Quotation of the Day

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grounding

Each of us is an eternal energy being that inhabits a temporary energy body which enables us to manifest in the physical realm. Our spirit, or soul, is our connection to the spiritual, energetic realm. As an energy field it is more fluid than our physical body and is able to move beyond the physical limits of our bodies. Each night as we sleep our spirit is able to reconnect with the spiritual realms and journey to other places. This happens when our awareness shifts from our conscious mind into our unconscious or subconscious mind. When we awaken our awareness again returns to our conscious mind.

We have seven main energy centers along the spine which receive and release energy. This energy allows us to enliven our bodies, process information from our environment and other beings and receive guidance from our spirit which is our direct connection to Source (or what religious traditions refer to as God). Each of these seven centers energetically vibrates at various frequencies with the lowest one being at the base of the spine and the highest at the crown of the head. As we move up the spine the frequency increases as we move from one energy center to the next.

If you begin to think of our spinal column as the launching pad for that energy movement it will help you understand the following information a bit more easily. As we engage in the physical world, our body consciousness pulls our awareness into the lower energy centers, or as the Yogi’s call them, the chakras. (Please see the photo for the general location along the physical spine of the seven main chakras.) Each night as we disengage our consciousness from our dense, physical bodies, it travels up and out through the crown of the head. You might think of it as our spirit-rocket blasting off. As the vibration of the rocket increases, it is able to go higher and higher until just like a real rocket launching it reaches a speed where it is able to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth. When our awareness returns to the body however sometimes we do not reconnect fully with our bodies and are ungrounded.

Our natural energy home is in the spiritual realms and physically manifesting requires a great deal of energy. If our bodies are experiencing physical pains, if our lives are chaotic or unfulfilling or if we’re highly stressed, our spirits are more attracted to the loving, peaceful non-physical realms. When this happens or when we are too caught up in thought or fantasy, we are not grounded into our bodies and this can cause problems. Think for a moment of how you feel when you are daydreaming or just really focused on something which requires a great deal of thought. Typically when we do these things, our bodies are resting and become very still and quiet. If you tried to suddenly move across the room, you’d probably stumble, crash into something or even fall because your awareness was in some of the higher centers governing thought. For various reasons, this is how most of us go though our daily lives and why many people feel so disconnected from life.

In order for us to be fully present in the physical realm we need to be fully grounded into the lowest base chakra. I’d like to offer you a few techniques for you to work with that will help you be more grounded as you move through your day and through life. Experiment with these techniques to find what feels best for you and gets you the best results. “Keep the best, leave the rest” is a good rule of thumb here. These techniques are good for starting your day after waking up, during times of high stress or after periods of intense mental processing to help you reconnect with your body and energetic center.

Grounding helps one to stay centered and balanced. If you find yourself bumping into things, having silly accidents, dropping things or just generally unable to focus, this is an indication that you are ungrounded. Many people live such highly stressed lives or are just so generally disconnected from their bodies that they are almost constantly ungrounded. For them it may be the only state of being that they know and they are the ones that will laugh at these techniques the most.

GROUNDING TECHNIQUES
These are just three simple techniques that anyone can use. The main key to each of these techniques is to do it consciously with your full focus on the activity. Each technique should be preceded by the following breath work:
Take three slow conscious breaths and really focus on the movement of air into and out of the lungs and abdomen. Next take a big slow deep breath and as you do increase the tension in the body by squeezing the muscles tighter and tighter as you inhale. At the top of the inhale, your body tension should reach its maximum. As you consciously exhale, slowly allow your body to relax until you reach the bottom of the exhale where your body should be fully relaxed. Repeat this for at least three cycles.

1. Walk about
One of the simplest techniques is to take your shoes off and walk barefooted on the ground (actual Earth if possible). If you can’t take your shoes off or have to walk on floor, that’s fine too. Take a moment to stop all movement and just stand still. Let your feet be shoulder width apart, arms dangling at your sides. Now focus fully on your feet. As you take the steps, focus fully on each foot coming into contact with the ground. Feel the heels making contact, the soles of the foot and all the way up to the toes. As you take each step feel like you are becoming heavier and heavier. Continue walking but do it consciously so that you notice each step and feel the full contact between ground and foot. 30 seconds or so of this conscious walking should do it of course a minute is even better. Taking these steps consciously with the focus on the feet is the difference between grounding and just absent-mindedly walking.

