The Womb as Our Emotional Center

Recently I had an incredible experience that showed me the truth of the idea that the Womb, for women, is where we store all emotional reactions.

I had a terrible morning. Three nasty things happened in a row, leaving me feeling vulnerable, angry, alone and scared. I felt out of control, which is my LEAST favorite way to feel. And this terrible mood followed me home, to my nest, and into the interactions I had with my husband as the day wore on. A crappy old day indeed.

So in the late afternoon, I was reading a book, letting go (or trying to) of the events of the day, and my uterus started clenching and spasming very intensely. This isn’t really the “norm” for me. I took some breaths, placed a hand on my belly and offered mySelf Reiki. It didn’t do a darn thing (usually, that works like a charm for me). The pain was severe enough for me to get up out of bed, and into the shower, in hopes of the heat and water soothing me.

There is also a acupuncture point, three finger widths below the navel, that can help unlock pent up energy (i.e. cramps) in the lower abdomen. I gently rubbed this spot and it was deeply tender. So I’m in the shower, rubbing my belly, moving my hips, singing a little, letting the heat transform everything. And I got a HUGE release of energy. I got dizzy in the shower.

And all of my irritation, all of my armor, all of my anger completely went away.

I did a TOTAL 180. My husband was avoiding me (for his safety at that point) and I went to find him, apologize and communicate it. We had a great evening together.

So what the heck happened?

Well, the emotions that I had been storing in my body from the morning and early afternoon were all being stored in the tissues of my body, specifically, in my womb. I have “known” that the second chakra is our emotional center, “known” the the womb is a sacred place of sensitivity and emotional processing, for years. I had never experienced it like this. When the heat, my chanting, and stimulation of the Dan Tien point (below the navel), I opened that chakra and the energy processed through my body. I didn’t re-live anything. It was not scary. It was just the thing my instincts told me I needed, and I knew that it was a healing. That is often how healing unfolds: through discomfort and intuition, through the shadows we work hard to deny.

And I thought to myself that more women need to know this.

All women deserve to cultivate this sensitivity. All women deserve to know that there are energetic techniques that unlock energy and help the bodymind process reactions and stress that no longer serve. So I share it with you.

The components for getting stuck energy moving again are:

Movement (I was swaying my hips and gently moving side to side)

Touch: Use that acupuncture point I described, or just place your hands where it hurts. Rub gently. Massage. Your body is a holy temple.

Sound: I was chanting and singing. Anything will do, but making long vowel sounds helps the most. Envision the locked part of your energy asking for a balm to aid its healing and release. What does that balm sound like?

Heat: Heat transforms. It draws blood and fluid to the area. It gets stuff moving. (Please don’t use heat on burned skin, and if you aren’t sure if it will help you, ask your doctor first).

So investigate! What is tight? What is yearning for release, healing, letting go, and transformation?

Keep me posted ❤

Selah

Daily Tarot for Self Care

Today’s offering is in support of a previous post on rituals for moving inward. I have, over the years, done a lot of Tarot readings and study. I have read for myself, and others, and I love it, I really do. But it can be SO overwhelming. There are SO MANY CARDS with SO MANY MEANINGS! In the beginning I would do a 3 day reading for myself almost daily, to see the different stuff at work in my life. Even that became too complicated.

So I present to you my ultra-simple, perfect-for-beginners, takes-5-minutes-in-the-morning technique for getting amazing guidance from Tarot. And, this technique can be used with all sorts of oracle decks and different Tarot decks, just so you know. Don’t feel like the cards you have now won’t work. They will work perfectly, no matter what they are!

Before the technique: Why Cards?

Well, for me, there is no easier way of getting information from Source energy. The cards work on a basis of the Law of Attraction, which means 2 things: 1.We cannot choose wrong and 2. If you don’t like the cards, draw them again. Nothing is set in stone, and the cards offer ONE perspective on ONE part of our lives…nothing that cannot be changed or learned from. So the cards are my guides each morning as I sit in meditation, wondering what kind of energy or challenge or whatever is floating through my day. Cards have no religion attached to them, and I find they work beautifully with any level of awareness you are bringing to the game. Take them at face value, or extrapolate your OWN inner symbolic meanings: it’s all good.

