Season of Air Program
Just as the sun rises in the East and begins a new day, the season of air ushers in a new phase in the cycle of the year with great potential for new beginnings. Harnessing the energy of the season of air amplifies our ability to explore awareness through exercises of perception, visualization, and practicing the power of intention.
gratitude & FORGIVENESS
Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice for conflict resolution and forgiveness. It is a process of atonement and reconciliation among individuals within a family or community. The objective of Ho'oponopono is, through love and forgiveness, to free ourselves of memories and beliefs to rediscover the divinity within each of us. Furthermore, Ho'oponopono invites reconciliation within the individual among the different parts or selves, allowing for self-forgiveness. The process of this practice involves using four key phrases: 'I'm sorry, forgive me, I thank you, I love you.' The process of letting go involves taking responsibility, acceptance, and allowing the Higher Self to transmute the memory of suffering through love. This phrase can be applied 'on the ground' in the moment during difficult interactions, when experiencing a stressful event, or when you are angry or disappointed with yourself or others. This technique can also be woven into more formal ritual such as outlined below.
Full Moon ritual for Gratitude and Forgiveness:
- Bring to mind anyone with whom you have conflict, hurt or disappointment, or are not in alignment with. In your mind's eye, visualize a small stage before you with this person/people. You can also perform this practice with events, ideas or institutions against which you hold resentment.
- Imagine an infinite source of love and healing flowing from a source above the top of your head, open the crown of your head and allow this love and healing flow down inside your body, filling your body and overflowing out from your heart toward the person/people on the stage before you.
- When the healing is complete, have a discussion with the person and forgive them, and let them forgive you. Next, let go of the person, and see them float away.
- Do this with every person in your life with whom you are incomplete, or not aligned. Repeat the process as often as necessary until you can experience a feeling of neutrality.
- Write down the name of the person (or people, institution, idea, or event) that you are releasing on a slip of paper, and safely burn this in a contained fire outside or over the sink inside your home.
- After completing the forgiveness and letting go, make a gratitude list of some the many things in the world that you are grateful for.
Lie on your stomach on Mother Earth. She is holding you heart-to-heart. Release your burdens, fears, worries, and grief - she will take them on for you. Whisper to her all of the truths in your heart that make it heavy and then let them go. Cry if you need to, letting your tears spill onto her. Be like a little child held in great, strong and loving arms. You are strong for so many others, now allow her to hold you like a most beloved child.
When this feels complete, turn over onto your back. Tell Father Sky about your hopes and dreams, visions for the future and your wishes. Feel supported by Mother Earth as she has your back. She's taking away whatever is unresolved from your past to clear the way for the good things to come.
season of air group call #2
Below is the recording of our second group call, in which we discuss the nature of visualization and imagery exercises and what it is that we SEE when we see images in these processes. We also discuss different techniques of protection for empaths and sensitive people who can easily be affected by the energy of others.
The journey begins at a beautiful tree; whether this is a tree of your imagination, from your physical reality, a tree that you have known and loved, or one that is new to you. This is the starting point of the journey
Explore the tree, its visual appearance, the physical nature of its bark and leaves, its scent. The tree is guide and meeting point for you to encounter helping ally who would like to be of assistance to you at this time. This may be an animal, a bird, a plant or some other being.
When you encounter this ally, ask - are you my ally? Are you here to help me, offer guidance or assistance at this time?
Take a moment, carefully observe the company that you now keep. See how they would like to interact with you
Engage, have a conversation, ask how they can be of help to you at this time, or what message they may impart.
Also ask - how can you help me to be of service to the world, creating a world in which I wish to live?
As your time together feels complete, express your gratitude to the ally and to the tree before ending your meditation.
Spring is a good time to clear your system and get a fresh start with a mind/body detoxification. You may have heard about ‘cleanses’ or ‘detox’ programs, some of which can be pretty vigorous and heroic, and not altogether healthy. Your body has a built-in system for detoxification and simply supporting this system by removing obstacles and toxins and providing the fuel it needs will help you to feel healthy and fresh. I recommend the following for a whole body/mind detox:
Fast from media for several days, no electronic devices and take a break from the news
Take a break from negative thoughts and judgments
Avoid disturbing situations and toxic people
Fill your space with beauty with music, art, fresh flowers, wind chimes
Spend time in nature, try Forest Bathing
Meditate and/or pray
Practice yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi or other meditative, restorative practice
Put your bare feet on the Earth for at least 20 minutes each day
Drink plenty of water
Break a sweat, either through exercise, sauna, or sweat lodge
Get a massage or other bodywork/energy work
Eliminate burdensome foods from your diet, including wheat, dairy, processed foods, refined flours, sugar, alcohol and caffeine
Increase your intake of vegetables to at least 5 servings daily (a serving is equal to ½ c. cooked or 1 c. raw veggies), including at least one serving per day of leafy green veggies
Limit fruit to 1-2 servings daily of low-glycemic fruits like berries, apples and pomegranate
Consider fresh vegetable and fruit juicing with an emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods like cucumber, celery, lemon and lime, parsley, and liver-support foods such as beets and dandelion greens
Try mixing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water and drinking this every morning, or even before each meal, to stimulate digestion and support detoxification
Aim for only whole foods like quinoa, brown rice, millet, nuts, beans and seeds
Choose lean proteins like poultry and fish, or go vegetarian
Consider trying a day or a few days of the Master Cleanse (juice fast comprised of lemon or lime juice, maple syrup and cayenne powder in water at least 6-12 times per day; no laxative or salt water flush is necessary; try magnesium or Smooth Move tea if needed for daily BM)
Try incorporating a coffee enema for added detoxification
The following Ecotherapy exercises are designed to enhance awareness and perception of the natural world. Perception is simply one’s individual ‘take’ on reality; the individual's point of view informs belief and attitude, which in turn influence one’s experience of life. In these lessons, integration of individual perception with the natural surroundings provides an expansion of our otherwise limited perspectives. The modern mind, adjusted to an accelerated pace of living, needs time to slow down and open up to greater awareness. Carve out some time to get out in nature to try one or all of these techniques. Enjoy!
