Hello! I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have so enthusiastically embraced my latest book, Transform Your Life with Alchemy. It has been such a pleasure hearing from those of you who are reading, doing the work, and seeing change. I celebrate your honest intention for change and send you love and healing as you do!
So - as a thanks, I've brewed you up a special batch of tasty tea, something I like to call Transformation Tea. It uses the magic of the beautiful color-changing tea made with butterfly pea flowers (you can order it on Amazon); or, for those looking for something a little...stronger...you can also use a butterfly pea flower gin such as Empress 1908 gin. Why this ingredient? Because butterfly pea flowers make a beautiful cornflower blue tea that, when it comes in contact with acidic ingredients, transforms into a beautiful violet color.
Butterfly pea flower as an ingredient can also help decrease stress, induce calmness, refresh your mind, and bring positive energy into your life; so, it's the perfect beverage to consume as you work on your own personal transformation! Also in the tea is hibiscus and honey syrup (homemade), which is loaded with beneficial antioxidants to support your overall health.
Ready for your recipe? Here it is. Remember, don't stir this; serve it in all its beautiful layers, and then let the person you serve it to stir with a glass straw.
Who Is The George Collective and an Invitation
Message 1 - Greetings & Hope
Message 3 - Individuals versus Institutions
Message 4 - Systems
Message 5 - Media & Misinformation
Message 6 - Conditioning
Message 7 - Shift & Shadows
Message 8 - Waves of Humanity
Message 9 - Rise
Message 10 - Ego & Hierarchy
Message 11 - Noise & Alignment
Message 12 - Origin
Message 13 - Self & Other
Message 14 - Exposing the Shadows
Message 15 - Trauma-Identification
Message 16 - Q&A
Message 17 - 2020 & Clear Vision
Message 18 - Spiritual Activism
Karen's note: The George Collective has been active and insistent that I share their messages during this unprecedented time in the history of humanity. The Collective, who I also call "The Georges" have been with me since I was a child, and up until now they've allowed me to work with them and share their words at my own pace, in my own way, and in my own time. The time for me to pace myself with The Georges is over. As they deliver their messages to me, I will share them with you. If they resonate with you, the Georges hope you will share them with others, as well.
We are, the Georges tell me, at a critical point in the history of humanity. As a collective of Divine entities caught in the illusion of life on earth, we have the opportunity to decide what happens next. We get to decide what type of world we will emerge into, and even one person choosing to shift their energy has a powerful effect on the whole.
BEGIN CHANNELED MESSAGE
Did you know the universe breathes? The One, the Divine, the Source. We all breathe together with the pulsation of the cosmos.
Do you find it interesting that this virus you call COVID-19 strikes at the most basic act required for life - the processing of air through physical lungs that moves throughout your bloodstream and affects the expression of every cell in your entire body? Nothing is more essential for your physical lives than pulling air into your lungs, and now your lives are consumed by an opportunity that threatens to make that physical act no longer possible for many.
How is it that you have come to this place in time with this very specific set of circumstances that has created your current experience? How is it that you have given your governments so much power and control in your lives that they have the option to choose to restrict the access of those struggling to breathe to the equipment that would make it possible?
We are speaking to America specifically now: How is it that you have chosen a man to lead you who sees human beings as expendable and less important than numbers on page representing the false concept of currency and wealth? How did it happen that at this moment in history when you all feel you need leadership, you have chosen leaders whose primary goals are self-interest, personal wealth, and power without one iota of concern for serving the greatest good unless they can see how doing so would serve their own individual purposes?
How is it that you have come to a place that allows press agencies that also pursue only their own organizational slant on the day’s events, manipulating you through their words and reporting, misinforming you, and obfuscating the truth by reporting only that which serves the news organizations’ own best interests?
How is it that you have allowed religions, which purport to be the spiritual backbone and lodestar of humanity, to so deeply distort the truth of the universe and deny you the unconditional love Source energy has for all of you?
