with Melinda Rodriguez

How well do you sleep?  I hear so many people complain that they aren’t sleeping well, particularly women, especially women between 30 and 60.  What I come across commonly is that they can fall asleep, but have trouble staying asleep.  There are also those that have trouble getting the mind to shut down so they can nod off.  Does any of this sound familiar?

Unfortunately, I am no stranger to difficulties in sleeping.  However it has improved significantly in the last few years with only a few days out of a month that I might have trouble.  I have contemplated regularly what the right recipe is for good sleep.  Sometimes I think I have it, only to encounter one of those rare nights where I either can’t fall asleep or can’t stay asleep.  Then I heard an interview recently with my favorite herbal mentor, spilling the beans on what she believes to be the secret sauce for good sleep…Stinging Nettle!

Doh!  Are you slamming your palm against your forehead right now thinking “here we go again with the Stinging Nettle?”  Yes, I have written on this topic before.  And if you know me personally, you know I praise this weed like it is gold and have probably encouraged you to make some.  It is gold!  But I have new information that may not only lead you to better sleep, but what if I told you that Nettle, along with other nourishing herbs, are the simple, affordable pathway to hormonal harmony.  Friends, when I hear something that I know can empower and assist people, and they probably don’t even know about it, I want to sing it from the mountaintops!

I’m not going to repeat myself on the surplus of nourishing components to Stinging Nettle infusion.  You can read about that here http://pathwaysofwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/stinging-nettle-how-i-love-theeand-so-should-you/.  Instead, I want to share how this weed can lead you to the sleep you lust for along with its ability to support your body in proper hormone production, and throw in a few other golden nuggets of wisdom.

infusions2First let me say that I LOVE my nourishing infusions!  What is an infusion you ask?  It is NOT a tea!  I repeat, NOT A TEA!  Nettle tea, or any other herbal tea might be delightful to drink, but there is no nutritional, nourishing, or healing value (besides the enjoyment factor).  There is simply just not enough herb in a tea and it is not steeped long enough to extract all of the goodies that any particular herb contains.  An infusion is a large amount of nourishing herb “steeped” for an extended period of time, 4 to 10 hours, allowing the hot water to extract the gems our body requires.

It is also important to note that a not all herbs can be made into an infusion.  The term “nourishing” indicates the type of herb that is used.  There are four main categories for herbs – nourishing, tonifying, stimulating/sedating and potentially poisonous.  For further information, you can check out my blog post http://pathwaysofwisdom.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/the-wisdom-of-healing-allies/.  One must be mindful and respectful when working with the Earth’s healing jewels.  All but nourishing herbs should not necessarily be taken excessively or indefinitely.  Nourishing herbs however are essentially food and there is no known risk of overdose, nor unwanted side effects.  The above referenced blog post also explores herbs in food form such as infusions or tinctures vs. capsules or pills as well as the importance of working with them one at a time.

So how does Stinging Nettle help us sleep?  Well, it is an extraordinarily powerful adrenal ally.  When we wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep, it is often due to adrenal burn out, or what is commonly called adrenal fatigue.  Your adrenals are supremely important to the overall health of your entire body.  Yes, all organs are important and they are all connected, but the adrenals are not holding up well with modern, western societal demands.  Simply put, the adrenals manufacture certain vital hormones, such as cortisol, the stress hormone.  Too much stress over long periods of time leads to too much cortisol, which leads to sleep impediment (along with a slew of other symptoms).  Taxing the adrenals in that way with an over production of cortisol and other stress hormones exhausts the adrenal glands rendering them dysfunctional and therefore altering the appropriate balance of hormones in the body, including those that keep sex hormones stabilized.  The adrenals were just not designed for an overly stressed life style.

Now Nettle won’t dissolve your stress.  Only you can do that.  But you can certainly support your adrenals along your journey of lowering stress in your life and continue to nourish them for the unavoidable stressors that will always be present from time-to-time.  I love my Nettle infusion and have been drinking it for several years now, along with other nourishing infusions.  But I too encounter busyness or forgetfulness and miss it some days.  I have finally connected the dots and now notice that when I do miss it for more than a few days, my sleep is not as sound, even downright sucky if I’m gong through periods of high stress.  Putting this puzzle together has motivated me even more to keep on top of my nourishing infusions, which includes Nettle.  In fact, I rotate through the various nourishing herbs, but I drink Nettle daily; sometimes several glasses a day during extended activity demands or periods of high stress.

So by now I’m guessing you are also starting to recognize the connection between Nettle and hormonal harmony.  Over production or under production of sex hormones, as affected by the adrenals, also impede sleep along with causing a landslide of other unpleasant experiences.  Again, stress is an important factor in harmonized hormones, but we can also nourish and support our body, providing optimum nutrition that goes beyond food.  Food is important of course, but most of us don’t eat perfectly each and every day.  Nourishing infusions provide all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals our body needs without any need for further supplementation.  It is also affordable, doesn’t require fancy machinery, or gobs and gobs of organic produce.

