Self-Realization Fellowship & Meditation Garden

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During a recent visit with my dad in Encinitas, California (Dec 31 – Jan 1) I spent time at the Self-Realization Fellowship and Meditation Garden. This location—founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda—is always included when I visit.

It’s a wonderful place to recharge one’s personal battery; to just sit and drink in the beauty with all of the senses; to meditate, relax, and renew. It was a welcome part of my journey. I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Y is for You

Who Are You? by Len Buchanan

Who Are You? by Len Buchanan

There are times during a session when I ask a client to tell me who they are. I preface this by saying, “I don’t want to know whose mother, wife, or daughter you are, what you do for a living, what group(s) you identify with, where you live, what you collect, or what you drive. When you take away all of those trimmings, who are you?

This question usually causes a long, thought-filled, inward examination. It’s a question that’s important for each of us to be able to answer for ourselves.

I remember Olivia (not her real name) who thought quietly about this question for the longest time. Eventually, tears slowly began to roll down her cheeks, but she was smiling. When she finally answered she said, I am enough.” That was the most powerful, profound answer I’d ever received. This is the place that we all need to be—I am enough!

An equally important question is why are you here? Not your geographic location, but your life purpose. Knowing why we’re here provides us with the most concrete and basic thing we can know about ourselves—that there’s an individual reason for each of us being here.

Many people believe that we “find” our purpose. Not me. I believe that we determine our purpose. There’s a big, whompin’ difference.

Who am I? you ask me.
I’m an extension of Source Energy; an expression of Divine Love.

What’s the purpose that I’ve determined? you’d like to know.
I determined that my purpose is to be a mindful agent of heart-based change—body, mind, and spirit.

What about you—Who are you? Why are you here?

“All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific.”
               — Lily Tomlin, American actress, comedian, writer, and producer

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved.

T is for Time

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Kronos, or tick-tock time, is chronological, sequential, and linear in nature; it’s governed by watches, clocks, and calendar pages. We schedule our lives by it—making appointments and keeping deadlines. It tends to be more of a taskmaster than a friend. Many people speak of “never having enough” of it as we race against the clock.

Kronos time is symbolized by an infant that ushers in the New Year and ends the annual calendar as an elderly, bent, and bearded man—Father Time—similar to the god Chronos in Greek mythology.

It’s my perspective that there’s much there’s more—much more—to it than that. I believe that the brow chakra (energy center) is the gatekeeper to a time portal; a place where we can step out of quantitative time as we know it—Kronos, and into qualitative time—kairos.

Kairos, or opportune time, is the word the ancient Greeks used to describe the right time, perfect time, supreme moment, or the “now.” Some might even call it divine time. Kairos intersects and brings transcending value to kronos time. It signifies an undetermined period of time (time in-between) in which something special happens. I was 6 years old the first time I remember dancing with Kairos time, but that’s a story for another day.

One doesn’t catch up with Kairos time; rather one participates in it. In one of my favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, she suggests that kairos time can, and does, enter, penetrate, break through or intersect kronos time: the child at play—consumed in the moment; the painter held captive—mesmerized at an easel; the saint lifted up—removed as it were, in prayer…

In her book, Close to the Bone: Life Threatening Illness and the Search for Meaning, Jean Shinoda Bolen wrote, “When we participate in time and therefore lose our sense of time passing we are in kairos; here we are totally absorbed in the present moment, which may actually stretch out over hours.”

It would be an understatement to say that kairos moments alter the trajectory of our lives. To miscalculate kronos time is inconvenient. To miscalculate kairos time is utterly regrettable.

When was the last time you were so caught up in kairos that kronos was transcended and you were at soul-level?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

R is for Relaxation

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Relaxation is essential for anyone who’s interested in managing stress. And while relaxation enhances peace of mind, it also decreases the wear and tear on our minds and bodies from the challenges and hassles of every day life.

