Red Agate as Protection for Excess Materialism During the Holidays

Laguna Agate

Yesterday I went to the mall and wanted to buy everything in sight.  A swirl of conflicting thoughts came up, particularly the desire to buy some very lovely things,  juxtaposed against the immediate chatter of my ego attempting to assert it’s belief in lack and deep-rooted poverty consciousness.

Abraham-Hicks teaches that there are only two vibrations when it comes to abundance: more than enough/always enough or not enough/never enough.   In the past, I have left shopping situations feeling very constricted and down on myself as a result of negative self-talk about how I can’t afford this or that and as a result of focusing on the negative aspects of my current financial situation.  I have been working on the belief in “always enough”  however,  this Christmas appears to be a little more financially tight for those close to me (myself included) so it was tempting to fall back into these old patterns of thought.  I said a silent prayer that whatever material items were supposed to be mine would find their way to me, then I mentally leaned into the resulting sense of peace and went along my way.

I left the mall without buying anything and when I came home, a piece of Laguna Agate, a stone I haven’t worked with in a long time, caught my attention.  I had the strong sense to hold onto it and to put it in my pocket.  Immediately I felt very grounded, and secure.  The remaining senseless chatter from my ego dissipated and it was such a pronounced shift  I was compelled to look it up.  I found that Laguna Agate and all red Agates are known to reduce greed and stop the burning desire for things we do not need.

Next time you go shopping and want to prevent impulse-buys or any of the negative feels that may come from the desire from material things, try carrying this stone with you or wearing it as jewelry.  I’d love to hear if it makes a difference for you.

❤ Mercedi

 

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You Hold the Dog and I’ll Hold the Pizza

Thor

Thor

This morning I sat down to meditate on a particular question that was troubling me.  It was completely unrelated to my sister Julie or her death, but while meditating I became incredibly emotional as images of her came up in my mind.  I was shown a memory of when I went to visit her in Knoxville, and we had ordered a pizza for dinner.  Her roommate, who was not home at the time, had this beautiful huge Husky named Thor, who weighed about one and half times as much as I do.  We had to keep the dog inside the gate to be able to greet the pizza delivery person, so when he arrived, Julie instructed me to grab the dog by his collar and hold onto him while she paid for the pizza.  As soon as she opened the gate, Thor bolted and blew past the pizza man, tossing me forward and literally leaving me in the dust. He was just too big for me to hold onto.

We loved Thor so we were worried. Plus, we knew her roommate would be furious if she came home and found out we had lost him so we immediately began a search of the neighborhood, on foot.  They lived on this huge hill with a dense wooded area behind the house.  My sister was not a small woman, having been overweight most of her life, so just the trek up and down the hill had her quite winded.  Her weight came in handy, though, when we finally found Thor deep in the thicket behind the house, because she clutched his collar with all her might and dragged him back to the house.  Finally we made it back safely behind the locked gate, all three of us panting and covered in dirt, with twigs sticking out of our hair.  Thor seemed amused, wagging his tail and beaming as if to say, “Now that was a fun adventure! Huh, guys?”

I really wasn’t sure why this memory came up for me so strongly, then I felt the message: as a person who was overweight her whole life, and who struggled with alcoholism for about a third of it, life in this physical system had just overwhelmed Julie, been too much for her to hold onto.  The ordeal with Thor wasn’t funny at the time but now it always  makes me laugh, and I realized there was still so much more adventure for Julie beyond this physical realm.  Life is an adventure for our soul, and this memory coming up was a reminder for me not to take myself so damn seriously.  I had been making things hard on myself regarding that particular issue I sat down to meditate on. I decided to let that go and return to it as part of my adventure, in a spirit of “play” rather than “problem” and I am feeling better about things already.

How To Pay Attention When Your Soul is Speaking to You

  
I went to the bookstore today to buy a book of prayers for a friend. This particular book helped me tremendously to heal the pain of my last relationship. (The book is Illuminata by Marianne Williamson).  While searching, I saw the book above and immediately my whole body was absorbed in waves of electric tingling; I got goosebumps and all my hairs stood on end.  I picked it up and the waves increased as I examined the images on the front and back cover. I felt that now familiar voice of my Inner Divine speaking to me in her way, telling me that I needed to get this book because there were messages inside that I need to read. 

