Who Do You Think You Are?

My story begins innocently enough, with a vague curiosity about my genetic origins and a conversation with my ex-husband about the current trend of do-it-yourself DNA kits. My 60th birthday was coming up, so he thought one of those tests would make a good milestone birthday gift.

The 23andMe test sat on my desk for several weeks before I finally opened it, elegantly deposited the required saliva into the tube, registered it online and dropped it in the mailbox. I started getting periodic email updates on the progress of separating the identifying strands of my DNA from the spit sample, and I was invited to participate in some surveys which I would sometimes do when I had some free time.

Finally, the test was complete and I opened the online results to find nothing all that startling. I was shown to have 44% French and German and 37% British and Irish ancestry, with a bit of Scandinavian, Spanish and Portuguese, and Eastern European in the more ancient ancestors. There was an option to create an account and connect with possible relatives in their database, but I decided to put that off for a while.

Then, late one night while I was sitting up in bed, wide awake during February’s full moon, I created the account and clicked the “DNA Relatives” button. When the list of names popped up, I stared at it, confused. All of my four siblings are sisters, but the first name on the list was a name I didn’t know, labeled “Half Brother.” The second unidentifiable name was labeled “Aunt.” I struggled to make sense of what I was seeing for several minutes before I clicked on the half brother’s name to see his profile. There he had written that he was born two years before me, was from a town very close to where I was born and lived in until I was 7, and that he was adopted. He had found his mother’s name, which he shared, but his father’s name was left blank on his birth certificate, which had just become available to him a few years ago.

So the logical conclusion, once I was able to form one, was that my father had had a dalliance before I was born which resulted in the birth of this child who was given up for adoption. It was a startling revelation, but not really all that surprising, since my parents divorced when I was 15 because my dad had found someone else. I sent a brief note to this newly-found brother and thought how strange it would be to tell him about his father and our family.

The next day, I received an excited message back from the brother and we exchanged email addresses to continue the conversation. He let me know that he had found out his birth father’s name not that long ago, so I sent him a brief outline of my family, thinking it would fill in some of the blanks for him. After a few exchanges, he said, “It is apparent that your birth father is . . . as he is my birth father.” The name that filled in that blank was not my father’s name. But it was the name of a close family friend who was my godfather.

This second shock derailed me. I spent the rest of the day swimming through a vast sea of emotions. I reached out to some friends who helped to hold my head above water as I floundered around with the enormity of this new truth. I talked to my sisters (who I now know are half-sisters) and we sorted through what this all meant. By the end of the day, I was calmer, but still reeling. How does this affect my identity, my sense of self, the very foundation of my life? How could my mother withhold this from me her whole life? We were very close and I thought we shared everything. Did the birth father know? Did they make a pact to keep it a secret forever? Or did she really believe that her husband was my father? I don’t look that much different from my siblings, which I’m sure was a relief to her. But she must have suspected, perhaps until the day she died at 80 years old in 1997.

In fact, they’re all dead now (except for that second name on the list, my birth father’s elderly sister whom I don’t intend to contact). My father died in 1990 and my birth father died in 2016. Which means that the story behind my birth will remain a mystery, and there’s no one left to blame. Which is truly a blessing, in many ways.

In fact, when I woke up the next morning, I decided to see the whole thing as a blessing.

One of the greatest gifts of following a spiritual path is understanding that everything that shows up in our life’s path offers a gift, an opportunity, a blessing. Usually, though, these events appear as challenges, sometimes even tragedies and shocks. And there is no way to understand them as anything other than immense challenges when we are immersed in the necessary emotions surrounding them; the grief, sadness, anger, disappointment and other powerful reactions must be fully realized and expressed for as long as it takes to wade through them. Eventually, we will find that we’re able to make decisions again about how to proceed, what to do with what has shown up, and how to start to move toward a better feeling place.

That next day, I still felt the swirl of conflicting emotions, but I realized that I was still ME, that the father who raised me was still my father, and that whatever happened 60 years ago that led to my arrival here on this earth was truly a blessing, no matter how it happened or what was kept hidden. I decided that my life was still my life, and that this truth has always been, it’s just that now I know it, and I also know that shining light on a truth can offer tremendous healing and growth. I realized that I had found this new brother, who amazingly shares many similar views on life and spirituality, and that if he has come into my life at this particular time, there must be something for us to experience together as brother and sister.

Now, a month later, I still periodically find myself in that swirling vortex of emotions, but those moments are becoming less frequent as I choose to focus on the opportunities that I know will continue to emerge from this situation. My newly-found brother and I now communicate via email regularly and I know that although we live far apart, we’ll arrange to meet in person soon. He is getting to know my children as their uncle and we continue to be amazed at the similarities we are discovering in each other. And just recently, I had a dream that my father (the one who raised me) communicated to me that he’s still my father, that he loves me and that all is well. And I truly believe they were the words of his spirit.

Here, in this experience, is the true opportunity to consider who I really am. I am an unlimited, eternal, energetic being of light, who chose this physical existence, with these particular genetics, for reasons I may never truly understand in this lifetime, but I have complete and utter faith that those reasons were really good ones. And that no matter what my earth lineage is, my spiritual lineage remains unchanged. I’m a child of the Universe, of Source energy, and this sacred experience of human existence is just a part of the vastness that is my soul. And in this way, I can truly live my life in a state of gratitude and peace.

We are Microcosms of the Whole Universe

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake


We are made of star stuff. The chemicals that compose the matter of our bodies are the same chemicals that compose the matter of everything else that exists in the Universe. Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “We are all connected. To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.” And since all matter is composed of energy, that means we are also connected energetically.

When we recognize these connections, we can begin to see how the patterns, challenges and evolution of our lives mirror those of our world. With hindsight, we can understand that the biggest challenges have always offered the most profound opportunities for self-awareness, growth and learning.

Think about a time of loss or disillusion in your life, whether it involved an important relationship, a job, a home, or perhaps a dream, and consider what the ensuing grief inspired in you. What did you learn about yourself, your resilience and your determination to move on? How did these losses help you to understand more clearly what truly resonates with the longings of your heart, and what new experiences did you attract into your life with this new-found wisdom?

Now, take this perspective and zoom out to a global view. We are living through very challenging times which can be causing grief and despair for many. We are witnessing cruelty and injustice in many parts of the world and it hurts our hearts. But we are also witnessing what is being inspired by these challenges. There is an uprising of compassion and activism, a surge of heart-centered awareness and a powerful determination to make things better. Those who have been silent are being inspired to use their voices and those who have been complacent are taking action.

As difficult as it can be to move through some of the highly-charged challenges in our own lives and in the global community, we can choose to view them through the lens of opportunity. And it is through that lens that we will be inspired toward something better, something that is more aligned with our humanity, the frequency of our spirit and the wisdom of our individual and collective hearts.

We came here as experiencers and adventurers, participators and observers, representations of Source wisdom and contrast. And as such, the trajectory of our own paths and the evolution of our planet are determined through the expression of our truth and the way we choose to respond to the challenges that arise on our path.

Here’s one way to look at these challenges. Imagine yourself happily traveling down a beautiful but narrow path when suddenly a huge lump of wet clay is dropped at your feet. You are unable to get around or over it, so you may find yourself stalled for a while as you work through the range of emotions caused by this unexpected obstacle and consider your options. Eventually, you realize that the only way forward is to make something else out of the mess in front of you. The choices include simply forcing yourself through it, leaving yourself covered in a sticky mess which will take a lot of time and effort to shed, or struggling to push it down so that it becomes part of your path, or perhaps using your creative spirit to mold it into something beautiful that can be shared with others.

Every challenge, both in our own paths and the collective path of humanity, can be used as an opportunity should we allow ourselves to see the choices that can be inspired by the challenge. And there are no wrong choices, as even those decisions which lead to other challenges can inspire more wisdom, more clarity and a deeper understanding.

Choose from your heart. Choose with a sense of curiosity and wonder. Choose with an eager anticipation of what might be inspired by your choice. And understand that your own life’s path is a sacred metaphor for the path of our world and our magnificent Universe.

We are all connected. And YOU are a creator.


Cycles of Time and Energy

One of the things Frank talks about when it comes to the concept of time is that they experience it in a cyclical way rather than linearly. This is something that seems a bit foreign to us and may, on the surface, feel difficult to understand, but in reality, everything in the natural world is cyclical.

Simply look out your window for proof of this. At the moment, it’s spring here on the East Coast of the USA, so the new leaves on the trees are fresh and green, the blossoming trees are a riot of color and there are flowers everywhere. The birds begin their cacophony before the sun comes up and pretty soon we’ll hear bullfrogs on the lake. As spring ends in June, summer begins. The cycle is continuous, and the natural world flows with it without resistance. The trees shed their dead leaves to preserve their energy for the coming winter. Birds migrate, animals find refuge and growth becomes dormant. Each ending flows into a new beginning. Even in death, the decayed matter nourishes new life and the spirit begins a new expression of itself.

Energy flows in cycles, both within us and around us, and if we resist a cycle, we are thrown off our natural rhythm and can begin to feel an imbalance. When we desperately cling to the things that no longer serve us, we can find that our energy starts to feel stuck and we lose a sense of motivation and drive. If we resist change out of a fear of the unknown, we limit our opportunities for growth and expansion, and we may begin to feel resentful and drained.

One of the biggest imbalances we can experience is when we give more than we allow ourselves to receive. Once again, look to the natural world. The tree, which began as a small seed, draws nourishment from the soil, from the sunlight and from the air. It takes what it needs and then expands itself in a continual cycle of growth and release. If that nourishment is cut off, the growth of the tree will stop and it may die. So the tree is continually expanding the expression of itself which also expands its ability to receive the nourishment it needs.

How do you nourish yourself? Do you acknowledge your needs? Do you allow yourself to receive? Or do you think it is selfish to want or need things? Do you diminish the importance of your needs by making everyone else’s needs more important? Have you distracted yourself from your inner needs so much that you don’t even know what they are anymore?

Of course, we all know that we need air to breathe and the physical nourishment of food and water, but what about your emotional needs? What about your needs for compassionate caring, acknowledgement, affection, kindness and physical touch? And do you honor yourself with self-care, such as spending time in nature, caring for the body with movement and rest, being kind and patient with yourself, and prioritizing solitude and relaxation?

If the energy we expend is greater than the energy we allow ourselves to receive, we will eventually become depleted. When we diminish the importance of our own needs, we are less motivated toward self-expression and growth. When we ignore the small still voice inside of us that is constantly urging us forward, we will feel empty and purposeless, since the cycle of growth and expansion is our natural state of being.

Nourishing the sacred self can’t just be an occasional thing. There needs to be a consistent message sent to the self that says “You are worthy of feeling good. You deserve care and consideration. Your needs and desires and emotions matter.”

Think of some small steps you can take now to increase your level of self-care. Can you spend five minutes in meditation, or walking in nature, listening to music, or simply sitting in blissful silence? Can you say “no” to something you really don’t want to do? Can you express your creativity or indulge in a special treat?

Nurturing the self is a form of honoring your spirit, and it can create a deeper sense of trust in your inner wisdom and guidance. It can also enhance your ability to share your gifts with others, and influence them to a higher degree of self-care. And what could be selfish about that?

Scents and Senses

Since I got home from my trip to NOLA last Friday, I've had a doozy of an upper respiratory infection; croupy cough, stuffed sinuses, the works. And as it began to work its way out of my system, I found that for the last few days I had completely lost my sense of smell.

I realized it when I was dropping eucalyptus oil into my diffuser. The waft of menthol usually fills my senses but I couldn't detect a thing. I wondered if perhaps I had bought an off-brand that had already worn out or if the essence had leaked out through a loosely-closed cap. Then I realized I also wasn't tasting things right; everything had a dull, metallic taste and I didn't have much of an appetite.

I was reminded of another time this happened many years ago as I recovered from a similarly bad cold. I was getting ready for a date (yes! I actually dated once!) and I dabbed on a little perfume. But I couldn't smell it at all, so I slathered on a bit more, and a bit more, and then figured there was something wrong with it. When my date arrived, I asked him if he could smell my perfume and he said, "Are you kidding? I could smell it down the hall!"

It's a strange sense to miss, the olfactory sense. It wasn't too unpleasant to not smell the cats' litter box, or my son's feet, or the trash that needed to go out. But I missed the smell of my morning coffee, my hippie-scented soap and my evening herbal tea. Even the chocolate egg I tried was just bland sweetness on my tongue without that dark, rich aroma.

The sixth sense that I have honed through years of practice and passion can yield similarly mixed experiences. When I'm tuned in, I can feel the grief, pain and anguish of others. I can sense their insecurities, their struggles, their anger. I can feel the full weight of the burden they see as their life and I will sometimes wish that I had chosen a more "normal" existence, one that didn't require diving so deeply into these wells of difficult emotions and feelings.

But without it, I wouldn't know the joy and satisfaction of helping others work through those difficult times. I wouldn't sense those burdens lifting as they realize their power to move forward. And I wouldn't be living my true calling and passion.

After the birth of my second child, I experienced severe post-natal depression and was medicated for it. While the medication stopped the emotional pain and incessant crying, it also dulled all of my feelings. I wasn't really depressed anymore, but I also wasn't feeling joy. I couldn't even cry over a sad TV show or laugh at a comedy. I was in a neutral zone which kept me safe, but it deadened my ability to feel to such a degree that I eventually realized I couldn't live there anymore. I needed to feel the sadness in order to heal it, and if that's what it took to bring me back to myself, then I decided to take it on.

Embracing this life means engaging all the senses in all experiences, whether we label them good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, joyful or sorrowful. We cannot close our eyes to the things we do not want to see, but we can decide where to focus our attention. We cannot turn off the feelings we don't want to feel, but we can choose what do with those feelings.

As my sense of smell begins to return, I realize I actually did miss the unpleasant cat box odor, as it signaled that it was time for a scoop-out. And even my teenage son's stinky feet are somehow a comfort to have around. What a blessing our senses are, and what a supreme gift it is to FEEL all there is to feel in this life of contrast and joy. And how amazing that the Universe found a way to remind me that in order to do what I do best, I have to be willing to see, hear, touch, taste, smell and feel ALL the magic of what this gift has to offer.


2018 - The Year of the System Upgrade

This morning, my computer wanted to do an update but it couldn't, because there's not enough disk space to download the new files. So it gave me an alert to delete some of the things I don't need in order to make room for the new upload.

While I was looking through the files and apps to find things to purge, I realized that this is exactly what I've been feeling urged to do in my life as we enter this new year of possibility. The Universe has been signaling me that there's a new download ready for me, but that I've got to shift some of the old energy that no longer serves me to make room for it.

I've been responding by clearing out some old junk; I've got six bags of clothes ready to go to charity and several bags to throw out. I've been scrubbing and tossing and recycling, and it feels good. But what's really going to create results is the internal purging, the shifting of old belief systems, habits and patterns, the release of attachments, emotions and reactions, the willingness to take a fresh perspective and honor myself from a higher place. Clearing out my external space is really just a metaphor for the internal shifts that I'm ready to take.

The new year feels like a year of action, a time to realize the manifestation of our energetic focus and see the possibilities unfold in our lives. But if we're holding onto the pain, disappointment and struggles of the past year, our vision will be clouded and our energetic frequencies will be clogged. We'll find ourselves slogging through the mud instead of sprinting along the path, still moving forward, but without the ease and flow we deserve.

2018 is offering you an upgrade to your system, an opportunity to shift your frequencies and take on a higher challenge. What files do you need to delete in order to allow that download? Here's a hint: start from your H drive, your Heart Center and work outward. Begin with love, compassion and the intention for your highest good, and let your intuition guide you through the purge toward a system reboot which allows you to grow, learn and evolve into an even higher version of yourself.

Faith and Flow

The well-known quantum mechanics double slit experiments have demonstrated that electrons behave as particles when they are observed but can behave as waves when they are not observed, proving that the act of observation alters the behavior of energy. If this is true of an atomic particle, how does it apply to the energetic aspects of our lives? How does our attention and focus alter the trajectory of our life path, and how can we utilize this power of focus to create the best possible direction?

Here’s the trick: set an intention with your thoughts, inner vision and joyful anticipation to calibrate your energetic field so that it’s in alignment with that intention. Spend a few minutes in this state every day and bring that renewed optimism to the tasks at hand in your current reality. And be sure to detach from the outcome of what it is that you’re intending.

