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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Holding the Blue Bead, Affirming My Place in the Universe

By working with affirmations, we begin the process of changing negative and unproductive beliefs into positive life supporting beliefs, that with regular practice will create our desired futures. Affirmations focus the mind and clarify attention and intention.

I love the Journey Beads Crystal Affirmation Beads for prayer, meditation, and mindfulness as I navigate life's twists and turns. I love the way they play with light, each facet representing a moment of clarity, joy, and celebration!

Blue is the color of the spirit and relates to self expression
- speech, communication, the ability to communicate our needs and requirements; the Spirit of truth and purpose.

"Everything I do is an expression of love.

It is now safe for me to express my feelings.

I love and trust my creative gifts.

It is now right for me to express the best of who I am now.

I release the fear and doubts which block the way to my creative expression."

Journey Beads are both tactile and visual. They help to engage all our senses as we work with affirmations to reach our desired goals. An affirmation is a statement expressed in the present tense and phrased in the positive. I have found it advantageous to see myself as already having obtained my desired outcome and while holding the image, I bring to mind the feelings I would have when accomplishing my goal.

By combining the elements of sight, light, and touch to visualize our objective it becomes real to our imagination and in so doing becomes embedded in our subconscious as a part of our reality. As an example; if I desire to sail around the islands this winter; I concentrate and tune in my senses. I feel the motion of the boat beneath yme as I smell the sea air, hearing the flap of the sails and the calls of dolphins and gulls. I hear the rustle of palms on the breezy beach. I taste the salt spray on my face as I enjoy the pleasure of my surroundings. All the while, I turn the bead in my fingertips.

The subconscious mind, being non-critical, will believe my visualizations as being real as my sense of touch anchors those images in the third dimension reality. As I meditate on my affirmations, my subconscious mind will raise images and sensations of my successes to my awareness.

By visualizing your goal your subconscious mind will work for you, behind the scenes, to encourage the manifestation of situations which will ultimately enable your goals to come true. The process of achieving your goals through the application of positive mental images will empower you to create a reality from your desires. Journey Beads will bring light to your intentions and anchor them for manifestation with the healing power of touch.

Journey Beads may be purchased on Bonanzle and also at Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods. There is a Free Design Service if you'd like help in creating a set of beads and positive affirmations for your unique journey, or for someone you care about. Journey Beads also fit Pandora and Troll Jewelry.

Like words of encouragement, Journey Beads make a thoughtful and personal gift for someone facing challenges, celebrating a personal triumph, and growing in spirit. Each bead arrives wrapped in scented silk rose petals with an affirmation tag.

"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us." – Samuel Smiles

May you be blessed!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Staying Open While the Doors Slam Shut

Staying open while the doors slam shut. It's a metaphor, and an observation. As many of you know, I'm a watcher. I try to observe the events that touch my day from a detached awareness that allows me to experience these events as they are, not as I would have them be or not be. By not labeling them as "good" or "bad" I can usually see them from many perspectives at once.

I'm a work in progress. I can't always do it. But I do give it my best effort.

Sure there's a spiritual component to this way of being in the world, but I use it primarily as a good way to keep the stress levels down in my life – particularly in my role as "mother." I also find the practice an invaluable tool in making business decisions. If my soul is evolving in the process, that's a nice perk.

So, yes, we've been taught that is important in our spiritual lives to keep an open mind, open to ideas, experiences, people, the world, and the Divine. In Taoism, openness is defined as an ability to go with the flow without expecting predetermined outcomes. It means being receptive to new possibilities, without prejudging them. It means your Spirit is free.

To keep an open mind is to have the ability to make yourself available to out-of-the-ordinary opportunities. Indeed, openness to the unknown, the exotic, and the bizarre is usually seen as the mark of a free spirit.

This free spirit chooses "Bizarre" as the word-of-the week. How about you?

Did you feel like you were mad for a moment?
Was that brick wall calling your forehead?
Was the yogic breathing technique paling in comparison to the calming potential of a martini?
Did you feel like you were just one french fry short of a happy meal?
Did you want to slam some doors yourself?

I know many of you had some similar experiences this week. I see some of you closing up shop. Locking the doors. My choice is to stay open. Why? Because I can.

For me, the antidote was empathy.

How did I do it? I began by moving outside myself into the other's (multiple others, LOL!) situation (s). I tried to access the other's feelings and ideas. I've found for the purposes of practice, the more eccentric my choice, the better. I tried to stay open even as I was preparing to do battle if necessary. I aligned myself with a trusted ally – love.

