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A Trip to Heaven
Dr. Eben Alexander: Heaven is Real Your Consciousness Exists Beyond Your Brain By Krysta Gibson
What’s your vision of heaven? Angels flying around playing harps? Do you believe heaven exists? What do you think happens after death? Do you think there is another world where we continue to exist, or do you think we become food for carrots? These are big questions that deserve big answers. Enter Dr. Eben Alexander who graduated from Duke University in 1980 where he focused on the study of neuroendrocrinology, the study of the interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system. On Nov. 10, 2008, at the age of 54, he was struck by a very rare illness: E. coli bacterial meningitis. This was so severe that it drove him into a coma within three to four hours of onset. His entire neocortex was shut down. It did not work at all. At first Dr. Alexander was given a 10% chance of surviving. When he didn’t respond to antibiotics, he had a two to three percent chance of surviving. Usually within three to four days people wake up or die. On day seven, Dr. Alexander woke up. He had survived this illness. Dr. Alexander’s book, Proof of Heaven, gives details of this experience, but even more, it details the experiences he had while in the coma, experiences that he can only describe as being beyond the brain. He experienced God or Om; he was in a place he calls Earthworm’s-Eye View, and he experienced what he calls “dazzling darkness – an ink darkness that was also full, brimming with light.” Before this experience, Dr. Alexander says he would have said the chances of such a patient remembering anything that happened during coma was zero. “And,” he says, “doctors will agree there is no medical explanation for how I could have such a complete recovery. The ultra-reality of what happened deep in coma was very striking. It
EVENTS • 3
was a long odyssey and I felt like I had been there for months.” Before this experience, Dr. Alexander says he would have been entirely skeptical that such a patient had a true experience. Along with many of his colleagues, he would have said this near-death experience was just a function of the brain. But his brain was entirely nonfunctional. “I was my own worse skeptic trying to explain this as a brain-based phenomena and I tried to discuss it with my colleagues, trying to figure out how this could happen in the brain. I finally had to accept it happened outside the brain. For the next two years, I went into deep study about the nature of consciousness, quantum mechanics and what we know about reality.” He continues, “What I learned is that at the core of everything is the fabric of this multiverse. It is infinite, unconditional love of the creative source, God, Allah, power, Brahmin – this all powerful, loving God is at the core of each one of our conscious existences. My grand message is three to four thousand years old. It is an “I was my own worse skeptic ancient message. What I bring to the table trying to explain my near is my attempt to synthesize everything I death expereince as a know about existence, and that includes brain-based phenomena and the most advanced notions of space I tried to discuss it with my and time, quantum mechanics, and colleagues, trying to figure everything we know about the fabric of out how this could happen in underlying reality,” he explains. the brain. I finally had to Dr. Alexander says Proof of Heaven accept it happened outside synthesizes ancient lessons and applies the brain. For the next two them to our modern lives so people years, I went into deep study can know the power of that all-loving about the nature of condeity that he says is the core of our sciousness, quantum consciousness. mechanics and what we “I do believe that to get to know know about reality,” these deep truths you can do a lot explains Dr. Eben Alexander of reading and watch DVDs, go to courses, etc., but at the end of the day one has to do the work and go deep into our own consciousness through centering prayer or deep meditation. I use acoustical enhancements of deep conscious states, especially with a group called Sacred Acoustics. “It’s all about getting deep into consciousness and into answers, realizing the voice in my head is not who I am. My consciousness acknowledges that voice but in fact that little voice needs . . . . . . to be turned off.” He says that people who . . . . . . . . . . . meditate on a regular basis know and recognize the experience he had while in deep coma. “You don’t have to
Inside The May Issue:
Continued on Page 11
NUTRITION FOR BODY & SOUL • 7
Going on Pilgrimage . . . . . . . . 2 Breathing Freer . . . . . . . . 5 Take Control of Your Schedule 15 The Pull of Machu Picchu . . . . . 16
ON THE BOOKSHELF • 8
OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS • 9
CHAKRA TALK • 12
Going On Pilgrimage Last month a group of about 35 people from the local Ananda spiritual community went on a pilgrimage to India. When they returned, there were many stories of spiritual blessings and most seemed to use the word “awesome” to describe the experience.
There were also tales of Delhi Belly, coughing, and lung problems due to the rather thick air in India, as well as people learning to deal with the noise, dust, and throngs of people just about everywhere. It sounds like going on pilgrimage to India is a case of bliss combined with botheration. Along with some of my friends, I wasn’t able to go on this pilgrimage and, like my friends, started to feel left out. It seems these 35 people bonded emotionally and spiritually through the shared living of their During a pilgrimage to India, Van Barker places experiences. I can see it in the way a specially-made leaf candle into the Ganges at they look at one another. I suspect sunset. there is nothing that would bond
A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING
you like being together on a spiritual pilgrimage in a foreign country for three weeks! Of course, me being me, I have to take all of this to another level and I have to share my insights with you, my loyal readers. Hriman McGilloway, one of the spiritual directors who, along with his wife Padma, by Krysta Gibson led the group of pilgrims, explained that just as people have different energies, so do places. I think most of Pilgrims make preparations for their us have been to places such trip. They study the places they will go, be as Sedona, Chimayo, or Montserrat, and can sure they are up to date on their shots, and attest to the feelings such places hold. Places they make sure they take along appropriate like those in India where many saints have clothing and other personal items. They meditated and prayed over the centuries follow some sort of itinerary so they can emanate a special degree of spirituality and be sure to see the places and do the things I can only imagine what it would be like to important to them. meditate in such a location. What about us? What sort of preparations But if we aren’t able to take such a do you make for your daily life, your pilgrimage, does this mean we are doomed pilgrimage? Do you jump out of bed, hit the never to have such an experience? Or does it shower, grab a cup of coffee and a sweet roll mean we can’t have the benefits of going on while running out the door? Or do you get up a pilgrimage unless we go on one like these early enough to take your time waking up, great souls did? What if we don’t ever make it getting oriented, thinking ahead of what tools to India, or Egypt, or Machu Picchu? Will we you might need for the day? Do you spend always be also-ran spiritual seekers? some time in meditation and contemplation, No. setting your inner gyroscope for success, We are all pilgrims on this planet living however you define it? the biggest pilgrimage of them all: daily Do you know where you are headed in your life! Without taking anything away from the life and why? Or do you waste precious days experiences of souls who go on pilgrimages and minutes? Being on pilgrimage means we such as the one to India, there are ways we need to know where we’re going, what we can live our lives that can bring us profound spiritual benefits. Here are some ideas. Continued on Page 10
Living The Good Life
INDIGENOUS WISDOM TEACHINGS PROGRAM Offering courses, retreats and certifications in Mind-Body Healing
• The Inner Journey – Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA
Discover your true light through healing and transformation
Earth Wisdom May 5 Botanical Blessings May 19 www.Bastyr.edu/Continuing-Education or 425-602-3152
• The Wisdomkeeper – Duvall, WA Eagle Wisdom: Way of the Wind Jun 21, 22, 23 Weekend Workshop at Mosswood Hollow Retreat Center www.elementalhealingandwisdom.com email@example.com Learn healing techniques of Mayan Masters, build your medicine bundle. The healed becomes the healer.
with Christine Upchurch, M.S. Director of Center and Co-founder of Orion Network for EvolutionTM
Lauren Nalder Instructor
THE CENTER FOR ELEMENTAL HEALING & WISDOM
Join Christine Upchurch Director of Stellar Reflections and host of The Christine Upchurch Show
at EAST WEST BOOKSHOP for
“The 111 Activation and Beyond: Tools to Transform Your Life” Friday May 24 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Other events:
MEIR SCHNEIDER VISION FOR LIFE MAY 3-4
SUREN SHRESTHA SINGING BOWL MASTER MAY 17-19
SNATAM KAUR SATSANG AT EAST WEST MAY 19
AINSLIE MACLEOD MAY 25 “WHO WERE YOU?”
