Any time I feel like I’m hitting brick walls of resistance, nothing is flowing, I’m edgy, and the magic has disappeared, at some point I come to the following realization – I’ve stopped doing what was working. It doesn’t happen all of a sudden, it’s usually a gradual shift for me. Whenever we experience a shift from things flowing, to hitting walls and feeling out of the flow, it would be my suggestion to go back to the basics.
For myself, the basics include things like making spiritual connection daily, finding time to exercise and walk outdoors, eating healthy foods, writing or journalling, connecting with people, meditation, Reiki, and creating time for my hobbies like artwork, music, jewelry making. It’s not that I have to do all of these things every day or even every week, but am I doing any of them? Or am I just getting up, hopping onto Facebook, checking my phone, showering, and heading off to work, and then coming home, checking my Facebook, eating dinner, watching T.V. and shuffling off to bed?
One of the most important parts of my day is making spiritual connection. What does that mean? For me, it means talking to the Universe in some way, whether it be in a journal, or by lighting a candle and having a conversation with my guides, with the Divine. This week I’ve rearranged my little “altar” with some new crystals, I light a candle, and I sit and meditate at least once a day in front of it. I’m not even asking for anything, or offering anything. Just getting silent and sitting with crystals and items that help me to feel spiritually full.
After a long winter, I notice that my soul yearns to get outside, and not just for a walk to work, but a walk that has no destination in mind, perhaps down by the river, or in Jackson Park. Any time I go out into Nature and connect by observing the animals, spending time with the trees, breathing in the fresh air, I feel full, and connected to my Universe.
When I make time to connect in Nature, to connect with the Universe in meditation or prayer, when I return to the basics, things return to being in the flow. Why? Because I’m more aware. I’m asking for daily guidance and receiving it. I’m paying attention to the synchronicities and heeding the advice given through them. I’m listening better to the people in my daily life. There is more awareness to my thought process, and I can turn off the constant chatter and listen to my intuition. I get out of the driver’s seat, I hand the keys back to the Divine, and the ride is soooo much smoother as I take a passenger seat on the Bus of Life. Ahhhh… back in the flow.
So, if our life is feeling out of balance, and the magic that we were experiencing is currently not there… let’s ask our self, “What was I doing when it was in the flow, that I am not doing now?” And let’s do that!
It’s so easy to get caught up in our busy schedules, finding time for our jobs, for our families, for our friends. In that agenda we carry around, whether it be paper form or on our phone, where is our “me time” prioritized? Somewhere on that agenda does it say “Hot bath with candles and some Snatam Kaur playing”? Yoga or the gym might make it onto the agenda, but rarely does the “down time” make it on there. I know my agenda needs a LOT more hot baths scheduled in, not to mention a few “curling up on the couch and reading a favourite book”‘s , thrown in, with a “doing absolutely nothing” on top, for good measure. With all of the demands of life, how do we fix this?
By doing exactly what I just suggested in the first paragraph – put it in our agenda, and honour it just as we would honour a doctor’s appointment, or a client coming in, or taking our child to soccer practice. Don’t scratch it out when something “more important” comes up – leave it in, because it IS important. When we exhaust our self or stretch the self to the limit by not taking enough down time, we don’t have 100% to give to anyone else either. In fact, we might only be giving everyone 50%, because 100% went out the window last week.
I’m writing this blog today, because I need to hear what it is I’m writing to you. Like many people, it’s so much easier for me to see what you need to do to be healthy and honour yourself, and it is so difficult for me to apply this to myself. You reading this… I know you, and you are exactly like me! You can advise everyone else to take some time out, but you find it really hard to do it yourself. So let’s you and I make a deal today, I’ll tell you, that it would be great if you took some time out, and started scheduling some hot bath time in on your agenda, and I will listen when you tell me I need some hot bath time on my agenda.
And what’s the result of you and I listening to each other, and taking a bit more time out? Our creative juices get flowing again, we feel inspired, we feel passionate about our work and hobbies, we have 110% to give to our friends, family and co-workers, and we honour our self. Because if we don’t honour her, who will?
