What Adults Can Learn From Children

I live in a snooty part of Boston. It used to not be so snooty, but as the times have changed it become an area for those making $100,000+ more a year. There are a few of us “old timers” left. I have been here most of my life. It used to be a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, had parties and invited the neighbors, brought pie to the newbies. It’s not anymore. I am lucky if I even know the person’s name who lives across the street from me. No one helps one another. No one cares. Everyone keeps to themselves and minds their business. It’s sad really. I am sure there are places around Boston and Massachusetts that is comprised of tight knit communities, but for the most part—I notice people really don’t care about one another like they did 15 or 20 years ago. It’s become a selfish society. As I heard one man say on a plane once, after refusing to help an elderly passenger get their luggage from the overhead compartment, “its every man for himself nowadays.”

Of course living in New England when we get a snow storm—we get a SNOW STORM. We recently were blessed (I say this snarkingly) with two feet of snow. We live in a large 12 room Victorian located on top of a huge hill. This in turn gives us a massively long driveway and a very long set of stairs to get to the house. Our snow blower first 1. Blew a tire….which we were able to fix and then 2. Ran out of gas which we again remedied and lastly….3. Blew a spark plug. Which left us SOL and having to shovel the entire driveway, steps and sidewalks. Not an easy task for two people….one of which was getting over a nasty virus and the other who had a small injury.

Naturally we had some local teens come by that wanted to charge $60 to help dig out. And then some neighbors that would be willing to help if compensation was involved. How neighborly? Is this really the society we have created? Where people won’t do things without something in return? Shit. We would have all died if we were still cavemen! The good of the one for the good of the many obviously doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s the good of the many with good for the money.

Anyhow, whilst I was shoveling our sidewalks, two children about the age of 8 came by. They are our neighbor’s children. So cute.

“You can go inside, we can finish this.”

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My mouth dropped. When I was 8 and had a school day I sure as shit was not in the mood to help shovel. But here were these cute kids with a day off, shovels in hand, ready to work out! I told them we could work as a team—because things are better when you work together as a team. And so they helped me shovel….and before I could thank them they went off to someone else’s house to help. Shortly later, their siblings came back and helped us finish the other side of the house.

Just because. Not asking for money, not asking for anything in return. They had a day off from school and here were these 8 year olds just helping because they wanted to. It was pure genuine kindness at the root and it amazed me. They just wanted to help.

If there are more kids like that living in the world right now—and if they are not jaded by the time they are 15 and society hasn’t molded them into money grubbing “work for the man” kind of people—then I really think there is hope for society. I really think if more children grow up into adults with the attitude those kids had today—then the real essence of what community is all about will return.

We decided that we would give their parent some money so they could give them a pizza party for being such great helpers—and hopefully someday—great pillars of a community.

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The Mystical Urban Shaman

I am a bit tired of hearing about people who try the one up card. You know those people: I studied with so and so and therefore I am way better than you will ever be.

Seriously? I hear that a lot in the “healer” community. Which is a bit ironic……..Or the “teacher” who is only out there for selfish reasons- to have groupies and followers- in which breeds the seeds of negative energy which gets passed on and on and on and one………

I get that a lot with “shamans”…..So let me just empty my brain.

Just remember–the further you go–the less you know.

A shaman in essence, is one who walks between the worlds. I journey when I do my intuitive work and during a reiki session. Shamanic reiki consists of doing a shamanic journey in conjunction with the reiki. Anyone can journey—it just takes patience and time…..lots of time….And it doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to practice NATIVE AMERICAN shamanism to be a Shaman.  Work with what connects to you. Ironically, even though I am a quarter Native American—not all aspects of Native American shamanism resonate with me. I take bits of Aboriginal, African and Native American shamanism when I work. I know people who connect with Nordic Shamanism or Celtic Shamanism.

The word shaman is simply Siberian for–“one who sees in the dark.”

