Stress Reduction

Stepping Out of the Familiar

Each morning I pick a daily tarot card. 

In addition to honing my skills and understanding of the deck, this practice offers me the opportunity to look more deeply at the direction of my life, contemplate the choices in front of me, and increase my self awareness. Yesterday, I picked the two of Wands and its message was particularly timely and on point.

Ever since last week’s blog about the importance of creativity, I have been thinking about ways to break out of my comfort zone and attract new experiences that will be more fun and expand my imagination. I have been making lists of activities I’d like to try and places I want to bring my inner artist as suggested by Julia Cameron in her book, the Artist’s Way. 

It occurred to me that I had already started to experiment with a few new endeavors, like painting with acrylics while following a Youtube tutorial and concocting a variety of vegan dishes from a beautiful new cookbook I purchased a couple of weeks ago.  Both of these undertakings have been fun with surprisingly good results, and even though the outcome has been better than expected, I am realizing that the real reward lies in the process.

According to Cameron, we all have access to an unlimited supply of creativity. As children, we are open and able to easily tap into this source. Then, as time goes on, we become blocked by limiting beliefs and experiences and have an increasingly hard time conjuring up our imaginings. 

Most of us have a tendency to fall into repeated patterns and sink deeper into what is familiar. We seek out comfort and avoid pain. This past year, in response to the pandemic, we found ourselves shrinking into an even more limited existence with less stimulation and interaction. The grooves of our daily lives got deeper and smaller.

This week, as the sun continues to grow stronger and the world opens up, it feels like it might be time to break free and move into something novel and more energizing.

One way to do this is to make a list of new places to see and things to do, and then begin checking them off, one by one, even if they are outside our comfort zone. Having a regular and consistent time for these adventures is optimal as is doing them alone. It is also important not to focus on the outcome, like discovering the perfect destination, becoming an expert tennis player, or learning to play the guitar in 2 lessons. The process is what counts and it is what will attract more creativity and expand our experience as we continue down the road.

The 2 of Wands was a perfect pick because it encourages us to choose adventure over comfort. It tells us that envisioning our dream is good, but living it is even better. I love this advice as I am in the process of making plans for a few different experiences this spring and summer, like taking surfing lessons, mountain biking on one new trail each month, traveling to some local towns that are unfamiliar, and continuing to paint weekly. I have already planned a summer trip out west and have signed up for a beginner golf clinic. 

Stepping out is scary, but once we do and let go of the outcome, I believe our imaginations will grow and soon we’ll be tapping into unlimited ideas, expanding our minds and having a lot of fun in the process. 

To begin manifesting your best life, visit my website here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/.

The Importance of Creativity

This weekend, my boyfriend and I watched a documentary called, “Long Strange Trip,”  which followed the Grateful Dead band from their beginnings in Palo Alto, CA to their eventual expansion as a worldwide phenomena. It was informative and inspiring and as we plowed through all 6 episodes, something notable began to happen.

We are musicians and before Covid hit, we were playing out regularly at a few local bars and restaurants. Our setlist was growing and we started bringing in other musicians and expanding our sound. It was always fun and the performances motivated us to dig deeper, practice harder, and experiment with new ideas. 

Once everything shut down and we were restricted to playing alone in our own space, we lost motivation. We tried recording some videos and posting them on social media, but it just wasn’t the same. Eventually, we found ourselves practicing less with minimal enthusiasm. 

Recently, we have felt a spark begin to re-ignite as the pandemic wanes and the promise of more abundant live music emerges. We have been looking at new tunes and considering a variety of styles, and after nearly a year of rest, something feels novel and promising. It is a growing ember and we are hoping that the flame will catch soon and we’ll be on our way again.

The documentary was perfect timing. 

One of the most interesting parts of the story was the Dead’s innovative approach…to just about everything. Not only did they merge several styles of music (bluegrass, blues, folk, R & B, jazz, classical, jug) into their own unique form of improvisation but they also had a singular approach to handling the business of the band. Instead of following the conventional models of other popular acts, they created their own methods, allowing the journey to unfold and the long strange trip to come alive. Instead of focusing on making money or selling lots of records, their goal was to connect with their audience and create something together, something that was fun and free form, and that’s exactly what happened. 

