Tag Archives: Intuition

The Importance of Following Your Inner Voice

inner voiceBy Kristin A. Meekhof

When a well- known author gave me the opportunity to guest blog on her website, I did a happy dance. I had to reread the email several times to take it all in.  At the same time, I was a ball of nerves. I actually felt a knot in my stomach. I worked countless hours on this blog entry, and even confided in a friend, who is an editor, that I was filled with angst.  As a professional editor, this dear friend offered to review my work. I didn’t hesitate to accept this generous gesture.  I felt that a second set of professional editorial eyes was just what I needed.

After exchanging a few emails with my friend, I felt confident that I had the polished and perfect article ready for submission.  My friend’s editorial remarks and insights were nothing short of genius.  Now, my sentences were crisp and alive. Moreover, I felt that I captured the true essence of this blog assignment. I submitted my work, and waited, and waited. No word. Finally, I got a generic email back stating that I was rejected. The words stood out like a black eye. My ego was bruised and my self- esteem tanked.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I’ve been published numerous times by a national well- respected publication and now, this- rejection!  In a panic, I contacted my friend. She reassured me that revisions and edits are part of the game.  She kept repeating “No worries”, in a calm tone.  Honestly, I was worried.  I asked the author’s assistant for feedback as to why I received the rejection. No response.  I resubmitted a revised version, and I was rejected- again.

I set aside the article for a day, and went back to reread what I wrote.  I realized that the writing did not sound like me. I had lost my voice. I was intimidated by this “big” author. Wanting to impress others, I tried to write for them instead of myself. In the past, my writing voice has served me well.  After all, it is what earned me this author’s blog invitation. After some hours of rumination, I called my trusted aunt and explained the situation. With a very maternal voice, she said, “Listen very carefully to the (writing) voice inside you.”

I had compromised my writing voice in exchange for something that I thought guaranteed sophistication. When I set aside my own style in favor of a voice that I assumed was fancy and fabulous, I rejected my own voice.  A voice that is strong, that I’ve relied on, not only to obtain other writing assignments, but a voice that has guided me through some very difficult decisions.

I think we all have our own inner voice that guides and teaches us. For some of us, that voice is strong and courageous. For others, the voice is hesitant and passive.  I’m not suggesting that we have all the answers. Of course, there are times when we can’t be afraid to ask for help. In fact, there are times when obtaining outside professional help is necessary. What I am speaking to is listening to that voice within you.  Some call this voice, “a gut feeling” or “intuition”. Whatever you may call it, listen. Listen to its whispers, to its laughter, and to its tears. These are the sounds and songs of the heart. This is what will connect you with the goodness in others, and what will bring out your own truth.  Be brave. Listen.

My intent is to listen to my own voice and to the songs and whispers of my heart.

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Brief Bio- Kristin Meekhof is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Her writing has appeared in Author online magazine,  Ecclesio, and the University of Michigan Cancer Website blog. She is currently working on her upcoming book– Just Widowed,  and can be reached at www.kristinmeekhof.com

What Do You Do When Truth Knocks?

truth-smallSometimes we are cracked open without warning. Other times an unnerving anticipation builds like the click, click, click of the rollercoaster climbing up the tracks before an inevitable fall. Either way, this isn’t the romanticized, sweet pain of the movies.

This is the siren sounding, bathroom floor sobbing kind of pain that kicks us in the gut. 

I’ve found that in instances like these, the only way out is in. Inside myself- underneath of the layers of blame and excuses I’ve piled on top of the truth. And if I can press pause on the “poor me” chatter playing on repeat in my mind long enough to ask myself, “Why did I create this?” immense treasures are hidden in these moments.

Many times we miss these treasures because they don’t resemble our mind’s narrow definition of what a treasure is supposed to look like. 

On the heels of a very painful break up, where I was cracked open beyond anything I could imagine, I almost overlooked one of the greatest treasures of my life because it came disguised as a question I had massive resistance to answering.

But that did little to stop the question from badgering me – it woke me up in the middle of the night, and was patiently waiting bright eyed and bushy tailed for me each morning.