But how is it possible to detach from something we dearly desire? Through faith: faith in yourself, the laws of the universe, the course of your life and its natural tendency to give you exactly what you need at any given moment. A lack of faith creates a need to control, since we don’t trust the natural trajectory of the universal laws and our ability to pick up on the cues that will guide us. In that state of being, we constrict our energy, ready to leap into action at any moment, fearing we will miss our chance, make a mistake or take the wrong path and worrying that it will all go wrong. This constriction of energy blocks us from our intuitive guidance system and can cause us to feel lost.

The attitude of faith in the energetic forces you put into play through intention setting, visualization and joyful anticipation will allow you to let go, and it is in that letting go that your focus and attention returns to creating and celebrating the joys in your life right now, just as it is. And in that state of focusing on the now, you are taking your attention away from constantly watching the future unfold. In this way, you are allowing the matter of your life to coalesce and materialize of its own accord, in its own time, directed by the energy of your intentions, and paved by the daily steps you take toward the desired state.

Detachment, then, comes from faith, and faith is a gift you must cultivate for yourself, as you’ve been taught to believe that you can’t trust yourself, that your life is ruled by external forces, chance and luck, and that you must seek answers and direction from others. This is a restrictive fallacy. The best teachers are those who remind you of your truth, not hand you their own truth. The best challenges allow you to uncover your strengths, not build strength. You have all that you need, but if you don’t believe that is true, you disconnect from the faith and wisdom inherent in your being, and you will immerse yourself in the constant struggle with external forces. Your focus on that battle is the glue that keeps the energy of the things you DON’T want stuck in your reality.

Here are some tips to help you to build your faith in yourself:

  1. Remember the times in your life when you listened to that internal voice and it guided you in exactly the right direction. And remember the times you didn’t.
  2. Look at the milestones you’ve already achieved, the challenges you’ve already overcome, and the roadblocks you’ve already navigated. This wasn’t just chance, this was all due to your focus and intention.
  3. Think of the times when you were at ease with yourself, when your heart felt light and you experienced joy. Can you remember how life appeared easy and effortless, even though you still had some challenges in your path? Can this help you acknowledge the power of perception?
  4. Remind yourself daily that you are made of the same stuff that makes up all elements of the entire Universe, that you are not just OF the Universe, you ARE the Universe in all its divine glory, in all its unlimited creative power, in all its love, compassion and wisdom. How could you doubt yourself when you are an expression of the divine?
  5. Look at the people you love. Really look at them. Do you find yourself looking for their flaws or observing their beauty? Of course, you see them as perfect in their imperfections and essential to the world. Now just pretend that you feel the same way about yourself. Pretend until it becomes a habit.

The answers are within. The wisdom is within. The love, the fulfillment, the compassion all live within you, and when you are aligned with all the gifts that are inherent within, you no longer need to attach to the outcomes of your life’s path to bring you to a state of peace and happiness, as it is within that alignment that peace and happiness exist. Your external life is a mirror of what lives within, and with just a little more faith in yourself, you can create enormous change in that external life and what it offers you. Intend, then allow. And let the energy of your life flow.

Just Love Them

We all have THOSE PEOPLE in our lives. You know, the ones whose beliefs are different from ours. The ones who are “asleep.” The ones who are judgmental, inconsiderate, angry, pessimistic, self-centered, obnoxious, etc. The ones we don’t understand. The ones we don’t want to understand. We experience their energy like an out-of-tune piano, causing us to feel disharmony, discomfort and sometimes even the physical pain of stress. So how do we deal with THOSE PEOPLE, especially when they’re in our family? Especially at the holidays? Especially when they are people we love?

We can begin by intending to understand that:

  1. The moment we place someone in a category to which we feel we don’t belong, we have separated them from ourselves, and it is this illusion of separation which causes us to feel disharmony, not the person or their beliefs. Therefore, it is not so much the actions of words of THOSE PEOPLE which is creating the discomfort as it is our labeling of them.
  2. As different as someone’s beliefs may seem, they spring from the same desires and intentions: to be loved, safe, accepted and cared for. As stated in A Course in Miracles, every action is either an expression of love or a call for it, and that call for love can come from a place of disempowerment, emptiness, and fear which is a place of disconnection with the divine, a place of desperate loneliness. Remembering this can rekindle our compassion.
  3. We do not have to like someone in order to love them. We do not have to agree with someone in order to show them kindness. And we do not have to resonate with someone’s energy in order to feel the human connection. All beings occupy a sacred space in the rich and varied tapestry of our world, even when we don’t understand the meaning of that space.
  4. We are not obligated to take on the energy of those with whom we do not resonate, nor do we have to feel responsible for their enlightenment. Our power lies in working in our own energy, standing in our own truth and responding from that sense of truth. The energy we emit has far more influence than the words we say.
  5. This does not mean that we need to be passive and silent in the face of abusive or hurtful behavior. Standing in our truth means using our greatest spiritual gift of free will to discern what we will allow and how we can best respond in a way which honors us as divine beings. Saying “no,” speaking our truth and refusing to engage in that which hurts, dishonors and disrespects us or others can be the ultimate form of self-love and compassion.
  6. We can prepare for encounters with those who challenge us by setting intentions, raising our energetic shields, centering ourselves in love and dropping our expectations of how we think someone should act, speak, and behave. We can create a ritual or carry a talisman or crystal in our pocket to remind us of our intentions and keep us grounded. We can ask our guides, angels, and Higher Self to help us respond in a way which is in the highest good of all, and we can remind ourselves to pause and breathe before any response.  Then we can plan for some quiet time afterward to nurture ourselves and release any inflamed emotions.

It is true that those who challenge us can be our greatest teachers, and it is also true that as emotional beings we may feel the energy of those challenges in a deeply personal way. Anger, sadness, frustration and grief are not signs of spiritual weakness, they are reminders of our power to choose our responses and return to the energy that animates and balances all things. When you are feeling these conflicting and challenging emotions, when you are unsure of the best way to respond, when you are thinking that there is nothing you can do or say, when you are disappointed, saddened and hurt . . . stop, breathe, and return to the essence of who you are.

Just love them.

What Does it Mean to “Listen to Your Heart?”

It’s common advice in spiritual circles and self-help wisdom to “listen to your heart.” I say it myself quite often in psychic readings, and I feel the importance of it in living a balanced life. But what exactly does it mean? How does the heart speak to us? And how can we tell if the guidance we’re getting is coming from our heart? Here are a few tips to help you discern and acknowledge heart-centered guidance.

  1. Your intuitive voice speaks through the heart. It can be a subtle, unexplainable urge or nudge. It’s that small, internal voice that guides us to take some action, or pay attention, or investigate something. Listening to it requires that we cultivate some quiet in our day, some time to internally reflect and shift our attention from the constant distraction of the external world and our mind’s evaluation of it.
  2. The heart speaks with love. It is the seat of self-love, self-care and self-awareness, and as such, it will always guide us in a gentle, loving way. The ego, while a necessary aspect of our sense of individuality and identity, can react in fear with self-recrimination, alarm and criticism. For example, the ego voice may loudly proclaim, “Are you crazy? You’ll never be able to do that!” while the heart may gently say, “Let’s try this instead.”
  3. The heart connects us through compassion and empathy with all others. It urges us to listen, to care, to see ourselves in the eyes of someone who is suffering. But as it is also the seat of self-love, it recognizes that we need not take on the suffering of others. While it recognizes our connection, it also senses that each life path offers its own rewards through all experiences, and so it will offer support and care without attachment. It is the ego that will desire to be fed through judgment, a desire to be the “hero” who “saves” someone, or blaming others for its inability to be happy. The heart simply radiates love.
  4. The heart is also a receiver. Think of the physical function of the heart in your body; it circulates nourishing blood throughout your entire physical form through miles of internal vascular networks. The blood flows through the heart as a constant stream of entering and exiting, receiving and giving, opening and closing. That blood can be seen as a metaphor for love. As the heart gives love, it also receives, and it is in that reciprocal flow that the energy of the spirit is truly nourished. Having an open heart means we are willing to receive love and acknowledge that we are deserving of its sustenance.
  5. Our emotions are deeply connected to the heart center. We mourn loss because we have deeply loved, we feel anger or disappointment because our inner balance of love and compassion has been challenged, we feel fear because our ego wants to avoid the heartbreak of failure. Emotions create powerful energy which is an essential aspect of the human experience, and they need to be fully acknowledged, felt and expressed for their full benefits to be realized. Unfortunately, our culture tends to see emotions as weakness, and we are taught to hide them or push them aside rather than express them in a healthy way. Allowing ourselves to cry, to express our feelings through the heart centered seat of love and compassion, to really feel what we need to feel, is a form of honoring and learning about ourselves through the potent energy of our emotions.

