My Braided Life

Triquetra

In this past year, I have been graced with a lot of insight into how my life works and how I can live a happier existence with a feeling of wholeness and joy surrounding my days. I have been so introverted during this process that I lost all desire to write anywhere but my journal and on a project I felt called to explore. A friend gently suggested that I put out here some of the insights I have gained … that they might be of interest to someone else and that she, for one, would like to read them.

So, here is my first exploration in this direction:

Rituals are like a checklist, ensuring all of me is being nourished.

I wake up in the morning at about 5 AM. I roll out of bed and find my way to my meditation space. 25 minutes later, I feel more awake, centered, and ready to journal for a quick 5 – 10 minutes. The dog and I then scoot out the door for a walk around the block where I make a point of connecting to my favorite trees in the neighborhood, often with me placing my hands on their bark and listening. As we make our rounds, I practice being aware of the energy grounding me to the earth and remaining mindful of each step as I walk it. I try to pay attention to where my awareness resides in my body, and I make sure to spend some time with my awareness settled in my nurturing 2d chakra space.

These morning rituals embody my perception of the three major strands within the braid of my life. In every life, the braid is present. One strand is the physical me, another is the mental me, and a third the spiritual me. One of the things I have learned over the course of this past year is that it is vitally important to “feed” each strand of the braid so that none is starved or engorged. If we want the braid of our life to be healthy, each strand has to receive our attention on a regular basis.

For myself, I appreciate the physical strand by getting outside and walking each day. I try to eat healthy foods and to be mindful as I eat. My spiritual strand is fed by my meditation practice and by my mindfulness exercises, as well as my tree connections. My mental self benefits from the journaling, the discipline that I impose on myself, and the work I do each day. Note that in each case, there are things I take in (such as food) and things I give or expend (such as exercise). I have come to understand that this give and take is very important. It is like breathing in and out, giving and taking, each with its own cycle. If you take in, you must find a way to release. Balance requires it.

There is more, of course. I try to include creative activities. I try to read each day, even if it is just for a few minutes. I am using an app on my phone to teach myself German. Everything we do embodies at least one strand of this braid. The key is to be aware of which pieces of ourselves we are exercising when we participate in a given activity. If we only do the intellectual, we are  feeding it to the detriment of our physical and spiritual selves, and we will eventually pay a price for that neglect. The same holds true if we feed the spiritual, but do not exercise or eat well … or if we take care of our bodies, but never exercise our minds or make time to listen for the voice of the Divine.

Sometimes, I envision more strands. Most of the time, it is just the three. It is the Celtic triquetra – the three-sided knot – that symbolizes so many trinities in our lives. I use it to remind me of the balance of mind-body-spirit.

Letting Go

books

Not being catholic, I have somewhat of an outsider’s view of the Lenten season. Mind you, Catholics aren’t the only ones who celebrate Lent, but they are certainly the most visible – especially on the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday.

From my experience, Lent is usually honored by giving up something that you enjoy. The thought has been explained to me as as a sacrifice to echo the sacrifice of Christ, though I have recently read of other interpretations. The idea is to recognize how challenging it is to give up that one small thing (even if it is usually to our own benefit in some way), and to therefore appreciate how great a sacrifice was done on our behalf.

I was thinking about this idea of sacrifice over the last few days, since I often choose Lent as the perfect time to give up something. After all, there is a lot of support out there for letting go at this one time of the year. Take advantage of the communal energy! When I participate in this process, I like to look at it as giving up something so I can see what kind of hold that thing has over my life and evaluate whether I am willing for that hold to continue.

Frankly, my concept of Lent has changed over time. It used to be more in alignment with sacrifice, but this year, I am seeing things a bit differently. I realize that the sentiment behind “sacrifice” is that it should be something you enjoy or want to continue doing, so that giving it up is in some way unpleasant. What I am realizing is that giving things up doesn’t have to be unpleasant to be beneficial. My spiritual life and my physical life can both see benefits if I do this right.

