Adventures in Feng Shui: Creating a Bagua

Recently, I was listening to one of my new favorite podcasts (Mind Your Business with James Wedmore), and he did an interview on Feng Shui. Personally, I didn't know much about Feng Shui beyond the fact that it had to do with balancing the energy in a home or space. After listening, I felt so inspired that I wanted to learn more. James interviewed Karen Rauch Carter, who wrote the book Move your Stuff, Change Your Life. I snagged a copy of the book, and over the next few months I’ll be sharing my journey using Feng Shui.

The first thing Karen recommends to do is to take an inventory of what is currently working really well in your life and where you’d like to experience improvement. So, I sat down with my partner, Sean, and we discussed our intentions and where we’d like to improve. Next, we used our floor plan to map out the Bagua. Basically, the Bagua is a map of the home that corresponds to nine different life situations. They are: prosperity, fame and reputation, relationships and love, family, health, creativity and children, skills and knowledge, career, helpful people and travel.

Feng Shui Bagua

The theory of Feng Shui seems to be that if you’re experiencing imbalances in an area of your life, they correspond to imbalances within that specific area of your home. You can use different Feng Shui cures like light, sound, living things, weight, color, moving objects, symbolic objects, the elements and electric power to bring that area of your home into balance; thus, helping to cure the imbalance in that area of your life.

Looking at our Bagua, we noticed that there was a piece missing in the Prosperity and Family gua because of the way our home is shaped. Karen recommended many different cures to complete these two sections, but the one that resonated with me the most was burying a crystal where the two walls would intersect in our yard. I used a piece of clear quartz and buried it with the intention of completing our Bagua.

I’ll be following the book, so the first area I’ll be working on over the next week or so is the prosperity gua. I’ll share some of the cures that we incorporate as well as their results as I go along. I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us, and I’m excited to share with you all.

Focus on Possibility

I feel like the Law of Attraction is getting a bad rap lately; mainly, it seems to be due to a generality that it’s all about “positive thinking”. Want more money? Just think positively and tell yourself you have tons of money, and all will be well, right? No, not exactly. I believe it is a bit more complex than that.

Everything originates from a thought, and each thought holds a specific vibration. This is where I feel like most people stop and get the idea that the Law of Attraction is all about positive thinking. To me, it’s about being open to possibility.

I recently listened to an episode of The Yes Effect with Shelli Varela, and she said something that stood out to me – “Don’t focus on logic. Focus on possibility.” Sometimes when we are working on manifesting something in our life we focus on “I want ________” Inadvertently, this also puts out the vibration “I don’t have ________.”

Shelli talked about how we can shift our focus from “I want…” to imagining possibility and how we will feel if that thing were to manifest in our life. This brings our emotions into play, which act like powerful magnets, helping to draw our intentions into reality. Also, when you open yourself up to possibility, you’re more likely to notice the various signs or opportunities coming from Spirit.

It’s important to remember that we’re the co-creators of our lives. When we’re focusing on possibility, we begin to receive intuitive hits that guide us. This is when we begin taking inspired action based on the guidance we receive, which helps us to level up, acquire new skills, and learn lessons that bring us into vibrational alignment with that which we desire.

Now, this does not mean that everything is going to be sunshine, rainbows and puppy dogs. When we go about working to manifest something, there may be new skills or lessons we must acquire or learn in order along the way. These new things might challenge us and will probably push us beyond our comfort zones.

When we encounter these challenges, it’s important that we don’t just ignore the discomfort and believe we can positively think it all away. Sometimes we have to work through our stuff. You can’t just put a bandaid on a gaping wound, so it’s important to treat any pain or trauma with the love and respect it deserves.

Personally, I choose to believe in the power of possibility. When we imagine what’s possible, we ignite an inner fire that drives us forward. Potential obstacles don’t seem so scary because we’re fired up and ready to go. We’re more open to explore and try new things that could help us manifest our deepest desires.

Please know that I do not claim this to be the end all be all. This is what has worked for me, so I wanted to share it with you in hopes that it helps you too. As always, take what resonates and leave the rest.

Peace Amidst Chaos

This week I pulled a few cards for us, asking "What message wants to come through at this time?" We received the Seven of Cups, Knight of Swords and Four of Swords.

Tarot Reading

To me, the message that comes through is about the sense of overwhelm we may be feeling in today's society. There's so much going on right now with everyone and everything competing for our attention; it might appear to the outside observer that the world is a bit chaotic. There's a barrage of breaking news alerts, ads, and all sorts of things happening in our personal lives that can make it difficult to even hear ourselves think.

