28 Aug Make No Enemies: Only Love

I live in Charlottesville, VA.  On Saturday, August 12, the date of the white supremacist rally here, I was in South Dakota visiting my stepsister and supporting the sacred Lakota Sundance ceremonies.  On that afternoon, a friend in Chicago texted me and asked if I was aware of events unfolding violence in my hometown.  I looked at the newspaper on my Android. What I saw shocked me. I was filled with grief, anger, and confusion.  As so many of us were and still are. Nevertheless, over the following two weeks, I took my time to provide a response to ensure that I was not speaking out of despair, anger or hatred. Oh, yes, I have felt these emotions upon contemplating the beliefs and actions of the individuals who gathered in Charlottesville to promulgate hatred and division and the ideologies of white supremacism. I have been shaken, much as I was shaken on 9/11 as I watched the Twin Towers falling live on television.  During the week I was in South Dakota, as I cooked and conversed with new friends, both Native and white, I also heard many hard stories of injustice and violence, particularly against the Water Protectors of Standing Rock.  My heart was already aching when events in my hometown went down. So it was that I watched myself navigating through the chaos of three airports on my way  home, and feeling suspicious and afraid whenever my eyes fell on a red-faced white man. Could he be a white supremacist? Oh, yes, I thought to myself: this is how enemies begin to be made in our hearts and minds.  Harm is done by a few individuals and the seeds of fear begin to be sown and the roots of stereotypes begin to grow. Here I see in myself the same causes and conditions which perpetuate cycles of violence and hatred. I know better.  I know how how the mind can trick me.  Stereoptypes are always incorrect.  I also know that hatred does not help. It only adds fuel to the fire.  Fear leaves us vulnerable. Anger eats away at our basic human birthright to happiness. Despair is paralyzing. All of it kills peace, caring, hope, optimism, and love.  And when these eternally positive qualities are suppressed, the mind of domination of one over the other all too easily takes over. And, yet, like most of us, my heart is broken.  And like most of us, I want all of this to finally, finally bring to an end the destructive power of hatred.  To using violence as the first response to conflict. To ending the idea that power over is necessary to ensure safety and security. To finding a way to create a world of caring, kindness and love. So, where do we go from here? How am I working with my own anger and fear? How am I dismantling this inner movement towards enemy-making?
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12 Dec What Light and Love Really Mean in the Holiday Season

I love the holiday lights festooning windows and yards and the Christmas trees shining from inside which can be seen as I drive along the  city roads and rural byways.  Indeed, this is my favorite time of the year because of the earth-based traditions now so long associated with Christianity.  In part, it is due to the fact that my mother and father created a magical time at Christmas for us kids. It wasn't just all about getting presents; it was about light, love, warmth, and comfort. And while my mom and dad were not strictly devout Christians, they attended the Episcopal Church until I was 10 years gold.  So it was that on Christmas Eve before bed, they read to us the hopeful story of the birth of a baby in a manger who was to bring light and hope to the world. It can be so hard to get through the cold, short days and long nights of midwinter.  Even in Virginia here in the U.S., where the weather is more temperate and not so prolonged as in  locales further North on the American continent, we have to bundle up and, some days, our breath comes out as fog.  We even get snow. The lights and the beautiful tree in my living room help me stay out of the winter blues. I enjoy the yearly pleasure of sitting in the evening in the dark with a fire glowing in the woodstove and gazing at the sparkling ornaments. I feel peace and contentment. I recognize in this festival of lights, a common, perennial human desire to invoke in a time of darkness the love and spirit enlivening all things.  In the Jewish faith, during Hanukkah, the 9 lights of the menorah are meant to shine outward to the world as a reminder of the legend of the single oil lamp which, despite only being enough for one day, burned for 8 days after the Maccabeen Jews recovered their temple from its invasion and desecration by the Greek King of the Seleucid empire, Antiochus IV.   Injustice is responded to, sovereignty of belief and culture is restored.  Light endures.   
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29 Nov By the Power of Radical Compassion, Love and Peace are a Reality

