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Valentine & Healing Heart Reiki ♥

Awakening the Heart

Awakening the Heart

February is a month of love. This doesn’t necessarily mean only romantic love, though this is what consumerism would like us all to buy into. Personally, I like to embrace this time as a month to nurture the heart, to HEAL the HEART, to become more unconditionally compassionate, and to follow the heart.

Amplifying the heart-centered energies of the coming holiday, Valentine’s Day just happens to auspiciously coincide with February’s full moon! (2014 has been filled with blessed cosmic alignments thus far!) To honor the essence of the heart and to harness the empowering celestial energy of the full moon, I am offering a Healing Heart Reiki and Reading Special. Read below to learn more…

But first, what is Valentine’s Day really all about? Do you know the historical roots of this love-centered day?

Saint Valentine ♥

Saint Valentine

February 14th is a Christian holiday, celebrating Saint Valentine of Rome. Saint Valentine was a healer, a minister and a compassionate soul. Legend has it that he was imprisoned for ministering to Christians who had been prosecuted under the Roman Empire. He also performed weddings for couples who were forbidden to wed. His love, guidance and care for the disenfranchised and faulted members of society is the foundation of this love-filled holiday.

But, there is another layer here. According to legend, while Saint Valentine was imprisoned, he healed the daughter of his own captor and jailer. It is also said, that before his execution, he wrote a farewell letter to her, signing it, “Your Valentine.”

Whether this legend is fact or fiction, does this act not exemplify the very essence of unconditional compassion to heal the relative of your own enemy? If we learn any lessons from the story of Saint Valentine, honoring Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating and exercising our own compassion and love for all.

This legend also tells of Saint Valentine as a healer. This little tidbit of information is significant. I have always felt that Valentine’s Day should be about healing the heart and living from the heart. This is what Saint Valentine embraced in life and this is his legacy.

Pagan Roots to Valentine’s Day ♥

In ancient times, February 14th was a day of love lotteries in pagan Rome. Young girls would write their names on little pieces of paper and place them into jars to be picked anonymously by boys and partnered for the festival. This holiday was a time to honor the Goddess of fertility, childbirth and marriage.

As Christianity entered the landscape of our religious history, Christian holidays were placed near pagan festivals to encourage the pagans to convert more willingly to Christianity. Valentine’s Day is no different. February 14th was assigned as the day to honor the Christian Saint Valentine.

Chaucer and Romantic Courtship ♥

Valentine’s Day was re-introduced as a day of courtship and romantic love by Geoffrey Chaucer during the high middle ages.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer

Chaucer, known as the father of English literature, lived from circa 1343 to 1400. He was considered the greatest English poet of his time. One of his most popular written works known today is The Canterbury Tales

Though best known as an author, he was also a philosopher, an alchemist and an astronomer. He associated Valentine’s Day as a day of romance during a time when courtly love was flourishing in England’s high society. From this point on, and in post-modern times, this day has been associated with hearts, gifts, flowers, chocolates, poetry and romantic courtship.

I am a descendant of Chaucer on my father’s side and have a long recorded family tree that takes me back to the middle ages. It is no wonder I am a poet at heart, a writer and a lover of deep philosophy, alchemy and astronomy.  These interests run in my blood.

To honor my own ancestral roots to Valentine’s Day and to honor the compassionate healing efforts of Saint Valentine himself, I am offering a Healing Heart Reiki & Reading Special.

This February 14th is also a significant and powerful time astrologically, because it happens to land right on (or more accurately, under) the full moon! I suspect Chaucer would be delighted with this celestial alignment on this day of love. This is the stuff poetry is made of.

♥ ♥ ♥ Full Moon, Healing Heart Reiki & Readings ♥ ♥ ♥

From NOW until the full moon, at midnight of February 14th, I am offering a Healing Heart Reiki & Reading Special for only $75. This combo session is performed by distance and enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. Click HERE  to learn more about my distance healings. I will give you an hour of heart-centered Reiki healing, which will be followed by a reading that I will send to you via email at the conclusion of the session.

The reading entails the information I pick up on your behalf during the healing. I become an open channel during each of my Reiki healings and receive messages from totem animals, angels, crystals, spirit guides and more. I will detail what I “see,” what I healed, balanced and harmonized for you, what blocks I identified and cleared, and I will give you any messages I receive for your furthered healing and spiritual forward movement.

I am acutely aware that there is a great need for heart healing. I notice this with the clients I work with on a day-to-day basis. Energetically, I feel there is a need for heart healing around the world. Just because romance is the theme of February, I like to extend healing to those who are in need of divine love, who would like to learn how to embrace Self-love, and who would like to heal old (or new) wounds. This month should be about the healing powers of the heart and of love in all its forms. And, I am honoring it as such.

