Saturday, August 22, 2009

Letting my joy shine

For years I've toned myself down when in joyful moods if those around me were in pain. My happiness has been known to drive people nuts. "Calm down," I've been told. "You can't really be that happy. You're in denial." I no longer worry about bugging people with my joy. When I am happy, I am. I'm no longer in the business of creating misery in my life anymore to show people I understand and care about theirs. I do understand. I truly care. I've had physical pain, spiritual attacks, financial losses, times when I didn't know how to pay bills, emotional and verbal abuse in relationships this life and other types in past lives... you name it. I've walked in the dark. And yet I've come to realize that these walks were necessary when they happened because I was learning. I was learning how to listen to my feelings, honor my instincts, to live in the moment, to walk with faith, and to really understand that taking care of myself meant I would serve the souls rather than the egos of those around me.

Now when I see or work with someone who is in pain, I know their soul is learning too and they just need love, compassion, and understanding of the lessons to get them through. They might think they need pity, but what they really need is a real solution, a real way out. Years ago the angels said to me, "Ann if someone is in quicksand, don't you think its best to stand on the firm ground and offer them a hand up when ready rather than to jump in and let them stand on your head trying to climb out?" I have to admit, I got the concept right away but it has taken me years to truly embrace the fact that suffering with others to show I care, is useless nonsense. Far better for me to stand in a higher truth and truly help them through it.

I have huge compassion for those in pain. I've been there. And yet I no longer feel I should suffer too. I once heard that a famous actress was interviewed and the interviewer said, "Don't you feel terribly guilty because you have so much when others have so little?" Her response was true spiritual brilliance, "No," she said. "I feel terribly blessed that I have so much and am in a position to share inspiration and do good in the world." This is what I aspire to do - to fill my own well over and over and to spill it forth into the world.

My dog is a great teacher for me. I have a tendency to care so much that when she is in pain a part of me wants to put my entire life on hold, and be with her. She would like that too, but I can't do that all the time. I have responsibilities to myself and others as well. This week we had another challenge. She managed to remove the drip pan from the grill and eat the hard metal foil pan after chewing it into sharp little bits. I prayed like CRAZY for guidance and the angels told me if I could relax, she would, and her body would get rid of it. For the sake of my dog, I calmed down and trusted the guidance.

In spite of my mind saying I should stay up, watch her, and worry through the night, I listened to the angels and went to bed. My dog was in obvious discomfort but I knew after loving on her that there was nothing else I could do. I woke up at 2am to the sound of sharp foil bits being ejected and my poor dog looking pretty thrashed. I calmed her down, massaged and kissed her, cleaned up the mess, changed the towels and decided to go back to bed since once again the angels said that there was nothing I could do other than to get sleep and take care of myself. The process was repeated at least three more times that night. The next day I had SO much to do. I felt I 'should' sit with her and just pet her all day but the responsibilities called and the angels told me to leave her be. On several occasions my mind started to worry, agonized, and guilt-trip itself. "I should take her to the vet." "I should feed her cotton balls (google it - its a remedy for dogs who swallow sharp stuff)." "I should make her throw up." "No, No, and No." the angels said. Relax, go on with your day, Ann. Be calm and she will be calm. This was what I truly wanted to do even had I not heard the angels. My mind was trying to negate my heart. I ignored the yak, yak and listened to my heart and the angels.

To make a long story short, I had very good and productive day and after resting all day my dog got rid of the rest of the foil. We were all quite happy once again. Had I sat there and been miserable with fear and worry with her, she would have tightened up with possibly tragic consequences. She really is teaching me that it is not productive to sit in misery when someone else is, but rather to listen to the guidance and allow myself to be in a better space. It was my calm that helped her find peace and allowed her to loosen up. What a lesson!

So if you are around someone who is not in a good space, love them. Ask permission if you want to offer advice. Honor their process. But know that you serve them far more if you listen to your own heart and guidance that if you listen to all the 'shoulds' we were raised with, or if you honor their tugs and pulls. Stay in your own center and from that point, God will help you figure out how to truly help their spirit through whatever lesson it is they are learning. You will feel much better too!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pray like you mean it

I prayed some serious prayers this week. After the dog episode, a week of dear but intense clients in need, and scores of emails, coupled with the fact that most of my dear friends are also going through challenge now (seems many are!), and some big bills suddenly coming in, I got a little off center. I know I'm off center when I am not clear and focused in the moment about what it is my heart wants. My mind was starting to yak and take over. I knew I needed to realign with God, and to reclaim my power over my own life, rather than feeling out of control. So I did something that always works for me - I set time aside and prayed.

