American Beauty

sunsetgrandcanyon My family and I just returned from an adventurous  vacation. We hiked through the Grand Canyon, Zion and Sedona. The beauty blew me away. In addition to strenuous hikes and breathtaking views, I also was able to find a few moments of peace. In Sedona, I made sure to visit areas known as vortexes. According to this article, “the vortexes in Sedona are swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth. The vortex energy is not exactly electricity or magnetism, although it does leave a slight measurable residual magnetism in the places where it is strongest.” The article also states that “Sedona has long been known as a spiritual power center. This is because the power that emanates from the vortexes produces some of the most remarkable energy on the planet. This energy is the reason Sedona is full of people that are “on the path”, that is, people who have made a commitment to grow and become as much as they can spiritually. It is also the reason that such a large New Age community has sprung up in the Sedona area, bringing with it a variety of spiritual practices and alternative healing modalities, and it is the reason Sedona has sometimes been called a spiritual Disneyland.” As you can imagine, being an energy worker, I was very, very excited to visit a vortex. At the same time, I tried to remain calm since two of my friends recently visited the vortexes and neither felt anything. My family and I visited two vortexes: the Airport Vortex and the Bell Rock Vortex. When you visit these places, there is no X marks the spot, aka, no sign that reads Vortex. However, at each vortex, I searched for a juniper tree since I read that these trees are a sign of the vortex energy. This is a photo of the juniper tree that I bonded with at the Airport Vortex: vortextree This is the juniper tree I sat under at Bell Rock Vortex: bell rock vortexSo, did I feel any energy?? I can’t say for sure. I did fall in love with the tree at the Airport Vortex. I bonded with this tree. I felt attached to this tree. It was hard for me to say goodbye to that tree.  Other than that, I didn’t have any other sensations. However, my 10 year old daughter had a different experience. For some unexplained reason, she lost a tooth under each tree. She hasn’t lost any teeth in months and months and yet two teeth basically jumped out of her mouth as she sat under the juniper tree. I saw the first one happen. She initially sat under one tree and I sat on another a few feet away. She then came to sit with me and said that her tooth felt loose. I turned to look at her; she wiggled her tooth and it jumped out of her mouth. We were both in shock. The next day we went to Bell Rock and searched for a juniper tree. As we walked towards one, I wondered out loud if she would lose another tooth. And she did. At the Bell Rock vortex, I asked my family for some time alone. As I sat under the juniper tree  (the Bell Rock vortex is supposedly the strongest out of 4 vortexes most often mentioned), I set the intention that the vortex energy reach all my Reiki clients. I set intentions for family and friends. Later that day, I chatted with a woman who told me her life dramatically changed two months after visiting a vortex in Sedona. She said she didn’t feel anything at the vortex but when she returned home, everything in her life began to change and she ended up moving to Sedona. Guess we’ll see what happens to me. In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of Bell Rock. bell rock

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Calling All Angels

angel cards

I purchased a deck of The Original Angel Cards a few months ago. I have them in a pretty bowl and use them during my Reiki sessions. I usually ask my client to think of a question and then pull out a card. Sometimes I feel compelled to pull out a card for them. The more I play with these cards, the more amazed I am at the accuracy of the cards chosen. Here are a few examples:

1) My client chose the card Obedience; he could see how it related to his question. Later on that same day, as I was getting ready to take my dog to dog training, I decided to pull out a card. I pulled out Obedience. There are 72 cards and I always shuffle very, very well before pulling a card.

2) While I waited for a Reiki client to arrive, I picked out the card Peace. When I put the card back in the bowl, I felt compelled to leave it right on top. My client arrived, we chatted and she got on the table. When I asked her what was her intention for the session, she said “Peace. I just want Peace.” I told her I had just chosen that card a few minutes earlier and showed her the card.

3) The next day, my Reiki client’s intention for the session was Peace. I shared the story and we both got a kick out of it.

4) I had a client who was attending a wedding the next day. We chatted about the wedding, the traveling and all her plans. I decided to pull out a card and chose Commitment. We both laughed. During her session, I heard various messages. One word that kept on repeating was Healing, Healing, Healing. I could not get the word out of my head. After the session, I shared with her the messages, especially the word Healing.

