Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Healing Crisis: coming back to the Self

As the end of the year approaches, I am reminded of some of the innermost thoughts I had shared with a few people, specifically my impression that the year 2020 was going to be an auspiciously significant one: a year that I was very much looking forward to welcoming in. As I reflect upon those impressions, one year later, there is a part of me that screams: what on earth were you thinking?! And, there is another part that is curious about how those past musings might (at all) fit into the enormity of what actually transpired during this year of 2020. More on this inquisition later.

There seems little doubt that many of us feel like we are living in one of the most seemingly disconcerting, terrifying and life-in-suspension periods of our lifetime. While we are trying to navigate our way through a pandemic of unfathomable proportions, we are also bearing witness to the legacy of human injustice based on “race” and other illusions, bleeding profusely.

In my role as a holistic therapist, I have been routinely hearing descriptive words like “surreal”, “unprecedented” and “overwhelmed” abound in their usage, as people search for ways to describe their observations and experiences. What seems to be an overarching theme of unusual, and extremely hard-to-deal with emotions rising to the surface is undeniably real. People are struggling, severely. Those with addiction issues are having an especially hard time due to the intensification of already existing mental health struggles, in conjunction with a steep decline in opportunities to distract the self with various forms of in person social contact.

My own senses implore me to recognize the 2020 covid-19 era as the heralding of a grueling yet magnanimous call to action, perhaps like no other I have been aware of in my lifetime. This particular call pertains to a relative “coming back to the self”. Coming back to the self requires a slowing down of sorts; a redirection of energetic resources; a vital shift in awareness. In slowing down, we usually find that we automatically allow ourselves greater room to expand our perspectives, and with a wider perspective we permit ourselves to recognize more clearly where our internal resources of power and freedom lie – as opposed to dwelling in feelings of powerless, fear and restriction – even in the face of increasing uncompromising physical parameters surrounding this covid-19 crisis.

During this confounding year I have learned more than ever that the first and foremost important step in the process of coming back to myself is remembering to breathe! Indeed, I have been realizing so much appreciation for the simple but profound ability to utilize my breathing system as an anchor; a guide; a powerful life force and essentially for having the good fortune to be able to breathe as a living human being in the world.

If it’s hard for you to relate to the process of breathing mindfully, I invite you to just take a moment – right now – to engage in a very quick and basic breathing protocol:

First make sure things are fairly quiet, and you are comfortable wherever you are sitting. Second, place your feet firmly on the ground and allow your hands to rest loosely, in some way on top of your upper thighs. Third, take a deep breath in through your nose and another breath out through your mouth. Repeat. Take care to allow the breaths you take to be as deep and as noisy as you need them to be (the deeper and the noisier the better!). If, after breathing in you are able to hold the breath for a moment, this will enhance the relaxation you feel as you exhale from your mouth. Notice your energy and focus shifting. That’s it!

Just one minute of steady, focused breathing can begin to relax frenzied, rigid and myopic mind states. Breathing allows the space and perspective for us to remain still…calm, and to be okay with our own inner company; to be less interested in the finessing of any performance of who we think we should be in the eyes of others; what we need to achieve or what we think we should be doing, and more interested in nurturing how we desire to exist in the world. Thus, moving away from any lofty preoccupation with the need to be a success in the eyes of the world towards a more grounded interest in showing up as our embodied selves. In essence showing up versus showing off!

When we start to prioritize, commit and eventually surrender to being in the harmonious flow of our natural selves, opportunities which grant us the space to feel, relax and BREATHE into the how we are, in the here and now, naturally begin to show up - without a whole lot of effort and force - in the material form of people, places and things.

Breathing mindfully lends itself beautifully to the exploration of a number of different potentially contemplative practices such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, Reiki, visual art creation, music composition, voice exploration and dance movement (just to name a few). There is something for everyone! Such contemplative practices can further assist us in moving towards an enhanced ability to tap into our inner resources (our own personal power) and away from the old, unsustainable cycles of endless, frantic searching outside of ourselves for comfort.

While for many 2020 has been a year which has been about blatant heartache; loss, fear, chaos and outrage, it has also been a year steeped in revelation; self-empowerment, resilience, unity, survival, triumph, surrender and personal transformation. Amidst the unfurling of a crumbling and unequal health care system, myself and many of the people I converse with have been recognizing the importance of taking power back through the exercising of more intentional choices around lifestyle practices such as nutrition, exercise, contemplative practices and substance use, all of which can offset health and wellness outcomes as these pertain to communicable and non-communicable illnesses.