Citizens of the world, it is time to look at your values and understand where they have brought you. While individuals around the globe more often than not respond to one another with compassion, care, and kindness, the institutions you have created to support you lack any of those redeeming traits. And yet, you continue to turn to them to guide you through your greatest opportunities instead of seeking your own strength.
This is a pattern on your planet and among your species that we have watched unfold for millennia. Individually, many of you work to hold a high vibrational space. Collectively, you put your trust into institutions that not only don’t support your professed individual goals of compassion, love and kindness, but actively work against them in order to enrich and empower the few to the detriment of the many.
Over the centuries of “civilization” on your planet, you have provided yourself numerous opportunities to create institutions and collectives that support humanitarian initiatives such as love, kindness, compassion, cultivation of joy, peace, and creative expression. And with each of these opportunities, we’ve watched and waited with excitement to see how many of you would grasp the lessons the circumstances provided and make a vibrational shift that supports the path to raising the frequency of all human beings.
You haven’t disappointed us. Because with each opportunity, some have shifted, and others have moved closer to being ready to shift. In spite of what your media may report, in spite of what your leaders may profess, in spite of what you may perceive as happening around you with your fellow humans, with each opportunity, some of you have chosen to embrace the challenge, grow your humanity, and raise your frequency. Each time, a few more.
There’s an allegorical story some tell of the hundredth monkey, and it applies here. As the story goes, a few monkeys on one island were taught to wash their hands. As monkeys on the island observed the behavior of the few who learned to wash their hands, others began to engage in the behavior as well. And when the 100th monkey on one island started washing his hands, monkeys on nearby islands that had no contact with the original monkeys all, as a group, started washing their hands as well. The story is not true; it’s a thought experiment, but it explains vibrational change and the concept of exponential vibrational shift very well.
Small rises in vibrational energy create an exponential effect. So, if one person raises his or her vibration, that person can’t help but affect the vibration of everyone around them, and thus, there is a small positive vibrational change to the whole arising just from one person. As more people work to raise their vibration, the effect becomes stronger and more pronounced.
This is the curve that you don’t want to flatten, but it is the curve that your current social isolation is providing you the opportunity to raise.
Through this pandemic called COVID-19, your sense of reality is being challenged. For those willing to look, your false idols are beginning to be revealed as just that. False. Take, for example, your concept of currency. For thousands of years, money has driven who is in power, who makes policy, and the very idea of who and what matters in your society. It permeates every aspect of your lives. In many cases, it determines who lives and who dies. It determines how you spend your time. It determines your moods. It determines how you treat one another.
And yet, money isn’t real. It is a collective illusion that you, as humanity, have agreed upon. It represents something, and it doesn’t need to exist. As you teeter on the edge of an unprecedented global financial collapse, consider how much control money has over your life, your institutions, the quality of life for all in the world, your happiness, your relationships, your governments, your religions. Has the illusion of currency had a net positive or net negative effect on humanity? How has it affected the vibrations of your planet?
Let’s continue with this thought for a moment. Money isn’t real. It’s a collective contrivance, an agreement that places different values on some things, creating a system of judgment around what matters and what doesn’t. And the value judgments created by money extend not only to things (think about it – why is a bar of gold any more valuable than a living ancient tree?) but also to activities and living beings. You have collectively chosen to turn your system of barter into a way to determine who has value, who deserves to live, and even who is allowed access to even the most basic of things necessary for your very survival – such as machines to help people breathe in and breathe out. That’s right. You are so caught up in your illusion of money as a species that your government is allowing it to play a significant role in who gets to breathe and who does not.
Money is not real. It’s a collectively agreed-upon illusion. You as a species have decided to assign a numerical value to different bundles of energy, because all matter, all living creatures, all souls are simply that. Bundles of energy. Everything that makes up your world is bundles of energy taking different shapes. It’s all the same energy, and no shape or form has any more inherent value than any other.
