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Most of us are having just the opposite: a nutcrackin’ nightmare of anger, hurt feelings, evil in-laws, and carbs beyond counting. A time when grudges grow and gasses pass. A time of maxed-out credit cards and a ham that the vegetarians are ready to hurl through the frosty window.
Evil little brothers, pregnant tattooed sisters, horny dogs, and cross-dressing dads – they’re all here, ready to spread their Christmas cheer.
So untangle the lights, spill some eggnog, and gather ’round the place where happier families would have a piano.
Let’s sing to the tune of “O Come All Ye Faithful”…
O come meet the family, bad breeding triumphant;
O come meet the family dysfunctional.
Come and behold them. As they brag and fight and whine.
For it’s a celebration, of Christmas aggravation.
And if you’re no relation, just thank the Lord.
Ok, now I have to admit that I didn’t write this. I WISH I could take credit for it, because it makes a dysfunctional family sound a lot lighter. And it made me smile. How about you?
Will you still be smiling on Christmas Day when you are spending time with your family? I hope you are. But if you aren’t, here is something to consider.
It’s only one day. Make the best of it. If memories of family holidays past are less than desirable, switch the channel.
That’s right. Choose a new program. Take a new perspective.
You can’t change these people, but you can change how you look at them.
If your mean aunt is lecturing you again about how you chose the wrong career, you might be annoyed and want to tell her what to do with her advice. Or, you might ask yourself, “What’s another way I could look at this?”
You could choose to see her in a more positive light; “She really cares about me and only means well.”
Or use this strategy. Accentuate her rottenness; “She doesn’t have a life poor thing and that is why she has so much energy to spend on criticizing other people.” You might end up feeling something different for that aunt of yours.
And if you do react badly you can still switch your channel. Don’t feel badly about how you may have acted. Tell yourself that you will do better next time and don’t hold on to the feelings. Don’t beat yourself up. Your aunt can do that better right? Ask yourself what you have learned.
Usually when someone is criticizing you, if you feel a reaction there is some learning there for you. If there is no learning, then it will fly right past you.
If this does change things for you, then you will be stronger than the day before. Stronger for the next time.
And if none of this works at least you will have kept yourself busy and before you know, it will be time to go home.
This quote from Joubert Joseph is what inspired this post.
“He who has not the weakness of friendship has not the strength.”
I wish all of you the best Christmas that you can SEE for yourself. And take the best of that into the new year.
Introduction and revised lyrics to O Come All Ye Faithful was taken from The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook, written by John Boswell and Leonore Skenazy.
Photo credits: Kittenagogo’s photostream from Flickr.com
So, oh come all ye faithful and share your comments. Maybe myself or my readers can help you shed some light on a rotten relative!
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I’m excited to continue with the second part of our interview with Akemi. Thanks for joining us again!
For anyone who has not read Part 1 please check it out. The topics were intuition, the ego and spirit guides.
Today Akemi will be talking about déjà vu moments, light bodies, dreaming and out of body experiences. Ok, let’s get started then….
1. Akemi, I’ve had many déjà vu experiences where I’ve been doing or saying something that I felt I’d done before. What is happening when a person experiences this? Is it a memory from a recent dream or perhaps a soul confirmation that they are connecting with “part of the plan”?
This is a very interesting question. I do think some of our déjà vu experiences and sticky dreams (the kind of dreams that you remember to be so real) have something to do with our soul memory.
Davina: So, you are saying we could possibly be connecting with part of a preconceived plan that we made before incarnating?
Akemi: Maybe. Or maybe we did or said something very similar in our past lives. Can you share an example with us, Davina?
Davina: Nothing specific comes to mind. But generally it happens when I’m having a conversation with someone and suddenly I feel like I’ve been with this person before. We were doing the exact same thing, sitting in the exact same room, even wearing the same clothes. A lot of information flashes at me in a split second. It’s like we’re acting out a rehearsed scene.
2. You’ve mentioned that we are moving into a new style of existence called “light bodies.” What does this mean?
This is something I’m hoping to happen in year 2012. Just joking. It would be nice if it were that easy (if we could become light bodies just waiting for another several years), but I guess it takes more spiritual work for each of us to achieve such high level of existence.
