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Over and over life presents us with unexpected opportunities that stretch our comfort zone. There really is no such thing as getting comfortable unless you avoid contact with others. Even nature brings experiences that affect your energy and require shifts to plans. Ultimately, we all desire to stay centered and be at peace regardless of what happens in our life.

From the energy perspective, you have peace when you have graceful boundaries with the people in your life, feel grounded, refill your energy regularly and have balanced exchanges with others.

Sounds simple, but as far as I can tell it’s the most complex part of being a soul in a human body.

People want more than you have to give at times. Their fears or trauma get triggered, so they grab on to you to ground and regain their balance. It can really throw you off. They make mistakes that impact you. Or you make a choice that has unexpected consequences. Having something unexpected rock your world, including someone who brings destabilizing energy, is like getting caught in a storm.

You’re on a hike in the mountains on a sunny day. You feel at peace.

Thunder rolls in the distance. Your inner-voice says, “I know this one. Got it. No problem.”

Lightening ripples across looming dark clouds you see beyond blue sky. Do you feel at peace now?

Hair stands up on your arms as the storm moves your way. Your inner-voice is like, “Maybe it’s a good idea for me to change my plan, turn around, move to lower ground, seek shelter?”

Do you feel at peace now?

Lightening is hitting the high points. Torrents of rain are pelting down. You didn’t bring a rain jacket. Your inner-voice is running through all sorts of possible bad scenarios laced with criticism, “You know better. You didn’t tell anyone where you were hiking. You didn’t come prepared. Your intuition nudged you to turn around. If you had, you would be back to your car by now.”

Your drenched, tiny hail pelting your skin. Thankfully the lightening has passed. But not the self-critical voice. Your energy was thrown off. How do you regain your peace?

Life happens. Your peace will be tested over and over again. Sometimes it will be due to a choice you made that has consequences you didn’t expect. Sometimes it will be others energy that impacts you and requires some work to reclaim your peace.

When something is stealing your peace, its most important to return to the basics (see diagram).

  1. Visualize your grounding cord. A fresh one, deeply rooted in the earth. (RED ARROW)
  2. Reset your aura bubble. This is me. That is you. We can love each other, have compassion, help each other and NOT be IN each other’s bubble. (BLUE CIRCLE)
  3. Call your energy back to you. Imagine it coming from the person or situation that your peace was lost to, pouring back in to fill you up through the top of your head. (GOLD SUN & ARROW)

The tests to your peace will come. That’s a guarantee. But you always have the power to reclaim your peace by reclaiming your energy.

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People often ask me why I don’t “read” the future in my psychic work. I have a canned answer about us all having “freewill” that allows us to change our future. I believe this, but there is more. Thinking we can know what we “should” do or what is coming next is a way to try to feel in control and limits healthy possibilities.

Whenever I want to know what’s next, I see it as me trying to assure myself, be in control of the unknown. I wonder, “Why don’t I feel safe with the mystery of not knowing?” I may be afraid of failure if I make a poor choice, or attached to a specific outcome that I think will result in my happiness. My attachment to an outcome has narrowed the possibility of what can make me happy because when an alternate experience unfolds, I may not enjoy it even if it’s better than what I thought I wanted!

Believing we can know the future allows us to feel we are in control but it is actually a way of giving our power away.  I think of the family who has planned a vacation to Hawaii.  The reservations for hotel, flights, and specific tours are all scheduled in advance. The kids are going to be in surf lessons while the parents are on a dolphin sighting boat tour.  But then something doesn’t turn out as planned. The tour bus taking them to the beach gets a flat. They are waiting on the side of the road for hours; sweating, hungry, feeling like their vacation is ruined.  Disappointed because what they had envisioned for their holiday isn’t happening. 

Beside them another couple is talking with two locals in a old truck that stopped to see if the bus driver needed help.  The other couple accepts the invitation to walk down the road to a few houses and sit on the porch in the shade with coconut water, enjoying conversation. They make new friends and give up on the tour bus all together, walking a bit farther to a local’s beach to explore the tide pools. They have a better day than they ever imagined because they are open to the possibility of what the universe offers rather than staying attached to their vision of how the future should have looked.

Like the more adventurous couple, we claim our power by trusting our intuition to guide us in the moment. There’s only power in the present.  In the present we have options, choices that direct our life toward either fulfillment or disappointment.  Disappointment is rooted in wanting something that doesn’t happen.