In an effort to silence it, I considered leaning on my old tricks and knocking back half a bottle of pinot grigio or buying a new spring wardrobe, but something deep inside told me that wasn’t going to work this time. No, I would have to answer the question…

“When are you going to do something that actually matters to you?” 

I’ve been successful in the corporate world for years, but let’s be real- corporate success isn’t exactly the stuff that lights the soul on fire. So I quieted my mind, dipped into into my heart, and admitted to myself that I wanted to write. And in that moment, I realized that I’d been unconsciously creating drama filled situations, (specifically in my relationships) as a way to distract myself from being confronted by this question.

Answering it meant I’d have to do something about it. But … what if it didn’t work out?

Then, I wouldn’t be able to hold it out in the future as some white washed, distant world fantasy as the thing I could always do someday.

As I gave myself the permission to just Be the Beginner, I saw a surge in my passion and ability to express myself through many different artistic forms. I learned that nothing- especially the deep burning passions that live inside of us- is random. Engaging in what lights us up inside, elevates our vibrational frequency and we become like gigantic magnetics attracting people and circumstances into our lives to aid us in the pursuit of our desires. 

When we approach each situation with the understanding that we personally created it to benefit ourselves, we allow hidden gifts and treasures to mushroom up all over our lives.

Because our thoughts and feelings are the seeds from which our external lives grow, these questions, recognitions, and revelations possess immeasurable value.

It doesn’t matter if YOUR TRUTH shows up like a flashing neon light or casually breezes by like a whisper on the wind- when it comes knocking, the only thing you need to do is LISTEN!

These treasures live deep inside you and hold the secrets to expanding your vision of self so you can come truly alive!

What is the question in your life that’s begging for an answer?

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It’s Your Responsibility to Share Your Message

Why are you here? What is the message you are trying to put out into the world? I’ve talked a lot about spreading your personal message in the past but now I want to go more in-depth. In this latest vlog I share my practical and spiritual tools for manifesting media for your message. I believe that it is our responsibility to share our great work with the world. Learn how to release your fears, be unapologetic about your message and share it with pride.

 

For more on this topic check out my course God is My Publicist. Today I’m offering 50% off the DVD/Digital course.

Celebrating a Practice That’s Changing Medicine

NaturopathicMedicineWeekNaturopathic Medicine Week is October 7-13th

I am a naturopathic doctor.

I represent a community of approximately 4400 practicing physicians in the United States.  We may be small in number, but what we lack in size we make up for in a passion and commitment to the philosophies we took an oath to honor:  that our bodies’ have an inherent wisdom of how to be well and our primary job as a doctor is to remove barriers to health in order to honor this ability, that at our core we are teachers and in order to truly cure, we must empower our patients to become active participants in their healing process, and that treating symptoms is not the end game, but merely clues to identify and treat the causes of disease.

When you’re small it’s often hard to be seen.  That’s why the recently passed Senate Resolution 211, establishing this week, October 7-13th, as national Naturopathic Medicine Week is such a big deal.

From the authors of the resolution,

“…naturopathic medicine provides noninvasive, holistic treatments that support the inherent self-healing capacity of the human body and encourage self-responsibility in health care”

They go on to state,

“That the Senate recognize the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care; and encourage the people of the United States to learn about naturopathic medicine and the role that naturopathic physicians play in preventing chronic and debilitating illnesses and conditions.”

Awareness about what naturopathic medicine has to offer couldn’t come at a better time.  As a society, we’re really, really sick.  Two-thirds of us are overweight or obese, leaving us at risk for the development of serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and depression.  88 million of us have high blood pressure and 25 million have insulin resistant diabetes.  A full 75% of our national health care costs are focused on these chronic, yet largely preventable, diseases.

Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are specialists of diet and lifestyle-based treatments and it’s exactly these treatments that are proven to be the most effective medicine for the prevention and treatment of these chronic illnesses.  We receive an average of 70 hours of nutrition education and an additional 130 hours of training in therapeutic diets compared to an average of just 19 hours of basic nutrition education in conventional medical programs.  We look at the physical, emotional, environmental and social influences and approach each patient as the unique person that they are, using the least invasive (and often less expensive) treatment possible.  In addition, we tend to set up shop where we’re needed most, a full 50 percent of us work with underserved populations.