But Nettle certainly isn’t the only nourishing herb that is helpful to hormonal harmony.  Here is an excerpt from Susun Weed (my favorite herbal mentor) in an article she wrote on how minerals make the difference:

“By 2015 half of the female population of the United States will be post-menopausal. But this group of post-menopausal women won’t be old fuddy-duddies with broken hips, heart attacks, and failing memories. Women of today expect to emerge from menopause energetic, zesty, and passionate! Are hormones necessary? No! Wise women nourish their hearts, bones, and spirits with simple, safe mineral-rich herbs.

Herbs, especially the weedy ones, are minerals powerhouses. Getting those minerals isn’t as easy as taking a tincture (alcohol extracts little to no minerals) or swallowing a pill (minerals are poorly utilized from encapsulated herbs) but it isn’t difficult either. At the Wise Woman Center we include mineral-rich herbs in our daily diet; it’s easy, tasty, and very rewarding. How do we do it?  Drink 1-2 cups nourishing herbal infusion each day.

Herbal infusions differ from herbal teas: They are darker in color and richer tasting because their long brewing extracts many more nutrients — especially minerals. My favorite nourishing herbal infusions for menopausal women are oatstraw, red clover blossoms, stinging nettle leaves, and comfrey leaves.

To prepare your infusion: Put a quart of cold water up to boil. Weigh one ounce of dried (not fresh!) herb into a quart canning jar. Go brush your teeth and count your grey hairs until the teapot whistles. Pour the boiling water into the jar with your herb (only one herb at a time, please!), screw on a tight lid, turn off the light, and go to bed. Next morning strain out the herb and drink the liquid: cold, hot, or at room temperature. Add honey, tamari, or milk if desired.

Oatstraw (Avena sativa) has a mellow taste. It eases frazzled nerves, lowers cholesterol, improves circulation, strengthens bones, eases headaches, relieves depression and encourages us to be sexy old ladies!

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) infusion not only builds bones, and prevents cancer, it reduces serum cholesterol (protecting heart health) and helps maintain strong pelvic tissues –thus preventing incontinence, lowered libido, atrophic vaginitis, and uterine prolapse. Red clover contains ten times more phytoestrogens than soy, without soy’s bone-damaging, thyroid-impairing side-effects.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) infusion contains more than 500 milligrams of calcium per cup. (Nettle tea has none, neither does the tincture.) Nettle strengthens adrenal functioning, promotes sound sleep, increases overall energy, prevents allergic reactions, strengthens the blood vessels, and prevents hair loss.

Comfrey (Symphytum uplandicum x) is controversial. Ingestion of its roots can cause severe liver congestion. The leaves are safe, though labeled otherwise. Comfrey leaf infusion helps maintain good vaginal lubrication, strengthens the bones, protects against cancer, soothes painful joints, and improves mental functioning.”

I have not tried comfrey or oatstraw yet, but have an order on the way.  I’ll let you know.  I love the taste of red clover.  Red raspberry, which is not mentioned above is also a great nourishing herb for infusion, and I drink that regularly.  It has a strong taste, but a little peppermint mixed in helps, which does not interfere with the medicinal qualities of the herb.  I use ample peppermint with my Nettle, and I will admit it was an acquired taste.  It has such high chlorophyll content that it tastes a little like a fish tank at first.  But within a day or two of first trying it, you’ll notice level energy throughout the day and excellent sleep at night, which is what we all want isn’t it?

So cheers <clink> to you!  May you be blessed with hormonal harmony and a beautiful night’s sleep.  And please do leave a comment and let me know your experiences with nourishing herbs.

Harmonious Blessings,

Melinda

A Hard Lesson In Keeping BoundariesI broke my own cardinal rule recently.  I didn’t even realize I was breaking it until I endured the aftermath.  My rule is that the day after air travel, which I undergo three or more times a month, I do nothing.  No clients, no writing, no cleaning, no shopping, no lunch dates – nothing.  I stay home and do nothing but relax, preferably sans makeup, hair in a ponytail and wearing comfies.

I am a Jill of many trades.  One of which is presenting corporate team building events with African drums.  As an introverted, highly sensitive person that paradoxically loves to speak and present on stage in front of hundreds of people, I know myself well enough to understand that although I enjoy my work, I dislike the ups and downs of flying back and forth to my destinations.  Airports, delays, long flights sitting way to close to strangers, lonely hotel rooms, crappy food, and often limited sleep wreaks havoc on my finely tuned nervous system.  I am refueled with time alone, unlike an extrovert that refuels with time in community.  So when I return home from travel, I know I need to refuel in order to be grounded, whole and productive in the days that follow.