Your current crisis is revealing the fallacy that money is important and that different bundles of energy have different amounts of worth. As a species in a single moment, you could all collectively decide something else, and your current “financial crisis” would abate. How many of you, without the high values assigned to certain objects, would continue to work in your chosen field if money wasn’t real? How would your systems of government change? How would your religious organizations change? How would how you spend your time change? Would it change how you treat one another? Would it change how you care for each other? Would it change how you treat your most vulnerable? What would it do to your power structures? What would it do to your caste systems, your political structures, the way you educate your children?
There are other ways to be. There are ways to organize and live in societies that are supportive, nurturing, and loving that don’t assign false value to one type of energy over another. The energetic concept of money creates false hierarchies. It creates haves and have nots. It tells you who and what is important when really, no soul is any more important than any other soul, and no bundle of energy is any more valuable than any other.
Currency is not only the collective illusion of society, but it is the collective infection. You are being deceived in the name of money. You are being suppressed in the name of money. You are being controlled in the name of money. And you are choosing disempowerment in the name of money.
And so, you have created this opportunity. Your world leaders are trying to use the old energy to deal with the crisis. They are throwing around or withholding money. They bellow and posture because they are afraid that in this new world you have the opportunity to create, you will suddenly see that their “power” is merely an illusion and that the currency they use to control you is nothing more than an arbitrarily assigned concept that has been used to control the masses for millennia.
And certainly, right now, so many of you are worried about money because that is what has been used to control you for so long. You have allowed money to become your prison, but the bars of gold that hold you in place can only restrict you if you all agree that they have the power to imprison you.
When you’re not worrying about money, when you’re thinking beyond that, something extraordinary is happening with this opportunity you call COVID-19. More of you now than ever are going within, and more of you now more than ever are reaching out to connect. You are doing these two things—going within and reaching out--simultaneously, because the Divine part of you that is connected to the whole realizes that the true solution lies in what makes you ONE and not what divides you.
We have so much more to share with you. It is our plan to keep this channel open. But we have given you much information today, and we would like you to have the opportunity to process it. So, we will leave you with a simple exercise.
What many of you are experiencing now is cognitive dissonance as some part of you recognizes that this whole world you have created is built on collective, agreed-upon concepts that have no actual basis in true reality. The cognitive dissonance arises from the fraying of the edges of this fabric of belief you have collectively created and allowed across generations of humanity.
If you feel the corners of illusion lifting a little try this: allow it. Peel them back. Step into that discomfort of cognitive dissonance for a moment and fully inhabit it. We are there to help you; you will not engage in this exercise alone. Be with the discomfort. Allow yourself to find that loose thread and tug on it a little. As you sit with the discomfort, you will likely notice that what you perceive as “reality” dissolves a little. But in the dissolving of reality, the truth of who you are and what you are truly capable of will shine through the collective illusions you have created for yourself as human beings. And with that will come concepts for new ways of being that can serve the collective of humanity.
We are here and support you in your endeavors. We love you deeply. We respect your work individually and collectively. Please know that we unconditionally love you and are rooting for you as you provide unprecedented opportunity to make a shift. Now is the time to be bold in your imagination and empowered in your discomfort. You are up to the task both as individuals and as a whole.
END CHANNELED MESSAGE
Read Message #3
A few weeks ago, I posted briefly on social media about finding glitter hearts on my counter and having no idea where they came from other than to think maybe they were somehow associated with the Love Summit the Vision Collective was teaching the day the hearts first appeared. The story has evolved somewhat since then.
I found the first batch of hearts on 2/8 - the day of the Love Summit. That day, unbeknownst to me, my husband Jim, who has coronary artery disease, had a major chest pain that he didn't tell me about.
The hearts continued to appear in our house for the next few days in unlikely locations. There was one in my kitchen sink. One in the entryway. One on a cutting board. One on the counter.
We had no idea the source of the hearts because neither of us had brought any into the house, and our kids are grown, so there wasn't really anywhere they might've come from. There were no Valentines flowers, cards, or gifts. So we thought, well huh, isn't that strange? I wonder where they are coming from.
My friend, psychic medium Seth Michael contacted me and said he thought maybe they were coming from my dad, who died on February 1 two years ago. Barring logical explanation, it was as good of an explanation as any.
