Tag Archives: Nature

Spring Cleaning Inside & Out Virtual Writing Retreat Day 4 ~ Spiritual

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We’ve been looking at Spring Cleaning through a holistic framework – one that addresses body, mind, emotion and spirit.  Today, we’ll focus on the spiritual aspects of ourselves to see what we might like to shift or change as we harmonize with the energy of Spring.  Spring is a particularly good time to harmonize with the natural world.  With the warmer weather and longer days, it often seems like we are more easily drawn outdoors and with so many things beginning to bud and bloom, it is natural that our attention is on the natural world that we are a part of.

Let’s take a look at what an imbalance in the Wood element might look like on the spiritual level:

  • Lack of enthusiasm for life
  • Feeling disconnected from Nature
  • Lack of sense of spiritual connection
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Missing a sense of soul purpose

I feel like this really represents something I consider to be one of the greatest diseases of our time – DISCONNECTION.  From the shamanic viewpoint and other spiritual traditions, it is understood that everything is interconnected through what we call the “web of life”.  As humans, we often tend to see or feel ourselves as separate.  This often starts with the natural world, but continue with our sense of connection to spirit, to community and ultimately to our own selves.

Spring can be a wonderful time to tune in and reconnect.   I hope you’ll take some time to explore how you can create greater connection in all areas of your life.  Here are some questions to write and reflect on for today:

  • Do you feel connected to your own inner voice?
  • Do you spend quiet time just “being”?
  • Are you able to feel a sense of oneness?
  • Do you feel a connection to Spiritual Source? God? Spiritual Community? Nature?
  • Do you know what Spirituality means for you?  
  • Is there something that your need to resolve or let go of that affects your ability to connect on a spiritual level?
  • Do you have a sense of your soul purpose?  Make a list of things you love most and explore what that might be.

Make a list of 3 – 5 things you can do to support yourself spiritually.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Find a spiritual practice that suits you (be curious and explore!)  
  • Attend a spiritual service or community.  
  • Connect with nature.  
  • Create time and space to meditate.  
  • Find a creative activity that allows you to express yourself more freely.  
  • Awaken your inner self – explore what ignites your own inner spark.

Happy explorations!

See you tomorrow!

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Spring Cleaning Inside & Out 7-Day Virtual Writing Retreat Day 1 ~ Body

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As each season arrives, we move through a period of change and transition.  This can be seen easily in  changes of the natural world all around us but it is also something that is going within us on many levels.  By taking some time to harmonize with the energy of each season, we gain an opportunity to look at the patterns in our own lives with a deeper perspective and insight.  And, we can be supported by the energies that are most active during the current time of year.

As Spring sets in, the days begin to get longer giving us more light.  We can begin to observe new growth in the natural world ~ shoots break through the previously frozen ground and buds pop up on plants and trees almost miraculously, all in preparation for the big Spring Bloom.  Spring is the truly a season of new growth and transformation. With all this happening, we may feel our own energy is expanding, flowing and blossoming with new ideas, too!

This makes Spring a wonderful time to reflect, refresh and renew.  It is a time for new beginnings and offers us a time to tune into our whole self – body, mind, emotion and spirit.  It’s also a great time to review and update our self-care plans as well as explore what might support our well-being during this transitional time and beyond.

I am excited to be sharing this Spring Cleaning Inside & Out 7-Day Virtual Writing Retreat with the HOA community.  I’ve started to offer a number of virtual writing retreats throughout the year as a way to tune in through writing and reflection; and to support transformation and healing in ourselves, our relationships and our world.  I invite you take some time to explore as you feel called to.  It’s not always easy to take time off for a retreat, however it is something we can always create for ourselves in our own way.

I just finished my early Spring Cleanse last, a nine day fast of juicing and master cleanser, which I find helps me to detoxify and recalibrate my system.  It may seem like a fast is focused on the physical, but it is actually a way to clear ourselves on many levels.  I was amazed out how much more spaciousness I found in my mind and how many emotions were moving through during that time.  We often tend to think of spring cleaning in terms of the physical – our bodies, our houses, etc.  However, this is a perfect time to really look as all aspects of ourselves inside and out.

Each day for the next seven days, I’ll be offering a reflection and a prompt for you to explore how you can work with the energy of Spring to support transformation and healing in all areas of your life.  We’ll be looking at body, mind, emotion, spirit and space – inner, outer and sacred.  Come Explore!


 

Day 1

Spring is a great time to look at your life and make a new self-care plan.  Take some time this Spring to look at how you care for yourself, consider where you may be out of balance and where you need to give greater attention to support your overall health and well-being.  Consider what you may need to let go of and what you might like to create in your life – this is what Spring Cleaning Inside and Out is all about!

According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is the season of the Wood Element.  The organs most active are Liver and Gall Bladder.  The color is Green.  So, this makes Spring an ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation of our overall health and well-being.

A person with a balanced Wood Element would experience much of the following:

  • Sense of Connectedness to Nature
  • Clarity
  • Organization
  • Energized
  • Ability & Capacity for Control
  • Spiritual Connection
  • Enthusiasm
  • Healthy Expression of Emotions, especially Anger,
  • Mentally Relaxed
  • Creative

Wood element imbalances may be experienced in a variety of ways.  Let’s take a look at the physical today.  These many include:

  • Spinal Problems
  • Poor Flexibility
  • Headaches
  • Poor Resistance to Illness
  • Allergic Sensitivities
  • Skin Problems
  • Irritated, watery eyes
  • Muscle Fatigue and weakness

Whether or not you notice that you have some type of Wood imbalance or not, now is a good time to reflect on your physical well-being.  Take some time to reflect on the following questions:

  • Are you physically healthy and active?
  • Do you feel comfortable in you body?  
  • Do you have health issues that limit your life?
  • Are you eating a diet that supports you where you are and where you want to be?
  • Are there certain things it might be time to let go of from your diet that you are aware aren’t healthy for your body?

Take some time to write and to explore how you might change this area of your life.

Here are some suggestions to explore:

  • Begin to develop your own program to keep you body fit and healthy (this may involve trying different things to see what works – be creative!)
  • Take a walk for 15 to 20 minutes daily.  
  • Try a yoga or tai chi class.  
  • Eat a balanced diet (explore and discover what diet best supports you today!)
  • Listen to the messages that your body is sending to you.  
  • Go for a massage.  
  • Drink plenty of water.  
  • Fast or cleanse to detoxify and rejuvenate your body.  
  • See appropriate health care practitioners or get supports as needed.

Make a list of 3 – 5 things you can do to support your physical well-being.  And, keep adding to this list as you learn more about yourself.

I hope you’ll take some time today to write, reflect and explore a whole new you!

As always, you are welcome to share reflections and thoughts in the comments below.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

Winter Solstice Meditation & Message

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For those of you on my email list, I shared a Winter Solstice Message & Meditation yesterday.  And, tonight I led a Solstice Ceremony & Meditation in Annapolis.  This is one of my favorite times of year and as we approach the Solstice at 11:49 PM ET here, I wanted to share this message with the Heart of Awakening community, too!

Many blessings to you for love, light and peace on this Solstice!

Beth


 

The Solstice is a powerful time of transformation ~ one in which we can connect more deeply our natural world and to the true essence of who we are.  I am sharing with you an audio meditation and message for this Winter Solstice time. You might like to listen to it at the time of Solstice or sometime in the day before or after.  Click here to lookup what time the Solstice is in your area.

Listen to Beth’s Winter Solstice Message & Meditation…

I hope you will take some time to tune and celebrate the Solstice energy wherever you are.  I often share that I believe that one of the greatest diseases of our time is DISCONNECTION.  As we take time to harmonize with the energies of nature and with our own deeper essence, we are able to experience connection and harmony in our lives, our relationships and our world.  This may be something you wish to do on your own or in community.  You can use this meditation or there are many ways to create your own ceremony or ritual – it’s good to be creative and explore what resonates with you.

Read my post on Finding Connection Through Ceremony & Ritual to get some ideas for creating your own Solstice Ceremony or other ways to incorporate ceremony and ritual into your daily life.

Upcoming Events

January 1 – 30 ~ Setting Intentions & Visioning Our Dreams 30 Day Writing Program (Virtual)
1st Sundays ~ Healing The Shadow Shamanic Journey Telelcass (Virtual)
2016 Dates TBA ~ Healing The Shadow Shamanic Journey Process Group in Annapolis, MD (Local)
May 1 – 31 ~ May Is For Metta 2016: 31 Days of Loving-kindness Meditaton & Practice (Virtual)

June 2016 ~ Discover The Healer Within 4-Session Virtual Program

For details and registration information on events, visit http://www.bethterrence.com/Events.html 
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Metta For Mother Earth ~ Happy Earth Day!