I used to feel so weak and even guilty for needing my down time.  Most of my friends and loved ones are not introverts or highly sensitive like me.  I see them flourishing by constantly being surrounded by people.  But when I finally realized there is nothing wrong with me, it is just the way my brain and body is wired, I felt a huge relief and vowed to protect that sensitivity and nurture myself with what is right for me, not them.  It took me 40+ years to understand this, so keeping that vow takes diligence and commitment.  And I broke that commitment.

Last week I spent five out of seven days traveling that included two trips; one from California to Phoenix and back and then California to Oklahoma and back.  And for some strange reason the day after my return from Oklahoma I was out and about, spending time with my love.  I suppose that’s not so strange being that we missed each other during my travel and had two days off together.  And I reckon that is why I threw my cardinal rule right out the window.  But it was bad reasoning.  I was fine the first day.  Then the second day I noticed I was feeling cranky for no apparent reason.  By the third day, when I actually set out to ease back into my routine of work, home management, etc., I found myself to be a complete wreck.  Thrown into the mix was the fact that my 12 year old Siberian Husky had apparently damaged some ligaments and is walking around on three legs which followed my 4 year old car needing a new alternator.  Suffice it to say that I was acting and reacting in a way that pretty much made premenstrual syndrome look like a day at Disneyland.

Then it hit me, and I thought to myself “Oooohhhhh yeaaahhhhh, I didn’t stay home and lay low the day after travel.”  The truth is, if I just would have honored my cardinal rule and taken just that one day to myself when I returned home from Oklahoma, I would have handled the stress of my dog totally differently.  I could have seen my options clearly, but instead I cried bawled for two days worrying about it all.  My love would have been so very happy to give me space and spend the day out playing poker, which is how he refuels.  We still would have had his second day off together, and with both of us refueled, it could have been glorious rather than both of us dealing with my crabby ass.

For introverts, extroverts, sensitives and non-sensitives, it is so vitally important that we set boundaries for ourselves and know how to flow with our rhythm and the changing rhythms around us.  Oh the irony – I preach this in every gig I present!  Every aspect of our life revolves around rhythm.  We eat, we sleep, we work, we play – all to a rhythm.  There is a rhythm to our day, to our work…and when we are aligned with that rhythm, we feel awesome.  Yet, it is human nature to fall out of that rhythm from time to time, just like I did.  If we are not conscious in our life and not in-tune with our rhythm and the rhythms around us, what we typically do when we loose the pulse is run around like chickens with their head cut off (like I did) and create chaos.  The key to avoiding that chaos, or at least leaving it behind and easing back into a rhythm is to just stop everything.  Stop doing, and just sit and be for a time; maybe a few minutes, maybe a few hours, maybe a few days.  Whatever it takes to connect without ourselves and then the world around us; feel the rhythm and find our groove – which I eventually did.

It is important to remember also that the rhythm is always changing.  This is why conscious awareness is so important to our peace and happiness.  When we are awake, aware and tuned-in, we feel the rhythm and synchronize.  Each of us has our own way of tuning in.  Knowing ourselves and honoring who we are is imperative – not who we think we should be, not who someone else wants us to be, and not who culture or society dictates.  Rhythm gets all screwed up when we try to be someone we are not.

And for the record, strength is overrated.  It is ok to have moments of weakness, and to surrender to it.  There is a time and a place for strength, but the same goes for weakness.  Actually, one cannot truly exist without the other.  And damn it, what we resist persists.  If I would have honored myself and settled into weakness for just one day after travel, I would have had the strength to endure.  Instead, weakness and I have been hanging out for almost a week now and I’m kind of done with it.

It was an honest mistake.  It was made out of love and wanting to spend time with my man.  I won’t beat myself up over it (anymore).  Lesson learned!  You all know what I’ll be doing the day after my next stint of travel…not a damn thing!

How do you set boundaries for yourself?  Have you had to learn the hard way how important boundaries are?  Leave a comment and let’s learn from each other.

In Rhythm & Harmony,

Melinda

 

 

6e7ba18c86c1a1d4aafe66bcee93f1bcHave you ever felt inauthentic with an affirmation, like it is a lie?  For example if you have 50 cents in your banking account and you are working with an affirmation such as “I am wealthy, now!”  This can actually put body and mind in opposition, which is contradictory to the energy necessary to conjure our requests.  This scenario is especially true for empaths.

Empaths are acutely sensitive to energy.  Often labeled “highly sensitive,” an empath has a strong radar for lies and inauthenticity, which make certain affirmations challenging when they are the polar opposite of the current situation.  Empathic or not however, our subconscious mind (where negative programming dwells) has a sharp intelligence making affirmations ineffective when we are smack dab in the middle of “feeling” bad.