It is a fact, however, that we are evolving fast spiritually these days. This is why so many people are seeking help like mine to get past the existing roadblocks in their growth. And many of us sense that spiritual growth will lead to a new style of “physical” existence as well.
Currently we have this physical body, which is very dense and heavy. I’m only 112 lbs so I’m not “heavy” but still, for my soul, this body feels small to fit in and cumbersome to carry around. I heard that we are evolving and ascending to a less dense existence called a light body. It is probably similar to our astral body, but because I haven’t achieved this yet, I don’t know what it is like. It’s something I look forward to in my own spiritual development.
Davina: Hmmm. Ok, this makes me wonder if this does come to pass, (says my other self as I go completely out on a limb here), what use will our bodies be then? I mean, we won’t need our bodies then? Will we need food? How important will the environment be in that case? I don’t even begin to expect an answer to THAT one! But if you do have a comment I’d love to hear it.
Akemi: Oh, I think it will be fun! I imagine I can move so much faster as a light body (I’d fly, or move even faster than flying!!). Food? Why bother? I wonder how long a light body would “live”. Now remember, I don’t claim to know this – I just think this may be a possibility, and I resonate a lot with the idea.
3. Can you say more about why this is happening or what this means by saying that spiritually we are evolving quickly these days?
I think it is pretty obvious that we are accelerating our spiritual evolution these days. Just look at the increased interest in spirituality or “paranormal” phenomena! (I think the term “paranormal” is discriminative because it comes with the preconceived idea of what normal is.)
A few years ago I might have been sent to a mental institution if I said I could see or hear what others can’t. Now there are universities that teach spirituality (not religions) and metaphysics. Many doctors are embracing the idea of medical intuitives or reincarnation, and “ordinary” people are practicing meditation and experimenting with the law of attraction. Pretty cool.
4. Life has become fast-paced and circumstances can change in an instant. Would a person be wise to reconsider an intuitive decision based on this?
Davina, intuitive messages are not like the 10 Commandments carved on a stone. (Davina blushes.) Spirit guides don’t get upset just because we fail to follow their advice and they don’t punish us for not following through. They are helpers. Yes, they have higher perspectives than we do and therefore are incredibly helpful, but they also respect our initiative. We are the players in this world and we hired our own spirit guides who can help us.
Any decision, made by intuition or logics, is best served when it is updated as we go along. Now the good news of intuitive decision making is it’s the fastest of all. It’s so useful in this fast-paced society!
I’m confident that, as the world becomes increasingly accelerated, more people will find intuitive decision making to be useful and valuable. The time when we can sit back with logic and “proven” facts or methods is ending.
5. I dream quite frequently and sometimes they are very vivid dreams. Once I dreamed I’d won the lottery. I woke up and the dream had been so real that I was laying there planning what I was going to do with the money. When I finally “came to my senses” you can imagine how disappointed I was.
What role do dreams play in our lives? Why can they often be so unrealistic, yet feel so real? And what is the difference between dreaming and lucid dreaming?
Oh, I’m so sorry to hear you missed the lottery 😉 What were the things you wanted to do with the money? If I were you, I’d still put them up in my vision board for the law of attraction. . .
There are many kinds of dreams. Some dreams are just our mind re-processing what it experienced. The experience may be real or something you saw in a movie or in a book, and it may be a recent or old experience, or a combination.
Some people “work” through their dreams. They have many dreams but the dreams don’t make sense to them. It’s a way their soul is helping other souls, and my advice for this kind of dreamer is “Don’t over-analyze your dreams.” (Davina sighs with relief.)
Some go to the wrong side of the dream world either by accident or by negative energy interference. This is really harmful – the person ends up having some kind of sleep problems such as nightmares (the negative side of the dream world is a very ugly place), insomnia (because the mind is so afraid of going there again), night terrors in children, or dreamless sleep (because the mind dismisses the horrible dreams immediately at waking up). It is one of the energetic issues I clear with my Akashic Record Readings.
Then, there are dreams that are spiritual messages. They would feel special. It may be the soul memory of its past lives, or it may be premonitions.