An increased awareness of the importance of setting boundaries, bolstered by different opinions and levels of awareness surrounding covid-19 protocol has been clearly in effect, as people navigate how to keep themselves safe via social distancing. Additionally, many people I have been talking to have been describing a new found awareness of the importance of practicing patience with others as their ability to empathize increases in conjunction with their exploration of their own suffering.

When I return to the initial musings on 2020 articulated in the first paragraph of this piece of writing, the idea of the “healing crisis” is one that seems to fit. In many healing communities, the "healing crisis" is understood to be a period of time during which things feel unusually hard for an individual who is authentically engaged in healing work. Such hardship might show up on spiritual, mental, emotional and physical levels in the form of confusing transpersonal experiences, disturbing thoughts, intense emotions and even medical situations as the individual is invited, through the healing process, to “wake up” enough to identify, heal, release and ultimately transform patterns which have outlived their usefulness, with a view to moving forward on their (divine) life path. While this is not always the most comfortable experience, moving through is necessary in order to come out on the other side.

In the here and now, the healing crisis paradigm fits well into my idea of what 2020 has been all about on a global level. With all its pain, sorrow and darkness, I take some solace in recognizing the intensity of this year as a collective growth period –indeed, a period of soul expansion for the whole world – and I look forward to welcoming in the light.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Futility of Expecting and Demanding Apologies in Unyielding Interpersonal Situations

Are you someone who frequently finds themselves getting caught up in the idea that someone “owes” you an apology? Do you find yourself obsessing about this to the point where you feel angry and resentful? Do you even find yourself berating the person you view as the “offender” and demanding the perfect apology? If so, then um, WHOA. HOLD YOUR HORSES! Read on to learn why this pattern of relating to others is not only misguided, but also self-defeating behavior, largely speaking.

It’s likely that if you are angrily dwelling on the importance of receiving an apology from someone, you are viewing yourself as a victim and the other party as the victimizer (these cognitions may be fairly unconscious). While this may or may not be true, first understand that if the offending person has not already apologized to you, they do not believe/are not aware that they have anything to apologize about (yet). This could be the case for a variety of reasons, but the point is: they do not share your perspective.

If you harangue a person for an apology who does not legitimately agree that they owe you a “sorry”, any one of a few things might happen: the person may be so taken off guard by fear based shame that they apologize on command; the person may deny that they have anything to apologize for, and simply refuse to oblige or the person may feign an apology to humor you. In the latter situation, you may experience the apology as lacking authenticity and fall into the trap of refusing to accept it because it’s not perfect in your eyes (a slippery slope, indeed!). If you decide that you are okay with the shame based and otherwise false apologies, a precarious dynamic between you and the person is likely to (re)emerge because of the lack of emotional integrity existing within the relationship. Problematic behavior is unlikely to change if any acknowledgement of such is insincere, or elicited from fear based shame. It’s quite clear to see that ultimately you are not going to “win” in any of these scenarios, so why not do yourself a favor and stop playing this game?

Although we have relative control surrounding our own thoughts, communications, behaviors and choices — we can’t control the thoughts and actions of others, and it is an illusion (or abusive, as I will get to later) to move through the world as though we can.

Next time you find yourself in a situation where you feel aggrieved by something someone has said or done, so much so that you doggedly believe you absolutely require an apology, start by reminding yourself to step back from the situation. You can step back by taking several deep, long breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Next, mindfully check in with yourself about what you might be feeling on a deeper level (perhaps powerless, fearful, wounded and/or unvalued resonates?) and ask yourself how you can locate your internal resources to assist you to process these feelings. At this point you will probably have figured out the futility in demanding an apology. Rather, you may realize that the best thing you can do in this type of situation is to communicate your observation of the problem; set your boundaries around the upsetting behavior and maintain a distance from the person/situation if the behavior continues.

If you are choosing to remain engaged in continually triggering relationships, or are constantly feeling sorry for yourself regarding the bad things that others have done to you, you might want to ask yourself what you are unconsciously gaining (and losing) from maintaining a “victim” role. You should also note that constantly harassing others for apologies can actually be experienced as abusive, especially if the person is genuinely confused about your stance; if you are shaming the person and if this person holds social group status which pushes their power down in relation to you. Therefore, while you may feel like an entitled victim, you can quite easily actually slide into victimizer status in these types of situations!

