Last week I wrote about gathering energy emphasizing some ways spiritual energy grows. You’ve all felt this in your “favorite” spots, clothes, people. Right? There’s a reason you are attracted/attached to those favorites. Your energy resonates with that place, person, or thing. There’s a reason we use the term “magnetic” when referring to some personalities we are drawn to. Magnets attract, right?
One of my favorite books, The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield uses synchronicity as a clue that you’re on to something, because “everything happens for a reason”. As for myself, I believe it may have been this book that introduced me to the power of three. Three is a sacred number. Trinities appear in many of the world’s religions and cultures: Father, Son, Holy Spirit; Mother, Maiden, Crone; Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. If something comes to me three times—be it an idea, a song verse, a contact, etc.—I sit up and take notice. The Universe is trying to tell me something. In the book I remember the author suggesting that if you have two roads to travel, take the one that glows with an energy you’re attracted to. What lights you up? Go there.
Another favorite book of mine is The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The Law of Attraction would go so far as to say our thoughts are things and they create so make them good ones. Because “energy goes where attention goes”. And “what you focus on expands”. “What you resist persists”. I could go on but I think you get the idea.
The bottom line is this: Your life is a reflection of what you believe. Or as Wayne Dyer says in his best-selling book, You’ll see it when you believe it.
Energy appears to you in forms you will accept. For example, I believe Quan Yin, Tara, Athena, White Buffalo Woman, Lakshmi, and yes Isis, among others, all embody the “Divine Mother”—the loving, nurturing, magical healing energy. I believe they are different representations of the same energy and embody different forms so they’ll appear in the correct form for you to accept. We are only open to that which we believe in—yes? So why wouldn’t “Divine Mother” energy embody many forms for all the world to appreciate?
Do you believe in energy therapy? Do you believe there’s a reason we rub an injury after bumping an object? We have energy centers in the palms of our hands. Do you believe that there’s a reason we rub our forehead points when stressed? These are reflexology points that help you relax. How about when we cross our hands over our chest and rock when we are very stressed? The points below the collar bone covered by crossed over hands are also important meridian points for stress and anxiety (among many other things!) and rocking is soothing to our nervous system. Our body innately knows what it needs.
How about Reiki? Do you believe in this mode of healing energy? I don’t believe Reiki (or any type of energy therapy) will be as effective if you don’t believe in it. How could it be? Why would energy be attracted to you if your energy (and yes, we’re all scientifically proven to be energetic beings) is repelling it? Henry Ford was famous for saying “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Again, we’re only open to that which we believe in. If you can’t accept it, you won’t receive it. Body, mind, and spirit are intimately connected. There’s a reason Jesus is quoted as saying “your faith has healed you.” Placebos work because of our belief in them and as Wayne Dyer used to say “If it’s placebo, I’ll take two.” Do you believe that your beliefs/thoughts have energy?
I judge by experience. When my husband fell off the roof a couple of years ago and broke the talus bone in his left foot and his right big toe, I began sharing Reiki with him regularly sometimes several times throughout the day. Prior to his accident, I wasn’t sharing Reiki with him regularly—just here and there with no consistency. As a result, my practice was limited.
There’s something about sending your energy to someone you love that amplifies the effect. I learned the hard way that I need to set the intention not to drain my own energy. Reiki uses Universal life energy, but if you don’t set the intention right, you’ll drain your own. I gladly gave my husband all I had at the time.
He would sometimes jump as he felt what he referred to as electrical charges when I held my hands over and around his healing talus bone and toe. I’ve always believed in visualization. So I’d visualize him dancing the polka with me (we both are very Polish) and running up and down the stairs.
As he healed and as time passed, the “electrical charge sensation” that made him jump were less and less; but he can still feel the energy flowing out of my hands. I still share Reiki with him each morning as he shaves as our schedules permit. I sit on the floor, surrounding his foot with crystals to magnify the energy, and wear various crystal Malas adding yet more crystal energy. (Don’t even get me started on whether you believe in crystal energy! Crystals are in watches, computers, and even your mobile phone. That acronmym “LCD”? It stands for “liquid crystal display.) I trace the “Cho Ku Rei” symbol on the palms of my hands with a small selenite wand and proceed.
