On Monday March 20, at 6:20 a.m. EST, the northern and southern hemispheres of planet earth are equally illuminated. This marks the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere.
It’s a day of equal balance of the hours of light and dark before the sun continues its journey towards longer daylight hours and warming temperatures in the northern hemisphere.
The equinox energy is strong for four days before and after March 20th, giving us time to bask in the opportunities and lessons it brings.
Where I live, in Michigan, it’s still gray and dreary, and it’s snowing as I write this. But a few days ago I saw a red-winged blackbird, and local lore says they come back when spring is just around the corner. So I took heart!
Ancient cultures throughout history have celebrated this time of rebirth of Mother Earth. But what does it mean for us?Continue reading
As a teacher of meditation, I’m always perplexed when I find people who don’t want to meditate, because the benefits are so enormous. I finally realized that it may be that some meditation myths are holding them back.
So I’d like to address them here:
THE 9 MOST COMMON MEDITATION MYTHS
1. It’s hard
2. I can’t stop my mind entirely
3. It takes too long
4. I have to sit on a pillow in the lotus position
5. I have no time
6. I’m not calm enough to meditate
7. I’m not spiritual enough to meditate
8. It will take years to reap benefits
9. It’s a religious practice
None of the above is true, but let’s address them one at a time:Continue reading
I’m an imperfect practitioner of decluttering. I try, but it’s hard. Which raises the question: Are we our things? Do our possessions define us?
For some, the answer may be yes. I think that was true of me for many years.
But perhaps the “things” evoke memories that go far beyond the physical representations.
I’m much less attached to stuff than I used to be, but I still struggle with my annual decluttering extravaganza.
How do you do?Continue reading
“Start before you’re ready” may be the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
As a child I was afraid to start any undertaking, for fear of doing or saying the wrong thing.
Afraid of failing.
I think a lot of people can relate to that, and it causes us to be overly cautious about taking risks or starting work or projects that would make our hearts sing, if it weren’t for the fear.
“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” ~ Miles DavisContinue reading
The concept of making “new year’s resolutions” has been a bit of a joke in our society for about as long as I can remember — the joke being that people never follow through so the “resolution” will never come to fruition. And for reasons that escape me, very few people talk about the key to success, which is “goal setting.”
And that’s a shame because the start of a new cycle [of anything, not just a year] is a chance at a new beginning.
“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”Fitzhugh Dodson
How often in our lives have we wished for a “do over?” Well, we can “start over” any old time. And setting specific goals, instead of making resolutions, is an excellent way to do it.
But you have to know the right steps.Continue reading
Whose God is it, anyway?
That’s the question I asked myself when I received a letter from a reader who was concerned that her prayers to God might be rejected because she’s not a Christian.
That’s a heavy thought, but I immediately reassured her that her prayers would not be rejected by a compassionate, wise, good and just God just because she isn’t a Christian.
The reason is that God is not Christian.
God is not Muslim.
God is not Jewish, or Buddhist or Native American…
There is just one God and whatever your beliefs, your prayers are heard. Period.Continue reading
We live in a world full of stress, war, ecological disasters, and financial upheaval. Sometimes it even seems that the world situation may be hopeless.
But the fact is that we don’t have to look far for solutions. Indigenous peoples from around the world have much to teach us about living a balanced life.
Decades ago, as I struggled with fear of an uncertain future, money woes and a high stress job, I turned to the simple teachings of my spiritual mentor Marcellus “Bear Heart” Williams and they have transformed my life.
Here are twelve life tips from Bear Heart:Continue reading
This year, autumn officially begins on September 22, 2016, at 10:21 a.m. EST.
Our ancestors celebrated all equinoxes and solstices, but the autumn equinox seems to have been a little less celebrated than the others. I’m not sure what the historical reason is, but for myself, I’m sad to see summer coming to an end and am not quite ready to say goodbye to summer and welcome in the fall.
But it happens. It’s part of the cycle of life, and to be in tune with the natural world, it’s important to honor these special “natural” events.Continue reading
Many people have heard of “smudging,” and may even practice it, but there’s great value in knowing its history, and understanding the true sacredness of it.
There are three primary herbs used in the Native American tradition for smudging: sage, cedar and sweetgrass.
Sage is used to dispel negative energy.
Cedar is used for an overall blessing or to cleanse where there has been illness.
Sweetgrass draws in positive energy.
I have been taught the importance of burning only one herb at a time for smudging, otherwise you are giving mixed messages.
Sage is the most commonly used for cleansing the energy field of a person, place or thing, so I will focus on it for this post.Continue reading
In ancient Ireland, the ceremony of crowning a king included a marriage ceremony in which the king would marry the land, or more accurately marry the Goddess of the land.
This marriage meant that the King swore to protect the land and the people, and be a caretaker of the earth. In return, when a King was favoured by the Goddess:
• he would rule with wisdom,
• the land would be fertile and prosperous,
• the country would always be victorious in war.
When that sacred contract was broken, the land was no longer fertile.Continue reading
Several years ago, when the pop singer Madonna was studying the Kabbalah with Rabbi Philip Berg, she invited Rabbi Berg up on stage at the end of one of her concerts and asked him to give the audience a blessing.
That was a lovely sentiment, but an unnecessary one. Because I’ve learned that we can all give blessings.Continue reading
June 20, 2016 is an auspicious day: both the Summer Solstice and a Full Moon – it’s the first time these two events have coincided in 70 years!
The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the time to celebrate life in all its aspects.
It’s also the time to call in all the positive things you want in your life, and release what no longer serves you.
The Full Moon also brings in powerful energies for manifestation of what you want.
Read this post to learn how…Continue reading
Quite a few years ago, during a routine medical exam, my doctor found some abnormal cells – pre-cancerous, or what today would be called Stage Zero cancer.
She recommended laser surgery to remove them. Even back then, I was very holistic and didn’t want surgery of any kind, even laser surgery, so I considered my alternatives.
As part of my Native American studies, I had heard of prayer fetishes: objects that are created, personalized, and prayed over, to bring about a particular outcome. Taking a leap of faith, I decided I would make a health fetish as my path to curing my condition.Continue reading
As you know, my passion is balanced living and how to free ourselves from self-imposed limitations.
One of my favorite authors, Guy Finley, shares the same mission, and I have arranged for you to receive a free gift from him!
Do you ever feel like something is holding you back from saying what you want, doing what you want — from just being yourself?
Are you tired of feeling as though your highest aspirations have been tucked away into a little box, when you know that your heart and mind are meant to soar?
If so, then you’re right where you need to be to break free of everything that’s holding you back!
There’s a lot of talk about sleep in the news lately:
• why we need it,
• how to get it,
• how much do we need?
• to nap or not to nap?
The advice even fills books, but there’s one important point I think has been overlooked:
We should be approaching sleep with the same respect and solemnity as we do ceremony!Continue reading
Did you know there’s a difference between a healing and a cure? And that understanding that can make a big difference in your health?
I address this and several other topics on health and spirituality in my 30-minute March 10 radio interview on the Hidden Wisdom radio show, hosted by Pandora PeoplesContinue reading
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: