Money. It can be an all-consuming topic, whether you have a lot of it or just a little. Often we are immersed in negative or fearful thoughts about money. It seems that there is a whole branch of news media dedicated to whipping up our fears about money. Like we need any help!
Abundance, true abundance, is a state of mind.
No matter what your financial situation, if you are stressed out about money, you are lacking abundance. Since abundance is a state of mind, you can change it, just as easily as changing your mind. When we leave behind old, worn out beliefs about how much we are worth, we open up to our creative, problem-solving abilities. We see solutions and opportunities where we once saw only limitations and defeat.
If you haven’t tried meditation before, a great way to start is using a guided meditation.
Guided meditations use imagery and relaxation techniques to keep your mind busy so your body can relax and heal itself.
Other kinds of meditations, such as the repetition of mantras or silent meditation, can sometimes be difficult for beginning meditators. Guided meditation helps to train the mind and body to the feeling of meditation, making it easier to sit for longer periods and easier to use more advanced techniques.
A couple of days ago I sat to write about a book on Reiki that I think is an amazing read. It vanished. Instead of saving it got obliterated. Gone poof into the nameless digital void. I always pay attention when these seemingly random events occur. I ask myself: What is the deeper meaning here? What is my lesson? As it turns out, the last piece of writing to disappear was my Reiki manual for a Level 1 and 2 course I was planning on teaching. Often with writing a delay is beneficial to the overall work, giving the writer time to reflect and carefully edit. But a complete deletion, that is something else. It requires a complete rewrite and, for me, several months of rethinking. Funny how things happen.
So back to the books, so to speak. The book I was writing the review for was “The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui” by Dr. Mikao Usui and Frank Arjava Petter found here on Google Books. Dr. Usui is the founder of the Reiki system, so his original notes are a precious thing to read.
This book in particular is a must read for anyone who is interested in learning Reiki. There is a strong emphasis on the intention and dedication of the practitioner to helping the client to achieve vibrant health. Some of the visualization and meditation practices I have incorporated into my practice with phenomenal results. The techniques not only improve the treatment the client receives, but also improves the experience for the practitioner. Staying an open, egoless channel for the Reiki energy is a learned skill. Practice in both private meditation and surrendering to the wisdom of the energy is a key part of the message of the book.
As for the course manual, I am eager to begin again. Rebuilding from the ground up and following the advise from Master Usui to surrender to the wisdom in my hands. Stay tuned for more information on Reiki courses. If you are interested in taking a class with me email me at Geneva@lunaholistic.com to get on the waiting list.
Making a commitment to write consistently in my blog is a scary thing. Being able to write from the heart and block out the internal editor is a practice that reminds me of my early attempts at meditation. I get this restless, fidgety feeling that coincides with being overwhelmingly sleepy. Sound familiar? I know I am on the right path because my poor ego is kicking and screaming.
I love writing. It is a freeing act to pour an idea, thought or feeling out onto the page. To give voice to the swirling images and sounds that float through my mind. I love the feeling of crafting sentence and paragraph, honing my skills every time I sit to write. I grew up around artists and artisans of all types. Creativity is part of my upbringing. Writing gives me the same feeling that I get when carving a piece of wood, sculpting clay, or in the rhythmic dance of knitting needles. There is something cathartic and exhilarating in letting go, opening up, and letting the words flow. The dedication to turning an empty page into my David. Finding the heart of the message and removing what is not essential to my truth.
The process is lovely. And scary. I spent far too much time in too many classrooms to believe that judgement and criticism are not waiting on the other side of the ‘Publish’ button. In reality it is only my own criticism that hounds me. My internal editor is not always nice. After making a commitment to post something every other day, I can see the same resistance to writing that I had to meditation in the beginning. There is the feeling of being vulnerable, being exposed and the feeling that I am out on a new edge of my being and my definition of myself. In the same way that meditation challenges you to focus your thoughts and redefine your own boundaries, writing pushes me to turn within and reframe my life.
I spent years frozen in paralysis in front of the keyboard when I wrote my Master’s thesis. The looming thesis defence was enough to shut down my abilty to press even a single key without a full adrenaline wave of panic. In the end I got through that block by blocking. I blocked the eventual possibility of criticism out of my mind. I made a commitment to finish, a commitment to begin again, to return again and again. To sit. To write. Write just one more sentence. Then one more. One more.
