Posts Tagged ‘Reader Favorites’

Would Your Rather Have a Big House Or A Big Life?

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
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Do you hear a voice in your head whispering?, “I need to be free.” Is there a secret part of you that yearns for more adventure in your life? If money was not a factor would your life be dramatically different from the one you’re living today?

If you said yes to any of these three questions you might need to seriously reexamine your values and the life path you’ve chosen.

My response to all three questions is a resounding yes!

I’ve always known deep down inside finance wasn’t the right fit for me, but for some reason I was driven to do it. With each successive year I felt myself exerting more and more energy to squelch the voice that was screaming, NO, NO NO!

When I was growing up I dreamed of being a writer.

I’d read many of New York Daily News  journalist, Jess Stearn’s books and longed to travel around the country to interview people and write books on metaphysical topics. He wrote best sellers such as, Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet, Yoga, Youth  and Reincarnation and Alpha Thinking.

I would see myself writing and I could feel how happy I would be doing it too. But somewhere along the way I got the notion that it was too risky. I opted for the safe thing, the sure bet. The job with the steady paycheck and my little dream withered. Everybody said I had a head for business didn’t they? At the tender age of 21 I figured that’s the way it was supposed to be. You took a job you were good at and you stuck to it until you retired. The only problem was that my job never made me happy nor satisfied.

They say there are no mistakes.

I feel I had to learn to be a business person and earn a living in a very conventional manner in order to complete my education on the earth plane this time around. But at this point in my life I can honestly say: Okay Universe  I get it now! I now know how to navigate the material world. NOW – can I  please finally do what I really want to do?

I feel ready to redesign my life in way that allows me to have more freedom to experience and do what I enjoy and to help others through my writing and by reconnecting the living to their loved ones who’ve passed on.

To finance my new lifestyle I’ve decided that my house has to go.

When I think of my dilemma: Big House vs. Big Life, a scene from the film The Wizard of Oz comes to my mind. You know the one where the Wicked Witch is crushed by Dorothy’s house and all you see are her red striped stockinged legs sticking out from under it? Dorothythen puts on the dead witch’s magical Ruby Slippers. Like Dorothy I realize I had the power all along too. All it took was my accepting that it was okay to sell my house and downsize. So, I’ve clicked my heels and decided, “There’s no place like home – and home is wherever I choose it be!” Now that I’ve accepted that this is the right decision I feel lighter and freer already – my house is no longer crushing me.

Over the last few years I’ve been reading more and more about the minimalist lifestyle.

I first encountered it 2 years ago on a blog called Zen Habits, written by Leo Babauta. At the time I had another blog on personal finance and one of the topics I wrote about extensively was scaling down and paying off debt in order to enjoy your life more.

When I discovered Zen Habits I realized there people who were actually doing this already. They were living with less and finding the joy in having more freedom and less stuff to maintain. Having all this stuff to contend with and then needing a big house to store all the stuff in created a vicious cycle of my having to work and work and make more money all the time. It was as if my stuff was running my life instead of the other way around.

After Zen Habits became such a huge success there was an explosion of blogs on the topic of living a minimalist life style. One of my new favorites is Far Beyond the Stars, written by Everett Bogue. He wrote a brilliant post I recommend reading on 27 Reasons Why You Should Never Have A Job.

Last week, I happened upon a wonderful post by Courtney Carver from her blog, Be More With Less. Her post really hit home with me. It’s the story of the American MBA and the Mexican fisherman. After reading it I could see how I’d adopted the values of the MBA in the story when what I really craved was the simpler more rewarding life of the Mexican fisherman.

I now know I’d truly Rather Have a Big Life Than A Big House.

So, that’s my story.  What’s yours?

Are you ready for a Big Life? What’s your idea of a Big Life?

Have you already scaled down? Tell us about your experiences, or what you’re going through.

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Awaken To The Truth of Who You Really Are

Friday, May 28th, 2010

“What I try to stress, to those who are prepared to listen, is that the material is only the reflection, the shadow, the husk and not the reality. The material exits because it is animated by the spirit. When spirit withdraws, matter disintegrates. Spirit is master, matter is servant. Spirit is king, matter is commoner. This is the great lesson that millions have still to learn in your world. They give priority to matter and very little attention to spirit. ” Excerpt from the book,  Light From Silver Birch. Silver Birch, a native American, was channeled through the medium Maurice Barbanell in England up until 1981 when Maurice Barbanell passed away. His channeled teachings were published in a series of 9 books.

Are you going through tumultuous changes in your life? Facing life changing decisions?