I *will* recommend a deck for beginners (because it is SO gentle, sweet, and lovely to use): Doreen Virtue’s Angel Tarot is one of the best. All of her Tarot decks have messages RIGHT ON THE CARDS so you don’t need to look anything up (and come with books to help, too) as well as lovely art. If you are unsure of where to start, start with her. I don’t make any income from recommending her decks, I just love them all!

NOW: The Technique:

On Sundays, I draw 7 cards: One for each day of the week.

Before drawing cards, I shuffle gently and pray that I receive accurate, helpful answers for my life, each day. I then rotate cards through my hands, and when one pops up, I take it out for that day.

I then place each card, face up, and right side up, in a line from left to right. I look at the overarching theme (is one number popping up a lot? A lot of major arcana cards? Messages that support each other like “balance”, “heal”, and “detox” or “communicate”, “love”, and “play”? ) I then place these cards, being careful to keep them in order, in a pile on my altar.

Each morning, I look at that card’s messages. Sometimes (usually) I draw one more card asking: “How does this card apply to my life today?” Or “What more information do I need about this card?”

And drawing the SECOND card of the day often gives me a great amount of perspective! I get context and clarity. I sit for a moment, murmur thanks, and then move into my day!

Example: Daily Card: The Chariot, symbolizing self-assertion, using our Will, taking control over a challenging situation, and asserting ourselves

Extra card (asking “What does this mean for me today?”) Seven Cups, symbolizing fantasy, illusion, wishful thinking and imagination.

My interpretation: Time to make some decisions and take some steps! Rather than waffling time procrastinating and avoiding certain situations (which I am going to keep private, but I knew EXACTLY what these cards were telling me about) it was time to get GOING.

So I did! And it was all easy stuff, that just needed to be finished. And I felt SO much more free and easy after having taken those steps. If it wasn’t clear to me, I could have even drawn another card.

If you are getting cards warning of a major conflict or challenge, ask “What is my best course of action to overcome this?” Or, “How can I best handle this situation?” and draw another card. But keep it simple. The idea is that this is just a little bit of Universal guidance for you for your day. It’s meant to not overwhelm you or feel like a burden. Just a doorway in.

Tell me how it goes!

Until the next,

Selah

 

End of Summer Rituals

Guys, it’s happening. Autumn is around the corner, bless Her beautiful gowns of glowing colors and chilly breezes. It’s time to review the season we have had, and make room for the next. In terms of our energy, the transitions between seasons are turbulent times, as light shifts and temperatures veer away from the previous highs and not-so-lows of high Summer. I always relish late Summer as much as possible…to trees as they *just* begin to shift into splendor, the cool nights, the humidity being cut by fresh air, and  even the beginnings of the scent of rot, as the Earth turns back on Herself, as such a pleasure to my senses. Tomatoes fall in droves from the plants, herbs are harvested and dried or made into pestos and frozen. The last summer squash get plucked and put into frittatas. It’s cool enough to bake bread again, and to want to eat it.

There is a tremendous amount of abundance offered to us right now, but many of us are distracted by planning for the next thing. hmmmmm….sound familiar?

So in hopes of bringing you back into your delicious, abundant present, I offer a few ideas for late Summer rituals, to offer both gratitude for what has been, and prayers for what will be. Take it all with a grain of salt, mix them all together, or make your own Way. It doesn’t matter…it only matters (and by that I mean, it only makes life more enjoyable) that you actually engage in a ritual that works for you.

Ritual Ideas:

First, clean. Use the fresh air and clear sunlight. Open all of your windows and doors. Clean with gentle, non-toxic products (Seventh Generation is a great brand, and I end up using vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice for most things). Clean your living space. Clean your sleeping space. Clean your altar space, making sure to dust any figurines, crystals, or special items you have there.

