SUMMER 2015 A Holistic Journal Celebrating & Supporting LIFE!
A HOLISTIC JOURNAL CELEBRATING & SUPPORTING LIFE 1
Summer 2015 Cover Photos by Mark Storck
INNER TAPESTRY Published by The HeartGlow Center
celebrate, integrate, rejuvenate mind, body & soul The HeartGlow Center is a 501c3 nonprofit public charity dedicated to conscious living and honoring the sacred Light which shines within us all. We provide holistic education, spiritual renewal, practical resources, and support to assist you in living your best life. We lovingly recognize and celebrate the journey of the human spirit through life’s unique circumstances and provide a sanctuary of love and understanding for all. Our numerous programs focus on individual and family health and wellbeing, as well as recognition and support for family caregivers and those aﬀected by chronic illness or disability. INNER TAPESTRY JOURNAL Summer 2015
INNER TAPESTRY JOURNAL Summer 2015
Contents The Cosmic Dance Spirit Beauty: A New Perspective The 21st Century Bohemian Relatively Speaking Caregiver Diaries Spirit Walking The Next Step Listening to Evolved Wisdom Essence of the Lotus Mindful Home Exploring the World Religions Love, Molly Kite Traveling with Purpose Sponsor Pages
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Sponsor Ad Director: Dede Eaton INNER TAPESTRY JOURNAL Summer 2015
The Cosmic Dance
By Lady Deane
Summer’s Sizzle Some “sky-talk” about the dance just above your head. The summer is in full swing now. But let me just start by saying that vacations may be more serious than they used to be! This summer (and early fall) contains much more productivity than we are used to, and those ‘lazy dog days of summer’ may be more like a wild wolf pack taking to the woods. And which pack do you run with? The answer to that question may be more important now than ever as relationships, partnerships and other alliances do a very tricky tango. Some of these will be personal (friends, family, spouses) and some will be work partners (bosses, co-workers, etc). But whomever you’re dancing with now, the dance is important so learn the steps well. Since partners (or their needs) may be changing this year, it will help to pay some extra attention to the people in your life—especially those taking up your valuable time. Are they worth your time?....would be one question I would be asking. Because if they’re not, now is the perfect time to jettison some of those pesky energy vampires. Summer officially began with the Summer Solstice on June 22nd. This is when the Sun entered the sign of Cancer the Crab. Cancer is a nurturing home loving sign that cares for family. It lends its protective energies to making home and family safe and secure. And—by the way—if you are lucky enough to know a Cancerian, let them feed you once in a while. It will make their day. Fortune smiled on at least a few of us at birth, and we were born into close-knit families (it’s just a rumor, but I suspect it’s true). These are the supportive people we share our lives with—the good and the bad. But if —especially lately—you notice that you don’t quite have that ‘lovin’ feeling’ from your own family, then you will seek out other like-minded individuals. For some of you this exploratory phase will become quite the personal journey of discovery. One you will be processing for the rest of this year.
In other sky news, Venus will retrograde from July 25th thru September 5th, spending most of its time in the sign of Leo the Lion (hearted). Venus retrograde in Leo may indicate the need to reunite with ones children (or at least find out what they’ve been up to—they may have news for you). This is a good time to get to know the difference between being supportive and being an enabler. At what point are we finished parenting our kids? And what part of our lives (if any) belongs just to us? Nurturing our own talents and abilities is just as important as nurturing those of our children. When Venus—the planet of love and comfort—appears to travel in reverse, issues often arise with loved ones in general (in other words—not just the kids). So this is a good time to check in with all those near and dear to you and find out where they stand. Making adjustments and compromises in personal relationships makes for a much more graceful Venusian-style dance during her retrograde phase. And if we’re with the wrong ‘one’ there’s time to change partners (or even to fly solo for awhile). Also, this is a time when our comfort zone is often challenged in some way. Sometimes this test is mental or emotional; however many times it can also be a physical test (like how your air conditioner seems to only break down on the hottest day of the year). My suggestion? Redefine what you absolutely need to be comfortable (in your body and in your soul), and stop whining about the rest of it. Because with Venus traveling inward, you’re not supposed to ‘vent’—others will find that annoying now. Instead, try to embrace the concept that a great deal of life— whether it’s with people or air conditioners— requires maintenance. And remind yourself that those relationships (and appliances) that do survive Venus retrograde are the stronger for it. And lastly, in the body, Leo rules the heart so a heart-healthy diet is important now. At least lay off the cream sauce for awhile.
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Transiting Saturn will finally go direct on August 2nd. This will help many of us to move ahead with real estate or work-related projects as well as general issues with authority and the powers that be. You can garner support for projects or jobs that you may have had to sideline back in March when Saturn first began to retrograde. New alliances can now be formed, or old alliances can be strengthened, as long as you have been able to successfully renegotiate for what you need along the way. If you deserve a raise or promotion (translation: if you’ve been doing exceptional work quietly in the background for sometime), then now is the time to go for it. All ‘closet experts’ can come on out and shine now. And whether you need a new job, a new position or to head in an entirely new career direction, just look around. You may be surprised at the opportunities available to you. Saturn’s retrograde back into the sign of Scorpio also tends to bring any family dysfunction up and out and into the open to be purged. Although often uncomfortable, it’s best not to fight this cleansing process. It is meant to happen now and everyone will be healthier when it’s done. Mercury will do his retrograde dance once again from Sept 17th thru Oct 8th in the sign of Libra. Libra is the sign of relationships and many will be setting their relationship house affairs to rights by Fall. Be sure that all important communications are getting through (double check) and listen more carefully now. Make sure that what you heard is what was intended. Miscommunication is always a concern when Mercury retrogrades in air signs. Last but not least, Fall will officially begin with the Autumnal Equinox on September 23rd. This is the day when the Sun enters the sign of Libra. Notice the extra focus this fall on Libra. Even the most reclusive among us will be looking to connect
now! This entire year has us dealing with partnerships of all kinds in one way or another, so pay special attention to all your important people. September also features 2 eclipses: one on Sept 13th in Virgo and one on Sept 28th in Aries/Libra. As you strive to put your relationships into perspective, remember that the Devil’s in the details! Know your process. Well, taking the next few months into consideration as a whole, it seems that many of us may have a challenging and interesting road to walk as relationships shift and change all around us. This will no doubt send more than a few on their own personal ‘vision quests.’ So, for you brave and tireless explorers out there, take heart. Your journey may take a few surprising twists and turns along the way, you may even hit a detour or two. But in the end, your journey is more than worth it. It is yours and yours alone and your choices do matter. And so I offer you this blessing: For The Wanderers, The Seekers, The Explorers For As Above and So Below Look to the Stars and this you’ll know: What is to come is what we’ve wrought, And set to motion with our thoughts. So play with Angels, But walk on Earth. And know the path you choose has worth. In the end, remember, it’s still just a dance. And it keeps us on our toes to learn a few new steps every now and again, doesn’t it? So play, laugh, be kind and keep on dancing. Then look up and thank your lucky stars. : 0 )
Deane Driscoll is a professional astrologer with over 22 years experience in New York, California, Maine, and North Carolina; and holds elder clergy credentials as Lady Deane with CoG (Covenant of the Goddess). She offers natal chart readings as well as classes in astrology, card reading, and other metaphysical topics. She also creates custom meditations for clients, concentrating on a specific area of focus. Some examples include: limitless possibilities, a new career path, prosperity, love, health and well-being; as well as overall relaxation and stress reduction. Visit her website at www.deanedriscoll.com or email her at email@example.com for more information.
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*Grandeur *Pure Beauty * Pristine *Glorious ~ These are four things that first come up for me when asked to describe my most recent experiences in Alaska. Earlier this year - I was gifted with a great opportunity to connect and work with children in the school systems of Alaska. Traveling two weeks out of a month, I worked in three schools with both native Alaskan children as well as children who were transplants due to family job transfers. I learned that some choose to live in the southeast portion of Alaska to experience the unique climate of rainforest meets icebergs and glaciers. Other families were living in the final frontier to embrace the life of fishing and become one with the sea. For me, well, I was there because I heard spirit say.......“Go North”. ! When this job opportunity presented itself, I was also offered a more lucrative local position at the same time. Do I stay locally here in Portland, Oregon and make more money or do I uproot myself two weeks per month for several months and embrace the unknown? Well, my soul had far greater plans for me than money. “Go north” I heard my soul gracefully say to me. Now this message was starting to sound like a broken record. I had been hearing “Go North” for several years now in my morning meditations. I heard it so often that I literally moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon. Why was I STILL hearing this message? I literally laughed out loud when I heard it again this time. So needless to say.......I went even further north~ ! My first two weeks in Alaska I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the newness of EVERYTHING - new job, new kids, new teachers, new town, new sites, new weather patterns, and new energy. I am sure at some point in your life or even in your current daily routines you can relate to the feeling of “overwhelm”. Its a feeling that sneaks up on you and can become ALL consuming. It surrounds you like a bubble that you can’t get out of and suddenly you find yourself swimming within some sort of self created fluid. Doing everything you can to paddle hard and keep your head above the “overhwhelm”. You are determined to NOT drown and this is when overwhelm turns itself over into survival mode. Soon your every action becomes a response in surviving. Your days turn into “getting by” and “making it through”. This does nothing to nourish the spirit. In fact,
quite the opposite occurs - it is instead draining to the spirit. The beauty of you becomes dulled, exhausted, and completely wiped out. ! So how can we avoid this slippery slope of overwhelm? I was blessed to have been shown the answer to this true to life dilemma. The solution was given to me within the context of the very problem. Ahhhhhh didn’t some wise person say sometime - that the answer is within the problem? I feel as if I have read this many times in a wide variety of personal development books and now I was not just reading it, I was experiencing it first hand. One day after school having worked with 16 kids in one day - visited 3 schools and attended two meetings, I was exhausted. I had nothing left in me. I could not even create a fake smile -- all I had in me were eyes filled with tears. “I can’t do this.” I thought. This is not good for my spirit. Where did my spirit self even go? I had lost all connection with the flow of my energy life force. I was way past overwhelm - I had hit the wall. My heart knew I was committed to this exploration and adventure of Alaska so I knew I had to keep going and see my obligations through, but how? How can I do this?