I am a huge fan of affirmations and have been working with them since the mid 90’s when I first discovered Louise Hay – the heralding queen of affirmations.  I’ve witnessed miracles in my life hundreds of times as a result of working with such positive commandments.  And, I’ve also worked with certain affirmative statements that never really seemed to come to fruition.  So what makes some affirmations work some of the time, and others don’t?

I have found that there are two key components to conjuring life’s coveted delights through affirmations – state of mind and wording.  If we are at a low point emotionally, using positive statements that included “I AM,” followed by whatever opposite element we would like to experience, puts our body and mind into opposition.  Yes, indeed, “I AM” is a powerful statement.  However, there is immense wisdom in using it correctly in order to obtain the outcome we desire.

If we are feeling negative emotions (which should never be denied or stuffed) we first want to let the emotion run its course.  This does not mean dwelling in it for an extended period of time but rather giving the emotion the expression it requires.  As we are expressing, we can still tap into the power of affirmations by stating to the universe our willingness to feel differently.  For example, if you are experience the pain of a broken heart, a productive affirmation would be something like “I am willing to experience a miracle of love.”  In that moment of feeling hurt, a ray of hope has just been introduced into the psyche.  It is important to let go of any attachment to how it all shows up and be open to even the smallest miracle.  Once we observe even the tiniest of miracles, and we always will if we watch for them, we have the opportunity to work with the healing essence of gratitude, which doubles as a wonderful magnet that attracts more of what we are grateful for.

Once we are in an empowered state of mind, we can truly dive in to the mighty force of “I AM.”  An empowered state of mind can happen organically or it can be induced through intention and healthfully seeking out what makes you feel good.  Meditation, dancing, drumming, laughter with friends, love shared, a long walk – whatever makes you feel good, do it and do it shamelessly and guiltlessly.  In your state of conscious joy, use the “I AM” affirmations.  Anytime you find yourself in a state of feeling grateful to be alive, use those commanding, in-the-now affirmations.

When you feel less than empowered, in a state of sadness, anger or frustration, use the “I am willing” affirmations.  Anytime an affirmation feels like a lie, use willingness as a bridge to the experience you desire.  That willingness opens you to receive.  It is allowing the Divine to take over and bypass the programs of the subconscious or the sensitivity of any inauthenticity.  Once you’ve worked consistently and continuously with the willingness, you will discover that transformation has occurred.

When an affirmation feels particularly out of reach, I like to combine the “willingness” factor with the word – miracle.  I do firmly believe in miracles, so when I use an affirmation beginning with “I am willing to experience the miracle of _______,” it feels remarkably uplifting and empowering.

Turning your affirmations into a rhyme is another great way to bypass the programming of the subconscious by transforming it into a chant.  It also makes saying your affirmations out loud down right fun as well as adding an essence of conviction.  As an example, many years ago when my kids where young teens, we were planning a family winter weekend trip to a mountain cabin for snow play.  It was planned months in advance.  The cabin was carefully selected specifically for the large private hillside that it backed up to, making sledding as easy as walking out the back door.  Soon after I made the reservations, we began experiencing an extended heat wave.  So, I crafted a chant that I recited daily, several times.  I also wrote it down regularly and got the kids involved as well.  The chant went like this:  “Warm weather be gone til the middle of May!  Cold wind, rain and snow is here now to stay!”  When I spoke this chant out loud, I did so with such intense passion and zest it was as if I were delivering an incantation that would move heaven and earth.

Well, suffice it to say that not only did the warm weather turn and dump ample snow for snow play just prior to our trip, but it snowed the whole time we were there, in fact it was a absolute blizzard by the time we left.  For born and bred Southern Californian’s this was a gloriously enchanting experience and our family had a wonderful time with memories that we carry with us always.

So give these tips a try and let me know how they work for you.  Or, if you have your own method for utilizing affirmations, please do share.

In Sacred Harmony,

Melinda

camp1Last Wednesday my dear friend Jamie and I were contemplating something to do for the weekend.  When she suggested camping in the mountains nearby, I immediately said “YES!”  Most of my overnight excursions are spent in a hotel room with access to all the conveniences a Diva such as me desires.  I haven’t camped in well over a decade and the forest was calling, complete with the ideal of roughing it for one night (meaning leaving the hairspray at home). So when the government supposedly reopened on Thursday, she made the reservation, paid for it, and we were set.

