with Melinda Rodriguez

Posts tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

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,



40-something, purple coffee-loving, nature worshipers

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.


What’s In The Cards For You?

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.



Honoring Your Hidden Sorrow

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!


The Return of the Shaman

shaman1I awoke this morning to the cry of Hawk as she soared above the pine trees outside my bedroom.  What a perfect alarm clock.  I got up from my bed and peered out my open window at the beautiful sight and scent of a light spring mist that carried the sweet perfume of my blooming roses and jasmine.  Ahhh, Pachamama – Good Morning!  The Hawk continued her sacred song as messenger.  She has appeared to me often in the last few weeks on my morning runs with my dogs.  Her message is a confirmation to what I have been observing for quite some time.  We have entered the time of the return of the Shaman.

As the world around us continues to evolve with a huge increase in technological advances, the world within us is pulling us towards our true essence – Spirit and the realm of Nature.  This paradox in seemingly opposite directions is actually an act of stability and harmony.  But only if we listen and follow that inner pull.  The Shaman within each of us desires to awaken and ignite our connection to nature, arousing our awareness of Spirit and illuminating our pathway of purpose.

The illusion of economical stress, violence and upheaval that penetrates the psyche of humankind right now is actually the perfect platform for the Shaman to emerge.  When the cloak of media and excess materialism begins to fall away, what is left is what matters – community, family, relationships, the beauty of nature, and a deep connection with Spirit.  Our inner Shaman develops and thrives within the natural world of rhythm, harmony, wellness and wholeness; this is the essence of who we truly are.  This essence is thirsting to take front and center stage in our lives so that we may experience the beauty, wisdom and peace that we came here to be.

The fundamental nature of the role of a Shaman in both ancient and contemporary societies is to create and sustain equilibrium and wholeness for Mother Earth and her inhabitants.  This role is becoming increasingly necessary causing people to awaken and remember their purpose.  Our awareness of our inner Shaman is intensifying and we are being called to embrace our path.  The Shaman or Shamanic Practitioner takes on many different roles to achieve wholeness.  For some it may be the role of healer, activist, teacher, intuitive advisor or even bringing sweet shamanic medicine into seemingly mundane roles.  The common denominator is a developing and deepening a connection to nature and increased intuitive awareness.

Sacred ToolsNature is the teacher of harmony and wholeness.  When we are aligned with inner rhythm and the natural world our Shamanic instincts awaken and we embark upon the journey of traveling the inner worlds of consciousness.  If we follow our instincts, we are lead to the right circumstances to further develop our gifts and talents so that our unwavering, constant connection to Spirit becomes a natural, harmonious way of life.  When challenge arises, our response comes from wisdom rather than fear.  We hold onto our power and utilize that force as a beacon of light and love that inspires others as it permeates and fuels every aspect of our life.  We are aligned with our own rhythm and listen to the heartbeat of nature to guide us as the rhythm shifts.

On this sacred Holy Day of Beltane, may we welcome and celebrate the return of the Shaman.  Let us step sacredly upon our Earth Mother and listen to her song.  Dance to the rhythm of the wind, let your passion ignite by the light of fire, drink from the waters of joy and be nourished by the abundance that is all around you.

In Rhythm & Harmony,






Ancestor’s Whispers

Long ago, on the very land where I currently live, there were sacred people. I feel their spirit every time I look around and see a hawk soaring, a deer or coyote walk by and hear the sweet song of the birds and the wind through the pines. There wisdom still runs deep in the soil; it is etched in the very molecules of air I breathe. The ancestors speak to me through the language of nature.

b48990ec3c9be0df5cb65be3e76a614dThis ancestral wisdom is from people who had no technology and yet remained profoundly connected. They had no money and yet they lived richly. They had no cars and because of this their bodies were strong and fit. They had no kitchens or even gardens but they knew how to live off the food of the land and they ate well. They lived in community. They had healers amongst them who knew how to heal the whole person – body, mind and spirit. They needed no government, no police force, no military. But they had warriors amongst them who knew how to protect without extremes or needless killing. They honored women, they listened to them, followed their wisdom and always protected them. They honored each other; it was never “them” or “us” or “I’ but always WE.

This past Monday I felt an unexplainable sadness.  I kept experiencing an urge to cry, but I didn’t know why.  After some introspection I realized I was feeling the Earth Mama’s sadness.  It was Earth Day, but so what? What good is one day to honor her, only to go back to sleep and continue the abuse. All she wants is for her human babies to wake up! She beckons us to see through the illusion of being separate from her and to fully comprehend that our body and her body are one. What we do to her, we do to ourselves. What we do to ourselves, we do to her.

She doesn’t need adoration of her beauty. She asks us to adore our own beauty and the very temple we exist in while here. I am not just talking about nutrition but the whole being, body, mind and spirit.

When we truly honor ourselves we dissolve the notion of separation and then recognize the beauty of everything and everyone. This concept eliminates greed, a hunger for power, poverty and violence. And this is why Mama cries. We have yet to achieve this as a species. But every small step we take as individuals and as communities towards this awareness and self love is a giant step towards drying her tears and making her smile.

