Archives For happiness

I write to you while traveling in New Zealand. Exploring another culture I’m always curious about the soul of the people.  The Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) have a term “turangawaewae” to express what all humans desire but few languages have a word for, the sense that our life is purposeful, fulfilling and that we have a place to stand.

I learned about turangawaewae when reading the story of a local painter and outdoor enthusiast. She takees multi-month kayaking journeys along the shores of New Zealand and paints what she sees in these remote parts of the coastline. In combining these two passions she she’d found her turangawaewae, her place to stand. The concept is defined as, “places where we feel especially empowered and connected… our foundation, our place in the world, our home.”

Finding one’s turangawaewae is a challenge for the majority of people I know. Even those with a clear and early artistic expression, talent or passion often struggle with feeling at peace creating space for it in their lives. Society conditions us that our purpose should be actualized in a job, financial pressures take priority over life balance, and we generally don’t receive any guidance from family, school or society regarding discovery of places we feel empowered and connected. We desire turangawaewae but don’t have a word for it in the English language or guidance to discover it.

If turangawaewae came easy maybe we wouldn’t value it or as someone once said, if you see a path ahead of you and each step to take, know that it’s not your path. It’s someone elses path. Your path only gets revealed one moment at a time, one choice at a time, as you live it. Suddenly you realize you’ve arrived somewhere even if you didn’t see that your experiences were adding up to somthing. You know its your turangawaewae because you’re at peace for longer periods of time, feeling empowered and on solid ground.

As I look back at my own journey to turangawaewae it was never a clear path. I was always curious about the spiritual world, what is unseen in the universe. From as early as I can remember I felt a deep sense of fulfillment from writing. As a young girl some of my sweetest memories are of writing poetry and prose among the grass and daffodils in our front pasture. But I often struggled with how these aspects of myself fit into what I was creating with my life and purpose.

I was attracted to self-reflect and heal incongruencies in my heart and mind as a teenager. This led me on a path of working with many spiritual, physical and psychological healing modalities. Then in my late 20’s I made a choice to learn healthier boundaries around my psychic experience, not even knowing how to define it at the time. I started clairvoyant training to help myself translate what I was experiencing and feel more at peace when in the the presence of others who were suffering.

Throughout my life I unconsciously empathically felt the energy or emotions of people around me. I often didn’t know when I felt bad that what I was absorbing or responding to in someone around me. For example, if I worked with a person who was depressed or angry, it would drain my energy.

For seven years off-and-on I took classes and regularly applied the tools for myself, becoming more and more clear on what I felt and what I was sensing around me. Feeling less and less drained or “off” from the energy of those I encountered. Eventually I was inspired to take the full clairvoyant certification training, again not planning to do something with it beyond using the knowledge to inform my own life experience and vanquish lingering doubts I had regarding my intuition.

The program had both a training and practicum component. Learning the tools, then applying them with other students or those who came to the school for student readings. I also began to share what I learned with friends outside of the classroom. I found it exceptionally fulfilling at the end of each reading to have shared what I had to offer to another soul as they were looking within to find more peace in their life.

In parallel I had been writing in the format of a personal blog for years when I found I was writing about self-reflective concepts, my passion for the soul’s experience and intuition. Combining these two expressions has brought me a deeper sense of inner-peace and fulfillment. Now over nearly 15 years after starting down the path of clairvoyant training and many more years of writing, I feel I have I had found my turangawaewae, the place where I feel the most purpose, empowered and connected both with my own essense and with others.

Following Your Dreams

Natalie —  October 22, 2014 — 3 Comments

Temple Sunrise

Dreams point us in the direction of what we believe will bring us greater happiness and pleasure in life. Yet often we get stopped short by the enormity of getting from here to there.  Or we get distracted by easier things to do that we don’t value as much (procrastination) and forget to listen to our inner voice as it points us in the direction of that desire.

Occasionally we run headlong in the direction of our dream and the clues the universe delivers along our pathway are a blur. We don’t see them because we’re so focused on an outcome and miss a critical opportunity en route.  Our soul speaks to us always of what is true and right for us, but we have to allow space to listen. This inner guide gives us regular clues, invitations on the journey, to take short cuts or meandering long roads that expand our possibilities, connections, inspiration and foundation as we head toward a vision.

