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Writing about what really matters

Category: Meditations

Beaming love to the world

Heart 2

In recent meditations, I’ve been getting some intimations of what’s next for me in the new year. One of the primary things I’m expecting is a (figurative) expansion or enlarging of my heart. Today I made a SoulCollage card (above) to represent this idea.

On Christmas evening, after all the festivities were complete, I was shuffling a stack of books on my ottoman to get to a reference at the very bottom, when I was drawn to another book in the stack, Sonia Choquette’s Ask Your Guides. I flipped it open and read a few chapters, one of which was about light beings. (Each chapter of the book addresses a different type of guide.)

In this chapter, Sonia writes about encountering light beings who encourage her and her audiences to help raise our planet’s collective vibration from fear to love–a change they characterize as necessary for our survival.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the rampant fear that often surrounds us, in the form of negativity, prejudice, judgment, war, existential dread, hoarding, lack of generosity, and many other forms of ugliness and unhappiness. At Christmas time we refer to the spirit of fear as Scrooge or the Grinch, but it’s with us all year round. Perhaps you’ve wanted to do something about it. Maybe you’d like to see more optimism, sharing, positive solutions, openness, acceptance, peace, and flow in our world. If you’re reading this, I’m pretty certain you do feel that way.

Here is something you can do about it. I have begun doing this as part of my meditation practice.

To get started, place your hands over your heart, and imagine the energy of your heart chakra arcing clockwise through your hands, around your heart, and back again. You can ask for the support of all light beings who are interested in helping us raise our vibration in this little corner of the universe, to strengthen this energy. After a few minutes, extend your hands in a way that’s comfortable for you, to beam this energy outward. Feel the loving energy flowing through your hands.

As in the lovingkindness meditation, you can direct your loving energy first to specific people, and then to larger groups, ultimately sending it to the world in general with the intention to raise our collective vibration from fear to love. Remember how much stronger love is than fear. Allow the energy to flow for a few minutes, or as long as you like.

If you try this, please feel free to share your experience below.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

Grounded in Mother Earth

Elephant

In the days before my last visit to my energy medicine practitioner, I suddenly felt stuck and utterly unmotivated. My instinct was to rest. I also noticed while doing my usual chakra clearing meditation that I couldn’t visualize my root chakra.

When I told my practitioner about this, she immediately expressed concern that if I couldn’t contact my root chakra, I might not be grounded–and that turned out to be true. Yikes! (If you’re a little bit psychic, or a lot, the very last thing you need is to lose your grounding.) She later sent me a list of symptoms of not being grounded, and I was fascinated to see that feeling stuck was on the list. I’d never thought to associate the two. She also clarified for me that the root chakra feeds all the others (in the case of a woman–the crown chakra is the equivalent for a man), so being ungrounded (that is, disconnected from life-sustaining energy at the root chakra) starves a woman’s entire chakra system. Not good, right?

Here’s the list of symptoms she sent me. You might not be grounded if you’re feeling

  • Anxious
  • “Spacey” or lightheaded
  • General discomfort
  • Unable to relate to others or the environment
  • Stuck

Or if you’re having trouble with

  • Listening, learning, or focusing
  • Walking or balancing
  • Not feeling emotionally supported
  • “Picking up” too much energy from others

After my visit, it became clear to me that I need to be more proactive about making sure I’m grounded. I looked for some grounding meditations, and tried several, but many of them used imagery that didn’t make sense to me. For example, a couple had me imagining myself as a tree–so far, so good–but then had me eliminate negativity through my roots, which as far as I know is not the primary function of a tree’s roots. A tree draws nourishment from its roots, and breathes much like we do through its foliage, yes?

When I asked her what causes a person to lose grounding, one of the things she mentioned was wearing rubber-soled shoes. Hmm, like the garden clogs I typically wear outside in the garden …

I decided to get very literal with my grounding. I’ve been spending several minutes barefoot on my front lawn on a daily basis, feeling the blades of St. Augustine (and the ground) under my feet–sometimes cool, damp, and crisp, other times warm and soft. I imagine the energy of Mother Earth flowing up into my feet and legs, feeling that energy like a rhythmic electrical pulse. I feel gratitude for Mother Earth sharing her energy with us all, and me in particular, and ask for inspiration and guidance about additional ways I can return the favor.

This post is illustrated with the SoulCollage card I made today, Elephant + Root chakra totem. The jewels represent some of the colors of my root chakra. The elephant pictured drinking was 49-year-old Igor, slaughtered by poachers for his ivory in 2009, two years after this photograph was taken.

