Chatting Up the HC

synchronicity4I’m always surprised when I ask my Higher Consciousness (HC) what I’m meant to blog on and it gives me an answer that is not what I was thinking at all. However, when I then toss around the idea, I realize a whole trail of synchronicities throughout the week pointed to the topic all along and it’s such a better idea than the one my mind was thinking up. Two points for the HC.

That trail this week has lead me to self-love and its close cousin self-trust. When I look at someone who seems to have it all together, who seems brimming with self-confidence, and learn they have such a strong core of self-doubt, I’m always surprised. If life has taught me anything, though, it’s that things are not as they seem. If you don’t love yourself in all your manifestations at your core, it makes it hard to trust yourself…and, in turn, others.

The roots of self-doubt run deep and are planted early. As children, many are told “be careful,” “listen to your parents who know better than you,” and other similar messages that make young people question their own judgement. As the child grows, well-intentioned parents, schools, churches, and other institutions tell a child what to believe, how to believe it, what success looks like, and how it needs to be achieved. When the soul reaches adulthood, it is told what to do by bosses, market trends, “crises” of many kinds, and so forth. It’s no wonder self-doubt (and subsequently, self-love because I think they’re bonded like that) feel like they’re missing in so many people’s lives.

I love Louise Hay’s mirror work where she has (for many, many years) had people look into a mirror on a daily basis and say, “I love you. I really, really love you.” When I suggest that to a person I feel may benefit from it, I see them look at me sideways and roll their eyes. I’ve done it and it works. (Yah, you feel goofy. So the heck what?)

I wonder why the resistance. Is it a family of origin issue where the mother told them they were conceited if they focused on themselves and their own self love? To me, there’s no better way to care for those who touch your field than by tending to your own junkyard and cleaning it out. Nobody likes a rabid dog growling at them through a chainlink fence.

And loving yourself, while we’re on this, is not about a gazillion selfies on IG or Facebook. (Please make it stop.) It’s about keeping your thoughts in the higher frequencies of love and light. It’s about giving your body the rest it needs. It’s about listening to your body through physical symptoms, your emotions, your spirit, your relationships. They’re all jumping up and down and waving their hands in the air.

Here’s what I know: until we each take charge of our own self-care and self-love, rewriting all those old programs that need rewriting, we messy up our energy fields with icky stuff. That icky stuff then feeds over into other people’s energy fields and ickies up their stuff. We each individually have a responsibility to ourselves and to all those around this to clear up that ick.

But how do we know the syllabus for our particular Ick 101? It’s like Dorothy Gale discovers after the whole Oz dream–it all begins with each of us in our own backyard. Each of us has to get quiet and ask our Master Teacher (however that appears to you–Jesus, God, Buddha, St. Germain, Paramahansa Yogananda, Dreams, Lao Tzu, Allah, Archangel Michael, Quantum Physics–the list is endless). Every single person has that burning light inside that knows all the answers that person needs to know for their unique journey to be traveled as only they can.

What’s not to love about that?

Posted in awakening, conscious living, dreams, healthy living, Inspiration, intuition, positive attitude, Synchronicity | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Magnificent Mt. Shasta

When I first caught sight of it I was 50 miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.

John Muir of Mt Shasta, 1874view3

View from Mount Shasta at 6,000 ft. looking west, 1/24/16

Whether your blood turns to wine or not, it’s hard to deny the power of Mt. Shasta and the regenerative hangover of being in its presence. It brings all the senses to life in different ways. Where you are in position to the mountain, reorients the choreography of those senses. I love to dance with those feelings, as if my soul is viewing the scene through a kaleidoscope and slowly turning the lens.

Called a world “power center” at the Harmonic Convergence of 1987,  Mt. Shasta calls equally to spiritual and environmental types. A well-known sacred site for Native American ritual, many a shaman have lead vision quests up the Mountain. The Mountain towers over the area at 14,179 feet, the fifth largest peak in California, and leaves visitors feeling heady in its presence. Because of its height, and stand-alone stature, climbers from all over the world come to hone their skills on the mountain getting back to the very base: man vs. nature.