My “go-to” meditation prayer, the Hail Mary, dominates my Reiki sessions. I’ve noticed that reciting this prayer helps the energy build. One of my yoga students, with whom I shared Reiki during a final relaxation, can actually see energy. She shared with me that my Reiki energy appeared to her as “Mary energy”. This was such a huge gift to hear! I hadn’t shared with her that I recited Hail Mary’s much of the time while sharing Reiki. A Reiki session just after I’ve meditated using this prayer has more energy at the get-go. Remember energy builds.
My husband and I have come to treasure our morning Reiki ritual. I open each session with a silent Pope John Paull II prayer (calling on our Polish ancestry) and end it with saying the St. Francis Prayer out loud—a mutual favorite of ours. As I finish reciting the prayer, my husband touches my head as a sign of endearment. Remember, I’m sitting on the floor as he stands to shave. Once he started doing that final touch, I asked him to please do it every time because it has a sense of sealing the energy of the moment.
Our mornings aren’t complete when we aren’t able to complete this morning ritual. It means something to us. It’s part of our connection—our energetic connection, if you will. Spiritual energy builds and grows stronger when you work on it. It’s all energy and it’s all good.
What are your personal spiritual entry points? What practices do you use to come to center? How often do you participate in these practices and do you notice a difference when you do them regularly?
They say it takes anywhere from 21 days or more to create a habit. Depending on the goal of your practice, the degree of difficulty, your actual desire to incorporate it into your life, and the sense of peace or joy you attain, the time it takes will vary. But one thing is agreed upon—it does take time. Time is the magic ingredient. How dedicated are you to devoting this time?
Prayer, Mantra, Affirmation
Do you have a favorite prayer, mantra, or affirmation? Why is it your favorite? My anchor prayer is the “Hail Mary”. No, I’m not holier than thou. It’s a prayer that has been with me my whole life in times of stress, in times of contemplation, when I pray on my beads—be they rosary or mala—or when I give Reiki to a loved one. It’s the first prayer that comes to mind when I’m needing comfort, solace, or energy. It’s my “go-to” prayer because it’s always been there for me.
What’s more, my prayer beads actually appear different to me once I’ve said my first round of prayers on them. It’s like I’ve energized them with prayer. They are no longer inanimate beads but living, breathing energy. I like to repeat Wayne Dyer’s wise words: “If it’s placebo, I’ll take two.”
How about your favorite rituals? One of mine is lighting a candle and some incense in my daily yoga practice at home. I’ve read that the ancients believed the rising smoke is an analogy for the rising of our prayers and intentions to the heavens to be heard. My yoga practice isn’t quite complete without the candle and incense. It’s a noticeable loss of energy when I’m practicing in a hotel room on the road without the benefit of their presence. Of course, I still do my practice but it’s not quite the same. Rituals are our way of paying reverence to what we are doing. It’s a seal of sorts.
Do you have a Mudra practice—similar to reflexology/acupressure for your hands? “Mudra” in Sanskrit translates to “seal”, “mark”, or “gesture”. Whether you call it one or not, I guarantee you have practiced Mudras because literally any position you put your body in will create a different energy loop. The one you’ve most likely held without thinking of it as a Mudra is prayer hands—or Anjali (meaning: “to offer”) Mudra. Bringing your hands together over your heart, connecting left hand to right hand, actually connects the left and right sides of the brain allowing you to communicate more effectively. Cool, huh? How appropriate.
Indu Arora’s book, Mudra The Sacred Secret, is by far my favorite book on Mudras. That’s probably because Indu is by far my favorite teacher! I’ve learned from her that it takes 30 seconds for the Mudra to form an electromagnetic circuit.
