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The Healing Power of Rest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mediation to stimulate daylight dreaming:

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

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

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.

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.

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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 — 5 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.