Innovation and creativity are strong values for me and so, this type of story gets me going. It makes me want to tap deeper into my own potential and find ways to allow more of what they had to flow through me.

As I began to think about ways to do this, I remembered a book I had read many years ago called, the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. In it, she points out that everyone has an unlimited creative potential. It is part of our birthright. As children, our connection to this source is vast and unblocked. We easily move in and out of unique imaginings and creative experiences. We are open. We observe. We experience. We create. Then, as we grow and move through our lives, our creative essence is slowly eroded by society until we reach a point where we can no longer find it. Sometimes, we can’t even remember having it. 

Cameron’s book helps those committed to discovering and recovering their creative power begin to unleash this buried gift. She has several techniques like writing morning pages to drain out distracting thoughts and tap into more wisdom. She also talks about planning a weekly “artist’s date” in which the reader takes their “inner artist child” out on a playdate, seeking new adventures and mysteries. All of the experiences and observations gathered are added to our ideas reservoir and become resources for our imaginings. I also believe that when we seek out fun and joy, we find our true selves and in this discovery, our creative potential opens up.

It appears that during the pandemic, my ideas reservoir had been running dry. I had limited social interactions and not a lot of places to go and things to see. I had plenty of valuable walks in the woods but that’s where it ended. My access to new sights, sounds, smells, touches, and tastes was limited. My imagination felt dulled, and I was not bringing much to the music. 

Now that I have been vaccinated and the world is opening up, I plan to begin “stocking the pond” again and scheduling a “weekly artist’s date.” I am already a daily journaler and will continue that with the intention of clearing the way to my inner creative self. I may even commit to following the program outlined in Cameron’s book. 

And as I think about the lives and accomplishments of the amazing Grateful Dead band, I will listen to more innovative arrangements, spend quality time with my guitar, work on new approaches to a variety of musical styles, write regularly, focus on fun, and take my hand off of the wheel, allowing the journey to unfold. After all, there may still be a “long strange trip” within me, waiting to be born.

To begin manifesting your best life, visit my website here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/.

Time to Unload

I look at my watch and realize I am late. I need to be at the airport in 20 minutes but that is impossible. I am at least a 20 minute drive from the terminal and I haven’t even finished packing. My belongings are spread out all over my bed and my suitcase is already too full and much too heavy. I try to focus and pull myself together but I am quickly in an all out panic and completely overwhelmed. My mind begins to scramble and I lose any remaining mental control. I am going to miss my flight. Of that, I am certain.

I have had this recurring dream over the years and it successfully illustrates how I feel at times. I am an ambitious Capricorn and have always been striving for a higher plane. I know I have it in me to soar to greater heights, I just don’t know how to get there and sometimes it feels like I am carrying too much.

I have been reflecting on this theme recently because I have chosen the 10 of Wands repeatedly over the past month in my daily Tarot card draw. 

The 10 of Wands suggests that we may be moving with too large a burden and that this load may be unnecessary and holding us back from realizing our dreams.  It asks us to reflect on our situation and lighten things up by prioritizing, accepting help, and letting go of outdated and potentially harmful patterns, behaviors, and relationships. It says that our burdens come in a variety of forms including material, spiritual, literal, emotional, and energetic and that if we are to arrive at the desired destination, we will need to unload.

I have felt some heavy energy surrounding my efforts lately and have noticed that most of it is self-imposed (goals I have set for myself, guilt I am working off, scattered organizational energy, unprocessed emotions). I have begun to realize that many of these energies have been with me for years and have slowed my progress. I have started questioning what would happen if I began to leave some items behind. If I dropped some of my bags, would I make it to the airport on time? 

As I consider this, I realize that perhaps it is alright to step back and enjoy the fruits of my labors without carrying any guilt. Perhaps it is better to face my emotions head on and provide time, space, and self care so that I am able to process and release the sadness, hurt, and loss instead of continuing to bring it along, and even though it’s hard to let go of familiar patterns, maybe it’s healthier to say good-bye to those that are no longer working.

In the process of determining what to keep and what to unload, I have found it valuable to observe all that makes me happy and gives me joy. These are the things I want to add to my bag because they are light and propel me forward, and they are indicators that we are on our truest path. 

Everything else can go. 

Of course, there will be negative and difficult situations, emotions, and energies along the way, but I know that the quicker I can identify, process and integrate or let go, the smoother and more successful the journey will be (to begin manifesting your desired life journey, click here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). 