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The day was gorgeous, so after school I decided to go on a hike. I went on a hike called Fish Creek near where I was staying that I had yet to explore. The hike led me out upon a terrain of rocky beaches, sandy inlets, tree filled islands and marshy wetlands. On my walk I noticed that the questions I had been asking myself began to shift and change. Instead of asking and feeling the inner turmoil of how can I survive this current job situation, I started to ask how can I change my current experience? I knew this feeling of overwhelm, barely making it, feeling dragged through the mud, and coping to survive, was not how any of us are meant to live. ! Out in the distance, as a natural part of the expansive marshland landscape, I noticed a male eagle resting majestically on a channel marker. I learned later that the channel markers are used to alert boats of low and high tides of the wetlands. Once I spotted him, I knew I wanted to get as close to him as I possibly could. With my knee high water boots I set out to cross the wetlands and be closer to him. Completely unconcerned with my presence, the eagle remained composed and solid in his stature as I moved in even closer to him. The trail I chose took me out to the channel markers and soon came to an end at a river gully. I was unsure how I could get any closer. As I stood in contemplation of my next move, the eagle had unexpectedly made the choice for me. I looked out to the channel marker and saw he had taken flight and was gracefully approaching me. His gigantic wingspan caught my attention and I stood in awe watching him gain closer proximity to me. I had no fear. I was actually standing in observation with complete peace in my heart. Of course my heart made the assumption that he would fly really high above me and I could watch in awe and glory. ! Well, he had another plan or shall I say the universe had a different plan. The eagle headed straight towards me and glided down to just a few inches from me. Time came to a complete halt as the eagle swooped down, turned his head and we locked eyes. We looked deep into each others eyes and I faintly heard the sound of
his wings pushing the air between us. How he did not hit me with his wings is beyond me. Everything around us vanished and nothing else mattered in this moment but him and I. He looked directly into me. I saw him. Time stopped. I experienced who he was. I saw the essence of his spirit behind his amber brown eyes dotted with yellow flecks. ! He gave me a message. He showed me in an instant, on a visceral level, a core message. A message that changed me. His spirit spoke to me and said, “that when you feel “ovewhelm” turn it inside out and become overwhelmed with the joy of yourself. Feel the overflow - feel the overwhelm of your OWN spirit and how it fills you up inside. This will transmute overwhelm into the joy of self- leaving no room, space, or place for survival energy.” ! All of this occurred within no more than what seemed like 10 seconds. At least that is what I am guessing. All I know is tears filled my eyes and one by one they trickled down my cheeks. I was deeply touched and changed from that moment on. I heard him and understood all that he shared. He flew past me at eye level and then ascended back up into the sky and landed at the very top of a nearby spruce tree. “Become overwhelmed with the essence of you feel the overflow of yourself - the you inside bubbling over in beauty experience the overjoyedness of you within - this is the answer to transmuting exhausted, drained, overwhwelmed, survival type energy into a true asset you can use to change your experience.” His spirit spoke again. I sat on a rock and absorbed this moment. In the eye of an eagle, a new perspective, a new found wisdom was disclosed. I completed my Alaskan journey with greater life force access than I knew was even possible. Days that were drudgery before were now transmuted to just full days. Overwhelm had turned into overflow and in the eye of an eagle life had a new vantage point.
Jennifer Crews M.A. has over 20 years experience as a communications expert. Her passion for the written and spoken word led her to careers as a pediatric speech language pathologist, published author, live talk radio show host at KRXA in California, a performance speaker, and an intuitive leader. She has dedicated her life to creative expression in everything she does and in educating others on the mastery of spirit beauty, intuition, and personal power. “The highest form of beauty is the essence self.” Jennifer currently leads groups and mentors individuals around the globe. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Learn more about her programs and services at www.jennifercrews.com. 7 INNER TAPESTRY JOURNAL Summer 2015
How a Good Golf Story Can Become Much More in the Hands of a Master By Teresa Piccari On April 12th of this year I sat in a local pub and watched the Master's Tournament, live from Augusta, Georgia. I am not a golfer, nor have I ever been a fan and up to recently, I would have have likened viewing a televised game to watching paint dry. But there I sat transfixed.
teaches sports journalism at the University of Texas. I have never set foot in Texas, but they must be onto something down there because how else could I, along with so many others, get hooked on a television series a few years back about high school football?
Ask anybody who knows golf and you will learn that the Master's is the creme de la creme of the sport and that this year's competition has quickly risen to the top as possibly being the best ever in its 79 year history. A 21-year-old from Dallas named Jordan Spieth won his first major and broke several records while doing so. A physically and psychically ailing Tiger Woods, a four-time winner who last won it in 2005, returned to the game after an absence to tie for 17th place, which might appear disappointing on the surface but to those in the know, the 39-year-old may have played his most important game, ever. Who doesn't know of Woods' personal dramas and subsequent career spiral? And then there was 63year- old Texan Ben Crenshaw, a two-time Master's champion who last wore the coveted green jacket 20 years ago, who has declared 2015 his final Masters, after 44 appearances. But all of this was not why I watched.
I watched because I knew the backstory, thanks to Robbins. I knew that those famous Georgia links were most definitely haunted by the looming presence of the late Texas golf coach and author, Harvey Penick, who died a week before Crenshaw won the Masters in 1995.
I watched because of an article by Kevin Robbins on the front page of the Sports section of The New York Times a week earlier on Easter Sunday, when I splurged six dollars on the tome, which I read every page of, as a holiday treat to myself. Which is how I came to read the golf article written by Robbins, entitled A Golf Teacher With a Lionâ€™s Instincts and a Doveâ€™s Heart, a longtime Texas journalist, who now
I watched because Robbins made me care about something I had not really considered before. In his masterful feature article, the journalist wrote about Penick, and his connection to Crenshaw whom he had coached since the age of 6, who began his own golf career as an 8-year-old caddie. I read and then I watched because he told me a good story. Forget that I am not into golf, I did. Robbins related the humanity of a storied coach, his method of teaching, and his relationship to and impact on one particular athlete, Crenshaw. Journalism has been on a slippery slope for many years, and print journalism in particular has become an endangered species. The human species is acclimating to a high-speed, multi-sensory delivery of information erupting in spurts and fits of fragments that don't, as a rule, allow for actual storytelling or much humanity, which is really at the heart of what story is about - showing us what it means to be human.
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Robbins article is an exception to what is rapidly becoming our new media normal. Sure he covered all the who, what, where, when, and how bases with all the sports stats and history, but he did so in a meaningful way. Otherwise, I would have turned to the next page. The reader could sense that he wasn't just shooting stats blindly, he wasn't kitchen-sinking, he was purposefully choosing what to include and what to leave out. Then he elevated his sports piece to a feature piece, by connecting all that information into a story - a story that showed me the humanity of Penick, Crenshaw and Woods. Robbins told me the "why" of it all and in doing so - hooked me. But then, the writer did something amazing, he conjured magic by wondering what could happen if Tiger Woods and Harvey Penick intersected before this tournament. That is when, for me, Robbins work became inspired. Not your everyday journalism, definitely something worthy of the Sunday New York Times. Woods had his professional debut at the Masters just after Penick died. He was the golfer Spieth looked up to growing up. When he won this year's Masters, he tied Woods' score at his first Masters win, and became the second youngest to win the title, Woods being the youngest. Instead of jumping on the bashing bandwagon that has erupted following Woods' fall from grace, which is the type of behavior we have begun to expect from many media outlets, Robbins ups the vibration, by inviting us to imagine a Penick/Woods encounter along with him. Pretty creative stuff. As I file this column, a gentle rain is falling. Perhaps it is like the rain that fell on that day years ago, when Crenshaw, not knowing what was happening to his career that was in a two year spiral, went home to Texas, where he received Penick's wise counsel, which wasn't really about golf at all. According to Robbins, Penick asked Crenshaw if he was prepared to forget the troubles of the past year, and just get back to his game. According to the journalist's interpretation, "He was saying nothing about golf and everything about a return to a true self. Crenshaw won the first of his two Masters jackets two years later. He knew again what was
happening. He remembered who he was." Right there was the true beauty contained in this piece. A late legendary golf coach reached through the willing vessel of Kevin Robbins and woke me up. Quite unexpectedly, I remembered who I am and what I need to forget. Penick's meeting with Crenshaw was way beyond golf, as Robbins imagined it could be with Woods. It would be nice to imagine Woods read the same article I did - that you can. You never know what you are going to find in a newspaper article. On Easter Sunday, I learned a little about golf (don't expect to see me on a course anytime soon) and remembered much more about who I am - about my life. I have taught memoir workshops for many years. Sometimes my students make me cry. More than other writing genres, the craft of memoir is burdened and blessed by the continual ebb and flow of remembering and forgetting. One memory flashes, one recollection threads to another, and suddenly the floodgates open. Sometimes the memories are pieced together on the page, like a beautiful tapestry. Other times the result is beautiful in its own right but painful for the writer, who may remember what he or she sometimes worked hard to forget, and is now confronted with the emotional weight of the past. The tears shed often contain both joy and sadness, for me and them. Putting one's life on paper is a courageous process, during which we explore and excavate our life journey to share our unique stories. Robbins article, which I shared with my students, made me remember who I am and why I love journalism. I had a flash of sitting across from my father at the breakfast table growing up as he read the morning paper, me leaning forward in my seat to read the flip side of his page, and being gently admonished. I would get my turn. Be patient. Somehow I knew he held magic in his hands. For me, being in a newsroom filled with other reporters amidst the clicking of keyboards, as the day's news is being written, is as good as work gets. I love the smell of fresh newsprint and don't mind when it stains my fingers. The students who sit in Robbins' classroom on their way to future newsrooms, are lucky indeed.
Teresa Piccari is a writer, teacher and creativity coach. A native Philadelphian, she makes her home in coastal Maine. Visit her blog at the21stcenturybohemian.wordpress.com or contact her at 21stBohemian@gmail.com
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Relatively Speaking By Paul Coleman, Psy.D. When you look in the mirror do you value yourself? Despite your flaws, despite how you might compare yourself less favorably to others when it comes to certain characteristics, do you value who you are? If so, that should lead you to become a more successful, healthier individual. Right? Well, maybe. Self-esteem is a state of mind that everybody seems to agree we should always try to improve. But ironically, self-esteem is not a sure-fire measure of success. Efforts to boost one’s (or another’s) selfesteem do not reliably result in clear-cut advantages later on. Attempts to make school children feel better about themselves have not resulted in hoped-for results such as better study habits or a reduced likelihood to smoke, drink, take drugs, or engage in sexual activity. (In fact, children who possess high self-esteem often take more risks.) There is evidence that bullies and narcissists actually think quite highly of themselves. It is clear that clinically depressed people or those who suffered traumatic abuse often have a poor sense of self-worth—which indeed complicates their recovery. So having a higher sense of self-esteem does seem important. Those with high self-esteem do tend to persist at challenging tasks when the going gets tough. They more readily bounce back from adversity. And subjectively, they “feel better” about themselves. But beyond that, the self-esteem factor has not turned out to be the panacea social scientists, educators, and parents
hoped it would be. It has been hyped more than it has helped. It seems that when self-esteem is correlated with any positive outcome it is less likely that it had a direct causal effect. Often it is one’s efforts to bring about a successful outcome that increases selfesteem, not the other way around. So what are we to do?
Three Paths to Self-Worth I don’t advise we give up on self-esteem. When life knocks you down, when your spouse leaves you, when your company fires you, when you try—but fail—at some important task, when dreams die, having a sturdy sense of self-worth cultivates resilience. But self-esteem may be more of a byproduct of other factors—factors we might easily overlook when attempting to boost our self-worth. No doubt having a loving, stable family life when growing up increases your odds of having a sturdy self-esteem. But even home environment is just part of the equation. And if you are a full-grown adult trying to improve your sense of self-worth despite your inevitable faults, what are some specific things you can do?
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Practice Self-discipline Dr. Roy Baumeister at Florida State University is the leading researcher in this area. Societies major ills— violence, addictions, poor educational performance, sexually transmitted diseases—all involve poor selfcontrol. And most people who report low self-esteem struggle to control certain behaviors and attitudes. Eating and drinking too much, not exercising enough, blurting out things you shouldn’t say, or impulsively running away from situations that cause anxiety all can create complications in your life that reduce your sense of self-esteem. Students who exhibit greater self-control learn how to delay gratification. They will study first and play later. Everyone can think negatively about themselves from time to time but a person with greater selfcontrol over his or her thoughts can examine those negative thoughts more realistically and avoid a cascade effect where one negative thought leads to another and another. In classic studies in the 1960’s and 1970’s, young children were given the option of having one marshmallow now or two marshmallows later. (In subsequent experiments other desired food items or toys were offered.) The children sat at a table, staring intently at the one marshmallow. Could they resist temptation? About one-third of the children did indeed resist temptation and were rewarded with the two marshmallows later. Many of these children were re-evaluated years later, some at mid-life. The results were clear: children who were able to delay gratification were rated years later by fellow students and teachers as significantly more competent, they scored higher on their SAT’s, and even showed stronger neural functioning according to brain scans taken in mid-life. Can self-control be learned? Yes. But Dr. Baumeister also states that there is a depletion effect. Successful efforts to impose self-control result in a weakening later on. How many of us have avoided that doughnut in the morning only to over-eat later in the day when fatigue has set in? But research findings also show that if a person practices selfcontrol in regular, smaller ways such as choosing not to swear for two weeks, or to use their non-dominant
hand while opening doors, or to be mindful of having good posture—success in those areas created greater success in other areas. Self-control is not necessarily the same as self-restraint. Self-control is altering a pattern of behavior in the direction that will lead to more successful outcomes. For example, someone who is unassertive and fears speaking up in case it causes an argument or increases the risk of not being liked is using self-restraint. But learning to bypass that restraint—to evaluate the situation with a new perspective rather than automatically give in to fearful, habitual thoughts—requires self-discipline.
