Thursday, February 24, 2011

Haven't Got Time for the Pain? Try Acupressure

Carly Simon's lyrics are about heartache — but physical aches and pains can often be far worse. If you're in chronic pain, it's difficult to enjoy life. All your energy gets diverted to what hurts.

In modern society, we've relied on pharmaceuticals for "fast, temporary relief," which is an empty promise: the pain will return as soon as the palliative effect wears off.

Holistic remedies, by contrast, focus on cause rather than symptoms, and look for where someone's life is out of balance, which created the pain symptom in the first place.

Don't Cure, Prevent!

In ancient China, prevention was a high art. People paid their doctor to keep them well; if you became ill, the doctor's fee stopped until you were healthy again. What a concept! Small wonder that Chinese medicine has flourished for over 5000 years.

Now we're beginning to embrace this perspective in the West. In 1998, the U.S. government established The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), the first time an American governing body formally recognized complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as a standard of care.

By far, pain is the overarching reason people choose alternative medicine: 55 percent of those seeking help suffer from back or neck pain, joint pain, arthritis, or migraines.

Acupressure works by stimulating the body's own creative energy, known as "chi". READ THE REST!

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Power to You!

I've been reading two classic books about power: Power vs. Force by David Hawkins, MD, PhD, and Power Through Constructive Thinking, by Emmett Fox. Both authors are master teachers with a spiritual focus; Fox, whose work saw its heyday in the early part of the 20th century, reminds me of Florence Scovel-Shinn, author of The Game of Life and How to Play It, which has helped me immeasurably on my awakening journey.

While there is much useful material in Fox's book, I wasn't finding anything particularly new at this stage of my evolution — until I came to the chapter on Reincarnation.

I've long believed that we select our birth families based on the Earth lessons we've chosen to learn this time around. This is Louise Hay's (You Can Heal Your Life) premise, and she's been one of my foremost personal growth guides for decades. But Emmett Fox brought me up short when I read, "Of course, we do not choose our parents. We go to the parent whose nature and conditions correspond with the state of the soul when it incarnates. And often that family is anything but what we would choose at that time." It's a very subtle shift, but a crucial one.

He goes on to explain how we assimilate the mannerisms and characteristics of our family members, but that there is no such thing as "heredity": instead of "inheriting" any conditions or predispositions from our ancestors, we gravitate to families where similar conditions already exist: like attracts like.

When I got this on the subtle level, it caused a primal shift in my awareness. For many years, ever since I first became conscious, I had evolved from "blaming" my parents for conditions in my life, and instead sought to see how I could heal what did not serve them, in myself first. I felt I'd taken on many of my mother's fears (e.g., deep water, dogs, public speaking) and had been overcoming them one by one in my life, reasoning that on some level, this was also healing the issue for her, since I was her daughter and had received these imprints in the womb or as a young child.

But now I understood that, far from taking on her issues, I had simply incarnated into this family because these fears mirrored my own! In a twinkling all residual feelings of holding my family in any way responsible for anything I experience, dissolved in a pool of Light. No wonder that it always seemed, when I mastered something and shared the details with my mother, that she was innately cheering me on, even as her words barely registered comprehension of the spiritual overlay.

It's challenging — even as a writer — to translate this core awareness into prose for you. If you can, pick up Fox's book and read that chapter, the most powerful (for me) in the book, and perhaps you will experience the same transmutation. It is quite literally, alchemy. I feel a step closer to living from true power.

More power to you, beloved. Blessings!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Your Essence is Enough

Today's my birthday, and I gave myself the gift of a phone call to one of my dearest friends back East, Ellie, who is 97.5 years old and, after a hip fracture a year ago, is once again walking up and down the three flights of stairs to her apartment. She is a spiritual beacon for me, and for many: whenever I call, there's sure to be someone else there, basking in the sunlight of her love.

I phoned her yesterday but she wasn't feeling well, and as I hung up, I beseeched Spirit, "She's lived such an exemplary life, and been through the broken hip; why is she still here when she's so ready to go home? Please make her transition easy and full of grace." And the message I received in response, which I shared with her today when she said, "In 2013 I'll be 100!" is that she is still here because she's helping to anchor the Shift of the Ages in this watershed year for humanity.

With her usual humility, she thanked me for my kind words and said she isn't able to do very much these days, but she thinks of me so often. I said that's exactly the point: it's not in the doing, but in the being, that she serves.

Our thoughts come first. Ellie sits in her small comfy home and radiates the love in her heart as she always has, which is why, after nearly a century and with no offspring of her own, she has, as she said to me today, "More friends than I can count." She calls herself lucky; I call her loving. People want and need to be in her energy field.

She is my ultimate role model. I don't know if I will ever attain the level of selfless Love for all that she expresses simply by living her life, but I feel very blessed to be the recipient of this essence. She thanked me for the gift of the call, saying she felt so uplifted, and I said, "You see, we are modeling where humanity is growing: giving and receiving are one in truth. I am so uplifted from talking with you as well!"

This is my birthday gift to you: know that, as you live the Love that you are, you are enough. Radiating the beauty in your soul is all that's required, though it's often a tall order. What we do in the outer world doesn't matter in the end; only Love is real. Your essence is enough.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Imbolc: Groundhog Day to the nth Power!

February 2nd goes by many guises. In the U.S., it's popularly celebrated as Groundhog Day, when a small furry rodent supposedly either sees his shadow or doesn't, and the result determines whether we experience six more weeks of winter. The day has far deeper meanings than this — but yes, it is a potent moment to watch your shadow!

Celebrated cross-culturally, the day is both a Christian and Pagan holiday, known variously as Imbolc, St. Brigid's Day (Bride's Day), and Candlemas.

In Celtic and Earth-based traditions, Imbolc ("in the belly") is one of the most powerful portals on the ancient Wheel of the Year: the exact midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

A harbinger of Spring, Imbolc celebrates the return of the Light in a profound sense. It's the first "cross-quarter day" on the Wheel of the Year, which honors the two Equinoxes and Solstices, as well as Beltane (May 1st), Lammas (August 1st), and Samhain (October 31st).

At Imbolc (Candlemas in Christianity), the energies begin to pulse with renewed life and hope. Fire festivals are common. Vicki Noble, co-creator of the Motherpeace Tarot and author of Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World, which affected me profoundly during my own awakening, writes, "Traditionally a time of transformation and initiation, Imbolc brings 'big dreams' and a raised vibration …

"With powerful Pluto in the physical sign of Capricorn (until 2024), we look forward to momentous planetary and personal change. As old structures crumble, inside and all around us, imagine yourself sitting safely inside of Kali's dance of liberation."

In 2011, ten planets and asteroids congregate around the Moon and Sun conjunct Mars, portending a profound surge of alchemical fire power to ignite our dreams.

What most astonished me was discovering that St. Brigid (in the Irish tradition) is the Patroness of Midwives. Since my birthday is February 4th and I've long referred to myself as a midwife for our global rebirth, it was a clarifying reminder of "what we know, before we know that we know!"

Enjoy this poem by Dawn Callan, which symbolizes and summarizes this moment eloquently:

Some By Fire

~ Dawn Callan
from Awakening the Warrior Within

Like a Phoenix from the embers
Ashes to ashes
Burning, burning
Some by fire
Some by water
Until we remember returning.

Some by the arts of the necromancer
Some by the sword
Some in the trance of the Sufi dancer
Some by the word.

Prodigal daughter
Walks the Warrior's path
Some by water
Some by tempting God to laugh.

Woman's body
Warrior's soul
Dance the ancient rite
Free the dragons of desire
Into the Light
Some by fire.