In the Northern Hemisphere, in late November, we have entered the time of the long dark nights.  At the same time, the world us filled with chaos, conflict and danger.  There is the threat of nuclear conflict with North Korea and a rising tide of discrimination--against Muslims around the world and immigrants to the U.S.  These burdens have been added onto ongoing suffering for centuries on this planet. In the midst of all this, do you find yourself feeling stressed, worried and heavy of heart?   Has your faith in humanity been rocked by the recent shootings in Texas and Egypt and by increasing allegations of sexual harassment and assault by powerful men? I, too, find myself feeling overwhelmed and grief-stricken in the face of all this.  As I shared in my blog about the white supremacist rallies and the violence in my hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, I also have moments when I feel afraid--even panicky. Despite these appearances of suffering in every quarter of the world, I believe fervently that inner and outer darkness can be conquered through practices of gratitude and radical compassion.   Thanksgiving and the holiday season are a time to reflect deeply on what is good for ourselves and the world.   Gratitude nurtures the the heart of deep connection to yourself and others.  Sending aspirations of love, kindness and caring to oneself and others activates empathy, understanding and sweetness. As simple as it sounds, these practices are a gateway to soul-inspired action for change in yourself and the world.  All suffering, appearing as heavy emotions, thoughts, words and sensations in your own heart and mind, naturally move towards greater lightness. The courage and inspiration to seek emboldened transformation in the world is nourished.
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28 Oct Do You Want to Feel Protected from Others’ Pain? Meet What Calls for Kind Attention with Curiosity and Love

Do you find yourself feeling pulled in unhelpful ways into the dramas and heavy energies of others? Or do they seem to evoke feelings of dis-ease, sadness, anger, fear, a trembling in your body, or even a sense of leaving your body? Do you have questions about how to protect your energy or set energetic boundaries with others? I hear such concerns frequently from clients and students.  It is no wonder: our world is filled with a great deal of confusion and chaos.  Individuals and whole cultures carry unhealed wounds from millennia of violence and abuse.  Many of us live daily with chronic stress and worry.  Many struggle just to survive. Many of us come from families which have lacked a basic understanding about how to navigate interpersonal relationships in healthy and balanced ways.  Some of us have been the target of various forms of abuse, whether verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, and/or spiritual. As a healer and spiritual teacher, I know that whenever I find myself triggered into heavy, uncomfortable states by another's words, actions or even unexpressed feelings, it often means there is something inside of me which needs attention. I also know it is time to be kind--to myself first of all.  When pain arises, I seek to step into the deep sea of compassionate insight into what ails me. In doing so, I then can understand what ails another and seek to help or to step back with lightness and love.  This ability is particularly relevant as we enter the holiday season and engage more intensively with family and friends.
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26 Sep Do You Sacrifice your Dreams and Wishes to Others’ Expectations?

Do you feel as if you have lived your life conforming to the expectations of others? Are you caught in the role of the caregiver for family members or friends? Have you put your own wishes and dreams to tend to others' desires and demands? Every spiritual tradition teaches us that we have free will.  What does this mean in practical terms? If you are a parent, it is axiomatic that you must pour your heart, time and energy into your children for many years.  If you have a small or large extended family, you probably want to participate in family events, and be part of the smaller joys and challenges they face.  You have to put food on the table and have a roof over your head.  You may have elderly parents who need more sustained help over time as they age. All human beings are all bound in webs of relationships, needs and wants.  This is true. Yet a fundamental human question is this: how do you live in good relationship and connection to others without sacrificing yourself? Oh, how I relate!  Before I started out to do the work of being an energy healer and spiritual teacher 10 years ago, I, too, was caught in the trap of a career that I had built based on survival needs. In the 10 years I have been in private practice, I have also seen hundreds of clients who are in your shoes.  It doesn't matter what your story is, what culture, religion, race, or social class. You see yourself caught, bound by other's crises, challenges, and needs.  Yet, even while you feel responsible for helping them, something else has always tugged on your heart. Yu feel something more in alignment with your deepest soul's expression on the outer edges of the possible.  
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09 Sep No Time Like Now to Heal

