Small Steps to Great Healing

When I was in elementary school, I once knew a girl who had worn a bandage on her knee for so long, her skin had begun to grow over it. She hadn’t removed it because she was afraid to and now, her body was just regenerating over top of it. I was worried for her upon discovery of the situation, but I also don’t remember revisiting the topic with her later. Now all these years later, I am somewhat disappointed in myself. I should have asked her about it again. I should have let her know at least once more that I was worried for her. She had treated it as no big deal. I expressed in the moment that I believed it was a big deal and it needed to be looked at. Then, I forgot about it.

Now I sit here, decades later, wondering how many of us in the world have had a situation of pain or fear that we faced, and we just let the new skin grow over top of it. Facing the pain or fear felt impossible, so we just ignored the wound all together. When we didn’t think about it, we could carry on with life; it didn’t even hurt anymore, most of the time. Maybe someone told us to stop whining; maybe someone told us, “it’s fine,” so there was no sense crying about it.

So, when the wound gets banged in the exact wrong way years later, we realize we have a big issue, that ignoring it didn’t make it disappear, and that our pretending that all was well actually made it much worse than we ever could have imagined. Perhaps, if we had given it the care it needed at the time, it would have healed gently and with little to no scarring, but now we are forced to address it in a much deeper way, with at least the same, if not greater, demands of life.

I also wonder how many of us saw this in others and forgot to ask again. It maybe wasn’t intentional. We all have our own things we are dealing with, but the simple act of acknowledging what others are struggling with can be a great help to their healing. You don’t have to schedule the doctor’s visit for them; simply saying something like “Did you get that bandage off yet?” could let them know that someone is thinking of them and that you can be there for them if they need your help.

Many shoulder burdens in life virtually alone. They may be prideful, or they may see your problems and not want to make demands of you, for fear of inconveniencing you. Just a small statement can remind them that you care about them and are willing to help if needed, even if it means helping them find whoever would be best to help them. Knowing they are valued may motivate them to take that step of self care they have hesitated to take, and feeling your encouragement and support could help them keep going.

Self-Guided Meditation: Experience Your Own Energy

This is a meditation exercise that is intended to tap you into that energy that lies deep inside of you. This energy is pure and beautiful and contains unimaginable love, strength, and joy within it. Get as immersed as you can and don’t forget to bring the energy back down because staying connected in that manner can make you feel clumsy and out of sorts so the grounding part is important too. Also follow this up with some dancing, or anything that makes you move and feel like your regular human self again. Don’t worry the great feelings you got from tapping into your energy will stick around! Also you can repeat this anytime you like:)

Please try to trust what comes through, even if you don’t see yourself that way. That is the point of this exercise! There are deep channels of the most beautiful energy in all of us and being able to feel that energy for yourself could change the way you see yourself in a very positive way. Be open to what you experience, make sure you are calm and relaxed as you do it and enjoy what comes through. Try to go in with the understanding that this is your energy that already exists within you, it’s accessible whenever you want to tap into it or even better, embody it! Let’s get started!

Close your eyes or look at a calming beautiful thing (i.e. Nature or artwork without people in it) Take even calm breaths until you reach a calm and peaceful feeling. Begin to acknowledge your chakras one by one. You can even picture the color that goes with them, this may help immerse you into the experience. Start at the bottom and go upwards as the list below illustrates, the corresponding color is listed next to each chakra.

Root- (between your legs)Red or Brown

Sacral- (pelvic area) Orange

Solar Plexus-(stomach area beneath the rib cage) Yellow

Heart- (the center of your chest, where your sternum is) Green or Pink

Throat-(in your neck/throat) Blue

Third eye or Brow-(between your eyebrows/in your forehead region) Indigo or purple

Crown-(top of the head) violet, white or clear

As you reach the crown, feel the energy continue to extend upward and know that it is connecting with the divine. Once you feel you are connected, ask to be shown your energy as fully and deeply as is possible. Your guides should know what level of sensation you will be able to handle but if it feels like too much you can ask them to pull it back, if you can’t feel it as well as you’d like ask them to make it stronger. Once you feel the energy at the level that is comfortable just sit and enjoy it. I wouldn’t recommend more than 5 minutes for the first time, but don’t worry you can always do it again it if you enjoy it!

