J2P Monday: Part 1 Peace begins with you

My Himalayan Salt Lamp

My Himalayan Salt Lamp

I recently wrote a series of posts about peaceful activism (it ends here and the post has links to all the others at the end) and I recently mentioned I wanted to turn it into a book.  While ruminating I’ve realized there must be a discussion of the importance of individuals “being peace”at the core of any such movement.

Thought I’d start with a series of simple ideas in posts here and the first suggestions are about helping to create an environment for yourself in which it is easier to feel positive and serene.

Many of us live in homes where some inhabitants are not on the same spiritual journey.  Most of us live in areas where lots of negative thinking swirls around us regularly, whether it’s neighbors, coworkers, family members or the media–social or traditional.  It can be difficult to hold a space of peace when it is constantly challenged by chaos.

Your Own Space

Whether you have a room you can devote to meditation and quiet or you’ve just put a cushion in a corner and announced it’s your meditation spot or you’ve carved out an area for an altar and a zabuton in the den, create a spot that no one else enters and keep it sacred.

No one else should be allowed in that corner or area or room.  This helps to hold the energy you’re creating there and keeps down the amount of interference from others with less peaceful energy.

Place one or more objects that say “sacred space” to you, whether it’s a candle, an essential oil diffuser, a statue of Kwan Yin, a crystal or a combination of items like those.  The items are not the source of peacefulness but they provide a focus for your attention and will increasingly say “peaceful” to your spirit when you move into that space.

Negative Ions

Increasingly we’re bombarded with positive ions which, ironically, are bad for us physically, emotionally and energetically.  From technology to electric cords to air pollution and allergens, we live surrounded by things emitting positive ions all the time so it’s up to us to counteract with negative ions.

Nature is a great provider of negative ions.  Even just a walk outside or a stroll on the beach can provide you with enough negative ions to shift your positive/negative ion ratio.  A pounding surf or a waterfall can restore balance and leave you feeling uplifted.

In the house there are a variety of things you can easily do.  My current favorite is my Himalayan salt lamp.  This salt when warmed by a bulb emits negative ions.  Within a couple of weeks I slept better and my nagging allergy issues by and large disappeared.  Months in I feel it’s contributing to my slowly increasing energy.

Many table fountains are available and the moving water sends negative ions into the room.  When I first read about the negative/positive ion issue years ago I went out and bought a fountain.  I’ve had a few and I love them but I live in an area where there’s so much lime in the water it became too hard to keep the mechanism clean and clear.  If you don’t have the water issue, it’s a lovely way to fill your home with negative ions.

Taking a shower will give you a personal hit of negative ions; its one of the reasons you may feel uplifted or energized after a shower.

Tourmaline and amethyst crystals also provide negative ions so you can buy stones to place in your house and/or get jewelry with those stones to wear as you move through your day.

Many house plants can also help with negative ions.  See here for a list of plants to consider.

Smudge sticks, essential oils and incense

Scents can do so much to make an atmosphere and/or create a feeling.  I’ve always loved perfume and scented things so I make use of many varieties.

Smudge sticks are a combination of sage and cedar or sage and sweetgrass, sometimes with one or more other herbs.  I use loose sage and cedar in a shell instead of a stick.  Sage cleanses and clears negative energy.  Cedar both clears negative and attracts positive energy.

I don’t do it as often as I should, but I try to clear my room periodically and I always smudge when I create a circle for ceremony or meditation. Escential Essences, possibly my favorite incense company, makes one called Kachina Dreams which is sage and cedar so you can keep cleansing the energy with the ease of lighting an incense stick.

I most frequently burn the Sai Baba Nag Champa but I also use various scents from Escential Essences if I have a particular atmosphere I want to create.  Some other faves are Buddhist Temple, Ocean Atlantis and Purification.