I began with a prayer to the guardians of the four directions - they are angelic beings that help with thought (east), physical manifestation (south), emotion (west), and wisdom (north). If you want to learn more about the metaphor of the medicine wheel, you can read this article on my site.

I prayed for everything I wanted to transform inside myself, for clients, friends, dogs, and finally I sat in front of a beautiful crystal sphere that looks like earth and took it into my hands and prayed vehemently for the well being of mother earth. A seismic wave of emotion came back up from the earth through my feet and flooded my heart. Tears welled up from my depths as I felt the love of our planet stream back into me. She knows when we're praying for her and like any mother acknowledged, returns the blessings tenfold. I knew she was about to change. I knew she was ready to shake and quake. I knew we were all in for change. I blessed and thanked her, blessed my angels and guides, and gave thanks and praise to God for my life and the lives we all live - no matter how challenging they are, for in this space of being connected with earth, the four directions, and all aspects of my life, even the challenges looked like blessings,

Slowly I came back to normal awareness, extinguished the candles I'd lit after imagining absorbing their light into my heart, and went to check on the dogs. My injured one who had prior been sluggish and somewhat depressed, got up, ran over and licked my nose happily. She has been doing great every since. Suddenly I am motivated to work on another book. My friends lives are shifting.

I am back in spiritual truth, ready to love and give more. Its amazing what happens when we take charge, when we do whatever it takes to get back into our power and to connect with God in serious and sincere prayer, KNOWING and TRUSTING, that He hears us. Ceremony is one way. Church service, for some is another. Meditation works. Anything that gets you feeling connected to God again will get your life moving in a positive motion. We are not separate from God or one another... ever. It is only when we get tired or mired in illusions that our lives start to take on a lackluster survival quality. God wants more for us. We have to own that we are worthy of it. Our prayers should not be the supplications of a pleading child who feels unworthy of love but rather a call to the loving creator from a spirit who knows that he or she has a valued place in the universe and is worthy of love, attention, and support.

Praying like this works. It has never failed me. If we pray as if we don't deserve the answer to our prayers, we immediately negate them. When we pray inauthentically we negate our prayers. When we pray with deep and sincere conviction, from the depths of our being, knowing we are worthy of an answer, the universe cannot help but answer in its own perfect time.

This week, get real with your prayers. You are not powerless or unloved. Pray as if you know you are loved, know you are supported, and know God cares about your heart. Pray as if you are setting the entire universe in motion with the very act of your praying. Pray as if you are a starving man praying for food, not pleading and begging in unworthiness, but rather commanding the very source of abundance itself to share with you what you know you have on the inside.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Presence pays off

I have been practicing the present of presence far more than I thought was possible lately. I can actually sit and relax in stolen moments and not worry when they will end. I can be more in the moment with my tai chi and feel the energy even more than ever before. I have been more present with clients and the spirits in the many different dimensions that come with them. Its been fun.

However the present of presence REALLY pays off when you get challenged. Last week in the middle of my last reading, the dogs started banging on the bedroom door indicating they needed to go outside fast. I quickly excused myself to let them out. Lucy, my labrador with arthritis, stepped on her foot wrong and got in so much pain she started snapping uncontrollably. My other dog reacted. I got in between, separated them and got repeatedly bit on my right arm. She didn't puncture far, but boy was I bruised! When I put her back in the bedroom I discovered a 'present' had been left for me. I went back to the reading, breathed a few times, got present and focused on my client. The rest had to wait. After the workday was ended, I cleaned up the doggie gift, threw the towels underneath it in the wash, breathed into my monthly cramps which decided to kick into full gear, Reiki'd the hurt dog, called the vet to schedule an appointment, fed the dogs, and iced my arm. I surrendered to a ten minute pity party then emailed my best healer friends for help, and proceeded to eat dinner and actually relax for the last half hour of the evening. Being in the present enabled me to handle the drama without yelling at my poor hurt snapping dog, without making my own injuries worse (almost all better except for some color on the arm), without messing up the reading, and without spiraling downhill into the old 'why me?' scenario.

