Saturday, June 25, 2016

Coping with the world's pain

I was in my car on a beautiful morning when I heard the news of the Orlando shootings. Although it would have been easy to be sickened and to fall into despair I immediately started to pray. I clung to the fact that love was rising up even more strongly than the darkness. Blood donations were rising dramatically. An outpouring of love was sent from all over the world to the families of those involved. The sad effects of prejudice shocked many into understanding the horrible effects of such judgmental ideologies.

I heard someone on the news saying, "I guess the takeaway is that we're all human. We all have to help each other." I burst into tears  at these beautiful words. The world is now talking about "takeaways" – a modern term for the fact that there are things we can learn and love we can gather from even the most difficult situations. 

So how do we find the "takeaways" and allow ourselves to feel good in our own lives even amidst the pain of the world? How can we be sensitive and loving souls, while still not falling into anger, fear, and despair? 

Here are a few ways I cope while feeling the world's pain so deeply...

1. Realize that you have the Vibrational Power to Create Change.
We cannot change another, nor can we change what has been done in the past. We certainly can't bring those who have been killed back to life.

We may experience a righteous anger, but it is important not to stay trapped in an anger born of feeling helpless... "What it if happened to me? What if it happened to my loved ones?" The illusion of powerlessness gives rise to more violence, even in our own minds and hearts.

We can choose a more powerful response. We can choose not to perpetuate the vibration of violence. We can choose not to hate, to judge, or to condemn. We can choose to be kind to ourselves, kind to others, less judgmental, less critical, and more tolerant of differing ideologies. We can pray for the upliftment of the wounded souls who perpetuate such pain. For in choosing not to hate the hateful, we remove power from the poisonous vibration of hate, and empower the vibration of love.

2. Engage in Practices that Bring you Peace

Your Peace is a priority, and a vibrational blessing to the world. Go out in nature. Garden, cook, spend time with your kids, loved ones, animals. Read inspiring books. Go for a walk or a bike ride. Exercise. Listen to beautiful music. Being in a peaceful vibration allows you to do more good, to give as guided, and to love beyond reason.

I find peace in nature and music. I hiked 9 miles the weekend after the shootings and waded 2 1/2 of them in a pristine stream. I've been going to sleep every night listening to Robin Miller's new CD "Dreams of Heaven because his music channeled music from the angelic realms instantly returns me to a space of Divine Love. I prioritize my peace so I can be of greater service.

3. Give as Guided

After some disasters I have walked to the phone, called the charities involved and donated more than I thought I could. After others I am compelled to post prayers. After some I am simply guided to silently send energy to those involved. There have been times when I've not been guided to do a thing except to be peaceful.

Ask your inner guidance what to do and you will know. Sometimes there is no answer and that means, "nothing this time." Trust. For every human need another human being is guided to give. Sometimes it will be you, sometimes not.

4.Above all, Choose love

Choose not to hate those who hate. Choose not to judge those who condemn. All souls, without exception, are here in this one room schoolhouse to learn. Some do it gracefully. Some do it in hateful hurtful ways, but in all cases, we are all made of the same light and it is our divine calling to focus on the light within others, no matter how dim, and to pray that it be amplified.

If you are inclined, join me in a prayer that the lost, the angry, the hateful, wounded violent souls on this earth be uplifted into the light of Love, that their pain be soothed, that they remember someday who they truly are. And may the family and friends of those who left their bodies in the shootings, or any acts of violence, be comforted by the outpouring of love from our world. May they know and feel the presence of their loved ones in heaven and may their souls feel God's peace.

Bless you all. I love you. I treasure our journey together.
May we be beacons of love in a world diligently working to awaken.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Giving and receiving

I have an easy time giving. I had to learn to receive. Years ago someone offered to help me with something I really needed. I "politely" refused as I had been conditioned to do. I didn't expect this response! "Don't screw up my blessing! Let me feel good about helping you! I know you need the help!" I was busted! They were right. "Don't screw up my blessing!" I think of that now every time I am habitually conditioned to decline.

I still decline many of the things offered me. My house is happily full and I can't really use more stuff. I don't eat sugar or flour anymore. I spend my time enjoying close friends, family, time with God, and working in service so I truly do have to decline invitations all the time.  However when someone offers me something I can genuinely use or enjoy, I have learned not to screw up their blessings! And in any case, when anyone offers anything, I truly receive their loving intent and hope to bless them back with my appreciation.