It's during times like these that we're being called to practice discernment. Does it serve us to follow the flock and get so worked up and involved with everything that's going on? Or, could we be of better service if we pause to consciously decide whether or not a particular situation warrants our energy?

We don't have to be so reactive to everything. We have the opportunity to choose how to proceed. One of the best things I ever did for my self-care was to delete Facebook and Twitter off of my phone and unsubscribe from all breaking news alerts. I get to decide when and where I want to check any news or engage on social media.

The Four of Swords asks us to turn inward and honor what feels good. For me, I felt called to delete Facebook and Twitter from my phone and unsubscribe from all breaking news alerts. It felt so draining to always be so connected. Now, I decide when I want to engage on social media or read the news.

Perhaps you don't resonate with disconnecting like I did. Find another way that allows you to practice your own form of discernment. When we're confronted with chaos we need to have a system in place that helps us to consciously engage rather than being so reactionary. Experiment and see what feels best for you.

Setting the World Ablaze With Love

The idea of working with others has been coming up a lot in my personal readings lately. I've been sharing these readings on Instagram, and it seems like the idea resonates with quite a few people right now.

Originally, I wasn't sure what I was going to write about this week. However, Spirit seems to keep bringing this idea of "stronger together" up, and I feel like it's important to discuss; especially, in today's climate.

There's a lot of fear running rampant in our society right now. Rather than working to understand and solve difficult problems, people immediately start blaming each other or lashing out. We call each other names, cast others as villains, or even cut off any type of connection whatsoever. We continue to perpetuate the illusion that we're all separate when the Truth is that we're all one.

Right now is a pivotal moment for us. We can continue living in a fear-based mindset, or we can choose Love. We can choose to reach across and build each other up instead of tearing each other down. When we're met with ugliness, we can send Love in return. And by doing so, we not only raise our own vibration, but the vibration of the collective. In Truth, we are all one.

The more those of us sharing our Light come together, the further our Light will spread. If you have one candle in a dark room you might have some nice ambiance, but the room probably isn't lit up too well. But, if you put a bunch of candles in a dark room you can completely illuminate it.

The world needs you to share your Light right now. Whatever it is you've been called to do – write, perform, teach, compose, create, etc – please do it. Reach out and connect with others. Ask for help when it is needed. Also, let's let go of the idea that asking for help is a sign of weakness.

For the past couple of months, I've been working on a guided meditation. I had no idea how to create a meditation when I started, but I felt called to do so. I trusted that the Universe would guide me and provide help when I needed it. When I got stuck (especially learning to use new computer programs and equipment) I reached out to a few different people who were more than happy to help me solve the issues I was experiencing.

I could have experienced endless frustration trying to figure things out on my own, but I was led to specific people who could provide the solutions I needed. Now, I'm able to share this wonderful creation with the world; it's like adding one more candle to that dark room.

How can you share your Light this week? If you're feeling stuck, who can you reach out to for help? Maybe you're not being called to create something just yet. If not, try sharing your Light by just being kind. The world needs more kindness, and it's up to us change that. Because when I share my light and you share yours, together we can set the world ablaze with Love.

A Simple Practice for Conscious Living

The energy this past week has been fairly interesting for me because I've had quite a few old patterns pop back up. 

I noticed that I was slipping back into a scarcity mindset surrounding money, which I thought was long gone by now. I found myself starting to compare myself to others. And, I noticed that at some points I was judging myself or other people.

One might ask themselves, "What the hell is happening?!" It was like a superhero movie when the hero thinks they've vanquished the villain, but they've actually gone away and gotten stronger.

But, there was something different this time. Instead of simply sliding back into those old patterns, I was conscious of them and I had an entire arsenal of new tools at my disposal. I was an observer of my thoughts rather than letting them narrate my story, so I was able to notice when something was out of balance, and use the tools I have to bring it back into balance,

I immediately started sending love when I noticed that I was judging myself or others. I began to take stock of the abundance that was already showing up in my life when I noticed scarcity creeping in. If I compared myself to someone, I would pray for their continued success and happiness.

When I switched over from a fear-based mindset to a love-based mindset, I felt so much better. I felt lighter, happier, and freer. I was determined to not let fear hold me down.

Honestly, I feel like the thing that helped me noticed these subtle shifts the most is meditation. People seem to have a misconception that your mind must be completely blank to meditate "successfully". However, I feel like the point of meditation is to observe the thoughts with non-judgement and then let them go.

Rather than continuing down a rabbit hole with a specific thought while meditating, notice that you've been distracted and return to your breath. We do the same thing in my yoga class – if we notice the mind wandering during practice, we bring it back to the present moment by bringing our focus back to the breath.