Later that week, we got to the vet, got doggie drugs, researched better alternatives on the web, and did one honkin' prayer ceremony, immediately after which my dear doggie perked up and felt better. Now we're on a schedule for meds, supplements, Reiki, paw-dicures, and doggie massage - much more responsibility for me, but a better life for the furry kids, and therefore a more peaceful and happy house.

Being present does indeed help you enjoy life's joys immensely, and it certainly helps you handle life's challenges with greater ease. I keep telling myself... I can only do my best, one moment at a time. I can only do what I can do. If I can't handle something alone, God will be there to provide help and assist me. If I can't help another, God will provide someone else who can. God is in charge. I am only required to listen to my guidance and my heart and follow these compasses one moment at a time.

So if you catch yourself in bliss, surrender to and enjoy the moment. If you are in challenge surrender to and handle the moment. That is, after all, all we have. Tomorrow becomes our new today. Today becomes our new yesterday. Now is where life happens.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Saving a life

I had one of those guided moment again last week. I was planning to run multiple errands and my mind was saying it made sense to do everything else first and then go to the grocery store on the way home. Nonetheless, I had a strong urge to go go the grocery first - even though it would mean running home again so the food didn't melt in the car, since our temperatures are now regularly over 110 degrees! So into the grocery story I went just in time to see an elderly lady turning pale and wavering while gripping her shopping cart. In a faint voice she cried out, "I feel sick. I need a chair." No one else was paying any attention to her, other than giving her a quick stare and avoiding her aisle. I was mortified.

I ran and found the only chair in the store and held her while we eased her down into it. She was too weak to even let go of the cart. I put my hand on her back behind her heart and ran energy to calm her field down while I asked her if she was alone. Apparently her caretaker had run to get the car after she started feeling bad. "What happened?" I asked, and reassured her I'd stay with her till the caretaker arrived. "I just got out of the hospital, she said, and pushed her collar aside to show me the incision where a new pacemaker had been inserted into her heart. My daughter is going to be mad. She told me not to go out, but I made my caretaker bring me here." "You're a little stinker," I told her in a calming voice. "Don't worry, we'll take care of you." Meanwhile some totally unconscious shoppers got a little irate that we were taking up space in the aisle. "She's feeling sick," I told them gently, "Can you please go around us this time? I can't move her by myself"

I was praying for guidance and assistance when another woman showed up, asking if we needed help. "Yes please," I replied to both her and another man who offered once he saw what was going on. The new woman, it ends up, worked with elderly people and had a gift for calming the sick lady down, who by this time was quite worked up since the only way out of the store was to hoist her onto the seat of her rolling walker and wheel her out. Carefully we lifted her. The gentleman held her upright. I bent over and held her legs up since they didn't reach the floor, and the other woman coached us while we walked and rolled her to the car. Another woman gave her some water. The woman who knew what she was doing got the elderly lady in her car. I asked the caretaker to please get help and call the doctor when they got home, no matter how much her charge protested. She promised she would. I proceeded to get my groceries.

Back in my own car, the gravity of this woman's situation hit me. I shudder to think what might have happened had I listened to my head instead of my urge to shop first. She could have fallen, or worse died. I just met a woman whose first pacemaker didn't work and she almost died and had to go back and get a new one. I started bawling and realized that somehow I had tapped into a load of broken hearted sadness the older woman was feeling over the loss of her husband. I hadn't felt psychic in the store but it hit hard when I was done. I felt like God used me as a pressure release valve to help her live. After the tears, I thanked Him for the gift of being able to help someone like that.

You never know why your urgings are as they are. You may not know this lifetime why you chose a left turn over a right, why you went to one errand first vs. another, why you have the urge to call an old friend. But when those urges hit, just listen. It may be a small gift that spirit wants to give you - like witnessing a beautiful cloud formation or a rainbow, or getting something on sale, or it may be a matter of helping someone avoid an accident. It may even be a matter of helping someone live. You never know, but God knows what He's doing. We just have to listen :)