Saturday, February 27, 2010

Biology of Belief Book Review

I just finished the book Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. Wow! What a great book!

I have to admit that there were times when he was a little bit too scientifically detailed for me, but the parts about spirituality, consciousness and quantum physics were very interesting.

I believe his scientific background was necessary, however, to help provide credibility to the amount of knowledge and depth he has in this field.

Once he got past the technical science descriptions and started to relate it to Quantum Physics and his life -- and humans in general, it was a fascinating book.

His theory about how our thoughts and beliefs create the way we perceive our worlds, supports my idea that our thoughts are very powerful and the more we tune in and become aware of these thoughts...and consciously change these thoughts...the more we can influence our lives and the perceptions we hold.

I first heard about Dr. Bruce Lipton when I was studying and training for PSYCH-K, a technique that was developed by Rob Williams that uses muscle testing and kinesiology to find out how your body/system responds to various stimuli.

PSYCH-K uses simple forms of muscle testing to determine which beliefs your system deems as true and which ones as false. Then PSYCH-K provides various left brain/right brain integration techniques to help people balance for beliefs and create long-lasting changes in people's lives.

Dr. Lipton refers to PSYCH-K in the Addendum, mentioning how he learned about PSYCH-K and Rob Williams at a conference where Lipton was also presenting. Lipton explains:
As usual, at the conclusion of my presentation, I told my audience that if they changed their beliefs they could change their lives. It was a familiar conclusion with a familiar response from the participates: "Well, Bruce, that's great, but how do we do that?"
As fate would have it, I returned to my seat, and looked up to see that the next presenter was psychotherapist Rob Williams. Rob's opening remarks quickly had the entire audience on the edge of our seats. In his introduction, Rob stated that PSYCH-K TM can change long-standing, limiting beliefs in a matter of minutes.
Lipton goes on to describe how a woman in the audience overcame her fear of public speaking by using PSYCH-K.

The book, Biology of Belief, provided scientific background and evidence as to how our subconscious mind works and how PSYCH-K can help to change our beliefs at a subconscious level.

I have completed the Basic training for PSYCH-K and am contemplating the Advanced training later this year. I'll keep you posted.

If you'd like more information about PSYCH-K, please visit the Web site by clicking here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Intuitive Tuesday on Thursday -- Ace of Wands

On Intuitive Tuesdays I select a card and give you my interpretation of it. On Thursday I select one reader's comment and pull an additional card.

I encourage you to read about the additional card I pulled this week and see how it applies to your life. Anything that is brought to one of us is a message for all of us.

This week's Intuitive Tuesday card was Death reversed, which is about resistance to necessary change and clinging to the status quo, even in the midst of change. The Death card (in its upright position), is about letting the old die away to welcome in and bring in the new.

When I shuffled the cards as I read through the comments, I was surprised and excited to pull the Ace of Wands. The card pictured here is from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.

I've previously written about the Ace of Wands here.  If you remember, the Ace of Wands indicates new life, the start of a new venture or enterprise, new activities and things starting to happen.

If you get a chance, refer back to the Ace of Wands post for more information about this card and how you can bring its energy more fully into your life.

The energy of the Ace of Wands feels like it is in direct response to the energy of Intuitive Tuesday's card, Death (reversed). Where Death (reversed) feels stuck and stagnant, the Ace of Wands feels new, exciting and free.

I believe this message is for each of the people who left comments. Thank you so much for your deep, thoughtful comments each week. I learn so many things from you!!!

