Friday, September 28, 2012

What Does Personal Reveleation Feel Like?

Several of my good friends are currently struggling with anxiety and depression. This week, one of them said to me that she can't feel God anymore. She can't feel His presence or answers. This is terrifying to her. She is beginning to question everything.

Medication has helped a little bit, but she still feels numb. She used the word feel a lot. She wondered out loud to me today, "if a medication can block me from feeling the Spirit, then maybe the Spirit is not real. Maybe it is just a hormone."

Of course I believe that this was her depression and doubt and fear talking, but it switched a light bulb on for me. I realized that many people don't know any way of getting revelation other than through their feelings. And so of course if one's feelings are numb, this might be a logical conclusion. 

I used to be that way. I needed to feel a burning in my bosom with tears brinking to know I was feeling the Spirit, or to feel that I was being guided and led along. I now see that only having one way of receiving personal revelation is problematic. If one's feelings suddenly become hijacked by depression or chemistry, a person may feel spiritually abandoned--drowning in a choppy sea. 

There was a trend in the 80s and 90s (I don't notice it as much now) for church talks and lessons and testimonies to be heavily laden with emotional stories that were meant to make everyone weep. Not that stories are bad, but I think that there was a wide-spread confusion between feeling emotion and feeling the Spirit.

I have learned in recently years that God and his angels communicate with you in whatever ways you open to. Or rather, whatever you'll realize is communication. A few years ago I opened my self up to all kind of metaphysical communication and I got it. Boy did I get it. If I told you all the ways I know I am led along throughout the day, you might laugh. I often do, especially when my ancestors move things, when the clock always says 1:11 or 2:22 or 3:33 every time I look at it. Or when a butterfly flies in front of my car on the freeway. And of course when I stop in the middle of a meditation for no reason and read a scripture that ends up being a missing link to something. Why did I stop? I didn't feel "prompted." I didn't feel a burning in my bosom. I didn't feel anything. I just thought, I want to pick up my scriptures right now. Sometimes words come, like: "Go to hypnotherapy school." Sometimes other people say things. Sometimes my daughter tells me "Mom, you should go to yoga." And I go. And in truth, she was divinely inspired to boss me around such. All of this is personal revelation. Don't get me wrong. I still have feelings. Tears still leak at times, but not as much as they used to. Mostly I feel a smiling feeling all over my cells.

Sometimes I teach people a powerful meditation and they tell me that it is not relaxing (the meditation for healing addictions is one example). I get it. They are expecting to go into a warm fuzzy trance, which I also enjoy. But when they open themselves up to something different, magic happens. 

I know many people have struggled with anxiety and depression, and so I'd love to hear your experiences with this. What has helped you to feel better, or to know that God is there? What other ways do you get communication? What advice would you give my friend besides hold on, it will get better? She already knows I think meditation is a huge key, especially the technology that I'm about to unpack for everyone on October 2 in the meditation webinar. (Hopefully she will join us.) But please share other thoughts and ideas if you will.

Sat Nam.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Give-Away! Handcrafted Meditation Journal

My husband is into making books. Not just writing them, but cutting up paper and sewing the binding. Book-binding is an old-world art. 99.9% of all books are bound by machine now. But there is something fun about making your own notebook. I am a notebook fanatic, so that makes it even more fun have customized one-of-a-kind journals. Last week Rocky showed me how to make them.

I made three. Two are small sized and have 80 blank pages each, which I made specifically as a 40-day meditation journal.

I chose the fly-leafs and the inserts from other cut up old books. The fabrics on the outside were once neckties. There is a longer story about Rocky and neckties that I will tell someday.   

But for my blog readers I am doing a give-away of the colorful meditation journal with some cool surprise insert pages. Like I said, this journal took me days and days to make, so I can't really put a value on it. Maybe $500. And once you fill it with your insights and wisdom, it will be worth even more. 

This giveaway will be open for two weeks. I will announce the winner October 8. You can enter multiple times to win. Each bullet point below gets you one entry. In your comment just let me know all the things you did so you get counted for each entry.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Meditation Monday

Mondays are a good day to begin things. Or at least to think about beginning them and then begin in earnest on Tuesday. Today I finally re-recorded the Meditation for Releasing Anger and Negativity.

The write-up on this meditation in in this blog post. But the original video wasn't exactly accurate and so I redid it and I'm re-posting it here and in the original post. I feel about this meditation like some people feel about their morning coffee. I notice that my whole day is better if I do it first thing. And after months and months of doing it, I notice a huge difference when I miss it in the morning. Others notice, too. I had a rough week last week and I missed the anger meditation a few days in a row. Was it rough because I missed the meditation or did I skip the meditation because it was rough? A tough chicken-egg question, but my True Love did tell me that he would appreciate it if I did it every day. :)

Here it is. To read the directions you can go to this blog post or go to the you tube description. It's all in there.

Has anyone been doing this? Let me know what you experience with it.  Many blessings.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

About This Blog

The post below is just a copy of my about page. If you read it once, you might want to read it again becuase I have revised it. Also, a friend of mine suggested that I should make it a blog post too-because I guess not everyone reads the about page. So here you go. I love comments.

