Would you like to jump-start your meditation practice? Or have an instant dose of serenity? A home altar might be just the thing to help you.
Many people may think of altars as something only found in a church, but they don’t have to be limited to that.
WHAT IS AN ALTAR?
Altars are built to hold focused energy, and help you to feel calm and centered when you approach them. It represents your intention to create more serenity, peace and love in your space and your life.Continue reading
In 2003 and 2013, I went to Brazil to see the medium Joao de Deus [John of God] at the Casa de Dom Ignacio de Loyola.
The Casa is a place where miraculous cures regularly occur. It’s also a place of kindness and acceptance of people from all over the world.
So I was surprised to read an interview with John of God in which, when asked what determines if a person gets cured, his answer was “merit.”
I had to think long and hard about that. Surely possible cures would not be intentionally withheld.
So my interpretation of “merit” was that the patients do the work they need to do to achieve and maintain health:
There’s a lot of talk of “new year’s resolutions” these days. Probably because the new year seems a good time to create a “new you.”
What is a “new you?” That is a personal question that each must answer for themselves.
For me, it has to do with qualities of being rather than getting a new wardrobe or hairstyle. Those things have their place, but if you’re a reader of this blog, you probably want to look a little deeper at your life.
I always strive to be a better version of myself: less judgmental, more compassionate and forgiving, kinder, more nurturing. The list goes on.
One of my frequent prayers is for help in taking my spiritual work to the next level, and I think developing qualities like that are excellent hallmarks of a spiritual life.
Food for thought. But yes, I also want to lose the five pounds I gained over the holidays!
So now on to the practical tips for making change:
“Winter Solstice is the time when light is born out of the womb of winter’s darkness.” Mara Freeman, in Kindling the Celtic Spirit
To original peoples around the world the Winter Solstice is a time of great celebration. This year it takes place on December 21.
It signifies the return of the sun through longer days and shorter nights until the sun reaches its zenith at the Summer Solstice.
Many ancient cultures considered it to be the true beginning of the “new year.”
It’s something modern society takes for granted, and may not even notice. We always assume the sun will rise and set every day. But what if it didn’t?
What if it gave up because we never said, “Thank you!”
I’m delighted to announce I have a new book out and the e-book is FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow.
The Fountain of Youth Is Just a Breath Away; Breathing Exercises for Relaxation, Health and Vitality.
It’s also available as a paperback, but unfortunately that’s not free! 🙂 But the paperback would make a great holiday gift for your loved ones.
You do NOT need a Kindle to read the e-book. You can read it on any computer or tablet by downloading the FREE Kindle App software .
Don’t like to read ebooks? Get the paperback here.
Has anyone ever asked you that? “What is right with you?”
No one’s ever asked me that, but I certainly recall being asked, “what is wrong with you?” by parents, teachers and employers. I’m sure we all have.
All too often we, and others, focus on what is wrong with us. But there is more right than wrong with all of us.
Just as there is more that is right in the world than is wrong in the world.
People complain that there is only bad news reported in newspapers and the evening news. Well, the good news is that these events are out of the ordinary; that’s why it’s news!
The truth is that planet earth and everything on it is part of an amazing Creation, and we are each magnificent beings of light. Spiritual beings learning to be human.
We forget that a lot.
For some reason we seem to be trained to look for what is wrong.
I would say that 95% of my first-time clients ask, at the end of the healing session, “what did you pick up? What do you think is wrong with me?”
Meaning, they’re hoping for a clairvoyant reading that will tell them the problems I found.
I give everyone the same answer:
There is always much to be learned from the animal world, even about courtship . . . and even from eagles.
Here’s what a Navajo elder says:
” … It amazes me that in the animal world, the female of every species chooses the fastest runner, the best hunter, the strongest fighter for her mate. Yet a woman, who is supposed to be Creator’s finest achievement, often will lay down with any and sometimes every man who comes her way. If anything is going to change for the better, we women must lead the way to higher moral ground. We have to begin teaching our daughters and sons that they have great worth and great responsibility.”
The more something is repeated, even if untrue, the more it will be believed. This is particularly true of the belief that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives individuals the “right to bear arms.”
The Second Amendment, passed by Congress in 1789, consists of one poorly crafted sentence: “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
For 200 years, it was understood that the Second Amendment only gave an individual the right to bear arms within an organized militia.
This changed in the 1970s after a methodical political campaign by the National Rifle Association [NRA] led to its being reinterpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read on to understand how this came about.
According to the Huffington Post, last week’s mass shooting in Oregon was the 265th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2015. That’s not a typo.
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Dalai Lama
Does kindness matter?
I think so, and there are compelling reasons to make it a priority in our lives, for the world needs it now more than ever.
A few months ago, while watching television in a hotel in the Midwestern United States, I saw a commercial for a local program which mentors the elderly.
