Meditation is a Practice of Dying

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Meditation is a practice of dying.

When we close our eyes to meditate, we drop our lives. We drop our names, our wants, our goals, our to do lists. We drop relationships, work, play; we drop it all. We drop.

When we sit down on a cushion to meditate, we chart a bold new path—into the unknown.

Meditation is not simply a way to relax or de-stress (although these reasons may have initially driven us to the practice); rather, meditation is a way to meet and experience Divinity.

Whether we were raised in a religious family or not, the path to Divinity, to Source, to God, to All That Is (whatever term you want to call it is fine; the label does not matter), is a path that comes when we have grown weary of the material world’s false promises. Maybe we have tasted fame, fortune, success, or even deep love in a marriage. And yet…and yet…there is this thing inside, this craving that is never fully satisfied.

What is this thing? This thing is the longing for God.

When we sit down to meditate, we say goodbye to our lives as they have been, and we invite the unknown. We invite Divinity to enter us.

When we sit down to meditate, we drop it all, for a few minutes, and we enter into a state where the mind is allowed to dissolve.

People fear death, because it is the conclusion of the mind’s accumulation of facts and figures of one particular lifetime. People tend to believe that what the mind has stored, all the facts and figures and stories and moods and memories is what makes up a “life.” Thus, when the mind ends at the time of death, people are often terrified. What happens when we lose the mind and the body that has defined our very existence? Is there life after life? Do we just cease to be? Indeed, the death process is terrifying to most people.

Ultimately, people fear meditation and are reluctant to try it because they fear death.

Death is an unravelling of the mind.

Meditation is also an unravelling of the mind.

Even though meditation is not yet mainstream on our planet, more and more people are waking up to the need for meditation in their daily lives. They are starting small: with five minutes every day, and then gradually devoting more and more time to the practice. They are beginning to taste grand moments of peace, and even happiness or bliss.

Meditation is the practice of dying. We die to all that we have known and all that we thought was real. We put down our identities, and we allow ourselves to be swept into the unknown.

Through this brave act of dying, day after day, we move into the light. We move towards the purest kind of freedom. It is the freedom of pure Consciousness—the knowing, the experience, the absolute certainty that all is One. That there is, in fact, no death at all.

A Letter of Encouragement to my Healer Friends

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Dear loved ones,

The truth about healing is that not everyone wants to heal. The truth about healing is that not everyone is ready.

It takes a super courageous soul to look within and say “Maybe the way I’ve been doing it is not the best way.” It takes a humble soul to accept an extended hand and say, “Please guide me; I’m lost.” It takes a person of the most radical nature to say, “I’m ready for a change.”

Change is hard; change is difficult. Many people you know, including many people on spiritual paths, have reached a certain level of evolvement and then stopped. They are content to stay at that level. For them, they believe that where they are at is the highest they can go. For them, there is no higher wisdom possible—they have closed themselves off to the possibility of more.

If someone has stopped, and they don’t even realize that they’ve stopped (this is called “denial”), then they will not want your healing assistance. They will not desire your encouragement to go further.

This is a hard lesson, I know! I’ve been learning it lately, and it is perhaps the most challenging lesson I’ve ever encountered. There is someone in my life whom I love dearly who has been stuck in a plateau of cynicism, isolation, and frustration for many years, but who refuses to accept my sincere offers of help. I offer her free Reiki sessions, hugs, and words of guidance—yet she is not truly open to any of them. She does not want the wisdom I have to share. She does not want healing. She does not want to see within herself all the ways she could grow. She is not ready.

Dear healer friends, you cannot force someone to heal. You may love someone with every ounce of your being, and put tremendous efforts into offering assistance, but that person may refuse every moment of it.

Yet, know this: You are not a failure! What is happening is that you are learning a deep lesson. The lesson of acceptance. Every human being is on their own journey. It may not be in this lifetime that they are ready to do the deep healing work that you yourself have done. For the path of a healer, a guide, a lightworker and wayshower of humanity, is not an easy path! It is perhaps the most challenging of all—because we have to face our “yucky stuff” in the process, head-on. What courage! What intensity! Not every soul is meant for this.

My friends, the truth about healing is that not everyone is ready to heal. Not everyone wants your help.

The truth is, the best way to help someone you love who is resistant to your efforts is by respecting their choice to be exactly where they are. Even if your heart is breaking by watching someone you love refuse the healing support you offer, allow your heart to break. Feel it break and feel it break and feel it break some more.

Through the pain of your broken heart, your ego dissolves further, and then, paradoxically, more love can shine through.

Through the pain, you find redemption in the light. You leave all projections of how things “should be” and you enter the present moment of now…where everyone you love, and every single being that exists, is absolutely perfect. Right now. Now. Now…

 

Loving All of You Forever,

Anya Light ♥

Transcending Self-Sabotage: A Frequency Perspective

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You’ve probably heard of self-sabotage.

Self-sabotage is when we find ourselves acting in ways that are totally contrary to what we have learned. In other words, we “know better”—and yet we do it anyway.

Why do we do this?

Today I’d like to talk with you about self-sabotage in a different way, a way you’ve probably never heard before.

I’d like to explain self-sabotage from an energetic perspective. From the perspective of frequency.

 

What are Frequencies?

In our daily lives, we exist in a constantly fluctuating range of energetic frequencies. The range always exists, meaning that there is always going to be the lowest rung on the ladder that we could possibly feel on any given day at that particular stage in our life, and, conversely, there is always going to be the highest rung that we could possibly feel given that particular stage of our life.