Cleaning gets rid of stagnant old energy. You are also paying attention to your dwelling space, and therefore, telling the Universe: ‘Get ready, I am making some changes here!’ It sets the stage for sacred work.

Bathe yourself. Take a hot epsom salt bath with some essential oils, or a nice hot shower. As the water drains off your body, set your intention: Dear Spirit of the Water, thank you for cleansing me of all that no longer serves me, and purifying me for the next season (or, part of this ritual).

When you’re done bathing, use a sumptuous body oil (my favorite blend is almond oil and avocado oil, with a drop of favorite perfume oil added in).

Dress in white, or whatever you consider your Power Color. What clothes make you feel totally alive and like the best version of yourself? Wear those. I like white because it is clean and a fresh slate. I like bringing nothing with me except my intention when I perform rituals.

Go to your altar. This doesn’t have to be fancy or big. Just a fresh flower in a vase, with a tea light candle, is perfect. The idea is that the altar gives you a focal point to work at. Grab a journal. Sit down and close your eyes, taking some deep breaths.

As yourself: What have I learned this season? Where have I been abundant this season? What lessons or challenges have I worked through?

Don’t dwell on negativity. This isn’t a pity party. It’s a time to simply take stock of your previous 3 months. Journal your answers.

Then, rest with closed eyes, and ask: What am I creating this season? What am I releasing, letting go of, and allowing its natural death? To what lessons do I intend to apply myself?

Again, journal. Make a plan. Set a few goals.

Write down 3 prayers, goals, or wishes on some dry bay leaves (yes, the kind you get at the supermarket, or your garden). Go outside and burn them on a fire-proof plate. As the bay leaves burn, your intentions are carried to the Universe.

Go inside, and give thanks at your altar.

Other ideas:

Draw oracle or tarot cards to help answer your future creation questions.

Make art symbolizing what you worked through in Summer, and what you anticipate for Autumn.

Gather some dry grass to weave as you focus on your prayers. Place it on your altar and let it hold your intention for the coming season. You can also do this with branches or other natural materials. Please be respectful when gathering such things, and thank the Earth for Her gifts.

Until the next turning,

Selah

On Containment

On Containment

Each year, sometime in the dark of winter, I choose a focus for the year. I prefer not to choose one word or one goal, but rather, I very intentionally choose a “modus operandi” of sorts…a mantra to touch base with, a lens through which I view my life unfolding.

In recent years, as I have opened and sustained my own business, my words have reflected that: Abundance, Prosperity, Courage, Perseverance…you know the drill. The major things I was looking for became the containers I chose to work through. And that was neat. I developed a strong relationship with non-physical Source energy, and I learned how to let go, stepping into a flow of energy and abundance that sustains me to this day. It felt deeply empowering, and still does.

But then I didn’t know what was next.

I mean, after you attain an understanding of Law of Attraction and start practicing, and you see the dynamic of co-creation unfolding daily in your life, what’s the next place to investigate?

Well obviously, there’s an entire universe to explore. But I wasn’t feeling it.

A conversation with my Mother changed everything. I have an excellent relationship with my blood mother, and she is often the source of incredible perspective and inspiration for me. We were talking about how I stress out about very small things, and really waste energy on big reactions. We talked about the concept of Containment.

Containment is a concept of how I hold my energy and resources. It’s tricky, because to contain, there must be boundaries, but as energetic beings, there is also a simultaneous flow and movement, inherent on every level of existence. So we don’t become hard in our holding of ourselves, or separate from the flow (impossible), but we recognize the wisdom of gathering and resting in a place of fullness. I recognize that I don’t HAVE to react. I don’t HAVE to give, or offer, or play into anyone’s expectations. I can contain mySelf. I can sit back, and watch.

And in the sitting back and watching, I am contented. I am having fun. I am witnessing life unfold, instead of pushing it forward.