Shifting our beliefs about the truth and wisdom found in the heart through our intuitive knowing, compassion and love for ourselves and others, remaining open to receive love, and honoring our emotions can help us find balance between heart-centered awareness and the logical processes of thought, and will lead to a greater sense of being anchored in truth and a connection with the divine. Have you listened to your heart today?

How to Survive as a Highly Sensitive Person in a Chaotic World

We are living in a highly-charged state of flux on our planet, one that involves both massive energetic shifts and challenges in the state of the world around us. While it’s true that the natural state of being is one of constant change, those we’re experiencing now are quite potent, and they’re being felt by many in deep, powerful ways.

So what exactly is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)? Think of a radio with an antenna which is raised and adjusted to pick up a clear signal. The radio receives the energetic frequencies from the atmosphere and translates them into sound; all of its components were designed with this intention and unless it was switched off, it would constantly receive and translate those signals. An HSP is like that radio; their energy field is always set to receive the frequencies from the atmosphere, and emotional energy is the strongest signal. This constant barrage of vibrational frequencies can have a profound effect on the HSP’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual state of being. This means it’s crucial that they learn to work with their sensitivities rather than becoming the victim of them.

If you relate to being an HSP, here are some tips to help you cope:

1.       Remember that your sensitivities are a gift. They help you to connect with others in a deeply empathic way; since you can feel what they are feeling, you can intuit what they need beyond what they are telling you. This empathy can be a beacon of light for someone’s dark night of the soul, and you may find a great sense of purpose in helping others.

2.       Utilize your power of discernment and choice. While you may not be able to completely shut down your sensitivities, you get to choose where to focus your attention, energy and time. You get to choose the energy you connect with and when to disengage. And you are never obligated to take on the drama, suffering or dilemmas of others or the world. Trust your intuition to guide you toward the people and situations that are in your highest good, and away from those that may weigh too heavily on you.

3.       Honor your need to withdraw and recharge. Many HSPs are also introverts, which means they need periods of calm and quiet to reset and replenish their energy. Be sure to balance the energy you expend, whether it’s from social interaction, helping someone with their challenges, performing any type of energy work or healing, or having an emotional reaction to some event, with quiet, reflective self-nurturing so that you don’t experience burnout.

4.       Create a daily ritual to protect your energy. As you prepare to begin your day, visualize some sort of energetic protection surrounding you with the clear intention that it will only receive the frequencies that are in your highest good. This can be a bubble of energy, a white light, a suit of armor, a band of angels or guides, or an energetic force field. Imagine that this shield has the same power as putting on your seat belt in the car; it keeps you safe so you don’t have to worry about being hurt. See it, set it and forget it.

5.       Create another ritual to release any unwanted energy at the end of the day. You can physically shake it off, or wash your hands in a certain way or with a certain soap, or you can visualize shedding the energy like a winter coat, or brushing it off you. Whatever method you choose, know that it’s the intention behind it that has the power, so set a clear intention to release any energy that doesn’t serve you.

6.       Allow yourself to fully experience and feel your emotions. Telling yourself you “shouldn’t” be feeling a certain way or dismissing what you deem to be a negative emotion just means it will keep coming back until you allow it to fully pass through your energy field. Feel it, face it, ask what it’s showing you, breathe through it and release it. Journaling, talking with a trusted friend, connecting with nature, physical activity and meditation are all good methods to release pent-up emotion.

7.       Find your tribe and stay connected with them. If you’re an HSP and an introvert, you may not have a huge social network, but it’s important to have a few people in your life who truly understand you and love you unconditionally. Nurture those relationships and don’t be afraid to turn to them when you need some help navigating through your feelings. Remember that most people love to be needed, and if they truly see and know you, they will know how to hold the space for you.

Remember that your bright spirit chose these challenging times in which to incarnate so that your light, your compassion, and your infinite love could be felt by those who need it most, and so you could experience the great joy and fulfillment of navigating that which most challenges you. You are needed, wanted and loved beyond measure by those around you, both seen and unseen. Nurture and honor yourself, and know that your unique sensitivities are what will help to guide us all to a greater understanding of ourselves.

The Truth about Psychics

What does the word “psychic” mean to you? Many will envision an exotic gypsy fortune teller seated in front of a crystal ball. Others may equate the word with “scam artist” or a practitioner of the dark arts.

As a professional psychic medium, I’d like to share my definition of a psychic. Psychics have the ability to deliberately raise their vibration to connect with the energy of other people. This part of the definition describes what a psychic does. But it’s the second part of the definition that I think is even more important. Psychics have the ability to deliberately raise their vibration to connect with the energy of other people WITH THE INTENTION of helping to guide, uplift and assist them on their life path.

I truly believe that we all come into our lives with this natural ability of vibrational awareness; we have an innate intuitive sense which relays information through energetic frequency. We can feel the energy of a place, person, or situation in a way that goes beyond the five senses. We can sense the intentions of others or the probable outcomes of situations without a lot of logical thinking. Babies and young children often demonstrate these abilities, along with a natural connection to spirit energy. It’s only when we start to become aware of the social stigma surrounding these abilities that we create an intentional block to them so that others don’t judge us as strange or scary.

A professional psychic is someone who has found a way to break free of those blocks and expand her natural abilities to the degree that she can tune in to the frequency of another’s life path and can get a sense of that person’s past, present, and future. However, it is important to note that the future is always changing, and that there will be many possible outcomes based on a person’s free will choices.

So, what exactly can a psychic reading do for you? A reader whose intention is as stated above will be able to help you get a different perspective on your current life path. He will help you to tune into the lessons of the past, the gifts within the challenges of the present, and the possible outcomes in the future. You should come away from a psychic reading feeling energized, motivated and validated, with a clearer sense of what the past has taught you, what needs your attention in the present, and what will help you realize your future desires.

The role of a psychic is not to tell you what to do or what is going to happen, it is to lend you the support and guidance of her intuitive connection with you and your energy. Your life is your own, directed by your own thoughts, beliefs and decisions. If you are feeling stuck or unsure of what’s in your best interest, a psychic can help you recognize your own power to move your energy forward and remind you of what your heart already knows. A fortune teller’s prediction is contrary to that intention; if you feel that a certain outcome is inevitable or completely out of your control, you will tend to feel like a victim of your life rather than the director of it.

Unfortunately, there are psychic practitioners out there whose intentions are not necessarily honorable, and this is where a lot of skepticism about the nature of psychics is borne. While they may have highly developed psychic skills, their intentions may be purely motivated by money, and they will use fear tactics to extort large fees from their clients. If you ever find yourself in the midst of a psychic reading that begins to feel very negative, where the psychic says you have had a curse placed on you or that you’re surrounded with “bad energy,” RUN! This is a sure sign that you’re about to be scammed. Usually, these practitioners will then tell you that they can remove the curse or clear your energy with some sort of ritual, candle or other means for a large fee which can be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

The best way to find a reputable psychic is by referral, but if that’s not forthcoming, look for practitioners who have established businesses and a decent website which includes testimonials and a clear description of what is offered. There are also some online directories listing vetted practitioners. Don’t look for the cheapest fee; while a novice reader may charge a low fee and still deliver a meaningful reading, often a very low fee can indicate that you’re in for a bait and switch scam. When comparing fees, remember that experienced and respected readers will charge fees that reflect the value of their service and the level of their expertise.

There are many talented, honorable and compassionate spiritual practitioners out there whose intention is focused on helping you to achieve your highest degree of happiness and success. A psychic can illuminate the truth and wisdom of your soul and connect you with the path that is in your highest good. When the choice of practitioner is made with your own intuitive awareness and careful consideration, you may find enormous benefit to your reading when you find the right psychic for you.