I also turned inward. I asked the universe, God, Goddess, the Divine, my higher power, to ‘hit it’ every time I sat to write. There is something profound in stepping aside, getting your ego out of it and allowing the Intelligence within you pour itself out. I do that nearly everytime I write now, whether it is poetry or technical writing. And it makes a difference. The writing is better, cleaner, clearer. I get nice crisp, juicy sentences ariving in my consciousness. Ready to be picked, plucked and placed.
Sitting to write with regularity is much like meditating regularly. There is an initial battle with my scared/tired self who would rather shrink back into the shadows and take the easy way out. But I gently remind my little self that it is only a paragraph that qualifies as a post, that my Higher Self will do all the work and I only have to sit still for a few minutes and wiggle my fingers. It seems to work. I sit. I write. I create. I connect. Something deeper connects and when I am done, I am different.
I love my balcony. Every spring we find a mix of herbs and flowers that grow well in our little outdoor refuge. The power of having a little bit of nature in your day cannot be overstated. Nearly every ascended spiritual master found their way to enlightenment through a retreat into nature. Just sitting under a tree or taking a stroll through the park reconnects us to something greater within ourselves. Connecting with nature everyday is essential to our well-being. And it doesn’t even need to take much time to have a profound effect. Just think of the last time you stepped outside, took a deep breath and appreciated the sun, trees and birds around you. Only a few seconds make all the difference. Take time today to enjoy our fair weather and find the garden within.
I’ll admit it; I’m a dreamer. I always get a little misty eyed when I hear John Lennon’s “Imagine” or Satchmo’s “What a Wonderful World”. So much of my life has been driven by a desire to make the world a better place. I remember, as a little kid, being overwhelmed with the state the world was in and feeling that I wanted to fix all of the big problems. Hunger, deforestation, racism, sexism, the list went on and on of issues that I felt called to help fix. As I child, I sized it all up, and got mad. Really mad. I saw all the problems in the world really had one common denominator, people. People. People were the problem. So I decided at the ripe age of nine to help the environment, leave those silly people to sort out their own problems, there are wolves and bears with shrinking habitat that need my help.
I was fascinated with the diversity and complexity of life on this planet and I never needed a career councillor to help me decide what courses to take in university. I dove headlong into biology and eventually into environmental risk assessment. But as I progressed in my career, the more I saw the same problem over and over again. I kept seeing the avoidable mistakes or the lack of care for the earth. Often dollars trumped compassion. I kept thinking, there had to be a better way to solve these problems.
In parallel to my scientific education, I began a spiritual quest to understand the basis of reality. I was fascinated by the world and I really couldn’t get enough of asking questions nobody could answer. I found out early on, at the age of four, that some spiritual institutions slam the door shut on any kind of questioning and expect blind faith. I almost chucked the whole concept of spirituality, but I kept having these nagging questions that couldn’t be answered by science. Science is very good at answering some questions of the world, but fails spectacularly at other, deeper questions. The most notable being “Why am I here?”.
I kept on questioning and exploring and eventually found my way to spiritualities and religions that encouraged questions. Buddhism, Taoism, Nature-based religions, Hinduism and eventually full circle back to Christianity was my spiral path to find the truth that lives in my heart. On that labyrinth of a journey I discovered two radical concepts: forgiveness and compassion. The more I explored the more I began to fall in love with humanity again. I began to have hope, and now I really believe that people are the solution to all the problems. I believe that the pure trusting, loving heart that exists in every tiny baby is still there in every adult. I believe that kindness and compassion are woven into our DNA and are our ultimate survival instincts. And I believe that we all have such tremendous power to change our lives and our world for the better.
I realized the solution to all of the environmental problems in the world, indeed nearly all problems, really boils down to love. Loving the self; because if you don’t love yourself how can you love anything else, like birds or trees or people. If you don’t care about yourself and take care of yourself, why would you ever care about the planet. I realized it is not thousands of problems in the world, it is one problem: we need more love.