Jim and I took a trip to Canada the week before last. While we were in Victoria, BC, he started to share with me he was having chest pains, which worried me. We went to an indigenous people's healing site near Nanaimo BC, and Jim said while there, he had a profound energetic experience and felt better than he had in months. Then, as soon as we left the site, his chest discomfort started again.
As we were passing through customs back into the US, the agents were looking for a male with a last name similar to ours, and we were detained. This was, naturally, very stressful for Jim, and he started having chest pains again. We were cleared and released after about 20 minutes when they realized they had the wrong guy. I was, naturally, extremely worried about Jim.
As soon as we were home, Jim went to Urgent Care. He was given a chest x-ray and sent home with a BP medication. The clinic promised they would refer him to a cardiologist, which they failed to do.
Last Tuesday night (which was our wedding anniversary), Jim started having major chest pains that wouldn't go away. I called an ambulance, and he was taken to the hospital. They determined he wasn't having a heart attack (whew), but was suffering from unstable angina most likely brought about by a blockage from his coronary artery disease. This wasn't our first rodeo - he's had stents before - but our local hospital was unable to do an angioplasty because they didn't have a cardiologist or a cath lab. Life in a small town.
Jim was transferred by ambulance to a hospital in Vancouver, WA on Thursday and received his angiogram on Friday. He received two shiny, new stents and was sent home on Saturday. He feels better than he has in years and suspects that his experience at the sacred indigenous people's spot in BC was a preview of how he'd feel once his blockage was cleared. It turns out he's been feeling this way for about six months (something I was picking up on and kept asking him about but he kept denying). He was in denial I suspect, because heart surgery is never fun.
My friend Kristen Gray and Seth both suggested maybe the hearts we'd found were warnings about Jim's worsening heart issues, and Kristen pointed out the hearts started arriving the day Jim had his first really significant chest pain. Saturday morning as I drove to pick Jim up from the hospital in Vancouver and bring him home, I said to the universe, "If the hearts were a warning about Jim's heart, please send me another heart." Then I promptly forgot about it because I was exhausted.
Jim came home on Saturday afternoon. We hadn't seen any hearts in a few weeks and in fact, I'd forgotten about them until Kristen reminded me. Sunday, my urge was to clean the house top to bottom and energetically cleanse the house of all of the spiritual energy associated with Jim's illness so we could get a fresh start. We even bought a new Dyson vacuum (our old one was about 15 years old) so I could suck up every little bit of lingering energy. When we were putting the new vacuum together, I found a heart next to the couch on the floor.
Then, I vacuumed the entire house, including all of the furniture, window seats, and other upholstery. The house was sparkling clean and the energy felt so much better. Exhausted from the ordeal of Jim's illness and my cleaning efforts (as well as a lack of sleep associated with late night emergency room visits and worries about a hubby in the hospital for heart issues), I flopped on the couch next to my dog, Monkey. The couch was freshly vacuumed, and Monkey was sound asleep. I was freshly showered. I looked at Monkey several times and petted her. Then, I looked away. When I looked back, there was a red foil heart on the couch right next to her where there hadn't been one before.
Just now, I got up from where I work and found another heart on the floor - moments after contemplating posting this story on my blog. I guess that was my confirmation.
It took me a while to realize I'd received my answer since I'd forgotten I even asked the question. The universe tells us things - we just need to pay attention.
One of the things I love about the universe we inhabit is there are so many philosophies and teachers we can turn to for inspiration as we walk our paths. There is a rich tapestry of teachings from which we can draw, sorting through the wisdom of the ages, retaining what resonates for us, discarding what doesn't, and weaving it altogether into something new that supports our own spiritual growth and development.
I've always had insatiable curiosity about the nature of the universe. Even as a young child, I would like awake at night staring at the ceiling and pondering the essence of who we are. This has led me throughout my life to seek teaching wherever I can find it. I'm a voracious reader, I consume documentaries, I zealously pursue education, I take classes, and I explore philosophies. I can't remember a time in this lifetime when that wasn't so. If someone wants to share their belief system with me, I'm always happy to listen and see if there are pearls of wisdom in it that ring my bell.
