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

Posts tagged ‘hope’

The Struggle


 

 

 

 

 

There are times in our lives
when everything is especially hard.
Usually these times pass over quickly, but sometimes…
Sometimes a struggle can last for years.

And then it is shocking to realize one day,
just out of the blue,
exactly how long one has allowed oneself to live in a hard time.
Suddenly, you realize that you really can’t,
honestly can’t,
take one more day of struggle!
Not one more day!

And then you sigh!

For in order not to do one more day,
You must do something else.
Something that will change life into something new!
But if we knew what that was or how to do it
we wouldn’t be stuck in the first place.

The new ways lie in the old ways.
Hidden, entwined in all that you already do,
Entangled in all the patterns, all the habits, and all the stories,
Beneath the myth that is your life
Lies your truth and your path.

Healing is choosing and releasing what you don’t want to struggle with anymore,for your own sanity.
Change happens in a heartbeat,

The period of time leading up to the change takes an eternity!
Even once someone knows the why to change
And the when to change, the what to change and where to change,
the how to do it is the thing.

The how can take forever
And no-one can help.
It’s a solitary journey to the soul truth.
But when you get there you’ll know,
because suddenly there’s no going back.
And then…

Change happens in a heatbeat.

Reiki: A Discovery of Self-Empowerment


I came across Reiki one day back in 1995 while giving a talk about herbs and organic gardening. Up until that minute I had never even heard of it, and in the last 16 years since then I haven’t experienced one minute without it. There was an instant recognition that Reiki and I somehow belonged together, but I was gun-shy about joining into any belief system and literally ran in the other direction. It took me a full year before I was willing to entertain the idea of learning Reiki.

Doubtful Beginnings

I’m a self-starting kind of person, I have always been self-employed and have always called my own shots. I have always felt very strongly about maintaining my independence and helping myself, and although I was at a point in my life where I needed a new perspective and certainly some help from somewhere I just couldn’t wrap my head around a nebulous healing modality that was based in channeling energy. I did however, eventually take the courses and immediately understood myself to be engaged in a very personal discovery of self-empowerment. I felt better about it then. When I could feel the power of Reiki in my own core, in my own hands and use it for myself I was hooked. I determined to find out as much as I could about it and tried to experience it in every aspect of my life. Certainly Reiki was something I could share with others, but most importantly I could use it for myself.

The first degree of Reiki teaches us about self-treatment. Not only are you given a treatment protocol that teaches you how the give yourself Reiki, it also teaches us the value of doing so. Reiki gives us  5 precepts, that when practiced serve to awaken ourselves to peaceful ways, compassion and tolerance. In Reiki you become attuned to a vibration of energy that is highly organized and intelligent. It immediately stimulates the body to search out health and healthy patterns.

Reiki, Me and the Rest of Creation

I practice Reiki today because I am concerned for the well-being of humanity and our earth. I am fascinated by the possibility that we can change the world, indeed our future by the way we think, feel and of course behave. But all behaviour stems in thought and belief systems. I had been exposed to the power of the subconscious mind, positive thinking and creative visualization since childhood and began actively working with these concepts as a young adulthood. As I’ve grown and matured – [which is code for gotten older and made a lot of mistakes] – I began getting smarter and less controlling with my practice. I gradually began to understand the power of surrender, patience and ease. My Reiki practice gave me ample opportunities to experience suffering, pain and hardships from a new perspective of choice, non-attachment and opportunity.  I learned to observe without meddling, I learned to give Reiki treatments without minding my clients’ business, I learned to remain unattached to their outcomes, their journeys and their pain. I focused instead on the perfect principle of health that presides in our bodies and universe. When I do this – focusing on the health in any situation – health blossoms. It’s that old adage in action: where attention goes energy flows. I practice on myself – diligently. I understand that  the change I want to see in the world starts with me!

I discovered that in every broken down body, in every situation of despair and suffering and in every circumstance of perceived failure is opportunity, healing, and success. In Reiki we are able to access that Divine aspect of ourselves that has not forgotten our greatness and our truest soul purpose. In Reiki we can learn to restore our intuition and natural vitality to create sustainable life for ourselves and our children. By empowering all that is Divine on our bodies, hearts and minds we align ourselves with the highest creative forces of our universe. Creative energy is omnipotent, and while it belongs to everyone equally it can not be harnessed and controlled by one for another. Awakening your creative energy is personally empowering, and personally gratifying.

Reiki empowers people in their strength and their spiritual resilience. We remember our greatness in Reiki. We become awakened to the Divine aspect of ourselves and our boundless limitless potential to be healthy, creative and vibrant entities.