Lucid dreaming is a situation where you are aware you are dreaming while you are dreaming. Because you know it’s a dream, you can choose to do things you can’t do in the “real” world. Some people seem to really enjoy this.
Davina: Wow, I had no idea there were so many different types of dreaming!
6. Ok Akemi, here is a personal story that I’m hoping you can shed some light on.
This happened to me many years ago during a meditation. I was lying down, feeling completely relaxed and listening to a meditation exercise on a cassette tape. Suddenly my feet started to feel heavy, numb and tingly. Like that feeling you get when you sit on your legs and they fall asleep. However, I wasn’t sitting, I was lying down.
This feeling quickly moved up my legs and I felt my body start to sit up effortlessly. I fought against this in fear. Then gently and in slow motion, my head “appeared to turn” and look at the bedside table. I know my head did not move physically; I was too paralyzed with fear to move! I know, I know… this sounds crazy, but it happened!
I saw on the table some greeting cards (that also were not there physically). While I looked at these cards they quivered slightly as if a light breeze was passing over them. I was totally freaked out!
This experience ended with me staring at the ceiling thinking I was losing my mind. It was the middle of the afternoon and I was not dreaming. Do you have any insights about what might have happened? Was this the beginning of an out-of-body experience?
Akemi: From your reading, I see that you are one of those lucky people with extra gifts for that kind of out-of-body or astral projection experience. Some people seem to enjoy this – you can travel to far off lands fast! Just don’t come to my bedroom to surprise me at night *smile*.
We have an astral body, which can look like our physical body but is far less dense. It is usually with the physical body, but it can move out from our physical body either by your intention or by accident, like it happened to you.
Davina: Thanks for this explanation Akemi, and don’t worry, I’m not planning on taking any astral trips (at least that I can be aware of) anytime soon. As intriguing an idea as this sounds, I’m not comfortable with it. Funny, I never enjoyed air travel either *smile*.
On that note everyone, I’d like to conclude our time with Akemi. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. It has been quite interesting and has certainly challenged my logical mind. I’m sure the ego is a little uncomfortable too, but I’ll be having a talk with him or her soon.
I hope you enjoyed Part 2 of our interview. If there are any questions, again please ask Akemi below in the comments section. Thanks again for reading, and sweet dreams!
I felt connected. Complete. I drifted off to sleep while other senses were awakened.
The wind was the last thing I remembered before waking from a dream. In this dream I was dressed in army fatigues and being held prisoner. I was not alone and eventually helped the other person to escape.
I awoke from the dream slowly, still looking through the eyes of that person who had remained behind. Interestingly that person no longer felt like a prisoner.
I had this dream while preparing to write this article and feeling the frustration of writer’s block. How could I write about living a balanced life when I was struggling with it myself? Nothing I wrote felt right. I had become so attached to the outcome of the article I wasn’t letting the creativity flow. I was disconnected. What was interesting about this dream was my interpretation. The person who had been set free was my creative muse.
My thoughts returned to the connection I had felt while listening to the wind. I knew there was an answer there. Memories of other times I felt connected swam through my mind and I relaxed into knowing what living a balanced life meant to me.
Seeing a shooting star. Catching a snowflake. Watching the sunrise on a misty morning. Admiring a rainbow. Smelling the new cherry blossoms in springtime.
These are things that fill me up. They are without expectation. And because I am not attached to the outcome I can be more fully in the moment. Nature does that for me. It wakes me up. It inspires that feeling of being connected. When I feel connected I also feel balanced.
We have become separated from the natural flow of life in an effort to control it. Calendars and schedules attempt to balance our daily activities, yet we still run in circles seemingly getting nowhere. We have created this world and yet it controls us. We are out of rhythm and less flexible because we depend on these schedules to tell us where to be and when.
Life has a schedule of its own and it unfolds as we are trying to fold it up, throw it into a briefcase and run for the next subway train. We don’t even see where we’re running because subconsciously we’ve already reached our destination.
Because we have become so disconnected with our natural rhythm we feel unfulfilled. This brings an unconscious desire to fill a void. And fill it we do – with things. But it’s never enough is it?
Trouble is, the more things we collect the more complicated our lives become and the more out of control we feel. It is a never-ending cycle.
