Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

A new year is upon is, and so I thought I'd take a moment to wish you all very happy New Year and to share with you some of my new year traditions.  Each New Year's Eve, my family and I take a moment on that day to write down everything we want to get rid of from this year, everything we need to release and forget.  We write these down and do not share them with anyone else.  After placing them in a fireproof bowl, we burn the paper and say a little blessing asking God to take away these situations while allowing the lessons to remain.  Then we share with everyone at the table our goals, hopes and aspirations for the new year.

This year we made homemade fortune cookies.  They were so fun and easy.  My children wrote and decorated the fortunes including phrases like, "You will be fortunate in everything this year" and "Health and happiness are your constant friends in 2012."  

Tomorrow we'll eat black eyed pea salad for good luck.  After church, we'll go have brunch and take a walk on the beach.  Somehow, I have to start my new year next to the ocean.  And we'll eat cake baked with a lucky coin.  Whoever gets that piece is sure to have good luck all year long.

However you spend the first day of this new year, I hope you take some time to send out your positive intentions, to focus on your blessings, and to really enjoy the feeling of a new beginning.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Would You Want Martha Stewart As a Friend?

I did a reading yesterday for a woman who said, "I don't really know why I'm getting a reading.  Everything is perfect in my life.  I love everything about my life.  I'm happy in my marriage, my job, I have great friends."  And I thought, "Me think she doth protest too much."   But I understand where she's coming from because I'm a reformed perfectionist.  Maybe some of you reading this are too.  It's not easy being a perfectionist, and we have to ask ourselves, "Who are we being perfect for?"  Because in all reality, no one likes a perfect person.  I mean, really, would you want Martha Stewart to be your friend?  Would you feel comfortable having her over for dinner?  None of us wants a perfect friend.  So why do we so often try to be viewed as perfect?

There is no need to be perfect or to be seen as perfect.  That is not nor should it be our goal in life.  Drop any illusions you have of needing to be seen as perfectly happy, perfectly beautiful, perfectly wealthy, perfect, perfect, perfect.  It's exhausting!

Why do we tear down people in our society who are viewed as perfect?  Why are Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Anniston on the cover of magazines every week with terrible titles like "Angelina off to rehab" or "Nanny tells all and it isn't pretty" and "Jenn still pines for Brad."  Because we know they're not perfect. We know that the image Hollywood presents to us is fake, and sometimes it's a relief to see this proven so.  It reminds us that none of us is perfect.  None us gets out of life with a free and easy pass.  That knowledge comforts us in our difficult times and reminds us that we don't have to be perfect, and that's okay.

People trust and like people who are real and honest and genuine.  And in all truth you are perfect just the way you are.  Really.  We are, each of us, on our path, working our goals and life lessons and dealing with the trials and tribulations of life's ups and downs.  We are doing the best we can, and that's perfection.  We are all okay just as we are.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Manifesting Your Best Year in 2012

Another year is soon upon us, and so a great energy is swirling around us asking us, "What do you want to bring into this year?" If we don't consciously answer this question, if instead we focus on what we don't want this year, then we will unwittingly invite all sorts of negative "stuff" into our new year.  There are two times when the energy is ripe for you to create your best future -- the new year and your birthday.  So take advantage of this time to begin really envisioning what you want your life to look like at the end of 2012.

Where do you want to be living?  What will your home look like?

Who will you be in a relationship with?

What will your present relationships look like?

How much money will be in your bank account?

What vacations will you have gone on at the end of this year?

What will your career look like in 12 months?

What will you look like at the end of 2012?

How will you feel at the end of the year?

Really take some time to visualize, feel and see the answers to each of these questions.  Write down at least 10 goals for this year -- not resolutions.  Those get broken too easily.  Write down goals, things you plan to accomplish and achieve.  Visualize each of these goals coming true.  Make it part of your daily ritual.

And also, be prepared for some not so great things.  The universe will always test you.  Always.  When you set a goal, it will say, "Really?  Are you sure you want this?"  I'll give a simple example to prove this.  My family and I wanted to adopt another dog last year.  Our dog Gretchen was so friendly and social that we wanted her to have a little friend.  So I set the goal.  I visualized the dog and I surrendered it to the universe.  We did not get the first three dogs we put in applications for.  I was sad each time, but I knew the right dog was waiting for us.  I remember standing in my back yard and saying aloud to God, "I know the right dog is out there for us.  I give this to you.  Please send the right dog to our family."  And I'm not kidding you, but right then three coon hounds came running into my yard.  It was like the turkey stealing scene from A Christmas Story.  I just laughed and said to God, "Not these dogs."  The dogs eventually returned to our neighbor behind us and the very next day, a client called me and said she had an 8 week old Yorkshire Terrier that needed a good home.  Were we interested?  Those first three dogs we had our hearts set on were just the universe's way of saying, "Do you really want this?"  I guess it's a good thing too because we really don't want everything we think we do.

Which reminds me of the Rolling Stones song.  "You can't always get what you want, but you just might find that you get what you need."  There have been a few things I've tried to manifest without success.  And that's okay too.  Those things weren't part of my plan.  Part of being a good manifester is learning to surrender.

But first you have to have vision or you'll be like an actual rolling stone and who knows where you'll roll?  A palace?  A sewer?  Who knows?  Proverbs (29:18) says, "Where there is no vision, the people will perish."  If you don't have a vision for your life, you will slowly perish.

Of that I am sure.  You will perish -- slowly -- without a vision for your life.  How many people do you know who just exist without actually living their lives?  They go to work, sure, and pay their bills, vote in November too but they have no life to them.  Do you know how many people I had to buy for this year and had no clue what to get them because they have nothing in their life -- no interests, passions, or hobbies.  Nothing but work and family.  No vision for themselves, for their lives.  Ugh.  It's depressing.

So, take some time this week to create a vision for your life or at least for this year.  You'll be glad you did and so will your friends come the next holiday gift buying season!

Here are three things to remember when trying to become a magnet for good things:

1) Be grateful.  Turn your "have to's" into "get to's."  Instead of saying, "I have to work late today."  Try, "Thank God I get to work late today.  It means they need me and so my job is safe and secure."
Every morning, before your foot hits the grounds, try to think of three things you're grateful for in your day to come.  For example, "I'm grateful I get to have lunch with my friend.  I'm thankful I packed the kids' lunches last night.  And I am so thankful that I have nothing to do after work today."

2) Be optimistic.  Habits take time.  Try to break any negative thought programing you have.  You know my motto -- fake it til you make it.  Really, this glass half full thing really works.  Try it for 21 days.  That's how long it takes to make anything a habit.  Avoid negative people, negative movies, shows and news.  Read positive books and magazines and hang out with other positive people.  Even if you live with someone who's negative, try taking mental breaks from them.  Treat them like a boarder in your home from time to time so that you can have a break from their negativity.  Don't argue with them, don't defend your new positive way of thinking.  Just let them be and focus on yourself, your positivity, your growth.

3) Love yourself.  This is really the most important.  We can't manifest a thing until we love ourselves.  We can only manifest to the degree with which we think we deserve our good.  If you don't think you deserve that much, well, you won't get that much.  It's that simple.  Like attracts like and love attract love.  If you're feeling love and loving and lovable, that is what you will attract to you.

If you don't love yourself -- truly and unconditionally -- you will manifest very little.  So if you do nothing else this year, please promise that you will fall in love with you.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Crystal of the Week -- Chiastolite

In honor of Christmas, I've chosen Chiastolite as the crystal of the week.  Known as "the Cross Stone," Chiastolite is a fascinating stone because a cross shape grows naturally inside the crystal.  No matter how you cut it, there is always a cross shape present.  Chiastolite helps people going through very significant changes -- a scary move, a divorce, loss of a loved one.  And because it helps us to become cognizant of the birth, death and rebirth cycles of life and nature, it's a great stone for someone getting ready to transition.  If you know someone in hospice, Chiastolite is a good stone to give them as a worry stone because it will help to calm their fears as they prepare to move on.

Chiastolite is great to meditate with if you're arguing with someone because it helps us to see all side of an issue.

It works to strengthen all chakras, especially the root and sacral chakras.  As a result, it's a good stone for encourage balance, grounding and creativity.

This is a good stone to give to teenagers because Chiastolite will balance hormonal moods.

It's excellent for psychic defense.  Legend says that wearing Chiastolite protects against curses and ill wishing.

Your other crystals will benefit from Chiastolite because it works to energize the stones around it.  Carnelian will cleanse the stones around it; whereas, Chiastolite will charge up the surrounding stones.