A few weeks ago after hiking in Sedona I stopped by to visit my friend Robin Miller. He was outside playing his beautiful music. A very sweet lady was meditating nearby. I felt her very beautiful and powerful energy rippling out into the world, blessing the land and everyone in the near vicinity. I suddenly felt motivated to get her one of Robin's CDs. And so I went up and simply said, "My angels told me to give you this." It was guided, felt right, and that was that... or so I thought.

We ended up chatting. Ends up she is a pretty amazing healer and she offered me a treatment. I couldn't think of anything I needed because I heal myself all the time, but because she was so sweet, and spirit was nudging me I told her I'd call. I sat in meditation the next day and asked what this was about. Clearly I was getting guidance to receive. My back felt like it went up in flames as waves of heat rose up it. Ah ha! I am constantly working to stay in alignment - both spiritually and physically! And so this very dear woman did a phone session with me, shared some beautiful energy, and wonderful yoga poses that truly have helped. As always, God knew better than me what I needed!

So this week, when it feels right, try to keep the love moving through the universe by both giving and receiving – of course, only and always when and where it feels right and joyous!

Here are a few easy ways you can do this. 

1. When you think something nice about someone, say it

If you admire something about someone, say it. While this sounds obvious, we hold back all the time... because we don't know the person, worry about what they'll think believe they already know, etc. I've had more loving interchanges, little interactions that added joy and light to my entire day simply by speaking up.

2. When you need help, ask.

I know this is a tough one for many, but realize that most people like to be useful and good to one another. You like helping people when its genuine. Many others do too. Whether its asking someone to hold a door, babysit your child, or help you brainstorm a few ideas, make a request. They may say no, and that's OK. Trust. Ask someone else. For every need, there is someone who needs to assist. 

3. Drop into your heart once in awhile. Pray, "Dear God how would you have me give or receive today?"

Let the Divine guide you. You'll get an answer. Trust the very first thought or feeling that pops into your mind. I did this just now and heard the angels, "Sit with us, let us give to you." As soon as I finish, I'm going to sit still and let the angels love on me with their sweet energy!

Keep the love flowing. Like a river nourishes the grasses and trees along its banks, cycles of authentic giving and receiving nourish everyone involved. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A homeless man & almond milk

I am always in awe of the way our prayers are answered. I was rushing around last week, out to buy some groceries, and praying that I could stay in my spiritual center in the midst of so much going on. Lo and behold, I was stopped in front of the store by a homeless man. He wore ragged pants, a black tattered shirt, and a big hat. He looked like a slender version of "Indiana Jones" from the "Raiders of the lost Ark" movies. But something was different about his energy. It was way more dignified than his appearance.

As he approached, I wondered if he was going to ask me for money and was already tuning in asking God what I should do, when I heard, "Just listen." Instead of money he asked me if I was going to a nearby store. I wasn't but said I could grab some groceries if he needed something. "Could you get me some almond milk," he requested, and proceeded to hand me some money for it.  

He said he'd meet me in front of it but didn't want to go in because he had a shopping cart full of stuff. "Sure," I answered. Easy request.

So I drove to the store, while he pushed his cart, which was the funniest looking cart I'd ever seen, bigger than normal ones and loaded up with piles of clothing and stuff including a big screen TV. Something wasn't right with this picture, but I had no desire to do anything other than get the man his almond milk and get my groceries. Still hurrying, I got stuck in a slow checkout line. By this time knew spirit was up to something.

Outside the store, I handed this ragged homeless man his almond milk and gave him $1 back because it was on sale. As he thanked me, he looked into my eyes and I may as well have been hit by lightning. Deep piercing oceans of blue Divine love looked at me through those eyes. There was no separation. Soul to soul it didn't matter what roles we played on this earth... or beyond – he looked a lot like one of my spirit guides who has been known to make an appearance or two. In that moment, there was only the dance of the Divine. 

I went to get into my car and when I turned around I didn't see where he'd gone. It didn't matter. I was deeply rooted in my spiritual center, and somewhere, in some dimension, this man was enjoying his almond milk.

I love this quote from Hebrews... "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." I may never know exactly who or what this man was for certain – the angels won't tell me everything, but I know energy, and I felt in that instant of connection the answer to my prayers.  

So when you are guided to help someone, maybe, just maybe, they're helping you too!

This week try to find the "Gift of Presence" as the angels like to say...