Afterwards, I found Illuminata and made my way to the counter. I had a credit at this store and to my amazement, the total for the two came to that exact amount.

I left the store and began to look through Illuminata, since it has been three years since I last picked it up. Upon opening, I found a prayer that I felt could really benefit my mom so I took a picture of the pages and sent it to her. As I was doing this one of my favorite songs came on and, as if to punctuate the right-ness of all that had just transpired, the last line that rang out in my ear just as I hit send was “my mama taught me how to pray.” (From the song Nobody’s Fault by Rising Appalachia and the Human Experience.) 

She sure did, and it was prayer that taught me how to listen. 💜

  

How to tune into the Earth’s energy for comfort when you feel blue

IMG_2936This morning I was feeling upset over something and wasn’t sure how I could improve my state of mind.  Whenever this happens, I find it’s best to get out into nature and the answer usually comes to me. I have a favorite spot, hidden in the woods that surround my apartment complex, where I like to go when I need to hide away from the world.  I sat down on my favorite rock and already I could feel the grounding energy, the strength of the stone, as if I was absorbing it via osmosis.

I noticed a cluster of small rocks that almost formed a circle.  I was compelled to arrange them into a circle, and then I sat right in the center, in the dirt. I had my iphone with me, so I put in my headphone and played some beautiful music, allowing my little stone fortress to shield me while Mother Earth absorbed my tears and my worries.

IMG_2939The soil was a rich, deep black and the texture was soft and almost silky. I had read that a natural bacteria in soil acts as an antidepressant so I decided to grab big handfuls and just play. I squeezed the soil and made little mud-shapes until my hands became really dirty:

IMG_2943

I sat there until a deep sense of peace washed over me, and I no longer felt the urge to cry. I was amazed at how it had been completely taken away. I felt incredibly in tune with the earth’s energy, and felt as if I had been guided to do these simple actions to heal my spirit. One of the stones from my circle seemed to call out to me, so I held it for a few minutes and meditated. I frequently meditate with crystals to obtain a deep meditative state and was almost shocked to discover how this ordinary rock took only seconds to deeply connect me to Divinity. I decided it had to come home with me. 🙂

The moral of this story is that Mother Earth speaks to us clearly if we will take the time to listen and not let the ego or the rational mind get in the way.  She wants to heal us, to unburden our hearts and help us find connectivity and peace. Next time you feel sad or ungrounded, go find a patch of grass to sit on–a secluded one if possible, free of distractions–and see what comes up for you.

Love and blessings,

Mercedi

Don’t explain, don’t complain, just say thank you. Say thank you to existence.

The above is an excerpt from a quote by Mooji, a wise guru from Jamaica. I keep these words as my background on my phone and it’s really cool how many times a day I will find myself going to do something that involves explaining or complaining.

Explaining takes us out of the peace of the present moment, and is usually our attempt to verbally rationalize an action prompted by our ego (likely a fear based action, too) instead of our higher/inner self.

Complaining is just plain negative, and is giving away our attention to those things that we do not want in our lives. Why would we give away our energy to those things when we could use our minds to focus on what is going right in our lives, as opposed to going wrong? It certainly feels better. One of my favorite books is Happy For No Reason by Marci Shimoff. In this book, she notes that complaining and blaming are “happiness robbers.” This could not be more true. Griping about something or someone is not exactly an act of joy. We all know people who like to “bitch and moan” and I think we can all agree they are not the bouncy, smiley personalities that we associate with happy people. In fact, we often try to avoid those people because they bring us down!

Shimoff also suggests that we take note of how our body, especially our heart center, feels when we experience thoughts. She points out that positive thoughts make us feel expansive, light, and happy. Negative thoughts make us feel closed, contracted, tense. The Institute of HeartMath has confirmed that the heart’s electromagnetic field is unquestionably affected in this way, so we want to look for those thoughts that “expand” us and avoid those that “contract” us. Play around with this. Focus on the center of your body, around the solar plexus and your heart center and see how you feel as you experience different emotional reactions to thought.