Even though I typically select only one reader's comment and pull another tarot card, this week I feel prompted to give each of you a message:
  • Laura Rose -- You are in the midst of Ace of Wands energy. I see it swirling around you as you launch into your Advanced Student project. Your energy glows as you "work" on this project....but it isn't really work, is it? This is what you are meant to do. Continue to flow with and bask in this energy of purpose and excitement. You'll be amazed at how this all develops.
  • Quiet Dreams -- You too are entering into the Ace of Wands energy, even if reluctantly. I see a vision of a river, flowing beautifully through a canyon. You are clinging to something on the side of the river trying desperately not to let go. Are you possibly trying to fight your way back upstream?  As you fight the inertia of the river (Ace of Wands energy), you are expending a lot of strength. What would happen if you simply trusted and let go? If that seems too overwhelming, let go a little bit at a time and see what's there for you.
  • Tami -- One of your biggest strengths is your ability to flow with Ace of Wands energy. Newness, energy and action fuel you...they always have. And yes, there is also a need for stability and predictability. You have an uncanny ability to balance the two of these perfectly (stability without getting stuck AND movement without chaos). Perhaps the true gift is that you know which cheese to let age (stay the same) and when to move it.
  • Anonymous -- I feel that things have been tough for you. Even people on the outside see how you've weathered many storms. But I get a sense that the real "loss" and accompanying growth is within your own heart. You are waking up from the inside out. Things look the same, but different as you go through this growth period. There is newness and Ace of Wands energy all around you.  Keep tuning in to your intuitive voice and feel guided to make each decision along your path. Your faith in being divinely guided will help you to find peace and confidence so you will be able to sleep and won't feel as anxious.
  • Lavendar Luz -- You asked the question -- am I stuck or being guided? I believe you are being guided and if there is a feeling of "stuckness," this delay is helping you pause just long enough for you to be ready to be un-stuck. There may be thoughts of what you "should" be doing and in what time frame, but know that this is a calculated pause and your project will be completed perfectly if you continue to tune in and listen. If you feel resistance as you move forward, you may be forcing it. Flow...with the Ace of Wands energy, even if that means a delay in your (logical) plans.
  • Suzi Creme Cheeze -- As you step up and orchestrate the energy around you, you purposely step into the energy of the Ace of Wands. When FEAR creeps in, you may be trying to use your energy to trouble-shoot something that hasn't and may not happen.When you feel FEAR, remind yourself to stay present to best facilitate what's happening NOW.  Have faith that you will create magnificent solutions along the way so there is no need to double your work by working in the NOW and in the uncertain and unpredictable FUTURE.  It is all in divine order. Thank goodness!
  • Kim -- I get the sense that you are anticipating an upcoming change (possibly career-focused?). Perhaps you have already begun to map it out in your mind or you intuitively sense that it is just around the corner. I feel an excitement as you wait to have this change manifest in your life, swirl around you and have you feel caught up in the newness and the excitement. Change is coming and it feels good!
  • Bonnie -- I thought of you when I read the previous post on the Ace of Wands. Some of the questions I posed were:  What are you being called to do? What do you want to bring about in your life?  If you could do ANYTHING, what would you do? I don't get the "jump ship" feeling for you and your business, but I also believe that you and hubby might want to explore these questions to create possibilities. Then as you gain certainty in your direction, see how you can diminish the stale energy and increase the exciting Ace of Wands energy. It can be a gradual thing as you experiment and figure it out.
Pulling the Ace of Wands today has given each of us a wonderful, energetic boost. Now it's up to you what you will do with it.  :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Intuitive Tuesday - Death (reversed)

Every Tuesday I select one card and give you my interpretation of it. See how it applies to your life. What messages are here for you?

Each Thursday I choose one reader's comment from Intuitive Tuesday and pull an additional card for more check back on Thursday to see what cards come up.

The Death Card is a card of transformation...something dying so something new can be created. In it's reversed position, the card can indicate that you have some resistance to necessary change or possibly stagnation. The card above is from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.

Being a Taurus, I like things to be predictable; I rely on habits and routines. I rely on the status quo. Sometimes this can lead me to feeling stuck because my need to keep things the same can also keep me from growing and changing. And sometimes things change, whether I'm ready for them to change or not.

I just read a great quote from a new book called, DailyOM, Learning to Live, by Madisyn Taylor. "But change will come and status quo will go...sooner or later with our consent or without it."

My husband and I tease about my comfort with the status quo because he seems more open to change. Who else would go from being single with no kids and jump into my life with three young boys...which is exactly what my DH did.

When he is suggesting some kind of change and I give him "the look," he'll say..."Am I moving your cheese again?"

As I look back, the times when I significantly "moved my cheese," even if I was reluctant or uncomfortable, is when I experienced the most growth.

In yoga yesterday, the instructor said, "When you begin to feel uncomfortable in the pose or feel like you need to come out of it, that is when you begin to grow."

My Death (reversed) reluctance right now has to do with changing the projection of my "mainstream"career into something that is more metaphysical, intuitive...and more truthful to who I am and what I am meant to do. My thoughts and fears center mostly around, "What will other people think?"

I'm getting to the point where I don't care AND that my calling to move into this realm is SO strong, that I realize that this shift must happen in order to continue to fulfill my purpose. It's time.

