Archives For the body

physical responses that work in conjunction with our intuition

The day dawned and I saw the tasks before me. My heart wasn’t in it. My mind was busy trying to figure out how to return to peace.  I was in an existential crisis. All felt meaningless. Not knowing what else to do I resorted to the reboot button. I went out into my backyard and lay in the grass on the earth, staring up at the sky allowing Earth to absorb the suffering of all humanity held in my bones.

Slowly the solid slightly damp ground beneath my body started breathing with me. Earth  is so deeply wise in its transformation of what falls upon it into loam. My mind’s attachment dissolved, disillusion. Earth absorbing all of my need to find meaning, explanations, understanding, belief, disbelief, purpose. In the presence of such vast, enduring simplicity my yearnings are a pinprick.

I let it go. Not even claiming to know what “it” I’m letting go. Human suffering? Grief for all the suffering my psychic eyes see? All that cannot and will not be healed, fixed, resolved in this lifetime? Everything that is in-between me and Being-ness.  So that I can walk back to the world of, this-equals-that: time-equals-pay, money-equals-options, healing-equals-happiness. For a moment I’m not sure what I believe. Believing seems like a way to make myself feel safe when truthfully the entirety of existence is unfathomably complex.

On this patch of dirt and grass, looking up at the sky crisscrossed with power lines above my backyard, contemplating life’s mystery.  I know this much, I need nature. Earth is my lifeline. It does more than ground me. It heals me. It allows the unknown to be unknowable. It allows my mind to stop. It opens my heart. It dissolves all attempts to avoid The Divine  Mystery’s call.

I’m listening. Listening means feeling. I’m feeling. Feeling sucks sometimes. I am so glad that I feel.

I danced the night before this existential crisis at Rhythm Sanctuary. I felt discomfort, my body wanted to loosen. I was impatient with the sounds. They felt too slow and jolting. I wanted to dive in to the fire, but it was only sticks, then a spark of flint. The wood was wet and taking time to ignite. When the fire caught, my body felt rhythmic and alive. I trusted my body and it moved in all the worshipful, tribal, ecstatic ways it wanted. But my brain was still engaged. It was only when my brain stopped noticing my dance that I enjoyed how I felt.

My underlying problem is that I spend too much time in the place where my brain is noticing.  The brain noticing is critical and comparative, it wants an answer. It wants to know what to do to get to pleasure. The brain can’t get to pleasure. The brain has to lay on Earth and recognize it is simply a different form of dust. Match vibrations with eternity.

The brain must surrender its role as the keeper of the human body. It is CEO, it has enough information to lead but not the capacity that the heart has to feel, the womb has to surrender and merge, the belly has to propel. The brain wants to figure it out. It doesn’t do well with what can’t be measured and decided.  Its job is to decide, to analyze.

All misery comes from my brain yet it is my best ally. I want to train my brain to recognize when it’s trying to fix or solve something that is out of its expertise. I want it to advise me to take council with the heart, to check in with my pleasure center, to ask the skin, the womb, the voice what they have to say. The brain struggles to find pleasure.  It’s not able to manifest pleasure, only measure it. Its job is to reflect on the other aspects of me that are creating sensations through life experiences. Then select the best option.

In an existential crisis my brain has nothing to work with. All the facts aren’t facts. They are feelings, sensations, knowingness that comes from the body. There is no decision to be made. No action to take. It is a time to stop, listen and feel. Reboot. To follow the rest of my soul’s experiences back to pleasure.

Recently I was reading a client who was rejecting her body. She had a spiritually enlightening experience many years ago and was struggling to return to the state of trust and inner-peace she felt while in that awakened state.  Her body was perceived as an impediment to returning to the state of peace.

Rejection or disowning the body can be triggered by having a heightened spiritual experience. The “aha” and subsequent sense of oneness with God, can make the mundane aspects of being in a body seem like a limitation. Our body brings us back to Earth after momentary enlightenment.  The pains, addictions or requirements of the body seem to be preventing us from having the bliss or deep inner-peace that is available to us in a spiritual experience.

Cultural programming teaches us the mind is the most valued aspect of human experience while religions teaches us that our spirit is the only pure aspect of our experience, the body is weak and likely to succumb to sin.  These cultural and religious programs are like silent software viruses operating in our energy field. They disrupt our clarity by invalidating our body.