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Fragrant Bath Products & Colorful Accessories: Beautiful Scarves, Bags & more! ...through May 31
• Trance and Transformation, with Christine Upchurch and Lauren Archer, Thurs May 2nd, 7 p.m. • CranioSacral talk and demonstration with M.J. Edge, LMP, Thurs May 9th, 7 p.m. • 222 Activation Seminar and Webinar, Saturday May 11th, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. • Evolution into Wholeness class, Sat May 18th, 1:30 - 5:30 p.m. Eastside Office: 15620 NE Woodinville-Duvall Place Suite 4, Woodinville, WA, 98072
6500 RooseveltWay NE,Seattle 206-523-3726
www.StellarReflections.com • 425-999-9836
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Events • Classes • Workshops Thursday May 2, 7pm Trance and Transformation with Christine Upchurch and Lauren Archer, CHT. Join us for this special opportunity to release that which no longer serves in your life and re-pattern your system for change. Experience group discussion, trance, and energetic support. Stellar Reflections. For information call 425-999-9836. May 2-June 6, Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:30pm How Change Works: The Science of Transformation. $140, Center for Spiritual Living. How does change work and why do we struggle so to achieve it? Use the book Changing for Good: Six Stages of Change as you explore sequential steps of change. www.SpiritualLiving.org/Classes May 3, 7:30-9 pm $10 or Free with Saturday May 4 10:30-6 $150 Vision for Life Weekend. Discover the true potential of your vision. Join therapist, educator and Globally respected visionary MEIR SCHNEIDER, learning innovative techniques for overall eye health and treating a variety of eye conditions including eye strain from computer overuse, cataracts, and more. East West Bookshop. ewbks.com 206-523-3726 May 3-5: Fri, 1-8:30 p.m., Sat & Sun, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. CranioSacral Level 1: The Fascia System of the Body & Head. Focuses on patient assessment that includes the musculo-skeletal system, body diaphragms, craniosacral rhythm and cranial membranes, as well as recognizing patterns of restriction. www.Bastyr.edu/Continuing-Education Continuinged@Bastyr.edu 425-602-3152 May 4-5; 9:30-5 Your Animals are Talking: Are You Listening? An exciting seminar on telepathic animal communication through the process of listening to & talking with animals through thought. The communication can be experienced through dialogue, body sensations, emotions or pictures. $295/310. Location: Kenmore, Instructor: Polly Klein. 425-427-8028, paws@ tonglenhealingarts.com MAY 4-5 Discover “The Eight Aspects of God - A Pathway to Bliss” with author/teacher, Ruthie Stender. Saturday, May 4: Introduction, lecture and reading, 7-8:30 PM, $10 or $30 for both. Sunday, May 5: Workshop, 3-5 P.M. $25 or $30 for both. To register go to www.eastwestbookshop.com. For more about Ruthie, go to www.seattleenergymedicine.com. May 4-June 8, 11:30am-1:30pm NANO PREP: Writing a novel? Wanting to take part in National Novel Writing Month this November? Whether you plan to join NaNo or just DIY in however many days, get answers and support on any genre of novel. Edmonds Parks Frances Anderson Center 700 Main Street 425-771-0230
May 5, Sun, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Earth Wisdom - Whisperings of the Stone People, http://www. bastyr.edu/civicrm/event/info? reset=1&id=627, Ancient Mayans spoke of the powerful healing from the Stone World. Work with stones to connect and communicate with these beings, discover their messages, and work with stones as a method of healing. Contact Lauren Nalder lauren@ elementalhealingandwisdom.com Sunday May 5 INVESTIGATE FOR YOURSELF! A great World Teacher has come with practical solutions to our most critical problems. Justice, reason and peace will prevail. Free drop-in presentation: Issaquah Library 10 W Sunset Way Issaquah, 2:30-4:30 Info: (347) 455-8287 or share-international.us May 7-june 4, Tuesdays, 10-noon Write About Your Life Work on personal experience projects: memoirs, narrative nonfiction, articles, chapbooks. $10 per session Attend as many or as few as you like. Greenwood Senior Center 525 North 85th in Seattle, 206-361-6733. May 7, june 4, 11:30-1 PM Good Company Networking Lunch. Join us for lunch and networking. Cost is the price of your lunch. NEW LOCATION: SILVER SPOON THAI RESTAURANT, 3828 196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036 • For directions only: 425-967-3255. See menu at www.thaifoodforyou.com You don’t have to eat to join us but please do not bring in any outside food or drinks with you. For more information visit www.newspiritjournal.com Wed, May 8, 6:30 - 9:30pm The Chief Spiritual Officer (CSO) As My Business Partner, $35, Center for Spiritual Living. Use spiritual practices to guide you in creating value by clarifying your business model, your customer, your offer, and how to present it in the perfect way at the right price. www.SpiritualLiving.org/Classes May 11, Sat, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. The Garden as Healer: Growing Your Backyard Pharmacy. The best food and medicine is that which you grow yourself. Spend an afternoon learning how you can cultivate some of the most important and useful medicinal plants in your own garden www.Bastyr.edu/Continuing-Education Continuinged@Bastyr.edu 425-602-3152 May 11-12 and June 8-9; 9 am - 5 pm Hypnotherapy: Transformation & Healing, Bastyr University. Start a new career or add skills to your practice. Learn to facilitate lasting change and healing for those suffering from back pain, migraines, injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, abuse, phobias, and fear. firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-562-7277
Tues May 14, 7 pm Phinney Laughter Club – Laughter Yoga is a body/mind/spirit practice that combines stretching, yoga breathing and playful laughter exercises. Bring water and a willingness to laugh for no reason! Phinney Neighborhood Center, Seattle, Blue Room, $5, Info: Teresa Verde email@example.com or 206-784-9776. May 16 - June 20, 7-9 PM, 6 Thursdays UFO Experiencer Support Group: Come get the support you need to find your own answers, accept yourself and move forward. Seattle $150. Registration and info, call Group Facilitator and Organizer of the Seattle UFO Network, Una Drake 206-491-3555 Saturday May 18, 1:30 pm Evolution into Wholeness class. Join Christine Upchurch for this interactive presentation as she talks about vibration; how it can affect your life, and what you can do to shift your experience. Participants will leave with practical tools for real transformation. Stellar Reflections. Call 425-999-9836 May 18 Sound Healing Course. Learn how to heal with singing bowls. Gain depth and experience in this full-day immersion that can augment your current practice, no matter what it is. This course comes but once a year, don’t miss out! classes may be taken individually or together for $225 / $100 Returnees. Led by SUREN SHRESTHA. East West Bookshop. 206-523-3726. ewbks.com May 18, SatURDAY, 9 a.m.-5p.m. Home Funerals & Green Burials: A Natural Choice. Upon the death of a loved one more families are choosing to care for the body at home via “home funerals”. Learn about home funerals and green burial options. Contact Info: Lindsay or Nova at 425-316-8290 or firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, May 18 SHIFT into AWAKENING- Seattle! Come Experience the Oneness Phenomenon that’s helping millions Spiritually Awaken. Oneness exists to set Humanity totally and unconditionally free of suffering. Awakening... the most important thing you can do for yourself and the world! http://www.shiftintoawakening-seattle. com Contact: Jalenaheartharmonics@aol.com or Amber- 360-754-2092 May 18-19, Sat & Sun, 9 a.m.- 5p.m. Pasture to Patients: Grooming Your Clinical Skills. Observing the social behaviors of horses helps us develop mindfulness, better communication skills and social sensitivity. This workshop is designed to help develop an awareness of the subtleties of self-presentation and communication. www.Bastyr.edu/Continuing-Education, Continuinged@Bastyr.edu 425-602-3152
Visit www.newspiritjournal.com to submit your events. Listings are due the second Friday of the month for the following month’s issue.
Sunday May 19 INVESTIGATE FOR YOURSELF! A great World Teacher has come with practical solutions to our most critical problems. Justice, reason and peace will prevail. Free drop-in presentation: Broadview Library, 12755 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, 2:30-4:30 Info: (347) 455-8287 or share-international.us May 19, Sun, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Botanical Blessings - Healing with the Spirits of Nature, http:// www.bastyr.edu/civicrm/event/info? reset=1&id=626, Infuse yourself with the wisdom and wonder of nature, establish new patterns of relationship, connect with larger rhythms of life and bring healing to your world. Contact Lauren Nalder lauren@ elementalhealingandwisdom.com May 21, JUNE 18, 11:30-1 PM Good Company Networking Lunch! Join us for lunch and networking. Cost is the price of your lunch. NEW LOCATION! CHAIN BUFFET, 14561 Chain Lake Rd., Monroe, WA 98272 • For directions only: 360-2178226. Chinese buffett and lunch specials. You don’t have to eat to join us but please do not bring in any outside food or drinks with you. No reservations required. For more information visit www.newspiritjournal.com
Friday, May 24, 2013 10 am & 7:30 pm and Devi Bhava on Monday, May 27, 7 pm
Amma will offer 3 free public programs and a retreat at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, WA
Please arrive 90 minutes prior to the start of all programs. Everyone wishing to meet Amma must have a token, which is free and given on a first come first serve basis. Pre-registration and payment is required for a retreat with Amma from May 25-27. More info: www.amma.org/seattle; call 206-322-8337. Amma, or Mother, is known throughout the world for her selfless love and compassion towards all beings. She has embraced and comforted more than 32 million people, and is widely regarded as one of India’s foremost spiritual leaders and one of the world's most accessible humanitarian leaders. Amma says that her religion is love.
For ad rates visit newspiritjournal.com or call 425-356-7237. The June 2013 ad deadline is Friday, May 10.
Friday May 24, 7:30pm The 111 Activation and Beyond: Tools to Transform Your Life with Christine Upchurch. Co-Creator of the 111 Activation, Christine will share the amazing story of its origin, and how it is shifting both the lives of individuals and the energy of the planet. East West Bookshop 206-523-3726 or www. eastwestbookshop.com/events/5023 Saturday, May 25, 1:30 - 4:30 pm Yogasana Intensive Workshop: Awakening Inner Energies. Ananda Meditation Temple in Bothell Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises are based on the principle of drawing Cosmic Energy into the body, to awaken healing life force for the maintenance of health and healing of disease. In this workshop, we explore the exercises in depth and learn how they can be applied to yoga practice. www.anandawashington.org or call 425-806-3700. May 25, 1-5pm Who Were You? With Ainslie Macleod. To understand who you are, it’s essential to know where you’ve been before. This is a great opportunity to safely recover memories of your past-life self, and use this knowledge to accelerate your spiritual growth, and better understand who you are and why you’re here. $60 for one, $90 for Two. East West Bookshop. 206-523-3726. ewbks.com SaturDay, May 25, 7 - 8 pm, Kirtan, Ananda Meditation Temple in Bothell. Open your heart and still your mind to the Divine presence through devotional chanting! We use Indian harmoniums, guitars, drums, kirtals (bells), gong, and sometimes even harp! Chants by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda, and mantras from India. www.anandawashington.org or call 425-806-3700 May 26, 2013 3-6 pm S.H.E.S. Ordination Ceremony http://dakara.com/ord.html Contact Dakara 425-267-9738 dakara@dakara. com. Are you ready to become an Ordained Minister Spiritual Healer or Earth Steward? Full details at http://dakara.com/ord.html Beautiful ceremony to honor you and your Ordination. Register today! South Everett Location. may 28, june 25, 11:30-1 PM, Good Company Networking Lunch. Join us for lunch and networking. Cost is the price of your lunch. East West Bookshop, 6500 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, 98115.
