Essays, Happiness, Lifestyle Design, Personal Development, Spirituality, Working Mom

Struggling with Finding Your Purpose outside of Parenthood? Read this.

Early motherhood is busy.  There is a hell of a lot of stuff to do on the surface, and in the day-to-day. I said to my husband the other day that just managing the clothing (washing, putting away, picking up) of two toddlers and a baby is fully a part-time job that takes up at least half a day out of each week!

One thing that has been bugging me lately though, and if I’m being honest, giving me a bit of anxiety, is feeling like I haven’t hit my potential in life yet, that I haven’t found a passion, a calling, a purpose.  Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is amazing and raising the next generation is the most sacred, purposeful thing one can do – but as you know, my blog focuses on our lives, our questions outside of motherhood, because as much as we are “mom” we are still US.  I am still Carina, and Carina has her own interests, hopes and dreams that she tries to keep alive in the snatches of time that she has. I think it is so important to continue to do this and not get lost in motherhood.  I see this happen to way too many women, and they emerge but only a shell of themselves in their 50s, when their children leave home.

I absolutely LOVE my career at the University, but outside of work, and motherhood, I still feel like I’m not serving people in the way I can.  Does this make sense?  Do you ever feel like this as well? I’m hoping I am not the only one, the whole point of writing is to feel less alone and connect with others feeling the same way!

My actual full time job is coaching university students in this topic every day.

Most of my work focuses on the early stages of this proccess, because you truly need to be an expert in yourself and to know (and accept) some of your strengths and talents, before you embark on the purposeful life.  The 20s are exciting because you are just embarking on designing your own individual identity.  In your 20s, you are being exposed to new ideas, identities.  You are choosing to reject or accept things you held as truth growing up.  You are crafting your life.

I often use psychometric instruments like Strengths Finder, the MBTI or the Strong Interest Inventory as a ‘base’ from which we can pursue the goal of “know thyself.”  I work with students to shift their language and self-perception, to that of strengths and talents.  I want them to graduate with a minor in strengths & talents.  I love doing this.

Had I had this in University, I would have embraced my multi-passionate, inquiring nature and it would have saved me so much angst, as I blindly changed majors constantly and worried about picking a degree that would be looked upon well by the outside world.

But once you get to motherhood and your late 20s / early 30s, and you experience the profundity of carrying and birthing a child, mortality, etc. your inner landscape shifts a bit.  Whether you like it or not, you do become deeper, more spiritual, introspective and realize there is more out there to a meaningful life than going through the motions of parenthood, workerhood, domestichood, partnerhood, family hood.  Right?  You look up and think “there’s something else I’m supposed to do.”  This is documented in psychology and sociology textbooks.  It’s not just me talking, this is research talking.

I have been researching, studying and experimenting with this path to feeling fulfilled and like I am on track to my right purpose here in this lifetime.  My main goal on this third maternity leave is to heal my body and regain vitality, but I feel the urgency increasing too.  What can I do to serve others in the way I can?  I’ve looked up and asked “help me figure it out!”  In fact, at the full day meditation workshop I attended last week, I put it out there as my intention going forward as well.

 

I am slowly coming to realize that to figure out your purpose in life is to live your life, and you only really understand your purpose in hindsight, when it has come to fruition, and you can then craft a description around it. In living our best daily lives, and using our talents, we are actually slowly bringing about our purpose.

This is the most unsatisfying answer in the world, because it doesn’t align with our human needs to have answers, schedules, and be in control (the ego wants this.) This is why I (and probably) always feel so annoyed when you read an article and then feel like your question wasn’t answered.  It’s why my students have to keep coming back in for appointments because it is a process.

This approach to figuring out our purpose has no immediate answers,

only in hindsight do the dots connect, to illuminate your larger process.  It’s like looking at individual stars in the sky, but then connecting them all to see that there is a constellation there. 

The key here is that we have to focus on creating some dots (or stars in the sky) that eventually we can look up at, and realize that they all connect into a unique constellation. 

The dots that we focus on creating, can only come about by living according to some very important rules.  I’ve spent about a week crafting these rules based on deep research and hundreds of books as well as meditations, so I’m pretty excited to reveal them!

There is no schedule because things come about on their own schedule (the people, places, things you are meant to experience and learn that all connect to this mystical purpose you have here) and they sure as hell are not in your control.  99.9% of the major events that will set you on the path to your purpose are chance happenings or coincidences.   Things like this:

You meet someone randomly, in a coffee shop, and strike up a conversation.  That launches you down the path to a new career which happens to be your true calling.