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“All nature that we behold is the mother aspect of God, because in nature we find beauty, gentleness, and kindness. The flowers, birds, and the beauties of nature all speak of the Mother aspect of God-the creative motherly instinct of God. When we look at all the good things in nature, we feel a tenderness rise within us; we can see and feel God in nature.

The Divine Mother is so beautiful! But remember, in Her higher manifestation even that beauty is formless. She is in everything. Her divine, compassionate love is expressed in the raindrops. Her beauty is reflected in the colors of the rainbow. She offers fresh hope to mankind with the rose-tinted clouds at dawn.

Above all, be ever conscious of Her presence in your heart.” 

– Paramahansa Yogananda

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May Is For Metta 2015 is coming soon to a cushion near you! One of the beautiful practices that has emerged during each May Is For Metta is being able to celebrate Mother’s Day during our practice period; a part of that practice has been offering Metta for our Mother Earth.  Since Earth Day is today, I thought what better way to celebrate here on HOA than to offer a simple Metta practice to honor our Earth Mother.

Metta For Mother Earth

Find a comfortable position either sitting on a chair with feet flat on the floor or sitting on the floor cross-legged with a cushion below.  Have your spine straight but not tense, shoulders and stomach relaxed, your hands on your knees or your lap.  Gently close your eyes.

Take a few moments to settle in. Bring your awareness to your breath without deepening or changing it – simply notice the in and out breaths for a few cycles. 

Spend a few moments generating the energy of loving-kindness and compassion for yourself.  Think of a moment when you felt held in unconditional love – perhaps with a parent, grandparent, good friend, mentor or favorite pet. Allow yourself to bathe in that feeling of being held in unconditional love and compassion. This feeling is the foundation of Metta.

Begin to offer the Metta phrases to yourself for a few rounds:

  • May I be happy.
  • May I be peaceful.
  • May I be free of suffering.
  • May I have ease of well-being. 

When you feel ready, begin to invite an image of Mother Earth into your mind.  This may be by imagining holding the whole earth in your mind’s eye or in your hands; or by simply going to one of your favorite places in nature and connecting there with Mother Earth.  Once again, take a few moment to cultivate that feeling of loving-kindness and compassion and then begin to offer Metta to Mother Earth by enveloping her in these heart qualities.  When you feel ready, move on to offering the phrases to Mother Earth:

  • May you be happy.
  • May y0u be peaceful.
  • May you be free of suffering.
  • May you have ease of well-being.

Spend as long as you feel to practicing Metta for Mother Earth.  When you feel ready to move on, let her image go and return to your heart center.  Spend a few moments allowing yourself to open your heart to receive love and deepen your experience of the sacred space within your being.

Sometimes offering Metta to a larger entity or group is challenging – this is something we explore during May Is For Metta as we work with the category of All Beings.  If you find this is the case or if your wish to practice even further, you may wish to choose certain categories to work with such as:

  • All Our Animals
  • All Our Plants
  • All Our Waters
  • All Our Stones
  • All Our Winged Ones – Birds, Bees, Butterflies, etc.

Also, you can choose a specific tree, rock, stream, etc. that you feel connected to as a representation of Mother Earth.  Feel free to explore practicing in various ways.  You may wish to do this as part of a sitting practice or as you move about your day; and it doesn’t just have to happen today on Earth Day, it’s a wonderful way to connect everyday!

One of my favorite practices when I lived in New York City was to offer Metta to the trees I passed on the street as I walked.  This helped me to connect to nature in the big city and I believe it helped the trees, too, in some way that cannot be defined.  Today is a wonderful today to take your practice out into the world to celebrate Mother Earth and to connect more deeply with our natural world.  Happy Earth Day!

Tashi Deleh!

I honor the greatness within you!

P.S. You are invited to join us in May Is For Metta 2015: 31 Days Of Loving-kindness Meditation, a virtual gathering that happens here on HOA from May 1st to 31st each year. #MIFM2015

My Word for 2015 is…CLARITY

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images-5It’s been a few years now that I have chosen a word for the year. Some years I have to really meditate and percolate to come up with a word.  Last year, my word was ALIGNMENT.   Interestingly, I read something about the current astrology around Saturn moving into Sagittarius in December and how this is fostering a greater sense of alignment.

One thing I have recently discovered about the new year is that choosing a word for the year or making resolutions, doesn’t mean your there.  It means you are setting the intention for the coming year and it will require work through the year to actualize that intention or resolution. This year, I had many invitations to join groups or sign up for courses in December to help me set goals and vision for 2015 so I could be ready when January 1st arrived.

I have to admit I dabbled in this a bit but didn’t get too far. I did struggle seeing others seemingly create a vision and action plan for the new year and feeling like in some way I must be slacking in this or already failing. Then, I remembered the awareness that came to  me last year at this time to really honor the rhythms of nature, of winter and the yin energy of this season.

For me, all the goals, resolutions, etc., need to come from within, not from the mind but from my heart and soul.  And, not from any forces outside myself, only those within.  This requires going slow, being patient, and honoring my own rhythm.  This is what a year of alignment has taught me.  I knew it before but now I feel more able to honor it in my daily life.

So here I am on January 16, 2015, just diving into my word of the year post and feeling my intentions, goals and visions for this year emerging.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks meditating, doing inner work and allowing this year’s word to come forward. Once I created space and ask the question, the word came shining through.  My word for 2015 is…

CLARITY

I feel pretty strongly this energy came from the alignment of last year.  I can’t say 2014 was an easy year; in fact, it was challenging in many ways.  I struggled with finances, relationships and life direction.  Even more so, I had a layer of trauma surface that required my willingness to dive very deeply into old feelings, patterns and beliefs.

Although, I had done this many times before, this layer was particularly painful.  I was surprised at how much I had been continuing to hold patterns that were not my own, but were shaped my mother’s mental illness.  And, I discovered how in an unseen way, these patterns and feelings were continuing to drive my life experiences.

As a shaman, my work is to journey into the darkness to find the light.  I have been on this path for close to a decade now doing my own inner work and assisting others in their journeys.  Still, I was amazed at how powerful a hold the trauma and misperceptions of the past had on me even today.

Seeing it was the beginning of a process of unravelling that has taken the last 6 months and continues.  I imagine the word CLARITY has emerged from this exploration.  On a daily basis, I have been looking at what’s the real me and what’s the false me.  When I feel a feeling or hear an inner voice, I stop to ask it is the true me or a false me.  Each time I do this, I become clearer, stronger and more grounded in my true essence.

I am excited to see what CLARITY brings in 2015!

Do you have a word for the year or an intention you’d like to share?  Feel free to drop a note in the comments below.

Many blessings for a beautiful year!

Love & light,

Beth

Spring Cleaning Inside And Out, Part I

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As each season arrives, we move through a period of change and transition.  This can be seen in the natural world around us but is also something that is going on within our own selves.  By taking some time to harmonize with the energy of the season, we gain an opportunity to look at the patterns in our lives with a new perspective.  Spring, with its energy of new beginnings, can be powerful time to recreate ourselves in a more balanced and conscious way.

As Spring begins to set in the days begin to get longer, giving us more light.  We can begin to observe new growth in the natural world ~ shoots break through the previously frozen ground and buds pop up on plants and trees, all in preparation for the big Spring Bloom.  Spring is the truly the season of new growth and transformation.  With this, we may feel our energy is expanding, flowing and blossoming with new ideas. It is a perfect time to cultivate our own new beginnings and fresh perspectives so that more of our deeper essence can emerge.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is the season of the Wood Element.  The organs most active are Liver and Gall Bladder.  The color is Green.  This makes Spring an ideal time for cleansing and rejuvenation for our overall health and well-being.  We may tend to focus on the physical when we thing of cleansing but really there is an opportunity to do our Spring Cleaning on all levels ~ body, mind, emotion and spirit.  Here is a brief overview:

Wood element imbalances may be experienced in a variety of ways.  Let’s take a look at them from a holistic perspective:

Physical:                                                                  

  • Spinal Problems
  • Poor Flexibility
  • Headaches
  • Poor Resistance to Illness
  • Allergic Sensitivities
  • Skin Problems
  • Irritated, watery eyes
  • Muscle Fatigue and weakness

Mental:

  • Poor Judgement
  • Disorganization
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Control issues
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Lack of clarity
  • Unable to focus

Emotional:

  • Anger
  • Shouting
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • “Stuffing” feelings
  • Control issues
  • Feeling of overwhelm
  • Sense of separateness

Spiritual:

  • Lack of enthusiasm for life
  • Disconnected from Nature
  • Lack of spiritual connection
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Missing a sense of soul purpose

A Balanced Wood Element would experience more of the following:

  • Sense of Connectedness to Nature
  • Clarity
  • Organization
  • Energized
  • Ability & Capacity for Control
  • Spiritual Connection
  • Enthusiasm
  • Healthy Expression of Emotions, especially Anger,
  • Mentally Relaxed
  • Creative

Spring is a great time to look at your life and make a new self-care plan.  Take some time this Spring to look at how you care for yourself, consider where you may be out of balance and where you need to give greater attention to support your overall health and well-being.  Consider what you may need to let go of and what you might like to create in your life – this is what Spring Cleaning Inside and Out is all about!  Here are some questions and ideas to explore:

Physical: Are you physically healthy and active? Do you feel comfortable in you body?   Do you have health issues that limit your life? Are you eating a diet that supports you where you are and where you want to be? Is your environment open and clear or is it full of clutter?  Begin to develop a program to keep you body fit and healthy.  Take a walk for 15 to 20 minutes daily.  Try a yoga or tai chi class.  Eat a balanced diet.  Listen to the messages that your body is sending to you.  Go for a massage.  Drink plenty of water.  Fast or cleanse to detoxify and rejuvenate your body.  Clear you space.  See appropriate health care practitioners or get supports as needed.

