Using Emotional Freedom Technique to feel better

Originally published 2008 on my former website.

I believe any changes you are seeking to make in your life begin in your mind. That old saying, “I’ve made up my mind” has been around for a long time for a reason. Also, ever notice how many times a day you say, “I think…” in a conversation?

We are thinking every moment of our lives. Everything we feel and do starts first with our thoughts. So, I challenge you, to try to be aware of the thoughts you are thinking and see how many are limiting ones, or thoughts, that if you just “let go of” might make you feel better.

It works like this: a thought comes, then the feeling associated, then an action. Contemplate this.

This post is focused on something called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

In April of 2008, I met with Janice Cunningham at HealthQuest in Titusville, Florida to see if we could stop me from a lifelong habit/addiction of picking (and/or chewing) my fingers. I previously had been a “nail biter” but an ex-husband broke me of the habit by smacking my hand anytime he caught me with it near my mouth. Yes, negative reinforcement works – to a point – but it wasn’t such a pleasant way! Meeting with Janice was the BEST $125 I EVER spent (up until that point) because aside from my body being cured of the addiction, my body also experienced other profound affects from just one EFT session!

I highly recommend Janice to everyone who is ready to work through their own “issues”.

You may be wondering what I mean when I say that I had been “picking my fingers”. So, it seemed that I only traded my bad habit of nail biting for something less noticeable. I was pulling at my cuticles, hang nails or any other rough areas of skin around my finger nails.

In 2007, I bought a book called, “Tapping the Healer Within” because my acupuncture doctor, Joan Massey (also from HealthQuest) had told me about it, and because I had tried everything else. I found that book to be a bit convoluted and besides, it mostly dealt with phobias and anxieties – neither of which I thought I had. More importantly, while reading the book, I found it too difficult to hold the book and try to tap on my body with my other hand. Or, maybe that was just my excuse – but the book, though interesting to me, wasn’t enough to help.

A few weeks prior to my personal EFT visit, my husband and I watched a show on the TLC television channel called, “I Can Make You Thin.” On the show, the host using EFT to help people overcome their food cravings. Because I had also tried everything to lose weight, I decided that I really needed some one-on-one personal guidance with both my weight issues and the finger picking habit. And much to my delight, after a 2.5 hour session with Janice, where I fully described both of my issues, I found resolution to some deep seated disturbing mental “programming.”

I had the best night’s sleep ever after that session! I guess I had not even realized that my sleep pattern had also been an issue.

So, aside from experiencing relief from finger picking that day, the habit does not reoccur unless I am stressed. I began a routine of exercising, eating less and so forth, so, the session also helped me let go of excess weight. I believe letting go of those issues aided my body in losing the weight.

During my EFT session with Janice, we spent nearly two hours going back into my past, into my former marriage, teenage years and finally, childhood years. I realized that I had picked up my habit of finger nail biting at the same time I had been diagnosed with the asthma – when I was six years of age. My mom has always been a terrible nail biter, biting her nails down into the quick (pink part), so I knew I’d picked up the habit from my mom, but I had not realized just how much of a connection there was between that habit, my asthma, and my mom.

I fully became aware, during my EFT session, that when my mom’s father died, my maternal grandfather, that this deeply affected her — and ME.

The important thing about that experience is to know now, that when I was a child, how much that event upset my mom and how fully connected I was to my mom and her EMOTIONS. It was natural for my mom to be upset about losing her father. But, I had taken her upset on as MINE. I vividly recall believing if she could lose him, I could lose her. And that I couldn’t live – couldn’t breathe in fact – without my mom.

I remembered (during my EFT session), that as a child, when I would say my nightly prayers, that I would plead with God not to take my mom away from me. This may not make sense to many people, but I am an only child, the only child who lived of the six pregnancies my mom had. My mom (and dad) have always told me how much they love me (not a bad thing in and of itself) and how precious I am, a miracle, gift, etc. But, because of this, I became a super responsible adult. I had held on to some deeply rooted beliefs about having to “live up to any and all expectations” and so forth.

My EFT session sort of felt like it had been a combination of counseling and hypnosis (though I was awake and totally aware of what was happening). It seemed as though Janice had been talking to me on a deep soul level.

During the session, Janice recommended I take some notes, both of things that I was becoming aware of, as well as how to be able to run through this process again on my own if need be.

I noted that I had always tried to “save my mom”.
I am not my thoughts.
My perception influenced my thoughts, but my perceptions were not always “true.”
The genie is out of the bottle.
I do not need the old thoughts.
Am I the thought or the awareness?
Am I “this” thought, or am I the awareness of “this” thought?
Who sent “this” thought? (My pain-body)
Examine “this” thought. It will probably be a limiting thought, a no-win thought, and one that would eventually bring pain.
To let go of “this” thought: 1) focus on the feeling of my breath in and out, 2) be the observing presence.
When I observe I suspend space.
Inspiration = In spirit, and inspiration fills me, lights me up from the inside – the same as when someone is in creative mode; you feel the creative energy inside, in your heart or chest, not in the head area.
The Aha moment when the head agrees to the inner knowing.
My nails = my own fear and anxiety to my feeling, as though I could never fix/help/save my mom.
A trigger for me is when I am faced with something I can’t do anything about, when I feel a sense of powerlessness.
But I’m a super responsible person – I’m supposed to DO something vs. just BE.
(This is the conflict that causes the habitual negative behavior).

Once we got to the root cause of my habit, it effortlessly left me.

EFT helped me to realize that even if I could pluck my mom out of her seemingly dysfunctional situation, that the change would not bring her happiness and that after all, it’s her life. It is what it is. I cannot “fix” the world. I am not here to “save” anyone else.

That “saving” realization freed me. Now, I still have other issues to work through, but wow, I really have that peace that passes all understanding after one EFT session! I have just been able to deal with things and just BE.

 

I can’t say enough about EFT. If you think you’ve tried everything to find relief from anxiety, depression, weight issues, nerve problems, etc. I implore you to try EFT. You do not need to “believe in it” for it to work for you. And what do you have to lose?

Here is a link to explain what EFT is all about: http://www.emofree.com/

You probably already know that most physical ailments begin in the mind. I’ve met many doctors over the years who have told me this too, but it is best explained: “It is an established fact that psychosomatic disorders (PSD) are in fact responsible for a great share of OTC medications, mainly for anxiety and depression. Psychotherapy deals in harmonizing the agonized mind, while Aromatherapy acts as a support system for the mind as well as the dis-eased physical body/ physiology.” per a quote from Dr. Ravi Ratan.

UPDATE: Join me for a lesson in how to perform Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) at the Awakening Wellness Center, Feb. 4th, 2017 from Noon – 1pm.

Located at:

6161 Dr Martin Luther King St N, Suite 102 St Petersburg, FL

(727) 289-4747

And come out to the Awakening Into The Sun Zen festival in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida during the weekend of March 4th and 5th at South Straub Park. I’ll be on stage between musical performances sharing about EFT.

Take it upon yourself to be healthy, joyful, vibrant, and beautiful. Be who you want to be.