2. Grow roots
If you’re in a place where you’re sitting and need to ground begin by doing the three rounds of deep breathing with your feet flat on the floor. Next, focus on the “sits bones”. These are the boney protrusions in the middle of your gluts. Feel where they come into contact with what you’re sitting on. Now imagine that roots begin to grow from this area, down through your chair, through the floor and into the Earth. Continue to imagine them growing through the ground, through the deeper layers of the planet and all the way to the core of the Earth. Visualize that entire connection from you to the core and feel like you’re drawing energy up those roots as you continue to reach down with the roots. Focus on this connection for at least 30 seconds or more.

3. Hop / Tap
If you are where you can hop around a bit without causing too much commotion this is a great technique to use. After the breathing is done begin hopping around in place or in small circles. Average-sized hops are all that is necessary but definitely hop high enough that you leave the ground and return solidly. As you continue to hop, take one of your open hands and begin to firmly tap the top of your head with your palm. This tapping does not have to be in sync with the hopping just done simultaneously. Be very aware of your feet hitting the ground each hop. Repeat this for 15 – 30 seconds if possible.

Feel free to combine these techniques and allow yourself to be creative with it but just be very conscious with what you’re doing. You should notice a decided difference in how you feel before doing it and after. When we operate from a centered and grounded place, we’re able to make better decisions, move more confidently and react more calmly.

ADDED 01/11/10: One more thing that I'd like to add to this information is that you should try and start each day with at least one of these processes. I'd recommend the roots visualization (#2 above). Once you complete it and get a sense of how your body feels after doing it, check in on that feeling 1000 times through the day. If you feel it missing or just think about the roots for some reason during the day (especially after stressful interactions with others or high-stress periods), mentally feel that you are reconnecting those roots and drawing that grounding energy up. I have a few more techniques that I'll be sharing with you soon to add to this process but get comfortable with the grounding first. The reconnection can be as simple as just getting a quick image of those roots going to the core of the Earth from the base of your spine. Your unconscious mind will do the rest from there with that image...but start the day with the full visualization to set that up.

Are you grounded like a tree or being blown about like a tumbleweed?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Synchronicity

The past couple of weeks have been very intense for me and have had me very busy. There were two main events which I participated in and both were incredibly powerful. The first one was a Native American planetary-healing ceremony called “The Living Waters Dance”. The shamanic drumming community which I am a part of enacted this ceremony in my work studio over Labor Day weekend. This ceremony was one which we last performed four years ago. At that time I had just left my job as a chiropractic assistant and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next with my life. This ceremony was held at a friend’s property, deep in some remote woods just outside of Seattle. A friend of mine, Alex Jade, who does Sacred Intimate work was there. As we were setting up the grounds for the ceremony, she and I had a chance to talk and I asked her to tell me a bit about her work. The more we talked about it the more interested I became and more aware I was that perhaps this was work that I could do.

As we enacted the ceremony, it became clear that I was to receive a Spiritual initiation as part of the ceremony. In essence this act was an invitation from Spirit to begin to move deeper into my spirituality on the Shamanic path. I accepted the initiation knowing that whatever this led to was part of a higher calling in life and definitely the direction that I wanted my life to move. That ceremony was four years over the Labor Day weekend while Hurricane Katrina was closing in on Louisiana.

Most shamanic ceremonies or rituals run in four year cycles. The event may last only a few days but the energy of the ceremony works for four years afterwards. This particular ceremony came just as I was beginning the first year of another ceremony I was a part of, my Vision Quest. A Vision Quest is a Shamanic rite of passage or initiation ceremony. Being part of two initiatory ceremonies certainly wasn’t something that I consciously set out to do but it also wasn’t something that I really had control over either. When I left my computer programming career in 1999 I did so with the intention of following a deeper spiritual path. To me, these two ceremonies were simply Spirit responding to me and opening that path before me.

Within two months of the completion of the Living Waters ceremony is when I “accidentally” began my new career as I described in my April 4th post “No More Secrets”. The rest is now Sacred Intimate history for me. The wonderful thing is that this time we were having the ceremony in a space which was only in my life because I surrendered into the call from Spirit. Had I not gone with the flow of energy, built a practice, met the people that I did and moved into the studio when I did, we might not have been able to have the ceremony again due to a lack of a ceremonial site. It was truly synchronicity in action. It was a very powerful event for me and our community.