Experience is what living is about. Every meaningful experience is a gem that fills your treasure chest as a soul.  As you reflect on your collection of gems, they evoke emotional resonance. You may still feel surprise and excitement at the synchronicities that occur when you are present and listening. One of these gems may have been your first exposure to your dream.

Such as the time I affirmed a little girl’s insistence that she could see a dog in my truck with me shortly after my dog Luka had died.  Her parents kept telling her “no, there’s no doggie.” That day I was taking a step toward fulfilling a dream of helping others with their spiritual journey that led to the clairvoyance I now offer. This little girl who was able to “see” reminded me what is available when I look at life from a place of innocence and don’t listen to the voices negating my experience.

A more recent gem in my treasure chest of experience was created from the discomfort that pushed me and my friend to change plans, pack up and move camps three days into Burning Man, the first step that led to changing my trajectory for the entire experience.  My soul kept nudging me to embrace a deeper trust that all of my needs would be met without external reassurances. Listening, following what I felt called to do without knowing how many things would work out (food, a place to sleep and transportation back to Oregon). I was never in lack and found the less I concerned myself with survival the more community support and synchronistic connections showed up.

Gems are created from great pressure that creates beauty. We find them in river beds, in caves… the freshest brightest moments of our lives and the darkest most inward times.

Our soul’s assignment is not to achieve something big that will go down in history or arrive at the Summit of a peak. Fulfilling a dream is fantastic, but to have our eyes open on the way there, that is where the magic lies. To choose a path and choose again, a multitude of times as we walk along a path, noticing what feels right and what feels off. Each step in the direction of a dream realized is an opportunity to listen to our soul’s guidance, to the Divine that is us, as it leads us through experiences, energies and obstacles.

There is subtleness in how we wait for things in our lives. We imagine one thing needs to happen before the next can occur, believing life experiences naturally come in a certain order, so we wait. This needs to happen before that.  We need to have a certain amount of money, a relationship, a certain type of job or children out of the house, to create our dream.

I have a picture of myself living in a home I’ve designed and built with a partner in the countryside. With creek that runs through it, trees, and of course a beautiful view that makes us take a deep breath every time we look out the window. I had been waiting for someone to co-create this vision with but waiting was attracting more waiting.  I wasn’t creating my heart’s desire and it was impacting every day of my life.

Sometimes we are so close to our own view of the world that we can’t see where it’s holding us back. It hadn’t dawned on me that in waiting for a partner to have this life in the countryside I was denying myself happiness.  I finally was able to see that I was waiting in a way that had me stuck and attracting more waiting.

I’ve felt the call for several years now to leave the city and live closer to nature. Having grown up in the country and a small town, I never really saw myself as a city person when I moved to Denver 23 years ago. I got used to it and even enjoy it a lot. Still I’ve always known that my proverbial cup is filled by being in nature and as it stands now it’s somewhere I have to go to rather than the place where live.

A story I’ve been telling myself and others for years, is that I want to live the summer months in Oregon on or near my family’s ranch, and be in Colorado for the rest of the year.  The catch was that my “picture” of this life required a partner.  I am single, and waiting for the partner who wanted this life and could have it had been blocking me from creating the life I really want.

Last week I asked management at my technology job if I could live and work from Oregon for 3-4 months this summer. He said, “No problem. I don’t care where you work from. You work from home as it is.” While I work from home, I travel a lot for that job and moving will impact the distance/cost of my travel for work.  Having received this “Yes” I feel excited and surprised at the courage I see is needed to take this step.

As the reality of this creation set-in, I began to feel a new sense of freedom. I have stopped waiting for things to look a certain way and am creating what I want in my life. There’s not a story but a real experience I’m participating in.

The law of attraction is at work.  Because I had been waiting rather than creating, I was attracting more opportunities to wait rather than create and felt stuck in past creations that were great but I’d outgrown. Now that I’ve said yes to creating this vision, synchronicities continue to show up to support it coming to fruition.

What are you waiting for? Start creating and see what shows up to support your creation!

What do you desire?  I desire to feel adored, to feel blessed and to be surprised with luscious new experiences. I desire to feel respected, supported by the Universe and the people in all areas of my life. I desire to give and receive full heartedly.