At the end of the day: while an authentic apology can be one of the most profound and beautiful things the giver and the receiver can experience…

…a forced apology means absolutely nothing. Some exceptions to the above one- on-one interpersonal “rules” include legal situations involving systemic social injustice, in which apologies around systemic medical malpractice are mandated (for example) as a component of demonstrating accountability and parents or teachers who impose apology requirements onto young children in conjunction with efforts to impart skills in social decorum and empathy.

On a final note, consider that most people who are genuinely sad, disappointed and hurt by the behavior of others, although they may pursue accountability in certain circumstances, do not aggressively and persistently demand a “sorry” from someone they truly experience as oppressive. They move on emotionally from the situation, knowing that if, and when the other party gains the awareness to see the error of their ways ~time can be an amazing insight balancer~ that person will initiate an apology…but they don’t hold their breath. So…set your boundaries; move on when necessary, let the chips fall where they may, and don’t hold your breath for an apology from anyone, rather: breathe deeply, mindfully and lovingly with much respect for yourself.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Using Reiki Energy Meditation for Self-Care; Self-Love and Self-Healing

As a holistic oriented clinician and Reiki Master Teacher, I find that I enter into discussions about the concept of “self-care” frequently during the course of my work with others. Indeed, although self-care is an idea that is being talked about more and more often - in numerous diverse circles - many people find themselves feeling stumped and frustrated when it comes to implementing any type of self care regimen into their lives, due to perceived limitations around work schedules, child care, finances, time and other logistical considerations.

This is where the application of Reiki Energy Meditation as an accessible and empowering method of self-care can be so wonderful! To enjoy the following exercise, all you will need is yourself, a quiet space, approximately thirty minutes of your time and the will to grow in peace of mind, body and spirit. (Some basic experience with Reiki is ideal, but not essential).
1. First find a quiet place to sit, where you won’t be interrupted, and gently lean back in your chair. Lower, and close your eyes as you feel comfortable. Next, notice your breathing. You may become more aware of your breathing as you consciously take in air through your nose then release it through your mouth…slowly breath in through your nose and out through your mouth…in and out…continue with this pattern and notice how your body and mind appreciates, and responds to this relaxed, steady pace of breathing!
2. Now, gently place your hands on top of your head. Be aware that you are cradling the crown energy center, the seventh chakra. This chakra manifests as a luminous, bright white light. Embrace this light energy! As you breathe in, recognize that you are taking in revitalizing, universal, cosmic life force energy, and in so doing, connecting with your innate, wonderful wisdom. As you breathe out, know that, just for now, you are fully able to let go of all worries, rigid expectations, anger, unconsciousness, and any other ego attachments on material or emotional levels that prevent you from being at peace with your authentic self.

3. Now, gently place one or both hands on your brow. Be aware that you are nurturing the third eye energy center, the sixth chakra. This chakra manifests as a mystical purple light. See this light energy shimmering in your mind’s eye. As you breathe in, recognize that you are stimulating and taking in intuition, perception, awareness and discernment. As you breathe out, know that, just for now, you are able to release all attachments to self deception and any other misleading illusions.
4. Now, gently place one or both hands over your throat. Be aware that you are cupping your throat energy center, the fifth chakra. This chakra manifests as a glowing, true blue, serene light! See this vibrant light energy. As you breathe in, you are recognizing and taking in the essence of your personal integrity and truth, which you are now able to communicate freely without fear. As you breathe out, know that just for now, you are able to detach from all falsehoods, lies and fears related to honest expression.

5. Now gently place one or both hands over your heart. Be aware that the heart energy center is the fourth chakra, and radiates a green, loving, abundant, compassionate, soothing light! Embrace this gracious light energy. As you breathe in, recognize that you are inviting love, openness, peace, compassion, humility and interconnectedness into your life! You are consciously opening yourself up to your ability to recognize yourself in another. As you breathe out, know that just for now, you are able to let go of all grief, loss, sadness, (self) judgment, loneliness and isolation.

6. Now gently place both hands on top of your stomach area. Be aware that this is the solar plexus chakra energy center, the third chakra. This chakra emanates a brilliant, warm, sun inspired, beaming light! See, and feel this brilliant yellow light energy! As you breathe in, recognize that you are saying ‘yes’ to personal power; will power, the freedom to make choices and the ability to exercise calm, steady confidence as the unique being you are. As you breathe out, know that, just for now, you are able to let go of all self criticism, self doubt and shame.