–If you would like to support my blog and continue on your self help path with a trusted personal development leader, please visit my sponsor:

Get Ready! Your breakthrough awaits at TonyRobbins.com.

–If you love to look at unique items to enhance and add comfort to your living space, please visit my sponsor:

Valentine Decor 20% Off, valid 1/30 – 2/25

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Natural health: Relief from anxiety using EFT / Tapping

Originally published on EXAMINER Sept. 7, 2013

Have you ever had the experience of someone making you mad / angry, and in that moment you either didn’t know what to say, or you would cuss, hurl insults, flip a certain finger, yell, scream, throw a fit, or act in some other seemingly uncontrollable manner?

Maybe in the moment of confrontation you go into a rage, attack, cry, pout, or run away? Or you just can’t wait to get home, so you can tell your spouse, tell the offending person off on Facebook, slide into emotional eating, or make gooey fattening comfort food and chow down into oblivion.

I have great news!! A healthy, non-calorie, alternative you can use on yourself to calm your central nervous system! And it’s FREE, once you learn it, and you can do it at nearly any time.

I’ve found relief from the anxiety experienced during those highly charged confrontations. Plus, I’ve learned WHY I never seem to know what to say in that hostile moment.

It’s how we’re wired, and it has everything to do with the fight or flight response! The amygdala in our brains is actually so busy trying to figure out if we should scream or flee from the offending person that the analytical part of our brain can’t get a word in, or out! Seems funny to say that now but it really is what happens and that too, is frustrating – causing us even more irritation in the moment!

The confrontation ends and a few minutes later, or an hour, or a day, we think to ourselves, “why didn’t I say…”.

When I get upset I’d rather not feel nervous or tense, I’d rather like to laugh, walk away, or be able to just shrug it all off. Instead, even if it’s only my self talk, I get irritated and think “get a life”, or such. But, I don’t like that. I’d like to always be conscious of my thoughts and in control of the words that come out of my mouth. Wouldn’t you?

I’d like to say anything other than hurl an insult (which I admit is rare but has happened). I hear people say, “it is what it is”, “life goes on”, “God bless you”, or simply laugh and shrug it off, never to give it any more thought. Me? Noooo… I tend to bring it all home and stew about it. Which leads to negativity. And if carried around long enough it could affect my health.

Thankfully though, I am evolving.

In fact now, I stay in alignment more with my true nature more every day. I choose to let it all go, right then, right in the moment. Ahhh. Before, how I felt depended on whatever had influenced my day. Now, I really have a choice!

I learned about EFT years ago when I learned about acupuncture and the meridian system of the body. I even went to an EFT coach for one-on-one help with a couple of issues. Later, I took some friends to the EFT coach. This past year or so I’ve been practicing EFT /Tapping much more regularly for a host of things, and I love it! And I am talking and writing about it.

On Sept. 5, 2013 I gave my first FREE public EFT / Tapping presentation!

I really enjoyed sharing this information with new friends at our RV park.

Seven people came out for the event, and I’ve already received heartwarming feedback. It’s helped people feel better, and that’s the whole point. Relief! Results!

The attendees were: a senior couple, three single ladies, a single guy, and my husband (8 including me)! Woot! The single gentleman was concerned for his doggie at home – who experiences storm anxiety so we even tapped about that! Great group! So open to learning, sharing, and tapping together! We tapped on anxiety, on the economy/government/politics, and all the stormy weather we’ve been having this lately in St. Petersburg, FL.

If you don’t have a clue about EFT / Tapping, I have several websites I can point you to and videos. I’ll include several links below.

Here are the basics:

Talk about your problem, negative feelings, anything unwanted, sad emotion, depressing thing that’s going on IN THE MOMENT while tapping on the side of one hand with two or three fingers from the other hand. Rate on a scale of 1-10 how much you’re feeling the negative or unwanted emotion before you start and after you end. This will help you to know the Tapping provided relief.

Say this “problem” 3 times, beginning with “Even though” and ending with “I deeply and completely love and accept myself or something about myself that I believe is true about ME, like: my body, my soul, my feelings, my emotions, my name, etc.)”. You will want the statement to be true, so you can use your own words, the ones that resonate your truth. Here are some examples of this:

The scenario: A clerk is short, brisk, rude or some such thing and it upsets me. I walk out in a huff vowing to myself never to go back to that store again! I feel the irritation and maybe even anger in my body. I do not want to carry that negative emotion to the next interaction I have with anyone, much less all day, much less all week, etc. So as I leave the store and enter my car I say out loud to myself while tapping the side of my hand:

  • Even though I’m so annoyed with that !@#$ clerk at the store, and my anger is warranted, I could have just (insert what you usually say here, punched, kicked, yelled, cussed) at or to her, I deeply and completely accept my feelings
  • Even though that clerk was really rude to me, she totally ticked me off, I deeply and completely honor my soul
  • Even though she was a stupid, ignorant, jerk, idiot, moron, you name it… and should have thought before she spoke, I deeply and completely love and respect myself

Now, I move through the rest of the tapping points, choosing one word from anything I just said about the problem to reinforce to my brain that I really did feel / experience this issue:

For each point tap 5 to 7 times, not necessary to count them just tap and talk and go with the flow. Also these words are just an example, say whatever your feeling. I realize you may not know what word to associate with the feeling but with practice that will come easier and easier.

  • Inside beginning of the eyebrow (Say out loud): I’m so irritated
  • Side of the eye: I say – I’m very frustrated
  • Below the eye: Ugh, I’m Upset
  • Below the nose and above the upper lip: Angry
  • Below the bottom lip, in the crease of the chin: I feel bullied
  • Collarbone point(s): Annoyed
  • Under the arm*: I’m really Mad
  • Top of the head: Flustered
  • Take a nice big deep breath

The under arm point for women is at the bra line, for men it’s about a hand width from the arm pit.

Repeat this process two or three more times, using different words. Hopefully you’ll notice that you’re choosing easier, lighter words because by the second or third round you’re feeling better! I’ve found the second round goes something like this:

  • Even though I got upset during that confrontation at the store, and believe I’m justified to feel the way I do, I deeply and completely choose to somehow get over it
  • Even though that clerk was a jerk, she probably didn’t set out to ruin, or spoil my day, I deeply and completely love and accept my intentions
  • Even though people should be nicer, I would like to practice what I preach, somehow forgive, and deeply and completely tune into some good feelings now

And then…

  • Inside beginning of the eyebrow: (tap 5-7 times on each of these points) Say out loud: I’m still aggravated
  • Side of the eye: I say – But somehow I want to let it go
  • Below the eye: That silly clerk, what was she thinking?
  • Below the nose and above the upper lip: Spoil my day
  • Below the bottom lip, in the crease of the chin: I’m justified in how I feel
  • Collarbone point(s): but I don’t want this to ruin my day
  • Under the arm*: I didn’t do anything wrong
  • Top of the head: I played no part in that
  • Take a nice big deep breath

Last round:

  • Even though all my feelings about this situation seem warranted, I deeply and completely comfort myself
  • Even though people may not always act their best, I deeply and completely honor all of my choices
  • Even though people make mistakes, I want to forgive and live in a state of gratitude no matter what is going on around me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself

Then…

  • Inside beginning of the eyebrow: (tap 5-7 times on each of these points) Say out loud: I’m feeling a little less upset
  • Side of the eye: I say – I’m still a bit annoyed
  • Below the eye: Because I don’t understand some people
  • Below the nose and above the upper lip: But I don’t want to carry this around like baggage all day
  • Below the bottom lip, in the crease of the chin: So, somehow I choose to let it go
  • Collarbone point(s): She’s already forgotten about it I bet
  • Under the arm*: I have no reason to continue to think about it either
  • Top of the head: So I guess letting it go really does feel better
  • Take a nice big deep breath

The photo / drawing that follows is a realistic example of the three (3) main EYE tapping points for our EFT work. Top end of eyebrow point, beside and under the eye. Below the nose / above the lip and below the bottom lip in the crease of the chin. Points are marked in pink.

master

The next drawing displays the tapping points marked in blue. This includes: top end of the eyebrow, beside and below the eye. Between nose and upper lip. Below the bottom lip on crease of chin. Also, where we tap on the top of the head.

master

For deeper understanding about other ways EFT can help you, read my previous article here.

Here are the links to more on EFT / Tapping – pick the one that best suits your needs!

The Tapping Solution – Nick Ortner

How EFT works in the brain – Nick Ortner

EFT – Gary Craig

Anxiety tapping – Margaret Lynch

EFT for digestion – Julie Schiffman of Dr. Mercola Center

Special thanks to those who assisted me during my first EFT presentation:

Thanks to my wonderful soul-sister “test” tapping model – Lola!!!

Responses about EFT results I’ve received:

You were terrific! Thanks for the wonderful presentation on EFT!! It works!!
Class attendee

Oh, you’ll enjoy this! M. has her 3 year grand daughter tapping! Is that too cool?!?!
You are amazing Sheila! Hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs,
B.

I wanted to thank you SO MUCH for the knowledge you shared on your site. I clicked on the EFT tapping menu tab and have been doing the tapping for the last three days after watching the video, reading about it and printing out the instructions. I have been tapping about body pain and also for anxiety and so far, it is helping a great deal thus, I am MOST GRATEFUL to YOU for passing along this knowledge. I have forwarded the information to two others…
Friend

UPDATE: I will be offering a class on Freedom from anxiety using EFT on:

Saturday February 4th, 2017

Noon – 1pm

Awakening Wellness Center

6161 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Street N – Suite 102, St Petersburg, FL

Suggested: $10

Take it upon yourself to be healthy, joyful, vibrant, and beautiful. Be who you want to be.

–If you would like to support my blog and continue on your self help path with a trusted personal development leader, please visit my sponsor:

Get Ready! Your breakthrough awaits at TonyRobbins.com.

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

The Reconnected Friendship Quilt — A Christmas Story

There once was a friend (me) who let down another friend. At the time, I doubt that I had much of an idea how much I had upset the apple cart of the friendship, but thankfully, a few weeks ago, it was brought to my attention, and I was given a beautiful opportunity to genuinely apologize and heal a past hurt. And I hope, and believe it was, a beautiful healing experience for us both.

Now, for the story…

A few months ago, I saw a picture on Facebook of a wall hanging quilt that a distanced, long-time friend of mine had created. The colors and energetic patterns within each hand-sewn square really pulled me in. And though we had not talked in years, except for a few minutes at her niece’s Celebration of Life memorial service (over a year ago), well, this quilt resonated so much with me that I jumped to ask her about it! And perhaps boldly of me, I asked if she might craft a King size quilt like it for me!

Patties wall hanging quilt.jpg

I loved it! The colors, pattern, and workmanship was outstanding! To my joy, she agreed to make a King size quilt for my husband and I, but not like the one I had seen, because of the size. The quilt I had commented on was much smaller (only a wall hanging).

However, that was a good thing because it meant we would get to chat a number of times about colors, design, and so forth. I took some measurements of our bed, and asked my husband too, about colors, design, and so forth.

We did all of our chats via Facebook. This might not sound like an important aspect of the story, but trust me, it is.

I wanted a King size version of mostly brown, blue, and green–in a Native American kind of design. It didn’t have to be traditional. In fact, I would have been happy with anything–as long as Pattie made it.

Our Christmas Star.JPG

I told Pattie that I’d cherish the quilt for years to come. What she didn’t know was that in the last ten years or so, I’ve learned that mostly only the things people have given to me, or that were personally made for me, hold any kind of special emotional attachment. Other things are nice, pretty, useful, etc. but if they all went away, the only ones I’d miss, are the few that were given to me by family that didn’t give often, or were from my home state or town, or were handmade. And living in an RV for the last seven years, I’ve had to be quite discerning over size, weight, and quantity of items I chose to keep and hold dear.

All the while Pattie and I chatted about the quilt on Facebook, I didn’t know that our friendship was kind of mending too! There was healing occurring. And that’s always a good thing.

Also, at the time I commissioned this work, I had not considered how I’d get it, whether she would ship it, or I’d pick it up, etc. I certainly hadn’t given any thought to having the opportunity to meet in person, with some time to visit and enjoy a beautiful lunch!

Closeup.JPG

So, when Pattie was done with the quilt, I asked her if we could meet halfway, instead of her shipping it. That way, she could get to know my husband too, and we could have a nice lunch, somewhere midway from where we live (since we live about three hours from each other). She agreed. We talked about where we would meet. Finalizing on our plans, we set a date and time.

When the day arrived, we texted to make sure we were each on our way. I was super excited to be able to hang out with Pattie, catch up, and of course, receive our quilt.

We met at an eastern European bistro restaurant that we love. We shared some different and unique foods, and had plenty of time to relieve some of our past, share how my husband and I met, and so forth. And then came the question I had not expected.

I had not remembered or probably fully ever realized or known why we had quit talking. Thankfully, Pattie refreshed my memory, so that I had the opportunity to apologize. We held hands and tears flowed. Cleansing. Forgiveness. Allowing. I am so glad we had this time. Not just to relieve past hurts, but to understand. To process the pain that had been caused, and to allow the hurt to shift (even if only a little bit), so that over the coming days and weeks, we could “let it go.”

I know that for many of us, taking the time to be heard, to ask what’s wrong, or tell another what’s wrong, ask for forgiveness, or forgive, can be the hardest thing to do. But God, it’s so worth it!

And chatting via Facebook or text doesn’t communicate all of our emotions, plus, as we all know it doesn’t allow us to exchange vibrational energy.

I’m not perfect. I’ve made my share of mistakes in my life and I own each one, taking full responsibility.

But yesterday is gone. And today is all we have. I’m not just saying this in a philosophical way, but in a real time, honest-to-goodness, way. The person I am today is different than I used to be. I feel more deeply. I love more generously. And when I need to, I discern and draw better boundaries. But mostly, I am more open to receive.