Chiastolite helps to reduce fear and anxiety.  Physically, it will assist issues with blood disorders, blood circulation and blood pressure.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Do We Choose When We Die?

This past July I had a very vivid dream where I woke up, walked into my kitchen and saw my aunt (still alive) and my mother-in-law (already transitioned) standing in my kitchen.  I hugged both of them and marveled at how beautiful and young my mother-in-law looked.  She looked at me just as excitedly and said, "Your aunt has wonderful news for us.  She's decided."  I remember feeling very happy and hugging my aunt.  She looked relieved but a bit scared too.  I stared into her eyes and said, "Are you sure?" She nodded.  I hugged her again and said, "This is the best decision you can make for your family and you're very brave.  When will you transition?"  She said, "In the next five to seven months."

When I woke up, I told my husband and he said, "No way.  She's only 61 and is in perfect health."

I agreed with him and hoped my dream was wrong.  My aunt had just welcomed her third grandchild and had just retired from a long and tiring career as a nurse.  But two weeks later, we learned that my aunt was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  She passed away this week, exactly five months after I had that dream.  It's left me with more questions than answers.  Do we really know when we're going to die?  Do we really have any say in it?  And if you could choose the date of your passing, why would you pick a few days before Christmas?  And how could any of this be the right decision for her family?

I have no answers for these questions -- only more questions.  But after the meditations I've been doing regarding my clients dealing with their elderly parents coupled with this experience, I am starting to wonder if we do have some say in our passing.  I got the feeling that my aunt was strongly advised to die when she did and that if she hadn't her illness would have been a huge burden on the family.  Could it be true?

When my husband was a police officer, I worried about him a lot.  He would always say to me, "You have nothing to worry about. I'll fight my way back from heaven.  I'll will myself to live."  He said this with such conviction that I almost believed him.  And years later, he proved this to be true.  No one, not one doctor, believed he'd survive the shooting.  And he faced one catastrophe after another in the hospital from complications with the tubes to pneumonia.  But he fought every one and came back to his family.

So, I don't know, maybe we do have some say.  This thought goes against everything I've ever been taught by my faith, and I'm going to have to sit with it for some time or just surrender it to one of the mysteries of life.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Crystal of the Week: Pietersite

I just bought a piece of Pietersite today.  I'm not proud to admit that I bought a gift for myself while out shopping, but this particular stone just called to me.  It's not the prettiest stone out there -- that's for sure, but it does feel wonderful.  Its energy is calming, soothing and very reassuring.

Pietersite is named after Sid Pieters who discovered the stone in 1962 in Namibia.  This is a highly spiritual stone that assists the seeker on reaching loving levels of high vibrations while meditating.  The stone will help you reach the Akashic records and especially works on past life recall.  Peitersite will help you remember why you incarnated in this life time.

As humans, we can often feel alone and separated from others, when in reality we are all connected.  Wearing Pietersite helps us remember that we're from a source of love and are still a part of that love.

It connects you to your own inner guidance and helps you to hear the guidance of your spirit guides and guardian angels rather than listening to the opinions of those around us.  If you were emotionally manipulated by a parent or authority figure, Pietersite works to break that manipulation allowing you to be truly independent.  If you made vows of poverty or celibacy in a past life, Peitersite will help to break those bonds.

Pietersite will open the third eye while stimulating the pineal gland so it will support an increase in spiritual visions and psychic development.   Judy Hall says Pietersite "promotes walking in your own truth."  Cassandra Eason believes that Pietersite will "help you soar spiritually, especially if time for yourself is limited or too often cut short by other people's crises."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Letting Go Of Life -- Helping Our Elderly Loved Ones Transition

I've said before that my readings tend to lump together in themes.  I'll have a month of clients going through divorces.  And then another month of clients enduring job loss and layoffs.  For the past two months, I've dealt with clients who are care taking a parent.  The stress and emotional turmoil this care has on the son/daughter and his/her family is overwhelming.  I keep encountering adult children who have met their limit and yet because of love, guilt and a desire to be a good child, they keep on keeping on. My clients are dealing with parents who have many needs.  They are in assisted care facilities or living with their adult children and requiring round the clock care.  Some of my clients have parents who need more assistance and are refusing that help insisting that they only want their children's help.

I did a reading recently for a woman whose mom had several health problems and had been home bound for the last nine years.  My client was worn out from taking care of her mom.  She had put off dating after divorce and hasn't been on a vacation in almost a decade. When I asked her guides why the mom was still here on this earth when she clearly had no quality of life, they told me that her soul had contracted to leave earth when she was 83.

"How old is your mom?" I asked my client.


Her guides said that her mom was staying longer than she was supposed to because she liked being taken care of.  She felt as though she'd earned it and wasn't budging.  When I relayed this to my client, she said, "Well, that makes sense.  My mom had to take care of her little brother when their mom died and then she took care of dad through years of MS.  I guess she feels it's her turn."

I did a reading for another client whose mom just got more and more belligerent as the years passed.  When I tuned into her energy, I sensed years of resentment built up because she'd spent her life taking care of others and not herself.  She'd abandoned her nursing career and hopes of becoming a doctor to raise a family and subconsciously resented her family because of that.  Now she spends her days insisting that her children drive her to her appointments, pay her bills and literally handle all aspects of her life.

It's a terrible way to live for everyone involved.

I've heard similar messages to that over and over -- parents who feel as though they've earned the right to be taken care of even though it's at the expense of their children's time, money and emotional stability.  Many of these parents are stubbornly refusing outside help and insisting that only their children can help them.

If you're dealing with this, please know that you're not alone and that you're going to need help.  If your parent(s) won't let you hire help, then you can get help through counseling, reaching out to friends and scheduling lots of breaks for yourself.

Some of the parents I tune into are simply afraid to die, and so they're desperately clinging on even though their quality of life is severely lacking.  One grandfather came through in a reading recently and said, "I was afraid to live and I was afraid to die.  Tell my granddaughter not to make the same mistakes."  Then he showed me PSALM 118:24.  When I looked it up in the bible, I took in a breath as I read:  "This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it."  What a perfect message to bring back from heaven, I thought.  This day, this one day, is all that is guaranteed to us.  We can't worry about the future or regret the past.  We have to just rejoice in the present and see it for the gift it is.

If you find that you have a parent or loved one who is afraid of dying, try praying with them to remind them of their link to spirit.  Give them or read to them books that affirm the beauty of life in all its forms. Some I would recommend include:

Life After Life and Glimpses of Eternity by Raymond Moody

Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms by David Kessler

Glimpses of Heaven by Trudy Harris

Friday, December 16, 2011

What's Behind Your Kindness?

I overheard a woman talking the other day about how angry she was because she'd held a door open for another woman who never thanked her.  "Just kept talking on her cell phone and breezed right through that door."  Her friend remarked, "I hate it when that happens.  As if we have nothing better to do than hold the door open for people."  The woman nodded enthusiastically.  "I know!  So you know what I did?  I yelled after her, 'You're welcome!'"

I had to smile to myself when I heard this conversation because it used to be one of my biggest pet peeves too.  I mean, really, it is very rude to not say thank you.  But, still, it begs the question, "What's behind your kindness?"  Are you being nice to others for what you'll get back in return?  Are we really that tit for tat?  I'd like to think not.  I try to be nice every day.  I try to reach out and help others when I can and what you do or do not do with that kindness is none of my business.  I'm nice to people because I like being nice - not because I want to be seen as nice nor because I need to receive that kindness in return -- although that's nice to.

I know the thrill of a "thank you."  And it is wonderful, but ultimately that's not why we are supposed to do kind things.  Being kind and helping others is for US, not those we help.  When we act every day from a place of love, it's we who benefit.

I received an email this week from a woman who wanted to know how she should handle Christmas.  "Every year, I buy presents for my family, but they don't buy me anything in return."  When I asked her why she continued to buy them presents, she said, "Because I love to!"  So I told her to continue doing so and not expect anything in return.  "But I can't have them to dinner and hand out gifts to them because that will make them freeloaders."  Yikes and that comment will make you sound like Scrooge.  We give not to receive.  We give simply to give and hopefully to grow in that space of kindness that presents itself whenever we put ourselves in a giving role.

Every time we help someone, give of ourselves to others and share of our time and talents, we remind ourselves that we can do this, that we have the money, time and talent to share.  And the more we realize that, the more we grow  -- in money, time and talent.  Life is a circle.  What you give out comes back to you.  Like attracts like.  If you give with strings attached, you'll receive with strings attached.  If you give grudgingly, you'll receive in a very limited capacity.  If you feel as though you have nothing to give, you'll receive nothing.