Yet when I think of Mt. Shasta, it’s much more than the mountain itself or the individual’s world paradigm. It’s the entire vibe of the surrounding area. There’s the ski area with its high adventure feel. There’s the downtown on Mt. Shasta Boulevard where Soul Connections appears to be the most thriving business with a new add-on room of Native American flutes, gongs, buffalo drums and singing bowls the size of a small pond. (The owner was, of course, at the wholesale portion of the Tucson Gem Show–where I will be also in a few weeks–loading up his crystal collection.)  There’s the feeling of magic and promise in the legends of Lemuria and Telos. And, there’s Lake Siskiyou in the shadow of the mountain with it’s own amazing feel of peace and renewal.lake3

Where you stay when visiting this fascinating region really makes a difference when it comes to the feel of the trip. In the past, we have stayed closer to the base of the mountain. This time we wanted to try out Mount Shasta Resort after seeing one of their fantastic winter getaway packages advertised with a spa/dinner/lodging combo. I’m so glad we did. (Thanks, La’Ra, for the idea!)

Mount Shasta Resort (www.mountshastaresort.com) is located smack up against Lake Siskiyou just minutes from downtown, but with a remote, peaceful feeling. The beauty of this quiet lake adds a layer of calm around the chalets not felt in the other places we’ve stayed. This has been a snowy winter in Mt. Shasta (with about a ten foot base on the way to Bunny Flat at about 6,000 feet), but down at the lake recent rains have melted snow and made walking right up against the edge feasible. I even put my bare feet in the water and didn’t get frostbite.coldfeet

The trail (both the graded and rustic) moves around the lake. From the cabins, accessing the rustic trail is a 2 minute walk. This is a step-over-the-manzanita-branch kind of walk with lots of sitty places to melt into nature. Reflection is the word that kept coming to mind. I could have spent the entire day walking the perimeter and soaking up the views.

The rivers are swollen with raging water from all the recent Nor Call weather. damCheck out the Sacramento River flowing out the other side of the dam. Having all this natural beauty a short walk from the property is a huge perk of the Mount Shasta Resort.

At the Resort itself, cabins are nestled in the towering evergreens and come in many types: large oversized hotel rooms (Woodland rooms), 1 bedroom chalets, 2 bedroom chalets and modest price increases for lake view choices. They also have all choices in pet friendly rooms for an extra $20 per night. Prices change throughout the season, but are very moderately priced as seen on their site. We stayed in the oversized Woodland Room (refrigerator, freezer, big screen, two sink bathroom) and toured our neighbor’s 2 bedroom cabin which was actually much nicer than the pictures look on the website. They have fully equipped kitchens. Our neighbor needed a special pan which the staff brought right over in time for breakfast making. The staff is both down to earth, funny, and professional. Though it’s called a resort and has all the amenities a resort has, it’s better than a resort because it’s so relaxed. Here’s their number: (800) 958-3363.

mtshastacabin

The cabins line a road called Chalet Way. At the top of Chalet Way, sits the Sacred Mountain Spa (www.sacredmountainresortspa.com). Rebecca Weston, spa owner, was accommodating and answered all questions I had to plan our best timing/experience. This cozy, two-room spa has this as their motto: treat yourself well. If you go here, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. spasign

When we walked in for our 4:30 appointments after exploring nature, they seemed so happy we were there which put us all on the same page. They offered up that intoxicating Mt. Shasta magic water with ice lemons–delicious! When I looked in the massage room with a fireplace, I fell in love. I tried to remember ever seeing one like this and I couldn’t. Such a great feel to the room. It’s hard to capture it in the picture, but here’s an offering.spa2

When you get onto the table and snuggle underneath the high thread count sheets, the table is heated, relaxing every fiber immediately. My therapist, Jennifer A., was simply amazing. Her energy and perfect pressure made me call her “The Knot Whisperer” if only to myself because I’m not a “massage talker.” It was hard to distinguish between her hands and the hot stones because she moved them around with such expertise. Between the hot rocks, the delicious coconut oil mixed with various doTERRA essential oils, and the hot towels that kept appearing out of nowhere, I could barely speak through dinner. I was SO relaxed. (Just for the record, I’ve had monthly massages for 20 years AND went to massage school myself in Culver City at the Institute of Psychostructural Balancing or IPSB. I do know an awesome massage when I see one.) Call here for appointments and get the fireplace room: (530) 926-3030 ext. 180.