So, this Christmas, I wanted to take this moment to tell those who have been in my life how very special they are to me. You are loved. You are cherished. You make up the tapestry of my life, because you’ve been in so many of my experiences. We may live far apart. Or we may not talk often. But you make me who I am.

You are worthy. You are loved.

Our unique experiences are each a thread within a tapestry, or quilt, of one’s life. And We Are All Connected.

Quilt with sock monkey.JPG

Note the sock monkey on the bed! He was handmade for me when I was born by a dear family friend–and he has went everywhere with me, every move, of which there have been many.

A few folks who have seen this quilt have commented of Pattie’s exquisite precision sewing and design work. So much so, that one gentlemen has already put in an order for a similar quilt.Binding and thickness.JPG

I should also add that this quilt is oh so very comfortable to sleep under! It’s not too thick like a comforter, so in Florida we can use it all year.

I only quilt with words. My husband quilts with music. But my friend Pattie quilts with fabric & thread and turns memories and forgiveness into tangible ‘heart-work’ that can (and in our case, will) last for generations.

Handmade tag.JPG

May you be blessed for 2017 and always, in All ways.

–If you would like Pattie to make a quilt for you, comment below and include a way for her to reach you. Or email me.

–If you would like to support my blog and would love to send flowers to a loved one this holiday season, please visit my sponsor:

Fresh Flower Bouquets Online

Do you feel as though you are reaching the end of your rope? Please read this first!

Originally published on EXAMINER June 5, 2016.

If you feel as though you might be reaching the end of your rope, please reach out to someone! Do not give up hope! Don’t end it all. It might feel hopeless to you in this moment, but please talk with someone — anyone! Maybe, consider talking with someone new!

I once worked with a young lady who committed suicide. I didn’t know her. One morning, after my meditation, a thought dropped into my mind. How sad was it that she ended her life and had never even had one conversation with everyone in our office! Sure, I had seen her around the office. She had even worked with someone sitting right next to me once. I’d passed her in the hall. I’d said hello to her while washing our hands in the ladies room. But, we had never had one conversation. And we had worked for the same company for more than two years.

I understand being an introvert. I am naturally introverted. But if you are going to make a conscious choice to end your life, which to me, would require a great deal of courage, wouldn’t you at least work up a little bit of that courage to talk with every person in your office, your neighbors, or someone walking down the street, FIRST?

What I am really suggesting is that there are untold opportunities to learn something new, experience a new way of looking at your problems, or perhaps, even a new way of living! Why would you want to end it all before even exploring any of those possibilities?

Somewhere, someone cares about you. And even if in this moment you can’t believe that could be true, YOU should care about you. Make a list, even if it’s just a mental list, of all of the things in your life that up to this point you’ve accomplished. Did you successfully get through elementary school, high school, college? Have you ever worked a job? Cared for a pet? Cared for a parent or a child? Have you ever told a joke, or made someone smile? If you could do any of those things, you can hold on for one more day. Give someone new a chance to show you life is worth living!

Tomorrow is another day. No man, woman, thing, or circumstance is worth ending your journey on this beautiful planet. Don’t take your own life!

You have choices!

Let’s say you’re in a narcissistic relationship. Perhaps even YOU might feel as though you are the narcissist.

You are worthy! Everyone is worthy of life!

Here are some links to direct you to my dear friend of mine, Beverly Banov Brown — who specializes in narcissistic relationship counseling.

Narcissistic relationships

Let’s say you’re depressed. And I know depression hurts. In this kind of situation, it kills.

Because I admit, you may be reading this from a very different mindset than the mindset that I wrote it, I will quote a dear friend of mine (who sent the following to me after she read the first publishing of this article). She wrote,

There is a difference between being depressed from the daily stresses of life and being clinically depressed. Unfortunately, when people suffer from clinical depression there is no space in their being to reach out to do the things you’ve suggested. There is no room in their chest for breath, no light in their heart to feel love from partners and family members. No energy for walks, only pain and it hurts to be alive. It’s a very dark place to live and one that is incredibly difficult to climb out of. In these situations, it is more helpful for a family member/loved one to be of service. Trying to “pick someone up” by being overly happy and energetic is misguided and a slap in the face to those who are suffering. Just sitting in silence and holding the space for their pain lessens the burden and creates an opening for dialogue. Try not to want to “fix” the person as they are not broken. In fact, they are very much alive and feeling the rawness of life itself. Lean into their pain and hold them as they tell you how dark it is. By sharing this space, it literally opens up new possibilities for a breath to be taken. It takes time and patience but each new breath will breathe life into the dark corners. Clinical depression is a life long battle and one that must be honored on a daily basis. Treat it as a friend, become intimate with it’s warning signs. Often times the person struggling with depression will feel a bout of it coming on. If caught before it has fully engaged the person’s mind, body and soul…then it is much easier to do the things that you’ve mentioned in your well written article. Thank you for addressing such an important issue. It needs to be talked about often and openly as so many of us suffer from this. Much of my life’s work will be directed toward people who struggle with depression and/or addiction.

In health and wellness, blessings to you.

My friend Robin poured this out to me from her wonderful open and loving heart. And from her experiential knowing of depression.

So, I am not a mental health counselor, nor did I originally write this article about those who are experiencing clinical depression per se. I am attempting though, to help you stop, breathe, or refocus–even if only in the smallest way–to give yourself a bit of hope and potentially the time to reach out to someone — anyone. I know suicide is a very complex and complicated subject, but I feel compelled to start somewhere after losing a beautiful young coworker.

After sharing the previous paragraph back to my friend, she wrote,

I hear you Sheila and am grateful that you are willing to write about this. My heart goes out to you and the loss that you experienced. Suicide is about clinical depression, the darkest and toughest depression to battle. My father took his own life one Sunday morning when I was 9 years old. He was bipolar with clinical depression on top of that. Those of us with parents that suffered from some form of mental illness, are oftentimes genetically predisposed to similar traits. My own battle with depression has led me into the belly of the beast. It’s a very scary experience for those who are standing in the fire. My advice to those who have loved ones that are going through this is to find them some immediate help. Waiting for a shift in their emotions is often a death sentence when truly at the bottom. You are a kind and loving person, I salute you for taking this subject on!

Yes, this subject is near and dear to me on many levels. The day that he took his life was the beginning of a very long journey for me. One that would take me decades to unravel. I have enormous empathy and compassion for human suffering. As long as we carry a body, we all suffer in different ways. Making yourself available to others with clear boundaries in place is a noble effort and one that is very much needed in this world! The one thing that I’m clear about…we are here to love and to help each other find our way home again.

So, I offer this updated article, that not only brings my thoughts, but those of my dear and beautiful friend to you in hopes that any of our words will help you in some way. I thank my friend for sharing her experience with us all, more than words can express! Much love! Hugs to you my dear heart!

Reach out to someone for help. And there are many people available to help you! There is always hope and grace, somewhere.

You can call Silent Unity for prayer, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: 800-669-7729

There is no need you can have which is so trivial, no pain you can experience so great, that breath, prayer, and meditation cannot soothe.