Picture a circle of kindness -- a beautiful rainbow of ever changing and free flowing energy -- and place yourself in that circle.  Then say, "I joyfully open my arms to receive my good so that I may share freely with others.  Use me, dear God, to do your will today and every day."

And when you find yourself in a position to give, surrender all expectation of how that kindness will be received.  And remember -- when you give to others, it's you who receives.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crystal of the Week - Pyrite

Even though this crystal is often referred to as Fool's Gold, there's nothing foolish about this powerful stone. Pyrite derives its name from the Greek "pyr" which means fire -- an apt name for a stone that will light a fire within you to turn your thoughts into actions.  Pyrite helps to increase one's self-confidence.  It grows naturally into cube like formations.  Its square shape acts as a shield protecting its wearer from negativity from within and without.  The golden color works to protect you from depression as it helps to increase your physical and emotional stamina.

Because of its strong protective elements, it makes a great gift for someone working in a dangerous job.

Pyrite is also a great stone to place in your money corner as it will help to draw abundance to you.  It's known as a stone of financial luck too, so carry a small piece in your wallet and visualize money coming your way!

Monday, December 5, 2011

How To Deal With Angry People

I've come across many people this month who are angry for wrongs committed against them.  These people have a right to be angry, but there must come a time when we ask ourselves, "Why am I still in this fight?" Most of these arguments are unspoken because there's so much water under the bridge.  As we approach the stressful holiday times, these undercurrents of anger can feel very intense.

But here's what I'd like everyone to consider: if someone is being mean to you and is acting in such a way to make this painfully clear, who wins if you get angry, upset and hurt in return?  THEY DO.  And you lose.

More importantly, why even join in the battle?

People who maintain a negative, angry attitude are sad and depressed and insecure.  Trust me, angry people are never happy people.  Yes, we all get angry and anger can be a great motivating source.  But I'm talking about the people who always choose anger, passive aggression and negativity over all other emotions.  These are people to be pitied and prayed for not ones who should be allowed to hurt us.

And let me make this very clear -- if an angry person is hurting you, it is your choice to remain hurt.  We have a choice in every, single situation we face.  Never forget that.

Why does this family member dislike you or that co-worker despise you?  Who knows?  And, more importantly, who cares?  You have better things to do with your time and energy.  Do not allow them to suck your energy dry because if you let them, they will.

If you find your blood boiling around these angry people, if you find yourself talking incessantly about the person to others, then you can bet that you too have caught the angry bug.

To make yourself immune from the angry bug, remember these tips:

Someone's anger toward you is NOT a reflection of you.  Their anger only reflects poorly on them.  What they think of you is none of your business.  Really.  Anger is born of jealousy, insecurity, hatred, regret, unforgiveness and deep depression.  It is not rooted in your actions but rather in their shadow.  When you can see this, really see this, you just might find that you feel sad for this angry person and might even feel compassion for them.  That is the goal.

When dealing with the angry person, do not allow yourself to be pulled into their angry vortex.  If they brag, let them.  Congratulate them too.  If they try to one up you, give them the lead.  I think this might be what Jesus meant when he said the meek shall inherit the earth.  For it is in doing so that you will truly win.  What is your prize?  Peace, love and joy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Crystal of the Week -- Angelite

Known as the Angel Stone, Angelite with its heavenly blue color will assist you in making a deeper connection with your guardian angel. Angelite assists in releasing blockages from your chakras.  Cassandra Eason recommends rubbing Angelite on your palms and soles of your feet to remove these blockages and allow energy to flow more freely.  It can assist any sound healing therapy.

Angelite encourages peace, healing and serenity.  It protect the wearer from cruel and negative people.  In Eason's book The Illustrated Directory of Healing Crystals, she writes, "Angelite will return bad wishes as waves of compassion."

It helps the wearer to increase their ability to forgive while helping to combat and face down fears.

Angelite will increase your compassion for others and help to raise your vibrations.  With its nurturing energies, it's a must have for healers.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crystal of the Week -- Green Aventurine

Green Aventurine is a heart healer, money generator and bringer of good luck.  Wow, can a stone really do all that?  Green Aventurine, when placed on the heart, will help you begin to slowly heal from any grief, regret or anger.  When placed in the money corner of your home or carried in your wallet, it is said to bring more money into your life.  Green Aventurine makes a great worry stone because it will help calm your nerves and bring a sense of good will to your aura.  If you're going to buy a lottery ticket, lore says you should do so while holding a piece of green aventurine.  When wearing Green Aventurine, it is said to help you attract loyal friends to your life.

Many crystal healers call Green Aventurine the shamrock of crystals because it is believed to bring so much good luck into your life.  The name "aventurine" comes from the phrase "a ventura" which means "by chance," so why not take a chance and check out Green Aventurine?

Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year but are more often than not fraught with stress, anger and tension.  By December 24, most people feel broke, worn out and ready for a new year to begin.  For starters, we are expected to spend so much money -- on family, teachers, neighbors, charities and all the tips for the postal workers and sanitation men and women.  There are some weeks that I see those men and women ringing their bells for the Salvation Army, and I remember what one of my former students would say, "Honey, I ain't giving to charity.  I am a charity."  Then there are all the extra parties, cookie exchanges and secret Santas.  There's the money and time spent hanging decorations and sending out cards to people.

And then there's the family.

All those people you can successfully avoid throughout the year suddenly descend for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and all the rest.  Instead of an afternoon at a birthday party or a picnic reunion for a couple of hours by the shore, over the holidays we're often faced with spending days and days with our family.  Not an east task for many of us.

So how can we survive the holidays feeling relaxed, poised and even, dare I say it, joyful?  It all begins with FAITH.

F: Forgive and forget.  Just for the holidays.  My friend has a great saying: Do the hard work in the short term for a big payoff in the long run.  Sure, your brother might drive you crazy, but this time of year is not the time to rehash old wounds.  Keep the peace and you and your family will be rewarded with a sense of unity to last for a lifetime.

A: Accept people as they are.  My friend Joanne has a sister who insists on serving like Martha Stewart.  Everything is made from scratch with herbs grown in her garden.  The china is used, the silver is polished.  My friend resents all the fuss and time she has to spend in the kitchen helping her sister.  However, I'm sure her sister hates going to my friend's house where the policy is always, "Help yourself; server yourself."  We are all different. If we were the same, we'd never learn and grow.  Both these sisters can teach other patience and tolerance if they can just learn to accept each other's different way of serving dinner.

I: Ignore mean people.  They are all around us and sometimes they are in our own families.  Mean people hate the holidays, and it brings out the worst in them.  A mean person in my family will literally try to start fights by discussing contentious issues such as politics and religion or bringing up past hurts that have never been fully resolved.  The only way to deal with these people is to ignore them.  And when they try to start something with you, just smile, nod and deflect.  "I don't really have an opinion on Obama, but I sure do love your new camera.  Can you take a picture of us all after dinner?" And then walk away.

T: Take breaks.  Lots of them.  Texting is a great stress relief.  I text hilarious family comments and responses to my friends back home, and then they text back providing a much needed tension break.  I take walks too and insist on going alone.  Make sure you have a friend that you can unload with.  It's important to have a safe person to release your stress to.  This person isn't always going to be your spouse, especially if your source of tension is with his/her family!  Pick a neutral friend and tell them your stress stories.  Just be sure to be there for your friend when she has to deal with her family.

T also stands for Talk.   Talk to your family members.  Really talk to them.  I'm always amazed at how my family and I can make small talk about nothing, literally nothing, for hours.  We discuss current events, politics and celebrities but never our own selves.  We're current on each other's kids lives and their activities but when it comes to the story of own lives, nothing. And we are each fascinating people.  I have great stories to tell, for example, about talking to the dead and what the other side looks like.  My husband has great stories to tell about arresting people or helping families through the holidays.  And yet, when we go places, no one really asks us questions about us.  I am amazed each time I go to a party how I can literally "interview" someone for almost an hour, and yet they will never ask me a question about myself in return.  It's so odd to me, but it happens all the time.  This year, take the time to ask meaningful questions.