Mental: Can you think and express yourself clearly? Are you intellectually satisfied? Does your belief system support you?   What are the beliefs you are holding on to which are limited or no longer serve you? Do you believe in yourself? Are you able to focus? Can you relax your mind?  Pay attention to your thoughts.  Look for recurring patterns to see which support your well-being and which may limit your satisfaction and fulfillment in life.  Be open to creating new ideas and beliefs that will support your growth.  Journaling is a great way to explore our beliefs and begin to explore and release thoughts, which may no longer serve us.  Give yourself recognition for your own intelligence, talents and abilities.  Celebrate yourself!

Emotional: Are you in touch with your emotions? Are you able to express your feelings appropriately? Do you allow your self to experience a full range of feelings – anger and sorrow, love and happiness, etc? Are you able to develop close and intimate relationships?   Allow yourself the time and space to connect with your feelings.   Learn to receive and acknowledge other people’s feelings, as you would want to be received.  Develop relationships that allow you to express emotions honestly and freely.  Seek a counselor or support group if you need support.  Be open to your feelings and the guidance they provide for you.

Spiritual: Do you feel connected with your own inner voice? Do you spend quiet time just “being”? Are you able to feel a sense of oneness? Do you feel a connection to Spiritual Source? God? Spiritual Community? Nature? Do you know what Spirituality means for you?  Find a spiritual practice that suits you.  Attend a spiritual service or community.  Connect with nature.  Create time and space to meditate.  Find a creative activity that allows you to express yourself more freely.  Awaken your inner self.

I hope you enjoy this exploration!  Stay tuned for Part II – I’ll be sharing some Spring tips on nutrition, cleansing and holistic tools to support balance and ease of well-being.

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Do you feel out of balance in your life?

Do you keep repeating the same patterns over and over again?

Are you struggling with a chronic issue or condition that you have been unable to change?

Do you dream of experiencing more peace, joy & ease of wellbeing?

I’d like to invite you to take a step forward in your journey of transformation & healing…

 Spring Into A “Whole” New You!

Integrative Transformational Healing Sessions with Beth Terrence bring together a combination of approaches and modalities that support transformation and wholeness. Sessions are collaborative with practitioner and client working together to explore and uncover areas and issues of focus that will support growth and well-being. Focused attention is given to releasing of patterns, feelings and beliefs which are out of alignment as well as visioning for a new way of being. 


Zero Balancing
Meditation & Mindfulness
  Holistic Self-Care  
Energy/Body Therapy
  PEER™ Process  
Bodybreath Healing
  Lifestyle Restructuring  
Ceremony & Ritual

Sessions are available in person in Annapolis, MD or by Phone/Skype.

An Integrative Transformational Healing Approach utilizing a combination of holistic tools and resources can be beneficial in supporting the following areas: 

Life Transitions 
Anxiety 
Depression 
Loss & Grief 
Lifestyle Restructuring 
Emotional & Energetic Sensitivity 
Trauma & Abuse Issues 
Addiction & Recovery  
Relationships 
Self-Care 
Spirituality 
Personal Growth 
Fibromyalgia 
Chronic Pain & Related Conditions
What clients say about sessions with Beth:

“Beth Terrence is mindful, gentle and authentic. She brings great integrity to her work, having “walked through the fire” in her own life. Beth is more than a healer. She stands with you in the situation, a powerful witness to transformation. Exquisitely perceptive and intuitive, Beth embraces you with understanding and compassion. As my inner child heals, I begin to see my life change. Beth’s words are eloquent, wise and true. I have received unexpected healing just from listening to her interviews.” ~ M.J., New Britain, CT  

“Beth Terrence is an amazing guiding light with the unforced wisdom that comes through years of seeking truth in its many forms. The Bach Remedies are one of her many tools for opening you up to healing and growing into a more complete, peaceful, healthy being. Its amazing how her “prescription” for improved well being fostered a shift in perceptions and behaviors leading to greater daily satisfaction and joy.” 
~ C.B., Annapolis, MD

Spring Is Here! 

Inviting you to emerge into a new way of being.

Are You Ready?

Visit www.bethterrence.com to schedule a session today!

 

 

 


 

 

Poem Of The Week: Be Still By Beth Terrence

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Be Still

By Beth Terrence

Be still as a tree
 whose leaves rustle in the breeze
 standing firm in the ground
 reaching to heaven above
 rooted in both worlds
 connected
 strong 
 unshakable

 

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Beth Terrence is a Shaman, Holistic Health & Wellness Expert, Speaker and Writer.  Writing and reading poetry is a practice that feeds her soul.

She writes regularly on this blog, The Heart Of Awakening: Searching For A New Paradigm, which offers online transformational and holistic resources, including a “Poem Of The Week” Post.   Her story, “Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman”, is part of the collaborative Heal My Voice book, Inspired Voices: True Stories Of Visionary Women.  The poem, Be Still, is published in the Spiritual Writers Network Anthology, Reflections Of The Soul.  Both are available on Amazon.

Currently, Beth is developing and facilitating a pilot program with Heal My Voice and Chrysalis House, a long-term residential addictions treatment program for women and their children in Maryland.  The intention of this program is to support women in healing and recovery through writing and sharing their stories in weekly writing circles and monthly creativity workshops.  

Learn more about Beth at www.bethterrence.com.

Poem Of The Week: Ode To The West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Ever since I wrote my last post, Autumn Tips For Happy & Healthy Living, which included a quote by Percy Bysshe Shelley, this fascinating poet has been on my mind.  His words in “Ode To The West Wind” speak so beautifully to the energy of the season, the journey of life and our connection to nature and spirit.  It was interesting to learn that his writings and actions provided a strong influence on Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi and the principles of non-violence.  He also was a proponent of vegetarianism as well as social justice for the lower classes.  He saw the need to fight for the rights of all living creatures that he saw being treated unjustly.

I hope you enjoy the poem.  Feel free to share you thoughts, feelings and reflections.  Happy Autumn!

Ode to the West Wind

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I.
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh, hear!

II.
Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aery surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge

Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh, hear!

 III.
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams,

Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,

All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers

Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know

Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: oh, hear!

 IV.
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
And then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne’er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

V.
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O, Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Visionary Voices: Dr. Edward Bach

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I thought I’d share this post again today in honor of Dr. Bach’s birthday tomorrow, 9/24. Dr. Bach’s writings, teachings on healing and the Bach Flower Remedies themselves have been a powerful gift in my own life and in my work with clients over the last 15 years.  I am excited to be sharing more about this on my Free Teleseminar today at 12 PM ET ~ “Discover Emotional Balance & Well-Being With The Bach Flower Remedies“. In celebration of Dr. Bach’s birthday, I will be sharing more about the Bach Flowers all week long. If you’d like to join today’s teleseminar or receive an audio replay, visit https://discoverbachflowerremedies.eventbrite.com/ to register or email me to receive a link.

The Heart of Awakening

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, when we realise that Love and Unity are the great foundations of our Creation, that we in ourselves are children of the Divine Love, and that the eternal conquest of all wrong and suffering will be accomplished by means of gentleness and love…” – Dr. Edward Bach

One of my intentions in writing The Heart of Awakening is to share information on the teachings and philosophies which have inspired my life and influenced my work as well as to offer practical resources which support transformation and healing both individually and collectively. I have found both in my own personal journey and in working with others for over 16 years that it is vital to find tools and resources, which resonate with the individual. Each person is different, unique and there is no single formula for healing and change. Even in accepting that there are…

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Know Yourself: The Foundation For Change

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You cannot transcend what you do not know.  To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself.