Throughout it all, my Divine guidance system has helped me to sort through it, synthesize it, and turn it into my own personal belief system. It's a belief system that continues to shift and change as I move through my life. Some teachings have resonated so strongly I've adapted them as my own. Others have served me for a time until they no longer felt like a good fit for me. Others never felt quite right, and so I never adopted them, but I also believe that while they might not suit me on my journey, those beliefs I haven't adopted suit someone else perfectly on their own spiritual quest. I like to try things on for size and see what fits me, but I also recognize that just because something doesn't work for me at the moment doesn't mean it won't suit someone else. Different philosophies and truths work for us at varying times in our life. And over the course of all of our lifetimes, it's likely each of us has adopted and believed powerfully in every single belief system there ever was or ever will be, and for the lifetime or segment of a lifetime we believed that, it served perfectly to facilitate the growth of our spirits.
And so it is that I've studied many philosophies, channeled works, energy healing modalities, and religious belief systems in this lifetime, as well. I believe there is truth in all of them, and none are right or wrong. My influences range from Taoism to Buddhism to Reiki to Christianity to channeled philosophies from entities such as Seth, Emmanuel, Michael, Kryon, and Abraham-Hicks (these are just a few of the many I've studied over the years). Parts of different philosophies have moved more to the fore during differing stages of my life. I'm sure others will move to the fore moving forward.
And this is what I invite you to do, as well. Consume knowledge. Talk to people. Read. Learn. Listen. And then discover what works for you now, but never get so deeply buried in a belief that you don't allow for the possibility of a belief that serves you better to replace it.
This is your own spiritual path. All of the various religions and philosophies have been adapted by human beings doing their best to translate principles in uniquely human ways. These philosophies are interpreted through human filters and expectations, which is why different people can find truth in so many varying philosophies. And when we come across a philosophy or belief system that resonates on our spiritual path, we apply our own filters and expectations, as well.
That's why I encourage you to follow your own path. Build it from as many pearls of wisdom from as many philosophies as speak to you. When something resonates with you, adopt it but never get so dogmatic that you continue to cling to it long after it no longer serves your highest and greatest good.
In the end I have one unchanging belief: All of it is truth, and none of it is truth. Because we are trying to comprehend the ineffable through human limitations, we can only skirt the fringes of how vast we truly are as pieces of the Source. So go on your own spiritual journey and allow others theirs, keeping in mind that truth can be found everywhere if you genuinely seek it.
Several years ago, I had a life between lives hypnotherapy session. (It is a super cool experience - I would highly recommend doing it with a qualified hypnotherapist). For people who don't know what LBL is, it's a hypnosis protocol developed by Dr. Michael Newton in which a hypnotherapist induces a deep level trance and then guides you through your death in a recent lifetime and into the space between incarnations when you exist as the purest form of yourself. In this space, you are able to learn things about yourself, such as why you may have chosen a certain lifetime, who the people are who have incarnated with you for thousands of lifetimes, and more. It's an intense experience.
Thousands of people who have had these sessions report common experiences, which has allowed Newton and other therapists working with the protocols to develop a model of what our existence might look like when we're not embodied. It's fascinating reading, and I highly recommend Newton's works Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls, and Memories of the Afterlife. It's life-affirming stuff that can help you gain a broader perspective on what it means to be an embodied soul.
Anyway, in my LBL session, one of the questions my hypnotherapist asked was, "How much of your life force did you bring to this incarnation?" Now normally, as far as I can tell, people bring quite a bit - 50 percent or more (the rest remains with the "soul,"which goes on doing it's soul work). So naturally I was surprised when my answer was 15 percent. However, on reflection it made sense. In this lifetime, one of my major life challenges has always been having enough life force energy, which has manifested physically. I've struggled with anemia since I was a kid. I currently partner with a few autoimmune conditions that continue to leave me severely anemic, lowering my energy. (For example, normal hematocrit numbers for a healthy adult female are about 12 to 16 g/dL. Mine have dipped as low as 7 before, requiring an immediate blood transfusion).
