Discovering Your Intuition

inner-voiceEveryone has an intuitive side, most people just aren’t encouraged to develop it.

But in my family we were and I come from a long line of Psychics.

I got my first fortune telling tools when I was nine, a set of Chinese Chi Sticks. I was encouraged to use them all the time. By the time I was 10 I was reading cards. My mother would write down what I felt, saw, or perceived, date it and then wait to see what happened. I was right on a lot of the time, but because I was young I didn’t always know what I saw.

There are several different ways you can perceive:

  • clairtangency (clear touching or more commonly, psychometry)
  • claircognizance (clear knowing or psychic knowing)
  • clairgustance (clear tasting or psychic tasting)
  • clairalience (clear smelling or psychic smelling, sometimes also called clairscent)
  • clairvoyance (clear seeing, or psychic vision)
  • clairaudience (clear hearing, or psychic hearing)
  • clairsentience (clear feeling/sensing or psychic feeling/sensing, including clairempathy)

You can start developing your awareness by keeping a journal with the information you receive or perceive with the date and time. Another way to practice is to ask someone to put a picture in an envelope and seal it. Then you hold it and see what information you get. This is an easy, fun way to practice. A third way to develop your intuition is to write down a question, then grab a book while thinking about that question. Open the book and run your finger down the page with your eyes closed and when you “feel” right about stopping, open your eyes and read the sentence. You might be surprised how accurate you can be.

You have to learn to trust yourself and remain open to the outcome. As you work on this you well start understanding the way you perceive. Good luck and have fun with it.

By the way I never recommend the Oja board, it is to easy to manipulate and can invite bad juju.

Grieving is a Process

Aristotle
Aristotle

Aristotle and I on one of our walks.

Some of you may have noticed that I have not been posting for a few weeks.

That’s because in early March, I lost a very important companion, my best friend. Aristotle, my Australian Border Collie mix died very suddenly and Dover Cat and I were in shock and devastated.

It hurts so much when someone you know turns into someone you knew. (And Aristotle was a someone, not something. He was so much more to me than just a dog.)

I wish to thank my daughter, Heather for dropping everything and driving eight hours to be with me. My son, Joel, tried to comfort me but had a hard time of it and couldn’t talk about it for a while. (He’s a dog whisperer and loved Aristotle as much as I did.) He did check in periodically, though to make sure I was okay. And my brother, Thom, and his family sent flowers. Thanks Marie, they were beautiful.

Each of them held the space for me to grieve. I also received lots of sympathy cards and wishes from our friends. Thank you. It helped.

Dover, my cat and Aristotle’s best friend, was at a loss too. He took up the responsibility of helping me move on. The three of us had a routine and we would walk in the afternoon. After four days without a walk, Dover insisted we go and he stopped at all of the spots that Aristotle used to stop.

Dover the cat

Dover Cat

But perhaps the best gift was that fact that no one judged me for the amount of time it took me to come out of my funk. Even though people knew he was my dog, they understood. People understood.

It’s not for us to judge how long it takes to grieve, but to give yourself and others the space to grieve. Because the capacity to acknowledge loss is as much a part of us as the capacity to love.

Thank you.

The Worrier

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere. - English ProverbSome form of worrying is a common occurrence. But then there is the chronic worrier.

If you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective.

Do you believe your worry protects you or consumes you? Either way it keeps you stuck. You can’t move forward if you keep blocking yourself with worry. Here are some simple ways to release the worry:

  1. You can try keeping a log of your worries and re-read them at the end of the week. See how many of these worries were real.
  2. Try taking deep breaths and relax, taking in the moment. The very present moment.
  3. Once you have conquered the breathing try meditating, and staying in the present moment.
  4. Take a rubber band and put it on your wrist. Every time you begin to worry snap the rubber band and ask yourself how you are feeling right that very moment.

Most of the time worrying is a habit we have formed to keep us stuck and feeling safe. If we worry we don’t have to do anything about the situation. The problem with that is it keeps growing and gets worse then you worry.

