Kindred Spirit, part 2… and last chance to enter the Give-a-way!

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Last week, I introduced my friend Aleka and her extrodinary way she views health and healing.  Check out her introductory blog post here.

This week, she’s back to focus more specifically on how our physical symptoms of illness can lead us down the path of true, karmic healing.  It is fascinating and thought provoking.

She is generously giving a free hour long session to one lucky reader! To enter, just leave a comment on this post… I’ll announce the winner on Friday.  You do not need to live in the area to enter… she can do the session in her office or over the phone anywhere on earth!

Thanks so much for opening your heart to Aleka… I hope to have her on my blog again in the future!  She has selected some of my paintings to accompany her thoughts… an honor for me… so without further ado, here she is:

Aleka:

I love that story about Mother Theresa where she was asked if she would join in a rally against the war.  She declined quite simply, but said she would gladly attend a rally for peace.  I see pain, dis-ease, and suffering  in our bodies and lives similarly.  There is no healing where there is no love.  That’s why a “war on drugs, war on cancer, war on anything,” doesn’t work.  It comes from a place of fear, the opposite of love.

We enter into this life both with an inspired purpose and default expectations about how our lives should be.  Hope and fear.  Where we are on this spectrum is what we manifest in our lives.  If we are stuck in ancient themes of fear, if we are attached to safety, if we are believing in our history then we will manifest situations in our lives to reflect this. Are you living your authentic path or staying in the comfort zone of your karmic default? Are you living in love or fear?

And how do you know?

Ask yourself this.  If you are not living your authentic life who’s are you living?  Your parent’s?  Your partner’s?  Are you believing the story society tells you or what your own fear tells you?  Either way you’re going against the organic flow of the unfolding of your life.  It’s like running your hand against the grain of wood — it hurts, you get splinters. Something feels really wrong because it is.


If you find yourself with repeated health problems, attracting people or situations in your life that don’t serve you, feel uninspired, anxious, angry, or bored… if you find yourself echoing the same victim story… pay attention.  Notice it.  Understand that this is an opportunity to change your beliefs about yourself and thus change everything.


“Follow your bliss.” Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it. If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living”

-Joseph Campbell


How do we find our bliss?  How do we change those default beliefs about ourselves?  How do we find our authentic soul path?   How do we heal?  Great questions.


The answer?  Follow the trail of pain.  Follow the suffering.  Follow the discontent, because it is there for a reason.  Pain does have a purpose.  Illness has a purpose.  It is our way in.


But we often don’t see it that way.


In fact our collective thought is that discomfort is a “bad” thing. I mean who likes to suffer?  Who likes to be ill?  No one.  In fact most people come to me because something is wrong and they want it better.  Often, our first response to any upset is to intellectualize it, deny it, ignore it, and find something or someone to blame it on.  Then we try and get rid of it as soon as we can.  We make war on it.


It’s as if we believe suffering’s very existence is a mistake.


Why?


OK sure, the obvious, we don’t want to be physically hurt, we don’t want our hearts broken, we don’t want to see people we love hurting.  Bottom line dis-ease hurts.  It’s agony.  But I propose we fear suffering beyond any physical sensation.  I think it is more than that.


We don’t want to feel pain because we don’t want to face the truth lurking in the basements of our egos.  Because facing our pain, our shadow, our default beliefs require us to see the truth about ourselves, our life, and the choices we make.  We would often rather stay where it’s familiar (even if it hurts) than take a chance on what might be.  We might rather stay in illusion than risk it shattering our story into a million pieces.

We make war on our pain and thus ourselves, because it is easier that facing our deepest fears lurking in the shadows of our being. It is easier to deny than accept and easier to ignore that forgive. Or so we think….

If we could see that everything, even tragedy, is a gift in disguise, we would then find the best way to nourish the soul”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD

So I ask you…


What if your lower back pain means you have to get real once and for all about your money?  What if your stomach problems mean you have to admit you no longer love your partner?  What if your headaches mean you have to face the truth about how you hate your job?  What if your throat issues mean you have to get real about setting boundaries? What if your chronic condition means you actually don’t want to take responsibility for yourself and want to be taken care of?   What if you keep eating because you feel so empty inside? Can you face that emptiness?  Can you face the very thing you are most afraid of?