So this is my main lesson and exploration for the year. It has started coloring and influencing the quality of my days. I am learning to be OK with Gathering and Holding, rather than Accumulating and then Letting Go. I am investing in quality, rather than quantity. I am taking more deep breaths before reacting. I am not reacting at all.

I am weaving Containment with Contentment and Harmony…knowing that I am nothing without the environment that I am in, and I am never cut off, even when I set boundaries and enjoy them. I am noticing the contrast as Old Patterns come up for healing, and I am blessing them and letting those go.

The interesting part so far, is that with Containment, I am learning what to HOLD ON to, rather than what to let go of, which is the opposite of how I have thought about my self-growth in recent years.

I have wanted to let go of fear, impatience, judgement, lack…all the demons that I imagine keep me small. But what if, instead of focusing on those demons (which keeps them active, and real in my present-self-life), I simply re-tune into what I want to hold on to?

Generosity. Empowerment. Fecundity. Compassion. Connection. Community. Laughter. Love. Service. Devotion.

Can I steep myself in those qualities, saturating my cells with Divinity, until there is simply no-where left for the other things to reside? Can I contain my potential to such a degree, that past-versions simply cease to be?

I’ll keep you posted.

Selah.

 

The ONE Practice to Unlock Your Power

The ONE Practice to Unlock Your Power

I see quite a few folks for life coaching, which I love…and the most common question I am asked, is “What’s the ONE thing I can do to fix….”

Right. Because human beings want ONE thing…even though, there are as many options out there as there are people milling around the world. Or Pixies, if you prefer. You get it.

But, it actually just so happens that I do believe there is ONE thing that everyone can benefit from, and that is meditation.

And I know that the word Meditation strikes fear and revulsion into the hearts of many…but it actually isn’t so bad. Don’t get me wrong…it can be tough, and it can feel like torture. BUT! But….when you stay with it, and you practice in a way that appeals to you, meditation becomes the greatest gift you give to yourself.

Recently, my husband asked me why I meditate.  The question sort of took me aback; I figured it was obvious. When I don’t meditate I am more of a lunatic than when I do. We argue less. I don’t shut down when we are arguing (which gives me room to receive what he is saying, and to actually get things moving in a constructive way instead of spiraling into crap). I take more deep breaths. Little things don’t bug me as much. I am more motivated by love, and less inclined to stay in a fear-based reaction.

So here is what I suggest:

Find a way of meditation that appeals to you.

Do you like sacred texts and reading? Choose one…poems, prayers, tests like the Radiance Sutra, the Tao Te Ching, or the Upanishads, and read ONE passage. Then set a timer (start with 5 minutes!), and let the essence of that reading flow through you.  Just let it mull around. Soften to it. Open to it.

Do you love oracle cards or tarot cards? Choose one before you begin, receive a message, and then allow that gentle message to direct your attention. Open yourself to other messages you might benefit from. Have a conversation with your higher self. Make sure to give yourself some moments of gratitude and silence when you are complete.

Do you love music? Are you quite sensitive in terms of your emotions? Find a chant or mantra to repeat over and over again.  Get a mala (you can check out thispixielife.etsy.com for some great ones that are super affordable!) and use the mala to count repetitions. Sing it or say it or whisper it…just do it. Let it resonate throughout your bodymind. When you are finished, spend another few moments in silence, noticing the changes you created.

Are you very visual? Set a time and visualize a stream of light pouring into your mind, and down your body. The light fills you everywhere. Use your breath to increase the flow. Notice how you feel. The light is full of blessings.

Do you simply want to sit in meditation? Set your timer. Follow your breath.  When thoughts come in, let them go and focus on the breath again. Simple. Let it be.

Are you exhausted? Try yoga nidra, which is a guided meditation into deep relaxation (deeper than sleep, actually). There are apps and youtube videos with free yoga nidra tracks for you to enjoy.

So, why meditation? Because it’s an opportunity for our system to STOP processing more information. We give ourselves time and space to process and integrate what our lives are dealing us. We ALL need that. In a world where social media is everywhere and our technology enables us to access the world 24/7, we need to rest. We need quiet. We need restoration. We need to let go and just be.

