New Age Reality Check

key-2471021_640Trust Your Experience. Always.

I have been concerned with some harmful beliefs that I realized had taken root in myself and other healers and spiritual practitioners. I may make some people angry by saying these things, but that is not my intention. In the past year or so, I have seen so much harm come from this, I feel I have to share my thoughts in case that maybe someone out there needs to hear it, and in the hope that no one else suffers needlessly. My hope is to share my experience, bring awareness, and possibly to prevent harm to others.

We often develop the belief that someone who practices healing, or who has a spiritual practice no longer has difficult life experiences, pain, illness, or imperfections. That they are not also hurting or broken. We often hold ourselves and each other to these impossible standards. Isn’t it strange that we seek out healing or spiritual practice because we have difficulty, feel loss, have pain, and all the other human emotions, yet the moment we enter the path, we believe that is all supposed to vanish forever?

Yet all of us are living human lives, and those include both happiness and hardship, pleasure and pain, joy and grief, fulfillment and loss. We aren’t going to be blissed out and abundant all the time, not even on the spiritual level. Here’s what I forgot: my spiritual practice was to help me face life, to see it clearly. That often helped me make better decisions, but it didn’t make life struggles vanish. And that wasn’t what it was for! It was not to help me pretend and run away. It was not to delete all difficulty, loss, change, emotion, or illness from my life. And it was definitely not to fulfill all of my greed and desires. Rather, it helped me to see them clearly and face them honestly. My spiritual practice helped me to see that life is constantly changing. Even my inner world. Just being still with that brought me peace and the serenity to be OK with never being able to grasp permanence.

I developed my spiritual practice, not because I was healed and no longer suffering. I initially developed it for the opposite reason: because I was in enormous pain, physically and emotionally. My practice didn’t suddenly make me stop having human experiences or emotions. It gave me tools to be with them, to accept myself just as I was, even the pain. That doesn’t mean the pain isn’t painful, or that it doesn’t suck, or that I don’t still kick and scream for it to stop sometimes. It’s just that my practice reminds me that neither the highs or the lows are all there is. And the practice reminds me—over and over—to accept myself however I happen to be in that moment. I just accept that it’s what’s real right now.

I had spent much of my life not allowing myself to just be who I am; to accept myself. My practice began giving me back to me. I sought more information in energy healing for similar reasons. Tools for coping and for understanding myself better. But at some point, I began to believe that my brokenness wasn’t acceptable. I began to believe that if I felt something emotionally or physically painful, that I was doing something wrong, or wasn’t doing something right. Or that if I had a thought that wasn’t perfect peace and love, I was not attracting bad things to my life. Honestly, it sounds a bit silly when I read it. This was not what my original spiritual practice was about. I was just becoming overwhelmed with new age spiritual ideas and information, which seemed to be everywhere.

There is an undercurrent in the healing, spiritual, and “new age” community that we need to “raise our vibration” and that any illness, depression, setback, or difficulty we are experiencing is due to a failure at this, or to “unhealthy thoughts.” Or worse, that we have simply not tried the correct combination of crystals, essential oils, guided meditations, special diets, juice fasts, or exercise programs. Please stop listening to this! If you are sick, or if you are depressed, seek help! Sure, you can also use supportive measures such as nutrition and complementary healing methods, but also go to a qualified medical professional.

There is a strong need to pretend that all is—or even can be—perfect. That we never get sick and if we do, we know exactly how to cure it. That we can all be rich, cured of all health issues, and happy all the time. That is false and it doesn’t work. It is much more complex than that. When we get stuck on the idea that we CAN do all these things all the time, we make ourselves miserable. It is human to fear suffering and pain. And we want to cling to the things that tell us we have control over the suffering of the world; that we can keep it at bay somehow. We want to feel that the world is safe and that we are completely safe within it.

But in reality, the world is both happiness and sorrow, comfort and danger, life and death, vibrancy and decay. It is the way of Life and though we can observe it and participate in it, we can’t stop it. By chasing control and perfection, we will feel defeated each time we fall short. And we will always fall short because control and perfection are like mists in the sunrise. We can chase them forever, but they will always be out of our reach. In my experience, it is far more healing to put aside our attachments to an outcome, surrender, and be with what is. Which takes a lifetime of practice. A tough pill to swallow in an age where we want a quick fix for all things uncomfortable.