Ten Ways to be Present

If you are on any type of spiritual path, you will have heard it many times: be present, live in the now, focus on where you are. And it’s good advice. When we are fully focused on what’s in front of us, while still learning from the past and setting intentions for the future, we are truly engaged in the creation of our lives. But in this modern world full of constant distractions, where we’re expected to be multi-tasking dynamos taking on a variety of roles every day, exactly how do we put this into practice? Here are some tips you can start with today.

  1. Listen rather than hear. When we are distracted and unfocused, we tend to tune out what we feel isn’t important, and unfortunately, this can lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities for connection and learning. The next time you’re in a conversation, fully engage in listening to the other person as though you were listening to your own thoughts. Listen with the intention to understand, and relax the need to respond. You may be surprised at what you hear.  

  2. Look to really see, rather than notice. Take a moment right now to stop reading this and look around you. Look closely with the intention to appreciate your surroundings. Where is there beauty around you that you may usually take for granted? What can you appreciate about where you are?

  3. Engage your empathy. When encountering people during your day, see if you can extend your energy to feel what they’re feeling. If someone is irritating you or acting less than honorably, you may not relate to what they’re doing, but can you relate to the fear or insecurity that may be leading to those actions? How does this empathetic perspective change your reaction to them?

  4. Feel your body’s responses. A “gut feeling” is often literal; you can feel an energetic reaction in your upper abdomen which can be a physical response to your intuition. Do you experience an excited feeling of butterflies, or a slightly queasy feeling, or maybe a heavy, tight feeling? How is your body reading the energy around you? Learning to recognize your physical reactions can help you get in touch with your inner wisdom.

  5. Feel the energy of gratitude. Taking time out of your day to practice gratitude is a great way to bring yourself into your present space. If you’re feeling stressed, scattered or negatively focused, take a few moments to name (and perhaps write down) 10 things you’re grateful for. Gratitude helps you make peace with where you are in the present moment, which allows you to more easily move forward.

  6. Leave space between what you think and what you say. Pause before you speak. Allow a few breaths between your initial reaction and your spoken words, or your email or text. Back up a bit from the situation and consider whether your emotions need to settle a bit before you respond or if it’s really in anyone’s best interest for you to assert your opinion in that moment. Connect with your heart and ensure that your words resonate with what you’re truly feeling in that moment, and not how you’re emotionally responding.

  7. Honor your need to withdraw and go within. Even the most extroverted people need time to rejuvenate, recharge and reflect. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and energetically drained, it’s more difficult to stay present. Be sure to honor those feelings with some quiet time. Nurturing and caring for your own energy is an important way to ensure you’re maintaining needed balance in your life.

  8. Pull your energy into your heart when you begin to judge. Judgment comes from the overprotective ego which thrives on illusion. The heart knows the truth, that we are all connected on a soul level; you can disagree with someone’s actions but still acknowledge your connection. Listening to the heart’s wisdom brings you fully present and allows you to transcend judgment.

  9. When challenged, ask what gift of learning is being offered. Remember that all challenges offer us the opportunity to grow and evolve. While it’s sometimes difficult to see these opportunities when we are in the midst of the challenge, it can help to acknowledge that moving through difficult energy instead of avoiding it will allow you to get a better perspective. Always look for the gift.

  10. Cultivate focus, attention and intention. These three practices can develop, enhance and bring a greater awareness of your intuition and connection to your higher self. Practice heightened focus on all your tasks, direct your full attention to whatever you’re doing in the moment, and set clear intentions for the road ahead.

Adding these practices to your daily life can help you gather your scattered energy and feel calmer, more grounded and less reactive. From that place of peaceful awareness, you’ll find yourself truly appreciating and fully experiencing all the riches your life has to offer!

Love Begets Love

“Trash begets trash.” A guy I was dating once said this while we were picnicking somewhere and noticed an area that was filled with litter. What he meant was that once a few people start dropping their trash on the ground, others follow suit, until you have a real mess. (This was sadly one of the wisest things he ever said.)

There are lots of reasons this occurs. There’s a sociological component here which was demonstrated in a college course I once took. The instructor called one person up to the front of the class and asked her to hop like a bunny. The girl blushed and awkwardly hopped in a half-hearted manner. Then the teacher kept calling others to the front of the room and by the time there were about 5 or 6 people up there, they were laughing and hopping like crazy, and once the whole class came up, it was a hopopalooza. Her point? We are HUGELY influenced by the people around us.

I know, you’ll say, “Not me. I’m an independent thinker.” But I want you to notice how you’re dressed, the programs you watch on TV, the model cell phone you have, and the way you wear your hair. I want you to think about singing karaoke in your local watering hole, or being pulled into a gossipy conversation among friends, or complaining about your boss at work. What influences your decisions here? And why?

The new agers (like me) often emphasize the ONENESS of us all, and while some will roll their eyes and think it’s just incense smoke and mirrors created to avoid the REAL problems of the world, it is clear that the ONENESS of our connected energy is extremely powerful in influencing our choices and behavior. I would expand upon the sociological component here and say it’s the ENERGY of others’ words, actions and even thoughts which can influence our own.

With this in mind, I’d like you to consider your part here. How accountable are you for the energy you’re putting out there? Are you aware of how powerful it is? If you’re spewing hatred and anger, whether it’s on Twitter, in a Facebook rant, face-to-face among friends, or even just in your thoughts, you’re creating an energetic vibration which resonates with those feelings. It doesn’t matter how justified you think your feelings are, they’re still creating a vibrational frequency of hatred and anger, much as a tuning fork vibrates to a C Sharp no matter how it’s struck. And on some level, that powerful frequency is being felt and passed along by those you come into contact with, creating a ripple effect of energy that extends far beyond your social circle.

So does this means you’re never allowed to have a negative emotional reaction to challenging circumstances? Do you have to stuff your anger, hold back your tears, or push aside your fears? Not at all, since working through our emotions is a vital way to grow, heal and evolve. What it means is that there are lots of healthy ways to deal with emotions which don’t involve spewing negatively around like a lawn sprinkler. It means sitting with your feelings and working through them first, before you consider exploding in a rage on social media. It means calling in the assistance of close friends, or perhaps a professional, who can help you see your way through difficult situations you may be dwelling on. It means understanding that your visceral reaction to a perceived situation may not be based on the whole truth, and that perhaps there are other perspectives to consider. It means using your powerful emotions to motivate positive action toward change. It means being careful, thoughtful and compassionate about the energy you emit, as it is a powerful force in the world around you.

Yep, I’ve had my moments of anger, disappointment, outrage, and despair. Yes, I’ve felt lost and alone, broken-hearted and frustrated, misunderstood and foolish. When these feelings arise, I look at them and decide how best to find the gift within them for my highest good, and when I do that, it NEVER feels like the best thing to do is blast them into the ethers as the one and only truth. Once I’ve been able to work through my emotions, adjust my perspective, and return to the truth of love, then I know that I have a story to share which can be based on my true intention, which is to inspire, uplift and empower.

Love begets love. So how’s YOUR frequency today?

The Three Skills that will Boost Your Psychic and Intuitive Abilities

Eleven years ago, I learned that my lifelong sensitivities were indications of higher gifts which I now use to do psychic and mediumship readings, and more recently to channel. As I began to develop and expand these abilities, I found that there were three key skills which were crucial to my success as a professional psychic and channel. I truly believe that one of the reasons I’ve been able to turn these abilities into a successful career is that I’ve learned to work with these three skills and expand upon them, and I believe that anyone can learn to build them through practice and mindfulness.

1.  Attention – I’ve always had a pretty good attention span. As a professional administrative assistant for most of my working life, I developed a keen attention to detail and the ability to stick with a task to its completion. As a psychic medium, attention is important as the information that comes in can be fast, fleeting and faint, and so if you are easily distracted or too worried about being “right,” you may miss some of this information or misinterpret it. If you’re working on building your own psychic and intuitive abilities, start by becoming aware of where your attention goes in the course of your day, and see if you can work on honing it by listening intently, picking up on the details of your surroundings, and resisting distractions.

