Thursday, June 27, 2013

Creature of the Month - Walking Sam by Micah Hanks

Walking Sam: The Spook in the Stovepipe Hat

It could be argued that tragedy and unrest are perhaps nearly unavoidable constants in life, though without them, our appreciation of pleasure and joy might not have become the long-sought standard for our modern way of living. Today, as much as the sweet citrus of happiness and plenty can be found with little more than persistence and a dream as the tools of provenance, there is almost always the occasional lemon that lends its inevitable bitterness to the equation just as well.

Though it is the exception, rather than the rule, there is from time to time the very random appearance of the odd, paired with the unsettling, that occurs in life as well. While loss of employment, fiscal uncertainty, the illness or death of a loved one, or a host of other potential discomforts will be the ailment that constitutes most American unrest, these stranger aspects to our existence seem to allude to there being something deeper beneath the mainline current of our consensus reality, and something which may not always have our best interests in mind.

In 2009, a rash of teen suicides had been taking place near the town of Rosebud, South Dakota. The first of these involved a promising 19-year-old athlete, who had played on the varsity team at the local high school. Almost without warning, this young man had been found dead, having hanged himself. This tragic, though purposeful incident had caused great alarm among the residents of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, since the boy had been well loved and admired for his promising potential. However, it had not been an isolated incident; around the same time, a 14-year-old girl and straight-A student was found to have taken her life as well, in the very same manner.

The twin suicides led to the tribal officials on the reservation calling for a state of emergency among the 13,000 so residents at Rosebud. Between January and March of that year, there had already been three suicides—and numerous other attempts at such—that had taken place. By May, seven more young adults would attempt suicide either by hanging, poisoning, or other self-inflicted injury, and before the heat of summer had settled over the reservation, doctors would have record of nearly 150 suicides for the year of 2009 alone.

The New York Times reported on the tragic circumstances, attaining commentary from Philip May, a professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico who had been concerned about the increased incidents with suicide among American Indians, after studying the phenomenon for 35 years. “Very generally, adolescence is a time of trouble for all youths,” May told the Times. “But in many American Indian communities, it’s compounded by limited opportunities, historical trauma and contemporary discrimination. The way the Lakota people and other Plains tribes have experienced history in the last 100 years has reduced the mental health factors that are available to them to cope.”

A story so tragic and strange would seem to have little to do with the presence of strange, mystery animals and other shadowy entities that have become the focus of the cryptozoological community. And yet, in relation to the growing concern over teen suicides among the native reservations in America, some of the cultural beliefs regarding why, precisely, these deaths had occurred actually did seem to involve a strange, shadowy intruder, which had caused great alarm, and heavy questions, amidst a minority of cryptozoological researchers, as well as cultural psychologists and sociologists.

The next piece of this curious story would take place the following month in July of 2009. Mike Crowley, a man who had been on a business trip near Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, decided to attend a Tribal Council meeting there on July 15. Federal officials had been visiting at the time, and so the Council had decided to host a meeting where local tribal members could express their issues and concerns about official Council related matters, as well as to address anything else that may be on their minds. Many of these, of course, were grievances.

“Anyone with a knowledge of the government's interaction with the Lakota over the years,” Crowley wrote in October 2009, “especially in the early years when people were rounded up and placed on the reservation, and later when the reservation lands were chipped away to be sold off for white settlement – would understand that many historical wrongs were committed.” Incidents like the Wounded Knee Massacre had aroused desire—and rightly so—for an official apology to be issued by Washington for the massacre. However, there was at least one strange request that had been brought up at the Tribal Council meeting that day, as Crowley relates below:

One local woman, who left before I could talk with her personally, asked Washington for help dealing with Walking Sam. The woman, who was elderly but otherwise quite lucid, described Walking Sam as a big man in a tall hat who has appeared around the reservation and caused young people to commit suicides. She said that Walking Sam has been picked up on the police scanners, but that the police have not been able to protect the community from him.

The story sounded mostly like an urban legend, enhanced a bit, perhaps, by the genuine concern over the endemic suicide problem on the reservation. And yet, something about the addition that this “Walking Sam” character, whatever it may have been, could actually have a physical side struck home.

“At the time, I was thinking that this may have been a reference to Bigfoot sightings,” Crowley thought, knowing that there had been a history of Bigfoot sightings on the Standing Rock and Pine Ridge reservations in the Dakota states. “Or, perhaps it may just have been a plea for help with teen suicides,” Crowley further postulated. “A plea that needs to be translated through a cultural filter. The woman was from Red Scaffold, which is a small community on the reservation.”

Mike would eventually contact me, as well as cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, looking for further answers to this strange mystery. Coleman, writing about the story at the Cryptomundo Blog, offered a similar theory to what Crowley had surmised: maybe Walking Sam was a cultural interpretation of the same creature more commonly known today as Bigfoot.
             I share the view that this could be one potential solution to the problem, though of course, there are a variety of different ways of looking at it such a strange story. During an appearance on Gene Steinberg’s Paracast program, I had been discussing a theory I call the “Fortean Folk Devil,” in which people undergoing stress or strife may, to an extent, project their misgivings or fears onto a token “monster,” that becomes a sort of scape-goat for their troubles, and thus rendered a psychological coping mechanism as well. I borrowed the idea of the “Folk devil” from sociologist Stanley Cohen, who wrote about how “mod rockers” in the 1960s had been branded “folk devils” for the perception that they were corrupting youth with unsavory themes their music expressed. The same concept applies to a large swath of different circumstances, ranging from the Salem Witch Trials and, going even further back, religious groups that have been persecuted throughout time, to the fervent political debate over “right and left,” in which both sides today seem to point the finger to the other as “extremists” that are potentially damaging to the sustainment of the American way of life.