I have seen that we are harming ourselves by getting stuck in the belief that positive thoughts and the right diet will make all the unpleasant things go away. We harm each other because we hold each other to these false standards. In recent years, I have seen people lose everything and become homeless because they believed they could manifest whatever they wanted. Worse, I have watched a number of people die in the last year. Suicides in the spiritual community because they didn’t feel they could say that what was really going on in their lives or seek help. And others who have died or become very sick because they waited far too long to seek medical attention because they were afraid to admit that they had pain or illness or that their chronic health condition was worsening instead of being miraculously cured as everyone seemed to expect it would be.

It seems pretty important to hold space for where people are at, including ourselves. When we push away our own experiences or insist that others could stop having those experiences if they just did things the way we tell them to, we are NOT being healing or supportive. We are diminishing the life experience of another. And that prevents them from sharing, reaching out for support, or seeking appropriate help. It also prevents them from reaching out as they carry their burden. When you feel that your experience will be diminished with platitudes and subtle shaming, the thought of reaching out can feel overwhelming. And it leaves people completely isolated, feeling they are doing something wrong, simply because they are struggling, ill, grieving, or otherwise having a human experience.

As I have been dealing with my own health issues this past year or so, I have seen this pattern in myself very clearly. That need to pretend all is well, or that if I just found that one bad thought or low vibe thing in my life, I will get better. But I realize I am making light of my reality, my brokenness, my humanness, minimizing my imperfections. I have allowed myself to accept a different illusion, rather than continue the work of looking clearly and compassionately at reality. I don’t care to do that anymore. I have to return to the inner work that helps me see clearly. I have to drop the work that clouded my judgement and led me on false paths. I have to release the illusions, no matter how comforting they may appear at times.

I hope we can let go of this need for holding ourselves on a pedestal of perfection if we claim a spiritual path or if we are healers. We are hurting ourselves and others by perpetuating it. My original and abiding hope is to see with clarity and to live with compassion and truth. I can not do that by hiding behind a pretense of constant light. I know that the world is not simply the experience of light. It is far richer and more vibrant than that.

The Gentle Giant–A Guest Post

Post contributed by Jennifer Halldorson, MSW, RSW, Reiki Master

dog pixabyThis past spring, I came upon an animal Reiki course with Angie Webster and it was, for me, an incredible gift.  As a Reiki practitioner, I really loved the way I was able to integrate the practice of Reiki with the sharing of Angie’s wisdom, but most of all I loved the way it brought me back to reflect upon a gentle giant that came into my life eighteen years ago.

Eighteen years ago, I was 24 years old; I had just graduated from university and gotten my first job, which brought me out of the city to the countryside to begin a career. I found myself in an unfamiliar community and, looking back, I can say that I had no idea what was in store for me!  I had no idea that a journey of self-discovery was also awaiting me.  I don’t think I really knew then that I was on a healing journey home to my heart of hearts. I do know that the moment I met Tovin was the moment that left an imprint so vivid I hope to never forget because that was the moment I woke up to the remembrance of the “feeling” of my inner being.

Tovin fell into my world like a gentle feather floating on the breeze.  When I met him, his large brown eyes were filled with something my heart felt and knew on a level I could not explain. At the time, I had no idea that what I was feeling and attributing solely to him, was also within me… It was a beautiful opening; I had no idea I was coming home to my heart…this seat of my soul, this place of presence where I dwelled with such ease as a child.

I had lived in an urban area for many years while attending university and, being in the country now, I was excited about the opportunity of having a dog in my life. I began to ask around and let people know that I was looking for a dog to care for.  It was not long before I received word that there was a dog in the community that needed a home, however, I was also informed that I should not get my hopes up. He was, and had been, quite wild and mistreated for many years.

I learned that Tovin was flown out of the community by an educator who did not have the heart to leave him behind.  The educator and his family had taken a shine to him even though he was not very social. It was difficult for them to witness his suffering; they left food and water for him as often as they could.  Tovin had, as far as anyone could tell, lived on his own for about 6 years and endured his fair share of suffering.  I remember being astounded at his capacity for survival, 6 years is a long time to be without a feeling of “home.” After flying Tovin out of the community, the family did their best to re-socialize Tovin. However, it was not working out and came to what I imagine was a very difficult decision–they were going to have to let him go.