You do some googling and by chance click on a link to a website which happens to connect with you on a deep level, you wind up taking an online course that takes you down a path of growth and deepening of your sense of who you are.

You simply embrace motherhood, stop the anxious “what is the meaning here” chatter, and are taken aback when your realize that all of the hobbies you have with your children, all of the things you add to pinterest, tie to your most important values which have a common theme.

You simply cannot predict these things.   But what you can do, is increase the probability and you can shift up the  time line a bit of figuring your shit out, so to speak.

If you start living your life right now, more closely aligned with the right forces, you will be on a faster track to figuring out the meaning of your life and the unique way you are meant to serve others (outside of partner and children of course lol.)

If you are uncomfortable with things just unfolding and are struggling to enjoy what life presents you, feel irritated reading this article, and admit that you find yourself wanting to be in control of what comes down the pipeline, there is another force at play.  That is the ego, which likes to be large and in charge and cares what other people thing.  It’s why we get so attached to particular benchmarks.  It’s why choosing a major is such a big deal for my students, because it is a way to show the outside world what your worth is (when really it isn’t the whole story.) . Ask yourself, why do I think I can control everything on a schedule?  Has my life been like that? Do I actually have proof of that or is it a need my ego has and keeps pushing for?  It’s an interesting exercise to do.

So now that I’ve got your mind ticking, I’ll keep you in suspense!  (Also, I really need to drink some coffee and get out of my house coat.)

This weekend I’ll reveal the rules that will help you fast-track to your purpose and feeling fulfilled.  Remember, these are dots, or stars in the sky to create, and the more you have, the more the constellation will start to form.

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Grounding, Happiness, Lifestyle, Personal Development, Sleep, Spirituality

How to Have a Great Maternity Leave: Try Yoga Nidra (or meditation)

This past weekend, I drove back from the mountains, across snow-blown highways, to arrive in Calgary at 9am.  Why?  Because I had a unique opportunity.

For the last few years, I have dabbled in taking meditation workshops of all shapes, sizes and lengths.

I have also experimented with a few meditation apps (I’ll talk about these later in the post.)  I love that there is plenty of science and fascinating research to back up the benefits of meditation, but I also love the spiritual side.  It appeals to both sides of me…the academic, but also the student of metaphysics.

I first discovered meditation when I started going to Yoga in my 20s as an employee at Lululemon.  It was there that I realized that I was really just there for the savasana (the delicious part at the end of a yoga class when you get to just lie on your back with your eyes closed and chill.)

Once I learnt that savasana at the end of yoga classes,  was basically “meditation,” I sought out opportunities to take workshops. I LOVED the feeling of being so relaxed and could feel the benefits last for days afterward.

I attended a few meditation workshops run by Jane Sponiar for new mothers held at the Holistic Institute of Health and Fertility, where I was taking Mum and Baby Yoga.   I enjoyed these workshops, because she introduced us to different types of meditations in totally normal english language, without too much of the new age lingo.

There were visual meditations, guided meditations, walking meditations and traditional seated meditations.

It is important to try different styles of meditation because just as with workouts, there are different ‘flavours’ of meditation that appeal to different people.  Some people can sit and go straight into silent meditation and quiet the mind (I can do this when my life is fairly well balanced, but I struggle with it when I get too busy, or my back is particularly bad.)

My *very* visual and creative monkey brain loves a good guided meditation, where the teacher gives us visual images to focus on.  It gets things somewhat under control and relaxes me, and then I find it easier to enter the silence and reduced brain activity that accompanies a meditation.

Visual meditation techniques have been so helpful, in fact, that I wound up using visual meditations during my next two labours.  I’d visualize myself on a surfboard, paddling up and over a large wave just before it crests. Just like this image below. It timed perfectly with each contraction, which lasted about 30 seconds.

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 8.25.21 PM

Though it didn’t eliminate the pain of each contraction, meditation passed the time by quickly and kept me calm.  I also had a few tracks that I played that helped me stay in a super relaxed place in the early stages of labour.  These were:

https://soundcloud.com/paddo-cosmo/healing-earth-edit-healing?in=caricar/sets/sleep 

and this one:

 

So back to my story, why did I drive to Calgary at 6am?

I had the opportunity to attend a Yoga Nidra Immersion workshop put on by the otherworldly Tanis Fishman, founder of the School of Sankalpa.