I recently read some comments from a Buddhist monk who explained that monks were only allowed to own 8 things, and those 8 things were actually predefined. This idea coinciding with the timing of Lent made me think of the possibility of giving up ownership, or at least reducing my ownership footprint. I read a new slogan somewhere on the web: “Don’t declutter. De-own.” Sounds scary … and that means it is powerful.

I certainly own a lot more than 8 things. Honestly, I own a lot more than the 100 Things that another blogger suggested. I grew up in a poor household and it was made very clear to me at a very young age that how much stuff a person owned was a measure to compare oneself against. Many family members were hoarders, though I doubt very much that any of them would admit it. When I moved in with my current partner, I think I was well on my way to becoming a hoarder, myself. She, however, is not a hoarder. In some parts of her life, she is downright minimalist. Needless to say, my collection of stuff drove her nuts!

We broke up for a while due, in part, to this very issue. During that time, I came to realize that I really identified with my stuff. When she didn’t want things out where it was visible to guests, I felt like she didn’t want me to be visible. When she would gently suggest downsizing some of my collection, I felt she was wanting to downsize or diminish me! It sounds crazy, I know. From what I can tell though, this is very much how hoarders feel. I now call this syndrome being “stuff sick.” The love I felt for her forced me to face this about myself, and I truly believe she pulled me back from the brink of becoming a hoarder.

Over the years, I have learned to let go, to hold on less and less. She taught me that memories and emotions might be triggered by seeing certain things, but that doesn’t mean we have to keep them. If the object serves no practical purpose, we can take a picture of the thing and let the actual object go. It is a process and I am still not as good at it as she is, but I keep improving.

Which brings me to the idea of Lent 2013.

My idea for this year goes beyond sacrifice into the value of reviewing what defines me. I am not willing to be defined by these things I enjoy. I can give them up and still be me. So, I have decided to give up ownership of one thing each day. At the end of the month, these things will go to Goodwill / Savers. Instead of giving up chocolate or sweets or some other decadence I enjoy, I am going to commit to releasing one item for each of the 40 days. My rules to myself are that I can’t just give up a pair of shoes and count it for 2 days, nor would a box of office supplies count for any more than a single day’s gifting. It can’t be something I simply don’t care about either. To be a valid sign of my healthier attitude toward the things in my possession, I am committing to giving away things I am holding onto “just in case.” If you know anyone with hoarder instincts, this is tough! 20 years in the computer industry simply reinforced that tendency in me, so I am sure this will be a challenge.

Day 1 is going to be a handful of books that I always meant to read, but haven’t. These particular books have been in my “to-read” pile for more than 3 years. I love books and letting them go is never easy for me. Sigh. Time to let them go.

Whew! One day down!

Are you taking advantage of this letting go energy? What has Spirit prompted you to let go of?

Awakening

Today, I found out that there is a known concept and a word for something that has been a part of my life for a while now. A few months back, when I was meditating, I was given an image, very similar to the one above, and got the sense of it like this:
The line going up and down is a cord of energy that connects the grounded self to the higher realms. It pretty much goes up along the spine. When I meditate now, I can feel it pulsate and I can sense energy going both up and down the cord. It straightens energies that have gotten out of alignment and makes my breathing feel clearer, among other things. The center is a glowing merkaba. It is glowing because it is rotating at a very high speed and gathering energy, each pyramid spinning in the opposite direction from the other. The glow is both protective and energizing. As I meditate, I sense this construct around and through me, and it makes me feel centered, protected and clear-headed. If there is an emotion connected to this meditation, it would be joy, though it is challenging to label the time I spend in this place.
Today, as I was reading some posts from online friends, I found out that the energy cord that I sense is called a “shushumna,” and it is the channel by which the life force or prana moves up and down the chakras. It is integral to the process of kundalini rising, and is indeed part of the awakening process. The words are from the yogic tradition, but I am thinking that the concepts are universal.
Having learned this, I had to go looking for more info on the merkaba. It turns out that counter-rotating pyramidal forms are the sign of an activated merkaba. There are meditations to assist in this process. Ironically, I had looked for merkaba meditations before and didn’t really see anything that pulled at me. Now, I go to Google and look up “glowing spinning merkaba” and there is the meditation I had been looking to find, months ago! I love the synchronicities that pile up in my life! This has so much more meaning for me since I found it out on my own and saw confirmation on the site I found, rather than the other way around!
Φ – I have decided that the awakening symbol, in its simplest form, looks like the Greek letter phi. So, one more symbol to the collection I have been gathering for a rune system of my own. Yeah!
It feels like so many things are starting to coalesce into something tangible … I can almost make out the shape. Just a few more pieces!

