with Melinda Rodriguez

Posts tagged ‘Ceremony’

A peek into 2015

Winter Blessings!

I hope that you are in the middle of enjoying the peace of the holiday season.  The seeming stressors of Christmas should be well behind now and the anticipation of a new year and a new cycle are gratefully on the horizon.  As we approach 2015, I am noticing a great deal of preparation for transition and transformation.  Preparation can happen in a medley of ways – anything that causes us to slow way down and be still is our illuminated self implementing a process that prepares us for big change.

I know change can be scary.  As humans we naturally fear the unknown.  In modern times that fear can manifest as deep anxiety when mystery is involved.  Our ancestors used earth-based spiritual beliefs and ceremonies to ward off the anxiety associated with the unknown and instead glorified mystery as a sacred, unavoidable aspect of life.  Indigenous Americans term this as “The Great Mystery.”  Over time this term has become synonymous with The Great Spirit, but there is a subtle difference.  Mystery is a part of life.  The more we accept this gracefully, the more peace we invite into our existence.

476494ed5be9ea68b8963a9e5cf15323I personally have been forced into slow mode with an odd flu-like illness that has lasted over two weeks.  This extended period of doing basically nothing has provided me with a great deal of introspection time and communing with Spirit.  I’ll be honest, some of the time when I was really feeling tired of being sick my inquiries to Spirit were something along the lines of “enough is enough….I’m done with this!  What the F@$% is going on?”  But as the illness winds down and I am slowly reemerging back into daily life, there is a synthesis that is occurring and the bigger picture is becoming clear.

As a New Year’s gift to you, I have decided to do a general 2015 card spread and take a peak at what is ahead in the New Year.  The synthesis I have been feeling became even clearer as the cards were laid and my intuition pointed me to the meaning of the spread as a whole and how it impacts all of us.

I think I can sum 2015 up with the words “cleaning out our closets.”  Closets would be metaphor for our psyches.  The angels are showing me that collectively it is vitally important to our wellbeing, personal progress and human evolution to take a deep look at our beliefs.  We all have imbedded beliefs deep within our subconscious that are ready to come out of hiding and be displayed on the bookshelf.  Shadows formed from our past do not disappear, and when they are hidden, they can cause trouble.  When they are illuminated, they loose their power and can be transformed into useful fuel to propel us forward.  Shadow and light are both normal aspects of human life.  Hiding or ignoring our shadow self is not only futile, but ultimately, harmful.

Some of us have gotten a head start on this process.  This has been necessary so that we can assist those who might have a harder time cleaning out the closet.  There is no wrong or right on who’s had a head start and who might struggle with this.  There must be no judgment involved in this process.  In fact, that is one aspect of our beliefs that would benefit from a deep cleaning.  Where are we judging ourselves or others?

What other beliefs might we be buying into that are not true?  Is there a story we are telling ourselves that is not real?  Whomever you were in your past is not who you are today.  We are constantly and consistently changing.  New aspects of ourselves are requesting to emerge, but they need those old beliefs that are no longer true to move aside.  This is always true, not just for 2015.  There are always new aspects of ourselves that are emerging.  However, I am being shown that this is a year in which unveiling our beliefs will be happening on many different levels; personally and globally.  It will also be happening at an accelerated rate, which at times might seem shocking.

Spirit is reminding us also that we must not get caught up in getting too serious with the task.  We must remember to play and invoke joy.  We must be as equal in our diligence to play and be playful as we are in exploring our beliefs.  This lightness will help us embrace the changes that will be occurring.  For some of us, these may be big changes.  For others, they may be on a smaller scale, but still quite poignant.  Play and playfulness however is the prescription for us all.

There are two animal allies that appeared to assist us in our endeavors.  The first was Dragonfly.  But of course – the one who helps us see through illusions!  If you find Dragonfly appearing in your life, in any form (in person, in pictures, in dreams, etc.) be open to seeing through the illusions of old beliefs.  If you are looking for assistance in this process, call upon Dragonfly for help.

The other animal ally was Black Panther.  She helps us to embrace mystery, so it makes perfect sense for her to appear as a guide upon our journey.  Should you find yourself needing to know how it all is going to work out, allow yourself to surrender to mystery.  Call upon Black Panther to help you through the unknown and trust in Spirit to know what you are not meant to know.  You don’t always need to understand where an old belief might have come from to be willing to let it go.  If you discover a belief that is no longer serving you, don’t waste a great deal of time trying to figure out the “whys” and just be willing to surrender it. And again, be watching for her to appear in dreams or pictures or any creative way.  Unless you live in the jungle, it is doubtful she will show up in person unless it is in her miniature form of a black cat.