Have you ever walked into a room and thought, ‘ooh the energy really feels bad in here’? Or been affected by a co-worker’s or family member’s grumpy mood? Most people are aware of being at least somewhat affected by the energy state of other people or places, and people who are sensitive or empathic even more so. Thankfully, it is possible to take actions that clear other people’s energy out of our personal space and reclaim our own energy from their space.
Principles of quantum physics have explained a scientific basis for why we respond to the ‘energy’ of our environment. Although we are material beings with physical bodies, we also generate electromagnetic energy. The energy field of the body extends roughly 4-6 feet beyond the physical body, and in some systems is referred to as the ‘aura.’ Kirlian photography using simple instruments are capable of detecting the photo-electric energy of the aura, and demonstrate how this field changes over time and by being influenced by the environment.
Since as energy beings we are subject to influence by the environment, including people, places and things with which we interact, it’s a good idea to practice ‘psychospiritual hygiene’ regularly to clear energy that doesn’t belong to us that is in our auric field. No matter how wonderful or wise another person may be, each of us can only operate authentically when powered by our own unique energetic vibration, and the energy of others can cloud our field and burden our energy systems. Try using the following method, adapted from the Friedlander technique, to clear your field.
This week we had our first monthly group call, in which we discussed experiences with grounding technique and affirmations, and did a guided meditation on self-compassion through merging with the True Self. The meditation is at about 18:00 into the call if you want to skip ahead.
The practice of merging with the True Self is a variation of a shamanic protection technique. It's helpful for reinforcing strength, helping with decision-making, and practicing self-compassion and forgiveness. As we discussed on the call, this is similar to practices of working with the Inner Child, and in fact in some ways the True Self can be seen as the wise inner 'parent' or authority figure, available to lend guidance and council to all of the younger, less experienced, sometimes injured, inner children or 'selves.' The therapeutic technique called Internal Family Systems is a formalized practice for working with these various selves and positioning the True Self as the wise leader. These practices are quite shamanic, and in working with various aspects of the self as distinct entities with particular functions and needs, it's possible to reclaim soul parts that have become lost through hardship or trauma. You can read more about soul loss and soul retrieval here.
Since several group members expressed interest, below are further resources about shamanism and shamanic healing from practitioners that I have studied with or found influential
The Power Path ~ Jose & Lena Stevens ~ my teachers - I highly recommend their books and blog
Why Shamanism Now podcast with Christina Pratt
In last week's journaling exercise we explored the importance of TRUST in setting intentions and letting go of the outcome. We can get blocked by notions of perfectionism, self-doubt and the myriad ways that we ‘should’ on ourselves. This week we’ll get deeper into allowing trust and surrender with a visualization exercise for grounding the Instinctive Center.
The Instinctive Center is associated with the root chakra in the Hindu chakra system, holding survival information that can be triggered by fear. Grounding the root chakra and placing awareness here can help us to bring the Instinctive Center into present time, allowing us to respond effectively to what is truly happening in the present moment instead of out of habituated patterning.
The fear response is certainly HIGH in today’s world, with unprecedented uncertainty and our hectic pace of living (which has been coined ‘evolutionary mismatch’ for how poorly suited our physiology and psychology are for life in the modern world). Neuroscience has demonstrated the fear response as activating our most primitive evolutionary biology, known as the Limbic System or reptilian brain. When we are in a place of fear, we operate on survival instinct. Sometimes called our ‘gut response,’ the Instinctive Center allows us to respond impulsively to situations that bypass our intellectual or emotional centers. In today’s world, our Instinctive Center can be overactive and operating from fear in the negative pole, producing anxiety and hypervigilance.
It is noteworthy that the primitive brain, often called the subconscious mind, recognizes and processes an enormous amount of information from the senses that gets filtered from the conscious mind. It is possible to access this storehouse of information for good use. One way to access the Instinctive Center is to stop all other activity and ask yourself: ‘yes or no?’ Turn inward and tune in to your psychological or physical state. Any sensation or experience of either comfort or discomfort will give your answer. With practice, we can enhance our access this well of deep knowing and make decisions from this place, increasing the harmony of the body/mind.
The practice of grounding the root chakra and Instinctive Center is helpful for re-centering, recharging, and releasing what does not serve us to be most effective and capable in the present moment.
Where attention goes, energy flows! This phrase sums up what many spiritual traditions have long espoused and we now know from neuroscience research on neuroplasticity to be true. This week we'll continue working with the power of intention, focusing on the Venusian concepts of love, relationships, money and values. This is an opportunity to go within and evaluate the beliefs and concepts that shape our lives and become habitual.
By aligning with the energetic potential at new moon, we can work with the cycle to plant the seeds of new intentions. The downloadable exercise is a simple ritual, an example of doing this in a practical way that easily fits into your day.