As time passes, what constitutes our typical range will change. What you are capable of experiencing changes. Over the years, your highs will get even higher. And as time passes, your lows will not be as low as they once were.

Simply put, frequencies are emotions. Emotions are frequencies. They are one and the same.

An emotion is simply a frequency interpreted by the body-mind. So, for example, sadness and depression could be characterized as a low frequency, while the emotions of happiness and joy could be characterized as a high frequency. Sensations in the body such as heaviness and sluggishness could be characterized as low frequency, while sensations such as lightness and flexibility could be characterized as high frequency.

If you feel like you’re slugging through thick mud, you are in low frequency. If you feel like your body is vibrating or floating, then you are in high frequency.

What we experience on any given day is going to fluctuate, from hour to hour, even sometimes from minute to minute. This fluctuation is a normal part of being alive in a body. Even the great enlightened sages and teachers fluctuate: they sometimes feel neutrality, calm, joy, bliss, sleepiness, peace, and sometimes they even feel sadness. We all fluctuate. To fluctuate in frequency is to be human.

 

The Pattern of Self-sabotage

If we can view emotions and sensations as existing in an ever-shifting range of frequencies, then we can understand self-sabotage and how to gently dissolve this pattern out of our existence.

Self-sabotage is when we engage in an action or behavior that lowers our frequency. It is often an addictive or compulsive behavior. Often, after we self-sabotage, we feel like we’ve just woken up out of a bad dream. There’s this hazy, surreal quality to the whole action of self-sabotage, and when we come out of it, we are left scratching our heads, thinking, “Why in the world did I do that?

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on self-sabotage in my own life.

I recently had a gathering at my home, where twenty incredible friends gathered to partake in delicious nutritious food together, sing magical songs, meditate, fire-spin, and participate in a group healing session. It was amazing, out-of-this-world! Many who participated in the event commented that it was the highest they’ve ever felt without using drugs.

I too left the event with a feeling of elation. The following day, I felt I was walking on a cloud. All of life made sense, and everyone I encountered looked as beautiful as the Buddha. There was a shine to everything, a glow.

Two days later, however, I found myself reaching for some chocolate. As I am recovering from adrenal fatigue syndrome, I know that it is best to avoid caffeine and sugar in my diet. I have learned, over and over, that what my body needs most is total peace and calm—not stimulation. There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that chocolate has negative consequences for my body.

And yet, I ate the chocolate. I ate a lot of chocolate. You could say I totally binged on chocolate.

As you might imagine, the next few days were hell. The caffeine interrupted my sleep patterns, and I was left a jittery, exhausted mess.

Why in the world did I do that to myself? Why did I make that lousy choice? At the outset, this seemed like a complicated inquiry for me to undertake. Yet, after reflecting and meditating, I realized that the answer was quite simple.

The answers to my questions are most easily revealed through an energetic perspective.

Let’s say you are flying high, like I was just after getting together with my friends… perhaps you just got a promotion at work, or perhaps you have just made love to your sweetie for the first time. Whatever the case, you are experiencing a higher rung on the ladder of your own personal frequency range. You are flying; you are free; perhaps you even feel weightless. You feel the world is vibrating to the beat of your own joyful heart, and you hope that you will somehow stay in this ecstasy forever.

But then the ego comes in. The ego doesn’t understand what joy feels like; the ego doesn’t understand what bliss feels like. The ego only knows separation and pain, and so that is what it tries to reinforce.

The ego decides, then, that the only thing it can do is to reassert yourself is to feed your mind doubts, worries, or lies.

When I reached for chocolate on that fateful day, I had the idea in my mind that maybe I would feel even better than I already did by eating the chocolate.

Is that crazy? Well, yes, of course—but that is exactly how the ego operates! The ego feeds us crazy ideas in order to re-establish itself and its own experience (pain, suffering, separation).

Based upon my years of experience as a person recovering from adrenal fatigue, I had learned without a shadow of a doubt that caffeine is one of the worst poisons I can put into my body. I knew this! And…yet…I believed the idea that the ego fed me: that if I ate the chocolate, I would be flying even higher than I was before.

 

Transcending the Pattern

Why did I believe the lie that the ego told me?

Well, there was clearly some subconscious things happening that I was unaware of. What I was experiencing, the day after the gathering of friends, was bliss. Total ecstasy. In Western culture, the state of bliss is not recognized as culturally acceptable behavior. There is, in fact, a deep suspicion of bliss. Bliss is seen as craziness, madness, as out-of-bounds from normal social existence.

I was in bliss—meaning, I was One with all. I was not concerned with paying my bills, I was not concerned with clocks and calendars. I remember walking around my neighborhood the day after the event, and seeing every stone, every blade of grass, and every person walking their dog as a piece of my own soul. I felt intimately connected to everyone and everything I saw. I felt deep love and compassion. This was bliss. This was what the great sages feel in every moment. This was enlightenment. This was it. I was it.

And then my ego totally freaked out. And, actually, justifiably so—because it felt like it was dying! It indeed was losing its grip on my reality.

The ego came in, reminding me (on a subconscious level) about the mandate against bliss in our culture. It came in, warning me that this high frequency might obliterate all the things in my life that I take for granted: maybe if I stayed in this state long enough, I would lose all my friends? Or maybe I would lose my work, my home? Maybe if I stayed in this state, my body might dissolve altogether or spontaneously combust?

All these worries and thoughts were fed to me, by my ego, on a subconscious level. I took them in. And then on, a conscious level, this thought appeared in my mind: If you eat chocolate, you might feel even more awesome than you already do.

