Transcending Polarity with Gender Fluidity


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Susie Beiler is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner with Spectrum Health Consulting LLC. Susie is a channel for the Divine. She assists her clients to discover and live their soul mission so that they can enjoy a deeply fulfilling life. She quickly accesses her clients core issues and offers practical steps for transformation. She is a Master of the Healing Arts utilizing the modalities that best fit her client’s needs, such as DidgeriDeep Sound Healing™, Holistic Nutrition, Spiritual Guidance & Lifestyle Coaching, and Energy Healing. After healing herself from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (adrenal burnout), she reprogrammed and rewired herself to live her own soul mission as a channel for the Divine. Susie is the founder and lead facilitator in The Creation Temple®, an online venue for supporting Lightworkers in their ascension process. She lives in Sedona, AZ and enjoys nature, authenticity, and high vibrational food. Please visit her at: www.susiebeiler.com and www.creationtemple.com

Zen and a Love Story

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By Anya Light

 

In the beginning, you are seated for meditation. Zazen. You wear a dark sweater and scarf. I notice how tall you are, and slender.

And then we begin to bow. I don’t know this ritual yet, and so I find my eyes drawn to you, as you make the movements. I dip my head reverently to the wooden floor, which represents the Earth. I dip my head and rise my palms for Buddha. (Not in worship—but in Yes!)

Yes, quiet meditation hall. Evening. England. This bowing. And there is no difference, now, between those who are bowing and those who are sitting or moving in this room in other ways. We all Are. I have Buddha nature, and so do you. I bow, watching you. You are always two seconds ahead, to my right. I can’t stop looking.

The story really begins with a headache. My headache. I cannot yet face them: the crowds, the rooms of expectant people, here to hear about my book. I am tired of talking.

Just ten minutes in the Zendo, I tell myself. Just ten minutes of meditation: that’s all I need. So, I rise from the bed, shuffle downstairs, and push open the wide wooden door.

It is you! You are there! You are already seated, on the old wooden floor. My heart is made of firecrackers. My heart is made of chocolate. I burn and melt. In total surprise, I say: You!?

We smile and agree to sit together. At the end of ten minutes, you ring the bell. I don’t remember what we talk about, after we sit, but it’s something that flows beautifully. A few minutes pass, and suddenly we remember other people and clocks exist. We say we are both reluctant to join them, but we do.

And then the story, well, it really begins with my question to you, after the reading: Would you like to take a walk with me? …And then, out in the open evening air, a few streets later, my question: May I kiss you? Your mouth is dry and you laughingly complain. We look around. There’s so much, and suddenly. The moon is big and the river is near. It’s August, the end of summer. We stand in the market town of Hebden Bridge. I don’t live here, but you do. You show the way.

We walk. When we reach the bridge, we hold hands. I remember resting my head in your lap. Your hands upon my head, so gently, so gently.

I tell you I’m a healer, a shaman, that I walk between worlds. I tell you everything. No secrets are between us, already. We talk of magic. We talk of love, mystery, sex. After awhile, we walk a bit more, back toward the house.

Back at the drafty old house, later, you kneel to write your number on a scrap of paper. Time has stopped a long time ago. While writing, you look up at me. I’m in the chair, close to you, legs crossed. You shake your head, disbelievingly, almost like a confused, giddy child. You say: I don’t know you, but I love you.

We are writing a love story, my love. It includes more things. Letters, packages, emails. Visits. Six-hour Skype calls. Orgasms and dances across space and time and all that seems real. You and I in the forest, that afternoon. You and I on the islands, those evenings, when we camped. The whale leaping from the waters.

How your laugh surprises me still.

How crickets can signal not the end but the beginning of a summer.

 

Daily Miracles: The Way My Sister Walked

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By Reverend Rhonda Sheryl Lipstein

 

The miraculous story I would like to share is the story of my sister, Elana Jody Lipstein-Waldman.

 

Elana was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer when she was the very tender age of 32.

 

According to statistics regarding this diagnosis, Elana was given less then a 30% chance of surviving more than 2-3 years, and this was with the most advanced treatments currently known within the allopathic medical industry.