I also have an essential oil diffuser in which I use Amrita (recommended by my aromatherapist) essential oils — sometimes one of their blends, sometimes a combo of individual oils I choose to put together.  More often these days I just wear the oil…

As long as no one in your home is allergic to scents or smoke, it’s a great way to create a sense of peace or spiritual purpose.

Music

Music pours so much energy into a room and you can shift the atmosphere by choosing music that creates a peaceful space.  I often leave a peaceful playlist running in my room and when I teach yoga or a spiritual workshop I choose music to create a mood.

Although I have a number of yoga nidra recordings the only one I use is Experience Yoga Nidra.  Besides a short and a long version of yoga nidra, it has a short music recording, Travel through the Space of Experience which is an Indian piece designed to balance the chakras.  I often put the track on repeat and play it throughout a class or leave it looping in my room all day.  It’s amazing what an energy it creates.

I also play Deva Premal chant playlists or various kirtan chant recordings or one of Jonathan Goldman’s or Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s healing sound recordings.  Obviously there are choices by the thousands, just give some thought to whether you want to promote peace or balance or healing, etc. and play music that creates that feeling.  If you can put a playlist on repeat and leave it running in an area in which you spend a lot of time.

***

Choose one or more things that appeal to you and then start creating an atmosphere of peace and calm either throughout your home or in your space.  You can also wear an essential oil and, say, an amethyst necklace wherever you go so you’re bolstered in holding your space of peacefulness.

 

Creating Reality in the World 5: The silent revolution

Abraham Hicks Energy Stream

Within a couple of years of starting yoga in 1986, a friend started gifting me with a subscription to Yoga Journal and I began to notice the array of ads for businesses catering to healthy eating, spiritually seeking, yoga practicing types.  Over time I sampled other magazines aimed at Buddhists, New Agers, healthy recipes, etc. and realized there was virtually a secondary economy developing, entirely aimed at an increasing counter culture group.

In the 90’s I was fortunate to get to hear Paul Ray discussing his theories about “cultural creatives” at some dinner gatherings and then to read an early version of his book (co-written with his wife, Sherry Anderson), The Cultural Creatives, while working at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.   As he described this group of environmentally concerned, inner aware, spiritually seeking types I had a notion they coincided with the growing new culture and economy I’d been noting.

According to Ray and Anderson, this group is around 26% of the adult population of the U.S. and is present and growing in similar ways around the world.   There’s a point in the growth of such a group when its impact can create a paradigm shift.  One reason he thinks it hasn’t happened so far with this group is the group is so little reflected in popular media and culture that most of its members feel isolated and as if they don’t have power.

My theory is they also obstruct their power by too often going negative and being against instead of for.  Hating and being against lowers your vibration or energy level.  Focusing on pollution, discrimination, inequality, etc. sends the energy and attention to those negative traits.  The group weakens its power potential with this negative thinking orientation.

There are actually enough of us that we could change the world if we began to believe in and act on our power.  I see this not only from the perspective of the increased power of collective consciousness, but also based on David Hawkins’ Power vs. Force theory.  According to Hawkins, the higher the scale of consciousness (or energetic vibration), the more powerful the impact on others.

One person at the level of 400 (reason), counterbalances 400,000 who are at or below the 200 level (apathy, then anger at 200).  One person at the level of 500 counterbalances 750,000.  Based on Hawkins’ scale, most Cultural Creatives are probably in the 400-600 range on his scale of energy.

If this group can become conscious of their power and begin to focus as a group on what they are FOR, with a strong proportion using meditation and chanting, etc. to keep the vibration high, the whole world can change into a new paradigm of greater equality, compassion, green-ness…

I’m pretty sure all my friends everywhere (including my blogging pals) are cultural creatives.  We’ve been under the radar, building a new culture with very little notice in the mainstream.  I say let’s work on pulling together this group and building its power!!! I call on the Cultural Creatives to turn attention to the positive outcomes you desire, learn to be for instead of against, create action plans to achieve what you are FOR and use your collective power to shift the consciousness of the planet.