You can stop the cycle. Here are five suggestions.
1. Feel your connection: Balance is achieved through connection. What are you doing when you feel connected? See it in your mind and remember how it feels. When you feel out of control, revisiting this feeling can stop you from living ahead of yourself. It brings you back into the moment. When you are in the moment you are less likely to be distracted.
2. Honour your values: When you know what your ultimate goal is (the big picture), hold it in your intent but don’t become attached to it. Working with values gives a person the ability to make more powerful and appropriate choices about how to reach their goal.
Finding rhythm in attaining a goal comes through knowing that each step is connected to the other; like a dance. They’re not separate actions to be scheduled in a specific order. They naturally support and feed each other with little effort. One clue that you are not honouring your values is through your internal dialogue. See #3.
3. Choose your dialogue: Be aware of how you talk and think. What words are you choosing? When you say, “I should” or “I have to” you are putting pressure on yourself. Or, perhaps what you are trying to accomplish is not of value to you and you shouldn’t waste your time on it. If it is important, choose more empowering words such as “I want to” or “I will”. They’re less likely to cause resistance to action.
4. Practice meditation: Simply put, meditation encourages clarity. We aren’t scattered because there are too many distractions. It’s because we are not focused that we notice the distractions. When a person is not focused they are more vulnerable to outside influences. Responding to people and circumstances takes a back seat, while reacting takes the front.
5. Focus on fulfillment: Fulfillment surrenders to balance. As I mentioned earlier, when we are not feeling fulfilled we unconsciously try to fill a void with things we believe will fill us up. When a life is built on false beliefs any perceived balance is fragile and short-lived. I’ve had days where my life seems as organized as it can be, but find myself feeling restless. Something is missing. Things appear to be balanced, but I’m not fulfilled.
One thing to remember. If you’ve ever tried to stand on one leg you’ve noticed that balance fluctuates. That means if you aren’t flexible you’ll end up a prisoner of your own controlled efforts.
Wake up to your senses and they will lead you to the fulfillment that designs a balanced life.
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Photo Credit: Alison Lyons Photography
“Prosperity is not just having things. It is the consciousness that attracts the things. Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just having money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things.”
– Eric Butterworth
Poverty consciousness is about more than money. It arises from the fear of not having enough.
It causes us to deny ourselves material possessions and on the other extreme, we may buy things for ourselves and regret it after. It is about the limiting belief that there are consequences for spending money.
The number of material possessions you have is not reflective of your relationship with money; your attachment to them is.
The best time to challenge yourself and break through poverty consciousness is when you feel the fear of not having enough. Now would be the perfect time if you are experiencing uncertainty during these times of unstable money markets.
Now obviously I’m not suggesting going on a spending spree when funds are lower than the norm, but I do suggest buying that item you would normally avoid buying because of the circumstances.
This scenario has played out a number of times in my own life.
Please continue reading on page 2.
Luny Landing won first place in the Master Team Sculptor’s category in the World Championship sand sculpture event. This event was hosted in Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada.
Artists from around the world went to great lengths to build these sculptures to withstand the elements and remain show worthy for the public and of course, the judges.
From the most artistic design to the smallest, most intricate detail, this show of more than 70 sculptures was a pleasure to see. It was quite clear that these artists had realized and embraced their passion for creativity.
Please continue reading on page 2.
I am one of the last people I know who puts my sandals away in the fall and one of the first to bring them out in the springtime. Going barefoot is my preference.
I enjoy shopping for shoes, but I’ve realized that it is more about dreaming of finding that perfect pair, rather than buying them.
Let me tell you, this is no easy accomplishment. Even more challenging is letting go of that favourite pair of shoes.
You know the ones. You’d hardly recognize them from that early honeymoon period when you shared blisters, walks in the rain and walks across sandy beaches.
Their wear and tear boasts miles travelled together with accumulated sentimental value. They are comfortable. They fit like a glove and in all actuality, they shine more than the newest shoes in your closet. You tend to reach for them before you reach for the newer ones.
Children change and grow out of their shoes quickly but as adults we can wear the same pair of shoes for years. Buying a new pair of shoes has always been a challenge for me.