After showers back at the room, we set off to dinner back at resort headquarters. The property is spread out–you will need to drive back to base camp, especially when it’s cold out. The Mount Shasta Resort Restaurant is located on the second floor above registration. In the daytime, it offers a breathtaking view of Mt. Shasta and the surrounding golf course. In the night, well…check this out.

resortfullmoon

Isn’t that gorgeous? The full moon lit up the cold 25 degree night with the warming light like only the full moon can. Inside, the food was delicious (and we were so relaxed) we totally forgot to document for you. One of my favorite menu items, though, were the steamed clams. Amazing! Oh, and the chocolate cake. (Pretend we didn’t take a bite before we remembered to take the shot.)chocolatecake The restaurant has a casual feel (go ahead and wear your jeans and hiking boots) with upscale choices like filet mignon, chicken marsala, and the most delicious honey steamed baby carrots you can imagine! There are also vegetarian choices, like the stuffed portobella which sounded quite tasty.

The other great thing about the Mount Shasta Resort is all the great packages they provide. You can totally customize according to your group and their tastes. Also, several of the other people we talked to had gotten the weekend as a holiday gift. Great idea! (If anybody wants to get us the winter getaway package next year, we’re in!) I’d definitely like to return to this property in the Spring 2016 as this one promises to be FULL of wildflowers. Who wants to go?

No trip to Mt. Shasta is complete without a trip to The Goat (now known as Bistro 107) and the Headwaters. The water at the Headwaters is pure magic. The local beer and food at Bistro 107–magic in its own right.headwaters Bistro 107 offers intimate seating with a mean Reuben panini. In one of those Mt. Shasta synchronicities, we met a couple passing through from Portland to the San Fernando Valley (where my husband was born and raised) who were in “the industry.” They had bought a doublewide on 28 acres sight unseen off Craig’s List in 2006 for a getaway from Hollywood. We compared notes on who was going to win the Oscars (they actually get to vote-we just pretend we do). We talked about how we were mad at the Academy. We exchanged ideas on Netflix movies/series that are must sees, and talked about our mutual love for Sheriff Longmire. (The guy was originally from Wyoming so of course it came up.) That’s the kind of stuff that happens in Mt. Shasta.

Just a few minutes out of town up the Mountain, the world becomes eerily still, blanketed in snow. The tree families are flocked in their winter white. Just driving through you feel as if you are a part of a kingdom so much larger than you. It’s hard to do anything but stare with your mouth slightly agape as gentle flakes fall and melt against the windshield.


treefamily2

Even as I type this, trying to select the right image to capture this feeling, I feel like I come up short. The scene is just so mind-blowing. No people anywhere. Just untouched, almost-blue white blankets of snow. The sky is the same color, as if the only thing dividing snow and sky are forest-green trees as far as the eye can see. It’s hard to breathe remembering the scene. Simply breathtaking.

Imagine. And then, pick up the phone, treat yourself well, and go! You will be glad you did.

Posted in conscious living, healthy living, hiking, nature, travel, wine and food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Tap it Out: De-Stress for Free in Minutes

tapPart of today’s offering is a rehash of an earlier blog. It’s timely because we’re in a space right now (think economy, politics, Saturn, SATs/ACTs–okay, maybe the last one just applies to our house) where our control is limited. In reality, I believe our control is an illusion and try as we might to act as if we’ve got all balls juggling perfectly, at any given time the Universe can tilt knocking them all cattywampus. The other night I had a dream where I was driving a white BMW on black rainy streets in the city at night, but the car had a mind of its own. At some point I just had to lean into the skid and go along for the ride.

Still, we can always add things to our respective tool boxes and Emotional Freedom Technique is one tool I was reminded about this week. I was at a meeting with energy types (Reiki Masters and the like) and a woman did a demonstration on EFT. Collectively, we did an experiential exercise using tapping. We needed to come up with a collective worry that was stressing everybody out. Guess what it was? I’ll give you a hint. Starts with Hilary ends with The Donald. It didn’t matter what side people were on. The whole caboodle was leaving everybody in the room at a 10 stress-wise when we started. We tapped through it as a group and when we were done, only one woman in a co-ed room of 25 was above a 5. Now that’s saying something.

EFT, aka “tapping”, is a tool I’ve seen thrown around the past decade in various venues with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I think this might be because some people see it as too “wooey.”  I’ve concluded this based on the look on mainstream people’s faces when I bring it up as a tool they might consider.