As with all things meant to be, the dots connected when I walked into the room at Yoga Passage and thought ‘huh, she looks so familiar!’.

I realized with a jolt, that out of all of the random yoga classes I had done over the past 8 years, the most meaningful ones were taught by this lady in front of me. The universe is crafty like that.  This is synchronicity at its finest.  Meaningful coincidences.

What was it about this workshop that appealed to me?

Yoga Nidra is a type of meditation that is also known as “yogic sleep.”  By guiding participants (most often through a body scan and visual meditation process) the brain enters a different state of consciousness.  It is a strange place that sits in the gossamer folds between wakefulness and sleep.  It is a place of profound, and deep relaxation.  You definitely don’t get there and stay there for the full Yoga Nidra (in our case these were 45 minute sessions x 4.) . You sort of flow in and out of consciousness and sleep, but you get a feel for the strange place in between as you transition in and out.

If you are familiar with metaphysical / new age stuff, lucid dreaming, or psychic channeling, it all happens in this stage. In the yoga interpretation, this stage is when we access our deepest subconscious and where our soul resides. For those of you scientifically inclined, I highly recommend reading this article on brain states that Tanis has obviously well researched.  Her resources section on her site is incredible, by the way.  The website for the Headspace Meditation app also has an extensive science library, which you can peruse here. 

The nice thing about Yoga Nidra and Meditation is that it has so much research backing it, and it was really nice to see quite a few professors from the University there that I recognized!

Each month, there are more and more research articles expounding the physiological and neuropsychological processes (and benefits.) Meditation also benefits us outside of the actual act (see article: meditation and has extensive residual effects, ) 

As a regular practitioner of meditation, I can honestly say that meditation, in general, has helped me in some ways, in other ways not so much. So here’s my opinion of it:

It has helped me hugely in becoming a fairly grounded, easy going person. I still struggle with anxiety in my body, but my mind and emotions are lovely calm domains for me.   (My body is still something I am trying to figure out – why my body carries anxiety.) . I tend to look at my life as existing in three domains, mind, body and spirit/soul.

I find it very easy to become clear-headed and focused in emergency situations, and am much better able to regulate myself emotionally day-to-day, which has been super helpful for staying calm when my toddlers are in that lovely intense toddler mode (I have a fiery high energy Scorpio and an earthy, stubborn Taurus.) I use meditation with the kids now and it has really helped our quiet times.  They ask for their 5-minute Headspace meditation on the app *every* night.

I still struggle with sadness though, when I am fatigued. Meditation has not helped this. In my case, I think this comes down to some issues with neurotransmitters (serotonin.)   Taking an SSRI has really improved how I am doing overall, which combined with meditation has been a key to mental wellness for me!   Both address causes of anxiety and depression at the root level – thinking patterns and levels of neurotransmitters.

Note: If I could address the restlessness of my spirit which is trying to figure out its purpose here,  and physical pain of my body, I’d be absolutely solid.  

Meditation has also benefitted me by giving me an opportunity to downregulate my nervous system, which in post-partum wants to be jacked up and on high alert.  This is probably a totally normal postpartum leftover from paleolithic days.  That is straight up biology and the reptilian brain wanting to protect its offspring.  The problem is, it causes the most crushing anxiety and stress in those early newborn days!  Meditation has been a great way to be able to observe, and become aware of anxious thoughts, instead of unconsciously engaged with them.  Jane Sponiar once described it as standing alongside a busy road.  When the anxious thoughts about your or your baby appear, it’s like a car zooming past on the road.  Do you get into every single car and go along for the ride, or do you stay on the sidewalk and just watch the cars drive by?  Meditation gives you the ability to stay on the sidewalk, observe and acknowledge the thought, and then choose to engage with it or not. Anxious thoughts still happen, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t own you and you don’t physiologically or emotionally respond to them as often.  It becomes a choice rather than a habit.  

With my first born, if she made the slightest snuffle down the hall in her crib, my body would just panic and shoot adrenaline out everywhere like a firework show.  I struggled with sleep and had some anxiety about walking alongside hills and cliffs with the stroller (I still have this actually, it’s my random fear I have with my kids.)

With my third baby born this past summer (after a good 3 years of regular meditation under my belt)  I haven’t struggled with this at all. I can fall asleep anywhere, I don’t feel high strung and panicky, just sadness if I am experiencing discomfort.  I practice naps and meditation intentionally as ways to downregulate my nervous system.