H: Have fun.  Seriously.  The holidays are supposed to be about family and friends and happy times.  And I've found that the best way to be happy is to make your own happiness.  Find something every day that you can do for yourself to make you happy.  It could be a good holiday movie, a lovely book to come home to, a game of cards with someone, a warm bubble bath, a vigorous workout, getting a manicure.  For me, it's doing something creative.  As long as I have time every day to knit, draw or write, I am a happy girl.  I love to bake with my daughters and make ornaments with them too.  Christmas music always makes me happy.  The other day, I went to the library and checked out a dozen books on holiday crafts.  I was so happy sipping my tea later that night and planning all the things my girls and I could make together for Christmas.  It's the simple things that bring the most sustaining joy.  Find yours.

And don't forget to remember the meaning behind all these holidays.  It's not about money.  If you can't afford a gift for someone, do not get stressed or overwhelmed.  One of my favorite gifts is a little book mark that has one of my favorite quotes on it by Cicero: A room without books is like a body without a soul.  The person who bought me that bookmark knew I loved books, so that gift meant so much to me.  It really is the thought that counts.

To help my children remember why my husband and I are snapping at each other as we untangle lights, or why I tend to yell at the tape dispenser that never works, I bought a beautiful gold hat box a few years ago that we place under the tree each year.  Then I take construction paper and cut out dozens of crosses.  Whenever my girls do something nice for someone, they write it down on one of the crosses and place it in the box as their gift to Christ.  It's just a small and hopefully meaningful way to help them remember that this month is not about who gets the biggest and best gifts.

Keep your expectations minimal.  Forget the Norman Rockwell Christmas.  And in return you may just feel as if this is the most wonderful time of the year.

And for those of you in particularly stressful families, check out these tips from a gal who knows where you're coming from:

1) Send lots of love, light and prayers to the dates on which you'll have to be with your family.  By sending extra energy to that date, you'll provide a cushion of good energy to encircle that event.

2) Surround negative family members in pink light.  It really works.  Just imagine them being wrapped in thick pink cotton candy and watch as their negativity begins to soothe.  Just don't forget to wrap yourself in pink light too!

3) If there's someone in your family who always gets under your skin, take a moment before you speak to them to say inside your head "I love you." This will soften your tone and bring lots of love to the situation.

4) Place a crystal cluster near the family gathering -- either on the dining room table or the sideboard.  Crystal clusters help groups to get along and work together.

Good luck to all of you reading this.  And remember this, you are not alone.  You have your guides and angels watching over you.  Ask for their help too.  Ask and you shall receive.  I wish you all a joyous, peaceful and happy, happy holiday season.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crystal of the Week -- Azurite with Malachite

Azurite -- a beautiful cobalt blue stone -- is often found growing with or on malachite -- a lovely stone with waves of green.  Together, azurite with malachite is a powerful stone for those wanting to develop their psychic abilities.  It works to clear your psyche of negativity and allows you to experience fully the emotions of compassion, forgiveness and trust.  It helps to dispel worry, resentment and regret.  Place it on your third eye to help open the 6th chakra while saying, "it is safe for me to see."

The ancient Egyptians believed Azurite with Malachite could aid spirit communication.

Azurite with Malachite will greatly assist your meditation practice allowing you to reach higher levels of spiritual awareness.

Cassandra Eason asserts that Azurite with Malachite works to help people dealing with cancer.

To use, either wear it to increase your vibration or meditate with it on your third eye.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Embracing the Ego

I've been getting the message for several of my clients this month that it's time to let their light shine, to embrace their ego.  What? Some of you might be thinking.  I thought I was supposed to kill my ego, denounce my ego.  I thought EGO meant Easing God Out.  Yes, I used to as well.  But not so much anymore.

If my husband's doctor didn't have an ego the size of Texas, could he have cut a Y shaped opening into him and pumped his heart back to life?  I am thankful every day for that amazing doctor's ego.

I am so grateful that Martin Luther King, Jr. had the ego to say, "I have a dream."

Thank God that Ghandi had the ego to think that one man starving himself and speaking out could save an entire country.

Without Steve Job's huge ego, we wouldn't ever know the words "app" or "podcast" or "iPad." His ego has made this world a much better place.

Thomas Jefferson's ego may have led him to have an affair with his slave Sally Hemmings, but I'm grateful that his ego also led him to say, "All men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

His original line read "the pursuit of property" but after John Adams' and Ben Franklin's suggestion, he changed it because even they knew that "things" aren't our right, but rather happiness is.  It's our right to be happy, to be free, to have a life that makes our soul sing.

In order to have these things, to embrace these inalienable rights, we have to embrace our ego.  We have to enfold it within ourselves and OWN IT.

This week, I read for a client who was thinking of writing a book.  I told her I saw it being a big seller.  I said, "I think this is going to be big." She paused for a beat and then another.  Finally, she said, "I do too, but I'm afraid to think that. I mean who am I?"

Who are you?  You are a child of God.  You are created in the image of your Creator.  Each and everyone of us is a reflection of God.  God is reflected in my mediumship ability.  God is made known in your ability to teach people to read.  And in his ability to manage people and make them work as a team.  And in her ability to raise and nurture an amazing family.  And our Creator is reflected in his talent for inventing things and her knack for making people feel so good about themselves.  Each of us, everyone of us, is a reflection of God and when we denounce ourselves, limit ourselves and belittle our talents, we're denouncing our Creator, belittling the light within us.

I used to think I wasn't a good person if I thought I was a good person.  How crazy is that?  When someone complimented me, I would belittle it.  "Oh, thanks.  I got this on sale at Target."  Or "No, anyone else would have done the same thing." No.  No more.  I am a good person.  And not everyone else is.  And it's okay to think that.

You are a good person and you have a right to live your dream, a duty to fulfill your purpose so that you can make God's image manifest in you.

I used to recoil when I would read all those new agers who said we are God.  I would laugh and think, "Really?  So I created this universe? I created myself?  Give me a break."

I still don't believe I am God.

Far from it.

But, my favorite, favorite book, The Interior Castle by Theresa of Avila, has this thesis:  God is within us and we can only find God by searching inside of us.  She wrote this in 1577.

So am I God?  Are you?  No.

But God created us and is reflected in us.  We are made in God's image and it's our job to reflect that by fulfilling the purpose we were created to do and surrendering to that.

Sometimes, part of that surrendering includes owning the fact that we're wonderful and talented and great.  And that's okay.

We must keep our ego in check or else we'll believe we are a god.  But we must not kill our ego either.  That's just as dangerous as inflating our self worth.

Like everything in life, it's a balance.  So please, promise yourself that this week you'll embrace your ego.  Give it a try.  You are wonderful and amazing and gifted.  You are meant to shine and create and be happy.  It's your inalienable right.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Signs From My Guides

I was asked recently to do a television interview about my experiences as a medium.  The reporter thought it would be an inspiring story if I spoke about how my husband's shooting and near death forced me to realize what was really important in life and that's how I came to embrace my intuitive abilities.  I thought it was a great idea and after talking to her at length, I realized that she was very open to what I did and was not going to try to denounce me or anything like that.  There were just a few problems.  For one, I'm terrified of being on TV.  My husband and I have been interviewed several times to discuss his shooting and recovery and while that was scary, it didn't terrify me because the spotlight wasn't on me.  I'm always happy when the spotlight is most definitely not on me.  But this time the story would be about me and that was scary.  I'm also not crazy about what my hair is doing right now and what would I wear?  Just kidding.  Well, sort of.

Then I was worried about my children.  I don't advertise what I do.  I know, I know.  I have a website, a blog and a podcast but it's all very small and you have to know about me to find those things.  Being on television is for anyone to see, not just people who seek me out.  That's a different ball game.  So the average person at my church or my children's school does not know what I do for a living, and I like it that way.  I do not want them being made fun of.

I polled my friends and family to mixed reactions.  Most were pretty nonchalant about it.  My husband said, "Do it if you want to.  Don't if you feel uncomfortable."  Sounds simple, right?

But it wasn't.  I wanted to do the show because I do think this work is inspiring and life affirming.  But everything else that came with it was too scary.  I just didn't feel ready.  I knew the answer was no, but I hate, hate, hate to disappoint people.  The reporter said she was planning for this story to air during sweeps weeks which meant she'd already gotten it approved by the producer and that they were expecting a lot of interest in the story.  So, I continued to toss and turn.

Finally, I threw my hands up and said to my guides, "Look!  I can't figure this out.  I don't think I should do this, but I feel that I should.  You need to give me an affirmative sign."

The next day when I woke up, I lost my voice.  Gone.  I have a terrible case of laryngitis.  I've had to cancel all my readings for today and tomorrow.  But, really, I just have to laugh.  When my guides give a sign, boy do they give a sign. I had to decline the interview in an email today.

