Archives For life

Judgment is a form of control used to move someone onto our agenda.  The silent or embedded message it carries says, “Your choice is not acceptable to me, so choose something different that I’m comfortable with.”  Energetically, judgment is an attempt to control our power center, the area just above the bellybutton (3rd chakra).  It knocks us off-center to give the judge the power position.  Or it allows them to hook into our energy and redirect it to their agenda.

Noticing how we respond to the energy of control attempts from judgments, allows us to strengthen our power by neutralizing the energy rather than getting knocked off-center by it.  Some common responses to judgment are self-inquiry, seeking approval, self-sabotage or over achievement.

Self-Inquiry – The natural first response to someone’s judgment is self-inquiry.  Is it true?  Depending on the relationship we have with the person, we may just assume it’s true. This can translate into thinking something is wrong with us.  Alternately it may be an opportunity to self-reflect, look at a dark corner in ourselves and decide if we want to keep feeding that aspect.  The key indicator here is what our body is telling us, do we feel out-of sorts; is our stomach a bit anxious?  Our body is our intuitions first barometer.

Seeking Approval – The most powerful people in our lives are the ones we love, second only to those in authority positions.  When we love someone it is natural to want their approval.  Even when we are just getting to know a person, we are determining their response to us and would like to be seen favorably.  Judgment comes from unconscious or conscious beliefs that require change of another’s behavior to in order for them to receive approval.  On the spirit level, when we alter what we know to be our truth in order to seek the approval of another, we are depleting our energy, giving a piece of ourselves away.  This is the energetic hook that can become a chronic vampire of our life-force if we continue to deny our truth in order to please others.

Self-Sabotage – Feeling judged can cause us to feel angry.  This anger is intended to show us our boundaries have been violated.  When we are act from the anger we respond one of two ways, self-sabotage or over compensation.  We may consciously say, “they are wrong.” But unconsciously believe the judgment and use our anger to propel us to some self-sabotaging behavior that proves them right.  This is an extreme example of judgment throwing us off-center.

Over Achievement – Alternately we may feel the need to prove the judge wrong by excelling our efforts toward success in the direction we’ve chosen.  This can be a form of competition energy or rebellion against the control. We have to demonstrate that we didn’t deserve the judgment through our success.

When we let judgment be the issue of the person judging by staying in our center, we retain our power.  We don’t let the outside energy influence us to think less of our self, seek approval, self-sabotage, over achieve or throw us out of balance.  We continue to be our true self rather than react in one of the other ways.

Reaction to judgment can actually be a catalyst that generates new experiences that we learn from whether through success or failure.  But if we change our course to respond to another’s judgment we are still changing course, which means we are on a less direct path to the life we want.

Being aware of the energy behind judgment and practicing mediation to stay in alignment with our truth, helps us strengthen our ability to remain centered in the face of judgment and control.  Then we are able to use the emotions we feel in response to being judged such as anger or uncertainty to set healthy boundaries, heal aspects of our self and even catapult us in a direction of our choosing.

Connection is essential to feeling loved. We chase away loneliness when we choose to reach out to connect with people in the simplest of ways, eye contact, a smile, touch or an honest share of our feelings.  Connections make life meaningful; contribute to our sense of belonging and feeling seen.

In December I was reflecting on past holidays as I decided what I wanted to create for my own experience.  On one side of my family, I looked forward to being together because there was connection. We connected through conversation, music, crafts, games and sharing a meal.  On the other side of my family, holidays weren’t negative but gathering together was sort of mundane.  Family members didn’t know how to connect.  It didn’t seem anyone looked forward to spending time together.  People went through the motions of preparing a meal and opening gifts because that’s all they knew. It felt lonely even within a group of people I loved.

Love and connection is a two-way street.  It requires two participants to be willing, interested and open to revealing themself.  It can be vulnerable and not always comfortable to connect.  Reaching out to connect can be misinterpreted because people have different points of reference. We may be distrusted, seen as intrusive or manipulative based on the recipient’s experiences/projections or if our energy comes from a place of neediness. More powerful than our resistance to trust connecting with others is the essential need we all have to be seen and accepted for who we truly are, to be loved and validated for our essence without contingencies.

Connection in current culture requires some effort and intention.  Our worlds aren’t designed to be inter-dependent, rather independent.  We are taught to be self-reliant and not ask too much from others.  We are taught distrust of strangers.  A sense of community has to be sought out and is no longer organically part of our cultural experience.