We packed our drums and sacred tapestries which we planned on stringing between trees flanked with our regalia shawls that we acquired in a private Native American naming ceremony we were invited to over ten years ago.  We hadn’t brought them out since and felt it would be good to display them as a prayer to the Goddess.  Of course I also packed as many comforts as I could, perhaps to many, for I had no idea that I would have to actually carry it all into camp.

camp crazyWhen we arrived at the campground, we were stunned to see the camp kiosk cloaked in plastic with a sign that said “CLOSED due to government shutdown” complete with a locked gate preventing anyone from driving in.  What?  But we have a paid reservation!  We decided to drive into the nearby town and make some phone calls.  Then I suggested we continue with our original plan and just hike our stuff in.  We could have this whole little space of forest all to ourselves.  Fortunately, Jamie is as much of a rebel as I am and decided this was a good plan indeed.

Being the 40-something, wine-loving, nature worshipers we are we poured ourselves a little liquid courage into coffee mugs in case we met upon anyone who might attempt to thwart our plans.  We dubbed the liquid courage “purple coffee” and cackled at our cleverness.  We unpacked the car and began lugging our things along the half mile hike into the space we decided was most magical.  We encountered a few town locals taking advantage of the abandoned camp site out walking their dogs.  Jamie was a bit nervous about the locals seeing us clearly preparing to camp in a closed campground.  I on the other hand was indignant, and felt we had every right to be there.  So I strategically adored and caressed each dog that came my way and cheerfully conversed with their guardians.  This approach worked brilliantly and they all were strongly behind our decision and provided tips to help us carry it all out successfully.

camp2By the time we completed the three trips it took to get all our things into the site we had chosen, dusk was upon us and we had to move fast to get our tapestries strung and the tents in place.  We were giddy with our divinely guided opportunity to be completely alone in this forested paradise.  Well, I suppose the purple coffee aided in the joviality, but we were utterly stoked at our amazing secret discovery none-the-less.

Not wanting to attract bears or other potentially dangerous wildlife, we left any food in the car.  We were getting hungry and decided to drive into town and find a local spot for dinner.  We found just the place.  We entered and plopped ourselves down at the bar where we were immediately greeted by the owner who spied the fact that we were not from around here.  Really?  I wonder what gave it away <wink>.

camp foodJamie and I were having an outlandishly joyful experience at this little bistro.  The menu consisted of seasonal delights which we indulged in with complete abandon to any dietary concerns.  The owner poured us some libations, and to our astonishment, just kept pouring us small samples of various wines that would accompany our meal, which we did not request, nor turn down.  Then to our surprise a different delightful desert was placed in front of each of us, which we did not order.  “Wow” we thought, “they are really taking care of us.”  Then we got the bill.  What the heck!?  How on earth did it get so high?  We ordered one meal and one drink each…they put the rest in front of us.  The bill was not itemized, and we were to weary from the day’s activities to protest.  We chalked it all up to a good time and made our 5 minute drive back to camp.

Once again, we walked the uphill, half mile journey into our personal pine grove as we chatted and enjoyed the brightness of the full moon to light our way.  No flashlights needed.  Once we arrived at our tents, we were ready for sleep, so into our separate abodes we went.  We intentionally placed them several yards away so we could have some solitary time.  Unfortunately, in the quiet of the forest, those yards were not enough to soften the sound of my dear friend’s snoring.  But that did not prevent me from completely enjoying the canopy of trees above me and the serenade of the owls and coyotes in the distance.

camp3We awoke at dawn and took another jaunt down to the car to grab some caffeinated drinks we had secured along with some snacks for breakfast.  The moon was still high in the sky as the sun peered through the trees.  It was absolutely stunning amongst the golden hue of the autumn dogwoods.  Once back at our little private nook in this grand forest, we talked about love, work and spiritual growth.  We enjoyed the candid, raw expression that two dear friends do, and deeply basked in the moment.

After taking down the tents and getting our site organized, we took a long walk through the forest.  We conversed even deeper about love, work and spiritual growth as we sauntered along.  Brilliant epiphanies oozed from every corner and we found ourselves uplifted and inspired in ways that only solitary time amongst the trees can create.  We laughed as loud as we wanted and cried a little at times as well, feeling safe and protected by the spirit of the forest.

The time had come to prepare our journey back home and make the multiple trips back and forth to the car.  We stalled all the way as neither of us wanted to leave.  We extended our time a little and decided to have a small cup of purple coffee amongst the pines and the quiet before we left.  Hey, it was after noon and we couldn’t possibly drive with an open container…right?

camptentOn the ride home we came up with some inspired ideas for retreats and workshops to share with women based on our own personal life journeys and the congruent inner work we had accomplished and synthesized throughout our mountain journey.  Personal growth and spiritual deepening was the purpose of this escape, and we certainly accomplished that mission.  Being the teachers that we both are, we are naturally drawn to use our life’s upheavals and ultimate triumphs to help other women who are no doubt facing their own challenges.  No one is in this alone.  We all have our baggage and garbage that is begging to be unpacked and recycled.  Community led by courageous, confident women is an ideal cauldron for healing and transformation.