Making plans and having dreams are some of the best parts of being human.  Allowing our intuition to be our life tour guide is where the magic comes in.  When we surrender to the mystery, our journey’s take the most remarkable turns! I have no interest in knowing the future because I want to be surprised by life’s infinite possibility.

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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.

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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.

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True creation requires stepping into undefined space where our question stays open, unknown.  When we latch onto an answer too soon we limit our potential to see.  We shut down the magic that comes from wonder and curiosity.  We engage the analytical mind without allowing space for our intuition.

This empty space full of potential “the void,” can only exist if we allow it to.  The void is an exceptionally challenging place to live.  It’s counter to our survival instinct, that wants to feel safe by having answers. Yet allowing space for the unknown is where we experience breakthroughs in awareness.

Breakthroughs are precious moments where our consciousness shifts and we see from a new perspective.  Unless forced by circumstances, most of us don’t intentionally make time in our lives for the creative void.  When life wants to get our attention, we find ourselves in a challenge that requires we wait, pause, slow down and NOT know.

Our analytical mind wants to have the answer and move on.   It gets frustrated by delay.  It is compelled to solve whatever dilemma or puzzle is before it.  It doesn’t like to be put on-hold while we allow ourselves to be in the unknown, waiting for new possibilities to be reveal.

Our intuitive mind has a more gentle approach.  It gives us signals, hints, opportunities to notice the contribution it can provide.  It doesn’t bark at us but calls to us.

The analytical mind harasses us for explanations, justification and evidence before we act on our intuition.  The  intuitive mind invites us to trust the creative zone of questions that have no pre-defined answer. It leads us, one awareness at a time, in a direction we might never have imagined, to places we never knew existed.

The magic of creation expands when we honor the gifts of both our capacity to look at what we experience with logic as well as trust our intuitive observations.  We are culturally taught to let the analytical mind direct our lives.  By doing so, we miss many opportunities to get out of a rut and onto a new path.  We repeat the same old annoying patterns in our lives.

To cultivate a juicier life, we can intentionally create spaces of NOT knowing.  Instead of jumping to the way we’ve always done it or repeating what we see others do, we pause in the void to allow room for a new creation.  It is uncomfortable to hold this undefined space. Yet it is critical to choose to NOT know long enough to deeply listen to our intuitive signals.  When we do, we hear spiritual direction that guides us on a path less predictable, more magical.

This blog post was inspired by a speech given by Ron Walters at a technology conference in Boise on the importance of boldness, curiosity and nothing/allowing space for the unknown in the design process.

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Each time we take on a new role or let go of a familiar one, our identity goes through a transition.  We may not know how to be, or what to tell people when they ask us questions that we had an easy answer for in the past, like “What do you do?” Letting parts of us that we valued fall away once they are no longer “in the present” feels hard. They served us well and there is comfort in familiarity.  It’s easier to stay attached to these old aspects of our Self because of the way they made us feel in the past. But once we set them free the “lightness of being” we find is often so much better.

It’s risky to let go of an old identity to make room for a new identity that is not fully formed.  There are unknown details to be worked out. It requires experimentation and exposure to the new aspects of our self that come to the forefront.  We may not be sure we’ll really like the new role or stick with it for long.  It may trigger the fear of loss of acceptance from relationships or communities that were formed based on our old identity.  Will the friendships follow us on our new journey into parenthood or move across country?

Some aspects of our identity are formed by the responses we receive from others.  We subconsciously agree with how they “see us” and support it through how we represent ourselves to them.  This is particularly true with family. Parents want their children to be a certain way, to help the child be successful in life and to make the parent feel more comfortable. These expectations create a silent requirement to perform in a way that meets the approval of our caretakers, molding our public-facing identity. The identity we show others is often not the essence of our true Self. It is a safer projection of what we feel comfortable revealing to the world in order to be accepted.

As adults we have the opportunity to revisit some of the aspects of our identity that were formed based on our environment or expected family role. We can notice where these are no longer true for us and psychically update the aspect of our seventh chakra, where “the way we show ourselves to the world” is stored.  We may need to heal some wounds or change certain “pictures” we have of ourselves to activate this healing. Calling on the assistance of a spiritual mentor or clairvoyant healer in this process allows us to see beyond our own limitations.

