Spiritual Intentions

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Most people feel that to be spiritual means something extraordinary like climbing to the top of Mount Everest or that you need to be in a monastery praying all the time, or meditating at an ashram somewhere in India. All of these things can be good, but for most of us, we get up every morning and prepare to go to work or get the children ready for school. We have lives that need to be lived. We have responsibilities that need to be tended to.

I live in San Francisco and I have learned to create a spiritual practice is the daily living of life. What does being spiritual mean anyways? It means being present with the knowledge that there is a higher essence for every act or thought that I have. Even taking the garbage out has a spiritual purpose of releasing and letting go of all that does not serve me anymore. To have gratitude for the chicken whose bones are left that gave its life for me to live.

Each act we do in our lives, with Intention may become an opening to a spiritual life. An awareness of who we are in each moment. Wow! What an incredible life to do this. Now, will I do this perfectly throughout this whole day from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed? I don’t think so, because I am human and being human means I don’t really do things perfectly. Human – Being! Being a human is a process of doing the best I can, and every day is a little different depending on how I feel that day.

When one starts the day with an Intention of spiritual awareness you can be creative and make that days’ intention about gratitude for example. It sounds easy but really, to have gratitude no matter what happens that day can be a very steep hill to hike up. I have learned huge lessons about myself and others with just this intention. When I walk to work, and remember I live in the city, there sometimes may be a crazy person who starts screaming and swearing at me as I walk by. I remember my intention of gratitude and wondered how can I have gratitude for this stranger who is swearing at me for no reason at all? I walk as fast as I can to get as far away as possible and I repeat this question to myself…..How can I have gratitude for this? I have nothing that came to me so I made stuff up to abide my spiritual intention.

I said to myself, I have gratitude for this crazy person screaming at me to remind me that I am not crazy! That I do have my sanity and I can go to work. I have gratitude that I am mentally healthy and can speak lovingly to myself and others. I have gratitude that my legs are strong and I can walk fast to no longer hear him anymore! This gratitude changed my attitude of being angry at him. I no longer carry this anger into my day and to the people I see at work. I began to have compassion for him knowing this person is in much pain to live a life this way. I asked a Prayer for his Spirit to find peace in his existence.

Intention is power, it is how we can choose our thinking and actions in our lives. You can use intention for many things but my desire is to bring a focus to spiritual intention and this will be different for each person. The one theme that will always and forever be true is that it will have a Loving Essence. All spiritual forms of worship all are about Love. A simple word, but to carry the essence of Love in everything we do everyday is a very big task. A true challenge to meet in every moment.

I invite you on a spiritual journey of learning how to love and live a spiritual life amidst the messiness of it all with Intention of Gratitude. Having a sense of humor always helps along the way!

Unconditional Giving ~ Uncle Van

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My dad always had smelly feet! Every night when I was in high school with my younger brothers, we would enjoy an evening watching our favorite TV show, “Mash” where there would be 3 episodes all in a row. We would be very content in our own little world, myself and my two little brothers Herbie and Eric. Then quietly we would hear my father come in and rest his weary body after a long day at work standing in the factory. He was a line worker at General Motors where he helped to make American cars.

My uncle Van was with my dad when he came home this evening. My father took his usual seat in the leather recliner that had the feet pop up thing when you leaned all the way back. Mom was in the kitchen cutting up carrots for the vegetable part of dinner. We didn’t quite know what the rest would be yet. Always a surprise as to what was in the fridge. Uncle Van took a seat next to me on the couch with Herbie. Eric was on the shag green carpet on the floor in front of the TV. Then the dreaded moment when my dad took his shoes off! Whoww – the smell began with a wafting of rotten onions that took over the whole room until we either decided to open a window or inoculated ourselves with lysol spray.

On this particular day with Uncle Van here, he too noticed the wincing smells emanating the room. Instead of cringing like the rest of us in silent irritation of my father, Uncle Van decided to offer something quite odd…… “Henry”, Uncle Van said, “Would you like a foot massage?” All us kids just looked at each other in our own eye language and asked, is he crazy?! To our surprise my father said “yeah, sure”

Uncle Van proceeded with precision as he filled a short rimmed white basin with warm soapy water. Dad brought his chair upright and splashed his feet into the warm water basin. The green tendrils of the carpet absorbed the extra water that went around the basin. Uncle Van got down on his knees with his white hair falling in his face and began to massage my dads feet, toe by toe, ankle to sole, all the muscles on the bottoms of dad’s feet. We all watched as my fathers head began to slowly bend forward until his chin had touched his chest. He had fallen asleep.