Once home, the magic of the woods were still etched deep within my soul.  As I lay in bed that evening, although my bed felt good, I couldn’t help but think that my sleeping bag would feel better back in the womb of the forest.  And so I imagined that as I drifted off to sleep.

I look forward to my return.

Melinda

readingWhen I went within to ask what I should write about for this week’s Wisdom Wednesday, I was guided to do a collective card reading that taps into Universal energies and applies to everyone. Transitions abound for all of us right now, in one form or another.  A little direction from the loving spiritual forces that guide us is a powerfully wise tool that can help us stay centered and focused as we journey upon our individual pathways of wisdom.

I have a unique way of working with cards of guidance in that I shuffle them with intent and then let the ones to be used for the reading either stick out or fall out.  I chose to use Doreen Virtue’s Angel Cards for the bulk of the reading along with one helper card from the Medicine Card’s deck.  These are the cards that literally fell out for your reading:

The main card and the first to fall out was Surrender & Release.  With all that is going on in our world right now as well as in our personal lives, it is so important that we don’t get caught up in trying to control and change it all.  Things are unfolding as they should right now.  Trying to control outcomes, people and even ourselves can be exhausting!  When we surrender and release the issues and situations in our life over to Spirit we open ourselves to the highest outcome for all involved.  That may or may not be what we want, but we can completely trust that it is what we need.  More often than not however, surrendering allows things to unfold in a way that is even more favorable that we could have imagined with our controlling mind.  Think back for a moment about the high moments of your life.  Were they contrived or did they unfold organically and naturally?

The next card that fell out was Intention.  This segues beautifully from the first as what you are being asked is to set intention around your personal situation and then surrender and release to your Spirit.  Whatever you are dealing with in any given moment, set your intent for the highest, divinely orchestrated outcome for all involved.  Be aware of any negative thoughts that flow through you.  Without judgment of those thoughts, bring yourself back to intention.  This is where your power dwells – in your intention.  Negative thoughts are natural, so don’t get caught up in some sort of positive thinking 24/7 protocol.  Allow yourself the full gamut of thoughts and feelings as they arise, all the while keeping your intentions in sight and working your way back to your truth.

The last card that fell out was Healing.  The planet as a whole and each and every one of us who dwell here are embarking upon a massive opportunity to heal when we surrender, release, and set intent.  We are being asked to allow healing to occur in those old buried wounds so that we can move forward in harmony with our purpose and the very evolution of our soul.  We did not come here to lead a perfect life in perfect balance from beginning to end, every moment of every day we draw breath!  We came here to experience the polarity of the Earth realm and to learn to love deeply; love ourselves, others and the beauty that exists here.  We ALL have healing to do along the way.  It is unavoidable.  But so many have gotten stuck in their wounding.  Most of us don’t intend to be stuck there.  Life just happens around us so fast that we keep on trucking without realizing we are living fragmented instead of whole.  Or maybe we avoid tapping into the pain out of fear and avoid healing thereby just sticking our head in the sand and continuing on.  Spirit is asking you to allow the healing to occur.  Surrender and release, set your intent, then lovingly allow the healing to flow into your life in a way that is joyful and pleasing.

The helper card is one that signifies an ally to assist you on your journey at this time.  Their message and/or medicine is one that will accompany you as you follow Spirit’s guidance and help you to accomplish your divinely ideal outcome.  For this reading, Deer fell out of the deck.  Traditionally Deer represents gentleness and she would like to remind you to be extra gentle with yourself right now, as well as with others.  She will help you reach your Sacred Mountain by inspiring you towards love in all situations; love for yourself, and love for those around you who have their own wounds to heal.  Deer reminds us of the gentleness of the Spirit that heals all.  Call upon Deer to work with you.  Be open to her signs.  Anytime you see a deer, a picture of a deer, hear the word deer – these are validating sings of her presence.

So there ya go.  These are the messages Spirit would like to share with you at this time.  It doesn’t matter when you are reading this, the first time you do is when it is applicable to you and the coming days, weeks, possibly even months.  I welcome your questions.  If you are reading this on my website, send me an email.  If you are reading this on my blog, leave a comment.  I’m on this journey with you.

Blessings,

Melinda

I have a client who recently had an incredible breakthrough experience that has had a huge impact on her life.  I would like to share her revelation with you as a succulent dose of joyful inspiration that you can apply in your own healing journey.  This incredible woman has graciously given me permission to retell her encounter, but I’m going to change her name in this story because integrity tells me too.