Prayer has been the heart of Unity for more than a century. It’s a ministry available to serve anyone, no matter your faith, 24-hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. You can write or call about any need, day or night, and a loving being will pray with you. We know you need someone who will listen to you and pray with you. All requests for prayer are confidential and treated with reverence.

Write to Silent Unity at:
1901 Blue Parkway,
Unity Village, Mo. 64065-0001

or call: (816) 969-2000

If you have no means to pay for the call dial:
(800) 669-7729

or you can always go online to: www.silentunity.org

Breath is always free. Focus on your breathing for awhile.

Go for a walk outside. See if you meet anyone along the way. Smile. Feel like you can’t? Try it anyway. One step at a time.

Sometimes we inherit (we “in hear” it; hear within) problems from our parent’s, relatives, or guardian’s — their argumentative or toxic relationships do not have to influence us though!

Sometimes we think we’ve made bad choices and cannot undo them. Think again.

If you are in a toxic relationship, consider if you care too much. Or perhaps you are an empath, always trying to help someone else. Now you’re drained of energy. Now you think there is no hope. But even false hope, is hope.

If you are an empath, know that empaths can naturally lean toward attracting narcissists. If you find that you’ve been trying to resolve someone else’s problems, and it’s all taking a toll on you, you need support! Only in movies are narcissists cured. Narcissists do not love themselves. And they can be very dangerous. Talk with someone who has the resources to help you.

The movie Moonstruck provides a glimpse into narcissism when Johnny’s mother is “dying everyday”. Some people go around claiming that they’re “dying everyday” for 20 years! In Moonstruck, Johnny’s mother manipulates the entire family. That character did not know “how to love”.

Go to YouTube and watch uplifting and informative videos, like the the ones presented by our good friend and life coach, Beverly Banov Brown.

If you are being mistreated or abused, consider this thought: People in pain cause other people pain. No one deserves to be bullied or abused. You do not deserve whatever negative thing someone is doing to you.

Some things to try in order to begin to feel hope and grace:

  • Put your hand on your heart and tell yourself that you love “you”. Say it again and again. Feel your heart beat. Relish in knowing it will beat for you even without you directing it to do so. Bless your heart.
  • Allow yourself to feel your pain, then as you exhale, allow a bit of it to leave your body. If someone wants to listen to your while you vent about what’s going on in your life, let them. Allow someone in.
  • Put your hands together when you pray. Don’t believe in prayer? Put your hands together and sit quietly. Ask for nothing. Just sit and breathe. Breathe deeply. Give yourself permission to cry, or laugh, or scream!
  • Scream! Afraid someone will hear you? Hope they hear you! You do not have to get through your situation alone.

What new and positive choices, are available to you now?

Life is for the living, go take a chance and live!

We understand that if you have been diagnosed by a medical professional as someone in clinical depression, you need professional help. This article is not intended to replace qualified licensed professional medical advice. This article is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding your care must be made with a licensed professional healthcare provider, considering your unique characteristics and health history.

Depression can present a high risk of suicide. Anyone thinking of suicidal thoughts should be taken very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) or the deaf hotline at 800-799-4889.

Ye who have ears, let them hear.

Blessings to you in ALL ways.

Amen. Namaste. OM

Talk to me about the deep things

I always want to be here for you, as you have been here for me. To talk about the deep things. The things that really matter.

I know and understand that you and I might not be able to talk about these things in person. And that’s okay. You PM me on Facebook, or comment on my posts, and then we have email, Skype, or Google Hangout conversations. And every conversation, every one of you, matter to me. You inspire me to share deep thoughts via my Facebook posts and this blog, even though, I’v never personally met some of you.

I now have friends in Australia and England that I might never had had were it not for this blog. I am humbled and grateful. Not one of you has ever taken advantage of my time. For everything always happens in Divine time.

Some of you have reached out to me when you were going through  your “dark night of the soul”, perhaps because something in one of my blog posts resonated with you deeply. And I am forever changed, for the better, for our conversing on these important matters.

But it is not about me. It’s much larger than that. It’s about each of us knowing we can find someone to connect with on this beautiful planet of ours, even when we do not feel close enough to reach out to anyone.

You have raised odd concerns and fears to me. I’ve held them close to my heart. I’ve pondered and responded only when I felt I had something I could offer. Mostly, it’s been that I care and that I’ll listen. (Well, “read” I guess is the better way of stating it.)

I feel my soul purpose in life is to listen and talk with others only about the deep things. Does that make sense?

I’ve never been a “small talk” kind of person. I like to dig deeper. I love to help connect people and assist them to heal wounds. I only hurt when others who’ve been in my circle do not (for whatever reason) find that they can talk with me. I am here. I’m available. And I am working on a way where we can all work together as we awaken.

I can coach you, or simply point you to a healthier path. I can assist you to integrate all we’ve learned together. We can practice emotional freedom technique (EFT) together to ease body and mind. We can share and enjoy videos or songs together.

When you need someone to remind you to be as water, I am here. If you need God, you only need acknowledge your closeness to the Divine is as near to you as your next breath. You are never alone.

My current holistic reading / study list:

The Reconnection by Dr. Eric Pearl (finished my first read, and reading it a second time)

The Tao Te Ching

Inner Engineering by yogi and visionary, Sadhguru

The writings of Dr. Albert Schweitzer

The writings of Mahatma Ghandi

The writings of Masaru Emoto

The quotes of Mother Theresa

My current holistic movie watching list:

Yoga Unveiled – Evolution and Essence of a Spiritual Tradition

Raga Unveiled – India’s Voice

Spiritual Circle Cinema (monthly subscriber since 2009)

In closing, I blog with no thought of gain. My motivation and intention in writing from my heart and soul is to leave a legacy to our beautifully soul-connected granddaughter Jennifer, and two incoming twin granddaughters. And I suppose, it is also my community service and blessing to you all.

Ye who have ears, let them hear.

Blessings to you in ALL ways.

Amen. Namaste. OM

–If you would like to support my blog and learn how to charge your relationship with passion, please visit my sponsor:

Learn how to ignite the passion in your relationship with TonyRobbins.com.

 

 

Why all the different religions?