Reiki; Part of the Solution

Many years have passed and Reiki is still a daily part of my life. Although I am a Reiki Master which means I am able to teach and attune others to this amazing modality, in my heart I am and will always remain a student and practitioner of Reiki. I meditate and give myself t daily still. Reiki offers us a very simple technique to build a relationship with peace that sits in our core. Reiki meets us where we live. Where ever we are at Reiki can be without question, without judgment. Reiki offers us a new attitude with which to negotiate a challenging world and difficult stressful life situations. Everyone can learn Reiki – and at the risk of passing a judgment everyone should! The world would be a very different place.

I am offering a One day Workshop – ‘Reiki+ Meditation; Help Yourself with Basics’ to introduce self-help techniques for stress, worry, and chronic pain. See above under Upcoming Events for more details.

Becoming Butterflies of a Different Kind


I know that you’re probably already familiar with butterfly analogies. I realize that butterfly references flit and flutter rampantly throughout the new age movement of thought. And I get that you get that butterfly is symbolic of transformation and metamorphosis. But I’m going to go through it again all the same; in detail, slowly, because although people talk the talk there is hardly a more potent set of images available to us mere humans than through the magical  synergy of the butterfly story. The real magic however lies in what is not often talked about. We usually talk about the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly; from humble beginnings to exquisite soaring potential. As humans we tend to like happy endings and butterfly wings are just plain happy making! But the real message of hope lies in the frenetic, arduous, and determined journey of the lowly Caterpillar.

4 Stages of Development:

1. The Egg (Conception): You are conceived, from fertilized egg you come into being. You enter into this life’s experience with a bevy of information that will all contribute to the path you must walk in this lifetime. From the moment of your conception you are immersed in this matrix of information that will metabolize into your own being, forming your own unique life’s expression. You grow, develop, and become the miniature form that will execute your life’s journey this time around. The concept of you is created out of karmic lessons, genetic opportunity, parental influence, environmental conditioning, and knowledge. When you are ready you will emerge through a  challenging experience of birth. Your first real experience of fighting for your life,  you break through the barrier that has kept you safely protected, to move toward an independent expression of your self. And this is where the real fun starts!

2. The Caterpillar: From the moment he breaks away from his egg, the caterpillar begins to hunt for and devour huge amounts of food. His physical rate of growth is fantastic. Four separate times he literally grows out of his skin. 4 times he must shed his old skin and live into his new potential.  4 times his skin splits, dries up and 4 times he must wriggle free of it, leaving it behind if he intends to survive; which is of course, all that motivates him.

Likewise there are four times in a human life that we change our skin, dramatically yet without realizing it from a daily perspective; infancy, adolescence, adulthood, seniority. But at each stage, before we can rightfully embody the next stage of life we must learn the value of letting go of the ideas, dependencies, perspectives and belief systems that have been relevant to life to date. Some of these experiences are emotionally devastating, earth shattering, heartbreaking. Although we think that we would be happy to leave these behind us, often these times of life are the ones we allow to define us and to influence how we move forward in life. Our ultimate success will be determined by how well we let go of our most challenging attachments, forgive and move forward toward the next stage. The caterpillar grows larger and expands with each stage right up until his ‘death’ time as the pupa. Human tendency, however is to slow down our growth once we move into middle age. Half way through our life span we tend to stop taking in new ideas, we indulge in routine, cultivate patterns of sameness, and reject thoughts of new possibility. We approach our death time with low energy, little creativity, and resignation to the inevitable.

As human beings we also have 4 aspects that must be simultaneously developed as we grow; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It seems an immutable fact that we are destined to grow, our choices in reference to each of these aspects will determine how well and gracefully we progress. Each aspect supports the others and encourages the others to stretch and reach for a higher opportunity at all times.

3. The Pupa (Transformation): When the caterpillar enters the pupa stage a profound cellular transformation occurs that will eventually allow the caterpillar to experience life from an entirely different, more lofty perspective than he had previously known. It is during this stage of human development that many of us choose to rest, believing that life has reached its climax and now there is nothing but a steady decline in vitality ahead. Transitioning from mature adult into senior is an enormously difficult shift in physicality, mentality, emotionality and spirituality for most people. Many people choose to spend this part of their development being ill, tired, listless, lifeless, uninspired and mournful. As fully mature adults we too begin to change chemically. The pharmaceutical companies must love this stage of development as they seem to provide more and more prescription drugs that cater to aging bodies and metabolisms to say nothing of hormonal deficiencies  and other chemical imbalances that happen with aging. It’s an all out effort to keep the population from believing what they see happening in the mirror. There is a time of retreat, isolation, and reconstitution that has to happen to allow the shift forward into a beautiful seniority. Mankind must learn to surrender to his maturity and allow the alchemical transformation to happen so that he too may emerge in a splendid possibility and symbol for hope.