Could you do it?



The truth shall set you free.

All healing is first a healing of the heart.
— Carl Townsend


In fact it is the only thing that can.  This is true empowerment.  We cannot live a lie and heal.  Truth and illusion cannot co-exist.  Our secrets can and do make us sick.  Accepting the truth about yourself has the potential of transforming you who are.  Then a world created based on falsehood, based on fear, tumbles down and what is left is your potential. What is left is love.


So find where you hurt – have a physical illness or otherwise, and go deep.  Seek truth. Risk.  Defy your old story.  Shatter your default beliefs that never got you where you needed to go.  Plunge headlong into your possibilities.  Have the courage to let your misery speak to you and defy your history.   Change your story.  Be inspired.  Find your bliss. Become empowered.   Give up the need to be right or even of needing to be secured an outcome.  Allow.  Then live in awe of what will unfold.


This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-Rumi


Come back on Friday to see who won the give-a-way!   Good luck!!!  xoxo

Thoughts on Health….the Brain, Part 2

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When nothing is sure,

Everything is possible.

– Margaret Drabble

Last week, we talked about how the brain ages… how it’s natural tendency is to get stuck in routine, limited by the confines of the skull, limited by concrete thinking.  As we age, our brain goes literally from being malleable, flexible, growing, open fontanels and unfused skull plates… to encasement in bone, linear thinking, a huge storage place for labels and facts, repetitive neuronal pathways.  If you can find a way to keep your neuronal interconnections growing, you literally keep your brain younger.  Adaptable.  Warding off dementia and other age related changes.

And here is the way to do it… open-ended thinking.

And here is the way to age your brain… label things.

Just because we can label something, doesn’t mean we *know* it or understand it… in fact, the labeling of it usually ends our exploration of it.  Once we find a name for it, then the possibility it holds is limited to our labeling of it… the fact we think we understand about it becomes the outcome.  Labeling collapses possibility.

Try to visualize the Universe and come up with a fact about it that covers everything we know and don’t know about it.  We can’t know all there is to know about the Universe and collapse it into a fact, that would be to completely ignore the enchantment and mystery of it all .  It is completely beyond facts and labels.  Can you go into our cells, atoms, the space between atoms, and deeper still, and conceptualize what that looks like and what it all means?  It is beyond understanding.  You can’t go out far enough, and you can’t focus down small enough and find an answer.


Can you know what death is?  Can you make it a fact?  It is a mystery, a beautiful mystery, and you can’t know… no one can know.  I find it very comforting that it is so complex.

When I was younger, searching for answers,  I was very anxious about it.  How do different religions really *know*?  How are they sure?  What if they are wrong?  Who do the rules apply to?  What is heaven?  What is hell?  Am I doing it right?

 
And then, when I realized how BIG and infinite a mystery it all is, how no one knows, I began to relax.  Ahhh.. there is space for it all.  My *own* answers started making themselves known to me… and what I finally *felt* was that yes… existance really is so complex that there must be a divine uniting force behind it all.

Do you believe in heaven?  In reincarnation?   In the possibility that we are all connected?  In string theory?  In purple martians from space?  Yes, there is room for it ALL.  Because no one knows!  Everything is possible!

Go down to a single molecule, or go up to the furthest reaches of space, and all you’ll find is more questions.  This comforts me more then any fact or religious doctrine I’ve ever read.  Yes, it truly is that marvelous.

Somehow, if our existence was so simple that a human being really could understand it all and *know* it all, label it all, write a religious manifesto about it all, I just wouldn’t be able to believe that there was something bigger beyond this life.  But by embracing the magical mystery of it all, I find my deepest comfort.

 

What is true for you?

What is truth?

What is fact?

Is there such a thing?

From what perspective?

What is possible for you?