There are other ways such as baths, exercise, etc. and these are all wonderful techniques too!  Personally, naps and meditation are my jam, because they give my brain a break and are deeply restorative. As for the new mama danger filter? I experienced the nervousness around a cliff in Kau’ai this past December and the panic set in.  It was a bad moment for me, but I at least saw it coming and engaged with it consciously, because I did genuinely feel like the danger level was out of my comfort zone. I just wish I didn’t get so emotionally distraught over it and become irrational yelly mc yellerson with my husband!  (note to self: more work needed in this area.)

Other benefits of meditation?  Lucid dreaming and channeling. I now get messages or images on the regular.  I just don’t know what the hell most of them mean so I Just write them down in a journal, and hope they’ll make sense one day!

This is why the Yoga Nidra immersion this past weekend was particularly profound for me. I got several visions both directed to myself and others in the room.  I’ll write about them in another post for those who are of the spiritual/new age persuasion.

One other thing I wanted to mention with Yoga Nidra and why it is so amazing for you is that it puts the brain into a different state where it produces different waves – alpha waves.

When else does our brain get to hang out in that lovely place between wakefulness and sleep?  There are few opportunities for the brain to have space and time to produce alpha waves (this is what it produces during yoga nidra or meditation.)

I totally recommend you google alpha brain waves.  It is fascinating, and again, backed up by lots of science and evidence so it’s not woo-woo stuff.  Alpha waves are associated with creativity, strokes of genius, ideas, and solutions.  Studies on athletes have shown that they have a big burst of alpha waves in moments of peak performance.  This is also a state in which the brain is highly suggestive, and messages go right down into the deeper subconscious – which is why when you do meditation or yoga nidra, you can layer in affirmative mantras or messages, and instructors often do.

At the Yoga Nidra immersion, we were given four opportunities to go into Yoga Nidra (each one lasting 45 minutes which let me tell you, felt more like TEN minutes) and we were asked to set an intention for ourselves that we want for this year.

This is called a “Sankalpa.”

My personal Sankalpa was “I continue to come closer to discovering how I am meant to serve people.”  This sounds a bit vague, but it means that I want to figure out my purpose here.

I am a bit of a multi-passionate, with diverse interests but I haven’t landed on what I feel I can really do to serve other people – and I think it drives my anxiety to some extent because I feel like I am not living up to my potential, truth be told.  Most days I feel scattered and distributed among many interests, and feel like my effectiveness is diluted. Even though I LOVE everything that I do, I become paralyzed by the abundance of things I enjoy doing and let me tell you, it has been impossible figuring out what my niches are as a professional coach because I enjoy every type of client! 

With the Sankalpa chosen, we were guided into deep relaxation and alpha brain state with visual imagery (imagining things) or body scanning (scanning through your body relaxing each part.)   We were asked to silently state our Sankalpa to kind of “plant” it in our brain – or plant it in the universe – whichever you prefer to believe 🙂  Super interesting stuff, no?

Another wonderful thing that we did during the full day immersion, is we bought a journal along.  After each Nidra, most of us got up, wiped the drool off our faces ( you really do float in and out of consciousness, many people slept, some snored!) and recorded any thoughts, impressions, images that we had.  My first 2 out of the 4 yoga nidras there was a whole bunch of channeling going on.  3rd and 4th were profoundly relaxing and honestly, truly the “yogic sleep” for me where my body just wanted to relax and chill.  And chill it did.  I don’t think I fully slept, but I came out of those feeling deeply restored.  They say that one Yoga Nidra session is equivalent to several hours sleep.

So what did I get through in the 1st and 2nd Yoga Nidras?  In the first Nidra, the most profound thing was that I smelt my favourite childhood flower, hyacinth *very* strongly in the room, and saw a purple one in my minds’ eye.

During the second Nidra. I was feeling quite sad and was thinking of loneliness and isolation.  Lately, I haven’t seen much of friends as we all become busy with toddlers, various nap times, organized activities/sports, and some entering preschool. I spend a lot of time wondering if, with kids starting preschool and kindergarten, that all of our friendship circles will shift again, or if it’s just a temporary thing?  It is ever so different from the lovely days of first mat leave when we’d all hang out with our beautiful new babies, exploring the city together and creating memories.