7. Now gently place both hands on top of your lower abdomen. Be aware that this is the sacral chakra energy center, the second chakra. It radiates a bright orange, vital light energy. Really see and feel this sensual light energy! As you breathe in, notice that you are embracing joy; pleasure, passion, boundless creativity, sacred sexuality and the ability to manifest everything your heart desires. As you breathe out, know that just for now, you are able to surrender all guilt, mistrust of the self and others and the need for excessive control.
8. Now place both hands simultaneously atop each knee or upper leg. Be aware that your hands are beaming energy in alignment with your root chakra energy center, the first chakra. The first chakra exhibits a fierce, flaming red, determined light energy! Feel the powerful intensity of this particular light energy. As you breathe in, recognize that you are inviting a sense of grounding, stability, security and congruence into your life. As you exhale, know that just for now, you are able to release fear, restlessness, extreme emotions and indecisiveness into the ground beneath you.

9. Slowly and gradually bring your attention back to the space you are sitting in. Open your eyes. Stretch...and enjoy the rest of your day!!!


Monday, August 3, 2015

~ Happiness and the Soul ~

 A metaphysical viewpoint highlights the philosophy that there is a part within us all which exists forever! This part is thought to transcend space and time. It survives within us during its sojourn on numerous material incarnations, and continues to evolve through subsequent spiritual planes. It cannot be seen with the naked eye, yet it may be recognized when we connect deeply and honestly with living beings in heart centered, selfless ways... 

This part is the Soul, and its essence...which we are all thought to be continuously, and forever reckoning with, on personal and collective levels ~ whether we are aware of it or not.

Our souls are believed to enter the physical world ~ enveloped in animate forms which vary from incarnation to incarnation ~ motivated to embark upon their respective missions. However, due to various traumas in the current life, and different types of past life residue occurring on multiple levels (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual), a thing known as soul loss can begin to occur, which can lead to a severing of our spiritual connection to the things most vitally, and creatively pleasing to us, ultimately resulting in a dispossession, or obscuring of personal happiness. Because we live in a world in which significant trauma exists, it makes sense to understand that there may be a great number of us walking around the planet suffering from soul loss…
For many of us, the conscious decision to pursue a journey to joy comes hand in hand with an inordinate amount of soul searching. Quite literally, this is when the individual impacted by soul loss engages in an endeavor to look for the missing pieces of his/her soul while coming to the realization that sustainable happiness can only happen when one engages in pursuits which are in line with the soul’s destination. Not everyone experiencing soul loss chooses to address its occurrence in this lifetime; however, those of us who consciously decide to embark upon a personal quest for authentic happiness should be aware that we are simultaneously opening up the doors to a period of spiritual transition like no other.
Some of the things we can expect to encounter during a transition of this type are extreme (often painful) changes on different levels. Changes at the cellular and physiological stage are often noticed first, and may include aching joints, muscle spasms and notable tiredness as significant energy is expended, the symptoms of which are consistently unverifiable through medical or scientific means. Changes at the cognitive stage may encompass confusion, frustration and intense anxiety as the conflicted soul begins to reject any and every path which is believed to be inconsistent with its integrity. On an emotional level we may find ourselves experiencing profound sadness, as we abandon and mourn the parts of ourselves (and our lives) which have outlived their usefulness.
The spiritual level is perhaps the most important, with regard to the process of restoring our propensity for happiness, and is also the level which is most affected during a spiritual transition. Individuals afflicted on this level tend to find themselves feeling like there is no place within the Universe that they fit in, and the harder they strive to find their niche (often within a revved up ego state), the more despair they find themselves in alongside their perceptions that it is nowhere to be found.
Because we live in a world which is fraught with illusion, finding our “right” place(s) in it can threaten to become demoralizing. It is important to realize through the struggle that our place in the world can and will be found as we begin to listen to, and employ the spiritual insights gained during the transition process. Such insights are specifically meaningful to the particular individual who is experiencing them. During a spiritual transition we can empower ourselves to help facilitate our own recovery by striving to fight the impulse to turn away from our own spiritual beliefs and connectedness; this impulse can sometimes be very strong.

The preceding types of experiences are sometimes referred to as a “healing crisis”. 
~  ~  ~
Through their work as healing agents, soul retrievers and past life seers, authentic shamans can sometimes offer a more direct route to recovery of soul pieces, thus offering external support during the spiritual transition process.

Remember: There is indeed a spiritual benefit attached to being happy! When we are truly happy, like a magnificent ripple effect our vibrational energy rises, adding to the collective consciousness of the world in a way that restores health and healing, not only to ourselves, but to every living thing around us.