Be sure to visit newspiritjournal.com where you will find free audio interviews to listen to or download, articles not in the print edition, and interesting videos. It’s all free and it’s all available 24/7.
May 30 - June 2, Beginning Thursday 7 pm, Concluding Sunday 12 pm “Live Your Dream” Presented by The Quartus Foundation and John Randolph Price. What are your deepest hopes, wishes and dreams! When you can truly answer that question, fulfillment becomes a reality.This workshop will indeed be a life-changing experience. Contact: Quartus Foundation Phone: 830-249-3985. Email: email@example.com; Website: www.quartus.org June 1, 5-8 pm Ananda Gala Fundraising Auction! Ananda Meditation Temple in Bothell. Join the fun at this gala fundraising event! Enjoy tasty treats while you bid on unique items like getaway weekends, spiritual retreats, personal and professional services, original artwork, and more – all for a good cause! Donations are accepted through May 25. Call 425-806-3700. www.anandawashington.org June 2, 2013; 4-6:30pm, Doors Open 3:30pm; $35; www.TheOneGathering.com The One Gathering - Featuring Jennifer Yost & Justice Bartlett. This multi-sensory program expands heart-centered consciousness to harmonize and create more abundance and love in your life. Through live music, inspirational talks, high energetic frequency graphics, and a crowd healing heart chakra attunement, The One Gathering energizes and entertains, while facilitating healing on all levels of your being. Organizer: Jennifer Yost; 206-284-2411. June 14-15 You have seen him on TV from Oprah to Dr. Oz and now Seattle welcomes “Proof of Heaven” author Dr. Eben Alexander … A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife! KEYNOTE: Fri, June 14, 7pm - 9pm Center for Spiritual Living, Seattle, WORKSHOP: Sacred Sound Meditation Sat, June 15, 9am - 1pm East West Bookshop, Seattle. Register: HeartMindProductions.org. 206-5233726. June 21, 22, 23 Wisdomkeeper Weekend Workshop - Eagle Wisdom: Way of the Wind. Learn healing techniques of Mayan Masters and begin building your medicine bundle as you discover well-being, experience inner peace. Connect with self and others, create lasting friendships. Mosswood Hollow Retreat Center, Duvall. Instructor: Lauren Nalder www.elementalhealingand wisdom.com July 11-27 TRANSPERSONAL HYPNOTHERAPY/ NLP SUMMER INTENSIVE, Seattle. Learn insights and master skills that make you dynamically creative in every area of your life. Achieve Mental Clarity, Awaken Your Creative Power, Discover Fearless Emotional Intelligence. Internationally recognized teacher and coach, Jack Elias, CHT, Finding True Magic. Full details at http:// FindingTrueMagic.com
To advertise in this section, please visit www.newspiritjournal.com. Deadline is the second Friday of each month for the following month’s issue
Churches and Spiritual Homes
Churches and Spiritual Homes
Churches and Spiritual Homes
Pet problems? Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner, Karen Dossett, can help your pet deal with veterinary visits, behavioral problems, stress in general, and your pet’s overall well-being. Appts. by phone, Skype, or in-person. (425) 402-3790.
UNited Centers for Spiritual Living based on the teachings of Ernest Holmes. Offers classes, workshops, services, and fellowship focused on positive living within a spiritual framework. www.unitedcentersforspiritualliving.org. 720-496-1370.
Seattle Gnostic Center Spiritual Psychology & Meditation Transformational Study & Practice, Wednesdays 7-9pm, Kabbalah, Alchemy, Mindfulness, Astral www.gnosticcenter.com 206-365-0826
UNity is an open-minded, accepting spiritual community that honors all paths to God and helps people discover and live their spiritual potential and purpose. A positive alternative to negative religion, Unity seeks to apply the teachings of Jesus as well as other spiritual masters. www.unity.org. 800-248-6489.
Living Interfaith, Lynnwood, WA, gathers to share and celebrate our diverse spiritual paths. We are Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Humanists, Seekers. Our services celebrate holy days from our many spiritual paths, and deal with timely Interfaith topics. We come together not to convert or convince, but to share. All of good will are welcome. www.LivingInterfaith.org. 425-343-3915.
Animal & Pet Services
Astrology by Mark Dodich
• Natal • Romance • Business • Spiritual Purpose Relocation Maps for your best locations on earth FREE NEWSLETTER 503-252-1558 www.astromark.us
Churches and Spiritual Homes WICCA: Aquarian Tabernacle Church, open to all. Free monthly Lunar celebrations, classes, other events. For more information call 360-793-1945. www.aquatabch.org.
Amazing Grace Spiritual Center is a New Thought church where we honor the Universal Truths taught by all religions. Check out one of our Sunday services: great music, great message and great community. Dynamic, progressive, open and affirming. Find us online at www.amazinggracespiritualcenter.org. Church of Divine Man is a non-profit organization focused on spiritual freedom. The emphasis is on teaching spiritual techniques to allow spirit to awaken and create consciously in the physical world. These techniques and teachings are based upon ancient wisdom and presented in a modern-day format. Take charge of your spiritual creativity by meditating with purpose. www.c-d-m. org or call 425-258-1449.
FIrst Spiritualist Church of Puyallup Sunday Service 11am , 314 second ST SE Puyallup WA 98372 253-845-4444 All are Welcome, A Spiritual Pick me up every Sunday. Come as you Are. Just Behind City Hall in Downtown Puyallup www.first spiritualistchurchofpuyallup.com or on facebook at puyallup spiritualist church CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL TRUTH. Sunday Services 11:00 a.m. CAMP EDGEWOOD NSAC - 1228 26th Avenue Ct., Milton, WA 98354. Everyone welcome. 253-927-2050. The Theosophical Society encourages open-minded inquiry into world religions, philosophy, science, and the arts in order to understand the wisdom of the ages, respect the unity of all life, and help people explore spiritual self-transformation. Offerings includes classes, workshops, and bookstores named Quest Bookshop. www. theosophicalsociety.org. 630-668-1571.
GOOD COMPANY: A relaxed networking lunch where we gather to share great food and even greater company. We visit, network, and make referrals. Find out why some people say this is their favorite networking group! Sponsored by Krysta Gibson and Rhonda Dicksion of New Spirit Journal
Join us for lunch and good company! A Monthly Gathering of People Of Positive Influence
People of Positive Influence (PPIs) are those who are living their lives in such a way as to be a positive influence on the world around them. It doesn’t matter what kind of work you do or where you do it. If you are helping to make the world a better place, if you are reading New Spirit Journal,you are a PPI! Join us for a monthly network gathering.
First Tuesday: May 7, June 4, July 2, 11:30-1 p.m.
NEW LOCATION: SILVER SPOON THAI RESTAURANT
3828 196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036 • For directions only: 425-967-3255. See menu at www.thaifoodforyou.com
Third Tuesday: May 21, June 18, July 16, 11:30-1 p.m. , NEW LOCATION! CHAIN BUFFET, 14561 Chain Lake Rd., Monroe, WA 98272 • For directions only: 360-217-8226
SEATTLE Fourth Tues.: May 28, June 25, July 23 EAST WEST BOOKSHOP, 11:30-1 p.m.
6500 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.
Now you can participate in the monthly Good Company Club marketing support call
sponsored by Marty Marsh, marketing coach, author and speaker (www.martymarsh.com). Join in this call either by telephone or computer and network with other Soul Proprietors. For details and to sign up for the free calls, go to http://innersuccesscircle.com
A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING
lunchtime meetings every month!
For information about Good Company, call 425-356-7237
“AMPLIFYING DIVINE LIGHT IN ALL” CHURCH, Kirkland, WA. A unique, independent gathering of peaceful Starseeds. www.divinelightchurch.org. Rev. Alia Aurami, 425-466-4001. Ananda Church of SelfRealization founded by Swami Kriyananda, direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda ia a movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda that helps you bring God into your life through meditation and spiritual living. Offers classes, services, Living Wisdom Schools, and spiritual communities in the United States, India, and Italy. www.ananda.org. Call 530-478-7560. Self-realization Fellowship founded by Paramahansa Yogananda and based on the teachings he brought to the West from India in the early 20th century. Centers offer services, classes, and fellowship teaching that the purpose of life is the evolution, through self-effort, of man’s limited mortal consciousness into God Consciousness. www.yogananda-srf-org. 323-225-2471. Amor Spiritual Center - We are a community of love where all spiritual beliefs are welcome.When we love ourselves and each other with our hearts and stay mindful of our thoughts, we experience unlimited freedom and joy. Come celebrate life; yours, mine and ours! 2528 Beacon Ave, Seattle, WA 98144, www.AmorSpiritualCenter.com Centers of Light teaches Christian mysticism and finding truth through experiences, not dogma. One-on-one teacher/student relationships offer the personal counseling and love that is rarely found elsewhere. Spiritual communities support each other with integrity, honesty and joy. www.centersoflight.org
Energy Work Are you ready to be Pain free? I have found this is possible with my “integrative massage”. The key is combining words, energy, touch, and sound all in one session. www.kentmassage.com Reiki Master, acutonics and shamanic healing in Steilacoom, Wa. visit www.sacredspacehealing.biz Embrace the new year and release old patterns that are no longer serving you, reconnect with your authentic self call Mary at 253-318-4568 to schedule an appointment or contact me through the above website and make room for the changes that are awaiting you.