However, in the case of the Fortean Folk Devil, cryptozoological beings become the token scapegoat for a group’s misgivings. With Mothman, we have observed that the collapse of the Silver Bridge near Point Pleasant, Ohio on December 16, 1967 has long been attributed to a winged beast that was allegedly seen in the area in the months leading up to the disaster. In Malay Cultures, we see what are known as “grease devils” and “monkey-men,” which during times of economic and civil unrest, tend to be sighted by a concerned populace. And in a surprising number of instances, the presence of Bigfoot-type creatures have come to represent a cultural outcast capable of bearing the proverbial cross of a community’s woes. Near Fouke, Arkansas in the 1970s, a “swamp beast” of this sort that had purportedly inhabited the deep bogs and marshes in the backwoods of rural Texarkana was fabled to have attacked the home of one young couple, Bobby and Elizabeth Ford, leading to a strange and sordid tale that was later dramatized by director Charles Pierce in his film The Legend of Boggy Creek. While there were a number of legitimate sightings of a “monster” near the general vicinity of the Ford’s home, the creature was seldom believed to have ever been aggressive toward humans.

This apparent truism led Smokey Crabtree, an area resident and entrepreneur, to author a book called Smokey and the Fouke Monster, in which he discussed rather frankly his feelings toward the treatment the beast had received by local press, along with his own encounters with the creature predating the 1970s. In his opinion, it couldn’t have been the same “monster” that attacked the Ford home late one evening in May of 1971, and Crabtree even went so far as to guess that what they had actually been worked into a frenzy over on that fateful night had merely been a stray horse that wandered onto the property. Bobby Ford’s brother, on the other hand, admitted to local journalists the following day that he suspected the family had battled a large, wild cat of some variety the night before, rather than a proto-human monstrosity.

The point here is not to attempt to dissuade the believer from accepting there ever having been a Fouke Monster. The multitude of reports of such a creature seen in the area might indeed suggest that a creature of this kind existed (or perhaps still does); however, knowledge of such local legends no doubt influenced people’s perceptions of the story of a “monster” that attacked the Ford home that evening in 1971. And much the same, whatever the strange and unsettling “Walking Sam” creature may actually be, it seems most likely that this Fortean Folk Devil does have its basis in real myth and history associated with another creature: that most famous American cryptid otherwise known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

As a final point worthy of expressing here, it is indeed interesting to note that this “Walking Sam” character is said to be a tall entity that wears a “stovepipe” or top hat, similar to the fashion worn in the day of Lincoln’s presidency. There are at least a few reports of Bigfoot creatures wearing clothing (though these are nearly always systematically rejected by those researchers who lean more toward a biological component in such sightings). Arguably, such reports must indeed be viewed as less than credible; however, there are nonetheless parallels to other strange and unsettling traditions that appear to emerge, in which the top hat or similar headgear is reported. Author Jason Offut wrote in Darkness Walks, his treatise of the eerie spirit beings known as “shadow people”, that in many instances these entities are said to appear wearing tall hats that would fit the description of a stovepipe hat.

by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr

Again, though it is a curious parallel, the presence of the hat seems to convey a mysterious and maniacal, if not a slightly absurd presence in the mystery of the Walking Sam entity. Why the top hat, rather than, for instance, a fierce looking skullcap adorned with horns? Is there something within our innate psychological substructure that favors the stovepipe hat when ranked among history’s creepier cranial adornments? And if so, why would a creature like Bigfoot ever be perceived as bearing some kind of a penchant for such outdated headgear?


Crabtree, Smokey. Smokey and the Fouke Monster. Day’s Creek Production Corporation, 1974. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Positive News of the Week

8th Grader's Lifesaving Helmet

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Secret Parisian Railway now an Oasis of Beauty

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Hitching and Meowing back to Oregon

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91-year-old Strongman sets World Record

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Noah Waddell Joins Arts in Healthcare

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Natural Foods for Sunscreen

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summertime tips from Joseph Cardillo's the Five Seasons

Sharing some tips on tapping into Nature's Secrets for Health, Happiness and Harmony from the new release The Five Seasons by Joseph Cardillo, PhD.

How to Optimize Summer Energy
Summer is all about synching up with nature’s continued rising energy. It is a time of robust outward energy and activity. It is your cycle to expand and coordinate the pieces of your life that you planted in the spring. Your job is to observe these elements of your life and watch them as they blossom. Summer gives you the energy to nurture all those that blossom in a positive direction and are truly meaningful to your heart, your dreams. It also gives you the energy you need to clearly identify those that are dysfunctional and prune them.
The summer cycle is associated with the emotion of joy and connected to the rising energy (outward-bound dreams) of the heart. When these are balanced, you are able to flow in a direction you feel is authentic and important to your life.
Summer is linked to the element of fire, which drives your maximum outward engagement as well as your sense of focus, logic, coordination, and organization. When all of these components are in balance you feel your optimum physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. You are relaxed. Your mind is flowing and alert. Your heart is warm and happy.