Practice Self-Acceptance Many people who come to me for psychotherapy tell me they have a lousy self-esteem. They look in the mirror and try to build themselves up with affirmations. They try to convince themselves they are lovable, or attractive, or desirable, or talented, or sexy—or whatever it is they feel they need to feel better about. But inevitably those positive thoughts are immediately followed by their opposite: They tell themselves “I’m not THAT beautiful… I’m not as popular as THAT person… “ Their words are just… words. Failing to boost their self-esteem they feel like a failure. But when people practice saying “I accept myself as I am right now despite my imperfections” they discover they are not so bad after all. When we accept a situation or an event we cease analyzing it or fretting about those aspects we dislike. The winter of 2015 was severe for people in the Northeast. If one “accepted” that snowfalls were frequent and oppressive—they still had to shovel or miss work—but they got less caught up in the negative emotional side-effects that rough winter brought. “I don’t like this but I accept it” eliminates a lot of the brain chatter that otherwise darkens our mood. When we accept ourselves as we are it doesn’t mean we will remain passive about selfimprovement. It means we will cease the hostile commentary. Don’t aim first for high self-esteem. Aim for self-acceptance. You may be surprised that your sense of self-worth already improves just by that simple shift.
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Live According to the Highest Virtues If your self-worth is based upon temporary achievements or superficial goals—winning the award, getting the promotion, looking more youthful, and so forth, what happens when those things stop happening? Hopefully there are people in your life that you love dearly simply because of whom they are not because of what they possess or the material things they provide. They could be old, crippled, or unable to function well in certain areas and yet you love them with all of your heart and would miss them terribly if they were gone from your life. In those cases you are operating from higher virtues—love, gratitude, and compassion. Many people would look at my life and conclude that I am successful. I’m a psychologist with a busy practice, I’ve written books, I’ve been a guest on television shows, and I’ve performed on stages as an actor and performer. All well and good. But who is the man I’ve admired most in my life? That would be my father. He was blue-collar, never wrote a book, never had notoriety, never spoke to an audience, and made just enough money to keep us above water—but he lived a life of heroic virtue. He was a wonderful husband and father and a kind, compassionate soul. When it is my time to leave this earth I don’t wish to be remembered for my books. I hope to be remembered as a kind, compassionate soul who made a difference in other’s lives not so much for what I accomplished but for who I was as a person. Too often we base our self-worth on fleeting things—money, appearance, talent. It is the things that can last beyond a lifetime—kind gestures, worthy sacrifices, loving embraces—that reveal our deepest and most enduring self. Lastly, it can be helpful for those of you who believe in a God or Source to consider that we are on earth at this particular time and place for reasons that are not random What if you believed you were here for a meaningful purpose? Or many meaningful purposes? What if you believed that your work on earth is important, however humble it may first appear, and remains unfinished as long as you are still breathing? What if you believed that there is someone you have yet to meet in whose life you will make a huge difference? What if you believed that God wants to use you still for some goal and is waiting for you to accept your worthiness in spite of your weaknesses? Look in the mirror one more time. Now what do you see?
Dr. Paul Coleman is a psychologist, motivational speaker, and author of thirteen books including his newest “Finding Peace When Your Heart Is in Pieces” (www.findingpeaceinyourheart.com). He has appeared on numerous televisions shows such as Oprah, Today, and Geraldo and has been interviewed on hundreds of radio stations. He can be reached at www.paul-coleman.com
with Carolyn Murray
When I was young I loved sitting under my parent’s desk, tucked away in my quiet cubbyhole, writing poetry. In school, instead of listening to my math teacher, I spent too much time daydreaming and writing. I still avoid numbers, but adore words. This is one reason I am attracted to Eric Fischer’s story. Eric’s book, I am a broken man You can’t break me, is a collection of poetry that centers around life with his severely disabled son, Segev. I discovered it when I began reading his blog a few years ago. I am impressed by Eric’s willingness to express what this life is about. He writes about his pain, fear and love openly. In I Shall Not Rest, he writes: I did my best, my son I heard the call and did not rest I carried the night like a fire Where there was cold empty light, I crawled and spat and did not let you languish alone, When you stood not in the fight When you looked at me with careless gaze I longed to believe in that foolhardy praise I bore witness to what others could not see, I gave honor to an unknown strength, A gift from you to me. Eric’s son was born following a typical pregnancy. He and his wife had no reason for concern. There were no abnormal lab results or ultrasounds to indicate that anything was amiss. Eric says, “Our third child, Segev, was born March 1998. All indicators and tests showed there was nothing to worry about and the stress levels of a third child are quite different from the first. He was born on his due date. There were complications but they were because of his condition and not the cause of it. Right from the beginning he was not reacting normally, very hypotonic (low muscle tone) with little to no suckling reflex. It wasn’t until one month in hospital that it became clear he was in serious,
though not immediately life threatening, condition and so I decided the best thing was for us to take him home.” He continues, “The MRI of Segev’s brain at three months showed severe malformation. He met no milestones, was declared blind, and never developed motor or verbal skills. The diagnosis of Ohtahara syndrome came years later. Ohtahara is a fatal condition with the vast majority of children dying between the ages of 2 and 5. There are a few cases known of children reaching their teens. Segev is one of them, despite being one of the more severe known cases of the syndrome.” Although most children die before their fifth birthday, Segev beat those odds. He is now seventeen years old. Segev’s father, Eric, born and raised in Holland, lives in Israel with his children. He says he is not the sort of person who spends time asking why. He uses his energy for the business of helping his son and finding what is best for him. He considers it his job to “Keep him alive as long as he is a willing and able spirit, find the answers and march on.” Segev gives him strength. Keeping Segev alive is a full-time job. He requires constant monitoring and is frequently ill with respiratory infections. Seizures are the main feature of Ohtahara Syndrome, and Segev has gone from one hundred a day to thirty since adding medical marijuana (CBD). He’s also more lively, and tracks objects briefly with his eyes with the help of the oil.”
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Eric, a physical therapist with twenty five years experience in pain management, uses his skills to help his son. When oxygen levels drop low, he manages the secretions that plague him and if necessary, does chest compressions to rescue Segev from respiratory distress. Chest physiotherapy, nebulizer use and spinal decompression are part of his daily routine and help keep pneumonia at bay. Eric explains his son’s routine to him as he bathes, changes and repositions him. He sings a bedtime lullaby that brings light into his eyes and the curl of a smile. Segev’s mother lives closeby. For three days a week, Segev is cared for by her and Eric is able to sleep more than an hour or so at a time. Their two adult children help with their little brother’s care as well. When it’s his watch, Eric never leaves his son’s side. He writes in his blog that he is “still surprised; by his tenacity, withered by the endlessness of it, delighted by the endlessness of it.” He talks of his own aging, weakening body as well as his son’s. Eric is a poet, but also a realist. He acknowledges that he isn’t able to carry on with as much vigor as he did in the beginning of this journey. It keeps him humble and helps him address his own need for rest and rejuvenation. “People often tell me, ‘I don’t know how you do it’, or ‘No one could do what you are doing.’ I believe in my heart of hearts that is not true. When called upon we simply have to muster and move forward, even if it appears we are caught in a whirlwind going nowhere. There are no end goals in this kind of extreme care giving. You have to believe in each moment, good or bad, and the connection you make with another spirit, especially if he was entrusted to your care.” For fifteen years he carried Segev’s wheelchair up and down three flights of stairs, which resulted in damage to his own back. A recent scare brought home to Eric how critical self-care is. He wrote on his blog about a night alone,
when his son was in the care of his mother. Dizziness progressed to unconsciousness more than once. He crawled to the kitchen to drink orange juice, believing his blood sugar might be low. He called his daughter and was unable to reach her. Eric kept track of the time so that he could measure the length between repeated unconsciousness. There were palpitations and difficulty breathing, but no chest pain or nausea. He says that the decision to not call paramedics was irrational, but at the time seemed valid because of the negative experiences with rescue personnel he’s had with his son over the years that eroded his trust in them. After another call to his daughter, she answered and came right away. Eric is rebuilding his strength. For many years he was an athlete. Strong, resilient. He’s feeling the effects of age and steady care giving, but he’s far from weak. He started exercising again and paying more attention to his own physical needs. It can be a tough act to balance, but he’s trying. He understands what’s at stake. His poetry helps him along. He says in the forward of his book, “Writing does not present an answer for me as much as a way to frame a question. As such, I am given the opportunity to discover what is troubling me, what it is that I have not understood.”
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He wears his hair short, he says, to keep from looking disheveled. In photographs I’m struck by his strength and grit as his son looks up at him with soft eyes and gentleness. Segev’s fairness contrasts with his father’s rugged features. Broad shoulders and strong hands hold the oxygen bag as he bends to care for his son. Home is a medical den for keeping Segev alive and as well as possible. Eric cradles Segev, and the images of their smiles radiate love. From I Shall Not Rest: Rest as you do, sleeping more or less. With seizures and pain, love in the gain, Not bottomless, not soulless But a sweet caress. If you don’t hear me calling your name In darkness, or light, Fear not that I have abandoned the quest. I simply took a knee by the roadside To think for a moment, how to help you best. I will never give in, I will never rest. Eric says his poetry reflects his emotional growth. When I asked him about the title of his book, I am a broken man, You can’t break me, he said, “You come to see what you are made of; the bits and pieces, clumsily trying to keep your psyche intact, you are, in the end, reduced to mere fragments, you are broken.”
The sleep deprivation and lack of respite have physically changed him. He has permanent memory loss and decreased concentration. Still, the challenging, overwhelming instances of exhaustion that he’s experienced over the past seventeen years haven’t diminished his devotion. He goes on, “So each caregiver faces their own particular weaknesses and can only continue if they acknowledge them and work on them. Bits and pieces, even of our personality, break off never to be seen again, but there is a degree of contentment knowing that you’ve scaled mountains and life, love will speak to you eternally.”
Carolyn Murray is a registered nurse and writer. Over the past twenty years she has written articles for Nursing Magazine, The American Journal of Nursing and various online forums. In 1994 ARE Press published her book, Walking the Spiritual Walk, a record of her own experiences in relationships, work and life. Carolyn began writing about parenting and disability in 1998 after the birth of her son, Daniel, who has multiple disabilities related to a rare brain disorder. She loves hearing from others engaged in extreme parenting, and welcomes your emails. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Carolyn lives in Florida with her family.
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Finding Our Way To Power The choice to explore a spirit walker’s life requires that you not only learn spiritual methods, but also how to be a true person of power. The path of a shaman—or indeed any rich spiritual path--is not one of ego or grandiosity; instead, it is the humble walk into a deeper relationship with All That Is and yourself.
enculturation and society’s definitions. This shapes our ideas of reality. For most people, this reality becomes fixed and doesn’t allow for experiences that don’t fit within it to be processed. We become trapped in a tangle of limited beliefs and misperceptions.