What we need now more than warriors are Earth Missionaries, Love Emissaries and Potential Visionaries. There will always be warriors, but these roles take extreme courage to walk our talk. It begins by awakening our own inner Shaman, our wilderness, for there lies the wisdom and courage to live authentically with Nature.  This essence is already an intrinsic part of who we are, it just needs to be nudged out of dormancy and nourished into a flourishing force that drives our actions.  This state of awakened wisdom is a blissful way of living.  And although it does not eliminate difficulty or adversity, it provides a strong foundation to transform life’s trials into triumphs.

The ancestors are my mentors. Part of my life’s mission is to be a bridge back to the red road, right mind, and the way of sacred, peaceful, healthy living while maintaining what is good about contemporary life. There is no one pathway to this wisdom, for we are all imbued with our own sacred uniqueness.  But this I do promise; when you connect with your rhythm a profound sense of clarity is unleashed.  Through the pulse of the Earth Mama’s heartbeat, we are eloquently guided to our purpose and reclaim our oneness with nature.

The journey back to the land of the ancestors is not backwards but one that gathers what we need to remember as we move forward. It is not a swift journey but it also need not be prolonged. Open your heart, listen with your soul and you too will know this wisdom. May it lead you to peace, wellness, and the magnificent wholeness that you are. Aho!

In Rhythm & Harmony,


The Four Elements of Harmony and Wellness

Over the weekend I had the great pleasure of presenting a drum circle to a group of ladies at a women’s retreat that I have presented at twice a year for the past three years.  The first three events were held on the beach around a fire pit, then last year they moved this retreat to another facility and we now do these drum circles indoors.  The intent around my particular segment of their retreat is conjuring up the fire from within – hence the fire pit on the beach.  Now that we do this indoors (which wonderfully omits lugging drums through the sand, cold hands and soggy, beach-air drums) the retreat leader takes the women through some exercises to help them tap into the element of fire without any flames present.  For many women (and men) this can be a challenge.  Here in the West we have become so disconnected from our bodies, nature and our innate connection to the elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire.  This disconnect leads to a lack of harmony, wholeness and can even lead to illness.

The German physician Max Gerson said “Stay close to nature and its eternal laws will protect you.”  This is such a Imageprofound statement on so many levels.  Although this declaration refers to diet, it really goes deeper than just food and can be applied to all aspects of life.  When we are aligned with the four basic elements of nature and seek to balance these elements within ourselves we will step onto a path of blissfully basking in a state of balance and wellness.  It’s quite simple really; yet simplicity does not always equate to ease.  When we have been out of touch with the natural world for extended periods of time we tend to develop habits and patterns that are familiar, perhaps even comfortable, yet incongruent with nature.

We can break down each element and see its direct connection to an aspect of our life.  This helps us to reveal where there may be an imbalance as well as suggest a solution.  On a very basic level, we can look at this esoteric poetic statement to begin to associate the four cardinal elements with our being:

Air My Breath

Water My Blood

Earth My Body

Fire My Spirit

If you’re into drumming, chanting or spiritual endeavors, this is a great chant to help align with the elements to create balance.  A more linear approach that is also advantageous is to also look at the four aspects or “bodies” of the human being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual and see their correlation to the elements.

Earth/The Physical Body – there is an obvious connection between the earth and our physical body…at least it’s obvious to me.  There is no denying the physical effect the earth realm has on our bodies.  Our moon affects the tides and the fluids on the human body – particularly the blood and a woman’s reproductive cycle.  Many women bleed and ovulate with the new and full moon.  Think about how good you feel when you are in an especially beautiful place in nature.  That feeling is a balancing happening within you.

The element of Earth helps us ground, provides us food and nourishment and connects us to water and our need for it.  When our Earth element is out of balance we might find ourselves eating the wrong foods or not getting enough nourishment; under or over exercising; being over or under weight; feeling spacey and ungrounded.

An easy-to-access application that can help re-connect you to your Earth element is to walk outside barefoot or sit directly on the earth.  Even a few minutes can foster essential energetic sustenance for the body as well as the mind and spirit.  Wonderfully, just doing this simple little exercise and allowing the Earth’s healing energy to fill you can help you hear your inner wisdom more clearly therefore knowing and even desiring that which will create an elemental balance within your being.

Air/The Mental Body – Although science connects the mind with the brain, I have found in my work that the mind is also connected to our energetic field or aura.  Not only do our own thoughts affect and even create our reality, but so to does the collective mind, that we all tap into unconsciously, affect what we perceive.  One of the sayings I use with my students to help them understand this is “whatever you believe you will perceive.  When our Air element is out of balance we might find ourselves thinking negatively or being affected by someone else’s negative thoughts/energy.  We also might find ourselves experiencing difficulty around breathing.  I commonly see people who have tapped into negative thought, be it there own or another’s, suffer from nasal allergies, asthma or anxiety which causes us to breath incorrectly.