The rest of this series:

See also:  Cultural Creatives are Changing the World

Save

Save

Heart on my forehead

Linda over at litebeing chronicles issued a challenge this months to write a post “celebrating your unique essence and energy.”  I’m not sure whether this post expresses my uniqueness, but it certainly wanders down the bizarre trail my life has been following for some years and I kind of think this thing on my forehead may turn out to be more central to who I am than I can now imagine.

The last couple of months the unwinding process in my head has been both challenging and exciting.  The piece I’ve been particularly interested in involves the muscles in my forehead.

Over the last couple of months the muscles around my third eye have increasingly bulged out as a result of all the untwisting and movement in the muscles behind my eyes. Somewhere along the way I noticed the shape they are assuming looks more and more like a heart.  I’m not much on taking selfies and I had quite a time getting shots of my own forehead in the right light for it to show up.  Hope you can see what I’m seeing.

UPDATE 11/12/16:  I also have no talent for (or interest in) art programs like Paint, but I kept fiddling around and more or less managed to draw around the bulges to make it easier to see, so I’ve added the photo with drawing.

Over the course of lots of posts I’ve told the story of a shaman telling me there was a big wound in my maternal line and I needed to go back seven generations to find the source. Using meditation to reach back, I found an ancestor witch burned at the stake and a distressed daughter who shut down the “sight” that had been our lineage–for all succeeding generations.

I’ve been through several stages and types of healing, from using long distance Reiki to send healing back in time, to creating a ceremony for a group to heal ancestral issues, and then creating a private ceremony to heal this issue, to having major sessions with healers to address the many ways this issue tied up the muscles in my head.

Throughout, the notion that I’m from a line of Seers meandered vaguely through my consciousness.  The more the muscles unwound, the more I noticed a good portion of the twisted up stuff involved a stranglehold on my third eye and I could see how well that situation served the ancestral “curse” of shutting down the sight for all who came after.

I’m fascinated to see this heart around my third eye as the muscles which created a squeeze blocking the area are slowly unwinding.  Although I can make guesses as to what this means, no big insight has struck.  Fun to follow its progress though…

Save

And the turn around in Marin

SF Skyline 2016

The technological drama has, in fact, turned around, but I thought I’d first mention a couple of the aspects of my visit that have been quite fine all along.

(1) As I head through the county park that’s the last leg of my favorite walk, the above photo is one of the views I get to see (helped along here by zooming).  I worked pretty hard in Kentucky for about two months prior to this trip, getting back to walking.  There are such steep climbs here, if I haven’t already gotten my “walking legs” in pretty good shape, it takes most of my visit to work up to my favorite, 1-1/2 mile, walk.

There are a couple of shorter walks I also take which have the advantage of being entirely on pavement.  So today, for instance, when it’s been pouring like crazy and the county park segment will be a mud trail, I’ll probably take one of the other routes if it clears enough to walk.  The thing is, it’s so beautiful here, every walk in this neighborhood is stunning with breathtaking vistas, lovely scents wafting through the air, and a feeling of being in nature even while on streets lined with houses (many of which you can’t actually see from the road…).

(2) My friends here were just about all made at deep, spiritual workshops and our connections stem from sharing soul-baring experiences, so we relate at such deep levels, it feeds my soul to spend time with them and I’ve had such lovely visits with dear, dear friends.

***

Back on the weird series of internet/computer problems:

The day after getting wifi access from the neighbor, my hosts were able to get to a place with cell reception and turned the service back on.  Two days later I finally took a look at my laptop again and noticed the “on” light shining.  Hmm.  So I opened it up and tried one more time to start it.  This time, instead of coming on for a few seconds and shutting off before loading the OS, it announced that it needed to diagnose and fix itself.  Something like 45 minutes later and it had found and fixed a few things and voila, laptop back!

Meanwhile, Thursday evening my new friend/neighbor decided she wanted to do something for Cinqo de Mayo and came over to invite me along.  By the time we got to her restaurant pick, Celia’s in San Rafael there was a long wait, no place to sit and it was LOUD.  So she had the brilliant idea of going to the bowling alley across the street for a drink.

