Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Paths

It seems that no matter how many choices of spiritual paths we have, there is always an appetite for opening new ways, new paths.

Today, it is easy for people to find a variety of teachers and paths. Just a couple of generations ago, a person's choice of spiritual paths was limited to mainstream churches and synagogues. Everything else was really underground or few and far between. Today without venturing far from home, a person can find Buddhist groups to study with, Hindu, Wiccan, Asatru, Druid, or other Pagan groups, Course in Miracles study groups, Native American teachers, Sufi, Muslim, Taoist, Santeria, Voodoo, Unity, Spiritual Science, Science of Mind, Religious Science, and a variety of new age groups.

There are also more loosely affiliated groups, such as those who gather for women's circles, new moon circles, full moon circles, sweats, drumming circles and other gatherings where people get an elevated feeling and sense of spiritual involvement without actually having to join anything specific or observe anything more than a few common courtesy rules.

Perhaps the largest number of people can be found under the category we would call eclectic. Why? Because people like the freedom and the ability to mix and match those things they feel fit best or work best for them.

Joining anything means that you must accept some rules. Every group has some kind of rules, whether you are interested in joining a coven, a Buddhist meditation group, a Hindu group, a Sufi group, a Voodoo group or a Native American study group. And some people, while they enjoy some of the activities and practices of any of these groups or many others that I did not name, prefer to just use the practices they like best and skip the rules or the official joining of anything.

So today, it is common to find people who may enjoy going to drumming circles, sweats, kirtan (Hindu chanting) pagan gatherings, circles, shamanic rituals or anything else they care to access without considering themselves a member of any one of them.

A person can take those practices and concepts that they find most useful and form their own new practice around them. Sometimes they may just practice solitary, alone in the privacy of their own home, with a partner, or open up to the possibility of forming a group of like minded people.

Freedom in this way means a lot to people today. How sweet it is when you can build a practice based on what works for you. No publicity or public actions are required. There are millions of people who have created such practices in the privacy of their own homes and they are perfectly happy to just keep it among themselves and their fellow participants. You will not find them in any directory of churches or religions. You won't even know what their practices are unless you know them personally and they choose to share it with you.

This is a beautiful time to be alive and experience all these possibilities. There may be a lot of other changes in the world at this time that people find bewildering, but creating your own spiritual path in your own home is something that you can control and you do not need to seek anyone else's permission in order to do it.

A benefit of such a choice is that you can begin to feel more centered in your own life, gain strength and clarity and rebuild your confidence so that it may be easier to come to grips with changes in the business world, the social world, with family, money and other issues. Practicing your spiritual path, no matter what it is, can help you form a clearer picture in your mind of how you want to interact with other people in all these other arenas.

Although many people will choose to keep their practice solitary, a unique spiritual practice can also lead to a connection with another person who shares your feelings and ideas and this could form the basis of a dynamic personal relationship for you as well. Sharing at this level is much more powerful than the techniques of dating that appear to be most dominant in our culture. You could share many dinners, drinks, movies, concerts, sporting events etc with someone without ever getting to know them as well as you do when sharing a spiritual rituals and spiritual practices. There are different foundations for forming relationships. You may find yourself working your way through the usual social formats before discovering common bonds in the spiritual realm, but then again, you have the freedom to change the order of the way things progress in your life.

There is a great deal of satisfaction in feeling that those things that you choose to study and practice as part of your spiritual path make sense to you. The opinions of outsiders do not matter. If what you are doing opens up pathways for you to interact with spirit, that is all that matters. If you can do that and feel the results that you are getting, that knowledge is the confirmation that your path is working and when you experiment with new techniques, you decide to either keep them or let go of them, based on your experience. This is why so many people have chosen to fashion their own spiritual path these days. It is one of the benefits of being alive on this planet at this time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Detroit Prediction