So what can you do to disconnect from negative thought…first and foremost – TURN OF THE NEWS!  Sorry to yell at you like that, but weather you believe it or not, I promise you, the garbage that is spewed from news casts, which are altered facts with additional fluff to affect ratings, infiltrates your awareness.  I do not have TV/cable service in my home.  Sure there are programs I like to watch, and that’s what Hulu or Netflix is for.  Although I originally made the decision to drop the cable for budgetary reasons, the peaceful affect in my home is priceless.

Another very effective tool you can utilize to balance your Air element is affirmations in conjunction with breath.  I recommend using a few deep belly breaths before speaking affirmations out loud to activate the Air element and clear your mind.  Then, speak an affirmation out loud such as “my world is peaceful and calm.”  Breathe it into your being, slowly.  With the exhale, let go of any blockages to that affirmation.  Repeat this process at least three times.  You will notice an immediate shift in your energy.  That’s the Air element coming into balance.

Water/The Emotional Body – It is the water in our body and environment that connect us directly with our emotions.  Water can cleanse away painful emotions and enhance joyful feelings when it is balanced in our being.  Too much water can lead to a manic kind of state where we feel huge emotional highs and deep depressing lows.  Too little water can lead to a sense of numbness and feeling disconnected from our emotions.  Think about the whole concept of PMS or even a high tide, which is affected by the full moon.  During a full moon statistics show that emergency rooms are fuller, storms are stronger (Sandy happened during a full moon), and people’s emotions can be erratic.  Then there is PMS and it’s accompanying emotional rollercoaster when a woman is full of blood and often retaining water.  Men get their own kind of PMS which although not related to menstruation, is likely related to a high water ratio in their being/environment.

To balance the Water element in our bodies it is essential to take a pause and go inward and ask your wisdom where there may be lack or excess.  If you live near a body of water, spending time near that juicy mass will automatically help balance your Water element, particularly if it is salt water.  Similar to the grounding technique described in the Earth section, connecting with a natural water source can flush out excess fluid in your being or open the damn that might be keeping you parched.  If you or not near a body of water, (or even if you are) a fantastic ritual to mimic the effect of actually being near a body of salt water is to take a salt bath.  If you don’t have a bath tub, you can make your own salt scrub and use it in the shower, but a bath is preferable to get the soak.  Of course, drinking appropriate amounts of water for your nourishment is essential.  And, when you feel you are retaining water or have too much of this element in your being, foods that have a diuretic effect can help bring balance such as asparagus or dandelion leaf.  There are also nourishing herbs that used in the form of an infusion or tincture can have natural diuretic constituents such as Burdock Root and of course, my favorite Stinging Nettle.

Fire/The Spiritual Body – regardless of our spiritual path, even a lack-there-of, science has proven that we are all energy which is connected to the element of Fire.  Our fire element is associated with our passion, our faith, our inner wisdom and our psychic senses.  When our Fire element is balanced in our life there is plenty of soul food to nourish our spirit.  We regularly engage in passionate endeavors and feel a strong connection to Source, Universe, God/Goddess, Great Spirit – whatever you want to call it.  When that Fire element is not balanced we find ourselves feeling apathetic, depressed, lost, without faith and disconnected from our intuition.  There is a reason why lighting a candle is one of the most common acts of prayer or intention-setting across all faiths.  It ignites our Fire element and on a deep subconscious level reminds us of who we really are and the power of our faith and intent.

Bringing balance to your Fire element requires getting in touch with your passions as well as allowing yourself to believe that your intuition is a natural gift and when followed will always lead you in the direction of your highest good.  Lighting candles and setting intent is one way to invoke this element within you as well as using fire on a grander basis in ceremony such as utilizing a fire pit for a bond fire or an indoor fireplace.  When connecting with fire literally is not possible, which was the case for the women I drummed with, your intent and movement will always conjure your inner blaze in a way that is amazingly healing.  Dancing and drumming are two of the most powerful tools I’ve experienced in summoning our inner inferno.  However, Yoga, jogging, walking and certain forms of breath work are superbly effective in balancing the element of Fire.

When we engage in balancing our elements there is usually a cross action that occurs in that balancing one naturally brings the other three into wholeness as well.  Connecting with nature frequently will formulate regular maintenance of your inner elements as humans are irrefutably and fundamentally a part of nature. Reaffirming that connection awakens a glorious sense of freedom in our lives as we surrender to natural cycles and rhythms.

Speaking of rhythm, the group of women that I drummed with last weekend had clearly done an outstanding job of connecting with their inner fire.  Not only was the energy in the room absolutely electrifying, but there was not a dry bone in the house.  We were all drenched in sweat.  This is a good thing.  I call it sacred sweat.  It reminds us that we are alive and healthy and operating from a state of balanced elemental wholeness.  Our Body/Earth feels the rhythm that gets us moving.  Our Mind/Air utilizes breath and expands and contracts without trying.  Our Emotions/Water pumps our blood and moves toxins out of the body.  Our Spirit/Fire is ignited and engaged in joy and passion.

How do you bring elemental balance into your life?  Do you need support in this endeavor?  Leave a comment or question and let’s get the conversation going.

Harmoniously Yours,

Melinda Beth


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