Despite our best efforts, it’s just impossible to get schedules to align.  I’ve thought lately that it is a lonely period of time for us mamas when we are in the under-5 age range with our kids.  I kind of got on this thinking track in the second nidra, then slowly began to float in and out of sleep.  It was then that my mum showed up in my mind’s eye (I didn’t see an image of her but just felt her presence and kind of like a telepathic message that appeared in my mind.)

I felt her appear to my side and she actually admonished me kind of firmly with “you are NEVER alone!” (interestingly she was never this firm in real life, so it was weird that she was like this on Saturday) and there was then a span of time when it very, very obviously felt like she was standing right beside me.  It was interesting, and reassuring, and definitely the most obvious way she has shown up since she passed.  It was a lovely gift.

Other things that happened: Tanis was seated beside me for one of the Nidras when it was led by a different instructor.  I started seeing pictures of geometric black and white patterns, much like those rustic rugs you see or in native American art.  I also saw a crows’ head. Funnily enough on Tanis’ website, she has lots of geometric figures. I haven’t googled geometric figures yet but that will come at some point, as I see them alot.  I am sure that will lead me down another google rabbit hole of learning, late at night 🙂

These are all interesting things, for sure,  but I am not yet developed enough to connect meaning to a lot of the things I see/smell/feel (such as the hyacinth flower, wtf does that mean?)  As a personal reflection, I think the first stage of development is that you are more aware and notice things, pick up on images, sensations or messages – but then truly developing your psychic skills, is a matter of actually being able to understand the meaning of them.  That’s where I’d like to go eventually.

But for now, it was simply cool and interesting and good entries for my journal.  It’s fascinating even as a scientific, totally rational observer, to see what your brain comes up with in its most relaxed state.  The journalling was fantastic as rarely are we able to jot meditation impressions down, before they fade into the mists of the brain.

The only way I can describe this fading away, it is that it is very similar to a great dream.  You wake up, luxuriating in the memories of that dream, but within 5 minutes, it fades away into the deep recesses of your consciousness and you forget all about it.  It is the same with the things that come to you during meditation.

So what is my plan going forward? To continue trying to journal a few impressions I get during meditation *if*I get any, and to continue to enjoy the luxurious “bubble bath for the brain” that is meditation.  I’ll also be trying to get back to some restorative or yin yoga during which there are lots of lovely opportunities for deep relaxation and yoga nidra.

If you are curious, there are many fantastic apps,

For the children we use the Headspace app and the 5 minute “sleep” meditation for the kiddos.

For myself, I have been absolutely loving the free app Insight Timer, which is like a facebook of meditations! In particular, there is a meditation called “bone deep sleep” which I have YET to make it through, because I’m always fast asleep half way through!

If you are curious about Tanis, do visit her extensive resources page on her website, and she also has a few free yoga nidra videos on her youtube channel here!    there are tons of Yoga Nidra videos on Youtube but they do honestly vary in quality, and there’s a lot of shitty ones on there, trust me, I’ve tried a lot 🙂 I’d mostly recommend her channel or the free Insight App and choose one that is highly rated by users.

I hope this has piqued your curiousity about Yoga Nidra and/or meditation, it may be the most wonderful thing you discover in this, your Great Maternity Leave.

 

xo.

Carina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness, Personal Development, Spirituality

Post-Partum Spiritual Development: Our External Versus Internal Worlds

You know what? I love the internet.

As we go about our lives, one facet is the external world that we live in.

This is like a silent movie reel playing. As we watch, we are walking about our kitchen, doing the dishes, or maybe driving down the highway, commuting into work or maybe (like me last night) standing in a dark room, swaying back and forth to settle a teething baby.

As we go about our days and write about the life we experience, it is usually the external life.  Think of this as the “doing” life.  Where we are “doing” stuff. The external world is observable with our senses.  We witness our own lives, and we even watch other people’s external worlds.  The mom dropping her kids at school.  The man having a conversation on his cell phone.

But there’s more to life than just that, isn’t there?   It’s like when you look at someone,  they may look  a certain way (external world) but then when you get to know them as a person (their internal world) they are a completely different person.

There is this insanely rich inner world that we live in, that is happening at the same time as we go about our lives.

I found my world shifted a bit with the distinction of these two in coaching school.  It’s almost like two separate dimensions happening at the same time.  At this very moment:

[External world] I am sitting in bed at my laptop right now, drinking tea.