4. The Butterfly(Seniority): The caterpillar instinctively follows his biological clock and surrenders himself willingly to the pupa stage of growth; man not so much. We fight it every step of the way. Every where we look we see seniors trying to recapture their youth. It is not however, the seniors that are trying to look and act young that capture our hearts, it’s the ones that joyfully and exuberantly embrace their age, their knowledge and their wisdom. The seniors that we adore and respect are the ones who have gracefully allowed themselves to embody the fullest culmination of their lives. When our elders joyously express their enthusiasm for life with flair and panache we see the human butterfly emerging. They have surrendered to their transition and have gratefully, with humility and profound wisdom accepted and embodied the journey of the butterfly. They have miraculously surrendered to the divine order of life to experience without fear or worry the fullest expression possible. The human butterfly has learned to leave the worries of growing, building and survival behind him and lives out the remainder of his life dancing with the breezes, enjoying the nectar of the beauty of life and living for the moments that remain. Butterfly nurtures the spirit of others around him, giving hope and inspiring the next generation to live their fullest life possible.

Give Praise to the Dreamers…Become One if you Dare!


I’ve been meeting some truly amazing people lately whose acquaintance fill me with hope and renewed energy to keep moving forward on my sometimes twisty convoluted path.

I’m concerned about the plight of our planet, the condition of our species and our prospects of survival. I meet many people in a day whose primary concern is their failing health and difficult life situations. As humanitarian I acknowledge and empathize with their pain and fear. As healer my job is to hold a torch of light that allows them to see the way out of their grief. This can be challenging at times.

The torch I choose to bear is not one I’ve personally created. The light I try to hold is the light that has been created over time by the healers, visionaries, wisdom keepers, peace makers, and builders of the past. Of course these people don’t go by these titles, they’re builders, architects, scientists, leaders, poets, artists, musicians, and dreamers of all descriptions. They are people who have been so profoundly moved by the potential of our possibility that they see beyond the limitations presented by our reality. They dream us forward, one vision at a time.

I like to align myself with the highest energies available in every moment, it’s why I practice Reiki daily – it’s my spiritual practice. But on a physical level it’s the great brilliant adventurers of our past and present. It’s the people who walk their talk. The ones who do something different out of the norm. The ones who aren’t afraid to stare down the demons of complacency and conformance. The ones who dare to blow the sides out of the boxes of uniformity. The dreamers can be a pretty motley crew on first glance but I assure you this is where the action is. Many of these powerful visionaries weren’t respected and appreciated in their own time for their path took them out of their current reality into ours of the future. They were often criticized, ridiculed, even jailed, hung and assassinated for their beliefs. While the masses may desperately cling to the ways of the present by their fingertips and dig their heals into the bedrock of popular society the dreamers take flight, sailing and free-falling into the shadowy realms of possibility. This is just plain too risky for most.

These dreamers dare to plunge into the vast unknown and surrender to the ebbs and flows of unformed consciousness. They bring back to us a dream, a vision for our possibility, that can manifest if we dare but follow with our own little bit. Every new dream allows the rest of us to experience and create a new manifestation of power. We have the chance to create with the tools of our respective trades a special something, that is uniquely our own yet symbiotic to the whole. And so history is reshaped, evolved into ever greater potentials.

The effect of the individual dreams is cumulative. Each one builds on another. Each dreamer is motivated by a unique combination of stimuli and the results reflect in the circle of influence of the dreamer. While each of us has our own circle of influence the circles connect in intricate magical designs and patterns that continue to form more and more dreams. The themes of expression, although unique in design all reflect the same values; love, freedom, creativity, equality, sustainability, harmony and peace.

Today is the day to give way to a dream. Don’t be afraid of failure. Don’t hesitate at the doorway that leads your mind to freedom. Step out and dare to be guided by a light that shines for you. The heart yearns to engage passionately with life.

When you dream be aware that many great people have gone before you and still cast tremendous light through the darkness of the unknown. Let their visions and accomplishments guide you. I walk in good company when I travel with the dreamers of our world.  I hope to see you there – in a dream for the future.

The Restoration of Gratitude – It’ll just take a moment!


I woke this morning with a feeling of being blessed. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the temperature with my bedroom window wide open was perfect. I had spent a great evening sitting outside until almost midnight chatting with a dear friend that I hadn’t connected with in quite some time. All felt right in my world. I ruminated on our various discussions from the night before.