Open ended thinking keeps health and healing flowing to your brain.  Asking more then answering the questions in your life.  Asking “I wonder?”.   Can you think of the last day you spent asking more questions then answering questions?  For many of us, that day was way back in our childhood.

Asking “I wonder.”  Just “I wonder?”  Instead of answering.  How long could you maintain that sense of curiosity?  One minute?  Ten minutes?  One day?  A lifetime?  How long can you go without creating facts for yourself.  Here is an exercise I read about long ago in a homeschooling book.  Try holding an object in your hands for ten minutes and ask nothing but questions about it.  Say it is a rock…

I wonder how much it weights…

I wonder what it is made out of…

I wonder how far I could throw it…

I wonder if it was around when dinosaurs were around…

I wonder why it has a grey stripe in the middle…

I wonder if it could skip across the lake…

How long can you continue to ask questions?  If you can only think of two or three, you might want to try asking more open ended questions… not searching for an answer, just keeping open to inspiration.  Maybe you’ll wind up getting a fabulous idea of something to do with the rock.  Maybe it will remind you of a childhood memory.  Maybe you will pick up some chalk and play hopscotch with it with your kids.

If you are having trouble, ask your kids to pick something up and ask questions about it, come up with stories and jokes and mysteries about it.  No doubt they will put you to shame, at least my kids are always able to beat me at it for sure!

This is one of the reasons we love homeschooling… unschooling.  The ability to wonder, to not be satisfied with a one word label.  Labels and facts are very uninteresting to my children.  Dreaming and story telling and wondering… that’s where the growth is, that’s what my children’s heads are filled with.  And slowly but surely, they are reminding me to rejoin the path of wonder.  And every year, I grow less interested in answers, and more interested in possiblities.  And every year, I swear I can just *feel* my brain waking up, and becoming healthier!

Come back on Wednesday for Aleka’s second post and another chance to enter her give-a-way.  And come back next Monday for another Thought on Health!  Got any ideas what organ I should do next?  I’m open to suggestions!  xoxo

Book Teaser

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Oh, oh, oh… I’m so excited!!!   I know it’s the weekend and I’m breaking my own, self-imposed, only-three-blog-posts-a-week-maximum rule, but I couldn’t wait to share this with you guys… my new book cover!

I’ll keep you posted. Should be available within a few weeks… but this little guy has so much joy in his heart, I couldn’t hold him back that long. Here he is… it’s official… meet Jake 🙂

Thanks so much for sharing in my happiness… xoxo

Instant Bad Luck

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Oh my goodness, I have soooo many ideas for blog posts, and so little time.  I know this is supposed to be a My Favorite Thing day… and I have so many lovely rooms planned… I want to show you my bedroom, my FROG, my kids rooms, my pantry, my laundry room… it goes on and on.  I ALSO want to give you a recipe for the best cookies ever (says my daughter) and a give-a-way from my shop, oh and about a million blog posts after that.

But I also want to stick to my three-times-a-week… M,W,F rhythm.  If I let myself post every day, I won’t have enough time to actually do the painting and crafting and order filling and shop organization and book illustrations I need to do, and for other minor things like, oh… say… homeschooling my kids, take care of my house and pets, feeding my hubby… you know, those kinds of things.

So I’m going to let Friday become a catch-all day… because if I keep focusing on only My Favorite Thing I won’t be able to sneak other good stuff in to you too.  Good stuff like this amazing $1 purchase:

Awesome thrift store find… an old spice rack, that was… hopefully… unused.  Do you see the magic here?

My kids were thrilled to use it to create a secret arsenal of magic powders.

Because you never know when you’re gonna need some Pimple Every Day powder… making it likely you’ll also need Cure and Reverse.  Instant Bad Luck.  Extra Bad Luck.  Changing Powder.  Sour Powder.  Good Luck.  Fly Eyeballs.  It’s all there… anything you could ever need.  Even my favorite… Mystery.