It takes time to break the habit so be patient. You can break this trap if you work at it. It won’t be easy but you’ll feel better and more in control of your life.

The Obsessed

Modern Tree“To do something for the pure joy of it; to want to contribute something to others as a way of service is altruistic. But to be driven by an activity to the extent that everything else becomes secondary is abnormal. The individual who is obsessed, possesses compulsive ideas or irresistible urges.” – John Randolph Price

This essentially describes addictive behavior, behavior that arises when individuals go into their deep rooted shame and subscribe to a belief that they are flawed or guilty of something. They start creating a belief system about themselves; “No one would want to love me”, “I am no good”, “I always screw up.” They believe this because they don’t love themselves.

This is the root for all addictive behaviors: the alcoholic, the drug addict, the compulsive gambler, the sex addict, the overeater….you get the idea.

Sometimes this is a result of a traumatic experience. One example is a client of mine who was extremely overweight. She had been sexually assaulted as a very young child. The perpetrator keep telling her she was such a cute little doll and she was very pretty. She was frightened; she didn’t like what was happening, but the abuse occurred three or four different times and at some point she decided the only way to not be pretty was to eat…obsessively.

This is a choice some compulsive/addicted people make. A choice that becomes life damaging. My client now hates herself for being fat and thinks she is ugly, and the process of self-hate is now fed, (literally) by a new belief that she isn’t good enough, or pretty enough. The goal here is to heal the abuse and then address the eating issues by allowing her guilt surrounding the situation to heal.

Another example is the compulsive shopper. I counseled a young woman who would shop when she felt out of control. On the outside, she was intelligent, attractive, funny, and self-assured, but when she felt scared or unsure of herself and the decisions she had made she would take the rent money and go shopping. She described the high she felt while shopping – almost as if she were in a daze – and the low, guilty feelings she had when she “came down.”

By working with her to help her understand that there were just things that were out of her control, she was able to get her addiction under control. She no longer needs to buy things to feel good about herself.

To be free of these beliefs – and the guilt that accompanies them – we must choose freedom from guilt. No one put the guilt on us – we are responsible for our feelings, and now we are free to begin the healing process.

Fear of Lonliness

Feeling Alone and IsolatedI hear from people regularly about how lonely they feel on their spiritual path, “I wish I had more like minded people to talk to” or “I would love to be surrounded by people who are deeply spiritual.” Sometimes, they have lost friends and loved ones because they believe differently now. There are even times when you can feel totally alone in your beliefs while being completely surrounded by people. Sound familiar?

But here’s the thing: You can be alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely. Be careful not to interpret alone as lonely. I learned that there are tremendous benefits to alone time. I believe these moments of alone time are given to us to explore our inner side. I came to value and love my alone time and I try to use it well by meditating, journaling, and reflecting. I also believe that so much of the aloneness that people are feeling right now is part of the plan to push humanity into figuring out and truly feeling that we are all one.

Just remember, the lonely and not-fitting-in times never last too long. And you can learn many things about yourself and other during those times.

Think Happy Thoughts

Let a series of happy thoughts run through your mind. They will show on your face.Happy thoughts are everywhere. The trick is to focus on them more than on television news, what people say to you, or someone getting mad at you on the road and flipping you off. You know, those every day crush-your-life-thoughts that keep building until you are either very mad at the world, yourself, or someone else.

I don’t know about you, but holding onto the negative thoughts thrown at me from every direction don’t necessarily do a thing for me. So I decided to start focusing on Happy Thoughts about 10 years ago. It is amazing how much happier I am and at peace.

Yes, there are times that I could handle things better, like someone else’s anger, or stupidity. But I’ve mostly kept my world happy. I am aware of what is going on I just don’t let it get to me as easily.

Here are some ways you can think happy:

  • Take more time in nature
  • Turn off your phone and computer
  • Take a moment for yourself; maybe stop for coffee instead of grabbing coffee and spilling it on yourself while driving
  • I like gardening, something about getting your hands in dirt that is calming
  • Take yourself to a movie
  • Create a space in your house or yard that is tranquil and sit there taking deep breaths
  • Get lost in a book
  • If you can go to a lake or river, creek or some type of water, water is very soothing and peaceful
  • Maybe you like to clean your house and then just enjoy it for the weekend

These are just some of the things either I do for myself or my clients have done. The most important thing to remember is that if you are not relaxed and enjoying your happy, you’re not doing the right thing for you.