My spirit teacher, Grandma used post office A shaman is guided by her or his heart and imagery to explain this phenomenon. She told me to celebrates the interconnections think of the mind as if it was a Spirit Journey that unite and nourish all beings. person sorting mail into an array To be able to become this kind of letterboxes. When new input It’s here again of person, you must go through in the form of experience That invitation that has come before an evolution. That means happens, the mind scans it. It is Each time different, each time the same But always meant for me. learning how to approach the comparing this new experience At first I was too young world from a place of love and to all previous experiences--in With no one left who recognized the signs gratitude that diminishes fear essence, looking for what box it No one to teach and guide me. and anger. To accomplish that belongs in. Once the mind Who knows in all these years How many I have missed and lost usually means that as you travel determines the proper “letter But some..... some I purposely ignored along the path, you will have to box” the input is filed away. Too scared to take the risk move through any unbeneficial The flaw in this system arises Of finding my own answers. patterns and misperceptions that when there isn’t a suitable box I paid the price, Others’ truths never fit me comfortably. are a part and parcel of being for the new input or experience. But here it is again born into this world. Think of The mind reacts by either The invitation this like an explorer clearing the tearing the experience into Perfumed with wonder and possibility foliage from the path in a jungle. smaller pieces to file or tossing And this time…. I shall go. it aside to the “dead letter” box. You see our minds are ~Trudy Sloan This is similar to the mechanism the product of our previous that allows us to “blank out” experiences. We are only able to fully perceive those during a traumatic event. In that circumstance, fear experiences for which we have developed a niche in causes the mind to shut down the filing process. our psyche. As soon as we are born, we begin to However even in non-threatening situation, the mind build a catalog of sensory input. We take that input can be unable to sort input correctly. In fact, this and synthesize a picture about what the world is like. kind of lapse is also far more common than one As we continue to develop we add more and more might imagine. For instance, consider the input, the sorting and storage of which is determined phenomenon of “inattentional blindness.” and shaded by previous experience, family
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Inattentional blindness is an inability to perceive something that is within one's direct perceptual field because one is attending to something else. The term was coined by psychologists Arien Mack and Irvin Rock, who identified the phenomenon while studying the relationship of attention to perception. They were able to show that, under a number of different conditions, if subjects were not attending to a visual stimulus but were attending to something else in the visual field, a significant percentage of the subjects were "blind" to something that was right before their eyes. The most famous example is test subjects watching a video in which they were told to concentrate on a moving group of people wearing either black or white shirts who were passing several basketballs back and forth. The test subjects were told to count the number of passes that they saw. During the video, a person in a gorilla suit enters the frame from the right crosses thru the people passing balls and exits on the left. Astonishingly enough, very few of the subjects ever noticed the gorilla. Since their minds were focused on one specific visual task, three quarters of the test subjects never saw the intrusive element even though it was “right in front of their eyes!” It is also how slight-of-hand artists fool their unwitting subjects. We literally lose sight of the forest while looking at the trees. Even though your mind’s attention on its own definition of reality initially prevents you from assimilating something that challenges your current perception of reality, repetition of the new stimulus assists the mind to create a new neural pathway. To be able to transverse the fabric of time/ space where the familiar landmarks of realty break down or fail to exist at all, the spirit walker must be willing to continually re-experience new sensations until they are able to process the meanings they may contain. This involves intentionally broadening her or his perceptual context through expanding aweness. This is accomplished by making journeys
with the intention of stretching the mind’s capacity-setting it free from the limitations of ordinary reality and exploring new experiences. Just as people who have extensively traveled the globe are far more able to adapt to an unusual situation such as being presented with unfamiliar food, so too the traveler to non-ordinary reality who has had extensive experiences that defy ordinary ideas of time/space can more easily adapt to a new situation. While traversing the realms beyond ordinary perception, the spirit walker creates a richer context for experience. Since a mind that has been nurtured in this way is able to respond without either fear or “blindness” to unusual events, it becomes much easier for the spirit walker to adapt to new and rapidly shifting situations, while more easily capturing their deeper meanings. In addition to the changes the content of a journey may produce, the mind’s inherent capabilities are also enhanced by the journey state, itself. Thanks to the intensive right-hemisphere activity this expanded state produces, the brain becomes more conducive to innovative thinking and the generation of new ideas, becomes better at trouble-shooting and problem-solving, has better memory retention, is able to synthesize information more easily, becomes more aware at deeper levels and finds it easier to implement change. Of course, reality stretching can sometimes be risky business for the psyche and so the spirit walker in training doesn’t go alone. While she or he may have a physical teacher or mentor, the initiate also learns to also rely upon trusted spiritual protectors for guidance and assistance. The spiritual helpers assist the journeyer to move thru complex and disorienting states of reality and guide her back to ordinary reality. Once returned, the spirit walker takes the time to process and assimilate the experience. She or he notices how and in what manner her perceptions have shifted--what gifts have been gained.
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When a perception seems stuck, or the spirit walker becomes mired in old patterns it is important to get assistance. In a tribal society, the shaman mentor or healer would be called upon to help unwind the mental stumbling block and assist in healing old wounds or traumas that precipitated the impediment. Indeed, the extraction of unbeneficial spiritual energies, the restoration of the person’s own spiritual essence and the healing of old limitations is often an essential aspect in moving forward on a path of power. The spirit walker is only able to grow as far as her or his old limitations allow. As these are healed, the load is lightened and growth begins to accelerate again. This in turn cerates a life that is more open and joyful. In moving through these stuck places and becoming aware of changes happening both within and around the self, the spirit walker begins to get a deeper sense of what remains constant. For many who travel the shamanic path, the true constant is the energy of love and connection one feels in the heart. In some ways, the heart becomes a magnificent room in which they can safely dwell. This safe place becomes a kind of springboard into even greater experiences. The still point of the spirit walker’s heart-center becomes a certainty that the mind can hold onto--a quiet central hub around which everything turns. This enables the explorer to engage in even more fearless excursions into the spiritual aspects of reality, which in turn produces an ever-growing capacity for adaptability and flexibility. A kind of spiritual and mental nimbleness is attained though this process. Instead of journeying between the realms having the effect of taking the spirit walker away from the “real world,” the opposite is true. A disciplined shamanic practitioner who consistently
practices journeying and continually processes the changes those experiences produce, is able to be much more grounded and aware in the present moment. She or he is able to interact with all the richness life provides and is able to hold or quickly regain equilibrium in the face of turmoil. The broader perspective of experience gained while traversing the realms helps the shamanic practitioner to be less judgmental, more joyful and optimistic. Having the heart stand at the center of all experience also influences one’s interactions to become more compassionate, loving and clear. In his book Power vs. Force, Dr. David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. writes, “We all float on the collective level of consciousness of (hu)man kind, so that any increment we add comes back to us.” While that idea has become widely known, he also suggests that one person who chooses to live with optimism and non-judgment of others offsets the energy of 90,000 individuals vibrating at lower energetic frequencies that include despair, rage, blame, cynicism and antagonism. In other words, the one who does the work of stretching and growing through broadening experiences and nurturing her or his evolving perceptions can naturally becomes a person of power able to influence the world in a positive manner. The simple knowledge that we have this kind of a power available to us gives me a tremendous optimism about our next steps as a species. By choosing the path that expands our inherent capabilities and clears away the unbeneficial burdens of the past, you and I have the capacity to transform the world for the better! In walking in the footsteps of our shamanic ancestors and in so doing evolving our minds and hearts, we can become the ones who blaze the trail into a new and brighter future.
© 2015 Evelyn Rysdyk
Nationally recognized shaman teacher/healer, speaker, and author of Spirit Walking a Course in Shamanic Power, A Spirit Walker’s Guide to Shamanic Tools, Modern Shamanic Living: New Explorations of an Ancient Path, and contributor to Spirited Medicine: Shamanism in Contemporary Healthcare; Evelyn Rysdyk delights in supporting people to remember their sacred place in All That Is. Whether through face-to-face contact with individual shamanic healing patients, workshop groups and conference participants, or through the printed word–Evelyn uses her loving humor and passion to open people’s hearts and inspire them to live more joyful, fulfilling and purposeful lives. In joint practice with Allie Knowlton as Spirit Passages, their web site is http://www.spiritpassages.com.
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THE NEXT STEP By Sue Yarmey, Energy Translator
A change of season always produces a change of plans from the usual “same old, same old”. You are aware of the changes happening in nature...weather begins to warm...the air becomes more fragrant... outdoor activities are numerous. The next step that happens in nature, at least in our hemisphere, is GROWTH! Are you prepared for the next step? As weather warms, my thoughts turn to the miracle of the tiny plant that pushes its way through the many obstacles of the earth seeking the light. Isn’t that what each person does when working with their personal passion? The idea of being covered and unable to move does not stop the plant from growing. If you have a heart knowing, a passion for “X”, you can push your way through any obstacle and find your light. As you push your way upward, just like the plant, you are safely rooted in your foundation. If you are already on your light path, it’s simply a matter of continuing and opening to the many opportunities that will make themselves known. If you are still looking for your light path, take some time to try on some new ideas. It is time to embrace your inner passions. It is not about things. It is not about what you have, who you know, or what you do. Rather, true passion is about inner knowing. When you are outside of linear time, you are in a place of passion. Did you every notice how time flies when you are out with a good group of friends? When you are inside your heart, you are in a place of passion. Did you every notice how good you feel when you have completed a particular project? The Universe is pushing everyone to discover personal passion! Passion is a powerful emotion and it is the emotions that will be holding the power this year. This is a year of completion and will demand that you spend time reviewing what was so you can make room for what is to be. Keep in mind that you will be seeing
various choices throughout the year, questioning you regarding what is most important to you. First, let’s take a look at fear – conscious and unconscious – because fear can keep you from truly knowing your passions. Fear is another powerful emotion. Fear sets up an expectation of something going wrong, something causing pain, something disastrous or something frightening. Most fears are based on past experience – in this and other lifetimes. You may say that there is nothing you are afraid of, but what about other people’s opinions? Are you afraid of people talking about you behind your back? Do you believe that you have done things “wrong” in your life, and that is why many things happen to you? The fear umbrella takes in a lot more than “just” fear. There’s anger, guilt, frustration, shame and blame. They all fall under this fear umbrella. Are there people out there who make you angry? Do you do things and then regret that you have done them? Do you find that no matter how many times you explain something to your friend, they still don’t seem to get it? Any and all of these things come from fear. If you find yourself in fear, simply stop and ask yourself: “What am I afraid of?” When you get that answer, then ask: “Well, why am I afraid of that?” Take it to the point where you can realize that the only fear you have is the fear of being wrong. Being “wrong” is only a big deal if you make it a big deal!
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It is time to also look at guilt. Ask yourself why someone else’s opinions, someone else’s way of believing, someone else’s structure has to be your structure, too. Guilt is something that belongs to another. Are you prepared to give it back?
must be observed in yourself in order to decrease your resistance to the current energy changes. It is the resistance to this new energy that is creating so much disease, problems, and physical change right now.
Learn to ask: “How does this make me feel?” If you feel good, it makes sense that you continue to do that thing. If you feel bad, you might what to ask why you are doing that thing? You can say you have responsibilities but what does that really mean? They are responsibilities you have created, or allowed yourself to create based on someone else’s needs. Think about your power. If you have created them, you can change them.
Imagine that there is a giant harp out in the universe. Each time a string is plucked, the vibration of the note travels to the earth in a wave form and penetrates your energy. About every 10 to 12 days, there has been a new “note” and your energy either adjusts or resists the vibration. It does not matter if you are not aware of the changes in the vibration – they are still happening. It does matter that you are aware of being “different” than before. You are aware that you are less patient with people. You are aware that other people are less patient with you. You are aware that others seem to be in a bad mood more often than not. You are aware that your mood hasn’t been the best, either. As soon as you think things are smoothing out, there is a new note, a new vibration to contemplate. Because of all of this, you may find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering who is looking back. Your body, your temperament and your awareness are all shifting with the waves of energy connecting to the planet.