I went to meet Tovin, and as I approached him I saw and felt his beauty, his life, his heart, his love. He glowed….the light that surrounded him was incredible, beautiful, and so familiar….I asked him in my heart if he would like to come home with me, he rolled over and showed me his belly. I said, “Thank you. I love you,” and we began our friendship that lasted 9 beautiful years.

It has been an incredible gift to reflect on the relationship we had, and I am filled with so much gratitude for our meeting, as I know it was the beginning of realigning with the beauty of presence that also dwells within me. Indeed, Tovin and I had come together, and I greeted him from a place within that, for whatever reason, I had not been since I was a child. The astounded thought and feeling I had had at his capacity that he had not felt at home for six years, began to melt and expand as I realized I had not dwelt within my “home” for even longer.

It is not easy to explain that becoming a Reiki Master and completing the animal reiki course has given me such a precious gift.  I know now that when I met Tovin, I came home, diving deep within. There began an 18-year journey to uncover, learn, evolve, and grow many of the paths that this art of presence can bestow for myself and the world…the gift of Reiki and the reflective journey within the Animal Reiki Course being a beautiful one.

In love and life and deep thanks,

Jennifer and Tovin

 

Jen Halldorson (2) Jennifer currently works as a spiritual health specialist in the Canadian Health Care System, she is an avid student of life and spends as much time as possible cultivating artful presence in daily living. One of her greatest joys has been studying and practicing as a Reiki Master and loves to share its infinite gifts for the highest good of all willing hearts; human, animal, and nature alike. More recently Jennifer’s own healing path unfolded a love and passion of writing, and in particular; writing poetry; she loves to align with her inner being enter the flow of loving life consciousness through her heart of hearts and breathe the vibration of the poetic works free. Jennifer awoke to her healing journey eighteen years ago and has learned to incorporate different spiritual practices throughout the day to maintain balance while in service to others. Jennifer has found her true purpose in consciously choosing to be a light of loving awareness unto herself for the expansion and highest expression of love for all as this is the greatest gift she can give to herself and in turn offer the world.

Rely On Your Own Instincts More Than Tools

How Do You Use Your Tools?

I received an interesting question this morning about pendulums. This person was concerned that her use of pendulums was leading her to negative things. That the pendulum was, or could, tell her to do things that were harmful. This is an incorrect view of what a pendulum does, and since I occasionally see this distortion, I would like to clarify.

Pendulums are simple energy reading tools. Pendulums are not channeling devices. They do not connect you will beings or entities. It is also not correct to say we are “asking the pendulum” because the pendulum itself is not actually telling us anything of its own. Instead, the pendulum is a tool for detecting information that is present. It reads electromagnetic information. That simple. So, much like a medical device that can detect electromagnetic energy, or devices that help us to locate water beneath the surface of the earth with ultrasonic waves, pendulums do this in a very simplified way.

Now, pendulums can only give us information in response to a yes/no question. They have no language to tell us anything specific, but they can swing in one direction or the opposite. When you ask a simple yes/no question, the pendulum detects your energy, including energy you may not be aware of (such as the subconscious mind), as well as the energy immediately involved with what you are asking about. So, if you ask “is this vitamin supportive to my body right now?” the pendulum will detect your energy, the energy of the vitamin, and how the two energies resonate or work with each other at that moment. The ‘yes’ or ‘no’ you receive will be based solely on that.

Because of this, it is important to remember that we are the ones that are in control of our pendulums. We choose our questions, so our questions need to be in the form of yes/no or we will likely get no information at all, or information that is very confusing. Choose your questions with care and be direct and precise. Pendulums can’t tell us what to do or give us life advice. It is best to completely avoid asking questions that begin with “should I.”

We have to remember the limitations of our tools. We wouldn’t expect our microwaves to drive us to the store, right? We wouldn’t expect an ultrasound machine to tell us what decisions we should make about our lives, only to give us information. And we shouldn’t expect our pendulums to tell us everything about ourselves and our lives, nor should we rely on them to make decisions for us.