 

Amazingly, instead of choosing to believe the statistics given by her doctors, who were touted as some of the absolute best in their field, Elana chose instead to alter her perception of her diagnosis and her condition.

 

Instead of seeing the diagnosis as death sentence, she saw it as permission to enjoy life to its fullest. She began to view her condition not as fatal but rather as a chronic condition that simply had reoccurring flare-ups that needed treatment.

 

Over the next years, Elana was treated with over 100 chemotherapy treatments, radiations, test trials, injections, specialty diets, fitness routines, and lifestyle changes.

 

Even though these treatments helped, in reality it was her PERCEPTION that gave her the gift of life. She lived EIGHT YEARS beyond her diagnosis!

 

My sister walked the walk of Namaste Love and, as a result, was gifted the greatest miracle of all: life.

 

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Reverend Rhonda Sheryl Lipstein is an empathic holistic healer & intuitive mystic. For those seeking more pearls of love’s wisdom, please visit RhondaSherylLipstein.com

 

A New Year’s Letter to My Lightworker Friends

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Dear beautiful lightworkers,

 

The new year is here! Blessings!

 

As you look ahead, surveying the landscape of your life—wishing, hoping, and dreaming—I want to encourage you today to cultivate a gentle trust inside your heart. Trust that the Universe is guiding you exactly where you need to go.

 

This year, when you make choices and envision possible paths, take the time to listen to your heart. Ask what it feels.

 

The (sometimes challenging) truth is this: The intellect is overrated. Yet, our culture tends to glorify it: tends to idealize logical pros and cons lists…tends to idolize those with academic degrees…tends to trust something only if it can be “scientifically proven.”

 

And yet, and yet, the intellect is just a tiny piece of the puzzle.

 

Glorification of the intellect is the old way: the old way of the ego’s reign of power that is slowly dying on our planet.

 

The new way is intuition. Trusting the gut and heart.

 

There is so much more to life than the single perspective. Each one of us is like a tree, each with our own beautiful story…yet communicating through roots and water with the wider forest and all of Gaia herself. Each brain is valuable and beautiful, yes—but there’s so much more!

 

In the year 2018, let’s celebrate the intellect as a tool, but learn to grow beyond it. With deeper meditation and more mindfulness in our daily lives, we begin to feel the subtle nuances that come with our devotion to this life of awakening, this life of healing and service to a world that is so ready for us.

 

We are the light. We are here to shine.

 

Don’t let your brain get too much in the way this year. Make decisions from a place of surrender and faith. Trust the forces bigger than you.

 

The words and concepts that appear in your brain may not always be the highest reality. Rather, learn to subtly perceive the deeper vibrations emanating from your heart. Watch for the synchronicities. Watch for the pure moments of serendipity, when the clouds part, and you just know.

 

Remember, too, that on this path of life, there are no mistakes. As my Beloved recently said, “The word ‘mistake’ is a clunky concept, massively oversimplifying.” In truth, what we do is explore. Play. Adventure our lives in a way where we sometimes crash. And it’s okay! We learn, time and time again, that to breath and reboot is an integral part of the path.

 

The intellect is overrated. What counts on this lightworker path is your gut. Your heart. Allow your intuition and the forces of Spirit to move through you, guiding each step to exactly the next place you need to be.

 

This year, in the magnificent year of 2018, may your days be more joyful than ever before.

 

I love you all,

 

Anya

 

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Eternity

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a poem by Anya Light

 

I remember the body-less time.

The time before arms and legs.

It was a time before wonder—

because everything was wonder.

Everything was peace.

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I remember the body-less time.

Carved into bone,

this memory.

Any end of the cosmos was mine

in a wink or a blink.

…Maybe this

at least partially explains

my sorrow

at needing a car

or filling a wallet with dollars

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Strengthening Our Intuition with Oracle Cards

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By Sarah Atwell

 

Working with oracle messenger cards is one of my favorite ways to strengthen my intuition.
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Life is like the seasons—full of cycles and changes. The cards help us navigate. We go through times of renewal and fresh starts because it’s time to move forward. Sometimes, we must leave something behind because it’s no longer working for us.

