Archives For meditation

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.

Intention and energy infuse sacred spaces.  It may be a place where something miraculous occurred or a corner of our everyday life that we set apart with a potency that allows us to quickly return to alignment with our Self.  Places of worship, temples, shrines, ashrams, grottoes and mountain tops become infused with the prayers of all who congregate there.  Prayerful intentions have a common theme across belief systems: giving thanks, surrendering burdens to the Divine, asking for good to come in our lives and offering to be of service to a higher power.

Sacred spaces fed with these vibrations have a way of quickly shifting us to center when we enter their aura.  I was recently on my annual visit to Shambhala Mountain Center and hiked to the Great Stupa a spiritual monument supporting the path to enlightenment.  As I entered, a muffled silence with the power of sacred commitment pulsated so strong that my ears rang.  They were being cleansed of all wasted frantic thought, followed by pure silence and stillness.  Breathing, sitting and being present, my body arrived in the moment instantly.

I hadn’t noticed that I had been ahead of myself, body, mind, spirit moving at different paces as I climbed the hill to the Stupa.  Inside my body went through a series of awareness’s, ringing silence, bits of tension in one shoulder, forehead and souls of my feet released with pings, like medal warming in the sun after a cool night.  My mind accepted the futility of trying to control anything by pre-thinking it and came back to the moment I was living.  My spirit smiled at my body and mind and said, “thank you.”

Being in the flow of life is good.  We meander or sprint through the choices we make each day, deciding what to cook for dinner, maintaining focus while we work and walking the dog.  In the midst of our routines, life’s demands and the non-stop flow of needs from those around us, pausing in a sacred space allows all of the activity to become more centered.  Sacred spaces have a magical ability to presence us to our needs in the midst of busyness and help us quickly release what isn’t important.

Creating a personal sacred space such as a home altar is one way to bring this experience into our everyday life.  An altar can be dedicated to whatever we intend, an inspirational altar, a self-care altar, a gratitude altar, a love altar or an altar that changes with the seasons.  Materially it is a collection of items that remind us of our soul’s creative desires, fresh flowers and beautiful object that evoke the vibration of love, symbols for space holding and clearing such as candles, sage and bells.

Personal sacred space allows us to take a few moments each time we pass it by to remember that our spirit is on this journey with our body and mind.  Rituals re-align us to our Self due to their intention and the repetitive nature. By returning to the same place with intentions we infuse it with those beliefs such as gratitude, surrender, trust and a willingness to listen to the Divine through our inner-voice. We create our own unique healing space to center in our authentic Self.

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.

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.

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.

Sex, Love & Soul Contracts

Natalie —  February 15, 2012 — 3 Comments

Soul contracts or relationship agreements have a heavy influence on our experience of attraction and attachment. When we have a relationship agreement or soul contract with someone we find ourselves drawn to them and may not understand why. We just know that something strong is pulling us to connect.

Attraction is a combination of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The enduring connections combine all aspects aligned for both parties. When one party experiences a significantly stronger attraction than the other and the relationship doesn’t take root or roots itself in shallow soil.

Sexual connections with someone we have a soul contract with can be expansive, crack us open and leave us wanting more. The momentary energetic oneness stirs up all that our souls have known together. It can be both ecstatic and excruciating. Beyond the primal physical and psychological aspects of our mating game, what is it that hooks us in? Why might one person think its love and the other not?

When we have a soul contract with someone, a promise we’ve made in this life or a past lifetime, both parties don’t always see the agreement the same context. It may be there is a debt owed from incomplete karma. Or our promise was to show-up to remind the other person of something they asked us to remind them of, even if it doesn’t feel so loving when we deliver the message.

Our messenger may arrive when we aren’t in a good place to receive the message or they may not relay the message in a form we comprehend. We may react, stir the pot with awareness that isn’t fully informed, and create more karma with each other rather than healing or competing past unresolved energies.

We may feel like we’ve known the person forever although we just met. We might feel an irrational sense of attraction when we have nothing in common; or an unexplainable sense of attachment after a short encounter. These are not just psychological or physical responses. There is a layer of spiritual activity a play.

When both parties are present to the possibility of the soul contract, healing and growth is heightened. A powerful aspect of self-responsibility comes when we own our ability to update our relationship agreements rather than be at the whim of whatever comes.

If you have a soul contract you are ready to update to present time you can do this by going into your mediation space and visualizing the relationship agreement with the particular person, the contract:

  • See the details or general aspects of the agreement and choose what parts you would like to keep which parts you are ready to release.
  • Imagine the parts that are outdated being crossed off the contract.
  • Send the request through your intention to the soul of the other person.
  • Sign the new contract with your mark, to make it real.
  • Put it in an imaginary bubble and ask the Supreme Being to bless it.
  • Ask your Akashic record keeper to record a copy of the new agreement and to give a copy to the other person’s record keeper.