Uncle Van didn’t stop massaging even though dad was asleep. I wondered why because my dad probably wouldn’t notice if he stopped. I am not religious but, I remembered a story where Jesus washed all the apostles feet before they had the last supper with him. Even though I was 16 at the time, I somehow felt something important was happening. Something about humbleness that no one had ever told me about, where a human being completely gives unconditionally to another expecting nothing in return. I don’t think my father will ever know that Uncle Van was tending to his feet for over an hour as he had fallen asleep after the first 15 mins.

Three months later Uncle Van was swimming in lake Ontario. He went way out into the lake…..to far out. He never came back. I will never forget his complete selfless giving of his loving hands to my father.

The Magic of Synchronicity

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Synchronicity is the spontaneous moment when seeming disparate things come together in a surprising and often magical way! For example, just last week I came to a new opening within myself of self acceptance. The next day I received two emails from two friends who do not know each other. Both of them had the exact same dream about me! They both told me they saw me in their dreams in a room of my own joyfully dancing and content. Both of my friends in their dreams asked me if I was happy here, and I replied yes in both dreams! What does this synchronicity mean for me?

It is the Universe really wanting me to know the depth of this moment, that I have really arrived at this place with myself, and my two friends are very connected to me in the dream time. That we are connected in a universal sense – in the quantum field! The quantum field is where all things are connected in the Universe on an energetic level. In other words – this is where the magic happens for us!

We are all creating and connecting in the quantum soup of the Universe, but when we have the big Ah-ha moments, it is because we are more awake and aware to see clearly the workings of the magic of it all. We have opened our hearts to the love that is in all things. Synchronicity is happening in every second we are alive – the harmonic movements of the planets around the sun, the eclipse that happens where the sun, earth and moon come into alignment. Where these massive orbs of differing weight and mass are in the perfect mathematical distance to be the exact same size to create the eclipse! What amazing synchronicity is this!

The miracle that the moon moves the oceans tides on the planet every day. The mysterious moon circles around the earth in a cycle of 28 days and a woman’s menstrual cycle is about the same every month. This is very deep cosmic synchronicity and we are a part of all of this miraculous movement of magic. We are an intrinsic part of the Universe, a puzzle piece that creates the whole picture. Every piece of the puzzle is very important to make the whole complete.

The Mother Earths stones are our bones, Her winds are our breadth, Her rivers waters are our blood that runs through our veins, and the Sun in the sky is the bright spirit of our Souls! I am humbled every morning that this big beautiful Star rises to shine on my head blessing me each day. What a gift to receive this love that is always there for me. I feel so loved by the Sun gifting me with life and all that is on our wonderful magical planet Earth!

The secret to the magical working of synchronicity is Love. Everything is made of Love energy and for us to have an open heart allows conscious synchronicity. If our heart is closed out of fear we miss out…. we miss hearing the little sparrow singing just outside our window in the morning to greet us for this day, or we don’t feel the golden rays of the Sun caressing our cheeks saying, you are so loved. When our hearts are open we receive the magic of being alive and it is shared in our dreams and of others dreaming of us….how fun is this!

Open your heart to the synchronistic turnings of the Earth, Moon and Sun and you got a lot-a-magic goin on! Let your dreams turn to truth and live your hearts desires, Breathe love in and stretch your hands towards the Bright Star of our Sun. Feel the truth of the light that is your Soul within. You are the Magic. You are Beautiful!

Etymology of Our Thoughts

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Uplifting verses downlifting…. our thoughts can lift us up or they can be a downer. Sometimes negative thoughts come out of nowhere, or so it seems. Usually they come from our past and creep up into the present moment when we least expect them. They are the patterns we inherited from our upbringing and our societies. These negative thoughts are so deeply hidden we often don’t even realize they are there.

There is the study of etymology – where our words orginate and how they change throughout history. This is the same with our thoughts. Every thought we have originates from a place in our history, and the history of our ancestors. Our thoughts carry the belief systems of who we are as individuals and as a culture. The first opportunity to catch the little creepy crawlers of negative thoughts, is to notice how you are feeling while thinking or saying them. If you don’t feel good inside or loving to yourself or another – stop in that moment to catch the little yukky bugs!

If I take the thought that “life is a struggle and I have to work hard for what I get” this thought originates from my parents. This thought makes me feel depleted. My parents have worked hard in the car factories to create the US cars that we drive. Every day was hard work to create the life they had for us kids. I grew up with this thought of struggle and hard work, but my life is not theirs. Once I have caught this thought of struggle and become aware of it – I have created a possibility to choose a new thought.