But I’ve seen it used by therapists, particularly child psychologists with great success. Perhaps that’s because kids, ten and under, are usually more receptive to new ideas than older adults who’ve already developed in their minds what is acceptable and unacceptable. I’ve also seen it used up close and personal used on everyday people for everyday things. It takes 5 minutes and can change the whole direction of a day. I especially love it for the jitters I get before public speaking.

Here’s what I’m going to say about tapping. I think it ROCKS. You can use it any time, any place. It’s free and it’s very, very effective. Don’t believe me? Think it’s too freaky to try? Go find a dark closet where nobody can see you, find something you need to deal with, and try it. I dare you. Worse case scenario, nothing happens. Best case (and most likely case) scenario, problem solved…or at least, substantially reduced. Teachers, try it on your students for that dreaded day after Halloween.

The core thought of EFT is that “all negative emotions are a disruption in the bodies energy system.” The basic concept is that by resetting that energy system, you can reduce and/or eliminate negative emotions like stress, overeating, anger, whatever.

Here’s how it works (and this is summarized nicely in the flow chart above.)

1. Rate the issue from 0 – 10, 10 being worse and 0 being best. Think of it like “Yelping” your issue.

2. Tell it like it is. Even though I have this (describe the issue in your own words), I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Say this 3x while tapping on the karate chop.

3. Reminder Binder. Say “this (whatever your issue is that you described) causes me (whatever happens in your own words).” The idea here is to describe what is happening. I would say for a speech I was about to do “thinking about giving this speech is making me feel like throwing up, I get so nervous when I think about it, etc.,” trying to name it as honestly as you can. While doing this tap through and the points, while starting at the top of your head, 5-7 times. You go through the whole circuit 3x.

4. Status check. After one round, rate your issue again. If not at 0, repeat the set up. Use this wording. “Even though I still have (some of this issue) left, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Keep going around the circuit until you feel you are done.

That’s it. Easy peezy. There are a number of “tapping practitioners” out there to help you tap your way happy if you don’t feel like you are having success on your own. They need guinea pigs to complete certification courses and put in “tapping” hours. If you feel you need support, this may be a way to go. There is also a movie called “The Tapping Solution” that chronicles tapping used in the lives of various individuals (particularly effective with PTSD–post traumatic stress disorder) and you can watch vicariously how it works.

Go forth and tap!

Posted in anxiety, co-creating, coaching, conscious living, facing your fears, healthy living, hope, relaxation, subconscious | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tap Your Way Happy

tapPart of today’s offering is a rehash of an earlier blog. It’s timely because we’re in a space right now (think economy, politics, Saturn, SATs/ACTs–okay, maybe the last one just applies to our house) where our control is limited. In reality, I believe our control is an allusion and try as we might to act as if we’ve got all balls juggling perfectly, at any given time the Universe can tilt knocking them all cattywampus. The other night I had a dream where I was driving a white BMW on black rainy streets in the city at night, but the car had a mind of its own. At some point I just had to lean into the skid and go along for the ride.

Still, we can always add things to our respective tool boxes and Emotional Freedom Technique is one tool I was reminded about this week. I was at a meeting with energy types (Reiki Masters and the like) and a woman did a demonstration on EFT. Collectively, we did an experiential exercise using tapping. We needed to come up with a collective worry that was stressing everybody out. Guess what it was? I’ll give you a hint. Starts with Hilary ends with The Donald. It didn’t matter what side people were on. The whole caboodle was leaving everybody in the room at a 10 stress-wise when we started. We tapped through it as a group and when we were done, only one woman in a co-ed room of 25 was above a 5. Now that’s saying something.

EFT, aka “tapping”, is a tool I’ve seen thrown around the past decade in various venues with varying degrees of enthusiasm. I think this might be because some people see it as too “wooey.”  I’ve concluded this based on the look on mainstream people’s faces when I bring it up as a tool they might consider.

But I’ve seen it used by therapists, particularly child psychologists with great success. Perhaps that’s because kids, ten and under, are usually more receptive to new ideas than older adults who’ve already developed in their minds what is acceptable and unacceptable. I’ve also seen it used up close and personal used on everyday people for everyday things. It takes 5 minutes and can change the whole direction of a day. I especially love it for the jitters I get before public speaking.

