Monday, August 31, 2009

Are You Being Held Captive?

One of the major current news stories is that of Jaycee Lee Dugard, the 29 year old woman who was held captive for 18 years after being abducted when she was 11 years old. From reports, she had ample opportunity to escape or make contact with her family or the authorities, working in the kidnappers' home-based business and enjoying use of Internet and telephones, as well as freedom of movement. Jaycee's story is an example of Stockholm Syndrome, in which captives begin to sympathize with their captors and adopt the captors' views, or think that they are safer with those who have abducted them.Despite having freedom available to her, Jaycee chose to stay with the kidnappers, enduring rape, even giving birth to 2 children fathered by Phillip Garido.

These stories are so difficult for us to fathom, as we question why anyone would choose captivity, choose to stay with their captors, never challenging or saying anything. Even with freedom at their disposal, they choose instead to stay. In this case, the captive was a child when abducted, but Stockholm Syndrome is reported even in abducted adults. It seems hard for us to imagine, yet it is a somewhat common occurrence in these situations.

While this concept seems shocking when we think of it in terms of physical captivity, most of us have succumbed to this affliction in our minds, our souls, our social and spiritual thinking, to some degree or another. We demonstrate this each time we agree to society's norms or fall victim to the rules that hold us back from our true joy, each time we follow prescribed thoughts and practices without question, afraid to step outside of the lines, afraid to be our true selves, willingly adopting the identity that was put upon us by parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, ministers, neighbors, peers - by our collective society, generally all well-meaning, but nonetheless restraining. These ideas are put upon us when we are young, like Jaycee was, and as we mature we begin to believe them, just as she did. We obediently follow this set of limits, confining ourselves voluntarily from the greater life that lies beyond, finding false comfort in our immediate safety or surroundings.

Once we have bought into sympathizing with our captor (the predetermined thoughts that society gives us through school, church, media, peer pressure), we are our own prison guard, relinquishing real life and freedom just to keep those around us happy, just to prevent their disappointment or rejection. It feels safe to stay within the boundaries, safe because we do not have to make decisions or be accountable, safe because we don't upset the apple cart of our own reservations. Even when we KNOW there is something better, even when we feel it deep within our souls, we are reluctant to accept it.

Marianne Williamson has said,
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

We do not fear being inadequate because that is what we are told either directly or in the more subtle ways that society, religion or individuals may tell us. We readily accept the negative things we are told..."You are not good enough..You are are not are will never amount to anything...You are selfish...greedy...lazy...sloppy...not disiplined enough...disorganized...fat...skinny...ugly...dumb...sinful...
Once we attach to any of these negative thoughts, they are implanted upon our psyche like a parasite, eating away at our true greatness. Even when we succeed or hear good things, they come with conditions that keep us bound by more limits.

Our most difficult fear to overcome is the realization that WE have the power, that we are actually in control of our own destinies. This is partly because we have been taught that we are flawed and partly because we don't want to feel responsible for being more. It is much safer to just stay within the boundaries and limitations than it is to look this fear in the eye and overcome it. Yet, just as in the cases of many Stockholm Syndrome victims, we have the freedom to leave when we want to. Claiming our freedom may require that we turn our thinking upside down until we can reverse our distortions to find our truth, find our way back to our true selves, to our oneness with the Creator, our unity with the Universe and all that it holds.

Do you suffer from Stockholm Syndrome in your life? Are your views truly your own, or mostly from those that have been implanted in your mind, particularly when you were young and impressionable? Do you think of yourself as limitless or limited? I think that many of us set up our spiritual beliefs based on what is around us and what we have been told. We do not seek to see or feel more because we are afraid of seeing our power and greatness.

But the good news is that Stockholm Syndrome is reversible. Escaping captivity and living in freedom is as simple as changing your thoughts, adopting new ideas, opening your mind to realize that you are more, that you will no longer be limited by the boundaries that others try to impose. At this time in history, it is much easier to challenge our thoughts and open our minds because there are so many more resources available to us for communication and dialogue, and because more and more people are heeding the call to do so (safety in numbers!) Do not fear your freedom -embrace it. Embrace the power you have within you to choose a new life and new way, as so many others are doing right now. Look around, listen, read, observe, connect.

Therein lies your way home.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Human Cells Respond to Energy Healing (link)

I recently came across a Reiki blog that offers some good information and insights about energy healing. This particular post was very interesting to me because it discusses a controlled study which demonstrated the effects of energy healing work on cells. The study shows that energy work which carries the intention of healing can have a noticeable effect on cells, offering such hope and promise for the future of alternative therapies based in energy and intent. Sometimes people need proof in order to believe that something is real or has real benefits, and studies like these can help open minds through bits of evidence, whick will possibly make more people try alternative healing methods.