Here are some questions prompted by today's card, Death (reversed):
  • Where in your life are you being called to "move your cheese?" 
  • If you feel reluctance to make a change, what are your fears?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen if you make a change and could you handle it?
  • Think of at least three times when you "moved your cheese" and what were the results?
I'd love to hear your feedback and in the meantime, know that I will be busy moving through Death (reversed) energy...and moving my cheese.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday -- My Ski Buddy!

Ryan, one of my 13-year old twins, tried skiing three years ago. It was such a cold day that he dropped out of his lesson mid day and sat in the kids club. From that experience, he decided that he didn't like skiing.

Over the summer, while we were vacationing in Park City, UT, he participated in the Ski Jumping camp. I wrote a post about the ski jumping experience and featured a photo of his twin brother, Bryce, going down one of the big ramps into the water. Bryce loves skiing and ever since he began, he'll simply point his skis downhill and GO. If you'd like to check out that post, click here.

After the Ski Jumping camp, Ryan said he'd be willing to try downhill skiing again. Over Thanksgiving, he took a private lesson and ending up skiing all day. Unfortunately while exploring a Green run, he got frustrated because it was a bit steeper than what he had been doing. He made it down and did a few more runs before the end of the day. But he was reluctant to go again.

Last week the boys were out of school for a Teacher Inservice Day so we decided to go skiing and take advantage of the beautiful Colorado snow. Ryan agreed to try again and we planned to ski together.

After getting our ski rentals, we went up the double lift on the bunny slopes. He seemed a bit nervous and we talked a lot about techniques to get off the lift. We both got off the lift just fine.  We made our way down the hill and even though he was cautious, I could tell he had the basics and would do just fine.

Each time we went up, we'd come down faster and faster...until he got to the point where he was pointing his skis down and going fast.

We re-named the "Bunny" hill the "Grizzly" hill because it sounds more manly. We probably got in 25+ runs, plus we went up to mid-way on the "big" quad lift.

My day was filled with Perfect Moments...getting to spend time with my family, seeing Ryan overcome his fears and enjoying skiing, watching him cut his lunch short so he could go ski with friends (even riding the lift by himself), and spending time with him on the lift talking about anything and everything.

The pinnacle Perfect Moment for me was when he said, "Mom, can we go skiing again next week?"


If you'd like to check out more Perfect Moment Mondays, click here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Divine Relationships

I read the following quotes in my daily reading book, Meditations from the Mat, by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. I've been pondering them ever since.
"All of our relationships are a reflection of our relationship to God, and our relationship to God is a reflection of all of our relationships...

Just as many (yoga) postures are performed by the one body, our many relationships are performed by the one heart...

Look deeply into that which you love, and you will see the face of God." (page 136)
This book has been my daily companion as I've dived into my yoga practice over the past six months. I love doing the poses and this book has helped me to understand the depth and philosophy behind yoga.

As you ponder these quotes, may you look at your relationships in a whole new better understand yourself and your relationship to the Divine.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Intuitive Tuesday on Thursday -- The Page of Swords

On Intuitive Tuesdays I select a card and give you my interpretation of it. On Thursday I select one reader's comment and pull an additional card.

I encourage you to read about the additional card I pulled this week and see how it applies to your life. Anything that is brought to one of us is a message for all of us.

This week's Intuitive Tuesday card was The Hang Man, which is about resting (hanging around) and looking at your situation from other viewpoints.  It's a card that reminds us to give a decision our undivided and upside-down attention.

I pulled an additional card today for all of the readers on Tuesday...which also applies to me and a decision I am pondering. 

The card is the Page of Swords from Ciro Marchetti's Legacy of the Divine Tarot deck. It shows a young boy or girl presenting two crossed swords on a blue velvet pillow. Remember that the Two of Swords can indicate being stuck by a decision that is in front of you and not being able to see your way through.

The Page of Swords can be a young boy in your life, but in the area of decisions, it means using your instincts, intellect and intuition to be decisive and look for a resolution. The gift of the Page of Swords is discernment -- being clear with what you DO want and what you DON'T want.

I've written about the Page of Swords here and here if you'd like more information on this card.

On Tuesday, Kim and Bonnie both talked about decisions they are facing at this time. I also wrote about a decision I am pondering regarding writing my weekly newspaper column here.  Up until now, I have decided to continue to write the I have NOT decided NOT to write the column.  (Remember: Not to decide is to decide.)