[Internal world] Well, shit, I’m about to write a confession that I see auras and read energy and am sharing my deepest secrets with the hope that others are too and that we can all feel a bit less alone and share experiences and things that helped us!

That’s a pretty rich world that is happening at the same time as a person who in the external world, is just lying on a bed typing on a keyboard, no?

Another example of the external versus internal world in any given moment:

The mother swaying in a dark room with a fussy baby.

[External world] Mom.  Rocking baby in the dark.  Baby fussing.

[Internal world] there is so much more happening.

She may be thinking about what she can do to relieve her little one’s pain, she may be thinking about the challenges of that day, she may be planning how to get some rest the next day, she may be enjoying the sweet little head nestled into her shoulder, thinking about this new journey called motherhood.

The inner world is where we truly live, and spend most of our time.

So, you ask, why did I start with this sentence “I love the internet” ?

Because on the internet, we deal with the written word and deeper sharing.

The written world is one of the few ways we can share and let people into our vast inner world.

It’s tough to do through other communication methods such as conversation.  Alll of us new mums know this –  conversation as a mother is snatching fragments of time in which to speak between toddlers and babies and keeping said toddlers and babies alive.  So often (and it is noone’s fault) conversation stays on the surface, circling around the “doing” of motherhood, or the external life of motherhood.  It’s easy, it’s accesible in quick snippets of conversation.

The written word, whether book, or a blog post is a great way in which we can share all the stuff that is going on in our internal world.     What is really going on below the surface.

It is where ultimately, we all reside and also spend more time, especially in our 30s and beyond, and especially after having babies when our inner world has shifted, big time.

That, friends, is why I ventured into writing about spiritual development.

As I walk around doing my thing each day, people see a busy mama of three (external world) but they don’t see my internal world.   That I can see people’s auras and read their energies.

Here I am doing laundry, but I am simultaneously wondering, are others on the same path? noticing the same things after having babies? how did they develop? what do they see / experience?   How do I develop this talent? how do I connect with others? 

Ok, it is also a lot of: How the fuck are there two loads of laundry already, I just did five loads yesterday, what’s the point of doing this if it’s just going to happen all over again in a few days, why don’t a single one of these socks match. lol.

Honestly, to feed the internal world, it has been googling and reading up to this point, and now, a bit of blogging.

I hope you’ll engage too in the comments with your own sharing of your inner world as we go along this series of blog posts.   I most certainly know I’m not the only one here 😉

It’s interesting, isn’t it? That we have so many well-established institutions to help us develop in different areas of our external life.  Health, knowledge, nutrition, parenting even.  Yet, there is no socially acceptable institution (outside of religion) that is set up to help us develop spiritually when we’re just getting interested in this topic.

It’s still this thing where we all hop on our laptops or mobile phones and secretly google and then occasionally meet someone who is awake or enlightened to this kind of stuff, who has the hushed conversation over wine or coffee with us or even emails us some links and resources.  It makes me giggle, but it also makes me feel that we have lots of progress to make!

 

So stay tuned, coming up next is energy fields, auras, vibrations, whatever you want to call it, it is about people who you totally vibe on and how you can become one of those, and how to manage energy, or what level you are vibrating on, or how not to be an energy vampire, lol.  There are so many words that refer to the same thing and no one single language, so I’m just throwing these all out there in the hopes one of them makes sense to your experience!

 

xo

Happiness, Personal Development, Spirituality

Post-Partum Spiritual Development (in Your 30s) – What is Synchronicity and What to do When it Happens To You.

I have decided, in 2018, to dip my toes into the waters of writing about spiritual / psychic development.  It feels slightly risky. It is done with more than a little bit of trepidation, as in many ways, this has been a private topic for me as it was every female in my family before me.

In the last few years, (since I became pregnant with my first-born) the whisper of spiritual development has become more like a loud conversation.  I am feeling like it is the right time and place to share some of the things that have helped me develop and have gotten me to a place where I am able to read tarot, lucid dream, receive messages, read energy, see auras, feel energy and all sorts of other strange things that would probably freak people out if I told them (so I don’t… except on my blog!  hah!)

I am writing these articles for those of you, who like me, are starting to notice their intuition, spidey sense, universal mind, that things have energy, etc. and are curious. Curious enough to google, and find yourself here.  Or, curious enough to keep reading.

Curiosity and late-night googlings with a glass of wine in hand,

This is unofficially the best way to develop psychically and spiritually, lol.  Trust me, this can embark you on a weird and wonderful path of spiritual development.  Reading really is the way to go in the early stages.