Alicia never had trouble sleeping...until one summer. If you asked her why, she would admit she had a lot going on, but it wasn’t just that. She was also anxiously waiting for something to happen—for anything to come from all the effort she had put forth since the beginning of the year. She and her husband had been trying to conceive, but so far nothing. They had also been trying to sell their home. They had already put a down payment on a new one, in a new neighborhood they wanted to raise their child in someday soon. It seemed to her that nothing was working out. Her mantra became, “I need to hear some good news.” Her husband, who tried to soothe her, would say her “A watched pot never boils.”

Alicia never really took her eye off the “pot,” so to speak. Her insomnia, however, was sending her a direct message that she needed to cool down. So she put less emphasis on watching. Instead, she made a short list of things she loved to do in the summer months. These were little things, not big—things like jogging; tending her garden; time at the beach, where she would relax to the sound of the ocean waves; day trips on the weekends into the neighboring state; and nightly meditation, something new for her, to help her de-stress and get more satisfying sleep. She emphasized these things instead. Although she couldn’t wipe her mind clean of her goals, she increased her level of joy—which cooled off some of the fire in her mind and body. By late autumn, both major bits of news she had been awaiting arrived.


Stay balanced. Keep a relaxed yet activated mindset for your daily routines and make some time to be outdoors.
Use summer’s abundant light. The summer cycle continues your time for more natural light. As you did during spring, welcome this continued wealth of light with your eyes. Whether you are indoors or out, feel summer’s warmth with your whole body. Use this warmth to soothe. Let it loosen you up, body first and then mentally as well. The more flexible you feel, the more all your potentials will flourish. Let summer’s light soothe your body. Focus on where inside your body you feel any rigidity.
Cool down. In Asian medicine, there are layers of cool and warm energies throughout the body. So, for example, you may feel heat on your skin (or coolness, depending on the seasonal cycle), yet if you sharpen your awareness you can send your focus below the skin and find a pocket of coolness. You can also keep moving your focus inward. If you go the next layer below, you can locate a pocket of warmth, and then, if you keep going, the coolness within that.
You can use your visualizations and your breath to guide the comfort you need (coolness or warmth) to the areas where you need it. Just take a deep, relaxing breath and envision it going right to that spot. Remember the adage: Where the mind goes, your chi flows. It may take several breaths to achieve the exact comfort you want, but you can get there.
Warm up. Spend time basking in summer warmth. Feel it in your muscles and joints. Ingrain this in your memory so you can tap into it whenever you need to, any time of day or year.
► Heat up. Ingrain summer’s flaring, high-powered energy in your mind. Start by feeling it with your body. Use the color red in your visualizations of summer energy flowing through your body. Make yourself sensitive to how this energy makes you feel—physically, mentally, and spiritually—and double up your visualizations by including color. This ingrains its effects deeper into your memory and will quicken its recall and activation as you need it.
Observe nature. Enjoy a wide range of summer elements like rain, the lavish greenness, the plethora of flowers, the water, the breeze, and the wind. Let yourself experience the coolness of morning, hotness of midday, and coolness later at night. Listen to the night creatures and their unique sounds. You can listen to them one at a time or collectively as if they were orchestrated. You may like to listen to the birds at night singing their young a lullaby or sending their messages out through the environment. Morning is another good time to listen. You may like to watch birds soar in the brightness of the sky. Make time to experience this, especially in quietude. You will be surprised how many ideas and solutions can come to you this way—without stress, without your probing or asking or getting compulsive.
Go to the beach. Enjoy the coolness of the water and make sure to commit it to your memory. Feel the heat of the sand. Let it soak into your body and dissolve your tensions. Ingrain that feeling in your mind. Look for the brightness of the water within the darker waves. Imagine the water’s coolness absorbing some of the overheated and overexcited pockets within your body (and mind). Use your breath to guide this image. Ingrain these feelings in your memory so you can call them up and use them down the line.
Watch a sunrise and sunset. Ocean sunrises and sunsets are as spectacular as they are in mountains and prairies—or really anywhere. Consider how your physical and psychic energies follow a similar arc, per moment, per situation, per day, per year, and so on. Ingrain this visual in your memory. You may like to photograph the images so that you have them for later. This way you can share them (and their energy) with loved-ones, to make memories and also to help guide their energy when they need it.
► Create imagery of joy. Look for and see joy in the natural environment. For you, this may be a trip to your favorite park, a place in the countryside, the mountains, or the beach. Perhaps it is being outside after dark and looking at star-studded night sky.
Don’t rely on just your eyes. Use your mind-vision to see the joy, sort of the way a musician might picture the notes of a melody. Continuing the music analogy, there are many other ways to see music—and energy. For example, let say you are listening to your favorite instrumental. What images does it conjure up in your mind? What if, instead of seeing pictures or images of things, you instead let yourself see a swirl of energy? Try this: Picture the joy you are witnessing—for example, a flower bud that has recently opened—as you might visualize light energy. Play with the color of the light you are seeing in your mind. Observe it. Make it red, the color associated with summer energy. What if it were in the night sky? What might this light look like? How would it be moving, swirling? What if it could dance? What would the dance look like? What would the music be?
Breathe this light image in and throughout your body. In Chinese the word ming means “bright.” When you say it twice, ming-ming, it means “very bright.” The brightness is not just what you might see in a bright light, for example, but a brightness of both sound and light. In Chinese ming refers to “sound and light” as one simultaneous thing: sound-light. There really is no such concept in English. So ming-ming is the flash in your mind of both auditory and visual stimulation as one thing.
Play with this energy of joy on the canvas of your mind like a laser show or let it flow throughout your mind-body like breath as you breathe in and out. Locate something joyous in the environment; see it this way, as ming-ming. Hear it. Breathe it. Repeat this visualization often to ingrain both the sound and visuals into your mind. Remember, the more parts of your brain you use, the better you will store the information and the better you will recall it when you need it.