Sacred Journaling

The Sacred Journey journal has to be my favorite journal I have ever attempted to follow. I discovered it a few years ago and was sad when it sold out before I could get my 2012 copy. It has a lot of features I enjoy, but that isn’t really why I thought I would bring it up in this week’s blog post. The title of the journal made me realize part of why this journal suits me so well, and that has to do with the intention that has gone into its creation and the intention that I bring to its use:

Anais Nin once wrote that “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” This is certainly true of those who keep a journal. One might even argue that we do much more than that, since we relive the events yet again as we read what we wrote. At least, I know I do. I don’t just write my thoughts and step away, never to look at the page again. I often go back and reflect on the insights I had gained then, or those I gain now from the distance of time.

I know that I get a lot more juice from my living when I journal. When I write down my reactions to the days events, I get one layer of flavor. When I come back a month, a year, or even a decade later and reread the words, I often am able to see how much I have grown from that time. This new me would often interpret those events quite differently than the me who lived them.

I believe this insight into my personal growth is a great gift. To honor this gift, I try to incorporate time into every day to jot down even just a few words about my thoughts, impressions and emotions. I have taken to creating ritual around it, allowing the writing itself to become sacred activity, the time set aside for it to become sacred time, the place I write to become sacred space. When I meditate prior to writing, the words seem even deeper and more meaningful, so I have taken to doing that, too.

Writing with sacred intention can become very much like a mini-retreat from the world. It can give you back the ease of your breathing. It can calm the mind, and scratch that creative itch. I think that, if we allow it, we can connect to that rich place of divine stillness. I think of it as the place where the words end and the stillness goes to the very core of the soul. When I write from that place, it feels like it is not me that writes. I don’t think of the words themselves, but simply listen to the magical music that has no sound and let my fingers write or type as they will. When I am successful at staying in that place, I look back at what was written and I can clearly tell that it goes well beyond any shallow thoughts I might have shared, because I see a depth and insight that makes me want to reread what I feel the Goddess has shared with me. It is very spiritual for me. I go to this very deep place when I am able to write this way.

I don’t know if journal writing is as effective across all the learning styles (I am AKV – auditory, kinesthetic and visual), and I suspect that each one could benefit, if differently, from the process. I also believe that it is the intention of creating sacredness around the habit that gives it the depth I crave. If you have never tried this ritual intention in your writing before, I suggest you give it a try. If you can’t do daily, try weekly, but do try creating intention, ritual and sacredness with it and feel free to let me know if this is something that works for you. I would love to hear!

For those interested in purchasing or looking at the above-pictured journal in more detail, please follow THIS LINK.

As an aside, and for those who feel they need help getting started with this whole journaling idea, I would recommend the book Spiritual Journaling, by J Tallard Johnson. It was originally written for teens, but I can tell you from experience that the book is really for anyone who wants to develop a truly productive habit of journal keeping.

Stone Light Retreat

Crystal Cabin Guardian

When I finished my last day as a Network Systems Administrator, and stepped off the cliff into creating my own business, I knew that the change was huge. I have always believed that 80% of just about everything in life is mental, so I knew I needed to shift my mindset before I dug into the business, in order to give it the best possible chance of succeeding. The method I chose for doing this was to go on a three day retreat in Viroqua, Wisconsin.