The more you meditate, the more you build this muscle, and the more it's able to help you out in times of stress. Rather than allowing your mind to run the show, you begin to observe what it's saying and then return to the present moment. This allows you to make the conscious choice of what is showing up in your life.

When you feel stress, anxiety of fear creeping in this week, take a moment to pause and reconnect with your breath. Biologically, by taking a deep inhale your nervous system and brain will begin to calm down; thus allowing you to think clearly and consciously.

Disconnecting to Connect

"I am present."

A couple of weeks ago I was at a Starbucks waiting for my order when I looked around and noticed that the six other people that were waiting had their heads buried in their phones. I passed by a few more people as I was leaving and they were all doing the exact same thing – walking with their heads down, barely noticing anyone around them because they were involved with someone on a tiny screen.

This got me thinking – we have more opportunity than ever before to connect with each other, but it seems like we're becoming increasingly disconnected. People would rather be plugged into their device instead of interacting with the world that's right in front of them.

Now, I've been guilty of this too. There have been plenty of times I've been walking somewhere and checking Instagram at the same time, or I've been out with friends and taken my phone out. However, about two weeks ago I decided to challenge myself. I wanted to change my habits so that I could stay present and connect with people.

I set a few guidelines for myself. My phone and computer had to be turned off 1-2 hours before going to sleep, and I wasn't going to turn them on again until at least an hour after waking up. I had to buy a real alarm clock so that my phone wasn't my alarm, and all of my devices were charged in our office instead of the bedroom. In fact, I set my phone to charge on top of my computer and then placed a Selenite pyramid on top of them to cleanse their energy overnight. I also decided that I wouldn't check my phone while walking to/from places or while I was waiting somewhere.

These guidelines might sound simple, but it has been quite the challenge. It has taken time to adjust and not automatically reach for my phone while waiting for something or walking somewhere. But, things are shifting and I'm seeing the benefits.

For instance, I've become much more conscious of when and how I use my phone; I'm not at the beck and call of a ring or vibration in my pocket. My attention span has lengthened, which allows me to have better focus and actively engage with people on a deeper level. My appreciation for nature has grown. I've also noticed that my mind doesn't seem to chatter as much and, if it does, I'm able to notice it and return to the present moment much more easily.

It's still a work in progress. Sometimes I accidentally forget, but I've been working with the mantra "I am present" to help.

I feel like if people took the time to be conscious about their device usage and spent more time connecting with the world around them, we'd have a totally different world. We'd have more empathy and compassion because we'd recognize our shared humanity. Imagine the difference in a person's day if you smiled at them, said hello, or gave them a compliment instead of standing or walking by them glued to your phone.

Get honest with yourself and your own habits. Do you feel like you're spending more time on your phone than with the people around you? If so, how can you cut back and change that? Give it a try this week and see how it feels.


The Power of "What If?"

I was highly skeptical when I first started my spiritual journey several years ago. I found myself thinking, "What do you mean that love, peace, happiness and abundance are my birthright?! I have about $50 in my checking account. You're crazy!" I wanted to believe in this magical Universe so badly, but I found it incredibly difficult since my circumstances didn't reflect it.

Luckily, the first book that I ever read on the subject was E-Squared by Pam Grout. In the book, Pam takes you through nine experiments that you can do to prove to yourself that your thoughts create your reality. I felt my excitement growing as I started seeing results in my experiments, but I was also terrified that one of the experiments wouldn't work for me and the whole thing would be a waste of time. Every so often that little voice still pops into my head causing me to doubt myself. I feel like it's because he knows that his days are numbered and he no longer controls my life.

I've been reading a lot of Marianne Williamson's work lately, which I would recommend to anyone who's not already acquainted with her. She talks a lot about leaning into love and God (The Universe/Source/Divine Energy/Etc.), and allowing ourselves to be a channel for miracles. I recently finished reading her book, Everyday Grace, and after I finished I noticed that little doubtful voice starting up again.

As soon as he started questioning what I had just read I very clearly heard another voice say, "Yes, but what if?" What if Marianne is right? What if the Universe is conspiring on my behalf? What if Love really is the only real thing in the Universe? What if miracles are happening all around me and my task is to align myself with Divine Love?

Suddenly, those nagging doubts had stopped and I felt my entire energy shift. It was a massive spiritual "AHA!" moment. I feel like we open ourselves up to infinite possibilities when we get curious about something. We tear down the walls we had built before and we look beyond where they once stood.

Imagine the possibilities if you approach life with these two words in mind – "What if?" Next time you hear doubt popping up, take a moment to pause and question yourself. You'll never amount to anything. "What if I do?" The Universe isn't conspiring on your behalf "What if it is?" Then, start to explore that. See it. Feel it. Live in that energy for a moment and notice how it affects you.