In energy medicine, blood represents life force energy. So after my LBL, suddenly it made sense why I've always struggled with maintaining sufficient levels of blood, but I never understood why I chose to challenge myself physically in such a way in this lifetime.
This past year, which has been a challenging one for me on many levels, I noticed that the more emotional challenges I faced (and I experienced them in virtually every aspect of my life), the more I also struggled with maintaining even the minimally healthy level of hematocrit. In other words, there is a correlation between my physical ability to maintain my life force energy and the energy I expend emotionally and give away to others. As an empath, my emotional boundaries also tend to be fluid because I am so likely to experience other people's emotions as my own.
So as I've struggled recently with life force energy, I've focused on why I might have chosen that in this lifetime and what growth opportunities it provides me, since I truly believe every challenge our souls offer us during an incarnation exists for our benefit and growth. It's up to us to parlay those challenges into new strengths.
One of the things I've come to realize is that my low life force energy forces me to lower my physical activity levels, quiet my mind, and tune inward. If I didn't have these periods of low physical energy, I would just go and go until I dropped; it has always been one of my tendencies to pack my life as fully as humanly possible, running until I'm depleted. Low life force energy has tempered this substantially for me, and it is during these down periods I often experience my most significant spiritual growth.
Another thing I've come to understand is that because I have given myself a limited supply of life force energy in this lifetime, it means I need to find ways to conserve it. This is important as I am someone who gives large amounts of energy away to others. However, I've realized that instead of freely giving it away, I need to focus my life force energy on things that truly matter. So I've created a "sniff test." Now, whenever I start to give any of my energy to something or someone, I ask myself, "Is this worth giving my life force energy to?" In some cases, such as in my writing and teaching, the answer is yes, it is worth the energy. However, the answer is often no.
This has made me more mindful of the myriad of unimportant things I've worried about and focused my energy on over the years. It's helping me to redefine my priorities and focus on the things that are truly important to me: my relationships with the people I love, my teaching and work, spiritual practices, music, joy, and, of course, writing. Because of my limited life force energy, I'm learning to cultivate those things that bring me joy and hopefully make the world a better place instead of getting lost in the minutiae of daily life. It's helping me to stop dedicating emotional energy to things that ultimately don't matter, such as what others think of me. It's also helping me to define my boundaries and find kind and compassionate ways to set and enforce them.
While this is my path, there's a takeaway for others if they choose to discover it: dedicate your life force energy to those things that truly matter. Let the rest go. Only you can decide what matters to you, but the universe provides you with endless opportunities to discover and refine these things. Start by noticing where you put your energy. Listen to the thoughts that run through your mind and ask yourself this: Is it worth it to dedicate any time or energy to this? If I do dedicate time and energy to this, will it help me grow, improve my life, meet my goals, or make the world a better place? Is spending time and energy on this a true reflection of who I am?
Everyone experiences challenges in life. Our souls have offered these challenges as gifts, and it's up to us to sift through the rubble to find the diamond hiding within each challenge. It's okay to spend some time hating the challenge. It's okay to spend some time hurt, aching, angry, or whatever other initial emotion the challenge evokes. However, after we've allowed ourselves to have the full experience of whatever emotions arise with each challenge, it's also up to us to decide what we do with that experience. Do we attach emotional energy to it and dwell on it for the rest of our lives with hurt, anger, and bitterness, or do we use it to propel us to new self-awareness, compassion, and understanding?
In each lifetime, we get to decide how we interpret our experiences, how we react to them over the long-term, and where we place our life force energy. Thus, it never hurts to do a gut check and ask ourselves whether it's worth giving away something as precious as our energy to something that doesn't serve who we choose to be.
In Nia we have a concept called "beginner's mind." Essentially, it means approaching something you already know as if you know nothing, and it's a way to enhance your practice, your experience, and your learning.