When we are on a path of self-awareness we can get caught up in believing that our spiritual experience is more valid than our physical experience.  But our bodies are the vehicle we are navigating life in.  They are equally as valid and incredibly valuable to the experience we are having right now. In order to access our intuition fully we need to identify and shift the programs that block our experience of our body as a valuable partner in our spiritual evolution.

To release these programs we have to notice when we are invalidating our body. We can shift our experience by inviting the body in as a valuable informant to our decision making process. When I tune-in to my inner-guidance contemplating a big decision, I intuitively check-in with four aspects of myself. I ask if my heart, body, mind and spirit are a yes or no to the path.  If there is a majority of yes or no with only one aspect of myself that is incongruent, I explore the energy behind the incongruence. Is it an old wound, unconscious fear or cultural programming that is lighting up one of these areas as a no when all else is yes? What can I shift or heal in myself to come into clarity?

It is my perspective that we are souls in a body to experience the full spectrum of emotions and states of consciousness. We need the perspective of pain to appreciate pleasure, the experience of grief and heartbreak to understand love and know joy. If we neglect the body or reject its contribution to our experience, the body speaks to us with mood swings, health issues, pain and tension. If we label the body unconsciously or consciously less valuable than our mind or our spirit, we are in conflict with it. We have less access to our intuition as our inner-guidance speaks to us through the body and we hear it most clearly when we are in a loving relationship with our body.

When we are aligned we equally value our heart, body, mind and spirit. We recognize that including their perspectives gives us greater clarity.  We care for their needs, respect them and consider their input as we make choices for our life.

The Healing Power of Rest

Natalie —  January 9, 2013 — Leave a comment
"Spire" statue by Bruce Gueswell as seen at Denver Intl Airport.

“Spire” statue by Bruce Gueswell as seen at Denver Intl Airport.

Life surrounds us with constant stimulation of our senses.  We need to make time to rest our psychic space in order to hear our intuition clearly. One way we can do this is through what I call daylight dreaming, a restful psychic state on the edge between sleep and wake, not fully conscious yet not asleep.

In this place our spirit is processing its experience. It is coming to new awareness of the energies in our vibrational field that are ready to be released or resolved.  This is a restful state that brings healing, awareness and a sense of rejuvenation.

The visions that occur in daylight dreaming are like a slideshow of snapshots from our experiences.  They have emotions associated with them: friendship, love, anxiety, anger, shame, joy, confusion, grief.  As the scene drifts through our consciousness the unresolved energies take center stage. Often bringing to mind details we didn’t grasp in the moment of the experience.

In reviewing them from this restful place, they effortlessly begin to dissolve.  We feel deeper relaxation in our body.  We are still awake but our soul is actively directing the mind.

To access our inner-guidance this way starts with taking time to rest.  We can simply lay down and close our eyes, engage in shavasana yoga practice or meditation.  We encourage this state of daylight dreaming by resting when we are not physically tired but feel mentally overwhelmed.

Mediation to stimulate daylight dreaming:

  • Lay down with your eyes closed, quiet your mind.
  • Notice the places in your body that are tense and feel them relaxing.
  • Effortlessly visualize all the energy of your day before this moment, moving the images out of your body and into a bubble.  Send that bubble to a faraway mountain top and pop it.
  • Notice your emotions, how you feel.  There will be a dominate feeling and many other less dominate feelings all happening at the same time.  For an emotion that is negative or energy depleting, notice where you feel it strongest in your physical body.
  • With your mind relaxed let whatever image comes emerge from your memory, this image will connect your emotion, the place where it is holding in your body and the experience which initiated or triggered the emotion.
  • Then imagine that energy being drawn out of your body into another bubble and send it off to a faraway place to recycle its energy with neutrality.
  • This can be repeated with the next layer of strongest emotion that surfaces in your daylight dream.

Daylight dreaming facilitates healing, a relaxation of the mind and release of spiritual energy in our aura field that isn’t serving us. Allowing ourselves to fulfill this essential need to rest the body and mind, restores us to a place of greater strength. Rest reduces stress and cultivates inner-peace.  Resolving, releasing and healing our experiences bring greater clarity to our intuition.

Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado

Vacation allows us to step out of the routine, leave some of our responsibilities behind and relax.  The more unfamiliar the place is the more likely we are to tune-in to our senses as we observe our new surroundings.  We smell the bread baking in the subway kiosks, hear the meadowlark sing on the hiking trail, feel the texture of cobblestone rumble beneath the wheels of our taxi or taste the earthiness of goat cheese with merlot at a vineyard.