The reality of living in a body in a Universe composed of energy is that energy fluctuates. After a few days, or perhaps at most a few weeks, my frequency, after my friendship gathering, would have dipped a bit lower as the days passed. It would have been normal, natural, and quite alright for me to dip down out of bliss, and perhaps into mid-range frequencies: feelings such as optimism, tenderness, safety, centeredness, stillness, peace, or mellow calm. That would have been normal, and to be expected.

And, yet, my self-sabotaging behavior caused me to quickly plummet to much much lower states such as anxiety and sadness.

If we want to understand why we engage in self-sabotage, we must understand it from the perspective of energy, of frequency. The ego wants to knock us down from high-frequency states—because it fears the dissolution of its own existence—by introducing erroneous logic into our minds. Because we are so high, so open and trusting of ourselves, then, during these high frequency states (where we see the perfection in everything, the love in all), we then can sometimes fail to use logic in making decisions. It is as if the ego knows we are liable to say “yes” to anything, because we feel so good. We trust. And, yet, this trust without logic will ultimately be our downfall, as we engage in self-sabotaging behavior.

Yes, it is good to trust and to surrender to the Universe, but it is also imperative that we continue to use logic and rationality when faced with certain choices in our lives. For example, if we are healing from alcohol abuse, then, whilst in a state of bliss, the ego might arise and whisper: “It won’t hurt to have a drink now. I can handle it; I won’t become addicted again.” If a thought like this occurs to us, we can simply note that the thought is in reference to a pattern of addiction. A warning flag can then go up in our mind. With loving attention, we can review the past of our lives, review our intentions for the future, and make the informed choice of abstaining from the drink.

 

The Rainbow of Life

Too often, we think of the awakening path as devoid of using the mind. This is simply not true!

While it is true that meditative practices can liberate us from the worries and negative patterns of the mind, it is also true that the mind can be a powerful tool. The mind can serve us on our awakening path when we are its master.

Therefore, when we enter high vibrational states such as bliss and ecstasy, we cannot simply relinquish our logical minds and allow the ego to trick us into making self-sabotaging choices in order to bring our frequency back down into a state of separation.

When we are in joy or bliss we can remind ourselves that it will naturally happen, over days or weeks, that we will at some point dip down a bit, maybe into states such as alert friendliness, thankfulness, peace, quiet, serenity, trust, or tranquility—perhaps not as fun to experience as joy or bliss, but still wonderful states to experience.

And, equally so, we can use our minds to remember that if we are in low frequency states (depression, anxiety, fear), our ego will want to drag us down even further, and therefore will tempt us with lower frequency choices: such as using drugs/alcohol, using sexuality to numb or escape our emotions, oversleeping, binging on “comfort” foods, and consuming mindless media.

When we see how the ego simply wants to maintain its hold on our lives, it is easier to see through these patterns, and enter the light of a new consciousness.

When we avoid self-sabotaging behaviors through using the wonderful powers of our mind, the new “low” end of our frequency range can shift over time: from depression to sadness, from sadness to tension, from tension to relaxation, from relaxation to happiness.

This process takes time. Yet, it is entirely possible that a single lifetime can produce amazing change. In my life, for example, I have gone from suicidal depression as the lowest rung on my frequency range to states of lethargy and sadness as now being the lowest of what it is possible for me to experience during this phase of my life. Each year, it keeps getting better and better. Each day: better and better.

As we attune ourselves to viewing the world from a frequency perspective, to viewing our own bodies and minds as that of energy beings, things just start to make more sense. We can see our lives from a more nuanced point of view, and we can take positive action, rather than self-sabotaging reaction, and enjoy our lives, fully, in all their glorious colors.

Sweaty Hands and Self-Love: A Story of Healing

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At every stage of life, there is always learning.

 

Regardless of your particular role in society, a major step in the awakening process is to openly share and talk about your struggles with others. Even if you are a healer or a teacher (as I am), it is imperative that, from time to time, you share about your current challenges.

 

Yes, it may be scary to talk about our struggles (holy hell, I know that the story I’m about to share is super scary for me to admit!), but this kind of vulnerable sharing is what brings our shame out of the darkness and into the light of consciousness.

 

By sharing openly, we heal. We transform.

 

By my sharing with you today about a current challenge of mine, I hope you will be inspired to share with someone about your own challenges.

MY SWEATING “PROBLEM”

 

When the temperature rises above 75 degrees (roughly), my hands and feet begin to sweat.

 

This happens because my endocrine system is imbalanced.

 

I am currently working on healing it.

 

Some days are worse than others. On some days, it’s simply a light dampness; on other days, the sweating is so intense that I am literally unable to type on my laptop because I fear that such a steady flow of liquid will break the machine.

 

For all of my life, this issue has plagued me. Not only is it often physically uncomfortable (for example, it’s difficult to do yoga sometimes, because my hands and feet are sliding all around the mat), but it is socially uncomfortable as well.

 

If the weather is warm that day, after a class or a workshop, when one of my students approaches me and holds out their hand for a handshake, I sometimes inwardly grimace.

 

Or, if I’m doing a Reiki healing session with a client, when it is time for me to touch a part of their body that is unclothed (face, neck, arms or legs), I sometimes worry that the sweat rolling off my fingertips is a distraction or an irritation for them.

 

Or, if I’m dating someone new…there is always this awkward moment where they reach out to hold my hand, and I want to run in the opposite direction.

 

Over the years, I have equated my sweaty hands with being a total weirdo. With being a loser, or a freak.