In my spiritual research and my quest for self-awareness, it is becoming clear that the single most important thing in life is to maintain a positive mindset.  Nothing is going to make us happy–we have to find happiness and then do what it takes to stay there to draw in our highest good. It affects everything from our health, to the amount of money we can make, even to our life-expectancy. One of the easiest ways I have found to do this is through gratitude. Even the seemingly “bad” things that happen to us always come with a blessing if we have eyes to see it. I go through every day now looking for things to appreciate, no matter how small, and i verbalize these every chance I get. It feels fantastic, and I feel good about where I am giving my energy and attention and how that is affecting my body.

Thank you for reading this. May your day be full of things to be grateful for,

Mercedi

Thank you

3 minute meditation: drop worries and calm the victim mind

I wanted to share something that has been exceptionally helpful for me over the past few days. This meditation WORKS. January has been a tough month for me and left me in a very worried headspace. I was feeling like a victim instead of the creator of my own life and couldn’t seem to shake it or turn it around, until I found this:

The past few days that I have done this, I have felt mentally calm and strong.  I have noticed a complete change in my actions (and plans for action) coming from a place of love instead of fear.  So give your worries over to the Divine and remember that the same loving force that supports the planets and holds them steady in the sky is the same force that supports you!

 

Love and light,

Mercedi

“You only need to believe that your life can be as good as you imagine it to be. “

Last night I had an interesting experience when I went to bed. It began with very strong tingling in the top of my head, followed by some intense and beautiful visions of things I never thought were possible in this life, mostly due to limiting or fear-based beliefs. Then I was aware of all my chakras spinning freely except my throat, which made a slow, forced grinding motion. I worked on clearing it energetically and then had a hard physical coughing fit, as if I released it. I got out of bed in the most blissful state and stayed up late, laughing with Rick. I felt very peaceful having seen my life in a new way, having been shown that nothing is impossible and it’s only our beliefs that force our futures to be limited in anyway. Then I woke up and saw the following post from my favorite numerologist, Kari Samuels: (!!!)

Energy forecast for the week of January 26th – February 1st

THE PAST – 6th chakra 3rd Eye
You’re receiving visions and impressions of what’s possible for you, yet you’re not sure whether these are things you should ACT or if they’re even possible. What you are seeing are probable futures of your potential. They are very real. You only need to believe that your life can be as good as you imagine it to be.

THE PRESENT – 2 of Cups Spiritual Union
The decisions you make must be of the heart. Perhaps you don’t feel like focusing on work now, you’d rather spend time with your loved ones. This is a time of deep emotional connection. Remember it’s your emotions that create your reality, not always effort. The more joyful you are, the more good things will come to you. Focus on your feelings rather than your strategy. Nourish yourself with love.

THE FUTURE – Destiny reversed, also Rest and Rejuvenate
Outer changes might not be happening as quickly as you would like, but things are changing for sure! Take time this week to restore your body, energy and mind. Things will be plenty busy later. The inner work creates the outer results. Remember that!

Cacti wisdom and the art of aura fluffing

I’ve been reading an incredibly entertaining book called Travels by Michael Crichton.  Not only was he a Harvard-educated physician, award-winning author and film writer/producer/director (including a little film called Jurassic Park) but he has had more fascinating experiences than just anyone else I’ve come across in my studies.  He writes about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, visiting the original Shangri-La and having metaphysical experiences that rival those of Carlos Castaneda.

Last night, the chapter I read was positively life-changing.  It detailed his experiences at a metaphysical retreat where among other things, he heard the audible voice of God, had a vision in the desert where he saw all the stars in the Milky Way rearranged to spell “Hi!” and developed a telepathic relationship with a mentor of sorts who happened to be a cactus. Alone in the desert, after the vision and during a two day fast, he says he was gripped by a rushing sense of overwhelmingenergy.  It kept him up all night and he used this time to journal.  He says,

“What I recorded while in the grip of this energy seems terrifically silly. I was preoccupied with cacti, and I recorded all kinds of giddy foolishness in my notebook. I wrote poetry from the viewpoint of a cactus.  I wrote cactus philosophy. I also drew designer cactus fashions, a history of cactus religion, Cactus Comics, the Sayings of Chairman Cactus. All profusely illustrated. Page after page of silly stuff. Long into the night.”