This is a huge opportunity for me to create a beginning of a new belief system by choosing a new thought, one thought at a time. This will create a new belief which becomes a new life I am creating consciously! I can choose to say that life is easily bringing me new solutions on making more money and abundance than ever before. I can see a new options opening for me as I look for them, and as I connect with new people also seeking upliftment in manifesting their lives of abundance and love with grace and ease.

This is my new prayer mantra to work with creating a new life and existence for myself. I always place “with Grace and Ease” after every prayer. This is a way of constantly reminding me of this new possibility. Our old patterns of thinking are like sticky train tracks that are well worn and we feel comfortable in them. To create a new train track without really knowing it, can be scary and feel uncomfortable. We can open to the healing of ourselves in the inbetween. There are new green grasses between the tracks and it poses new things to address when starting a new train of thought.

Dress up your new locomotive with flowers, a sense of humor, post it notes on your computer, refrigerator magnets with affirmations, and prayers asking that these new loving thoughts of abundance, grace and ease come into our lives today. That we laugh at ourselves and remember it is a one thought at a time that we change our beliefs about ourselves and our lives. To have patience with ourselves as we forget and remember to catch the thoughts that do not serve our highest good.

My all time favorite that I will share with you is – Dear Universe of Love and Light, ya know, I can use a miracle today ~ just give me somethin’ here to lift me up to see the goodness in myself and shift these old yukky bug voices out of my head. Universe you can just pluck them out and throw them away for me! Fill me with love and joy ~ Give me some lovin’ here! Gimme the good lovin’ here! I am ready!

Ritual on Mount Tamalpias

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I wake up and it is raining outside my window, it is 11-11-11 and I am planning a ritual with my shaman sister on Mount Tam today. We don’t even question being there regardless of the rain. We drive over contemplating how big this day is.

We forge ahead on the windy road to get to the top of the Mountain weaving through the mists between the veils of worlds within worlds. We are going to a special altar that I started on the mountain many years ago. It is on a peak overlooking the entire bay with a view of Marin, San Francisco, and the California Coastline that reveals the massive blue ocean. The view is breathtaking as we start to hike to the special altar site.

We hike to an incredible green serpentine rock bed. It is like a green heart chakra on the way to rest and we ask this place if we can take some of the special green stones as an offering for the altar when we get there. The wind says yes and gets stronger as we approach – the Spirits have stopped the rain so we can create our ritual with them. They know we are coming and I can feel so much energy as I tell my shaman sister that people all over the world are gathering on this exact day on 11-11-11. We are all connected in a web of loving energetics as today is all about alignment to the oneness of all.

We hike to the peak and there is a beautiful surprise where other sisters, who I do not know, have placed on the altar fresh daisies, apples, crimson pomegranates and golden persimmons. They must have come for the full moon the day before to have ceremony here. I feel overjoyed for the love of others at this holy site honoring the Mother Earth.

We place our special serpentine stones amongst the flowers adding to this amazing altar to the Mother. My sister and I begin to drum and sing to the four directions of Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Center for this day of alignment which has already begun so magically. I open my Heart to the Mother Earth on Mount Tamalpias today, I kiss Her serpentine stones and pray to the Ocean and Her waves dance with me. I drum to the Heart Beat of the Sun. The Ravens fly above and play with us ~ how wonderful to be alive on this day.

We open our arms and sing for the Healing of the Earth, for the peoples of this land and all Her creatures. We sing for the love of all in connection to the Universe. I see so many Ravens dancing with us as our arms are raised to the sky, the winds now so strong we are barely able to stand. Hair flying in the wild gusts, the Ravens laugh at us and we share our love for them. I peek at my watch to see it is just 11:11 on 11-11-11. I stop drumming and we expand our hearts to connect with this amazing moment as everything is as it always really is – connected and all ONE!

We are one with the All That Is! Mother Earth and Bright Sun ~ Mysterious Moon, Stars Above, Exquisite Light, WE ARE ONE ~ Blessed Be! I am so full of Love. I am so full of Love. Thank you Great Spirit!

Redwood Tree Blessings

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Redwood Tree Blessings

The Redwood Tree is a magical tree for me. It is a tall old and wise sage that knows the secrets of the Earth Herself. They stand as some of the oldest trees on the planet and only grow on the California coastline. Redwood trees are ancient giants, the tallest living beings on the Earth, reaching heights of up to 360 feet.