 

Many times, when I’ve shaken hands with someone, and they’ve literally gotten their hand soaked (it’s quite incredible, really), I’ve seen the look of mild irritation or confusion on their face, as they then wipe their hand on their pants, unsure about what they’ve just encountered. I assume they’re thinking something like, “What the hell was that?” When I see that look on their face, my heart absolutely breaks. I feel like a failure as a human being. A freak. A weirdo.

 

QUESTIONS AND REALIZATIONS

 

For years and years—basically, my whole life—I have actively hated and despised this aspect of my physical body. And though I deeply adore warm weather, I sometimes find myself dreading the spring months because of the seemingly inevitable social awkwardness it can bring.

 

But…lately…I’ve been asking myself some deep questions.

 

Why am I so ashamed? Why do I assume others will have negative feelings about the wetness of my hands? Why do I worry and care about what others think? What does this worry reflect about my own capacity for acceptance and self-love? And since I judge myself in this way, in what ways do I still judge others for not being “perfect”?

 

In so many ways, I have dropped concern for social norms and done my own thing. I’m a rebel. I am an independent, free-spirit. I don’t follow fashion norms. I wear non-matching clothes without a second thought. I don’t shave my legs; I don’t conform to gender norms. And I’ve broken just about every sexuality and relationship norm there is. In my rather conservative, frozen-in-time tiny town, I hug trees, sing, and openly perform sacred rituals in public spaces where such things are seen by the majority as outlandish, if not outright insane.

 

In so many aspects of my life, I do not give a crap what others think about me.

 

So why, in this one aspect, do I still worry about judgment and criticism from others?

 

After much recent reflection, I realize that the basis of my worry has to do with the fact that I’ve been stressed about presenting myself in a certain way, since my work highly depends on the impressions others have of me in order to seek my services. Basically, I’ve wanted to show myself as “perfect,” so others will be inspired to learn from me.

 

However, this attempt to be seen as perfect has created an impossible situation, where I am, time and time again, judging myself as less than perfect. It has set up a no-win scenario, where I am feeling like I have to hide behind a mask, rather than present my true self to others.

 

Ultimately, what I realized is this: Lately, my sweaty hands are prompting me to be more honest with others.

 

I want to take all my masks off.

 

And my sweaty hands are helping me to realize how much more I need to love myself, unconditionally.

 

Do I have the courage to love myself, every single bit of me—no matter what?

 

Do I have the courage to claim my experience, and say to the Universe: “I love myself through my hands. I love myself through my feet. I love myself, whether sweaty or dry. I love myself, no matter what.”

 

A NEW CHAPTER

 

I realize that I do not know when the full physical healing of my endocrine system will happen. I know that the core of the imbalance is from years of undiagnosed PTSD.

 

And even though I now consider myself healed from PTSD—meaning that I have successfully rewired my brain into healthier patterns so that I no longer feel victimized by my past and meaning that I no longer require that label to make progress on my awakening journey—the reality is that my endocrine system, my physical body, is still catching up.

 

For years I have faithfully practiced healthy eating, daily meditation, and Reiki self-healing. And the situation with my hands still persists.

 

I’ve been so angry with the Universe. Why haven’t I been healed yet, when I’ve been so diligent to follow the path of healing?

 

And this anger…this anger is now asking to be transmuted, transformed, into patience, peace, acceptance, and self-love.

 

I need to be with myself, just as I am, unconditionally.

 

I have to be okay with the possibility that my hands and feet might always sweat more than I’d like.

 

Yes, the time is now for a new chapter.

 

Yesterday, I attended a social function. New friends everywhere, wanting to shake my hand, wanting to be close. And so yesterday I began to practice something new. I began to shake hands with people, and as I did so, I silently repeated the mantra: “I love myself through my hands, I love myself through my hands, I love myself through my hands…”

 

As I met people by looking deeply into their eyes and seeing the lovely Spirit that lies within, I realized that what counts is not the dryness or the wetness of my hands. What counts is my ability to meet them where they are at, and to see the God within.

 

In order to do this, I need to meet myself in just that same way. If I am blocked because I cannot love this part of me, what are the chances that I can love them in the deepest way?

 

I am ready for this change. I am ready to create a new reality, where I love myself fully and totally, no matter what.

 

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

 

My dear friends, thanks so much for reading my story.

 

It’s felt scary, but also remarkably good to share with you.

 

Now, I invite you to share with us, in return. Let’s exchange energy and create a complete circle of healing.

 

What is it that you have disliked or even despised about yourself that you can now use as an opportunity to love yourself? What is it you’ve judged about yourself that you can choose to transform into an active practice and remembrance of love?

 

Please share with us in the comment section below.

 

Know that as you share your story, you are inspiring others to do the same.

 

Your choice to be intentionally vulnerable is a powerful healing act, for yourself and others.

 

Thank you.

 

Story of a Miracle

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I have a story to tell you. It’s about a miracle.

It was spring, six years ago. I’d been receiving Reiki treatments from a beautiful being named Barb, a woman who would later become my teacher.

The treatments were incredible. I simply couldn’t get enough. I was booking in at least one a week. Something deep inside told me that this, this beautiful Reiki, would be the way out—the way I would transform from chronic illness into everlasting peace and joy. I knew it was possible. I knew it. I knew.

Around this time, I’d been reading the book The Essence of Reiki by Dawn Mellowship and Andy Chrysostomou. I remember feeling a profound resonance with their words.