Because people cannot agree. And because once a mind believes something, it’s difficult to change it. This is why it is easier to train a child than help a broken adult.
What I believe…
I believe in Jesus, and the Christ consciousness in all of us, however I no longer identify with the Christian label because it seems to align with a belief that Jesus is the only son of God. I have an issue with the word “only.” I see that as an error in translation. I follow Jesus’ teachings about:
  • Not judging. He who is without sin, cast the first stone. This also pairs nicely with my knowing that “everything has value.”
  • Forgiving. Father, forgive them. They know not what they do. We can learn just as much from those who hurt us, as we can from those who treat us well, though obviously, we all want to be treated kindly, be accepted, be loved.
  • Loving. Love thy neighbor as thyself. And… love thy enemies, which includes loving all mankind. And if you have an issue with this, read again the parable about the Good Samaritan which makes it clear that “love your neighbor” means to love all persons, everywhere – not just our friends, allies, people of our country or ancestry, etc.
  • We are to live life and have it more abundantly. This is not talking about greed, this is talking about being able to enjoy all of Earth’s abundance. We do not rob, we do not destroy so that the Earth does not provide to the next generations. We seed. We plow. We reap what we sow. We enjoy. We do not need to deprive ourselves. We should learn about other cultures and enjoy the art, music, culture, and all they have to share with us. There is nothing to fear.
  • Before Jesus ascended to glory, He said we would go on to do even greater miracles than He performed. We need to understand and use the POWER we’ve been given. We need to learn who we are and use our power for good.
Above all, I believe in the Omniscience, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent God. The Eternal Presence, Source, Ever-Living, Filling-All-Space, Creator of the Universe.
This Eternal Presence that pulses and resonates through all is Energy. Limitless, Ever-Living, and Filling-All-Space (which is really the only way God could be truly Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent). The Presence also works for me as a name.
God lives in each of us already, most just deny it. Jesus was a representation of God living in us or He was expressing God fully. Expressing the truth of God in us!
God can shape-shift, choosing to be Jesus, any avatar, or merely a point of light!
I do not associate or align with LABELS of any kind, including but not limited to:
  • Christian. For the aforementioned reasons.
  • Paganism. I do not associate with symbols.
  • Mormon. Because the original Latter Day Saints church never called themselves that, only the Salt Lake City LDS members were known as Mormons. I have read the Book of Mormon cover to cover and believe it to be the Holy scripture of Jesus Christ’s visit to America. Some call it the Native American Bible.
  • Vegan. Because I consume honey, some dairy, and fish (to align more with my native American ancestors and my blood type).
I have read other Christian materials like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hamadi, and the Urantia book, so who was ever to say one book was divinely inspired while another not??? What egos!!
I’ve heard that modern society has lost touch with rituals, however, perhaps this is because the word “ritual” is built into “spiritual” and just by way of Be-ing, that is all the ritual we need? When a person is spiritual, they know spirit is always with them, in fact, that spirit is IN them! There is no need to DO anything in order to know spirit is IN you. So, we’ve let go of religious rituals because we don’t need them. Isn’t that a freeing thought?!?
I do study. As I have a thirst for knowledge. And as the Bible declares, we are to study to show thyself approved. I believe we are here to learn and accumulate knowledge and experience. As we transition, our soul takes this knowledge forward in some way.
I do appreciate and enjoy what each of the various religions have taught me over the years:
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now the Community of Christ (Mormon) church taught me:
  • God is living and ever present
  • Present day revelation
  • Healing via Laying on of hands
The Methodist church that my paternal grandfather and grandmother was, well, my grandfather read my mom’s Book of Mormon and had many deep discussions about it with her during my youth. He was so loving, tolerant or even accepting of it! He said it also offered great wisdom and comfort! He never understood why others would put her down much less persecute her for believing in it! My aunt Gela also had conversations with my mom about it over the years and my aunt was a solid practicing Methodist!
So, I was taught tolerance of other religions from an early age, even though my church taught that it was “the one true church” and I found out by attending others that each thought they were the only true church.
Baptist churches taught me boldness and encouraged me to study my Bible to “show thyself approved.” They also taught me humility–by going to the alter on more than one occasion! As well, they caused me to question my faith because they said the Mormon faith followed a different Jesus! I remember how confusing that was as everything I had learned about Jesus in my church was the same as they were preaching!!
Pentacostal churches taught me music in church can be fun and fantastic and that dancing for the Lord is glorious and healthful! My daughter and I were even “praise dancers” for a year while attending one of these churches years ago. My second husband and I were baptized in the ocean by a Bible believing non-denominational pastor whom also counseled us before marrying us. Though our marriage ended I learned so many things from it that I cannot think of it as a complete failure.
Also, that pastor taught me:
1) he asked the congregation to raise their hands if we thought he should drive a Lexus
2) they put multiple christmas trees on the stage
3) he said if we truly “got” what he was preaching we wouldn’t need him anymore!
As soon as I understood what that pastor was saying, I left the church! (My ex-husband quit after the Lexus comment!)
But that preacher also taught that God speaks through us.
One of my co-dancers told me to look at algebra like a puzzle (because I had asked for guidance about math classes in college that I was struggling with). This later all became very important to my career!
Jehovah’s Witnesses taught me how they control people (a friend of mine relayed his very personal story to me years ago) and how they taught that Christmas is a pagan holiday.
Church of Christ teaches how the Mormon church is a fraud, yet another friend I met years later said her church didn’t. She invited me to attend her church (I always felt she was still attempting to convert me!)
So, no, I do not just believe in ONE church, one religion, or one way. To me, those very beliefs are at the root of my of today’s societal problems. I’ll take the live and let live approach over all of that divisiveness.
Remember who the father of confusion is. A house divided against itself cannot stand. If I go anywhere it will be where our Creator is celebrated as being ALIVE, and speaking TODAY, and where UNITY is being observed. But, I will not succumb to any one MAN’s teaching, as my ultimate teacher is our Limitless Creator Source God Divine Infinite Intelligence.
Any religion that uses the active vibration of human beings and teaches a practice of movement (dance, waving of the arms, etc.), and breath (such as the yoga breathing called Pranayama, or chanting and singing to open and move breath through the body) are wonderful ways to heal yourself and reach towards the Divine. Blessings to you in ALL ways.
Amen. Namaste. OM

–If you would like to support my blog and find your true gift, please visit my sponsor:

Find your true gift at TonyRobbins.com.

An enchanting soul retreat in Sedona Arizona: Journey Into Self

At least once in your life, take a vacation to nourish and soothe your soul! That’s what I did, and what this blog post is about… that which I will forever call my “soul retreat.”

When I first got the email from Alania Starhawk that she and Patricia McGivern were planning a “Journey Into Self” retreat in Sedona Arizona, I didn’t know if I could get the time off work, find the extra money to pay for it, or even, what my husband would say (as I’ve never taken a vacation “just for me” before)… But above all else, I KNEW that my SOUL wanted to go!!!

How did I know?

You see, I had been to Sedona only for a few hours, 26 years ago with a few girls from my Speech class in college. We had been in Prescott Arizona, not far from Sedona, to put on a play at another campus of my university.

sheila preparing for ERAU play 1990.jpgsheila and girls day out driving during 1990 AZ trip.jpg

Having had some free time one day all those years ago, a couple of us girls decided to drive our rental car from Prescott to Jerome and Sedona.

On that drive, we had stopped at a little old roadside bookstore where I met an precious elder Native American Indian man. I fell in love with the Indian history he began telling me about, and all the books in that store. But because I was with other girls, and we were short on time, I politely told him I’d have to go. However, then I said three little words that have haunted me for years. I told him, “I’ll be back.”

While I never forgot those words, considering them as important as a promise, life got in the way, family vacations, reunions, and work trips, so for many years Sedona had to stay on the back burner. Although, Sedona was always calling me.