Sunday, July 19, 2015

~The Spiritual Playground of Connections and Dreams~


Many people are familiar with the increasingly popular catchphrase: “Everything is connected”. However, it is conceivable that equally many might say they were unsure as to the exact implications of this statement, if they were asked to define it. How about you? What might your definition be? Although it is probably fair to say that the meaning of this statement is fairly subjective in nature, for purposes of this piece of writing, let's contemplate the significance of connection from the perspective of our friends who dwell in the spirit world.  

Interconnectivity is a main frame of reference for Spirit Guides, Angels and departed loved ones, expressly as it pertains to their collective work as healing oriented messengers. These spiritually evolved beings, although somewhat different in their origins, abilities and levels of ascension, actively use connections to impart multidimensional messages concerned with the happiness, healing, transformation and evolutionary growth of individuals, duos, groups, various societies and world civilizations.

In essence, these spirit beings are largely able to maintain access to an aerial view of our personal, life road maps, and are eager to impart information which will make our journeys less confusing and more enlightening, experientially, for us. They are able to see the multiple twists and turns we may (or perhaps should not) take in order to reach our core destinies, and are invested in advising us as we deliberate around roads, paths and highways, in order that we might find the best routes possible!  

Perhaps your curiosity has been piqued by a certain animal that is all of a sudden, popping up in your dreams, thoughts and other areas of waking life, or…a person with whom you were once connected unexpectedly makes contact after you have been dreaming/thinking of them, or…the lyrics of an uncommon song are “stuck in your head” ~ and then you hear the song, multiple times through different types of media? Whatever the particular scenario it is helpful to try to conceive of these links as road signs, emblazoned with information pertinent to the particular person who is receiving them on multiple dimensions; the signs are particularly illustrious when we try to keep a creative and scholarly mind, open to recognizing connection.  

Controversial founder of the theory of psychoanalysis, Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856-1936), once referred to dreams as “the royal road to the unconscious”, basically meaning that the optimal way to access and understand the unconscious mind is through the dream state. Interestingly, although Freud’s beliefs probably came to fruition using an analytical lens (he was well known for his logical and investigative methods), a spiritual viewpoint would concur with what he had to say about dreams, in terms of their relevance to highlighting unconscious processes, and would even go a step further in its understanding that spirit helpers, including guides, deceased ancestors, angels and animal entities are actually able to communicate with many of us, more easily while we are in various dream states, than when we are in the waking state.

For those of us interested in harnessing the gifts otherworldly information has to offer, learning more about various dream states and the most effective ways to enter, and recall them can be extremely beneficial! Spirit helpers can connect with us regardless of the particular dream state, however, the spiritual dream state appears to be most conducive to receipt of spirit communications.  

Precognitive dreams can be placed in the spiritual category. In this kind of dreaming experience, individuals’ dreams are often quite literal, and tend to feel “real”. That is, the individual typically experiences the dream to be quite rational, although the content ~ in instances where spirit helpers are communicating a warning ~ may be somewhat alarming. Not everyone who experiences a precognitive dream will remember it, however, there are exercises we can explore in the waking state, if we are so inclined, which can help us develop our ability to retrieve information acquired through dreams. Being able to recognize and retrieve the spirit guided information offered in precognitive dreams is significant, as these dreams are prophetic by nature.

Lucid dreams can also be placed in the spiritual category, and are arguably easier to recall than the precognitive type of dream; they can be conceived of as a “spiritual playground” of sorts, in that the individual has awareness that they are dreaming, and is also able to manipulate the dreaming experience at will. As you might imagine, this can be quite a pleasurable experience! Many experienced lucid dreamers have also reported having conversations with various spirit helpers related to matters of foresight, evolution and planetary healing. 

As mentioned earlier, our spirit helpers are able to communicate with us through dreams, no matter what the level or category of the particular dream state is. Being aware that they tend to communicate using symbols (universal, and/or personal) and emotions is more important than worrying about our ability to achieve certain “higher consciousness” dream states ~ this type of development can come with intention, attention, time and practice! In the meantime:  

Remember to regard the symbolic imagery and emotions in your dreams! Additionally, consider the idea that coincidences without meaning do not exist in a spiritual context!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reiki Share and Practice Group!!

A Reiki Share and Practice group is now being offered for anyone interested in giving and receiving Reiki energy healing, and who has also attained Reiki Level 1 or higher.

Reiki share and practice groups are a safe and gentle way for people to participate in the give and take of everyday life. During a "Reiki Share" everyone gets a chance to give and receive Reiki!