I often find myself window shopping, dreaming about finding that next pair of perfect shoes and being frustrated by yet another unsuccessful shopping trip. But, I wonder if subconsciously I don’t really want to find that new pair of shoes?
I have friends who wear a variety of styles and colours, both new and old. What I’ve also noticed is that these friends are vibrant and enthusiastic and walk headfirst into change in their lives.
I don’t enjoy change. I like comfort and I like familiar. What is interesting is that I continue to explore and cultivate my own personal growth, forgetting that this inevitably brings change.
Change gives me blisters and so I prefer going barefoot.
To my credit, I enjoy memories and appreciating how far I’ve come.
In the movie The Wizard of Oz, the shoes that Dorothy wore and whose heels she clicked together while saying “There’s no place like home,” were brilliant, red sparkling shoes. They created magic.
So, all I have to do is focus on taking more steps into the future rather than dreaming about it. Maybe then I’ll have some successful shopping trips and be able to add some brilliant new pairs of shoes to my closet. And even better, maybe we can enjoy that honeymoon period without any blisters!
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TWO WOLVES – A CHEROKEE LEGEND
A grandfather from the Cherokee nation was talking with his grandson.
“A fight is going on inside of me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”
“One wolf is evil and ugly: (I call this the Dark Wolf). He is anger, envy, war, greed, selfishness and arrogance.”
“The other wolf is beautiful and good: (I call this the White Wolf). He is friendly, joyful, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, justice, fairness, empathy, generosity, true, compassion, gratitude, and deep VISION.”
“This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other human as well.”
The grandson paused in deep reflection because of what his grandfather had just said. Then he finally cried out, “Oyee! Grandfather, which wolf will win?”
The grandfather replied, “The wolf that you feed.”
This is a nice sentiment, and I get what the grandfather is saying. But I’m not fond of the reference to this “terrible fight” that is going on inside of us.
In Robin Birch’s recent post on her blog Let’s Live Forever!, she writes,
“I like to think that when more people reach for the light, in any of a myriad of ways, and this becomes commonplace, a shift will occur in our mass consciousness.”
I support this idea wholeheartedly. Reaching for the light or the positive side of life is not about running from or fighting the dark. I don’t believe it has to be a struggle.
I admit to having dark thoughts and to resisting them. These thoughts are the work of my inner critic and fighting them exhausts me. But nevertheless they exist.
I enjoy believing that the dark is simply a shadow cast by the light. Anything that gets in the way of sunshine, casts a shadow. And although our shadows follow us, they are not real. They exist because we do. We cast those shadows ourselves.
In a recent post I wrote “If we fear our darkest thoughts they will continue to run our lives.”
Fighting a dark thought will feed it. Noticing a dark thought doesn’t feed it. In fact, by taking the time to see it and perhaps shed some light on it, an understanding can be reached. Understanding it means getting to know it; no longer having to fear the unknown. There is no duality here, and no fight. Vision is empowered and clarity moves us forward.
How do you handle your dark side?
Do you catch yourself believing what your inner critic tells you?
The next time your inner critic casts a shadow across your path what will you tell it?
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Photo Credit: Unknown
“Life is a cycle. A cycle is a circle. And in a circle all things return to where they began.”
This is a quote I heard a Cherokee elder say many times. As I was preparing to publish this post, this quote suddenly popped into my mind. I haven’t heard it or thought of it for over 10 years.
And so, this post has swung into a new direction and I’m going with it. I hope you will get on and go for the ride with me.
According to Wikipedia, misery loves company is an idiom referring to the observation that one person’s misery makes others miserable…
I felt grumpy today and realizing I’m grumpy makes me grumpier.
Instead of trying to cheer myself up I found myself looking for more reasons to feel nasty.
When you are having a bad day one thing after another seems to go wrong. Have you noticed this? It gets so ridiculous that if you stop a minute to think about it, the situation starts to become funny.
I’m not a mean-spirited person and although there are days I feel that way, I don’t believe I want to make others miserable.
But who wants to hang around with a grump? I don’t. When I feel this way I make a judgement that this is bad, and automatically that judgement sends me farther into the cave. Resisting it makes it stronger.