So, the particular morning I received Alania’s email invitation, I wanted to leap to my feet! My soul resonated with such vibrancy at the very thought that I could travel back to the enchanting land of Sedona… my intentions roared and I knew I had to go–no matter what!

Logistically, it would mean that I would have to get on a plane, perhaps two, because it’s quite a distance from where I live to get to Sedona and the airfare was not included in the retreat fee. And then, there would be all the explaining I would need to do, as no one in my family had ever even heard me talk about taking a vacation on my own. Plus, I’d have to take time off from work, and the date the trip began on was an important calendar date for my family also!

Normally on this particular date, I’d be in New Hampshire visiting my beautiful daughter and wonderful granddaughter for my granddaughter’s birthday. But in a flash I realized that blessedly this year my daughter’s father and his wife were going to visit our girls in New Hampshire. So, MY schedule was FREE! Wow!!! What perfect alignment! I began to become aware that destiny was calling…

And so it was. I kept my promise. I went back to Sedona. Boy, did I go back!!

miles-of-cactus

Even the drive from Phoenix to Sedona had it share of sights! I was curious about the cacti (plural for cactus) that we were seeing along the highway. I was told that many of these cacti were over one hundred years of age! Because it takes at least one hundred years for one to produce an “arm.” Though I was riding in a car with several other ladies, I managed to grab a few pictures of these intriguing plants.

I must say that I had the opportunity to buy a new camera before going on this trip, but I chose not to because I didn’t want “taking photos” to get in the way of my experiences in Sedona. Lesson learned! I took pictures anyway and they would have been so much better had I bought the iPhone 7 Plus that I’d wanted. Oh well! At least I wasn’t worried at all about dropping my old iPhone down a crevasse!

For five days, I hiked, breathed in the amazing cool dry air of Sedona, touched many rocks along a variety of hiking paths, hung out with like-minded ladies for spectacular sunsets, dined in exceptional restaurants, and immersed my soul in a deep and expansive process! My heart seemed to grow larger and open more to the world with each passing day! My “sisters” for the retreat seemed to teach me something every day! While my feet were totally grounded, my head and heart would fly along with the puffiest of clouds in the sky… dancing in the heightened energies I was feeling and “knowing.”

Our journey took us to many of the major energy vortices ~ including Airport Mesa, Boynton Canyon, Buddha Beach, Cathedral Rock, and Dry Creek Canyon. Sedona impressed us all! I hiked up five mountains in five days and the energy was running high to be sure! I only left thinking of perhaps two things I had not done while in Sedona, but I had been part of so much, and had written much more in my journal, and talked with so many of the gals in our group–yes, even on deep subjects–that in no way was I feeling disappointed.

Airport Mesalook-at-the-red-dirt

The dirt was so red here at Airport Mesa–it took my breath away! I couldn’t quit looking at it, even as I climbed. And this was my first climb, just hours after getting off the plane in Phoenix Arizona!

Our group spread out and some of us sang, played shakers, rattles, and drums. Many of us went our own way for awhile, then regathered up the mountain a little way, for Divine Blessing, and more singing, etc.

The view with the rain in the distance was exhilarating! Sedona even gifted us with our own Sacred Sedona Sisters rainbow!

our-rainbowim-hiking

airport-mesa

a-magical-energy-tree

Sunset seemed to be the very best time that we could have climbed and sat in the glory of Airport Mesa! I would come to learn that every time I took my eyes of the red rocks even for a moment, as the sun would deepen in the sky, the colors of the rocks would mystically change, blazing ever so many new hues and shades!

red-orbs-native-american-spirits-here

Note the red orbs in the picture of the sunset that I happened to grab. Ancestors, ancestors, we are calling! Come, come, come.

The artist in me was perplexed in trying to capture just a small portion of this bewitching magnificence with my mere old silly iPhone! Haha!

As is usual for me, my thoughts turn to our Divine Source… and I thought, this must be akin to what God thinks of us… we’re each so immense and powerful, yet we can only see such a fraction of our extraordinary essence! Ohh, we are but fractals of the light of the Divine–yes?

life-always-finds-a-way

During one of my moments of just “be-ing” I looked down and noticed this small plant growing inexplicably, on its own, in between rocks! I thought, “life always finds a way” and truly, life does! When at times we wonder where a plant like this little guy would get its nourishment from, ah, there it is anyway, just being it, doing it, amazing us. Isn’t it fascinating? How that happens I mean?

This little plant has no seemingly apparent means of life support, yet, here it is anyway! Brilliant! And we get to live on a planet like this! So nurturing, even in the subtle ways when we cannot or choose not to see all the invisible means of support that it gives to us all! Ahh!

Also, as a writer, I see that the word “plant” is contained within the word “planet”… hehe, my mind is dazzled by the way our English words are put together!

Boynton Canyon

climbing-boynton-bThis was the site where I climbed the highest. However, once I got almost to the top, I suddenly realized, whoa there Betsy! What the heck did I think I was doing?!? Uncannily (and Blessed Be) I made it to the top and was totally energized!!

I met several people on my hike also. One man in particular told me to repeat the words to myself, “feet like glue” and that actually did help me, especially on my way back down!

Another gentlemen told me exactly where to walk near the twisted Energy tree, and point my dowsing rods near it for a fascinating experience.

sheila-dowsing-by-energy-tree

I could see the energy whirl one of my dowsing rods a full 360 degrees spin! Over and over again! It was mesmerizing!!

The tree is turned and twisted, supposedly, due to the amount of energy it receives.

I was having so much fun up here! I was certainly “in the moment” experiencing Energy as never before! At one point I remember noticing that I hadn’t had any vertigo during this climb, and I must say that I was shocked to realize that! As I had climbed Airport Mesa the day before, I had gotten near the top and suddenly realized there would be nothing stopping me if I fell, so I sat down and just “enjoyed”–and that’s when I had taken a lot of pictures, sang, and shook the rattle.

It seems to me that when I am caught up in a moment of JOY that I do not even consider any of my so-called “limitations.” Is that true for everyone? If so, then, I say, let’s stay caught up in our joyful moments, yes?

Know this: Joy is our natural state of be-ing.

We’re so drawn to be in JOY!

Joy is why we love hanging out with our children! They show us that in nearly every moment–well, after their immediate needs are taken care of, like food, liquid, warmth, and so on.

the-energy-tree-and-the-hanging-rock-that-i-was-mesmerized-by

Here’s another picture (from my friend Carolyn) of what I guess is the “secret” rock atop Boynton Canyon. It so mesmerized me because of the way it just sort of hung there!

Speaking of being mesmerized, every where you look while hiking the Sedona red rock trails, you can find a way to be in awe of nature! From the way the light dances on the rocks, to where and how the plants grow, to the variety of foliage, and how the air is just filled with a certain sense of peace!

Even when it drizzled the rain there, I noticed the air still felt dry. An odd dichotomy!

Zen Den space

Our little group of fifteen soul sisters went to this place, sort of a little community meeting space primarily made up of one large room, where groups could rent it and meet for yoga, meditation, or the like. We had two sessions here during our five day retreat. Here is a link to Zen Den.

