Thursday, November 7, 2019

Meeting Olaf




This year, in one of my women's circles we decided to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day, which is still widely known in the Americas as Columbus day.  Our hostess was inspired to have us think of our ancestors twenty generations back, in honor of our own indigenous roots.  So we did.

Standing in meditation, in a quiet corner by myself, instead of twenty generations, I suddenly imagined more like two hundred, all lined up behind me.  And not unlike in a dream, they all somehow managed to fit in a space less than ten feet long.  There at the end of the line stood a big tall man, one of my great, great, great, great, great... grandfathers.

I'm Danish on my mother's side.  I'm also English, Scottish and Irish on my father's side.  But mostly, I'm Danish.  My body type is very much aligned with the matrilineal side.  We are the big tall blondes.  Graced with smooth, fine, clear skin that tans easily, and bright blue eyes, my grandfather, my two uncles, my mother, one of my brothers and myself have moved through the world as the gentle giants that we are, the men being mostly six feet or taller.

And I'm glad to say, "gentle" because I feel that during WW11, the Danes truly earned that term.  I've heard that when Hitler invaded Denmark, the King and Queen publicly expressed the sovereign rights of their people, but said that they wanted not one drop of Danish blood to be spilled.

The Danes did not fight, they showed their protest in my many ways, but they did not engage in war.  As Hitler instructed the Danish Jews to wear yellow arm bands, the entire populace, following the lead of their monarchs, all donned those arm bands in solidarity.  And every one of the Danish Jews were secretly and safely escorted out of the country.

During the daytime, when the clocks would strike the hour, for just one minute, every Dane would freeze at their posts.  If crossing the streets, they'd halt.  If working in the laundry, they'd pause.  If standing at an assembly line for Hitler's war machine, they'd stop, and let the parts go moving on by.  It didn't last long enough for the soldiers to kill anyone for it, but it did interfere, and it regularly registered the message that the Danish people were being held to these tasks against their will.

Then at night, while the young German soldiers were patrolling at their posts, the Danish people would go down and offer them a cup of nice warm soup and invite them into their homes, asking only that they leave their gun belts at the door.  There, sitting at the tables, visiting with the Danish people, many of the soldiers had a change of heart.  They grew to love the Danish people and a significant number of them defected.

We don't know what happened to those soldiers, but what we do know is that Hitler had to keep replenishing his army in Denmark.  He had to keep sending in new troops of his finest Nazi youth, every couple of weeks to maintain the occupation.

So, there I was, in my women's circle, knowing this, and suddenly seeing this huge strapping man of a Dane, one of my very distant ancestors, standing there, not only looking at me, but looking into me, as I was looking into him.

Now, this man was a Viking.  He was from way, way back there, from another time entirely, from the land that we now know as Denmark.  Perhaps you are already aware that back then, the Vikings were among some of the most violent people our earth has known.  These were the father stabbers and mother rapers.  They would travel far and wide to plunder and demolish.  Their raids were unthinkably bloody with entire villages being brutally wiped out, all lives destroyed in a single afternoon of extreme carnage and utter disregard.

And here he was, right before me, looking into my face as I was looking into his.  It was like looking right into a mirror, only he was a man, but the same facial features, the same eyes, the same tousle to the hair.  It was like seeing my identical twin across the millennia, the same phenotype, exactly.

And as I saw him, knowing what I do about Vikings and my genetic past, he saw me and my not-at-all distant past as the little American blondie girlie.  He could see that I was happily raised in the middle class, born to well-meaning and fairly successful parents who loved each other and their children.  He could see that I had spent my childhood, learning how to engage good-heartedly with others, largely spending my time exploring the beauties of nature and becoming someone 'who wouldn't hurt a fly.'

He saw all this and took it in.  And together we both saw the many gradual steps of change that lay between us, in all of the generations of lives that had come and gone during these many hundreds of years.  We saw and acknowledged the gradual shift in values, from honoring personal property rights to respecting the preciousness and sanctity of life.  And I realized in that moment that I have spent my whole life trying to be as kind as I can, from the pets, animals, friends and family members of my youth to the people and places my life touches today, I do strive to be kind and fair and honoring.

With that I heard his name, my Viking ancestor, 'Olaf.'  And he sent me a message, through the layers of generations that lay between us.  And that message wasn't 'gratitude,' as I might have thought, it was 'evolve.'