I have named a few but I would love to get more ideas. What do you do to keep happy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Three Minute Meditation

balancing rocksWhy is meditation so important?

Meditation gets us out of our brain, it helps us to realize there is more to life than our preoccupation with the past or our fear of the future. It keeps us in the very present moment which is all we really have. When you meditate you free yourself from your mind that holds you in the past or the future or both, causing you to miss so much of your life.

Statements that indicate you might not be present? “Wow the kids grew up so fast”, “I can’t believe I am 40”, “I always wanted to go back to school, where did the time go?” Mediation gives you back that time and gives you clarity, awareness, and brings a lot of joy to your life.

The Three Minute Meditation

I like to start my students of mediation with one my mother taught me when I was very young.

Start by putting your finger on the right side of your nose and inhaling to the count of five, then hold to the count of five and then release to the count of five. Place your finger on the left side to repeat the process. Do this three times.

This is a great beginning meditation and it helps with stress. It is a quick way to center and focus. Most of all it is easy. I am not fussy about position or correct breathing, that can come in time.

Once you have gotten the hang of that you can find yourself some nice spa or Zen music to help create a quiet place in or around your home to sit quietly and breathe. You can also get a guided meditation CD if that helps.

Mediation takes practice. It isn’t easy at first and that is why so many people give up, but keep practicing and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

I hope you try meditating. It feels wonderful and life seems to go much better when I am focused, aware and happy.

Create Your Own Reality

You create your realityYou have been creating your reality since you were born, but you might have just forgotten it. You might have started believing what others said when they told you were wrong or you couldn’t. You forgot to listen to yourself and what you wanted.

Your thoughts help create your reality. Have you ever woken up in a bad mood? Have you noticed that it seems like everything goes wrong? It seems like it is all downhill from there, right? Or maybe you get up in the morning and you are feeling great! Life is good and everything is going your way.

You are creating your reality by either staying mad and creating chaos or staying happy and creating harmony. You are the creator of your own future and there are two ways to go about it: consciously or unconsciously.

I have a client that had a slight tremor in his hand and the doctor told him he had uncontrollable tremors but it could be controlled with medication. But he was convinced that the doctor was keeping the worst news from him so he went home and started to do research and convinced himself he had Parkinson’s. He now sits around convincing himself it is getting worse, and soon he won’t be able to work, that he has maybe 10 good years left before he can no longer function.  I have watched him go from having a small tremor in his hand to watching his whole body tremble six months’ time. He won’t listen to anything positive and just says nobody knows what they are talking about including the doctor.  He has created a reality that he somehow feels okay with.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my daughter decided to move to Seattle from Northern Arizona just after college and I have never seen anything so remarkable and fun to watch. She had never even been to Seattle before, but she started doing research, telling people she was moving, and visualizing what it would be like to live there. Two weeks before she planned to leave, she still hadn’t saved as much money as she wanted, she still didn’t have a job, and she had no place to live, but that didn’t stop her. She just knew that everything was going to work out. Three days before she left, a close friend of mine wrote her a check, giving her just enough to move. She rented a moving van and she and her best friend drove to Seattle with no specific destination in mind. They parked the truck, rented a car, and miraculously found her an apartment on Labor Day weekend. She had unpacked and moved in within six hours of finding her new home and received a job offer the next day.

See? Your thoughts are your creation.

It is amazing what you can create when you are consciously aware of your thoughts and your visualizations. But it takes insight, patience, constant attention, and daydreaming; you have to believe in what you want.

You’ve got to visualize, see yourself doing what you want to do, feel it, fantasize about it, and make it as real as you can.

I recommend two good books on this subject if you are interested and want to get started: Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

So basically what I am saying is, go for it!