My Healing Heart Reiki is good for you if you are in need of any or all of the following areas:

♥ To help you fully and completely love your Self

♥ Heal a wounded heart

♥ Allow you to open your heart to love

♥ Learn to trust love and trust your Self

♥ Help you heal from the loss of a loved-one

♥ Grief recovery

♥ Give you courage to compassionately leave an unhealthy relationship

♥ Learn how to be more unconditionally loving and patient to others

♥ Encourage you to do loving, nurturing things for your Self and others

♥ To support a harmonious romantic partnership

♥ Guide you to communicate and speak from the heart

♥ Help you to live a life from the heart

♥ Move you into your heart space

♥ To extend unconditional compassion to all sentient Beings

♥ Teach you to follow your heart with courage and grace

♥ Connect your 3rd eye (intuition) to your heart chakra

♥ Clear energy blocks and open your heart chakra

♥ Heal the physical heart and cardiovascular system

♥ Harmonize your throat chakra (the self-expression center) with your heart chakra for compassionate communication

♥ Help you forgive yourself and others

♥ Heal the past

♥ Recover and move on from a relationship that has ended

♥ Promote love-centered forward movement

♥ Awaken romance and sensuality

♥ Allow you to connect with your divine feminine aspects

♥ Inspire poetry and artistry

♥ Call in a new romantic relationship into your life

♥ Heal misunderstandings, resentments, guilt, misgivings and negative energy

♥ Learn to embrace love fully and to extend it to the world

♥ To live from a place of unconditional compassion and unconditional love for all including your Self

To sign up for my Healing Heart Reiki & Reading Special, contact me HERE.

You can get one or as many of these sessions as you wish for your Self or for a loved one, a friend or a partner. This is a beautiful gift of love and healing. You can buy now and use any time in 2014, however, the last chance to buy this special is February 14th at midnight. Please don’t hesitate in contacting me if this Healing Heart offer resonates with you or would be helpful for someone you love.

With unconditional love and pink healing light ♥ Shana

 ♥  ♥  ♥

“When I stand before thee at the day’s end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

 ♥  ♥  ♥

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” ~Morrie Schwartz

                                                                       

Spring is in the Earth: Celebration & Meditation

What a powerful and enchanting week we are in the mists of! The celestial energies started and ramped everything up with the super new moon aligning in Aquarius a few days ago on Thursday, January 30th. Yesterday was the start of the New Chinese Year, welcoming in the year of the Green Wood Horse, honoring the element of wood and its child element, fire, to kindle new possibilities and success. Sunday, February 2nd, we honor the Pagan Celtic festival of Imbolc, the mid-point between winter and spring as marked on the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is often celebrated tonight on the eve of this festival as well as tomorrow on the day of.

Wheel of the Year

Wheel of the Year

There is so much magic and new vitality swirling around us from above and below. As the ancient Hermetic texts state, “As above, so below.” -above with the supportive lunar cycle and the Chinese astrological shift and below as each seedling stirs in the womb of our Mother Earth during Imbolc.

A quick note: Mercury goes into retrograde for three weeks beginning February 6th. It will remain in retrograde until the 28th. For those of you who are effected by the squirrely, meddling, techno-challenging energies of mercury, you’ll want to mark these dates and be gentle with yourself and with others during this time. This is a perfect time to send out extra positive energy to encourage harmonious fluidity, healthy agreements, and compassionate grace in all dealings.

So, what does the new waxing moon, the Chinese New Year and Imbolc all have in common? They each represent newness, cleansing, staring fresh and bringing in light and life in all its glorious and goddess blessed fullness.

This is a very auspicious time to cleanse, renew and redirect efforts, intentions and your health. It is a time to clear our spaces, spirits, psyches and bodies. If you’ve been meaning to organize a closet, file away a pile of paperwork, redecorate the living room or do anything to spatially shift an area of your home or work environment, go for it. Think of this as the pre-spring cleaning and a magical way to stir up the energies of the coming spring and to call in new fresh life.

This is also a wonderful time to do a little (or a big) dietary cleanse. Juicing is an excellent way to clean our bodies and revitalize our minds. I am a huge lover of juicing fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. I find a 3 day juice feast is the most delicious and invigorating way to recalibrate the physical system, encouraging healthier food choices and promoting self-love. The following juice recipe is one of my favorites for the wintry months (or any time!). It is bright in color and flavor, reminding me of pure sunshine and of the sweetness of summer days. This truly is sunshine in a glass and will surely put a blissful spring in your step, hop or skip.

In honor of Imbolc, let’s call in the sun to warm these last 6 weeks of winter in our hearts and in our spirits. This juice should do the magical trick…

Carrot, Pineapple, Ginger Juice

Carrot, Pineapple, Ginger Juice

Sunshine in a Glass:

Carrots

Pineapple

Fresh ginger

Juice all the ingredients together in your favorite juicer and drink immediately or at least within the same day it was made. Enjoy!

I have intentionally not included measurements, because I want you to create this juice to your taste. For myself, I like A LOT of juice, so I will juice an entire 5lb bag of organic carrots along with a whole pineapple, skin and top removed. I also like to add about ½ to 1 inch nob of fresh ginger for a little extra zing. This gives me a quart or two of sunshiny juice that I can drink throughout the day.