There are definitely lots of different spiritual communities or approaches to spirituality out there. There’s the crystal peeps, the wicca / witches, the psychic mediums, the practicing religious, even angel peeps – that’s a really big thing.  Archangel stuff is wild.  I remember early in my spiritual googling I somehow found myself reading about archangel metatron and actually feeling freaked out, and realized it was like, 2 in the morning.  Cue better bedtime screen time discipline and less hyperactive imagination.

Once you get into all of the metaphysical or spiritual philosophies though, they are all the same beliefs and lessons, over and over again.   You begin noticing this with religions, too. The same basic core beliefs and lessons over and over again, just in different ‘packages’ or spiritual languages / interests.

Don’t worry, this not the part where I go into Archangel Gabriel and how he’s going to help you.

I’m not particularly religious, and I don’t subscribe to any particular spiritual practice or beliefs.  I definitely don’t like it when people become fundamentalists about things.  Any closure of the mind to me, is not being spiritual. Being open minded and non judgemental but just “getting” energy and universal lessons is spirituality to me.

My spirituality is smatterings of things here and there that my soul knows, and has seemed to know for a long time, and is being reinforced by books, people, things, experiences and places.  These are the things I’ll be writing about.

So let’s get to it.  This synchronicity business.  What does that mean? 

In short, coincedences are most certainly not coincedences.  Things are happening to you that were 100% meant to happen to you.  And if you are open to it, there are definitely more things coming down the pipeline to you, that if you realize it in the moment (after laughing at how uncanny it is) and jump on it / take the hint, you will be accelerated toward your purpose + fulfillment in this lifetime.

To get synchronicity going, you have to be on the lookout for it, but you have to also kind of “set the intention” for it.  Yes, you sort of have to go ahead and ask.    It has always been there but you haven’t always been aware enough to notice all of these funny coincedences in your life, and you haven’t always been able to connect the dots.

I promise you that this will begin to change.

Once you kind of set the intention inside of yourself to spiritually develop, the universe (or whatever you want to call it!) responds with synchronicity.

 

 

Synchronicity happens most often in the forms of books and people.

Want an example?

Example # 1: People coming into your life

Two years ago, I met lovely fellow mama at a forest school group who was always just so happy, she was magnetic and had such good energy about her (yes I saw her aura and yes it was beautiful but I won’t get into that)  and our families (including kids) immediately hit it off. After the school ended, we lost contact.

Lately I’ve been thinking more than usual, about how some people have ridiculously good energy and how as we  (as a family) are becoming more conscious of the precious time we have to spend with friends, and how those are the types of people we want in our (and our kids’) lives.

So… this last Thursday.

I’m leaving with my daughter from her morning preschool when who walks in?  This lovely woman from forest school!  Of all the preschools in the area she has her son in this one, and by coincidence, that one day I had been at the school instead of my husband to do pickup, and stuck around for an entire hour talking to the teacher, and she had arrived with her son for the afternoon class.   We hug, excitedly exchange contact information and facebook connect (and of course realize how similar our lives are shortly thereafter.)

Stranger things still, I get home, eat lunch and hop onto instagram. I look at the notifications for my early morning instagram post  and almost immediately after that post, a lady had commented on it (she wasn’t a follower but had randomly come across the post and it had touched her enough to comment, with no knowledge of who I was) – guess who it was.  Yes.  You’ve got it.  Three hours before we even had any idea we’d literally run into each other at our kids’ preschool.

Example #2:  Books

All of a sudden, you’ll find some books to read…

Or even better, they begin to find you. You notice a book on sale at chapters or you are strangely drawn to a random one on a shelf.

All of a sudden, someone recommends a book to you.

Or perhaps you make a random selection on Kindle on your late night googling with wine (see above) and it winds up deeply impacting your internal universe.

And then, this is when shit gets trippy,

You casually mention reading said book and your closest friend looks at you funny, and lets you in on the fact that the practice in this book is the spiritual discipline in which they’ve been raised, and all of a sudden your understanding of them just goes to another level.

~

In spiritual-speak, all of the above events are called synchronicity.

Honestly, do you know what I call this, as kind of your average woman / spiritual new comer ?

It is called “what the fuuuuuck.”