It is simply a matter of being aware of your thinking process, of your patterns, of setting up your expectations without fear. Once you are aware of them and asking yourself these questions, you will be amazed at how much easier it will be for you to make choices and decisions. Understanding your pattern and what fear created it will be a giant step toward changing your life. It is also time to listen to the inner self and not keep seeking outside yourself for the answers. You have them. How can you not believe in yourself? Everything is as you choose it to be. You create your own reality. Remember that your emotions are strong and are the base for your reality. When you feel something, you send it out to the universe and attract more of that “something” to you. Even if you say something positive, if you are feeling negative, it is the negative that goes out into the universe first and comes back in kind. Your power is great. With the many energy changes coming to Earth, your power will be increasing. It will be important to learn how to use this power, not just control it. You currently work in contradiction, and say “no, no, I do not want this” while saying “please, please, bring it in.” It is a contradiction that
In order to better work with these energy changes, these new “notes”, you have to connect again with your body. If you are plugged in with your i-pod, cell phone, land phone, work phone, or portable computer, you are aware of how seldom you are required to check in with self and find out if anyone is home. You are living outside of yourself. It is always much easier to notice this in other people. Drivers seem to not see you and continue on their merry way without checking mirrors or lanes. Shoppers seem to be oblivious to people around them and therefore cut in line and bump into others regularly. Co-workers seem to be unaware of how annoying they have been of late. All of this points to how you are disconnected from the here and now. All of this adds to the fear that keeps you from manifesting your passions.
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It is important to spend time recognizing what is going on in your brain and body instead of working on your usual automatic pilot. When you work on automatic pilot, one of the things that you do is insist on doing it the way you have always done it. Don’t forget the true definition of insanity – it’s doing the same thing over and over expecting different results! When you do it the way you have always done it, you will recognize it is not working. The automatic pilot will be your first indicator that something is shifting. Try something new. If you go to one restaurant and you always order the same thing, please change your order. It is time to find out if you are in a rut and unable to find your passion because you are fearful of what that truly means. If you are ready to go within, you may find some interesting changes happening in your body. Your very DNA is in flux. Rather than complain and wonder what is wrong or why your body is acting in a peculiar fashion, stop for a moment and see if you can see the benefit of the change. Looking at these changes in a positive fashion will assist you in creating a more positive experience. Know that you will be facing all the old things you think you have already cleared from your world. If you always had issues in relationships, expect some issues in that regard to be made manifest. If you were the type to have various physical issues, don’t be surprised to see some of them making a return visit. Take a moment to look at your life physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Be honest with what you see. Look at what is happening in your life and ask yourself how you created it. Now that you have looked at the many ways fear is holding you back, it is time to discover how to manifest your passions and blossom this season. Here’s a simple exercise: Give yourself some time to make a list of all the times you say “I love”. It can be something as complex as music and as simple as chocolate. Leave people off of your list because this is about you, not others. Have fun with this. Let the list grow as you spend time contemplating if you really love to sleep late, or are you
sleeping because you’re bored. Once you have your list completed, it’s time to make another list. On this list, state ten things (no less than) at which you are good. Do not get caught up in the “business” end of things. You could be good at sleeping or eating or being a friend. Once this list is complete, play match game. Match the things you say you love with the things at which you say you are good. Then look at your new list and see what gets matched the most, what gets matched the least and what doesn’t get matched. In every case, ask yourself if you want to have more of “it” in your life. If you do, think about ways to make it happen. If you don’t, there’s no more work involved. However, it is important to look at your items that don’t get matched. Can you really have something you love and nothing that you are good at to go with it? This is the beginning of getting you to think outside of the box. It is a start to look at yourself and find passion in places where you may have hidden them many years ago. Since you are the microcosm on the earth, the macrocosm, if you want to see how she is shaking things up and dealing with some of her changes, you can go to www.iris.edu/seismon/ and get an up to the minute look at the many earthquakes around the globe. As Gaia continues her alterations, so will you. She has decided what will work best for her. Now, you can do the same for yourself. Look inside and find your passions and as things blossom on the planet, you will find things blossoming within. Look outside and notice that the power of that small seed to push through the earth and find the sun, is an example for you on your path. Enjoy your Spring and create your passions. I’ll be talking with you again. If you're working on finding your next step and wish to share your experience or ask for some guidance, let me know.
Sue Yarmey – Energy Translator/Channel/Psychic Sue has been interpreting universal energy for more than 40 years. She offers guidance for the 3D world by accessing the various faceted levels of energy. Using all her sensory perceptions as well as occasional physical tools she counsels people in the now, offering insight into the current dynamics of a situation acting as a reflection of a persons lessons. Sue is a 1975 graduate of the Institute of Psychorientology, and a shaktipat initiate of Anandi Ma. She was Portland, Maine’s original radio psychic with an educational call-in show and on-air readings. She developed a 3hour call in show on metaphysical topics, did call in readings on WTHT and daily “Tarot of the Day” updates. FMI: Sue Yarmey, 207-284-9498, www.sueyarmey.com or email@example.com INNER TAPESTRY JOURNAL Summer 2015
By Kathryn Drage
Six Cats and Exploring the Art of Being Present One day, a few months ago, I was si3ng in my living room with my a7en8on pointed towards my cell phone checking my emails, Facebook, etc. I was very engrossed, responding to clients as well as pos8ng updates of upcoming animal communica8on / healing sessions. I then happened to look up and realized that I had my en8re feline family, all six of them, si3ng in a semicircle in front of me. “We are having a council mee8ng to tell you that you need to slow down and be present…. You must.” In all the 8me that we have been together, we have had many conversa8ons. They have given me advice, but usually one on one. This was diﬀerent. They came together with words of wisdom that they felt were impera8ve to my wellbeing. If any of you thought that being an animal communicator gets you oﬀ the hook with all things animal… it is quite the opposite. My par8al understanding or at least what I was willing to recognize (because I will admit that I knew to what level they were instruc8ng me to slow down) was to do fewer events this year and spend more 8me at home. Okay, I agreed that we had a very busy last few years and being home more oNen would be nice. Meanwhile, I’m s8ll not being totally honorable or present with my feline family… or myself, for that ma7er. I know I am not fooling anyone but I keep saying things like, ”Right aNer this,
I will be right with you.” I cringed every 8me I said it but s8ll kept falling into that pa7ern. That is imbalance and I knew it. Does it make a diﬀerence if this preoccupa8on is about animal communica8on and helping others? The answer is no… and the deluge of imbalance started pouring in. I will list you the series of events that happened next. I had a leak in my roof that went directly into my router, resul8ng in no internet. My laptop had malware issues. My furnace started making very loud backﬁring noises and stopped working on the coldest day we had this past winter in Maine. My beau8ful cat, Cleome, got an abscess in her mouth and so did I… at the same 8me. We both had a hard 8me healing our abscesses and, if we were facing each other, our swollen faces mirrored each other’s. I also broke three cell phones in the past two months… dropped two and stepped on one. My replacement phone came in not working and even now I am told they are on back order. I am using my cracked loaner phone un8l then. The routers I have brought home are not compa8ble with my computer, even though my internet company says they should be. Do you think that this is ge3ng my a7en8on? At this point I am forced to be away from technology and you know what? It feels good! I could feel my body relax almost immediately. I could not be available 24/7 to everyone… just us… my beau8ful family.
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I actually had to write this ar8cle with pen and paper and even with that, every 8me I a7empted to write, one of my cats would lay down on it, immediately. My original ar8cle was actually on a diﬀerent topic. It was not un8l I started wri8ng about this experience that they actually let me write. This ar8cle is Spirit driven. I am grateful for my wonderful editor who gave me an extension. Thank you! I was falling in a trap of focusing so much on giving that my feline family saw that I was becoming out of balance. I am very fortunate to have such an in tune group of individuals with me… and this is not the ﬁrst 8me that they have come together to help me. Several years ago, my Mother, who was one of the closest people in my life, passed away in an accident. Everything happened so quickly. My brothers and I were in the hospital all night and when I came home in the morning, I did not know what to do next. I was in shock that someone so close to me was ripped from my everyday existence. I fully understood that she was in a safe and beau8ful place…. It was just that my landscape was forever changed. I went to bed and lay down. Immediately, my amazing cats came around me and snuggled so close to me that I was like a swaddled infant. One of them stayed at the foot of my bed keeping guard like a sen8nel. This is the ﬁrst 8me they had ever done anything like this. They con8nued for several months and then, gradually, they started to take turns being there for me. How amazingly nurturing of them… and because of that I slept peacefully every night. Many 8mes people tell me that the cats in their lives are lying around all day doing nothing. I know that what they are doing much of that 8me is crea8ng energe8c balance in the home and for the family. So many of us are busy and bring energe8c imbalance home. They are amazing energy healers… even be7er than having a Reiki master coming into your home every day (which would be a wonderful blessing) because they have a keener sense of what you personally need. Many animals do this work. Cats just happen to look like they are sleeping when they are doing it.
Cleome This next story is about how a highly connected horse saved his human companion’s life in a most unexpected way. I have been given permission to share this very private story, as long as I do not use any names. This story unfolded in ways I never expected but was honored to be entrusted with. I was contacted by a family to see if I could help ﬁnd out why a horse threw his human companion oﬀ of him, causing her to break many bones and be in a body cast for six months. The two had always been so close. This woman loved her horse companion, but was now afraid because they could not ﬁnd any medical reason why he had acted this way, all of a sudden, on this par8cular day. I learned a couple of very big lessons when I met up with them… the ﬁrst being that I should always make sure that the person in ques8on wants me there.
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We met as a group -‐-‐ the woman, the horse and the family members who contacted me on the woman’s behalf. As I was doing the reading two things became apparent. First, the woman was upset that I was there and let it be known. And second, while the horse was revealing to me why he’d thrown her oﬀ, he was also showing me an image in my mind’s eye of a young girl, 4 or 5 years of age, standing to the right of him. He put a cloak in front of her to shield her. He informed me that this was the same woman as a child. He let me know that she had been abused as a child and that, while she was angrily telling everyone that she didn’t believe a word I was saying, what was actually happening was that she really believed that I did know what I was talking about and was afraid that I might expose her childhood secret to her family. The cloak was a sign for me not to say anymore, le3ng me know that I was to walk away to make her feel safe. I made a promise long ago that when I speak on behalf of animals that I would always respect their wishes -‐-‐ saying whatever they wanted (or not saying whatever they wanted,) even if it might make me look like a fool. It is my contract with them and I honor it.
woman conﬁrmed that she had been in an abusive rela8onship at the 8me of the accident. When she was in the body cast, her partner leN her. And when she healed… she healed on many levels and she a7racted a caring and loving rela8onship. It may be hard to understand but this horse showed me that when this all transpired that day, he was le3ng the Universe ﬂow through him for her higher good, making sure she was as safe as possible. While she thought that he was trying to kill her… he was actually carefully saving her. I am sure many of you have heard the expression… if you don’t listen to what the Universe is trying to tell you, it is going to come knocking harder and harder. This woman’s experiences conﬁrmed that, as have my own recent experiences. This brilliant horse knew what was coming. He actually used his body and energy to shield this woman even though, to everyone else, it looked like he was trying to harm her. They are closer than ever now and the trust they place in each other is magical.
