spoke them, but to individuals on a daily basis. If we could overcome fear, we would have an entirely different existence both as individuals and in the world at large. We are often afraid to even glimpse outside of the packaged and prescribed beliefs and standards that have been fed to us, which means that we cannot gain more, and can only expect more of the often dismal or distressing patterns that mankind has historically created.

But those individuals who dare to think outside the box, to open their eyes to something more, will surely see a new and more beautiful world with less suffering. Each one who does so will shine brighter on their neighbor and will begin to be part of a dramatic changes all around them. We are all being called to awaken to the miracles around us at this time in history, to do our part to make the world a better place. We can feel it in the unrest in our souls, the part of us that knows we are here to do more than our packaged and planned lives allow us. The first step is opening our hearts and minds to something better than we have ever known, and releasing any fear or control that has kept us from doing so in the past. Please let down your own doubts or fears and take the time to read entries on this blog to see if they speak to you on any level. Then examine some of the links on this page, or read some of the Testimonials & FAQs on my website about healing and transformation (link on upper right column). Feel free to comment with miracles or information of your own. Together, we can magnify miracles by beginning to acknowledge and share them.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Whenever Two or More Are Gathered...

Matthew 18:20 says, "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them." Since I know that Jesus is love and non-judgment, I believe that the deeper meaning of this statement is that whenever we gather in love and acceptance - seeing the goodness in each other - the pure love of Jesus/God is with us. And in those places in our joined hearts, we will have miracles of many sorts.

Today, I hosted a Reiki meetup at my home for the first time. The meeting evolved through word-of-mouth/email, and included people who have studied and practiced Reiki formally, as well as those who were not very familiar with it but eager to learn more. Although we did not discuss religion in particular at the meeting, I know that some of the formal religious backgrounds of attendees was varied..."born again" Christian, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Unity, others unknown to me...but the denomination did not matter, as each person was there to give and receive loving energy to one another, regardless of that person's belief system. The experiences were varied, although I think it would be accurate to say that each of the 20 or so people left feeling uplifted, some tremendously uplifted, some telling me they knew their lives would not be the same again after the experience. On the physical level, several of us had immediate benefits of reduction of tension, pain, sinus trouble, etc...but the spiritual benefits will be even deeper.

We shared this powerful energy of Reiki, which is based in loving one another and seeing the goodness in each and every individual rather than any faults...seeing them without judging them. Wonderful things happen when we put down our armour or our need to be "right" or convert others to our way, and simply love our neighbor...and just as importantly, love ourselves, in the way that God loves us and sees our perfection rather than our imperfection. The power of God was definitely present in our meeting, both its strength and softness evident to all.

I know that we will each get something remarkable from that meeting, whether it is being rejuventated, awakened, healed, or uplifted, each will get some good benefit, and our own higher vibration will affect those around us. I expect miracles to occur from that great energy. I already feel miracles and clarity for myself and look forward to the days ahead as these are revealed.

Why am I sharing this?....Because it is my hope that many more people will begin to open their hearts and their minds to the amazing power of energetic healing like Reiki, or will simply choose to let down their guard or pre-conceived ideas and be open to more God, more love, more miracles. I have felt its life-changing effect for myself, and have seen the same in others. If one is open and receptive, it can and will change your life for the better in very quick fashion.

Please note: If you are interested in attending one of these free Reiki meetups to experience the energy, or in being included on my Reiki prayer lists, please visit my website at the link on this page (upper right) and email me.