The women’s movement has made huge strides during my lifetime. No, we’re not where we need to be, but it’s getting closer – at least here in North America. I count myself blessed every day to live where I do. As women or men, if we are looking to help improve the lives of women, the majority of the work needs to be done off of this continent, to bring education to 100% of girls around the world; to put an end to sex trafficking; to bring wage equality world wide; to help end domestic violence world wide; to bring family planning education and options to every woman on the globe. But what can we do right here at home, in Canada?
We can start, by speaking up about things that happen every day here in Canada. If we are out in public, or get sent a forwarded email, or we’re on Facebook and we see one of those images that is meant to suggest that this woman shouldn’t have left her house is THAT outfit – instead of adding a “LOL”, or ignoring it, maybe stop and ask ourselves what ramifications that choice has. Are we trying to make ourselves feel better, by making someone else feel worse? Are we suggesting that as a woman we can’t go out of the house wearing whatever the heck we choose? I was at a Women’s Networking event, not all that long ago, and during the presentation portion of the event, women started making fun of women who go to the grocery store early in the morning in their slippers and pajamas. What if she’s a mother, and her child is sick, and she’s doing her damned best to help her family? What if she’s just too damn tired today to give a crap what we think? As a woman, I want to stand up for a woman’s right to do WHATEVER she wants – not just be an astronaut, an engineer, or a doctor – I want to stand up for her right to wear her pajamas to the grocery store at noon! I was embarrassed to be in the room when that pajama-slamming portion of the evening started, and I haven’t been back to one of their events because of it. Women who slam other women, are not what I want to be part of.
The same goes of course for “body shaming” – not participating in words and actions that suggest anyone should be ashamed of their body size or build. The same goes for “slut shaming” – not participating in words and actions that suggest a woman is responsible for violent acts against her based on her sexual choices or clothing choices. Sexual liberation means exactly that – we have been liberated to make our own choices.
If WE want to be empowered, WE have to empower each other. We should be raising other women up every opportunity we get! We should be encouraging our sister-friends for their accomplishments, for their inner beauty, for their tears, and for their ability to be authentic. It takes a lot of courage to be authentic in today’s world, and allow others to see us vulnerably, as we really are. And if who that woman is, is crazy-assed different than everyone else, not giggling and pointing, or saying something later behind their back, but being able to walk right up to them and say, THANK YOU FOR HAVING THE COURAGE TO BE YOU! YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL! “Crazy-assed different” should be the BEST compliment we could ever give a woman, or a man for that matter!
So please, take time to ponder this International Women’s Day, about how all of us, can empower ALL OF US, not just some of us.
Like many people, I have been drawn to music my entire life. From banging on pots and pans as a child with Mom’s wooden spoons, to singing around the campfire, to playing the clarinet, saxophone and violin as a youth… I now find myself drawn back to my roots with music. I have attended drum circles for a number of years, and have graduated to facilitating them. All I really knew was I felt connected, energetically cleansed, and ALIVE when I stepped away from the circle and went home. The feeling of the drums vibrating through me lasted for hours, sometimes days, and it felt great! And why not? Think about it. Sound physically moves things, not just “energy”. Place something on top of your speakers and then turn them up loud, and you can watch sound move things. Bang a drum really loudly, and listen to the pictures on your walls rattle. The drums are the simplest way of seeing that sound moves energy, because it moves stuff in the physical realm. And it’s doing that inside of us, with our cells, our organs, our blood flow, our thought waves, our energy body (chakras and meridians). It’s shaking things up, and revitalizing us.