Viroqua is in what is termed The Driftless Region of Wisconsin. Technically, the driftless region is defined by the fact that glaciers did not leave any of their mess behind. Boulders, silt and sand are called “drift,” and so none of this was left decorating the region when the glaciers last melted. Practically, it encompasses a region with gorgeous landscape, deep river valleys, and amazingly uplifting natural aesthetic influences.

The natural beauty makes this a perfect place for a retreat. Lucky for me, I already knew of a place that would fit my list of requirements: Moderately isolated, “off the grid,” and preferably friendly to my spiritual path. Stone Light is a place I found a few years ago. I have hiked its paths before, and recommended it to many a friend, but this was my first opportunity to take up residence there, myself!

Stone Light is not huge, but don’t be fooled by its size. Steve, the owner, has gone through a lot of effort to create paths and features to draw you into the natural setting. We are not talking untouched wilderness here, but a natural beauty enhanced with a blessing here and there. You might be walking through the woods and come across a bowl on a tree stump that is lined with 100 or more small crystals. There are rocks placed near the path that look like nature carved them into shapes such as a person praying. There is a labyrinth, an outdoor altar space, and so much more. What there isn’t is electricity and the electro-magnetic interference that goes with it. Nor will you find running water in the cabins. Instead, the Amish-built cabins are accompanied by a nearby outhouse. Steve opens a portion of his home to the retreaters so that a shower can be had the morning after hiking in the woods all day. It was very appreciated!

I arrived on Monday and explored the town a bit before heading up to the retreat. There is a food co-op, a rock shop and a few restaurants to enjoy. I hit the co-op and picked up a few things to take to the cabin with me. Nothing that needed refrigeration, of course. I was going off the grid and excited to be doing so!

I had brought a bunch of crystals to enhance the goal of my retreat, which was releasing the past and being open to the new life I wanted to lead. The cabin had a few crystals of its own, so I was able to use them to set up a wonderful grid after calling in the directions and creating my sacred space. I felt very comfortable and “at home” in the space. This allowed me to do the rituals and practices I needed over the course of the three days I was there.

I read. I journaled. I did lots and lots of meditating, especially outside. Initially, I focused on release, but by the end, I was opening myself up to the world around me and pulling energy from the Earth. The last night I was there I did a wonderful Listening Meditation, where I sat outside for about an hour or so and simply listened to all the noises around me and documented them in my journal as I did so. That was actually a wonderfully opening meditation.

This retreat was everything that I had wanted it to be. It was both exhausting and rejuvenating, healing and cathartic, cleansing and enlightening. I came home on Thursday afternoon feeling like I had been scrubbed clean inside and I knew I was ready to face the new life I planned on creating. If you have never taken time to be totally alone with yourself – no tv, no phone, no internet – I highly recommend it. Facing yourself without distraction can be challenging, but it can also be extremely rewarding!

So, here we are a week and a half later, and I can still say that the retreat did what I needed it to do. I won’t say that I feel ready to conquer the world every day, but I keep working to find the steps to create this life I want so much. Every day, I am wake up and feel like it is going to be even better than the day before. I haven’t been disappointed yet.

I am so glad that I went to Stone Light. I am also glad I went for three nights, instead of the two I had originally planned (thanks for the nudge, Ann Marie!). The only downside was realizing at one point that no electricity meant no fan to give any relief to the stifling heat that sauntered in on my second night there. (edit: Please note that the heat was part of a record-breaking heat wave socking the Midwest at the time, and not reflective of normal weather in the area! ~RnT) But then the rain came and all was well again. The energy at Stone Light is amazing. Steve goes to great lengths to enhance the healing energy of the land with judicious placement of crystals. The cabin came with its own sage stick (good thing, as I had forgotten mine!) and the book selection in the cabin gave me much food for thought. He has a variety that rotates through all the cabins and the books encompass many different faiths and approaches to spirituality. In other words, there is a little bit for almost everyone. I will definitely be going again, and hope to make this a regular ritual.