Please enjoy this post on Lynda Lippin's blogsite, "Reiki Goddess" (linked below). For those of you who practice healing energy work, let it fuel you to do more, knowing that your good intention and energy can have such great benefits around you. For those who are curious about such work, I hope that it will encourage you to read more about these topics or even to try energy healing for yourself.

Reiki Goddess: Human Cells Respond to Energy Healing

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Benefits of Reiki & the Surrounding Controversy

Since health care and its expense are such a topic these days, I think it is important to point out that we do have options available to us that could significantly reduce the costs associated with it, as well as possibly get our bodies in better health through practices that integrate mind, body, and soul. One such option is Reiki, which I practice regularly (click on the link at top right for more specific info about the Reiki that I provide and my experiences with it). This practice has shown me both physical and spiritual benefits, and is something that has been very dear to me in my journey toward God.

It has recently been estimated that approximately 15% of hospitals in the U.S. now offer Reiki to patients, among these are such notable names as Yale Children's Hospital (New Haven, CT) , Duke Integrative Medicine (Durham, NC) , Sloan Kettering and Columbia Medical Hospital (both in NYC). At first, this was a slow process with only a few hospitals adding Reiki, some offering it as a regular hospital service, others through a volunteer system. Many within the medical community balked at the suggestion that it could offer benefits, or even mocked those medical professionals who were encouraging it, but because of promising results and good patient response, other hospitals began to take note and add Reiki to their own offerings.

Some medical benefits that have been reported are faster healing, and less need for pain medication - no small observations. If Reiki can help reduce or eliminate the pain for those who are ill enough to be hospitalized, just think what it can do for our day-to-day health needs or preventative practices...just think of the potential savings as well as the improved quality of life that could be enjoyed by so many people if chronic pain issues could be reduced, or healing of wounds or ailments enhanced. I have experienced these outcomes for myself, and have been blessed to witness them in others.

In addition to actual physical benefits, Reiki is known by many to enhance spiritual experiences as well. Of late, many groups and powerful organizations have begun to take very negative stances about Reiki, perhaps because of its increasingly widespread use with so many people having such positive things to report about it...perhaps because it threatens their own stance or the power that they enjoy. In particular, Catholic Bishops in the United States have spoken out about Reiki as "dangerous" (see post from 3/28/09 "Using Fear to Control"). This came in spite of, or perhaps because of, many Catholic nuns practicing Reiki, seeing great results through offering it to their communities and hospitals, as well as using it for their own spiritual progress or healing. Other vocal Christian groups have joined in the conquest to eradicate Reiki or put fear about it into their followers. Let's just hope they don't return to the Witch Hunts or the Inquisition! :)

As a lifelong Christian myself, I cannot for the life of me understand this fear. This practice does nothing to undermine my faith; in fact, it greatly enhances it - and far more than ANY of my experiences in several denominations and many religion based organizations or activities that I have been part of throughout my life. For religion to debunk or even go so far as to denounce a practice that provides pain relief, calmness, peace, or serenity is almost unfathomable to me. For anyone to try to decide for others what their spiritual practices should be, or to try to block or prevent others from new experiences that might enhance both their physical well-being and their emotional or spiritual well-being, is simply sad in its fearfulness. To me, it shows a lack of faith in God's magnificence, not a demonstration of it.

However...I am heartened that it is apparent from these actions that Reiki and other methods of spirituality have taken hold and gotten enough attention to make it seem important for religious groups to attack. A few years ago, the word "Reiki" was not familiar to most people. I remember having to explain it to friends, some of whom looked at me with confusion or as if I had gone off the deep end (although others had an immediate curiosity). I believe it is because of Reiki's great benefits that the practice is spreading so quickly - its benefit speaks for itself, and more and more people are beginning to appreciate the benefits and share that with others.

Throughout history, new ideas or practices that threatened the power of the church, oppressive governments, or others in power have been attacked or rebuked. On the religious front, Galileo was denounced by the church for suggesting that the sun was the center of our universe rather than the Earth....because it was said to go against Holy Scripture. He was forbidden to talk about it and his works were banned (similar to the way the Bishops banned Reiki, but thankfully without the power to imprison). In later times, obviously, it was discovered that Galileo was right, and we have had many advancements to human existence through the further exploration of his ideas.

Galileo has been quoted as saying,
You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.

God cannot be taught through studying limited books or memorizing scripture, nor can he be taught by listening to sermons; God can only be discovered in oneself. If we rely on others - whether they be church authorities, government authorities, or simply forceful or demanding friends and relatives - to decide our spiritual existence or define God for us, we cannot reach greater truths. We cannot know our full power and purpose with God if we easily relinquish it to the pressure of others, and I think we should be leery of anyone who tries to dictate God to us. If we indeed have a responsibility to Him, I think it is more likely to be one that tells us to explore rather than ignore, experience rather than be trained, learn by heart rather than by rote.