Do you feel like you might just be on the precipice of something, but you don’t know what? Are you unsure about the future and your next steps?

Many many people are going through some of the most challenging times of their lives right now. Some of have lost jobs, or lost homes and may have even lost someone close to them. There seems to be so much pain in the world with poverty, hunger, wars, terrorism and anarchists. Sometimes it feels as if our whole world is shaking like a wet dog flinging the water from his coat. Maybe all this shaking and quaking of our institutions and lifestyle is a good thing? Perhaps it will shake off the caked on mud and reveal a new more balanced way of living?

Could this huge global shake-up be meant as a wake-up call?

Is it perhaps, time for many of us to realize that we have become too attached to materialism? To become aware  that we truly are spiritual beings having a human experience? Maybe the pain and crises many people are facing now are meant to bring them to their knees so that they reemerge with an awareness of their true spiritual nature?

Could it be time to go within and stop looking outside of ourselves for the answers? Maybe the crumbling of our culture of conspicuous consumption is causing so much pain because it’s signaling that it’s time to awaken to the fact that worshiping materialism has cut us off from our true source?

I certainly think so. I also think that until the vast majority of mankind believe that spirit is what makes all things possible, not matter, and that we are connected by the spiritual essence that animates each and every one of us we will never end all the hatred and violence toward one another and our earth.

Last week I sent out this tweet on Twitter: How much good undertaken by good people will it take to override all the violence and hatred in the world? Be the good!

I really believe we are at a critical juncture in our history and that we have a huge choice to make here. It’s time to awaken to the truth that we are spiritual beings, and to do good, be good and spread good which is to say we need to focus on exuding love in our world.

I found this thought provoking video called Awakening on You Tube – it’s short. Give it a look see.. \”Awakening\” from You Tube

What do you think? Are we at a critical juncture? Do you feel a change taking place within? Do you feel a need to search for answers and take up a spiritual practice such as meditation?  Let us know – share your comments with us.

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Intuition: You Don’t Have to Scare The **** Out of Yourself!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
A modern British LED Traffic Light (Siemens He...
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Have you ever been convinced something terrible was going to happen?

Were you sure that your kid, or partner was going to be in a horrific traffic accident?

Were you able to think of nothing else and replayed the scenario over and over in your mind?

If so, you were having a “fearful daydream.”

Confused? This sounds like a Premonition, you say?

I know. Don’t worry. I’ll explain.

In a recent post, titled Intuition: Will We Ever Learn How it Works?, I asked readers if they’d ever had any premonitions and several of you commented that you weren’t sure.

Many said that it was because they weren’t able to tell the difference between a “fearful daydream” and a premonition.

The confusion was mentioned several times, so here are some pointers on telling the difference between the two.

Premonitions are when we know something is going to happen for no apparent, or conscious reason. We have no knowledge that was given to us about this event – we just know that we know.

In a premonition the information is not something we’ve consciously been dwelling on, as in the case of a fear that your teenage child will get into an accident – that’s a fear we’re aware of.

A premonition APPEARS in the mind – whole and complete. Again, it’s not something you were thinking about. It’s an awareness of an event that was PLACED in the mind – but NOT by you.

In the case of a daydream you already have a fear that something may happen. This fear plays over and over again in your mind making you think it may just be a premonition. After a while you convince yourself it’s true.

In the example I mentioned about the fear your teenage child might get into an accident; if it were a true premonition the finality and the knowing that comes with a premonition would strike suddenly, and you’d just KNOW that this accident had occurred. You wouldn’t have to convince yourself it was true.

It can also feel like a gnawing in the stomach, or butterflies, or a nervousness regarding the issue that doesn’t subside until the event occurs.  In this case, your body knows it’s true and reacts. This is hard to duplicate with a fearful daydream. You might feel very upset but it wouldn’t manifest with the same physical symptoms.

In a fearful daydream your not so sure ’cause it’s a thought you created with the rational mind – which is a sign that it’s not a premonition. With premonitions YOU KNOW and it arises spontaneously without any influence from the rational mind.

For example, I wrote about the dream I had that told me my father was going to pass away in a post titled, Deciphering Dreams: Is it A Warning, or Intuitive Guidance? (Dreams are the subconscious form of premonitions and we call them precognitive dreams.)

I had this dream 3 months before my father died and while he was perfectly healthy. There was no reason to suspect he’d die so soon. After I awoke I “knew” I was going to lose my father. My first thought was – this is the year I’m going to lose my father. I didn’t want it to be true, but I knew no matter how much I tried to convince myself otherwise (and I did) or how healthy he was at the time of the dream that it was going to happen that year.