Need a trusted space for your healing practice in Seattle? Healing Rooms now available at East West! Offering affordable rates, 1 full day per week, complete with advertising at Seattle’s own conscious Mind, Body, Spirit center. Contact Steve at 206-523-3726.
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Ongoing Events Center for Spiritual Living Seattle. Sunday services at 9am and 11am, Wednesdays at 7pm CSL is a trans-denominational, inter-generational, not-your-usual church. We provide a safe place for “the rest of us” who are looking to connect with God/Higher Power/Universal Presence, but don’t really fit in with any one religion. www.spiritualliving.org USE YOUR INTUITION TO know and heal yourself. Learn a conscious active form of meditation you can do anywhere. Take the Level 1 class or continue to take all 8. www.intuitivemind.org/courses Make a difference through the practice of Transmission Meditation, the most potent service you can do for the world. Groups meet throughout Pacific Northwest. Call (347) 455-8287 or visit www.transmissionmeditation.org. Psychic Spectrum - Psychic Showcase Every Wednesday 6:30 PM at The Poodle Dog Restaurant in Fife. $5 admission, FREE Psychometry reading for everyone who attends. Readers/vendors/different speaker/topic every week. Door prizes, and opportunities to learn. Have dinner, dessert, relax and make new friends. The Cosmic Connection is a channeled meditation and healing group. You are all welcome in joining this powerful ongoing experience. For further details visit our website www.sylvieobrien.com/calendar for locations. Journeys through the Open Heart: Let me be a friend on your journey as you fall madly in love with your life. Dale Stubbart. YellowBearJourneys.com
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A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING
Breathing Freer and Staying Healthy By Kris Shaw
“My seasonal allergies are driving me crazy! Is there anything I can do?” is an all too common frustration that I hear in the spring and summer. Actually there are many things you can do to breathe more freely and have some quality of life during the hay days of pollen production. Are you ready for some healthier alternatives to allergy medications taken daily, to suppress your unmanageable allergic histamine responses? Many of us take for granted that we can comfortably breathe year round, but for others the welcoming warmth of spring’s sunshine stimulates a full orchestra of pollens stepping up their dissemination everywhere, wreaking havoc on those who are allergic to specific pollens. Some conifers, alder wood, and birch pollens are some of the worst offenders in the spring, with grass pollens following in June and ragweed in the late summer. What really works when you are in crisis mode with an allergy flare up? Let’s look first at what causes so much inflammatory
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responses. When you are exposed to allergens such as dust, mold, specific pollens, animal dander, and even certain foods, your immune system kicks into action. Histamine is: • responsible for many allergic responses in your body /mind; • liberally distributed within your lungs, sinuses, brain, and digestive tract; • the best known of the inflammatory substance released by the mast cells during an allergic reaction. As an allergy acupuncturist there are practical strategies that can help your body respond healthfully to allergens. Reduce Your Exposure: You may want to limit your exposure outdoors when pollen counts are highest. These times are early mornings and evenings. Reduce histamine reactions in your body: Bioflavonoids, a member of the Vitamin C family, are very helpful in stabilizing the mast cells so they don’t flood your tissues with histamine production. Quercetin is a well researched bioflavonoid that reduces histamine reactions and it needs to be consumed regularly during the pollen season. If you’re challenged with pollen reactivity, it would be worthwhile being muscle tested to see if you are absorbing Vitamin C. In my clinical practice, I’ve observed 90% of my patients with seasonal allergy reactions to be challenged with Vitamin C assimilation, which is essential to healthy immune functions. It is one of the basic cellular support nutrients that aid the body and mind to reacclimatize to, at the beginning of NAET treatments. NAET, Allergy Desensitizing: This healing modality addresses the underlying core issues, reprogramming the body/ mind that has misinterpreted dust, pollen, and common foods to be an intruder
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Many of us take for granted that we can comfortably breathe year round, but for others the welcoming warmth of spring’s sunshine stimulates a full orchestra of pollens. to the body’s defense systems. Allergy desensitizing treatments resets programs in the mind, reacclimating long standing allergens to become friend, not foe. Dietary Changes: Avoid foods that you know you are sensitive to. You want to be more cautionary with eating foods that aggravate your immune system during the heavy months of pollen production, as you are putting a double load on your body’s immune system. Acute sinusitis or asthma flare-ups can coincide when the pollen count is highest tied in when you are consuming foods that you are not digesting well or you may not be aware that you are food sensitive to. You can be tested by a naturopathic doctor through a blood workup for environmental allergies and food sensitivities. Common foods that many allergy-sensitive individuals can be reactive to are dairy products, sugar, citrus fruit,
wheat and gluten grains, soy, MSG, corn and artificial sweeteners. Other Potential Helpful Treatments: Stinging nettle, a common herb found along streams is effective in a freeze-dried, tincture or tea form when taken threefour times a day. Nettle has both antiinflammatory and anti-histamine properties. It is best to start taking nettle herbs one-two months before the pollen count gets high. Similarly, raw honey that is cultivated by bees from your local area is another remedy to desensitize you to spring, summer and fall pollens. Consuming bee pollen or honey from the comb is best consumed daily. Netti Pot Irrigation or Saline Nasal Sprays: Many of you are already familiar with daily nasal douching to gently flush pollens out of your nasal passages. Flushing with distilled or sterile water (1 cup to 1/4 tsp. salt) thins out accumulated mucus that otherwise holds onto allergens in the sinuses. Clogged nasal cavities serve as a breeding ground for respiratory viruses and bacteria. I recommend adding a small amount of goldenseal or echinacea in the sweetened glycerin form rather than the alcohol base. Both of these herbs have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. “NAC” (commonly known as N-acetylcysteine): is one of the most potent anti-oxidants in the body. When taken orally, it has the ability to thin mucus and makes it easier for the body to assimilate it. NAC is known for reducing airway inflammation in the lungs. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs Used Together: Some Chinese herbs are very effective in addressing the acute symptoms and others work more for the root cause of chronic sinusitis and allergic responses. Raw, freeze-dried, or patent herbs are utilized during the allergy season. Please consult a licensed acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist to discern what herbal formulas can be tailored to your seasonal allergy challenges. Kris Shaw provides allergy desensitizing acupuncture for seasonal and food allergies at her Northeast Seattle and Federal Way clinics. To learn more about pollen allergy desensitizing, call the clinic at (206) 370-2600 and set up a free 20-minute consultation. Transforming Your Seasonal Allergy workshop is offered May 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Northeast Seattle. For more information on licensed acupuncturist Kris Shaw, check out www. SeattleAllergyNaturalSolutions.com. Both Dr. Mandy Gulla and Dr. Newton from Lotus Heart Wellness in Bothell contributed some of their remedies to this article.
“We exist in a state of unlimited possibilities.” Psychic Medium and Healer Lyndsey Paul, is a host on Wisdom Within Radio on Seattle’s Talk KKNW 1150 AM. With experience as a crystal child, she can help others live a more satisfying life without fear. A firm believer in Quantum Theory, her guides and angels, Lyndsey believes that “we exist in a state of unlimited possibilities.”
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Being Open to Other Spiritual Paths Can Be a Good Thing By Rev. Steven Greenebaum
As an interfaith minister, I’m asked from time to time, “Do you know all religions?” The answer is, “Of course not.” I’m no longer surprised, but remain bemused by the look of astonishment that I sometimes receive. We live in an “all or nothing” world. That approach is not only a painfully clear part of our politics, but has also played a large role in our spiritual pursuits. For many of us, there appears then to be only two possible approaches to spiritual matters: a person is either all over the place with no real grounding anywhere, or s/he picks one spiritual path and studies that path and only that path. But there is a way out of this conundrum: the path of interfaith. Sometimes I’m asked why I say “paths” instead of “religions.” I say paths because, as example, neither Humanism nor Buddhism are religions. Yet they are valuable spiritual paths and worth including.
For myself, there are a few spiritual paths I know well. There are others that I know some key points about, and still others with which I am largely ignorant. For me, walking the path of interfaith does not mean knowing, or trying to know, everything about all spiritual traditions. What walking the path of interfaith does mean is being open to differing ways of approaching the sacred. Interfaith, as a faith, teaches us that there are many good and righteous paths to the sacred. But it also teaches that any path can be misused. The question for interfaith is not so much what path do you walk, but rather how do you walk your path? If the path you walk helps to guide you towards a caring and compassionate life, it is a good path for you. If the path you walk has caused you to become closed-minded and self-centered, you might want to seek a new path. There is a foundational paradigm that says there is but one “right” answer to the question of God. This paradigm has brought us several thousand years of misunderstanding, hatred, and holy wars. The point of view of interfaith is that we can become better Jews by learning about Christianity, better Christians by learning about Islam, better Muslims by learning about Buddhism, better Baha’i by learning about Sikhism, and Humanism and
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Hinduism and so on. But don’t we have to leave one path to truly explore another? Interfaith says rather emphatically, “No.” As example, I’m an English speaker. English is the language of my country, the language of my parents and of my youth. I feel most comfortable expressing myself in English. But while rather rusty these days, in my youth I was fluent in Spanish, and knew a smattering of French. Did this mean I left English behind? Of course not. Most of us realize that knowing another language
is not only possible but frequently quite helpful. For one thing, when people from differing countries can actually speak to each other, they are able to learn about each other. The same is true about being conversant with more than one spiritual tradition. There will be some who are hugely uninterested in learning about any spiritual tradition but their own, and they should be respected in that choice. But there are other choices available. And the good news is that we can not only learn about our own spiritual path but other
paths as well. And perhaps, just perhaps, if we’re willing to learn about and respect our differing spiritual traditions, we will be able to nudge our world towards the love, compassion, and community that every one of our spiritual paths have been nagging us about for centuries. Rev. Steven Greenebaum leads the Living Interfaith Church in Lynnwood, and is the author of The Interfaith Alternative. www. livinginterfaith.org.