Please do not be fearful of Reiki because of denouncement by religions or religious people, whether well intentioned or not. If you have had a curiosity about it or a desire to try it, don't let others scare you away. Perhaps you have heard of it or have that curiousity because God put it there, just like God may have planted the thoughts about the Universe in Galileo's mind. Seek to experience life yourself. You may just find a greater God and a greater you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stepping Up for Change

We're a nation of laws, but the good thing about America, is that laws reside in the people and people can change the laws. (Rick Warren)

Unrest is brewing in our world. Town hall meetings are being attended by citizens who want the truth, who are no longer satisfied with the ways of Washington and are willing to make the effort to say it in a loud way. So many of us are getting tired of the way the system is being run - we are tired of both the left and the right, ready to challenge them to do better, to put their own agendas aside and find real ways to solve problems by letting go of ear marks, special interests, political aspirations,and the like, letting go of their hold and control so that individuals can be more. We, the mainstream, are getting restless.

One of the great beauties of the United States, with all of our warts and flaws, is that the foundation of our country was based on the ability to change, by setting up an evolving set of laws that could be altered as we learned and shifted. Our founders were brilliant in that respect - in understanding that our thinking is often flawed or caught in the context of the times, and that a good government needed to have the ability to change as people changed. Had it not been for that, we may not have ended slavery, may not have extended the vote to women or to those who did not own land. We may never have declared that people had a right to freedom of speech or the free exercise of religion. The ability and willingness to change, even if you don't agree with all of the changes, is what makes us a strong nation, not perfect, but strong because we can open our minds or accept debate. When we shift too far in one direction, the pendulum swings back, and eventually (hopefully) we will find a good place in the middle that respects all and allows similar freedom and opportunity for all.

I think that right now there is a voice telling us to "speak up...say 'enough is enough'...expect more...expect better". While I think it is important that people are beginning to show this unrest in the political arena, I think it is even more important that we do so in the spiritual or religious community. Just as our government and its laws reside in the people, God resides in each of us, not in an institution. There are so many wonderful things happening for those who are opening their minds and surrendering to a greater purpose, a greater God, a greater self - that we should not contain it or hide it. We should apply the same ability to change and evolve in our spiritual practices, always ready to learn and grow. If we allow our society to strongly hold on to one set standard of what God is, or cling to what God said many, many years ago as the ONLY thing that God could have said or the only version of God, we are denying Him the opportunity to show us more. We are now ready to be shown more, and it is time to allow that. Jesus faced the same obstacles in his messages of asking those of his time to seek more God than their religions of the time had shown them.

For my own path, I have surrendered several times to be more...surrendered to a purpose greater than myself. Along the way, I have had many fears to release, one being that those who challenge heavily entrenched religious ideas are often attacked mercilessly. I have always been a person that could respect others' religious opinions and "agree to disagree"...or to continue to debate with respect, and it can be very hurtful when others don't extend that to you, when they attack you or judge you unfairly, simply because you are asking for more from God. I know that the intend in my heart is good, and that will lead me forward.

Within the last week or so, I have experienced yet another moment of surrender, knowing that I had done enough of the quiet, behind-the-scenes work to get me to this place to say more, do more - yet I still had fear to release - fear of attacks that may come may way. But I also know deep within my soul that there are more people who will step up and experience more, share more - and who will be willing to be initiators of change, even if only in their own life and amongst their closes friends. It doesn't take a monumental effort - just living in a different way, such as letting go of judgment of others, to make a difference.

I can already feel assurance from God that there are others out there who are feeling this calling toward a greater spiritual experience and who will be willing to step up and claim it. The readership of this blog is beginning to take off, and I know that we are finding each other to walk this journey together. We have a great path to change things for the better, and it will be an amazing excursion if enough of us step into our purpose. If you feel called to this journey, feel free to comment on posts, or email me for a more personal connection ( We are in this together...and together we can change the world.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Messed Up Life or Perfect Path?

A few nights ago, when I had the television on, I kept hearing an advertisement from a local church heavily pushing a new series they have entitled, "My Messed Up Life". This ad was on at least 5 or 6 times in an hour time frame. I can understand that the church is probably trying to help people in this time of heightened difficulty or crisis, but it struck me that our perception of the obstacles that come our way plays a great part in their outcome or in what we ultimately get from them. My post yesterday, "Are You Choosing Heaven" discusses this. If we perceive our life as only "messed up" or full of problems, rather than seeing the beauty of opportunity in those events, then we will stay in a "messed up" state, possibly finding a band-aid fix to the immediate pain, but not getting to the deeper root of it.

I believe that our problems are usually one of two things:
1) Our own creation through our fears and negative thoughts about ourselves or others.
2) Exactly what we need for learning and perfecting...a situation has been sent our way to teach us what we came here to learn and give us and opportunity to "get it".