Would you take a taste of that stuff?  My kids forced me… whoa.  I barely survived.  And yes, the next day I woke up with a huge zit on my forehead.  Now, I get those, so it wasn’t too big of a surprise… but still, who’s to say it wasn’t from the potion?  Now if I could convince my kids to give me some of that Cure and Reverse, I’d be all set.

Come back on Monday and see my spiritual health follow-up on the Brain…  you can read part 1 here.  I’m really excited about part 2, do check it out!  xoxo

A Kindred Spirit… with a Give-a-way

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I have asked a wonderful friend of mine to write a guest post today, because what she has to offer is so in sync with all that I feel about vibrational health and healing.

Alexa Thorvalson, Evolutionary Astrologist

http://www.alekasky.com/

She and I totally see eye-to-eye on how physical symptoms and disease are a messenger of a deeper truth… looking at physical illness as a gift, a signal from our bodies that point us in the direction of growth, of change… of an inner need that will strengthen us as we listen.

Ultimately, health is about restoring a positive energy flow to our bodies, our souls.

No one understands this better then my friend Aleka.  Aleka takes this understanding and goes one step further with it… looking at our karmic energy and what we come into this lifetime to accomplish and heal.  Sometimes, this energy takes the form of a disease vibration, and Aleka can provide valuable insight into the big *why* — why is this happening? Why me? Why now?

This is a two part series, so I’m going to let Aleka take it from here… in this first post, she introduces herself and what she does. Next Wednesday, head back here to see her post on how karma directly influences our health.

Even better, Aleka is giving away one free reading to a lucky reader, a $70 value. It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, Aleka can do sessions in her office or over the phone, so please enter!  To enter the drawing for the free reading, just leave a comment at the end of this post. To double your chances, come back and leave a comment after next Wednesdays post as well.  Good luck, she can change your life!  xoxo

Aleka:

Sometimes you find your calling but most times I think it finds you.  Often it’s the very thing that frightens us, that one thing that we “could never do”, that we must.  My journey has been that I have always wanted things to make sense in a logical, linear way.   All the while, I felt pulled to what was abstract, strange, dare I say even magical?  Sure, as a kid I got the message I was a bit weird as I overheard the murmurs.  Things like “not sure if she knows fact from fiction”and she “just talks way to much”.  Well meaning teachers wrote “she has a very vivid imagination” and “has a hard time keeping her hands to herself” and left it at that.  I had a burning desire to touch others, to help others, to comfort, and support those I knew to be in pain in a way I couldn’t articulate or openly express but felt in my very core.  I figured out it was easier to agree than question and was more accepted to “figure out” than “feel”.  So I tried to ignore my intuitive side. I tried hard. I shelved the part that saw light dancing around  people or animals and tried to ignore what I knew all along to be truth.

Long path made shorter …and here I find myself pulled back onto this path I tried so hard to ignore.  If I were being honest  I would say even as I tried to push it away the whispers were always in the wind, but my fear, my lack of faith, my utter mistrust of myself distracted me.  So often we deny that little voice.  Those soft nudges of synchronicities.  We reason out, ignore, or medicate the painful lessons, dis’ eases, and maladies that are there to teach us, to motivate us, and to remind ourselves we are still very much alive.  We fear the truth about ourselves.  We fear what would happen if we were indeed whole.

Our Greatest Fear

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,

talented and fabulous?

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson


So now people ask me what I do and I find myself at a loss for words.  I guess in broad terms I help people understand themselves in deeper way.  What that looks like in form is that  I am a nutritional counselor/ massage therapist/ evolutionary astrologer. A bit of a rationalist turned reluctant mystic to be honest.  I practice a new type of astrology.  One that seems to shadow a evolution in our collective conscious thought.  This new astrology has different names like evolutionary astrology, counseling astrology, and psychological astrology.  Basically, It is just one tool I use to define your journey of empowering your soul to manifest in ways that feed your creativity, your life force, your truest path. It can bring a vocabulary, an articulation, a coherence to what is difficult to define with our logical mind within ourselves.  It can help us to acknowledge our behaviors, choices, patterns, fears, illnesses in a way that we can take responsibility for being co-creators of our life circumstances.