I desire to step forward, showing up in my life aligned: heart, mind and actions. I desire to be in constant receptivity with the Divine energy source, empowered and able to share it with the world without feeling depleted.  Source is infinite. I desire to feel prosperous beyond compare (pinch me my life is magnificent). I desire to feel a bubbling over of that sense that, “I fucking love my life!!!!”

I desire to feel the pleasure of being touched, feel safe, respected and desired. I desire companionship for walking, dinner, live music, snowboarding, conversations, exploration, play, creative inspiration, home projects and spiritual expansiveness.  I desire to have enough quiet “Natalie time” to listen to my inner-voice deeply and fill my cup with consciousness.

I desire to feel without reservation, whether it be sadness or joy. I desire to be inspired and create beauty around me and within me. I desire to feel physically healthy, balanced, energized, nurtured and strong. I desire to feel emotionally stable, surrendered and allow what I feel to be expressed with ease and acceptance.

I invite you to allow yourself to know your desires, how they feel rather than attachment to the form they take. It is a true invitation for the Universe to amaze you with what shows up!

What would it take for you to feel satisfied with your life? Fulfilled, as if everything that was happening was as you desired?  A different job, a new or changed relationship, different living arrangement, better health, more money, a vacation, closer friendships, less work, time to follow your creative passion?  The aspects of our lives that we feel at peace with don’t have to be perfect, but flow with ease. We don’t dwell on them, because for the most part we are getting what we want.

The areas of our life that aren’t fulfilling our needs are what we struggle with and notice.  They translate to the false belief that something outside of us needs to change in order for us to feel at peace.  When we believe this, we are giving our power away.  There is an energy drain precipitated by cycles of thought, feeling and behavior that reinforce staying unsatisfied.

I think of Homer Simpson holding onto the soda can he’s been trying to steal from a vending machine, while emergency workers go to great lengths to try to extract his arm.  We hold onto a certain vision of what we need to feel satisfied in a job, lover, etc.  When Homer finally realizes, he doesn’t want the soda bad enough to give up other things in his life, he let’s go of the can and pulls his arm out of the machine. He’d created his own experience of being stuck in the machine by holding on to something that wasn’t designed to be his, at least not without him being in alignment with the system that would allow it to be his.

Everything we experience is designed to show us where we are in alignment or not.  If we are attached to specific circumstances we “must have” to feel happy, a deeper look inside our Self will reveal what is out of alignment in our life, the misalignment creating a sense of lack.  Are we making a decision based on financial fear to work too much or at a job we don’t like which limits our time and energy to create in other areas?  Are we using busyness or addictions as a form of avoidance, so we won’t have to address the relationships in our life that are uncomfortable?  Are we blaming work or a relationship for our suffering and disappointment?  As long as we hold on to the belief that our happiness is contingent upon someone or something changing we will be unfulfilled and not find inner-peace.

Try this simple meditation to assist in creating a sense of peace in an area where you feel dissatisfied.

  • Begin in a simple silent meditation state (see my post a Meditative Path to Clarity).
  • Visualize a bubble floating in front of you to represent the area in your life where you feel dissatisfied unfulfilled or stuck.
  • See a rose outside of that bubble, like a magic wand, it is there to draw out any energy from that bubble that is negative or fear based.
  • Watch as energies such as control, punishment, anger, anxiety, disappointment, fear, guilt, and shame move out of the bubble into the rose.
  • Once the bubble is free of these blocks, send the rose to a faraway place in your mind’s eye and let it dissolve with the intention that it causes no harm.
  • Now imaging a golden ball of light hovering above the bubble that represents the area of your focus for the mediation.  Fill that ball of light with all of the positive vibrations (emotional energies) you would like to experience in this area of your life, such as: ease, grace, pleasure, fulfillment, joy, inspiration, flow, playfulness, support.
  • When the golden ball of light is full of good vibrations drop it into your bubble and see them become one.

You have shifted the focus in this area of your life from disappointment and lack to ease and flow with your intentions.  Our habits pull us quickly back into old thought patterns, so revisit this visualization as often as you find necessary.

Personally, I find it a very challenging practice to let go of certain desires happening in the timeframe that I want.  But whenever I hold onto the yearning for a different experience than “what is” I am less satisfied with my life.  This doesn’t mean that I give up on my hearts desires and dreams.  What it does mean is that I acknowledge that what I am experiencing right now is exactly as it should be.  As difficult as it may feel, I trust that what I am experiencing is the universe speaking to me, to show me how I can get into greater alignment with myself.