Rather than going inward and understanding ourselves better, getting in touch with our souls and what is trying to be told to us, we tend to run elsewhere for a quick fix, often to other individuals or institutions who have the exact same problem. Lately, our societal attentions have been very focussed on economic troubles. These are presented to us as only a bad thing - how sad, how terrible...who can we blame or get angry at? In reality, the economic "troubles" are a gift allowing us the mass opportunity to get back to a simpler, less materialistic, more real that does not rely on outer things to measure our success. If we feel lack from having less money or less security, it is only because we do not look at it in the right light, as a chance to simplify and truly enjoy a life that is off of the treadmill, one that is better than the materialistic norms that we have come to believe are good.

In the case of this church, I cannot say their intent with this "messed up life" message, but from the way they have repeated these ads over and over, I think it is fair to say that they are doing a hard (and expensive) sell to get more people in the pews. Not that such an endeavor is a bad thing in and of itself, but the irony is that their own example seems to have been one that bought into the "more is better" concept, living an example of materialism or outward possessions for measuring success,much like the behavior of the general public which created many of the financial troubles. It is a mega church like many that grew rapidly over the last decade or so, partly through hard sells such as this. From the comments of members and their outward impressions, it seemed that worth and success have been measured very much by buildings, jumbotrons, large high edn cafeterias, and massive structures. I understand that this church is perhaps trying to heal pain (both its own and that of the community) with the "messed up life" series, but I have to wonder if its example has not been part of the problem that it is now wanting to "save" others from. I have to wonder if, and hope that, they have first examined their own priorities before providing others advice. A pulpit carries such power, sometimes justified, sometimes not. If the energy or philosophy behind the message is in error or if the leaders are not examining the church's priorities or example, the results can be very damaging. There is an old saying that you have to "clean out your own backyard before you clean out others.", and that is something that we all need to heed for our own spiritual cleansing...being more concerned about how we can cleanse and fix our own situation before we start fixing other people, or even deciding that they need fixing.

But my bigger question or frustration about the "messed up life" message is why a church, people of God, cannot simply sit back and appreciate that there is beauty in struggle, that it sometimes means God is speaking to us as individuals, then get out of the way and let God do the talking and the teaching through experiences that we are given. God can teach much better than anyone else, and direct experiences with God are much more powerful than what another can create for us. Letting go and letting God is a wonderful way to live, both in our churches and in our personal or professional lives, but we often run for the quick fix.

Einstein (one of my favorite persons to quote) said,
"You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew."

We MUST learn to see the world anew, to see God anew, to see the beauty around us rather than the mess. The first step in doing that is to release the limitations we have placed upon God, and open ourselves up to new ideas. I KNOW that God is waiting for us to make this step, and has miracles in store for each of us who does so. I have experienced it in my own life to the extent that I am regularly in awe of the way God works and how things work out that I never could have imagined possible. I have seen the same in others that I work with through Reiki, intuitive readings,distance energy, prayers,deep discussion, or just sharing our own miracles. Once a person is ready for that interaction with God and declares or seeks that, it WILL come, in a much more powerful way than a series about fixing your life, or a book, or a blog can do. These things can lead us down a path, but until we go directly to God and ask for his personal partnership (one that is direct and not subject to others' limitations), until we take charge of our own relationship with God and take responsibility for it, letting go of the old to see anew (like Jesus did), we cannot have our very best relationship with Him, nor can we live out our fullest potential or our Divine plan and purpose.

I know that some who are reading this blog are feeling a resonance within their souls that there is something to this message, because many of us are being awakened in mass at this time. We KNOW there is more, but we are sometimes afraid to seek it because of limitations that have been placed in our brains about what God is or is not, or because those around us might question or scorn us. But are those people who want to hold you back with respect to God acting in your best interest? I think not. They cannot replace what God can provide for you, if you will only ask for it and allow it. Seek more, find more. It is there for you...just ask, and follow.

I am happy to help people find a path that works for them in connecting with God, angels, and their greater purpose (and I believe doing so is part of my purpose), but I ultimately leave the specific course up to them because only the individual can decide what God wants from them or what their purpose or best path is. If anyone is reading this and would like to try some energy work or other avenues through my assistance, feel free to contact me:, or read my website for more information:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Are You Choosing Heaven?

Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find. (-Wayne Dyer)

This quote from Wayne Dyer sums up why we have misery in our lives. It is our perception about our situation that makes it miserable, not the situation itself. By choosing to look at the events of our lives as gifts, knowing that the Universe (God) will provide us exactly what we need in each step, we will overcome any problems and have Heaven on a daily basis. By focusing instead on the misery - as so many people choose to do, as our media chooses to do, as our leaders or ministers choose to do - we stay in the place of misery...our own Hell. Heaven is there for us all the time, we just choose not to see it.