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As we undergo these cycles of change, we can let go of old habits, find different kinds of work, or step out of comfort zones and try something new. Indeed, life is ever-changing. It’s an exciting and unpredictable adventure; a maze of possible choices and unknown outcomes. Sometimes when I feel like I’m a bit lost, I go to oracle cards for guidance. They have helped me so much, and I feel they may help you, too.


My Magical Experience

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Over the years, my work with the oracles has often focused on dreams and creativity.

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For example, I’ve received much guidance about the role of art in my life. About a year ago, The Green Lady card from one of my favorite decks, The Faeries’ Oracle, kept coming up in readings. She encouraged me to grow my talents and courageously embrace my innate magic. I’d also get Penelope the Dreamweaver card quite often, who of course is connected with magical dreams and visions. She seemed to be telling me to step out of the mundane and try new things that would inspire and renew me.
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During this time, I also had a dream that I was drawing lots of pictures so I could make my own coloring book or cards.

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All these messages pointed to my new direction. I decided I was going to get busy and start drawing again. (It had been years since I had done any drawing.)

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Now, a year later, I’m happy to say my first coloring book will soon be published. (If you subscribe to my blog at sarathefairy.com you will receive a free sample to download.)

 

Oracles and the Intuitive Mind

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How do oracle cards work?

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The oracles work as an extension of what we already know in our subconscious mind, which is where our intuition comes from.

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The cards can be considered the physical representation of our internal intuition. When we use the oracles, we’re strengthening the connections between our subconscious mind, our intuition, and the physical world.

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The images on the cards bring clarity to any hidden feelings, emotions or desires we may have.

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As we shuffle them and focus on our question, we’re setting an intention and releasing our energy into the cards. This is what gives them power.


Your Choice and Your Power
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There are many varieties of oracle cards. Some have themes like goddess, angels, animals or faeries.

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One of my favorite sets is Oracle of Visions. The images in this deck are not only colorful and pretty but also very straightforward, making it easier to understand their meaning.

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The other deck I love is The Faeries’ Oracle, as previously mentioned. Using this deck is one of my favorite ways to connect with the faeries and learn what they have to share.

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If you decide to work with the oracles, find some that speak to you. Remember: it’s not the cards in themselves that have the power—it’s your energy and your intention that give them the power to work within you.

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Sarah Atwell lives in Oregon and is currently studying various methods of healing. Connect with her on Facebook and her blog

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How to Consciously Evolve at Christmas: A Few Tips

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By Anya Light

 

The time of Christmas is a wonderful time for the evolution of our consciousness. Indeed, it’s a great energy to harness. There’s extra magic in the air, absolutely ripe for the setting and manifesting of intention. Our collective sense of what’s possible is expanded, and our hearts tend to be more open.

 

Dear friends, here are three tips to keep in mind, as you navigate your Christmas holiday with the intention of awakening further to the deepest truth of who you are.
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1. Be authentic.

At Christmastime, we often feel pressured to go along with what others are doing. We may feel obligated to participate in various traditions that don’t resonate with us for fear of rocking the boat.

 

Be bold and be you this Christmas. You say “no” and also be kind. For example, if you are a vegetarian and your mom is nudging you to partake in the turkey she’s just made, don’t confuse showing your mother love with abandoning your values. You can love your mom by simply saying “No thanks, Mom, I’ll forgo the turkey—but I’m so excited to eat these delicious mashed potatoes you made! Thanks so much!”

 

Here’s another example. If you don’t believe in the tradition of exchanging consumer products, then see what alternatives resonate with you. Could you make your loved one an artistic handmade gift, such as a poem or a painting? Could you offer massages and cuddles? Could you help your aunt with the dishes after the meal or lend a hand to help your dad fix his old broken down truck? Could you shovel the sidewalks of your grandmother’s house? What are the ways you can pitch in and add light to the lives of those you love, without feeling obliged to go out and purchase a mass market item?
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2. Be in the present moment.

One of the things I find challenging about Christmas is that the holiday often seems to carry these two implicit ideas: a) that the past is more magical than the present, and b) that it’s good to yearn for what you wish you had.

 

Indeed, Christmas is so much predicated upon the glorification of nostalgia. Whether it’s old-timey black and white movies such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” or holiday cards showing kids from the fifties throwing snowballs…the dominant message seems to be: Childhood was better than adulthood. Yesterday was more beautiful than today.

 

If you flip on your radio, you’ll probably notice all the Christmas carols singing praises to those supposed good-old bygone days, those Christmases of long long ago. For this reason, I choose my Christmas music very selectively and sparingly. Usually I prefer lyric-less classical music or the more spiritual or religious hymns, that at the very least bring a renewed sense of joy and gratitude for all the blessings I currently enjoy today. Indeed, I long for deeper, wiser messages in my music than the shallowness of nostalgia. I long to feel the beauty and peace of the now, the present moment, rather than searching backward in time for it.

 

For me, I want each Christmas to be a new Christmas. Yes, of course, memories may spontaneously arise in my mind. But I don’t want to camp out there. When memories of the past come into my mind at this time of year, my practice (as it is the rest of the year) is to allow the emotions to flood my body, without adding stories about “what should be” or “what could be” on top of these memories and emotions.

 

For example, the other day I was listening to some holiday music on the radio and it seemed like song after song was about some sad lover who longed for the good-old-days when they had their lover by their side for sleigh rides, snuggles, sipping egg nog, etc. The songs were love vibration: totally blue, full of complaint, heartache and longing. As I listened, I suddenly found myself entrained to the music. I suddenly found myself feeling sleepy and rather glum, playing mental movies in my mind of a former partner of mine, and suddenly wishing to be with him this Christmas! As soon as I became aware of these thoughts and emotions, I promptly flipped off the radio and simply stood still in the middle of my living room and breathed, allowing the emotions to circulate through my body, without adding any more stories and without judging myself for what had just happened. In a few minutes, those sad energies naturally subsided and I continued the rest of my day with renewed present moment awareness.

 

3. Do what nourishes you.

This is an extension of tip #1. Do what truly nourishes your body and soul this Christmas! If what feels best to you is staying all cozy at home in front of the fire with your cat because you’re feeling introverted, no need to measure or compare yourself to the general expectation that Christmastime is meant to be spent in the company of others.

 

Dare to question the status-quo and create your own sacred rituals this year. If what feels best to you this year is juicing raw vegetables instead of drinking a rum cocktail, listen to that wise inner voice. If what feels most nourishing to you this year is going on a meditation or yoga retreat instead of typical holiday parties, then make space for what you need. If your soul is urging you to donate your time to a local food bank or soup kitchen, then you know what to do.

 

My dear friends, this year, this Christmas, do what truly nourishes you. Forget the traditions and expectations from your culture and even from your family. Start your own traditions. Listen to that beautiful voice emanating from within your own heart, and heed its gentle wisdom. Be present. Be authentic. Avoid the silly dramas and the hectic stresses that others are unconsciously addicted to, and liberate yourself to find a new flow from the rest of the crowd. Be the loving example of what Christmas can be.

 

I’d love to hear in the comments below what you are doing this year to bring more mindfulness and love into this holiday season! Please share with us!

The Secret to Inner Peace? Turn Off Your Phone and Take a Walk

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By Anya Light

 

We live in an age of paradox. On the one hand, we have at our fingertips more information than ever before. We are connected through social media. We have the power to spread our message to the far ends of the globe with a single click of a key. Wow! So incredible!

 

And yet…we are also more disconnected than ever before. When you observe people walking down the street, what do you see? Most likely, you will see many people with their eyes cast downward at their phone. When you stand in line at a grocery store, what do you see? People on their tablets and smartphones. People not speaking with each other. People not noticing their surroundings. Each person in their own little private bubble.

 

OUR PHYSICAL BODIES ARE AWESOME!

 

For a few years now, I have wondered if I was a curmudgeon. I have noticed these changes in people, and it makes me sad. I’ve often asked myself: Do I hate technology?

 

The answer is no, however. It is simply that part of my life’s work, my healing work with humanity, is to encourage people bring awareness back into their sacred body. I am a kind of counterbalance to the intense mania our society is experiencing with regards to technology. I am the voice of harmony. A whisper to peace.