Stone Light Retreat

Click above for slide show images of my retreat

Integration

Originally written as a handout for a course in shamanism:

As each of us learns and grows along the shamanic path, we come to have a perspective on the significance of the different components of the path, based upon the experiences we have had. When I contemplate the topic of integration, I realize immediately that it is a deeply personal process.  As I think about what it has come to mean to me, one word comes immediately to mind: Change.

Change is the one constant in life. Every time something changes, whether it is a birth or a death, a new job or winning the lottery, a professional healing session or a personal journey, you have to determine how best to incorporate the changes as you move forward.  In effect, you must integrate the new life events into how you live and process information.  Integration, by definition, is a process for change.  If you think you are integrating an experience, but nothing in your thought processes or your life has changed, then I would challenge you to rethink how well you are integrating what you have learned.  I strongly believe that it is impossible to integrate anything successfully, and have everything in your life stay the same.

As I thought about what I wanted to share with you about integration, the challenge became immediately apparent: Every person and every journey is unique. There are no hard and fast rules of how to integrate what we bring back from our journeys. So, what I have decided to do is to share my perspective on integration. I hope that there are seeds within these words that you can use to find ways to approach your own integration work.

When I journey and bring back soul pieces or information, integration is a way for me to honor both the connection to spirit and the knowledge that has been brought back. I am able to think and live from a new place, when I add the knowledge gained into my life. Like peering through a window that was dirty but has been cleaned, the world looks different when I allow integration to change my point of view. This new perspective may well heal me, or give added insight to events in my life, but it is also a bonding between me and the spirits.

Sometimes the changes in my world are small and cumulative, while other times they can be truly and dramatically life changing. No matter the scope, I use the following general techniques to help with the integration process:

  • I document what I have been given and where it leads
    •  Whether it is at the time of the journey or as soon as I can afterward, I write out my journey, or my impressions of what I have been told when someone journeyed for me. I may put down some first impressions about the implications of what I have been given. If this was in a circle, I may also include what insights others may have shared. As I move forward with integrating the change in my life, I also journal the process.  

 

  • I try to remain open to nudges from spirit
    • Whether it is my daily meditation practice or a habit I am trying to develop of listening within, I try to remain aware of synchronicities, or their opposites – a desire to do something outside my normal routine. I am not a very habit-based person, so this means trying to remain very aware of my own motivations. If I am thinking about a recent journey when my rune bag catches my eye, it may well be time to sit down and cast the stones to deepen my understanding of the journey.

 

  • Integration means change
    • Thinking about the journey information and drawing a mindmap, journaling, tarot or runes are all well and good, but they are simply the prep-work for incorporating some type of change into my life. An insight may change how I process information. I may get a suggestion to change a habit I have had for years. I may be healed of a past trauma, changing how I see the world. No matter the details, integrating the information isn’t complete until I start living it out.

I would also mention that I have found it is an easy trap to continually go to the same comfortable techniques when working on integration. Although there is nothing wrong with frequently turning to the tarot, for example, I have found that it is often when stepping outside my comfort zone that I get the most powerful insights. Since I journal the whole process, it is possible for me to look back and note patterns that can make me question if I am creating a habit rather than listening to the nudges within.

Integration work is some of the most important soul-work we can do, so find the ways that work for you and make them a part of your spiritual practice. Your life will change. Your spiritual connections will strengthen, and you will grow as a person.

Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot

A friend informed me today that today is Tu Bishvat on the Jewish calendar, otherwise known as Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot, “The New Year of Trees.” What a cool idea. I had no idea that any such thing existed. As a lover of trees, I think it is very fitting and appropriate to have a holy day that is dedicated to them.

Traditionally, this day is celebrated with a special meal, similar to the Passover seder, but including many fruits and nuts of trees (click here for source), and the sharing of stories about trees and fruit from various works of Jewish literature. The categories are appealing too, making sure that all types of trees and fruits are remembered and included.