There is so much constantly happening around us that we often either let the vibration of our environment direct our feelings or find ways to check-out to tolerate it.  The habit of maintaining a certain degree of distance in operating in the world, to keep our energetic sanity, also deprives us of the vitality offered through connections.  Connections can only be fulfilling and sustainable if they come with healthy energetic boundaries.

Connection can be as simple as looking someone in the eye and smiling as we pass them by. Acknowledging them, seeing them rather than leaving them in the periphery of our experience. No matter what I am doing, if I feel connected, whether it is to a person, an animal, nature or God, I experience life as very rich and fulfilling.

When I notice myself feeling lonely or wondering about life’s meaning, I ask myself, how can I connect in a way that brings me into greater alignment with myself?  What can I offer in the connection so it is balanced and mutually beneficial? When I reach out to connect, my energy always shifts in a positive way.  My spirit drops deeper into my body. I relax, feel more peaceful and purposeful.

NASA Photo of Eagle Nebula

NASA Photo of Eagle Nebula

Mystery is awesome.  It contains the seed of life!  The power of the unknown gifts us joyful surprise, anticipation and passion, if we allow it.  Most often we contract in the face of the unknown.  Our body tenses up for fear of being out of control, the uncertainties of no guaranteed outcome, the fear of disappointment.  But if we relax into trust, our very being is able to flow with the mystery and we heighten our capacity to receive, our experience of excitement, celebration and noticing life’s miracles.

Every moment we are in the process of creation.  We are creating our lives through our thoughts, actions and unconscious beliefs.  To create with the most power we must surrender to the mystery, let go of the specific form our creation is required to take in order to please us.  In our society outcomes are often forced to meet a specific agenda, scheduled, pre-selected in detail, like a travel itinerary. But when we allow room for the mystery, the outcome while unpredictable has more juice and life to it. Magic happens!

At the New Year most of us reflect on what we have accomplished in the past year and identify what we would like to experience in the coming year.  How do we come to a strong inner-knowing that our intentions, the visions of what we want to create in our life, are coming to us?

To clear the path for this level of trust, I find myself navigating a cacophony of thoughts and feelings.  Observing what is supporting or in the way of my freedom to receive.  Where I am judging others and myself?  Where I am giving away my power?  Where I am withholding from myself or choosing fantasy over the truth of what is? Where I am failing to see the vastness of options before me because my sight is focused on what I lack rather than what I have?  Where I am allowing the wants, needs and demands of others to override my wants, needs and self-care?

Where I am in avoidance of my feelings because noticing them doesn’t feel good?  Where do I choose to check-out rather than check-in with myself?  Where do I see not getting what my heart desires as some failure on my part?  Where am I at peace and where am I unsettled?  Where am I in resistance to things that are good for me?  Where do I fail to surrender because I want it my way?!? Where do I feel angry at another or judge them without acknowledging my anger at myself and self-judgment?  Where is it I crave escape and allow it to dominate my free time?

Where do I try and fail and try and succeed and keep pushing my edge to expand past the discomfort?  Where do I have courage without noticing it and fearlessly press into the vast unknown? Where do I take risks and feel empowered?  Where do I light a fire to transform energy, warm the hearth, or light the path?  Where do I see the non-physical universe and witness another soul’s journey?  Where do I connect with another?  Where do I wake up and realize I was never sleeping?  Where do I feel alive?

These questions are meant to shed away the layers between my expectations and the fruition of my desires. I trust that my visions will manifest in my life. Why?  I have seen it happen countless times.  I feel them coming.  I feel the joy and it feels as if they are already the truth of my experience even though they haven’t yet taken physical form.  I don’t know what form they will arrive in or when. That’s the mystery.  Yet I trust their arrival, as reliable as the seasons change.  The more I take actions to show the universe my intent, that I’m willing to receive with full surrender.  The more my experiences are better than I ever would have imagined.

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.

Animals as Healers

Natalie —  September 26, 2012 — 2 Comments

Bisbee the soul in a dogs body from 2002 to 2012

Reposting this in memory of my four-legged companion Bisbee who passed to the other side in August.  I watched his soul meet the angels waiting as he left his body.  It was a joyous moment for him but a huge loss for me.  I miss his presence.  For those of you who have had readings with me, you will miss his sensitivity to energy moving in the sessions and his awareness of when our session was nearing completion… the dog timer.