To my great surprise, when I visited Andy’s website, I found an offer for free Reiki sessions for anyone around the world. These “distant sessions” did not require physical touch nor even to be in the same room with the master.

At this point in my life, my highly-rational, overly-trained analytical brain (I was in a PhD program at the time) was just beginning to lose its stronghold. I was beginning to trust my emotions, intuition, and the whispers of heart, even if those whispers did not seem logical.

So I emailed him.

A few days later, Andy responded. He said he’d love to do a session with me, and yes indeed, the service was a gift, totally free. From just a few short sentences, I felt his deep sincerity and devotion to his practice. I felt I trusted him. Whether this “distance” method would actually work was unknown to me, and yet I was glad to be corresponding with him, with this beautiful Reiki Master halfway across the world from me, living in London.

We scheduled the treatment for an upcoming Tuesday. Andy didn’t specify the specific time he’d be sending the energy, he only said it would happen at some point during the day.

When Tuesday arrived, I was sick at home. Couch-bound. Blankets, Kleenex, juice. All in all, for that period in my life, it was a rather typical day.

I remember it was early afternoon. I remember I was making a series of phone calls. I had just hung up the phone with someone (my mother?), and was just about to press the keys to begin the next conversation.

Suddenly, I felt a hand on my back. I froze. I remember sharply inhaling. I remember looking at the clock. About 1pm.

I knew.

Instinctively, I put the phone down, and stretched out across the couch. I pulled the blankets up over my chest, and simply focused on my breathing, as I stared at the white ceiling.

I felt things re-arranging inside of me. There was a kind of swishing sensation, as if gentle feathers were sweeping away dirt and debris. A few tears came. I felt my organs relax, my skin relax, everything about my whole being relax. I felt his hands, his beautiful hands, all the way from London. And I felt warmth.

I felt like I was being wrapped in a cocoon of love.

Every now and then my mind would try to jump in and try to protest about how “crazy” this was. Yet, I was able to quickly release the thoughts and return again to simply focusing on the sensations.

The session continued for about twenty or thirty minutes. I could feel the precise moment when Andy was finished. There was this palpable feeling of departure, as if someone was leaving the room.

I remember rising from the couch, wide-eyed, and walking into the bathroom. I remember looking in the mirror at my own shocked face. How was it that I had just felt the healing hands of a man in London? How was it that such love flowed through me now? How was it that this was the world in which I now lived?

Later that evening, I received an email from Andy. He mentioned the specific time he’d done the session (yes, 1pm, of course!), and he relayed to me various intuitive impressions he’d felt about my life, my illness, and about the ways I could achieve full and lasting health.

The gratitude I felt for Andy then and the gratitude I still feel today, as I write this story, is the kind of gratitude that the recipient of a miracle feels for the person who gave the miracle.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about the concept of a miracle. We’ve all heard of miracles…but what exactly is a miracle? Since my time with Andy, and since becoming a Reiki Master myself and working with so many beautiful beings, I have felt into this question.

What I have discovered is that miracles are real.

Miracles bend time and space. A miracle is a moment where the giver of the miracle relaxes into full trust in the Universe, and allows the miracle to flow through them, fully knowing that whatever happens in that moment is for the highest good of all involved.

A miracle may or may not involve the instantaneous curing of an illness, but it always always involves a moment of magic, a moment outside of the limits of the human mind, where some truth is revealed or we begin to taste the infinite possibilities of the Universe.

And, yes, miracles often involve profound moments of physical healing.

I would not be here on this planet now if it were not for Reiki.

On that fateful day in spring, six years ago, a beautiful being named Andy Chrysostomou made a miracle for me. It happened; it was real; it will forever be.

And that gratitude…the gratitude that I felt and feel for Andy, I now have the joy of seeing that gratitude in the faces of those who come to me. When my clients lay on the table before me, I lift my hands in joyful gratitude, simply dissolving my ego and allowing myself to be a clear channel of love, allowing the Universe to shape miracles through my hands.

And, after the session, when I see added light in their eyes, I know it is the light of their own love. I know that what they feel and see in me is simply their own magic.

The real magic is that the power lies inside of us. Every single one of us.

I have no special gifts or powers, and neither did Andy. All we did and do is simply trust in the Universe, and surrender to the infinite powers greater than each of us. All we did and do is yes.

This is something incredibly easy to talk about, but it takes a special kind of courage to enact.

Are you ready? Are you ready to let go of everything you’ve been told, and trust?

It doesn’t matter whether you practice Reiki or some other modality. The main point is that you surrender your small self, the ego mind, the logical rational brain, and you say:

Yes, I am ready for a miracle. I am worthy of love, and I am ready for the magic of the new. Let a miracle pour forth unto me this day. I am ready.

 

 

Reiki and the Awakening Human

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Reiki, and other forms of energy healing, have been a path of awakening for millions of people here on this planet.

Reiki is so powerful because it allows us to tap into tremendous sources of power.

Indeed, we learn to walk hand-in-hand with angels, Earth spirits, Mother Gaia, ascended masters, and with our Reiki spirit guides. It’s so awesome! Through the practice, we learn to lean on the tremendous support from invisible words and higher dimensions… and yet, ultimately, these forces cannot do the work for us. We do the work ourselves.

We choose to grow. We choose to change. We face our fears. We release our anger and our resentments and our trauma. We send love into our own hearts. We become our own best friend. And we shine our light outward, giving our kindness and compassion to the world unconditionally.

We expand our perception and awareness through this magical process called Reiki.

And, in a certain sense, to talk about a process of awakening is simply another way of saying the basic evolutionary impulse common to all beings.