So where creativity meets intuition meets inspiration I walk my path.

This is a bit about me and my journey and what I do.  It is my goal to bring some understanding  and urgency about how important it is to our very health, and our vitality to be in alignment on a path of  sacred creativity.  Why it is so critical to let our soul sing and what happens when we get off track.  How our soul speaks to us through our bodies or life circumstances to keep us on a journey of empowerment.  No matter how hard we may try to ignore it.

Thoughts on Health… the Brain

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There’s a lot of suffering in thinking you should know and be right

and figure things out and that sort of thing.

When we are out there in ego, we believe we can know and should know.

When we come back to center, we realize that we don’t know

and we don’t need to know.

So it’s a coming back to center that has us on the right path.

– Cheri Huber

The brain is our knowledge power house.  It is our database, stores our memories, sorts facts, a filing cabinet which processes new information and fits in into our existing, learned framework of “logic.”

It is a closed system… an organ living in a finite space.  It is encased in the skull, in the hardest thing our body can make to protect it… bone.  Really, it’s the only major organ that functions like this, within bone… even the rib cage, protecting our heart and lungs, allows for the expansion of movement, breath, and blood flow.  In the skull, even fluid things can act as a space occupying lesion and cause pressure like a tumor… a hemorage of blood or a build up of cerebrospinal fluid, both completely liquid, can cause a build up of pressure and damage the brain under the limited space available within the skull.

Diseases of the brain many times come in the form of impairing access to the concrete information stored there… either a physical block in the form of a tumor, stroke, hydrocephalous… or a mental block in the form of dementia, depression, Alzheimers.

When we are young children, our brains grow at amazing speed, forming an immense amount of neuronal connections.  It is very plastic and resilant, open to all new learning experiences.  In fact, when we are very young, only months old, our skull bones do not even cover our entire brain… the fontenells are open and the plates of the skull are not yet fused.

At some point, as adults, we plateau our learning.  We transition from living life with an open eyed sense of wonder, and we start becoming satisfied with just learning “facts.”  We label things, and fit them in to the framework we’ve established.  We collapse what is possible into facts and figures and answers.  We start functioning on a repeat loop… with only mild variation from day to day.

Wake up.  Eat cereal.  Put on socks and shoes.  Commute to work.  Sit in a cubicle.  Commute home.  Watch TV.  Go to bed.  Repeat.

Relying too much on routine and structure, we stop practicing open-ended thinking.  We lose our adaptability.  Our brains become more fixed, more rigid, more closed.  We become “closed-minded.”

Brains can be adaptable… new pathways and neruonal connections can constantly evolve, even in adulthood, but this takes new and vaired input.  This literally keeps your mind young.  Somehow, adults stop experiencing the world in an open ended state of wonder, and become over-reliant on facts and labels.  The brain stops trying to make new neuronal connections, and instead relies on the ones already built and established.  It loses it’s plasticity.  Adults deal with life through information, and facts, and labels.  Logical, linear thinking, concrete thinking, factual thinking limits you to what you “know.”  Labeling things, reducing them to mere facts and putting them away into your brain, is a sure way to turn your brain into a closed system.

Maintaining an open ended sense of wonder… continuously questioning things without a need for an answer, experiencing life through the wide eyed joy usually reserved for the young… these are the best things you can do to preserve the health of your brain.

In week’s past, I talked about how the strength of your heart is it’s flexibility.  Without it’s flexibility, it becomes suseptible to dis-ease.  The strength of your mind is adaptability.  Without it’s ability to constantly form new connections, your brain becomes suseptible to space occupying lesions and disease.   So explore within yourself if you are okay sitting with open ended questions, or do you immediately reach for an answer.  Do you rely too heavily on a routine and on structure?  Your brain’s health is all about maintaining it’s adaptability.

Please come back next week to see the spiritual side of the brain… the adaptable, amazing, complex and mysterious organ encased in bone.  I will present another health collage about the brain, explain a new way of thinking, and give you a simple exercise to increase your capacity for open ended thinking.  See you then!  xoxo