If the relationship is very deep and influential you may need outside help from a professional clairvoyant healer to see clearly the aspects of the relationship that need to be adjusted. Romantic relationships, love and sex are powerful influencers in the human experience. Honor that power with your positive intentions and give yourself grace for the healing process.

My grandma doesn’t hear very well even with hearing aids, but if she’s tuned-in she knows what’s going on even from the other room.  This is especially true if you don’t want her to hear what you are saying! I noticed in a recent visit with her that I’d be thinking of something and she’d come in from the other room and answer my question or suggest we get milk at the grocery store, something I was about to mention.  Yet there are certain people in her life, her children in particular, that she has a harder time hearing than the rest of us.

Her physical sense of hearing doesn’t get temporarily worse and she’s demonstrated that where her hearing falls short she can make up for it with her intuition. But like many of us who are challenged by certain relationships in our lives, the unresolved energy between her and her children causes her to resist what they have to say. She can’t hear it and it has nothing to do with the volume, her ability or her intuition.  She’s blocked.

We figure out how to navigate our home environment using all six senses, first learning to intuitively read our parents before we understand verbal communication.  As adults, when we ask family members to engage in new levels of communication sometimes they just don’t get it and seem to sort of glaze over.  This happens in marriage and long-term friendships too.

We try to communicate in many different ways and find that it’s not getting through. Our friend or family member can’t hear us.  All approaches to expression fail to get the point across.  We might as well be speaking a different language given the lack of understanding or recognition.  And we wonder if our intuition is misleading us that something is amiss because our loved one doesn’t validate our experience with acknowledgment.  It’s frustrating.

What we are experiencing is a threshold of capacity in the person.  While it may seem that it is their choice not to hear us, it is more likely a spiritual or emotional block so deep that they can’t consciously make the choice.  We are trying to accomplish the impossible.  The only way to get past this block is for the person to have some form of healing breakthrough that opens them up to hearing. It can’t be forced and it will only happen if they seek out the shift for themselves.

When we’ve reached a point where it’s clear that nothing we say will get through.  Our best path is to turn our attention inward and begin clearing out the blocks in our own energy field.  In mediation, we visualize energy moving out of physical body such as rejection, resistance, judgment, frustration and any sense that we won’t be ok unless this person hears us. The energy can move into a rose or bubble then that object, as seen in our minds-eye is sent to a distant place to dissolve.

After we’ve cleaned out our aura body we feel lighter.  To complete the empowerment process we can visualize filling our space in with the sensations of having our needs met in relationship, of being heard, understood and accepted.  Then in the physical world, find a place where we can communicate our experience and be heard, acknowledged, even if that is in the privacy of our own journal.  We focus on building relationships where we are heard.

Photo by Patrick Yuen

Heeding the direction of our intuition sounds wise and like a no-brainer but what happens when our intuition doesn’t give us the answer we want to hear?  We all have subtle agendas behind the questions we ask ourselves. These conscious or unconscious hopes and desires create bias or resistance to the direction we receive and may cause us to negotiate with our inner-guidance.

When we don’t get the answers we want from our intuition we are tempted to change the truth by looking at it from a different angle. Being pragmatic we ratchet up the volume of our analytical mind to overpower the subtler intuitive messages. We cajole, bargain and try to talk ourselves out of what we know, or we outright rebel, doing what we want, only to suffer the consequences.

All of these inner conversations are forms of manipulation or attempts to get what we want even if it’s not the best thing for us.  Crazy yes, but we all do it.  Sometimes not getting the answer we want is simply getting no answer, and having to live in the unknown for longer than we are comfortable.  The inner-critic and task master doesn’t like not having an answer so we pressure the inner-guide to give us what we want and NOW.

The internal conversation that occurs in this standoff can be frustrating and keep our minds spinning in circles.  The worst part is that these negotiations tend to hit is in our blind spots.  We don’t even notice them happening until we’ve missed an opportunity or made a poor decision, based on our agenda rather than our intuition.

When we notice ourselves in a circular conversation that undermines our inner-guidance, it’s an opportunity to step back and take a look at the source of our resistance.  What belief is in our space blocking us from accepting a path that is for our highest good?  Is it fear that we won’t get our needs met, fear that we’ll take a certain path and fail or is someone else’s agenda in our space influencing our choice? It may even be a global or cultural fear influencing us.

Meditation, being grounded and clearing our energy space of outside influence brings us closer to our truth. Examples of these practices can be found in my other blog posts such as The Meditative Path to Clarity, Own Your Space and A Dream Come True, Can You Have What You’ve Always Wanted.  Resistance to guidance from our intuition can be seen as a reminder to align our body, mind, emotions and spirit. To reclaim our energetic space and examine what inside us would prefer to stick with a predetermined agenda rather than take a path that is for our higher good.

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.