The natural state of progression, the growth of consciousness, individually and universally is to evolve in increasingly greater understanding of the preciousness of life and of love, and of everything.  My prayer is that I may continue to do so for all of the days of my life.





























Sunday, September 29, 2019

Strategies for Working with Grief




We all experience grief and we need to feel our feelings around loss, but we can help ourselves to lessen the duration of our suffering by finding and using tools for easing our sadness.  This five minute video gives some options for working through grief.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

When Death Comes

I was recently asked to be the 'Master of Ceremonies' at a friend's 'Celebration of Life.  Few knew that her death was near and most in attendance had been surprised to learn that one so vital and full of life and love had gone.  

The request for my participation had come just the night before and I had dropped everything to get ready.  While preparing to leave for the gathering, I found myself in a crisis of confidence.  How could anyone even begin to encapsulate or sum-up or even speak to a life so large? 

I shared my trepidation with my friend Susan, asking for her help.  She said that she used to not like memorials at all until one day she realized that everyone who was in attendance had been deeply touched in some way by the person who had died and that they carried with them a part of that dear one in their souls.  In that way, the person lived on in the spirits of those who had loved them.  This turn of perspective gave me what I needed to proceed and I opened my talk with that thought.

My sweet darling little kitten died in my arms a few months ago.  Hit on the boulevard, internal injuries, she breathed her last puff of breath into mine.  My younger brother has also now passed, even more recently, end stage alcoholism.  My other brother's wife said her final goodbyes just a few weeks ago, brain cancer.

My mother died when I was just nineteen, my dad some fifteen years ago now, my grand parents, both sides, my husband's parents and his grandparents too.  Now, two siblings and a few best friends have all taken their turn crossing the great divide between life and death.

As it is sometimes said, "Not one of us gets out of here alive."  We all go at sometime.  And when we do, too often we shatter the lives of those we leave behind.  Nothing is the same, nothing feels right, because nothing is right.  It takes a long time for feelings of rightness and normalcy to return.

Sometimes in our despair we seek retribution.  The 'If only''s, swarm in and occupy our minds.  Our days turn gray.  We hate ourselves for what was or was not done, judging ourselves more harshly than we would anyone else, and all of this at a time when we need gentleness most of all.  If we are lucky, the tears come again and again, washing away our pain, little by little, drop by drop, one day at a time.

The story of the mustard seed comes to mind, a valued parable from India.  It tells of a young woman whose child died.  She goes railing and screaming to the holy man of the village, insisting that if he is so connected with Divinity then he must bring her little one back to life.  He tells her that he will, and that the only price for his service is a single mustard seed.  Mustard grows abundantly nearly everywhere round the world and everyone in her community always had mustard seeds on hand.  "But," he said, "This seed must come from a household that has not been adversely touched by death."  

So, she set out on her quest, with her lifeles child swaddled in her arms, to find this seed.  Going door to door, visiting home after home, those who answered her call, seeing the grief she was in, took her into their own hearts and homes and shared with her about the deaths they had known.  

Soon enough she realizes that none of us are untouched by death.  And that all of our hearts have been blown open by loss.  With this she is finally able to set her little one down and let go.

As one friend of mine has said, "Life lurches on."  And somehow, over time, we do generally manage to find peace again. 

The thoughts we choose to think, and we do choose, have a huge impact on our recovery.  If we stay in that place of brutal self-recrimination, or if we label ourselves with limiting thoughts like, "I'll never love again," or "I'm a bad person who doesn't deserve anything,"  then our emotional recovery may never fully come.  But if we let go of that and become a little kinder to ourselves and open up to the possibility of finding peace, or even joy again, we can make steady progress back toward lives of love.  

No, it will never be the same.  It will be different.  But we can still find a sense of wholeness.  And that is what our dearly departed loved ones would want for us anyway.  They would not want for us to be sad for the rest of our lives.  They would want us to be happy, living life to the fullest and celebrating our days, on this beautiful planet, in this love filled world of ours.

My blessings to you all.






Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Healing Rotator Cuff Injuries, Part 2



So often we can make tremendous strides in healing our bodies using natural methods.  Please enjoy this seven minute video with tips and exercises that can help to bring ease and speed the healing of minor rotator cuff injuries.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

What If The Future Could Affect The Past?



What If The Future Could Affect The Past?  Well, guess what?  It does.  

