Daily Om ~ Warning Signs

red-flagRed flags often come in the form of feelings urging us to pause for a moment, listen to our intuition, and reconsider. Just as the universe wants to provide for our needs, it also seeks to protect us from dangerous situations, destructive relationships, and even minor inconveniences. Frequently in our lives, perhaps everyday, we encounter psychic red flags warning us of potential problems or accidents. We may not always recognize the signs. However, more often than not, we may choose to ignore our intuition when it tells us that “something just isn’t right.”

Red flags often come in the form of feelings urging us to pause for a moment, listen to our intuition, and reconsider. We may even experience a “bad” feeling in our bellies. This is a red flag letting us know that there may be a problem. We may not even know what the red flag is about. All we know is that the universe is trying to wave us in a different direction. We just have to pay attention and go another way. We may even wonder whether we are paranoid or imagining things. However, when we look back at a situation or relationship where there were red flags, it becomes easy to understand exactly what those warning signs meant. More often than not, a red flag is not a false warning. Rather, it is the universe’s way of informing us, through our own innate guidance system, that our path best lies elsewhere.

We may try to ignore the red flags waving our way, dismissing our unease as illogical. Yet it is always in our best interest to pay attention to them. For example, we may meet someone who outwardly seems perfect. They are intelligent, attractive, and charming. Yet, for some reason, being around them makes us feel uneasy. Any interactions we have with them are awkward and leave us feeling like there is something “off” about the situation. This is not necessarily a bad person. But, for some reason, the universe is directing us away from them. Red flags are intended with our best interests at heart. No harm can ever come from stopping long enough to heed a red flag. Pay attention to any red flags that pop up. The universe is always looking out for you.

Source: Daily Om

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Daily Om ~ Listening with Your Heart

DSCF0387When we begin to listen with our hearts rather than our heads, our whole world changes and becomes softer.

Most of us were born and raised in cultures that value the head over the heart and, as a result, we place our own hearts below our heads in a sort of inner hierarchy of which we may not be conscious. What this means is that we tend to listen and respond from the neck up, often leaving the rest of our bodies with little or no say in most matters. This is a physical habit, which sometimes feels as ingrained as the way we breathe or walk. However, with effort and awareness, we can shift the energy into our hearts, listening and responding from this much deeper, more resonant place.

The brain has a masterful way of imposing structure and order on the world, creating divisions and categories, devising plans and strategies. In many ways, we have our brains to thank for our survival on this planet. However, as is so clear at this time, we also need the wisdom of our hearts if we wish to continue surviving in a viable way. When we listen from our heart, the logical grid of the brain tends to soften and melt, which enables us to perceive the interconnectedness beneath the divisions and categories we use to organize the world. We begin to understand that just as the heart underlies the brain, this interconnectedness underlies everything.

Many agree that this is the most important work we can do at this time in history, and there are many practices at our disposal. For a simple start, try sitting with a friend and asking him to tell you about his life at this moment. For 10 minutes or more, try to listen without responding verbally, offering suggestions, or brainstorming solutions. Instead, breathe into your heart and your belly, listening and feeling instead of thinking. When you do this, you may find that it’s much more difficult to offer advice and much easier to identify with the feelings your friend is sharing. You may also find that your friend opens up more, goes deeper, and feels he has really been heard. If you also feel great warmth and compassion, almost as if you are seeing your friend for the first time, then you will know that you have begun to tap the power of listening with your heart.

Daily Om ~ Those Who Came Before

Our ancestors represent another wellspring from which we may draw for they, too, can act as our spirit guides.   Many entities assume the role of spirit guide. Throughout our lives, we may call upon angels, animal and nature spirits, ascended masters, and celestial guardians for aid, protection, and support. Our ancestors represent another wellspring from which we may draw wisdom in times of need for they, too, can act as our spirit guides. Since our forbears spent at least one lifetime experiencing the tribulations that are a part of human existence, the perspective they can offer is a uniquely grounded one. Ancestral spirit guides can empathize with our fears and our frailties, worry, temptation, and feelings of insecurity. Once you have requested their guidance, they will see to it that you emerge unscathed on the far side of conflicts and are well-equipped to fulfill your potential.   If your relationship with your relatives was strained when they were earthbound or you feel disconnected from your heritage, the thought of asking your ancestors for aid can be disconcerting. But when the soul takes on its spirit form, it becomes pure light. Your ancestors, regardless of who or what they were in life, are monitoring your life’s journey because you are their progeny and they want to see you do your best. You can communicate with them directly, as well as through meditation, your dreams, or the written word. Creating an altar or shrine that displays images of your forbears or objects owned by them can help you connect with individual ancestors. The guidance they provide may take many forms as each ancestral spirit guide retains its individual identity and will thus have its own style of communication. If your ancestors do not speak to you directly or visit you in your dreams, examine your life to determine whether they are replying to your queries subconsciously.   When you make contact with your forebears, thank them for being a part of the web of intent that gave you life. Honoring their wisdom and experience can make your life seem larger and richer. Like other spirit guides, your ancestors won’t interfere with your choices or attempt to deprive you of free will. They will only do their best to answer your questions and provide you with all the love, aid, and guidance you ask for in order to help you evolve as an individual.