It might only be a subtle shift at first, but trust that it is powerful. You are literally starting to change years of programming when you look at the possibilities before you instead of indulging your fears. The coolest part of all of this is that when you do this work yourself, you're also shifting the collective energy. You're changing the world! Awesome, right?!

Try it for yourself this week, and let me know how it goes!

Need help understanding your doubts and fears?

If you'd like to gain some insight into what's been holding you back lately, consider snagging a reading. Together we'll examine how your doubt and fear might be impacting your life and develop a plan to help you overcome them.

Tarot Reading: Breaking Through the Darkness

Today I felt called to pull a few Tarot cards to see what messages wanted to come forward for the collective, and we received the Nine of Swords, Five of Pentacles and King of Wands. I feel like this is a beautiful message for us, so let's dive in!

There are times in our lives when the stress and anxiety we feel can be overwhelming. It seems like the mindless chatter plays on loop - "You're not good enough. Who the hell do you think you are?", "They're going to find out you're a fraud.", "There's no way you can afford that." And, we let these thoughts keep us stuck in a vicious, unending cycle - a slave to our mind.

Because our fearful thoughts are stuck on autopilot, we end up seeing those circumstances manifest in our lives. We stop putting ourselves out there because we don't feel good enough or we feel like a fraud. We can't seem to get ahead with our money stuff because something always comes up. We end up in this place of unhappiness, not seeing beyond our current circumstances.

However, there's another way. You can tap into it by recognizing the Light within yourself and accepting just how powerful you are. Now, please don't think I'm telling you just to "stay positive" and all will be well. 

The mystic does not deny the darkness, in ourselves or in the world, but affirms a light that lies beyond it. And we have faith the light will prevail because we have faith that light is our true identity.
— Marianne Williamson. Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles

Denying darkness does you no good. Allow yourself to work through any pain you may feel, but also affirm the Light within yourself and beyond the darkness. Soon, miracles will start to happen. Your faith in your Light severs the chains holding you captive in fear. You'll start to see the inherent goodness in others and you won't get swept up in the fear that's running rampant in today's society.

Your Light is pure Love; let your Light be your guide. If you find yourself slipping into old, fearful thought patterns, gently remind yourself that "Only Love is real." Tune in to the Love and Light that exists within you and acknowledge that you have the power to change your circumstance right here and right now.

If you feel called to do so, try journaling this week with the prompt: What fearful thought patterns are holding me back from sharing my Light? How can I embody my Light more fully?

Living in Alignment With Your Values

This past Sunday Spirit gave me a big 'ole smack across the back of my head.

I wanted to find a new way to help me consciously move through the week ahead, so I started a new ritual where I pull three cards for Mind/Body/Spirit, plus a card from the Work Your Light Oracle deck. I had expected a pat on the back for some of the stuff I've been doing lately, but all my cards turned up reversed and my Oracle card was a big, fat "NO."

I was so distraught at first glance, but once I started interpreting the cards things became much more enlightening. I realized that while I have done some great work I needed to discern whether it was just busy work or if it was aligned with my values and Truth. The "No" Oracle card talked about the idea of conserving energy for work that is aligned instead of burning rubber by constantly spinning my wheels.

This reading felt like a gentle reminder to return to the list of values I created a couple of weeks ago. Our values are the ideals that steer our ship through this journey of life. We can always return to them when things feel out of whack to get an idea of how to correct our course. For instance, one of my values is growth. I live for self-development, so I love to constantly be learning because I'll start to feel stagnant if I'm not. This nudges me to seek out new experiences, ideas, and helps reframe my failures as learning experiences.

If you feel called to do so, try creating a list of 5-10 values for yourself. My main values are: fearlessness, intention, growth, alignment, freedom, and magic. These values help me more easily make decisions because I'm able to judge whether or not something aligns with them. They push me to grow and get outside of my comfort zone to help me live a more fulfilling life.

If you need help getting started on your values list, you can get some inspiration here. Also, feel free to try something out and, if it doesn't fit, let it go and find a different one. I played around with my list for a week or two before finding the ones that really worked for me. Make a list and see how these things show up in your life each day. Try it out and let me know how it goes!

A Simple Way to Release Your Fears

This past week I did something that scared the crap out of me -- I went live on Instagram for the first time.

Now, if you know me you might be shocked that this scared me so much because I also work as a professional actor. I get paid to perform live in front of a ton of people every single week, but for some reason Instagram Live had me shaking in my boots.

