I've talked in many of my books and blogs about the belief I held for years that I was terrible at meditation. Sitting still and clearing my mind felt next to impossible, so I was certain I was screwing it up.
Then one day it occurred to me that wasn't the case; I was just trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I was attempting a type of meditation that, at that moment, didn't work for me.
I also realized the limiting belief I held (and frequently expressed), "I can't meditate," or "I'm bad at meditation," was limiting my success at it, as well.
That's when I understood meditation could be anything, as long as my focus and intent was to clear my mind and tune in. I didn't need to sit in the lotus position and chant "Om" to experience the benefits and peace of mind that came from meditating.
Many people share with me they feel they are unable to meditate, and I understand. However, I argue that you can meditate - you just haven't found "your" meditation yet. Meditation occurs any time you focus in the moment. Life can be a meditation. As you do dishes, notice the warmth of the water and the soap bubbles on your hands. Bam! You meditated. When you're out for a walk, notice the cool air on your skin and the sounds of nature. You meditated! Meditation is like that. It doesn't have to be sitting cross legged and desperately trying to clear your mind; that doesn't work for everybody. Instead, it can be a series of small moments throughout your day when, just for a few minutes, you clear away your thoughts and worries, notice what is happening right now, and simply allow yourself to be.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Starting today with the new book. I've got citrine by my side to facilitate creative expression and success. I love the process of starting something new.
I'm attaching my course outline here so you can see what you'll learn and do in the four hours of class. At the end of the class, you'll be able to channel hands-on Reiki energy to yourself and others. For more information about the levels of Reiki, click here. Click the images below to download and print. If you plan to attend the class, download and print my Reiki Level One manual.
I have an affinity for tarot and own several decks. I don't use them in the traditional way; for me, tarot is a way to focus my attention, and the cards I draw serve as a jumping off point for whatever energies I am working with in the moment.
Tarot has been such a part of my life for so long, I take it for granted. Recently, however, I've taken an interest in learning the history of tarot cards.
There's all sorts of mythology about where tarot actually came from. Some suggest it has its roots in Ancient Egypt, while others suggest Ancient China or the Far East, and many believe that Romani people spread tarot from Asia into Europe.
However, as author Robert Place suggests in his well-researched book The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, tarot cards probably began in the 14th or 15th century BCE when playing cards became popular (playing cards likely came from China). Place argues cards weren't possible or practical until the advent of paper, and papyrus or parchment, which would have been used in Ancient Egypt or China, wasn't sturdy enough for use in tarot decks.
Originally, tarot decks were not used for divination but rather as another version of a playing card game that was the precursor to what we know as Bridge today. Early tarot decks had four suits (what those suits were depended on the region they were created) with 10 pip cards (ace through 10) and four nobility cards (Page or Jack, Knight, Queen, and King). These are the cards that are known today as the minor arcana. The decks also had 21 trump cards (what later became known as Major Arcana cards) that were played in a hierarchical order, and a wild card, which was The Fool (similar to Jokers in today's playing card decks).
The earliest documented tarot cards came from Italy, and the oldest surviving deck is called the Visconti-Sforza Tarot, circa 1460. The deck was hand-painted by an artist for Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan. At the time, playing cards were a good way for artists to get their work known, and many special decks were hand painted while others were stenciled and hand colored or printed using blocks. During this period, tarot decks were mostly for the well-heeled because of the work required to make them.
As use of the printing press spread throughout Europe in the 1500s, playing cards (including tarot) became widely available, as did the obsession with card games. Some of the earliest versions of printed tarot come from Marseilles, France, and the structure and design of these 78-card decks (known as the Tarot de Marseilles) remain the popular structure for many traditional tarot decks today, such as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The Tarot de Marseilles was likely derived from earlier Milanese decks that the French came in contact with when they conquered Milan in 1499. Suits in this deck include the minor arcana Pentacles, Wands, Cups, and Swords, as well as Major Arcana cards featuring archetypal symbols. The Major Arcana cards (in order) include:
Regardless of whether you choose a traditional deck based on the traditional Tarot de Marseilles (Osho Zen Tarot is an example of this) or another type of oracle card, such as one of my current favorite decks, Postcards from Spirit, you can learn traditional methods of tarot reading or do as I do and use the cards as a point of focus.
When I use my decks (I select a deck randomly), I shuffle while focusing on a question and then draw a card. Using the imagery and symbolism from the card, as well as any thoughts or feelings the card may cause to arise, I use what I draw as a point of focus to help me find the answers to my questions within myself. In this way, tarot and oracle cards offer another tool in your arsenal for spiritual growth and development.
Image by valentin_mtnezc from Pixabay
Picked this beauty up at a favorite Portland, OR rock shop - Celestial Awakenings.
This is Monkey. She came to live with us 8 years ago today. We loved her immediately. She was four months old and weighed a pound and a half - very small for her breed. Due to her health issues, our vet suggested she wouldn't live much more than a year.
Her continued presence in our family is a testament to love, energy healing, and lots of Reiki. She is a thriving, healthy, happy dog, and we are blessed to have her.
Reiki works for pets. All of our dogs love it. Our 14-year-old toy fox terrier is healthy for his age, and he gets Reiki daily. Monkey makes a beeline for any Reiki hands she can find. Our other dogs and cat also seem to enjoy the experience. It's just another reason to become attuned to this wonderful form of energy healing.
It's been a few days of difficult news - some personal, some coming to friends, and some related to local and world events. As each new piece of news has come, I've experienced some people I love and some I don't know cry out in pain. Their pain is mine.
Life can sometimes feel bleak, unbearable, difficult beyond measure. However, even in these darkest times, there is a light that's there for you if you choose to find it. Sometimes when it's dark, it's more difficult to see that than others.
During those times, if you are one who can see the light, then hold it. Hold it for yourself, and hold it for others. Be the one that carries the light for everyone who needs it until they can carry it for themselves.
Today is the shortest day of the year. It's the day we allow darkness trusting the light will return. And each day from here, there will be a little more light, and a little more, and a little more. Trust the light is there, even when it is dark. Trust it will return. And if you have even a glimmer when someone else has none, hold the light for them as I hold it for those who are crying out in pain believing there is nothing but darkness.
The light is always there. It is your truth and your legacy, and it always returns. Sometimes in our pain, we turn away from its truth until we are ready to let it in once again. If you can't see it right now, know I'm holding the light for you until you're ready to pick it up once again and shine as the glorious being of light you truly are.
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
I was raised in the church and while I struggled with many of the beliefs taught, I was a whiz at memorizing scripture which is of course, something kids in Sunday school do a lot. However, even as a child, I never believed scripture was literal. I've always looked at the Bible as an allegory for an embodied life as opposed to actual, literal instructions for how to live.
Still, every once in a while some piece of scripture I memorized back in the day pops up, and I suddenly have a new understanding of what it is telling me. That happened this morning during my meditation.
I've been working on cleansing and clearing these past few weeks; I'm ridding myself of things that no longer serve me so I can make space for new energy to enter my life. I've done this not only with physical stuff (I've removed piles of garbage and things to donate from my drawers and closets over the past few weeks), but also mentally and emotionally. I've felt a driving need to create spaciousness in every aspect of my life; to make room for new energy to arrive by clearing out old energy that's cluttering up the joint.
I've always viewed my closets and drawers as an allegory for my life. On the surface, my house is clean and tidy. Sure, there's a little clutter from time to time, but if you were to come to my house, it would look fairly neat and clean. Just don't open a closet or a drawer, because under the surface of clean, oy. Chaos. And that physical condition has frequently mirrored my internal or emotional life, as well. On the surface, I appear as if I've got my crap together. But if you open a drawer or a closet - in other words, if you dig more deeply under my surface - chaos. And that chaos has traditionally occupied a whole lot of my mind and emotional space.
And so, as I've cleared away physical clutter in pursuit of physical spaciousness, I've also been working to clear away mental and emotional clutter into pursuit of emotional and mental spaciousness. I wish to create those mental and emotional spaces so I can allow for new energy that better serves me to enter my life.
Which brings me back to scripture. In my meditations, I've been using a technique my friend psychic AurorA teaches called heart space. Essentially, heart space is entering a place of pure love and acting from that practice. In my meditations, I've been focused a lot on bringing others into my heart space - especially people with whom I have relationships that need healing (part of my cleansing and clearing has been focused a lot on forgiveness). And as I did this today, a piece of scripture I memorized as a kid popped into my head.
Matthew 7:5: You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
I always saw this as an admonishment about judging others - don't judge lest ye be judged, that type of thing. But from heart space, I discovered for me it is something else altogether. It isn't about judging. It is about loving. What it meant to me this morning in my meditation was this...the plank in my eye is my inability to fully view myself with love. How can I view others with deep love love if I can't provide that for myself? With that acknowledgment, that recognition of what is, the plank starts to dissolve, and I can see more clearly than I have before. One more very important piece of clutter is disappearing right before my eyes.
What is the plank in your eye? What is it you have that you can't see around? What's cluttering up the joint and preventing new energy from entering your life? As we move through the holidays and into the new year, I encourage you to allow time and space to discover your planks, to clear your clutter, and to move forward with joy into the truly empowered life you can lead if you allow yourself to do so.
Image by klimkin from Pixabay