Whether your stress is spiraling out of control or you’ve already got it tamed—everyone can benefit from using relaxation techniques. Unfortunately, relaxation oftentimes takes a back seat in life’s busy-ness.

Most health professionals—alternative, complementary, traditional, and integrative—encourage their clients to use relaxation techniques.

A relaxation technique is something that refocuses your attention to a calm awareness. It doesn’t matter which relaxation method you choose, what matters is that you engage in the practice regularly so that you can reap the many benefits:

– Slowing your heart rate
– Lowering blood pressure
– Slowing your breathing rate
– Increasing blood flow to major muscles
– Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
– Improving concentration
– Reducing anger and frustration
– Boosting confidence to handle problems

There’s a wide brushstroke of relaxation techniques:

In your mind’s eye you might imagine a peaceful place and then focus on controlled, relaxing breathing, slowing your heart rate. Use as many senses as you can. For example, if you imagine yourself at the ocean, think about the smell of salt water, the sound of crashing waves, and the warmth of the sun.

Another method is to start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.

Other relaxation techniques include, yoga, tai chi, listening to music, exercise, meditation, and self-hypnosis.

The moment you feel stress symptoms sneaking up on you, make a conscious effort to practice a relaxation technique. If you nip it in the bud, it can prevent stress from spiraling out of control.

What was the most recent relaxation technique you used?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved.

P is for Perspective

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Because each person carries different baggage, we see the same things in different ways. Our perspective is based on what’s inside the luggage we’re dragging around with us. The contents affect our judgment. Sound judgment is absolutely necessary to stay alive. Being judgmental—critical—is not. They’re two very different things.

Have you ever gone to an art gallery to look at beautiful pieces of work? I find that I don’t stand still in front of a piece. I move around and look at it from many different angles. I shift my perspective.

When I find myself judging a person, place, or thing, I make a point to move (mentally) so I can observe from a different angle. I shift my perspective.

Our perspective—our point of view—is how we see things; how we think about them. Our thoughts shape our lives. Individually and collectively our thoughts contribute to the healing, or the demise, of the planet.

Our perspective is our reality. Our personal reality, however, may not be what’s actually happening. For instance, Chicken Little’s perspective was “The sky is falling!” When in reality, an acorn had fallen on his head. I love this quote from the Talmud, We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” 

One of my friends shared: “When I’m disturbed, I mentally take a step back to obtain a wider perspective. When I’m confused, I mentally take a step forward to narrow my focus and observe only what’s directly in front of me.” I applaud her ability to change lenses—shift her perspective—as necessary.

For my clients who would benefit from a change in perspective, I have them do the following exercise so they can physically see that there’s always more than one way to look at something:

Shift in Perspective Exercise
(as shown in the slideshow above)

1. Stand up and hold your dominant hand over your head, index finger pointed at the ceiling. 

2. Make a continuous clockwise circle about 6-inches in diameter. Maintain a clockwise direction. 

3. Slowly lower your hand while continuing a clockwise motion. 

4. Once the top of your index finger is just below your chin, take a look. Notice that your hand is now circling in a counter-clockwise fashion!

When you started, your observation was from below. When you ended, your observation was from above, an aerial view. Your direction never changed. The only thing that changed was the way you viewed it—your perspective.

In my experience, shifting one’s mental outlook—one’s perspective—even slightly can significantly change the trajectory and reveal the sun coming up beyond the dark horizon.

What did you discover the last time you shifted your perspective?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

N is for Numerology

Laurie Teaching Numerology at HolEssence

Laurie Teaching Numerology at HolEssence

I’d like to start this post  by acknowledging that as with almost any subject matter there can be skeptics. I’m the first to say that numerology is a generalization—an over simplification,  if you will—that can be uncannily accurate.

What is Numerology?
In short, numerology is the study of the symbolism of numbers. It can be used to determine a person’s personality, strengths and talents, obstacles to be overcome, inner needs, emotional reactions and ways of dealing with others.