The Page of Swords indicates that it's time to make a decision. In my Master Mind Group this week, my Master Mind partners suggested two things to help me walk through this decision. Maybe one of these exercises will help you find your own resolution:

My first Master Mind partner, J, wisely :) referred to my Intuitive Tuesday post (The Hang Man) and suggested looking at my decision from various standpoints. What...take my own coaching advice? :)

My second Master Mind partner, L, wisely said to set up two chairs and talk to myself (physically getting up from chair to chair) to discover what things were hidden at this point...kind of like coaching myself!

And so, I proceeded to do both I pulled three more cards for additional insights (Ace of Pentacles reversed, Five of Swords and High Priestess reversed). I wrote in my journal, just as I would suggest my clients do and processed through my decision. I then asked if I was to write a longer piece (a book) and got the Queen of Rods, which I interpret as a YES.

My decision...(drum roll, please) to continue to write the column and add more of ME into it (instead of so many coach-client conversations, perhaps add in more thoughtful, intuitive insights) and keep the column...until I decide NOT to keep the column.

When I looked at my Web stats, I saw that when I recently wrote the article on Divorce Season, which included some of my own processing of my divorce 8 years ago, it was amazing how much interest was generated. In addition, a woman came up to me the next day and told me that her father had pointed out my article to her because she is going through divorce (universal confirmation?).

My conclusion: When I write my column, I will use more of my own experience and observations to attract readers in, plus I will continue to grow a wider audience for my that when I DO introduce my longer piece (novel, memoir, etc.), there will be that many more people who know me.

As for the Page of Swords and you, what process will you use to break through your indecisiveness?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Intuitive Tuesday -- The Hang Man

Every Tuesday I select one card and give you my interpretation of it. See how it applies to your life. What messages are here for you?

Each Thursday I choose one reader's comment from Intuitive Tuesday and pull an additional card for more check back on Thursday to see what cards come up.

Today's card is The Hanging Man, a card of respite and gaining a new perspective -- by hanging upside down! This card comes from my brand new deck, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.

The Hanging Man card encourages you to suspend activity and look at your life and various situations in your life from an entirely new perspective. Turn things upside down and see what's there for you from this new perspective.

In yoga, we practice inversions (shoulder stand, headstand, handstand, etc.) The other day the instructor said that being upside-down is very healthy and kids do it all of the time ...hanging from jungle gyms, doing cartwheels, headstands, etc.  As we grow up, we forget that it's fun to be upside down, possibly seeing the world from a completely new perspective. You don't often see an adult doing a handstand in the middle of the grocery store!

When was the last time you looked at your world from an upside-down perspective?

Selecting the Hanging Man today is a signal to gain a new perspective. If you don't want to physically go upside-down, imagine hanging upside-down (like the Hanging Man on the card above). It's easy to get stuck in a rut, trying to figure something out when you continue to look at it from the same perspective.

In my life coaching training, we learned a great exercise to help see a problem or a question from other perspectives. If you have a decision you've been pondering and are wondering what to do, you are probably pretty clear of your own perspective. This includes the description or story of your situation, the pros and cons, etc.

Now play with these perspectives:
  • What would your mother/father/brother do and/or what advice would s/he give you?
  • How would a five-year old see this situation?
  • What would your dog do in this situation?
  • What will this look like a year in the future?
  • What would it look like to jump in with both feet?
Be creative and come up with various perspectives to help you get out of your stuck-ness and explore each of these new options.  From there, you can see your situation more broadly and create solutions and action steps that will lead you away from being stuck (moving forward = growth).

When I work with clients, this usually helps them to see options and decide on Action Steps to move them forward. It's an amazing process and can unlock energy that has been stuck for a long time.

Today's Hanging Man card is an invitation to you to go upside-down, change your perspective, and see things from a completely new standpoint.

What situation in your life needs your undivided, upside-down attention?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday -- Chicks on Sticks!

I recently got to play hookie from my writing, coaching, mothering, etc....and went skiing with a friend of mine and some of her office mates. I had SUCH a great day!

Pictured here are all four of us at the top of the lift (left to right) Loralie, me, Diana and Ilana. Don't we look like we're having fun? BTW, Loralie's friend, Fred, took the photo for us and was smart enough to NOT ride the lift with us. He said he'd leave all of that up to us girls! Luckily!

I hadn't been skiing in a couple of years and I was a bit nervous about my ability to keep up with the other avid skiers and snowboarders. I found that it came back to me after a couple of runs. I was still a comfortable Green-Blue-Green skier (although we mostly did Blue runs). And the people in the group were very patient, even offering encouragement and tips.