Animals are more than companions, they are teachers and healers.  Animals live in the present.  They don’t worry about the past or the future.  In their presence, our pets are tuned-in to the vibration of the moment and can give us clues about the energy of an experience if we pay attention to their signals.  They sense the vibration of those around them and respond accordingly.

When I’m in session with a client and a potent spiritual energy is being moved out of the space, my dog will become interested and put his body between the two of us.  He senses the presence of this other entity as it is detaching from the person who has been carrying it.  He’s showing up to offer healing assistance and protection.  On a simpler level, he’s checking out the other energy that just arrived in the space, as he would greet a person that came to the front door of the house.

Pet companions, especially cats and dogs, offer us insights into the energy of people in our lives.  Is the person comfortable with themselves or fearful of connecting with others? Do they have a spiritual entity in their space that they are allowing to operate their body?  Animals recognize it, and display uncharacteristic behavior such as avoidance of the person, overt dislike or blocking the person from approaching their owner. This is equally true for self-reflection, our animal companions change the way they respond to us when we are not being ourselves i.e. when we have some spiritual energy in our space that is altering our vibration.

Pets don’t have a ‘socially acceptable’ filter that prevents them from showing their authentic response to a person or another animal.  They are tuned-in to energy and respond without hesitance by cowering, attack, cuddling or ignoring.  They can draw our attention to something or someone being off.

As humans we’ve learned the healthy respect of others boundaries and consider behavioral appropriateness before we snuggle up to someone or tell them off.  We are programmed to respond in a ways that deny acknowledgment of our true intuitive response to a person and the vibrations they are carrying.  We use past experiences as a point of reference and overide what we feel in the present.

By observing our pets we can learn to be more present, intuitively tuning in to the energy as we engage in relationships.  Our animals offer comfort and healing when they sense we are upset, angry, sad or in pain. They sleep beside us when we are physically sick or emotionally distraught. They play with us when we are joyful and invite us to play with them when we are too caught up in mundane tasks to smile.  They always offer unconditional love. And they teach us to listen to our intuition by being tuned into the vibrations of all beings they encounter.

Our inner-voice is speaking but can’t get a word in edgewise with the constant connection to technology.  I guiltily admit to my habit of filling every free moment with technology check-ins.  On my phone, I tap into the world through online news, text, email, Facebook, Twitter and play Words with Friends.  It’s habitual, comforting and addictive.  Drinking my morning coffee, I check my phone. Waiting in line at the grocery store, I check my phone.  Decompressing at the end of the day, I play games on my iPad or iPhone.  All of the moments when I used to pause and really listen to myself, are being filled with mental activity through technology attachment.

Last week when I sat in meditation to just listen, no question, no agenda, I felt uncomfortable.  I set my phone on airplane mode so I wouldn’t get interrupted, then set the iPhone timer for fifteen-minutes hoping I could make it through the seemingly grueling long nothingness.  Sitting still isn’t my forte. I walk meditation and journal daily as ways to center and connect with my inner truth.  I quickly was reminded, that thoughtlessness was nourishing.  It refreshed my mind like a cool washcloth on a fevered forehead.

At fifteen-minutes when the iPhone marimba sounded, I turned it off and stayed floating in mediation for a full 45 minutes. At times I received clarity about something in my life unresolved, other moments just silence. The mediation erased the sense that there was too much to do, too much information to keep up with. It returned me to feeling “All is well.”

There is a stress inherent in the information age, the stress of keeping up and the stress of processing the constant stream of input. Ongoing technology connection keeps that stress active, even in down times.  We have become conditioned to constant mental stimulation.  We don’t even notice our minds are tired.  The stress relief and nourishment that comes from quiet time is as important as getting a good night’s sleep.

The next time you have to wait, instead of turning to fill the time with the constant stream of information served up with ease from your phone, just sit there, wait.  Let your mind be still.  It’s very relaxing once you get past the discomfort. It will release tension you don’t even know you are carrying.  Listening to our inner-voice takes discipline.  We have to turn off distractions and give ourselves permission to take the time to do nothing.

Me & my boy Bisbee by www.photographyg.com

Animals are more than companions, they are teachers and healers.  Animals live in the present.  They don’t worry about the past or the future.  In their presence, our pets are tuned-in to the vibration of the moment and can give us clues about the energy of an experience if we pay attention to their signals.  They sense the vibration of those around them and respond accordingly.

