New Leaf Mentoring … new thought. new health. new life.

Posts tagged ‘Andrea Connell’

Keeping Perspective


Driving down the road early this morning I was able to witness the most incredible sky. The sky was completely overcast, not a shred of blue sky to be seen anywhere.The sky was rich with texture, movement and a vast palette of colours – mostly shades of gray. Dark, heavy rain clouds, light white drifty clouds, and an amazing giant chunk of rainbow sitting right in the middle. As I drove along through the drizzle I tried to keep my eye on that bit of rainbow but gradually it become covered up and disappeared from my view. I then noticed how heavy and ominous the clouds had become. All around me the clouds were moving in different directions. Layers of clouds appeared to be spinning, some clockwise and some counter-clockwise. It felt surreal and left me feeling uneasy. I determined to remember the rainbow hiding somewhere out there beyond my current scope of vision. Now, only a few hours later, the clouds are almost gone and a clear blue sunny sky promises a great spring day.

This is how life goes, as much as we need to stay present in the now moment we can’t dwell on it. Everything is transient, everything shifts and moves all the time, everything changes. To invest your emotion with the weather will set you up for a disappointment every time. Nothing can change as quickly and often nothing can affect us as easily. We need to keep perspective.

Seeing this rainbow this morning reminded me of several things:

i) you never know what’s hidden behind the clouds

ii) even in tumultuous situations there is beauty, order and creative power

iii) nothing lasts forever, seize the moment and move on

iv) we as people are just a tiny bit of the vast manifestation that is our universe, so get a grip

And, after I found this picture on the internet when I got home I realized an even greater thing –

v) the opportunities are endless to witness a wondrous experience. Open your eyes! (this photo was posted last fall) I’m sure there have been many other such sightings just as I am sure that many people did not see what I saw even though they may have traveled the same stretch of road during the same time frame.

SPECIAL NOTE: I unfortunately didn’t have a camera this morning but found this photo on a WordPress blog “Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl” which is almost identical to what I saw – less the blue ridge mountain range. She has absolutely stunning photos of sky shots from her front porch! Check them out if you want to be inspired by the great beauty that surrounds us. Thank you Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl!

Living Without Excuses; Dare to Be YOU!


I realized one day that the people I admire the most are the ones that live their lives without excuses. They are respectful,     positive minded, energetic, kind people and the reason is simple; they aren’t trying to prove anything to anyone. They know who they are and they just go about living their lives doing what they do.

It is ingrained in us to look and ask for approval. As children we learn that good behavior is rewarded with praise of some sort and it feels better than being criticized. We also learn that one easy trick to avoiding criticism is to make up a story that seemingly excuses our actions. As we grow we not only become adept at making excuses to others and ourselves but also come to expect and accept them in our daily dealings with others. We become unaccountable for our thoughts and actions, in effect leading double lives.

A few years ago I saw Marianne Williamson speak. She’s a powerful speaker with a strong belief in her message. She spoke on her book “A Return to Love”. Often when speakers talk about love and peace they approach the subject with a sugar-coated countenance. Not Ms. Williamson! She delivered all the passion, power, determination and strength that I know love delivers to my heart. She never once apologized for her beliefs or her commitments. She stood up for herself and made herself accountable for her message and accountable in her life.

Most of the people I see as clients have lost their compass in life. They don’t know how to step forward, confused in their own minds they are often afraid of hurting others and stepping on other peoples’ toes. In trying to establish value in their lives they do more and more for others, further compromising themselves with every step they take. Eventually because they have allowed so many others to take up precious space in their minds they find themselves crowded to death with no room left to move. Unable to make their own choices without stepping on someone else’s toes they start apologizing for offending, for hurting, for questioning, even for being themselves. Depression is the only end result as we slowly come to realize that we are in danger of losing our selves.

We need to each claim ourselves back from the land of the excuses. Live boldly. Feel your own two legs under you and see them marching to the beat of your own drum. We each came here to live our own lives, our own way, in our own rhythm, so don’t make excuses for your life choices. Just live your life bravely with intention. Dare to be you!

Enter the Fool


I have a lot of friends who are fools – I mean down to the bone foolish. I love them.There is never a dull moment when the fool comes on the scene! Over the years I have come to cherish the fools and try to emulate them as often as possible. I have learned to not let appearing foolish stop me.