My next step was to move to Tuning Fork training. Because I had worked with the drums and energy for so long, it was an easy shift for me to understand how these incredibly fast, finely tuned vibrations, could move energy, and cause the physical and energetic body to respond. When we listen to the forks next to our ears, certain sounds resonate very deeply with us, and if we pay attention, we become aware of which part of our body we “feel” the sound in. Other sounds are disturbing to us, and we can feel those in the body too, and our impulse is to stop that sound, but if we follow through with it, we might find that something “shifts” by just being in that sound. I was amazed when I received my first tuning fork session from Kyle Glassford, because even though I couldn’t hear the forks when they were doing work over my chakras, I could FEEL it. They weren’t touching me, in fact they were up to a foot away from my body at times, but I could feel the fork spinning, or turning, or brushing. I was amazed at how sensitive my body was to sound that it couldn’t physically hear! Tuning Forks can’t be used for group meditations due to the high frequency of the sound – it’s not loud enough for groups, but they make for wonderful personal energy healing sessions.
Recently I have acquired a full chakra set of Crystal Singing Bowls *insert happy dance*. For me, it feels like bridging the gap between the drums and the Tuning Forks – because, like the drums, the sound is incredibly loud, with deep vibrations, I can feel it moving through my physical body, they move stuff in their direct vicinity, and like the forks, it is targeting specific areas of the body with the notes. Each bowl is tuned to resonate with one of the 7 main chakra centers in our body; chakra centers are all aligned with glands, organs, and the emotional body. What I learned with Tuning Forks, can be directly applied to the bowls. Through the use of raising up, and lowering certain chakra energies in the body, we can facilitate activation of specific healing, and personal development. The possibilities are endless – we can activate and heighten intuition, creativity, awakening and healing the inner child, improving patience, working through anger, etc. etc. etc. It’s not just about balancing the chakras – although that certainly is one of the wonderful and beautiful things that Crystal Singing Bowl sessions and meditations can do.
For anyone curious about what crystal bowls are made of – they are composed of 99.992% quartz, which is crushed, and then heated to a ridiculous heat (4000 degrees) and then molded.
Some Science-y Stuff
Sound initiates change in the immune, autonomic, endocrine, and neuropeptide systems. Organs, atoms, cells, glands – all levels of the body, large and small – absorb and emit sound. Our body, including our brain waves when in a relaxed state, vibrate at a fundamental frequency of about 8 cycles per second, and this entrains and attunes us to the basic electromagnetic field of the earth.
To look further into sound and healing, one would definitely want to explore cymatics, which is a study of patterns and shape, and sound. Dr. Hans Jenny, a Swiss scientist, first opened up the field of cymatics by studying vibration in physical form – using sand, iron fillings and other materials. The result of these studies was a plethora of kaleidoscopic images. I have seen some amazing videos on YouTube about cymatics – look it up, check it out, it really is ultra-interesting! If sound is creating these beautiful shapes and patterns in sand, what exactly is it doing on a cellular level with our bodies?
Medical doctors and scientists are now applying and translating the field of cymatics into medical science and practice. Mitchell Gaynor, M.D., director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Stang-Cornell Cancer Prevention Center, wrote a book called Sounds of Healing. Dr. Gaynor uses Tibetan bowls and crystal bowls in his cancer treatments. His book and his personal work provides a thorough study of sound healing and a holistic approach to mind-body healing.
A few other examples in the medical field are Sir Peter Guy Manners, M.D.. He is an English osteopath, and is using cymatic therapy to create a near-ideal metabolic state in a cell or an organ. There is also Jeffrey Thompson, D.C., who implements a technique called “Sonic Induction Therapy”, using sounds from nature and primordial sounds to promote healing at the cellular level.
*thank you to Crystal Tones for this information*
Ok, Enough Science-y Stuff!
Science has come a long way in exploring the effects of sound and music in the body, and it still has a long way to go. The holistic healing community is way ahead of science, and so is our natural intuitive sense that leads us to enjoying music – whether it is songs on the radio, chanting and mantras, singing and clapping our hands, or singing a lullabye to an infant. Sound is soothing. Sound is healing. And our natural inclination towards sound suggests it has something that we really need.
Reiki has been an incredible blessing in my own life, from the very first time I experienced a treatment. I didn’t know what chakras were, or emotional blocks, and I certainly didn’t think anything was going to happen, but I was open to trying. What happened was, I was very relaxed, enjoying a nice peaceful treatment, and then when their hands went to my tummy area (Sacral chakra), I started bawling my eyes out, and I couldn’t stop. What the heck was going on? I was a skeptic, and in that moment right there, I knew that Reiki had something to offer me, and I couldn’t explain what or why.