At one point we talked about gratitude. My friend has experienced so much turmoil and pain in her life and yet that’s not what she wears on her face. Her face shows the world her hope, her acceptance, and her belief in herself and in others. She is remarkably grateful. She is grateful for every kindness, every opportunity, every experience that crosses her path. She takes nothing for granted. Every small thing is a meaningful blessing. Her life is not charmed, things don’t come easy to her. She has worked harder than almost anyone I know at everything she does, she never hides from a challenge and always tackles anything put before her. Every so often life overwhelms her and her edges crumble a little bit, but in the end she is like the stone in the river bed that millions of tons of water has washed over and made smooth. She is willing to be tumbled around a little bit if it enhances her perspective of life. She is willing to hit some other rocks in the river if it means that she will learn something new about herself. And just because she is willing to engage with life, life engages back. She had always stood apart in her innocence.

But something  had changed. She was worried and sad. Fearful of pending changes. Feeling the need to protect herself. I don’t know her this way. She has always lived in the moment, looking for the opportunity, and seeing the good in it. It usually works; but it wasn’t working now. She didn’t know why not. It took me a good long while in the morning light to understand and identify what was different.  Often epiphany comes when we are doing the mundane, when the mind can aimlessly drift about without clinging to intentional pieces. While washing dishes this morning I realized what it was.

In the same moment I realized what had changed, I also knew why it had changed and why I didn’t see it.  In short what had happened was my friend wasn’t being herself, she had become the way the world typically functions. Her language reflected the way the world talks, she was listening to things the way the world listens to things, she was behaving the way the world normally behaves. And because she wasn’t living intuitively as she normally does, she became lost. I didn’t catch it because she was being normal, as in the same as everyone else. She wasn’t standing alone in her light, she had mentally, emotionally joined the common way of a world immersed in fear.

She had begun to worry about the future. She was fearing the potential loss of her great love. She had become attached to potential failure. She began to anticipate the worst and was looking for the clues in the moment, in order to protect herself for the future. She stopped living in the moment and started living for the future. She was living suspiciously, second guessing, doubting her senses, listening to the onslaught of negativity that spews so abundantly from the minds and mouths of mass population, media and government. She was a like fish out of water.

I see so many people afraid of engaging with life fully because they are afraid of the pain that seems imminent. We are so preoccupied with living the promised fairy tale happy ever afters that we end up judging our lives negatively in comparison. We worry, we anger, we shrink and shirk and blame, we judge, anything to try to separate us from the world around us that we see causing so much pain and failure. Unfortunately by doing so we become part of that darkness that squelches out the possibility of a better way.  My friend had stepped out of her light filled innocence into the shadowy norm and it didn’t fit well. Trying to squeeze all that light and hope into a limited, typical, too small dark box was hurting her. Her compass became disoriented, she didn’t know where or who she was anymore. And worse still she couldn’t find the way out, her re-course became to isolate. That alone broke her heart.

In the end she re-committed herself to seeing the good, looking for the silver lining, and counting her blessings in every moment. In the end she went home grateful for the life she is blessed to have. She’s the bravest soul I know! Are you brave enough to stand in your light? Alone if need be?

Hunkering Down in Big Winds of Change


Wow. This wind makes me nuts.

I had half a dozen phone calls from people this morning complaining of feeling strangely unsettled and unable to focus. They didn’t think to connect their feelings with the energy of the wind.

There are certain winds that make me crazy. What we’ve got blowing through Ontario today is one of the worst for me. I get feeling edgy, antsy, and nervous. My thoughts flit about in my head and my teeth chatter. My finger tips and toes freeze no matter how warm the wind or day actually is and my spine feels cold and stressed. So here I am hunkering down in my Reiki room trying to stay out of the direct path of the wind. All gardening plans for me today are gone!

I’m tucked safely inside, sheltered completely from the wind and yet I can still feel it. The energy of it can’t be stopped. And as uncomfortable as I am, I am also grateful. I know that when the big winds blow there are big changes afoot. And that’s a good thing! You can’t have growth without clearing away the old energy. The wind, like the other elements are extremely useful for shifting possibility. The wind is the element of air in action, air represents our minds, our thinking, our thoughts. Windy air whistling through our brains clears our thoughts, changes our attachments, brings us to new perspectives.

The best thing to do when the wind is whipping you around is to get grounded, breathe really deeply, and try not to catch the thoughts as they blow around in your brain. Let them be until the wind stops. Trying to anchor down plans, pin down ideas, or capture thoughts during the big winds is like trying to catch Dandelion seeds before they land and take root. Seize the opportunity to kiss goodbye to things that no longer serve you and let them blow right out of your life. When the mind isn’t attached to ideas amazing things can happen. When the wind finally stops you’ll find that what bothered you before has less hold on you. You’ll be refreshed with new ideas and hopeful for the future.

The wind can also blow some energy into something you want to fire up; something (someone) you feel passion for – but be careful, you’re liable to burn down the whole neighborhood!

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!