Evolution is what we do. All of us. Everyone. Everything. We become more; we become better. We become smarter; we become stronger. And though some get there more slowly or more quickly than others, it always always happens.

Evolution is guaranteed.

And, the greatest news of all is this: You are a human being! To be alive in human form means there is a great chance that, in a single lifetime, a dramatic shift can occur. A quantum leap. A dog will always stay a dog and a bird will always stay a bird, but something more is possible for the human being. A human being can fully realize their Divine Origins and begin to live their lives in ways that break the molds of what the 3D world says is possible. We can invent radical new technologies and thought forms that can, quite literally, alter every dimension of human life on the planet. This is what being a human means. This is our gift, and also our great responsibility.

Dear friends and dear Reiki practitioners, you are not alone in your yearning for more. The world as you knew it even just a few years ago can no longer satisfy you. You cannot turn back. You cannot turn away from this journey even if you wanted to. There is only forward motion now—but not in the way you used to think of as “forward.” This is not about acquiring standard trophies of success and material possessions in this world. This is something different. The movement is different now. Your motivations are changing, and you are meeting this new person, this new human, you know of to be your Self.

You are remembering your Divine Origins. You are awakening.

Heal Anxiety with this Question Mantra

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The mind is beautiful.

Our capacity to strategize, plot, and plan, is what allows us to build cities, invent amazing technologies, and coordinate vast interactions across the network we call the Internet. The human mind is indeed amazing.

And, yet, it is also true that the human mind can be obsessed with its job. It’s like a workaholic—one who doesn’t want to take downtime or weekends off.

The mind wants to keep on calculating and planning even when we lay down our heads at night. It wants to plan our to-do lists while we make love or watch a sunset.

Rather than enjoying our lives and being in the present moment, the brain steps in and tries to control, strategize, and predict future outcomes—it can seriously get in the way of life!

Truly, this is an exhausting way to live.

I speak of these things from personal experience: I am in the process of healing from PTSD, and I have come to realize that my brain has especially adapted to worrying, as it is a highly-attuned and impeccable danger-sensor.

Most of us, regardless of whether we have dealt with trauma or not, struggle with some amount of anxiety and stress.

Many of us have turned to meditation or yoga as a path to freedom. We sit motionless on a cushion or we move our bodies on a yoga mat, and we come into present moment awareness. We breathe in and out; we remind our minds to calm down.

Yet, for so many of us, when we return again to our lives, when we stand up from the cushion or put away our mat, we are confused on how we stay with the feeling of presence—the feeling of peace. How do we remain in the relaxed state?

Last week, I began the process of applying for a teaching position that I very much want. I sat down at my computer, fresh from a beautiful night’s sleep, ready to begin the process. I felt excited and good.

First, I began to write an application letter—all was well, I was smiling. But then I encountered a snag: as I scanned the application materials list, I realized I needed to submit student evaluations from my previous years of teaching. My breath became shallower, as I searched my home in vain, only to confirm the sinking feeling that yes, indeed, all the documents I needed had been lost when I’d moved the previous year.

I began to panic, my palms began to sweat, and my heart began to race. Minute by minute, moment by moment, my sense of well-being disappeared, and I began to feel my body tighten, and my breath contract. The inner critic began her relentless tirade: Why are you such an idiot, Anya? Why aren’t you more organized? Why are you so sloppy? What the hell’s the matter with you?

At this point, I was way too triggered to take the time to roll out my yoga mat or find my meditation cushion. No way. I had to do something—now.

So, I tried a new method I’ve been practicing, which, lately, has been a real life-saver for me. I closed my computer, remained seated right there at my desk, and asked myself a simple question: “What is happening right now?”

I took a few slow breaths and then repeated the question.

“What is happening right now?”

Then, slowly, I began to talk to myself, aloud, “Well, I am a woman who is 33 years old, and I’m sitting in a chair. I am a woman who is wearing blue jeans. A woman who has a roof over her head and food in the refrigerator. I am a woman who is unable to find some documents. That is what is happening right now.”

In asking and answering the simple question mantra—what is happening right now?—I was able to move my brain out of past and future mode—out of overwhelmed, panic mode. I moved a bit closer to a calmer, observation mode, and a bit closer to inner peace.

Asking yourself a question mantra, such as “What is happening right now?” or “What is the reality of this moment?” (or something along those lines) can help you detach from the swirl of mind-stress, and help you enter the reality of the actual present moment, aside from any emotions and the stories the brain likes to tell.

Even if the outward conditions of your life seem to be crashing down around you—you are still alive, you are still breathing, and you still have blessings to count.

When you take a few moments to ask, the answer to your question “What is happening now?” can always be: I am here in this body, breathing, and alive on planet Earth.

While I was living in Puerto Rico a few years ago, I once got lost in the jungle and I was totally alone. My water was running out, my cell phone had no signal, and daylight was running short.

After screaming, “Help!” at the top of my lungs for about an hour or so, I sank down in the dirt, exhausted, and utterly panicked.

Then I took a breath. Then another shaky breath. And then I asked myself the question:

“What is happening now?”

“What is happening now?”

“What is happening now?”

In that moment, my eyes were instantly drawn to a purple patch of flowers a few feet away—they were gorgeous! They were delicate, with yellow centers and petals that looked like clouds. Next, my eyes were drawn upwards, up the trunk of a majestic palm tree.