I believe naturopathic medicine is an essential part of the solution to our health care crisis.  We are a medicine that is changing medicine and it’s for this reason that I am celebrating Naturopathic Medicine Week.  To learn more about naturopathic medicine and find a naturopathic physician near you, please visit our national association, The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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For more from Keegan please visit her website and make sure you follow her on Twitter

7 Steps to Becoming an Intuitive Eater

Pink Summer Cherry LoveAs obsessed as we are with food and diets, you’d think we’d be thin and healthy by now. So why are we Americans still universally less-than-fit,  soft around the middle, and constantly worrying about weight?

The fact is, diet tips, rules and tricks won’t work if we’re ignoring the mental and emotional side of eating. Why do we still overeat—or eat the wrong things? Most of the time, when we’re craving cookies, we’re really hungry for love, sex, friendship, peace, a sense of purpose and meaning. And when you’re gripped by that kind of hunger, all the tips and tricks in the world won’t save you.

Next time you’re ready to embark on the next fix-me-fast diet, try something different: instead of focusing on the food, tune in to address the emotions that make you stray. Here’s how to start:

1. Feel your hunger. After a lifetime of denying our hunger, it’s hard to tell when we really need food. But we’re all born with the capability to eat when were hungry and stop when we’re full. As children, we eat in response to our bodies’ hunger signals. As adults, we eat in response to the clock, the latest magazine article, or our uncomfortable feelings.

Get back in touch with your body’s signals by carrying a small notepad and charting your hunger before you eat, rating it on a scale of 1 (starving) to 10 (uncomfortably full). If you do this day after day, feeling your body’s cues will soon come naturally. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you start eating in response to your body—a rumbling in your belly, a slight lessening in your ability to concentrate—instead of your thoughts or emotions.

2. Stop counting. That means calories, fat, carbs, grams, portions—whatever number you use that keeps you out of your body and in your head. When you count, measure, weigh or calculate your food, you’re eating according to your intellect rather than your body’s cues. For a life-long food counter, the prospect of free-for-all noshing can be scary. Start small: eat one meal a day without counting anything. After several days, eat two meals without counting. Continue at your own pace until you’ve stopped counting your food—and start eating in response to your body, not the numbers in your head.

3. Examine your cravings. When you’re feeling the urge to eat, what are you really hungry for? If you’re craving chips, does your jaw want to chew and crunch, to relieve stress and tension? Does the noise the chips make drown out the racket in your head? When you’re aching for ice cream, maybe the soft, creamy texture makes you feel nurtured, or fills up some empty spaces. Once you have a better idea of what you’re really craving, you’re better equipped to make a conscious choice. Maybe you massage your jaw, minimize sources of stress, visit a friend who makes you feel nurtured. Or maybe you have a scoop of ice cream—but you do it as a conscious decision.

4. Practice mindful eating. There you are, in front of the fridge at 9 p.m., noshing on leftover Chinese right out of the container, with no recollection of how you got there. It’s called “eating amnesia,” where the unconscious, hand-to-mouth action of feeding yourself becomes so automatic that, before you know it, you’ve wolfed down a whole box of cookies. Become fully aware of the act of eating. Always put your food—including snacks–on a plate. Then sit down at the table, remove distractions like television, and observe your plate. Notice the colors, textures, shapes and smell for 30 seconds to a full minute before you take the first bite.  As you eat, notice the chewing action of your jaw, the taste of the food, how it feels moving down your throat and into your stomach. It’s such a pleasant practice, it will soon become second nature.

5. Be in your body. Many of us walk around all day in a state of half-awareness, not really present in the room, on the earth, in our bodies. And when we’re not in our bodies, we can’t tell if we’re hungry or when we’re full.  How often are you aware of your body? Tune in right now, as you read this, and check in, starting your toes and moving up through your body. Pause at your stomach, and notice how it feels. Is it empty, or satisfied? Does it feel rigid and tense? Numb or dull? Or is it soft and relaxed?  Once you become intimate of your stomach’s sensations, you can begin to identify true hunger.