I love this idea and wish this celebration, or something like it, were more widespread! I don’t want to appropriate anyone else’s holiday, but some ideas are just too wonderful not to be respected and honored. Whether it be this date or another, I would have a holy day in my own calendar that is set aside specifically to honor the trees that have touched my life.

I would have a special moment of memory for the hackberry tree that used to be my favorite spot for reading outdoors as a child, and another for the fir that was planted by my dad in my name many years past, and one more for the maple he later planted for my daughter. I would honor the burr oaks I have come to love in my transplanted home of Wisconsin, and the beautiful catalpa trees whose leaves cause me such a severe allergic reaction in the fall. I would reminisce about all these trees, and I would consider the myths of a tree of life. Stories of Eden and of Yggdrasil and perhaps magical Rowan trees would be part of my ceremony, and I would dream of a pilgrimage to the Redwood forest or the Aspen Grove. I would read The Island by Elizabeth Barret Browning and recite Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. The more I think on this idea, the more I think it should come into being. It sounds so right!

For the Jewish people, this day marks the beginning of spring in Israel. I personally think of spring with the equinox, so I may have found a way to develop my own ritual for March 20th. Does anyone else know of holidays from any faith that are dedicated specifically to trees? I know that we have Arbor Day, but that is more of a secular tradition, and I am most curious about celebrations that include a role for spirit. As a matter of fact, if you have time set aside specifically to honor the Standing People, I would appreciate it if you would share a little of what you do. What rituals, traditions or ceremonies do you use? I would love to hear more!

In the yard there grows a Rowan.
Thou with reverent care should’st tend it.
Holy is the tree there growing.
Holy likewise are it’s branches.
On it’s boughs the leaves are holy.
And it’s berries yet more holy.

 Excerpted from The Kalevala, seen on The Rowan Tree site

 

New Year Thoughts

Beginnings are great times for thinking about what is coming into being, and what we have to release to make that happen.  As 2011 ends and 2012 begins, it seemed a perfect opportunity to sit and think about where I am in life and where I want to be. I don’t know that I have ever really taken stock of my life in this way before, at least not so consciously.

I turn 50 this year, and that is a milestone of sorts. It is yet one more reason for me to turn introspective, I suppose. When I look back over 2011, I can see the thread of transition that wove itself through my days. I started this blog, deepened my spiritual practice by re-establishing space and time for a daily meditation ritual, returned to my journaling more consistently and reconnected to the outdoors through a nature journal and the barefoot breathing e-course. Various practices from different times in my past came together in a way that felt like I was pulling myself into wholeness.

As I look forward to 2012, I am wanting to bring a few more pieces into the mix, round it out even more. I have done quite a bit of research in recent months, and one of the things I learned is that when I was a vegetarian in college, I didn’t really know what I was doing. That may be why it didn’t stick, or maybe it just wasn’t the right time for me to make that kind of change. I don’t know. I do know that I used to think that being a vegetarian was simply about not eating meat. Instead, I should have been focusing on what I needed to bring into my diet to be healthy. I didn’t really think about how leaving out meat opens the door for other foods to be eaten regularly – like healthier proteins in the forms of grains, nuts and seeds. Adding in a lot of greens, vegetables and fruit would have been a much healthier approach than eating the same junky, highly refined, commercialy processed food I had eaten previously, only without meat.

I am finally seeing the food I eat as being part of my spiritual practice. It is a new layer I am adding into my spiritual life. The food choices I make impact my mood, my energy level and the clarity of my thoughts. These are each key variables defining how I approach life in general, so it seems clear that learning to eat well is a part of the spiritual path I am walking.

If food is part of it, then becoming more fit has to be in there as well. I am not into exercising for the sake of exercise. I am starting to see my physical fitness as a way to honor the life I have been given. I don’t have to be a tri-athlete to appreciate the spiritual aspect of being fit enough to explore a mountain trail or walk for hours on the hiking trails in my local arboretum. That’s all I want. Nothing extreme.