You may feel a great warmth, tingles, and undeniable strength or any number of things. You may see colors or hear music or words. Descriptive phrases may pop into your head. The main intent is to enjoy it but if you feel compelled you can write down the sensations you receive.

After 5 minutes, thank them for their assistance then start pulling that energy back down through the chakras in reverse order from above. This will help ground you. Continue until you reach the Root Chakra. Now ask that this new knowledge be integrated but also to be available to you whenever you need to access it.

Here is a video version I made also:

Self-guided Meditation: See your positive impact on the world

Get in a comfortable sitting or laying down position and close your eyes. Take calm even breaths, listening to your breath as it enters and exits. Once you are reasonably relaxed and clear minded, envision a vase. You can put whatever design on it you like, something that makes you happy! You are going to put one flower in this vase now for each time you did any of these things today:

Each time you made someone smile or laugh today, even yourself.

Each time you’ve overcome a challenge, even things like getting something you needed while staying in your comfy spot on the couch through ingenuity. 

Each task you completed today.

Each time you didn’t spend your energy on something it would have been wasted on.

Each time you complimented someone.

Each time you celebrated yourself or gave your self credit.

Each time you showed yourself or anyone else love.

Each time you received a compliment simply by saying thank you.

Each time you had a bad moment in your day and managed to pull yourself out of it.

Each time you practiced self care, even if it was just saying no to something you couldn’t do or making a healthy choice for yourself.

Now appreciate the beauty of the flowers, their rich colors, the beautiful fragrances they emit, the soft velvety petals on each one. As you do realize that each one represents a positive impact you made on the world today. See the full glory of just one days effort. Know that tomorrow it will be even more full and beautiful. In fact, put this intention on the bouquet you created and watch as the flowers transform into butterflies. Know that each one is carrying your love out into the world. Know that each one will be a moment of magic and joy for someone in the world. Imagine the smiles that appear on all the faces who see those butterflies and know that all that joy and magic originated from you, that it has always and is always within you and never diminishes. When you are finished enjoying this visual representation of your positive impact on the world, ask that the feelings you experienced stay with you, that you stay conscious of the joy and love you bring through the world.

Here is the video version if you prefer that:

7 Simple Tips for Successful Meditation

We would all prefer a peaceful and balanced life. To not be constantly inundated with thoughts of all the stuff you haven’t gotten done or awkward moments that still haunt you. I feel that meditation is a great way to find that balance in your life. A consistent practice could bring you the clarity you have been seeking. 

When you delve into the world of meditation there is a great deal of information out there and some of it can be very intimidating. Many get discouraged by trying it once and having those haunting thoughts flood in. As you are struggling to find the peace and quiet and seem unable, you become convinced that it is something you just can’t do.

You may feel that more attempts would only result in more frustration which defeats the whole purpose. Don’t give up though! It’s rarely perfect the first time, or even the first few times, but there are ways to mitigate the distractions and bring yourself back to your pursuit for balance and peace. It may not fit the perfect picture of meditation and that really isn’t what I am suggesting with these tips. These are the ways I have used to find those quiet moments for myself to sort things out. Some of them may even seem like the opposite of what you have read on meditation. The point is to make you comfortable and take the insecurity out of it so you can find your way there.

Think about it though, how often do you give yourself moments of peace and quiet during the day? Most people are just trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle of life and the only times we have peace and quiet are when we lay in bed to go to sleep. That’s typically when all the thoughts you didn’t have time to think throughout your day come flooding in. 

Also we have made it a practice these days to stay distracted. The internet is right on our phones, and it’s full of content perfect for distraction. I am also often guilty of this, but I have learned, though imperfectly, to try to take breaks from it throughout the day when there is time. Shutting off the TV, putting down the phone to have real conversations or just to give myself a chance to think. The point is without those quiet moments, when we finally do decide to take a few, it makes sense that the thoughts would surge forth at this golden opportunity.

I have been meditating for years, and, though I follow no particular style or rule set, I have seen great benefits. The more I meditate the more centered and calm I am throughout the day. Taking only 5 minutes, even to just be with yourself in quiet, can make a big difference. Through the years of my informal meditation practice, I have come up with a few ways to get and keep myself on track during meditation sessions. Here are 7 ways to improve your success, even if you have never been able to meditate before.