And you know what's really strange?  I kind of like not having a voice for awhile.  My kids have had to figure out their own fights between each other.  My oldest read a book to us at bedtime tonight, and when they talk to me, they whisper just like me.  It's so cute and peaceful too!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happiness is Having No Expectations

When I was a little girl, my favorite book was Anne of Green Gables.  I loved everything about Anne -- her spunk, her intellect, her imagination.  I loved her so much that my daughter's middle name is Anne with an E.  There was one thing, however, I never agreed with Anne about.  She had a habit of saying to her best friend Diana, "Happiness is having no expectations."  That's not a direct quote, I should add.  But she was often saying things like that and it always made me mad.  What is the point of life without expectations?  I spent half my childhood, okay, maybe more, daydreaming about things I expected out of life.  This included mainly people liking me at whatever new school I landed at that year after one of our many moves.  I dreamed of the teachers being bowled over by my engaging personality, of boys' jaws dropping open as I walked by, of a teacher secretly sending my essay into her publisher making me one of the youngest published writers ever.  I was always dreaming and never, ever living up to reality.  The fact that I was a shy, awkward kid until I sprouted slightly up and out rarely effected my day dreams but it did make me sad when teachers overlooked me, boys walked passed me and the really cool girls looked me up and down.

Still, I persisted with my huge expectations.  I believed that without them, I would be nothing.  I thought in order for one to succeed, one must have a clear vision, a direct path, an instruction sheet for God.  "Hello up there.  Thanks for creating me.  Now give me everything on this list."

While I do believe passionately in setting realistic goals, I no longer cling to expectations.  Instead, my goal is to take each day as it comes -- whatever that brings.  Rather than trying to change the world to fit my expectations, I'm choosing to change myself to flow with whatever life presents me.  This isn't easy, but then, whoever said life was?

Life is as hard or as easy as WE make it.  It's our choice.  Happiness is a verb; it's something we choose to be or not to be every day.

When hard times hit you, and they will, try not to let them define you.  Nothing in my life has turned out the way I planned.  Really, nothing.  I thought I would be a lawyer, but I fell into teaching.  What's that? Oops, now I'm a medium.  I thought I'd have two children, but my amazing Chloe came along and surprised us thankfully with her beautiful self.  My husband and I had our whole careers plotted out.  He even knew the exact date of his retirement.  But one bullet from a very nasty man changed everything, literally, everything in our lives.  I try very hard to not let that one moment define us.  Sometimes, many times, it does.  We're reminded of it when he forgets big things and little things, when he's fighting migraines or back pain.  I'm reminded of it every time I see a police officer who smiles at me and asks, "How's sarge doing?" But I try to focus on the many gifts and blessings we've received instead: three healthy, great kids, a career I love, love, love and a husband who's healing every day.

So give Anne's way a shot.  Try to wake up tomorrow and have no expectations.  Just accept life as it comes realizing that how you respond to it is your choice and, more importantly, that you have a choice.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Crystal of the Week -- Diopside

Known as the Stone of Service, Diopside will help to open your heart chakra to love, forgiveness and trust.   This stone helps you to increase your sense of humility and compassion allowing you to be of true service to others.  If you've always wondered what your soul purpose is, Diopside will gently help you remember, recover and recall your true gifts.

If you're experiencing an emotional blockage and inability to let go, green Diopside is the stone for you.  It releases our mental blocks and allows us to truly grieve and surrender our pain.  For this reason, it's sometimes called the Crying Stone.

Many healers recommend Diopside for aspiring writers as it helps to focus writing goals and encourages writers to complete the project with success.

It's also considered a stone of the intellect and will help in academic pursuits.  Judy Hall recommends it for the study of mathematics.  Cassandra Eason recommends it for people dealing with eating disorders and obsessive compulsive behaviors.  If you know an elderly person who's suffering from alzheimer's or dementia, place a diopside on their bedside table.  Diopside is also good for children dealing with dyslexia.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rainbow Meditation

I've received some emails requesting that I post the rainbow meditation I did on Sunday's show, so here it is.  Hope you enjoy!  Meditating on the colors of the rainbow will help to balance and cleanse your chakras while raising your vibrations.

Imagine that you’re walking down a lovely meadow.  In front of you is the most glorious rainbow.  See this rainbow in front of you.  Reach out and touch it.  Now, take a deep breath and begin to walk through the rainbow. First you walk through the red color. Breathe this color in and feel the fire of life and creation coursing through you filling you with energy.  

As you walk toward the orange – the color of a blazing sunset – you feel filled with creativity and sensuality.  Your body, mind and soul are at one.

Walking into the yellow light, you feel joyful, courageous and powerful.  Your own personal sun radiates out from your center.   You feel grounded, centered, connected.  The energy from the earth, the sun, the rainbow is filling you with love, light and life force. 

As you walk into the emerald green color, your body is filled with love.  You feel a force of love growing and healing, awakening inside of you.  

Taking a deep, cleansing breath, you walk toward the sky blue ray of the rainbow.  You’re reminded of the vastness of the sky and the ocean.  You feel an infinite sense of peace and tranquility as the sky blue color soars through your body purifying your thoughts and words.  

As you walk into the indigo light, your third eye awakens and you release fully into the colors of the rainbow allowing yourself to trust and see truth for the first time.  

Finally, you move into the purple light – a perfect blend of the earth and sky – and you feel the union of the cosmos soaring through your body.  You feel at one with the world, with your soul and your higher self.  The gate to enlightenment is now opened for you.  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crystal of the Week -- Jade

Commonly known as the Stone of Luck, Jade is known and prized worldwide for having the ability to increase good fortune.  It can teach courage, humility, wisdom and justice.  Jade enables us to discover our karmic lessons and aids in past life recall. It's been known to increase our ability to astral travel. A calming stone, Jade helps us to discover who we really are. It's a very protective stone, especially for children.  Jade can help with fertility issues and pregnancy fears. Jade is known as the Sacred Stone of China. They believed powdered Jade could cure many ailments.  Bridegrooms would present their brides with jade butterflies as a symbol of love.  The couple would then drink from a jade cup to ensure fidelity and a happy marriage.  The Chinese would put a jade stone in the mouth of a deceased person to ensure a good afterlife.

Physically, Jade helps the kidney, liver and spleen. Doctors in the 1800s prescribed tying Jade around the arm to reduce kidney stones.

Green Jade has the ability to attract money.  It will also help to heal the heart center. White and cream Jade soothes the nervous system.  Mauve, Lilac and Lavender Jade sooth the nervous system.  Yellow Jade attracts friends to us and brings joy and happiness.

There are two types of stones that are referred to as Jade.  One is Jadeite and the other is Nephrite.  Be careful when purchasing Jade as imitations are often sold.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Protect Your Energy with Sprays and Oils

I received an email this week that asked this:

"Samantha, I'm intrigued by your Crystal Clear spray.  Does it really work?"

Hmm, how did she expect me to answer that?  "Shucks, you got me.  Nope, it doesn't work.  I just sell bottles filled with water."

As a teacher, I'm trained to say, "There's no such thing as a dumb question."   :)

Do sprays really work?  Short answer - yes.  If you don't believe me, don't buy mine.  Make your own.

All you need is blessed or charge water, clear alcohol like vodka, and oils of your choosing.

I get my blessed water from the font at my church.  But if you're not comfortable with that, you can pour distilled water into a glass bowl and charge it in the sun for two - three hours.  Or you can use ocean water.  I live near the beach, so often I'll bring an empty water jug to the beach with me and it fill it up.

You want to fill a spray bottle about 3/4 full with the water.  Top off with the vodka; this prevents the water from getting that murky smell and allows you to use your spray bottle for quite some time.

Next, you want to choose your oils.  Here's a quick run down of what some do:

For general space clearing and to cleanse your auric field:  sage, lavender, frankincense and myrrh.

To enhance romance and relaxation: lavender, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, and sandalwood

To add energy and joy to your space: lemon.  This stimulating scent will boost your immune system and works well when blended with other oils.

To stimulate the mind, body and spirit: rosemary.  Rosemary for remembrance is a great scent to use when you're feeling worn down and depleted.  It acts as an antiseptic so spray it when someone in your home isn't feeling well too.

To cheer you up:  basil, bergamot, clary sage and thyme

To balance emotions: bergamot, clary sage

For a good night's sleep: basil, clary sage, thyme, lavender, chamomile

There are all sorts of specific recipes out there for making sprays.  Add nine drops of this oil and three drops of that oil, but you might want to let your intuition guide you and use what smells best and feels best for you.  For example, when I make my Crystal Clear sprays, the different types of sage are a bit overpowering, so I'll add more lavender and myrrh.