I had one of the best regular old Margaritas (i.e. not some top shelf version) I’ve had in years, in a quiet bar, where we chatted with the lovely young woman bartender and then meandered back to the restaurant where we were just in time to be the next ones seated.  The Mariachi Band came to our area almost immediately, played for about 10 minutes and stopped.  For me, just about the right amount of time to have Mariachi playing deafeningly close…  By the time our dinner came the place was beginning to wind down so it actually became quiet enough to speak to one another.  Kind of perfect.  And we noted, the evening would not have happened were it not for the internet snafu that led me to request wifi when she asked if I needed anything…

So the problems all resolved one by one and, besides lessons learned, benefits arose from the trauma and drama.  The nice thing for me as all this unfolded was observing myself staying, for the most part, calm.  Did I feel angry when I realized the internet was gone and wouldn’t be turned on for a few days?  Yes.  Did I cry for a few seconds when my laptop wouldn’t work?  Yes.

But years ago I’d have been caught up in the angst of those events and lived in the drama for days or weeks.  I’d have carped incessantly to anyone with whom I spoke and called for 5 or 10 more people to enroll them in the angst train ride.  This time I noted what was happening, started asking what the lesson was, settled into finding alternative things to do and mostly told people the story with a laugh as a funny example of the Universe handing out a lesson.

Even more fun is how easily it all became sorted when I just stayed calm and assumed all would be well…

A new perspective on purpose

Kentucky River by Hall's 0

In the flow… Kentucky River by Leigh

Some days ago, Nadine Marie put up a post on Aligning with Truth about purpose in which she explored new ways of thinking about it.  I’ve been thinking about purpose and how it relates to me, and whether I know what mine is, etc. for a while so this was timely and I’ve been pondering ever since.  As I pondered, some things came together for me.

The process of healing in recent years has kept me living pretty far outside the norm and a life that doesn’t look much like most people of my age expect.  So much change has been moving through I’ve let go of many thoughts I had about what my purpose may be or even what I most wanted to do.

In the U.S. (other places, your two cents about your country are welcome and encouraged) there’s a lot of pressure to have a purpose and a plan and there always seems to be an underlying assumptions that purpose must involve either some great act of charity or — more often — something to do with earning a living or having a career.

Since those things aren’t happening for me, I’ve struggled occasionally with feeling inadequate.  The pressure to have a life that suits the norm surrounds me and you might be amazed how frequently other people have made it clear that they consider me lazy or useless because they disapprove of anyone living a life that doesn’t meet their standards.

My health struggles have been going on long enough that I learned long ago to shrug off those opinions though I won’t say I don’t still have moments when their contempt or disapproval hurts my feelings.  For most of the early years of illness I struggled to keep up with the norm and juggled part-time jobs with many failed business attempts.

Finally, however, I realized that my energy vibration was so faint and weak  I could never succeed at jobs or businesses without getting healthy (need to match the vibration) … and also that I didn’t really have the stamina for even the part-time jobs or the attempts at self-employment/business.  Something like five years ago I realized my health had to become the priority.

I’d been going to alternative practitioners, practicing yoga and other healing modalities, doing emotional work, taking supplements, etc. for many years, always with small, steady amounts of progress but I finally got it that this had to be the focus.  Other than teaching some yoga (which for me is very healing) and writing a couple of books (which I can do on whatever schedule I’m up to), I’ve done nothing but work at healing, exploring my inner landscape for answers, etc.

Until recently I’ve tended to think of it as a time spent living outside the world and figured I’d get around to a new purpose and its implementation after becoming healthy again.  Recently, though, as I’ve worked with Hanna on finishing out some of the ancestral issues that have anchored my muscle issues, I’m looking at it all differently.  I’m particularly affected by realizing how much all of this ancestral healing is healing everyone in my extended family tree on some level.