This is why I am here. This is why I fly out of bed every morning when I have a client. My job is to teach people to love themselves, with no restrictions or caveats. To teach them that they are much more powerful together than apart, that they are wonderful, unique creations of the universe and they are in charge of their own lives. To help people remember their true essence is pure love and pure potential.
And so, what a wonderful journey it has been so far. I love the path I have taken to get to this moment with you. I believe in you. You will help me heal the world. I am no longer that scared child wanting to hide from the world and neither are you. I have help. You have help. Together we can create anything we can dream. Just imagine.
I’m a big believer of the Law of Attraction. This is a basic law of the universe, which is: “You get what you think about”. I would also say that this Law is also “You get what you feel about”. Some might call it karma or ‘reaping what you sow’ or just plain common sense. When you focus on positive things, positive things happen to you; when you complain all the time you just get more to complain about. Some people might wave this off as too new agey or just a product of psychology, but leading edge thought in physics (yes, its science!) shows that the power of the observer can completely change the outcome of an experiment based on what the experimenter expects the outcome to be.
For a long time, scientists assumed that this observer effect was restricted solely to the realm of weird experiments in the basement of the science wing of universities. This restriction of the fundamental laws of the universe to dusty philosophical discussions, conducted mostly in the language of mathematics, was likely because it was all too weird to grasp at the time and requires a fundamental shift in how we live in our world.
The Buddha says “ With our thoughts, we create the world”. This statement is not just a point of philosophy or psychology, it is truth. Scientific truth. You just can’t get truthier than that. 🙂
Now there are two parts to this Law of Attraction, the first is desire, or wanting, and the second is attracting. This is a simple version, but that is basically it. The desire, say for a new bike, could have come from almost anywhere, maybe it was an ad you saw in a magazine, or your old bike is slow, or your friend has a new bike and you admire it, or your old bike was stolen, or you read an article about how riding a bike 10 minutes a day keeps you young. Wherever the desire came from, it is there, in the universe, and out there, in the universe, an instantaneous response is formed. It is like a wave through time. It ripples out in all directions, without bounds or limits and your new bike begins its journey on its way to you.
So why is there no new bike? Why isn’t every day like Christmas? Because every, absolutely every, thought, feeling and impulse you have is also, instantaneously registered by the universe. So the more you can keep your thoughts and feelings focused in a positive direction, even if it is not about the bike, the faster your desires will be attracted. Since life is one grand experiment, you don’t need to take my word for it, test this out in your life.
I am actually in a very blessed place in my life. As I look around, I see evidence of all of my previous desires right here in physical form, part of my day to day experience. What I am realizing is that the desire, for things to change, be more, be less, be sunnier, be easier, has not lessened when I get my latest manifested desire. This is not to say that I am in the “I’ll be happy someday” mentality, or that I am particularly driven by having ‘stuff’. It is more that I keep dreaming. I dream of many wonderful things, like peace and love and locally grown vegetables. It is a little like mountain climbing, you get to the top, you get your desire, and from the top you set your sights on the next one.
And today it hit me, it is so clear, so simple. The point of all of it is never to get to the next thing, the next goal, the next mountain. It is always to love where you are, love your life. Taking steps, as they present themselves, toward your next dream, but always, always relishing the dream you are living right now. Right now. Now. Just as it is, just as you are, even if you are not where you want to be. This time is so precious, this life is so precious. This moment only comes once, be it good or bad, you won’t have to repeat this one. And if all it took to really change your life, was to shift focus, to the things you love, rather than the thing you fear. To choose again each moment, to renew the focus, to be grateful, to be hopeful, to choose happy. What great things we all could do if we just did this.
“Unfinished Business” guides you through the messages that the dearly departed have for all of us ‘living’ to live better and fuller lives. The messages are interwoven with compelling stories of James Van Praagh’s fascinating mediumship. The book touches on all aspects of our mental and emotional lives and is a great introduction to many self-healing practices.
January has been an emotional month. My dear Grandma of 93 years passed away shortly after Christmas, with the funeral held the first week of January. Then a few short weeks later I learned of my uncle’s death at the all too young age of 58.
I picked up “Unfinished Business” on a whim on the trip back to Calgary following my Grandma’s funeral. While I am nowhere near a medium of the caliber of James Van Praagh, I have, now and then, had brief contact with loved ones who have passed over.