6. Pause. When you experience a craving for food, just stop and observe it. Don’t try to make it go away, but don’t indulge it either. Sit with the discomfort of the craving. It may become intensely distressing, even painful; that’s okay. Stay with it, and notice what comes up. You’ll often find a vast ocean of emotions like fear, anxiety, even grief, under the craving for food. It’s a powerful exercise—but quite illuminating, and sometimes life-changing.

7. Be happy now. Maybe you’ve been postponing your happiness until you lose ten pounds, give up sugar or eat more greens. But the happier you are now, the more likely you’ll be to stick to your eating goals. The “do-have-be” mindset tells us that success breeds joy when, in fact, it may be the other way around. Once you’re able to accept yourself exactly as you are, you’re more likely to achieve your dietary goals, and less likely to eat from stress, depression or anxiety. And anyway, there’s no point in postponing joy. Be happy now; the rest will come.

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Lisa Turner is a widely published food writer and intuitive eating coach. She combines her degrees in health and nutrition with 25 years of training in yoga, meditation and mindfulness to help her clients explore emotional issues behind their eating habits. Lisa is also a faculty instructor at Bauman College of Culinary Arts and Nutrition in Boulder, Colorado, and hard at work on her next book. Visit her websites at www.TheHealthyGourmet.net and InspiredEating.com.
Originally published July 2010

10 Steps to Your Intuitive Life Makeover

YogaBy Anne Deidre

Did you know that you are wealthy? Great sages and saints have discovered that the kingdom of heaven is within. This is just as true for you. As you go through life you can pick up lower vibrational energies. Something a teacher or parent has said is literally stuck in your energy field and you can feel stuck in your life, depressed and anxious and not know why. You may be unable to experience true fulfillment. Without the ability to hear our true and higher guidance we may stay in unhealthy relationships, be afraid to find the career of our dreams, or feel blocked financially.

An intuitive life makeover will help you live your life in alignment with your highest good as you unblock and unlock your own powerful intuition that can change every aspect of your life for the better. You will feel inspired, live on purpose and be able to create more emotional wellness and financial freedom doing what you love.

1. Understanding Alignment

Understand that you can live your life with everything working together. When it comes to making over your life, there are important areas that need to be in alignment for you to feel your best. Alignment means that you are in harmony, at peace with your life. You feel as though everything is working and you have a deep feeling of inner peace that the choices you have made and are making, are the best for you.

 2. Tap Into Your Intuition

Your ability to listen to your intuition is the biggest factor in determining if you are making the best choices for yourself in your life. There are many names for your intuitive guidance system. It is called The Holy Spirit, the still, small voice of God within you, your Higher Self or a hunch or gut feeling. You have it and may not have noticed it. It is them speaking to you constantly.

3. Create Sacred Space

Please be aware that your intuition is always talking to you, giving you the highest good and best guidance for your life. When we are too busy, we will not hear our intuition as clearly. Downtime is that time, even if it is for just 10 minutes, where you will turn off the TV or radio, your cell phone, your computer and just “be”. It is helpful to have a sacred space to create this solitude. You may want a journal nearby. By putting your thoughts, will, energy and intention into this time that you will hear and listen to your Higher Self or Intuition, you will create a flow of energy that supports developing your ability to access this deep inner wise part of you.

4. Meditate

The Kriya Yoga is a meditation that Yogananda brought us. It combines conscious breathing while proclaiming, “I AM that I AM.” It is a spiritual tool for Higher Consciousness.

5. Clear Your False Beliefs

Throughout our lives we receive messages from other people and often take them on as our own belief system. Many of these beliefs do not serve us. They are held in the chakras.  We can clear our false beliefs from our chakras and feel more empowered and free in our lives.

6. Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Well-Being

Often if one area is out of alignment, others are as well. We don’t feel as well as we could and don’t know why. You are more than a physical body; you have a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual body. These are energetic bodies that are distinct but are a part of your physical make up. We can clear out the energies that don’t serve you there and give you tools to empower your life in these areas.

