“The Energized Life” Newsletter
DECEMBER TOPIC: Peace out of Pain
I believe we all have a more deeply personal sense of the words and image above (Martha Graham dancing Emily Dickinson’s poetry) after the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14. Thanks to the speed of communication and because of our growing awareness of our human interconnection, we instantly shared the heartache and anguish of this nightmare. Every one of us has been touched in some way by this devastating act. I’ve cried and mourned each day, awash in pain as a parent, as a healer and lightworker, and as a fellow human being trying to process what happened and what it will mean for us, our children, and our country.
Ultimately the future depends on our individual responses to this tragedy. What CAN we do in the face of such overwhelming pain? I believe the answer is simple: all that Spirit leads us to do. The path of Spirit will lead us away from reflexive anger and revenge and into healing and service. We only need to choose to be available and ask what is being given to us to do to help. And as we do it, we can find peace once again.
But how to find the path of Spirit and know what is truly Spirit’s leading for us? It involves both a turning AWAY and a turning TOWARD.
First, we turn away from the path of ego–the path littered with large signs shouting, “RETALIATE! RIGHT NOW! Get them before they get us! Don’t waste time thinking! Just DO SOMETHING! Strike back NOW!!” When we’re in pain, the ego-self goes into overdrive and it is loud and insistent. The goal is not wrong–it’s only trying to protect us from further pain–but the responses are based in the reptilian brain and are often the opposite of what would honor Spirit.
To see but not stray onto this path is the first step of self-mastery in times of pain. We can and must honor our experience of pain, by allowing ourselves time and space to get quiet and simply, compassionately, OBSERVE our feelings of pain and grief and everything else that is called forth, including feelings we don’t even want to have. Witnessing and validating our feelings, WITHOUT rushing to act on them, gives us breathing space so we can be ready to turn toward the path of Spirit.
The path of Spirit is not brightly lit or full of large signage. But it opens to us after we have quieted ourselves and listened to the messages of our feelings. The path of Spirit is marked with more questions than commands: “How does the Divine see the situation? What is the highest good that can come from this? What is SUPPOSED to be brought out of this into the world? What is my specific task to bring about what is supposed to be here?” As we perceive the questions and give our answers, it’s like a light begins to shine in our hearts–a light that creates a beam of connection between God, us and others. This light in our hearts shows us exactly where and how Spirit is leading us to take action. Then all that remains is for us to act.
As I followed this process for myself, the grief and anger gradually stilled. The light in my heart shone on my gifts of energy, that were to be given and joined with the energies of many, many others to bring strength, comfort and hope to the families, friends and first responders in Newtown–spiritual energies that they will receive never knowing the source, only that they “somehow” found inner strength, hope or peace they didn’t know they had, or simply were sustained through the pain in ways they can’t explain.
And so Spirit has led me to offer many energy workings: sending reiki and other healing energies, praying for the families, friends, and first responders to those who were killed, dedicating crystal grids to heal and support the grieving, creating sound healing ceremonies with the intent of vibrational restoration to the area and people, and even working in the spiritual realms to conduct some of the souls to the Planes of Light (sudden, traumatic deaths can leave souls confused and unable to find their way without some loving assistance). And if more is shown to me, I will do more.
I also see the need to engage in many types of conversations on many levels to bring change in our society, for the sake of all our children. The most important message in these conversations, as I see it, is how to create a society where reflexive, senseless violence is no longer operative.
Whatever YOU are led to do, do it out of that light of Spirit in your heart, and you WILL make a difference. I would be glad to hear from you about the ways you are finding to help. And may the helping bring peace to you as it will to others.
And I’d like to offer you a recent meditation I wrote on Deep Peace, a Celtic blessing. Click here to read and hear it. Blessings of peace to you, now and always.
Welcome to the latest edition of The Energized Life! It’s an honor to share these thoughts with you, and if anything here sparks your own inner genius, I’d love to have you respond and comment. Spread the illumination! 🙂
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NOVEMBER TOPIC: GRATITUDE & APPRECIATION,
Divine Twin *Blissciplines*
I think of Gratitude and Appreciation as emotional (but not identical!) twins, born out of Awareness (see the October newsletter below for an Awareness refresher). As our awareness opens and we pay more attention to energy flow in our lives, we are naturally led to feel both gratitude and appreciation for the good we see happening in us and around us. These feelings carry with them the energies of innocence, gentleness, wonder and joy–qualities of little children, and very rejuvenating for us adults!