Beginner's mind isn't a new concept. In fact, it's an archetypal energy represented across cultures and systems of symbolism: In the tarot it's represented with the 0 major arcana card, The Fool; in Jungian archetypes, it's The Innocent; and in I Ching, it's represented by the #4 hexagram Meng, which may be translated as Youthful Folly or Inexperience.
This archetype is highly represented in symbolic philosophical systems for a reason: It offers a way to view the world with new, fresh eyes, and it suggests an opening of the mind so new, creative thinking can find its way in. In all symbolic systems, this archetype represents the unlimited potential that lies before us when we enter beginner's mind.
It's easy to get stuck in fixed patterns of thoughts and beliefs about the world around us. We are so accustomed to seeing the world one way that our mind closes off to the possibility there is another. In fact, scientific studies have shown that when we are focused on one thing and a change is made right in front of us, about 50 percent of the people studied actually fail to notice the change. When referring to visual phenomena, this is known as "change blindness," but it can happen not only visually, but when we are focused on fixed perceptions and beliefs, as well. Other studies show that people with deeply held beliefs (such as political, philosophical, or spiritual beliefs) will actually dig more deeply into their stance when presented with evidence the opposite is actually true. It's how we deal with cognitive dissonance - by rooting more firmly into what we think we know, regardless of how much evidence we are presented to the opposite. There's a great book about this topic called Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) that really delves into this phenomena; I highly recommend it.
The tendency of the human mind to get stuck into one pattern of thought and perception keeps us from truly exploring the world in which we live. Our beliefs and perceptions are so powerful and strong they create our reality. For example, if someone believes they are sick and focuses on that thought long enough and hard enough, eventually their body follows suit because the power of the belief in illness brings about the physical state that matches self-perception. This is the partial basis behind the Law of Attraction; what we believe and what we focus our attention on becomes our reality.
That's why it's so important to tap into the archetypal energy of The Innocent, The Fool, Beginner's Mind. When we see things with fresh and innocent eyes, we drop our preconceived notions, and the world around us just may surprise us. Being in beginner's mind enhances our experience. It allows us to fully experience the beauty around us and opens us to new possibilities. Someone we thought was a jerk may, in fact, be lovely. Something we thought was boring may be fascinating. Something we thought we didn't like might turn out to be wonderful. We might learn something new about a subject we thought we already knew. And, we can open up to new ideas that can change our lives and possibly change the world.
One of the best ways to step into beginner's mind is to be in the moment and allow. Look at the world around you, even if it's something familiar you've seen thousands of times, and try and spot something new about it. Hear with your heart when you engage with others. Reach out with your soul as you journey through life. Allow for the possibility of fresh, new ideas, feelings, relationships, and thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking the same old thing, stop and ask yourself, "Is that true? How can I possibly know it's true? Could something else be truer?"
I encourage you to engage with the world as The Innocent. See it with fresh new eyes in every moment, and your life will instantly change.
I'm sitting here feeling high as a kite as I've finished my Sunday morning ritual. It starts with brushing my teeth and feeding the dogs and cat because some things just can't wait. But once that task is taken care of, I engage in another Sunday morning ritual. First, I cleanse all of my crystals using sound, smudging, incense, or whatever feels right to me in the morning. I do a general cleansing as well, walking through at least the parts of the house where Jim isn't sleeping and cleansing with sound, smoke, or Reiki. As I do, this, I give thanks to all of the objects and beings that support my life, from the couches and chairs I sit on to the foods in my refrigerator to the plants that clean my air to the Feng shui objects that support positive flow of chi throughout my space.