7. Discover the Wealth Within You

Within your physical body are seven primary energy centers known as chakras. I have renamed them Wealth Centers as they contain the greatest source of information for you to lead the best life for you. They contain your inner power, spiritual abilities, connection to God, your purpose in life and more.

8. Unleash Your Creative Intuitive Self

One of the worst experiences we can feel as human beings is that we are limited, stuck, powerless or helpless. We are entering a new age on the planet that includes reclaiming our creative intuitive selves. By learning to tap into your creative intuitive right brain, you can experience very different results in your life. Unleashing your creative intuitive self will create profound feelings of wellness in every area of your life.

9. Reignite Your Dreams, Passion and Purpose

Making over your life with your intuition means that you will get back in touch with a part of yourself that was always there. We are all born with unique gifts and talents to express and offer the world. We may or may not have experienced a sense of confidence with these gifts, they may not have been noticed and appreciated by others, or ourselves but deep down inside, we know what we love and what brings us happiness. Many people minimize their gifts and talents and say “Oh, this little hobby”.

10. Ground Your Ideas Into Reality

Whether it is a new relationship, improving your current relationship, changing jobs, finding your dream career or improving your finances, you need a process or formula for bringing about these changes. We all receive divinely inspired ideas, next we can imagine this idea coming to fruition, next we plan, get a calendar and plan the steps we need to take to make this idea happen and then we take action steps from those plans.

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Head Shot 05-07-2013Anne Deidre is an Intuitive Life Coach, sought after Speaker and the Bestselling Author of Miraculous: How Spiritual Awakening Cured My Depression, Inspired My Purpose and Ignited the Intuitive Powers Within and Extreme Intuitive Makeover 55 Keys to Health, Wealth and Happiness. Anne inspires people globally with her intuitive gifts to find their true spirit and live their own extraordinary lives. Anne is an acclaimed artist. Her artwork is filled with Divine messages and healing energy. For more information and to receive your free Your Intuitive Prosperity Makeover Kit visit www.yourintuitivemakeover.com.

5 Steps to Make a Great First Impression

HandshakeSeven seconds.

According to researchers at New York University and Harvard, that’s how long we get when we’re making a first impression. Think about that for a second (or seven): with every prospective client we want to make, every job interview we have, and every personal relationship we start, we’re only allowed a brief moment to make a positive connection.

Perhaps that’s indicative of life as we know it in 2013. Attention spans are shorter and the need for immediacy is higher.

Stranger still, the crucial moments have more to do with non-verbal cues than verbal ones. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, says that non-verbal communication is four times more powerful than verbal. 

Seeing as how we don’t all have the intuition required for every interaction in life, I’m going to give you a few basic guidelines on how to get started.

  1. Eye contact says it all! Your first interaction should involve direct eye contact. Looking directly into the eyes of another person builds an unspoken respect and trust, and indicates your interest and openness to that relationship. Don’t forget to raise those eyebrows slightly now and again: it’s the universal sign of recognition.
  2. Flash that smile. A good smile (don’t forget to brush those teeth) says a lot about you. The right amount of cheek raising grin can show that you’re friendly and approachable. Keep it simple —nobody wants to see your molars.
  3. Stop slouching, Quasimodo. No matter how tall you might be, standing straight with your shoulders back exudes confidence and personal power. The more you slouch the less empowering you become.
  4. Wipe off those sweaty palms; it’s time for a handshake. A single, firm handshake can do more to build rapport than anything else. Find a safe place in-between the “dead fish” and “I can squeeze water from a rock” and use that. Keep it concise and short. Nothing says weirdo like a 30 second sweaty hand grip. Oh, and don’t even think of adding your off hand to this party.
  5. No need to shout. Keep a safe speaking distance, approximately two feet away, while making conversation. Leaning forward from this position shows that you’re interested in what’s being said. Remember personal space! If you can taste what they had for lunch by smelling their breath, you’re too close.