Looking back, I know what it was. Every emotion I had ever buried with drugs and alcohol and food was sitting right there in my Sacral Chakra, unprocessed, and festering like a war-zone wound. When the chi (ki) energy flowed through, and that spot was physically touched with healing and love, a tremendously stubborn block experienced its first moment of unblocking. And the tears flowed, and the healing started.
A few months later an opportunity to learn Reiki in Arizona presented itself, and for the next six months I studied under a beautiful friend and mentor, Dr. Annelle Henson. I had no idea why I was taking Reiki classes, I just knew I was supposed to be there – my intuition was saying “learn this”. And I did. And how I wanted to heal the world and change the world and give everyone else the gift that had been given to me!
I stayed in that mindset for a few years, thinking that this was about me helping others to change their lives, and partly, it is. Interesting thing about people in the healing community is that they have time to help and heal everyone else, and seldom do they find time to nurture and heal themselves. One day it dawned on me that every time I give a treatment to someone else, I am receiving the same treatment – all of that beautiful chi energy is flowing through me, to them. In fact, I receive the treatment before they do. What a sneaky way for the Universe to make sure that people helping others, are helping themselves too!
I teach Reiki now. And each class that comes through, teaches me so much about compassion, and love, and openness, and kindness. In my students I see my own healing journey and believe me when I say, my journey isn’t close to over (LOL). I see people so excited and committed to helping their family and friends through their own knowledge of Reiki, and I feel so grateful to be able to assist them on that journey of love. And I know that every moment they are devoted to helping a family member or a friend, they are devoting a moment to themselves, and their own healing.
Thank you Universe for all of the blessings that Reiki has given to me, our friends, our community. As a good friend loves to say “Reiki baby!”.
This Spring Equinox 2015, on March 20th, we are going to be swimming in extra awesome, powerful energy! The Equinox in and of itself is very powerful and shifting energy. It is a time for planting new ideas, getting ready to grow what it is we dreamed up during the winter, and preparing our mental, spiritual and emotional garden for the coming year. The Equinox is a time of great change.
Add to that the energy of the New Moon. New Moons are a time of new ideas, new dreams, new projects. Time to usher in change.
Add to that the energy of a Super Moon – meaning that the Moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its rotation, making its pull on us especially charged and strong. Super Moons make new beginnings and change even more momentous, dramatic and climactic. The Divine Feminine is linked with the Moon, so expect raised emotions, a bit more drama than usual and lots of tears and laughter. The male half of our population may find themselves frustrated during this period, not understanding why the heightened emotions.
Now we add to this, the Solar Eclipse! During this time our personal development and spiritual path, takes a new turn in the wheel, bringing a completion of the old, and puts new projects on our path. All eclipses usher in change, big change. It is a time for making new commitments, planting new ideas, starting new projects, taking the next step in our spiritual development, speeding things up.
So without even adding the astrological aspects to the upcoming Equinox, we can see that BIG CHANGE is coming and being ushered in this Spring. The Equinox brings change, the New Moon brings change, the Solar Eclipse brings change! It’s time to start meditating now to prepare for that change. What seeds do we want to plant as the Spring Time Sun comes back to us? Be aware of the heightened emotions. Be aware that old lessons are coming to a close. Be aware that new lessons are waiting on the dark side of the Moon. We may not see the change coming, until it’s right on our doorstep. Meditation will help us with acceptance and calm.
We will be drumming the night of the Spring Equinox, Super New Moon Solar Eclipse. Energies will be high! Intentions will be powerful when combined with the drums! The Divine Feminine will sit front and center at this circle. Start considering now, what it is that you want to toss into the circle. My advice at this time, is to get silent in the next few weeks. Listen to your own heartbeat. Listen to the rhythm of you. When the circle is formed, or you find yourself standing outside under the Moon, your Soul will know what the next beat is… the next turning of the Wheel… the next spiral of development.