So why did my cheeks and guts hurt once we came off of the hill? Because there is a quad chair lift to the top and all four of us "Chicks" rode up together. Having only met the two office mates -- Diana and Ilana -- that morning, I wasn't sure if they'd get me and my humor...but we got along great!

To help us capture each of our conversations up to the top of the mountain, we played a game of "Going to Grandma's House," where each time you note one additional "item" to bring. So each of our items was the main topic of conversation (and laughter) on our ride up.

So here are some of the things we brought to Grandma's House:
  • I-pad.  
  • Sausage 
  • Camels
  • Taco
  • Chicks on Sticks and Babes on Boards (descriptions for women skiers and boarders). Another name mentioned was Skank on a Plank. I had never heard any of these before.
  • Adult Super Store
  • Burping contests
Don't worry if you don't get it. Just know that we were rolling! I'm surprised that one of us didn't slide right off the chair lift! I started to write out explanations of each one, but remembered that this is a family-friendly blog (most of the time).

When I got home and my husband asked about my day, I said, "I had a really good time. We laughed all of the way up the lift and skied all of the way down. The weather was beautiful. I was outside with friends. Laughing. A lot."

Truly a Perfect Moment!

If you'd like to check out more Perfect Moment Mondays, click here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Lesson On Sniglets

I came up with a Sniglet** the other day while I was shaving in the shower. The new word is: "Shave-asana" and here's the definition:
Shave-Asana: A yoga pose performed in the shower when women shave their legs in a standing position. This pose  requires a great deal of balance. A practitioner can expect proficiency with regular practice.
**According to Wikipedia, here's the definition for a Sniglet:

A sniglet is a neologism defined as "any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should". The term was created by writer/actor/comedian Rich Hall, who first created a series of Sniglets while he was a performer on the 1980s HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News.

When Sniglets were popular, my friend, Sandie, and I came up with some of our own including:

Passholes: The people who stay in the traffic lane that will be merging soon who rudely pass everyone else and then butt in line right when their lane ends.

Resi-pew: The odor left after someone has used the bathroom. 

Here are some more sniglets that I just received in an email from Sandie. According to the email, these are some of the winning submissions to The Washington Post :

Coffee (n): The person upon whom one coughs.  

Flabbergasted (adj): Appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Esplanade (v) To attempt an explanation while drunk.

Willy-nilly (adj.) Impotent

Flatulence (n.) An emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller

Balderdash (n.) A rapidly receding hairline

Pokemon (n.) A Rastafarian proctologist

Foreploy (v) Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

Sarchasm (n.) The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Glibido (v): All talk and no action

Ignoranus (n)  A person who's both stupid and an a__h___.

What words have you made up that should be in the dictionary? It's time to share your Sniglet...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Intuitive Tuesday on Thursday -- Queen of Cups Divine Tarot

On Intuitive Tuesdays I select a card and give you my interpretation of it. On Thursday I select one reader's comment and pull an additional card.

I encourage you to read about the additional card I pulled this week and see how it applies to your life. Anything that is brought to one of us is a message for all of us.

This week's Intuitive Tuesday card was The Hermit, which is about taking time away from worldly things and searching within. It can also be a card that indicates looking at the shadow side of things to better understand the lighter side and possibly neutralize both of these forces.

I pulled an additional card today for Quiet Dreams in response to her comment:
When I saw the title of this post, I thought, "this is for me!" I've definitely traveled inward as I've been dealing with pain and healing. My challenge is to use my alone time for ME and not for being "productive."

The people I thought about who "charge" me are my parents. There are a number of traits they have that really get to me, particularly lately. I know I also have a tendency to do some of these same behaviors, and I HATE it in myself. When I'm with them, however, I can only see their fault, not how I am similar. (And I tend to blame them for any similarity I find in myself.) I am definitely going to work through this exercise in a more thoughtful way. Thank you for this.
The additional card I pulled came from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti. Today’s card is the Queen of Cups, which I pulled just about a month ago. You can check it out by clicking here. Remember that this is a card of nurturing, loving, imagination, psychic abilities, mothering and turning within to examine your feelings.

According to Marchetti, the keywords for the Queen of Cups are, “caring, nurturing, practical, charming, big heart, honest, timid, dreamy, psychic, empahtic.” And the gifts with this card are, “empathy, connection and self-completion.”  The fact that this card has come up twice in about a month's time reiterates the message about exhibiting this energy for yourself and others in your life.

