Make Room For Joy

I just surprised myself and said these words out loud–by myself, out of nowhere—“I love my life!”

I actually stopped, looked around to confirm that no-one else was there, then thought, “wow, that was pretty cool.”

All I was doing was looking in my refrigerator, deciding what to make for dinner, when, BAM! a sense of joy and well-being washed over me. The truth is—I really do love my life. I love who I am, I love what I am becoming and I love what I want to bring to the world. Conceited, you say? Self-centered? Arrogant? I used to think so too.

As spiritual beings living this human life, our only job on this planet is to find what sets us on fire and do it!! Be it!!

I didn’t understand that before. I lived a life of keeping myself small to fit in with the people around me who might be upset by my energy and passion. My child self kept quiet so I didn’t rock the boat and upset the delicate dance of the family unit. My adult self was afraid to fly away and let others find their own path if my spirit needed to soar. Well, my soul kept calling until I did.

The interesting thing about the above self-declaration is that all day I was bobbing up and down like a see-saw from fear thoughts to thoughts of faith—back and forth, back and forth. But, this time, when I felt the fear thoughts I knew they were just my mind trying to keep me from feeling free, so I loved them and let them pass. I acknowledged them, told myself they weren’t real and let them float away.

I think that made room for the joy!

While I may have to remind myself of this truth again tomorrow, it’s becoming more second nature to live in the ease and flow of trust and well-being.

Today I will remember that ups and downs are normal, any fear I have is an illusion and that we are here to feel and spread joy!

5 Ways to Shed The Shoulds and Set Yourself Free

It wasn’t so long ago that I lived my life in a world of “shoulds”–a world of feeling obligated instead of feeling free.

“I should respond to that email.”

“He’ll be mad if I don’t call him back.”

“I should probably accept that job.”

“I guess I should go to that party.”

A lot of my “shoulds” were a result of old beliefs I developed as a child stemming from fear, self doubt and feelings of unworthiness. I thought if I did everything right, nobody would get angry and I would be safe. As a result, I always did what I thought other people expected of me, and I felt responsible for their reactions and moods.

But now, on my spiritual path back to essence, I am choosing to lead my life from bravery and authenticity by doing what honors my true desires and feeds my soul—even if it doesn’t sit right with someone else. Here are some steps I’ve been taking to help guide me to the decisions that are for my highest good. Try them and see how they work for you!

Think “no” first. If you’re not 100% sure that you are following your truth, sit with it for awhile. I used to think I had to respond to someone immediately. Now I either say something like, “I’ll get back to you on that soon,” or I wait to respond at all.

Listen to your soul. “Shoulds” can be expectations that others have set for us, or unconscious expectations that we have set for ourselves. Sitting quietly and asking, “Is this right for me?” can allow us to hear the answers already within us.

Feel your body. Where does this feeling lie in your body? Does this idea feel like a contraction or an expansion? If I am about to do or say something I really don’t want to, I sometimes feel a tightening in my throat, for example. Our truth always feels open and light.

Does this bring you joy? Picture yourself in the situation and envision yourself taking the action. Do you feel joy? Connecting with your true spirit lifts you up, up, up!!

Ask yourself why?  Does it feel like you actually have a choice or does it feel like an obligation? If you are sacrificing yourself to please someone else, it is not the truth and it’s not serving anyone. Doing things for others from a place of honesty sends tingles up your spine, creates a feeling of connection and sends positive vibes out into the universe. An obligation feels heavy and daunting.

Today I can remember that the word “responsible” is really response-able, meaning that I am able to respond in a way that honors my truth and serves the highest good of all.

How Confusion Can Guide You

I used to think confusion was a bad thing—like a problem to solve or something to “get out of” as soon as possible. If something didn’t feel right or I couldn’t understand what was happening, I automatically thought  I wasn’t seeing things clearly. Consequently, I tried harder and harder to change my perspective so I didn’t feel like a crazy person. After decades of going against my inner knowing, what I have come to understand is that when I am feeling confused I actually am seeing things clearly; I am seeing them from the eyes of my soul.

Confusion is my inner guidance telling me when something’s not right for me. It’s a messenger of truth and a teacher of self love.

When I feel confused, I am in my head and out of alignment with my heart and soul—trying to make sense of something instead of letting truth emerge. When I am aligned, there is no question of right or wrong or should or shouldn’t. It just is.