As we head towards the New Moon on April 11th, it is the perfect time to reflect on what loads we are carrying and if they are a necessary part of the voyage or are hindering our progress. We are the creators of our lives and if we want to travel to exciting destinations, it may be wise to let go of unnecessary cargo so that we can move along more freely with ease, flow, and unlimited grace.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

The Importance of Letting Go

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash

Ever since I started following the moon phases, I have taken some time around the full moon to reflect on areas of my life that are painful or uncomfortable. I try to pinpoint situations, ideas, and relationships that are causing anxiety, pain, fear, or any negative feeling. I look at past events that have hindered my progress and people who have told me I’m not good enough. I consider the effects these beliefs have had and decide if they are bringing me happiness or holding me back from reaching my fullest potential. 

We all hold onto things for a number of reasons. We may fear change, emptiness, the unknown, starting anew. We may have guilt or believe we are unworthy. We may be holding onto expectations, old patterns and pains, self-limiting beliefs, and harmful encounters that have been thrust upon us by others. We may hold onto the past because we fear saying good-bye. We may define ourselves by these experiences and feel that we are required to carry them with us for the rest of our days. 

The renowned psychologist Carl Jung said, “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” He believed that we have the power to define and create who we want to be by releasing our attachment to past ideas, situations, people, and feelings that are no longer working. He believed that once we forgive and let go, we are then able to begin the process of manifesting abundance, happiness, alignment with true self, and whatever else we can dream up.

The more I practice the art of letting go, the more I believe this to be true.

When we make it a regular practice to reflect on areas of our lives that cause pain, anxiety, or unease, we can begin to identify their origin and take the necessary steps to release them from our lives with love and compassion. Working towards understanding the reality of the situation or belief rather than the story you and others are telling is important, as is determining whether or not we are avoiding painful realities by busying ourselves, perpetuating our perceived shortcomings through rumination, or attracting relationships and situations that reinforce these harmful beliefs. 

If we are not living a happy, joyful life (most of the time), chances are we are not in sync with our true nature and there are likely things we are holding onto that are not supporting our best selves. So, how do we begin to let go?

I would recommend spending some time in meditation or journaling with the intention of uncovering any areas of discord and their possible points of origin. I would then make a list of all the people, situations, and beliefs that are no longer supporting you. Give thanks for all that you have learned from each experience and for any positive purpose it may have served. Send a blessing and then let it go. An effective ritual is to burn or shred the list as you release the energy into the Universe. This will strengthen the process and punctuate your intention. Also, it is important to remember that some of these beliefs and habits have been formed over many years or are deep rooted and will take a repetitive effort over time to fully release. I believe it is worth the effort and even if the letting go is small at first, you are still heading in the right direction and on the best path.

(To begin uncovering your life’s purpose, click here https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/).

Once you have set your intention and have gone through the ritual of release, you can begin to heal and create a more spiritually rewarding reality.  It is a good practice to replace the old patterns and beliefs with new more self directed ideas. Some ways to begin include expressing gratitude, creating and repeating positive affirmations, and practicing the art of creative visualization (I will get to this in more detail in a later blog). 

This month, as I meditated on what to let go, older and deeper memories began to surface. I could see a pattern of self limiting beliefs that had begun years ago with the inception of an idea that I was flawed in some way. The accusation, planted by another, had taken root in my subconscious as truth and I had believed it. Throughout my life, I have made decisions that reinforced it and turned down opportunities that would challenge it. These perceived limitations kept me contained.  

Until now. 

Today, I release all negative energies that are not in line with my true self. I let go of ideas, situations, and relationships that are injurious to me in any way. I forgive all those who have harmed me and I forgive myself for any pain I have caused to others. I attract love, abundance, harmony, health, and creativity.  I have the power and confidence to manifest my greatest potential for the highest good of all involved and I accept the challenge.

A Ritual for Pansies

While on a recent walk with my friend, Mary, the topic of spring came up and we began to express our excitement about the coming of warmer and longer days, the re-emergence of plants and wildlife, more access to fresh air, increased outdoor activities and the general hope that always comes with the season. We shared our enthusiasm for all that was springing forth this year and discussed how it was that much sweeter after enduring a year of pandemic. 

