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Sunday, April 29, 2018

5 Ways of Thinking

Good morning!

Hope you are enjoying feeling Spring in the air, even if we are poised to receive more snow and icy rain tomorrow. My two dogs seem to sense something on the horizon -- they were both up uncharacteristically early, ready at the back door to go frolic and explore.

In college I read Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, about about surviving the concentration camps in Nazi Germany, while daily confronting the challenge to survive when there seems no reason to live.

“We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way... When we are lo longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Frankl’s mother, father, brother and wife all died in the camps. He survived four camps including Auschwitz by somehow being able to transcend the threat of his own death by being aware that he had the ability to control his attitude about it.

What do we as individuals do when we are faced with severe personal trials or events beyond our control that create fear, doubt, despair and dissolution? If we focus only upon the worst of it, upon negativity, worry or anger, we only feed the fear. Obsessive thoughts are always based in fear. These thoughts are not reality based and are often exaggerated. It is the fear behind obsessive thoughts that drives up our anxiety level.

Many people are obsessed with worry about what may happen during these turbulent transitions. During this time it is important to replace fearful thoughts with hopeful and positive thoughts. It is the unreal “what ifs” that keep us in an emotional and mental turmoil. While fear may be a thief of peace, we are the ones robbing ourselves of precious time -- time that we could be celebrating the gift of life with our family and friends.

Remember Frankl‘s words: “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms; to choose one’s attitude in in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Fear may come true for that which one is afraid of.”

Do not allow these uncertain times to dictate your thoughts and enslave your spirit. Train your mind to think and feel positive about what your future holds. We create with our thoughts, so let’s create abundance, ease and grace for ourselves and our world.

Five ways of thinking that help me to feel good and create a positive future:

  1. In every moment I choose to feel that the the highest and best outcome is being orchestrated for me.
  2. I choose thoughts that are positive and hopeful, and avoid negative messages, people, and the news.
  3. I co-create a joyful life for myself by living in the moment and avoiding the fear-creating “what ifs.”
  4. I make it a priority to connect and align with my Source and Spirit every day, breathing, exercising, practicing gratitude and taking extremely good care of myself.
  5. I will not be a victim of disconnection and fear, and commit to living a powerful, positive and happy life.

In Reiki training we learn about the five Reiki Principles, which serve as a foundation for a way to live your life. These are:

Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, do not anger.
Honor your parents, teachers and elders.
Earn your living honestly.
Show gratitude to every living thing.

Simple, but a very good practice.

I wish you much peace and the power to choose what you want.


Intention for the New Year

We are currently experiencing a rather turbulent confluence of energy patterns. Old dynamics dying hard. New, more expansive ways of being endeavoring to get a foothold. Increased frequencies, decreased magnetics.

Fancy words to say that these times are not for the weak of heart!

I thought I’d share a simple intention that you could bring to this time to positively engage the energies that are present.

~ Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, filling your lungs to capacity.Connect to your Center Below, 24” beneath your feet. Commune with this center, open to it, breathe with it.

~ Connect to your Center Above, 24” above the top of your head. Commune withthis center, open to it, breathe with it.

~ Be in your Core, connect with your heart, feel yourself held within the Lattice, or the Universal Matrix that connects all things.

~ Intend to connect with the alignment and fullness of the energies present now, the moon, the solstice, the expansion of the heavens with the Earth.

~ Intend that you would like to be a part of this expansion with ease and grace.

~ Intend to release anything that is holding you back or limiting you from this.

~ Intend to focus your attention on what is good in your life, expecting the best.

~ Be in the feeling of gratitude and ease, seeing your life evolving peacefully,with ease, joy, prosperity and grace. Intend to always be in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.

~ Breathe this in. Be it. Know it. Feel it.

And so it is.


All the best to you. 

Waking Up: For Me it Began With the Wallpaper

I’m often asked, “How did your spiritual path begin?”