In the well-regarded and peer-reviewed Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Daryl Bem, a well-respected academic psychologist, showed that present time behaviors can be influenced by future events.  His experiments were then replicated, independently, ninety times, in thirty-three laboratories, in fourteen different countries around the world.  

That's not all.  Hundreds of experiments on precognition, (afore-knowing,) have been successfully conducted, and have then had their results published, since 1935.  Yet, interestingly enough, psychic ability and precognition is still considered taboo in the western mindset.

So, despite the impeccable science and ample replications, there are continual and persistent attempts at discrediting these findings.  I've heard it said that too often we vehemently deny new ideas until suddenly they are overwhelmingly accepted.  

This brings me to the point I'd like to make.  It's a good idea for us to think fondly of our future selves, who are looking back at us today.  To me, this is almost like calling on our angels.  When we imagine our future selves being who we'd like to be and doing what we'd like to do, not only do we pave the path for those outcomes, as any good day dreamer knows, but we also open the doors for magic to happen in our lives.  Real magic.

From his humble beginnings as a bell hop, Conrad Hilton knew that one day he would own and operate many hotels.  Undoubtedly as an older man, he must have looked back upon his younger years of drive and conviction, with pride and fondness.  The youthful daydreamer met the experienced and seasoned mentor in the etheric realms of creation as past and future came together in harmonic resonance.  

Thoughts like this give me great hope and joy.  Think of how effective we could become, if we all began to realize this synergistic creativity as our birthright, our very human nature.

We look upon our children with hope and pride, why not look upon ourselves this way too.  We can start by looking back with fondness at how we were ten years ago, or twenty or thirty and seeing how far we've come.  We can commend our younger selves and pat us on the back, or hold out a helping hand and imagine giving ourselves a leg up into the next phase of our life's growth and journey.

Then, as well, why not imagine ourselves ten, twenty or thirty years in the future, looking back at us now.  Seeing the struggles we are in and knowing how they help us to grow.  This is a pretty fun exercise to try.  Why don't we all just tune in and try it right now.  Even if only for thirty seconds.  It's fun and the science indicates it's fruitful.  

So, I'll leave you with that.  Let yourself take a little vacation in your mind, right now, and visit yourself some decades ahead, looking back at you now and cheering you on to a glorious future, one that we can all celebrate together, one that we can be proud of. 




Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Natural Healing for Acid Reflux and Barrett's Esophagus

So often we can make tremendous strides in healing our bodies using natural methods.  Barrett's esophagus and acid reflux generally respond very well to a few simple changes in diet and lifestyle.  Please enjoy this seven minute video which could help you to move beyond digestive discomforts and bring greater ease to your life.

Friday, May 3, 2019

What do you love about being alive?


If any one of us was suddenly confronted with death, we most likely would find ourselves desperately scrambling to stay alive.  One might ask, "Why?"  The drive for survival seems to be innate.  It is our ego's primary job after all.  But aside from that, what is it that holds us to life?  What is it that we love about being alive?

Starting from the ground up, do you remember running barefoot as a child on the good clean earth, or squishing mud between your toes?  I do.  And it was such a great feeling.  Now I enjoy massaging my feet with a whisper of local olive oil, thanking them for all their good work, carrying me, before tucking them in between the covers of my bed each night.

Our knees and legs gave us cartwheels and skipping in our youth.  And what fun that was.  Now my legs bend and leap with dancing.  They kick me through the water when I swim.  They move me through my day with scarcely a thought and I am so grateful.  

In our still somewhat sexually repressed society, it almost seems scandalous to bring up sex, but who isn't grateful for the juicy and life giving pleasures of our sexual organs?  When I was a teenager, the mother of one of my friends used to speak of the three great pleasures in life: defecation, mastication and fornication.  Two of these happen in the area of our root chakra and aren't we grateful for both?!

Moving up the torso, our internal organs go about the business of life, day in and day out, cleaning our blood, distributing nutrients, pulling air into our bodies to fuel us on our way.  Our heart and gut tend to both the physical and the emotional side of life.  They bless us with inner knowing, self-protection and best of all, love.  Be it love for our families, our children, our friends, or cats and dogs, or nature herself, 'Isn't love grand?'  It brings such sweetness to life.  

Then there are our hands and arms with which we can hug others, write books and letters, sculpt in clay and prepare beautiful meals.  How blessed we are to have our hands and arms.

With our throats, our voices, or mouths, we can sing, 'whisper sweet nothings,' and eat delicious foods.  And our eyes let us take it all in, every delectable spectacle, from the colors of the rainbow or butterflies in flight, to the foods we eat or puffy white clouds floating overhead in the big blue sky.