Mary went on to tell me that over the weekend she would be heading to the nursery to buy some pansies to plant in her yard. She said it was something she did on the first day of spring every year and that it was a bit of a ritual, a way to welcome the new season, a response to its beckoning.

The idea of ritual has come to my mind recently as I work on refining the services offered through my business, My Soul Purpose Project. (click here to begin manifesting the life you desire: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). I facilitate the process of connecting with inner wisdom in order to manifest one’s fullest potential.  I work with moon cycles, dreams, the Tarot, soul journaling, and other practices that use ritual in one way or another. 

In addition to the benefits of grounding, encouraging mindfulness, reducing anxiety, fostering connection to oneself and others, and improving physical and mental well-being, ritual also helps us tune in to our values and connect with others who share the same beliefs. It helps us to focus our energy, to build habits and organize our efforts. It promotes creativity and gives credence to our commitments. It is a celebration of the things we love.

The aim of my business is to help people create a life of happiness and purpose. Once we identify what is most truly desired, we move into the art of manifesting which involves belief, envisioning, writing, repeating, and embodying the desired outcome. Thoughts and words are a good way to begin, but in order to bring an idea to fruition, we must feel it happening, see it in our mind’s eye, and believe it to be true. Ritual adds power to these practices through focus, repetition, creativity, connection, love and fun. It helps to propel our wishes into action. 

The first day of spring was on Saturday and so far the temperatures have continued to rise and the sun has been shining. I decided to go to the nursery myself today and buy a crate of pansies to plant in the yard. They were a variety of colors and seemed eager to burst forth in their new life. I brought them home, thanked the Universe for the wonders of spring, the beauty of these tiny flowers, and the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and then I planted them in a container by the front door. 

As I stepped back to admire my work and reflect, I was reminded of the miracle of life and the unlimited potential available to us all at any time. I could sense the importance of taking the time to tune in and create rituals around all that I love and cherish and especially around the things I’d like to manifest. I felt hope that whatever challenges we face in the wintering of our lives, we will be offered a new beginning, a second chance. Spring.

I suspect I’ll be reminded of this each time I pass by the planter and I sense that the more attention, thought and feeling I give it, the more likely I will be to attract more of the same. When I look upon the expanding pansies, I’ll be reminded that whatever we put our attention to grows and the rituals we create will help magnify our gratitude, allowing us to celebrate that which we hold most true.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Placebo as Medicine

In my experience, the placebo effect has always gotten a bad rap. It has either been used as a way to disprove the effectiveness of a drug or therapy being tested or to uncover a group of hypochondriacs.  Whenever the placebo effect comes out ahead in a clinical study, it usually means that an attempt at a real cure has failed.

I have been thinking about the placebo effect recently while developing my new business, a life coaching and healing enterprise called My Soul Purpose Project. (Click here for more information on how you can begin manifesting your deepest desires~ https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). Several of the healing services I offer have no solid scientific backing. I perform Reiki, Tarot card reading, and moon phase planning in addition to the more (but not completely) proven methods of massage, craniosacral therapy, and soul journaling and the outcomes are almost always positive, sometimes in cases where more traditional methods have not worked. I have seen miracles happen and seemingly insurmountable obstacles overcome with a focus on belief, positive thinking, healing energy, and tapping into inner wisdom. I began to wonder if the success of these approaches was a result (at least in part) of the placebo effect and if so, did it dim their authenticity. 

The placebo effect is a concept used mainly in the scientific and medical fields and is defined by the Webster dictionary within this context. However, a 3rd definition is given which suggests a broader meaning, “something tending to soothe.” 

Through my recent studies and practice, I have been learning about the power of positive thinking and belief in shaping our experience and it makes me think about the placebo effect and it’s value in the healing process. Instead of looking at the placebo as a tool to prove or disprove the real cure or as a fake medicine to trick the patient into wellness, perhaps it is itself the remedy.

More recently, the placebo effect has been getting attention as a real player in the field of health and has become the subject (instead of just the control) of scientific study. According to a an article published in Harvard Health Publishing/ Harvard Medical School, The Power of the Placebo Effect (Aug. 9, 2019), “How placebos work is still not quite understood, but it involves a complex neurobiological reaction that includes everything from increases in feel-good neurotransmitters, like endorphins and dopamine, to greater activity in certain brain regions linked to moods, emotional reactions, and self-awareness. All of it can have therapeutic benefit.”