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I am excited to be starting a new 31 Day Blog Challenge.  Every year when I do May Is For Metta, I feel like this is an opening to write more and daily.  Then, June comes and find I just don’t make it back to the page as much as I intend to.  Having a motivator, a challenge or a deadline that is accountable to others is something I find I need.  I am not sure why this is the case. I’d love to just say I am going to write everyday and do it, just because I want to.  It’s curious and something I am exploring in myself.

So, here I am in July, feeling the call to join a 31 Day Blog Challenge.  I guess another aspect of this is that writing or the process of writing itself tends to be a very solitary process.  So joining in a collective group of writers and bloggers who are journeying together during this time really helps to create a container for that energy and offers a drive to be more proactive.  I am looking forward to exploring the variety of bloggers and blogs that have signed on for Lesa Townsend’s 31 Day Blog Challenge.  I hope you’ll join me in this exploration here on The Heart Of Awakening Blog and check out some of the other blogs as well.

One of the things I have been working on this year is creating a program that is at this point called, 30 Days To Change.  This program has stemmed from some of the workshops, articles and individual sessions I have done over recent years.  What I have found is that 30 or 31 Days is a great container to initiate a foundation for change.  I have seen research on varying amounts of time but this is a framework that I have found works well with the processes I have developed around holistic self-care, mastering anxiety, transforming your inner critic, and discovering the healer within.

It just occurred to me recently that this process can be applied to any area of focus or type of change –  30 Days is a good way to begin to cultivate healing and transformation in a powerful way and can offer a foundation for how to work in an ongoing way.  I like that this time frame can involve both a daily process and also be segmented into 4 weekly segments.  I plan to spend some time over the summer developing this as its own model for change to be applied to whatever area one might like to focus on.   So, stay tuned for more of that exploration to emerging here.

For today, I’d like to share a step that I find is a key component in creating any type of change:

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Know Yourself.  We live in such a busy and chaotic world.  Our lives are full of distractions and disruptions both inwardly and outwardly.  How can we create change in our lives if we don’t know who we are and we aren’t truly conscious of what we are experiencing.  How can we know what changes would best support us or how we want to be in the world without that self-knowing?

There are many ways to get to know oneself on a deeper level.  Developing a contemplative practice such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, or prayer can be a good starting point.   Just spending some time in stillness, whether indoors or out in nature, just being and listening  and allowing our inner voice to be heard is a great step, too.  Writing or journaling can be a powerful way to deepen in self-reflection and self-awareness.

Take the time and space to explore some tools and practices that can support you in getting to know yourself more fully and deeply; this is probably the greatest thing you can do for yourself.  Take some time to consider areas of your life where you feel out of balance.  Are there certain changes you are feeling to make?  Is there something that is going on in your life that is causing you considerable distress?  Are you willing to take some time to just be with that and explore what might be beneficial for you in terms of change?

So, whether you have a specific change in mind or just feel to explore a bit, I hope you will join me this month in my exploration.  It won’t be totally linear, but I will be sharing bits and pieces of my developing program.  Is there a practice or tool you feel to bring in that can support you in getting to know yourself?  Or, perhaps you feel to explore some new practices to see how they might support you.

As always,  I would love to hear how others have worked with creating change, particularly if there is a certain time frame you have found beneficial or certain practices that support getting to know yourself.

Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month: Rock Water

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I am sure some of you may be wondering how the Bach Flower Remedies fit into the vision of The Heart Of Awakening Blog.  The mission of The Heart Of Awakening Blog is to support:

Living from the Heart

Embodying Awareness, Authenticity and Purpose

Integrating a Holistic Approach to Being

Embracing the Interconnectedness of All Things

Honoring and Respecting the Sacredness of Life

The actualization of this is done through sharing explorations, ideas, and tools that support this vision.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most powerful tools for transformation.  I use them personally in an ongoing way and also in my sessions with clients.  I see the benefit of the remedies as essentially being three-fold:

1)   The Bach Flower Remedies provide vibrational and energetic support that facilitates a strengthening of our overall energy field; this is the case with all flower essences, which in some ways work similarly to homeopathic medicine.  This type of support is critical in the world we live in today where we encounter toxic, unbalanced and chaotic energies often on a moment by moment basis.  Finding ways that stabilize our energy fields is necessary for us to move into a place of greater authenticity, wholeness and soul purpose.

2)   The Bach Flower Remedies in particular are one of the best tools I have found, both personally and professionally, to support balance in the emotions and the emotional energy body.  Each specific remedy addresses an emotional state or personality trait that is out of balance or is taking us out of alignment with our soul purpose.  The remedies bring in a positive energy or vibration to help transmute a negative feeling or state.  For example, if we are experiencing fear, a remedy that would address that might bring in the quality of peacefulness or calm to our energy field and begin to transmute our feelings of fear.  In a sense, this is very similar to working with affirmations, except we are benefitting from the vibrationally energy of the flowers and mother earth’s vibrational force.

3)   One of the other reasons I feel so strongly about the Bach Flower Remedies as a tool for transformation is the process of self-reflection and deepening in a self-awareness that arises as one works with the remedies.  I often utilize a Bach Flower assessment as the primary discovery process in my work with clients as it provides a clear, workable framework for identifying patterns, feelings and beliefs an individual is carrying.  Also, this is a very collaborative process and it gives an individual the opportunity to self-reflect and self-identify areas of imbalance or disharmony in their lives.  Both through assessment and actually working with the remedies as a treatment, individuals deepen in self-awareness and begin to cultivate their own process of transformation and healing.

Last month we focused on Pine, which is the remedy of the inner critic.  This month’s remedy is Rock Water, which can have some overlap with Pine; many of the remedies do have crossover properties and subtle variations, as we do as human beings.  Interestingly, Rock Water is the only one of the Bach Flower Remedies that is not actually a flower but rather is water from a natural spring that is protected by nature and unaffected by our modern world; it is often known as a healing source.

According to Dr. Bach, Rock Water is indicated for:

“Those who are very strict in their way of living.  They deny themselves many of the joys and pleasures in life because they consider it may interfere with their work.  They are hard masters to themselves.  They wish to be well and strong and active, and will do anything, which they believe will keep them so.  They hope to be examples which will appeal to others who then may follow their ideas and be better as a result.” (The Twelve Healers, p.23)

In a previous post, From Comparison To Compassion, I compared Larch, Pine and Rock Water, in relation to patterns of perfectionism, which is clearly a key component of the Rock Water type that is evident from Dr. Bach’s description above.  It is these very high standards and ideals that drive someone with a Rock Water personality or pattern to push so very hard.  One of the biggest patterns someone needing this remedy exhibits is a feeling that there is always pressure that something needs to be done.  This is so strong, to the degree that a person is really never feel able to relax fully.

In addition to perfectionism is another aspect, which is actually the pattern of “Drive” itself.  There are several remedies, which we might include in a category of drive remedies; this includes Rock Water, Vine, Vervain and Impatiens.  Being driven is something that can be an asset and is certainly viewed as a strong point is our society.  However, just like everything else, our “drive” needs to be in balance.  If we are too driven, we can easily deplete our energy and may not be able to achieve our goals and even if we do, we may not be able to enjoy them as we proceed on to the next task.  For this reason, Rock Water types may be known as “harsh taskmasters unto themselves.”

As I shared in the overview of the remedies above, balance is a key component in transformation, healing and living a life of joy and ease.  Rock Water is highly beneficial in returning a person who is over-driven, steeped in perfectionism, high standards and rigidity to a place of balance and ease.

Here are some questions to help consider if Rock Water may be beneficial for you:

  • Are you extremely hard on yourself?
  • Do you push yourself really hard?
  • Do you have enough fun?
  • Do you always feels pressure that something needs to be done?
  • Are you strict in your way of living, denying yourself many of the joys and pleasures of life?
  • Do you have very high ideals, standards and expectations?
  • Are you a perfectionist?
  • Do you experience mental rigidity?
  • Do you believe that worldly desires inhibit spiritual development?
  • Do you experience a lot of tension and stress in your physical body?
  • Do you tend to adhere to a particular dogma or discipline even when it is not really working for you or causing considerable distress?

Some of the positive qualities that the Rock Water remedy may bring include:

  • Adaptability
  • Open-mindedness
  • Realistic expectations
  • Balanced self-discipline
  • Ability to relax and enjoy life more fully
  • Becoming kinder and gentler with oneself
  • Learning to have fun

It’s funny that I felt to bring this remedy in just as summer begins.  It feels like the perfect time to let go a little and if this remedy seems beneficial, it could be a great exploration to see what “fun” Summer might be like with a little less pressure to get it all done.  Also, it is often in heat of summer that we go into the water to cool off and refresh.  The Rock Water remedy offers us a way to let go on an inner level, to relax and refresh, and become more fluid with the flow of life, like water itself.