2.  Intentions – Setting clear intentions for what you want to accomplish through any given task is an excellent way to create the foundation for success. Without clear intentions, you will risk losing motivation and your consciousness may drift from the task at hand. As a psychic, my intention is always to connect with the energy of my clients in order to receive the highest level of information to uplift and guide them. As a medium, my intention is to connect with the highest level of spirit energy in order to bring messages of love and support to their loved ones. And as a channel, my intention is to be the conduit for those in spirit who wish to guide and assist us here on earth. Begin to become more aware of the intentions behind the energy you put into various areas of your life, and make them deliberate and clear. You’ll find that you’ll then be naturally guided into the right actions to get you where you’d like to be.

3.  Focus – I find that all the work I do in this business: psychic readings, mediumship events, channeling, writing, speaking and running my spiritual center require a laser focus. When I am doing a reading, my focus is solely on the client and her energy. I am able to set aside my own ego, judgment and fears and completely direct my energy and vibrational awareness to the client. This is what allows me to connect with her energetically and interpret the signals I get in the best possible way. The same goes for spirit communication; my focus is completely directed on my inner vision and the subtle cues I get from spirit, and when I’m channeling, my focus helps me step aside and allow the spirit energy to flow through me. To work on your focus, you could practice concentrating on reading or writing in a noisy place, or completing a challenging task in a certain amount of time. Learning to really focus on your inner receptor in this fast-paced, multi-tasking world can take practice, but it can be extremely helpful when connecting with your inner guidance system.

Practicing a regular meditation routine can be very useful in building your attention, intentions and focus, as it teaches you to allow both your thoughts and any external interference drift away while you continue to draw your attention inward, set intentions for relaxation and calm, and focus on the present moment. In a world full of constant distractions, these three skills can not only help you connect with your higher vibrational awareness, they can bring a sense of ease to your life which can help you cope with the stresses and challenges on your path. And this ease is bound to bring success in ALL areas of your life. Where is YOUR focus today?

How Thoughts and Beliefs Can Affect Your Psychic Abilities

I’ve been a professional psychic medium for just over 10 years now, and if anyone would have suggested to me even 12 years ago that this is what I’d be doing for a living, I would have thought they were delusional. I’d always been attracted to the metaphysical realms, but never had the belief that I could harness them. But on the first day of the psychic development night school class I took at a local community college, I saw the clear image of the teacher’s spirit guide behind him as he spoke, and from then on, nothing was the same.

When I first started working with my higher vibrational awareness, the information coming in was random and chaotic. I would have strange visions in meditation and it was sometimes difficult to make sense of what was happening. But as my confidence grew, so did my peace of mind, and each time I crossed another threshold of belief in myself, I found I was better able to work with my abilities rather than feel overwhelmed by them. It was a process, and in hindsight, I can see that the process was guided by my beliefs in my abilities and the way I began to deliberately choose my thoughts about my work and its place in the world.

There were many times I thought about quitting and returning to a more “normal” life. The time I made a sweet grandmother cry when her late husband came through at a psychic party, I was sure that once I walked out that door, I would never do another reading. But just as I was leaving, her family approached me and told me how much the reading meant to her and how grateful she was. The drunk woman I refused to read and the hostile woman at a gallery whose spirit visitor was someone she despised were overshadowed by a message that was heeded from spirit to tighten the child seats in a day care van which was later involved in a serious accident and all the children were unharmed, and tearful gratitude from a psychic development student whose spirit visions had previously made her think she was mentally unstable.

Every time I strengthened my belief in my abilities, they heightened, and every time I focused more attention on the positive results of my work, the more grateful clients I attracted. And as my confidence grew, so did my ability to manage my energy and focus more clearly on the information I was getting. I found that whenever I set a clear and solid intention, there would be a shift within me toward peaceful resonance, and it has been within that peace that I’ve found my greatest gifts.

The power of our intentions was recently highlighted by a session with a coaching client of mine who had been experiencing many random and sometimes disturbing intrusions of spirit energy, sporadic psychic experiences and chaotic dreams. She knew she had psychic abilities, but she was troubled by them and wanted some guidance on how to control them. We discussed the power of thoughts and beliefs and when she watched The Secret, she felt a deep resonance with truth. Then she read Infinite Possibilities by the amazing Mike Dooley, and her life changed drastically. She found within herself the ability to direct her thoughts, attention and beliefs, which is creating enormous shifts, not only in her physical world, but in her psychic abilities. She is no longer plagued by disruptive and random experiences, but she is instead finding that she can invite the experiences when she is ready to work with them. She has discovered that by setting the intention to manifest a happy and peaceful life, she is able to direct her energy more deliberately instead of allowing it to be dragged and pulled in a million different directions. What a difference this has made in her life! And what an epiphany to both of us about the immense power of intention, beliefs and thoughts in not only our external experiences, but also in developing our higher vibrational awareness and abilities.

If you are experiencing flashes of psychic experiences or connections to spirit which are interrupting your life or disturbing you, take a look at your beliefs, thoughts and intentions and begin to direct them toward what you would rather experience with these gifts. Set the intention in that direction, make peace with where you are and watch the magic begin!

Levels of Vibrational Awareness and How to Develop Them

We humans have an amazing array of senses that we use to experience our world, but we tend to limit our awareness by relying on just a few of them. As children, we are taught that our five senses are the only way to discern the truth, and that anything that can’t be experienced this way is frivolous or false. The truth is that there are many more than five senses; we have a sense of body awareness, balance, pain, and others. In addition, there is vibrational awareness, or a sense of energetic reality.

We all experience vibrational awareness on varying levels. If you’ve ever walked into a room and sensed a mood or emotion leftover by the people just recently in it, you’ve experienced a connection with an unseen energetic force. Working with and developing this awareness can open you up to a greater understanding of yourself and others as powerful energetic beings.

The various levels of vibrational awareness include:

1.  Intuition and Empathy – Intuition is the act of knowing something without knowing how you know it. It is a connection with Universal truth which extends beyond that which we are taught or told. Empathy is a connection with the emotions of another, which can range from simply having an intuitive sense of what someone is feeling to actually feeling it oneself.

2.  Psychic Awareness – The traditional definition of the word “psychic” often centers on the ability to foretell the future. While it’s true that many psychics have precognitive abilities, my personal definition of a psychic is one who is able to raise her vibration to such a level that she can connect with the energy of others, thereby getting a sense of their life path with the intention to uplift and guide them. Psychic connection is simply the next vibrational step up from intuition.

3.  Mediumship – All mediums need to have some form of psychic awareness (whether they perform psychic readings or not), but not all psychics practice mediumship. A medium is someone who is able to raise his vibration to the level where he is able to connect with the energy of spirit. The vibrational frequency of spirit energy is such that we humans are not able to experience it with the five senses on a regular basis. Again, this is a step up from psychic awareness, as spirit energy vibrates at a higher frequency than that of physical beings.

4.  Channeling – A channel is someone who is able to connect with non-physical energy in such a way that these beings are able to communicate directly through the channel. This requires yet another level of vibrational connection, as the channel must also move her own consciousness aside to allow for this direct communication to occur.

There are many methods to expand your vibrational awareness. Beginning with the first level, become more aware of when you are picking up “feelings” of things which are not based on an intellectual “knowing.” See what happens when you begin to trust these feelings more and notice the difference between their supportive guidance and what can sometimes be the fear-based warnings of ego. The more you learn to trust this inner knowing, the easier it is to allow this higher state of vibrational awareness guide you.

Moving to the next level, you may want to experiment with different methods to connect with the energy of another person through psychic awareness. These may include psychometry (holding an object), oracle or tarot cards, pendulums, or other tools which can help to give you a point of focus for raising your vibrational frequency. Set the intention for what you would like to achieve and then try different methods until you find what resonates with you. Make sure you’re having fun with it!

While you’re working on your psychic abilities, you may find that you naturally begin to connect with spirit energy. You may receive inner visual images of spirit or get messages from non-physical beings. Simply observe this at first and notice what your state of consciousness is when these connections are made. Being relaxed, feeling protected and safe, and being in a positive frame of mind are all essential to having positive interactions with spirit. Again, be sure to set an intention for what you want to achieve through these interactions and practice honing your focus and attention, since these communications are often quick and subtle.