Relaxed, with our senses heightened, we begin to notice our body and where it is holding tension that was drowned out by the distractions of our day-to-day environment.  Our body sends us signals all of the time, tight shoulders, headaches, indigestion, exhaustion.  We can point to specific reasons for these such as working at the computer, something we ate, dehydration, not getting enough sleep.  While these are all valid influences, our body also is a way through which our intuitive awareness speaks to us.

The exhaustion or tension may be our response to energy around us or choices we are making that are out of alignment with our truth.  When we agree to something we don’t want to do, we are out of alignment and our body will tell us with some form of tension.   The energy around us contains the vibrations of those we are connected to, a grieving friend, co-workers who are so at odds their anger oozes out into the office, a worrying mother who meddles in our life in order to feel in control of the things that worry her, a partner who is suffering from illness.

We all need restful moments to take a break from our incessant thoughts and replenish our energy.  Vacations are one way to shake up our routine and draw awareness to the energy drains in our environment. By stepping away and returning with refreshed senses, they give us a window to see.

They allow us to release tensions we have been carrying unawares in our body; the knot in our stomach from that non-stop list of stuff to do to keep up with our lives.  When I have these windows of rest, whether it be an afternoon hike at nearby Red Rock’s or a vacation far away, I use meditation tools to clear out the residual tensions my body is carrying.

In meditation sitting eyes closed or walking eyes open, I visualize a rose in front of me and ask it to draw out all the tension I’m carrying, for example a headache from over thinking or getting stuck in a question there is no clear answer to.  I see the energy particles as dust or fog drawn out of my head and into the rose blossom, my spiritual dust buster. It vacuums out any residue that is clouding my clarity.  When the rose blossom is full, I send it off to a faraway place and imagine it evaporating into thin air.  My psychic space is cleaner, my body feels relaxed and I have a renewed sense of inner-peace.

Meditation can give us a mini-vacation, releasing body tension and refreshing our energy.  Meditation can also help us while we are on vacation allowing us to drop in deeper, be present and truly rest.   When we step away from the familiar cycle of our day-to-day routine and allow time to observe and release the collection of energies we’ve been unconsciously carrying, a shift occurs in our body bringing us into greater alignment with our intuitive truth guidance.

Life throws us obstacles, bumps that come out of nowhere.  The goal is to stay loose enough to adjust to the changes and centered enough to keep in control when the shit hits the fan.  When the ground beneath us moves so fast that it’s hard to focus, we have to tune into our intuitive knowing, stay in that controlled out-of-control state.

Skiing and snowboarding teach us this flexibility.  If you want to enjoy your journey downhill there’s no option but to be 100% present; aligned body-mind-spirit.  Adjust to the shifting terrain, in the moment.

Our core (third chakra), center-of-gravity is in the bliss zone, balanced with velocity, snow and the contour of the mountain.  When another skier crosses our path, a mogul, rock or tree faces us, we turn but we don’t turn permanently away from our intended path.  We take a turn that avoids collision and another turn that returns us to our direction of choice.

In the moment we may recognize that our chosen path is not taking us in a direction that is going to bring us pleasure, success or good circumstances, so we permanently redirect our course. If we don’t foresee the need to turn or the obstacle throws us out of our center we’ll crash.  Varying degrees of wipeout occur, depending on how tuned-in we were to our body and our surroundings.

We make graceful turns when we are centered in our truth, tuned-in to our surroundings and willing to adjust course when the flow points us in a different direction.  Practicing mediation tools each day gives us this core strength when faced with any challenge. To do this we:

  • Take the time early in the day to clear our mind (sixth chakra) of the past and other people’s energy or agendas.
  • Ground (root chakra) our energy in the present day.
  • Call any of our scattered energy back to ourselves and visualized it filling every cell of our body.

Being grounded and saturated in our true essence is the bliss zone.  It allows us to be present for the obstacles in life and to navigate them without feeling as much trauma. It feels aligned, peaceful and full of possibility.  Taking responsibility for our life by owning our energy space teaches us that we can keep our focus yet be flexible enough to make graceful turns.

Image thanks to http://performance-rules.com

Last week I was at my osteopath’s Dr. B, who had a student in training assisting the appointment.  As she was examining my back, he instructed her, “Listen to your right brain.  It knows where the spine is out of alignment. See how you’re hand has gone back to the same spot three times. You’ve got to turn off your left brain. It is making you question what your right brain knows.” In my world Dr. B was asking his student to listen to her intuition, to turn off her analytical minds interruptions and validate her sixth-sense awareness.