Swami Kriyananda, 87, passes Swami Kriyananda, aged 87, the founder of the worldwide network of Ananda communities and one of the few remaining living disciples of Paramhansa Yogananda, left his physical body and this earth April 20, 2013, 11 p.m. Pacific Time (April 21, 8 a.m., in Italy). He had been in residence at the Ananda Center near Assisi, Italy where, each year, he would often spend a few months teaching and writing. Many years ago Transmission Meditation is the most powerful meditation you can do for yourself and for the world.
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Living an AntiInflammatory Lifestyle
Almost a decade ago, on Feb. 23, 2004, an issue of Time magazine appeared on the shelves with the front cover by Deanna Minich, PhD, CN, RYT featuring a silhouette can further accelerate aging. It’s a vicious enrobed cycle. by flames accompanied by the Of course, there are many possible large, block letters, “The Secret meanings of inflammation. From a traditional medicine perspective, Killer: The surprising link between inflammation connects to an imbalance in INFLAMMATION and heart attacks, the fire element. Why are we as a societal collective, with cancer, Alzheimer’s and other increasing rates of chronic disease, lacking diseases.” harmony with this element? What are we
Nutrition for Body & Soul
I can remember back then that “inflammation” became everyday talk within households. Now, we simply can’t turn in any direction within the health community without being reminded of its importance. If inflammation is truly the bedrock of so
doing to ignite our fire and keep it blazing out of control to the point it leaves us burnt out and brittle? What are we inflamed or angry about? From a solar plexus chakra perspective, the fire element is the catalyst of transformation. Are we feeling overwhelmed in our ability to transform the massive influx of inputs in our daily lives? If we are trying to increase our fire of transformation, yet only able to assimilate a limited amount, we may find ourselves feeling frustrated and volatile with no time to express and process how we feel. One solution to reducing inflammation could mean living in a way that is harmonious “One solution to reducing inflammation could mean living in with our inherent a way that is harmonious with our inherent natures, consistent natures, consistent with with our body type, stress type, sense of purpose, and need for our body type, stress activity and interaction with others”, says nutritionist and author type, sense of purpose, Deanna Minich. and need for activity and interaction with others. There are some many diseases, we should know how to fascinating research findings about lifestyle recognize it and what we can do to put out habits that can help to reduce markers of the internal fire. inflammation in the body: Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to • Brush your teeth regularly and floss: realize that we are inflamed.The classic Studies are showing us that poor oral symptoms are pain, heat, redness, swelling, hygiene is associated not just with lowand loss of function. We may exhibit all of grade inflammation, but also cardiovascular these symptoms after an acute injury, or disease. If we have a painful tooth or perhaps we notice just some of them if we red gums, these signs of inflammation have an underlying chronic infection. could be telling us something about our Back to the title of the Time magazine cardiovascular system. article, inflammation could even be “secret” • Exercise to the level of comfort rather or non-apparent: we may not know we are than distress: When we are untrained and inflamed until we have a blood test or a unfit and try to be the weekend warrior to practitioner evaluates symptoms we have make up for our sedentary week, we might been having. A newer term, “inflammaging,” be pushing our limit. Excessive exercise or (the combination of “inflammation” and over-exertion can create oxidative stress “aging”) has been used to refer to continual in the body (which goes hand-in-hand with stress on our immune system in which the inflammatory processes), so the more we body is less able to adapt to over time. The tailor our activity to our bodies, the better. result of these long-term insults is low-grade Continued on Page 13 inflammation into our aging years, which
Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Understood.
Even the most independent life traveler can benefit from a supportive consultation. Sometimes telling our story and receiving feedback from another experienced traveler can give clarity, validation, and direction. Krysta Gibson has been helping individuals and businesses for over 30 years. Besides offering compassionate understanding, she uses her intuitive skills and tarot archetypes to gain deeper insight into her clients’ situations. By sharing this information she helps them make better decisions and move forward in their lives with greater confidence. Honoring all paths and belief systems, Krysta respects everyone regardless of race, religious affiliations or lack thereof, sexual orientation, political affiliations, and world view. Krysta Gibson is publisher of New Spirit Journal, a spiritual teacher, and author of the books 22 Steps to Success, Business Success for Body, Mind, & Spirit as well as guided meditative journeys. Learn more about her and sign up for her free email list at www.krystagibson.com and www.newspiritjournal.com.
To schedule a consultation, email her at Krysta@krystagibson.com or call her at 425-356-7237
On The Bookshelf Book, Media, AND product Reviews
Reviewed by Krysta Gibson
An Unquenchable Thirst A Memoir By Mary Johnson Random House
If you ever wanted to know what it is like to become a Catholic nun and live in one of Mother Teresa’s convents, this is your book. The author leads us through her coming-ofage decision to enter Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity where she lived and served for 20 years. The book details daily life in the convent as well as the author’s struggles, yearnings, doubts, joys, love, compassion, and eventual decision to return to the secular world. There is a lot of insight into the world of service, Catholicism, faith, religious politics, and authentic spiritual fulfillment. Although the author’s story is certainly not the story of every Catholic nun, her story does offer a satisfying peek into a world few visit much less live in.
A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II By Marianne Streich These days we see and hear about reiki a lot. It
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has even been mentioned by Dr. Oz on his television show and is being used in various hospitals and treatment centers. But what is reiki? Can anyone do it? And what does “doing it” mean? To answer these questions and a multitude more, get a copy of this book. I can honestly say this is the best book I have read on the subject of reiki. Not only does it explain what reiki is and how to use it, the book leads you through how to give treatments to others, keep your physical and energetic spaces clear, how to use the symbols of reiki, provide distant healings, and how to combine reiki with meditations, prayers and mantras. The book is written by Reiki Master Teacher Marianne Streich who has been working with this energy since 2000 and who has studied with some of the world’s most accomplished reiki instructors. She has been teaching reiki since 2004. Those who have been initiated into reiki will find this an invaluable book in establishing and sustaining their own personal and professional practices. The book is available at www. reikiforliving.com.
How to Soothe a Virgo
Real-life guidance on how to get along and be friends with the 6th sign of the Zodiac By Mary English Dodona Books Mary English works in private practice in Bath, UK, and has a diploma in homeopathy and a certificate in counseling skills. She is a self-taught astrologer and embarked on her astrological studies after her homeopath commented about an incident: “That must have been during your Saturn Return.” Not knowing what this meant, she began her astrological studies and since has written several books. This one focuses on the sign of Virgo and gives a great overview of what is typical for many people with this sign. As many of us know, the root of the Virgo sign is the desire for perfection. Here’s some of what she says: “Virgo individuals are shrewd, discriminative, diplomatic, quietly active, and reserved. They are often thought harsh and taciturn, but the fact is, they conceal behind a cold and matter-of-fact exterior the peculiar nervousness of their negative, mercurial temperament. They are extremely kind and sympathetic, yet so nervous and retiring that, many times, when expected to say a word in consolation, they refrain for fear the mention of the subject should revive
“Business Success for Body, Mind, & Spirit
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A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING
sorrowful remembrances in their friends.” She also discusses the ruling planet, the glyph, how Virgos tend to think, and basic characteristics. We are lead through how to create a chart with information about the signs, rising signs, moons, etc. It really is a mini-course in astrology. If you have a Virgo in your life or in your own chart, you’ll enjoy this book!
The Road Guide to Yosemite By Bob Roney and
Yosemite Meditations for Women
A Revolutionary and Simple 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss By Kathy Freston Weinstein Books From a four-time New York Times bestselling author, this book brings Kathy Freston’s positive attitude and simple approach to the subject of weight loss. Her approach is to add one new behavior a day to one’s life over a 30-day period, thus crowding out unwanted behaviors and adding favorable ones. The title has a double meaning: getting lean but also leaning in the direction one wants to go. The behaviors are pretty simple and include such things as drinking more water, adding exercise, loving yourself, backing away from sugar, and cutting out fatty foods. The book does attempt to move the reader into a more vegan, plant-based, lifestyle but can be used easily by those who want weight loss without making a total shift to veganism. This is a compassionate and fun approach to losing weight and gaining a healthier lifestyle.
Affirmations, Your Passport to Happiness
practical applications, this book can help the reader understand and make use of this ancient technique. This is a fun book to work with and would be a great gift to give yourself or another.
By Dr. Anne Marie Evers Affirmations International Publishing Company Our community is familiar with the concept of using affirmations. Some people try this practice and then abandon it, saying it doesn’t work. Other people make fun of it, seeing affirmations as too simple to be of any use. Dr. Anne Marie Evers says, “Affirmations when properly done always work.” She offers a three-part, 305-page book that teaches how to make and use affirmations for every part of your life: family, work, relationships, money, overcoming fears, and all aspects of personal growth. Full of stories and
Photographs by Michael Frye Edited by Claudia Welsh Yosemite Conversancy Just in time for vacation planning, if you are heading to Yosemite, you’ll want both these books. If you aren’t heading there, grab these books for a virtual vacation. The road guide is written by Master Interpretive Ranger Bob Roney and gives great information about: distances, facilities, things to do, stories, park history, and natural history. With eight full-color maps and seven detail maps it would be very easy to plan your trip ahead of time. It is a lot of fun to read the road guide just to learn more about that area of the planet. The Meditations for Women come from many different accomplished women such as Maya Angelou, Louisa May Alcott. Marianne Williamson, J.K. Rowling, and Mother Teresa. Each quote is paired with magnificent photos from Yosemite and it is a delight to open the book at random to see what nature wants to say to you.