About Me

A few years ago, I started a blog called The Gift of Giving Life, as a counterpart to the book I was working on. Now that that book has become a reality, the blog has necessarily changed. It no longer makes sense for it to be my personal blog, so I now share it with my book collaborators, guest posters, and a birth story of the week. This change makes me happy, but also sad. For a good long time, that blog was my friend, and at one time, my only meaningful connection with sisters in spirit.

That's when I got the nudge, gentle this time, that I needed to start another blog. If you are wondering about the title, well--there was really no other title. The story about my being a prophetess begins years ago when I was trying to conquer my fear of public speaking. I threw up all night before I had to give a speech to a very large audience (still my largest audience). I called my friend for a priesthood blessing and in the blessing he blessed me with the spirit of prophecy, which I thought was strange. He also blessed my body to be well and that I would radiate light. Not only did I feel immediately healed from my nausea and weakness, but it was the best speaking high I have ever had. I did feel that I radiated light. Since then I adore public speaking.

Me hosting an art, music and spoken word salon at my house. I love the microphone.
When I went home that day, I said a thank you prayer and read up on prophecy. I didn't realize regular people could have the spirit of prophecy. I learned that in fact, a prophet is anyone that testifies of Christ and teaches righteousness or "uplifts unto edification." Missionaries are prophets. Teachers, parents, bloggers--can all be prophets and prophetesses. Of course, they are not the prophet, or the person called by God to give revelation for His church on the earth (I believe that this is Thomas S. Monson), but within our own circles of influence (home, family, work, blogosphere) being a prophetess is something that I think we can all humbly strive for.

Me and my little prophetess

I also chose that for blog title because ever since my sweet five-year-old daughter told me what she wanted to be when she grew up--a prophetess--I have not been able to stop thinking about this. If I am raising a prophetess, I need to be one.

The definition of "progressive" means moving forward and improving. I firmly believe that each generation should be better and more spiritually evolved that the last.We do this through steady incremental growth, facing resistance when it comes up, and by allowing our Source to heal and transform us. By Source I mean one's higher power, whatever that means for you. I call my higher power God, and for me that refers to two people, a united eternal couple that are my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

Like Joan Didion, I write to know what I think. I can't not write, and I write about everything. No topic is off limits, but you will find that I blog a lot about meditation and the mind-body connection. And because the body is a temple, I also will be blogging much about temples--both the ancient temple (ie. Solomon's temple, etc.) the temple of our bodies, our modern LDS temples, and how meditation relates to the temple. As a hypnotherapist and Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher, I love to share these wonderful teachings and tools with everyone. I think I am especially good at explaining the technology behind them in terms that people from a background of organized religion can understand. Though I am a Mormon, this blog is not written exclusively for Mormons. So if you are Mormon, get used to a few terms that might sound new-agey to you, like Source, or Higher Power or Aquarian Age (I'll do my best to explain all these things or link to their explanation for you), and if you are of some other faith, I'll do my best to explain any specifically LDS doctrine or jargon. (LDS stands for Latter-day Saint, which is part of the official name for the Mormon Church which is: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

I hope that you will sign up for my newsletter (right panel) and follow the blog even before I offer you a free e-book on meditation. I am working on that now. That way, when it comes out, you'll be the first to know. and I hope that what I write and share is uplifting and edifying and that you will share it with others. Because, as Yogi Bhajan said, "I have not come to gather disciples, but to train teachers." I also love to learn from my readers through comments and discussion. So I hope you will not only read but engage, even if it is just to say you've been here. Many of my best friendships began with a blog comment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week 2 - Everything Changes

So much happened in a week. Or at least it seems that way. Last Tuesday I spent all day with LA's finest. I think I alluded to my second worst nightmare more than 6 months ago. Well, it finally came to head, which I pray means an end. I can't go into details, but let me just say that I have a new found respect for the L.A.P.D. And it looks like Rocky and I now have full custody of my daughter.

The timing of everything is most interesting. Perhaps this is why we felt like we should get married sooner than later. Perhaps this is why I felt like I shouldn't teach any new Hypnobabies classes this fall. It has been so nice to have a partner through all of this. Especially someone who can give me a priesthood blessing whenever I want. Also, I know that it is because of my solid practice of meditation that I was able to get through last week with grace. And I'm sure my practice will help everyone in the weeks to come as we adjust to all the changes.

We are grateful and happy. I am very much looking forward to the group energy of the 40-day meditation webinar series coming up on October 2. This webinar is for The Gift of Giving Life readers or fans. But it is not about pregnancy--just meditation, which tends to cause rebirth---but you don't have to be pregnant to join.

I guess this is my own testimonial about how no matter how crazy life is, that it is all the more reason to commit to do something that will up-level you. I have seen it so many times. When one person in the family (especially mom) makes positive changes, the entire family benefits.

If you haven't signed up for the webinar yet and have any questions, please email me. I'm happy to answer them. Or register here.