Use music and literature. There are so many great songs (instrumentals and lyrical) that are about the joy in our environment. Make a playlist and bring the music with you. Or find a poem that you like that references an aspect of nature that brings you joy and carry a copy with you. Make a playlist of readings of your favorite poems. Put them on your iPod or cell phone. Use these to help enhance your pleasure.
Walk into the cool morning. Or try an athletic activity you enjoy: jogging, tennis, swimming, and so on. Let it soothe you and pull the excess heat of stressors out. This will incorporate yet another part of the brain—that part that involves motor skills—and will ingrain this cycle’s energy in your mind even further.
Feel your mind and body balancing the coolness and warmth. Remember that feeling so that you can practice it later to balance yourself in moments and months ahead. Pull the coolness in and let it balance internal tension that may be the result of lingering heated or compulsive thoughts, worries, and anxieties. Feel the coolness lightening things up, rinsing your focus clearer. Breathe in the cool air. Let it cool your body internally. Imagine it flowing through your body until you feel supple and relaxed, yet energized.
► Use heat to de-stress. Midday is your best time to feel this cycle’s energy peaking. Let it take the tension from you. Bring its warmth—via breath and visualization—to wherever in your body you feel the effects of tension.
If you need a jump-start, visualize summer’s energy surging up from the ground, down from above, and in from all around, and let it fuel your fire and flare it to full. Use this clean, surging energy to get out of any doldrums.
Shortly after midday is a good time to start connecting dots from information you have gathered. Bring the contract you wrote up in the morning with you to lunch when you meet your new client and nail it. Take the information you gathered all morning to write a professional presentation and now write it. This is your window to hit your targets dead-on.
► Amplify summer energy. Use different parts of your brain to help you ingrain the effects of summer’s rising energy. Try plenty of movement (sport, tai chi, yoga, walking, gardening), music, pictures, and scents (natural and otherwise—perfumes, colognes, even scents like sunblock and moistening creams and oils). These will lock summer’s rising energy in your memory and help you unlock it faster whenever you need it.
Use a slide show. Record your best images of summer (audios, videos, photos) and combine with a musical soundtrack you either recorded during these summery moments or one you made later that, for you, connects. Put one favorite calming show and one energizing show on your iPod or cellphone so you will have it during the months ahead whenever you need a boost of calming or alerting energy.
Meditate daily. Imagine (and feel) summer’s high energy flowing through you like breath flows through a flute. Pay particular attention to it as it warms your heart and enlivens it with joy. Let this joy circulate through your whole body and mind. Imagine any stressors leaving your mind and body when you exhale. Use your breathing to guide them out.
Know your limits. It is easy in this season to become anxious to get results. After all, you are putting a lot of effort into things. Sometimes anxieties and compulsions come from feeling that you are not dealing with certain matters. Don’t punish yourself and wind up using this great surging energy to run yourself into the ground. Instead, detach a little, eat well, skim off some worry-energy with exercise or physical activity, re-charge with positive energy, reach out to friends, and use relaxing techniques. Sometimes answers can come to you by happenstance. These are just as good and less costly for you. Whether you have to find solutions or they find you, you will need to balance and re-charge as you go forward. Then, when opportunity arises, you will be in the best position to see your goal and act upon it.
Push your limits. Identify something in your life you want to change. Use your summer’s surging energy to get you there. Make a list of ways you can begin to put that change into motion. Stay positive. Start right away. Stay on track. Stay balanced.
Keep a record. You will surely have your favorite things to do, but other things may come into play as your season rolls on. You’ll know what worked and what didn’t, and you’ll have made observations—why you think one thing worked and something else didn’t. What made a certain activity work better? When you see a pattern, you’ll have an important piece of information about yourself—for example, This works when I am having a bad day at work, but not when I have had a bad day at home. Use this information to improve your techniques and activities next time around.
Cool off—inside out. At night, find the cooler energy within you and channel it to cool off externally. As afternoon progresses and you feel your own energy and nature’s beginning to wane, you will discover a lot of creative ideas bubbling up into your consciousness. Relax and give some attention to these. This is a great time of day to see all kinds of ways you can re-tool the day’s events and information to better hit your goals or drive them to new places. It is one of the best times of day to problem-solve. But don’t ruminate. Just unwind. Kick back and observe the details as if they were reflections on top of a clear mountain lake. Then, later, think about how they might piece together. But, again, don’t over-do it.
If it is a cool night, go outside or open a window. Visualize the dark coolness. If it is a damp or wet night let the water temper and balance tensions. Find where the day’s stressors are welled up in your body. You will be able to feel tightness—usually in your chest area, shoulders, back, and sometimes legs. Cool yourself down.
Listen to nature’s night-sounds. Sometimes it is fun and relaxing to open your window at night and listen to the music of the night creatures. You may choose to hear them as a melodic symphony or, at other times, simply like white noise. Listen to the rhythms. Feel them. With your mind, attach the waning, cooler energy of night to the sounds. Bring that slower, calmer energy inward to unwind your body as well as any psychological heaviness.
Eat light. Pay attention to how different foods and diets make you feel. What you are going for is feeling simultaneously calm and energized. Not too much one way or the other. Many foods provide a cooling effect, and TCM encourages you to use these during the hot season, especially if you are feeling too jumpy or stressed. Increase consumption of cool foods to help keep the body moist and strong and the mind calmer. Watermelon, cucumber, and celery are all recommended. Salads work very well, as do raw veggies.
Use more teas, especially green tea, floral teas, and mints like peppermint. These cooling foods help cleanse the body. Fish is a good summer choice for a main meal and will help you avoid fattier, greasier meals.
Exercise moderation. Too much of any foods, even seasonal ones, can easily cause indigestion during this period. Be sure to get enough protein to maintain your higher energy. This will vary per individual. I personally try to keep the carbs down, as too many make me feel sluggish. I do, however, like natural carbs, the kind you get in fruits and vegetables. Check out green juices and assortments of vegetable-and-fruit-combo drinks.
Eat light and use your spices to aid in warding off potential digestion issues connected with the element of fire. It is important to be hydrated. Try to stay cool in order to balance and also to call forth your yin energy.

Do what feels right to you. You will either feel balanced (relaxed and energized) or you will discover you are tipping too far one way or the other. In that case, adjust.

Joseph Cardillo, PhD, is a top-selling author in the fields of health, mind-body-spirit, and psychology. His books, Your Playlist Can Change Your Life; Can I Have Your Attention? How to Think Fast, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Concentration; Be Like Water; and Bow to Life, have inspired people of all ages worldwide. He holds a doctorate in holistic psychology and mind-body-medicine and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and PsychologyToday

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Weird News of the Week

Infant saved with an assist from Superglue

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UFO suspect in Chinese Plane Damage

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Shipwreck found near Marquette, MI

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Brown Foam Prompts Testing at Lake Mead

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2010 Earhart Discovery Withheld?

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Positive News of the Week

Little Free Library Hits the Streets of NYC

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New Devices Would Enable Communication with Pets

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99-cent Diet

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Superheroes Join Forces to help Kids Overcome Cancer Treatments

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Breeze Loves Bear

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Looking at Your Most Sacred Conduit By Sahvanna Arienta

This is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of The Lightworker's Source: An Enlightening Guide to Awaken the Power Within by Sahvanna Arienta.  This much-needed guide is for both newly awakened and fully conscious Lightworkers to reveal their authentic selves and find fulfillment.  

When I began my work with unaware Lightworkers, I soon realized that many of them had relationship issues. They were either in dysfunctional or abusive relationships (either with friends, lovers, or family) or they seemed to never find a suitable partner. As my clients showed up in droves with these interpersonal issues, which in turn became feelings of being unworthy of love or unwanted, I began to wonder why the ability to connect with others was so challenging for them. Lightworkers are a unique prototype that is brought to earth to heal through the use of unconditional love, so why had so many of them become blocked off from the core of their healing resource, the heart chakra? I soon realized that it was for that very reason, because it was the core of their healing resource that the Lightworker’s heart chakra was so vulnerable. I found that their first reaction to trauma of any kind was to protect what was most sacred to them—their portal for unconditional love.

Love heals
The ability to feel compassion, sympathy, and gratitude as well as to heal are located within the heart chakra. This is also the chakra from which unconditional love emanates, which is the healing force of the universe. The main reason Lightworkers have come to earth is to heal by using this power. If the channel this power funnels through is blocked for any number of reasons, Lightworkers’ power to heal is hindered and becomes disabled. We know that Lightworkers who are not serving their purpose (to heal) become lost and feel misplaced, creating many other problems that seem to spiral out of control, so special care and attention must be taken to ensure that your healing capacities are functioning. For Lightworkers, living a heart-centered life (or focusing our energy on loving compassion) is the most important practice because this is their purpose. Subtle techniques, such as being there for someone in a time of need, a prayer, or offering a hug to ease the pain of someone else are all parts of exercising their healing gifts.

Connects With Others
Your heart chakra is naturally associated with family, partners, friends, and animals. When it is clear, balanced, and open, you can touch others in a loving, healing way. Toxic energy can likely be stored here from traumatic events between the ages of 18–25, as the heart chakra is at its most vulnerable during this age range. I usually find that my clients will recount painful memories from this age bracket, but the heart chakra can become sick or can close up at any time. Situations such as divorce, separation, grief through death, emotional abuse, abandonment, and adultery create wounds that will affect our lives, relationships, and healing abilities if not healed. So it is important that, as a Lightworker, you keep the heart chakra balanced, healthy, and open.

To find out if your heart chakra is sick or if it is in danger or closing. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Am I dwelling on the pain of my past?
  • Do I return over and over again to the same painful situations?
  • Am I fearful of losing control of my emotions?
  • Do I fear revealing my true feelings?
  • Do I harbor guilt about past relationships or situations?
  • Do I harbor bitterness or anger about past relationships?
  • Do I feel I need to prove I am worthy of love?
  • Do I fear rejection to the point of stopping myself from progressing forward?
  • Do I find excuses not to make new friends, romances, or connections?
  • Do I work so much I don’t have time for my relationships?
  • Do I suffer from asthma or breathing-related problems?
  • Do I have high blood pressure or cardio vascular issues?

If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, your heart chakra may be in of need some healing. In my practice, I notice if clients’ heart chakras are blocked or closed, they might have a tendency to shy away or avoid relationships.

My friend Joanne experienced some abusive relationships in her late teens and early 20s. She thought she had successfully moved past dysfunctional relationships when she left them behind and became engaged to Daniel who was a kind, giving, and loving man. The engagement was ongoing for six years and Daniel became impatient. He wanted to be married and start a family with Joanne, but she never seemed to want to talk about wedding plans, saying she was too busy with work, or maybe next year after she paid off her car. Daniel began to suspect Joanne was just stalling. Joanne began to turn cold and the relationship seemed to be at a dead end. Daniel began to feel used and mislead. Finally, after years of begging Joanne to marry him, he got tired of waiting and he gave up. Daniel left Joanne, and it didn’t look like Joanne even cared. Daniel met and married Rita within a year.

Joanne and I talked about the situation and she asked me to perform a reading for her because she missed Daniel and was hurt that he left her. She wanted to know if she would find a new love, if would it be possible for Daniel to return, and what was ahead for her. Sadly, when I did her reading, it didn’t look like any of what she wanted was going to happen. First, Daniel was never going to return. Second, I saw no love coming into her life and the underlying cause was that she was blocking it because of past pain and trauma. She thought just because she was able to move on to a “healthy” relationship, she had healed from the past. But what she did was manage to move forward with a closed heart chakra, consequently sabotaging her own happiness by not giving the relationship the nurturing it needed to survive. She had closed her heart chakra and it simply would not allow love to flow through it. Joanne might have intentionally pushed Daniel away (even though he was loving and kind) because she was now unable to feel a sense of connection. Her heart center had shut down completely. Her reading went on to indicate that by closing her heart chakra, she would continue to push people away, who in response would reject her (as Daniel eventually did when he left), seemingly validating her need for protection, and creating a vicious cycle of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Above All Else, Love Your Self
Self-love is key for Lightworkers who seek mastery of their role, to fulfill their life purpose, and to advance on their ascension path. Without the practice of self-love, you cannot love others and you certainly cannot heal through love. Know that you are an extension of your Source Creator. The very same energy that fuels you can transform you. With this conscious awareness, you can begin to purposely shift thought and emotional patterns (correspondingly, your energy), from self-doubt to self-love. Just as you were brought here to heal others, you have the right to heal your own life. Acceptance of yourself and your soul path will also bring about self-love. Knowing that you are at this place and time for a reason and that your purpose for being is unique and important will help you to appreciate all that you have endured. With each painful experience comes soul growth. Growing pains are never easy, but if we love and nurture ourselves first, it makes it that much easier to heal.

Here is a five-step healing process that I give my clients. If you are able to implement these five simple words into your life, healing can take place very quickly, returning you to a place of self-love.

  1. Experience (embrace the pain): To experience your pain is to own it and love yourself unconditionally (no guilt, fear, or worry) while going through it all, no matter how uncomfortable that feeling may be. The only way to release something is to first embrace it or own it.
  2. Acceptance (consent that it has occurred): Denial is something that will keep you from healing. At times, the grieving process will take you through the stage of denial, but this only prolongs things. Acknowledging that the pain has occurred and cannot be undone is a step to healing it.
  3. Understand (comprehend what it means to you): Look at the experience from all angles. Is this a life lesson? Part of your soul plan? Karma? Examining your experience and determining its purpose and what it means to you and your ascension plan will validate it instead of viewing it as just a random occurrence that has no potential to offer you spiritual growth.
  4. Release (forgive and let it go): To finally clear the energy it has created in your spiritual and physical body, you must have forgiveness and gratitude for what you have learned and the blessings that come with the pain.
  5. Gratefulness (be thankful for the process): Have gratitude for the learning experience. Recognize the blessings that come with spiritual growth throughout the whole process.

This means feeling the pain of those emotions, and if we feel the pain of our emotions, then I suppose that means that we can’t heal without first experiencing pain. So there really is no way around it. In order to transmute toxic energy locked in your heart chakra, you must experience it, embrace it, and feel love for it. These five simple words move you the through the healing process. Some words might take longer than others to penetrate into your energy, but once you reach the last stage of gratitude, you have healed your wound, released the toxic energy, and are now being flooded with healing light energy.

Keep the Heart Chakra open and Flowing
The main goal is to keep the channel for love open and any source where you can find total and unconditional love is the place to seek it out. When I have a client who comes to me with a closed or blocked heart chakra, after some energy healing, my first suggestion is to visit an animal shelter. I know this may sound strange, but who gives more unconditional love than animals? Of course, if my clients have a pet, I suggest they spend some quality time with the animal. Here are some other easy ways to keep the heart chakra open and flowing:

  • Work for charity: The energy exchange when you do this type of work is powerful. Volunteer work for a cause that resonates with you (children, animals, the homeless) will pull in the energy of loving compassion, which will flow freely through the heart chakra.
  • Do something kind for a stranger: Holding a door, smiling, or saying “Have a nice day” are simple things you can do to be a source of loving kindness to others. You will see strangers respond and the loving kindness will be reciprocated right back at you.
  • Express your love for the people around you: Don’t hold it in. If you love family members or friends, tell them so and often.
  • Love and remember your inner child: Keep a photo of yourself as a child where you can see it often and this image will bring you back to a time when unconditional love was all you knew.
  • Spend time with children: You can feel comfortable that you will never be judged or criticized by babies or young children. Babies will love you no matter how much weight you have gained or if your teeth aren’t perfect. It doesn’t matter; children are a pure source of love and joy. This is the time to bring out your inner child and just have some play time. Children will love and accept you as you are, unconditionally.
  • Eat green foods: Green is a color associated with your heart chakra. Any vegetable that is a rich green color will keep the heart chakra happy and healthy.
  • Do something you love and feel you’re good at: If you have a special talent that you just never have time for, now is the time to exercise it. If you feel you have a knack for poetry, write some. If you love to paint, get out the canvas and begin a new painting. It’s time to recall that part of you that is truly unique and gifted. Sometimes we forget to look at our abilities and the things we love about ourselves. Find time to cultivate and appreciate your talents and you will begin to remember how wonderful you really are.
  • Be grateful for all there is. Other than unconditional love, gratitude is one of the highest-level emotions you can live in. Being grateful for all the love and support the universe sends you each day will only open you up to more love. Make gratitude a state of mind and a way of life. Incorporate it into every aspect of your being and be grateful for each interaction, connection, and experience. Remember what we consider “problems” are just the universe bringing us the opportunity for spiritual progress, so be grateful.

Heart Chakra Affirmations
These affirmations will keep your heart chakra alert and at attention. Notice they all begin with “I.” Keeping your heart chakra open is about self-love, first and foremost.

I am comprised of eternal love.
I am free of fear.
I am released of any guilt I am carrying.
I am loved eternally without conditions.
I am a conduit for pure love and joy.
I am deserving of happiness.
I am entitled to balanced relationships.
I am worthy of giving and receiving love.
I am a conduit for the healing energy 
of the Universe.
I am divinely guided.
I am supported unconditionally by the 
universe in all I do.
I am protected and shielded at all times.
I am loved without limitations and boundaries.

Releasing Technique
We have all experienced heart pain in our lives. The problems arise when we do not process or release the pain properly. The more we hold on to it, the more it festers and becomes toxic within the heart charka, causing it to close up and block healthy energies of love and compassion.

There are many life changes and practices you can do to prevent the heart chakra from being harmed or closing all together, but if you feel it has already occurred, special healing techniques are necessary. Of course, it is a process that can take some time, but it is absolutely imperative that the healing process begin as soon as possible. The main purpose of these healing techniques is to release the pain (or toxic energy) stored in the heart chakra, allowing it to open and once again allow healthy energy to flow through it continuously.

The following process will help you release toxic energy by focusing on feelings within your physical  body:

  1. Sit comfortably and breathe into the moment as you become aware of each and every sensation in your body.
  2. With each breath in and out, focus on what you’re feeling. Do you feel pain, stiffness, or soreness in the area of your heart chakra? This uncomfortable sensation is toxic energy trying to release itself. Allow the uncomfortable feelings to continue. Do not attempt to stop or analyze this sensation.
  3. Now, using visualization, turn these feelings into liquid form and allow them to flow out through the center of the chest. Allow it to pour out like a waterfall, cascading down and onto the earth below you. Stop this visualization when you feel it has emptied enough. Your body will let go of as much stored energy as it can at this time. Do not attempt to empty it out all in one session.
  4. Thank the earth for absorbing this toxic energy and transforming it into light energy for the greatest good of all humanity.

Repeat this daily until you empty out the toxic energy and replace it with light, healthy energy. You will begin to feel a sense of lightness and well-being as you release and free your heart.

As a Lightworker, you are super sensitive and vulnerable to issues associated with the heart chakra. Unfortunately, if you do not heal or rid yourself of any toxic energy held there, manifestations of physical illness could result. Body, mind, and spirit are all affected by the types of energy you allow to flow through you and that which you hold on to. In order to achieve mastery and alignment with your soul purpose, the heart chakra is the single-most important energy zone.

Sahvanna Arienta is a practicing psychic medium and intuitive advisor with clientele from around the globe. A respected radio host and author of Lightworker: Understand Your Sacred Role as Healer, Guide and Being of Light. She has studied and explored the metaphysical and paranormal realms extensively for more than twenty years. She is also the founder of Soul's Journey Media, a new thought company that brings messages of spiritual enlightenment to people all over the world.