How to release unhelpful cell memories

hand energy

Tonight my neck and right shoulder are feeling remarkably relaxed–and I want to tell you why!

There is a medical “reason” for the trouble I often have in this area of my body. At the same time, I’ve been aware for many years that I “store stress” in my neck and shoulder area. I now have a new understanding of what that means.

Yesterday I participated in a guided meditation with a group where we were instructed to scan our bodies head to toe, and stop where we felt pain, tightness, or tension.

I wasn’t in any pain, but neither was I surprised to find some tightness in my neck and shoulder area.

We were then asked to name the emotion present in this area. Immediately “resentment” popped into my head. How very interesting! I’d never thought of it quite that way before, but there it was. The truth.

We were then asked to release it if we wanted to–or we could put it off till tomorrow, or some later date. (What was that about? Heck yeah I want to let it go right now!!)

Next I felt a physical sensation of something–resentment I think it would be fair to say–leaving my shoulder at about 8-10 different points. It wasn’t painful, but it was clear and distinct.

What I was thinking was along these lines: Wow. Didn’t know I could do this for myself!

The way my shoulder feels right now is different, looser, than I remember it feeling in the past. Different, and good. I also noticed when I was getting ready this morning that the knot that’s sometimes visible isn’t there today.

This meditation experience reminded me of a time about 15 years ago when this same area was so troubled that I had limited mobility of my head and neck, and therefore difficulty driving. I got myself to work one morning, and eventually made my way upstairs to see a coworker who was also a massage therapist–and, as it turned out, psychic. As she worked on my shoulder, she started talking to me about my father, whom I hadn’t spoken to in years. My shoulder was telling her the truth.

I also remembered that my neck and shoulder had felt quite stiff before I went to see my energy medicine practitioner a couple of weeks ago. She cleared my chakras, and did several other things, none of which directly concerned my neck and shoulder as far as I know–but afterwards I was surprised how much better they felt.

I drew this conclusion from my meditation experience yesterday: You can release resentment from your mind and heart, but you also have to explicitly release it (or whatever other negative emotion may be plaguing you) from wherever you may have stockpiled it in your body at any point during your life. (Actually, my understanding is that we can bring cell memories in with us as well … so it’s possible we might need to release something that isn’t from this lifetime, but from a previous one.)

If you’d like to try this at home … well, please do!

After writing the steps below, I thought I’d test them myself to be sure they worked, and so I scanned myself again. This time I worked specifically on my neck. “Stubbornness” is what I got. (Hard to believe, right? But it sure does give all those biblical references to “stiff-necked people” a whole new meaning!) Again I felt an energetic release, different this time, and physical relief.

  1. Sit comfortably upright in a chair with your feet on the floor.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Spend several minutes in the awareness of inhabiting your body. Feel yourself inhabiting all of your body–head, arms, hands, torso, legs, feet, and so on.
  4. Taking your time, scan your body head to toe for pain, tension, or tightness. If you find multiple areas fitting this description, you can work on the first one you find, or you can rank them in order of importance.
  5. Return to the area you’ve decided to work on, and acquaint yourself with how it feels.
  6. Name the emotion that’s behind the pain, tension, or tightness you identified.
  7. When you’re ready, release this emotion from your body. If you like, you can visualize a destination for the energy you’re releasing. Sometimes I use a Dumpster in clearing visualizations. While I was working on my neck, I opened an imaginary crevasse, let everything I was releasing flow into it, and then closed it when I was finished.
  8. When the process is complete (no more negative energy to release), feel yourself inhabiting your whole body again, including the area you cleared. Notice how everything feels–perhaps more spacious or relaxed.
  9. When you’re ready, open your eyes.

As I mentioned, there is a physical “reason” for the pain in my neck and shoulder (scoliosis, a C-curvature in my lower back, and resulting disc issues in my neck). But what I’ve found is, in some cases anyway, that it’s possible to have a chronic condition or a chronic disease and be quite symptom-free, if you’re reasonably in balance. I think it also helps to refuse to allow yourself to be defined by any diagnosis. After all, this body I inhabit now, which I appreciate and am grateful for, can never adequately define who I am–so how could any mere medical diagnosis of it? We are far more than our bodies, and certainly far more than any dysfunction they may exhibit at any given time.

If you try this meditation, I’d love to know how it works for you–I hope you enjoy it in good health!

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