Current events in 2017 bring me back to the day after 9/11 when I sat in a packed concert hall at the University of Virginia.  The administration had set up an open mike event where all members of the campus to share their thoughts and feelings about what had happened.  I, like many others, stepped onto stage to speak about my grief and to call for everyone to seek healing not only of the wounds incurred by the previous day's events, but of their own personal wounds from betrayal, loss, abuse, and violence. When I went back to my seat, I suddenly felt a great opening in my consciousness and I heard these words: "You, like thousands upon thousands of others worldwide have been prepared for this time. The pathways for change are opening.  All of you will take the lead in bringing a new world into being." If you are reading this blog, you are one of these people. What does it mean that you have been prepared for this time? It means that your journey to expand and deepen your spirituality and to heal the wounds you carry are directly contributing to a worldwide movement to transform the mind of dominion and power over into mind of reconciliation, collaboration and love. You have recognized that the planet is in your heart, and you yourself are the very heart of the planet.  You have recognized that by  unwinding the old patterns in your life of lack, limitation, scarcity and fear, you are contributing to expanding the resonant field of peace in the world. You can do this on your own and in community. Energy healing done hand-in-hand with ceremonies of the heart in caring community can exponentially expand, speed up and deep not only your own transformation, but the transformation of the world. With the suffering mind of ignorance, hatred, and fear appearing in ever more stark relief now, this is a critical calling to heal the world. I am reaching out even more to invite you to join me in ceremony and community to heal the wounds wrought by mind of dominion and power over and to dream a greater vision of healing, reconciliation, and love for the world to come. Read more below for my thoughts on how recent events point to unhealed ancestral wounds within individuals and the collective and how ceremonies of healing, reconciliation, and love will penetrate this dark veil of illusion.
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02 Aug Your Energy Body is Like your Car: It Needs a Regular Oil Change

Is your energy low? Do you feel drab despite the sun shining so brightly outside? Do you feel stuck in your head with old stories and ruminations running over and over again? Do you feel like the stress in your job or at home is somehow in your pores--and even out to the very tips of every strand of hair on your head?  Or do you feel like you pick up the stress, tension and distress of others around you and can't shake it off? Or is there a haunting sensation of old traumas somehow still imprinted inside of you, no matter how much talk therapy you have had, positive thinking rituals you commit to, or how diligently you have tried to "move on"? All of this dis-ease, drabness, stuckness, tension, and trauma actually IS within, through and around you as an energy.  This also means that, with the right tools, you don't have to walk around carrying all this heavy energy s in your mind, body and emotions. You can actually feel lighter, more optimistic, and peaceful! 
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25 Jul The 4 Sacred Keynotes of an Inspired and Courageous Life: Transform Violence into Love

Have you always dreamed of living in a world that is kind, caring and compassionate? Are you watching the violence, hatred, injustice, environmental destruction, and unkindness of all kinds to targeted groups of the human family with fear, uncertainty, sadness, and even anger? Have you heard great spiritual...

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10 Jul Is the Healer in You?

Is the healer in you?  This is an important question for some of you.    Do you feel healing energy in your hands? Do you feel called to be a healer?   Some further questions might clarify this for you: Have you always felt keenly the suffering of others and the world?  Do you consider yourself to be deeply empathic?  Do you feel the presence of spirits? Do they sometimes seem to come to you for help or to give you guidance? Do friends, family and even strangers often ask for your advice, or launch into telling you their deepest secrets and darkest struggles? Do you sometimes seem to have a wisdom that is beyond your years or experience? Are you sensitive to energy? Do you notice a kind of power within you that sometimes seems to impact events in the outer world around you?  Can you see into the soul of others and sense the lifetimes they have lived? Does healing energy flow through your hands when you lay them on someone with caring intention? How long have you noticed these capacities and gifts? Since childhood? Or more recently? Have you been hit by lightning, had a near-death experience, or some other profound event which seemed to have opened up intuitive gifts and capacities? Do you feel a strong calling to help others and the world? Any one of these qualities might indicate that there is a healer in you.
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29 Jun Heal Fully, Live Powerfully

Do you want to heal fully whatever ails you? Do you want to live powerfully with confidence and courage? Despite these desires, do you continue to feel stuck or that there is something missing or yet to be done in your life?  Is there a lot of conflict in your life? Is your energy always low for reasons you can't identify and that doctors can't diagnose? Do you not know quite how to get to your dream job, your true calling, or relationships that are sustaining, nurturing and loving? Have you tried many things up until now--therapy, self-help and spiritual exploration and study, various healing modalities--but you still haven't found the golden key to the joy, happiness, deeper meaning and purpose you have been longing for? Life in the human body is not always easy.  Our world is filled with pain, violence and suffering--so much of it caused by human actions. Yet, there is also so much potential for sweetness and abundance in every day.  You have this potential within you.
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