Quiet Dreams, you commented about behaviors you see in your parents that are possibly reflected in you. The Queen of Cups message is to be gentle with yourself. Love yourself with unconditional love. Know that you are perfect exactly as you are and give yourself credit for continuing to walk your path and learn the lessons that are set out in front of you.

Pulling this card encourages you to tap into your Queen of Cups energy and nurture yourself as you would like to be taken care of, especially in your current situation.  You mentioned that you have been going through a time of pain and healing and that some of your challenge is to truly take time for YOU and not focus so much on being productive.

The message with this card is to love yourself unconditionally – through the pain and lessons you are experiencing. Include in that circle of love both your “good” qualities and your “bad” ones, because all of these things are aspects of YOU and your expression of the Divine.

Remember from the Hermit’s lessons, “good” and “bad” are terms we have assigned to these traits. The Queen of Cups sees through all of that and just loves what is.

Give yourself the gift of acceptance, acknowledgment and love today as you shower yourself with Queen of Cups energy. This is where your cup of feelings and emotions runs over... with divine, unconditional love.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Intuitive Tuesday -- The Hermit

Every Tuesday I select one card and give you my interpretation of it. See how it applies to your life. What messages are here for you?

Each Thursday I choose one reader's comment from Intuitive Tuesday and pull an additional card for more check back on Thursday to see what cards come up.

Today's card is The Hermit, a card of searching within. This card comes from my brand new deck, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.

From the picture, you can see a cloaked man, holding a wand with a crystal at the end. There are mountains in the distance, indicating a long and winding road -- possibly isolation and distance from daily distractions.

I've written about The Hermit card here and here. Some of the key phrases about The Hermit are that it is a card for searching within, not so much of an intellectual search as an intuitive search. The Hermit symbolizes turning within and purposely taking time to meditate, contemplate and become centered. The Hermit calls you away from the pressures and distractions in life to pursue your spiritual journey. In your quest for knowledge, you may seek advice from others, but The Hermit indicates that your best counsel is by tuning in and listening to your own wisdom.

Today, I got another intuitive insight for this card and its meaning for us. It came after reading the book that accompanies this deck, Gateway to the Divine Tarot, by Ciro Marchetti. In the book Marchetti states:
"Some knowledge takes the form of light and some takes the form of shadow. The knowledge of light is meant for the world. The knowledge of shadow is meant for you alone, but it is concealed until you are ready...the Hermit divides the light from the shadow and initiates you into the mysteries of both." (page 107)
There is a theory about the light and the dark. I remember reading about it in Debbie Ford's book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. Although I read her book a long time ago, I remember her theory was that each of us has both a light and a shadow side. Light traits are those that we deem as "good."  Shadow traits are ones that we consider "bad" and so we have locked them away. Out of sight. Out of mind.

One of the ways to identify your shadow traits is to notice traits in other people that either irritate you or infatuate you. The more they charge you (irritate or infatuate), the more you have this trait yourself and are expending energy to deny it or cover it up.

Here's an example, I recently met a guy who asked me a couple of questions about being a life coach. Shortly thereafter, I found out he was offering his services as a life coach. My defensive reaction was, "So, when you fly in a commercial airliner, do you suddenly feel as though you have the expertise to be a pilot?"

One of my shadow traits may be about pretending to be something I'm not or feigning expertise at something where I have no formal training.

"What? I would never do that!"

Do you see how this works?

By life coach, Bill, talks about how each of us contains ALL of the traits that we witness in humans -- whether we label these traits as "good" or "bad." He has an exercise that I believed he learned from his mentor, Dr. John DeMartini, called a Quantum Collapse process where you identify a situation that charges you (brings ups positive or negative emotions). As part of the process (which is fairly extensive), you list traits that you admire ("good") in another person or in a situation and traits that disgust you ("bad").

The first time I did this exercise with him, it was tough to even find traits I liked in the person who was charging (irritating) me. It was equally tough to find places in my life where I displayed his "bad" traits. "I'm just not like THAT!"

By going through the entire Collapse process (which is tough), I found that it really helped me to find a sense of calm and peacefulness within though my thoughts, emotions and the associated feelings were neutralized.

Coming back to The Hermit and his message of pondering both the light side and the shadow side, try neutralizing a situation that is charging you. Think of one trait that charges you ("good" = infatuation or "bad" = irritation) and list how you are like this (good or bad) and when you exhibit these traits and possibly who in your life sees you exhibiting this trait. For me this exercise was challenging, humbling and enlightening.