We finished that on Sunday and then on Tuesday I left for Mesa, Arizona for my first professional conference (the second of my two events). The conference was for ASEP, the Association for Sexual Energy Professionals. This year’s theme was “Sexuality and Shamanism”. It could not have been more appropriate for me at that time and was clearly a part of the synchronicity that was flowing for me. It was so liberating to be a part of a group of professionals who worked in a variety of professions or Spiritual paths connected to sexuality. We had everything from therapists who dealt with sexual issues in traditional talk therapy to energy workers and sex workers and everything in between. We considered ourselves “outlaws” because our work does a tightrope dance with the law, unfortunately.

During the main event of the conference on Saturday night, we participated in a couple of Shamanic trance journeys. This is something I’m very familiar with because of experiences with my Shamanic drumming community. As part of the first trance journey I was taken to what I believe to be some everglades and essentially eaten by a Jaguar. When we returned from that I found out that it was what was known as a “Shamanic dismemberment.” It sounds like a bad thing but it is actually a very good thing because I was clearly not killed physically but rather a part of my ego was destroyed.

Our ego is that human part of us that holds our sense of separation from Spirit and ultimately all that is. It is that part of us that seeks attention for its uniqueness and leads us to feel cut off from life through its own actions. For many it can be the hidden source of depression because it leads one to feel so alone and isolated because “no one can understand me”. Most spiritual traditions speak of it as the part of us which much die so that we can be reborn. Most misunderstand that and believe it means a physical death and the fear of death is a powerful motivator for all of us so we run from anything associated with it.

Even in just the short time that I’ve been back, I’m seeing and feeling changes in my life, my work and myself. Native American tradition teaches that Jaguar is the medicine of Integrity. At some level I have always felt insecure about myself, my abilities, my knowledge, my body, my appearance. This belief that I am not good enough has held me back in so many areas of my life and I feel that part if not all of that belief was removed because my sense of self-confidence is rising and I can feel it shifting my work already and have seen that this week.

I share all of this with you for two reasons at the moment. First, my commitment to you via this blog was to share what is happening in my life with the hope that you will see a connection to your life and hopefully that can help you in some way. Both of these events were significant events in my life and will ultimately shape me in ways that I can only imagine at this point.
The second reason that I share it is because these two events individually would be significant occurrences but because they landed so close to each other they appear to be more synchronistic. The deeper level of that is that they both occurred in my life only because of the first Living Waters ceremony and that one casual chat with Alex. Synchronicity is when there seems to be a relation between otherwise unrelated events. These events tell us that we are on the right path and that the energy is flowing. At an energetic level they occur when we are “in the flow” with life. If “coincidents” are our spirits trying to get us to notice something then synchronistic events are our spirits saying “this way!”

When we are in harmony with life, things flow smoothly for us to propel us forward easily. When we are in disharmony, life seems challenging, things repeatedly go wrong, fights and wars break out and life seems to be one big struggle. I invite you to examine your life carefully and notice the places where it flows smoothly and the areas where you meet constant resistance. Our spirits will always guide us in the direction of our highest good and our greatest evolutionary growth for it is in their best interest and therefore ours. That path will be open and inviting and flow smoothly.

Will you follow the path that flows before you or will you resist and swim upstream? The choice is yours in every moment.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oneness

I am a huge fan of Barbara Marx Hubbard’s work (www.evolve.org) and I resonate with her belief that as a species we are about to evolve. She does a remarkable job of tracking humanity’s history and bringing forth the idea that we are “due” for an evolutionary leap as an organism. Since we live in an ever-evolving Universe, and since we are a part of that Universe, no more or no less important than any other part, we too are evolving. As above, so below. Whatever we think of the physical Universe, it’s true for us too because we are a part of that Universe. Whatever science teaches us about what is going on in the Universe that too is going on within us individually.

One need only stop and examine anything and one can easily learn or even see how that thing has evolved. Everything we see now has evolved from something else all the way back to when this planet was populated by only single-celled amoebae’s in the ocean. Everything on this planet evolved from that primordial stew of energy. Even the planet has evolved from a time when it was only a few particles of cosmic dust clumping together to form a rock. When we separated our consciousness out from the Divine to take form, we separated ourselves from that which created us until eventually as a species we separated out from nature and became self-aware.

That self-awareness has taught us so much. It has ignited something in us as a species to want to understand the questions of “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” and “What am I to do?” That’s where religions come in. About 2,800 years ago the world’s earliest religions were formed around the messages brought forth by the enlightened ones of that time. Those first people who attempted to bring forth an answer to those questions, gained a following from their teachings and slowly the world’s religions began to form.