Confusion is my ally and my friend. It can show me where I am being manipulated or disrespected, either by myself or others. When I think,”If I am really in a loving relationship, why do I feel so devalued?”, I can become aware that this confusion is really my intuition telling me that I deserve more. Now I can make different choices. And when I ask myself, “Why do I keep doing the same things if they continue to bring me unhappiness?”,confusion guides me to see that by making decisions that are not in my best interest, I am actually disrespecting myself—not feeling worthy enough to treat myself well.

Today, I am reminded that confusion is the GPS of my soul. I will invite confusion in, knowing that a magical shift is about to happen. 

Are You Ready To Heal?

In part 3 of my interview with Shaman and life coach Jennifer Monahan, she brings us into the spirit world she enters in order to help us heal and describes the ideal candidate to benefit from shamanic healing.

Listen to the audio here:

Lorna:  All right, so this is part three of my interview with Jennifer . So when you do sessions with people, do you have to … okay this is going to sound weird but I didn’t know how else to say it, do you have to screen people before you do a session? Do you do sessions with anyone or are there certain people that you do sessions with? Do you ask questions to determine like, “No, you wouldn’t benefit from this,” or…

Jennifer:  If somebody has some questions and wants to know if this is the right thing for them, I’ll definitely have a conversation. If they feel that it’s not right for them, I honor that but no, I don’t screen people.

Lorna:  How do people find you?

Jennifer: I was just going to say, I feel like the people who come to me are the people who are, I’m going to say, ready for this type of healing. And I use healing loosely because a shaman works to heal the soul or the spirit which can lead to physical, mental and emotional healing but the focus is first on the soul or the spirit.

Lorna:  That’s interesting.

Jennifer:  So people who come to me are already open to the idea usually.  And I will be honest, sometimes, I don’t know how people find me. I get a lot of hits from all over the world on my website. Every day, there are hits on my website and people are reading my blog. People are responding to what I’m posting on Facebook and something triggers them when they’re ready, when the time is right for them to reach out to me.

Lorna:  Because I guess when they search, they could even search healing or spiritual healing or something and all sorts of stuff will come up but if they’re even searching that then they’re already attracted to the possibilities.

Jennifer:  Yes, and then the other thing that has helped is the book. I’ve got a number of people coming to me after they read the book saying, “Hey, I think I need your help.” And for those people what I’m hearing is they feel like they know me. I’m not some mysterious person because they know a part of my story and I feel real to them and human and helpful and whatever else attributes.

Lorna:  And part of what, to me, makes you feel so normal is that your book consists of journal entries, your journal entries. And most of us write journals. I know when I was a teenager, I had a diary, that kind of thing … so it allows us to see how the process unfolded for you and your experiences in your thoughts. And it seems it makes so much sense and it allows us to kind of get to know you as a person by seeing your own journal entries.

Jennifer:  Right, exactly.

Lorna:  So is there like an ideal person who would benefit from a session? Is there an ideal person?

Read more Are You Ready To Heal?

Unblock Your Abundance

“For the earnest student, taking responsibility means never forgetting to have fun.”

Seriously,

   The Universe 

(Taken from “Notes From The Universe”)

I awoke today so grateful for the abundance of comforts in my life—my wonderful bed and my sanctuary apartment. The blessed support groups I belong to and my open heart to the divine unknown.

Yet, as is common after waking, almost immediately following those feelings of wonder came feelings of lack. The mind does this, right? As soon as my heart opens up, my ego becomes afraid and thinks it still has to keep me safe. It says to me, “Why do you feel blessed? You know you’re not where you want to be.” and “How will you make enough money or ever have companionship again?”

Well, I have learned enough about my ego to know that whatever it says is a bunch of bunk.

It’s my soul that tells me what’s real, and I have trusted myself and the Universe for long enough to know that my abundance is already out there. Yup, it’s just waiting for me. So I am very conscious and aware when I am not in that high vibration to attract it into my life.

So here’s the thing…..

I am an excellent student—always have been. I am the one who  gets straight A’s. I’m the over-achiever, the uber-prepared and the problem solver because I felt I had to prove my worth. But even though  I can feel my truth now, I am still trying to get that perfect “A” –this time on my spiritual journey of self-healing.