I should note that the cactus mentor came about after retreat participants were instructed to listen to their other senses and find the rock, tree or plant that seemed to have a special relationship to them, and listen to what this teacher had to say.  His descriptions of what he learned from the cactus struck me a in a profound way. In the same chapter, he talks about the process of aura-fluffing, where junk is “combed” out of one’s aura with the hands and then the energy is “fluffed” to make it nice as one would do a pillow. He went into this process in disbelief but was shocked to find that he noticed a difference, which he likened to taking a bath.

Today I was feeling pretty rotten — depressed, apathetic and just out of sync. I didn’t want to do ANYTHING and was feeling pretty hopeless.  (Not gonna lie, tears had been shed earlier this morning). It dawned on me to try fluffing my own aura and I was astounded to find myself feeling so much better afterwards that I was immediately inspired to begin dancing around my apartment, followed by the urge to create something.  I was given the energy and motivation to work on my blog.

Twice in the past week it has been pointed out to me that I need to meditate on questions such as “If someone were to call me on the phone with the news of my dreams, what would they say?” and “If I were to leave this planet right now, what is the one thing I would have wanted to have accomplished, to make my mark on this world?” I know that I want to bring others joy, and to help others grow, but I wasn’t sure how to answer those questions clearly.  I had actually journaled about this the other day, asking for the answer to be revealed to me so I could begin to draw that into my life.  Crichton has helped me tremendously with his writings on his own experiences. Today it was made clear to me that I want precisely that. I want to opportunity to have these experiences of a lifetime and to write about them, or make a film about them, or otherwise share them in such a way that others’ lives are permanently and progressively changed for the better as a result of my sharing.

Right now, I am really tempted to go out and buy a cactus.

Love and light,

Mercedi

How to Meditate Part II

This is the follow-up to yesterdays “Who, What, Where, When and Why” of meditation which you can find here.  Now for the “How:”

How to Meditate:

Once you get the hang of it, it really is as simple as “sit your butt down, take a deep breath and just let go.” But, for the sake of clarity and to honor the practice, I am going to break it down into a few easy-to-remember steps you take to really get the most out of it. These are: Set, Sit, Adjust, Focus.

SET the stage  –  I begin by lighting a candle or two and sitting down on a folded yoga blanket, in my favorite spot in my bedroom.  I don’t light the candle to watch the flame (although some people do!). Instead, I light them to help create the ambiance of a sacred, relaxing space. Some people like to hold healing stones or Mala beads. Choose what you are drawn to for your sacred space.  Some people meditate in silence, but my preference is to listen to relaxing music, or a guided meditation with my earbuds in.  This helps to drown out any distractions from mental chatter, or from others in the house or outside my window.  This also allows me to set a timer on my phone so that I don’t have to worry about checking the clock.

SIT (or lie) down –  The point is to get comfortable. There are people who will tell you that you must sit in lotus pose, or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in your lap, or never to lay down.  I say forget all of that. I like to sit in lotus pose or easy pose, and there is some science behind these postures, with the way energy flows through our body, but sometimes I lie down too. The important thing is to get in a position where you can relax, but still remain aware. (Lying down causes some people to just go ahead and take a snooze!)

ADJUST your posture – It is best to keep your spine in a position where it is as straight as is comfortable for you. If you don’t want to sit on the floor, a high-backed chair is better than a recliner. The brain and spinal cord make up our body’s central nervous system, which is the most complex system and has the huge job of being our entire body’s control center. I think of our spine as an electrical-chemical superhighway of sorts.  Keeping it straight ensures that it is able to send nerve and hormone signals and other messages to the body in the most optimal way possible. So, keep that spine straight and get comfy, but if you choose to lie down, not so comfy that you fall asleep! It’s fine to adjust yourself throughout the meditation also if needed.  As for your hands, you may place them where ever feels best.  Gyan Mudra is a popular hand position to help center the mind.  I like to rest my hands on my lap with palms facing upward to receive all the good energy.