The Animal Kingdom has a beau8ful and egoless way of le3ng the Universe ﬂow through them and Although I would never have shared what I saw in that is actually how a big part of how I communicate mixed company and I am always guided to gently with them. Yes, we talk about what food they like bring forward informa8on to the person in ques8on and how they feel physically but they have such a if needed, the things I had been saying in the Giovanni Bellini’s spiritual message to oﬀer and many 8mes it is for “Mary Magdalene” reading were making the woman nervous. She the human in their lives. connected with me at a later 8me to let me know I encourage you to be present with your animal she understood the reading and wished to con8nue friend and explore what ﬂows through you for privately. informa8on…listen closely with your heart and open The reason this highly connected horse threw her, mind. he said, was because she could not break a life8me Namaste pa7ern of being in abusive rela8onships. The Kathryn Drage is an Animal Communicator who resides in Gardiner, Maine. She has been communicating with animals and nature since early childhood. For the last 20 years Kathryn has also worked in the holistic health field, which enhances the information she shares from the heart. During a session, Kathryn infuses her wisdom, many healing modalities as well as past experiences to help assist with the well being of the receiver. She truly enjoys teaching workshops on a variety of topics. She believes Animal Communication is everyone’s original language and the more that it’s shared the closer it brings all beings into harmony and balance. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.earthtalking.org
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Yoga Is The Mighty Sword Of The Dragon Slayer What do want from life? The universal answer to this question is: “to be happy”. So, then, what does it take to truly be happy in this life? If we were to listen to the giant advertisers from Madison Avenue, we couldn’t possibly be happy without driving a Lexus automobile, while wearing the latest creation by Hugo Boss, talking to our travel agent on our blue tooth smartphone while planning our next eco vacation to Nicaragua. Pinning our happiness to satisfying external desires sets the human heart and mind on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The dance of desires draws our consciousness out of the present moment and any possibility of truly realizing lasting happiness within that moment. Far too many of us will admittedly or not, attach our happiness to satisfying desires, such as, I’ll be happy when I loose 25 pounds, or when I can pay off all of my debt, or when I marry my dream partner, or when I can live in a better home. Upon exploration of these desires, we find the shadow side of our emotional spectrum. An undercurrent of dissatisfaction with what we currently experience in our lives with a subtle or sometimes blatant aversion to our current state of being. This aversion to what “is” propels us toward attempting to satisfy our desires. If we are able to attain our desire, there is a rush of elation and temporary joy. If we are unable to attain our desire, we remain in a state of projection into the future, with the desire perpetuating a state of grasping. Unattained desires are a root cause of deep and often
unnamable emptiness and sadness, and these darker emotions can be a catalyst for self-destructive behaviors. On a subconscious level we perceive ourselves as a failure. To soothe these emotions we turn to indulgences, which if gone unchecked can turn into addictions. Things such as eating sweets to give us a rush of temporary pleasure, or drinking alcohol to numb out to the heaviness of the dark emotions and give ourselves a buzz of temporary happiness, or we may purchase one of our desires, possibly with a credit card, that will only perpetuate our negative feelings as we have now added to the burden of debt. On and on it will go until we step off of the roller coaster ride, and direct our efforts to lasting happiness unpinned from the aforementioned desires. As human beings, we share common desires, and common obstacles to attaining these universal desires. From the Vedic teachings, spiritual texts that date back 5, 000 years or more, the Rishis or “Seers” outlined the four common desires of life: 1. Dharma: the desire to know one’s purpose of the soul. 2. Artha: the desire for the means (knowledge, skills, money, security, health, etc…) to fulfill your dharma. 3. Kama: the desire for enjoying the pleasures of life in all forms. 4. Moksha: the desire for spiritual realization and ultimately freedom from the three previous desires.
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Patanjali, author of the classic text on yoga, The Yoga Sutras, clearly describes the obstacles to the attainment of moksha (liberation) in Yoga Sutra 2.3. He writes in detail about the klesas or afflictions of the human mind, which are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Avida: Ignorance/Illusion Asmita: ‘i”-ness/Ego sense Raga: Attachment/Desire Dvesa: Aversion/Resistance Abhinivesah: Fear of death/Clinging to life
These five klesas (afflictions) are the dragons we must slay upon our journey toward moksha (liberation). The consistent practice of the 8-limbed path of Astanga Yoga strengthens, and steadies us. Adopting ayurvedic lifestyle principals, cultivates true health in body, mind, and spirit, infusing the body with abundant Prana (life force energy). These two sister sciences that I call the “owners manual” for living a optimal human life, provide the power to transcend the grip of these dragons and live our lives in moksha pure, lasting and joyful freedom. In order to slay our dragons, we must first observe and get to know the nature of these mythical and primordial beasts. In Sanskrit the mind is describe as Chitta, which is comprised of several specific attributes. Jivatma is the spark of the Divine that dwells at the center of our being and is the all-pervading consciousness. It is the “I am” presence in contrast to the “i”–ness/ego sense. The jivatma remains dispassionate, blissful, observant, rooted in all loving acceptance within the still center of the swirl of action that is the human drama. Buddhi is the discerning mind that is stable and reflective when the Vrittis (fluctuations in consciousness) find Niroddha or stillness. Buddhi consciousness demonstrates clear perception, which directs pure actions without the drama of
attachments to outcomes, or desires for things to be different than they are. When chitta (mind) dwells in buddhi, we act at the exact appropriate time, with the appropriate action that is in the highest good for all and without developing karma. Ahamkara is the “i”-ness/ego aspect of chitta (mind) that dwells in limited self perceptions harnessing us in a state of diminishment and disconnection from our source. When we dwell in ahamkara, we are living in an isolated, disconnected, and dualistic mind that will remain in a state of reactivity to the external world. Manas is another aspect of chitta (mind) in an ego state which is “externalized”. Manas keeps the mind focused outward with projections, reflections, associations, judgments, desires, etc… Manas ensnares the mind into a constant state of fluctuation as it looks outward and remains reactionary to everything it witnesses. A mind that is not seated in buddhi in the repose of niroddaha (stillness) is in a state of vritti (fluctuation). Chitta (mind) in a state of vritti, dances continuously, vacillating between ahamkara and manas (“i”-ness/ego and it’s relationship to everything in the external world). This is the eternal ping-pong game with the mind being bounced like a ball between the paddles of ego and it’s reactions and relationships to everything outside of the stillness of buddhi. The play of these reactionary aspects of chitta (mind) allows the klesas or dragons to dominate our lives and restrict our progression toward moksha (liberation). Patanjali states in his yoga sutra 1.2: Yogaha Chitta Vritti Niroddha. Defined: Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations in the mind. When our dragons have been slayed, the mind rests in the expansive, still splendor of buddhi and ascends into jivatma which is the journey to moksha or spiritual liberation.
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As any good warrior will tell you, the key to triumph is to “know your enemy”. We’ve come to know that chitta (mind) in a state of vritti (fluctuation) is rooted in the ping-pong game of the ego that gives rise to the sharpness of the dragon’s claws, and the brutal heat of it’s wrathful fire. The sharpest weapon we can bring to bear in our mortal combat with our dragons in the inner practice of yoga called Dharana (Contemplation). This practice directs the mind toward buddhi by contemplation upon the root causes of our vrittis (fluctuations). Once the dragon is identified, we can digest the root cause by understanding the “life lesson”. After digestion of the life lesson, the mind will no longer ruminate or vacillate over the “story” thus liberating the mind by the elimination of our attachment to that vritti. The dragon is slayed! If you have ever sat quietly in observation of your mind, you have probably witnessed these vrittis or fluctuations. They are often incessant and habitual in nature to the degree that they color our selfperception, and actions. In Sanskrit the habitual vrittis that have carved grooves into our consciousness are referred to as Samskaras. These samskaras are entrenched habits of thoughts, emotions and actions that appear inescapable. They confine us, define us, and obstruct the light of our soul from shining brightly through the obstruction of repetitive thoughts and actions. These are fiercest dragons of all as they hold us in their sharp talon-like grip of false “ego” identity. Samskaras perpetuate the illusion that we are simply only human by imprisoning the mind into incessant virttis. By slaying these dragons we unveil the jivatma (Divinity Individuated) that is radiant, endless, timeless, and ever blissful. Let’s now take a closer look at each of the klesa dragons to gain clarity on their nature. The Asmita dragon is the “i”-ness/ego that can take on different forms. One form is a false or inflated opinion of ones self that remains locked into comparison and judgment, and cultivates a disrespectful attitude toward others. Another form is a persistent negative self-image, propelling the mind into judging, comparing, and contrasting oneself against a
perceived “perfection”, eternally falling short of that perfection. This is also one of the major roots of conflict, as our sense of “self” and our ideas of what is “right” pits itself against another’s perception of what is right. The asmita dragon drives us to seek external confirmation of ourselves to feel a sense of worthiness. The Raga dragon is the attachment/desire dragon. This dragon is intertwined with the third of the 4 Desires, Kama (pleasures) and so is a dragon that has a very tight grip upon the mind. The raga dragon drives us to seek pleasure to the degree that many people begin to dwell in a very imbalanced state. There is a constant striving outside of oneself for things or situations that may or may not ever come to manifestation. Our happiness becomes dependent on the attainment of our desires, and keeps the mind attached to the future, rather than finding peace and acceptance in the NOW. The Dvesa dragon is a big and scary one, as it is rooted in the fear of not getting what we want, or getting what we don’t want. Dvesa is aversion and resistance that constantly pulls us away from the present moment and the possibility of peaceful acceptance of what is real in this moment NOW. When we allow the mind to dwell in aversion we actually anchor our consciousness into the very thing we might be trying to avoid. Attempts to avoid a specific situation, causes the mind to focus upon the subject of our avoidance. Dwelling upon our aversion inflicts even more pain, and acts like super glue sticking our mind to the aversion. Of all the klesas, the Abhinevisah dragon has a paralyzing effect our psyche. This dragon goes to the very root of our existence. It taps into one of the biggest stumbling blocks to spiritual liberation, FEAR of the loss of our survival. We cling to this life because we have forgotten the truth of our eternally blissful energetic nature. The true seeker who wishes to transcend abhinevesha will direct their attention inward toward the jivatma to the place of blissful eternal stillness that remains unsullied by the drama of the mortal human dilemma.
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The mother of all dragons, the biggest, and scariest is the Avidya or ignorance/illusion dragon. When we lack awareness of who we truly are, jivatma, we get tangle up in the ego (asmita) leading us to desires or attachments (ragas), resistance and aversions (dvesa), and as well, clinging to the temporary life in the physical body (abhinevesah). This ignorance is the result of all suffering. Avidya isnâ€™t just the ignorance or lack of worldly knowledge of science, art and culture. It is ignorance of our true nature, jivatma (Divinity) that is all love, all knowing, in complete union with the Divine and the whole universe. The rational mind that is completely locked in asmita (ego) finds this statement incomprehensible. So, we dwell in avidya (ignorance) and suffer from the wrath of all of the dragons.
The inner exploration through the practice of Dharana (contemplation) to the peaceful center of the jivatma that dwells within out heart is the most powerful weapon we have to slay our dragons. The consistent and persistent practice of dharana (contemplation) is the path to liberation. Through dharana we honestly looking at where we are allowing these klesa dragons to operate in our life, and slay them one by one through recognition, learning, digesting the lesson, and then releasing the vritti (fluctuation) or samskara (pattern). As we slay our dragons, we no longer live in the dark and painful place dominated by these dragons. We step into the radiant, blissful, all loving and liberated light of the jivatma and dwell in moksha.