If you have already begun or been practicing meditation for a while, now, please update me on how it is going. Your experiences can strengthen others on their path.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Married Life

I got married a week ago. Hooray! It was the most wonderful day. I was so excited to have all my book collaborators come and I got to spend time with them in my own city. Heather came in early Friday with Abe and we went to the beach for an hour and I baptized myself in the ocean.

It was Abe's first ocean dip, so he decided to go all in, too.

Robyn and Jeff came a few hours later and we all hung out and got ready for the party Friday night, which turned out amazingly better than I could have dreamed. We had it in a friend's back yard under the blue moon and friends met friends and everyone met Rocky, Me and Phoebe. After everyone ate Mediterranean food, Rocky invited them to romance us with their words. We sat in the center of the audience and just watched the magic unfold.

It was a little like fast and testimony meeting in that there was sometimes long pauses between speakers. For some people that pause is terribly uncomfortable. For others, like Rocky and I, it's fun to watch people squirm about who will be next.

One of Rocky's friends broke the ice with a funny story and then Heather gave us some words of wisdom from the two greatest philosophers of all time: Bill and Ted. Be excellent to each other.

Then my dad and his wife got up and decided to sing to us. They adapted the song "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof to fit us and our situation. I wish I had a video camera. They were so charmingly imperfect that it opened the energy for a whole new level of authenticity. It also made me cry. I love that song. (Sorry pictures aren't available yet... But as soon as they are I'll update this post.)

Other highlights were:
  • I got to meet Rocky's brother, who said some beautiful things that made Rocky seem like a good  brother.
  • Laura, who is the reason Rocky and I are together now, wrote us a beautiful poem called Blue Moon.
  • I got everyone to sing along with Rainbow connection. 
  • Buna read Pablo Neruda. 
  • One of Rocky's friends wrote us a poem from the future. :)
  • Christi sang us a beautiful song and so did Jake. 
  • Everyone there had a wonderful time. They all said they wished they had done something similar for their wedding instead of a reception. I agreed. It was a magical evening, but also one that only happens once in a blue moon.
The next day we were sealed, and by talking to the right person I managed to have the white wedding I had so sincerely wanted. That means everyone was wearing their white temple clothes and we got to be in the sealing room off of the celestial room, which is the most sacred room in the temple.

As we were sealed, I listed to the words of the sealing. The promises of the sealing ordinance are pretty amazing. Basically God promises us all He has, which is way more than we promise him when we promise all we have.... (I'll write more about this soon when I write about the law of consecration.)

After our sealing we all hung out in the celestial room for a while before Rocky and I dressed and made our triumphal re-entry into the world.
On preparing to go outside, the temple worker, Brother VonWagoner, who will forever live in or memory, gave us instructions about when to exit and what cue to listen for as he announced us. I realized how this is the only thing the temple does that is like a performance. It's completely orchestrated from start to finish, from the moment you arrive till you walk out. And it seems like the workers who get to help with that performance really enjoy it--especially Brother VonWagoner.

After the cheers, we gave Phoebe her own ring, so she'd feel part of the day and then she threw some flower petals down because that's what she's done at all the other weddings she has been to in her life. So we let her.

Then after more pictures we drove off to our honeymoon.

I feel like this blog is getting long, but I don't think you'll stop reading just as I am about to give highlights from the honeymoon.

Here are several things Rocky and I realized on our honeymoon.

We both feel like the sealing ordinance changed us, physically. A few days before we were married, we decided to read the marriage essay in The Gift of Giving Life. It had been a while since I read it, and even though I wrote it, I don't feel like it was written by me. More on that later. In it, there is a quote from Orson Pratt about the Holy Spirit of Promise, which is described as the binding agent in the universe. It's what seals couples for time and all eternity and Orson Pratt describes the effects of making that spirit fully present in your lives:

"[The Holy Ghost] quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being."

Rocky and I both work on having the Spirit in our lives, but when we were sealed it was like it took it to a whole new level and all of our senses were heightened. We were fortunate to eat a lot of delicious food on our honeymoon. But it wasn't just delicious, it was amazingly wholesomely delicious. Rocky even commented on our meals hours later. He is the one who used to tell me "I don't live to eat, I just eat to live." Well since September 1, he might have transformed into an unapologetic foodie.

After so many good meals in a row, we were both choosy about where we ate next. We didn't want to ruin our streak. And miraculous epicurian miracles kept happening. But it wasn't just our tastebuds that seemed different. Even the breeze and the sunset seemed more amazing. Rocky was positively drunk on the breeze coming in from our balcony that wafted between his toes. He was babbling like a drunk man about how beautiful it was. I felt like I was watching every cell in his body changing and filling with light. And I could feel mine changing too.

At a local farmer's market on our honeymoon.
The coolest part, for me, was the difference in the sound current. We began a 40-day meditation together before we got married and the first day we meditated together as a married couple, we both noticed that something was different. I have always loved the way the sound current flowed through us as we did Kirtan Kriya together back-to-back, but this time it was different. It was like the frequency was elevated and we were elevated with it. I will always love Kirtan Kriya for carrying us into our marriage. And I think that is what meditation does. It carries into change in a graceful, loving way.