FOCUS It is very helpful to give your focus a direction, to establish a connection between your body, mind and spirit to begin. I being by focusing my attention at my third eye and by chanting three times “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo,” which means “I bow to the Divinity within.”  This is a mantra we use in Kundalini yoga for tuning in to one’s Highest Self. Some people find it peaceful to envision themselves enveloped in a beautiful white light to begin. Others like to set an intention – what do you hope to gain from this meditation? Experience inner peace? Connect to God? To turn off your racing thoughts and give your mind a break?  Choose what feels good to you. After you establish this connection, then just focus on the music or the words to the guided meditation you may be listening to, or on the rhythm of your breath.  What you don’t want to focus on is any thoughts that may creep in. When thoughts appear, try to let them drift by as if they were clouds. Now is not the time to unravel that problem or make a mental grocery list or worry about your kids or your schedule or anything at all.  This is undoubtedly the most challenging thing about meditation but it is also the very purpose of it. In time, you will strengthen that “muscle” that blows thoughts away like clouds in the wind and you will  be able to experience a quiet mind whenever you desire. It really is like a muscle though, and we must practice to get there.

Be easy with this…start out with a length of time that is manageable, maybe 10 or 15 minutes.  I recommend practicing everyday, but if you forget that’s okay too. You will start to notice improved results as you get better and better and eventually you won’t want to miss it because you feel so good afterwards and your brain “behaves” better throughout the day as a result.

To close, I will leave you with something I like to listen to on a regular basis.  It’s not technically a guided meditation, but I use it as such because I’m a big fan of Abraham-Hicks and I like where my mind goes when I listen to their videos as my meditation. YouTube is a great resource for all kinds of music and guided meditations. Play around and have fun finding some of your own favorites!

Happy meditating!

 

How to Meditate Part I

Inner peace

I am trying to keep my posts short and easily digestible so this will be divided into two parts:

1.  The Who, What, Where, When and Why of meditation and
2.  The nitty gritty on exactly “How” to do it.

This was inspired by a dear friend of mine who asked if I would teach her how to mediate and by another friend the next day who casually mentioned she had never been taught how.  I know much has been written on this topic, but I wanted to type up a simple (I hope) how-to guide and possibly dispel some of the myths, such as “meditation is hard” or that it must be done a certain way.  The truth is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Like most things, it’s going to give you the best results when you listen to what feels good to your body and do it in a way that works best for you, not your guru or your therapist or even your partner or best friend. This is also when it feels easiest.  If it feels like too much of a chore, we are less likely to want to stick to it. So we want to make this easy and peaceful and blissful. Ok, here we go….AHHHHHH…OHHHMMMM…

Who:  You and your Higher Self: that deepest part of you, made up of non-physical energy that remains consciously connected to Source at all times

What:  An exercise to turn off our minds as much as possible and align ourselves with Divine energy.  Sometimes this will feel incredibly blissful, and other times I have found myself moved to tears as answers to my prayers or deep questions I have held about my life came through. It has been said that we ask through prayer and that meditation is how we listen.

Where:  Your favorite spot in your house. You can meditate anywhere, really but I have a favorite spot where I feel the most relaxed and free of distractions.  In yoga, we “take our cares to the mat” because our body has come to recognize the ritual, that getting on the mat means the same thing every time: release, renewal, restoration.  In the same way, the repeated act of sitting or lying down in the same spot to meditate sends a signal to your body and helps your body understand and say, “Oh hey, I know what we’re about to do here!” With each time, it becomes easier to turn off your mind  because your body recognizes that this is exactly what you come to this spot to do.

When:  Again there is no “right” answer here except whatever feels best to you. First thing in the morning is a great way to start the day.  As the last thing you do before you go to bed really helps to melt the cares away so you can sleep. For me, I like to wait until I have been up for a while and have had a shower.  I try to meditate when I am clean, because it makes sense to me to clean my body and then “clean” my mind.  Sometimes I do it before bed too. And anytime I feel angry or scattered or depressed it is my very first line of defense against these emotions.

Why:  To achieve a state of inner peace.  To bring greater clarity to our mind, create a sense of happiness no matter what life throws at us, and to strengthen the subtle senses like intuition which provide a light for our path whenever we need guidance.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part II on just how easy it all is!  I’ll cover ambiance, technique, avoiding distraction, etc. I’ll also outline the process I use as an example.  My hope is that after reading, you will be inspired to give it a go.  🙂 You can pick and choose from my method what things you might like to try and think would be most helpful to you but most importantly remember there is no wrong way to do it!

-Mercedi