What was curious to me is that this medical doctor adamantly stated that the disrupted flow of spinal fluid could be felt without any equipment, simply touching the body and listening to the right brain.  He is very good at his work, and yet explaining how he knows what he knows to a student, was challenging in medical terms.

All good healers, whether they are doctors, dentists, psychiatrists or massage therapists actively use their intuition whether they acknowledge it or not.  My osteopath doesn’t think his awareness is of an intuitive nature.  His form of intuitive knowing is innate and he’s spent significant time cultivating it.  He doesn’t realize that it’s any different than the way his student might read a patient’s body.

We all experience intuitive data differently. While the information is the same, the way it comes to us can be a feeling a sensation in our own body, seeing a mental image, hearing a voice that provides direction or simply knowing without an indicator from one of the other five senses.

Dr. B impatiently instructed his student, “Your right brain will give you the yes. Turn off your left brain!” To cultivate confidence in our intuition, we also have to set aside the left brain analytical mind and listen for the yes.  When we are aligned with the intuitive yes, there is a sense of peace that comes even if the information is difficult.

Our sixth chakra (center of head) is where we hold both our intuitive knowing (right brain) and our analyzer (left brain).  The analyzer is trained to process facts, calculate evidence and derive answers.  The analyzer does not do well with information that has no correct answer such as emotions, bodily sensations and spiritual awareness.  That’s not its job.

Yet we try to force our left brain to process all of our experiences because we are taught that logic, science, having firm unchanging answers is the most valued in our society.  Many of the best insights into non-linear challenges come when we focus our attention away from the question and let our intuitive mind, in parallel, process the emotions and senses around it.

Repetitive, creative activities stimulate this, such as jigsaw puzzles, knitting and working in the garden.  We are present yet our left brain is distracted, giving our right brain room to breathe.  It takes practice to follow the doctors’ orders, set aside our left brain and listen to the right. It feels awkward at first, vulnerable.  Yet the more we do it, the more clearly we hear the yes, and the more our intuition informs our every experience.

We all encounter experiences that trigger a knot in our stomach that just won’t go away; relationships that are unstable, bills that we don’t have the money to pay, situations at work that undermine our sense of power, unexpected changes that leave us feeling out of control of our circumstances. When we dismiss our intuitive guidance it adds to this sense of anxiety, we are at odds with our truth. Ultimately we all desire to have a sense of inner peace.

Anxiety is formed at a decision point or indecision point, when a fight or flight experience occurs.  If we deny ourselves permission to confront or exit a situation, we must control, ignore, or belittle the response in our body overriding it with our brain’s demand to stay put and tolerate it. In doing so we discount our most basic survival need, a sense of safety.  The desire to run or defend ourselves, churns in our belly with no place to go.

Anxiety is felt in the abdomen, our third chakra core of personal power.  When we deny our self permission to act, we suppress our power and our stomach tightens.  Our body holds the cellular memory of trauma. It can be activated even if we’ve psychologically and emotionally processed an experience.  While we may not feel the emotion of anxiety, we may notice the tension held in our belly.  A new experience triggers a memory of when we suppressed our instinctual needs in the past.

Reunion with the body’s wisdom happens when we notice the tightness in our stomach before it turns into something more painful, letting it inform our path of action.  A check-in with our intuition helps us see if the anxiety is asking us to speak our truth, physically leave a situation or make different choices that don’t result in us finding ourselves in the conflicted environment again.

To cultivate a sense of inner peace, we can consciously assist our body, mind and spirit with alignment.  First we breathe into the part of our body where we have tension and notice what it brings to mind about our life.  Then we free ourselves from anxiety by listening to our intuitive guidance and acting in accordance with our needs.

Snowboarding and skiing exercise the same muscles we use to access our intuition.  Here are five ways that they can contribute clarity to other areas of your life:   

1) Align with Your YES

Flying downhill at high speed with gravity as your motor, split second decisions are your power.  Every turn, every choice of direction is an inner yes that aligns you with the mountain and puts a smile on your face.  When your choices align with your yes they bring pleasure.  Your intuition is validated and responds by informing you with increasing speed and accuracy.

2) Wipeout Prevention

To survive and stay injury free skiing you must pay attention and be present in the moment.  The consequence of having your mind on anything but what you are doing is painful. The same is true when acting on your inner-guidance.  Being distracted muddles your perception, often with painful results.