Travels with Puff
A Gentle Game of Life and Death By Richard Bach Nice Tiger Most of us know Richard Bach from his bestselling book Jonathan Livingston Seagull. And most of us know Bach is a real-life pilot. This book tells about his journey from Florida to Washington State in his own seaplane. During the telling of the tale, we are shown photos and given specific flight information as well as Bach sharing his wonderful life philosophy with us. Pilots especially will find much of this fascinating. We also get to know Puff, his amphibious plane that had crashed with prior owners and initially expressed fears of crashing again. Yes, the plane talks in the book. It is fun to read a book where the author talks to Continued on Page 9
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A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING
On The Bookshelf Continued from Page 8
Now that the Easter holiday is behind us, many of the families that made a spurof-the-moment choice to bring a live Easter bunny home with them may be rethinking that decision. This is the time of year when many of those rabbits end up in humane societies, shelters, or rescues of some kind. That is a shame because rabbits can make splendid house companions. It is also an opportunity for anyone who has been wanting to add a rabbit friend to the family. Before you run down to your local shelter to snatch up one of those unwanted
his airplane and the airplane talks back! Last August, Bach was flying this same plane from his home on Orcas Island to visit a friend on San Juan Island when the plane snagged some power lines and crashed. Bach was in a coma for a week with a head injury and a punctured lung. He is still recovering from the accident. Interwoven through out this book are words of insight and wisdom. One, near the end of the book, is this: “If I’ve learned one thing in all my days, it’s this: Freedom’s a gentle game of life and death… we’re not given freedom, I thought – we take it, whenever we wish.”
Our Animal Friends by Martha Norwalk
Easter bunnies, let me share with you some important information about living with rabbits. If you are a regular reader of this column or if you know me, you probably already know that I am not a fan of keeping rabbits in hutches outside. Aside from the fact that living in a cage 24/7 has no quality of life for any living creature, in my opinion, there are some other good reasons not to consider it for your rabbit friend. Out of sight, out of mind. You are more likely to “forget” about spending quality Continued on Page 14
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AM A tour guide in India gives pilgrims a talk on the history of Varanasi and the activities along the ghats at river’s edge.
Pilgrimage Continued from Page 2
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want to see and experience while there, and be sure we have both the time and resources we need. Pilgrims make their travel sacred. Going on a pilgrimage is very different from traveling as a tourist or for business. A pilgrimage is a sacred journey and is undertaken for spiritual benefit. Are your days sacred or profane? We can live our lives at the surface, never diving deeply into our work or relationships. We can pretend we are just tourists in our own lives, as if where we are headed and what we are experiencing means nothing. Or we can approach every day with a sacred attitude, being willing to live beneath our own skin, from our heart and soul. Pilgrims are open to the deeper meanings of everything they encounter. Because they are away from their everyday world and todo lists, people on pilgrimage can take the time and effort to live at a deeper level. This is, of course, one of the purposes of taking a pilgrimage; to go deeper. This includes the disappointment of getting ill and not being able to experience everything the way we had intended at the beginning of our trip. What sorts of meanings can we look for in our daily pilgrimages? We can expect the unexpected, being alert and aware of everything and everyone in our lives as if we have not seen and experienced them a thousand times before. We can make each day and event special by approaching life with wonder, surprise, and even astonishment! And, yes, we can allow ourselves to feel the disappointment when things don’t work out the way we wish they would. This, too, is part of our journey. Pilgrims take pictures and write notes. They bring home special mementos to place on their altars and coffee tables and they treasure their photos and travel diaries. This allows them to relive their trip many times over. And with each reliving and retelling, they glean more from the trip. We, also, can keep mementos of our days. We can take notes of our experiences, of our insights, of our glimmers and glimpses as written about by William Samuel in his book The Child Within Us Lives. And we can take photos not just with our smart phones but also with our inner eyes; photos and memories that uplift and remind us of the importance of our pilgrimage: our daily lives. Pilgrims bond with their fellow travelers. Because they are together in a soul-led way, and because they are away from the pressures of their routines, people who travel together on pilgrimage do form special bonds. They have experiences together that they can’t
share with people who were not on the pilgrimage. There is a shared intensity. The relationships we have in our daily lives are capable of being deep if we are willing to be fully present with one another. We share experiences with people all day long. Some of the people we know and some we don’t. Paying attention to everyone in our world, seeing them as our brother and sister travelers through life, allows us to form deep bonds if we are willing. Being involved with some sort of spiritual group helps us form these types of soul-level relationships. When they return, pilgrims must reorient themselves to the mundane world they left behind for a few days, weeks, or months. Although certainly profoundly changed by their encounters with the sacred energies of their travels, the pilgrims must now settle in to chopping wood and carrying water along with those of us who didn’t leave home in the first place. They have to integrate their experiences and make them meaningful in the light of their everyday lives. And for us, no matter what happens during our daily pilgrimage, we also must always return back to our home, both to the space we occupy with friends and family and to the home within our hearts and souls. And once at home, we must integrate everything that happens to us during our pilgrimage into the world. We must apply the wonders, the surprises, and the disappointments so it can all make sense. We, too, must sit in quiet meditation and allow ourselves to return to our center where we are able to utilize the sacred energies we contacted during our pilgrimage. As Patricia, one of the pilgrims recently back from India, so eloquently stated after telling us the many wonderful experiences she had, “And now we are home and the work begins.” Hriman McGilloway has written a serial blog about this pilgrimage along with many photos. You can access it at www.AnandaWA.org/hriman. If you are interested in learning more about going on a pilgrimage, read The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau. Krysta Gibson is the publisher of New Spirit Journal and just launched her new website, An Oasis for Your Soul, where she offers downloadable guided meditative journeys as well as other audios, books, classes, and consulting services. www.krystagibson.com. She is a guest on the Conscious Talk radio show the third Thursday of each month, www. conscioustalk.net.
A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING
Heroism and the Meaning of Life By Kenneth C. Eng
What is the meaning of life? That’s the billiondollar question. Here is my take on the answer to this question, and how it can better your life. We all know that the purpose of life is to achieve
happiness. Therefore, the ultimate meaning of life is to obtain ultimate happiness. However, ultimate happiness is not the equivalent of ultimate indulgence. Even if you had unlimited power, indulging yourself in an existence without conflict would be rather empty. You would be missing something. That something would be heroism. Heroism has a lot of things that indulgence does not: a sense of fulfillment, the opportunity to achieve, and
the chance to prove oneself to be courageous. Heroism cannot be attained by a godlike entity because there would be no conflict, and no challenge to overcome. In essence, having the ability to feel pain and facing the possibility of failure would make a person superior to God. God cannot be heroic. A mortal human can. How does one achieve heroism? The first necessary element is structure. That is, events and conflicts in one’s life must be structured correctly in such a way as
Alexander: Heaven is Real Continued from front page almost die to get this. As a conscious being I had everything I needed before my coma to come into the understanding that I have now: the understanding that our consciousness is our direct link to the most powerful force in the creation of the entire universe. We can all get there but it does take work. I enjoy meditating and I do it two or three hours a day and I have been doing it steadily for two and a half years and see great benefit in it for creativity, getting to know about our existence, about our relationships with others, about our reasons for being here. “People can bicker over their definition of heaven and whether or not I’ve defined the heaven they like, but I submit that at the core we’re all talking about the same place, the dwelling place of the divine. Our cultural and personal biases can color and taint our memories as we come back to this realm. Where the skeptics get lost is that this realm is real. Many people have come to know this realm and this connectedness that we all share and that it is real. Consciousness, soul, spirit transcends bodily death.” He says that before this experience he would have said that our brains create consciousness. Now, he says this is wrong and that consciousness is primary.
succeeding in another life. Also, evil exists to create conflict, and someone who achieves heroism in one life could wind up being reincarnated into an evil person (or the other way around). to emulate a good heroic story. It would be What this ultimately means is that instead kind of like how events are structured in an of feeling sadness at the horrors of life, people should do something about it. Even if action movie; everything that exists in the movie has a purpose, and there is a sense of you lose, the fact that you fought to the bitter end would be a victory in and of itself. satisfaction at the end. Find some comfort in the fact that Kenneth can be reached through e-mail: heroism will inevitably be achieved. Causality shows that everything that exists email@example.com. must have a purpose. The universe would have no point in existing if the meaning of life was not to be achieved in the end. That said, there is something to be wary June BlueSpruce, mph Shamanic Dreamer and Healer of. If heroism is inevitable, one might say that conflict could not exist because I can help you: everyone would already know that good • Navigate life changes • Use dreams to guide you will triumph. However, conflict could still • Heal illness and trauma exist because some people are unaware • Walk your heart's true path that good will win. Furthermore, if reincarnation is real, the www.junebluespruce.com hero can fail in one particular life while Columbia City, Seattle 206.579.1203
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The one thing he was taught that really matters is summed up in three sentences: You are loved and cherished. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong. “Some people recoil at the last one,” he says. He explains that this does not mean we can hurt other people. We must love others. If we harm other people we will pay the price, he says, in this life or another. “We pay the price when we give pain and suffering to others because we really are all one at deeper levels.” Dr. Alexander says he learned that the way to manifest our highest spiritual selves is through love and compassion. “These are real, concrete and they make up the very fabric of the spiritual realm.” Dr. Alexander now teaches classes, works with the medical community and others to share what he learned during this experience and his resultant studies. He will be in Seattle June 14-15 where he will speak at The Center for Spiritual Living and give a workshop at East West Bookshop. To learn more and to register, go to www.heartmindproductions.org. To learn more about his work and other lectures and classes, go to www. lifebeyonddeath.net and www.eternea.org. Please listen to this entire interview in the free audio section at www. newspiritjournal.com.