As she listened to me, she began shuffling the Angel cards. One card jumped out of the bowl. It was Healing. We both gasped. It was very, very weird.

5) Yesterday my Reiki client chose the card Forgiveness. She was confused and said it didn’t answer her question. However, she said she’s been working on a spiritual project that was all about forgiveness. This morning I gave a long distance Reiki session. I pulled a card before the session and after the session. Forgiveness was one of the two words. This was after my daughters had shuffled the cards and picked out their cards. I also shuffled the cards as I always do.

My cynical side says that these are all just coincidences. That none of this means anything. Yet another part of me thinks that while I am not a mathematician, it is a bit odd. Of course there are times when I pick a card or my client picks a card that doesn’t seem to tie into the question whatsoever. And then my mind tells me that I can make any word fit. Yet, in the examples I shared, there seems to be something else going on.

What do you think?

 

Karunamayi Part III: Another Unexpected Gift

karunamayi

I was introduced to Karunamayi, a living Saint from India, about two years ago. My meditation teacher was the one who told me about her. After my first darshan, or blessing, with her I became vegetarian. All desire to eat meat or fish was totally lifted from me. When I asked her a blessing, becoming a vegetarian was not on my list! I don’t know why this happened. All I can say is that ever since that day over two years, I have had a few bites of fish and none of meat or chicken.

When I received my second darshan last year, my husband joked and asked if I would become vegan. Nothing of the sort happened. I did cry for no apparent reason, which had happened the previous year. But aside from that, I didn’t feel anything drastic had happened or changed for me.

This year, I had family from Spain visiting me. I was not able to attend the darshan but the opportunity to participate in a half day meditation workshop opened up. One of my friends was curious about meeting her and decided to join me. As we drove there bright and early, we told each other that we didn’t have any expectations. We declared that we were fully open to experience and whatever would happen that day. We were so full of shit. Of course we had expectations!

The workshop started one hour later than what was on the website. We didn’t receive any instruction on how to meditate. We spent maybe 90 minutes in her presence which included one hour with our eyes closed meditating. Darshan wasn’t part of the program. We left disappointed.

However, the next morning I realized that I had, indeed, been given an unexpected gift. During the workshop, we practiced yoga. It was a special sequence that Amma developed. When we practiced it, I felt something. I don’t know what it was, but it was something. I did have an internal debate before purchasing the book, Yoga Is Union. The Yoga of Amma Sri Karunamayi. The book contained the sequence and also a lot more information. I have never been able to maintain a home yoga practice, despite a 300 hour Yoga Alliance certification and other workshops that I have taken focused on developing a home practice.

Shockingly enough to me, I have been practicing the sequence nearly every day. Even more shockingly, I have had the desire to teach the sequence to friends. I taught to two friends last week and will be teaching it again this week. I don’t think they have had the same experience with it as I have but they told me they have enjoyed it.

I’ve begun to read the book. The author Darin Somma, who was the one who led the practice at the workshop, writes “Everyone I have the fortune of sharing this practice with has told how profound their experience is, even yoga teachers with more than 60 years of experience have told me that Amma’s teachings revolutionized their practice!” I don’t know if my practice is revolutionized. I will keep you posted 🙂

 

It’s All Energy

practicalreikibookI

I’ve been studying a different form of energy healing for the past few weeks. It’s Kundalini Reiki, although my teacher trademarked  Practical Reiki to make it more “user friendly” (my words, not hers). I thought it would be a nice compliment to my Usui Reiki Master education.

I’ve been interested in energy work ever since I was a child. I loved writing down my wishes, writing letters to my future self, crystals and more. It’s funny. Even though I’m not sure if there is a God or karma or what, I do believe in energy. I believe because this is something that I experience myself. When I have received Reiki or other forms of energy work, I have felt things.  When I give sessions, I feel things and many times the person receiving the session has felt things. Also, many times I also see things and hear things during the session. Again, most times, the person receiving the session can validate what I say.

Where do these messages come from??? Who knows. I’m trying to stop trying to figure it out because I suspect there just isn’t a way to figure it out. All I know is that I really, really love giving Reiki sessions. I may love it even more than teaching kids yoga, although I teach way more than the amount of Reiki sessions that I give. It also seems that my clients love receiving sessions based on the feedback that I’ve received.