Journaling Can Be Helpful

Journaling is healingI have to be honest with you, I hate writing. And I used to really hate journaling. But when you go to counseling, your therapist usually wants you to journal because journaling helps you sort things out.

Writing  is like breathing, it is a way of absorbing an experience. It’s one of the most profound ways to express our self in life and it is a great window into ourselves. Sometimes you just feel antsy. You know something bothers you but you just can’t pin point it. Writing it down can help you figure it out.

At least there is no right or wrong way to begin, you just start jotting down your insights or feelings. Write anytime you feel like it. You can write down random thoughts or observations about yourself. You can keep track of your dreams if you want to. You can write about some of the emotions that are coming up for you at that time, maybe anger or sadness; happiness or hope.

You could also start by exploring your memories, personal image, sensitive times, or maybe you could start with your daily thoughts.

He are a few prompts and story lines you could use to get started:

I want change________  in my life.

I am afraid of________

I want to give up___________________ in my life.

I am afraid of change because ________

I am unhappy because _______

I wish my life was________________

I am sad  today because _______

I am so happy today because _____

Once you catch on the thoughts and emotions will begin to flow more freely and when they do you’ll feel more empowered. You’ll know yourself more. And you’ll begin to have a better understanding of what makes you tick.

What I found is “seeing is believing”. I realized I was much more honest with myself when I wrote it down, and I could go back and re-read it and change my thoughts or my belief about something or someone.

Don’t be afraid to write your feelings down. It’s one of the best things you can do to take care of yourself.

Look for Coincidences

CoincidenceThe Universe is always willing to give you what you want if you just ask….and trust that you will get what you ask for. Trusting is the important part, if you don’t trust that it can happen, you won’t see the “coincidence happen”.

Coincidences don’t have to be big, or earth-shattering or life-changing. Mainly, they are just little ways in which the Universe reminds you that they are listening to you. You just have to be open to the idea of receiving and trust.

One of the most happy coincidences I ever experienced was on a visit to surprise my grandma for Christmas. I was living in Phoenix, AZ and she lived in Oakland, CA. She was in her 80’s and because I lived so far away, I wasn’t able to visit her as often as I wanted to. So one year, I booked tickets for the whole family to visit her a week before Christmas.

We arrived early in the morning on the day we were going to surprise my grandma and I wanted to get her a little tree for her apartment, (I had packed the decorations,) so we went in search of trees and found the most perfect one! It was still early, so we decided to eat breakfast then head to grandmas house. While we were eating, I realized that I had forgotten to pick up one of her most important presents – a roll of quarters. (My grandma played Bingo six nights a week.) The banks were closed and there was nowhere to get them. I was so sad because that was going to be her best gift. I was thinking about it out loud and wishing I had a roll of quarters, but there was nothing I could do about it now. I got up from the table to pay for breakfast and I had to stand in line because there was a crowd at the register. The whole time I was trying to figure out how to get those quarters when suddenly the man in front of me asked the cashier if she minded if he paid his bill with a roll of quarters. I couldn’t believe it! I tapped him on the shoulder and offered to buy them from him. He was happy. The cashier was happy and I was ecstatic. What a perfect “coincidence”!

That was thirty years ago, and by now I’m pretty good at asking the Universe for help and trusting it will come.

Last year an oak tree dropped a big limb in the garden. It was in the way of the garden and I wanted it for wood for my wood stove, but I had no way to cut it up and get rid of it. One morning I walked down to the garden wishing I had a chainsaw so I could cut up the log. As I was working in the garden, the gardener from next door came over and we started chit chatting about gardening. I mentioned that I wished I could cut up the big oak branch and he jumped up and ran to his truck. He came back carrying a little chainsaw he used for just such an occasion and chopped it up.

I smiled and thanked the Universe and then told him how I had asked for someone with a chainsaw to help get rid of the log. He smiled a big smile and laughed. He told me he had gotten in his truck that morning and was getting ready to leave when something told him he would need his chainsaw that day. We both smiled and thanked the Universe.

What coincidences have you experienced? Has anything ever just appeared at the exact moment you needed it? Please share your stories in the comments section below.