 

People often ask me: What is the secret of happiness? What is the secret of inner peace? While I by no means claim to dwell in these states 24/7, I will say that I have done some very persistent and often challenging work to understand and occupy these states quite intimately. In my life now there are more peaceful days than stressful days. There are more happy days than sad.

 

In my healing work, I’m continually reminding people about our basic human needs for hugs, touch, tactile sensation, deep expression of emotion, quality verbal communication, and the infinite spiritual growth that can be perceived through our physical vessel. Our bodies are awesome!

 

An overuse of technology, however, is causing many to increasingly lose touch with their inner body-awareness and with their face-to-face social skills. Recent studies have shown, for example, an increase in social anxiety among plugged-in students and adolescents.

 

In my own life, I have witnessed an increase over the years of colleagues, family, and friends seemingly losing their social skills. For example, when they attempt to initiate in-depth, highly emotional conversations via text message. These are situations that are, in my opinion, totally inappropriate to the flat medium of text messaging. For example, a new potential lover broaches the topic of whether we will take our relationship to the next level via text. What?? Seriously?? In order to have a conversation about a significant “big” matter, we need to be able to have all the tools at our disposal, a range of bodily input: we both need to see body language, the emotion in the eyes, and we need to have the possibility of a hug or an encouraging pat on the hand available. Using a flat screen to communicate is a severely limited medium.

 

SOME TIPS FOR REGAINING BALANCE

 

No, I’m not a luddite. In fact, I love technology! I adore and treasure my Macbook. I appreciate my GPS. I am grateful for the power of Google to answer any factual question I dream up. I appreciate the fact that the blog you are reading right now is an amazing tool that helps me spread my words to folks in Pakistan, Romania, Poland, Finland, Mexico, England, China. I love the fact that I have friends and colleagues all over the world. However, I temper that appreciation by making sure I have a balance of plugged-in and unplugged time. I don’t go overboard.

 

Here are three of examples of how I maintain this balance in my life.

 

The ringer on my phone is perpetually set to “off.” Some people think this is insane, but I think it’s the one of the things keeping me sane! The only exception to this rule is that I will leave my phone on if I know in advance that I am going to receive a call at a specific time.

Keeping my ringer off allows me to gain focus and concentration throughout my day. If my eyes and ears were continually drawn to my phone with every beep and whistle, how could I sustain any sort of momentum or flow in my daily tasks?

 

I take at least one day per week to be totally unplugged. On these days, I put my laptop away in the closet. I turn off my phone and put it in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind.

During these unplugged days, I focus on embodied tasks: cleaning my home, flossing, exercising, inviting a friend over for tea, preparing an intricate dinner with my own two hands, baking bread. I dance in my living room. I bend into yoga shapes. I breathe. I take a walk out in my neighborhood and smile at my neighbors. I make conversation and eye contact. I breathe. I look at the sky. I look at the birds. I feel the precious Earth under my feet.

 

I make sure to exercise every day. On the days when I am plugged in, I make sure to move my body as much as possible, and I limit the time I spend sitting at my desk staring at my monitor. As an Aries with an abundance of fire energy, this is vitally important to my wellbeing—however, any person can benefit from this, whether you have fire in your astrological chart or not.

If we sit motionless for too long and stare at screens all day, there are life force energies inside our bodies that become stagnant. This breeds stress, anxiety, and illness. We need to remember to move our bodies to keep the energy flowing. With a flowing energy, we are open to life, and we can more easily perceive the sacredness of each moment. We can feel peace.

 

MEDITATION AS DAILY LIFE

 

Meditation means to be present in the actions of everyday life. It means to feel our breath. It means to feel the movement in our limbs and the sensations in our face. Sometimes it means laughing and sometimes it means crying. It means having an awareness of the pains and discomforts we sometimes feel. It means feeling the sheer joy of being alive, of being contained as consciousness within this beautiful physical vessel.

 

Meditation comes in so many different forms. Yes, seated meditation is wonderful, but equally wonderful is movement meditation. Yoga is a powerful form of this, but there are so many other ways we can do it that don’t necessarily involve a teacher or having to pay money.