The contrast to openness (love) is narrow-mindedness (fear). We've watched it play itself out over and over again through censorship, avoidance, and downright rude and arrogant behavior. Narrow-mindedness is a rigidity of mind. Rigid mind. Just saying the words feels tight and uncomfortable. Narrow-mindedness is in fact a repelling tactic, that drives others away and slams the door behind them. To keep you safe...

"And don't come back!"

I believe that behind every invitation to leave is the secret wish that you will stay, and say or do something to help me to be in a better place. I am the eternal optimist.

In my experiences as a healer, teacher, and mother, I've found that most pessimistic people have armored themselves against preconceived disappointments and are no longer open to other possibilities. Not open to anything, anymore. They have become dogmatic and stubborn people who are basically unapproachable. Alone. And afraid.

Boundaries are important. It is equally important to surround yourself with only those who bring out your best qualities. Sometimes you have to let relationships go. But sometimes you have to stay with it for a little while longer to see the real opportunity.

You have to stay open even as the door slams shut. So, if you need to, you can slam the door in my face while I am trying to have a conversation with you. I won't be taking it personally. When you open it just a crack to see if you have succeeded in driving me away, a bit of light will enter. It will illuminate and warm you. You can quickly slam the door again if you want to. But you will remember that feeling and eventually you will open that door again, and look for the source of that feeling.

You will want to experience it again, and again, and learn how to generate it for yourself... and someday you will want to be that for others. You will be in that better place. It can not be any other way.

I have watched that miracle unfold again. I am blessed.

May you be blessed!

Image credit: www.6by6.co.uk/assets/images/Door_Chain.jpg

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaching Reiki, Learning Lessons

A long story, short: A customer bought some oils from me. Then she copied the product listings from my website, posted the oils for sale on her website and proclaimed for herself the skill set I use to create my products. FYI, she has never been my student, she does not posess these particular skills as I know them. Some of my students do, and they have my blessings and my support – endless, infinite support.

Weeks later she purchased 12 imperfect Tachyon cubes on Bonanzle, seconds, and listed them along with my product text, word for word, except for the part about them being seconds. She copied my Tachyon FAQs page and imagined it was her own experiences that flavored her recommendations and insights, and advice.

OK, aside from this being a legal issue, a common sense issue, and an issue of decency, the larger issue is that she presents herself as a Reverend, a Healer, a Lightworker, a Master and a Teacher. She speaks to Spirit Guides, Ascended Masters, Angels, and Your Highest Divine Self. Even your Past Life Self. I assume her own present to her as well. And none of these entities said, "oh oh, bad idea."

I've contacted her, and offered to help her with her own descriptions if she needs such assistance, and acknowledged that she might be ignorant of the ways of ecommerce... and the mis-steps on the learning curve are certainly understandable, forgivable and easily rectified. I've thanked her for her edits in advance. Except I've had no response back. No edits last time I looked. The whole thing feels icky now. But, I was happy to work with her as she makes it right.

On the homepage of her site she quotes:

"Life is designed to be a school for the Soul. A journey where we live out each lesson we have pre-planned and chosen for ourselves.. How we chose to travel through these experiences is up to us; for we are the creators of our own reality."

I'm good with that, but I got to wondering why I might pre-plan this experience.

Further down the page it says, "There are no coincidences in finding yourself here."

Duh. Is it Patience again? Compassion? Tolerance? Charity? Please, what aspect of Love has come to call?

Well, I couldn't address it further today, I was scheduled to teach a day-long workshop, Reiki I, at a Senior Center. Somehow (of course), these events managed to weave themselves into the fabric of the lesson just as we were reviewing the Usui precepts.

Just for today, do not worry. Just for today, do not anger. Honor your parents, teachers and elders. Earn your living honestly. Show gratitude to every living thing.

I acknowledged that I was not worried or angry, that I could honor the teaching (if I could just figure it out), that the earning of a living honestly had turned its facet to the light for us all to think about. (There was a brief discussion of the mortgage crisis, and Bernie Mader, and the crooks who installed the new carpet at the center, but we moved along pretty well.)

I expressed that I was indeed grateful for the peace and sense of detachment that replaced what might have been and emotionally charged experience had I not practiced Reiki, meditation and yoga.