Suzanne Silvermoon, Pediatric Nurse, Cert. Yoga Therapy Practitioner, teacher and speaker. Suzanneâ€™s centered, skillful, compassionate and nurturing teaching style draws from her 35 years of personal yoga practice and study. She fosters peace, safety and ease with personal exploration in her yoga classes, private yoga therapy sessions, and workshops. She expertly weaves proper alignment, physical anatomy and the energetic flow of prana to guide her students in the multidimensional aspects of the human experience through yoga. Suzanne is a faculty teacher for YOGAspirit Studios and Kerala Ayurveda Academy. FMI: www.indigolotusyoga.com
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MINDFUL HOME By Lindsay Neithercut
Viva Staycation! How does that old song go? Summertime and the livin’s easy…bring it on. Affording a vacation without the “ching-ching”, though…not always that easy. My husband Scott and I try to live simply and (mostly) within our means. We bought our house 10 years ago, and just as the ink was drying on the contract, Hurricane Katrina visited down south. Suddenly the cost of heating our little dream and commuting to work gave our budget an unflattering haircut. A few years later, the economy tanked, and we had company. Staycation was born. Staycation. All the relaxation and fun you choose, without traffic, flight delays or expensive hotel rooms. A chance to explore your own backyard, and your own community. What are you in the mood for, or craving? Relaxation, family bonding and fun, a romantic getaway? Mix and match and make it happen. Take a few notes, set a budget to work with, and watch your staycation take shape. If relaxation and self-care is what you need, then make sure you allow yourself to sleep as long as you wish and plan any activities for a late start. If you have a hammock in your backyard, this is what it was made for and I’ll bet it doesn’t cradle you half as much as it would love to. If you don’t, and you have the budget and space, consider it an investment in relaxation you can visit any time you like. Schedule massages or a special spa treatment if you can afford it, or recreate it at home by trading massages with
your significant other, taking a sensuous bath scented with essential oils, and slathering green clay and cucumbers on your face while sipping a refreshing beverage. Pick a tranquil, quiet place to walk, take in the view, sit, and meditate. Make like a hound and lounge. You earned it. Family fun week conjures images of amusement parks, the beach or lake, and backyard games for me. A great day hike will get you lots of fresh air and natural beauty, and all but guarantees everyone will sleep well. Pitch a tent in your backyard, build a fire, make s’mores and tell ghost stories. Check out your local museums, festivals, fairs and sports teams. Set up a slip and slide! Go to a local park, beach or lake with a picnic lunch and a Frisbee. Do a movie night (or day if it’s raining). Pick out an art or craft project. How about that romantic getaway? Set the backdrop with fresh flowers, decadent foods, and champagne. Have a fancy dinner out. Set your table with linen and china if you’re dining in. Schedule a couple’s massage. Take a long drive and stop to explore whatever tickles your fancy. Go to a concert or museum. Have leisurely coffee and croissants on your patio. Stargaze together. Dance in your backyard barefoot. Remember and talk about when you met and all the things, great and challenging, you’ve weathered together. Gaze into one another’s eyes, and whisper some sweet nothings.
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Once you have decided your staycation “theme” and some activities, take some time to get prepared. You wouldn’t want to check into a hotel room with dirty dishes, piles of laundry, and a crusty bathroom, would you? Not so much. Sparkle up your house so it’s ready to receive and support you staycationers. And as much as it’s possible, while you’re on staycation, leave the mundane chores for when you “come home”. Staycation is vacation, after all. Give yourselves permission to take the break. Again, you earned it!
Now it’s time for your staycation to begin. When you walk through the door, shout and celebrate! Whoohoo! We made it and we’re on vacation! Have a happy hour; and when I say that, know that doesn’t require alcohol. Everyone can celebrate with a glass of lemonade or fruit infused water and some veggie sticks before dinner. Maybe this is the night you cook your mixed grill, and make salads as a family. Put your work bag in the closet, write “Gone Fishing’” on the chalkboard (or make it your voice mail message), and get on with doing what you do.
As part of your prep, make any reservations that may be required. Go grocery shopping. If you have a family, ask for their input (and then use your judgement). Fill your fridge with fresh, delicious food and beverages. As my household’s primary cook, I can tell you that a vacation for me includes a vacation from cooking, within reason. Again, a little prep goes a long way. Make some items that can be picked on over the course of a few days or a week. Green salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, potato salad. Get that salad theme there? I also recommend a “mixed grill” of meats and/or veggies to last a few days. I’ll do several kinds of meat, in different marinades or rubs. Have some hot off the grill for dinner, and then whenever you want, you have some delicious grilled goodness in your fridge to go with your salads, into a sandwich or quick and easy quesadillas. Hard boil some eggs, cut up some veggies to go with hummus, and brew some iced tea. Don’t forget the ice. Or the sunblock. Put out some fresh flowers…who cares if they’re dandelions? Get out some balls, Frisbees, and lawn games. We once set up a cheap badminton set we bought on a whim at a party and wouldn’t you know it that was the most popular thing ever.
Here are the bones of your amazing staycation: 1. Pick a theme. What’s your need or desire for
your staycation? 2. Set a budget. 3. Now with your budget, choose your
activities. Try to pick at least one new thing and explore your community. 4. Prepare. House clean, laundry done. Schedule
reservations, buy advance tickets, get out the play stuff, and plan/prep your foods. 5. Celebrate the moment you get through the
door. “Happy hour”, put your work bag out of sight, and set your voice message to “Gone Fishing’”. I hope you have a great time creating and enjoying a conscious staycation that gives you everything you need and want in a vacation. We all work hard every day, and we all need to relax and decompress on a regular basis. Get on with enjoying every moment you create this summer!
Lindsay Neithercut is a writer and conscious living expert who relates to the struggle so many face today in finding the balance between career, responsibility, and passion/joy. After buying her house, all her careful planning evaporated when fuel costs exploded after Hurricane Katrina. Her vision fell further down on “The List” as it met reality and the budget, leaving her feeling lost. After reconnecting with her passion, Lindsay is tackling her life and home to re-align and make time for her passion and joy. Lindsay hopes others will be inspired by her experiences and make room for their own passions.
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Light and Sound on the Path
Visions of Allah The great Sufi mystic Rumi once said, "If you are seeking, seek us with joy, for we live in the kingdom of joy. Do not give your heart to anything else but to the love of those who are clear joy, do not stray into the neighborhood of despair. For there are hopes: they are real, they exist - do not go in the direction of darkness - I tell you: SUNS EXIST!!!" The mystical utterances of Rumi and other great Sufi Masters speak directly to the heart. They encourage us to see the hidden Light, to discover Divine Secrets, to perceive the Way that lovers can find their Beloved. The Sufis, through their poems and ecstatic revelations are attempting to share their Secrets with the world, or at least with those discerning souls who find their words to be not only nice poetry, but something much more - soul-expressions coming from lovers caught up in the divine bliss of a higher reality. The poet-mystics speak of a spiritual reality that exists just beyond the perception of the five senses. Though the physical body is a kind of "veil" that eclipses the Light of the inner Sun from our vision, nevertheless we can, even now during this life, have access to this other existence. The Persian classic, "Divine Flashes," by Fakhruddin 'Iraqi says:
"The lover seeks the Vision in order that he might pass away from existence; he knocks on the Door of Nonexistence, for there he was once at peace. There he was both seer and seen, both viewer and viewed. Coming to be, he became the veil of his own sight and was deprived of the Vision. His existence is merely a screen to hide this sight." In order for humans to "knock on the Door of Nonexistence" (regain the spiritual Vision we once enjoyed as souls before time began) 'Iraqi encourages us to understand ourselves in a new way and begin to contemplate the Other World with another kind of sight, a type of seeing that is unveiled when we temporarily abstain from the five senses. "Know yourselves: a cloud drifting before your Sun. Cut yourselves off from your senses and behold your Sun of Intimacy." 'Iraqi is describing here the process of meditation practiced in numerous mystical traditions of the east and west. In order to obtain the Vision, the seeker 1) closes their eyes and stops paying attention to the outer world for awhile, and 2) discovers inner spiritual seeing and hearing, the inner senses of the soul which are able to contemplate heavenly realities. "If this screen -- which is you -- is struck from before your eyes, the Beloved will find the Beloved, and you will be entirely lost. Then you will hear with the Ear of your Heart. That Mystery, so long concealed is at last opened, the darkness of your night at last bathed in dawn!" (Fakhruddin 'Iraqi, Divine Flashes, Paulist Press, a volume in the Classics of Western Spirituality Series) Rumi put it this way,
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"Listen, open a window to God and begin to delight yourself by gazing upon Him through the opening. The business of love is to make the window of the heart, for the breast is illumined by the beauty of the Beloved. Gaze incessantly on the face of your Beloved! Listen, this is in your power my friend!" Within our grasp is the ability to regain the Vision of our soul and the Communion with our Beloved Allah; both reside together in the mystical garden, the paradise of the spiritual world. Though the material sphere acts as a dense layer of overcast skies obscuring our vision of what lies beyond, Masters have revealed the Secrets of obtaining paradise to anyone who yearns to discover them saying to their students very much like Rumi did, "This is in your power my friend!" The process of gaining a vision of paradise and mystic transport has been described as "stripping off old garments" and replacing them with a new heavenly robe made of Light. In his Persian Sufi classic, Divine Flashes, Fakhruddin 'Iraqi describes the process: "When the Beloved would exalt the lover, He strips from him the garments collected from all the worlds, and clothes him in the robe of His own attributes. Then the Beloved calls him by all his own attributes. Then the Beloved calls him by all his own names, and seats him in his own place. When the lover studies his new clothes he finds himself arrayed in different colors, and will wonder 'what is this beautiful tint, this garment so unique?' This quote from Divine Flashes reminds me of Saying 37 in the Gospel of Thomas, one of the earliest collections of the sayings of Jesus. His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?" Jesus said: "When you strip without being ashamed, and you will take your cloths and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then you will see the Son of the Living One and you will not be afraid." (The Complete Gospels, Robert J. Miller, Polebridge Press)
Sufism is a form of Islamic Gnosticism which really does have many affinities with earlier Gnostic mystical traditions of the middle east. Like other movements of the past that embrace spiritual experience and mystic transport through the Seven Heavens, Sufis have found it useful to compare outof-body or ascension journeys to the stripping or shedding of garments. The above quote illustrates their view that each soul on the earth-plane is wearing several garments. We are souls wearing subtle bodies or coverings; our physical body is made out of the material substance of the physical universe. We are, as the late Dr. Carl Sagan put it, "star stuff pondering star stuff." Our bodies are made out of atoms that once came from stars and other objects in the cosmos. When we enter into contemplation and mystical states, our awareness is elsewhere; we become "dead to the world," have risen above body-consciousness. In that sense, we have, for the duration of our meditation period, "stripped" ourselves of the garment of the body for the purpose of exploring other levels of our existence. The mystic traveler enters into what has been called "the fourth state of consciousness." In addition to the waking state, the dream state, the unconsciousness state of deep sleep, the truly holistic explorer can also integrate into his or her experience the spiritual worlds. Mysticism teaches that there are many layers of reality, that there are other garments that will eventually be shed during journeys of ascension. These garments or subtle bodies have been given names in Hebrew, Greek, Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, and other languages. In addition to the "garment" of the physical body, each soul is wearing several other garments or bodies, other sheaths that surround the soul, allowing the soul to connect to the various regions of creation. Counting the physical plane as Level One, Level Two is called by many "the astral plane," made of astral stuff astral substance, existing at a
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slightly higher vibration in the astral region. Level Three is the causal body, made of causal or akashic substance, inhabiting the causal plane. Level Four is the mental body made of mind substance, and is part of the mental plane. The etheric body (Level Five) allows the soul to access that region. Above these worlds of mind and matter, the soul resides in the Timeless Spiritual Realm of Truth (Haq). Metaphysically speaking, we're already in heaven, we just don't know it! 'Iraqi says:
nightmares, seemingly unable to ever wake up. In this environment, our soul grows up only to forget itself and the mission for which it had originally been sent. Our soul then takes on a new identity, wanting to "fit in," gaining the acceptance of others.
That pure substance is different from this dusty world.