For the last year, we have all heard about Detroit's bankruptcy, how the city has lost half its population, how they are planning to tear down thousands of abandoned homes.
While all this is true for now, I predict that Detroit will have a major rebirth during the next 10-20 years. Since the real estate market is so down, this means that people will be able to get great deals on places to live and places to start new businesses.
Detroit has major infrastructure in place, such as airports, railroad lines and the big plus of being located on the great lakes, which means they will never have the kinds of water shortages that have been a problem for other parts of the country.
The auto industry will not come back, but other kinds of businesses will see this as a great opportunity. Real estate developers will see this as a great opportunity. People who like the excitement of being urban pioneers will see this as a great opportunity. The will of people to make things happen will create a whole new city rising from the ashes of what used to be.
After hearing all the bad news about Detroit, I felt a strong sense that things will turn around and there is much positive news up ahead. When you get to the bottom, all you can do is bounce back up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tarot as a Traditional Art Form

Like many other art traditions, artists who choose to design new tarot decks have both the freedom to express themselves plus fitting their creative ideas into the established format of 78 cards, major and minor arcana, four suits, etc. Some artists spend years creating one new one, some artists find inspiration in creating a number of new decks. What is shown above are just a few random images from a variety of popular decks. There are literally hundreds to choose from these days, so no matter what your taste in art, you can find a set that will appeal to you and give you a powerful tool to work with.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Doesn't it feel good when you get confirmation that you are on the right track? Yes, it certainly does. Sometimes we get an awakening when we see something we had not seen before, and sometimes the awakening is just as invigorating when we get a sign that we are going in the right direction.

We all have those times when we have had thoughts in the back of our mind but just have not gotten up and followed through with it yet. When we find ourselves in this situation, simply stop and ask the question. Do I really want to do this? Or would my life be happy if I just forgot about this and set the whole idea aside?

After all, sometimes we outgrow an idea that seemed significant earlier in life. However, if our real true gut confirmation says that we should go ahead, start doing whatever is necessary to go ahead rather than letting the idea just sit in the back of your head and nag. Clear the way to make it happen and you will feel great once you are on that path.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Intensity Makes the Difference

When we have a goal in mind that we want but we do not achieve it, the missing key may well be intensity. If our intensity is in focus, then our vision will be in focus and we will have taken actions to bring our dreams to life. Intensity shows in our level of desire. For example, when a person says that they want to see some kind of change in their life, but that it is OK with them if they get it and OK with them if they don't, what they are revealing is that they do not have any serious intention of making the change.

If you are not certain about your true intentions and where your intensity is most actively engaged, look at what is happening in your life right now. Whatever you have created produces the results you see around you. If you want to change that, the first thing to engage is a new vision. The new vision will become more powerful as you focus on it with great intensity. Then as you engage in actions to get yourself into that picture, you notice your reality beginning to shift.

Intensity can be an elusive thing because people overlook it or take it for granted. Why? A number of reasons. By now, we all know about the power of positive thinking, law of attraction, smiling and having a good attitude. Often, people mistakenly think that this is enough. It is easy to see why. If we think thoughts like how wonderful it would be to have a new job or a new relationship, we might just think that our helpers in the universe will help us get these things because we are good people and we have good intentions, and if we are consistent with these thoughts, that everything will just fall into place eventually. Except that sometimes it doesn't and we wonder why.

Take another look. Hold these thoughts. Only this time, feel it all the way to your bones, all the way through your body. Feel how your life would be different when you achieve these things. Feel the difference when your goal moves from being a good idea to being your new reality?

Your mental focus is your single biggest tool in keeping your intensity on track. Keeping this in mind, there are tools that can support that drive. Reading books that support your goals, listening to music that inspires you to pursue your goals, seeking out the company of friends who support you achieving your goals, keeping your consciousness and words aligned with your goals will help you get where you are going.

Can you feel the shift in your facial expressions, your body language, the rhythm of your body, the clarity of your thoughts, the ease with which decisions like prioritizing fall into place? When you are desiring a change with a great deal of intensity, as you make decisions, it gets easier to identify one thing as important to you in realizing your goals and other things as not important.

Can you see yourself not just picturing this new stage of your life, but living it, feeling it, knowing it deep in your guts? Feel how different you would do everything once your goal is not just some good idea you are picturing, but a life you are living?

See how it feels for you right now as you read this. Whatever that deeply held desire is, can you move beyond the level of simply thinking it is a good idea to feeling yourself living it, achieving it, having it, being it?

Can you feel that vision penetrate every pore of your being? Can you look at that picture you have in your mind or on your vision board and not just see it, but experience being there in it, being part of it?

Can you feel yourself being in that picture with someone else who wants it just as much as you do? Can you picture the other people in your life being just as fully invested in that life as you are? Equal partners? Can you feel the difference intensity makes?

Inviting intensity into our lives always starts with key questions that we ask ourselves. Are we happy with the way our life is going now? Would we really like to make a change? Is this desire for change just a passing fancy, or are we really serious about it? If we are really serious about making this change, then increasing our focus and inviting in a greater level of intensity is the first step toward getting what we most ardently desire. Once you do this, you can feel the change start to happen, and once we do that, we begin to notice how the universe aligns with us and it seems like magic. Doesn't it feel great when that happens?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to Increase Your Joy, Love and Abundance

In order to experience some of the biggest shifts in your life, moving you forward in a bold fashion, all that is needed is one shift in perspective which applied consistently will having you feeling greater joy and satisfaction in all aspects of your life. What is this shift?

It is simply adapting the point of view that every decision that is made from love rather than fear will bring better results.

Perhaps you think that this is too simple, that it cannot be correct, but let us stop and consider the situations we usually find ourselves in.

For example, how many commercials are we exposed to where the real message seems to be that if we do not buy this new thing that we will not be attractive enough or successful enough, that without it, we are exposed to dangers or simply be inadequate.

So what happens if we ignore these commercials and simply purchase what we really feel that we need or really want? We end up with things that give us greater satisfaction which leads to a greater feeling of self confidence because we have just made a choice that suits us very well. We feel like we have acted wisely. By comparison, how many times have we found ourselves cleaning around the house and coming across a thing we never use and remarking that it would sure be nice if we had the purchase price of that thing back in our pocket. Getting the lesson from that experience simply means that we resolve to follow our own best judgment in making future purchases.

Now let's take a look at how this same dynamic influences other important choices in our life.

Have you ever decided to go out with someone or form a relationship with them because you feel like you don't have a better offer pending, rather than affirming to yourself that you really enjoy being with this person, and therefore enthusiastically embrace your choice? Sometimes in readings, a person will reveal that the relationship that they are in does not work for them, has not for a long time and they have been unable to turn the situation around due to a lack of willingness on the part of their partner. In response to the question of why not leave the situation that is not working and start over fresh with someone different, they may respond that they are waiting for a better offer to come their way first. But of course, it is unlikely that you will get the best results that way. The energy all around you reveals that this person is not really available because they are enmeshed in something else and are not really available. They stay in an unsatisfying situation out of fear. Different options appear when we choose out of love.

The other biggest decision that we make is what we will do for making money. Whenever we hear someone say that they really don't like their work, but at least it is a paycheck, we are listening to someone allow themselves to get bogged down and enmeshed in a poor quality energy pattern.

It is true that many of the changes that have rippled through our economy in recent years has disrupted our lives and in many cases made it difficult for individuals to find work that satisfies them and treats them fairly. Staying in such a situation is once again, letting fear dictate our choices. Choosing from love opens up the questions about what a person would rather be doing, and how would they go about getting there? Inspiration can be found in the stories of other people who have successfully changed their lives, which could be contained in things we read on the Internet or new people we have met who tell us stories about their life experiences.

Another source can be those things that have been pushed to the background. Do you have any books on your shelf that you have been meaning to read for a while? If you had made up your mind that you didn't really like them, you would have gotten rid of them. So the fact that they are still there means that you still want to read them. When you do, you suddenly have those flashes of recognition that there are ideas in this book that you can use, or perhaps even new career paths that appeal to you and look like things you could learn to do.

When we choose from love, new potentials open up. When we feel inspired, we find new ways to do things. When we are inspired, we see opportunities we had not seen before. When we feel inspired, we are in more active communication with the spiritual aspect of our life. When we are inspired, and when we are unhappy with the way things are going, both are good times to increase our communication with our spirit guides. These are ways they can help us choose out of love so that we not only find work that pays, but work that we enjoy. By tapping into spirit and choosing out of love, we can find ourselves in better relationships, and in this context I am not only referring to lovers, but friends, acquaintances, co-workers, people who share recreational interests with us, all of it, the full spectrum.

Choosing from love rather than fear affects all aspects of life. Recently, for example, I chose to change the way I eat and increase my workouts at the rec center in order to strengthen my physical health. At first, making such changes can feel challenging, but then once I got rolling with it, the feeling of satisfaction with the new ways keeps increasing as I get more signs that it is working. People do not change their personal habits because other people tell them they should. They only make real changes when they feel like it, and choosing from love rather than fear is a powerful way to make the shift.

Here is another small change you can start making today to increase the joy in your life. It is tempting to judge other people and their choices and we also waste a lot of energy even thinking this way. Instead, with every person you meet, simply look at them in a new light and tell yourself that they must be choosing out of what they love. It remains to be seen for all of us how well things work out later. But at least in the meantime, you can at least hold this person in a positive light, and you will experience the encounter with that person as more enjoyable. Yes, there are some bad people in the world who are all about doing bad things, but that is not most people. Try the more loving attitude with those you meet, even in brief encounters, and see how much lighter and brighter every day feels.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Finding Our Way with Our Spirit Guides

As we go forward with our lives, we often have a desire for a second opinion from someone we trust. Sometimes we want to hear not from our buddies or our girlfriends or even close family members. Often we desire input from spirits who are on a higher plane when we are contemplating big decisions.

Who are our spirit guides? There can be quite a variety of them. For one, those who were raised with a belief in guardian angels or saints often see them that way. In many cultures around the world, people ask for the guidance and protection of their ancestors.

I have had many instances where a person had someone near to them who crossed over recently and they still feel that that person's spirit is still near them and sometimes communicating with them.

Of course, there is always God or Goddess in that role for some people, and that of course, will vary according to your view on religion and spirituality.

Another kind of spirit guide often takes the form of totem animals or spirit animals. As a person notices that they have a connection to a specific bird, animal or other creature, these may show up in person or in visions when that person is asking for a sign or an omen that will help them make a decision.

We all have some sort of spirit guide and their job is always to help us and protect us. They would like to see us succeed. Then why don't we always succeed? Because we have free will. We feel that gut reaction that is unmistakable when we consider going out with this person or doing this work, and yet, there are always some people who will over ride that gut instinct and they always regret it.

We can ask our spirit guides for advice. If we just sit quietly, perhaps in the morning before we get busy or turn on a TV or computer or talk on the phone, and make notes in a notebook where we might make note of whatever we can remember from our dreams. And then we also just get these random thoughts. But where do those random thoughts come from? Who do you think plants those seeds? You know, the kinds of thoughts like I should call so-and-so today. Or I really feel like it would be good to go to this place today. Or maybe it is time to read that book that I have had sitting here for a long time now.

We can also ask our spirit guides to show us things that we need to know in our dreams. Before going to sleep, program that in asking to be shown answers to your questions. Sometimes you may need help understanding your dreams and that is something people have been doing since ancient times. My name is Daniel. Who was Daniel in ancient history? The interpreter of dreams for the king of an ancient society.

When we keep in touch with our spirit guides and express our appreciation to them for all the good things we have received already, we are cultivating valuable sources to help us make the best of our lives.

Spirit guides may ebb and flow in terms of their importance to us at certain times. For example, one who was highly interactive at one phase of our life may fade to the background as another becomes a stronger presence at this time of our life. We don't get rid of one to get another. We have more than one, so those who were with us when we were little children as still with us, although there may be a different one who we are communicating more with now.

This is all part of our evolution. Others help us now, and when we evolve and have learned our major life lessons, it will be our turn to be spirit guides for other people. I know, some of you got a little bump in your coffee because you hadn't thought of that angle yet. But it makes sense, doesn't it?

We are never really alone. If you haven't been working with your spirit guides very consciously, these are some ways that you can get started with as soon as you like. Like today. You can start by simply sitting quietly in some place you feel comfortable and open your mind to your spirit guides. Welcome them in and open the dialogue. Remember, spirit would not send us a messenger and then refuse to deliver the message. Start however you like and discover a whole new dimension to your journey.