And I call these lovely twins *Blissciplines* because the word is so totally right and cool–I didn’t create it but I really really love it! It’s the combination of bliss and discipline because dwelling in Gratitude and Appreciation often feels quite blissful, AND it takes some discipline to get in and stay in those states of being. You can see a short and excellent video describing *blisscipline* here, from FinerMinds and OmHarmonics.
There are plenty of internet articles discussing the differences between Gratitude and Appreciation; I particularly liked the one here. Interestingly, writers still tended to link gratitude, appreciation and awareness together even as they pondered the differences. And the dictionary actually lists gratitude and appreciation as synonyms for each other! Here’s a visual I found on the “family relationships”:
EXPLORE THE ENERGIES
Try this 6-minute exercise to feel your way into the energies of Gratitude and Appreciation:
- Sit in a quiet place, relax and close your eyes, and take 2 or 3 deep breaths to center yourself in the moment.
- Think of something or someone you are grateful for. Picture or sense yourself looking at them. What position are you in? What expression is on your face? What feelings or sensations do you notice in your body? Find specific images, sensations or words that make gratitude clear to you.
- Take a deep breath in and out to clear those impressions.
- Now bring to mind something or someone you appreciate. Mentally gaze at them and again observe: your position, your expression, your physical feelings or sensations or descriptive words. How does appreciation become clear to you?
- Breathe in and out again, wiggle your fingers and toes, open your eyes and maybe stretch a bit to get back to regular reality.
- If you like, jot down some notes on what you discovered.
Here’s what I got: when I’m in a state of gratitude, I see myself with cupped hands to receive, or with hands crossed over my heart treasuring what I have received, maybe kneeling or bowing my head, humble and childlike. When I’m appreciative I see and feel myself giving an admiring look, an approving nod, a mental “thumbs-up,” a sigh of sheer pleasure.
Here’s another visual that sums it up for me:
ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE
Now that you’ve got a literal body sense of Gratitude and Appreciation, I hope you noticed, as I did, how GREAT both of those states actually feel! The positive results of gratitude and appreciation are being documented by scientific studies. This short article details some physical benefits; I was most intrigued by the protective effects against heart attack!
So how can you energize your life with more Gratitude and Appreciation? I’ve got 3 tips to share on that:
- ENCOURAGE yourself to be aware of things and people you appreciate or are grateful for. My mom had a simple way of doing that. Each night, as she got into bed, she mentally listed at least 3 things she was grateful for in the day she’d just finished. She found it really helped her feel peaceful, content, and ready for sleep. Other people write in a gratitude journal each day. The point is to train your mind to notice and dwell on what is good in your life on a daily basis.
- ENJOY the actual moments throughout your day when you feel grateful or appreciative. Spend an extra few seconds just savoring the sense of “inner smile.”
- EXPRESS your feelings of gratitude and appreciation, to those who inspired them or to others around you. Speak, write, draw–maybe even act, dance or sing out!–those magic words:
See my November 2011 blog post for my personal random act of thanks. And have fun energizing your own life with these gentle yet powerful *Blissciplines*!
Welcome to the first online edition of The Energized Life! I’m glad you are here, whether as a regular subscriber or a blog reader. If you are a blog reader who’s checking this out, thanks–you made my day! And I want to alert you that my subscribers also get emails that notify them about the date and time of the monthly f*r*e*e distant healing, special offers, helpful tips and other goodies that are just for them. I’d love to have you join the official subscriber list and get ALL the good stuffs! 😉
Please email email@example.com to be added in; put “subscribe” in the subject line and I’ll do the rest. Easy breezy and then enjoy! Your privacy is protected, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Just sayin’ b/c those things need to be said….
OCTOBER TOPIC: AWARENESS, The Key to Energy Flow
Awareness, mindfulness, attention. Whatever you like to call it, it’s the key that opens the door to an energized life! There are two things to understand about the power of awareness:
- Awareness creates choice. If we are unaware of our negative patterns or stuck energies, we can’t change them. Once we become aware, we can choose new and better ways to think, act, and direct the energies around and within us.
- Awareness attracts and moves subtle energies. The foundational, rock-bottom truth is that ENERGY FLOWS WHERE AWARENESS GOES.