  1. Before you even start, get yourself in a happy place. A quick way to do this is to think of the things that make you smile, whether it is current things in your life that you are grateful for, or happy memories you still cherish. Think of all the happy things that you can until you are smiling. That’s when you know you are ready.
  1. Many of us are naturally nervous about time and its constraints in general. That isn’t a concern you want to start your meditation session with. Give yourself ample time and don’t rush it. This doesn’t mean you have you to meditate for an hour, it only means that if you feel any anxiety right from the beginning it will make it a lot harder to find that place of focus and peace. If you have a definitive amount of time available to you, set a timer. Then you know that you will finish in the allotted time, and you can let that anxiety go. 
  1. Tell yourself that you are safe and it is okay to take this time for yourself. Say it in your head or even out loud. Sometimes hearing it, even if it comes from you, will make it more real and believable. If you get into position and you feel undeserving of the time you are taking, or you begin to think about all the other things you could or should be doing, tell yourself it is okay to take this time for yourself. Those other things will be there when you are finished, and perhaps the mediation session will give you the clarity you need to get it done.
  1. Try different tools within your meditation, if you feel like a guided meditation will help the most, use that. If you have a favorite peace-inducing piece of music, listen to that. If you don’t have access to either, a trick I use is, when the thoughts start flooding in “play” a song that makes you happy in your head. If visual art moves you more, picture one of your favorites in your head, but try to make it something that makes you happy. You can focus on that until you feel the intruding thoughts are fading, and lower the volume until you don’t need it anymore. If you are using accompanying music and the thoughts still flood in, find one element (one tone or instrument) of the music to focus on, then expand out as you are able.
  1. Imagine a beautiful place. Imagine you are there and enjoying the scenery. Try to sink into it as much as you can. You don’t have to do anything in that place, just observe and enjoy. You won’t need this tool as much as you get more used to meditation, but if it promotes relaxation and happiness and can keep you calm and focused, then use it.
  1. Listen, observe, but don’t analyze. As you find that place of relaxation and expansion, sometimes insights will pop into your head. This is different from your own personal worries and concerns. When they do, don’t engage. Let these insights come and go, but tell yourself you will remember them after you are finished with your meditation. Just say quickly in your head ‘Help me to remember this’ then let it go. You may lose a few insights in the beginning, but don’t get frustrated; chances are it may dawn on you sometime later, when you most need that kind of wisdom.
  1. Give yourself time after the meditation session to jot down any insights. Even if your time is short, try to spare a minute or two after to write down anything that popped in. If you can spare the time for a full journaling session, that’s even better but not necessary. You can save the analyzation or journaling for later, if that’s what fits your schedule. Journaling may not appeal to you, but it can really help you keep tabs on the progress you’re making. I recommend keeping a record of some kind, even if it doesn’t involve pouring out your soul onto paper.

Hopefully this list will help you tap into the calming and balancing power of meditation. Start slow, if needed, and take it at your own pace. Don’t compare your progress to others; just enjoy the time and space you are gaining to put things into perspective. You deserve it!

Grief is like a Shadow

Grief is like a shadow. Where there was once a bright and warming light in your life, suddenly it feels as if there is only dark. Sometimes it is gradual, like the sun moving across the sky toward nighttime. Sometimes it is like someone closed the door on a capsule that seems to block out all the light that was once there. Either way it is painful and requires time and patience with yourself to find the light again. 

I have watched many beautiful sun’s set. The brightest I had known, set when I was 19 years old.  Though it was expected, the finality of it once it finally happened was immense. There was a confusion for me. How could the world just keep on going when something so significant had happened? How can the world not feel that this giant glorious light was now lacking from the world? I cried a lot of course, but this feeling was perhaps more difficult to wrestle with. I now have to live my life with one of the brightest lights I had known absent. 

Something I learned during this process is that I was entitled to the emotions I was feeling. If I needed to cry, I cried. If I needed to talk, I would reach out. Some people feel that the grief process is something that should happen quickly, something you can get over in the determined socially acceptable period of time. I refused that period of time. I took the time I needed. I was hurt when suggestions were made of getting over it, but I knew that I needed that time and took it without shame. Perhaps it was the influence of who I had lost that gave me the strength to take that time.