This weekend, my meditation teacher Jennifer is coming to town. In addition to teaching meditation, she also does a form of energy healing called Sunpoint. My first session with Jennifer was unlike anything I had ever experienced  I’m going to get attuned to Sunpoint too. The more energy, the better, right?

I Don’t Know Anything

Buddha

I spent hours and hours talking about karma during my yoga teacher training program. We had everyone from a lama to a Reverend speak with us. At one class, we spoke about world views. Apparently (I’m not sure who came up with this), there are three general world views:

1. There is a God: Everything that happens is due to God’s will. If you win the lottery, it’s God’s will. If you cannot have a baby, it’s God’s will.

2. Karma: For every action, there’s a reaction. Everything that is happening in your life is due to a past action that you took in this life or a previous life.

3. There is no God or Karma. Things just are.

The more I learned about karma, the more it resonated with me. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 11, I felt that I was being punished by God. I was such a good little girl that I felt it was must have been a result of something I did in a past life. I don’t know where that thought came from since I grew up in a Catholic family and I enjoyed going to church. I don’t remember ever speaking or learning about past lives. Anyway, karma clicked with me.

At the same time, I still studied the law of attraction and how our thoughts manifest our life. So many books and movies, ie, The Secret, talk about creating vision boards and making wishes. Hell, I prescribe to that. If things happen the way we want them to, then great! We are successful. When they don’t, according to The Secret and other LOA gurus, it’s because our thoughts and energy are not aligned with what we really want. Really, it’s all our fault. We must have hidden subconscious desires and fears. We must have limiting thoughts that are preventing us from manifesting our wish.

Is that true? Is that really true??? Are our thoughts that freaking powerful?

I don’t know what the hell to think. Two women, from the same family, in my town recently passed away. One was older, a grandmother who had not been well for years. The other woman was just 31 years old and newly pregnant. Was this their karma? God’s will? Or do things just happen? While I am not a mind reader, I have a hard time imagining that either of them wanted to die. Did the grandmother or the newly pregnant woman have hidden, subconscious thoughts that manifested into illness (something that I was taught in my Reiki training)?

In my yoga training, we studied Sanskrit with Manorama. She said that if we were lucky, we would only have about two or three Unanswerable Whys in our lives. You know what I’m talking about. Those events that happen to us in which we cannot for the life of us comprehend why they happened.

I know that no matter how many times I think about this topic, I will probably never come to the “right” answer.

Happy Birthday Mom!

mommyandme

 

Today, April 3rd, is my Mom’s birthday. This photo is one of my favorite photos I have of us together. I keep it on my dresser.

I told my daughters that for my Mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day, I would often buy my Mom yellow flowers, usually roses. I remember buying her a yellow vase one year. After she passed away, I was in the house cleaning up. Somehow I ended up breaking the vase! My brother said “she didn’t like it anyway.” I don’t know if he was kidding or if it was the truth, but it fell and broke into pieces. Like my heart.

It’s been over 12 years since she passed away. The pain has eased, it has changed, but it is still there, always, every day, every second of every day. I miss her so much. I’ve done my best to accept it. There’s nothing I can do except look at this photo and think of her. Buy her yellow roses on her birthday.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Cold Be Gone!

tumericandhoney

 

My husband has been coughing for over a month. My 9 year old was sick with a fever a few weeks ago. Then my younger daughter came down with a fever, cough and general blahness. I patted myself on the back because for the first time since I can remember, I had not gotten sick at all over the winter. In past years, I’ve had colds and stomach viruses; I blame my daughters. I’ve also dealt with bronchitis and even walking pneumonia; I blame grief for those illnesses.

Even though part of me felt it was inevitable that I would come down with something since someone was constantly coughing on me, I also thought that yoga, meditation and my positive thoughts would shield me from the germs. Alas, I was mistaken. I started sneezing like a maniac, blowing my nose and coughing.

A friend on Facebook, who has been sick for weeks, posted a photo of a jar of honey that she purchased at Whole Foods. A friend of hers shared that she liked to mix the honey with tumeric. I had completely forgotten that trick! Continue reading