The feeling of scarcity hooks us with a belief that there’s not enough, time, energy or resources to do what needs to be done.  We feel behind. If we crank up our adrenaline to meet the demand, later we feel depleted, because we forced our actions into an agenda that was unnatural.  We give too much to work or a relationship, failing to care for our self. Inner-peace is impossible when we believe that there is not enough time or energy.  In this mindset we are harried with constant striving to fit as much as we possibly can into every day.

The lie is that there is a limited supply of what we need to feel at peace… time, energy, support, tools, love.  We have all the energy we need as long as we take care of our self with: good sleep, healthy food, exercise and meditation.   When we get hooked by scarcity thinking our entire experience is thrown off balance. We lose our ability to set good boundaries with a relationship or job because our attention is focused on the lack, the energetic hook that there is a need much greater than we can fulfill; a vacuum of energy that tugs on our belly (third chakra), a magnetic force pulling us to give more and more.

There are two practices that help us reclaim our sense of having enough time and energy. The first is maintaining our grounding.  When we’re grounded in our own energy, we can recognize the outside demand. From a centered place, we are empowered to choose how much to contribute of our life-force.  We have the clarity that we’re not responsible to rescue the situation. We see our self as a contributor and know that doing our part is enough. And we succeed in our part, regardless of what the experience is for anyone else.

A mediation tool for grounding starts with visualization of a line of energy connecting the tip of our tailbone (first chakra) to the center of the earth. That grounding cord can be seen as a waterfall, tree trunk, animal tail, or beam of light; whatever feels solid for you. Intend that the only energy in that grounding cord is your energy and kick out anyone else who is hitchhiking in your grounding space.

The second practice is to shift the energy just above your belly button (third chakra) to neutrality.  That place where you get gut feelings that signal something is amiss.  The solar plexus is where we hold our personal power, thus where demand energy hooks into our space.  It is where we feel anxiety for not having enough time that drains our energy.  Visualize the space in your belly as a crystal ball full of only your energy.  Notice that it is neutral, clear or see-through. Because it’s clear as glass, when others try to tap into your energy with demands, there’s nothing for them to attach to. Neutrality allows you respond to others needs without over giving.

Staying centered in our power rather than allowing the demands in our environment to pull us out of alignment requires practice. Choosing to believe that there is plenty of time and energy is essential if we strive to create a consistent experience of inner-peace.  By eliminating the hook of scarcity energy we can be inspired by our work, relationships, environment, home and options. We can to show-up for all of it with an authentic belief that the best possible outcome is happening and we don’t need to know what that is or how it’s going to happen. We trust it is.

*Note: Reflections inspired by the book called Sacred Economics. It makes the point that our monetary system is based on scarcity, the manmade belief in limited supply of money.

As we begin a New Year I like to apply the “Be the Word” practice I learned in training at Inner Connection Institute. This involves choosing a word that’s vibration inspires me to live with it for the entire year. One I can learn from. My word for 2012 is devotion.  I don’t use this word often, so I received it with curiosity, interested in discovering what it meant for me. The definition that resonates with me is the act or state of being devoted, committed and loyal to an intent or cause. I believe devotion is essential to living a passionate life.

What are you devoted to in 2012?  Are you devoted to something internal, external, one or many intentions?

Devotion is true passion. The fire of our creative energy applied that manifests into demonstrable life experiences. Internal devotions consist of cultivating some aspect of your human body-soul experience such as physical health, a state of inner peace, increased patience, self-love or creativity.  External devotions involve community, planetary or relationship focused commitments to a cause.  You might be devoted to growing a tasty plump non-genetically modified tomato in your garden or contributing to the quality of education available in your community by sharing your skills and getting involved in the political process.

The word devotion has a spiritual definition as well, linked to worship, an expression of gratitude to a greater power.  Your devotional intentions gain power and solidify to bear fruit when held in the context of gratitude; gratitude that we have the opportunity, time, energy and freedom for passion found in purposeful intent.

Devotion can only come from a true heartfelt desire with a clear focus.  Our life gains a greater sense of purposefulness when we are devoted to cultivate internal and external intentions.  Like the old adage, it’s the journey not the destination. Having focus, passion, devotion on our journey, draws out the flavor of life as we take a bite, the juiciness drips down our chin. And we don’t mind the mess because it tastes so good.  This level of purposeful commitment pays dividends in joy.