The two most common types of numerology in use today are the Pythagorean System and the Chaldean System. Neither system is more accurate than the other. I was trained in the Pythagorean system, so that’s the platform I calculate and teach from.

A Little History
Pythagoras—the great mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and philosopher—developed many of the basic theorems that form the foundation of modern mathematics, including the right triangle theorem taught in math classes today. He’s credited with formally organizing the field of numerology about 2600 years ago in ancient Greece.

Pythagoras believed that the universe could be completely described with numbers. Numerology spans the worlds of science, music, and emotion.  The numbers associated with the letters in your name and the numbers in your birthdate have a unique, revealing energy vibration.

How Numerology Works
Everything in the universe vibrates at its own particular frequency. By finding the vibration rate of any object, we can establish the qualities and energies associated with it. By applying the principles of numerology—and using only the name and birth date as the basic data—we can determine the major frequencies of different people. A numerological analysis of the calculated frequencies provides significant information on these people’s personalities and character.

Laurie Teaching Numerology at HolEssence

Laurie Teaching Numerology at HolEssence

The Basics of Numerology
All of numerology is based on the numbers 1 through 9 since all numbers beyond 9 can be reduced to a single digit within that group.  Zeros are automatically dropped.

In the basic mathematical operation used in numerology, the numbers are reduced by simple addition. The number 15, for instance, is reduced by adding 1 + 5 to get 6. Similarly, the number 1974 can be reduced by adding 1 + 9 + 7 + 4 to get 21. The 21 can be further reduced by adding 2 + 1 to get 3.

In numerology, all numbers are reduced to the single digits 1 through 9 except the special master numbers 11 and 22. The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 22 represent the major vibration rates associated with people’s characteristics.

Letters in individuals’ names are converted to numbers and then added together. These numbers, in turn, are also reduced. The letter A, for instance, is 1; the letter B is 2; the letter C is 3, and so forth. The following table shows the numbers assigned to all 26 letters of the English alphabet.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
Laurie Teaching Numerology at HolEssence

Laurie Teaching Numerology at HolEssence

By applying simple mathematical formulas to the numbers representing a person’s name and birth date, a numerologist can derive four major core elements and some twenty or thirty modifiers.The core is the heart of any numerology analysis involving the personality portion of the reading. These four elements are the Life Path, Expression, Soul Urge, and Birthday:


Life Path
The Life Path is the most important number in the core. If you could only use one number to describe a person, that number would, undoubtedly, be the Life Path.

The Life Path describes the major lessons to be learned in a person’s life. These lessons often determine the central focus of the life. The Life Path also clarifies the environment which is most conducive to learning the lessons involved and describes, as well, some of the major characteristics likely to be present in the individual’s makeup. Most people have little trouble relating to their Life Path. Some people, though, for their own reasons, have little interest in pursuing that particular direction.

Expression
The Expression is the second most important number in the Core. It describes a person’s potential talents—the natural abilities as well as the related character traits. For most of us, these talents and skills are there at birth, although they are usually further developed as an individual grows and matures. Very often—but not always—these particular abilities are of primary importance in a person’s work and career. Frequently, the talents described by the Expression form the central feature of an individual’s career.

Soul Urge
The Soul Urge is the third most important number in the Core. It describes a person’s inner motivation—what a person wants to be, to have, and to do—and the potential abilities and obstacles which accompany that motivation. The Soul Urge is influential in determining a person’s point of view and the principles on which s/he acts. Although the Life Path and Expression are generally easy to see in a person, the inner motivation is often a very private matter—unless revealed through the use of numerology.

Birthday
The Birthday describes some important personality characteristics but it’s the least important of the Core elements. It’s simply the reduced form of the number of the day on which a person is born.

Somewhere in the first quarter of 2011 I plan to present a numerology class right here at Speaking from the Heart. If you don’t want to wait until that time, or you’d like to give a numerology report as a holiday gift, simply click on this LINK and it will take you to the Numerology Report page on the HolEssence website where you can read the details for ordering one or more of three reports now: Personality Report, Forecast Report for 2011, or a Relationship Report.