 

N is for Nature Spirits

I’m sure we’ve all heard of Nature Spirits, or perhaps some of us haven’t. Well, this post is written from my own experience with them over many years. to begin with I always believed in fairies, even as a little child. Although how I imagined fairies was a bit different from the traditional ‘view’ of them. I tended to envision them as more like elves (probably because I was totally besotted with Lord of the Rings from an early age). Anyway, fairies, elves and all manner of nature spirits have played a big part in my imagination for a long time. However, back then I really didn’t know what they were really like, or what their purpose was.

It was only when I first stepped onto the pagan path did I begin to really learn about Nature Spirits, but of course they are not affiliated with any particular spiritual path or religion…they just are! They’ve been here way longer than humankind. During my studies I learnt about the different ‘kinds’ of Nature Spirits, although in reality (or should I say non-ordinary reality) they are very different from how we humans portray them. We amuse some of them actually with our humanoid portrayal of them. But others are quite annoyed by the fact that we give them arms and legs…and even wings. However, most understand that we do this so we can make sense of them from our limited human perspective.

The wonderful thing about Nature Spirits is that they are available to all, no matter what our creed or colour. They don’t care about what spiritual path we are on as long as it’s one of enlightenment; whether Christian, Muslim, Pagan or Hindu…or whatever else. It doesn’t matter to them! They say religion is all just a human construct anyway and has no bearing on true enlightenment. However, they don’t pull their punches and they can become very dismissive of us if we refuse to ‘get it’ – presumably their message for us.

There are so many different kinds of Nature Spirits it is unreal! Well, actually it is real but you get my meaning hopefully. One way of trying to imagine it is to think of how many different kinds of human beings there are – well, it’s the same for Nature Spirits too. There are animal spirits, plant spirits, tree spirits (who I call the Standing Sentinels), spirits of water (lakes, pools, streams, rivers, the seas), spirits of stones and crystals (who I call the Stone People), cloud spirits, weather spirits…and I could go on and on. Each one has a particular purpose and remit if you like. You could even divide them into hierarchies of a type although I really don’t like to.

Devas are nature spirits but can also be those of the angelic realm. The word ‘Deva’ means ‘a being of brilliant light’ (from the Sanskrit); as their name suggests they have no physical form and are pure brilliant light. They are not interested in the material, base form but in pure co-creation and expansion of consciousness. They have an instinctive knowledge of cosmic patterns and relationships. They have memory and learn from past experiences. however, they are only interested in their area of work (their remit if you like). So, an Oak Deva is only interested in the growth and well-being of oak trees. A River Deva is only concerned with the flow and well-being of rivers and so forth. I guess you could call them the supervisors of the Astral realm. Each ‘thing’ in nature has its own Deva.

There are of course elemental Nature Spirits, spirits that inhabit each plant etc. But really to classify Nature Spirits is to do them a great dis-service and is actually missing the point because in their reality they all blend and merge for the harmony and enlightenment of everything.

So, what about my experiences with Nature Spirits. Well, I’ve learnt to highly respect these entities because if angered you will surely reap what you sow. Have we ever thought about WHY we are getting so many storms, unusual weather patterns etc? Maybe we are being taught a huge lesson but it is up to us to heed the warnings. Unfortunately, most of humankind, right now anyway, isn’t bothering to listen.

How do you see a Nature Spirit? Well, first of all it’s not that you can decide to see them – rather they decide whether to communicate with you. And it’s not really about seeing but about communication. Some people ‘see’ them, some ‘smell’ them, or ‘hear’ them, or sense them in some other way. But from my experience, it is always the Nature Spirit that decides how and in what form they appear or communicate. Sometimes they don’t want to be disturbed and nothing happens. Or you might get a gruff sense of ‘go away’. The best way to ‘attract them’ (although they’re there already) is to be still, silent and completely receptive. This can mean entering a meditative or trance-like state, or even playing some kind of musical instrument, like a flute or whistle. Whatever way you decide on, be open, let your heart and mind be open, be patient, be gentle and quiet.

There is no guarantee a Nature spirit will communicate with you and you cannot force it to. But if it does it is a beautiful and exciting experience. It might possibly have a message for you, or you might decide to ask it a question, although be prepared for an answer you might not have expected – remember they do not work on the human level of understanding. you might need to ask for clarification. Or, they may have no message at all but are just willing to join with your energy and vibration for a while. Have no expectations! Only be open to receive what is…what will be! However, after the meeting, if you’re lucky enough to have one, always honour the spirit by leaving some form of offering as a mark of respect. You may ask the spirit what it would like. One spirit I have communicated with, that of a Beech Tree in my local park asks for me to pick up litter around the area where the tree grows. Another asks for a gem of some kind and I usually carry a small stash of Moss Agate stones in my bag for this very purpose. All nature spirits have different ideas about offerings so be open-minded.