When I’m in session with a client and a potent spiritual energy is being moved out of the space, my dog will become interested and put his body between the two of us.  He senses the presence of this other entity as it is detaching from the person who has been carrying it.  He’s showing up to offer healing assistance and protection.  On a simpler level, he’s checking out the other energy that just arrived in the space, as he would greet a person that came to the front door of the house.

Pet companions, especially cats and dogs, offer us insights into the energy of people in our lives.  Is the person comfortable with themselves or fearful of connecting with others? Do they have a spiritual entity in their space that they are allowing to operate their body?  Animals recognize it, and display uncharacteristic behavior such as avoidance of the person, overt dislike or blocking the person from approaching their owner. This is equally true for self-reflection, our animal companions change the way they respond to us when we are not being ourselves i.e. when we have some spiritual energy in our space that is altering our vibration.

Pets don’t have a ‘socially acceptable’ filter that prevents them from showing their authentic response to a person or another animal.  They are tuned-in to energy and respond without hesitance by cowering, attack, cuddling or ignoring.  They can draw our attention to something or someone being off.

As humans we’ve learned the healthy respect of others boundaries and consider behavioral appropriateness before we snuggle up to someone or tell them off.  We are programmed to respond in a ways that deny acknowledgment of our true intuitive response to a person and the vibrations they are carrying.  We use past experiences as a point of reference and overide what we feel in the present.

By observing our pets we can learn to be more present, intuitively tuning in to the energy as we engage in relationships.  Our animals offer comfort and healing when they sense we are upset, angry, sad or in pain. They sleep beside us when we are physically sick or emotionally distraught. They play with us when we are joyful and invite us to play with them when we are too caught up in mundane tasks to smile.  They always offer unconditional love. And they teach us to listen to our intuition by being tuned into the vibrations of all beings they encounter.

A few weeks ago I rented the movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’d heard the book was great but hadn’t read it. Artistically the movie was exceptional, suspense, storyline and cinematography great. What struck me was that millions of people watched the violent scene of sexual abuse in the film. I am a believer in the freedom of expression. Yet I found the violence of some scenes psychically disturbing. They were more than just images and sounds, there was spiritual vibration attached to them. They stuck with me energetically for many days.

Cultivating our intuitive awareness increases our sensitivity to the energy behind everything including movies, television and music. Yet we live in a culture where we are expected to be okay with graphic images of violence and abuse. And culturally we ignore that they are contributing to the global consciousness through their vibration. There is a desensitization that occurs.

Staying present for a movie like this asks us to ignore our body’s response to witnessing sociopathic behavior, to keep our eyes open and ears open and take it in. For those who are abusers this imagery feeds their imagination, gives them ideas. For those who are victims, this imagery reopens wounds and creates more fear.

My body’s response to the first violent sexual abuse scene in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was tightness in the stomach a slight nausea. I found myself closing my eyes periodically because I wanted to understand the story but not have the images in my memory. Movies, video and television tap into several layers of senses. This is why they are so powerful. They can make us laugh, cry and enraged. They shift our mood. We take them in primarily through sight and sound. But we also feel the emotions that these images and sounds activate. Emotions are what make us feel alive.

When we feel tightness in our belly (third chakra), it’s our intuition trying to tell us something. Third chakra is where we hold our personal power. My stomach tightness was telling me that I was witnessing something that was threatening to take my power, by activating fear through witnessing of sexual predator, violence and abuse.

Violence in the news, television and movies has desensitized us through repeated exposure. It has trained us to ignore the intuitive signals from our body. This desensitization has caused media to increase the raw and dramatic nature of the violent imagery in order to get our emotional response. When they get an emotional response they have an energetic hook into the viewer and can sell more of whatever they want to sell. They have succeeded in making us feel, even if the feeling is negative.

To cultivate our intuitive nature we have to undo the desensitization that we are conditioned with. We feel the world around us more intensely as those layers of desensitization are removed. It requires us to be conscious of the imagery that we are feeding ourselves because we feel the energy and notice how it is impacting our body and mind. When our body responds with tightness and withdrawal rather than openness and ease, we are signaled that whatever we are facing is not life giving but life taking. Positive emotions are life giving.

On the path to increase our intuition we are cultivating an openness that has us feel what we see on television and in movies. Re-sensitizing ourself leads to a greater sense of aliveness but it changes what we choose to take in.