Coconuts were hanging from every branch, and tears of joy began rolling down my face. It was in that moment that I woke up, and realized the sheer beauty of my surroundings. I realized the beauty of life. Whether I would die that day was unknown. What was known was exactly what was happening in that moment. Such beauty—such wonder.

Just a few hours later, I was able to find my way out of the jungle. By bringing myself into the present moment, I was able to, when the time was right, rise up from the dirt, take a deep determined breath, and move forward, renewed. My intuition felt stronger, calm, connected, and I was able to sense how to get out.

As you say your question mantra in times of trouble, allow yourself to see what is really happening in that moment. Allow yourself to see, feel, and perceive. Allow yourself to relax and trust.

And you will see—time and time again—that all is well. All is beautiful. There is nothing wrong and nothing to fix. You are you—and you are alive. So beautifully alive!

There is so much to be thankful for.


 

Many thanks to the awesome folks at elephant journal, who also published this article.

Love is the New Religion

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We are born to love.
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As every mother knows, cradling her newborn child, love is the reason we are here.
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As any lover knows, gazing into the eyes of their beloved, love is the reason we are here.
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While it is true that we may hold vastly different beliefs, that we may pursue radically different paths and passions…at core, love is what connects us. Love joins our hearts.
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Those of us who prefer logic and scientific methods experience love in just the same way that mystics do. In fact, there is no dividing line between those who pride themselves on their intellect and those who pride themselves on their meditative states. Love is the common factor of us all. Love unites us.
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And when we look around our world today, at all of its changes, challenges, and growing pains, we see one common theme emerge. Love.
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Love is what we seek. It is the new religion of our age: the glue that binds us, the spark that motivates us, the path that propels us forward.

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If we look at the etymology of the word religion, we see it comes from the Latin root ligare, meaning “to bind.” Indeed, we are on a journey of coming together. We are stepping out of our old divisions, out of our old closets of fear and prejudice. We are, as a collective species, learning to drop the harmful dogmas of the past, the old fundamentalist religions of yesterday, and stepping into the new—love.
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Love bind us. In love, we see we are not separate.
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We are one human family. We are one beautiful planet.

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Of course, many of us have different definitions of “love.” This is good! Our varied experiences and ways of defining love is a benefit to the shifts and changes our global community is currently experiencing. Diversity is beautiful and healing. Through varied ways of understanding and conceptualizing love, we can widen our hearts, and perceive the stories of those whose daily lives and customs might differ from our own.
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For example, let’s travel to India. Let’s sit down in a marketplace and speak with a stranger. As we listen, we learn that the most love this person has ever felt was on the day his wife was cremated in a public ceremony, in an Antyesti. As we listen deeply, we might learn that this man, this man who cared for his wife so deeply, felt his consciousness expand when he saw his beloved’s body burst into a million billion flames. We learn how a deep sense of awe arose in his heart as her flesh turned to smoke before his eyes. We realize that the catastrophic pain and trauma he experienced through losing his wife was actually, paradoxically, the key to his spiritual breakthrough. He realized that death was not the end of life, but merely a transition. He learned that love does not end…love continues.
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Yes, if we talk to this man in India, he will no doubt define love in a different way than a man would in Australia or a woman would in Belgium. We all have different definitions of “love,” many different words to describe, based upon our unique cultures and upbringings. And that’s okay! Because, at core, love is not a word or a definition…love is, rather, an energy. A state of being. And we have all felt it. It is what we share.
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About seven years ago, I began to explore both polyamory and spirituality. For many years prior, I had been very staunchly anti-religious and quite bitter about what I perceived to be the shitty conditioning implanted into me by the fundamentalist Christian church in which I was raised—a church that condemned gays to hell and pronounced sex outside of marriage a terrible sin. Once I left my parents’ house and entered college, new ways of life began to open. I began to breathe fresh air. In my studies and social life, I began to connect with different kinds of people across different backgrounds—people whose basic assumptions about life were very, very different from mine. I also began sharing my poetry at coffee shops and in magazines. Through this art form, I began to experience my own creativity and intuition in a way that I’d never been able to do before.
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My husband and I began to explore polyamorous relationships around the time we both began to explore meditation. We began to realize that opening our hearts and intimately connecting with others beyond our union of two was deeply healing and profoundly joyful. And as we began exploring polyamory, we began to also explore altered states of consciousness—states where the rational brain was no longer explicitly in control. These states were achieved through various practices: breathing, yoga, Reiki, dance, tantric sex, and plant medicine ceremonies. It was around this time that I began to realize that even though I’d freed myself from the confines of conservative religion, there was still a desire within my heart to explore the parts of me that dwelt in something other than the mind, something other than logic or rational analyses.
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A few years later, I began working as a healer and spiritual teacher. As I dedicated my life to this thrilling work, I sensed that what would be most beneficial for me would be to open my heart—not only by exploring the wonderful ways I might connect, learn, and share with new poly partners, but also by exploring the ways that I might connect with the spirit of each and every single person I encountered in my daily life. The woman bagging my groceries began to take on as much importance as my lover in bed. The man handing me cash at the bank began to take on a dearness that had been previously reserved for my husband. I became thrilled by the love energy that was flowing from my eyes, my heart, and my hands, positively uplifting everyone on its path.
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As my journey progressed, I began to realize that, more than anything else, what humanity needs, right now, is love.

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Indeed, love is not just about sex and romantic partnering. Love is much, much more. Love is compassion, acts of kindness. Love is a twinkle in the eye; love is laughter in the heart. Love is doing for others.
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Most importantly, love is loving ourselves. Love is looking in the mirror each morning and saying to our own reflection, “You are beautiful! You are awesome! I love you!”
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We came to this life to love.