Pendulums can’t see the future. And we really need to remember that the future is not fixed. It is always fluctuating, with every new decision, thought, and emotional state that each being experiences. Each of us plays a part in the unfolding of the future, minute by minute. For that reason, it is pointless to use a pendulum to ask what will happen in the future. Instead, make decisions that you know to feel right for you, then move ahead from there.

Your pendulum has no power over you. No tool does unless you give that power over. Please don’t rely on tools of any sort, while ignoring your own ability to see what’s in your own heart. Listen to your body, your inner voice. No tool or device can decide how you live or what choices you make. Just like you wouldn’t turn to your microwave to help you make life decisions. Be cautious of reliance on tools, cards, devices, crystals, or anything else to guide you or tell you what is right for you.

My hope for you is that you will come to use your pendulum less and less as you come to trust your gut more and more. My goal has never been to teach my readers and students to use any tool so that you replace your own natural instincts with the tool. That is a miserable state of affairs. In the modern world, humans already rely more and more on tools and less and less on our own bodies and gut instincts.

To truly know ourselves, to tune in and remember who we are and how we can be, we must renew our connection with our inner voice. Tools can help us remember that voice is there, and they can help us trust what it is saying. They can even help us to demonstrate what is nebulous in a concrete way. But we should not replace our instincts with a reliance on tools, or we will be at peril of losing our connection with instinct altogether while it atrophies even further.

In Peace, Love & Joy,
Angie Webster
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Heal Your Heart with Plant Energy Medicine

hawthorn-1726549_640

Recently I have been very moved and guided to work with hawthorn more. Hawthorn is best known for its benefits in supporting and balancing the heart. It is full of vitamin C, B vitamins and is rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids. It’s a deeply nourishing food that also acts as a tonic and brings greater balance to our systems in an extremely gentle manner. It helps to balance blood pressure and bring support and balance to veins, arteries, and capillaries. Because it helps to support and stabilize the collagen in our bodies also helps to repair and build health in the joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It is also helpful for many digestive problems. 
In herbal healing, the energetic factor is often overlooked–the ways in which herbs help us emotionally and spiritually. Plants connect with us not just physically, but energetically. Hawthorn is a very special plant for supporting the healing of the heart on a spiritual and emotional level, as well as physical. It helps to heal and release grief, opens the heart to true expression and connection, and eases anxiety and deep sadness, especially as related to loss or feelings of being “shut down.” Hawthorn brings balance to the energetic heart, allowing for healthy boundaries, which make the heart capable of peaceful, compassionate, and gentle connection. That is a deeply nurturing and wise healing lesson for our physical cells and our souls.
Here is the recipe I was inspired to create. It is so delicious and can be eaten as a treat that is nutritious and healing on many levels. Astragalus is an adaptogen, helping to bring the entire body, mind, and spirit into balance. Ginger helps bring energy and movement to the herbs and into the body, and it brightens the other flavors and makes their sweetness “pop.”

Love Your Heart Herb Balls:
2 part hawthorn powder
1 part astragalus powder
1/2 part ginger powder
honey
Mix the powders together. Add a small bit of honey (maybe a teaspoon), enough to help the powders bind together and form a dough ball. Mix well until a nice dough ball is formed, then pinch off small pieces and roll into balls. Roll the balls in a little hawthorn powder to coat them and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I’m not sure why I was led to work with hawthorn or inspired to create this recipe. But I have been working with the plant energy long enough to know that when I am called to work with one, there is always a reason. The energy reaches out where it is meant to go. May it bless any that can benefit from it.

Joy and Peace,
Angie

P.S. Just a reminder…there is still a little time left to take advantage of my Solstice specials on my Herbal Basics Class and my Animal Reiki Class. These are both 25% off through the Solstice on June 21, 2017. The links will take you directly to the information and enrollment page with the discounted price.

Flower Power Tea Blend for the Summer Solstice

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It’s Almost Midsummer–The Solstice!

I have finished Herbal Basics! It is online and ready for you! If you have pre-registered, please enjoy the class. If you were waiting for the class to be completed, now is the time! In fact, in honor of the Solstice, I am offering a 25% off special to Herbal Basics for my newsletter subscribers.