I'm curious to hear about your experiences with this exercise.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday -- Happy About Beading

The picture to your right is of the beautiful new anklet that I made (yes, me...2009's Non-Crafty Person of the Year)!

I also take credit for not only taking the picture of my anklet to share with you...but for designing a beautiful bead woman, complete with eyebrows, lips, earrings and a necklace.

OK. I admit. I am not much of a hobby person. You won't find a lot of paint, glue, fabric or scrap booking materials around my house.

Why? I've been busy. Three boys can tend to consume a lot of time...and food!

Lately, however, as they've been growing up, I find that I have more time to myself. They don't need constant supervision (most of the time) and I have a lot more freedom to come and go. Instead of getting five hours of sleep a night, I am getting seven (or more) and sometimes I get the luxury of taking a nap! YIPPEE!

With my new-found freedom comes the opportunity to explore new hobbies. Recently my friend, Loralie, came over and brought both her beading materials and her guitar. We have made a commitment to learn how to play the guitar together.

Pictured here is our "beading studio," aka the Kitchen. Loralie is concentrating on which bead comes next.

Making the anklet was my first beading project. As we sat at the counter designing our "masterpieces," her 15-year old daughter and my 14-year old son walked by giggling.

Her daughter said in her finest, roll-your-eyes-teenage-tone , "Mom, you are SO weird bringing your beading stuff over here to hang out!"

I'm sure my son was thinking the exact same thing!

We had more fun talking, sorting, designing, laughing and modeling our new anklets.

As I took the photos above, I couldn't stop laughing...not because it was particularly funny, but because I was so relaxed and having a great time...and all we were drinking was water!

I realize that I've been so busy being a mother that I've missed just being ME.

It was a Perfect Moment for I got a really cool anklet to wear this summer!

If you'd like to check out more Perfect Moment Mondays, click here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Teenage Brains Part 2: That's What Moms Are For!

The other morning my husband, Tom and my son, Bryce (13) and I were in the kitchen. In the course of the conversation, I got to peek into a teenager’s mind and a glimpse how his world is put together.

Tom: Ben, after you eat will you please unload the dishwasher?”

Bryce: I hate unloading the dishwasher. Why can’t James or Ryan do it (his 14 year old brother and his twin)?

Tom: Because I asked you to do it.

Bryce: But I don’t want to unload the dishwasher…and shouldn’t have to.

Tom: Who do you think should do it?


Bryce: Mom

Tom: Why do you think your Mom should have to do it?

Bryce: Because that’s what moms are for!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Intuitive Tuesday on Thursday -- The Star (Reversed)

On Intuitive Tuesdays I select a card and give you my interpretation of it. On Thursday I select one reader's comment and pull an additional card.

I encourage you to read about the additional card I pulled this week and see how it applies to your life. Anything that is brought to one of us is a message for all of us.

This week's Intuitive Tuesday card was the Nine of Coins, which is about creating and then enjoying your garden, acknowledging all of the hard work and learning that helped create this beautiful space.

I pulled an additional card today for MentorTAZ in response to her comment:
I just finished the training for the new job that I have sought for more than a year! So absolutely this card is SPOT ON!!

I don't see it as a pinnacle but certainly I am on the path to the pinnacle. Regardless I pause a moment and say....well done Terri. I am so very grateful for my new career!!
YAY for you is right! I know how long you have waited for this opening and how difficult it has been to keep your faith along the way. But you did! I'm so glad you are enjoying your training and the next steps on your path.

I pulled an additional card for you today from the he Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti. The card is The Star (reversed).

I covered The Star card in an earlier post that you can check out here. One of the key lines from that post describing The Star card was this:
The Star is a card of hope, inspiration, optimism, harmony and luck. It encourages you to continue on your path and follow your dreams. Every time I pull this card, I know that no matter what's going on around me, things will be OK.

The Star symbolizes positive energy flowing into your life, bringing you inspiration, exciting opportunities, guidance and renewal.
Remember that The Star comes right after the destruction and change resulting from The Tower. The Star is the light ahead of you that comforts you and encourages you to keep going, even in the midst of crisis.

In Marchetti's accompanying book, "Gateway to the Divine Tarot," it says, "Yes, there has been destruction, but it was only physical; the knowledge and wisdom gained in the journey so far have not been lost or forgotten, and they offer hope for the future."

MentorTAZ, there were many times along the way that perhaps you had lost sight of the star, but did not give up hope that it was still up there. You KNEW deep down (even in the toughest times) that you would get through and learn from your experience. That is the energy of The Star.