So 2015 is about change, letting go of the old beliefs that block this necessary change, and embracing new beliefs that put us on our pathway of wisdom.  Remember that you don’t have to go at it all alone.  Engage with your tribe, your community, your friends and loved ones.  Seek out mentors and healers that can assist you on your journey.  If you are a healer or mentor, remember that you need support as well.  Surgeons don’t operate on themselves.  Healers and mentors work optimally when they have a source of support to turn to and are aware and evolved enough to know this truth.

Should you desire to dive a little deeper and examine your own beliefs, be prepared for the changes on the horizon, or explore any issues currently occurring in your life, contact me and make an appointment!

Wishing you a joyful and harmonious 2015!



When Affirmations Feel Like Lies

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,


WHAT do you choose to be?

ImageEvery year here in Southern California we experience a wind event phenomenon called “Santa Ana’s.”  They are warm winds that blow in from the East and can get quite fierce in some of the wind-prone areas.  In fact, unfortunately they often spur fires which some years seems to turn into firestorms that erupt all around the area.  But they also clear all the smog from the mountains, pushing it out over the ocean where the salty air cleanses and purifies the “gunk.”

I have always enjoyed the winds as I know they stir up “dirt” (metaphorically and literally speaking) and blow it into our sight for cleaning.  We often don’t see the dirt that has settled into some of the nooks and crannies until the wind swirls it around and blows it right in front of our face.  Likewise, many of us have feelings and emotions buried deep within our psyche that we are not even conscious of.  Yet, these subconscious emotions tend to drive our daily decisions and actions.  When the wind blows, we have the opportunity to go out into it and let the air “cleanse” our being and summon to the surface what is ready to be discharged.  Mother Nature always provides the perfect platform for the needs of her children.

Air, Fire, Water and Earth are the four basic elements that mark the four directions and the four quadrants of the medicine wheel.  When we are working with Air and wind we are working with an essence of cleansing and clearing to pave the way for awakening, new beginnings and re-birth.  The bounty we reap when we are willing to purify is the blank canvas in which we can create upon.  When we awaken from the slumber of old energy that does not serve us, we step into a new space of awareness and inspiration for what we are choosing to create.

Now more than ever we MUST remember our power and our ability to create our own reality.  We have choice every day.  We can choose to buy into media hype and cultivated chaos, or we can choose to put on our rose colored glasses and write our own script.  Does that mean we ignore what is going on like an ostrich with its head in the sand?  No!  It means that we acknowledge what others choose as a reality and know that we have the option to discern what our personal reality is and create from a place of hope, not fear.  Instead of being motivated by fear, we can choose to be motivated by Joy.  Instead of moving away from our past, we can choose to move forward towards happiness.

Some powerful tools that can help us stay in a place of power, no matter what kind of chaos is going on around us, are ceremony and of course….drumming!  I have been using ceremony for more than a decade to create positive change and release old limiting energy that no longer serves.  Ceremony is such an amazing tool because it focuses our thoughts, words and actions into one cohesive stream of energy.

There are two basic types of ceremony – those that have been around for centuries and handed down by ancestors, which we never change, and those which we create on our own.  Anyone can create simple ceremonies that they can perform, either as an individual or in a group of two or more.  The three components to any ceremony are to set the intent, bring in safe and respectful ritual, and honor Spirit.  I like to begin with an invocation to the 4 directions.  Then perhaps I will drum, rattle, or chant to raise power.  That is followed by an action of some sort that solidifies my intent.  For example, if I am releasing I will have a fire going either in the fireplace, a fire pit, or by candle.  Through breath or writing down what I choose to release I give it to the fire.  If I am putting paper to fire, obviously I use extreme care.  I say words that coincide with my intent such as “I release to the fire what I no longer desire.”  I may then drum, rattle, or chant more to further empower my intent.  I close by giving thanks.

Drumming is also a powerful tool we can utilize to set intent, manifest, or release and discharge negative energy.  The drum has been used as such a tool since the beginning of recorded time.  This too can be done solo, or with a group of people.  Even in a drum circle we can enter the circle with a specific intent in mind, regardless of the focus of the circle.  It is our personal action through the drumming that creates the manifestation of the intent.

So right now ask yourself – “What do I choose to be?”  Who you are is Spirit.  What you are is how you choose to express the Spirit that you are.  Write down your choice as intent and put it somewhere where you will see it daily.  If the chaos begins to affect you, remind yourself of your choice and your intent.  Perhaps bang a little on a drum, your desk, or simply let the pulse of your heartbeat sing a song that carries you to that place of intent.  Make it your personal mission statement and let it guide your daily words, thoughts and actions.

Tell me – WHAT do you choose to be?

In Joyful Rhythm & Blessed Harmony,


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