Imbolc and Goddess Brigid

The word Imbolc comes from the old Irish word, imbolg, meaning “in the belly.” Wildlife and Mother Earth are all pregnant with new life. The energy here is of new beginnings and to invite the light in and to sprout new possibilities and to create new openings. This is a festival, marking the cyclical Goddess transformation from Crone (winter) to Maiden (spring). It is also a time to honor Goddess Brigid.

Imbolc Blessings

Imbolc Blessings

Irish blood runs through my heart. I am a lover of mythology and folklore, so naturally, I am enchanted by ancient customs and ideology especially that of the Celts. In Irish mythology, Brigid is an Irish Goddess of healing, magic and crafts, a patroness of poets and the sister of the fae (faeries). She embodies the season of birthing energies. (I wish I knew who the artist was who created the above image. I would love to give credit, and I would love to give thanks for bringing beauty and art into our lives!)

Whether you are interested in ancient Celtic traditions or not, the pregnant energy of Mother Earth swirls around us. Honoring the festering energy of this season was the way of our ancestors, and it’s an undercurrent of our shared collective human consciousness. A wonderful way to harness the essence of this time of year and that of Imbolc is to create anything, write poetry or stories, paint, sculpt, make music, or do things like redecorate to invite in spring and vibrant color. Bring in a bouquet (or better yet a living potted plant) of daffodils or tulips or any spring flowers you love. Decorate your space with colored candles or burn a floral essential oil to awaken your senses to that of the coming spring. Creating, crafting and beautifying anything your heart desires, supports you in living a more spiritual life. It awakens your connection to your Higher Self and to that of the Divine, God, Goddess.

Candlemas

Imbolc is also referred to as Candlemas, a Christian holiday of old. Many Christians see the flowers of spring as a symbol of Christ and of new hope. Candles are lit during Candlemas to symbolize Christ Consciousness as the light of the world. With both Candlemas and Imbolc, this is a celebration of fire to light up our lives with love and sunshine. A wonderful way to honor this time is with a small candle ceremony and meditation.

Candle Meditation

Light a candle (or several) and meditate on what you would like to grow and nurture in your life. What seeds are you planting? What dreams and goals would you like to see bloom with the energy of the vibrant, youthful, lush, sunny spring season? Sit quietly and meditate on all of this. Breathe deeply and feel your heart open. Slowly fill your heart space with pure divine love and the energy of everything you wish for and everything you aspire to become. Infuse this energy with universal love and unconditional compassion for the entire world and everything and everyone in it. You can do this with your eyes closed in deep meditation or while gazing upon the lit candle(s). If you choose to watch the flame dance on the candle’s wick, visualize your love and your dreams as the fire that lights your inner flame and, therefore, lights the world around you. Breathe and give thanks for this sacred moment. Chant aloud, “Thank you. I love you.”

A magical note: As I type this, a giant black raven (about the size of my 14lb cat, Mitts) just landed on our porch only a few feet away from me. This is a significant event, for this has only happened once before. It seems Raven, my Spiritual Totem, is in great support of what I am writing and of the deeply sacred and loving energy I embrace as I share with you. I received Raven’s message with open eyes, joy and excitement. The message is not only for me but for us all: Share your magic, your light and your pure heart with the world! It always seems the more magic I invite into my life, the more supported I am by the natural world around me. The same is true for YOU, of course. By noticing the seasons, honoring our ancestors and elders, by caring for Mother Earth, becoming more natural and spiritual, the more magical your life will become. Try it, you’ll see.  : )

Raven Messenger

Raven Messenger

 

Sprout Ritual

If you are into health foods, as I am, this is a great and meaningful time to grow some indoor sprouts like that of alfalfa. Not only are these little greenlings packed with nutrition, they are also full of symbolism. Imagine as they grow and green, so do your dreams, positive intentions and wishes. And, as you sprinkle them on your soups and salads, you are physically taking in the spirit of new growth and bountiful possibilities.

Sprouts are easy to grow in jars any time of the year. Just soak a few tablespoons in a jar of water for 6-8 hours. Drain and let sit to gestate. Rinse a few times a day to keep moist and fresh. In just a few days they will grow tails and sprouts. I like to keep them covered with a cloth during this process, so they can do their magic in the dark as they would naturally in the earth’s belly. Once they have matured, place them in the light- a windowsill is a great place for this- and allow the sprouts to soak up all the chlorophyll and to green. Once fully developed, store them in the fridge.

Organic Alfalfa Seeds

Organic Alfalfa Seeds

Above are the alfalfa seeds that I set out yesterday to soak. I soaked them over night and drained them this morning. After just a half a day’s time, this is what they look like now…

Sprouting Alfalfa Seeds

Sprouting Alfalfa Seeds

These seeds already have tails and are in full sprout mode. It won’t be long before they will grow bigger and green, and I can add them to my favorite recipes. This is the magical essence of the coming spring!