"That's what Reiki does," I said, " it balances emotions, will, spirit, and keeps your body from recoiling and reacting in boils, ulcers and muscle spasms."


As we continued our practice into the afternoon, I was still open to the lesson. Skeptical Mimmi, at age 76, put her gnarled hands on my shoulders.

"You're carrying her here."

Who? What? Oh.

"No," I said, "I'm not."

"Then why would you burden yourself with rewriting her website?"

"I am trying to be kind," I said.

'Well, you should be really pissed off!"

I almost fell over. Mimmi, all 98 pounds of her in her oversize orange, appliqued fall leaves sweatshirt (another outreach program project for sure), shimmered like the great golden Goddess and rose three feet in stature as she pressed her words into my aura and body. I relaxed. My head fell forward. I gave it voice.

"I am pissed off, Mimmi."

She was silent for a good long minute. Then she took her hands off my shoulders and went over to the table and sat down. As she arranged her handouts into her folder, I heard her mummur to no one in particular, "Well, then, I guess this Reiki stuff really works."

May you be blessed!

image credit: www.energy-healing-guide.com

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Views from the edge

“Nothing is given to man on Earth - struggle is built into the nature of life. The hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.” –Andrew Bernstein

"Now after all this struggle, where do I go?"
I'm seeing some soul searching, finally.

I have been watching the "experts and chosen ones" deliberately taking advantage of the weary and down-trodden and leading them down a treacherous path to "success" that instinctively feels wrong, is most certainly self-defeating, and and could be financially suicidal. There was, by design, a ready following for these directives... And even as their own hearts were urging them to stop and reflect on the path, and find their own light, the self-proclaimed experts said they knew the way.

I agree, it might feel safer to trust the experts, at least for a minute or two. But it is safer to know who YOU are and trust your own instincts. Hold true to your own values. And make your own mistakes if need be.

It occurred to me that it is not the hard work, the perseverance, or the patience required to succeed that eventually turns the heart to weariness – and perhaps finally bitterness and resentment– but the grieving of the values that have been compromised along the way.

There is great power in accepting what is, rather than wishing for something different. If in the quest for transforming your circumstances, a sense of desperation and struggle has been born, or you've been lead to a place that doesn't feel right, I say, "Stop! Breathe. Think. Feel."

Re-connect with your values. Let those values be the beacon that lights your way. Align with them and you will work smarter, not harder.

Accept where you are in this moment, even if it's scary. It is a beginning point. Put aside the blame. I's not the economy, its not what has been done to you, or what hasn't been done for you. It's not what you expected. OK.

Accepting and blessing our circumstances is a powerful tool for transformation. In fact, this potent combination can work miracles in our lives.

What is acceptance? Acceptance is surrendering to what is: our circumstances, our feelings, our problems, our financial status, our work, our health, our relationships with other people, the delay of our dreams.

Before we can change anything in our life we have to recognize that this is the way it's meant to be right now.

Believe that you came to this edge to learn to fly, because there is no going backwards. Find your own wings in the closed eyes of prayer and meditation, perhaps even the quiet tears. Everything is going to turn out all right. This is simply part of the journey. Say it aloud. Write it down.

Over the years I have discovered that much of my struggle to be content despite whatever outside circumstances have arisen, is when I stubbornly resisted what was actually happening in my life at the present moment. But I have also learned that when I surrender to the reality of a particular situation – when I don't continue to resist, but accept, a resonance occurs.

Suddenly I am able to open up to receive all the goodness and abundance available to me because acceptance brings with it so much relief and release. It's as if the steam of struggle has been allowed to escape from life's pressure cooker.

What happens when we accept our circumstances? Well, first of all, we relax. Next we change our vibration, our energy pattern, and the rate of our heartbeat. Once again we're able to tap into the boundless positive energy of the Universe. Acceptance also illuminates reality so that we're better able to see the our own way...

"When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and are about to step out into darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen; There will be something to stand on, or you will be taught to fly." –Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Today, have faith in yourself and in your own wisdom.

May you be blessed!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Announcing Journey Beads on Bonanzle!

Are you looking for a thoughtful gift... one that's meaningful, personal, beautiful, and full of light and love, and that won't break the bank? Do you need a pick-me-up, a well-deserved indulgence, and a little sparkle just about now? Here you go!