 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

M is for Mindfulness

Pay attention to the small stuff - lichen on a tree

Pay attention to the small stuff - Lichen on a tree, John Muir Woods, WI

Dust motes, ladybugs, lichen…

In her book Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility, Dr. Ellen Langer had this to say about mindfulness as it pertains to health:

The simple act of noticing new things—is crucial to our health in several ways. First, when we’re mindless, we ignore all the ways we could exercise control over our health. We turn that control over to the medical world alone and accept limits, which closes us off to the power of possibility.”

In my experience, mindfulness is an agent of transformation and healing.

Mindfulness is simple, but it’s not easy. Mindfulness is the open-hearted energy of being aware—now, right now—in the present moment. It’s the daily cultivation—practice—of touching life deeply. To be mindful is to be present with, and sensitive to, the people we’re with and the things we’re doing, whether it’s raking leaves, washing laundry, brushing our teeth, or peeling potatoes.

At a presentation given by Jon Kabat-Zinn he said:

“Mindfulness points to being aware of, and paying attention to, the moment in which we find ourselves. Our past is gone and our future isn’t here yet. What exists between them is the present moment; the link that holds what was and what will be.”

That brief teaching in mindfulness changed my life.

Mindfulness is our capacity to be fully present in our own life, to be fully aware of what we’re doing as we’re doing it. As we develop our awareness, an inner stillness naturally grows. In this case, stillness doesn’t necessarily mean without motion. Rather, it means to be free from inner tumult; to be tranquil. When we function from a place of tranquility we’re better able to embrace the world and better equipped to respond wisely and lovingly.

It’s my perspective that mindfulness is more than paying attention, it’s paying intention.

Paying attention engages the mind.
Paying intention additionally engages the will. 

Intention is beautifully illustrated in a story that my friend “B” shared with me. She said:

“I used to be part of a dinner book club where each month the group members would contribute a dish for dinner and after what was always a wonderful meal, we discussed an agreed upon book. 

“One month, Debbie’s food offering was a loaf of Challah bread. As we were eating it and praising her efforts, she told us that as she kneaded the bread, she chanted our names; as she braided the bread, she said intentions for the well-being of each person who would later be partaking of the bread.  I remember how honored I was when she told us this.”

When you’re mindful, do you pay attention or intention?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved.

H is for Heart

Listen with your Heart by Laurie Buchanan

Sandcast artwork made by Donna Arendt for Laurie

Literally – our heart is an amazing pump. Approximately the size of your fist, and weighing less than 1 pound, it circulates approximately 6 quarts of blood throughout the body 3 times every minute. An adult’s heart pumps (re-circulates) nearly 4,000 gallons of blood each day through blood vessels. If these could be laid end-to-end, they would cover a distance of about 60,000 miles!

Symbolically – the heart represents different things to different people; somewhat “in the eye of the beholder,” so to speak. One interpretation that seems to transcend language and culture is that the heart symbolizes love, charity, and compassion.

For me, the heart is a container where I hold sacred spaceHeartLight.

Whether I’m at the end of a paper letter or email correspondence my closing is always “Listen with your heart.” It’s my perspective that the heart is the intersection of thinking (logic) and feeling (emotion). When these two powerful aspects of self are healthy and used in conjunction with each other, we function from a place of wisdom—the heart. This brings clarity in decision-making, removes drudgery, and adds exponentially to joy in the abundance factor.

It’s my perspective that we shouldn’t lead with our heart and only follow our emotions. Nor should we lead with our head and only follow logic. Rather, we should use the powerful combination of both and listen with our heart.

Author, Judith Campbell said, “When your heart speaks, take good notes.”

What is your heart telling you?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

 

F is for Feathers

Feathers

 Metaphorically speaking, a feather is synonymous with the soul. Sacred since the beginning of time, feathers have symbolically represented spiritual evolution, truth, speed, lightness, ascension, and flight—freedom of the human spirit.