About two weeks ago I started participating in a Tarot challenge on Instagram. Basically, each day had a prompt, and I would pull some cards for myself based on that prompt and then interpret them. The one message that kept coming up for me (even outside of the challenge) was "Face your fears!" It was showing up in my readings, in podcasts I was listening to, and even at work. I couldn't ignore the fact that if I wanted to create momentum I had to be willing to get uncomfortable and start moving towards my fears.

I decided that I would start small, which meant that I had to go on Instagram Live because it had been something I'd thought about, but I kept finding excused not to do it. One thing they discussed in the podcast was the idea of getting specific about your fear. You start by asking yourself why you're afraid of ________. For me, I was afraid that no one would show up if I went on Instagram Live. Then, you keep asking yourself "And then what would happen?" 

So, it looks something like this:
What are you afraid of about going on Instagram Live?
I'm afraid no one will show up.
And then what would happen?
I'd look stupid.
And then what would happen?
I'd be sad that no one showed up.
And then what would happen?
I would eventually end up going about my day.

Suddenly, the thing that was scaring the bejesus out of you isn't so scary anymore! I realized that I would be okay even if no one showed up. The other thing that they mentioned in the podcast is that we suddenly think we can predict the future when we're dealing with our fears. We are convinced we know how it's going to turn out before we even do something about it, so we just don't do it. So, the next morning I broadcast live on Instagram for the first time, and guess what?! Quite a few people showed up! Was it perfect? No! Did I learn lessons for next time? Absolutely!

I encourage you to try this out with your own fears this week. Break them down using the question above, and you'll notice that their power over you will start to fade. Your fear shows you where you have the most room to grow, but you have to be willing to move in that direction; otherwise, you'll stay stuck. Be fearless this week and try conquering just one fear. I'd love to hear how it goes!

One Question to Help You Manifest Your Dreams

Take a moment to think about something big that you want to achieve. It could be the lifestyle or career you want -- not the one you're supposed to want or think you're worthy of, but the one that really sets your heart on fire and makes you get all excited inside just thinking about it.

Notice what happens in your mind when you start visualizing this. Are you thinking "Hell yeah! I'm on my way there. I can do this!" Or, are you thinking "That's nice, but I don't have _______" or "Yeah, but that'd be too hard"? 

"Why not me?"

Now, ask yourself "Why not me?" Why can't you have this thing that lights you up? You might immediately start listing the things you don't have that you would actually need to achieve this dream. Perhaps it's more experience, more connections, more money, etc. List them out and start to break them into smaller steps. Break them down into the smallest steps possible so that they stop looking so big and scary to you.

For example, let's say you've always dreamed of being a Life Coach. You might write down "Get my Life Coach certification," which might seem like a daunting task. However, if you break that down to the next step it becomes "Enroll in a Life Coach program." If that's still too scary, roll it back further -- "Research Life Coaching programs." Still too daunting? "Reach out to several Life Coaches to speak with them about becoming a Life Coach." Keep breaking it down until you end up at something that no longer seems impossibly large for you.

Next, take that smallest bit of action. Then, take the next one and the next one. As you keep going, the next steps will cease to look so large and intimidating and you'll begin building momentum as you go.

It's not going to be easy. In fact, there will be times where you will fall down on your face. People are going to doubt you and tell you that you can't do whatever is you're setting out to do. They're only able to love you from within their personal limits, and their limits are not your's. Keep your eyes on the end goal and keep going. If there's someone out there doing the thing you want to do, please know that it is possible

People are successful when they move towards their goals with certainty and conviction. They don't let adversity hold them down. Erik Weihenmayer is a blind man who scaled Mt. Everest. How many times do you think people told him what he wanted to do wasn't possible? Regardless of what others said or how many times he may have "failed", he kept going. As Rumi said, "What you seek is seeking you." Be brave enough to go on this journey and you'll find that all of your dreams are possible.


One Simple Ritual to Transform Your Day

Back when I was a high school theatre teacher, our administration team kept discussing how our expectations of our students would affect their performance. We were told that if we expected our students to do well, then they would. You can read about one of the studies done on this type of hypothesis in this article from NPR. It's really cool to think about and, over the years, I've found that this idea is prevalent in almost every area of my life.

I used to live in a state of expecting the worst. You might be familiar with these types of thoughts, too -- "There's not enough", "This won't work out", "Today is going to be so long." However, when I adjusted my expectations I started to witness small changes that made way for giant transformations. I started to have more than enough. Opportunities started presenting themselves, and I started noticing miracles on a daily basis. All of this happened because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

When you expect more of yourself and of the people around you, you'll experience a psychological shift that affects how you behave and chips away at the limiting beliefs that have been holding you back.