 

What is a secret to peace? It’s as simple as making the conscious choice to bring a balance between enjoying our screens and enjoying our bodies and the physical world around us.

 

Dear friend, make the choice to unhook yourself—at least a little bit every day—from the persuasive pull of technology. Come back into your beautiful body and come back into communion with the beautiful physical world. Put your phone down. Go outside and take a walk. Say “good morning” to your neighbor. Ask them about their day. Stop and smile at a squirrel. Be in your body. Be in your beautiful life.

 

 

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How to Heal Your Panic Attacks

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By Anya Light

 

It is easy to heal panic attacks once you understand what a panic attack truly is.
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A panic attack is simply a message from the universe. It is a wake-up call.
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The next time you feel panic coming on, if you can remember the words I’m writing to you here, I assure you that the feeling of panic will begin to dissipate.
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I am here to tell you that you can heal your panic attacks, permanently and completely!
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Before I share the details of how to heal, please know that I deeply empathize with what you’ve been going through. I struggled with panic attacks for over a decade, stemming from a long battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I have now reached the point in my life where I no longer have panic attacks.
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So, my friends, what is a panic attack?
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Well, on a surface level, a panic attack appears to us as a seeming loss of bodily and mental control: rapid heart rate, sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, shaking, unexplainable feelings of paranoia and impending doom, racing thoughts, and a wish to retreat from others and hide in a cave.
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Panic attacks feel awful and scary. They make us feel like we are our own worst enemy—like we can’t even trust our own bodies or our own minds.
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It’s a feeling of total distrust. It is fear and horror.
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But what is a panic attack, really? What is a panic attack at the deepest level?
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Dear friends, a panic attack is a message. It is an invitation from the universe to go deeper into ourselves.

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Quite simply, a panic attack is the universe’s way of saying:
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Dear one, it is time for you to come back into your body.
Dear one, it is time for you to come back into your body.
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Yes, my friend, it is indeed time for you to come back into your body. That is why you have been drawn to this article. You have reached the point where you are ready to heal.
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Panic attacks happen when our spirit (some people also call this “soul” or “life spark”) has been living primarily outside of our body for a period of time, and the pressure has built up. When the pressure builds to a certain extent, the universe brings us a panic attack, so that we are forced to retreat from the company of others and go be alone. It is through this aloneness that we begin to feel ourselves, from the inside, for the first time in a long while—or perhaps for the first time in our lives.
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A panic attack signals we have lost our mind-body connection.
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A panic attack reminds us to bring mindfulness into our lives.
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Through the seemingly “negative” experience of a panic attack, we are forced to bring our attention inward to the body.

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Even though it seems negative, a panic attack is actually a good thing, because it forces a moment of mindfulness. Even though it feels scary, we are suddenly paying a lot of attention to our body’s physical sensations. We are noticing our rapid heartbeat. We are noticing our fast and shaky breath. We are noticing our dry mouth and queasy stomach. We are noticing the weakness in our limbs. We are noticing all these different sensations.
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It is the sheer act of noticing that begins to heal the disconnection from our bodies.
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Perhaps, at first, it may seem nonsensical to hear that your spirit has not been fully living inside your body. How is that possible, you ask? If I have been alive and walking around, how have I not been in it?
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Well, if you have experienced any form of abuse, trauma, chronic illness, or severe pain in your life, there is a good chance that your spirit (the indwelling spark that is uniquely you) has felt very unsafe and has tried to protect itself by not fully occupying your physical vessel. You have been, instead, hovering near and around your body. You have been near your body, but not often fully in it.
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Another scenario that can provoke the spirit fleeing the body is our genetic or karmic histories. If you have suffered in an extreme way in a past lifetime—or if your genetic heritage includes extreme trauma such as war or violence, and those core wounds have not yet been healed—then those past energetic wounds have led you to not feel safe enough to fully occupy your body. Genetic and karmic histories explain why some people who’ve had easy, pleasant, or even wonderfully pampered life experiences still have unexplainable anxiety and panic attacks.
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Another reason why you may not have felt safe inside your body is that you are an empath or a naturally gifted intuitive, but you were raised in an environment where your gifts were suppressed rather than nurtured. Thus, when you were a child, you unconsciously shut down certain chakras and partially fled your body.
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There are many, many reasons why we don’t feel safe in our bodies. Your reason(s) may be one of the ones I just listed, or it may be totally unique to you.
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Regardless of the reason, however, the point to understand is this: if you’ve been experiencing panic attacks, then, most assuredly, for some reason or another, your spirit has not been fully dwelling inside your body. In other words, your mind-body connection has been severed.
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So, how do we move forward?
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What does it mean to fully occupy the body?
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To be firmly rooted in the body is to have attention focused into the body consistently and at various intervals throughout the day. This is what mindfulness is all about: feeling the sensations of our bodies without mental judgments or mental labeling.
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To be firmly rooted in the body is to feel you are truly safe there, to feel that it is your home.