Other than time, the thing that provided the most healing in the process was being with people who knew them and loved them. Hearing stories of the wonderful ways their lives had been impacted by them. Though the source of this brilliant light was gone, I could see glimmers of it still alive in others that had once experienced it and remembered its impact. The numerous stories of their kind words and actions lived on in those who knew them and loved them. When these stories were shared, I could feel that light again. It wasn’t the same, nor could it replace them, but it made the darkness I was feeling less like an endless void I would be trapped in forever.

Now, many years later, I don’t wrestle with it the way I did in the beginning. I have aged, I have grown, I see many things differently. I still believe, though, that you must take the time and space you need to get over the pain in the beginning. Don’t let anyone tell you what your grieving process should be or how long it should last. Be gentle with yourself; you will have moments when the pain will resurface unexpectedly, possibly for years. Don’t be embarrassed or feel shame for it. Revel in the wonderful stories and memories you have, and the stories of others. For me this was the greatest way to feel their light close again even if it wasn’t technically in the same room. 

I believe that the shadow cast by the loss of a beloved person in your life is the direct result, even evidence, of how bright that light was. You wouldn’t even notice the darkness if their light hadn’t been so brilliant. You wouldn’t even feel the void of their absence if they hadn’t been such a significant presence in the first place. When you are ready, this may be a point of view that could help. How lucky we are to have these people in our lives, to fill it with their brilliant light. While it seems hard to believe at first, this light is still there, even after they have left, in the people who knew, and shared that light. It may never be the brilliant sun it once was, but it can still be that beam shining through the storm clouds or filtered through trees on a nice day. The connection we have with them may change, but it never truly leaves. So seek it out, for it will be the thing that most heals you.

Speaking you truth: where to start

Our minds are very powerful things. They can take a small idea and turn it into a large idea and even put it into motion in a way that changes the world. This spans across politics, science, invention, art, music, writing – well you get the idea, it can apply to just about anything. Once the ideas come out of our head, are put on paper, is when we find out the reality of them. That is when we first find out if it really is the next big idea. When we write it down and reread it does it hold the same excitement that it did while existing in our head? This is also often the point when you will realize that while in your head it seemed impossible but once you write it out it is possible after all, perhaps not easy but possible. 

In readings, I often advise people to write out emotions when they feel overwhelming, or even speak them out loud when you have time by yourself, if you are angry, sad, or scared. It will change its energy. We all have imaginations ranging from wild to seemingly non-existent. The closer something is to your heart the more your imagination will take hold of it. If it is a source of negativity your mind is likely to turn it into something that feels insurmountable, sometimes rightfully so. 

By writing it out or saying it out loud you are subjecting it to reality. You are also using different processes to analyze the information. If you write it out then read it, your mind can look at it in a different way, if you say it out loud, you can hear it and come to terms with it much more quickly. Also there is a release that happens, even if no one hears you or reads what you wrote it is now planted in reality and you are more likely to face it, also you are acknowledging your emotions, giving them attention and validation.

This isn’t always an easy process, sometimes we have held onto something for so long it has almost become a part of us. Over time it has buried itself in the deep recesses of our mind. It has changed into something we don’t recognize, sometimes it takes work to find the actual emotion. I don’t believe we are meant to be negative beings however. I don’t believe we are supposed to carry these things with us for so long. I don’t believe either that there is no way to come to terms with the emotion and start healing ourselves.

What about situations that seem hopeless? What if someone is diagnosed with a terrible incurable illness, faces inexplicable adversity or hardship, or is in a place of abuse or neglect with no way out? In many of these types of cases there is an uncontestable reality. There can be hope but it seems incredibly dim, practically nonexistent. In these cases I feel it is about prioritizing what you should focus on. It may be a situation that is unlikely to change but staying in a state of fear, or terror will deprive you of opportunities to potentially change the situation. If you never express your negative emotions about it they are likely to eventually overrun the positive ones and in these situations the positive things are especially important. 

If you are going through something hard, please seek professional help. It may feel like you can’t talk to anyone right now, like nothing anyone can say will help or that talking about it will only make things worse. The truth is we need your wisdom and experience in this world, you may end up being the person who pulls the next person out of darkness, you may be the one who teaches the world a new way to look at problems and how to solve them. By not only surviving but healing you may someday be able to heal others. If it seems too hard to reach out to talk to someone then start by talking to yourself or journaling. You may be surprised by the strength you find within yourself and the love you find in the world.


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