In the tarot the fool card signifies the innocence of mind that allows infinite trust in the universe and one’s God. Through the very energy of trusting we come to engage in life adventures that otherwise wouldn’t have been available. The fool teaches us to risk our normal conservative safe ideas for those a little more daring. He shows us how to traipse merrily towards the edge of reality instead of well back from the edge where most of our mothers would prefer we stay. He shows us how to release our critical judgments in favor of a taste of adventure.

It is the fools that guide us into tomorrow; they are the pioneers, the scientists, the inventors, the visionaries, the poets, the musicians and the artists. They are the dreamers with their faces pointed towards the heavens and their feet lightly dancing on the edge of all known reality. They see things differently and act accordingly.

It is only on the edge that a new reality can be created; it is where our vision and perspective is the clearest. Most people are too afraid to wander to the edge where a wrong step could prove disastrous. But the fool shows us that to dance along the edge of all that is safe, risking all that is dangerous, is where we find our truest essence. Here we will find our greatest capacity to love, to laugh, to trust, to feel compassion and to expand. It is at this edge where we come to understand our magnificent ability to connect with faith to the divine matrix of life. In this foolish place we learn that the landing area for the next step will be provided; is already there, in fact, even though we may not be able to see it.

So often I see people immobilized in fear, afraid to trust another in love and in business; so afraid that opportunities slide by. Too afraid to move out of their mundane lives, they choose instead to sit safely in their controlled predictable lives. When we only engage with what we can control we will continuously recreate the patterns of the past. While the past provides us with great memories and teachings it doesn’t offer us the opportunity to grow. Only stepping out bravely towards a new unknown will breathe new life into a wilting soul. The fool is not, however, about being reckless. It is about learning how to be in complete harmony with ones’ environment and being thus able to take advantage of opportunities as they present without fear of endangering ones self. The fool only appears to be reckless and careless by those who are over-cautious.

It is the inherent nature of the soul to seek expansion through experience. When we limit the possibilities for new experience we cause the soul to wither and fade. The soul is a luminous expression of vitality that yearns for new adventures, regardless of possible pain. Our soul knows that it came to life to live a plethora of experiences not just the safe and easy ones.

As we move through our days we will without doubt encounter a host of fears that threaten to limit our experiences. I challenge you to take stock of what stops you. How often in your day do you take the comfortable route, do the same old same old, and deny a new invitation preferring to sit back on the sidelines laughing at the fools having fun at the edge. Aspire to be the fool, little by little, inch your way towards the edge. Dare to peek at the life you could be having. If this makes no sense to you, make friends with a fool today, see the world through his eyes and see how light the world becomes!

Finding Balance


Trying to find balance is very tricky to say the least and something that needs constant attention. It is challenging for almost everyone though it is entirely possible to achieve. We just have to be able to understand the conditions and requirements that would define balance and harmony for ourselves.

In our ‘super human’ mode we think we can take it all in, do everything that crosses our mind and look after all the relevant details to boot. In trying to be all things to all people we tend to ignore the one that counts the most. People most often neglect their own needs and requirements, falling instead for the little ego boost that comes with praise from others. I tell people all the time that you came here to live your own experience, your own life and it is everyone’s responsibility to do just that. People generally cock their heads to one side and ask what I mean by that. ” But that’s being selfish…and selfish is bad…right?” Wrong.

We must come to take time and our time on earth seriously. Life is precious and it is irresponsible to squander away your time and life energy  doing things that threaten the quality of your life and health. Only from a healthy state of mind and body are you able to be of any help, spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically, to anyone else.

But balance is more than just time management, it is ultimately about worthiness and value. Our need to feel like we matter is our greatest vulnerability. Everyone, no matter who they are, wants to be respected and valued. These are deeply emotional issues and touch us deeply in our core. Every day I hear people complain how they weren’t respected, listened to, valued, or appreciated, not at home, work or in friendships.