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When a panic attack strikes—or if you feel anxiety building—you can prevent a panic attack, and you can heal your anxiety. Simply take a few deep, slow breaths and say the following mantra yourself:
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I am safe to come back into my body.
I am safe, here, inside my body.
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And, then, simply look down at your body. Notice your hands and feet, your legs. Notice your arms and torso. Gaze at your body while breathing slowly. Bring your attention to all the various sensations within your body: the aches, the pains, the shivers, the tingles, everything. Imagine in your mind’s eye that your soul is entering your body and fully occupying it. Imagine that you are taking up residence there, inside your body, and that it is fully safe to do so.
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Our culture teaches us to neglect our body. It teaches us to poison ourselves with unhealthy foods and unhealthy lifestyles. Our culture teaches us that what others say or think about us is more valuable than what we feel within.
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Our mainstream culture is a fear-based culture. It wants to enslave us with thoughts of lack, competition, scarcity, and violence. No wonder we have panic attacks! It can feel pretty scary living on this planet right now. Even if we did not experience any major abuse in our childhood, all of us were raised on a planet where there are some people who starve to death while some people live in mansions. That is emotional abuse, plain and simple. And this emotional harshness affects us deeply and creates lasting (often subconscious) feelings that it is not safe to be here in our bodies here on planet Earth.
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All of us, to some extent, leave our bodies from time to time. We get carried away in daydreams. We sit in front of the computer for hours at a time and lose all connection with our breath and the sensations in our limbs. We stay indoors watching television and forget to go out into the rivers and forests for exercise and deep replenishment.
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We all get disconnected from time to time; we all get disembodied from time to time.
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So, when a person has a panic attack, it is a very clear and loud wake up call from the universe.
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Yes, panic feels frightening; it feels awful, yes—but that’s only the universe doing its best to grab our attention.
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My friend, you are being protected and cared for by the universe.

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Because of your panic attacks, you are reading this article and pondering deeply about what it means to be a human being and what it means to be alive in a body. These are deep issues. These are issues that not everyone has the courage to explore.

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And while this may seem odd to hear, I want to congratulate you for reaching this stage of your evolutionary journey. You have now thoroughly explored the land of anxiety and panic, learned all its corners and routes and territories, and now you are ready to emerge from it: deeper, wiser.
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Eventually, you will grow so confident in the fact that panic attacks are a past issue that you will feel an urge to share your wisdom with others. You will teach. You will help humanity heal.
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Thank you for being you, and blessings on your journey back into the body.
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Many thanks to the awesome folks at elephant journal, who also published this article.

Yoga Mats, Spirituality, and the “Mundane”

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By Anya Light

 

Yoga doesn’t have to be complicated. We can practice yoga in a simple, barebones fashion. We can go minimalist: with nothing but the green grass under our feet, the blue sky over our heads, and the inner wisdom of our heart to guide us.

 

Yoga is simple. Nevertheless, it sometimes can be super exciting to discover resources that open up new dimensions to the practice.

 

 

FINDING YOUR SOULMATE YOGA MAT

 

Lately I’ve been thinking about yoga mats. Because my hands and feet sweat super easily, the yoga mat I currently own (which I picked up for a few bucks at a grocery store) is not that wonderful. It’s a piece of crap, actually. I need better traction. It’s frustrating trying to hold downward dog correctly when my hands are slip-sliding all over the place!