I am also feeling the nudge to offer a 25% off special on my Animal Reiki Class. Summer is such a wonderful time to go outside and do animal Reiki!

Here is a lovely tea blend that is one of many herbal recipes I share in Herbal Basics. Try something fun and do a little Solstice ritual to offer your gratitude to the herbs, plants, trees, and the Earth as you prepare this tea (or any tea). I hope you enjoy!

Flower Power Tea Blend
This is a gorgeous tea that smells amazing, too! It is a great tea to sip during the work day, before bed or as a cold beverage to cool off in the summer. Children will love this tea because it is so colorful and tastes so good!

Ingredients:

2 parts lemon balm
2 parts hibiscus
1 part lavender
1 part rose petals

Blend the herbs together and store the portion you won’t be using now in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. To brew, use a teaspoon per cup of boiling water. You can make an entire pot and add ice cubes to make a cool drink for summer barbecues or picnics.

Blessings,
Angie
angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

Herbal Basics homepage

Writing a Self-Healing Letter to Free your Energy & Balance the Solar Plexus

butterfly-2032295_960_720New Beginnings are Everywhere!

Each spring, it seems as though we move right along with the cycles of Nature to clear out the old and stagnant to make way for new energy to move in and lift us up. The whole world is awake and alive with new beginnings and it can be to perfect time to allow this same energy into our own minds, spirits, and bodies to create shifts, healing, and awakenings.

When I first became interested in energy medicine, I had the most earnest and deep intention and desire to know more about it. I didn’t know for certain how that would come about or what I was meant to learn, but I knew that this was a new connecting point to the very helpful world of plants & herbs, animals, and Nature which had taught me and helped me so much.

Yet, I felt stuck. I couldn’t find my way to move forward and really didn’t understand who I was. I had no idea why I was stuck or what to do about it. Finally, I worked with an energy healer who practiced pranic healing. She did a huge amount of clearing in my solar plexus, sacral, and root chakras. Afterward, she told me that I was holding a huge amount of my personal energy back in these chakras, especially my solar plexus. Then she gave me a wonderful tool, which I will share with you today.

The solar plexus is the center of our personal energy, our power center, so to speak. It connects all the energy of the lower chakras, the body, and the Earth, with all of the energy of the upper chakras, mind, spirit, and the Cosmos or Heaven. When the solar plexus is blocked or imbalanced, we can’t easily clear any blockages in the sacral or root chakras. We can’t access and use the energy or personal spiritual power that we are given by the Divine. We don’t feel really at home in the world or in our bodies. We may feel unsafe in loving expression, due to the imbalance within ourselves. Moving forward becomes very difficult or impossible without balance and flow in the solar plexus. Many people remain stuck or caught in repeating cycles because of imbalances here.

To help yourself clear and balance the solar plexus and the lower chakras, write a letter freeing yourself from anything that you feel binds you or your energy. This may be old resentments, regrets, unhealthy relationship patterns, limiting beliefs and ways of thinking. It could also be ways that you identify yourself that no longer feel appropriate. You will never send this letter, so you can freely write to who or whatever you need to.

Before you begin, take a moment to sit quietly and really look within. Notice all the places that you feel stuck or don’t feel able to be authentically you. Notice any areas where you feel a desire to move forward, but something is holding you back. Then simply start writing your letter, addressing each of these situations that arose within you. Let it flow out of you freely onto the paper. Write to all of the people, circumstances, belief patterns, regrets, or resentments that you wish to release or view differently. Remember, no one will see this letter but you, so say whatever you need to so it can release and heal.

At the end of the letter, see if you can find forgiveness for yourself, the other people, and situations involved. You may choose to keep your letter to look back once a year or so and see your progress. Or you may choose to tear it up, bury it or burn it (safely), offering the healing intention to the Earth. Whatever you do, it is important that you not send the letter to anyone you addressed in it. This letter is only for you and your healing.

Writing is such a beautiful tool to help us explore our inner world and heal it. I hope you try this tool. I am forever grateful to the pranic healer who helped me find my personal spiritual energy again by telling me about this tool.