When people ask me, “Oh, are you dating anyone yet?” I automatically say, “Oh no! I still have so much more healing and work to do on myself.”

Them: “Got any plans this weekend? Wanna go to the movies?”

Me: “Oh, sorry. I have so much to writing to catch up on for my Blog.”

Them: “Wanna go for a drink after work?”

Me: “Wow, I wish I could. I have 3 self-help courses I’m working on right now.”

What is that?

That feels like a block to me. Am I telling myself (and the Universe) that I am not ready to move on—that I’m not enough yet?  Am I closing myself off under the strictness and discipline of “getting better”?

It feels like a suppression. A denial of what my soul actually wants–to have fun and receive!

Receive! Receive! Receive! Yes, it has been long enough now and I am passionate to receive the love and joy I have to give. And I am ready to be in the flow of allowing and instead of trying so hard. Nothing is going to pass me by because I go out to dinner with a friend. I’m not going to backtrack and fall under someone’s spell again if I lean toward what feels light to my spirit.

So even though I want to find out more about the young woman in me who wasn’t aware she was being manipulated and tricked and silenced, I also want to be free and to welcome joy and love into my life again. There is no “done now!” in self-exploration. I don’t have to wait for all the answers before I allow myself to accept love and be more playful and joyous. I don’t have to take my healing so seriously. And I don’t have to choose one over the other.

I know that the unravelling of falsehoods naturally begins in the presence of attracting and receiving Joy. This is the place where I heal the most—this open space of allowing light into my life.

So this is the place where I get to “lighten up”! This is where I get to have fun! Be playful! Goof off!

This is the place where I remember who I am.

This is the place where I raise my vibration for all I desire and all I want to gift.

This is the place where I get to live my soul’s purpose.

Today I choose light over heavy in all aspects of my life and I know my outer world will  mirror my inner condition.

Trauma and Miracles: Interview With a Shaman Part 2

In part 1 of our 3 part interview with Jennifer Monahan, she described how a mysterious stranger introduced her to her spiritual calling. Now in part 2, hear how a traumatic event led her to do things she never imagined she would do.

Here’s the audio version, if you’d rather listen!

https://www.aheartbasedlife.com/interviews/

 

Lorna:  Okay, perfect. So this is all so interesting about how that happened, like out of the blue.

Jennifer:  Out the blue.

Lorna:  You weren’t there searching for anything like that to happen at all.

Jennifer:  I didn’t even know what a shaman was.

Lorna:  So now, you come back to San Francisco. You were working full-time.

Jennifer:  I was working full time. I was a Business Strategy Consultant working long hours and…

Lorna:  Traveling a lot from what I remember.

Jennifer:  Traveling every week. Yes, on a plane every Sunday or Monday and home every Thursday or Friday and yet at the same time, I was getting trained by my guides.

Lorna:  Wow.

Jennifer:  It was a pretty intense time.

Lorna:  Wow. So, someone I know calls that side hustle or side gig or something like that.

Jennifer:  It was a side gig.

Lorna:  Yes.

Jennifer:  It really was.

Lorna:  So then, you decide to quit your job.

Jennifer:  Well, I decided to start doing the Shamanic work on the side.

Lorna: Okay.

Jennifer:   And so, I launched Spirit Evolution in 2014.

Lorna:  Tell us what Spirit evolution is.

Jennifer:  Spirit evolution is my Shamanic business.

Lorna:  Okay.

Jennifer:  I had been doing Shamanic sessions on friends and family for some time before that and I said, “Okay, I am ready to make this official.” And so, I created websites and actually created an LLC around it and have built an organization and launched it to friends and family in September of 2014.

Lorna:  And so, you did that on the side.

Jennifer:  Then, I did that on the side. I did that on the side because I wanted to have a little bit of a safety net, right?

Lorna:  Yes, yes.

Jennifer:  In San Francisco, the rent’s so expensive and I wasn’t quite ready to walk away from that kind of income.

Lorna:  Yes.

Jennifer:  Two months later, I was walking across the street in the financial district and a minivan hit me at 25 miles an hour. Read more Trauma and Miracles: Interview With a Shaman Part 2

Gratitude and Wisdom From My Greatest Teacher

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and gratitude and sadness coexist so easily in my heart.