We all have "problems" in our lives. They are merely avenues for us to learn something more quickly, gifts that help us to move forward in our spiritual awareness at a faster pace. By seeing these obstacles as gifts, we take their power away and reclaim our own. As soon as our perception changes, so does the situation. As soon as we decide not to let the misery own us, but instead to use it to make us stronger, that misery loses any strength it has over our lives.

I have, for most of my life, been a person who sees "the glass half full" and have generally had a positive outlook on life, knowing that hardship has its benefits and that everything happens for a reason. In the same way that exercising our bodies, even though it is unpleasant at times, makes us physically stronger and healthier, exercising our inner strength to overcome obstacles makes us mentally and emotionally stronger, unless we let the hardship defeat us. Yet, even with the positive attitude or awareness, I sometimes fall into the negative trap as well, and I always notice that when I head in that direction, it is so easy to let it spiral; but when I snap out of it, everything is suddenly okay and solutions appear that I had not thought about. When I give the negative issue less merit, it has less strength. It is sometimes hard to remember this in the moment, but I am working on it, and I have noticed great improvement in my recovery speed and my ability to "choose Heaven" again with less delay. It truly is a choice, and one the we must remind ourselves to make each and every day until it becomes the only way we live.

Most of us know individuals who seem to cling to misery like a child clings to a security blanket, not wanting to let go of their excuses because it might require that they actually be accountable for their own happiness, their own Heaven. They want to find happiness, or have it find them, rather than just choosing it. Sometimes, being around these individuals keeps us in their low energy, causes us to not to choose our own Heaven, but we have to learn to detach from others' misery just as we have to detach from our own. Misery may love company, but it cannot make us happy or help us choose heaven. We must choose to move beyond misery, whether it is our own misery, or that of those around us.

If you would like to let go of your misery and choose Heaven on Earth, make a list of the good things in your life and be grateful for them. Then (and this is the harder part) make another list of the bad things or the difficulties you have faced...AND BE GRATEFUL FOR THEM. Alongside each item on your list, note something that you gained from it (i.e. "I became stronger"...."losing that job opened me up to finding a better one (or helped me reassess my life/career".... "that person treating me badly helped me see that I needed to move on from that relationship".

This process of being grateful for the negative events sets us free from their hold on us, liberating us from the misery we are clinging to, even if in subtle ways. It is a truly empowering process, and one that is so potent that it can change your life, helping you receive more positive events. Let go of your misery and choose Heaven - choose to see perfection. It will diffuse every thing that is negative in your life.

Finding Your Meditation Style

For many in the general public, the idea of meditation conjures of images of a stiff and strict lotus position, or gives the idea of a foreign idea of worship, leaving them feeling intimidated about the practice. However, the benefits of a meditative state can be achieved in different ways for different people, some methods being as simple as doing an activity that relaxes you. The difference in what makes something a leisure activity vs meditation can be a simple as the intent behind it. provides the following definitions for meditation.

1. To reflect on; contemplate.
2. To plan in the mind; intend: meditated a visit to her daughter.
3. Buddhism & Hinduism. To train, calm, or empty the mind, often by achieving an altered state, as by focusing on a single object.
4. To engage in devotional contemplation, especially prayer.
5. To think or reflect, especially in a calm and deliberate manner.

It is said that 20 minutes of meditation can provide a physical benefit similar to 8 hours sleep. Beyond that, the spiritual benefits can be even more powerful. Any quiet thought can be a form of meditation, if on a level that seeks to tap into the deeper part of the soul for answers. Likewise, any activity that provides calm assurance can be an avenue for obtaining a meditative state or the benefits of such. Walks in nature provide that avenue for me, observing and listening to animals, absorbing sunlight that filters through tree limbs, or walking along a beach to breathe in the salt air. Practicing Reiki is another way that I connect more deeply, by focusing on the energy of love as it flows through me. Each of these gets me to a place of stillness in my soul where I can more readily tap into the knowledge that is either within me or available to me, knowledge beyond things that I have been taught or have learned through study or experience.

Albert Einstein, arguably one of the greatest minds of modern times, once said, The only real valuable thing is intuition. Many in our modern world frown upon intuition as a source of knowledge, or at least if it is used in any deep way, thinking that if you can't prove something through facts and logic, that it must not exist; but Einstein was in tune enough to know that some knowledge is deep within us - that the most important thing we can do is to find ways to touch and utilitize that intution in order to reach greater heights and tap into our true potential. It is this knowledge of intuition that we can touch only through our willingness to go to a calm, reflective state.

You may find that you get into a state of heightened awareness or connection through prayer, through a round of golf, through working in the garden, drifting off for a light nap, or through a combination of many things, but the important thing is to intend to go there to seek your answers and your truth - to let other things fall along the wayside in order to daydream, to escape, to reflect. You should not only go there, but go there often. As you begin to find avenues to get to a better state that is more in touch with your self and your soul - more in touch with God - you may wish to venture into other methods for even deeper meditation. Set aside time that is just for your meditation and reflection, and you will begin to find answers to problems you are facing or questions you have about life. The answers are always waiting for you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"What Can I Do To Start A Spiritual Journey?"