It is very challenging in our modern culture to find equal exchange of value for worthiness. It is difficult to acknowledge prowess, accomplishment and success in another if we feel in any way inferior or inadequate in comparison. We tend to sit on an emotional teeter totter, constantly weighing one thing against the other as though any one moment in time is an accurate measurement of what we are all about. Worthiness is an issue that is measured and balanced out over time; over a life time even. Our biggest mistake is thinking that one single event in time has the power to make or break our value as a worthy human being. Help yourself by accepting yourself in every moment. Start by understanding your motivation, your triggers, your strengths and weaknesses, and be responsible for your choices. These few things will help you understand your true worthiness and allow you to experience value on a daily basis.

Learn to lighten up, cut yourself some slack and make sure you do something everyday that you love.

A New Leaf


There comes a time when we have to make changes. I know making changes is difficult. It is the human way to become attached – to everything. But as we learn, as we grow, it is important to portray ourselves on the outside in ways that reflect the changes we are going through on the inside. My friends and clients that have known me for many years of my business journey tease me about the way my business image keeps changing every few years. It’s true…at least on the surface. Changing is what my business is all about. Whether it’s with the Reiki, the Metaphysics Workshops, the Living Well Seminars, or my articles, it’s all about helping people stimulate, create, and maintain the changes they want to manifest in their lives. Likewise for myself.

We’re all looking for happiness and peace of mind. What that means is different for each one of us. How that looks on the outside may be  different but in the end we all want the same things; we want to be heard, we want to matter, and we want to be accepted. These elements are the root of all the changes we ever try to implement in our lives. They are the essence of all that it means to be human. It is perhaps even the common purpose that binds us and in the same moment propels the evolution of humanity forward.

Gregg Braden identified the three common fears of mankind to be i) a fear of surrender, ii) a fear of loss of self-worth, and iii) a fear of abandonment. We spend our lives doing what we need to do to try to overcome these fears. We strive to leave a mark in this world that survives our death.

Change is an interesting illusion of our minds. I’m not sure that we ever really change in our core. I believe we are what we are. I also believe that we don’t always know what we are and can spend a lifetime trying to find out. We can get so side tracked in life that we can head off on a path at a very early age that can leave us lost for a long time. To make sense out of a life we feel disconnected from we buy into and build up all the trappings that make us appear to be solid citizens. Eventually that solid looking box begins to crack and disintegrate leaving us confused, angry and afraid if we continue trying to hold on to it.

Everything in our world is impermanent. Everything material and physical changes. Our physical body will also change and die. But spirit lives on. I’m not talking about reincarnation here. I’m talking about the spirit of humanity, the spirit of the Divine Principle, the spirit of God. Our essential purpose is to live that spirit as fully as possible within the expression we are.

And so we change, everyday, trying to be more fully what we are. As the days go by we either choose to do things differently, letting go of everything that no longer fits or we choose to hold on tighter, trying to create a reality that would fool the best of them. It is the heart that will guide you towards the changes you want, and your mind will decide if you do or don’t. If there is disharmony between the heart and mind you will stay locked in a battle that will seep toxicity into all areas of your life. Change doesn’t have to be cruel or harsh. If we decide to make changes freely and easily, consulting with our heart and mind, we can make smaller, incremental changes that reflect our truth, stimulate our passion and empower our presence in the world.

My new business logo and image are reflective of a new lighter, brighter sense of myself and my work. The truth is I’m all about growth, all about change, all about turning a New Leaf! More than anything though I am committed to doing what I have to do to build a harmonious relationship between my heart and my mind so all of me can go peacefully in one direction.

Be happy, go lucky!


Personally I lead a very quiet, ordered kind of life. It’s pretty peaceful, respectful and happy. I consider myself very lucky but that said I work hard at it and I learn a lot from listening to other peoples stories. I really believe in the saying ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ and it’s humbling to remember and remind oneself that what is in me is in you and in all living things. I don’t believe for a minute that the things that befall one unfortunate soul can’t happen to everyone equally including me. I also believe that I am equally as fortunate as anyone else. Universe is an equal opportunity provider and I’ve come to believe that the only thing that makes some people happy and some people so miserably unhappy is their outlook and approach to all the daily details. Shit happens – a lot, and to everyone. For some people though it just slides off and for others, well, it just sticks. Being happy and feeling lucky is a state of mind that must be cultivated if you want to experience it. Likewise being miserable, expecting the worse, being suspicious will absolutely bring you lots of experiences that reflect exactly that.