To experience these shifts, all you need to do is start setting intentions instead of letting your old thought patterns lead the way. Before you start your day and get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, take a few minutes to meditate. When you've completed your meditation, state your intention out loud to the Universe.

Let's say you have an important meeting coming up in your day. After meditation, you can say out loud that you intend that your meeting is going to go well. Feel how that feels in your body and take a few minutes to visualize what that looks like. If you're feeling your inner critic pop up telling you that you're wrong, you can add "I am choosing to believe..." to the front of your intention. In the example above, it would become "I am choosing to believe that my meeting will go well." Sometimes, if I find doubt still creeping in I'll add, "If not this, then something better!" 

The key here to work with God, Spirit, The Universe, Source Energy, whatever you want to call it. Put it out there and trust it. Remember, you are the co-creator of your life, so you do have to put in work too. You can't not prepare for your meeting, state that you intend it to go well, and then just show up unprepared. You'll be sorely disappointed. 

Things may not turn out the exact way you expect, but trust that what does occur is for your Highest and Greatest Good. Maybe the meeting doesn't go as well as you hoped, but that's because there's an even better opportunity that's coming your way in a month's time. I recently interviewed for a promotion at work, and I didn't get the position even though the feedback I received from my interview was fantastic. My intention going into the interview was that I would do well and stay true to myself, which I did. However, since I didn't get the position, I've taken it as a sign that I need to be spending this time working on stuff for The Intrepid Hearts.

Try sending an intention out into the Universe before anything that you do. I set intentions before Tarot readings, teaching, blogging, starting my day, and more. The possibilities are limitless. The more you start expecting more of yourself and your life, the quicker you'll see radical shifts occur. What you focus on will expand, so set your sights high and watch the miracles happen.




Stepping Into the Flow

I had a major "Aha!" moment while working through New Age Hipster's Self-Care Kit this month. It came about while I was journaling about the beliefs I had surrounding taking care of my body. Exercise came to my mind because and I discovered that I had a lot of beliefs that exercise was hard, not fun and time-consuming.

I hopped over into our Facebook group and posted asking for some help working through these beliefs, and Vix offered some great advice said something that really stuck out to me. Basically, she said that when she starts feeling like she doesn't want to do something anymore she sees it as a sign that it's time to shake things up.

I used to believe that exercise meant I HAD to go to the gym and do all the machines or that I HAD to be running three miles three times a week. I'd get burned out, stop doing whatever exercise I was doing at the time, and then stop exercising all together.

How often do we do this type of thing in our own lives? We feel like it has to be all or nothing, so when we fall short we just stop doing the thing all together. For example, if you struggle with meditating -- are you trying to force yourself to sit down in silence for 20 minutes every day and think of nothing? If that's not working, why not try going on a walk and being fully present during it?

The point I'm trying to make here is that we don't have to just stop doing something altogether because our current way of doing it isn't working. Like Vix said, it's just "time to shake things up." Find other ways to accomplish the same goal!

I feel like it's time to stop holding on to such rigid beliefs. We can accomplish great things if we live in a state of flow rather than "This is how things MUST be!" For me, instead of forcing myself to go suffer in the gym I've started adding 30 second planks throughout my day, walking more, and doing some light yoga in the mornings. I've made it work for me, and when the time comes that those things bore me, I'll simply shake it up and find a new way to exercise.

Conquering Fear with "Why?" | The Intrepid Hearts

Last week I felt like I was in such a conundrum.

Recently, I completed Reiki 2 and I was eager to practice the distance healing techniques I had learned. I was trying to think of ways to find people that would be willing to receive a Reiki session, and the idea to post something on Facebook for my friends popped into my mind.

I started to write the post, but suddenly I was plagued with fear - "What if they think you're crazy?" I don't consider many of my Facebook friends to be "woo woo", so I was terrified of being judged by them. I ended up deleting what I had written and didn't post anything at all.

However, the next morning I was doing a daily card pull and I received the Nine of Wands in the reversed position. When I see this card I feel like it embodies the energy of perseverance, but here it was showing up for me reversed. It definitely felt like a block.

Then, like a flash of lightning, the phrase "Reconnect with your why." popped into my head. Immediately, I thought back to my deleted Facebook post from the day before. I started to learn Reiki because I want to help people. Helping others is my why. Was I going to let some stupid fear of being judged by people on Facebook keep me from doing that? HELL NO!

I ended up logging back on and posting about it. Within minutes I had a good amount of people  asking about it and almost all of them booked a session. I did have one person who was somewhat judgmental about it, but that didn't bother me anymore. Helping people is way more important to me than someone's opinion of my interests.