Whether you have recently been attuned to Reiki and are eager to practice your new skills on people; are a seasoned Reiki practitioner simply looking for spiritual community, and a safe place to give and receive healing energy from like-minded others or anywhere in between, you are welcome!

The Reiki shares will take place on the first Sunday of every month, in Chicopee, MA with the exception of those days on which there is inclement weather. During the spring and summer months they will run from 5-6.30PM. Light refreshments will be provided.

A $5.00 contribution per person is requested.

Please contact by phone or email for more details regarding location.

We're looking forward to seeing you!

Image result for reiki healing multicolored hands images

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Now you see it, now you don't!

Illusion is one of the most ubiquitous yet intangible types of phenomena to be found in the Universe. Quite literally, it has a tendency to exist everywhere...occurring over and over again, and employing a number of different guises during its manifestations!

~   ~   ~

Part of the power of illusion lies in its ability to beguile us on a physical level; in simplistic terms, any of the five senses (which most of us learned about at some point, during elementary school) are fair game, here. Therefore, although someone or something may appear highly pleasing to us on a sensory level (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell) it does not necessarily follow that our perceptions in such instances are in line with the "truth" of the situation. For example, the people whom we have been quickest to confide in or form relationships with based upon their physical attributes and/or what we think we hear them saying may be the very people we would have been better off keeping at arms length. Additionally, where illusion is concerned, the flip of the preceding instance can be true, in that we can consciously or unconsciously mistake our perceptions of the unfavorable physical traits in people to indicate undesirable personal characteristics, consequently discarding them, only to later realize that we may have been wise to trust these people with our lives! In fact, what is perceived using our physical senses can sometimes be so far from reality that it is nothing short of astounding...and in the aftermath of the revelation we can feel like we have fallen really hard on our heads ~ ouch! 

Unfortunately there is no set formula for uncovering illusion:  Not all people subjectively perceived as beautiful on the outside have incompatible souls, and not all individuals regarded as physically unattractive can be guaranteed to be motivated and guided toward a path of personal integrity. Thus, the key to deciphering psychological illusions does not merely lie in assuming the opposite of what is perceived on physical levels, rather, it exists in our own willingness to take the time to scratch below each shallow surface to reveal the whole truth.

On larger sociocultural levels it is possible to perceive that the majority of us may have been presented with an assortment of social constructs that we have been hoodwinked into recognizing as "fact" or "truth". For example, the ideas of "race" and "gender" as objective, categorical realities have been pervasively entrenched into the majority of mainstream cultural thought and society, across space and time  ~ for centuries! Unfortunately these particular ideas have been so successful in their implantation that they have inspired numerous oppressive, divisive systems ~ many of which can be recognized as the various, very real "isms" ~ which continue to thrive today, and which, due to their negative influence threaten to weaken the spiritual fabric of the world in which we live. The reality of the "isms" and the devastation they inspire is unlikely to vanish until we become more readily able to identify the veneer binding together the concepts from which they were born.

~   ~   ~

The great news is that as the world grows older, many individuals drawn to a spiritual path are, indeed, beginning to discern the illusion hovering at the heart of many of the social constructs which have been set up to divide and conquer human beings, and are consequently influencing the collective consciousness in ways which are more conducive to equality, healing and harmony.

Multiple confrontations with illusion challenge us to move beyond the five, physical senses in order to recognize and utilize our sixth sense. The sixth sense is metaphysical in nature, and is more commonly referred to as “intuition”. Unlike the five traditional senses, most of us are not given academic instruction regarding the concept and practice of intuition. Although we are all born with intuition, some of us are better at recognizing, trusting and applying it than others. Like a muscle which has become feeble due to lack of exercise, our intuitive abilities are apt to wane if we neglect to use and fine tune them.

Intuition has been likened to a feeling in the gut, a calm, inner voice and a sense of “knowing”, even when such knowing appears to fly in the face of logic. We can notice our intuition working during the moments when we say to ourselves “something just doesn’t feel right about this”; when the hairs stand up on the back of our necks around certain people, when we feel a certain type of heaviness in the pit of our stomachs ~ almost like we had been punched in our energy body ~ or when the words we hear coming out of someone’s mouth sound like they make perfect sense (because we want them to) but don’t ring true in our hearts.

Remember: Although illusion can certainly lead us into treacherous waters, we would do well to recognize its existence as a higher power gift which promotes intuition development, helps to facilitate awareness around the types of material values which inform our own erroneous beliefs and assists in uncovering, strengthening and embracing the core spiritual values which are so important to our world.