 

Recently, the Universe magically brought me into a lovely email exchange with Jericka Lambourne, writer and researcher over at Reviews.com. And I discovered her recent geek-fest with yoga mats.

 

Seriously, someone should give this woman a PhD in Yoga Mats! She spent over fifty hours testing over thirty different mats in various temperatures and conditions, such as carpet and hardwood floor; interviewing yoga teachers and studio owners; and researching the technology and history of various brands.

 

If a yoga mat is on your Christmas list this year, I recommend checking out Jericka’s research. It’s pretty cool.

 

 

THE FALSE DISTINCTION BETWEEN SPIRITUALITY AND THE MUNDANE

 

Why the heck am I talking about yoga mats?

 

Am I getting distracted from more “spiritual” topics?

 

As you know, my friends, spirituality is my life. It’s what I eat, breathe, drink. It’s the reason I was able to heal myself from life-threatening chronic illnesses and dig myself out of the holes of PTSD and suicidal depression. However, I also have learned that some so-called spiritual teachings, spiritual teachers, and spiritual paths don’t always lead to the most fulfilling places. The spiritual landscape is not perfect here on this Earth. After some rather disheartening experiences, I am now quite vigilant about spotting fake gurus, false “feel good” materialistic teachings, and other detours. I’ve been fooled in the past and I don’t want to be fooled again.

 

With that having been said, I do believe there is a lovely balance that can be struck.

 

Too often in our spiritual journey we make the distinction between the mundane and the spiritual. Between the material and the spiritual. Real life versus everything else. Consensus reality versus higher ideals. 3D versus higher consciousness. And yet what does this categorizing really accomplish? Does it truly help us?

 

Sometimes these mental distinctions can actually get in the way of living our lives in the most authentic way possible. Sometimes these categorizations can actually block us from experiencing flow and harmony.

 

I honor and deeply appreciate how external “things” can often aid in the enjoyment of life. A shiny new outfit can bring a burst of confidence during a job interview. A new knife can bring an added sense of ease and harmony to the cooking process. A new pillow made with organic materials can bring higher vibrational dreams. Crystals in the home can serve to protect and rejuvenate empathic people. A quality yoga mat can help us hold certain postures more effectively, more deeply.

 

Is it materialistic to want a new yoga mat? No, not unless such a wanting takes over and becomes a compulsive obsession. Is it materialistic to want money or intimate relationships? No, not unless such preferences take you away from the enjoying the present moment of exactly where and how you are now.

 

 

THE AWESOMENESS OF EVERYDAY LIFE

 

In my view, the objects of “everyday life” can certainly be enjoyed, relished, and savored—with mindfulness.

 

Perhaps this is more of an advanced lesson than some would like. That’s okay. If what feels right to you at this time is shunning the entire monetary system altogether and making a beeline for the nearest commune, monastery or cave, that’s okay. But if you are where I am, maybe the thing for you to do is to strike that oh-so-delicate balance between “the mundane” and “the spiritual.”

 

When we think about the worth or value of an object like a yoga mat, we must remember that objects are not just objects…they are more. Every plant, animal, mineral, person, and supposedly “inanimate” object is made up of chiti (a Sanskrit term meaning consciousness). Everything is alive. Indigenous cultures have known this forever, and if you’ve ever participated in a plant medicine ceremony or a shamanic journey, you’ll have had direct experience with this truth.

 

Every part of the Universe, from the tiniest atom to the brightest star, is a living reflection of the Divine Source. Everything is God.

 

While it is certainly good to avoid being trapped by the shallow mindsets of our overly-materialist mainstream society, it can be just as detrimental to remain ignorant of the power that objects have to affect our consciousness. We are all energy. Each thing has life, a vibrational force that subtly (or greatly) affects us. For example: if we fail to take care of our possessions and allow our home to become dirty, dusty, and cluttered, we will feel this as a certain subtle heaviness in our daily lives, a certain sadness or dullness. If, on the other hand, we take care of our living environment with regular tidiness and cleaning, then there will be more flow, order, and peace in our daily lives.

 

The external is the internal; the internal is the external.

 

All is one.

 

Everything is spiritual.

 

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