Blessings,
Angie
angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

Something Special for You!
I have something special for you this week! Fellow Reiki Rays author Paula Vanderzon has a wonderful course called Soul Writing, which she is offering to my readers for 20% off this weekend. (May 12-15, 2017.)

Early last year, took Soul Writing myself and it was wonderful! I loved Paula’s course so much, I have begun recommending it to my students. I recently asked her if she would be willing to extend a discount to my readers and she graciously agreed. Soul Writing teaches a form of automatic writing which helps to guide you back into alignment with your own soul. It is a beautiful, simple, and empowering tool to use in order to work with your spiritual energy as you were designed to.

To check out Soul Writing and enroll, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser:  http://www.paulavanderzon.com.au/soul-writing-course.html

In order to receive your 20% discount, enter the coupon code SOUL20 during the checkout process.The coupon is valid for this weekend and the special will end on May 15, 2017. Enjoy the class!

 

Paula Vanderzon, Soul Writing Class. 

 

 

 

Plants are Our Energetic Allies

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I have always found a deep energetic connection in Nature and her plants.

Sometimes I find myself getting a bit disconnected, but she always calls me back. The flowers, trees, and plants send their loving medicine to me, even if I’m not listening or I don’t fully know how to receive it.

A few years ago, I started receiving messages from the plants during energy healing sessions. I would get an image of a plant or a tree and understand on a deep level that this plant offered medicine that was needed for that particular situation or person. It wasn’t that the person needed to consume the plant, I simply needed to call upon that plant’s energy to allow the energetic plant medicine to flow through and help healing take place.

When this first began happening, I was fascinated! I would look the plant up after the healing session to see what healing properties it held. I always found that the plant was ideally matched in some way to the concerns of that particular client or situation.

In many cases, I was personally led to the perfect herb to help me heal from a particular health issue or a flower essence to help shift an emotional block. This all led me strongly back to my lifelong fascination with Nature, plants, herbs, flowers and generally with being outside and connecting with the Divine Life Force all around us. I returned to making my own herbal remedies and began using plant energetics in my life on a regular basis.

Life does tend to get busy and things happen that seem to come out of nowhere. Sometime in the last year, I found myself so caught up in the tasks of everyday life that I began to forget the plants and flowers again. I still called upon them on occasion, but I could feel myself ignoring my need to re-connect, insisting that I was too busy. Each time I did this, I felt a part of my inner self wither and die. I felt sick inside. And I began to actually feel physically sick, in pain, and thinking in a lesser vibration. I was shutting myself off from that which fed my life force.

One day, in prayer and meditation, I asked to be connected to and nourished by the River of Life. I often do this, but this day I was feeling lost. I suddenly felt a warm, motherly presence that I recognized as the Divine Feminine Aspect of Life—or what many may call Mother Mary. She seemed to be all around me and within me. She said to me, “The River of Life is inside of you and all around you. You are never separate from it. You only need to breathe to remember your connection to it. It is with you always and you can never part from it. You are swimming in it.”

I felt an immense peace. And I remembered the flowers and plants. I remembered my connection was in all of life, on both an energetic level and a physical level. Yet, I had to find my way back to actually applying it, undoing the blocks I had built up in body and mind.

Around that same time, the plants began visiting me in my dreams. First, there was chickweed and calendula. Then dandelion and violet. Soon nettle joined, and then oat straw. Each time a plant would show up, I felt instantly lighter and freer. They were working with me on an emotional level. I also knew enough about these plant’s properties to realize that they were ideal for the physical issues that I was having.

Once the dandelions, chickweed, and violets made their arrival this spring, I went to visit them in person, to pick some for physical medicine and to receive their healing presence. The simple scent of them each time is enough to heal my heart and mind!  Sitting with them in ordinary silent prayerful communion heals my spirit and reminds me of my truth. Consuming them as food, teas and tinctures has been deeply healing to my body as well.

I have returned to my practices of communing with the plants, trees, and the Earth. They are my connection to the Divine, and they are my medicine—on so many levels. It has been the experiences that I speak of here that have encouraged me to teach my Herbal Basics Class this summer. And more classes later on plant energetics. I have felt the nudge for a long time and I am so glad the Divine Mother opened my heart to listen!

Blessings,

Angie

angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

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