Then we have our minds, fleet as starlings.  They flit over the details of our lives, processing and categorizing them, bringing forth insights and inspirations from on high.  Our minds let us engage in conscious awareness and bring to us our sense of oneness.  Thus they let us imagine the Easter bunny delighting children in late spring, or allow us to know just what it is like to be a rabbit dashing on swift feet into a safe little burrow, or a hawk soaring overhead, eager for the next meal.

From here, it is easy to step into our crown chakras, our inter-connectedness with everything, our part of the vast creation of life, of the sacred, of the spirit, of the Divine.  We have come in all of our creative glory, arising as it were, from this vast celebration of being into our own unique selves.  And I stand here now, in Gratitude, for every bit of my life, every step of the way.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Gratitude


A practice of gratitude changes our lives.  As we become progressively more centered in gratefulness, we start to see the silver lining behind every cloud and we find that our challenges always become our blessings.  Please enjoy these next seven minutes, opening our hearts to thankfulness.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Soul Families

The idea of a soul family is tied in with the concept of reincarnation, where we have opportunities to grow our souls, over the course of many lifetimes, instead of during just one.  Our soul family relationships are also associated with our purpose here.  A group of individuals may incarnate together to work on a specific theme.  This could be something like healing domestic violence.  Then at a later time in this lifetime, or during another incarnation, that same group of people may find themselves working on a different theme, perhaps something like the idea of caring for and supporting community members.

A soul family can be large or it can be small.  And we can each be members of many soul family groups simultaneously.  Pairs of individuals might come in together to explore issues of child rearing with various themes like fidelity or abandonment, often reversing the roles in different lifetimes, in order to see the situation from the other angle.  And one or more of their shared experiences might include what it is like to be together, having children, in a lifetime which is relatively free from problems associated with that theme.  One member of that same soul couple may also have soul family work to do in a completely different group.  They might be involved with other individuals in working on something like cultural arts preservation.

There are many ways that we can recognize a soul family group member,  but one way is through shared significant dates.  In my own family of origin, we have many examples of shared significant dates; often these are birth and death dates. 

My father's sister shares the same birthday as my mother.  My mother's sister shares the same birthday as my father.  My husband's brother's wife also shares the same birthday as my father.  My aunt's daughter, my cousin, was born on the same day as my brother.  And her daughter was born on the same day as my other brother.  These shared significant dates let us know that we have all danced before and are likely to come in to share life's ups and downs in some future lifetime together.

Not only do many of the members of my family share the same birthdays, but we also tend to depart on those same days as well.  And we have three or four consecutive days in the month of February, where people tend to die.  Sometimes it is hard to know whether we should be celebrating or mourning.  My father died on my niece's birthday.  My mother died on my best friend's birthday.  And another best friend just died on my favorite aunt's death day.  And all three of those days are right in a row. 

These death and birth days seem to me to be like a portal, an easy entrance or exit point for souls wishing to share the various experiences my family and friends tend to engage in.  But, shared significant dates are not the only way that we can recognize our soul family members.  We can also know our soul family members through feelings of deep connection, or the desire to spend more time with each other.  Then there is also the greater view of what we might be trying to accomplish in our lives together.  Purpose oriented soul groups like these can carry their own unique flavors and responsibilities. 

For example, I am an American, born in the middle of the last century.  My compatriots and I hold certain tasks on the world scene.  In the last century, we undertook the moon walk.  With that event, we turned and saw our mother, the earth, for the first time.  This began a complete change of our collective global human focus, helping us to see and realize the vulnerability of our planet's life.  Because of this, we are now beginning to look at changing the nature of our resource use.  One case in point is how with only five percent of the world's population, we Americans create half of the world's solid waste.  

Current generations have also begun to rein in the patriarchy, gaining equal rights and promoting women's involvement in world leadership.  In addition, we Americans have long held the quest for freedom.  We continue to work on this one and are also beginning to see our shadow side here, with our involvement in foreign policies that affect the freedoms of people in other countries.  These are just a few of the topics that are under consideration in the shared group curriculum of our American soul family.