As I look ahead to tomorrow, I am reminded of years past when I would be cooking sweet potatoes and planning dinner for my husband and me. When I am alone I find my heart missing the parts of him that I still love. The healing is so slow and painful, yet I welcome it in, for it is also unwavering and infinite in its revelations.

Now that I am releasing the long-held comfort and burden of victimhood I realize that, through everything—even the risk of losing the marriage—he was always his authentic self. The good and the bad. In all our 32 years together he never tried to be anything but who he was–even if it hurt me.

But I tried to change him and I fought with myself to be anything I thought he wanted me to be, in an attempt to control his behavior. I wasn’t ready to make the decisions I needed to make for myself around what simply “was”.

Now that I am finally discovering what it’s like be myself, I get to see that he never wavered from being his, no matter the cost. I think part of me even respects that.

I believe that all our experiences are our teachers, so I sit in the wisdom and understanding of what I have chosen to learn.

And I sit in Gratitude.

I thank my ex-husband and my marriage. I am grateful for every experience and every decision I have made in my life–for they were all intended to bring me here, where I can discover my best self. And I am on it!

I graciously accept yet another lesson from the greatest teacher of my life.

Free Workshop! “Follow Your Intuition-Shift Your Life!”

I am holding a free talk,  sharing some life changing experiences about following that inner voice!

Please feel free to join me Sunday, November 19th  from 4-6pm at the 2000 Post Apartments. The workshop will be held in the HobNob Lounge inside the complex.

2000 Post Street, San Francisco, Ca 94115

Sign up here to get more updates on this event, discover more events like this in the future, and read more inspiration on how to find your best self!!

Much Love,

Lorna

 

 

Wanna Ask a Shaman Anything You Want? I Did!

The first of a 3 part interview with Shaman and friend Jennifer B. Monahan, author of “This Trip Will Change Your Life”. Here, Jennifer explains the history of Shamanism, what it is and how it can help  us heal, and introduces us to the mysterious stranger that led her to her calling

For the audio version of this interview, click here: https://www.aheartbasedlife.com/interviews/

Lorna:  I’m here with my friend, and shaman, Jennifer B. Monahan. I would like to share some of her story with you and learn more about her at the same time. So, hi Jennifer.

Jennifer:  Hi.

Lorna:  I’m so glad to see you again. So Jennifer just returned from Guatemala and she’s back in San Francisco for a couple of weeks before she goes on her next exploration, which I’ll ask her about. So, first thing I want to know is what is a Shaman? How would you answer to that?

Jennifer:  Yes. Shamans have been around since the beginning of time and every indigenous culture in the world has their version of a Shaman. They may call it a Shaman or medicine man or woman or a witch or voodoo or whatever. But basically, what a Shaman is, is somebody who works with the spirit world to help bring about healing whether that healing is for an individual or community or even the planet.

Lorna:  And that’s it. It’s that simple.

Jennifer:  It’s that simple.

Lorna:  (laughing) I expected it to be a longer answer.

Jennifer:  No, it’s that simple but obviously there’s a lot more behind it. So, what a Shaman does is they will enter an altered state of reality. I use drumming. So, either I have a person there who is drumming for me so I don’t have to focus on that or I use an MP3 of drumming but that drumming allows me to get into a state where I’m more receptive and open and able to communicate with the spirit world.

Lorna:  And is that still a state of awareness or would you call it a trance?

Jennifer:  I’d say more trance than awareness. The way I describe it is that, you know when you’re falling asleep but you’re still awake but you’re in that in that kind of twilight zone and in between, it’s kind of like that but the difference is that I am still completely in control. I am fully aware of everything whereas in that twilight zone, you’re just kind of drifting along and you’re not really guiding anything. With a Shamanic experience, when I go on a shamanic journey and enter that altered state of reality, I’m fully aware and what I’m doing is I’m calling in my guides, my spirit guides, my power animals, ancestors. I’m calling in the guides of the person that I’m working with and say, “Okay, here’s what we’re working on today. Suzie Q. is having this problem and let’s work together to help heal it.”
What they do is they, 99% of the time, give me what the root cause is. So, I could have a client that I’m working with who is recovering from breast cancer and you could say, “Oh, the problem is cancer cells.” Well no, actually in a particular case of one client, the problem was that this woman didn’t know how to love herself.