The benefits are tremendous, and you don’t need to do a lot.  Start with 5 minutes and work up to 15. I often sit for 11 minutes after several exercises that get me ready to sit. My whole practice takes 20-30 minutes depending on how my day looks.

The immune system gets stronger. Our minds become clear. We become more focused, thus making better use of the time we have in other activities. We carry less stress, which decreases risk for heart attack and high blood pressure. We become more of who we really are, and less of the junky stuff we get caught up in.

So please let me know what happens when you start. Commit to 10 days. See what happens.

Selah

The Courage of Stepping onto Our Path, and Healing Samskaras

The Courage of Stepping onto Our Path, and Healing Samskaras

It takes guts to say Yes to our own heart’s song.

It takes time, and being quiet, and making mistakes, and usually doing things we don’t love for awhile…

And while we are doing things we don’t love, and whiling away perfectly good hours, we have a little tiny thing inside us saying More More More….

and the song just keeps getting louder, and louder, and LOUDER until we are stifled by its noise and MUST LISTEN.

That’s when Courage shows up. She shows up when we aren’t sure if we can really do it, and she screams at us of our worthiness and our abilities and our convictions. She reminds us, that darling Courage, that we are more than our stories and our past experiences and our families and our limitations.

“You are INFINITE, so get your ass moving!” She yells at us across a computer screen or in a park or wherever we happen to be pandering, doubting, wondering how the heck it’s all going to turn out.

It takes guts to listen and really take those steps to change our lives, and I truly believe (with every pixie-cell that makes up my fiber-of-being-ness) that THIS is when we transform into a closer version of the person we are meant to be. In the moments of fear, doubt, paralysis, and pandering…when the roar of Courage rises up, we shed an old samsakara  and move into a greater, more free aspect of ourselves.

Samskaras are patterns that make up the personality, our body, our environment and our realities. Think of the word meaning “some scars” we carry with us from past lives, early childhood, and the like. Our bodymind system is wildly intelligent, and never forgets the experiences we live through, good or bad. It simply stores them, allowing them to inform our future behavior until one day, we process the experience (consciously or not) and heal it, and let it go.  In yoga, we learn about the power of the postures and meditation practices to unravel our samskaras, helping us evolve and shed old habits and beliefs, replacing them with more fluid and compassionate paradigms. The releasing of samskaras can happen in very big rushes, but more likely, it’s small openings: revelations, emotional releases after physical practices, dreams, pain and other symptoms for no apparent reason are all indicators that we are releasing samskaras and evolving in ourSelves, but ONLY if we know how to care for ourSelves WHILE the process is happening.

Samskaras are catalysts for growth. They are not bad, or to be demonized. They are simply forming our world to look a certain way, and when we let them go, our world shifts in some way.

When we are listening to our heart’s song, and living life in ways that feels more authentic to ourselves, our samskaras sometimes come up with vengeance for healing and compassion.

It takes courage to listen to the voices that are whispering to us, and it takes a special sort of compassion for ourselves to heal the samskaras that come up for healing. I offer you a simple process to shift out of the samskara and heal it through gentle awareness, in hopes that it gives you more Courage and chutzpa to listen when she roars 🙂

1. Identifying a samskara: Same old, same old. The food you are craving, the not-great-for-you guy you are dating, the judgemental voice you hear when you’re trying something new. These old behaviors and patterns are definitely samskaras, and need some loving attention.

2. In the moment of a samskara appearing (this may be a tricky step, because you must pay attention to yourself), pause. Just stop whatever it is. Stop acting on it. Stop mid-sentence. Stop the car (safely). Hang up the phone (relatively politely). But stop. If it’s not safe to stop, then take a breath or two, and remember this moment for later.

3. Either later, or after you have stopped, do a body scan. How is your breathing? Where is there tension in your body? How is your body feeling? Is your head throbbing, head pounding, mouth watering…is pain present? Other symptoms like tingling, burning, numbness…all of those are indicators from your body.