1. If someone is kind to you

Be Gracious and bless them with your gratitude.

2. If someone is unkind

As the angels like to say, metaphorically, "Don't dignify the devil." Walk away, remain silent, send love, pray. Honor your own bright spirit even when other's don't.

3. If someone is in need

See if you are genuinely guided and motivated to give. If not honor your own knowing and guidance. If you are, do so with a glad heart. In either case, celebrate... you have chosen love!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Poison oak & tough folks

For the last few summers, I've avoided hiking in the forest for a really mundane reason. I'm horribly allergic to poison oak! A few years ago, after having several painfully uncomfortable breakouts, I decided to just stay away from it altogether.  

This year, however, I was craving my summer time hikes. I decided to put fear aside, wear long pants, and simply be very careful to stay on the trail. 

In the words of the angels, "Of course you can hike Ann. Just stay conscious... and stay on the path!" I laughed. The angels never waste a chance to give me a life lesson. Stay conscious and stay on the path... good words for summer hiking, and for life! 

So as I set out on my first summer time forest hike in years I told the poison oak, "I don't like you but I'll respect you. I'll stay on path. Please stay where you belong too!" Of course everything went just fine!

I didn't miss the metaphor. I used to allow unkind people to pull me into the forest of their misery, rather than staying on my "path" of joy. I used to allow angry people to pull me into debates, rather than staying on the "path" of my truth. I used to allow critical people to pull me into thickets of confusion, rather than staying true to my inner compass.

In a way, those who insist on being chronically angry, fearful, critical, judgmental and unkind, are like poison oak. It's a beautiful plant, and they are beautiful souls. 
Poison oak has a right to be, and a purpose in the forest of life, and so do they. While we all have our moments, and sometimes our darker seasons of life and growth, if a person chooses to remain angry, fearful, critical, judgmental and unkind, without seeking real help, they have a right to do so... and to learn the soul-level lessons that come with it. 

However, I have a right to be loving, joyful, kind, and to expect the good in life. In order for us to co-exist in peace, I must remain conscious and stay on my path...

Practically speaking, if I try to create a kind and loving interaction with these individuals, but if I cannot, I create good boundaries, leave them alone, pray for them, and send them light. I ask God to "illuminate and uplift their souls when they are open and ready."

Here are a few pointers to "keep you on path" when someone tries to share their "poison"...

1. Remember, you both have a right to be

They can be negative. You can be positive. You don't have to change them and they should not be allowed to sway you. Listen to their perspective, acknowledge it, thank them for sharing it, but remain quietly centered in your own, more loving, truth.

2. Remember... Poison isn't personal

If someone is critical, mean, or nasty, its not about you. They're hurting and trying to share their pain. I pray for them and surround them with light. Remember this phrase... "Your unkindness is not about me." You don't have to say it out loud. Memorize it and think it when someone is not being nice.

3. Avoid the Poison if you can

If you already know someone is going to be negative or nasty, unless you must be around them, avoid them. While that sounds obvious, sometimes pity leads us to put ourselves in toxic situations. Compassion – understanding that life's journey is not always easy, and that everyone is learning and doing their best – is wonderful. Pity –  feeling sorry for someone as if they are not a powerful soul here to learn and grow – is not.

4. Don't Absorb the Poison
There is a mistaken notion that if you're around someone negative you must feel it. You don't have to... Here are a few more tricks to avoid "taking in the poison":

Send them love - imagine your light emanating from you, embracing them, filling their aura with light. 

Drain it out - Point a hand towards the floor and intend to funnel any negativity aimed out you into the ground. Go outside, put your feet in running water, etc. Use nature or intention to drain their negative, static-y energy into the ground.

Remember, they are you... - In the deeper mystical understandings, we are all one... they are a part of your human family lost in misunderstanding and lonely sense of being unloved. Even though you may have nothing to do with them, you can shut your eyes and repeat this... "I love you. I am you. Come into my light..." Either they will transform, leave you alone, or your attitude will shift to be more peaceful around them.

And... if all else fails, and you feel you've taken in the poison, get outdoors, take an Epsom salt bath, or put some salt in the shower. Nature nurtures and cleanses, and salt water cleanses the aura.

Above all, as the angels remind us, try to see the "poison oak" people and behaviors in your life as a gift. Bless them and learn from them. They're really just challenging us to stay conscious and stay on the path of love and joy!