Lorna:  Exactly, and it was manifesting in the physical body.

Jennifer:  So, and it manifested as breast cancer. So, they help me get to the root cause.
Then we work to begin the healing process. Sometimes the healing can be instantaneous and sometimes it takes time and I can guarantee you that pretty much every time, it requires whoever the individual is that I’m working with to make changes to their life.

Lorna:  Right, to participate in the healing on their end.

Jennifer:  They have to participate in the healing.

Lorna:  And that state that you’re talking about like when you’re almost falling asleep, that’s kind of the state where sometimes a lot of answers come in—like answers to problems that you haven’t been able to figure out and you’re just like almost falling asleep and you’re thinking, “Oh my God. I know what to do about that.”

Jennifer:  Yes and the reason for that is because in our human forms, we vibrate at a certain level. Let’s say that our level is 100 for lack of any other kind of description, right?

Lorna:  Yes.

Jennifer:  The ascended masters and the guides and things that are in spirit form are at a much higher level. They’re vibrating at a much higher level and let’s say 500, right?

Lorna:  Okay.

Jennifer:  When we are in that zone, whether it’s through a trauma induced trance or we’re starting to fall asleep, we’re actually shedding our … I’m going to say our physical body. We’re still part of it, of course, but we’re breaking free of the weightiness of physicality and we’re vibrating higher. So maybe we’re getting up to say 250 and these numbers are just an example. They don’t mean anything.
But then it’s easier for our guys to come down and communicate because it’s worked for them to lower their vibration and get heavier just like it’s worked for us to break out of our physical vibration level and move up.
So, it’s kind of a meeting in the middle wherever the middle ends up being.
And then, it’s easier for them to communicate.

Lorna:  Wow.

Jennifer:  Yes.

Lorna:  And so, when we are vibrating higher, aren’t we getting more in touch with our true selves because we are actually … we’re actually spirits…

Read more Wanna Ask a Shaman Anything You Want? I Did!

How I Am Turning Anger Into Love

I have been learning a few things about anger lately and something transformative is happening. I am finding my voice.

Anger has been emotionally and physically trying to work its way up from deep inside me, where I pushed it down a long time ago.

I didn’t even know I had it, much less pushed it down. As a kid, I was just trying to be “good” and not do anything that would upset anyone. I was told to “be quiet”, and “leave well enough alone” and “don’t make matters worse”.

I remember times when I tried to express my anger and I was laughed at—like I couldn’t possibly be serious. Or I felt humiliated after being ignored while I courageously risked pouring my heart out.

And I also remember the times when I was attacked.

I learned that if I said something that someone else didn’t like, they left, so I tried to keep my Dad and, later, my husband from leaving.

So, way back then, my little girl mind made a decision. Other people were allowed to be angry, but it wasn’t safe for me to do the same. I decided that anger was bad and I was a bad person for feeling it.

On a search for safety and validation, I became the perpetually positive one, the popular one, and the one that never wanted to cause any trouble.

“See, you have no reason to leave—I’m being perfect!”

“Aren’t you ever in a bad mood?”, I remember people asking.

Nope. I’m an anxious, strung-out overachiever, but bad mood—never.

Talk about exhausting.

And then there are the social cues, right? Good girls don’t get angry. Good girls are calm. Good girls please. I decided I should have equanimity at all times.

Ok, so check this out—here’s the dictionary.com definition of equanimity:

noun

1.

mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.

So, I have to admit, being a student of meditation, this is a concept I completely hope to embody—to be the tree right?  Solidly rooted in the ground, just swaying with the wind instead of being uprooted by it.

But when I think about trying to be this symbol of ease and resilience in order to prop myself and everyone else up, I feel a deep sadness for my little girl—and even for my big girl—who didn’t know any better.

One thing I have learned in my spiritual life is that if you feel lost, out of touch with your true self, and overwhelmed by the the physical and emotional transformation happening inside of you, you should:

  1. witness the fear
  2. ask for, and be open to receiving help
  3. surrender it to the Universe

Very soon after doing just that, I found myself talking to a very wise person who taught me things I never knew about anger.

Here’s what I have learned over the last 2 weeks (yes only 2 weeks!)

Read more How I Am Turning Anger Into Love