Journey Beads are created to hold energy for inspiration, healing, awareness, creativity, and prosperity. You can create a beautiful one-of-a-kind crystalline bracelet, a necklace, a bookmark, or a set of Touchstone prayer and meditation beads. Design one for yourself or for someone you care about. You can even give a single bead... each comes beautifully packaged with an affirmation tag, and costs just a few dollars including US shipping. Goodbye Hallmark!

Journey Beads will add beauty and and light to the path that you are on, and remind you to celebrate each step and milestone! Journey Beads also fit your Pandora, Troll, and Biagi jewelry.

Begin with a bracelet. We have Pandora-style snake chains and leather styles. Add Affirmation Beads for prayer, meditation, and mindfulness as you navigate life's twists and turns. An affirmation is a statement expressed in the present tense and phrased in the positive. Affirmations focus the mind and clarify attention and intention. Affirmations are simultaneously an expression of expectation and an expression of gratitude, they are both a journey and a destination. An affirmation tag is included with each bead in this collection.

Pathway Beads help you to stay focused on your dream, be it the path to prosperity, joy, balance, courage, motherhood, healing, love, recovery, or spiritual growth... our paths are many! You set the intention for your Pathway Beads. Directions on how to power up your jewelry with solar energies are included with Pathway Beads.

Milestone Beads , also known as Wisdom Beads, are a beautiful way to celebrate every insight you experience and every goal you reach, large or small. Milestone Beads are charms which represent movement and flexibility. Each bead in this collection is blessed with positive energies and comes with an affirmation tag.

Spacer Beads remind you to breathe, relax, enjoy the moment, and have faith that your journey is unfolding as it should. There are several styles in Tibetan Silver to choose from.

Custom orders: We'll be happy to help you create a set of crystalline Journey Beads and positive affirmations for your unique journey, or for someone you care about. This service is free of charge.

Free US Shipping! Your entire order ships for $8 flat rate worldwide.
Returns within 7 days for exchange or store credit.
Gift wrapping is free, by request.

Just ask!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Attention! You are being ignored!

As some of you know, I've had phone issues for the past week or so.

So this morning I've been struggling to set up a new telephone, and its very complicated somehow. Since I last purchased a telephone there have been many options added, layers of settings, privacy screens, notifications, voice mail connections, forwards to other devices, caller id menus... all ways to stay connected, and when I really thought about it – all ways to ignore people...

...someone has made the effort to reach out to me, someone needs or wants to talk to me, and I am given at least a half-dozen options to pretend that they do not. I am struck by how easy we have made it to ignore and dismiss another human being and we’re convinced it’s not only acceptable, but appropriate.

I got to thinking about the larger phenomena of "being ignored."
I've known that feeling of being ignored.
Have you ever asked a direct question and not been answered?
You have been sent the message, “I think you are insignificant.”
Think about it.

Well, it's rude. Borderline passive/aggressive. And, we have been able to desensitize ourselves from our rude behavior. I'm not talking about needing to take a message when you're engaged elsewhere. And, I'm not talking about clicking the porn queen's unfollow button or hitting the ignore button when faced with the thirteenth invitation to play Mafia Wars. I'm not talking about responding to spam.

I'm talking about choosing to ignore, out of arrogance, or immaturity... or fear.

Love. It's the basis of the human need to connect and should be the starting and ending points of any communication, personal or not. We all need to remember that there are REAL human beings behind the phone calls, emails, texts, and all the other ways we use to communicate with each other.

What happens if you imagine making eye contact with who ever’s request, question, idea or sentiment you’ve chosen to ignore? On a soul level you already are. Pretend what you will.

If someone contacts me and reveals a personal vulnerability, I need to realize that required courage. And courage should always be applauded, validated, and recognized. I think we might need a refresher memo with every new phone, application, and social techno-gadgetry on how to stand up and be human, and do it in a respectful and meaningful way. How to be intentional, transparent, and honest. How to stay human in the virtual world. I'm going to try to be mindful of the temptation to hide behind my technology. I'm going to look you in the eye, wherever you may be.

If you are being ignored, don’t be afraid to speak out. You were given a voice for a reason. But...

"The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them." Maya Angelou

That's really good advice. Don’t keep going to the same well if the well is dry. If you open up all lines of communication and are still being ignored, that person doesn’t deserve your attention. There are many more wonderful people out there listening for your voice.

May you be blessed!