Native Americans wore feathers to symbolize their communication with Spirit, and to express their celestial wisdom. They also represented the power of the thunder gods, along with the power of air and wind.

Celtic Druids wore ornate feathered robes in ceremonies to invoke the sky gods and gain knowledge of the celestial realm. They believed the feathered cloak along with the presence of the sky gods allowed them to transcend the earthly plane and enter the ethereal realm.

Egyptians believed that feathers were symbolic of sky gods too. Ma’at, the Egyptian goddess of justice, would weigh the hearts of the newly dead in the underworld against the weight of a feather to determine the worthiness of his or her soul.

In Christianity feathers represented virtues—faith, hope, and charity. An image of three feathers were made into signet rings, and then worn as a symbol of a virtuous soul; they were also used as wax seals.

In dreams feathers mean travel or the ability to move more freely in life. White feathers in dreams indicate innocence or a fresh start in a spiritual sense.

The Path of the Feather is the simple practice of going inward and embracing your source of power. It’s a daily journey of spirit that transforms, empowers, and heals. It’s sacred awareness. It’s BEing aware. It’s BEing awake.

Sacred Feathers—The Power of One Feather to Change Your Life by Maril Crabtree is an excellent book. In the introduction she says, “Feathers! Magical, mystical, incredible feathers! Feathers of all shapes, sizes, varieties, and colors. Throughout history, feathers have served as spiritual symbols for shamans and priests, as symbols of royalty for kings and chiefs, as symbols of healing, or a symbol of sacred power for cultures as far back as the ancient Egyptian, Asian, or Celtic eras. These cultures possessed abilities to communicate with nature in ways that have been overlooked or forgotten in our town time.

“Yet feathers are more than history. For many, they are mystical signs, messages, or opportunities. They are scraps of synchronicity in the flowing patchwork of universal meanings. Feathers appear in unlikely places as assurances of well being, as a comforting sign of abundance in the universe, and as unmistakable messengers of hope and encouragement. Their ephemeral grace makes them the perfect emissaries of spiritual and emotional freedom.”

I happen upon feathers all the time—they seem to throw themselves at me out of the clear blue sky. Have you ever happened on a feather, or has a feather ever happened upon you?

Important Note: Under the current language of the eagle feather law, only individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers. Unauthorized persons found with an eagle or its parts in their possession can be fined up to $25,000. The eagle feather law allows for individuals who are adopted members of federally recognized tribes to obtain eagle feathers and eagle feather permits.

Additionally, most migratory birds found in the United States are protected by international treaties as well as U.S. laws. No part of protected birds, live or dead, including feathers, claws, bones, skins, or taxidermy-mounted birds can be possessed without an appropriate permit, which is exceptionally hard to obtain even for legally acquired birds or bird parts.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

C is for Clairs

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We all have them—the clairs—they’re innate. The French word “clair” means “clear.” It’s the root word for each of the Clairs:

Clairvoyance (clear seeing) is seeing an image in our mind’s eye. It can be in motion, like a movie; or it can be still, like a photograph. It can occur when we’re awake, or asleep, eyes open or closed. The image can be figurative or literal.

Clairaudience (clear hearing) is receiving or “hearing” messages in thought form, with our “mental ears.” The source attributed to these messages is often one’s soul, higher self, angels, or deceased loved ones.  It can also be an actual sound or literal voice that we hear with our physical ears.

Claircognizance (clear knowing) is knowing something for a fact without any supporting evidence. Most of us have walked into a room where the atmosphere is so thick with tension we could choke on it. We don’t know what is going on, but we know for certain that it’s not good. Our knowing—gut instinct in our head—has kicked into high gear.

Clairsentience (clear feeling) is feeling a literal sensation such as a chill when there’s no change in temperature, or a perceived sensation such as the touch of a hand when we’re alone. It can even be a smell when there’s no reason for it.

Some people disregard their clairs, while others are intentionally aware. Which of the clairs are you most sensitive to?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved.