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Archive for the ‘Spirit’ Category

Nine years ago, I had the good fortune and privilege to get a hug from Amma.

At a big event in a Los Angeles hotel, people came from across the county – and the world – just to be near her. If you’ve never heard of the Hugging Saint, or never had a chance to be near her, find out more about Amma, here.

If you HAVE received a hug from Amma, well . . . you know.

On this occasion, her helpers and staff “prepped” those of us in line, waiting to go up to receive a hug. I was asked if there was something in particular I wanted Amma to address. I told the attendant I was experiencing a crisis of Faith, and the attendant jotted something down to show Amma.
Then, when it was my turn, I went up on the dais to receive my hug. As she held me close, Amma chanted in my ear a Sanskrit mantra (even as I type this I’m feeling goosebumps, remembering). And what she chanted, her attendant wrote down and translated for me.

I won’t reveal it exactly (it’s just between Amma and me) but essentially, it means, “I trust in and honor my Higher Self.”

Every morning during my 15 minutes of meditation, I focus on that mantra.
For anyone who meditates or has tried, you know the first several minutes are simply about squirming and getting settled!
Once I’m in the groove, any time I catch my monkey brain in action, I return to my mantra. It brings me calm, my breathing evens.
Then, finally, about 30 seconds before the 15-minute alarm goes off, I feel a brief sense of pure peace, during which, just maybe, my Higher Self can get a word in edgewise.
(This tells me that I need to extend my meditation to 20 minutes!)

I trust in my Higher Self – It knows better than I. It is the quiet voice. It is the alignment with resources and perfect timing. It’s like the wise elder who’s been through it all.

For those of us who are spiritual (but not religious) it can be challenging to sort out how Faith actually comes into practice in daily life.
Get in touch for more tools to connect to your Higher Self.

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For people who are spiritual (but not religious) it can be challenging to sort out how spiritual belief actually comes into practice in daily life. Since we’re not necessarily members of a church or temple, nor are we strictly following scripture, there are no specific guidelines on what belief looks or feels like. So how does it show up for us each day? As a motivator, as solace, or as comfort.

One way I like to think of God is “Grace On Demand.” And, BOY do we all need grace these days. Grace to move through stress, anger, sadness, or despair. And not only grace toward others, but toward ourselves.

Only through grace and peace and calm can we be divinely guided with the next best step, or ideal response; to hear that quiet voice.

How do we access grace?
Through meditation, through prayer, or simply through breathing. And you have access to all of these practices. You can do any of these things in the moment, wherever you are:

  • Taking deep breaths, in and out, rather than speaking, is an act of grace.
  • Build your “stillness” muscle by starting your morning with 15 minutes of meditation, an act of grace.
  • A moment of prayer for a resolution, is an act of grace.
  • A small gesture of kindness, is an act of grace.
  • Having a go-to mantra to distract your mind when it is racing, is an act of grace. (A personal favorite is “All Is Well” (*Abraham-Hicks).

These are each simple and extremely effective tools to navigate your day, and the way you practice them can be completely of your own device.
But more importantly, when successfully executed, you can actually FEEL that divine connection to your higher self. You can FEEL the essence of grace. To me, this is how I experience God.

And, ultimately, that’s the whole point – is changing how you feel, or improving how you feel. Recognizing that grace and ease are always available, on demand.

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“I’ll be there in Spirit” . . . do you really mean it?

You make plans with girlfriends for a fun night out. Something comes up so you have to cancel, and in your text you also say, “but I’ll be there in Spirit!”

Does that mean, for the duration of the event you’re missing, that you will be in prayer or meditation, thinking about your friends and their fun night out?

Or, do you say it just to soften the blow? I get it, you don’t want to offend or dismay your host, and somehow this phrase indicates you’re REALLY sorry.
But, in my view, it’s a cop-out. What is wrong with simply saying, “I won’t be able to attend. I’m so sorry. Hope you have a great time.”
Period.

Why do I think this is such a big deal?
Because, tossing this phrase around cheapens it for when you really DO mean it.

spiritFor example, I recently gave a reiki healing to a client on the other side of the country. A long-distance reiki session.
This involved instructing the client to lie down at a specific time, eyes closed, focusing on their issue.
This involved setting up my reiki room and getting into a deep meditative state, intending that the reiki energy was becoming activated in my client.
In this case, I really WAS there in spirit. Focusing completely on engaging on a spiritual level at a long distance. It’s quite powerful. I did some work with reiki on her solar plexus. After the session she told me she experienced a lot of sensation around her stomach area. I didn’t tell her that’s what I was working on.

OR, during ceremony, when someone has passed and is there in spirit.
I’ve had this experience particularly at baby blessings: when a grandparent has passed, and we invoke their name during the baby blessing. For example, the parents of the baby have experienced a hummingbird buzzing by at the moment the grandparent is mentioned.

During a memorial service, at a sacred moment, something goes a little screwy with the A/V equipment. The client experiences that as the one who’s passed is sending a little ‘hello’ – especially if that person had generally been a fun trickster in their lifetime, too.

Words are powerful. Remember that the next time you catch yourself saying “I’ll be there in spirit!”
The truth is, you really do have the power within you to be there in spirit, whether you experience that through prayer, meditation, or simply spending time focusing  good wishes on another person or situation – it’s an incredible feeling, and can actually be experienced by the other person or have a positive impact.

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After going for 6 hours, almost nonstop, giving Reiki to more than 12 clients, you’d think I would have been exhausted. In fact, I was invigorated and inspired.

It was such an honor to be a part of Circuit Healing Day on Monday, founded and created by Anna Naturalista – a force of a woman on a quest to heal the world, one person at a time.

Custom-made day

Held at a beautiful estate in Rancho Santa Fe, Circuit Healing Day served as a specialized, custom-made “spa” day for each participant. As they arrived and registered, their needs were assessed – whether physical, mental, emotional or all.

Then they enjoyed different healing modalities, techniques, and tools throughout the day, and the estate.

Not to mention taking in incredible views, enjoying delicious healthy food, and taking a dip in the pool or jacuzzi between sessions.

Reiki is different for everybody

As they arrived in a private back room for a Reiki session with me, each client shared their own amazing story and what brought them to circuit healing day.

And, as Reiki is a universal energy, everyone responded differently to the session.

~One client felt a release in the tension of her neck.

~Another cried over missing a loved one.

~Another saw angels all around her.

Most comments I received included, “that was wonderful” and “I am so relaxed.”

Receiving Reiki might elicit a feeling or experience that can be challenging to articulate. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for the body to relax and receive an energy that is universal and healing.

What does Reiki have to do with it?

So, what is an officiant doing practicing Reiki? What does that have to do with wedding ceremonies and baby blessings?

Well, in a word, everything.

To me healing energy and Reiki – *spiritually guided life force energy- is the “connective tissue” to all that I do. Honoring the sacred in everything, whether is it officiating a wedding ceremony, performing a baby blessing, facilitating a memorial service.

It is showing up with the understanding that there is so much more at work than just me.

………..

*The word Reiki is composed of two Japanese words:  
~Rei which means “God’s Wisdom” or “the Higher Power”
~Ki which is “life force energy”
So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy”

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This past week while volunteering at Deepak Chopra’s Seduction of Spirit conference in La Costa, I had a variety of duties, such as assisting with registration, guiding people to events, and manning the doors of the ballroom space. It was incredible to be among more than 400 people who were seeking a greater connection to the Divine, through Deepak’s programs and teachings.

One of the days, while manning my post at the door, I got into a conversation with an attendee.

She asked, “Do you work at the Chopra center?” I told her I was simply volunteering during the week for the conference.

SHE: “So, what is your job? Did you have to take a whole week off from your job to do this?”

ME: “I have my own business, so I gave myself the week off.”

SHE: “What do you do?”

ME: “I am a nondenominational minister – I perform weddings, baby blessings, memorials, home clearings.”

SHE: “But what is your church? Do you give services?”

ME: “I don’t have a flock, nor do I give sermons.” I shared with her that I officiate and facilitate ceremonies and blessings for sacred moments. And I don’t follow a particular religion. Instead I read books and learn tools and attend programs that will help me connect with God/the Divine. To bring that same energy to every service I officiate or perform. Whatever it takes, my end goal is to experience my own direct connection with God.

I have had this conversation often, in many variations and with all different kinds of people, and I so appreciate the questions. I think a lot of people feel confusion about spirituality and religion and how it fits into our lives.

Come join the conversation:

http://www.meetup.com/spiritedconversation/

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