Here’s what I’m going to say about tapping. I think it ROCKS. You can use it any time, any place. It’s free and it’s very, very effective. Don’t believe me? Think it’s too freaky to try? Go find a dark closet where nobody can see you, find something you need to deal with, and try it. I dare you. Worse case scenario, nothing happens. Best case (and most likely case) scenario, problem solved…or at least, substantially reduced. Teachers, try it on your students for that dreaded day after Halloween.

The core thought of EFT is that “all negative emotions are a disruption in the bodies energy system.” The basic concept is that by resetting that energy system, you can reduce and/or eliminate negative emotions like stress, overeating, anger, whatever.

Here’s how it works (and this is summarized nicely in the flow chart above.)

1. Rate the issue from 0 – 10, 10 being worse and 0 being best. Think of it like “Yelping” your issue.

2. Tell it like it is. Even though I have this (describe the issue in your own words), I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Say this 3x while tapping on the karate chop.

3. Reminder Binder. Say “this (whatever your issue is that you described) causes me (whatever happens in your own words).” The idea here is to describe what is happening. I would say for a speech I was about to do “thinking about giving this speech is making me feel like throwing up, I get so nervous when I think about it, etc.,” trying to name it as honestly as you can. While doing this tap through and the points, while starting at the top of your head, 5-7 times. You go through the whole circuit 3x.

4. Status check. After one round, rate your issue again. If not at 0, repeat the set up. Use this wording. “Even though I still have (some of this issue) left, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Keep going around the circuit until you feel you are done.

That’s it. Easy peezy. There are a number of “tapping practitioners” out there to help you tap your way happy if you don’t feel like you are having success on your own. They need guinea pigs to complete certification courses and put in “tapping” hours. If you feel you need support, this may be a way to go. There is also a movie called “The Tapping Solution” that chronicles tapping used in the lives of various individuals (particularly effective with PTSD–post traumatic stress disorder) and you can watch vicariously how it works.

Go forth and tap!

Posted in anxiety, bipolar disorder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Uncovering Truth is In

awakening2

There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?   

Supreme Leader Snoke, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

During the last few weeks of 2015, we movie binged. So many good films were released and sticking close to home, we made the time. On the surface, pure blissed out entertainment. Deeper, I noticed a trend I may have missed if we hadn’t movie-blissed out.

The theme that keeps reinventing itself in popular media, spiritual circles, new age literature–pretty much all around us except on the news–is the cost of not being authentic to who we really are. This not only goes for individuals, but for societies, groups, corporations, countries, the world. There is a cry for authenticity that shouts above the steady drum beat of time. In the movie Joy (Jennifer Lawrence, Robert de Niro), a young 7 year old Joy says to an older 24 year old Joy in a dream, “You’ve been hiding for 17 years! When you’re hiding who you are from others, you’re hiding from yourself!”

The big reveal. Oh, it’s on.

Let’s start with a film we saw a few months ago. Spotlight (Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo) is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. (IMDB) The team that made the discovery was called Spotlight. That was back in the day when papers could actually afford such units. They dug deep and discovered disturbing patterns on sacred ground.  The church is the place that purports to be the meeting place for God, where Souls gather to seek spiritual sustenance. The church is where seekers go to find Truth. When that shows up wrapped in child molestation, the authenticity withers to the ground making followers question all truth. Who can you trust if you can’t trust your spiritual leader? This story of truth seeking could find no more sacred setting.

Well, except for possibly the football field. (Maybe you don’t live in the Friday Night Lights glare, but I do.) In Concussion (Will Smith-nomination!, Alec Baldwin), accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play. (IMDB) The movie shows the truth of what happens to many football players and their cruel, early deaths (many by suicide) due to repeated micro-concussions. When Omalu discovered this (using his own money), he received repeated death threats from groups and organizations who felt he threatened the future of an American past-time.  They discounted him and his work. It was more important to hide the truth, then to face the truth, and work together to find solutions.

In the financial world, The Big Short (Christian Bale–nomination!, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling), we get to go through the build up to 2008 again. (My husband, an investment advisor, was thrilled.) Here’s IMDB weighing in. Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight. Now had this not been so painful personally, I would have cheered these guys on. And truthfully, there was a big part of that continuing theme that deserved to be cheered on– shedding a spotlight on authenticity that needed to be shined.