Katie is a successful entrepreneur who lives in the Midwest and works from home most days.  She loves her small town life-style. She is also very passionate about her career, which has her traveling several times a month for meetings with clients and potential clients.  A few months ago Katie had to fly to Los Angeles to meet with a new client.  What occurred in this two day journey was a transformational shift that has brought more peace into Katie’s world than she could have ever imagined.

f37e571783468237a9dc7ff4dcda4140You see, even though Katie is a very attractive woman who carries herself with impeccability, she sometimes struggles with a debilitating poor self image stemming from some wounding in her youth.  She has worked diligently in her adulthood at healing this issue and has made incredible strides which have greatly enhanced her ability to reach the level of success she has, as well as augment her relationship with her husband of 22 years.  However, as a woman in her late 40’s, Katie is beginning to struggle with the unavoidable changes in her appearance due to age, which is triggering that old wounding.  She is finding herself feeling increasingly less confidant than she used too and is concerned that if left unhealed, could sabotage all the progress she has made in her beloved career as well as her relationship.  So Katie contacted me for a series of sessions to help her retrieve lost power, rebuild her confidence to accommodate graceful aging and step more fully into who her Shaman self as she embraces her authentic nature.

Katie is a profoundly powerful business woman; she is also deeply spiritual and knows the value of the sacred ancient pathways of wisdom.  What we discovered through our work together is that the wounding from her youth embedded a mental program that it was not safe to be authentic.  This mental program had a huge impact on her self image as she always felt that to be pretty, she needed to look, dress, behave and speak in a way that didn’t always reflect her truest self.  So we went to work in sacredly calling in her authenticity and anchoring that true essence into her whole being.

Katie loves her day-to-day casual rural lifestyle.  She also enjoys getting spiffed up when she is working with clients.  She enjoys the beauty rituals and the contrast of hair, makeup and dressing up to her casual daily comfort.  Prior to our work together when Katie had to travel to chic, cosmopolitan cities, her triggers were amplified and she found herself compulsively obsessing about appearing as beautifully youthful as possible.  In fact, her mental chatter had overtaken her intellectual sense and she found herself more made up and dressed up than what was really comfortable, causing her to critically judge herself, spawning a downward spiral of poor self image and abusive self talk.  Although she carried out her client meetings successfully, inside, she was a hot mess.

Fast forward to Katie’s meeting in LA where her diligence in healing herself paid off.  As she prepared for her travel, she packed clothing that genuinely made her feel beautiful without concern for what might be fashionably trending in Southern California.  It wasn’t country bumpkin attire, but it wasn’t over the top sexy which in the past, was part of her MO trying to uplift the poor self image.  She applied her makeup in a way that really suited her instead of gooping on too much, which never looks good.  Most importantly, she packed her authenticity.  She vowed to be herself no matter what.  She focused on her inner beauty, her natural skills and talents and her newfound sense of safety in being honest and authentic…always, in all ways.

Throughout her expedition Katie felt uplifted, light and full of joy, gratitude and love.  These delightful sensations were like a boomerang that brought into her experience even more.  Challenges arose, but she was empowered to overcome peacefully, and she did.  Her business meeting went so well that her client introduced her to some friends and business colleagues and she soon found herself booking three more unanticipated meetings before she went back home that proved extremely lucrative.

But the real nugget of confirmation in Katie’s healing came from a chance encounter with a total stranger.  Katie and her business partner Brian were catching a cab together back to the airport to head home when the cabdriver began to apologize profusely.  At first she was puzzled, and both she and Brian looked at each other with confused expressions, telepathically saying to each other “what is going on?”  Then the cab driver went on to explain that he was apologizing for staring, but that he thought she was the most stunningly beautiful woman he had ever seen.  He went on to remark how in a town filled with fakeness, she stood out above everyone because her authenticity and inner beauty radiated outward in a way that surrounded her in an aura of exquisite gorgeousness.  She was a bit taken aback by his remarks, but she knew this was Spirit’s way of confirming that she had healed what she had struggled to believe for herself.  Her business partner smiled and jokingly said to the driver “how do you know I’m not her husband?”  The driver replied “I mean no disrespect; I simply had to tell this beautiful woman how amazing she is to be out here as a role model for other woman who are afraid to be who they truly are.”  WHOA!  Brian just chuckled, and of course he did not really understand the depth of that response, but Katie did.

In the days, weeks, and months following Katie’s excursion to Los Angeles, she could really feel authentic confidence sink deeply into her being.  Our work together had culminated in this profound, integrative experience that solidified the deep processing that Katie had the courage to work through.  True healing works within the earth realm, in the real world, in our every-day life.  It affects how we feel as a human and anchors our soul deep within our physical being so that we walk our journey synchronized, awake, and living life to our fullest human potential as a result of our deep spiritual connection.  Healing raises our vibration, but it does not lift us away from life’s experiences, for they are necessary in the evolution of our soul.  Enlightenment is not about becoming so spiritually “pure” that we live in joy and love 24/7, for that is not our design.  Enlightenment is about understanding that the polarity of life is a vitally important component in our relationship with the Divine.