Each of our soul groups, both large and small, work on expanding our human potential, our evolutionary growth and our collective understanding and awareness.  I find that it can sometimes be enlightening to ask, 'Who might my soul family members be?'  'What are we here to do?'  'What might the flip side of this coin be like?'  'How can I see this from the other's perspective?'  'What can I do to help bring greater ease to their point of view?'  Questions like these help to increase our compassion for and understanding of others.  They might also make our next incarnation on the other side of the issue a little more gentle for all of us.

My wish for you is that you may travel through the many mysteries of life with grace.  And bless us all as we work on the various tasks involved in maturing our souls.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Forgiveness



This seven minute video can help to heal our psychological wounds and create healthy changes in our lives.   Forgiveness frees us to process our experiences and unburden ourselves so we can come to greater understanding and more gentleness with ourselves and with others.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Who Am I? Why Am I Here? And What Am I Doing?




Who Am I?  Why Am I Here?  And What Am I Doing?  These are the perennial questions of our existence.  It doesn't matter if we are fourteen years old or eighty-four years old, these three questions are appropriate for us to ask ourselves at any time in our lives.

While we are young children, we can still resonate with the infinite from whence we have just come.  When we reach our elder years, similarly we can find ourselves at peace with the idea of returning to the mystery of our source.  Reports of near death experiences give us glimpses into what that infinite source is like.  Most tell us of a great calming peace and feelings that 'all is well,' with a sense of total freedom from fear.  But, as we enter fully into this life and before we are ready to depart from it once more, we tend to forget that vast expansive aspect of who we all are.

During all of the many years between early childhood and advanced older age, our focus is largely spent on the day to day aspects of life: acquisition, protection, presentation and more.  We seek to satisfy our wants and needs.  We strive for the end points with little regard for what lies between.  We get our meals and chase after our goals, speeding along the way, too often absentmindedly crushing the delicate flowers beneath our feet.  We hurry on by, bumping into others without stopping to say, 'I'm sorry,' or even wondering why.

If we are lucky, from time to time, an existential crisis catches us and stops us in our tracks.  I feel that this is like an emergency break for the soul.  Something happens that gives us pause: a death, the loss of a job, an illness or the end of a relationship.  Then, in come those three little questions again, helping us to take stock, re-evaluate, see who we are, and who we might want to become.  

The deep soul searching that these pauses can bring us, if we are  open to it, can let us see how we are being in the world.  Are we being kind?  Are we bringing as much love and compassion, forgiveness and understanding as we can muster?  Do we express our gratitudes and appreciation for those around us?  Have we stopped to admire the beauty that is present in every moment.  Are we honoring our bodies, the temples of our soul?  

When we take these little (or sometimes big) pauses in life, to see ourselves, another blessing occurs.  We start to see those around us through these kinds of eyes as well.  As we drop our focus on our day to day pursuits, we can see more of their essence.  We see their earnestness, their sincerity, their big hearts and loving devotion.  

I've come to believe that each and every one of us is doing the very best that we can in every moment.  I feel that we are all making the most appropriate choice, for who we are, in any given time and place.  I also feel that we are here to learn and grow.  

Sometimes we grow faster in certain areas of life, and sometimes we grow slower in other areas.  And, it's all okay.  I may be better in science than I am in math.  Whereas my best friend might be just the opposite.  So I look to her for help in my weaker, or less developed parts of my self.  And she looks to me for tips and guidance in the areas where she is not as strong.  Together we help each other.

When we take the time to see ourselves, and everyone whom we encounter, in this way, we find ourselves in an increased state of openness.  We might even enter into wonder and awe.  This is where the magic lies.  Here is where our transformation takes place.  Our fears drop away.  We find equanimity and a sense of understanding, and we embody some of that infinite source from whence we came and where we will all return.

So, for this New year, I'm going to propose to myself a little challenge.  One that will invite that little pause into my every day.  Can I, once a day, ask, who I am?  Am I hurried or am I noticing?  Maybe once an hour, can I bring a flicker of awareness to, why I am here?  Am I learning and growing?  Am I being grateful and kind?  Maybe, if I am lucky, I can hold a tiny bit of awareness in every moment of, why I am doing what I am doing, whatever that may be.  And maybe, just maybe, if I am lucky, I can remember that I am a part of the Divine expansive, interconnected and unified whole, holding myself, all the while, in gentle hands, as I would my own precious darling child.  

Wish me luck with this, my New Year's Resolution.  And I wish you luck with yours, whatever it might be, knowing that whatever it is, it is perfect, and the very best choice for you.

May we all be blessed with a wondrous and very Happy New Year.
All my love to you.