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Be Impeccable Remember the saying as a kid, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”? This isn’t really true, of course; words hurt a lot, but the hurt only lasts when we take personally what’s said. We are independent yet interdependent beings, so naturally what we each do and say affects all of us. This means that what you say and how you say it sets a tone for every relationship in your life. In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, the first agreement is, Be Impeccable with Your Word. He writes, “It is so important that with just this first agreement you will be able to transcend to the level of existence I call heaven on earth.” If everyone were impeccable with their word, we wouldn’t take things personally, or be hurt by what others say. But, that’s not the reality we live with. The problem with taking things personally is that we become defensive, which causes us not to be impeccable with our own word. Next, we lose our self-respect and respect for others, and our words can hurt others even more. It’s a ripple effect.
Unlike the temporary sting of a bee, hurtful words are toxic and lasting; sometimes for a lifetime. Consider the child, who, after being told they’re worthless, stupid, or a nuisance, becomes the class bully, or jerk at the office. But, we can stop the rippling by not taking it – what these bullies and jerks do – personally. It’s not about you. It’s about the other person’s suffering. The throat chakra, the fifth of the seven major energy centers, is associated with communication – specifically, how we interact with, and react to, other people – and it’s directly affected by how we use, or misuse, our words. The reason we stop being impeccable with our word usually has to do with someone else: what they did or what we think they did or will do. When we blame, criticize, judge, and gossip about those people who do “it” – whatever “it” is – to us, our overall health, starting with the throat chakra, is negatively impacted. But when we choose to stop the toxicity by not misusing our words, or even better, speaking only with kindness, our throat chakra thrives, causing a positive ripple effect of its own throughout our entire system. A couple of tools to help identify where
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you might be taking someone’s actions personally are the Mind-Body-Spirit (MBS) Scan and the Awareness-Action-Affirmation (AAA) Plan.
Mind-Body-Spirit (MBS) Scan The MBS Scan helps gather information. It’s a private conversation with yourself, an important time for being truthful and impeccable with your word. The whole point of this exercise is to become self-aware. Be honest, but don’t judge yourself. Mind: Describe a situation where you misused your words (lying, embellishing, gossiping, complaining, blaming, or telling someone’s secret) in order to succeed, be popular, be right, or even to survive. Why couldn’t you be honest? What action of another were you afraid of, or were you making about you? Even if we think no one is aware of our little exaggerations or gossip, in our heart, we know. This inner knowing turns into selfjudgment – because you know better – and you begin losing faith in your very self, your word. Body: Using the above situation, get in that story again. Imagine it with all your senses. Relive it. Describe how the dishonesty gets stuck in your body. Use the breath to scan your body. When you have integrity, your voice projects a calm, quiet confidence. Your eyes steady and your ears listen with interest. You are fully present in conversation. You feel whole, inside and out. Spirit: When we talk about the throat chakra, we often refer to “speaking your truth,” which is to follow your bliss, calling, or purpose. But following your soul’s calling begins with being “impeccable with your word” in your human self first. Describe your soul’s truth, if it could speak to you in a human voice. Journal two to three pages about what you discovered.
Awareness-ActionAffirmation” (AAA) Plan The AAA Plan helps organize your MBS Scan results.
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14911 Chain Lake Rd., #431, Monroe, WA 98272 • www.newspiritjournal.com • (425) 356-7237 Publisher and Co-editor: Krysta Gibson • Krysta@newspiritjournal.com Designer and Co-editor: Rhonda Dicksion • Rhonda@newspiritjournal.com All content ©2012 by New Spirit Journal • ISSN: 1930-370X Columnists: Krysta Gibson; Deanna Minich, Ph.D., CN, RYT; Martha Norwalk; Ruthie Stender. New Spirit Journal is a monthly publication dedicated to self-empowerment, joyful co-creation, and thoughtful Earth stewardship so that everyone can reach his or her maximum potential. Readers are responsible for their own decisions when reading the publication, contacting advertisers, or otherwise pursuing their path through life. Advertisers are responsible for the claims they make and are expected to operate in good faith, tell the truth about their work or products, and treat their clients and customers fairly. Articles are due by the first Friday of the month. Ads are due by the second Friday of the month. New Spirit Journal is distributed the last week of each month for the following month. Advertising rates and writer’s guidelines are available upon request or can be viewed at www.newspiritjournal. com. Sample copies will be sent for $2. Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Subscriptions are available for $21.70/one-year bulk rate. Washington State sales tax is included.
A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING Awareness: Review the results. Circle words that indicate being “impeccable with your word” (this can be from your soul’s voice) and underline words that show where you’ve perhaps told a lie or left out details to make a story seem different than it really is. Action: What one action can you take right this minute to foster your “impeccable” word? Even if your word is impeccable, what will you do to sustain it? Affirmation: Using words that reflect speaking your truth, write an affirmation. Let’s try it using the example that you’ve become aware of the pattern of leaving out key pieces of information in order to influence someone. Awareness: Sometimes I change the (real) story; no one would take me seriously otherwise. When I do this, I lose respect for myself. I do this because I think what others do and say is about me. Action: Just for today, I will work to “be impeccable with my word,” which means I will not dance around the truth. I will remember that what others do or say is not about me. Affirmation: “My word is a reflection of my true self.” Or, “I speak my absolute truth.” Becoming aware of situations and people that cause you to tell a fib or embellish the truth is powerful medicine. It’s powerful medicine because knowing what caused you to do it in the first place – why you took something personally – is the antidote to fixing the problem of not being impeccable with your word.
Pollinating Kindness When we feel the sting of someone’s hurtful actions, it’s easy to sting back. But if we become like the bee that gathers pollen as it lands for a drink of nectar, we, too, can take the goodness we hear in conversation and, like the bee, spread this goodness to nurture further growth. To drink the sweetness (the nectar) is to be fully present in our listening. We share this sweetness (pollinating the other flowers) with the kindness of our words. Ruthie Stender is a certified meditation teacher and registered yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance and author of “The Eight Aspects of God, A Pathway to Bliss.” She teaches clients how to balance mind, body, and spirit using specific aspects of each chakra, breath work, intuition, and easy-touse self-healing techniques. www. seattleenergymedicine.com, (206)708-3277.
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Living an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Continued from Page 7 • Examine what you are angry about: When it comes to inflammation, what emotion seems to carry a similar energy of heat and pain? For many, it may be anger. In fact, there are some studies that would suggest a link between anger or hostility and inflammatory markers as well as cardiovascular risk. Emotional regulation – not holding anger in or impulsively venting – leads to more favorable health outcomes. Working with a trained professional to help you through the anger may be helpful in allowing your feelings to be expressed in ways that feel safe. • Try meditation, mindfulness, and prayer: Mindfulness-based practices like meditation and overall spiritual wellness have anti-inflammatory effects. They are sacred pauses within our day that allow us to recalibrate, reassess, and develop a more balanced response to stressful events. • Maintain a positive attitude: Individuals who tend to be pessimistic often have greater levels of inflammatory markers. Being optimistic, maintaining a positive attitude, and being grateful are all inexpensive, effective ways to ensure that your body stays calm, cool and collected. • Eat foods with high anti-inflammatory potential: Last, but not least, as a
nutritionist, I can confidently tout that nutrition is important for decreasing inflammation. Some of my favorite cooling foods and spices include wild salmon, organic blueberries, cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoes, turmeric, ginger, kale, and nuts. Here is a recipe for my favorite antiinflammatory shake that I modified from the Hot Turmeric Milkshake recipe on www. mindbodygreen.com: Overall, with all the talk on inflammation, we need to remember that it is a warning sign from the body, a calling to address physiological and maybe even psychological issues to get our lives back on track and in balance. Approaching it in a variety of ways through an anti-inflammatory lifestyle may allow us to turn down our internal heat and
heal from symptoms and chronic diseases. Cool. Deanna Minich, PhD, CN, RYT, is a mind-bodyspirit nutritionist and author who bridges together modern science with ancient spirituality in her novel approach to food and eating. See her website, www.foodandspirit.com, and Facebook page, Food & Spirit with Dr. Deanna Minich, for more details.
Spiced Almond-Coconut Shake (Serves 1) Ingredients 1/2 cup of almonds or 1/2 cup almond meal (preferred) 8 ounces of coconut water (the kind with no added sugar) 2 Medjool dates 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder A pinch of nutmeg and cloves 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (make sure it’s melted before including into blender) Mix all ingredients together in a blender and blend for 30-45 seconds or until almonds and dates are finely distributed throughout the liquid.
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A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING
Our Animal Friends: Wanna Rabbit? Continued from Page 9 have access to their cage area even if they are not closed in. Depending on how they are raised, some rabbits may never earn unsupervised house freedom. You may want to refer to my column from last month about how much time and effort I am putting into raising my new puppy. Bunnies are much easier than puppies as there is not as much to teach but the concept is the same. Rabbits have special dietary needs. You can feed a pelleted food for convenience but that is not enough. You must provide fresh, tender, succulent plant parts as the major portion of their menu. Fresh grass, timothy, or other hay and a variety of fresh vegetables to increase fiber are ideal. Rabbits chew... a lot! It is important to bunny-proof your home. Make sure all poisonous plants are out of reach or removed from the house. They can chew on baseboards and furniture, but their favorite target is often electrical cords. Cover all wires and cords with cord covers to prevent a shocking experience. Do provide appropriate chewables like a small log (balsa wood or soft pine) to prevent boredom and for their teeth. They need wood hard enough to wear their teeth down as they grow constantly. I did not know that when I raised my first house rabbit and had to cut his teeth off with shears every so often and that was no fun, so trust me on this one. Although it is important to give your bunny friend as much house time as possible, it is also important to keep their cage very clean. It is a good idea to have a cage large enough to have at least two or three functional areas: one for sleeping and lounging, one for playtime and another for a litterbox and eating space. You can have a cage with a wire bottom so droppings fall
through onto litter in that area (that is how my house rabbit got litter trained). Cover the rest of the cage with shavings or straw bedding and change it often if not daily. Make sure your rabbit’s area is well ventilated and be very careful about wafting vapors. Bunnies are extremely sensitive and I do not want you to repeat my lethal mistake of many years ago. My rabbit was in her cage in the house. I went out to the back of my property to weatherproof a horse blanket with an aerosol spray. The vapors were carried back to the house and my rabbit was dead in seconds and my attempts at rabbit CPR were unsuccessful.