With all of that being said, there are still a few additions that can be done to reinforce your five steps. First, be on time; especially if you’ve planned this interaction. There’s nothing worse than running late when it’s the very first time you’re meeting someone. Remember to bet on traffic delays, having to clean cat hair off the clothes you just laid out or even the occasional lost taxi driver. For those parents out there, have a back-up plan when your keys go missing in the toilet. Presentation is everything and being early is the first step in creating a lasting impression.

Next, people know exactly who you are by the first few words that come out of your mouth. A positive greeting that exudes excitement might show how passionate you are about the outcome of the interaction, whereas nervousness or complaining about your surroundings might indicate you aren’t confident or at ease with the situation.

And finally, be on the same level. If you’re using words that people need a dictionary or thesaurus for, while you may sound intelligent, they’re going to lose interest. Being well read and articulate is important, but if others don’t understand what you’re saying it’s wasted effort.

For example: While I hope my sentences in this story carry a certain breviloquence, and I don’t mean to bloviate, I believe my words sound quite mellisonant. Obnoxious, right?

Above all, be honest about who you are and what you expect. Every single interaction could be life changing, so give it your best shot by starting off on the right foot.

Or was it the left? Those seven seconds sure went quickly.

 

Photo courtesy of baggyjumper.

Love Yourself by Loving Your Home

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 8.12.12 PMA great way to love yourself is to create a beautiful home that nurtures and inspires you. Your home is one of the few places in the world that is truly just about you. The one place we should always feel loved, at peace, at one, and “at home” is at home! So honor yourself by creating a space that feeds your spirit.

One of the most effective ways to create a home that nourishes and inspires you is to live with things you love. This may sound obvious, but when you take a close look around your home, you might be surprised to find that you’re living with things that bring your energy down rather than inspire and lift you up. It’s amazing how easy it is to tune out to our surroundings and stop really seeing the stuff in our homes that get in our way, drain our energy, or in some way make us feel badly. Sometimes it’s little things such as a drawer that gets stuck and frustrates and slows us down each morning, the sharp edge of a table that we regularly bump against, or an uncomfortable chair. Or it could be something more significant like sleeping in a bed we bought with a former partner that continually brings up memories and keeps us stuck in the past. These things can nag at us, deplete our energy, and wear on our self-esteem.

Everything around us is made up of energy. Even things that we may have considered inanimate are made up of moving molecules and have a life force and vibration of their own. Objects also come “alive” because of how we relate to them, i.e. the memories and associations they trigger. Earth wisdom traditions, such as Feng Shui or Vastu, affirm that all of these objects and materials in our homes interact with our own unique energy—either positively or negatively. When you look at your home from this perspective, you can clearly imagine the importance of surrounding yourself with things that you love—whether they are useful, comfortable, beautiful, have positive personal meaning, or just make you feel good.

Below are three steps to living with what you love:

  1. Go through your home room by room and look at each object one at a time. How do you feel? What thoughts come up? Did you notice any sensations in your body? Imagine the object has a voice—what would it be saying to you? Does the object trigger any memories? Are they positive, negative or neutral? Your answers to these questions will give you a pretty good idea of how these things are affecting your energy.
  2. If something is not serving you, let it go. Give it away, throw it away or sell it. Generally it is better to live with empty space knowing that something better will be coming your way than it is to live with something that brings you down. An exception to this would be if the object is functional and necessary—for example, your only computer or your only sofa that you can’t afford to replace at the moment. In these cases, set an intention that you will easily find a replacement in a timely manner and keep your eyes open for an opportunity to replace that item.
  3. If you discover that you are surrounded by many things you don’t love, but at the moment can’t afford to replace them, make sure you move things around so you have at least one object you love in every room. Then make sure that object is the focal point of the room. The object you love will inspire you as you’re waiting to attract other things that will serve you.

Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Possessions that have negative memories associated with them.
  • Things that look beautiful or are valuable, but that you just don’t like. Often we keep these because we feel we have to or should, but if you don’t like something let it go and chances are someone else will give it a home where it will be appreciated and loved. And you will now have space to find something you love.
  • Similarly, things you inherit and perhaps feel an obligation to keep, but that you don’t like or are associated with a negative memory.
  • Things that don’t feel good but you aren’t sure why—trust your intuition!
  • Disturbing art—even if on one level you can appreciate the image or artistic expression, sometimes our bodies will respond instantly and physically to a disturbing image. Your mind may then kick in with reason or logic or an association with the image that is more positive, but your body has already registered your first reaction.
  • Things that don’t work well, are broken, get in your way, and/or lead to frustration in your daily routines.
  • Broken items that you have been planning to get fixed for a long time—commit to fixing it in the next month or get rid of it.
  • Items that are stained or dirty—same as above, clean them if you can, but commit to doing it in a timely manner. If they can’t be cleaned, consider a replacement.
  • Perceived dangers—which mean things that look threatening and elicit a ‘fight or flight’ response in our bodies. For example, a very heavy chandelier or artwork hanging over a bed or sofa—we may know it is anchored to the ceiling or wall, but it can still makes us feel uncomfortable to having something heavy hang over you. Similar to the disturbing artwork, your body will have already registered a response before your mind kicks in with logic to override your body’s reaction.
  • Things made with unhealthy or toxic materials—replace with natural materials to connect you to nature, create more harmony, and support your health.

Our homes should be a supportive, loving sanctuary. There are many things in the world that are less than loving and often we feel we can’t control those things, but we can control our home environments by choosing to live with what we love. We need to insist that, at the very least, we feel good and can ‘win’ in our own homes. The same qualities that we create in our homes—love, peace, joy, inspiration—will be the same qualities that we experience in our lives.

 

Originally published February 2011

Intuitive Guidance 101: Daring to Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 10.10.29 AMStepping onto the spiritual path isn’t all peace and roses. It pushes us into a place that moves us beyond our usual comfort zone. As we attune to the highest within us and listen to inner guidance, that guidance sometimes pushes us to try new jobs, to stretch into new creative projects, and to sometimes to move to new places. Author, radio host and intuitive, Bernadette Dickinson experienced just that as her inner life awoke. She lived in Seattle, but over several years her dreams kept pointing to a move to Colorado. She says she worked in marketing, but a series of events occurred which acted like questions from the Universe that said, “Are you ready to move now?” Bernadette says, “I really wasn’t, but it quickly became clear that if I didn’t life was bound to get more difficult.”

She writes, “I took a week off to get clear on what needed to happen and make some choices. During that week, Spirit opened up the “plan” for me. After realizing I had a strong pull to go, I moved to Colorado. I was shown a general area and after 3 calls, rented a house with 2 acres over the phone. Within 3 days I was living in Colorado. I had no idea what I was going to do for work, how I was going to make it or even what the area was like. It took a huge leap of faith but, 13 years later I am living on that same piece of property. I built a 3300 sq ft house, a greenhouse, and am raising dairy goats, chickens and I produce a lot of our family’s food.”

I asked her “How do you reconcile the difference between spirit and the part of you that doesn’t want to follow that inner guidance?” I love Bernadette’s response. She says:

“I’ve been resisting spirit a good part of my life. I was born a natural clairvoyant and clairaudient. Being raised in a Christian home, these gifts were not honored. I kept my gifts hidden as much as possible, and it caused me a lot of turmoil. Throughout my life I found, when I listened to spirit and did what I was told, things went really smoothly. When I resisted, there were so many obstacles, so much struggle. When I’m in resistance to spirit’s urgings I tend to get very depressed and sad. I start getting physically ill and things around me start to malfunction. It’s fairly easy to reconcile my ego desires at this point, due to the intense lessons I’ve endured resisting Spirit.”

I asked her some more questions to help us understand how to work with inner guidance. Here’s the short Q&A

Q: How do you receive inner guidance?

Bernadette Dickinson: Sometimes I get guidance in dreams, very lucid dreams. At other times, messages come through visions. I meditate a lot, during that silence Spirit can easily speak to me. I tend to have warnings show up in very unusual but obvious ways when I’m going in the wrong direction.

Q: I love your comment: “If you think the spiritual path is boring, you are way wrong.” Please speak more to this.