Image credit: www.zazzle.com/ignored+gifts

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Musings on Growing the Money Tree: Bonanzle, Facebook and Twitter

I have a little storefront on Bonanzle, and you can check it out if you've never visited before. I thought it would be nice to be involved in a community marketplace in addition to seling from my website, so about a year ago I set up my shop there. Bonanzle is a hybrid venue, a social marketplace. There are some great sellers there, wonderful, trustworthy merchants. And, there has been a year-long ongoing debate among them as to whether Bonanzle is a serious selling site, or chat and gamers lounge, or both, or neither.

Many of you have visited me there, and I know that some have experienced first-hand the cart that does not always function, the quirky search, and server glitches. And, I thank you all for your patience and willingness to find a creative, alternative way to make your purchases when necessary. Management has made many, many wonderful site improvements, and things do run smoother there today, although for me, with a large international clientelle, Bonanzle's checkout remains problematic. I've spoken with several savvy, vetran sellers just this week who still cannot lead a new international buyer thru the checkout process with 100% certainty. Ummm, lets think about that.

So I got to thinking, musing actually... why would a shopping venue not prioritize checkout, and shipping? The bells, whistles, hip and trendy trinkets that – cool as they are – don't make my customer's experience any easier, add no real value to my buyer. And, Bonanzle continues to applaud and encourage games in which members buy each other's wares rather than assist the business people who do most of their selling off site, to many seller's dismay. Google base, google anaylitics aside, and the seller tools and marketing tips, all common sense, thanx. I'm talking checkout issues. Always coming back to the debate as to whether Bonanzle is a serious selling site, social site, or both, or neither.

The latest set of Bonanzle improvements are links to Facebook and Twitter (yes, I use them both), and the directive is to use these tools to advertise the site, the perk being you will get a little bump in visibility on site in a prominently displayed panel of web communicators. Ummm, lets think about that, too. I'll let someone else blog about that...

This morning, as I paid my $10 fee for selling there last month I got to thinking... although my $10 is chump change, if I multiply that by the roughly 22,oo0 booths listed on the site, there'd be a revenue of $220,000 in final value fees for the month. Add in Plus and Premium memberships at $10 and $24 /month respectively and I would think that throwing a little money at the checkout glitches would be possible. Probable. A priority? Part of the plan for growing the Money Tree?

And, there might be enough left over so that the site could do some advertising of its own during the Holiday shopping season, now in full swing (on other venues at least). The natives are getting restless, some trees have born no fruit even in this Harvest Season. Again, fodder for someone else's blog, I'm not going there either. But here is where I am going:

Mark Zuckerberg, 23, is the founder of Facebook. His social networking site is at about 60 million users, with a projection of 200 million by the end of this year. It's estimated to be worth $15 billion. Yahoo! offered to buy Facebook in 2006 for $1 billion in cash. (Zuckerberg declined their offer). In 2007, Microsoft bought 1.6 percent of the company for $240 million.

But Facebook has yet to figure out how to make money off its huge audience. Facebook needs to find a way to generate revenue...

On Facebook, members get a dose of social interraction by playing imaginary games such as Mafia Wars, Castle Wars, members give gifts of crystals, flowers and cocktails while they chat. Then they tweet that did, and do, they announce it to the world. Sometimes I wake up to tens of gifts and offers to come play. I don't, but that's me. I'm not all that drawn to imaginary enemies or cyber trinkets and such.

Now here is my aha moment: On Bonanzle, members play games and the site takes a final value fee from each little happy social interraction, and members tweet to the world that the game is about to begin or end, oh my! The game is called "Shopping!" And, now they've created unique interface so that we can access Facebook and Twitter and never leave Bonanzle. Sticky isn't it?

Bonanzle has already figured out how to make money off its growing audience. Imagine if all the Mafia Wars players tuned in to "Tickle me Tuesday" or "Finding Friends on Friday"? There is a seemingly endless list of games to choose from. Why send your friends each an imaginary crystal from Facebook, when you can send them each a real one from Bonanzle for just a few dollars in the how-low-will-you-go LIMBO game?

Well, there you go. No crystal ball needed. A hybrid indeed, and the game is shopping. If Bonanzle can pull this one off, it will be the next best thing! The new big thing. The thing. The Money Tree. Tweet that, Facebook!

When you're chasing $15 billion, what's losing a few sales in Canada or the UK this holiday season? Unless you are a Canadian wanting multiple varieties of my Chinese Blooming Tea? If you are, just email me, together we'll figure it out.

We always do.

May you be blessed!