Sometimes it is a candle flickering in a still room or a song played at random that lets me know that a loved one is nearby. Often I just have a knowing or a clear word or two cross my mind, or an image here or there.
When my Grandma passed all I could hear for days afterwards was “I am here, I am still here!” I found myself having full-fledged conversations with her, and all in her characteristic witty style. It seemed right to read more about mediumship and communication with spirits, if, for no other reason, to convince myself that I wasn’t going nutty.
What I got from it Personally/The Book in Action
“Unfinished Business” is one of those books that was in the right place at the right time. While I have been reading it, I have gone to two funerals and two friends of mine have gone to funerals as well. It seems as though death is the theme at the moment. And it raises the question “What is to be learned here?”
As with most questions I have, I reach for books for the answers. This book was a good one for me to be reading through the grieving process. As I read each story about loved ones from the Great Beyond sharing their heartfelt messages to the people they loved, a bit of the grief I was feeling melted away.
There was something very comforting about reading story after story of passed loved ones so eager to communicate their messages.
The advice from the spirits in the book seemed to echo messages I have encountered before and reinforced many of the ideas that are the most beneficial for mental, emotional and physical health. To paraphrase some of the messages: Ditch your addictions; Forgive yourself, apologize and forgive others; Let go of the past before you die; and We are here and we are happy, please be happy too. So to that end, I am re-evaluating my coffee habit; I’m continuing the forgiveness process; I’m letting go of old ideas, emotions, and general junk in my life; and most importantly I am trusting that we never truly die and my job is to live a life I love.
What a day! Today was the first time I experienced golf ball sized hail. The hail stones pummeled Northwest Calgary with breathtaking intensity. While the hail undoubtedly damaged cars, homes, and gardens, I absolutely love the power displayed by Nature.
To me there is nothing better than a hot day followed by a rip-roaring storm. The storm today surely did not disappoint. What I love about storms like these is the pure wildness of the energy created. I love the dual nature of big storms. That such intensity is created only out of air, water and sun. I love the chance to stand at a window and stare out in awe of what Nature can create with only a few simple ingredients and an even simpler recipe.
I love the questions that arise, like “How on earth can hail grow so big in a cloud?”. But most of all, I love the feeling of how truly powerful Nature actually is. We really pay attention when there is a big storm, but the true power and mystery of Nature is always there. We get a splendid chance to stop and remember that we are one small part of a very big planet. We get the chance to surrender to the whims of Nature and let our day be guided by the rhythms of the planet.
We are so used to not being impressed by Nature that a video of a man having a truly ecstatic reaction to a double rainbow seems funny to us. We can be so conditioned to control our joy, that ecstatic feeling that naturally wants to rise up and guide our choices.
I admit I had a mixed response when I watched the video. Part of me was wondering how often he smokes weed, but another, hidden, part of me was reminiscent of a time when a simple rainbow inspired deep joy. I think the pure emotion in his response calls to all of us to remember the youthful joy in everyday things.
Today’s storm reminded me to seek joy in every experience and to cherish what is. Maybe next time I’ll see a double rainbow too.
The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. It is easy to be joyful on a day like today. After days and days of rain the clouds have parted to reveal the glorious sun. A healthy dose of vitamin D seems to lift the spirits of the whole city.
On a day like today when joy effortlessly flows into your heart is a perfect day to practice compassion. I am no expert in true perfect compassion. For that I direct you to the wonderful book “An Open Heart” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. From this gem of a book I was first introduced to some of the fundamentals of compassion.
It is easy to be compassionate towards friends and family. Their kindness and loving behaviour set us up to easily feel compassion for them. What can be a challenge though is to feel compassion towards everyone. And by everyone I mean the people who have done us personal injury, the people who cut us off in traffic and the people responsible for global calamities.
True compassion also includes compassion towards ourselves. We judge ourselves harshly, beat ourselves up and sabotage our efforts to create change in our lives. The basis for a compassionate loving life lies in loving ourselves first. From there we can expand our compassion to our loved ones and in time to our ‘enemies’. But first we must start with ourselves. We all have a spark of the divine light that created us inside of us. If we honour that divinity in ourselves then we can begin to honour it in others.