I hope that you can take away some juicy tid bits from Katie’s story and apply it to your life and your spiritual journey.   And when you are in the LA area, be sure to ride in a cab.  You never know when you might get the driver who lets angels speak through him.

In Rhythm & Harmony,

Melinda

820a387380040042e17a724a590d899fYesterday morning I had one of those poignantly vivid dreams where you awaken completely awash in the emotions felt within the dream.  In fact, there was a double wake up, I dreamt that I woke up, and then actually woke up.  The dream itself took me back 24+ years to a very difficult time in my life.  I was 18, had just broken up with my boyfriend of two years and was about to find out I was pregnant.  It was a heart-wrenching time for me in so many ways, and the whole story in and of itself would make a spellbinding novel.  To thicken the plot of that story I must share that after a 20 year separation, that boyfriend and I got back together almost 4 years ago and are very much in love.  But apparently I had deeply repressed and submerged some of that heartache as I soon found myself uncontrollably sobbing at 4:30 in the morning.

I know mercury is in retrograde right now, which often invites us to reach behind and look at unfinished business, but that must be a heck of a powerful retrograde to take one back almost two and a half decades!  As much as I would have loved to sleep some more and not deal with swollen eyes the rest of the day, my wisdom encouraged me to allow the processing to unfold and explore my feelings in the space of darkness.  And so, I greeted the dawn.  The sweet dewy scent of the hillside’s wild grasses and the approaching light elicited a calming sensation as I knew daybreak would help lessen the discomfort and eventually transform the energy.  Once morning officially arrived, I had to get ready to catch a flight up to San Jose for an event I was facilitating that afternoon.  And though there was no time to linger in sadness, I found myself moving through the day reverently, with a sense of peace and serenity that was most welcomed.

I am sharing all of this with you because this experience holds the opportunity to serve as an important reminder and offer wisdom that applies to everyone.  We all have buried sorrow from traumas, both big and small.  At some point in our lives, perhaps repeatedly, that sorrow will bubble to the surface.  And when it does, will you allow the processing to proceed or will you shove it all back down because it is unconformable or inconvenient?

Our psyches don’t have a sense of time or space.  They just are.  And like it or not, the psyche is the operating system of the conscious mind.  So that buried sorrow from old traumas (even not so old) is rolling around in there projecting fear of the trauma reoccurring and creating thoughts of fear as avoidance.  For example, even though my current relationship with Luis is healthy, and I know him to be one of the most loyal persons I have ever met, it wasn’t so healthy back in the day, and he wasn’t so loyal.  We were kids and we both had a lot of growing up to do.  And we did for 20 years.  But being with him again, even after almost 4 years of a committed, loving relationship, those old traumas from our past have planted these seeds in my psyche of history repeating itself.  Again, intellectually I know this won’t happen, but the operating system has a virus – the unprocessed sorrow!

So when the dream occurred, and in that darkened moment where my wisdom was not clouded by daylight and distractions, even though my intellect said “girl, go back to sleep,” my wisdom said, “beloved, here’s your chance to feel that old pain you’ve avoided so you can release it back to its origin.”  And this is the beauty of the human psyche, as complex as it is, it is paradoxically simple; because of the lack of time and space, we can process that old garbage and effectively remove the virus from the operating system.

Now this is not necessarily an instant fix.  Although processing those old wounds can be quick, it often takes some time to thoroughly shift.  But the intensity of it all fades after the initial reemergence.  You just have to be willing to greet the sorrow.  Freedom and forward motion will follow along with a clear view of pathways to higher desires.

Sometimes all the spiritual tools we have tucked away in our tool bag to deal with sorrow and grief, be it old or new, can only take us so far.  The truth is we are not humans seeking a spiritual experience, but rather a Spirit seeking human experience.  We are here in human form for a reason, and our emotions and traumas are all part of the matrix.  Enlightenment from this perspective is about anchoring our soul into the earth realm as our Spirit intended at birth, and synchronizing soul with body.  True spiritual evolution happens when we allow ourselves to be the human we came here to be.

Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a dear friend, a sacred community, or a trusted healer/counselor.  Part of the process is to share through speaking to someone, writing in a journal, expressing through art or music or all of the above!  The whole idea is to honor the sorrow so that it no longer needs to be running around in your psyche creating havoc, often unconsciously, trying to get your attention.

Blessings to you upon your sacred journey!

Melinda

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