These ancient teachings basically gave us the notion that everything we see was created by some big, wise, old being and introduced us to the concept of God. By holding on to the view that we are separate from that which created us, we stay separated from the very source of our existence. Yet for any of us to dare to say “I am God” is almost unthinkable in our culture. But the truth is that we are all God and God is all of us. At the deepest level of our existence, at our most microscopic atomic level, down at the Quantum level of our being, we are all energy. That energy is the source of all that we know and as such has created all that we know. Our very consciousness is from that one source. At the level of Source, WE ARE ALL ONE.

As we surrender our egoic nature (that part of us that believes that we are separate from all that is) and release into our oneness with Source, with nature, with God, we come to understand that the God-force which created us IS us. When we can be at One with it and continually ground that awareness into our consciousness we begin to live in Cosmic Consciousness. By allowing our consciousness to re-merge with Cosmic, Christ or Krishna Consciousness, we allow those energies to manifest through us. This awareness that we are at one with all that is, at one with Source, brings us the knowledge that all those attributes that we ascribe to God is true for us when we are in that Oneness.

Krishna Consciousness was what this awakened energy state was called when the ancient’s of India wrote about their enlightened one, Lord Krishna. When Krishna was a small young goat herder, he awakened to his oneness with the Creator. 2,000 years later a young Jesus went to India during the twelve years in the Bible where he is unaccounted for. There he was known as Isa and his time there is well documented. While in India he studied the ancient science of Yoga. As Krishna did before him, through his training, spiritual practices and experiences, Jesus fully awaked to his Oneness and became Jesus the Christ. Christ is Aramaic for Krishna, which is a Hindi word. When he fully realized his Oneness, he was still a human, just like the rest of us. The difference is that he, like Krishna and others before him, was willing to open himself up to the Creative force and surrender into his Oneness with that Source.

What these wise ones are trying to show us is that if they can do it, anyone can. They were born of flesh and blood, just like those of us alive today. Each of them said to those around them that anyone could do all that they had done. Our own sense of shame tells us that we are not worthy of that so instead we idolize them and say that they are God manifest in the physical world, which they indeed are. The people of the time passed on stories about them because they truly stood out. Over time these great spiritual leaders have become the center of various cultures and ultimately they have become objects of worship. The real lesson is to follow their example and not simply idolizing them.

If we look at these wise ones as examples and not as idols we can begin to see how what was possible for them is indeed possible for each and every one of us. Through study, faith, commitment and surrender we too can follow directly in their footsteps but to do that we have to believe it is possible. As long as we are locked in the belief that we are separate from Nature and from the Divine we can never move into Unity Consciousness. We must become the “chosen ones” by making the choice to believe otherwise we will continue to be subservient to those who seek to control our power. Everything which separates us from our true nature must be removed so that we can begin to live in Oneness with the Divine. This includes our limiting beliefs as well as those individuals or organizations who would seek to retain power over us and keep us separate.

To many, the act of claiming their own personal power would seem like sacrilege. It flies in the face of all that they have been taught by those in the establishments that teach that we are only human and can be nothing more. This shows the depth and power of the control that they seek through those teachings. This is where the expression “Religion is the opiate of the masses” originates. Retaining power over others through fear is a common technique employed by any control structure. When we live in fear consciousness we stay inside our self constructed prisons even when the doors are wide open. We retain our limiting beliefs, persecute those who would tell us otherwise and maintain the status quo. It feels safe, easy and comfortable.

As most of us are aware, we are in a time of planetary unrest. We are decimating the very environment which sustains us and gives our bodies life. We live in fear and attempt to destroy all of those who are different. Worst of all our world leaders do this in the name of their God and believe they have the moral high ground. We are witnessing the results of our behavior as humans (our karma) as well as the natural cycles of our planet as it evolves.

As Einstein stated “Our problems cannot be solved by the same consciousness in which we created them.” The time has come for us to awaken to our true nature as emanations of the Divine, claim that power and transform our lives and the planet. To begin that transformation we must evolve our consciousness. To understand what is ahead however we should examine our past and see what lessons are there for us that might guide us during the transition ahead. These lessons will be discussed in upcoming blog posts. It is my desire to help you to awaken to your Oneness with mankind, the planet and ultimately the Divine.

Until then I invite you to ask yourself “What limiting beliefs am I holding onto and why do I hold them?”