Try this quick exercise to actually feel energy following awareness. Hold up your left hand and look, really look and focus your attention on, your little finger. Maintain this focused gaze and attention for about 20 seconds. There will be a difference in sensation in that little finger! Notice how it feels different–does it tingle? Is it warmer or colder than the rest of your hand? Does it seem larger? Are there colors present around it? Whatever you notice is important, because that is how you physically register the presence and activity of subtle energy in your physical body.
And now you have just raised your level of awareness and energized your finger! If you want to play with this a little more, try expanding your awareness to your whole hand, then to other body parts, and sense the energy flowing, and expanding along with the awareness. Cool, yes? And energizing!
But there’s one more layer to this whole awareness/energy combination. In an un-energized life, awareness is often reactive instead of proactive. This means we often don’t give attention to something until it goes wrong, then we react–usually with a lot of drama–to “fix it.” So we end up with our awareness and energies entangled in problems and other “sticky stuff.” But if we are being proactive with our awareness, we focus first on simply being in the present moment and finding the joy within it, and then on our desired outcomes–what we want instead of what we don’t want. Then the energies can flow toward making those desires into reality. Much more fun!
Yes, we’ll still get problems (er, challenges) along the way. Even then, awareness can be more proactive. By shifting our attention off the problem itself (along with all the drama of how bad it is, whose fault it is, etc) and onto the joys within our present moment (however small or simple), then onto solutions and lessons in our situation, we get energy flowing again in positive directions. It even feels more energizing to make that conscious shift in awareness–and it is definitely more empowering. And if we keep practicing proactive awareness by consciously giving attention first to the joy within the present moment and then to our goals and desires all along the way, the problems tend to become more manageable and the lessons easier to learn.
OCTOBER Q & A: Meditation Music
I love answering readers’ questions! This is where we co-create growth and transformation. So email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question about energies or other metaphysical stuff–the paranormal, angels, crystals, karma, spirit guides, whatever! If I don’t know, I’ll research it and find out. I was a reference librarian assistant and am still an info junkie, so I’m happy to study and share the results.
Q: I’m under a lot of stress and want to try meditation to relax. What music would help me meditate?
A: First, I want to just point out that meditation ties right into our topic because the practice of meditation involves focus (on a sound, movement, the breath, etc) and the purpose is to increase awareness of the present moment!
Meditation works by shifting the brain waves from beta (the fast, choppy ones of normal wakefulness) into alpha, theta or even delta (slower waves that lead to creativity, relaxation and physical healing). The added benefits are increased mental clarity, reduced stress and personal growth and yes, even a better sex life.
There are a lot of ways to meditate–it’s not just about sitting in lotus position or chanting “OM.” Any practice that gets you to focus on one thing and let go of mental chatter is going to shift your brain waves down into alpha or lower. But we often need help in maintaining those slower brain waves, and that’s where I would recommend music particularly. Some music is just generally relaxing, while other types are scientifically engineered to guide the brain into the desired wave patterns and keep the patterns stable throughout the session. I’ll list several composers and websites for music to try–I’ve personally experienced everything I’m listing, so I know it is great for me 🙂 Everyone’s tastes in music are very personal, though, so I also strongly recommend sampling anything you’re interested in before buying. Amazon.com and YouTube have clips of just about everything!
- Jonathan Goldman is renowned as a sound healer, and his music has unique abilities to relax the body and shift brain waves. It is available as CDs or MP3 downloads. I personally love sleeping with his music running; The Divine Name and Cosmic Hum are current favorites.
- Liquid Mind is some of the most peaceful, relaxing music I’ve ever heard. It’s great for sleeping, too.
- Steve Halpern is well-known for composing meditation music, and he offers brainwave entrainment selections as well as general relaxation pieces. (His style doesn’t resonate quite so well with me, but others love him!)
- Dr. Jeffrey Thompson offers a wide variety of music for meditation. I’ve worked with the Theta 2.0 and found it helpful.
- EquiSync, HoloSync, and OmHarmonics all offer music specifically designed to bring the brain into specific wave patterns. All of them offer free demos of their music, and it’s worth getting them to see whether you want to invest in their packages. I have enjoyed the OmHarmonics free selection the most of the three.
- If you are tied to your computer, just go to YouTube and type in “meditation music alpha” (or theta or delta). Then enjoy the visuals and sound.
And so, the Note for the Day:
Shift the attention, move the energy, and most of all enjoy your energized life! Next issue in November!