Around the time of 9/ll many people had premonitions about something happening. Many were premonitions like mine (I describe this in my previous post) that were non-specific. The common thing about all premonitions is that they come out of the blue. I wasn’t thinking about plane crashes when I began hearing plane crash sounds in my head.

The next time you work yourself up into a tizzy and worry that you’re not sure if you’ve had a premonition or fearful daydream try this:

1. Go sit somewhere quiet where you can relax. Close your eyes and take in some very deep breaths – make sure your stomach balloons out. Hold for a second or two then release. Do this until you feel calmer.

2. See in your mind’s eye a screen – like a movie screen at the theater. It’s white and rectangular and blank.

3. Tell yourself  you’re going to ask a yes or no question and you want to see a traffic light on your screen. If the answer is yes the light will be green. If the answer is no the light will be red.

4. Now relax again, breathe some more. Be comfortable and when you’re ready ask yourself: Am I having a premonition of something that’s going to happen?

5. Focus on seeing the traffic light. It may come very very fast. Or you may just see a green or red color. Be aware it may come as a voice too. You may hear “yes” or feel “no.” It can very subtle so be on high alert.

What did you see? Was it a red light or a green light? If it was a red light allow yourself to relax knowing that you don’t have to be scared any longer. It was just your fears creating a scenario that isn’t going to happen. 

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Intuition: Are You Blocking Yours?

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Do you know the tell tale signs of someone who’s not in sync with their intuition?

Are you, or is someone you know overly concerned with other people’s lives?

Is there someone in your life who’s always offering advice when you didn’t ask?

Or, telling you what they did for someone else, or how this person is making a big mistake so THEY had to tell them what to do, and how to fix it?

Many times they know and spread all the local gossip too. Remember the Gladys Kravitz character from the television show Bewitched?

These are classic signs that a person is not in touch with their own inner guidance, or intuition.

People who aren’t in sync with their intuition focus on other people’s lives to distract them from their own low self-esteem, lack of accomplishment or boredom with their own lives. When we gossip about, or pay more attention to the problems of others, or focus on people who are in more unfortunate circumstances and try to “fix” them, it’s to distract us from taking a good hard look at our own lives.

When you’re in touch with your intuition, which is really your own inner guidance system, you focus on what’s needed to make your own life a success, rather than on fixing others. You’re open to dealing with your own unconscious blockages, or personality flaws, or behaviors that need attention and, most importantly rather than make excuses you take action.

The person who distracts themselves with others’ lives has put up a wall to block their intuition from coming through. Usually this person feels very inadequate and has many fears. Facing themselves and dealing with their own problems is the scariest prospect of all. It makes them feel better about themselves to be so “helpful” to others.

Arvind Devalia had a great post on his blog, (he has a lot of great posts – not just this one!)  Make it Happen, titled, “Why Decluttering Your Friends is Good for You and Them.” His post got me to thinking that these “helpful” types obsession with other people’s lives comes from being disconnected from their own intuition.

A reading I’d done for a woman having trouble with a neighbor came to mind. The neighbor was spreading rumors about this woman for no apparent reason.

The neighbor appeared to be so unhappy in her own life that I felt she was fabricating rumors about the woman I was reading for to deflect attention from her own problems.

While this might be an extreme example – not everyone who’s unhappy with their lives goes around starting rumors about others – you get the picture. The truth is, when we turn our attention outward we do it so that we will no longer “hear” what our inner guidance is trying to tell us.

Whether it’s us,  or people we know who are distracting themselves with other people’s lives  – the only solution is to dig deep and face the fears we’ve buried . The confidence that comes from dealing with and facing our buried problems bolsters self-esteem and sets the groundwork for overcoming other challenges.

To begin developing your intuitive ear in order to tune-in to what’s blocking you from focusing on your own life start with these 3 simple steps:

1. Tell yourself that you want to have dream that will show you what’s holding you back. Set an intention every evening to remember your dreams in the morning  until you do. Make sure to record them immediately. See what unconscious blockages spring to mind when looking over the dream. I suggest you go with your first impression.

2. Find a quiet place in your home where you can focus on your dream. Close your eyes for 5 to 15 minutes and ask your intuition to give you a solution as to how to overcome the blockage revealed in your dream.

3. While in this meditative state take out your journal and answer this question: If I could do anything, or be anything without worrying about money what would it be? Begin writing and don’t sensor yourself. The biggest obstacle to jump-starting intuition is not listening to our own truth. When you stifle who you are you shut down your intuition.

Do you know anyone like this? Have you dealt with this type of personality? What did you do?