Redwoods are also known for their longevity, typically 500 – 1000 years, but sometimes more than 2000 years. I feel very fortunate to be with these ancient ones of this land. The Redwoods are community trees because they grow in a circle with one another. Their roots are all intertwined and they speak to one another this way like a family that they are.

I have great respect and love for them. I am in awe of them. I go to Muir woods and I walk into the heart of one of  the Redwoods where it has been burned away from a long ago fire. The Redwoods insides are still charred black having been greatly wounded still survives as a grand statement of strength and courage. I walk into the heart of this burned out hearth and I feel a whoosh of energy flowing up to the sky ~ this is the energy of her heart moving from earth to sun above, this is the energy of us all, and our hearth is our hearts.

These great teachers are here to open their secrets only to those who wish to lovingly touch the red earthen colored bark, its furry textures soft and generous. I have come to the old grove to seek out a fallen branch to use in ceremonial power stick making. I lead a group of woman learning the ways of shamanism. We seek out the redwood branch as the power stick to create our connection to Spirit. Amongst the branches on the ground around this big redwood, I find the perfect one.

I pick up the branch and walk to the big Redwood and ask its permission to use this wonderful branch from its body. I explain I am leading strong women in the ways of shamanism and we wish to use your powerful energy in the making of our power sticks. The Redwood answers as I look up tilting my head back so far my chin is straight up, this is the height of this wondrous tree. I can see the sun shining though its top branches streaming into my eyes. I feel an answer  “yes child this is a good opening for the women to see my strength in themselves”. I wrap my arms trying to reach its wide berth barely making it one fifth way around. I hug this ancient one and thank it with love as my chest presses into its reddish body. “Thank you Oh Great One”. I say out loud.

Later in my dreams this night, I see myself at the Redwood only it is talking to me! It tells me, “No one ever in my many years has ever touched me and spoke to me like you have. I am very happy and surprised to be seen and honored. This is a sign that the times are changing that the human kind are awakening. They are awakening to see we are all alive as they are, and can be seen as they are”. The Redwood tells me it has shared this sign happily with the other trees. It shares my love, blessings and gratitude to the Spirit of the Redwood.

Butterfly Kisses

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I follow the path into the city park and I find the perfect spot to lie down on my pink Mexican blanket in the long green grasses. I look up to the blue sky and pray to the trees shifting to the rhythm of the breeze. I pray to the trees asking for help to find my inner spark. I explain to the trees I have felt empty inside and a little lost I admit to them. They bend and sway with the winds taking this in.

An orange spotted butterfly decides to join me on my pink blanket. She sits on the edge of the woven blanket waiting for a proper invitation. She seems to have been tossed about quite a bit by the blowing winds. I speak to her like a friend visiting me. I tell her it is nice to have her visit. She flutters up and lands on my arm and we just stay this way for quite awhile and nap in the sun together. I wake feeling something soft touching my nose and it is her kissing the tip of my nose!

I jump up surprised and open my hand to her and she decides to land in the center of my palm. I look closely to see she has battered wings and I tell her, you are a little worn by life but look, your sleek orange and black colors are still beautiful. I tell her that I also feel like her, a little tattered around my edges, but still beautiful too. Looking at this precious butterfly in my hand I feel all at once a part of the spirit of nature.

I have so much gratitude for the tender love of this butterfly, this precious moment, and myself for opening to prayer. For my prayers have been answered by this creature of the Earth itself. My spark is really being with the oneness of each moment. This is how the gentle sparks are revealed to me…. butterfly kisses on my nose.

We Are The One’s We Have Been Waiting For

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By Elder of the Hopi Nation

You have been telling the people,
That this is the eleventh hour.
Now, you must go and tell the people,
That THIS is the hour,
And there are things to be considered.
Where are you living? What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in the right relationship?
Where is your water?

Know your garden …
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community,
Be good to each other.

Do not look outside yourself for a leader.
There is a river flowing now very fast,
It is so great and swift.
That there are those who will be afraid,
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being pulled apart,

And will suffer greatly.
Understand that the river knows its’ destination,
The elders say we must let go of the shore.
Push off into the middle of the river,

Keep our eyes open and our heads above water.
And I say; see who is in there with you,

Hold fast to them and celebrate!
At this time in history,
We are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves!
For the moment we do,
Our spiritual growth and journey comes to an end.

The time of the Lone Wolf is over!
Gather yourselves!
Banish the word ‘struggle’ from Your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done,

In a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are all about to go on a journey,

We are the one’s we have been waiting for!