I also add crystals to my sprays.  Carnelian is a great stone to add to your spray bottle because one of its main jobs is to cleanse the area its in.  So it will work hard to keep your spray bottle and the area it's spraying cleansed and cleared.  Clear quartz is also a great stone to add to your spray bottle because it's an energizer.  Amethyst, the stone of spirituality, will work well too.  Jasper is a good stone to add for protection.

I also add dried sage and sweetgrass to my sprays.

What can you use sprays for?  You can use them to cleanse the energy in your home, car and office.  You can use them to energetically cleanse your crystals and jewelry.
You can put a Monster Spray label on your bottle and use them to help your children feel safe at night.
You can use sprays to cleanse your bedroom to ensure a good night's rest.

I use my Crystal Clear Spray to quickly cleanse my crystals, my hands, my cards and my office between clients.  I spray it in my home every day to cleanse the energy there and I spritz the crystals in my home when I don't have time for a thorough cleanse.

Experiment, spray and enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dealing With the Scary Side of Intuition

I hosted the Psychic Teachers show alone again on Sunday.  I am not the best podcast host when I'm alone, so I know I missed some key points I was trying to make.  I also have no ability to talk and keep up with the chat room, so I apologize for the negative people who entered the chat room at the end of the show.  How ironic that the first time we've had negative people enter the chat room is the time we're discussing negative entities?  Coincidence?

Okay, so here's my stance on the dark side:

They exist.  In my opinion, they're real.  In order for there to be light, there must be darkness.  As above, so below. Yin Yang.  Black White.  Alpha Omega.  It's a balance.

Here's the way I view this.  I think there's a fight, a literal war going on between the dark and the light.  I also believe that most people are completely oblivious to this.  They go to work, take care of their families, sit at home and watch TV.  I call these people the grays.  They're neither good nor bad.  They just are.  They're fairly self consumed with their own life and problems.  "A famine in Africa?  Gee, that's too bad.  Too bad I can't do anything about it." Those are the grays.

The dark side loves the grays.  They're easy to manipulate when needed.

The dark side hates the lightworkers.   You all reading this are lightworkers.  You're the ones who are searching and reaching for more and learning that you have a purpose and that your purpose involves service and gratitude and living a life of meaning.   They can't stand this and will do whatever they can to pull you back into the land of grays.  How do they do this?

Lots of ways.

Let's say, for example, that you're trying to get to church each week.  They'll make that a problem for you.  No one in your family will want to go.  When you get there, the pastor/priest will ask for money.  Babies will cry the entire time, and you'll think, "Why am I here and not at home with my feet up reading the paper?"

Let's say you decide to take an intuitive development or meditation class to expand your awareness.  If it costs money, the dark side might make something occur in your life to make that monetary expense too difficult for you.  Or your friends and family might make fun of you for your new interests.

If you start to believe that you have a higher purpose other than working and paying bills, the dark side loves to use doubt to pull you down.  You'll have nasty thoughts filled with fear and doubt plague you.  "Who are you to think you can pull this off?  You don't have the talent/gift/ability/time/money/intelligence (you get the point) to do this.  What are you thinking?"

If they fail at all this and you continue on your path of lightness, then they'll begin to stress you out.  You might start losing things right before you're leaving the house for your meditation class.  You might find that you constantly run late for these appointments and classes.  You might get plagued with annoying colds and flus and start to think that you're overworked and overstressed.  Maybe it's time to cut back on this spiritual development and just resume my old life, you might think.

If this next step fails, then they'll just try to out and out scare you.  You might have nightmares, see shadows dart by in your home or be awoken in the middle of the night with the sure feeling that someone is in the room.

I've had all of these things happen to me.  And I did return to the land of the grays.  Again and again and again. What can I say?  I am a very fearful person.  Or was.

I respect the dark side and I think you should too.  It's nothing to kid around with.  But I try really hard not to fear the dark, for I believe so strongly in the power of the light and my faith.  I know my people and my angels will never let me down.

When I was a little girl, I was woken up almost nightly.  There was always someone or something in my room.  My family jokes that I'm the youngest because my parents were never allowed to sleep alone in their bedroom to conceive another child.  I was constantly running to their room in fear.

When I was finally flirting again with the idea of opening up my intuition in my early 30's, I had this amazingly real dream that I now know was not a dream.  A man walked into my bedroom.  He was older, about 65, very tall and thin and had that rugged look that comes from living life hard and truly.  He was wearing a red baseball cap, had bright blue eyes, a bit of steel gray stubble and was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt.  His smile lit up my room.  I remember sitting up and smiling back and he said, "See? It's not scary when we visit you in your dreams, is it?  We've been trying to get you to talk to us for years and finally one of them suggested we try this way."  He motioned behind him and I looked to see dozens of people standing in my bedroom.  "So, can you talk to us now?"

I nodded and he said, "Good.  Can we move this to your kitchen? It's a bit crowded in here."

So I followed them into my kitchen.  And do you know what they wanted?  They each wanted me to hold their hand so I could relive with them the last ten minutes of their lives.  I have no idea to this day why this was necessary.  But that's what I did.  I reached for their hand one at a time and saw their deaths. I saw one man have a heart attack on his tractor overlooking his land.  I saw a nurse driving to work feeling cranky about the long day ahead of her when another car slammed into to her.  I saw an old gentleman just slip away into death while his family stood by and watched.  He was lying in a hospital bed in the middle of his living room.  And Red?  He was shot down on an interstate highway by several police after escaping from jail.  Even though that's a really bad thing and a horrible death, I still really like Red.

Anyway, after that, spirits visited me most nights.  And that's all they wanted -- to make me relive their last moments on earth.

But in between that amazing year, I had some really scary experiences. I had terrible, terrible nightmares.

But then the beautiful things would happen.  I'd have dreams where angels visited me and told me to use the light of God's love to literally throw at these negative people.  They showed me how this light -- which we all carry in our hearts -- can truly transform people, even the evil ones.  It just takes time and lots of love.  And I was able to see how my messages brought comfort to people.  Several people returned to their faith that year after hearing validations from their loved ones in heaven.  There was one woman who emailed me for her mom.  "My brother died last year, and I don't know if she's ready to talk with you.  Can you talk to me first so I can see what my brother has to say?"  Her brother had accidentally killed himself.  His spirit was so funny, so giving and so, well, alive.  Really, I felt as though he were more alive than I'd ever been.  His sister was relieved to hear he was doing well and scheduled a time to talk to his mom.  I remember the day of her reading, I felt compelled to go to a store called Khols.  I am not a fan of shopping, I don't particularly like Khols, and yet I couldn't get it off my mind.  I also don't like to do other things when I have readings scheduled.  I don't want to get distracted.  But I am telling you I had to go to Khols.  When I walked in, the first thing I saw was a display of gem stone heart shaped necklaces.  The pink rose quartz heart fairly lit up in front of me. "Buy that for my mom."  I turned around.  Who had said that?  Then I put it together and it made sense.  The son wanted me to buy this for his mother, so I did.  The mother was so relieved to hear from her son and happy to receive a gift from him.  That's the first and only time that's happened to me, that a spirit made me shop for him, but it validated to me that there was so much good in opening up to our intuition if we can trust in the light.

So, back to the dark side.  If you are trying to reach for something more than yourself, something beyond your day-to-day "rinse and repeat" life, DON'T let the dark side distract you or scare you.

Here are some things you can do:

1) Call on Christ and Archangel Michael to protect you and clear away the negativity

2) Wear a crystal or symbol of your faith every day.

3) Imagine white light around yourself twice a day -- once upon waking and once upon falling asleep

4) Pray every day

5) Read books on psychic protection.  Judy Hall and Ted Andrews have written great books on this subject.

6) Keep walking your path.  Don't get distracted.  Keep your eyes on the light.

And, just as importantly, trust your instincts.  So many have said that the greatest feat of the dark side hasn't been the world wars or cancer or AIDS but rather the belief that the dark doesn't exist.