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What’s Love Got to Do With Reality?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Are we really here? And where is here?

Physicists are revealing that what we perceive as reality may not be what we think.

We may think we are our bodies and our minds, but we would be wrong according to many new findings in science.

Each of us is actually individual states of consciousness that exists within one unified field – the field of consciousness.

I’ve been thinking a lot about consciousness and reality since I  wrote my last post – Constant Craving: The Mystic Experience, and wondering why our perception of the world changes when we have a mystical experience?

Many of you commented that you’d had a mystical experience and felt during it a connection to and love for all of life. As I said in that post, when we have these momentary connections to all life we’re actually plugging-in to the over-arching reality that our narrow every day reality is a fragment of. (Yes, I know it can be a bit confusing.)

To make it simpler for us regular folk to understand, scientists explain our reality as being like different programs all open at the same time on a computer. (more…)

Constant Craving: The Mystical Experience

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Has the warmth from a sunbeam ever triggered a moment of pure bliss?

Has there ever been a split second where your mind was so still that you became aware of having stepped outside yourself?

Did you come across a deer on a trail and suddenly feel flooded with a love and connection to all of life?

Were you playing with your child one day when your heart just opened up?

These sacred moments are the essence of the mystical experience.

Everything stops, and it’s as if we see clearly for the first time and feel at one with all of life. The joy from this state of being emanates from deep within our souls. We are aware of a palpable pure goodness that is in and through everything and everyone.

But we don’t “think it” we feel this experience intuitively with our hearts.

That’s what makes the experience  mystical – the connection of our heart to the beating heart of the Universe. It requires no words. In fact, it’s indescribable and words can’t do it justice. (more…)

Deciphering Dreams: Is It a Warning, or Intuitive Guidance?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

I knew I was going to lose my father four months before it happened.

I didn’t want to accept it, even though this dream had a very different quality to it than any of my other dreams. Besides, I thought, he was such a healthy 82-year-old. Still climbing ladders to cut down tree limbs and doing all the yard work a younger man in his 40s or 50s would hire someone else to do. How could this be? I tried rationalizing to minimize its meaning, but I knew in my gut that it was warning me of this life-changing event.

All the wonderful moments of my life with my father played out in front of my eyes.

This dream was very different. I was aware that I was dreaming. And, I was seeing it as if I were at a movie theater watching scenes of our life together appear up on the big screen.

I saw myself sitting on my Dad’s lap at 5 years old, then in the water at Jones beach and he was showing me how to dive under with my eyes open; then teaching me to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk outside our apartment building in New York; ice skating with my father in our back yard on the rink he’d built us after moving out of the city; working with my father to put up our above-ground pool….

The movie continued on like this all the way to the present with his helping me move into my current home. During the entire dream I felt the strength of the bond I had with my father, along with this incredible love for him that I can only describe as “celestial.”

I was being prepared for this terrible event. (more…)

Want Intuitive Guidance? Start Remembering Your Dreams

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid you’d swear it really happened?

Even if you had the dream years, and years ago – can you still recall it to this day?

There’s something so wonderful about having a dream and waking up and remembering it, isn’t there?

I have lots of dreams and I’ve trained myself to remember them. I’ve been recording them since I was a teenager.

One particularly vivid dream I had a few years ago comes to mind: (more…)

Do You Speak Intuition? How To Crack the Intuition Code

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Getting an intuitive message only takes a split second, but missing one and dealing with the mess of an unheeded warning can take much longer to fix.  Read my previous post to see just how disastrous it can be to ignore your intuition.

Intuition uses an encrypted code to communicate

To de-cypher the messages you need the keys that unlock this secret language. Once you have the code down – you will be amazed by the number of intuitive messages you receive on a daily basis.

The other morning the first image that sprang to mind was not from a dream, but a memory of a segment on the evening news from a week ago. A woman whose electricity went out due to a heavy snow storm was interviewed and stated that her family was lucky because they had a wood-burning stove in the house, so they weren’t freezing like her neighbors were. My first thought was, I’m lucky too at least if my heat went out I could use my fireplace.

When I got downstairs I turned the thermostat up and then dove into my morning routine. An hour later I realized the heat hadn’t come on. After checking to see if the pilot was lit – it was – I concluded I’d have to call the gas company. Luckily, the technician came by early afternoon and the repair was a simple one – a faulty wire. I was very grateful.

Intuition may speak through a picture or image

I started thinking about the image of the woman whose electricity was out and realized it had been my intuition preparing me for having no heat. The thought I had afterward comparing my fireplace to her having a wood burning stove had foretold that all would be well. It got me thinking about the many ways our intuition communicates with us.