The earliest memory that I have of “something greater” is when I was about seven years old. When the world would become too much for me, I would go and lock myself in our downstairs bathroom. The bathroom was wallpapered in a pattern of the streets of France. There were little cafés, pastry shops and brasseries. Little alleyways with flower shops and confectioners.

I would imagine myself inside a scene of the wallpaper, visiting first one shop, and then the next. Of course I would be warmly welcomed by the shopkeeper, treated to some wonderful French delicacy, and heaped with praise for being the obviously special kid that I was. These people in the wallpaper sure recognized me and my brilliance – why was it so hard for those family members outside the bathroom?

While I was in there imagining, I had another little trick. I noticed as I started to focus on the wallpaper, I would also start to notice my breathing – like it was really loud and plain and really big. I started to focus on it more and more, to the exclusion of anything else. And as I did this, I noticed that I started to feel better. I started to feel bigger, almost like I was not my body, but something much bigger.

I started to notice that if I just said to myself as I inhaled nice and slow, “B----R-----E------“ and exhaled nice and slow “A-------T-------H-------E” and just practiced saying that word as I did it, all these weird and wonderful feelings came over me. I felt so much clearer. So much more at peace.  And whatever (or whomever) I had gone into the bathroom to escape didn’t really seem to matter too much anymore.

Of course at that time I had no context for this experience -- I didn’t know that I was tapping into the ancient art of meditation. For me, it was just my little secret thing that I did when I needed to feel better than I did at the moment.

When I was a freshman in high school I read the book, “Life After Life,” by Dr. Raymond Moody. Dr. Moody has done extensive research on the near death experience, documenting the common stages that these people pass through. When I read that book I just knew that it was the truth. And the next time I had that feeling of knowing truth was when I discovered the Seth books in college.

Seth Speaks and The Nature of Personal Reality totally rocked my world.

As it turns out, I’ve discovered a few more of those “little things I do” over the years. And they have really helped me to have a life that feels good. My work is about sharing them with you so you may feel good too.

My Roots: Rising Above Depression

When I lived in Chicago in my early twenties, I got severely depressed. I was working at the Lincoln Park Zoo as an editorial assistant, living in a garden studio apartment and doing my best to just manage my life and be responsible day to day.

I felt overwhelmed, unsafe, out of my league for the work I was doing, and like it took every ounce of my energy and focus to get through the day without people thinking I was a sham or crazy (I was convinced I was both).

At one point, it got so bad that I couldn’t leave my apartment. I felt numb and heavy, like there was a giant shroud over my head and body that weighed me down and I didn’t have the strength to lift off. It was difficult to even summon the strength to talk, so I stopped answering my phone.

I was absolutely exhausted, but I couldn’t sleep. I think I was awake for more than 72 hours straight. My nervous system was completely fried, and I felt trapped inside a haze of dense, dull, jittery heaviness.

Thank goodness I had people that noticed that I sort of disappeared. My friend Andy showed up at my door and knocked until I answered it. He said that my friends were concerned about me, and wanted to know what they could do.

I knew I needed help, I just didn’t know what kind of help I needed. So we got out the phonebook (google wasn’t yet born), looked under “mental health” and found a woman in the area.

It was a woman shrink in a Lincoln Park West high rise that suggested that I read a Cosmopolitan magazine and take a nice hot bath. Hmmmm. Not exactly the solution that I was looking for.

“And that will be ninety dollars please,” a veritable fortune for me at the time.

The next doctor I found was some guy out in the ‘burbs who looked a lot like Alfred Hitchcock. After listening to me for about three minutes, he prescribed anti-depressants. The tri-cyclic variety. His advice was, “take one pill the first day, two the next, three the next,” and so on until I took seven of these pills in one day.

I don’t know if you have any experience with tri-cyclic anti-depressants, but at about day four of this regimen, I felt like Timothy Leary on a really bad acid trip.

So now what?

I knew that depression “ran in my family.” My father had put together a family tree documenting three or four generations of our genes. Quite frankly, it didn’t look good for me.

