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Category Archives for "Self Improvement"
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The Sacred Art of Smudging: Sacred Smoke, Sacred Life

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.

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What if our leaders would marry the land?

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.

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13

Summer Solstice: your new beginning

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…

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8

Shamanism and personal healing

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.

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12

The magic of a home altar

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.

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4

Are you willing to do the work to change?

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:

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New year, new you?

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:

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7 ways to celebrate the Winter Solstice

“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!”

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A gift for you: The Fountain of Youth ebook is free now

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.

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10

“What is right with you?”

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:

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5

What eagles can teach us about Courtship

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.”

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10

The urban legend of the right to bear arms

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.

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Change your habits, change your life

“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.

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What are you getting ready for?

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!

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Bear Heart’s first job

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.

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