Once I feel satisfied with this task, I bring any burning incense, palo santo, or herbs I might be using with me (notice in this picture it's in a small jar of clear crystals), I put a few drops of my favorite aromatherapy scent on my diffuser stone, and I sit down. I cleanse any crystals I am wearing with smoke or sound, cleanse the coins I will use for my I Ching, and then I cast the coins for my daily I Ching reading. The reading becomes the point of focus for my meditation that follows. I sit with my hands in Gassho (a Reiki meditation technique), reflect on the 5 principles of Reiki, and then hold a stone (sometimes - this morning I used a smoky quartz with rutile Vogel wand) in my receiving hand while I place my giving hand on my heart chakra to channel Reiki energy to it. Then, when I feel peaceful and centered, I meditate on my I Ching message, visualize things I choose for my life, spend some time on gratitude, and eventually open my eyes and start my day. The whole process takes about 30 to 60 minutes, which is why it's a Sunday morning ritual. But it's an important one to me, and it sends me into the week to come feeling balanced, peaceful, and in a centered place where I can move forward with a spiritual focus.
On weekdays, ritual is still part of my mornings. First thing every morning I (feed my dogs - always feed the dogs) cast my coins and reflect on my I Ching message, reflect on the five principles of Reiki, sometimes do crystal work, meditate, visualize, and reflect before I start my day. When it feels appropriate, I may cleanse any crystals that have been working hard for me, as well. I have a night-time ritual, too. I quiet my mind, reflect on the principles of Reiki, reflect on gratitude, maybe toss in some visualization if I think I can do it without falling asleep, and I always end the day requesting the universe, "Tell me what I need to know" so any information that isn't coming in consciously can enter as I dream.
Participating in rituals gives me a quiet semi-private (as private as it can be with dogs and cats everywhere) moment in which to center and focus on what is truly important to me, and it helps me set intentions for each day so I can walk through them as gently, compassionately, purposefully, and equanimously as possible.
Rituals can be simple or they can be involved. I've developed most of mine intuitively over the years, seeking what makes me feel connected and full. When I feel I need something a little different, I pay attention to what my spirit urges and toss that in. My rituals are ever evolving as I grow and change. And I encourage you to develop your own rituals as well. They don't have to be involved - just a minute or two of focus can help you re-center. So if you feel called to do try something, whether it's burning an herb, chanting a mantra, doing chakra work, or meditating with a crystal, welcome that and make it part of your life. Listen always to the calling of your soul. Take the time to tune in and allow what your higher self has to tell you. Ritual makes this possible and provides a space where the Divine part of you always knows it can connect to help you move forward on your life's path.
Yesterday I found myself thinking, I wish people would be kinder to one another. Then it struck me. I can't control how kind anyone is to anyone else. All I can do is be kinder in the way I approach others and in how I choose to live my life. If I see the world as lacking kindness, then it's up to me to be as kind as I can in order to bring about the vibration of kindness. I can also choose to see kindness in others and focus on that instead of negativity, which will change my experience.
In her process called The Work, Byron Katie points out that whenever we judge traits in another and find them somehow lacking, we only set ourselves up for unhappiness. Therefore, she suggests doing The Work, which is a process of inquiry about our judgments.
Katie recommends four questions and a turn around about our judgment, so in this case, my judgment is, "People should be kinder."
Question 1: Is that true?
Objectively, yes. I do wish people were kinder.
Question 2: Can you absolutely know it's true?
No. I don't know 100 percent that people should be kinder.
Question 3: How do you react when you believe that thought?
I react by feeling sad people aren't as kind as I want them to be. It makes me unhappy. Occasionally, I may use that thought to be less kind myself.
Question 4: Who would you be without that thought?
I'd be kinder, and I'd be happier because I wouldn't wander around feeling upset when people weren't kind enough. I'd choose kindness myself because being kind is who I want to be, and that would be independent of how kind other people were.
Turn it around: (In other words, turn around the statement in ways that are equally true).
Turn around 1: People shouldn't be kinder. Why not? Because if they should be, they would be.
Turn around 2: I should be kinder. Absolutely true. Kindness is my value, and if I want to experience kindness in the world, I need to be kind in spite of how others behave.
This simple process is a valuable way to look at your own judgments and find ways to be more authentically you in the world without projecting onto others how they should behave or think. It also served as a good reminder for me this week about kindness;it is a quality I can choose to cultivate and it isn't up to me what others choose, no matter how much I wish I could make people play nice.
So, I'm choosing kindness because it serves me, and it makes me happy. What others do is entirely up to them.