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For additional information on the Bach Flower Remedies and Dr. Edward Bach, visit http://www.bachcentre.com.

If you are interested in a Bach Flower Remedy Consultation & Treatment, I offer these sessions in Annapolis, MD, by phone or by Skype.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most beneficial transformational and healing tools that I utilize both personally and in my holistic healing practice.   I have worked with the Bach Flowers for over 15 years and I am a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner through the Bach Centre, home of Dr. Edward Bach.  Please feel free to visit my website if you would like to explore how the Bach Flower Remedies and an Integrative Transformational Approach may benefit your own process of transformation and healing.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bach Flower Remedies or find an index of previous Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month posts, visit www.bethterrence.com/bachflowerremedies.

Also, you may enjoy these posts:

Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader

7 Ways To Cultivate Love & Compassion For Yourself

Happy Earth Day 2013!

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I so fondly remember attending my first Earth Day Celebration in 1978.  I was 12 and my middle school went to an Earth Day Celebration at a local community college.  It was the first time I felt an awareness of the environment and our impact on it.  It is amazing to see how much has changed and how much hasn’t changed since that time in terms of our relationship with Mother Earth.  One of the things that has helped me most is my foundation in shamanism, which really supports the interconnectedness of all beings through the web of life.  I believe this foundation and awareness is a necessary piece to transformation on a global level and it takes each person making this change for a broader transformation to occur.  We need to work on this both inwardly and outwardly, so I have included two sharings in the post.  One is a guided meditation I offered at a visit today on Positive About Change Blog Talk Radio and the other is a list of 10 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day.  Remember not just to celebrate today, but hopefully, everyday in some way!  Happy Earth Day!

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Click Here To Listen To Earth Day Meditation

10 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day

1) Join A Nature Conservancy’s Picnic For Earth or plan your own. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe…it all comes from nature. I just learned about this project and love the idea.  Join people around the world in a global picnic to celebrate our planet and the bounty it provides.  With population and food demand on the rise, The Nature Conservancy is working with others to find smarter and more efficient ways to use our lands and waters. Learn more at http://earthday.nature.org/.

2) Donate or Volunteer for an environmental organization that resonates with you.  There are so many organizations and issues related to the environment and supporting Mother Earth.  Find one that really speaks to you and support it through monetary or in-kind donations or by volunteering your time and energy.  Also, just sharing and raising awareness about an organization can be a great way to support it.

3)  Commit to making some type of change in your life and home that will support the environment and Mother Earth.  Consider things like using less water, reducing electrical usage, recycling more, composting, etc.  Even a few small changes can make a difference and by being more conscious we are creating change on many levels.

4) Plant trees, flowers or vegetables that are appropriate for your area.  Planting is a wonderful way to connect with and support Mother Earth.  It is key to plant species are indigenous to your area. You may like to join with a local tree-planting group or just do so with your family or friends.

5) Participate in or organize a household hazardous waste collection in your community.  Collect paint, used auto products like motor oil and batteries, solvents, etc. This will require city or county coordination and participation; they may have certain dates scheduled but you can help to organize or gather items that may be overlooked or improperly discarded.  Get in touch with your local government to see what you can do.

6) Spend time in nature on your own or with friends and family. Spending time in nature and just being with Mother Earth and all of her children – the trees, rocks, animals, etc. is a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day.  You may like to go on your own or organize a hike with friends or family.

7) Hold an Earth Day Council Of All Beings.  By now you know I love the practice of council as a tool for transformation and celebration.  Coming together in council is a wonderful way to speak from our hearts and honor Mother Earth.  In a Council Of All Beings, participants choose something in nature that speaks to them and they make a mask to represent their creature, tree, rock, or other “being.”  Sharing is then done with everyone wearing their masks and representing their chosen “being.”   Sharing includescontributions your chosen being makes to life on Earth, and how it makes you feel for people to respond to you the way they do.  This is a wonderful way to give voice to all of Mother Earth’s children and to honor the web of life.

8) Attend an Earth Day Event or Festival.  There are many Earth Day events and festivals happening all during the month of April.  Attending is a great way to support local organizations, community and learn more about resources to support and connect with Mother Earth.

9) Help clean up and restore your environment and communities.  There is so much pollution and trash littering our communities and our world.  There are also many projects to help clean up “our mess”.  Find a project near where you live that works to clean up rivers, lakes, streams, beaches, trails, communities, and graffiti.  Also, there are many projects that help to restore our environment, such as reforesting.  Joining in this way is a great way to help renew and replenish Mother Earth.

10) Be creative.  Explore nature crafts at school or home. Get together with your family and friends and explore creating which is something Mother Earth does everyday.  Build a bird house or feeder to encourage local bird population, which plays an important role in our ecosystem. Or, just make some creative works of art from found objects that might get thrown away otherwise.

Please feel free to share your ideas and reflections.  Happy Earth Day Everyone!

P.S. Stay tuned for details for May Is For Metta 2013 coming later this week.

Discover The Healer Within – Connecting With Sacred Space

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                           “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”                                                                                                                            – Joseph Campbell

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In many of the traditions I have studied, illness or disease have been defined as being out of balance or harmony; some say with our soul, some say with our different aspects of self, such as body, mind, emotion and spirit.  Historically, this has been a foundation for healing and yet, in our current medical model, we tend to be hyper-focused on specific conditions or symptoms without looking at the whole person.  This is hopefully beginning to change as we are seeing more focus on the whole person, but it is is slow process.  What I have learned in my own journey and in working with others for over 17 years in the field of holistic healing is that a key to transformation and healing is to take responsibility for one’s own healing process.

For this purpose, the definition of “responsibility” is the ability to respond.  This is a choice we can make for ourselves.   Often, I hear folks say “I know what I need to do, I just can’t seem to make those changes” or “I know I need to do something, but I just don’t know what”.   And, we often need to get support or guidance, particularly when we are working to change long-held patterns, conditions or beliefs.  Yet, ultimately, only we can truly know our own selves.  Getting to know ourselves and our inner guidance system is a major step toward healing and transformation.

It is also important to learn to experience that change is possible.  I find this is best done experientially through what I refer to as a “state change”.  As we begin to have the experiences of feeling differently, hopefully better, we begin to learn how to create our own shifts and then, the possibilities for change become wide open.  It is often in this space, which is usually one where we begin to create greater presence, clarity and awareness, that we can begin to know ourselves more deeply and learn to access the healer within.

There is no set formula and there is no magic formula that works for all people.  It is important to learn what works for us as individuals, to learn what doesn’t work and to learn how to be in tune with ourselves in an ongoing way.  Life is a journey and although we may heal from one condition or transform a pattern or belief, we are multidimensional beings.  As long as we are journeying in this life, there will be more work to do and another layer to explore.  So, learning to access the healer within and take responsibility for our own process is a vehicle that supports our evolution as human beings.

Learning to connect with Sacred Space is something that is a part of every culture and religion of the world.  It is something we can do in community and it is something we can cultivate on our own, both inwardly and outwardly.  When we enter into Sacred Space, we change energetically.  We step more fully into the present moment, our hearts open and we become more fully engaged in our experience.  Whatever our background or beliefs, finding ways to cultivate and connect with Sacred Space opens the doorway for knowing ourselves more deeply and accessing our inner wisdom.  This can be a powerful component in discovering the healer within.

At its most basic, Sacred Space is a place that invites the contemplation of divine mystery and encourages an attitude of spiritual openness.  We can consider this somewhere where we open our hearts and find support from spirit, in whatever way we define or believe that to be.  A Sacred Space may be a physical location where we go to search for meaning or truth such as a temple, church or even a place in nature.  It is not necessarily a place where answers are grasped or understood but more so it is where questions may be asked.  It can be a place or state where divine inspiration mixes with practices such as ritual, song, dance or prayer that help us to feel a sense of connection with our spirituality.

The origin of the word “Sacred” stems from Latin, sacer, which means “to make holy”.  In a sense, sacred refers to something that is set apart from the ordinary perhaps with intention, feeling or conviction.   Stepping out of the ordinary, out of the busyness or affairs of daily life is a foundational aspect of connecting with the healer within.  There are many ways to step out of the ordinary.  Many think of going to outer places such as temple, cathedral, space in nature, but we also have the ability to connect with and cultivate that sacred space within our own selves.