I’ve been practicing hand Mudras more “on purpose” ever since I used a Mudra for headaches listed in her book. This was shortly after her book was published in 2015 when I was lucky enough to be at her book launch. I normally don’t get headaches but I had a huge one that wouldn’t go away for hours and I started to get nauseous—a sign of a migraine. The headache Mudra worked so well for me, I had to sit up and take notice! I’ve been using it successfully ever since whenever even a subtle hint of a headache comes along.
With Mudras, your fingers are held in various positions forming an energetic loop. When I hold a Mudra hand position, I begin to feel an energy ball—a tingling sensation—in the palm of my hands. I’ve noticed that the Mudras I regularly practice holding develop this tingly “energy ball” sensation within a shorter and shorter timeframe.
I’ve had a daily yoga practice for many years now. It feeds me in ways I can’t describe. It’s not just physical, but of course that’s one of the many benefits. It’s like an ‘Etch a Sketch’ for what ails me—a magic eraser. You may come to yoga for the physical practice but it won’t be long before spirit joins you. I consider my yoga mat sacred ground. It’s as though all the good energy from my previous practices is held within my mat; and as soon as I set foot on my mat, I’m immersed in their vibes. It’s a gathering point of cumulative energy. Your mat never forgets your previous practices. Like an old friend, it holds the memory of sacred space ready to embrace you the moment you enter.
Asana practice, done with the right intention, allows you to become acquainted with your physical body, yes; but, more importantly, your subtle body. Your body’s only way of communication is through sensation. Once it knows you’re listening, there’s no stopping the messages! The more you listen, the more you’ll hear. It’s cumulative.
This is why a Hatha Yoga is a training ground for your intuition. Your inner knowing becomes your best friend. You learn to trust your gut instincts. Do you listen to your body’s subtle messages? Your gut instincts? There’s a saying in yogic wisdom that if you listen to your body whisper you won’t have to hear it scream.
My other spiritual entry points include a meditation shawl and mat. Wrapping a meditation shawl around my shoulders brings more comfort than simple warmth. It brings all the previous meditations to accompany my next meditation. It’s like planting seeds in fertilized soil. The prayers said that day more easily take root within and bring me back to center. If you doubt the truth to this, try taking a child’s favorite blanket or stuffed animal away from them; or try substituting another blanket. Enough said.
Indu Arora says “When we meditate at a place over and over, that region becomes a magnetic field for the mind to enter the calm, clear state gracefully and effortlessly. Having a personal meditation mat helps give you a still anchor point as well as helps build a certain association to the practice.” She explains that it’s important for the passive energy that’s awakened through meditation to stay looped within the body and the meditation mat helps keep the energy contained within the body.
She further compares our body to a Yantra, or geometrical pattern of energy moving in a circle and triangle. Our body mimics the triangle in a meditation posture. Without a base, our Yantra is incomplete. A meditation mat is yet another tool for gathering and containing your energy.
The bottom line is this: Spiritual energy grows.
How do you enter your sacred ground? What do you surround yourself with to gather, contain and hold the energy of your spiritual practice? Once you start to pay attention to the subtleties of accumulating prayers and intentions, you’ll start to notice a distinct difference each time you enter your sacred space. You’ll start to notice your own spiritual vortex welcoming you home. Your sacred space is waiting….
Who is your safe place to vent or talk about what’s bothering you?
Choose those friends wisely so you feel safe when sharing. This keeps the doors open for honest communication vs. just the niceties you think everyone wants to hear. And then hold on to THAT friend.
I wasn’t always able to speak what was on my mind without constant filtering growing up in a PTSD-ridden household. I spent most of my childhood never speaking up because I was too busy trying to stay clear of the volatility in our family conversations. I’m well-versed in holding my tongue when necessary, but I also allow myself to express my opinion a whole lot more than when I was younger. I think I’m making up for lost time now. You see, my environment has changed.
I treasure those friends that love and care about me, as I am in any given moment, and listen. How about you?