Today's card is reversed (pulled upside-down), which can sometimes mean a block or a delay. As you said in your comment, "I don't see is as a pinnacle but certainly I am on the path to the pinnacle."

The Star reversed came up today to remind you that all is in order...even if it doesn't happen as quickly as you would like. When you were looking for this job, remember at times the path seemed so clear, and just as quickly, it would fade away and the trail became a forest or  meadow in front of you with no clear path. As you continue to move forward in this job, know that it is all in order...The Star is out there in front of you...whether you can see it or not. Keep the faith.

The message for all of us is a spiritual one: The Star is the energy that inspires you (inspires means filled with spirit). It is the feeling you get when you KNOW in your heart that you are moving from a place of purpose.

You are being drawn forward with a new idea (like Kristen) and the new sprouts blossoming from the Divine seeds you have been planting and watering for some time now (Auralia and Cindy B), and even the hope that your perseverance will keep you moving forward -- as Lavendar Luz said, "...the idea of the one. And then then next."

The Star (reversed) encourages you to keep your inspiration, stay in spirit, and nurture your spiritual connection to fully open up to your own personal channels of spiritual energy and wisdom -- no matter if the path is clearly marked or you feel you are searching for the trail.

As long as you stay spiritually connected, you are on the path -- whether you can see it or not.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Intuitive Tuesday -- Nine of Coins (Pentacles)

Every Tuesday I select one card and give you my interpretation of it. See how it applies to your life. What messages are here for you?

Each Thursday I choose one reader's comment from Intuitive Tuesday and pull an additional card for more check back on Thursday to see what card comes up.

Today's card is the Nine of Coins (Pentacles), a card that indicates accomplishment, relying on oneself, independence and material gain. This card comes from my brand new deck, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti. This woman is so graceful!

Coins (Pentacles) have to do with the material world, the physical body, business, possessions and money. Nines are just before the end of the cycle (ten) and indicate nearing completion and attainment.

Looking at the artwork on the Nine of Coins, you can see a woman in a flowing gown, holding a bird of paradise out in a lovely garden. In the background, there are signs of a storm, but the storm has passed and things now look calm, light and colorful.

The Nine of Coins is a card of accomplishment and independence. This woman has worked hard and possibly faced some difficult situations (the storm in the background). Now she stands alone enjoying what she has created -- her beautiful garden.

One of the meanings for this card as outlined in Marchetti's book (that accompanies the tarot deck), Gateway to the Divine Tarot, says, "Retreat from the 'real world' into a private world of pleasure. The environment is harmonious and comfortable, and it allows focus on intellectual and spiritual pursuits." (page 226).

Doesn't that sound absolutely lovely?

With the Nine of Coins energy today, how can you pause and reflect back on your hard work and enjoy the lovely garden you have created. Even if you are still in the midst of creating and/or in the middle of the project, you have accomplished something and this card's message today is to encourage you to realize what you have done and enjoy the platform you have built.

It reminds me of the kids' song, "The bear went over the mountain," which is sung to tune of, "For he's a jolly good fellow." Here are the words in case you don't remember:

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To see what he could see

To see what he could see,
To see what he could see

The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all that he could see

Was all that he could see,
Was all that he could see,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all that he could see!

Look back at your last "mountain" (among the vast range of mountains you have climbed and the ones in front of you still) and take time to realize just how far you have come.

The Nine of Coins message for you today is to breathe in and enjoy the energy of accomplishment. That way, when you decide to continue on, you are completely tackle YOUR next mountain.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Perfect Moment Mondays -- One of These Things Is Not Like the Others...

Did you watch Sesame Street when you were little? If so, you might remember the song, "One of These Things Is Not Like the Others." It went like this:
One of these things is not like the others.
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you tell which thing is not like the others?
Hurry before I finish my song...
And then they would show you four things and one of them would be different.

Here is a quick video to refresh your memory --

When we were on our southern California trip over the holidays, my mom took the boys out to the beach to look for shells. The boys were SO excited when they found a bunch of sand dollars.

My mom was equally excited when she found her own sand dollar (the one on the bottom)...a shell with a dollar bill crumpled up and stuffed into it. It was perfect...not only finding the sand dollars (in all of their forms), but Mom/Grandma getting to spend time with the boys on the beach!

The entire vacation was just like that...priceless!

If you'd like to check out more Perfect Moment Mondays, click here.