Lucky doesn’t just happen.  There are no mysteries in life. We live in a cause and effect universe, everything starts somewhere, and everything causes some other chain of events to unfold. We are always at the right place at the right time whether we like to see it that way or not, and you are co-creating your life in every moment, in other words; you are nobody’s victim. Have you noticed how the same people always have the same drama around the same issues and use the same words that start with ‘I can’t…’ and end with ‘do it, believe it, change it, be bothered, etc.’ and they’re always surprised by it. They’re stuck in a learning loop, in effect they can’t move on until they get this piece of the puzzle – whatever the ‘piece’ may be and so they are doomed to repeat a pattern over and over. Repeating patterns can make people feel very unlucky, but muttering frustrated laments like “this always happen to me!” will only get the next wave rolling in again.

The learning loop is of course created through the Law of Attraction. Whatever you believe in you will see manifested over and over until you choose to believe differently. Whatever you affirm will be. The universe will mirror back to you everything you expect to see or need to learn about. The conundrum however is that what we see repeated over and over is pretty hard to ignore and believe differently about. The more it is repeated the harder it is to believe that we still have the power to change it. So round and round we go.

There are no isolated, random events. Everything is connected somehow but we don’t necessarily have a scope of vision that is big enough to understand how all the pieces fit together. I have come to trust that eventually all is revealed if we wait long enough. The patterns are there to serve us. If we experience something often enough, we hopefully begin to see the way to change it as we come into better understanding of the beast. I hate seeing people struggle through difficulties and feel for their pain but I also have faith that the human spirit is indomitable and can survive fantastic perils when he is committed to living life.

Life belongs to those that grab hold of it with both hands and go for the ride seizing opportunities wherever possible to experience something new. Bravely facing life with a positive, happy and adventurous outlook will create many lucky opportunities as you go!

Reiki; old fashioned, incomplete or just perfect?


The other day I heard a Reiki Master say that in his opinion Reiki was old fashioned and outdated…interesting.

I was dumb-founded. How can Reiki – Universal Life Force energy be old fashioned and outdated? I realize I can be a pretty literal person so I tried to comprehend how else this may have been intended.

Reiki as energy cannot be outdated. It is after all universal life force energy, it is a constantly co-created emanation of energy grounded in all life systems of our universe. Reiki as a modality could perhaps be outdated but only in context of the relationship the student of Reiki has with the practice of it, which makes it the responsibility of the student not the modality itself. I certainly have never experienced Reiki to be anything but currently applicable and relevant furthermore I believe that the truest power of Reiki is yet to be discovered as scientists learn more about the nature of energy from a quantum perspective. I don’t think we have even scratched the surface of it’s potential yet!

I’m involved in many chat groups on the internet that discuss Reiki healing and possibility. I’m seeing that Reiki practitioners in general have very personalized and limited perspectives of what Reiki is and can do. As usual people spread their personal fear garnished ideas around demonstrating how little faith they actually have in the power of the dynamic that is universal life force energy. It is so weird to me how many practitioners have tried to alter reiki with new symbols and theories and techniques when it is so powerfully and simply effective as it is.

Usui, the japanese metaphysician that developed this modality of healing brought to us an awareness that we have the opportunity to work with the energy that we are immersed in to create a possibility for peace, harmony and happiness. He became enlightened to this possibility after an extended meditation retreat where he apparently determined to release all his preconceived ideas of life in order to experience another way. Legend says he was willing to die if necessary.

Maybe I’m an old fashioned kind o’gal but I’m not gullible, niave, or easily bamboozled and I think Reiki is very cool. Reiki fits perfectly with well established metaphysical philosophies, evolving quantum theories, natural laws of our universe, sound spiritual practices (like meditation) and all health issues of modern man. Remember I’m talking about original Usui Reiki…The precepts of Reiki are, I admit, pretty old fashioned;

“Just for today do not anger, do not worry, honour your parents,teachers, and elders, earn your living honestly and show gratitude for all living things.”

But you know, all things considered, it’s a pretty honourable code of ethics to live by. As far as the rest of it I would suggest that before you decide Reiki is out dated – look perhaps to your own ego and it’s ideas. Reiki Is…it really doesn’t need your thoughts and perceptions of understanding to work, in fact try instead surrendering to Reiki, get out of the way, stay present and watch the magic begin! Reiki is precise and perfect every time. What do you think? Let me know.