Oftentimes, when people talk to me about spirituality and wanting to make a shift or a move that leaves them feeling closer to God and spirit, I am asked this question, "What can I do to start a spiritual journey?", or it may be "I have always been a follower of God, but I want more and I don't know where to start". The answer can vary depending on the person, but I would say that a good first step is to ask God for signs and answers...ask in a very specific way. Ask a question, and give God an easy way to communicate so that it will be clear to you...even ask that it be made very obvious so that you will know for sure it is not your imagination or coincidence. God, angels, and spirit want to make it easy for us, we just don't always give them avenues in which to do that.

Begin to talk to God, ask questions, ask for signs..."God I need to know that you are me _________to give me that reassurance". You might ask for butterflies, ladybugs, a hawk, a certain number or color. Then let go and don't force it, but be open to the sign coming in various forms. For example, you may not see a live ladybug, but you may be in a store and have your eyes suddenly pulled to a greeting card that has a ladybug on it. Or you may have a ladybug land on your hand!

The point is that God wants to communicate with us and wants us to reconnect in a more real way than just praying for "His will". He wants us to play an active role in the creation of our lives, to step up to live our individual and collective destinies, but our world sometimes leaves little room for communication. Providing simple avenues to begin to hear and feel spirit in a deeper way gets us reconnected with God, just as email and internet provide avenues for old friends to reconnect, even across miles and after many years apart.

Once you get comfortable with this simple way of communicating, you will be more aware and better able to feel God around you, to feel His presence and hear His voice within your soul. At this point, you will probably feel much more open to reading and hearing about new ideas of God, so venture out in your reading or your activities. Try a book by a spiritual author (see "recommended links" to right/below for many authors that I like), browse through a spiritual section of a bookstore, see what books call to you...and they will if you allow it! I have had books fall of the shelf to get me to notice them, and they were always just what I needed to read at that time.

Get closer to your soul, your real self, get closer to God. It is probably a lot easier than you think.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Seeing Colors and What It Means

Several people I have talked with lately have noticed a change in what they are seeing during meditation, quiet moments, or in the dream state. The change many of them have noticed is that they are seeing very vivid colors, more vivid than any they have every seen before, and that these colors are coming to them in waves, many times as intricate geometric shapes or symbols (often referred to as "sacred geometry"). Several have described being showered with these shapes and colors coming toward them in a flow of brilliance, and each person has described it as a moment of peace that they did not want to leave, one that gave them a feeling of hope and renewal, with a sense of knowing that there was something deep happening to them.

I believe that there is a mass awakening taking place right now, with many individuals being called to remember great truths that they already know but that have been suppressed. I know on a deeper level that they are seeing auras in those waves of beautiful colors, perhaps auras of angels, spirit, Jesus or other masters, or perhaps brief glimpses of God, a moment of touching that pure love. I know that the geometric shapes and symbols that are being showered upon them, leaving them feeling great peace and personal empowerment, are images that are triggering feelings and knowledge within their soul, helping them remember great things that will lead them on their spiritual journey. I know that as we progress in our spiritual path and when we are ready to accept more, that occurrences like these become commonplace - it is our time to awaken, and things that need to occur to assist that awakening will take place in a fashion and process that will make it noticeable and real.

I liken these occurences with vivid colors to the move "Pleasantville". I randomly happened upon this movie on television a few months ago, and realized the story very aptly portrayed how most of our society operates and how most of us live our individual lives. The movie was set in the perfect town of Pleasantville, where things worked a certain way and all was happy and idyllic (or so they thought). But the town lived in black, white, and shades of gray, like an old movie that was shot before Technicolor changed the television and motion picture industry.

The citizens of Pleasantville were perfectly happy living their dull black and white lives, not knowing what was beyond. When a few individuals stepped out of the very tight social boundaries to actually live life and feel real emotions, those individuals' lives began to appear in vivid color for the world to see. As others in the town saw them in their vivid color, shame was cast upon them, to the extent that they would cover up their newfound colorfulness with gray makeup, masking their joy, trying to fit in again and not be an outcast, not be mocked or made fun of.

That movie offers a brilliant portrayal of how life in our society takes place. We live dulled down lives, often thinking that we are happy based on outward things or appearance, without even knowing the color and beauty that lies beyond the boundaries that we so carefully adhere to. Once we experience that color and beauty, it is often mocked by others, simply because it is different or it doesn't fit the mold that the world has decided we should live within. Many of us who have lived within those confines and have dared to step outside to something more grand have felt that apprehension, mockery, or even disdain from others who cannot see beyond their own gray lives, who do not want to let us live in color because they are afraid it will challenge their own comfort zones.