Even so, these are big changes I am talking about. Changing my diet and my exercise patterns are things people always put in their “resolutions” list. These are perennial items because people don’t stick with them and so they resolve the next year to try again. I don’t want that to be me, so I am not resolving anything other than to take the knowledge I am gaining about health and nutrition, about health and fitness, and try to make decisions that will be consistent with what I am learning. I don’t expect to flip a switch and be a perfect vegan who trains for marathons in my spare time. I do expect to make my life healthier every day, by making the best choices I can, one day at a time.

I have also decided to dig a bit more into my writing, since that is one of the things I enjoy most doing. Julie Tallard Johnson (an author of 9 books, including The Wheel of Initiation: Practices for Releasing Your Inner Light and Spiritual Journaling: Writing Your Way to Independance) has put together a writer’s retreat to help aspiring writers go a bit deeper. I have signed up and I admit to being quite excited about it. Look for a post about my take on the seminar / retreat in February.

In 2012, I will be feeding my body with food and exercise, my spirit with meditation, prayer and continuing to help teach shamanism with my mentor. I will also be feeding my mind with writing and researching. It has a well-rounded feel to it all. I think I am off to a good start.

Here’s to your 2012 and I hope that the path you are exploring makes you feel as passionate and joyful as mine does!

Solstice

The winter solstice will take place tomorrow morning at 5:30 AM UTC, and the sun will start its slow journey back to prominence in our days. I find this longest night of the year to be a great time for introspection and I enjoy just being in the dark, and thinking. It is a time of balance, a time for letting go and looking forward. With that in mind, I have been researching possibilities for creating a solstice ritual to symbolize the release of the past, and my openness to the gifts that I hope 2012 will bring. It seems that there are tons of suggestions out there. Maybe it is because I recently wrote the post on Learning Styles, but it seems that many of the suggestions I am finding could be organized along similar categories.

The ones that resonate most with me tend to have a visual foundation, and that makes sense to me. I don’t know if any study has ever been done, but I would think that the channel most successfully associated with manifestation would be the one that connects to spirit and our deepest self … so our deepest channel. When I look at all the wonderful suggestions on the web, ranging from a collage to a music playlist to planting a seed symbolic of what you wish to manifest, I see V-A-K, visual – auditory – kinesthetic.

If you know your learning pattern, it would make this a bit easier. The best way to tell is to observe yourself and your tendencies, but you can talk it out with a friend, get hints from a book on the subject (such as those by Dawna Markova), and if all else fails, there are quizzes out on the web. I have no idea how accurate they are, but here is one to try at EasyChangeWorks. Once you know your pattern, you have a clue on what would likely work best for you.

For manifesting, we want something we will see / hear / do repeatedly, to bring our focus back to the connection we are establishing, pulling potential into our present. A collage, or storyboard, works for visual people because it is something we can look at often. A musical playlist can go with us wherever we go, and a seedling needs to be tended, watered, fertilized, etc. As you put together what you want to manifest, remember that clarity and detail count. Something I learned from Shakti Gawain is that you should always include “This or something better now manifests for me.” Sometimes what we think we want isn’t the best, and at other times, the ‘something better’ could be pretty awesome!

Whenever we participate in rituals related to the focus of our manifestation, it is important to allow our emotions to rise to the surface. Feel how you believe it will be when it is all there for you. The channel helps with focus, but it is emotion that gives power to the request you are sending the Universe. So, let it fill you!

If you need some tips on manifesting, there are many books out there, including some that are quite popular, such as The Secret (Rhonda Byrne), and The Law of Attraction (Esther and Jerry Hicks). I’ve not read either of these, but I know many who have and who have found them to be practical approaches to the concept. Personally, I would recommend Shakti Gawain’s, Creative Visualization or, for a more scientific approach, try The God Formula by Jeffery A Martin.

Whatever you decide to do, Happy Solstice !