Here, we had time for meditation, conversation, and a guided regression session. While technically speaking, our guided “regression” session is called a past life regression, some may choose to see it as exactly that (if they believe in reincarnation), while others may choose to see it as a reconnection with one’s soul, DNA, ancestral visitation, or in many other ways.

Zen house.JPG

Since, as you know by now about me, if you’ve been reading my posts, I do not limit the Divine (God, Universal intelligence, life force, Energy, All that Is) at all, so I get into, or love to play with and in, anything that brings me into conscious unity with God. We are to live life fully and abundantly and this is just one of the myriad of ways of living that I find appealing and resonating with my spirit and soul.

We had two regressions with Patricia here, inside, and though I will write in another post about my experiences during the sessions, I will tell you, and show you, what I saw when I stepped outside of the Zen house… it knocked my socks off! Hello wizard Merlin!

wizard-in-the-rocks

wizard-in-the-rocks-closeup

Just in case you couldn’t see him, here’s a zoom of a close-up!

walking-the-zen

This was the tranquil Zen garden labyrinth (I am in the middle) where some of us chose to get our walking meditation in… ahhh!

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

Look at the  top of the smaller of the two Stupas. Oh, it looked just like an angel on top of a Christmas tree!

stupa1

It was certainly true for me that once I stepped foot on the land at Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, my mind quieted down quickly, and a holy reverence lit upon me, much as it had years ago when I would enter a church building. But out in nature, this was the very essence of “church” that I have always known exists, and I’ve hinted about in previous posts (that we do not need buildings in which to “hold church”, but that we have our own body temple for this purpose–no other “things” are required in order to pray, meditate, worship, etc.) and I had quite a knowing of this truth, being in this park.

my-deep-abiding-love-and-sadness-for-all-the-worlds-religionsThe deeply moving “religious” zone I was in, fell on me quite profoundly as I walked three times around each of the Stupas (as it is suggested you do when you visit–there are informative kiosks that explain it). I am also sure that I will continue to write about my thoughts on this in future blog articles. I was very, very moved–and quite unexpectedly too!

To put my experience at the Stupa in the deepest yet most brief way, I was saddened to my soul for anyone who could not find beauty here, could not find the sacred reverence, the divine knowing of this place and what it means to have it here, in America.

stupa-sizeI watched people of many different colors and nationalities come and walk around the Stupa in silent reverence, and I was oh so moved! You can see how large the main Stupa is in comparison to this gentlemen as he reverently walks around it.

One of my new sisters on the trip prostrated herself before the Buddha and I could feel the tears well up in my eyes and I witnessed her devotion. And though this is not my religious practice, I was moved to tears!

It seemed as though I was feeling the tears of many saints and guardians who yearn for us all to understand the transcendent importance of such a place as this!

I felt God’s Spirit move through my body! I felt an immense and abiding sense of wanting to protect this place… so much so that it startled me! I resonated with the reason all military have fought to defend our nation for–the right for our freedoms, especially for our freedom to practice different religions. (It’s probably also why free speech is so important to me too!) We just cannot take any of our freedoms for granted!

Amen. Namaste. OM

Buddha Beach

buddha-beach-water

buddha-beach-cairns

sheila-at-buddha-beach

my-feet-at-buddha-beach

Between seeing a lady do Tai Chi upon our arrival here, being blessed and attuned in the water, as well as all wandering around all of the magical cairns people had placed here, Buddha Beach was quite the treasure!

buddha-beach

I wrote a bit in my journal here, sang to the trees, and shook a rattle.

We met a lot of people on our walk here… some of us even got out picture taken with a couple who were traveling the world carrying a penguin statue! (I’m not kidding!)

Dry Canyon

We had our last regression session in the middle of a mandala that we all built, which included our own artwork and words for peace, love, joy, bliss, etc. that we left here:

sheila-in-middle-at-mandala

sheila-with-scarf-and-bindi

And I was gifted a bindi for my third eye, which I embraced wearing. When the sun was overhead, I pulled my scarf over my head as a wrap, not even thinking about “why”– but oh, I was stunned when I saw the photos later! I love Indian food, music, and dance, and now I think  I know why!

Also, going back to my childhood for a moment, my mom would always take a picture of me standing on a big rock at Blackwater Falls WV, so I had to jump up for this fun tribute to her!

im-queen-of-the-world

Sunset on the Cathedral Rock trail

climbing-cathedral-rock-trail

i-can-see-for-miles-and-miles

You can get a little idea of how rocky of a path we had to climb on the Cathedral Rock trail.

Our group of Sacred Sedona Sisters had a time of song and blessing on this flat area of the trail. I still hear our voices singing the enchanting songs! It was one of the most special times of our journey for me.

my-view-now-feet-over-edgeAs I sat,  probably mid way up the Cathedral Rock trail, I hung my feet over, appreciating the hiking shoes my dad had given me (they still had a bit of West Virginia dirt on the soles too) but now, they had this noble red dirt embedded in them as well. Ohh!! I love these red rocks! If I could live the rest of my life here, I cannot imagine getting tired of this dirt, these rocks, and the majestic glorious vistas!

I am dreaming of a day when I can bring our whole family here, especially my amazing granddaughter, Jennifer. Oh, what bliss that would be!

But, I can hold them dear in my heart as I sit here and look at the world. Because it sure feels as though I am on top of the world!

Saying so long…

Not long after I woke up on the last day in Sedona, I put my moccasin booties and went for a hike up the mountain behind the resort one last time. I wanted to feel the rocks under my feet, pebbles and all, similar to how my grandparents, great grandparents, and other ancestors from my Native American Indian lineage would have walked. Living my grandmother’s quote, “before judging others, walk a mile in the other person’s moccasins.”

Even the view from our resort was breathtaking, all the way around! Had we done nothing else but stay at the resort, I would have had a magnetic time!

walking-in-my-ancestors-shoes

view-from-arabella

the-mesa-that-caught-my-soul

I learned several new natural healing modalities that I continue to practice daily. Plus I met my protector guide, Screamin’ Eagle (thanks to my wonderful roommate, Kim — who I will introduce you to in my next blog post).

Each of the attendees, or rather “Sacred Sedona Sisters”, received an “Attunement to Divine Frequency”, sacred blessings, and regression sessions (read more about that here: Releasing “past” hurts or traumas to heal current ills in the body). We enjoyed, relaxed, and had fun, but oh YES, we can allow our body to heal NOW by releasing stored cellular memories from the past!

I want to soulfully thank Alania Starhawk and Patricia McGivern for brainstorming, planning, and facilitating this aWEsOMe and transformative, yes, life-giving retreat!

We absolutely packed a lot into 5 days!

For me, I loved every moment, every trail, mountain, and vista! We hiked, climbed, shopped, ate, sang, took photos, had deep conversations, sat in a hot tub, and around a fire pit. I’ve never done so much on a vacation before!

Stay tuned. I am sure to be updating this page (especially with the other blog links when I get those written)!

Thank you Sedona!

OM Shanti OM – May the peace that passes all human understanding be yours.