That takes us to a little Netflix documentary called Cowspiracy: the Sustainability Secret. Another brave investigative report into the business of food. IMDB invites you to follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability. The most outstanding (and disturbing) takeaway from this movie is the number of murders of people speaking out against Big Ag–specifically cattle. During the course of this film, a film backer pulls out due to the “controversial” aspect.

The business of showing true colors, of bringing dark secrets into the light, of being who we really are is afloat. What feels like conspiracy theory, may be indeed a truth that has been covered up in a dark cave. Seems as if Hollywood is ready to shine a spotlight on said caves and pull the truths into the light, painful as that might be. That’s where we find our joy.

I think we’re waking up. I think that’s a good thing.

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.                                                     Carl Jung

Posted in authenticity, awakening, conscious living, pop culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Love, Jamie

love1One of the reasons I started blogging four or five years ago was to have a place to share my authentic voice as it shifts. I don’t read back over my old blogs, but if I did, I’m sure I would see very different content from year to year. I’ll call that evolution.

There are several reasons I blog publicly at this point, and not in the secrecy of my own journal. The main reason is that early on I started getting feedback from readers that something I shared helped them. A problem I was pondering was also a problem they were pondering. A perspective I gained through an experience gave depth to their perspective. Something I said inspired them. I frequently started hearing, “You wrote that just for me, didn’t you?”

I’ve become much more aware of the Collective and how we are all connected energetically. That’s because 98% of the time I write what comes to me through meditation. I listen. I ask what wants to be told that week. There’s a difference when I write from my heart and when I write from my head. People notice and they tell me. And often what I start to write is not what ends up coming out at all in the end. I try and follow the trail.

Take this blog for example. I started out thinking about one thing and it morphed into something else. Over the past months, I’ve been doing much inside work as I move through my Spiritual Practitioner training. It’s a heart/eye/Soul opening time. There is much depth work which revolves around understanding why each of us does what we do, thinks how we think, and feels how we feel.

Moving into the holiday season with that foundation, I noticed feelings in myself rising up that I had attempted to suppress in years past. These feelings, I discovered, arise mainly out of a sense of feeling torn for many years. As a child of divorce at 6, I was forced into a holiday sharing scenario from early on. Yeah, there were the double presents, but there was always a hole at either location…a longing of wanting everybody to be in one spot. This theme reinvented itself throughout the years as I became a divorced parent and had to let my own child share holidays. As a married person, the sharing continued.  There was also the year, I got married between Christmas and New Year’s because those were the only days we could get off. I just always felt like I was running in every direction from October to January.

This year, I forced myself to slow down and feel. I refused to get caught up in the “Are you ready for the holidays?” thing.  I had more of an understanding of why a melancholy wave washes over me when I’m supposed to feel jolly and bright. And sometimes I do feel jolly and bright. But then, the wave comes and I wonder what the heck just happened.  This year, I just rode that feeling instead of trying to dive under the wave before it knocked me down. If something felt like it was going to distract me from sticking with that shadow, I tried to let it go. Now, sitting here at the end of the hustle and bustle of this last quarter, I feel more relaxed with more insight into this unique time of year and all the different emotions it brings out in people.

I guess that sort of ties in with what I started out to write. That is, I began this blog to have a space to be authentic. Marketing-wise, that sucks. A person is supposed to be clearly branded, right? But I’ve never really understood how said branding allows for the process of evolving. It seems to me it’s often a trap, forcing a person into a future based on their past.

So as my last blog entry of 2015, I tell each of you from the bottom of my heart that you are a part of me. I know that we are connected in this One thing called humanity. There is great power in that. I will continue to use this space to tap into that connection. I appreciate your feedback, your comments, your private messages, your encouragement, your stories, your hearts, you.

Oceans of Love, Jamie

Posted in authenticity, healthy living, holidays | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Rose Nose

roses1A few weeks ago, my fab friend Yolie and I spent a beautiful afternoon in The Huntington Library, Tea Room and wandering through the gorgeous gardens in Pasadena, California. It was quite a better place to be in December than the mall.