My desire for a spot close to the front of the airplane had me sit in a middle seat between two women on a fight home to Denver last week.  Expecting the usual, ignore the stranger next to you, behavior of business travel, I was surprised to immediately be in conversation with the woman sitting to my right.  I can’t even remember how the conversation started but it didn’t pause until we landed two hours later.  By then I had heard 72 years of stories, Naomi’s life in a nutshell, and more importantly witnessed her joyful perspective on life.

Her vibrant energy created a shift in me, revitalizing my sense of appreciation and possibility.  Inviting me to match the level of joy she lives in.  If I blur the lens of the words that passed between us, the pure vitality Naomi offered through her positive perspective was transformational.

Each of us radiates energy that is a combination of our natural essence, our beliefs and energies we’ve held onto that we’ve accumulated along the way.  Often we don’t notice our own energy, what we are presenting as a vibration to the world.  When our energy is clear of fearful beliefs more
of our natural essence shines and we attract energy that matches what we want in our lives. In order to experience the spark of inspiration that generates transformation we have to be available to human connection.

The most powerful insights can come from the perspectives of strangers. They have a fresh perspective, one we haven’t been exposed to before.  They don’t know our history and we are inclined to listen more closely to someone we just met.  Our awareness is heightened.

The type of connection I experienced with Naomi was wonderfully unexpected.  We can prepare ourselves to recognize these opportunities and be open to the transformational energy that is available through connection.  We prepare by taking time to align our vibration with our essence. Start in a meditative space:

  • Send a psychic “hello” to your essence, your soul, your authentic Self.  Allow your inner voice to ask if there are beliefs that are pulling you out of alignment with your essence?
  • Visualize those fears, disturbances and non-aligned energies moving out of your space into a bubble.  Watch the bubble float to a distant mountain top and pop, transforming the energy into a new form.  This makes more room for your own essence to expand.  You may want to repeat this with several different focus areas in your life. Where you are showing up with a certain identity, such as work, romantic relationship, friendship, health or creative practice.
  • Imagine a big golden ball of light hovering above your head.  In the center of that ball is a magnet calling your energy back to you from any places you have left it that you are ready to retrieve it from. Once the golden ball of light is full of your essence, in your minds-eye reach up and pop it.  See the energy of your essence flow down into you, filling in all the space that was opened when you moved out the non-aligned vibrations.

We naturally attract matching vibrations into our lives.  Sometimes we have the fortune of attracting a connection that wakes us up and elevates us to a new level of self-awareness.  I believe this happens when the person we encounter can see past our current state and notices our soul’s essence.   The practice of consciously setting our energy invites connections that are transformational.

The Meditative Path to Clarity

Natalie —  October 12, 2011 — 5 Comments

We all want clarity, to feel solid about our decisions and choices.  We want to know what is best for us.  What path to take.  We realize at a deep level that no other person can give us the answer.  We may seek reflection and input from others, but we are doing so to hear ourselves speak our first thoughts, notice our response to this advice, to see if we agree or disagree and why.

We know there is information available to us that is immeasurable, essence level insight. Stuff we can’t explain even though we try to explain it.  We wish we felt a more solid about to the intuitive guidance available to us.  We want to know we are making choices that will lead to happiness.

Clearly interpreting our inner-guidance is not a skill taught in school or at home.  Often when we have an intuitive aptitude for reading other’s energy it is a result of needing to develop this skill for our own safety or survival.  It can be more difficult to see our own truth when our intuitive skills were cultivated from a point of trauma or lack. To develop clarity we need to remove obstacles to our vision.

There are as many layers of experience influencing us as there are years in our life, some would say more.  When we begin to focus attention on listening to our inner-guidance, it’s like learning to walk all over again.  Our legs are a little wobbly, we let the momentum of gravity move us forward and toss a leg out to balance ourselves, then another. Only learning to trust its support and gain confidence in our body as we maintain our balance with each forward step.