If you still think I'm crazy, consider what I've come across this month alone:

Four clients have told me they think something negative is in their home.  I've received three emails asking me how to get rid of the creepy energy hanging around their house.  During a reading last month, I saw something negative attached to a client.  I asked her what was going on in her life when she was five.  She said, "Oh that's when we moved to the haunted house."  I told her what I was sensing and that I didn't think that thing had left her all these years later.  She became emotional and said she had sensed that too but couldn't really believe it.  This month, I sensed something negative around a client that was causing all sorts of financial troubles.  Once, after telling a client about something negative I sensed, I hung up the phone from the reading and was slapped by something.  It terrified me.  Like I said, I scare easily.  Another time, I was asked to help clear a home of something negative.  When I came home, I was still scared.  Everyone in my family started fighting.  Literally.  My husband said something snarky to me, my girls started fighting and my dog went to the bathroom on the living room floor.  Right there in front of us.  I knew then that something had followed me home.

So I quickly put the kids to bed, walked into my bedroom and prayed for Jesus Christ and Archangel Michael to come and help.  I said, "I command and demand that you get rid of whatever has followed me home."  Thirty seconds passed, and I heard a huge crash in my kitchen.  I ran into the kitchen and saw that the five shelves of cookbooks above my kitchen desk had fallen and the spice rack on the opposite wall had fallen to the floor as well.  I have lived in this house for 14 years and neither of those things have ever fallen before or since.  I knew a fight of some sort had occurred in my kitchen and I knew who won.  You could feel the peace and joy in their air.

The light will always win.  It just will.

I read once that the ancient Jewish teaching on Lucifer was that he was a teacher.  His name meant "adversary."  He was sent here to tempt us as a way of strengthening our faith.  If you read the Book of Job, you'll see how this works.  I like to think that maybe that's true, that maybe all we're here to learn is how to overcome fear so we can love.  C. S Lewis always said that he treasured and valued his suffering because without it he wouldn't know joy or happiness.  Without the dark, we can't recognize the light.

For more reading on this subject, check out these books:

Return From Tomorrow by Dr. George Ritchie
Hostage to the Devil by Father Malachi Martin
Shadows of the Dark by John Zaffis
The Uninvited by Steven LaChance
Psychic Protection by Ted Andrews
The Art of Psychic Protection by Judy Hall
When Ghosts Speak by Mary Ann Winkowski
Spirit Releasement Therapy by William Baldwin
Spirit Release by Sue Allen

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crystal of the Week -- Amethyst

Known as the "sobriety" stone, amethyst can help us with increasing our spirituality in a calm, grounding energy.  Derived from the Greek word "amethystos," meaning not drunken, amethyst was thought to ward off intoxication.  Ancient Greeks and Romans would drink wine out of amethyst goblets believing they could drink without experiencing the inebriating effects of the alcohol.

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead are instructions for placing a heart shaped amethyst on the body of the deceased.

Because of its calming, almost sedative quality, amethyst can aid with any addictive or compulsive behavior.

Due to its lovely purple color, amethyst is a crown chakra stone and can assist the wearer with increasing psychic ability and spiritual awareness. It is said to assist our connection with our angels and guides while protecting us from negative influences.  Amethyst helps break up old emotional blocks to assist your psychic awakening. Lore holds that carrying a piece of amethyst will protect you from psychic attack and any negative influence caused by ghosts and negative earthbounds.

Physically, amethyst can help heal headaches, insomnia.  It combats nightmares and is known to promote lucid dreaming.  It makes a great addition to dream pillows.

Amethyst is such a highly spiritual stone that it can help to raise your vibrations.

It's also known to help people dealing with legal issues, and for centuries has been believed to help ward off attacks from thieves and robbers.

People who constantly wear an amethyst necklace are said to appear more beautiful, charming and successful.

An amethyst cluster is so powerful that it can help heal, charge and cleanse other crystals.

You should keep a small amethyst with your tarot or angel cards to keep them operating at the highest level.

Catholics call the Amethyst the "Bishop's Stone."  It's the chosen stone for Bishops to wear because the Amethyst represents wisdom, purity of thought, and humility. Amethyst is also featured in the crown jewels of England and has been worn by every Pope since the 16th century.

Charge amethyst clusters in the moonlight weekly and then place throughout your home to increase your home's vibration and instill a sense of calm within everyone living there.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finding the "om" in your Home

So many people that I meet through my work are stressed out, frazzled and exhausted.  I think I'm one of them too.  Time is flying by us -- can you feel everything speeding up?  And more and more demands are being placed on us.  Last night I saw some guy on TV talk about how women in particular need to make time for themselves because we're so busy doing everything for our families that heart disease and cancer scares are on the rise for women.  He talked about how women have to create a scared space in their home and should meditate or pray for an hour a day.

An hour. Really?

If you add up all the things we're supposed to do in a day -- work, clean, cook, meditate, pray, exercise, socialize and organize for the next day's round of events --well, then, we're out of time.

This blog post is mainly aimed at women and men like me who are trying so hard to juggle career, family and personal needs.  This man's advice got me thinking about how hard it is to really find time in the day to stop and meditate for 10 minutes, never mind an HOUR.

I do meditate every day, but rarely do I meditate for more than 10 or 15 minutes.  I pray every morning and evening for about five minutes each.  So that's 20 - 30 minutes I devote every day for my spiritual enlightenment.

Not impressive, especially for an intuitive.

BUT, ponder these facts:

Jesus never had a family.  Buddha abandoned his family (including his new born child) to find enlightenment.  Mohammad may have had over a dozen wives, but he still left them for weeks at a time several times a year to meditate in a cave.  The founder of the Hare Krishna movement, Swami Prabhupada, "retired" from marriage when he came to the states in 1966 to spread his movement.  I love that he referred to it as retiring from marriage and not divorce or abandonment.  Abraham didn't become a dad until he was very, very old and so he had plenty of time to seek enlightenment before almost sacrificing his first son.  Every major female spiritual leader from Saint Clare of Assisi, Joan of Arc and St. Therese of Avila to Dorothy Day, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, and  Mother Theresa did not have to deal with raising a family.

So, please don't be hard on yourself if you're having a hard time balancing it all and finding time to meditate, pray and ponder the meaning of life.

In order to be spiritually mindful, we do not need to abandon our families. Nor do we have to feel as though enlightenment can wait until we've raised our family.  To me, the recipe for enlightenment really can be found in raising a family.  Don't believe me?  Consider these thoughts:

In order to reach a state of enlightenment, you must have faith.  What greater evidence of faith can we find in our own lives than through the act of having a child?  That shows faith in the continuation of the world, faith in our ability to parent and raise another human being, and faith in a higher power that it can even happen at all.

Enlightenment also requires patience.  Watching your child go through the terrible twos will teach the hardest, most impatient person how to surrender.  Potty training your child, encouraging them to eat vegetables and painfully helping them sound out words as they learn to read all equals patience.

In order to feel enlightened, we must learn how to be still.  How many of you have practiced the power of stillness when you had to tiptoe in their room and steal a tooth from under their pillow?  Or have to listen to them tell you -- again -- the moment by moment reenactment of their favorite movie.

Enlightenment requires that we learn to be both teacher and student.  With our families, we're constantly teaching them the essentials of life -- how to get along with others, how to have good study habits, how to pray and be an active member of their faith community, how to give back to others and empathize -- but we're also our children's students constantly learning from their pearls of wisdom.  My youngest just taught me how to hop on one foot while balancing on a curb going around our cul-de-sac.  But seriously, our children are our greatest teachers as they reveal to us our greatest strengths and weaknesses.

The enlightened mind also must have courage which is really what parenting is all about.  One must have the courage to discipline, to guide, and to let go when the child is ready.

So to all you frazzled parents out there, don't feel bad about yourself if you're trying to find time to include more spirituality in your life because, trust me, it's already there.

The twenty or so years you'll spend raising your children to adulthood will expand your heart, enrich your soul and provide the perfect opportunity for true enlightenment.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crystal of the Week -- Garnet

Derived from the latin word for seed "granatus" garnets can help plant a seed of desire in us that will enable us to grow in passion, health and confidence. This stone is best for increasing self-confidence in our relationships and career.  Garnet has been worn for thousands and thousands of years.  It's said that Noah carried a lantern made from garnet to direct his ark safely through the flooded waters.  Garnet is mentioned as one of the 12 gemstones in the breastplate of Aaron. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans wore garnet jewelry, and knights wore garnet as a protection against death and bad luck.

When given as a gift, garnet is said to instill commitment and fidelity in the heart of the receiver. It's such a protective stone that it's been known to warn its wearer of impending disaster by becoming suddenly dull and lackluster in appearance.

Garnet will help to reenergize the wearer.  Because it helps to increase one's self confidence, garnet is a great stone to have on your desk at the office or to wear or carry while interviewing for a job.  It makes you more attractive to others and is known to bring good luck to business success.