The rose garden seemed to stretch on for miles. As I type this, I can smell all the varying scents. The purple ones smelled the sweetest, but each had its own distinct nuance. Yols got fixated on finding the one called “Jump for Joy.” Faced with roses as far as the eye could see, we spent some time rose3looking and smelling. I heard a person say, “Imagine all of this in bloom in December.” (Clearly, a cold weather visitor.)

I thought about how important this was–our search for “Jump for Joy” in the rose garden. It wasn’t just finding it. Much of the joy was in the search. Seeing all the different names that someone had to come up with for a particular rose. Smelling all the differences. Admiring the varying shades, the structures of the petals and foliage. Taking the time to bury our noses in the flowers (and making sure to check for bees first!)

rose7

Driving around LA gets crazy frustrating and I know that often keeps people from places like The Huntington, or Descanso Gardens, or the Botanical Gardens in the South Bay. Each of those places, though, offers unsurpassed beauty and grounding through nature that is not to be taken for granted. Where I live now we just walk outside and see a carpet of stars or oak trees that stretch for miles. Every place has its own kind of beauty.

We were reminded of this that day. My friend Yols rejoined the Huntington and vowed to come more often since she only lives about 15 minutes away.

We found it, btw. Meet Jump for Joy. Not in a new car, or new diamond earrings, or a new Apple device. But, here, in the petals of a rose.rose4

During the holiday season, we can get focused on getting ready for joy. We click through a list a mile long, often feeling pressure to do more, be more, feel more. We do things on autopilot because we always have. (And, in breaking with that tradition this year, I took a year off holiday cards because after years of sending cards/letters, I’m convinced the rush of the season is launched with holiday card distribution. This year, I was up for a more peaceful December.) We hurry through and forget to smell all the amazing roses along the way.

The gardens were just what we needed. Nature has a way of magically renewing us. Take time to let it.

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In Search of 10

seaI feel a sense of floundering going on in the collective. It’s as if we’re in this white-capped sea of humanity and so many are out there just treading water, wondering how long they can stay above water.

The question rolls through my head:  is this the truth or just my perspective of the truth? I feel like I’m sitting on the shore and gathering life rafts to throw out to the masses. I run to the beach house for more to make sure everybody who needs one has one. I sense this on many levels from individuals to communities to countries to the world.

Some say it’s the post-Harmonic Convergence of 1987 roll out plan for higher evolution as we move into a less violent and more peaceful energy shift. Hmmmm. If the media has anything to say about that, I think they’d disagree. But then, if it bleeds it leads. Can we trust a media driven by rating necessity to give an accurate read? My interaction with public relations and marketing during my law firm days says, “No way.”

What we can agree on, though, is that so many people are hurting. Stress, depression, anxiety, and general discontent run rampant. An eavesdropper from way back, I often listen to conversations of strangers (mainly for dialogue, but also for a collective consciousness read).  Such a high percentage of the time the words are heavy and wreak of suffering.

In my own informal survey of asking people how happy they are in this final quarter of 2015 on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being perfect, 1 being shit), the highest score I found was a 7. Either I surround myself with unhappy people or, if this is reflective of the population at large, we have an epidemic of general dissatisfaction with this whole life thing on our hands.

Astrologically, we are in a time of looking at our shadows. I believe there are sects of teachers who choose to only see light or only shadow. Both perspectives are dangerous. The truth is that both exist and we are being forced to admit that. I don’t see this as duality. I see both sides as part of one whole. If we ignore part of that whole, we experience fragmentation and confusion of purpose.

But who really wants to look at their shadow? It’s uncomfortable. It’s also not easy to do without letting it impact the self-esteem and confidence that drives our psyche. However, when we don’t, bad things happen. We get sick. We play out dysfunction. We keep ourselves so freaking busy, we don’t have to think about what really matters. Worse still, we don’t evolve towards our life purpose the way we should be evolving. I’m often told by hospice workers that NOBODY wishes they worked harder or worried more during their lifetimes.

They wish they’d had more fun.

Each of us is responsible for looking at our own lives with brutal honesty. What works? What doesn’t? What is driving us closer to 10? What is sucking us towards 1? What are our core values? Have we taken the time to really define what drives us? Are we really living out the purpose which is uniquely ours or are we spending our time making all kinds of excuses why we don’t have time right now?

When we focus on getting ourselves to 10, we affect everyone around us. We walk in a room and light it up. The more people that do this, the more our world lightens. Not only is it our personal responsibility to work through our heavy individual suffering and make it right for our own happiness’ sake, it also reaches way further into the world than we can imagine.