The realm of channeling is yet a higher vibrational state which you can first begin to practice through automatic writing. Sometimes handwriting is a good place to start, as it is a stronger physical connection, but you can also use a computer. Usually, the communication comes through as word-by-word dictation. Once a strong connection is made through writing, you may want to experiment with verbal channeling. Again, it is very important to feel safe, protected and free of fear when experimenting with this type of spirit connection.

Remember that everything is energy, and that there are many levels of energetic frequency existing all around us. Just as the broad spectrum of light contains just a small portion which is visible to the human eye, reality exists in many forms of higher vibration which can only be experienced through a raising of one’s frequency and awareness. What wisdom and knowledge can you access through these higher levels of awareness?

Three Ways to Expand your Intuitive and Psychic Abilities

Everyone has some degree of intuitive and psychic ability. We are born with it; it’s simply another one of our senses. Children access it naturally, until they learn that it’s not always socially accepted or believed, so they form blocks to it. If you feel you have a high degree of energetic sensitivity and you’d like to remove those obstacles and increase your intuitive awareness, here are some fun and easy exercises to try. My psychic development students are often astounded at what they can do when we practice these experiments in our classes.

1.  Psychometry – This is the practice of holding an object and tuning into it energetically with the intention of either picking up information on its owner or on the history of the object itself. Try holding a piece of jewelry, glasses or keys (but nothing electronic) that someone wears or carries a good deal of the time, relax with a few deep breaths, and set the intention to tune in energetically. See if you can feel the energy of the object, then allow yourself to receive any images, emotions or words which may be related to the person associated with it. Just say whatever you get and have the person you’re reading write it all down, then discuss whether you’ve picked up anything relevant. You may be amazed at what you’re able to get this way!

2.  Telepathy – First, find some books with fairly simple pictures in them. Children’s books and oracle cards work well with their clear, colorful images. Designate one person as the “sender” and the rest as “receivers.” The sender should sit in another room or behind the receivers and choose a picture to send by focusing intently on all the elements of the image including the colors, the lines, the emotions and the feelings of whatever is in the picture. Set the intention to send this information to the receivers and focus on the picture for no more than 3 to 4 minutes. The receivers should draw or write down whatever they get, then compare their results with the picture. It’s fun to see how well they’ve picked up elements from the sender’s image, and also how they tend to get hits from each other. Make sure you switch senders and receivers so that everyone has a chance to experience both.

3.  Reading Photographs – There are several ways you can experiment with this. One is to have a friend give you some photographs of people they know, but you don’t. Take a quick look at the photo, and then turn it over, placing your hand over it lightly. See if you pick up any words, emotions or feelings from the photo (similar to the psychometry exercise) and just say whatever you get as your partner writes it down. Then turn the photo over again and look at it closely. Again, say whatever comes to you but limit this to just a couple minutes, as your intellect will start to take over and want to figure things out in a logical way. You can also use this technique with pictures of missing persons, or photos from obituaries. Cover up any descriptive text and just record whatever you get from the photo. Then make it a point to follow up on the story or read the obituary to see how you did. Professional psychics are often able to pick up energetic information through photographs and can use them to help find missing persons and solve criminal cases.

Revving up your energetic awareness with exercises like these can not only put you in touch with your higher senses, it can help you to learn to trust your intuition so that you can allow it to guide you on your life’s path. Make sure that you are always able to verify the information you receive in whatever experiments you try, so that you can continue to build your confidence and thereby expand your natural abilities. Your intuition is a powerful tool for achieving a higher state of consciousness and awareness. Make sure you’re using it to its full potential!

The Ten Most Common Messages from Spirit

As a professional psychic medium, I’ve been giving people messages from their loved ones in spirit for about ten years now and I’ve found that there are a few messages that consistently come through in mediumship sessions.

1.  No matter how I passed, my transition was peaceful and beautiful. Spirit often shows me what their passage to the Other Side was like, and it is always an amazingly beautiful experience. There is a joyous reunion with their loved ones and pets in spirit, a sense of blessed relief and freedom, and beauty beyond belief.

2.  I carry no memory of pain. Even if they suffered physical pain in the time leading up to their passing, they do not retain a memory of it and only feel great peace in their spirit state of being.

3.  I am not gone. The spirit of your loved one is just as alive, aware and present as it was when housed in their physical body. In fact, their present state of being feels even more alive than when they were in the physical as they are no longer restricted by the material world.

4.  I see my life from a different perspective. While there is no sense of regret or remorse, spirit can see how the choices they made in their lifetime affected their own happiness and the lives of those around them. Often they want you to see their life as an example to learn from as you make choices in your own life.

5.  Your family history can teach you a lot about yourself. Spirit often encourages their loved ones to research their lineage and ancestry to find out about where they came from and understand more about the stories of their relatives. This can lead to a more compassionate understanding of their immediate family and themselves.

6.  You are an unlimited being. I often find spirit encouraging travel, adventure and taking risks. If someone is hesitating on a dream or desire, spirit will give them a little push and tell them not to wait, as the physical experience is a short one and those chances can lead to amazing experiences of wonder, growth and learning.

7.  I communicate with you. Those conversations you have with your loved ones in spirit aren’t just in your head, they are real. When you talk to spirit, they talk back, so pay attention to what comes to you when you ask them questions or look for guidance. They’ll also create little signs and synchronicities to let you know they’re around.

8.  Take care of your health. Spirit often points out physical ailments which are being ignored and might be holding the person back from fully enjoying their life. Self-care equates self-love, and this is a powerful way to create happiness in your life.

9.  I miss the experience of food. Spirit will often talk about some of the foods they loved while in the physical; it seems to be an experience which can’t accurately be duplicated on the Other Side. The smells, tastes and feelings evoked by delicious foods are experiences they’d like you not to take for granted!

10.  The physical experience is precious, sacred and beautiful, even in its struggles. Your loved ones in spirit recognize the amazing beauty of this physical life and want you to appreciate it as you experience it, and not wait until you transition to truly understand what a divine blessing it is. Every challenge adds to the soul’s evolution, and every day presents the opportunity to experience love and beauty.

Competition: The Myth of Winning and Losing

“One of the reasons many of us have trouble getting our work out into the world is that unconsciously we’re competing instead of creating, which short-circuits the flow of inspiration.”  ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

What drives you forward, motivates you toward success, keeps your actions in line with your intentions? Is it the passion in your heart? The urging of your soul? Or is it a sense of wanting to be better than someone else?

From the time we are small, we are taught to compete. Not only are we taught to strive to do better than those around us, we learn that this is a healthy way to live, and that we will always have to outdo someone else in order to succeed.   We’re told that it’s a “dog eat dog world,” that we need to “win at all costs,” and that “life is a struggle.”  We compete athletically in the gymnasium, academically in the classroom and socially in the hallways.  We learn to be crushed by defeat and feel superior when we win. 

In high school we are led to believe that we need to achieve the highest standards of grades and accumulate extracurricular points because of the competitive nature of college admissions, and that we have to attend the “right” college because of the scarcity of jobs.  Then, once we find the “right” job, we are always striving to be one step ahead of our colleagues and other businesses so that we can prove our worth and get the promotions and raises we deserve.  And of course, we need those raises and promotions so that we can afford the best in gadgets, cars and homes to keep up with our neighbors and peers.

So how’s that “healthy competition” working out for you?

Buying into the belief that you have to be better than someone else not only creates unnecessary stress, it negates and overrides the driving force of our true passions and gifts.  We all come into the world with a divine light to shine, and that light is the truth of our soul.  When we get caught up in the social construct of constantly having to be wary and suspicious of the success of others, we create enemies where there may have been friends.  When we believe that our worth is tied up with how successful we are in comparison to our peers, we lose sight of what truly makes us happy.  When we measure abundance solely with accumulated possessions, we miss out on our daily joys.

As a spiritual practitioner in a small community, I surprised at how often I find myself faced with others whose lives reflect this fear-based sense of competition, since I believe that our small spiritual community could be just that; a community of people who promote and support each other with the understanding that we each have a unique light to shine for a common collective aim.  My idea of success is based on how I’m feeling about the work I’m doing, and not how well I’m doing in comparison to others.  There are more than enough clients for all the practitioners in the world; those who need to hear from me will find me, and those who will resonate with someone else will be drawn to them.  Knowing this allows me the freedom to progress in my business based on the direction of my heart and my intention to serve, while still earning a living which allows me to thrive.