It was heartbreaking. Find a veterinarian that cares for rabbits and do regular exams as you would do with your dog or cat. As I already mentioned, be sure to spay or neuter your bunny to avoid behavior problems like urine marking and aggression. Rabbits do not get vaccinations but they can become ill or get parasites like fleas and ticks, intestinal parasites, and ear mites. The most common disease processes that rabbits experience are respiratory illness, back injuries, overgrown teeth, and intestinal immobility. Cancer is also common but spaying and neutering
Continued from Page 16 Without opening his eyes, he reaches out to you and places his hand atop your head, instructing you to breathe, slow and deep. As the rhythm of your breathing continues, the touch of his hand begins to feel lighter. The sounds and sensations of the mountains towering over you fade. And then, his touch is gone. The smell of the campfire is replaced by the sharp citrusy aroma of incense and an underlying earthy smell. You open your eyes and look around. You sit high along a mountain ridge, amidst stone structures. You
are surrounded by hundreds of people who chant and pray as a ceremony is underway. You make your way to the Intihuatana stone and lay your forehead on its surface. As expected, you receive a message that is both simple and profound. You blink your eyes, and you are once more with the shaman, who is returning from his journey. He is smiling as he knows you have made your connection and have received your message. What role did you play in this location? What was your daily experience? If you are as drawn to this place as I am, the answers to these questions and countless others are waiting
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for you in Machu Picchu. Stand on sacred ruins, breathe the mountain air, and journey inward as you renew your connections. Learn more about how you can step back in time and discover your personal connection to this area on a guided excursion to Machu Picchu. Visit www. maryleelabay.com/calendar for the July excursion to Peru. Mary Lee LaBay, PhD, is the author of five books, including Exploring Past Lives: Your Soul’s Quest for Consciousness, and an instructor of Bastyr University’s non-credit hypnotherapy training program. She is leading a mystical tour to Peru in July 2013. marylee@ maryleelabay.com.
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Taking Control of Your Schedule by Jeffrey A. Goodman
“I am overwhelmed. I have so much to do. I’m not seeing enough clients to pay the bills, yet I don’t have the time to take on any more clients.” Improper time management is common among the small businesses I work with. I have found they’re often creative thinkers who struggle to create an organized calendar. Learning time management techniques that work for you can change your business and life for the better. Here are some tips to create a more holistic experience of managing your professional and personal time. 1. Your clients don’t “own” your calendar, you do. Particularly in a service business, it’s easy to forget this and adopt a takeall-comers whenever it is easiest for them approach. But this can rapidly sap energy from you and the service you share with your clients. It’s vitally important to create healthy boundaries within your calendar.
2. Reclaim your calendar and play with it like a vision board. Start by creating what I like to call clustered scheduling; specified days of the week and grouped times of day, chosen by you, where you choose to see your clients. “But I don’t know how many clients I need to see and how much time to block off,” is another very common remark I hear. Allow me to show you how easy it is to create this clarity. Know your bottom line budget. How much do you need to make every month to cover your bills? Don’t be nervous. Knowing this number can be empowering and liberating. Let’s use the service industry as an example. Let’s use a massage therapist as an example. First they would need to total all their bills per month, let’s say $3,000. Now let’s say they charge $100 per massage. They would divide that amount by their total monthly budget to discover they must see a minimum of 30 clients a month to cover all their bills. Anything beyond 30 clients is cause for celebration. 2. Playfully “cluster schedule.” Using the example above and understanding that
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seeing 30 clients a month is their bottom line/minimum goal, they now have options on how they choose to organize their schedule. They now can pick the days they love to work most and only schedule on those days. For example I might choose to see 10 clients a week and cluster five appointments on Wednesdays and five appointments on Thursdays. Now I have five other days to have fun and enjoy life or work on my other businesses. And, because I know to start I need to see only 30 clients a month. I can see 10 clients a week for three weeks a month and have the fourth week off to rest or work on other projects to help my business grow. Yes, I know what you are thinking, so please remember: you own your calendar; your clients don’t. I promise you, clients will
begin to adjust their schedules to fit yours. In return, you can now make the implicit promise they will get your best performance because you are working on your favorite days and time of day. Danielle Haines of BodyMind Birth says, “Learning this has been like blending the “Power of Attraction” with your calendar. I can now better focus my energy on these defined time slots and with minimal effort, they begin to fill up! Oh, make sure you schedule clients back-to-back so they see each other. This lets them know you are busy and in demand and they tend to respect your schedule even more.” Done properly, time management can create more freedom in your life while adding prosperity to your business. Respect your time. Treat each of these clusters as sacred. It needs to be protected, nourished and shared wisely. Jeffrey Goodman, sometimes referred to as “the business whisperer,” is the founder of CareerHearted. Drawing on his firsthand experiences starting his own healthcare practice and years of advising and consulting, Jeffrey has combined his powerful intuitive healing abilities, wisdom of business development and 20 years as an advertising/fashion photographer to develop a now nationallyrecognized business course for the wellness industry called CareerHearted LLC. His mission has been to assist people in achieving greater success in business while helping them live their greatest “purpose” in their personal and professional lives. www.CareerHearted.com.
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A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER FOR SOULFUL LIVING
The Enduring Pull of Machu Picchu By Mary Lee LaBay, Ph.D.
Nestled among the clouds on the eastern slopes of the Andes, Machu Picchu has long been a symbol of human achievement. Its geographical seclusion, monumental scale, and the complexities of its intricate stonework – recognized as some of the finest prehistoric architecture in the world – attest to the fact that Machu Picchu was once the center of a great civilization. Despite the varying theories related to its original use, one thing remains clear: the Incas were a deeply spiritual people. And that significant connection remains an indelible imprint on Machu Picchu and its surrounding sites to this day. While traveling throughout this region I was filled with a renewed energy and sense of clarity, so much so that I can hardly wait to go back in July. The landscapes are nothing short of awe-inspiring. From the timeless culture of the Sacred Valley to the weathered, sun-bleached ruins around Cuzco and the cobalt waters of Lake Titicaca, each site evokes strong images of the past; images that have called to me and millions like me throughout the past century.
A spiritual pilgrimage Rediscovered by the modern world more than 100 years ago, the timeless Incan sanctuary was believed by its original inhabitants to be the center or “axis” of
the entire universe. This axis traversed the universe yet remained immobile as the world revolved around it. Even in this ancient time, the Incas could see the ever-changing nature of the world around them. This belief anchored their lives and their faith to an immovable and, more importantly, indestructible point in time and space; an aspect of spiritual belief that, through no coincidence, is closely tied to the imperishable nature of the soul. The connection that exists between the past and the present, the spiritual realm and our physical plane, and the ongoing nature of our souls is an inherent part of this place. The faith and wisdom that are so readily present in the people living throughout the region left me (and those in my group) with a profound sense of significance and individual purpose within the universe. As I sat and watched the sun set over the majestic lost city, I couldn’t help but be overcome by a strong sense of déjà vu, flooded with images, sensations, and
emotions that were clearly tied to the energetic nature of the ruins.
Unbroken threads of wisdom With a wealth of archaeological surveys already completed and more ongoing, evidence reveals that inhabitants of Machu Picchu participated in ceremonies connected to the solstice, in particular the winter solstice. Ancient Incan cultures often feared the path of the sun as it dipped lower and lower in the sky. Afraid it would disappear for good, they held ceremonies in the days leading up to the winter solstice during which they would symbolically tie the sun to a ritual Intihuatana stone, literally translated as “hitching post of the sun.” Further alluding to the connection between humanity and nature, as well as the Machu Picchu’s original inhabitants, the Incas, believed enduring and immutable aspects it to be the center, or axis, of the entire universe. of the soul, shamanic beliefs regard the Intihuatana stone as a gateway, a portal through teeth glimmer white in his mouth when he which psychic and spiritual visions can be speaks, his voice a gravelly rasp. You need achieved. When one who is sensitive places no interpreter. their forehead on the stone, the spiritual His fingers are thick and appear to be world is revealed to them. In fact, simply stiff from years of working with the soil. being within its presence is said to have He rests them intertwined in his lap as he a profound impact on shamans and other sits in a meditative posture, a large stone adepts. altar the size of an expansive table sitting I’d like you to stop for a moment and silent in the gathering shadows before him. imagine yourself sitting with such a person. As he draws upon its energy, he firmly A nearby fire crackles softly, casting a warm establishes a self-induced shamanic trance glow as the rich, comforting smell of woodstate. Resting his forehead on the stone, smoke permeates the misty mountain air. his pulse and heart-rate slow as he leaves Wearing a brightly-colored tunic of the confines of our earthly existence and red, purple and gold, he is roughly your transcends into another plane. height, with rich brown skin that’s lined Continued on page 14 and leathery from years under the sun. His
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