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I just snapped the photo below a few moments ago. This is our sky today- a vibrant blue gift after a cleansing and much needed rain yesterday, an auspicious sign for the Chinese New Year. If you look into this photo, you will notice today’s clouds have formed into what looks like a rabbit- another magical sign of the energies that are afoot. Seems we are being carried right into the energy of spring, which is very much symbolized by the rabbit.

Blue skies with Rabbit Magic

Blue skies with Rabbit Magic

For us here in the high desert, the Pussy Willows around the lakes are blossoming and awakening from their winter slumber. Our beloved pear tree in the front of our home is filled with flower buds just waiting to open. The birds are fluttering, and the sun is sparkling with new promise of warmer days to come.

I am juicing; I have my sprouts growing, and I’ll be freshening up my sacred spaces around the home with flowers, essential oils and new color. Tonight, I’ll light a candle and meditate, drawing in the energies of new life and renewal along with that of the waxing new moon. I will light a candle for YOU, for Mother Earth and for the entire animal and plant kingdom in love, peace and for beautiful new creations.

Tomorrow, I am grateful to be offering in-person Reiki and readings at the Mountain Spirit Co-Op in downtown Prescott. I have the opportunity to fill an already magical day with energy healings and spiritual guidance for anyone who wishes to partake. I’ll keep an eye out for the ravens, the rabbits, for Goddess Brigid and for that little groundhog that will pop its head out tomorrow to hopefully find a shadow cast by the sun.

Blessings to all in light, love, abundance and new fresh beginnings! ♥

Free Full Moon Reiki

Full Moon Reiki Healings

Full Moon Reiki Healings

I am offering a collective healing and prayer service this Wednesday during the full moon. Please leave any healing requests in the comment section below.

Every so often I like to offer collective Reiki energy for anyone who feels they would benefit from some extra healing and prayer in their lives. This is a free service that I am called to provide to everyone at special times of the year or when it just feels intuitively right to do so. This is one of those times.

I have been sensing that there is a great deal of healing, shifting and lightening that needs to take place right now. My Reiki is not only good for healing and easing physical issues from events like sickness, injury or surgery, but it also works for life situations like job searches, weight loss or relationships. It is effective for setting positive intensions, to release unwanted habits or for anything else you can possibly image. There are no limits! Anything at all you would like healing light around, I would be honored to provide this.

I refer to this mass, collective healing and prayer service as my Reiki Pool.

All you have to do to be a part of this Pool is to let me know you wish to be added. You can add your own name to the Pool, that of a loved-one, and even a beloved pet. Any request you have for me, I will send prayer and positive Reiki energy.

Already added to my Reiki Pool is the planet Earth as a loving, healing, awakening collective Being. Included with this is the entire situation around Fukushima. If you wish to add any other global event that touches your heart to the healing Pool, I will happily accept your compassionate requests.

I will send out Reiki and prayers this Wednesday evening on 1/15/2014, which is a very special time. It is the first full moon of 2014! I will draw on the abundant power of the beautiful full moon and infuse it with my Reiki for extra light, angelic blessings, deep healings, positive shifts and magical goodness.

I am collecting names from now until Wednesday afternoon. Please do not delay in contacting me if you wish to be a part of this Pool. Again, to make a healing and prayer request, simply leave a note for me in the comments section below. If you choose to remain anonymous, you can contact me privately via email by clicking HERE.

With unconditional compassion, pure love and healing light,

♥ Shana

Moved by Spiritual Callings

Have you ever had a spiritual calling? Have you ever wondered what life would be like to follow these inner callings? Where would it take you? What would you become?

It wasn’t until I moved from my life-long home of Northern California that I can say that, yes, I know what it is like to walk away from EVERYTHING- stuff, family, friends, familiarity and comfort to follow a higher calling. Stephen and I moved to Western Washington merely based on intuition and a spiritual whim. From here, amazing worlds were explored and an unexpected journey was launched.

We were living in Santa Rosa, CA, in Sonoma County. We had taken a road trip out to Northern Arizona, thinking this area may be a good place to relocate. Immediately upon arriving, I had an adverse reaction to the area, in fact I felt energetically repelled by it. We spent a day in Prescott, a day in Sedona and then drove up to the Grand Canyon (…which I loved. More on the magic of the Grand Canyon in future posts). I loved seeing all these areas. I was intrigued. I was enchanted. And, I fell in love with the strong Native American spirit, but I was not called to stay and live.

One morning, Stephen and I were having breakfast together in a small town just outside of Sedona called Cottonwood. It was here I asked Stephen for one of his famous psychic readings. (I was too emotionally attached to the outcome to read for myself.) I asked him to give me a reading about what the best living environment would be for me at the time. I still have this reading, which I jotted down on a napkin.

He said I would be surrounded by trees, water and lush, rich earth that would grow anything. There would be vegetable gardens and fruit trees, wild life and open wilderness. It was during this reading over breakfast in a small desert town that Stephen and I decided to move to Bellingham, WA, sight unseen.

Bellingham, WA

Bellingham, WA

This was a rash decision based solely on intuition, prompted by a simple and playful reading, but everything about this decision felt right. It was a tremendous spiritual calling, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

By the very next month, our belongings were packed and we were driving into Bellingham, WA, which is located just a half hour south of the Canadian border and British Columbia.

Ever wonder if you are headed in the right direction? Doors will open. These doors didn’t just open for us there, they swung WIDE open.

When we entered Bellingham, we had one week to find a home. It was the very second placed we viewed to rent that we found one of the most beautiful homes I had ever lived in. We rented it on the spot.

Our home in Bellingham, WA

Our home in Bellingham, WA

This was our home- a gorgeous old, single family, Victorian house that had been converted into 5 charming apartments. It had a vegetable garden and incredible bayside, sunset views. We rented the largest of the apartments on the main floor, which allotted me my own healing space for my Reiki practice and a private meditation room. This home called us to it for many reasons. We were supposed to live here.

The backyard bayside vegetable garden

The backyard bayside vegetable garden

 

Sunset view from our living room

Sunset view from our living room

It was here that more magic came into my life than I could possibly explain. It was here I experienced so many spiritual shifts and growths, darkness yet brilliance, and dove into higher realms, experiencing firsthand the world of the elementals. Yes, we had resident Beings, nature spirits, who shared space with us in the garden and in our home. I could see them, and they did all kinds of tricky and fun things around the house. (More on this in future blog posts and articles) Stephen and I taught Reiki classes together, and I gave energy healings out of this home. We only lived here for a year and a half, but the mind-bending things that occurred and the spiritual leaps were life changing to say the least.

Being energy workers, both Stephen and I are intensely aware of subtle energies. The energy of the house, of the city of Bellingham, and of our neighbors shifted. The time to leave was near. We felt it. This was a gentle shift, but the universe was easing us into other opportunities. When the day came that our landlord informed me that he wanted to move his family into our space, I was already expecting this change. And, I was grateful for it.

At the time, we considered moving to Arizona. After a year and a half of darkness, I ached for sunnier landscapes. We also considered moving back to California, but I intuitively knew it was not yet time to return, though I was homesick. Instead, we decided to move an hour and a half south to Seattle. I had friends, raw potlucks, raw vegan restaurants a-plenty, and lots of things to do there. I missed being in a bigger, more metropolitan and cultural city that offered a plethora of activities to choose from.

We left magical Bellingham and our quiet yet grand South Hill neighborhood. We left the bay and the wild, green gardens, the spectacular sunsets and moved to the city. I had never lived directly in a city, and I wanted the full big city experience. (Be careful what you ask for!)

We moved to Lower Queen Anne just 2 blocks away from the Seattle Space Needle, smack dab in the heart of the city. Our apartment was built at the turn of the century. It was an old brick, four story building. It had no elevator but it did have a couple of resident ghosts, one of which lived in our unit. We were, of course, on the top floor and the laundry room was, of course, in the basement. Parking was a space we rented a block away. Needless to say, there was a lot of schlepping going on, schlepping laundry and groceries up and down streets and endless flights of stairs. This was quintessential city living.

Metallic Seattle Space Needle and City Center

Metallic Seattle Space Needle and City Center

The romance of this lifestyle withered away very quickly for me. I didn’t mind the physical requirements of it, but I did mind the grey. Seattle is a grey place with eight months of rainfall. Our apartment faced east, so gone were our glorious sunsets and the glowing, crimson sweetness that cracked the cloudy horizon at the end of each day. My world in the city became drab. The surrounding buildings, asphalt, skies, and concrete- everything around me was one note. I desperately missed living in the forest and among my faery-luscious, GREEN trees. There were wonderful mossy, forested parks in Seattle, which I loved to hike and meditate in, but my actual city living environment and view… as my crime-writing sister would call it… it was all gun-metal grey.

Six months into our city living, we had the opportunity to shorten our lease, which gave me a new lease on life and new possibilities.

I would like to add that Seattle is a very magical place, and I do not wish to down-play this. I did have some very amazing experiences there. I still love to visit and a part of my heart and spirit will always be in Western Washington along with some family and many great friends. But, one lesson I definitely learned during my time there is that I need to live in more natural, wild settings. I thrive in nature!

One of my favorite places to visit, the Faery Bridge of Carkeek Park in Seattle

One of my favorite places to visit, the Faery Bridge of Carkeek Park in Seattle

It was time to move. In retrospect, I feel we placed ourselves in this environment, all of it from the city to the old apartment, so we would be more inclined to leave Washington. You see, I was in love with the magic of the forests, the waters and the islands around this area. However, I had spiritually learned what I needed and it was time to go. If my living environment wasn’t a struggle, it would have been easy to remain complacent and stay longer than I should have. This was an important lesson. It was a lesson about seeing the gifts in the challenges, about non-attachment, about letting go, about embracing forward movement and about taking giant leaps of faith.

Signs are everywhere. Subtle energies are always at work around you. The question is, do you stop to listen? Do you scream out, “Why Me?” in the face of hardship or do you take a look at the bigger perspective, the bigger picture? We are each exactly where we need to be. If you are in an undesirable place, your pain and discomfort are signs to reevaluate life direction and will influence change, especially if you have the gumption to listen and to follow your heart, your gut and the messages around you.

It was time to go. To where, we did not exactly know. California? Arizona?

One morning, the energy to move and shift was strong. It was palpable. I pulled out one of my decks of Tarot called Earth Magic Oracle Cards. I love these cards partly because my Reiki practice is called Earth Spirit but also because I have an innate and very spiritual connection to earth. Earth is magical in every way. So there I was with my Earth Magic Oracle deck. With the question in mind, “Where do we move next?” I meditated, I sent Reiki to the situation, and then I pulled one card…

From the Earth Magic Oracle Deck

From the Earth Magic Oracle Deck

Um, Universe, could you please be more specific, gee-wilikers!

It was decided that morning that we were going to Arizona. Upon making this decision, I remember looking out the window and saw 12 crows perched on a bare-branched, winter tree. Being that Crow is my main Animal Spirit Totem, this very much felt like an acknowledgement and blessing of our new direction. 12 is also the number of perfect, harmonious completion.

A tree of crows

A tree of crows

We were lucky enough to have an opportunity open for us to stay in Prescott, AZ, for 2 months. Another sign we were on the right path, everything immediately opened right up for us. Within one day, we not only decided to leave Washington but we secured our next location out of state and gave our landlord notice. The day started with an oracle card reading and ended with plans to start packing.

Both Stephen and I work from home with his life coaching practice and my distance healing work, so we can be very mobile and live anywhere. We started to pack, but the month it took us to organize the move was a very topsy-turvy time. Despite the oracle card reading, I decided that I wanted to move to California. I went as far as to tell all my friends and family I was returning. I researched storage units and ordered the moving truck. The plan was to drive to California, place all our things in storage, then drive on to Arizona to stay in the home that was available for 2 months. We would have our vision quests and anything else that may open for us. After the 2 months, we would then return to California to live. This was the plan… or so I thought.

There’s a little saying that goes something like this: There are plans, but then there is life. And my life path had another direction and purpose.

While packing our apartment, I was in the bathroom. The overhead cupboard door was open. I was bent down, filling boxes. Can you guess what happened? I swung my head up as I stood and cracked my forehead on the corner of the solid wood cupboard door. This was a severe injury that left an indent on my forehead as a purple lump immediately formed. I had a concussion.

Head injuries are interesting things both physically and spiritually. The concussion affected my eyesight, my ability to focus and my ability to continue packing. I sat down for several days to rest, forcing me to pause and evaluate our movements.

I take nothing for granite. I know injuries and sicknesses are significant signs, often depicting that one is moving in the wrong direction. It was during this introspective time, sitting in a torn-apart apartment, surrounded by boxes and chaos that Stephen and I decided to take a leap of faith, cancel our California storage, redirect the moving truck destination, and move directly to Arizona instead of California. This was the correct and intended path. Both Stephen and I collectively felt a very strong calling. We were each spiritually drawn to Arizona for more than just a 2 month stay.

We originally thought we would move to Sedona, especially with the spiritual, metaphysical and healing work that we do. With this in mind, we stored our things in that little town just outside of Sedona, Cottonwood (and so we came full circle, returning to Cottonwood). We stayed in Prescott for those 2 months, allowing us to catch our breath after the move and to enjoy our new surroundings.

Eagle Blessings over Lake Watson in Prescott, AZ

Eagle Blessings over Lake Watson in Prescott, AZ

It was here that I read, meditated, hiked, photographed, sun-soaked and visited Sedona. The distance from Prescott to Sedona is similar to the distance from where I lived in Sonoma County, CA, to San Francisco. It is a little over an hour away. This is an easy drive from one magical place to another. I love Sedona like no other place, but a very surprising thing happened; I fell in love with Prescott. So, we stayed and found a permanent home for ourselves.

We are here now in Prescott. There is so much I could share about the powerful lands around us and our time here, but I’ll save this all for future blog posts. Just know the magic and spiritual nudges continue… in my life and with my healing practice.

Timing really is everything. Years ago when we first visited Prescott to consider living, we were energetically pushed away. The timing wasn’t then right. We needed to be in Western Washington, both of us, for the time that we were. And, we left Washington at the absolute perfect time. Stephen accomplished exactly what he needed to, and I experienced one of the most cathartic spiritual experiences of my life while there. It was like a spiritual schooling of sorts. It was something that couldn’t have taken place in any other location. I needed the separation, the darkness, the rain, the forests and the magic to support my spiritual shift and growth. Plus, life-long friendships were found.