3) Give Your Analyzer a Break

Snowboarding connects you with your inner child.  As a kid you didn’t spend so much time analyzing life. You were curious, playful and stuck your tongue out to taste the falling snow.   Trusting your intuition requires that you approach life with child like openness to non-linear answers.

4) Read Your Surroundings

Navigation of the slopes includes maintaining awareness of the skiers around you.  A portion of your consciousness is engaged in quickly reading what those in your path will do next to prevent collision.  Your intuitive guidance is meant to help you navigate life through perception of how those around you are behaving. Then direct your life in a way that stays on course and avoids negative impact.

5) Move Forward in Whiteout Conditions

When there’s poor visibility, flat light or blizzard conditions, the way to stay injury free is to relax your body, trust its perception and response to the terrain.  If you try to be in physical control rather than flow, your body will be stiff when you hit a bump, launching you in an unintended direction.  When you strain to see what is not ready to be seen you meet whiteout conditions.  Relaxation of control is required for supportive information to flow.

So get out there and rip it up! Your body and soul will thank you.

Good Grief?

Natalie —  February 10, 2011 — Leave a comment

Grief is more than the emotion that arises when someone we love dies. It surfaces when we experience an ending of any sort. A relationship with someone we love changes or comes to an end due to breakup or divorce. We physically move away from a community or change jobs. Something about our life doesn’t turn out how we thought it would.

As we explore our intuitive nature, empathy is the first place most of us experience a sense of reading another’s energy (2nd chakra). Empathy has us match energy with those we care for to energetically support them. When we feel the intuitive information in our body rather than “see” it in our clairvoyant space (6th chakra) we may have a hard time separating our emotions from that of the other. We take on the pain of another and actually have physical symptoms from it. By doing this we are less capable of providing the needed strength for our loved one. We can maintain connectedness without matching the energy of those around us. In doing so, we tune-in to our own emotions without carrying the burden of the collective grief.

When our heart is broken with grief, the pain may cause us to check-out or escape the feeling. At times we may be unconscious of it but notice that we’re scattered, having a hard time focusing or not feeling very present in our body. A practice of inquiry, when these sensations of distance between body and spirit occur, helps us realign. Asking our body what it feels and listening. Sometimes it requires activation of physical activity like walking, yoga or dancing to reconnect. Feeling pain isn’t easy but allows the energy to move through the natural cycle, providing relief.

The best thing we can do for ourselves when there is a loss in our lives is feel the grief while nurturing our physical body and staying connected with loved ones. If we commit to notice when we want to disassociate from our experience of pain, we can find a path to staying more present. This may be through meditation, physical movement that connects spirit to body or reaching out to a friend to talk. Then when we find ourselves taking on the pain of another we are prepared to breathe deeply, and take the imaginary elevator from our 2nd chakra up to the 6th via the heart to lend strength to those we love.

Reading Your Energy Body

Natalie —  October 27, 2010 — Leave a comment

The Chakra Body

The term chakra refers to one of seven energy centers in the human body, each reflecting specific vibrations.  As a clairvoyant reader and healer the information I see in a person’s aura is connected to these energy centers.  They reflect the area of your life that is being drawn to attention for healing.  Getting to know your chakras is like looking at a map of your spiritual guidance as reflected by the body.  When you feel a sensation in your body such as tingling or tension, whether it is pleasurable or uncomfortable, it is an indicator that there is something your spirit is trying to draw to your attention.  The chakra association can help you interpret the message your energy body is speaking. Chakras vibrate subtly different information to different teachers.   The following list is my understanding of the chakras which can always be found through a link on my FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page.

Seventh chakra (crown) is our connection with the Spirit/God.  It contains information on how we show ourselves to the world (our persona) and the energy of understanding.

Sixth chakra (brow) is where we experience our intuitive guidance and analytical mind.  Here we see, imagine and have knowledge. It is from here that we see ourselves in the world relative to others.

Fifth chakra (throat) is our communication space, how we express ourselves.

Fourth chakra (heart) is where we give and receive love.  It vibrates the energy of affinity for others and the Self.

Third chakra (solar plexus) is our core personal power.  It is where we experience self-worth and activate will (how life force energy is manifested into physical form).

Second chakra (abdomen) is where our creation energy lives.  It contains our emotions, sexual energy and capacity for manifestation.

First chakra (root – base of spine) is where we ground to the earth.  It holds the energies of safety, security and our basic food/shelter survival needs.