If you are ready for an easy identity update, send a psychic request to your Akashic/Soul record keeper to update our identity to present time. You don’t need to delve into the quicksand here, keep it light. But if you see a specific false belief that continues to alter the way you show up in the world, you can take it deeper with a detailed request of what you are ready to remove, and what belief you would like to replace it with. Always remember to fill-in your aura with the vibration of your own essence before completing a healing meditation.

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A Dark Night of the Soul is a period of time or season that many of us on the spiritual journey find ourselves in once or more in our life.  The Dark Night comes unexpectedly through some change or experience that causes you to question all that you’ve known to be true.  It is a time where you find yourself feeling disillusioned with a temporary loss of faith.  What you trusted appears in a new light to have been temporary and incomplete.  The foundation you’d built your perception of the world on shifted and in that shift you found yourself unsettled.  What felt meaningful feels meaningless, what seemed solid looks unreliable, what you thought you knew to be true comes into question.

Walking through a Dark Night of the Soul period requires intense resilience.  It pushes your edge, uses every ounce of your psychological capacity for survival. The Dark Night can be triggered by things like divorce, physical illness, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, loss of a role or an aspect of your identity. Where it takes you is a profound void that may feel like depression, hollowness, hopelessness, emptiness and doubt.

How do you endure this mental and spiritual struggle? What gets you through the void and back to a point of inner-peace?  I’ve found that, the healing and growth the Dark Night has to offer comes through the following conscious choices:

  • Acknowledging that the cycle of living in the unknown has purpose.
  • Calling on your inner-guidance with much more frequency and consistency.
  • Moving your body to allow the cycle to stay in motion on the physical level.
  • Seeking support through the council of spiritual mentors who have walked the path before.

These practices of self-care give you strength to get through the darkness and help you make your way to a season of light again.

The Dark Night may feel like a stuck place in your external life or a place where everything is in chaos.  However stagnant it feels or looks on the outside, it is an active season for the soul.  The soul is in chrysalis.  It has gone within and on may require you to be unconscious about some of the deep work underway. Literal transformation, upgrading your soul-body agreement to integrate all the bits-and-pieces you’ve been learning at the deepest level.

Some levels of processing are beyond what you can or are ready to consciously “see” as they transform.  You have to be patient and trust the inner activity.  You have to ask your mind to be patient, as it seeks to fix what appears to be broken, wants a solution, demands answers. Let the Dark Night chrysalis evolve you from the caterpillar to the butterfly.

The void has you fear a total loss of Self.  It has you feel alone and as if you may have lost all of the ground you had gained through your conscious growth, commitment to self-awareness and health.  In reality, there is no loss, at the other side of this deeply challenging soul searching cycle you find ourselves renewed, more mature, with an inner radiance that transcends your prior light.

The Dark Night is a soul crisis.  It pushes you to the full extent of what you  feel your soul is capable of handling.  It may temporarily break your spirit.  On the other side, the gift of a journey through the void in a Dark Night of the Soul is the discovery of your inner strength, a greater level of daily inner-peace, plus an updated alignment of your body and soul.

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Bisbee at the ranch

Sometimes my mind gets caught up in a question that I don’t have the answer for, it circles and circles the question seeking relief.  As I was driving to Arizona from Colorado a couple of weeks ago, I had a lot of time to ponder a question that was stumping me.  While struggling to find the answer, I became aware of my unconscious belief that God had the right answer and wanted me to act in accordance with it.  I could not see past whatever blocks were in my mind to a clear choice for myself.  I started to get frustrated.

At this point of frustration, I was reminded of something I’d seen my dog Bisbee do shortly after I adopted him as a two-year old.  He’s a border collie programmed through generations of breeding to herd.  He wants to roundup everything that moves, to keep it in control so he can feel at peace.  On several of Bisbee’s first trips in a car he got manic about herding the cars that were driving by.  He wanted to chase them so bad that more than once he wedged himself between the driver’s seat and the door with his nose firmly pressed in the crack of the dashboard and windshield, every muscle in his body rigid.  I felt like Bisbee in my desire to have an answer to the question.  My analytical mind was locked into the belief that there was a right answer with intense focus on trying to figure it out.  I experienced the sensation of being pressed into a corner.  I wasn’t getting anywhere.  Finally, it dawned on me that there was no right answer.  This question I was asking was really not about right or wrong, good or bad, but simply a choice regarding what I wanted to create with my life.  The Universe or God didn’t really care whether I went this way or that.  Either path would result in a set of experiences that would be my life.