As we learn to connect with Sacred Space, both inwardly & outwardly, we begin to come into greater alignment with our own essence and the energies around us.  This helps to create a container for intention, connection and healing.  Although I refer to inner and outer ways of creating Sacred Space, this is really all the same.  “Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.”  The outer is important as it reveals to us where our work lies by what is emerging in our lives.   When we become our own healer – we move inner to outer and outer to inner interchangeably knowing that energetically they are the same.

The following are some ways to explore connecting with Sacred Space:

Calling The Directions – In many cultures, including Native American, Buddhist, Asian, Celtic and other indigenous groups, there is a strong connection with the directions, which carry energy and meaning.  Calling in the directions can be done as a ritual to start the day or open Sacred Space; also, one can work with the energy or quality of a certain direction.  This can be a way to connect with specific energies as well as the greater whole.  This type of practice supports moving out of the limited construct of our individual self into the collective energy of creation.  Prayer For A New Day is an example of this practice.  Associations and meanings will vary based on culture or tradition; this is an example of how one might explore and find what meaning or method of practice is most resonant for them.

Shamanic Journey Work – From the shamanic viewpoint, everything is alive, has spirit, and all things/creation are interconnected through what we call the web of life.  There is an understanding that we need to respect and honor all things and all beings as we are a part of a greater whole.  In a shamanic journey process, there is an opportunity to connect with the Sacred Space within and explore one’s own inner guidance system.  Learn more about Shamanic Healing: A Journey Of Reconnection

Ceremony & Ritual – This is a wonderful way to access and create Sacred Space.  This is something one can do according to their own personal belief system or culture.  It can be as simple as stating an intention and lighting a candle or an as elaborate at a medicine wheel gathering or ceremony.  The important thing, once again, is to find what resonates with you and begin to bring more of this into your daily life.  Learn more about Finding Connection Through Ceremony & Ritual.

Meditation – Meditation practice, in and of itself, is a way to enter the sacredness within.  Also, moving into a place of stillness creates a gateway to our divinity.  The practice of meditation and creating a space to practice can be wonderful way to cultivate Sacred Space.  Having a clear space, coming to the cushion or seat in an intentional way, perhaps lighting a candle or incense, etc. is a way to shift our energy more fully into the present moment.  Each time we practice, we are fostering our experience and ability to access in any moment.  If you’d like to explore a 31 Day Guided Practice, try May Is For Metta.

Mind/Body Practices – Finding a practice that supports body, mind, emotion and spirit such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and coming to it in an intentional way offers an opportunity to consciously move into Sacred Space.  Working with this type of practice helps to develop awareness of one’s own energy system as well as our interrelationship to the greater whole.

Sound Healing – In many cultures and shamanic practice, sounds such as drumming or rattling are used to facilitate a natural altered state of consciousness.  For many people, simply listening to music is a way to shift their energy and awareness.  Using sound or music is a powerful way to create a state change and can be utilized to connect with Sacred Space.  Using a certain sound or piece of music can be part of a ritual practice or ceremony as well.

Spending Time In Nature – The natural world is the original sacred space.  When we enter into the natural world or consciously connect with nature, our energy automatically shifts.  This can be as simple as going for a walk in the woods, hugging a tree, or laying on the earth.  We may wish to bring natural elements into our home such as rocks, plants or a waterfall.  We can connect with nature physically but also can do so energetically through meditation, visualization or shamanic journey work.  Mother Nature is one of the most powerful gateways to cultivating Sacred Space.  Also, as we love, honor and respect nature, we begin to access more of our own sacredness as part of a greater whole.

Stepping into Sacred Space facilitates a shift in our energy and our consciousness.  This affects us on all levels – body, mind, emotion & spirit.  We may not see changes right away as it may take time to manifest but this is creating a foundation for change.  As we enter into the stillness and begin to shift our energy from the busyness and chaos of the world and of our own mind, we can begin to hear our inner wisdom more strongly.

Again, everyone is different.  There is not one blueprint for healing and transformation.  What works for me may not work for you.  But, there are many tools, resources and practices to explore and see what is resonant for you.  Ask yourself these questions:

“Where do I feel a shift?”

“Where do I feel a sense of connection?”

“Where do I feel more at ease?”

“What practice or experience helps me to access my deeper essence or my inner wisdom?”

Always be asking and observing as life is a great exploration.  This is why journaling can be a great practice to support the process of transformation and healing.  Even if you are not into writing, it can be a great way to track your experiences and begin to build a toolbox or resource list for your own personal journey of discovering the healer within.

I hope you’ll take some time to reflect and explore connecting with sacred space as a way to discover the healer within.  Just 10 minutes a day of entering sacred space can be a powerful practice.  You may wish to try different practices each day for a while or choose one to work with for 10 – 30 Days to explore what’s possible.

As always, I’d love to hear your experiences, thoughts and reflections…

Are you ready to go deeper in your process of transformational and healing?  I’d love to support you in your journey to discover the healer within.  Learn more at www.bethterrence.com/Individuals.

 

Harmonizing With The Season

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“O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

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As I was writing my e-newsletter today, I found myself sharing about the change of seasons and the importance of being in tune with the rhythms of nature.  I have found that this time of year can be particularly challenging energetically as we make the shift from late Winter to early Spring.  I thought I’d share that piece here and if you would like to explore my e-newsletter which usually includes an introductory post, a transformational or holistic health tip, and the latest news on upcoming events and special offers on individual sessions, you can take a peek by clicking here.  Also, I wanted to share one of my favorite books on seasonal health and wellness – Staying Healthy With The Season by Elson Haas.  Dr. Haas is a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and his site offers wonderful resources on health and wellness.  I’d love to hear your thoughts about this time of year and staying in tune with the energy of nature and the seasons.
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One of the wonderful things about life is the beauty that unfolds with the change of seasons.  Everyone seems to have their favorite season or time of year.  As we watch the natural world, it is easy to see the changes that occur throughout the year.  As humans, we are affected by these changes, but often, we are less aware of the energetic shifts that occur in our own being.  

Learning to connect with seasonal shifts happening in nature is a part of traditional healing practices.  This can be seen in many indigenous cultures, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.  Also, if we were to consider the origin of many of our holidays, most likely they would be linked to some seasonal celebration.   Living in a modern world with the ability to control our environment, our temperatures and limit our exposure to the elements can easily create a sense of disconnection from the seasonal flow of energy.

From this place of disconnection with nature and our own natural rhythms we may tend to experience discomfort and disease.  Learning to connect with and harmonize with the energy of the seasons can support us in feeling a greater sense of ease and well-being.  Making simple shifts in our seasonal routines through diet and self-care can make a big difference in our overall health.

I have found this time of year from late winter into early spring to be one that can be most challenging.  It is time of year when many people experience depression or a sense of lethargy.  Perhaps this is due to the darkness of winter but this is also a time of shifting energy.  We are moving from a more yin/inner energy to a more yang/outer energy and that shift is increasing at this time.  Although spring is not yet ready to show itself, there is a lot going on under the surface, both in nature and in our consciousness.

This can be a time people experience a sense of dis-ease which many manifest physically through sinus issues or colds or as a feeling of discontentment with life as it is.  Often, lots of emotions which may have been more dormant during the winter months as our body, mind and spirit was drawn inward are beginning to percolate under the surface.  It is not uncommon to feel a sense of unsettledness, edginess or impatience.

Just acknowledging that we are in a place of shifting energy is important as well as finding ways to create greater harmony for ourselves through this current transition.  Also, recognizing that there’s no hurry – Spring will come in its own time and we can choose a rhythm that supports us in finding greater balance and ease, too.

Here are some ways to align with the seasonal shift as we move through late Winter and into early Spring:

1. Be gentle with yourself as you make changes and explore aligning with the natural energy around you.  Be willing to go slow.  As Spring approaches, we start to feel ready to jump forward but right now, our energy is not ready to move too fast.  Be willing to honor what your body tells you in terms of rest and renewal.  There will be plenty of time to play in Spring & Summer.

2. Stimulate your energy by moving your body first thing in the morning.  Our bodies are still in a Winter mode and we want to wake up as Spring is almost here!  Start with a few minutes of stretching, tai chi or yoga – sun salutations are great.  Also, try a brisk walk or simply dance around you bedroom to get your energy moving.  This literally awakens the body’s energy channels.

3. Try getting to bed earlier so you can wake up refreshed and ready for your day.  Create an evening ritual to help you wind down such as a taking a hot bath, drinking a relaxing tea or doing an evening meditation to shift your energy toward sleep.  Remember that this is still late Winter and we do need more rest.

4. Start spending more time outdoors.  Even though the temperatures may still be cold, we are already experiencing noticeably longer days.  The sun is rising earlier and setting later.  The sun is also higher in the sky and beginning to warm up the atmosphere.  Take a moment to close your eyes and feel the sunshine on your face.  Take a midday walk directly in the sunshine between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Walk toward the south, directly into the sunshine for the greatest benefits.