To develop the skill of trusting our intuitive guidance, a daily meditation practice is essential.  This doesn’t need to be an hour with your eyes rolled back into your head and an empty mind.  The type of meditation I refer to is tuning into your energy body for 5 or 15 minutes. I do so every day while walking my dog.  It’s that simple. Focus awareness on the following elements:

  • Grounding Cord – that which connects us to the foundation of the earth, our root extending from the tip of our spine to the center of the earth
  • Cosmic Energy –energy from the spirit realm, flowing down into us from the crown of our head
  • Earth Energy – energy from the earth, it runs up through our legs to join with the cosmic energy
  • Aura Bubble – our personal space as defined by an energy field that surrounds our physical body
  • Center of Head – the space between your ears and behind your eyes where you “see” rather than “feel” intuitively

Tuning into these energy tools and claiming them for ourselves, will dissipate the fog of doubt and help us clean out external influences.   Meditation is an essential form of spiritual housekeeping that allows us to see clearly.  From the
space of greater clarity we can even identify when we need external perspective to get beyond our own blocks. Meditation prepares us for deep listening, the kind that helps us break through the mistof uncertainty so we can align action with our vision to create the life we want.

Last Friday at our family ranch, I stretched out on the grass in a cow pasture looking up at the pale blue sky.  Doing nothing but listening to the sounds of birds, bugs, gurgling water and a breeze gently blowing in the trees.  The moment of rest and nothingness penetrated my soul.  It dropped me into a place of awareness of all the distractions I’d been carrying in my body and mind from the psychic density of living in the city and the busyness of day-to-day activity.  It felt as if the earth instantly absorbed the entire disturbance that had been filling my mind and the tension in my body.

I found a deep inner-peace and gratitude for the beauty, raw ciaos and simplicity of plant and animal life.  It made me think of our human tendency to seek purpose.  In the desire to find some greater meaning in life, we believe the cultural programming that our purpose is outside of us, something we do, some function we fulfill in the world. 

Those things that make us feel joy tend to be attributed the label of our purpose: creative arts, music, writing, activities that have an element of service to others. We want to clearly see what our purpose is and we want it to be fixed, one thing for our entire lifetime.  When we experience purpose for awhile through some activity like being a parent, or working on a creative project, then that stage of our life comes to transition or completion; we feel a sense of meaninglessness or lack of purpose again.  The self questioning begins.  

We struggle with a desire to know our purpose and want a life focus that is guaranteed to give us a sense of fulfillment.  We are haunted with a subtle yet chronic dissatisfaction and sense of yearning, feeling unfulfilled, looking for this purpose outside of ourselves.  We decide that we are doing the wrong job or in the wrong relationship because we don’t feel satisfied.  We give our power to this concept of finding a purpose beyond simply living.  We feel disappointment and self-judgment that we haven’t figured it out yet. 

It appears from the outside that other people have figured it out.  We see the bright light of successful athletes, actors, writers, politicians, healers, musicians.  We believe that they have a sense of purpose and are at peace because they are living their dream.  Yet it is an illusion. Those in these positions that venture to reveal their humanity will confess they still question their purpose.

We have been sold a collective lie, a belief that if we discover something to do that is our purpose we will feel forever fulfilled and at peace.  But the source of fulfillment and inner-peace isn’t a job or a relationship; it’s in our approach to every day activity. 

While I sat in the pasture noticing the cattle grazing, birds soaring and little bugs foraging for food, I realized that they were at peace with simply eating, drinking, sleeping and creating a nest. They didn’t experience dissatisfaction.  There was no belief that something out in the future, some bit of insight or self-awareness that they hadn’t figured out yet was going to make them perpetually feel better.

A more satisfying focus of our energy, than this illusive question of purpose, is identifying what creates a sense of meaningfulness in our lives. Here are some possibilities to contemplate:

  • Connecting with others through conversation and touch
  • Creative expression and sharing our creations with others
  • Having interests that keep us curious to know more
  • Setting goals that are attainable
  • Teaching, parenting, learning, nurturing
  • Knowing we have friends to call on when in need
  • Spending time outdoors or creating a beautiful sanctuary in our home

The belief that we haven’t figured out or are not living our purpose, denies our power to create a meaningful life.  It leads us to focus on people or activities outside of ourselves that we think are to blame for our lack of satisfaction and to judge ourselves.  The deeper need behind the quest to find our life purpose is our desire for fulfillment.  Sustainable inner-peace comes from choosing what inspires, expands and energizes us day-to-day.