Sanai advised his disciples to meditate in order to discover the spiritual highway that leads to the True Realm:
"I put on a robe like theirs lest they suspect me as an outsider who had come to steal the pearl of great price; lest they arouse the serpent against me. But somehow they learned I was not their countryman, and they dealt with me cunningly. I forgot that I was "By day I praised you but never knew it; by night a son of kings, and served their king. I forgot the slept with you without realizing; fancying myself to pearl for which my parents had sent me. Through the be myself; but no, I was you and never knew it!" heaviness of their food I fell into a deep, deep sleep." (from the "Hymn of Rumi Luckily for us slumbering the Pearl") souls, there are always a few Moses-types in the The role of a genuine world freeing those Master is to summon souls yearning for a real to awakening again, promised land, an enabling them to remember occasional Rumi or Shams, their true identity...to find here or there, sharing their themselves, and to begin Secrets about the soul. their great journey back home to the original abode "With every breath the of all souls. Sound of Love surrounds us, Fakhruddin 'Iraqi, desperate for awakening, and we are bound for the said that he prayed the depths of space, without lover's prayer: distraction. "O Allah, give me Light. Out beyond duality, we Bring me to the station of have a Home, and it is Majesty. Vision, that I may know myself as You."
We once came down; soon we'll return." (Rumi) Sufi messengers portray most societies as having succumbed to spiritual sleep, having long since forgotten about the soul and the importance of reconnecting with the spiritual world, the Point of Origin. The Persian tale called "The Hymn of the Pearl" chronicles the journey of one soul who incarnates and ends up in a typical human society with the usual package of prejudice, myopia and agnosis, helplessly trapped in it's own dreams and
"Collect your mind's fragments that you may fill yourself bit by bit with meaning. The one disciple who meditates the mysteries of creation for sixty minutes gains more merit than from sixty years of fasting and prayer. Meditation: high-soaring hawk of the intellect's wrist resting at last on the flowering branch of the heart: this world and the next are hidden beneath its folded wing." (The Drunken Universe)
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An exercise of awakening practiced by the Sufis is called Zikhr -- chanting names of God. The name of God takes possession of the lover who invokes it. Union with the name becomes union with Allah Himself. As the lover calls for his Beloved, the magnetic force of love draws them both together. 'Iraqi: "I could see you a thousand times a day and still desire to see you once again." This yearning of the lover spurs even those who have attained union to aspire to reach higher and higher still. Rumi says: "Bring the sky beneath your feet and listen to Celestial Music everywhere."
More Reading: . Fakhruddin 'Iraqi -- Divine Flashes, Paulist Press; . Jewels of Remembrance, (Rumi poems) Threshold Books; . The Drunken Universe -- An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry,Phanes; . God's Whisper -- Creation's Thunder (Rumi poems), Threshold Books; . The Complete Gospels, (Gos. of Thomas) R. J. Miller, Polebridge Press; . The Other Bible, (Hymn of the Pearl), W. Barnstone, Harper Collins; . The complete Hymn of the Pearl online: http://www.gnosis.org/library/hymnpearl.htm My Collection of Sacred Texts Online and Recommended Reading: Gnostic Gospels, Contemplative or Mystical Christianity, the Lost Books and Spirituality of the West: https://medium.com/sant-mat-radhasoami-books/gnosticgospels-contemplative-or-mystical-christianity-the-lost-books-and-spirituality-of-the-west-28ed95fc3401
BIO James Bean explores the world of spirituality, comparative religion, the Path of the Masters (India), Inner Light & Sound Meditation, books -- sacred texts of the East & West, and the vegan diet, via Spiritual Awakening Radio on HealthyLife.net , Positive Talk Radio, as well as satsangs (spiritual gatherings or retreats). He has been involved with podcasting, public radio, Radio For Peace International, the community radio movement, the Wisdom Channel on satellite radio, is an independent producer currently creating programs for various stations. Address questions or comments to: James@SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com Website: http://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com
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Dear Diary, Today Nana Whacky, Faith and I went for a long walk. Oh M Gee. What I thought was going to be a little hike through the woods ended up being all about 'splorin things like my “mine-set” and my 'motions. At first I didn't know what Nana was talking about. She said my “mine-set” is how I think about things and my 'motions are how I feel about things. I thought sad meant sad and the fact that it's not safe to talk to strangers were just how it is. I mean, should I really question my thoughts? Whodathunkit?? Nope. That's not how it is. Nana says I should really start 'splorin what I think and how I feel as often as I 'splore the brook, the garden, the trees and the stuff between my toes. What happened was while we were walking through the woods I spotted a snake. That thing was at least a mile or two long and I got freaked out and ran from it. Nana said “Child, what's the matter? It's just a young snake.” I had to 'splain to her that snakes are creepy and scary and dangerous. As old as she is, I thought she knew that. Nana stopped me and asked if I really believe all snakes are dangerous and if I had ever been bitten. She questioned if I had been told by someone else that snakes are terrible creatures. When I stopped to think about it I realized she was right. The only time I've spent with a snake is each time I watch that weird movie where the snake is 200 feet long and eats an entire town, post office and all! Brrrrrr. That movie scares me silly. But then, it's just a movie. And that snake isn't real. And, and, and, well Diary, maybe that awful movie that I watched twenty or fifty times really affected what I believe about snakes. Like, I've never really seen a snake eat a post office in real life. Maybe snakes aren't so bad. 36 INNER TAPESTRY JOURNAL Summer 2015
I guess what Nana was saying is that sometimes what we believe is based on the information we take in. What Mama tells me about being generous might make a difference in what I think about giving things to other people. What Papa says about money and taxes could change my thoughts about my allowance and how I spend it. My mine-set is mine and I guess I have to remember that I can't believe everything I hear, and I should make up my own decision about what I think, otherwise it could affect my mind. Nana Whacky says I should be not just 'splorin the woods and the world, but I should be regularly checking in with my thoughts and feelings and see if what I think and feel really should be true. Actually, I think she said I should find out if they hold water. I don't know 'bout my happiness holding water – it's not like a bucket or something. By the time we were leaving the woods the snake showed up in the path in front of Nana and I. This time I stopped to look at. I'm not going to lie, my heart was pounding like I'd just run to the ice cream truck, but I stood there as it slithered past me and I remember thinking he was sorta cute and how the green scales on his back reminded me of the color of money. And the color of money reminded me of the ice cream truck and …. Well, maybe I'll just go and do some more 'splorin of my mine-set and 'motions another time. Right now I believe a drippy, melty two-scooper of strawberry ice cream with sprinkles would be just thing Faith would like me to have in order to feel good today. After all, I really think ice cream is delicious and I feel happy when I'm having some. Gotta run! Blueberry kisses and ice cream wishes, till next time, Molly Kite & Faith
Author, trainer and transformational speaker Tam Veilleux has been changing audiences with wit, wisdom, science and spirituality for several years. Her goal is to engage people of all ages in creating change by mastering the five areas of life through mindset management with EFT, NLP and energy principles. Her children's book “Molly Kite's Big Dream” , available at Amazon, encourages the dream, do, have of life for all ages by teaching the ABC's of Dreaming. For more about Tam or Molly Kite please visit: www.choosebigchange.com
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Traveling with Purpose By Jennie Krasse
Saint Nectan's Glen July 2012 – Copyright Nell Garrett – used with permission
This month I decided to introduce you to 2 sites that are braided within the Arthurian Legends, Saint Nectan’s Glen and Tintagel Castle – both in Cornwall. Saint Nectan's Glen is an area of woodland in Trethevy near Tintagel, north Cornwall stretching for around one mile along both banks of the Trevillet River. The glen's most prominent feature is St Nectan's Kieve, a spectacular sixty foot waterfall. Several footpaths approach St.Nectan’s Glen. The main one is behind the Rocky Valley Center Tintagel road. For many the site has been sacred for generations. People with a variety of beliefs, and some who just admire its pure beauty, are drawn to the waterfall. This site is where many believe that King Arthur and his Knights were blessed before they began their Quest for the Holy Grail. Additional stories also report that this Glenn was the beginning and end step for the Arthurian Knights. They would journey to the Glen prior to leaving for a quest and return to the Glen for some meditation after the quest on their way to and from Tintagel Castle. Renowned as one of the most sacred sites in Cornwall, the waterfall has also been described as
being amongst the 10 most important spiritual sites in the country. The 'Kieve' (the basin into which the water falls) has long been a place of worship, reverence and healing since pre-Christian times. People of many faiths have walked the ancient route to the waterfall. The hike into this incredible water fall is fairly easy depending on the weather. But the Stunning beauty of this place is worth the journey. One can simply imagine as knights of old made their way to the Glen, how they must have started their preparation process. The day I went was a beautiful day after many days of torment rain, so the hike in was muddy and frustrating. At some point I lost my footing and slid right down into the mud. And by sliding into the mud I truly mean covered from head to toe in mud, it was in my hair and into my boots. However all of this frustration seemed to ebb the closer I got to the Glen. I started to think about what “I” was preparing for… what I wanted “preparation” for. Sacred Sites are so much more than a window into our past, their energy carries forth into the present. I love the nuggets of intuition and insight I receive visiting these places.
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2011 Tintagel Castle - Copyright Jennie Krasse
The Glen makes you slow down and become aware of things that are complete and should now be let go to make room for a new adventure or quest. This site is a feast for all of your senses with water so pure and clean and the waterfall, nature’s glorious music. Time seems to stop here. And so also did I- I stop complaining and took in the beautywaded into the pool and let the water wash away all of the frustration. Meditating in this location clears your head. The year I went I had the pleasure of walking to this Glenn with Koko Newport, a well-known Priestess of Avalon and frequent guide to the sites around the Glastonbury Area. Koko was a dear friend to me that year. I had many transitional things all converging at once and it was Koko that suggested we go to the Glen, She said there is where you can connect and prepare for the next leg of your journey. Standing in the pool and receiving a consul from Koko is a treasured memory for me. She poured water over my head and simply said “Welcome Home” As with most sacred travel the journey to the sites is as important as the actual sacred site. The 2 are intertwined. Another stop following the Arthurian legends in Tintagel Castle. (According to Tintagel Castle.co.uk )- Tintagel Castle stands on windswept cliffs in North Cornwall on one of England’s most dramatic coastlines. The Castle is believed to be the birthplace of King Arthur who, as legend has it, was
protected from the evil magician Merlin by his magical sword, Excalibur. There is something for everyone at Tintagel... cliff and path to walk and different ruins to explore and imagine at their full glory, a walk on the beach, a dip in the water and Merlin’s Cave..... I can only described the cave as a place of calm but not necessarily peaceful - it reminds me of the calm I would feel right before I dove into the pool, or jumped on a balance beam or was about to ski down the mountain - this building of excitement and power and focus. The whole area the sea air, the ground beneath your feet - you can feel a tremor of something... You can feel the energy of this beautiful place, you can close your eyes and hear and see boats coming into the Cove, sense the activity all around you. It’s truly a magical place to visit. So some of the logistics - walking down the path to all the goodies is lovely - because its downhill all the way - the ruins and the cave and cove are nestled loving at the bottom of this long road and on a nice day - it’s part of the charm - hiking and exploring. However for those of you who may not be into all that activity - there is a Truck that will drive you down and up the long road if you find it’s just too much after a day of exploring for you can easily spend an afternoon there exploring all this area has to offer.
Jennie Krasse, International Tour Consultant Jennie has an extensive background in group ritual and energy work. She is of Romany-Gypsy, Czech and Scottish descent. Currently she lives in Maine, lectures, teaches and conducts consultation for clients and businesses throughout the United States. She has traveled on several sacred sites tours specializing in group energy work and earth connections. Sacred Travel Tour Information – www.nualacenter.com
39 INNER TAPESTRY JOURNAL Summer 2015
INNER TAPESTRY JOURNAL Summer 2015