Love dissolves the feeling of separation that seems to come between us. Love lets us feel close again.
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Love lets us forget ourselves: forget our own pain, our own struggles—if only for a moment. Love heals. Love unites.
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Indeed, love is the new religion of our times. I believe this is why polyamory is rapidly gaining popularity and public recognition. As relationship radicals such as poly and LGBTQ folks free themselves from the limiting cultural norms and dogmatic religious constructs of an old paradigm that is on its last legs (Trump represents the last dying gasps of an old way of viewing the world), new kinds of families and new kinds of community are being created. No longer are we isolated into our separate monogamous dyads, fearfully protecting and shielding ourselves from a scary outside world. No. There is, more and more, a brave intuition that what makes the most sense now is to come out and come together. Now is not the time for closets, retreat, and fear—no. What we need to do, right now, is to bravely come together, opening our hearts and sharing our lives and stories.
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On this new path, we drop our judgements and see each person for the divine beautiful soul that they are. We see beyond the outward appearance, behind the names and roles and occupations, and see the glimmer of pure life force within. We see ourselves as brothers and sisters, in love.
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As we create this new planet, we create from a space of love, putting in place new modes, new forms, new structures, new expressions of what it can mean to be a human being.
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As we wake up, we create more love, from love.
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We transform. Everything.

 

 

Tarot for the Soul ~ week of July 17, 2017

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Welcome to your weekly Tarot for the Soul reading!

If you have been guided to this reading, then you are in the right place, my friend. This reading is meant for you.

As always, I have drawn two cards from my Osho Zen Tarot deck, offering you guidance for your week ahead.

The first card represents the gifts that will be showered upon you this week by the Universe. We always have gifts being delivered to us—and spiritual mastery lies in slowing down enough to be able to recognize them and cultivate gratitude. Our soul longs to say “thank you”… and, so, by taking this moment to give thanks, we generate even more positive energy so that more and more gifts may manifest in the future!

The second card represents your areas for growth this week. Remember: there is no life without challenge…no light without dark, no yin without yang. Life in human form is a mixed bag of circumstances and lessons. It is in our highest wisdom to recognize and embrace all aspects, even the ones that are painful. Our soul needs challenges in order to grow. So, stand and face these growth opportunities with an open, courageous, loving heart.


 

 ~ YOUR READING ~

WEEK OF JULY 17, 2017

 

this week spread

GIFTS:

Our gifts this week include the comfort and the peace of knowing that wherever we go, we are at home in the Universe. This is portrayed by the Slowing Down Card (Knight of Rainbows).WP_20170709_001

In any situation, regardless of geographic location or the people we are with, we are always at home. Like a lovely turtle, we carry our homes with us.

The turtle shell is a metaphor for our heart—and that is where can always tune. No matter what’s going on, we can always close our eyes, and breathe and be with our heart. When we slow down and feel our heart, there is a deep sense of self-acceptance that arises. There is self-love.

This week, when life around you seems hectic or even chaotic, take some time to breathe, slow down, and feel into your heartspace. Feel this space expand with love. Know that you are home, wherever you are. There is no need to rush anywhere or accomplish anything—because you are completely full, completely whole, right here right now. In this moment.

 

GROWTH:

This week’s card indicates a suggestion for you to drop into your Innocence (19 of Major Arcana).Unknown

First of all, I think it’s fascinating that this week’s reading brought in two animals. The tortoise (as just discussed) and the praying mantis.

The praying mantis is perched on the wise monk’s finger, and it looks like the bug is teaching the monk!

Indeed, as we walk along our life’s path, our soul’s awakening journey, we can learn so much from the animal kingdom. They can be some of our most profound teachers.

While the tortoise teaches us to slow down and accept ourselves, the praying mantis teaches us about the miracle of curiosity and intelligence. These small insects are incredibly keen, and if we watch them long enough, we begin to get a sense of their powerful capabilities to reason, to plan, to think. Gazing at a praying mantis is rather surreal—you begin to feel like you’ve entered another planet! A planet where the bugs are just as smart as the humans!

In this Innocence card, we see a wise sage having a deep communion with the insect. We see the sage’s face: full of surprise, wonder, awe, and play. There is a youthful innocence to the scene: springtime flowers in full bloom decorate the background, and the colors are soft and radiant.

The man and the insect seem to be having a deep moment of connection. The praying mantis is cocking his head to one side, as if to say, “What is your story, old man?” He seems to be asking a question, and the old sage seems to be delighting in not knowing the answer. The old sage seems to be speechless. Happy. Content to enjoy watching his little friend, wordless, and learning from it.

To cultivate this kind of patient, curious innocence is an opportunity for great growth in our lives. It is perhaps the greatest intelligence. If we can realize that the bugs of this world have as much to teach us about life as do books, if we can realize that the birds have as much to teach us about love as our lovers, if we can realize that all the sages in the universe can only hint at the beauty of a rose, then we will be fulfilled. We will walk this Earth, in a profound sense of lightness and joy.

This week, can you recall your youthful, curious innocence? Can you delight in this world around you? Can you learn from unexpected sources?


 

Have a wonderful, blessed week!

If you’d like to schedule a private reading with me, please get in touch!

Love Always,

♥ Anya ♥

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Language

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I think of our house.
The one that was ours.
Nipples, thighs,
and never a storm.

A house encircled by palm.
Flocks of orange-winged
blackbirds,
each morning,
speaking our name.

XOXO
XOXO