Finally, always remember that if you should be blessed with communicating in some way with a Nature Spirit, whatever kind it is, remember that you ARE blessed and be grateful. They can teach us things we could never imagine, and can help us more than we could ever know.

Daily Om ~ Saying Yes to the Universe

Saying Yes to the universe opens the gate to receiving what your soul really wants. The hardest thing about saying yes to the universe is that it means accepting everything life puts in front of us. Most of us have a habit of going through our days saying no to the things we don’t like and yes to the things we do, and yet, everything we encounter is our life. We may be afraid that if we say yes to the things we don’t like, we will be stuck with them forever, but really, it is only through acknowledging the existence of what’s not working for us that we can begin the process of change. So saying yes doesn’t mean indiscriminately accepting things that don’t work for us. It means conversing with the universe, and starting the conversation with a very powerful word—yes.

When we say yes to the universe, we enter into a state of trust that whatever our situation is, we can work with it. We express confidence in ourselves, and the universe, and we also express a willingness to learn from whatever comes our way, rather than running and hiding when we don’t like what we see. The question we might ask ourselves is what it will take for us to get to the point of saying yes. For some of us, it takes coming up against something we can’t ignore, escape, or deny, and so we are left no choice but to say yes. For others, it just seems a natural progression of events that leads us to making the decision to say yes to life.

The first step to saying yes is realizing that in the end it is so much easier than the alternative. Once we understand this, we can begin examining the moments when we resist what is happening, and experiment with occasionally saying yes instead. It might be scary at first, and even painful at times, but if we continue to say yes to every moment through the process, we will discover the joy of being in  a positive conversation with a force much bigger than ourselves.

Daily Om ~ Beyond Reacting

Remembering to pause and take a breath before we react can shift the energy of the outcome. We have all had the experience of reacting in a way that was less than ideal upon hearing bad news, or being unfairly criticized, or being told something we did not want to hear. This makes sense because when our emotions are triggered, they tend to take center stage, inhibiting our ability to pause before we speak. We may feel compelled to release the tension by expressing ourselves in some way, whether it’s yelling back at the person yelling at us, or rushing to deliver words of comfort to a friend in trouble. However, there is much to be said for teaching ourselves to remember to pause and take a deep breath before we respond to the shocks and insults that can come our way in life.

For one thing, our initial response is not always what’s best for us, or for the other people involved. Reacting to childish rage with childish rage will only escalate the negativity in a situation, further ensnaring us in an undesirable dynamic. Similarly, when we react defensively, or simply thoughtlessly, we often end up feeling regret over our words or actions. In the end, we save ourselves a lot of pain when we take a deep breath and really tune in to ourselves, and the other person, before we respond. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t say anything, although in some cases, that may be the best option.

Some situations require a fairly immediate response, but even just a moment of grounding ourselves before we do so can help enormously. The next time you find yourself wanting to react, try to pause, and in that pause, take a deep breath. Feel your feet on the floor, the air on your skin, and listen for a response to arise within you, rather than just going with the first thing that pops into your head. You may find that in that moment, there is the potential to move beyond reaction and into the more subtle and creative realm of response, where something new can happen.

Daily Om ~ Centering and Expressing

Expressing ourselves honestly in any relationship is essential to our well-being. When we are in a relationship where we feel listened to and understood, we count ourselves lucky because we know how rare that experience is. We reserve our most intimate selves for the people who, along with us, cocreate an open space where we feel free to express ourselves and listen without judgment. These relationships, which thrive on open communication, can mean the difference between existential loneliness and a deep sense of belonging. We all long to feel heard, understood, and loved, and clear communication makes this possible.

Sometimes problems arise in the process of expressing how we feel, but it is always worth it to do the work. Even in our less intimate relationships, expressing ourselves honestly is essential to our sense of well-being. Whether at home with family or in the outside world, successful communication requires some forethought; otherwise we risk blundering through our relationships like the proverbial bull in a china shop. However, too much forethought can stifle us or cause us to pad our words so extremely that we end up saying nothing at all or confusing the matter further. The good news is that there are many methods that can come to our rescue, from meditation to visualization to journaling.

If the person we need to communicate with is open to sitting in meditation together for a set period of time before speaking, this can be invaluable. When we are calm and centered, we can count on ourselves to speak and respond truthfully. We can also meditate on our own time and then practice what we need to say. A visualization in which we sit with the person and lovingly exchange a few words can also be a great precedent to an actual conversation. If writing comes easily, we can write out what we need to say; it may take several drafts, but we will eventually find the words. The key is to find ways to center ourselves so that we communicate meaningfully, lovingly, and wisely. In this way, we honor our companions and create relationships in which there is a genuine sense of understanding and respect.