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Release - The Call of the Soul

We are excited to share an excerpt from a new release that is just beginning to arrive in bookstores entitled The Call of the Soul : A Path to Knowing Your True Self and Your Life's Purpose by Aila Accad. 
Aila presents a new perspective on the quest to find your authentic self focusing on renegotiating the relationship between the ego and the soul, so you can step fully into your purpose.  

Here we share a portion of Chapter 5, entitled The Ego and the Soul: A Love Story.

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, 
letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.
—Pauline R. Kezer

An Inner Love Story

We grow partially. We are relative. We are
mature in one realm, childish in another. The
past, present, and future mingle and pull us
backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We
are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
—Anais Nin
The dance of your life is expressed through the intimate relationship between your ego and soul. My intention in this chapter is to help you feel more appreciation and love for your entire journey in this life, even the parts through which you struggle. I’ve come to understand the ever-changing relationship between the ego and the soul as a beautiful inner love story. Like any love story, this one has trials, tribulations, and triumphs!

This love story begins with the ego’s devotion to the soul’s protection. The ego loves the soul and the body that houses it. It starts out in the relationship with a mission to protect both from physical, emotional, and psychological pain. The ego learns from life experiences through the physical senses.

In the beginning, the soul and ego work together to build a structure of protection for the young, naïve soul. The baby is a curious, sponge-like being, who learns about the world he or she is born into by downloading experiences through all the senses. What the baby sees, hears, tastes, smells, and feels become part of a vast memory database that forms the foundation of the original ego structure. This is the structure of your beliefs about yourself and your life.

As the soul rubs up against the physical world in infancy and childhood, the young mind evolves a complex of beliefs, which become the foundation for the story we tell about ourselves and life. This original story is formed from the perceptions of a child before the age of reason and meaningful language. Even so, we don’t update or change this view until something significant happens that prompts us to change it.

Adolescence, midlife, and life-changing experiences that call into question our identity, such as illness, accidents, divorce, and loss of job, are the kinds of significant changes that spark the deeper questions Who am I? and What is my life about? It’s during these times that a window of opportunity opens to update and change the original perspective and structure by which we live our lives.

The ego begins to take the lead early in the relationship. It continues to structure the dance patterns until the maturing soul feels the need to express itself more and take full charge of directing your life’s purpose. As the soul matures, the classic dance of conformity cannot provide enough space and freedom for the soul’s unique authentic expression.

These are moments when the soul is ready to create its own dance. Unfortunately, as the soul attempts to step out of the old pattern, its toes get stepped on by an ego that is still trying to maintain the original pattern of protection they formed in childhood. The soul pushes against the walls of the ego structure, which feel too small and confining.

The ego is afraid. It remembers, in vivid detail, all the experiences of pain, frustration, devastation, abandonment, and rejection that the soul felt in the early days as it naively moved out into the world in open innocence. In its effort to protect the soul from the certain consequences that it knows will come from moving authentically again, the ego becomes even more determined to stop the soul.

We feel this ego-soul struggle for leadership as a terrible inner conflict or battle. I called it my “Armageddon” of the soul. The soul wants more freedom, and the ego is determined to keep it safe.

This inner conflict causes stress on a deep, unconscious level. Depending on the unique defense mechanisms the ego developed for protection, our symptoms of stress can include:
* Flight: loss of energy and motivation, distraction, procrastination, stress, depression, hopelessness, helplessness, despair.
* Fight: anxiety, bullying, complaining, blaming, anger, rage, panic attacks.
* Freeze: chronic illness, chronic pain, autoimmune conditions.

We may use any number of methods to deal with the pain of these symptoms, including:
* Distraction: television, video games, work, gambling, co-dependence.
* Escape: changing residence, relationships, appearance.
* Control: obsessive behaviors, possessiveness.
* Numbing: alcohol, drugs (including medication), food, sex.

Resolution of the conflict requires the ego to realize that the soul is no longer as naïve, young, or inexperienced as it was in the beginning and that the continued survival of the body and soul no longer requires vigilant protection. What the mature soul now needs from the ego is renovation of the original structure to support growth and change toward unfolding its fullest expression. With a supportive attitude and the right tools, the ego is capable and willing to do this. I know, because I have experienced this inner transformation.

This is not the typical view of the ego. The ego is more often seen as the villain in this relationship and especially in this conflict. We are encouraged in most spiritual practices to take sides in the battle. Of course, we want to be on the side of the soul, our true self, and our soul’s purpose.

That’s why most of the advice we get is to suppress, override, or try to extinguish the ego. I think this is precisely what keeps us stuck. Fortunately, I learned another way that I am delighted to be able to share with you.

Hating or rejecting the ego is self-destructive, because the ego is not separate from you. It is an integral part of the ego-soul relationship. These partners cannot divorce, and the ego cannot move out of the house. The only hope for inner peace is to support the partners to reconstruct and rebalance the relationship in a new way. The ego must be understood and approached with an attitude of appreciation and compassion for the important and loving role it plays in the relationship.

Aila Accad, RN, MSN, is an award-winning international speaker, best-selling author, and certified life coach who began her quest for the purpose of life at age nine. She became an energy healer, reiki master, and stress expert in the process of exploring numerous wisdom paths. As president and founder of LifeQuest International, LLC, she shares uniquely simple experiences to help clients hear and heed their soul’s calling. Find out more by following the Facebook page for this book.
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