I realized that intuition has its own language. To crack the intuition code you need to be aware of all the ways intuition transmits information. Here are some of the way my intuition communicates with me.

Five ways intuition speaks to us

1. Physical. You get a gut feeling. The feeling in your gut can be fearful, nervous, anxious, cautious, hesitant, or just a feeling that something is about to happen – yet you don’t know what. When IT happens – the feeling subsides. I’ve also experienced it as a feeling of nausea and bouts of yawning too.

2. Cerebral. It feels as though a thought has touched down out of no where into your mind. It can also be experienced as a nagging thought that won’t go away. And, sometimes it’s when you know that you know something, but you can’t explain how or why you know it. It can also come as a flash of insight, or  can take the form of an image or symbol in the mind’s eye.

3. Empathic. Picking up on the emotions of others and feeling that emotion yourself. It can also be feeling the pain others experience in your own body. It can also come in the form of taking an immediate liking to a person, or a dislike for that matter. It’s an instinct you have about someone.

4. Signs and affirmations. Things like missing the train to work only to find out later that there was a huge problem with the railways and all the trains stopped running for hours. Or considering a job change with a company you’re nervous about and then seeing an article on the front page of the paper, or hearing a report about them on the radio stating that this company is rated on of the top ten to work for.

5. Hearing The Voice. This may occur less frequently but it does happen. You’ve been trying to solve a problem and thinking about it over and over. Suddenly, you hear a voice that seems loud enough to have been heard by others, but judging from their faces no one heard it but you. It came from within you mind but it wasn’t in your own voice and it had the exact answer you’d been searching for. “Go for that job!,” etc.

Start paying attention and looking for these encoded message – because believe me you are getting them! You’re just not aware until you focus and tune in.

These are the most common ways my intuition speaks to me. It isn’t a definitive list by any means. If you have experienced something different don’t discount it. Intuition works uniquely for each of us.  I’d be very interested to hear of other ways intuition communicates to us, so please do share.

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If You’re Serious about Spiritual Growth – Meditate

Thursday, February 11th, 2010
"Gathering the Light", Taoist medita...
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Meditation is the most valuable tool I’ve found for my spiritual development. Reading books is great, as is  joining groups of like minded individuals, but when it comes to actually making consistent progress only a daily practice of meditation will expand your consciousness. Awakening and changing is a slow process that takes place gradually. Meditating daily is a bit like the process of water flowing over rocks in a stream; eventually with enough time you’ll see that the water has reshaped the stream and smoothed out all the jagged edges in the rocks. It takes commitment and a deep desire to stay the course until the beginnings of that reshaping becomes apparent. And of course – you’re never done either just like the water flowing in that stream is never finished reshaping it or the rocks it flows over.

Here’s a list of why meditation is so important for spiritual growth:

1. Learning to stop the constant thinking of our minds gives our brains’ a much needed rest. When we stop the perpetual mind-traffic divine guidance can actually get through. This state of thoughtless awareness allows us recognize the presence of the observer – who is our true self, higher self or soul.

2. Perceiving our lives through the consciousness of the observer gives us the detachment we need to see how the ego-self contributes to the difficulties we may be facing in our relationships, career and other areas of our lives. The observer is purely consciousness without judgment.

2. Meditation brings our emotions into balance which is the state of being centered. When we’re centered we let go of extremes; highs and lows of emotion that pull us into the future or past. We return to a natural calm state of being.

3. When we’re centered we live in the present with acceptance of what is happening in our lives. We stop assigning a negative or positive meaning to what we may be encountering and therefore are less likely to be pulled into dramas (both yours and other people’s) regarding these events.

4. The process of meditating will help you to remember your dreams. Many times answers and guidance are delivered through dreams. Sometimes I have only a snippet of a dream that I know was important when I wake, but if I meditate right away I can usually recall the entire dream.

5. Daily practice of meditation heightens intuitive ability. The more often you receive intuitive insight the more you will be in tune with your higher self and true purpose. Your life will flow more easily and opportunities to act upon your purpose will present themselves more frequently.

So, that’s why I meditate. Over the last 25 years of serious dedication to meditation I’ve seen my intuition and clairvoyant abilities improve. I believe this is important simply because this is the language that Spirit/Universe uses to speak to us. Knowing that I am always connected and guided by Spirit helps me deal with the challenges that surface in everyday living.

How has meditation affected you’re life? I’d love to know. Share your experience – leave a comment. You never know when what you have to say will help someone else.

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