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.
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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.
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In my classes, books, articles, and blogs I frequently talk about the "highest and greatest good." It is a driving principle in my life. When I do energy healing treatments, I always ask the energy flows in the highest and greatest good of everyone involved. When I write books, blogs, or articles, or when I teach classes, I always ask the information I provide serves the highest and greatest good by reaching the people who need the information I offer. Each day when I wake, I intend that my thoughts, words, and deeds serve the highest and greatest good.
It is my way of relinquishing my desire to try and control every aspect of my life by trusting the universe will deliver those things that serve the highest and greatest good for all. However, I've had to learn that sometimes what I think should serve the highest and greatest good isn't what will support it.
Here's an example. When I learn someone is ill, I always ask the universe to provide energy and support that serves the highest and greatest good of the individual, the people around them, and the universe as a whole. That's often a difficult ask, because what I want to be the highest and greatest good is for that person to be made well again. But sometimes, that's not what will serve the highest purpose in that person's life or in the universe. Sometimes illness comes with lessons. Sometimes it's a call to enlightenment. Sometimes it's something else. And I can't know what purpose someone's illness will serve. All I know is that I want them to be well, but what I want doesn't matter. So I return to the only thing I can truly ask; that the energy of the situation supports the greatest good, whatever that may be.
There is wisdom in the universe, and I can't always know the purpose for something. Nor can I impose my will upon others or upon Divine will. And so, I do the only thing I can; I send energy and love that supports the highest good trusting there is a reason, even if I can't clearly see what it is.
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Does your mind wander from place to place and worry to worry? Try this strategy: When you notice yourself caught up in worries about things like money, health, work, or anything else, bring your focus to your breathing and say, "I am here now." Then focus on right now. How are you? Are you safe? Are you warm? Is there anything right in this moment you need that you don't have? Focus on all of the things that are good about this moment. Be present.
Here's an example. The other night, I woke in the middle of the night and caught myself worrying about an upcoming bill. I knew if I allowed myself to go into the worry, my night of sleep was over, and the worry was not only not productive, but it could also through the law of attraction bring about the actual circumstances I was worrying about (not having enough money to pay for the bill) by giving attention and energy to that exact circumstance.
So I focused in on my breathing and asked myself, "How am I right now?" Then, I focused on everything I was in that moment.
In that very moment, I had enough money to do what I was doing (lying in bed). I was warm, safe, and sheltered. So were my loved ones. I felt well. I was physically comfortable. I was peaceful. In that moment, when I moved my mind away from the future, I had everything I wanted and needed.
This week, pay attention to your thoughts. Notice and catch yourself worrying about something that isn't an immediate (in the moment) concern. When you do (and every time you do) check in quickly. Ask yourself, "How am I right now in this very moment?" And then list all of the positive things you are. If a worry about the future sneaks in, remind yourself, "I am here, now." Then, go back to a quick check in. Chances are in this very moment, you'll find this future thing you are worrying about isn't an issue at this moment. Focus only on this moment and notice what is good. This is how you begin shifting situations; by focusing on what is right and what you choose to attract instead of worrying about what you don't wish to attract.
Right now, all is well. By the way - I had plenty of money to pay the bill.
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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.
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You are made of the same stuff as angels. You are a piece of the Divine, vibrating the energy of love, and walking around in human skin. Every cell of your body and every strand of energy that animates your consciousness is Source energy that shimmers with the magic of the universe.
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