P.S. After I wrote this, we went to see “Heart of the Sea,” Ron Howard’s retelling of how Moby Dick came to be. The imagery was right in line with the energetic storms I talk about how. Synchronici-SEA!

Posted in anxiety, belief systems, beliefs, co-creating, conscious living, healthy living, mindful, positive attitude | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Breaking Tradition

tradition“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Them are fighting words, I know. We hold tight to our traditions. That goes for individuals, families, communities, countries, and world. At this holiday time of year, we can’t help coming face-to-face with what those traditions are and maybe even ask why. Going one step beyond “why,” we ask “are they still working or do we just do this because we’ve always done it?”

Here’s how Merriam defines tradition:

1. a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom) b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable.

What strikes me most is the power of the subconscious surrounding tradition. We do the thing because we’ve always done the thing. One earful of how a friend spent Thanksgiving again with a drunk uncle that she finds quite disturbing, but will most likely see again next year in the name of tradition, makes me wonder why we just go along with repetitive rituals that don’t necessarily serve us. Much anx and holiday blues are called by feelings surrounding doing things in the name of tradition, or by avoiding them.

This is not to say that our traditions don’t give us great joy. My husband and I love our weekly tradition of date night and have consistently held tight to that for the past 20 years. It’s a tradition we look forward to and don’t want to change. As a world, we celebrate many different holiday traditions and religious traditions, and there is a clear beauty and richness that threads through them all.

The idea, though, is to not go unconscious about it.  An interesting exercise might be to point some conscious thought at a t-chart of personal traditions. On the left, traditions that are in place that are done out of obligation. On the right, traditions you love and don’t want to break. Below the chart, new traditions you want to start. Be willing to look at this chart as a working documents. Think about it from year to year. Just because you’ve always eaten turkey on Thanksgiving, do you really need to, want to, have to? Or, this year, might you want to eat Eggs Benedict for dinner, like I did, just because?

It’s interesting, too, what each partner thinks is a tradition and which doesn’t. I had one friend say his wife thought decorating the day after Thanksgiving was a family tradition, and though they had been married for many years, he didn’t realize that. I think comparing lists with your partner (kids?) about what they think is a tradition might not produce identical lists. Asking which ones work could possibly start a fight.

Purely by applying ongoing critical thinking, and looking at tradition with present eyes, we avoid falling into the lull of a decaying mind. It’s not that traditions are good or bad. These are judgy, duality words that we like to slap on things. It’s just that sometimes they keep us from being original thinkers and thinking outside the Christmas box. As long as we stay aware of why we are doing what we do, and whether or not it brings us joy and happiness, we can build, start or maintain traditions that serve our highest good.

 

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Revealing the Real You

Let your light shine. Be a source of strength and courage. Share your wisdom.

Wilferd Peterson

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Once upon a time there was a beautiful, perfectly round pearl. Its creamy color had such depth that when the light hit it, all the colors of the rainbow shined.

The Pearl Maker marveled at this perfect pearl, and buried the pearl deep within a hard clam shell to protect it. The Pearl Maker threw it into the ocean where it floated to the bottom and waited.

The pearl hid there, covered with sand and slime. For many years, it hid safely encased by the hard clam shell. Then one day, it became restless. A feeling nudged deep in its core.

“I want to get out and see the ocean,” said the Pearl to the clam shell. “I don’t want to hide inside you anymore.”

The clam shell was horrified. “You won’t survive. It’s dangerous out there. You’ll be swallowed by a shark.”

The pearl didn’t care. It wanted to get out, to get free. It wanted to be who it was, to show the world its rainbow colors. But it was trapped and it needed help.

It cried out to a nearby dolphin. “Sir, can you help me get out of this shell?”

Without hesitation, the dolphin scooped up the clam shell, dove through the ocean to his friend the otter, and said, “There is a beautifully perfect pearl inside that wants to be free. Can you help?”

The otter cracked the clam shell. The pearl shone brightly. The Pearl Maker smiled from the shore.

At the center of every human being, there is a perfect pearl wanting to realize its beautifully authentic self, and to share that self with the world. Are you sharing yours?

Affirmation: Only I can shine the unique light that is me.

 

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