The article also states that belief is enhanced with ritual and by taking a sugar pill regularly or following through on a prescribed course of action, the results will have a much greater chance of success.

As I refine and develop the programs and services offered through my life coaching and healing practices, I will keep this in mind. I will continue to develop methods, exercises, and rituals to help tap into inner wisdom. I will encourage positive thinking and help cultivate ways to visualize and strengthen belief in the desired outcome. I will introduce techniques for gaining clearer insights by accessing the subconscious mind through the tarot and soul journaling, and I will foster a connection to the healing energy that surrounds us.  

I believe we should all embrace the effect of the placebo as it appears to be a valuable medicine. Used alone, or in combination with other pharmaceutical, herbal or energy therapies, it offers a natural and self empowering way to heal and to me, this makes it a real cure, one of the broadest, purest and most powerful.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Photo by Liam Simpson on Unsplash

Jumping into Free Play

Peter and I having fun during a photo shoot in 2017. Photo credit: Kelly Fitzsimmons

I am a musician and since the pandemic hit last winter, I have been unable to perform live. I play lead guitar and sing backup vocals in an acoustic trio called Wendy Darling and the Lost Boys and over the years we have built a following and secured gigs at a number of local restaurants and festivals. The live events are always a lot of fun as are the practices leading up to them, each giving birth to an abundance of laughter, cheerful conversation, delightful consumption, fluid movement to the music, and an overall relaxed and joyful experience. Working and playing with the band has added a great deal of happiness and play to my life.

Over the course of the quarantine, however, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain an energetic and creative musical practice. Where at first, we tried new approaches like putting out Youtube videos and sharing material through GarageBand, these methods eventually got old and punctuated the absence of the brilliance that can only be captured through live interaction, the interplay of sound, ideas, emotions, surprises, and improvised reactions. 

I have felt myself falling into a slump and have had trouble regaining momentum. 

A couple of weeks ago, I confessed my growing disinterest to my guitar teacher and he quickly offered me a book he said would help re-energize my approach. The book, called Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch, outlines the benefits of using play to ignite passion, creativity, and progress. He gives examples of renowned musicians, artists, writers and inventors such as Beethoven, Bach, Picasso, da Vinci, M.C. Escher, Van Gogh,  Einstein, William Butler Yeats, and William Blake, all who have created in this way.  He talks about opening ourselves to divine play (known as Lila or Leela in Hindu philosophy ) in which we surrender our consciousness and need to control the outcome and open ourselves to whatever inspiration may come through. This approach allows us to tap into the spiritual collective and ultimately, join it with our own individuality to bring forth new and unique ideas. 

As distribution of the Covid vaccine moves swiftly and the world begins to open up, I am beginning to see the point as it applies to my life. I am realizing how much play time I have been missing. I miss performing with my band in front of a smiling crowd. I miss travelling, get-togethers with family and friends, team sports, parties, farmer’s markets, festivals, walking downtown with a street full of people, eating out in a lively establishment, watching the latest movie in a sold out theatre, laughing my head off with a group of friends. When I think about my pre-Covid self, I realize when there is play in my life, I am extra productive, a better learner, and relaxed. I have deeper and more meaningful relationships and increased imagination and creativity.

I am only part way through the book, but I have already begun to approach my daily guitar practice differently. Instead of making a to do list and going through the scales and songs with mechanical effort, I have been allowing the process to come forth. Some days, I play whatever happens to be on the music stand. Other times, I take a band standard and try it with an entirely different guitar tuning. I experiment. I create. I dance. I play. 

I am finding that all I need to do is show up and allow myself this opportunity, to lose all inhibitions and bring forth that which makes me happiest.  I am beginning to regain my enthusiasm and new ideas and accomplishments are starting to surface, just as Nachmanovitch promised.

As the pandemic cloud lifts and we are able to get together in larger groups, there will be more opportunities for play, and I recommend taking them. There may still be a period of waiting before it is safe to rush out into the world, but even now, we can begin to approach all endeavors with the child-like perspective of fun, surrender, curiosity and joy. We will certainly be happier and we may even discover a hidden treasure or two.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Practical Magic

In recent months, I have been studying the cycles of the moon and experimenting with organizing my life’s goals and tasks around her varying phases. I set my intentions during the new moon, work towards their realization as she grows larger, release my efforts to the Universe when she is at her fullest, and regroup and heal as she shrinks in size. So far, I have found the approach to be a beautiful combination of practical and magical, which is exactly what I’m after. 