Imagine how you would feel if you dropped the need to compete in every area of your life.  What doors would that new-found liberation open for you?  How much self-love could you gain by choosing to measure your personal success with the barometer of your feelings, rather than how you think you’re looking to others?  How would your work, your personal relationships, your body image, your self-confidence change if your focus was redirected to celebrating your personal triumphs, rather than suspiciously guarding them?  How would it feel to cheer on your colleagues, rather than feel envious of them?  How much better would you feel about yourself if you dropped the need to live up to the standards of others?

Competing with others causes us stress because it is counter to the truth of our soul, which recognizes that we are each a unique aspect of the divine.  If you are finding yourself dragged down by stress, take a look at your beliefs about competition and understand that you can choose a better truth; one that resonates with your inner knowing and leads you to a healthier state of experiencing peace with others, a higher understanding of the true meaning of self-worth and a more resonant definition of success.

Five Ways Your Higher Self Speaks to You

When we’re feeling lost, alone, and confused, we will often ask for guidance from the Universe, but we sometimes forget to pay attention to the answers that come to us. Our Higher Selves, Spirit, and the Universe communicate with us in quiet, subtle ways, which often require our diligent attention to fully appreciate. Here are a few ways we’re offered guidance in our daily lives. 

1. That Gut Feeling – It’s called a “gut feeling” for a good reason; you feel it right in your gut! This can happen when you meet someone, walk into a room, or when you have an important decision to make. You might feel a sort of sick feeling in your stomach, or a strange, uncomfortable sensation in the solar plexus area. This is a sure sign that something is “off,” and that you should probably keep your distance from whatever it is that’s triggering that feeling. Conversely, you could feel excited “butterflies” in your stomach, or a sense of joyful anticipation, or maybe a happy, tingling sensation. Let these positive feelings urge you forward on your path as they indicate you’re right where you need to be. Always pay close attention to these physical sensations, as they are the soul’s barometer.

2. Signs and Synchronicities – Your Higher Self and Spirit often try to get your attention with signs in the physical world, which can help you to connect with your soul’s wisdom. These signs can be visual, like ladybugs, birds, coins or feathers found in unusual or significant places. They can be sounds, like a special song playing at exactly the right moment, wind chimes or bells with no discernible cause, a snippet of overheard conversation that answers a question you’ve had, or even a voice that you hear speaking to you. They can be scents of food, flowers or cologne, which strongly invoke a memory. Whatever they are, if your intuition tells you it’s a sign, take it for granted that your intuition is right! 

3. Strong Urgings or Restlessness – When you’re feeling it’s time for a change, it’s a good idea to pay attention to that feeling, even if it doesn’t make logical sense. Your soul knows when it’s the right time to move forward and begin to manifest new experiences and challenges, and will signal you with feelings ranging from a sense of discontent with your current situation to a restless urging to explore new options. When these feelings arise, be sure to go within through meditation or quiet contemplation and allow yourself to explore these urgings to see where they’re leading you. It could be someplace wonderful.

4. Dreams and Visions – Your Higher Self and Spirit will often communicate with you through your dreams. If you find you’re in a phase of vivid dreaming that evokes an emotional response, start keeping a dream journal. Place a notebook and pen at your bedside and record all the dreams you can remember upon waking, before you start your morning routine. Then review these dreams every few days to see if you can discern any patterns or recurring emotions. Also pay attention to any visions that pop up during meditative times in your day. You may be used to calling these visions “daydreams,” which are simply your “imagination,” thereby dismissing their importance. But what exactly IS your imagination? How much valuable guidance do you dismiss by assuming these visions and dreams are simply a product of the brain, and not a window to the soul? 

5. Strong Emotions – We can always choose our responses to the powerful emotional responses we have to our world. We can choose to sink into the emotions and use them as an excuse to avoid change or we can take a step back from the situation and see them as a signal that we’re being offered an opportunity to learn something valuable about ourselves and our lives. If someone in your life regularly triggers unpleasant emotions, can you use this experience as a mirror of something you might want to work on within yourself? If you’re feeling sadness and grief, can you honor the need to temporarily withdraw, go within, and find your inner strength? Your emotions are a powerful indicator of the progress you’re making on your soul’s journey; be sure to use them to your best advantage, rather than viewing them as a catalyst to victimhood.

Remember that there is always guidance available to us, and that answers will always come to the questions we pose. Cultivating trust in our intuition, finding that quiet space within, and paying attention to the subtle signs from our Higher Selves can greatly enhance the amazing journey of our earthly lives. 

Are you listening?

This article also appeared on the TUT.com blog and has been shared 12,000 times.

Five Things to Unlearn to Clear the Way to Your Truth

One of the biggest challenges to raising our spiritual awareness is unlearning the questionable truths that we’ve adopted about ourselves and our lives. 

Here is a list of five things to UNLEARN in order to clear the path to your own truth:

1.  Trust your logical, thinking brain over your intuition. Since kindergarten, we are told that the best way to solve a problem is to work it out intellectually. Most of us never learn to listen to that intuitive voice, or to pay attention to our “gut feelings,” or to find meaning in our dreams, and it can take a lot of effort to overcome the feeling that we are being silly or stupid when we begin investigating these things. However, most of us can think of a time when we listened to that small, quiet voice over our logic and it helped to guide us, or when we refused to listen and wished we had. Remember that while there is a place for intellectual reasoning in our lives, our Higher Self resides in heart-centered thinking and intuitive knowing. Learn to trust your natural intuition.

2,  Loving yourself is selfish. As children, our awareness of Self changes from the infant’s sense of being at one with all others to a feeling of separation which begins to form our egos. It’s around this time that we learn that selfishness is bad, and that loving ourselves is selfish. We are encouraged to say “I love you” to family and friends, but not ourselves, and we grow up finding fault in our physical, emotional, and mental beings. Try this: look in the mirror and say, “I love you” out loud. Most people have a difficult time with this. But it’s a crucial step in honoring the Divine within and understanding how we are all connected.

3,  We should review past mistakes to instigate change. Spiritual teachers help us to understand how important it is to live in the moment, and that time spent on past regrets and future worries is simply distracting us from the happiness we could be enjoying in the present moment. While this is true, it can also be a very useful practice to review our past challenges with an eye to celebrating how far we’ve come. Normally, our thoughts about the past tend to focus on the negative. We rarely measure our success with our past accomplishments. But it’s important to evaluate your progress by looking at your life a year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, and objectively examining the ways you have grown. Are you more compassionate? Do you see more beauty in life? Are you less stressed, less prone to anger, more loving? Give yourself credit for the road you’ve already traveled, and you’ll find the road ahead seems less daunting.

4,  Competition is necessary and healthy. We live in an extremely competitive society. We spend many hours in our school’s gymnasium learning to overcome our opponents. Teachers compare us to other students, parents compare us to other children, friends and family pit us against each other. Then we enter the world of employment and have to compete for a job, for recognition, and for what we perceive as success. This thought process is completely oppositional to a spiritual life, in which we view ourselves as whole and unique, while being part of a larger, greater good. If the Divine lives within us all, how can any of us be BETTER than others? It takes mindfulness to overcome this tendency to constantly compare ourselves to others, but the peace that results from dropping the need to compete is life-changing.

5,  What others think of us is important. As soon as we begin to see ourselves as a separate entity from our mothers and other people around us, we develop self-consciousness. That self-consciousness is what forms our ego, or our mental image of ourselves. We learn to try to conform to the image that others have of us and we spend a lot of time learning how to fit in to avoid ridicule. Not conforming to the social labels others use to make themselves more comfortable around us is considered a social gaffe, and sometimes we’ll do just about anything to be accepted and liked. We hear ourselves being described as shy, clumsy, reckless, stupid, etc., and internalize these adjectives, accepting them as part of our identity. It takes a lot of courage to learn to shed the images that others have placed upon us and recognize ourselves as unique, divine beings. In order to do this, we have to understand that we all have our own unique version of the world, and that what others think of us has nothing at all to do with who we really are. The freedom that results from that revelation makes all the introspection so worthwhile!

Unlearning that which limits us allows us to grow and flourish like never before!