Emotional Responsibility


In the healing business you can expect to hear a ton of stories about the pain, suffering and abuse people endure. It’s a vital part of the healing process for people to share their stories and release repressed and suppressed emotions out of their bodies and energy fields . Many alternative and complementary modalities are based on doing precisely just that; releasing repressed emotions out of the body. Held in emotions of shame, anger, grief, worry, fear can play havoc on a body’s immune system and eventually lead to a whole host of physical problems. And although it is shocking to hear some of the outrageous things people are capable of perpetrating against one another it never fails to amaze me how easily and willing we are to hurt someone else. It’s not just the act, but the desire to cause hurt comes so easily to so many people.

It seems to be human nature that when we hurt we need and want others to feel the same pain. It’s that old adage: Misery loves company. But bottom line it is grossly unfair and spiritually irresponsible to draw others into our negative emotion cycles. We don’t have the right to make others miserable because we don’t want or can’t find the way to resolve our own emotional pain. If your intention is to heal your wounds and you are willing to trust another to guide you back to the land of the positive then share as honestly and as openly as you can. But if all you really want is to feel validated in your misery and insist on recruiting sympathies against the person you are mad at you are abusing your confidant. Of course in that moment you don’t really get how abusive it is, all you’re focused on, in that moment, is the need to spread the grief. Wallowing in pain however is a dead end street. It gets you nowhere. And you will find that eventually you will be standing nowhere all alone!

Depression is one thing, but spinning in a bad mood and trying to take every one else down with you is another. We have a moral and ethical responsibility to others, especially the ones we love, to try to stay as positive as possible. I don’t mean being cheerful when you feel angry, worried and confused. Using negative words, being argumentative, picking fights, goading others into being nasty, demeaning others just to vent your aggravation is cruel and harmful for all parties concerned or bitterly trying to convince others to gang up on another. We live in an over stressed society, to add to another’s stress level is incouragable. We need to try harder to be genuinely nice to people. They deserve it. Strangers we meet out on the street don’t deserve to be treated with rudeness, disrespect or aggressive bad behaviour no matter how they treat us. Be the bigger person! We need to treat others with kindness, respect and friendliness.

Another old saying is ‘if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all’ but let’s face it, how can you find justice without complaint? So if you are truly looking for justice ask yourself this; ‘can this person I’m talking to help me understand what’s going on and am I truly looking for resolution – or am I just bitching to anyone who is too polite to hang up the phone or walk away from me while I rant?’ Words and emotions have energy. We use them to create effect in other people. Before you go shooting off your mouth hold some awareness about the power you are wielding. Loose tongues cut deeply – and in the end it will be you that falls with greatest pain.

Fact, Faith & Superstition


So often when I introduce Reiki to someone new who’s never heard of it before, particularily men (it’s the whole left brain thing) they inform me they don’t believe in faith healing. So I tell them the facts. I tell them why Reiki doesn’t require ‘faith’ in order to work and also what the scientific world is now starting to understand about energy and the human body. Then they get on the table.

Having said that I have tremendous faith in my Reiki treatments; I trust them to work 100% of the time. I have faith that there will be change in the client’s life – even if they don’t recognize it right away. Sometimes the changes that come after a treatment are different than what the client expected or wanted to happen, but again I have faith that Reiki – Universal Life Force energy knows best. I also have faith that Reiki will continue to work for our highest good always whether we believe in it or not. And as much as all this faith sounds a bit airy fairy – my faith is based on 15 years of facts, success stories and ‘miracles’.

You see I really am a skeptical person, I have put my Reiki through the paces. It has never made sense to me to blindly trust something that could affect someone else. Further more, since I have no religious conditioning I’ve never had to have blind faith in anything in my life. Everything I’ve ever held faith in had to be proven at some point, before or later makes no difference. If I’m going to believe in something it has to hold water. So I tend to look for the leaks in theories, ideas, people, friendships, stories etc. of course this also extends to my Reiki/Healing/ teaching work. Some leaks can be easily fixed and are worth the effort, other leaks require a complete tear down and start over.