This month’s full moon occurred last week and through my studies, I was instructed to focus on forgiveness and letting go of all that was no longer working in my life.  

Over the years, I have been told that in order to live my healthiest life, I would need to identify and let go of things, of outdated people, patterns, attitudes, possessions, thoughts, situations and basically any negative energy that was not serving me. I also knew that forgiving was a key to healing and that sometimes I needed to forgive myself. I accepted these truths but never quite knew how to carry them out. Easier said than done, I thought. However, as I started practicing the rituals surrounding the different moon phases, I have begun to understand (and to feel) how it all works.

First of all, anything we spend time and attention on will grow. The very fact that we are committing energy to clarifying and manifesting our desires will result in more successes. Second, when we contemplate and write out our intentions/goals (which we do at the new moon), we gain clarity and give our thoughts power. Our ideas turn into words which turn into actions which eventually lead to the desired result. Envisioning and feeling the outcome magnifies the energy and makes the realization that much more likely, and when we add a ritual, like burning the paper holding the words, we create a stronger intention and a grounding in our commitment to carry it out.

As we move from the new moon to the full moon (during the waxing stage), we determine action steps and consciously move towards our goals. The simple act of pushing forward, of making adjustments and going at it again, will inevitably bring us closer to our desired path. 

By surrendering our efforts to the full moon at the peak of the cycle, we allow the Universe to decide the best outcome for all involved. We make a promise to trust the result and this allows us to move into a more objective position and see the reality of our situation more clearly. 

Realizing and accepting what is and then releasing the parts that are no longer working is a key to manifesting our intentions. It allows us to empty our psyche and energy field of feelings, perceptions, habits, people, and situations that are not moving us towards our goal. In turn, we are offered new space to fill with positive energies that will propel us forward. It is also important to make time (during the waning cycle, after the full moon and before the new moon) to reflect and heal so that we will be ready for a new cycle of manifestation.

Finally, I love the cyclical nature of following the moon as it allows for the ebb and flow of events, efforts, rest, reflection, adding and releasing. If we continuously put out and move forward in a linear fashion, we are likely to burn out, lose perspective, dampen creativity, and damage our physical and mental well-being. On top of that, we will likely never reach the desired end point. 

As we leave the full moon phase this week and enter the disseminating moon phase, I am thinking about what to let go, what to keep, and who to forgive. I am beginning to rest and regroup, leaving space to reflect and edit my plan. I am making an effort to accept the reality of what is, then to revise, rewrite, and move towards the goal again or to come up with an entirely new pursuit if that is what is warranted.  

The more I organize my life around the moon phases, the more naturally it seems to flow. It is a pragmatic approach with extraordinary potential. I like to think of it as practical magic, the very best kind.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Manifesting the Magic of Sand Dollars

The magical sand dollars we discovered on our beach walk

About 6 years ago, I took a workshop that changed my life. The course, entitled Manifesting Magic and Miracles, was held on a summer weekend at the Omega Institute in upstate New York. My mother, sister, and I were looking for something fun to do together and were familiar with the restorative retreat at Omega. We had never heard of the presenter, Pam Grout, but all agreed we could use a bit of magic and a few miracles to help us break old patterns and move towards a more spiritually rewarding life.

The course, based on Pam’s book, E2, began with a few simple exercises to help us think “outside the box” and prove that by reshaping our perspective and employing some inventive techniques, we could manifest anything imaginable. We started by picking words from a hat, things like red cardinal and baseball bat. We then meditated as a group, focusing our attention on the intended object and asking that the Universe bring forth the item in some form or another over the next couple of days. Each following morning at the start of class, we went around the circle and attendees shared their experiences. The stories were varied, surprising, funny, endearing and serendipitous and by the end of the weekend, nearly everyone had manifested their object in one way or another. 

On the final day, we dug a little deeper, breaking into small groups and turning our work to our own personal quests. We focused on our truest and most individual desires. We created vision boards and discussed ways of releasing limited thinking patterns. We committed to surrendering our wishes to the Universe and asked that they manifest in the best way possible for the good of all…..and by god, they did. 