Quickly followed by

**goosebumps on the arm**  Super eloquent, right?

But also, super accessible, because when you start trying to figure out what the hell is going on, and why all these weird coincedences are happening, you go down the rabbit hole of reading about law of attraction and manifestation and you kind of get overwhelmed at the super spiritual terminology and language and communities.

I know what you’re doing right now, you are hitting ctrl + t to open new tabs up to google all of this.  See?  This is exactly what happens, you are led down a path of discovery, and then, realize there’s words and terms to describe exactly what is happening to you, and then you realize all these funny words like manifestation or synchronicity are part of this funny little world called spiritual development.

Then, as you put on these new little spiritually aware glasses, more weird things begin happening.  That friends, is spiritual development! 🙂

I’ll tell you another little story about synchronicity because this is 100% true and recent.

I’ve been thinking about making jewellery more and more. I can’t stop thinking about it, tbh, and so many ideas keep popping up in my mind, it’s like a constant background thrumming in my brain that I can’t switch off.  I’ll look at a twig on the ground and I’ve already designed something in my mind without even actively thinking about it.

It has always been a creative hobby but as I think more about work-life balance and life as a mum of three, as well as trying to figure out my own truth (who I am at my core) I seem to spend a lot more time thinking maybe, just maaaaybe I should expand this side of my life, that the creativity is really intense right now with ideas, and the time feels right (for those of you spiritual gurus reading this, I know you are thinking, this is intuition!  Intuition is this funny little background whisper that says helloooo! I am here! sending you hints! Listen to meee!)

So anyways, I put it out there in late December (by putting it out there, I mean just thinking inside my head.)  I said to the sky (in my head of course)  “I‘m not entirely closed off to the idea of working a bit more on the jewellery after maternity leave, I’ll stay open to the idea.”  That’s it. That’s all. I didn’t even journal* it.

*Journalling takes invisible thoughts and makes them real – in ink – on paper.  Take note of that. Invisible thought in your mind –> physical object in front of you.  You literally just bought a thought into the world and gave it a physical presence.  It is powerful. When you write things down, the wheel really starts rolling and the universe starts working in its funny ways with people, places, things and messages coming down the pipeline to you.  It’s powerful shit. 

So while I was in Kau’ai at christmas time, I decided to do a trail run one day in one of my most favourite spots on the planet, the Wai Koa Stone Dam.  I am not joking when I say the place feels magical.  This is Wai Koa Stone Dam:

Wai Koa Stone Dam, Kau'ai

After returning to my car after a beautiful run, I was feeling a little adventuresome and curious about the Common Ground Buildings that are at the start of the trailhead.  As you do as a post partum lady, I also needed to find a bathroom.  So, I began to explore the buildings which were eerily quiet, almost abandoned.  Definitely no sign of life, commerce or inhabitation.

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 10.51.58 PM.pngAs I walked around the buildings, the clouds opened and a huge rainstorm came thundering down.  In this lovely moment of solitude, I decided to sit under an awning and watch the rain come down. I was relaxed after a lovely run and in no particular rush to return home to mommyhood at the rental house.  I wanted to extend this lovely morning of solitude.

I approached a bench and something caught my eye.  As I approached, I realized that there was some kind of a catalogue sitting there, blowing about in the wind.  Curious as always and emboldened by the completely abandoned buildings, I walked over and picked it up.

Lo and behold, it was a jewellery supplies catalogue filled with the most beautiful supplies and funnily enough, the wind had blown it open exactly the kind of jewelry packaging I’d been in search of.  Only a few weeks before, I was thinking that a key thing I’d need to do to go from hobby status to professional jewelry selling was coming up with some decent packaging.

Chills.  Instant chills.

Let’s put this together.

Random Wednesday morning trail run in a favourite spot that has a nice energy to it.

Unexpected rainstorm and forced to take cover.

Abandoned buildings / no signs of life, in an area that used to be a community events space.

Only one object out of place in this entire complex, a jewellery supplies catalogue blown open in the wind, to a page with the exact supplies I need if I want to take the jewellery thing up a level.

Remember that word I used up above?  Synchronicity?  Remember what I called it before that? “What the fuuuuck.”

Indeed.

That, ladies and gentlemen is synchronicity.

I’m excited for you.  Just reading this, thinking about it, and thinking about where your life is going in 2018, you’ve already opened the pipeline.  If you stay open, stay curious and sort of good humoured / light hearted about it all, you’ll notice some pretty wild coincedences, messages, books and people coming up from the strangest of places at the most helpful of times. Trust in the process.

 

xo