I was very aware of some of these histories. My grandmother spent the last 25 years of her life in a mental institution. Unbridled electric shock treatments had annihilated any semblance of her former self.

My mother was committed to in-house treatment for bi-polar disorder several times when I was growing up. Once in high school I came home to find her rocking in a rocking chair, her arms crossed over her chest and staring blankly into space, completely unresponsive to my words or touch.

Others included a guy who jumped off a roof, a guy who cut off his ear, and several who just simply disappeared.

I knew I didn’t want to follow in these ancestral footsteps, and the conventional means that I pursued didn’t do the trick. Taking a bath, drugging myself silly, and talking ad nauseum about my problems didn’t seem to do anything to shift them.

I had a realization at that point.

I had to wake up and help myself. And I would do it my way.

That realization is what started me on the lifelong path of understanding the chemistry of emotion and the energetic circuitry that underpins and creates our physical experience.

Taking a Reiki class was the first step on the journey that I began to do that.

Since that time, I have now taught hundreds of people, including physicians, nurses, acupuncturists, animal healers and communicators and mothers of special needs children.

My classes, sessions and products are the culmination of what I have found to be the best energetic information and processes to manage your emotion, thought, and physicality.

This work has enabled me to be happy, healthy and present in this weird, wonderful thing called life. May it do the same for you.

The Power of a Healing Practice

When I meet with a client for the first time, I explain that our process of working together is generally two-fold:

In session we address the core concerns and issues that are at play, and do the energetic work to transform, unravel or dis-create the current operating systems that are responsible for their present experience. And then it is up to the client to maintain the new operating system that we have created together – to make it the stronger, more practiced, and more familiar way of being.

Because we live in an observer-based world, it’s essential that we learn how to look for what we want to see.

A daily practice can help you transform and evolve the parts of yourself and your life that you may not want to see -- that rascally little part of ourselves known as the sabateur, the resistor, the one who really doesn’t want to change because it takes too much effort.

And it will certainly help you to create what you do want to see with more finesse and ease.

It is essential to have a Daily Practice of Self Care, where you carve out the time to commune with the larger aspects of who you are for assistance, guidance and support. You don’t have to do it all by yourself!

The difference between those who take the time to line up their energy with their inner beings and those who don’t is the difference between getting behind a car and pushing it and getting into the driver’s seat and turning on the ignition.

Having a Daily Practice allows you to leverage the power of the universe, to align with universal forces that can help pave the way with you and for you. I’m a pragmatist at heart, and tend toward the lazy side, so anything that makes my life easier I’m way into!

There is a scene in the hockey movie Miracle, where the American team is practicing together for one of the first times as the American team. The Coach is having them do "suicide" sprints and essentially wearing the hell out of them. At the end of each sprint he asks the players, “Who are you and who do you play for?” and each player yells back their name and college team in response.

The sprints continue.

It is an excruciating scene to watch, as the players become more and more exhausted, befuddled, annoyed and angry. At one point a player collapses on the ice vomiting, clearly beyond worn out.

And still the coach asks the same questions and the sprints continue.

Until finally one player gets the gist of the question, and yells defiantly back at the coach, “I am team America!”

With that, the coach says, “Good night fellas, sleep well,” and heads off the ice into the shadows.

The coach wanted the players to understand that in order to up their game, to play at Olympic standards, each person had to give up the idea of their old identity. The new operating system that the coach here was installing was that each player now identified themselves first as the member of a new team, team USA, and then as an individual on that team.

Similarly, the principle behind Reiki, meditation or any good spiritual practice is the recognition that you too are part of a team – team Universe. While your partner may be tricky to spot with the naked eye, it is still the backbone of your team, your most trusted coach, your personal band of organizers and advisors, all working on your behalf around the clock.

A Daily Practice will help you to maintain and direct your conscious collaboration with your team. And have a darn good time in the process.

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