Within the next few years, my entire life had changed and I was living a lot of what I had envisioned over that fateful weekend. 

I continue to practice experiment #1 in the book which calls for the seeker to ask the Universe to deliver a specific object within a limited timeframe, usually 48 hours. I have found that the key to success is not to look for the object but instead to allow it to come by being aware of how it presents itself (which is often different than what you would expect). Sometimes, noticing and following a trail of breadcrumbs or related items will eventually lead to what is being sought. The ability to recognize these clues is paramount.

This past weekend, my partner and I set off for a walk at the beach. The isolation of the pandemic was getting to us and we had exhausted many of the local trail networks. We love to look for sea treasures during our ocean strolls and recently have been experimenting with Pam’s method to attract the best offerings. 

This weekend we were looking for unbroken sand dollars. We envisioned the most perfect specimen and then put our intention into the Universe. We let go of the act of trying to find it.  We allowed our attention to divert to conversation and other happenings around us. We even forgot at one point that we were searching for shells until suddenly one appeared, and then another and another. We found several beautiful and varied sand dollars as well as a number of other intricate shells.

I love this type of magic because it is fun and playful and more importantly, it works. When carried out correctly, the Universe will deliver desired objects right into your life and, when taken a step further, the approach can be applied to attract situations and experiences. Its power, however, should never be underestimated. It is important to be clear on what you want and make sure you are ready to receive it. After all, you may just get what you wish for. 

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Crystal Messages

Dr. Emoto’s photo of a love charged water crystal.

The holiday season has arrived and even though for most, this particular year will be a more low-key homestead style celebration, it still carries with it the pressure to shop, decorate, uphold traditions, and surprise the people you love with everything that will make their hearts merry and bright. In addition to that, it usually brings up unresolved emotions from as far back as childhood. It is a volatile time when all of our experiences come to the surface, good and bad, and visions of sugarplums dance through our heads alongside other less appealing confections.

This weekend, amidst the wrapping and planning, and just as my partner and I were feeling the holiday pressure mount, it started to snow. It was unexpected and beautiful. The flakes were large and full and we watched them drift slowly without hurry. We could sense their confidence and poise as they posed briefly in front of the window before continuing their descent towards the snow covered ground below. We stood in awe for a few minutes before looking at each other with the same realization. We could sense the flakes offering us an anecdote to the stress.  So, we grabbed our skis and headed for the woods.

About halfway through our trek, we stopped to catch our breath and take in the serenity and majesty of our surroundings. I noticed a clump of red bittersweet growing on a shrub near the river and as I looked closer, I was able to make out the individual snowflakes. Each held a unique and brilliant design and reminded me of a book I had read some time ago called The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto. 

In the book, Emoto illustrates the effects of words, pictures, and music on the structure and development of crystallized water (snowflakes). The water that was exposed to positive words such as love and peace (and classical music) turned out to be beautiful and intricate, which was evident once it was frozen into crystallized form. In contrast, the water exposed to negative words like hatred and war, (and heavy metal music) turned out malformed and less appealing to the eye. These findings led Emoto to conclude that wherever water is found, in our bodies for example, there will be a susceptibility to the quality of energy around it. Verbal words seemed to have the most impact. However, pictures, music, and the surrounding environment also had a substantial influence. Certainly, we can understand how positive and negative statements, sounds, and visuals would affect our psyche and emotions, but Emoto’s research goes beyond that, to illustrate how these energies have a direct impact on our physical composition as well.

As I continued to watch the snow fall, I could feel my entire body relax. There was a palpable calm which did not exist hours before in the midst of holiday preparation. I had changed in some way, perhaps physically. It may have been the quiet of the snow as it blanketed the forest or the perfection of the crystalized designs. Whatever it was, I vowed to keep the feeling close to my heart by bringing the visual to mind each time I felt the stress creeping in. I also promised to extend kind and loving words to myself and others, especially during these trying times. After all, peace, love and joy (even if only in a word) seem to be the best gift I can give this holiday season.

Masaru Emoto’s findings are spectacular. Here is a quick demonstration measuring the effects of gratitude on water:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDNhH8deZPg

Wendy’s Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/