Color has a way of drawing on our emotions. I think it is because God is in vivid color beyond any that we can see here in this dimension with eyes which have been dulled down by by this world of confines and control. If you are asking for more in your life and you begin to see vivid colors, sometimes with your eyes closed, sometimes with your eyes open, consider it an affirmation that you are on your way to something more, something greater than your imagination can fathom, a life full of color and joy so vivid that it will leave you in awe.

Keep asking, keep accepting. Ignore others who may mock or question you...find your joy, find your peace, find God in living color.

Friday, August 14, 2009

In This World, But Not Of It

What does it mean to be "in this world but not of it"? That is a phrase that we have heard time and time again, and yet we seem to go in the other direction, letting our lives get more and more complicated with our jobs, ever burdening community obligations, bigger homes, more elaborate furnishings, the newest version of whatever technology is available, whatever new trend, more stuff, more debt...more, more, more...bigger, bigger, bigger. It has become the acceptable way of the world, where we actually look at those who are not so outwardly achievement oriented as "unmotivated" or beneath us. Our economy is now stressed by a false prosperity that was propelled by people buying more than they could afford, getting into more debt than they could keep up with, working just to pay bills, living to buy the next gadget or appliance that would make their lives complete.

We have become accustomed to getting our satisfaction from worldly things, worldly achievements, possessions, and accolades. We work hard to "get ahead" (ahead of what?, I must ask...the train that is about to run us over?!). On a spiritual level, we often seek usual and ordinary remedies to our emptiness, believing that going to church and following the rules will get us fulfillment, not asking for a real and un-worldly experience that has nothing to do with groups, buildings, organization, or conformity, but which is more about our higher self and greater purpose - that which is beyond the ordinary, beyond the patterns of the world.

Romans 12:2 tells us,
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(New International Version)

It does not take much observation to realize that most of us have seriously conformed to the patterns of this world, whether it be the patterns that our parents gave us, the patterns we adopted by looking around and trying to fit in and be successful, or the patterns of trying to be "good". In our society, it is almost impossible not to conform to these patterns. This Biblical passage tell us to instead, "be transformed by the renewing of your mind", but we don't really renew our mind with new thoughts, and chose instead to stick with our patterns for achieving hard, go to school, go to church, volunteer. We don't realize, or perhaps we choose to ignore, that the worldly patterns will not lead us to true and deep happiness.

It is not until we seek to renew our minds that we can truly transform. The choice is always ours as to whether we CONform or TRANSform, but we cannot do both. When we are ready to transform, we must give up conformity. We must open our minds to things outside of the norms and be willing to risk being different, to step outside of ordinary to be extraordinary.

If we are indeed made by God, do you think he made us to be ordinary or extraordinary? I think he made each and every one of us to be perfect, fabulous, joyous, and beautiful beings. It is simply our choice to conform that keeps us from transforming into our extraordinary existence. The steps to transformation are as simple as looking at things differently - sometimes even opposite of what you have been taught or programmed to believe. It may sound difficult, but if you really want a transformation, you will be given opportunities to make it, and they will not be as hard as you might imagine, because each step will reward you with moments of pure and perfect peace. Just ask, and be willing to make changes to be in this world, but not of it. Your transformation will begin when your conformity ends.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Forgiveness...And Letting Go

One of the most important steps in healing, whether it be of body, mind, or soul, comes through forgiveness. Sometimes we need to forgive another, sometimes we need to forgive ourselves, but our healing cannot be full until we can truly offer this. There are many ways to forgive, and I think that is where the confusion comes in. Many think that forgiveness means that you have to "kiss and make up" and return to a relationship exactly as it was before whatever misdeed occurred, or that you must act as if it never occurred, but that is not the case. It is sometimes necessary to forgive from a distance, or to forgive but not go back. It is sending love and compassion to another, realizing that maybe you don't know all of the facts or maybe you cannot fully understand the circumstances which made that person "wrong" you or another. It is is understanding another person's pain and accepting their perceived flaws, which is actually a gift to ourselves. We have been told that it is in the giving that we receive, and until we are willing and able to offer true and unencumbered forgiveness, we cannot fully receive the love that is available to us or the gifts that are awaiting us. In our forgiveness of others, we are preparing ourselves for God's pure, forgiving, and unconditional love, and the unlimited abundance that is our preparation for receiving all that heaven has to offer. Until we can freely give and freely receive that healing love, we cannot receive heaven in our hearts.