Thank you Western Washington for your darkness, beauty and woodland magic. Thank you Stephen for your flexibility, spontaneity, out-of-the-box thinking, your gypsy spirit and for your unyielding, compassionate support. And, thank you Northern Arizona for being exactly where I am supposed to be right now.

Shana in Sedona, AZ

Shana in Sedona, AZ

Raw Chef Panel Q1: What do you eat?

Q. Describe a typical day. What time do you eat? What do you eat?

A. I like to meditate first thing in the morning, but I don’t want anything in my stomach to weigh me down, interfering with my energy flow as I tap into a higher state of consciousness. With this being said, my first meal is usually light. I would also like to add that every day is different and my palate changes with the seasons. In the warmer months, I will have a green juice or a green smoothie. I make the green juice with kale, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon and, sometimes, garlic. All these vegetables, I run through my Green Star juicer. I love this juicer, for it provides a high yield of juice that is slow to oxidize. When I choose to make smoothies, I keep it simple. In the summer, when peaches are sweet and ripe, I adore peach smoothies blended with kale or spinach. Another all time favorite smoothie is mango and parsley. (For recipes, click HERE.) I am absolutely in love with mangos; and, after adding this particular smoothie to my diet, I actually salivate when I see parsley now. It’s a funny thing, but my body just craves these greens. I have noticed that the more greens I eat, the more I desire. I feel optimal physically, emotionally and spiritually the greener my diet.

When I get hungry next depends largely on how I ate the day before. If I had heavy foods or ate a lot of calories the day prior, I may not get hungry until 1pm or so. If this is the case, I will have a late lunch. However, there are other days I feel hungry much sooner. I have no qualms about eating my lunch as early as 10am. I don’t get hung up on timing. I think too many people ignore the body’s need for energy, being slaves to a specific snack or lunch hour. The body knows when it needs fuel. Just listen to it. Lunch, for me, is a huge salad. I like to vary my green leafy vegetable intake for culinary variety and for health. It is important to me that I get a wide spectrum of nutrients from foods. In addition, my salads always include one whole avocado. I find by combining an avocado with a large amount of fibrous foods, I am completely satiated. One of my staple summer salads is made with avocado and strawberries. I will make this with an entire head of lettuce, adding one cubed avocado and a large basket of strawberries, sliced. I toss these ingredients in a light oil, lemon, basil dressing. This is easy, fresh and very fulfilling.

If I need to snack between meals, I usually do so with fruit. One of my favorite fruits are figs, and when they are in season, and full of sweet goodness, I can easily eat a pound or so. My eyes actually roll to the back of my head when I bite into a plump, succulent fig. Yummy! Please make note that I use the disclaimer, “when the fruit is in season.” I try to only eat seasonally. In doing so, I am supporting and consuming eco-friendly, locally grown and highly nutritious produce.

Another fun snack I have recently added to my diet is chocolate in the form of raw cacao. I have a low tolerance for stimulants, and cacao is certainly one. I can only take it in small doses, but I have discovered that a little will not only satisfy me for hours, but it actually elevates my mood. I like to make a chocolate ganache with a heaping teaspoon of cacao powder, softened coconut oil, and a splash of agave nectar or a mashed banana for sweetness. This is the basic recipe. To this, I will sometimes add coconut flakes and superfoods like maca, spirulina, blue green algae and/or Vitamineral Green. This creates a chocolate superfood jolt of pure bliss and happiness. However, due to my sensitivity to the stimulating effect of cacao, I will only have this early in the day. And, I will never have this treat before any spiritual work like meditation or Reiki healing. This is not a grounding or a spiritually stabilizing food for me, so I use it mindfully.

If my physical activity was low or I drank over a quart of green juice earlier in the day, this could be enough food for me. However, there are many days this is not the case. My second meal varies considerably. I do have an active social life, and there are many times I will visit the local raw food restaurants for a meal. I prefer lighter fare, entrees that use few nuts. I also enjoy raw desserts, so I will often order one when out. They are so divine and hard to resist. Though, I do occasionally order nut based desserts, I usually pay the price for that decision. Nuts make me feel acidic and dehydrated. I often wake the next day, feeling puffy with watery eyes and a runny nose. But, as uncomfortable as that is, sometimes it is hard to pass up well made sweets. I know the consequences when I order or make dessert; I accept the results, and I choose, consciously, to savor it. If I ate nut-dense meals or desserts daily, a raw diet would not be healthy or sustainable for me. Being a conscious eater is key. I am aware of my choices. I know my body, and I thrive when in balance. With this being said, more often than not, I make my own foods. Dinner at home could be anything from a shredded cabbage, cilantro, lime salad to a carrot, beet, garlic salad or a simple romaine lettuce, avocado salad tossed in capers. The more green vegetables I eat, the better I feel on every level. I treat myself to complex meals from time to time, but for the most part, I am a simple raw foodie.