BD:  We tend to think of spirituality as a burdensome practice. It is just the opposite. I learned many years ago that if I make my spiritual walk the priority, everything lines up perfectly. I’ve learned so much about the workings of the Universe by focusing on spiritual growth. It never bores me to learn and experience miracles. It’s quite exciting to ask for guidance or assistance from Spirit, knowing that the answers will come in the most profound, unexpected ways. When you ask for assistance, suddenly someone shows up in your life experience that is just what you need. When you ask for guidance, things start appearing to give you that guidance. It can be an email, a phone call, a road sign. The Universe is unlimited, likewise, the experience of Spirit working in our lives is unlimited.

Q: You said that part of us tends to create drama. Which part is this? How does that happen to you?

BD: As humans, we are programmed to operate from our ego mind. When we are unaware or unconscious of the ego, we tend to create emotional fixes that show up in the form of immediate gratification. When we are disconnected from self and spirit, we feel like something’s missing. We feel empty, sad and experience a deep sense of longing. The ego wants to soothe that, giving us ideas of filling that void with things outside of ourselves. We think we need to focus on something outside of ourselves, be it food, sex, attainment of physical things. We create a false connection and immediately feel lack, disconnection, discontent. Rather then redirect ourselves to our soul self, we reach outside again, repeating the same cycle of distraction and disconnection. It’s a vicious cycle, damaging our bodies, hurting others and even the environment.

Our soul longs for connection, a knowledge of self and source/god. When we override the ego, quiet the mind, our inner guidance directs us to what we really need. Once we make the connection to self, we are able to observe our emotions, thoughts and desires from a place that allows us to make a deep connection to all that is. In those moments, the “needs/desires” dissipate and we realize we have no need of anything outside of ourselves.

I tend to create drama when I’m overwhelmed. Something happens or it doesn’t, I instantly want to react by “doing” something to fix what is happening. I find when I’m not grounded, I emotionally react to things and blow them up with words, accusations, fears. If I’m bored and what an emotional fix, I might start an argument with someone. It’s crazy to me, that we are so attracted to emotional drama. When I feel the urge to create any kind of drama, I know it’s time to stop, get quiet, and check in with my inner guidance to see what’s really going on. Once I identify the internal cause, I can calmly follow the guidance to peace.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Bernadette Dickinson: There is so much I’d like to share with others. Most of all, I want everyone to know they have the power to create their own reality. They have power to make deep connections that are real. Life is very exciting and fulfilling when we have faith in Divine guidance. It becomes peaceful, joyful and ever expanding.

Bernadette’s website is www.bernadettesvision.com.

* * *

Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery”. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe. More at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Hero’s Quest: What It Takes to Be a Great Leader

A good story is the story of the hero’s quest, and a hero’s quest begins with a dream. This is why all great leaders are visionaries. They ask themselves mythical questions: Who am I? What do I want? Who are the heroes and mentors our society can learn from?

In this week’s episode of “The Rabbit Hole” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra explores the key elements of visionary leadership. History traffics in myth-making, which is based on personal charisma and uses spin to evoke an aura of destiny. But it is alarming to witness how often leaders come to power through the force of arms and money. When the strong and ruthless rise on the world stage, we find ourselves led by kings and generals, autocrats and dictators, power-hungry premiers and presidents. Leadership of this sort is flawed. Power and prestige do nothing to ensure leaders like this will actually improve the lives of those who follow them.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.00.36 AMA truly successful leader, Deepak suggests, learns to cultivate her power as the result of being tuned in to her inner voice and guided by intuition. The inspired leader walks a path laid out by her own soul, characterized by love, creativity, and intelligence. In her core self she strives for alignment with the greater, collective society she serves. In this way, listening comes first, followed by comprehension, empathy, and, finally, action.

In the midst of chaos, certain individuals step out of the shadows in order to lead society in new directions necessary for further evolution. Only a truly great leader will find wisdom in the face of mythic-proportion challenges. And only a leader who operates from the soul level, with vision, creativity, and love, will be remembered as such.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and order Deepak Chopra’s book, The Soul of Leadership!

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