5. Begin to add more greens to your diet.  This is important all year round, but especially as the seasons shift into early spring.  Nature provides us with spring shoots and leafy green vegetables.  The bitter taste of the greens is nature’s way of helping us to lighten up and cleanse our system after the cold winter and the denser foods we’ve been eating.  A great way to do this is to start your day with a green smoothie.  Use parsley, swiss chard, dandelion greens, spinach or kale, blended with some fruit and almond milk.  Add some soaked chia or flax seeds for healthy fat.  Enjoying a smoothie at room temperature is best as ice-cold temperatures can be depleting to your digestion.  As Spring sets in, it may be time to focus on a liver cleanse or detox, but for now just beginning to bring that green energy into your diet can give your energy a boost.

6. Take some time to journal.  Reflect on feelings that arising and how you experience shifts in energy.  Consider the coming of Spring and explore where you feel called to place your increased energy as the season arrives.  Spring is a time of growth and rebirth; it is a wonderful time to start new things.  Now is the perfect time to consider what new things you want to do come Spring.

I hope you’ll take some time this week to harmonize with nature’s energy and to explore creating greater balance and ease in your life.


 

Lessons from Salmon: A New View On Struggle

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Some days
I flow with the river
Surging
Like a rainbow trout
Others days I thrash and flail
Like a salmon
Desperately trying to get back upstream
Not even knowing what I struggle for

I wrote this poem many years ago at a time when I had a very strong sense of struggle in my life.  The other night I had a dream that I was walking beside a large river.  As I looked into the river, I saw a salmon, then another and then suddenly the river was filled with salmon of all different sizes swimming upstream.  What I noticed was that the salmon were not struggling to get upstream, they were moving with ease, riding the currents below the surface.  It was beautiful to watch the way they were carried with grace and ease as they connected to the currents and just allowed themselves to be carried upstream.

When I awoke, I remembered my poem; it had been a bit of an anthem for me in my 20’s.  I often performed it when I did poetry readings; it seemed to represent the sense of struggle I felt about life.  Now, I notice that even then was able to acknowledge the times when I felt the flow of life although back then I was much more focused on struggle.  Over the years, my sense of flow has definitely increased and now I can see it relates as much to the salmon as to the rainbow trout.

I realize that I mistook the energy of the salmon as struggling when in reality the salmon only appears to be struggling as it moves upstream.  The salmon are not really fighting the currents but jumping to go deeper so that they can ride the reverse currents below the surface that carry them gracefully upstream.   What a beautiful metaphor for life.  At the surface, there is much that appears to be a struggle – there are a plethora of issues we deal with daily such as work, family, finances, health etc.  When we allow ourselves to delve deeper and to go below the surface, the energy and wisdom we need to flow through life is uncovered.  It was there all along but as we jump and dive deeper, we connect with those energies.

For some reason as I am writing this post the title of one of  Zen teacher Cheri Huber’s books comes to mind.  It’s called “When Your Are Taking a Fall – Dive”.   The salmon jumps upstream and is carried by the currents below the surface.  When we allow ourselves to go deeper,  to go within,  all of the support and energy that is an innate part of ourselves becomes accessible.  When we are willing to move with our resistance, there is spaciousness for great changes to occur.  We can learn from the Salmon who jumps out of water, it’s native element, essentially trusting that is will make the connection it needs to be carried upstream.  As we allow ourselves to move out of our comfort zones and be vulnerable, we are able to connect with those energies that can carry us and bring us into greater harmony with life.

I’d like to really honor the wisdom of the Salmon as a Power Animal or Totem.  It is often said that a Power Animal comes to you through a dream, journey or vision quest.  Power Animals can also be animals that we encounter in physical reality and have a strong connection with.   In a sense, they are  a reflection of our innermost essence; they represent our own talents and abilities and the qualities we need to thrive in the world.  When we connect with a Power Animal, we are gifted with a greater awareness as the Totem offers its power, medicine, protection and wisdom unique to its being; this can  help us to learn and grow. The term Totem is derived from the an Ojibwa word ototeman, meaning “one’s brother-sister kin.”  Through cultivating this sacred connection and spiritual support, we are able to become more in touch with our own self and the web of life.

There can be wisdom to learn from all animals whether or not they are our personal Power Animal.  In more traditional cultures, a relationship with animals is innate and reflects a sense of connection to the greater whole.  In many ways, we have lost this connection in modern societies.  Through exploring the energies and qualities of animals and the wisdom they bring, we are honoring our true nature and allowing more of our own essence to emerge.

The Salmon is a major totem for the Eskimo and other cultures along the North Pacific Rim.   For thousands of years, the rhythm of daily life has been ordered in accord with the Salmon population.  The Salmon are thought to inform the humans of their connection with the natural world and attune them to the natural rhythms of life.   Additionally, the Salmon is considered an animal totem in Celtic myth.  According to their mythology, there was a sacred well situated under the sea where the sacred Salmon acquired their wisdom and shared it with the Celtic people.

Some of the medicine or wisdom that Salmon brings includes the awareness that we have the strength within to:

  • Overcome obstacles that present themselves
  • Move steadily on our spiritual journey
  • Find meaning and purpose in our life
  • Swim upstream through emotional waters to gain insight
  • Roll with resistance and fear of change
  • Explore our bonds with the past and gain understanding from of our history
  • Connect with natural rhythms of life
  • Allow ourselves to be childlike, playful, spontaneous and inquisitive
  • Develop awareness of the currents and energies beneath the surface
  • Learn to go deeper to find those energies that support our movement
  • Persevere
  • Find fulfillment within ourselves and harmony with our world
  • Find satisfaction and self-expression through creativity
  • Connect with our source
  • Find strength from within
  • Know we are always home, wherever we may be

There are many books on Power Animals and resources online that can help to gain insight in animal totems.  One of my favorite books is Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.  It can also be beneficial to study, meditate or journey to a Power Animal or animals we feel drawn to and see what specific messages and wisdom they have to offer us.

I’d like to conclude with a new poem honoring Salmon and the deeper understanding I have of it today:

Jumping upstream
Diving deep
Finding currents
Being carried
We grow
We flow
We know
We are always home

Day 10 of May is for Metta 2012: Loving-kindness Practice for a Benefactor or Mentor

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Day 10

May the earth be wholesome everywhere
The world blessed with prosperity
May the poor and destitute find wealth
And the stooping animals be freed

May every being ailing with illness
Find relief at once from suffering
May all the sickness that afflict the living
Be instantly and permanently healed

May those who go in dread, have no more fear,
May captives be unchained and set free,
And may the weak now become strong,
May living beings help each other in kindness.

May travelers upon the road,
Find happiness no matter where they go,
And may they gain, without hardship,
The goals on which their hearts are set.

From the songs of birds and the sighing of trees,
From the shafts of light and from the sky itself,
May living beings, each and every one,
Perceive the constant sound of Dharma
– Shantideva

Today, we will continue working with the category of Benefactor/Mentor.  Sometimes people have difficulty choosing whom to work with.  I had suggested a practice yesterday to explore by working with the heart, but also it is good to just be open.  The name Benefactor/Mentor connotes a certain type of person but we should not get caught up in the title.  Remember, we say choose a being because in addition to a human being, it can be an animal or something you love in nature, a tree, a river, or the mountains.  The essence of this category is that this being creates warmth in you and puts a smile on your face.

Sometimes, it is easier to practice for the Benefactor/Mentor than for ourselves; we may feel a sense of ease or pleasantness that arises as we practice for this being.  Still, there are days when our practice will be more difficult than others.  We may not feel connected to anyone; we may not be able to decide who to practice for or we may feel resistance to practicing altogether.  This is the time to return the focus of the practice to yourself.  It may even be a day when you need to just practice for yourself.  That’s okay.  As I shared yesterday, learning to respond to yourself with loving-kindness and compassion is at the heart of Metta.  Part of that is allowing yourself to be where you are and embracing yourself with gentleness and acceptance.

Daily Practice: Do your foundational practices.  Begin by getting comfortable and settling in to your breath.  Spend a few moments centering on your heart, recalling a moment you felt immersed in unconditional love or see yourself in the center of your circle of loving beings.  Begin to send Metta to yourself by repeating the phrases you have been working with.  If you feel strongly to continue with the Benefactor/Mentor you were working with, do so.  If not, why not try to practice for an animal or something in nature that really nourishes and supports you, maybe even Mother Earth herself.