My husband is my absolute best friend. He’ll let me rant when I need to because he knows me, I mean really knows me. So he listens. And he respects who I am and where I’ve come from enough to know that sometimes it’s best just to let me say what I need to say to get it out. Getting it out is healing. He understands that he’s the only one I share everything with and he honors that relationship. Being able to speak my thoughts without filtering is healing. He is healing.
Are you that someone for your friends?
My mind/body training as a yoga instructor and yoga therapist has had a huge influence on the state of my well-being and resiliency to stress. I no longer spin out of control with worry or upset like I did many years ago. But there are those occasions.
On the occasion that I’m really upset and my husband knows I’m ramping up, he’s the only one that can pull me back to center with a gentle nudge and a deep caring. There are no digs or insults in our relationship save the joke or two that we know are joking. My words are safe in his presence and his words are safe in mine. There is no armor to shield our energy. The walls are down. It’s an unfiltered relationship. Or perhaps, maybe in retrospect, it’s so naturally filtered that we just don’t let the bad stuff through. Either way, we know we are in a safety zone when speaking.
I’ve heard that when someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.
Do you have a friend in your life that you feel safe sharing with—that unfiltered relationship with the shields down? Treasure them. Hold them close. Revel in it. They are so far and few between. The longer I know my husband the more in awe I am of him, the man that he is and what our relationship means to me. There’s a depth that’s palpable. It’s a friendship unfiltered. I shudder to think where I’d be emotionally without his huge heart surrounding my world.
So here’s to all those out there who will let their loved ones speak without a filter—those who will be the healing balm of “listening and responding with respect” for the person standing before them; and who will say your name differently because it’s safe in their mouth.
“Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.” ~ Unknown
“The quieter you become the more you can hear.” ~ Ram Dass
#thequieteryoubecomethemoreyoucanhear #ramdass #unfiltered #unfilteredfriendship #safe #wallsaredown #Shieldsdown #friendshipunfiltered #Ilovehim #healingfriends #reallylisten #respondwithcare #treadsoftly #areyouthatfriend #betterdayyoga
Have you ever been driving down the road and someone cuts you off? It’s hard to hold your tongue sometimes, isn’t it? Oh if my car had ears it would be blushing! This is something I’ve worked on and have been much better at being detached when upsets happen—in the car any way!
During one of Indu Arora’s workshops at the Minneapolis Yoga Conference, she likened it to giving each upset one of your remote controls. It’s true, isn’t it? We’re allowing them to push our buttons, right?! She said we should make a point to reclaim our remote controls. At the end of class she suggested to ask for at least five of our remotes back.
So now when I start to have an upset while driving, or whenever, I’ll either mentally say or say out loud “I’m taking my remote back, thank you!” This small exercise has made me chuckle at the situation because it really is funny when you think about it. We’re allowing someone else to push our buttons and by asking for our remote back, it lightens the mood and makes you smile at your silliness for allowing it in the first place. Try it! You’ll start laughing at what just a few seconds ago made you angry! I love this little phrase: “I’m taking my remote back, thank you!” It has allowed me to become a witness to the emotion vs. become the emotion. And it’s also very liberating!
What ways have you come up with to stay detached when situations become heated? You know your body can’t tell the difference between real danger and imagined danger. Our upset moments really are a creation of our imagination.
By allowing our body to gear up for action with our anger, we are turning on our fight/flight mode—our sympathetic nervous system. These constant assaults to our body DO affect our health and longevity in a very real way. Our adrenal glands release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol which increases our blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! See the infographic on how anger affects the brain and body from NICABM below.
Our body is preparing for physical exertion so it directs the blood away from our gut and into our extremities, affecting our digestion in a negative way. Can you say irritable bowel?
Using your upsets as a prompt to release anger and detach from the emotion is a not just smart, it increases the health and well-being of your physical, emotional, and spiritual body. Who has your remote controls? Take a moment right now to think of five remote controls you’d like to claim back and then visualize taking them back. Smile and repeat.
(click here for your own printable copy of the above great infographic from NICABM!)