Your body is telling you, “I am working through some STUFF here. Just LET me!”

so…

4. Soften the breath. Tell your body that you love it..silently or aloud. Get quiet. What is motivating this experience and reaction? Fear? Anger? Aggression? Pent up emotions? Send love to all these aspects of yourself.

Ask your bodymind what it needs from you. Ask it, “How can I help this process to ease? How can I support you?”

5. Wait for an answer. Listen. Then take your actions accordingly.

Now, I know this may not be realistic while in the “outside world” but as soon as you are alone, with your thoughts, I heartily recommend moving through this practice with a journal and a few minutes of quietness. Call up the memory and moment you want to work through. Have the conversation with yourself. Find out what is going on!

And listen, listen, listen with love.

Respond with love. Respond with compassion.

6. And then rest. Crawl under a blanket or do a yoga nidra, but give yourSelf time to process and release the work you just did. This is the most VITAL part of healing samskaras for the long term. We must integrate the new paradigm and continue releasing the old, and resting tells the system this is safe.

Resting may need to happen over several days, and the healing may take place over several days, weeks, or months. Each time the old pattern shows up, breathe in love. Notice your options. Remind yourSelf of the moment you cultivated another choice. Choose again.

We must always choose ourSelves…over and over and over, until there’s another samskara, and we learn how to choose for that instance, that aspect of us, and release the old way, welcoming the new.

This is a process of evolution…like all Heart Songs. All our hearts lead us, eventually, to sewing seeds of goodness in the world. If we are truly listening, we see the beauty of other hearts, we see that we are all living in the same current of life, and we want to sew moments of ease, laughter, and beauty for others to reap. Life has a million ways for us to sew these seeds, but we always begin with ourSelves.

Until the next,

heed the Roar.

Selah

What Changed When I said “I Do”

I have been in a relationship with my husband for 5 years. We have been friends for 7 years. We have seen each other at our worst, and our best, and there have been plenty of times when we hurt each other, forgave each other, and patched things up.

I didn’t really think we would get married.

When he moved up to my corner of New England after graduating chiropractic school, I thought, “This man is committing to us. He wants this.” And he did, and does. We talked about a life together, about children and homesteading and holidays…we walked in twilight holding hands and planning, and we were both content. We both felt that marriage wasn’t important, but that maybe one day, we would get there. It wasn’t something I thought was in our near future, at all, and that was OK.

And then he asked me to marry him!

I don’t even know what switched for him, but he decided to put a ring on it. And of course, I said yes…Pixies love things like Love and Relationship Growth and whatnot.

And last summer, we actually did exchange our own vows to each other, and marry each other by a river in the woods. Not legally, but spiritually.

A year later, we got married in front of everyone we love, legally.

And honestly, I didn’t think there would be a big shift. I have been living with this man for 2 years. I have been loving him in one way or another for 7. I was excited about the dress and the party, but I didn’t think it would change Us.

But then, as I was standing in the wind, focused deeply on keeping myself present and aware, I DID feel a shift. There was a ripening. There was a deepening of our roots entwining. I felt the earth swell up to love us, and the wind bless us, and the rain came. And it was good.

Since we have been married legally, there has been a dissolving of tension between us. We let things go a bit more easily. We check in rather than react. And, we are  taking the advice of our dear family members who said, “Find things to do for each other, not only yourself….and LOVE each other!”

Hahahaha. We are so blessed with sage elders!

As we committed to each other that day, I realized that something DOES shift when we make vows before others. We are now held accountable by more people than just the two of us. There’s something very comforting in that. We have a community who witnessed, and continues to witness us, and hold us up to our highest good and best versions of ourselves. Having this feels so safe and joyful to me, and it all came after “I do”.

I know this is only the beginning, but we must begin somewhere. So let it be with grace and open hearts, with a deeper trust, and broader knowing: this is for Real, and this is for Ever.

Selah