When you have chosen who or what being you will work with, invite an image to arise in your mind and let yourself feel what it feels like to be in the presence of that being.   Allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of connecting with your Benefactor/Mentor in whatever way feels good to you.  Remember, this being makes you feel warm inside.  Begin by saying to yourself, “Just as I wish to be happy and free from suffering, may you be happy and free from suffering.”  Then, begin repeating the phrases for your Benefactor/Mentor:

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free of suffering.
  • May you have ease of well-being.

If you notice your mind has wandered, return to the phrases and the image of your benefactor.   Continue practicing for your Benefactor/Mentor for as long as you feel to or have committed to for your practice.   Let the image of the Benefactor go and come back into your own heart center.  Repeat to yourself:

  • May I and all beings be happy.
  • May I and all beings be peaceful.
  • May I and all beings be free of suffering.
  • May I and all beings have ease of well-being.

It is customary in Buddhism and other traditions to dedicate the merit of our practice for the benefit of all beings.  We ask to accomplish the twofold benefit – that our practice is for our own benefit and that of all sentient beings.  All sentient beings can include humans, animals, plants, and beings in other realms.  Dedicating merit offers our practice for the support of others, asking that the loving-kindness and compassion we have cultivated may be beneficial to all and at the same time, it helps our mind to remain firm in our dedication to transformation.  The opening by Shantideva offers one a way to work with this.  Although there are traditional ways to dedicate merit, you can explore finding the words that work for you.

Journal Notes – Did you explore working with the Benefactor/Mentor in a different way?  Are you remembering to return your practice to your self when you are having difficulty?  Are you being gentle and loving with yourself as you practice and in your daily life?  How do you feel about dedicating merit at the end of your practice?

May your day be filled with happiness, love and equanimity.

Extra Credit: This song written by American monk, Ven. Heng Sure carries the essence of dedicating merit as well as what the overall intention of our Metta practice is centered on.  Hope you’ll take a few moments and listen.  I’ve included the words below as well.

May every living being,
Our minds as one and radiant with light,
Share the fruits of peace
With hearts of goodness, luminous and bright.

If people hear and see,
How hands and hearts can find in giving, unity,
May their minds awake,
To Great Compassion, wisdom and to joy.

May kindness find reward,
May all who sorrow leave their grief and pain;
May this boundless light,
Break the darkness of their endless night.

Because our hearts are one,
This world of pain turns into Paradise,
May all become compassionate and wise,
May all become compassionate and wise.

Grounding in a Rapidly Changing World

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Being human in 2012 requires handling huge amounts of energy moving through our world, our environment and our body systems.  Recent years have seen a tremendous increase in technology including cell phones, towers and power grids; this  an area of much research as to the overall impact on personal health and that of our planet.  We are experiencing chaos and instability in our political, economic and social structures.  Increased solar flares are causing geomagnetic storms that can affect our satellites, power structures and our own energy fields.  We are just learning about the implications of some of these factors, however one thing is certain – the generation and movement of energy in many forms is affecting our lives on a personal and global level.

Considering the impact of all of these factors or even any one, can feel overwhelming, especially if we think about it too much.  And yet, whether we focus on it or not, increased energetic activity is a part of the big picture today.  Accepting that great energetic movement and change is a part of our lives is an important aspect of holding the big picture.  In our daily lives, we can easily get caught up in what we need to get done and forget that we are riding on a planet that is orbiting the sun, which is only one of many, many galactic bodies.  It’s easy to forget that we are a part of a vast universe and that the energy we feel is not only global but also universal.

One of the best ways to work with increased energies and achieve greater balance in our own energy systems is to practice grounding.  Grounding is the foundation of a healthy system which everyone can benefit from it.   Grounding refers to the connection of the human energy field to that of the Earth.  This connection allows us to draw from the abundant source of Earth’s energy while at the same time ensuring that we do not accumulate excess energy – this can be thought of like the earth wire for electricity – we make a connection and excess energy is safely dissipated into the ground.  Being well grounded helps us to deal with life in a more stable and balanced manner which is increasingly necessary in response to living in a rapidly changing world.

Below are a few ways in which being grounded can make a difference in the experience of everyday life:

  • Increases balance and stability in our physical, mental, emotional and energetic state.
  • Creates a deeper sense of connection with others, our world and ourselves.
  • Helps bring awareness that we are here for a purpose.
  • Brings strength and confidence.
  • Helps in creating a bridge between spirit and matter.
  • Provides an outlet making the release of energy and emotion easier and more fluid.
  • Allows the attainment of higher spiritual levels through embodiment.
  • Strengthens our center – Grounded people are less affected by energies around them, even if they do feel them.

We can learn to become aware of our grounded state.  Sometimes this is a feeling of solidity or stability.  Often the connection takes the form of a slight buzzing, warmth or tingling under the soles of our feet or in other parts of our bodies.  It is useful to train oneself in this awareness.  With regular practice, grounding can be done simply by making an energetic connection through awareness, visualization or turning your attention to the soles of your feet and connecting to the earth.  It is the work of seconds and can make a huge difference to your life.

In addition to the effects of EMFs (Electro Magnetic Fields), there are many other reasons we can be ungrounded.  Often, people go through the majority of their lives being ungrounded.  We all know people who seem to be off in a dream world, or `dizzy’; chances are their grounding is weak.  Additionally, people who have a tendency to be nervy, fly off the handle or get things out of proportion may also benefit from grounding.  Lack of grounding is a feature of many conditions that leave people feeling disconnected, weak and listless.

Below is a list of some of the more common signs of being ungrounded. Usually, each individual will encounter the same one or two signs when they are ungrounded.  It can be helpful to learn the messages your own body and energy system gives to you.

  • Dizziness
  • Daydreaming
  • A feeling of being ‘Spaced Out’
  • Feeling sick
  • Heart palpitations
  • Eyes flickering
  • Weight gain
  • Clumsiness or prone to accidents
  • Static shocks
  • Falling asleep when meditating
  • Noise and light-sensitive
  • Forgetful
  • Having brilliant ideas that never happen
  • Arguing and unable to get your point across
  • Feeling unsettled
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feelings of confusion, turmoil or disconnection

Here are some things you can do to help bring yourself back down to earth and generate an experience of grounding:

  • Connecting with Nature
  • Meditation & Visualization
  • Eating – healthy & balanced
  • Drinking water
  • Walking, especially in natural surroundings
  • Exercise, yoga, tai chi, etc.
  • Gardening, touching the earth with your hands
  • Being with animals e.g. walking the dog, petting a cat, etc.
  • Moving with intention, clarity and purpose
  • Carrying/working with crystals or stones such as Hematite, Black Tourmaline, Obsidian or Ruby
  • Using Essential Oils such as Vetiver, Sandalwood or Patchouli
  • Taking Flower Essences such as Rescue Remedy
  • Getting adequate rest
  • Practicing HALTT – Am I hungry, angry, lonely, tired or thirsty?   HALTT is an acronym from 12 Step Recovery that signals that something is out of balance and a simple check helps to bring attention where it needs to be given.  This is a great tool to use with grounding and for overall balance as well.

One of the simplest ways to learn to ground is through visualization or meditation.  Once this type of practice is developed, it can be used anytime or anywhere.   Here is an example of a practice that may be helpful to explore:

Letting Go:  First, begin to let go of all the tension you can by taking some deep breaths, relaxing your shoulders, and focusing on where you are and what you are doing.  Bring your attention to this moment, to the current time and space your are in.  Breath in and on the out breath, let any tension or excess energy that you feel drain down through your body into the earth.  Slow down and some deep calming breaths.

Anchoring:  Imagine dropping a line of energy from the base of your spine and/or soles of your feet, down into the earth.  Just like the roots of a tree, this line of energy anchors you to the earth.  If you prefer, imagine that your body actually has roots connecting you to the earth.  Whichever imagery you use, allow yourself to make that connection with the earth, dropping your anchor and allowing your energy to become more stable and balanced.  Allow yourself to feel a sense of rootedness like that of a tree.  Go as deep as you need to go to make a strong connection, even to the core of the earth itself if need be.

Releasing Negativity:  Anchor yourself and allow all of your excess energy and tension to drain down into the earth through your line of energy or roots.  The stronger your anchor, the better your ability to experience stability and release energy.  As you get comfortable anchoring and releasing energy, your will begin to experience a clearer and stronger energy field which will support your ability to move with the increased energy of our times.

As always, I encourage everyone to find those practices which really resonate with them personally.  In addition to using visualizations, I find connecting with nature through walking in the woods, going barefoot and lying on the earth to be a few of the most grounding things I can do for myself.  I also tend to carry stones in my pockets which have grounding energy and also remind me of my connection to the earth.  Take some time this week to explore grounding for yourself and find some ways you can create more balance and stability in your energy field and in your life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, reflections and experiences.