Because of its lovely dark red color, Garnet is also a romance stone and help can revitalize dull relationships.  Keep a cluster of garnet on your bedside table or wear a necklace of garnet to bring passion back into your life.

Since it brings to the wearer true self-confidence, it will help to lesson anger -- always the mark of an insecure person.

Physically, garnets help to normalize blood pressure. Garnet set in gold is said to increase sluggish immune systems and to help people suffering from depression.

Garnet is great for:

Career success
Increasing confidence
Enhancing passion in relationships
Increasing luck in love and career
Protecting the wearer from negativity
Inspires commitment and loyalty
Increases fertility
Overcome depression

Garnet remedies:

1) Place under your pillow while you sleep to help cure depression
2) Place three garnet stones on your desk to ensure success
3) Place two garnets on your bedside table to ensure fidelity and passion in your current relationship or, if single, to attract the right relationship to you
4) Wear in jewelry to overcome depression, increase self-confidence and aid in protection from negativity
5) Place garnet in planters on either side of your front door to protect your home from theft

Monday, October 3, 2011

Increase Your Financial Abundance

Everyone is dealing with this crazy economy, and I don't think it's getting any better for a good, long time.  However, that DOES NOT mean you have to suffer through it.   More people became millionaires during the Great Depression than during any other time in the 20th century.  WOW!  Think about that for a minute.  Colonel Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken during this period.  Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard began their company in 1939. And statistics show that 10 million millionaires will be created in the next ten years.

So, don't buy into the hype of this economic downturn.  What happens in the stock market when the economy tanks?  People sell their stocks. They panic and hold on to every last dime.  And then what happens?  We really start to tank.  Everything freezes.  Europe is reconsidering their whole economic structure, Greece is in real trouble, and America's bond rating was downgraded for the first time ever.

The reason why I am fascinated by history is because we can learn from it.  When we hold on to money, when we panic and freeze, everything stops and stagnates.  How many of you remember gas lines in the 70's?  Or buying a house at an interest rate of 18%?  No one wants that again.  So what can we do?

Spend money? Act as though nothing is awry?

No, of course not.

Here's what you can do:

1) Limit frivolous spending if you need to.  You just might not need to spend $5 at Starbucks everyday.

2) Start saving some money to appease your worries.  Even if you only put $5 away each week, you'll at least feel as though you're doing something to help your situation.  Then you won't beat yourself up.  Guilt is a huge stagnating force when trying to manifest money.

3) Practice spiritual tithing. Wonderful, amazing, miraculous things happen when we give back to the universe.  Tithing does not mean you have to give to your church, although that is where the tradition began.  Tithing is the practice of giving away 10% of your income each week.  The goal is to tithe 10% of your weekly income to wherever or whomever spiritually uplifted you that week.  If your friend really help you out of a bind, purchase a gift certificate for him/her.  If you felt moved by a story of a family who lost their home in a fire, contact the news station and find out where you can send a donation.  When my husband was in the hospital that summer, I can't tell you how many people gave to us.  It was such a relief to not have to worry about money during that time, but the cards and letters and thoughtful gifts that poured in were literally life savers to me.  Here's just a brief sampling of what we received: a gift basket including hospital necessities like Chapstick, moisturizes, pen and paper, and a guest book so people could leave messages for my husband.  The ladies at the Lancome department send me a basket filled with all types of makeup.  We received a lot of gifts for our children which were so very thoughtful.  People sent mass cards, books, DVDs, magazines and lots of food.  One woman mailed me a check for $100 every month for over six months.  I never met her, but I keep her in my prayers always.  She'd attach a note that would read, "Buy something special for yourself. Take care of yourself. Go get your nails done and remember to breathe." She always included a thoughtful and appropriate Bible verse.

Be creative with your tithing and have fun with it.  Years ago, I interviewed a woman for our newspaper who drove over to a local orphanage once a week to cook them a homemade meal.  I met a retired man who spent his free time making and giving away birdhouses.  I have a friend who hand sewed blankets for every patrol car in our city to be handed out to children being taken to protective services.  A good friend of mine spends her Fridays at the woman's jail teaching them inspiring ways to live their life.

Tithing will change your life.

I read a story once about a woman in the 1950's who worked all week as a maid.  She kept trying to tithe 10% but she could never make the numbers add up.  So, she decided to start selling boxed lunches at a local factory on her Saturdays off.  All the money she made, she promised to God.  Soon, she was so successful that she was making well more than the 10% needed.  After two years, she quit her job cleaning houses and opened up a very successful restaurant.

4) Visualize yourself with more money.  What would your life look like if you never had to worry about money?  What if you had enough money each month to pay all your bills, deposit some in savings, invest a bit, tithe your 10% and still had money left over?  What would that look like?  Remember, if you can't picture it, you can't create it.

5) Remember Suze Orman's words of wisdom: If you need more money, go out and make it.  I am probably the Queen of finding and creating jobs.  As a teacher for more than a dozen years, I never once took a summer off.  I always scrambled to find a job, something to bring in income.  Usually, I would pick up extra classes at the community college.  Sometimes, I would tutor kids.  I worked for a real estate company, I taught workshops, I wrote freelance articles, and for two summers I was the Cookie Lady selling cookies to five area coffee shops.  Whenever I couldn't find a job, I would create one.

And finally, some metaphysical tips for creating and bringing in more money:

1) Tie Red Ribbons around all the pipes in your house.  This is an old Feng Shui cure.  Good chi gets drawn out of our house through the pipes, but with the energy of the color red which vibrates to the number 4 (balance, stability, strength), it stops the good energy from flowing OUT of your home.

2) Keep toilet lids, washing machine lids and bathroom doors closed at all times for the same reason listed above.

3) Find out where your money corner is in your home.  There are nine areas in our home which draw in certain energies.  Your money corner is located in the opposite left hand corner from your front door.  Stand at your front door with your back to the inside of the front door.  The farthest left hand corner of your home from that position is your money corner.  Place images of money in that corner such as your jewelry box.  I have a crystal tree in my money corner to remind me that money can grow on trees :)  I also have a lot of green crystals here to draw in the abundant energy.  Green aventurine and green jade are especially good choices.  Bamboo and jade plants are considered lucky money plants.  Make sure you do not have anything in this area of your house that reminds you of financial stressors.  This should not be where you pay your bills.  This area should also be meticulously clean and cleared of all clutter.

4) Write yourself a check.  On New Year's Day every year, I write myself a check.  I write down how much I want to make that year.  I sign it from the Universe, and I tape it to my bathroom mirror.  And guess what?  I always come either very close or right on that number.  I never surpass it, though, which is a good reminder to never limit yourself. It's tricky because you want to choose a number that's more than you're making now but not so high that you'll look at it  every day and mutter, "Yeah, right."  It needs to be believable, so you can envision yourself creating that abundance. You'll be amazed at the way the universe responds to this.

5) Practice being happy for other's successes.  Maybe you already are, and that is great.  But sometimes you'll find yourself at that place in your life where nothing is going your way.  And you will almost always have a friend for whom life is going amazingly well.  And while you're happy for him/her, inside you might be thinking, "Why not me? Life is so unfair."  Practice saying to yourself, "That's for me too and maybe something better."  We are all connected.  We are all one.  When something good happens to one us; it really does have a good effect on all of us.

6) Write down the number eight and place it in your wallet.  The number 8 attracts money to us infinitely.  If you turn the number 8 on its side, it's the infinity symbol.  Once a woman wrote to me and said, "I really want to take your workshop, but I can't afford it now."  I told her to write down the number 8 and put it in her wallet.  She did and that evening she went with a friend to one of those lottery places and one the exact amount of the workshop!

7) One more feng shui cure -- besides the money corner, the kitchen is symbol of our wealth since food always equated wealth.  So it's imperative that your kitchen is always clean.  If you can place a small mirror above your stove, that is said to double your prosperity.

Don't let money -- and all the fears and worry that come with it -- control you.  Remember -- you are always in control of your money and of how much you make and spend.  If you want more money, go out there and manifest it.  In the legendary words of Ru Paul, "You better work."  Just kidding.  Work smarter, not harder.  Don't give into the fear.  Don't allow worry to rule your life.  Surrender your fears, tithe each week to wherever you were uplifted, and know that you are an infinite child of God.  You were not created to spend your days surrounded by guilt, worry and fear.  You were created to light up your corner of the world.  Manifest your abundance and shine on.