Every day is different. My diet ebbs and flows with my energy output, my spiritual work, my mood, the weather, the seasonal produce available and my social life. As I write, today is a dark day. Autumn has firmly set in, bringing with it billowing charcoal-grey clouds. I am craving warmth. I also had a heavy seed day yesterday, for I ate a fair bit of raw granola from Two Moms in the Raw. Because of this, today I am simply not that hungry.

Today I ate:

Breakfast: the water from one young Thai coconut mixed with a tablespoon Crystal Manna blue green algae

Lunch: a quart of green smoothie- 1 apple, ½ bunch of dandelion greens and 4 cups warm brewed herbal chai tea

Snack: 1 large basket of strawberries

I am listening to my body. Though this doesn’t sound like very much food, it may well be all I need for the day. I find when I eat calorie dense foods one day, my body naturally balances itself the next. If I do, indeed, feel the need to eat later, I will most likely have a light green salad with very little fat, meaning no avocado, nuts or seeds.

My best advice is to be highly conscious of what you are eating and why. Listen to your body. Pay little homage to delegated meal times and peer pressure. Eat what feels right for your activity level and mental/spiritual clarity. Eat well, allowing your body to stay in balance. Listen within. Eat for health and enjoy the pleasure of it. Cherish your food and honor yourself.

Birthday Blessings

Birthday Blessings!

Birthday Blessings!

Life is beautiful, and I am in love with it. Today is my birthday. As I wake up and settle into this new day, I look back and realize, with deep gratitude, that I have been living every day like it’s my birthday. And why not?! You should do this as well, living life completely with a receptive heart, open and clear. Nurture yourself. Love yourself. Did you know that the simple words, thank you, will raise your vibration, for it is one of the purest prayers you could utter? Say, “thank you,” feeling the words reverberate within you. Thank you. I love you.

What are you grateful for? This is an inspiring question and the mantra of Café Gratitude. Last night, on the eve of my birthday, Laura and I went to the Café Gratitude in Healdsburg to listen to raw chef Melissa Mango speak for the Monday Night Live series. Melissa, I might add, is a wonderful spirit. She is absolutely vibrant.  Laura and I had a fantastic time, and I love the photo above of us- two friends mingled with deliciousness. Thank you.

I am grateful for the growing raw community in my area. It is such a blessing to walk into an establishment, as I did last night, and know so many sweet souls. We shared smiles, conversation and delicious foods. I sipped on an ‘I Am Succulent,’ a grapefruit apple celery mint juice, which was divine, sweet and refreshing. I dined on my favorite entree, ‘I Am Sensational,’ the pesto pizza with hemp seed basil pesto & olive tapenade- oh so good! And for dessert, the entire staff of Café Gratitude crowed around my table hopping around, dancing, and clapping while joyously singing, They Say it’s Your Birthday, by the Beatles. My cheeks blushed through big grins. The cake that was delivered, garnished with a single red lit candle, was amazing. It was a layered strawberry shortcake made of nut flour called ‘I Am Rapture.’ How appropriate; need I say more?! Thank you.

As memorable as this evening was, the true blessing was gifted to me much earlier in the day. Laura hosted a Reiki class, and I joined her for it. I love Reiki. The energy flow is soothing and enlightening. Though I have been healing and attuning others with Reiki for many moons now, I am still caught in the wonderment of it. There is so much that cannot be seen that exists. Reiki energy is powerful, no doubt. It heals the body and sharpens the ethereal body and intuition. Every time I work with this energy, I feel spiritually empowered. I received a healing attunement for my birthday. Though my birthday presents have yet to roll in, I am certain that the attunement will dwarf all other tangible gifts.  I felt intense energy all around me, hitting me in waves, rolling over and around me like a gentle warm ocean. I sank into a deep meditation, my ankle twitched, my third eye ignited. Thank you.

The third eye, often referred to as the inner eye, is the portal that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. Lately, during my meditations, I feel intense pressure in my forehead at my third eye. Yesterday, my forehead was on fire, intensely pulsating with the Reiki. I felt an energy shift as “something” left me. Reiki attunements amplify healing energies, clearing blocks and aligning the Self to higher purpose. Since the healing works energetically, it deeply nurtures the body as well as the soul. This treatment enveloped me, and I glowed for hours afterwards, basking in my heightened lightness. I am curious to see how I unfold as the days drift by. I wonder what blocks left me during this session, what energetic resistances were whisked away by the Reiki healing. I am blessed. I see this. I truly know this. Thank you.

You, too, are deeply blessed. I want you to see and know this for yourself. Take the time to count your gifts, your blessings. What are you grateful for today? What treasures lie within your life that need to be picked up and polished, acknowledged and showcased? Smile for no reason. Enjoy the people around you with fresh eyes. Appreciate and earnestly love your Self. Give and receive without expectation. Open your heart. Live in abundance. Honor your truth and cherish your precious life.

Thank you. I love you.

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