As I drove through the wide open blue skies of New Mexico, I remembered the words of my spiritual mentor, Dawn Eagle Woman “hold a spacious field.” I started visualizing an expansive amount of space around my question and the people that would be impacted by my choice.  I looked from horizon to horizon, consciously offering the question and each person involved as much room as I could physically see in the sky.  An expansiveness that wasn’t attached to an answer but simply let the question exist. 

When the analytical mind kicks in to respond to questions of the heart, it can push us into a corner and imprison us with the effort of trying to figure it out when there is no right answer.  We may choose to act based on our vision of the life we are interested in experiencing or wait for the moment when we encounter an option that we easily respond to with yes.  Engaging the mind in these situations is simply trying to control the unknown, a fruitless endeavor.  Our intuition is present to guide us in questions of the heart and teach us the gentler path of freedom and trust in the natural flow.

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Space In Between

Sunlight illuminates the space in between.

The space in between contains some of the most powerful creation energy available to us.  It is also pretty uncomfortable to relax into, letting the emptiness resonate with our creative selves.  We naturally want to fill the space up with entertainment, getting stuff done or other comforting activities.  Peace with the unknown can be a frightening concept.  Can you welcome it?  Soak in it as if it is the lounge chair on your sunny beach vacation?  When you do, the pause opens you up to hear your inner voice.  Suddenly you discover a new interest, a desire, an unanswered question that has been lingering in the back of your subconscious draining your energy.  In the silence you connect with something deeper that gives your life meaning.

Fresh out of college I was traveling in Kenya with my dad when he taught me a trick to creating connection with the space in between.  We were staying at a dairy farm that rented a few rooms and served food.   When I sat down beside him for breakfast he said, “Let’s leave a chair between us.  It will give us a chance to meet new people.  Because we’re traveling together it limits our opportunities to get to know other people.  We’re harder to approach.”  It worked.  Immediately a couple walked in.  They sat down in the only two free chairs and we got to know them. 

In the next few days we had several adventures together, a jaunt to ruins at a nearby town, collecting cowry shells on the beach and an expedition into caves that housed slaves a hundred years before.   A farm hand showed us places only a local kid would know.  In the caves we spooked swarms of bats that darted overhead, saw six-foot long monitor lizards, crunched beetles underfoot and found symbols of voodoo.  Our new companions added dimension to the adventure and our combined curiosity opened the door to more experiences.

Following the mystery is like that, if you plan every moment and stay rigidly attached to your program there’s less room for the spontaneous to work its magic, less permission to listen to your intuition and change course.  The space in between is where pleasure happens.  It adds richness to even the mundane act of eating breakfast.  Sun filters through to illuminate our lives in those cracks of time that are undefined.  Downtime, rest, doing nothing, this is where inspiration is born.  It is where we can discover ourselves and what contributes to our happiness.

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Why are we blinded in certain situations, when it retrospect the truth seems so obvious? It may be that we have:

  • Attachment to a specific outcome
  • Resistance to how the information will change our life
  • Hope that a person won’t deceive us or cause us harm
  • An unspoken agreement with the person to not notice something they are hiding
  • Given power to a past experience of our own, society’s or a parent’s

It is human nature to give preferential treatment to what we want to believe is true, brushing aside our intuition. Seeing the truth is not always pleasant. We start down a path with partial information, make decisions and follow our hopes. Then a new piece of information presents itself that changes our perspective on the path we’ve chosen. We need the experiences of the journey in order to collect those bits of information that illuminate our vision. Yet it is hard to agree to step into the unknown.

When we put one foot in front of the other in response to our inner “yes” “no” or “I don’t know yet” the action leads to greater clarity around a specific choice. We don’t always have all of the information at hand. In fact, if we had all of the information we may not have acted and thus missed a valuable opportunity. Noticing our physical sensory responses can assist in fleshing out the less overt details behind a decision. It is as simple as taking pause to look at our attachments, resistance, agreements and other potential blind spots through the lens of messages from our body. These messages help us discover facts that are material for making better decisions.

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