I heard the narrator say, “One of the ways we mentor the elderly is take them out and teach them how to shoot squirrels.”
Seriously? Mindless killing of animals just to pass the time? That really breaks my heart.
7 REASONS WHY KINDNESS MATTERS
Research shows that repeated acts of kindness:
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” ~Mike Murdock
What do we call something we do daily? A habit.
Part of the work of becoming a conscious human being is looking at our habits and patterns and seeing whether they serve us . . . or hold us back.
Sometimes we do things without even knowing why.
I love the story about a mother teaching her ten year-old how to cook a roast. As part of the preparation, the mother cut the ends off the roast before putting it in the pan.
The daughter asked why and the mother replied, “Well, honey, that’s how my mother taught me to do it.”
“But why?” asked the daughter.
I recently heard a Chinese saying about Western culture: “People in the West are always getting ready to live.”
That made me stop and reflect on how much time I have spent “getting ready” for the next direction I want to go in my life.
A fair amount of time, actually. And much of it was wasted time.
In fact, much of it was merely procrastination.
That is why I’ve taken to heart a phrase I heard last year by Steven Pressfield: “Start before you’re ready.”
Do you rush around “getting ready” to find the perfect mate, find the perfect job or house or car?
Or start that creative project?
Do you wait for conditions to be just right to start something new? I used to think I had to create the perfect office environment before I could start writing.
There’s no such thing!
Do you delay taking vacation time until you can afford to go to Paris? When there are perfectly interesting cities and places nearby?
Don’t let excuses hold you back!
Encouraging a child to earn their own money does more than teach them responsibility. It gives them the confidence to tackle anything. In this lovely excerpt from “The Wind Is My Mother,” Bear Heart tells the story of his first job: earning money planting cotton.
My dad taught me to hitch a team of horses to a wagon and a plow when I was eight years old and when I was ten he gave me two acres of land, saying, “If you want to plant something, go ahead. If you don’t plant anything, let it grow wild. Maybe some rabbits will come, feed upon the plant life and you can kill a rabbit to have something to eat. It’s your choice.”
Don’t let it sit idle, let it yield something — that’s what he was teaching me.
I just watched former President Jimmy Carter’s May 2015 TED talk entitled, “Why I believe the mistreatment of women is the number one human rights abuse.”
It’s riveting and enlightening [in a dark sort of way]. And it’s something we all need to know about if we are to correct these major abuses around the world. Just 16 minutes long, it’s well worth a watch.
If you’re like me, I learned in grade school that the U.S. Constitution was based on ancient Greek democracy. Which was a creative stretch of the truth, since ancient Greece was not a democracy.
My research as to what children are taught today about the origin of our government is also disappointing.
Apparently the Founding Fathers simply created it out of thin air, or were influenced by European governments even though there was no democracy anywhere in Europe at that time.
THE TRUE HISTORY OF OUR CONSTITUTION
The truth is that the U.S. Constitution is modeled in both principle and form on the Great Law of Peace of the Native American tribe known as the Iroquois.
Well, just when I thought Pope Francis couldn’t be any cooler, he has come out with an eloquent 10 commandments for stopping climate change and the “disturbing warming” of our planet.
One would think he was Native American.
These 10 commandments were part of a 182-page encyclical on climate change entitled “Laudato Si [Praised Be To You]; On Care for Our Common Home.”
Encyclicals are teaching documents traditionally addressed to Catholics worldwide, but this one was addressed to “every person living on this planet.”
In it, he said, “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”
Here are the Ten Commandments of Climate Change
Years ago I was at a party and walked into a room where a group of friends were playing on a small pool table. Curious, I asked what they were playing.
“Pocket billiards. Want to play?”
“Sure,” I replied, “what do I do?”
Pointing to the various pockets and handing me a cue, my friend said, “shoot this ball into this pocket and that ball into this other pocket,” etc., etc.
Much to my friends’ amazement, I did exactly that, because I was too naïve and inexperienced to know it was supposed to be hard!
So there was a super power I didn’t know I had.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and find they were the big things.” Robert Brault
One of the things I love about the Native American spiritual path is the focus on appreciating the simple things in life.
Simple things are often hard to relate to in today’s world of overwhelm.
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, says we human beings currently create as much information in two days as we did from the dawn of civilization up through 2003!
And yet our bodies were, and still are, designed to be in tune with the sun, the moon, the seasons, and the cycles of nature. That simplicity is what our souls long for.
“James, earn this… earn it.” Dying words of Capt. John Miller to Private James Ryan in the film, Saving Private Ryan.
Officially, Memorial Day in the United States is a day for remembering and honoring all Americans who died in any war.
Unfortunately, Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of the summer holiday, with people focusing on shopping, family gatherings, picnics and sporting events. So we sometimes forget the real meaning of the Day.