Sparked by Nadine’s post, I’ve now moved to a new view of purpose.  These years of healing WERE/ARE MY PURPOSE!  Not necessarily the only one — as she notes, I think there can be more than one purpose in a lifetime — but a huge part of why I’m here on earth.  Healing myself.  Healing my ancestors.  Learning to be a voice of healing.

As I move toward the end of the healing journey, I’m still in limbo about what’s next and what I think my next purpose may be.  As I just posted on the Scribblings blog (including the above photo), I’m seeing myself as part of a flow and trying to stay out of the way and allow the current to take me to the next destination my higher self has determined.

Off the normal path, in solitude and quiet, I’ve been living a purpose that doesn’t look anything like expectations about purpose held by the mainstream in my country.  But I believe it’s a purpose that’s at least equally important to all that stuff  “out there”  considered to be the meaning of purpose.  I’m even at the point of questioning the usual idea of purpose and whether a lot of these plans made by minds instead of hearts or intuitions are really the raison d’etre for many of those who believe they’re living their purpose…

I’m even pondering many side trips people I’ve known have been led to make and wondering if purpose may often be more about what we learn and how we change from the challenges that blow up our plans than about the outer world and the careers and the normal stuff of “purpose”???  Are attributes like kindness and compassion and healing and nurturing possibly more central to “purpose” than most people think? I’m very interested to hear the thoughts of others…

Finding time for peace

Whether you’re in the part of the world where it’s already Sunday or, like me, you still have time to plan for tomorrow, I hope you’ll find time to stop for 10 minutes and pray or chant for peace.

In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.

Shifting and the winds of change: Part 1

The more my eyes loosen up and my jaw opens, the more I feel a breeze quietly moving through my being.  Although my eye is still mainly on the prize — finishing the unwinding head saga–I can feel that the shifting in my head is creating shifts in me.

Lately I’ve been feeling poked as tales of similar workshops and theories have been coming at me from many directions.  Within a couple of days of one another there were posts on Alohaleya and Aligning with Truth mentioned Landmark Forum, which led me to examine that course.  Louise at Dare Boldly has written about Choices Seminars many times and I’ve examined their site.   I noticed that both of them emphasize “story” — an examination of the stories you’ve created about life and who you are and that you adhere to regardless of their truth or efficacy.

Then I had lunch with a friend who told me about a webinar she’s been taking that’s about discovering/examining your stories and letting them go.  Okay, Universe, you don’t have to hit me over the head with a book about it, I get that this is something I need to explore.

Tonight I made my first visit to the monthly Spiritual Cinema group that meets at a Science of Mind-based center called Ahava.  The film was The Shift.  When Wayne Dyer talked about the morning of life and getting caught in the beliefs and decisions we made long ago it struck me that he was also talking about the stories we’ve created.  Apparently my higher self has decided that I need to hear about this daily…

So I’ve been starting to ask myself about what my stories are.  I’ve let go of so much, I know that lots of old stories don’t still function.  But I know there are core issues still hanging around and that those are the ones that are hardest to see; I’m intrigued whether some of these workshops/techniques would help me uncover more.

It also reminded me of the long ago transpersonal psychologist who started me down this path.  She worked from a base theory about creating your own reality.  One of the exercises we worked with a lot was to go into meditation asking, “What do I believe that created this reality?” and then ask to be taken back to when and where that belief started.

At some point  I’d like to attend either Choices or Landmark Forum or both, but in the meantime, I’m planning to work a little bit with what I already know and see what shows up.

I’ve also been encountering lots of messages–including a great post on Brenda’s Blog— about following the things you love and getting that those are the things you’re “meant” to do.  And realizing that I’ve been tending to dismiss the dreams I love the most — the ones that feel the most like me but also feel selfish or not spiritual enough, etc.  Which I get is a story I’ve created….  So I’m also looking at changing goals and aspirations.

Next couple of posts will be more on these winds of change..