When we do not forgive or when we hold grudges, we are in a low level of vibration, a negative energy...and we simply attract more negative things in our lives. Often, we get upset or angry at why these "bad" things keep coming our way, but it may simply be because we won't let go of the negativity, which makes us attract more of the same. We blame others, enjoying our victimhood (which makes it someone else's fault) when that negative state is actually our own doing, our own creation through our refusal to relinquish the negative thoughts, our resistance to seeing the bright side, our unwillingness to step outside of the problem to see its beauty. God has "mysterious ways" of getting a point across to us, and the things that happen are always in our best interest, even if only for the purpose of teaching us something. I always say that when things get outrageous or when people around us behave absurdly toward us, that it is to wake us up to what we are missing. They may be our messengers, but because we are ignoring the message, it has to get louder and clearer through their absurdity.

Beyond forgivenss, the most profound step in mastering life, in returning to our true and perfect selves and returning to God, is when we transition from forgiveness to gratitude. When we are able to look at those difficult times in our lives, or those situations where others may have "wronged" us, no matter how grossly, with a new appreciation and an understanding that those events were a gift to opportunity for growth, a catalyst for necessary change, or a chance for us to gauge our faith. In making this transition to absolute gratitude, we are then on our way to a place of peace within our soul that creates the energy for miracles...a place that, if reached by enough individuals, can change our world to a brighter place.

I would like for you to think about your life and where you could offer forgiveness. Beyond that, can you reach a place of being grateful for those things that you have forgiven? Can you find ways to thank the person that made your life hell, or caused what you perceive as great hardship or pain? Make a list of the things you would like to forgive, as well as the things you would like forgiveness for...then find the gratitude for both another's faults and your own, knowing that each may have been something that we needed to learn. I promise you, if you make this step sincerely, you will change your life. You will begin to see things differently, laugh more deeply, and have peace and joy within you. You will bless others by your mere presence, by your new and powerful positive energy. You are the only thing standing in your way.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Are You Waiting to Be Rescued?

A friend recently told me a joke that sums up how we often ask for God's help, then ignore the help that is sent our way, ignore the opportunities that we are given to help ourselves. Instead, we resign ourselves to thoughts like, "if God is willing, then it will happen"...all the while missing chance after chance that God is sending to show us the way out. It may be a simple suggestion from a friend who sees a clear way out for us, or a comment from a stranger that has more wisdom than we avenue to give us more power and let go of our burdnes, so often self-imposed.

The story goes something like this:

It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house to avoid the floodwaters, faithfully praying to God to save him.

As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord, the Lord will save me.” So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. “Climb in!” shouted a man in the boat. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.” So the man in the speedboat went away. The man on the roof prayed even harder, knowing that God would save him.

The waters continued to rise. A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord, the Lord will save me.” So the helicopter went away. The man on the roof prayed again for God to save him, steadfast in his faith.

The waters rose higher and higher, and eventually they rose so high that the man on the roof was washed away, and alas, the poor man drowned.

Upon arriving in heaven, the man marched straight over to God. “Heavenly Father,” he said, “I had faith in you, I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?” God gave him a puzzled look, and replied “I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you expect than that?

This little story sums up how so many of us choose live our lives. We have faith in God to take care of us, but we ignore so many signs and opportunities that He sends our way. We worry that if we receive help in any other way than directly from God, that it might not be valid. For example, I have had very faithful individuals actually question why someone should ever rely on angels for any assistance, asking, "Why not go directly to God?", questioning whether, by asking and receiving help from angels, if it is "cutting God out" or not honoring God enough.

That seems illogical to me. God sent angels to Mary, Jesus, and many prominent characters in the Bible to help them in their journey. Angels are also recognized in some form by all organized religions as well as those who call themselves "spiritual, but not religious", choosing to seek a more personal relationship with God. Many people have had direct experiences with angels, and have been rescued or received great peace from their actions and intervention. I believe that most of us, somewhere inside, know that we have some angels to help us, whether in the heavenly form that we have come to think of, or "Earth Angels" that appear to us through fellow humans, just when we need them.

What we must understand is that we have to ask for their help, and then receive it openly when it comes. Our free will generally prevents angels from helping us until they have the request (unless it is an urgent situation that is not congruent with our plan). We can ask angels for their help, knowing that God provided them to us to be our messengers and helpers....or, we can ask God for help, but be willing to accept it in whatever form it gets sent, through angels or, as in the story, through the two boats and the helicopter.

When we ask, it is always given. The issue is often that we do not receive it if it is not in the exact form that fits our idea of how God should come to us. If we remember that God is in all things, we can understand that God can come to us in many forms or send us many avenues for rescue or growth. It is not until we open our minds to the many paths and opportunites beyond our pre-determined form, we can truly experience God's gifts, or fully live our path or purpose.

Ask God for help, ask angels for their assistance...ask that they make it obvious to you so that you will hear it loudly and clearly in the coincidences and events surrounding you. Then have the courage to fully live in faith by opening your mind to ALL of the opportunities that are sent your way, not just the ones that fit your picture of God. We each have everything we need for growth and perfection at our disposal, if we will only listen and receive.

Choose to ask, choose to receive, choose to follow the avenues that are presented to you. That is true faith.