If you're feeling stuck this week, I encourage you to reconnect with your why. Why did you begin? Take some time to meditate on it and see what pops up. When we're feeling stalled, reconnecting with the reason we began can help unearth a few hidden gems as well as reignite our Spirit to help plow through any fears that stand in our way.

Tarot Talks: The Wheel of Fortune and Five of Cups | The Intrepid Hearts

The Wild Unknown Tarot

I want to try something different this week. Instead of writing the usual blog post, I asked my Tarot cards "What is the best thing to discuss this week?" I pulled two cards, and we received The Wheel of Fortune and the Five of Cups.

The Wheel is governed by Goddess Fortuna and is indicative of cycles and changes taking place in our lives. If you look closely, we live in cycles -- days, seasons, years, lunar cycles, life, death -- everything is cyclical in nature. 

This is where the Five of Cups comes into play. I've always seen this card as a card of choice. In the Rider-Waite version, you see a man shrouded in black looking down at his three spilled cups, but there's two full cups sitting right behind him. The spilled cups sit on his left side (the past) and the full ones on his right side (the future). He rests in the middle (the present) and has the choice of what to focus on.

In The Wild Unknown version, the horse is casting his gaze down in the blackness, which feels very heavy and depressing. Above him there are five cups raised out of the darkness and in the light. Just like the man in the Rider-Waite Tarot, the horse has a choice of where to look.

These two cards serve as a reminder that we always have a choice and those choices will affect our fortune. If we let the past define us, we'll stay stuck, doomed to repeat the same life experiences over and over again.

In the present moment we have the opportunity to change our story and shift our gaze by deciding to choose something that's more aligned with our Truth. Forgive yourself of your past mistakes; forgive others for their's. Just because you may have messed up before doesn't mean you'll mess up again.

Every day you have a fresh, clean slate -- a new cycle begins. Make today the day you leave the past behind and start living your Truth.

Living on the Edge of the Miraculous | The Intrepid Hearts

We are living at the edge of the miraculous.
— Henry Miller

Growing up in a Christian household tainted my perception of miracles. 

Let me explain. 

At church, it seemed like a miracle had to be something big — Jesus rising on the third day, Lazarus coming back from the dead, parting the Red Sea kind of stuff. But, I recently heard Marianne Williamson being interviewed on SuperSoul Sunday, and it seems like “miracle” has a much broader definition (or at least this one resonates with me on a much deeper level).

Marianne says, “A miracle is just a shift in perception from fear to love.” The more we’re able to see the world through a lens of love instead of a lens of fear, the more miracles we notice in our lives. In the interview, Marianne discussed how five minutes of prayer each morning can dramatically shift your perspective, so I decided to see how this played out in my own life this past weekend.

I went out of town with my partner and our friends to celebrate my birthday, and every morning I made time to pray. I expressed my gratitude for all the miracles I received the previous day, I asked that any thoughts of fear be replaced with thoughts of love, and that I might be of service to the Divine plan of love unfolding in the Universe. I also asked for a weekend filled with “birthday miracles”.

I received so many miracles throughout the weekend — awesome parking spaces, beautiful weather when the forecast predicted rain, seeing a wild manatee and wild turtles, a stranger buying us a cake in Publix — the list goes on and on. Because I had shifted my perception to love, I was able to notice all the love that was being sent my way.

These might seem like small, insignificant things to somebody else, but to me they were fully fledged miracles. I didn’t need anyone to come back from the dead or walk on water to show me how blessed I am. It doesn't have to be a huge show stopper to be classified as a miracle. The fact that you are breathing right now is a miracle in and of itself.

Try it out for yourself. Spend time each morning praying to Spirit/God/The Universe/whatever you want to call it, and ask that all fear-based thought forms be transformed to love. Focus on radiating love wherever you go. If you find yourself getting tangled up in fear, pause and pray — “I am willing to see this differently.” Feel how that resonates with you.

I’ve included a link to the interview with Marianne below. It’s probably one of the best interviews I’ve heard in a while, and I encourage you to listen to it when you have some time to spare. I’ve listened to it twice now!

Many of us have been taught to see the world with fearful eyes, and now it’s time to leave that behind. Focus on love and remember that miracles are a natural occurrence. As soon as you shift your perception, you’ll start seeing them everywhere.

Marianne Williamson on SuperSoul Conversations

Defining Your Truth | The Intrepid Hearts

This Friday is a major milestone for me. I'm turning 30!

Over the past few years, I've watched many of my friends reach this milestone. As they got closer to their birthday they lamented how old they felt, how it was all downhill from here, how their body was just going to breakdown. Then, I watched as their body aches and pains began, medications had to be taken, and it did, in fact, seem like their body was betraying them.

I couldn't help but observe that this was an exact manifestation of the things they had put out into the Universe. They had decided that their version of 30 would include declining health, and lo and behold, it was showing up just as they predicted.

Our thoughts and beliefs are like a pair of glasses we put on to see the world through. We wear them every single day, and these glasses filter our experience. If we believe that aging causes us to lose our health and vibrancy, our subconscious is going to find circumstances to make that true for us.

As I approach 30, I am choosing to believe that I will continue to feel healthy, vibrant and full of life. I'm excited for the adventures that lie ahead. I have full faith that this will be the experience I'll attract because of my beliefs.

This idea doesn't just apply to our health though. It can apply throughout our lives -- love, money, relationships, etc. If you're unhappy with the circumstances in your life, commit to change them. Commit to finding a new pair of glasses to see the world through. One of my favorite things to do if I find myself sliding back into old thought patters is to play "The Opposite Game".

If you start to hear that voice that says "There's not enough," make it a point to find experiences in your life that reflect the opposite. Is their enough oxygen? Enough sunshine? There's more than enough! Basically, the point is to prove yourself wrong. Your ego might push back and tell you the game is stupid, but it has worked wonders for me. Push through and you'll start seeing results.

Don't let the collective story govern your life. YOU are the one in charge of how you see the world. Don't be afraid to rebel against what others say has to be true. I chose not to believe my friends' stories about turning 30, and I feel so excited to begin this next chapter of my life. Define what's true for YOU, and start rocking an awesome new pair of glasses to see the world through.


Surrendering to Miracles | The Intrepid Hearts

One of my favorite cards from Gabby Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back affirmation deck says, “The key to prayer is to forget what I think I need.” And, in a way, I think this perfectly captures the idea of surrender.

When I first started living a more spiritual life, I used to believe that surrender meant just trusting that the Universe would give me what I intended to manifest. However, as I dove deeper I began to see that it wasn’t about what I wanted, it was about knowing that The Universe/Spirit/God had my highest and greatest good in mind and taking action based on that belief.

This was solidified earlier this year while my partner, Sean, and I were house hunting. We would find a house that we liked, put in an offer, and I would do anything and everything I could to “manifest” us that house. I said affirmations, I visualized us in the house, I did candle magic, I spoke as if the house was already our’s — and then we wouldn’t get it.

Then, one day I sat down at my altar and relinquished control. I let go of the idea that it HAD to be a specific house, and just said “I want a house that allows us to breathe, brings joy, peace and happiness for the rest of our lives.” Three days later, our offer on our new house was accepted.

The funny thing is that I can’t imagine us living in any of the other houses that we didn’t get. This house has already changed our lives in so many ways, and it cultivates the exact feelings I asked for. The only difference was that when we saw it and put in an offer, I didn’t try to force it to happen. I knew that if it was meant to be, it would be.

When we don’t surrender, I feel like we’re putting the energy of a situation into a chokehold. There’s no way it can flow and work its magic. But, when we let go of being attached to a specific outcome, the energy is able to flow much more easily, and it can create things that we never could have imagined.

This week I’d like to challenge you to ask yourself where you can surrender. Where can you create space for the energy to flow? Focus on how you want to feel, let go of specific outcomes, and watch the miracles start to happen.

Letting Go of Guilt | The Intrepid Hearts

Whew! You guys, it has been a LONG time since I've updated this blog. Mainly, that's because I've been painting and flooring our new house, packing up our old house, moving it, and unpacking at the new house. Now we're finally at a place where I can get back into the flow with everything I was doing before we moved.

I could have let guilt over this brief hiatus bring me down. Not only was I blogging less, but I was also less active on social media, put my weekly newsletter on hold, and my meditation and Tarot practice fell to the wayside.

However, I've come to believe that we need to take care of ourselves first in order to be of better service to others. It reminds me of that safety announcement on airplanes about putting on your own oxygen mask first before assisting anyone else. Had I forced myself to stay active on social media, blog, and keep everything the way it was on top of moving, I would have been SO exhausted and depleted, which would have totally brought down the vibe of anything I created.

Rather than let guilt get the best of me and force me into doing all these things, I acknowledged how I felt and told myself that it was okay because I was honoring what I needed at the time. I'd like to encourage you all to do the same.

Perhaps you have that friend who wants you to go out with them, but you're truly not feeling a night downtown. It's okay to say no. You don't have to feel guilty for not accomplishing everything on your "To Do" list. You can work on more things tomorrow. Check in with yourself throughout the day and make decisions that feel aligned for you and your highest good.

You need to make sure that your own energy tank is full before giving of yourself. Take the time you need to refill, and I promise that you'll be able to be of much better service to others.