The process of self-discovery is not a linear path. We become aware of an essential truth, something we are capable of, something we desire to hold in a prominent focus as we move forward in life and then somehow, often without even realizing it we get side tracked, thrown off course.

These meanderings in our process of living, feeling we’ve lost our Self for a while, aren’t for lack of setting intentions, making a commitment or willingness.  The experiences always show up for a purpose. They are additional opportunities to get clear and hone-in on the pure vision of what we are creating with our lives. They may show us what we don’t want or they may show us more specifically what we do want. They definitly show us the areas where we are ready to grow.

Sometimes what we know we want is put on the back burner due to circumstances that feel out of our control, economic, family or other responsibilities.  Other times it’s in response to a relationship or a group of people in our lives.

As an intuitive person the energies around us influence our feelings.  What we manifest is rooted in our emotions toward something.  So feelings are a critical factor in our creations. A partner or a social circle can work to awaken us in beautiful ways but can also pull us off track with their emotions or differing priorities.

When we feel another’s energy and respond to it, we are to varying degrees matching their vibration. I call this mirroring. Empathic intuition is one form of this. We sense the emotional energy and match it from the second chakra.

Without the conscious awareness of holding our own energy space we can get lost in mirroring through our empathy and not stay rooted in our Self.  We make a better witness, and offer a sense of strength and grounding to others, when we have a clear awareness of what are our feelings versus the feelings of another.  It is through mirroring or taking on the energy of our environment that we get thrown off course… if there really is such a thing… we are side tracked with an opportunity for new awareness.

To hold our course, the vision we want to create in our lives, we need to learn how to be present for others in a deeply feeling way while holding our presence for ourselves. We strengthen this ability by regularly meditating to refresh our sense of being grounded (first chakra), clear our energy field of energy that is not our own (sixth chakra) and call our energy back to fill us up.

There’s no need to be self-critical about the cycles of losing and finding our Self over and over again. Honestly, this process is what we are here for, to remember who we are at the very essence, heal, grow and to have experiences that help us see our truth more and more clearly each day.

I was reminded of the power of vulnerability at my book group this month. One woman shared a perceived failure, a self-judged imperfection and we all relaxed more deeply into our Self. The energy of the room opened up and became more connected. We each saw ourselves reflected, in the quiet moments where we are alone with our inner voice. We reached out to comfort the Self we saw in her. We held her with more compassion than we might hold ourselves.

We spend an immense amount of unconscious energy holding up the identity that we feel safe letting others see. The curious thing is that when we share our challenges, the less than shiny aspects of ourselves in healthy relationships, instead of activating the judgment of others, it invites them to love us more. They receive a signal that their own rough edges will be loved too. Suddenly there is new found safety in being a full-spectrum human being.

We all have experiences we count as failures, imperfections, things that don’t turn out the way we’d hoped, relationships, situations that got messy and we mired around in the muck. We weren’t our best. We should have known better, is what we tell ourselves. And we have periods of crisis that feel like about as much as one soul can handle, whether it’s external circumstances or an internal battle that stresses our life to the max.

Yet we still have to show up in our life. We can’t permanently take a vacation from everything and everyone to avoid being seen in the midst of it. The rough spots in the road of life evoke a deep sense of vulnerability. How much do we have to prop-up the Self that is doing “just fine,” or “great,” to the world while struggling in private?

It’s in the poop, the dirty, imperfect parts of our life that we learn the most. It busts us open and helps us grow. The discomfort stretches us. But unless we are a chronic complainer that drains the energy of everyone around with our misery, we generally hide these challenges from most of the world or save them for our closest loved ones. There is a reason for this. Our closest loved ones have established a known level of safety. We can live a richer life by allowing deeper vulnerability with more people in our lives. It literally shifts the energy of every future moment.

Our intuition helps us tune-in to supportive places and relationships in our lives to reveal our challenge. Simply giving a short but honest answer to the stranger who asks, “How are you?” allows them to admit their own full spectrum of emotion to themselves and have a better day with the relief of it… “It’s been a rough day but I’m hanging in.” This isn’t about dumping your shit on others, rather allowing the truth of you to be seen by another in a way that allows you both to relax into the present moment rather than faking it. This is how the poop gets beautiful. It’s the real, the true and the authentic Self revealed. The most beautiful state of existence.