All the work that I do is prone to superstitious undertones. Reiki, tarot cards, meditation, metaphysics, positive thinking etc. Superstitious ideas like ‘healer’s can’t work on themselves’, or ‘ Reiki is witchcraft?’, ‘don’t ask for healing/abundance for yourself’ are taking decades to work their way out of human consciousness. And the new age has also brought a few strange ideas to the table for instance, the other day I met a lady who almost did a backflip trying to erase the word ‘fear’ out of the energy field around us when I suggested that our freedom is governed by our fears, She felt that just saying ‘fear’ would attract fear to her. Very bizarre. She had fear for the word fear…hmm, what’s wrong with this picture. I systematically avoid all superstitious belief systems and rituals based in superstition. My work is for the real world, grounded in facts, with real results.

I have a couple things though I am superstitious about. 1. I always pick up pennies, and if I sweep one up off the floor at home I don’t throw it out with the rest of the dirt. Because superstitiously I believe if I don’t pick it up I am throwing away good fortune.  2. I never throw out any cards, notes, or letters that have been signed with Love; again I don’t want to throw wishes of love away. 3. I have never thrown a book out in my entire life; I won’t throw knowledge or words away. Hmmm… maybe I’m just a packrat?….nah!

Just Let Go and Jump!


I am so excited about Spring! I feel creative, productive, and just plain happy! And you know why? I practiced what I preach.That makes me feel good too!

Last year was a very emotionally difficult year. It felt like everything I believed in, from philosophy to friendships was being stripped away from me. Everything about my life came under scrutiny and everything was subject to being tossed out. I moved to Campbellford in 1999 and quickly created a strong community among the many like minded people here. I developed a few very special friendships, was able to keep growing in my work and was able to teach to many fine eager students. For 10 years my family thrived and grew strong; each successful in their own right. Everything was going well until suddenly it wasn’t. Truth is, it wasn’t sudden at all! There was a growing malcontent and disorder arising in my world which I didn’t know how to curb. I sensed it, I tried to calm it, I engaged and fought with it, and I even tried to ignore it. But I knew better. The ship was going down and I didn’t really understand why. So I just tried to save things, and kept going like normal. When we try to hold on too long, trying to ignore the pain, and not stand up for ourselves it starts to hurt really bad; emotionally, mentally and physically!

In the end I could only do what I know how to do. I had to let go! And I mean of everything! By the end I didn’t have the faintest clue what to save and what not to save so I had to throw it all to the wind. I was willing to let anything and everything go that had to in order to stop the pain and the sadness, from my marriage, to my kids, to my home, to my friends, to my work, to my writing, to my philosophies, in short everything that I had built my identity around in my whole life. I didn’t know what all needed to be released, I just knew that anything that was not for my highest good had to go. So layer by layer, piece by piece, I lessened my need to control, my need to be loved, my need to be nurtured, my need to be understood, my need to be right, my need to know, my need to be the teacher-healer extraordinaire, my need to save and make everything better and on and on…where ever I could identify a personal need I worked to lessen my attachment to it.

Systematically, one by one, I felt aspects of my life fall away, friends I had cared deeply for, aquaintances, workshops, pass times, interests, and beliefs. Worst of all was all my creativity with my writing dried up. And things got very quiet. The drama stopped. And things stayed quiet for a long time. I had no creative energy, no spark, no fire, I started playing games online…then one day I noticed I also didn’t have any pain anymore. Slowly I became aware of what wasn’t changing; my family, my life philosophies, my work had found a new depth and a renewed sense of purpose. Out of the blue I started writing again…better than before!

Today I am renewed! Charged with the vital life force energy of Spring! I am driven in my calling, loved by people I love, people I respect and admire! My home is my haven…for now!

10 Years ago I took a leap of faith when we moved to a small town 3 hours away from anyone I knew to a future I couldn’t imagine. It worked! Today I am grateful that I Let go! This is the 4th time in my life I have jumped – no bungie cord or anything. Each time I jump I land in a better place than where I was. Each time letting go has made room for so many blessings, so many new people, so many opportunities, and so much joy. So go ahead let go and jump! It will only hurt for a minute – in the grand scheme of things! I highly recommend it!!