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We are just idiot humans with a vision of what a Shaman should look like—A wild lone man living in a cave with no clothes, ratty hair and bones around his neck? Or a head full of feathers tossing animal bones to read……..Humans are narrow minded in the world of words, imagery and symbols.

It’s IMPOSSIBLE now, for people to find a Shamanic teacher.  And classes that offer you the idea of the instantaneous shamanic journey are rolling in money over something that takes years and practice. I was recently speaking to a client who attended a 3 day long Intro to Shamanism class. Of course they “taught” students how to journey—and explained they would be able to journey by the end of the session—and then could “graduate” to the next 3 day long $$$$ workshop. During the 3 day workshop, the teachers asked students what they saw on journeys, etc. All the students had something to say—except him. He didn’t experience anything. After the three day workshop was over and he was speaking to his other classmates, he asked them “did you actually see all those things?”—in which most of them said, “no” or “I just said I did because I didn’t want the teacher to feel bad.”

Shamanic journeying—is liken to meditation. The practitioner needs to be able to pull themselves from this “reality” into another. And like meditation, you can’t learn it in a three day workshop. To be a shamanic practitioner does not require certification. We don’t live in a society where you can study with a Shaman or are “chosen” by the Elders in your tribe. We live in a world of urban shamanism. Every human being has the ability to be a Shaman. It’s about accessing and using all of your senses including your 6th sense. By not using them, we destroy that one gift handed to us by our ancestors—the ability to be able to help others by accessing a Divine Source of Power within us. But with that takes the understanding and the knowledge that to become a shaman doesn’t mean taking a few workshops, classes, etc. I used to think that. I used the think you had to take classes, study with a group, spend a crap load of money, find a “guru”, and go on retreats. Then one day I realized, I have been preparing for where I am at this moment in my life since I was 13.

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I started my journey when I was 13. I studied Witchcraft, Gnosticism, Ceremonial Magick, Egyptian Magick, the Kabbalah, Buddhism — you name it I have studied it at some point in my life. My extensive book collection will show you—and I can point how old I was when I started!  I have also heavily studied ancient mythologies from around the planet as well as the anthropological and historical religious teachings of various tribes from around the world.  I was involved in three esoteric groups and then was in a ceremonial Magick/alternative religion group for 10 years where I got initiated and got my name “Zehara” from. Yes of course I took some classes on the way, got certificates in Metaphysical studies and herbology (even though I had long since been using herbs to make mojo bags, teas, incense) and got my reiki attunements. The nice thing about Shamanism and reiki is that you work with what suits YOU. In essence creating your own version of Shamanism and Reiki. I use almost everything I have learned in the past 20 years since I started my journey into my practice now—from casting a circle to reciting a mantra to banish negative energy. It’s like I have been blessed with a large and extensive kitchen full of ingredients to make the most magical delicious healing work.

And Shamanism is a moment by moment thing. I try explaining that to people who ask me. What was given to you by the Higher Power, which I refer to as The Universe, can just as easily be taken away. You don’t own it. You are allowed to have it to help others but it’s not yours.

I like to refer to myself as a practitioner—not a healer…Clients are the healers—I am just the middle man-the initiator. Clients heal themselves—I just give them a boost. Shamanic journeying is like day dreaming—for me anyway. I don’t like the term of “non ordinary” reality. When I journey I am in reality—I just use all my senses. I am in a different state of mind—I “see” things which exist outside the scope of what we call “normal reality.”

Think of journeying like dreaming—it’s the same thing, but you are awake. You see things in dreams that don’t make much sense, but are meant to be taken symbolically. When I see a deer during a journey-it means a few things.

  1. It’s the clients totem
  2. Deer represent gentleness—hence, perhaps the client needs to be more gentle to themselves

I guess my point here is that, anyone can be a shaman, with respect to the understanding that you realize it’s a special gift The Universe is allowing you to have—and at any moment-take it away. It also requires patience and an understanding that being able to “see in the dark” takes time.

And yes, study. Read whatever you can get your hands on. Network. Meet people. And be open minded. Our world is not the only one. There are multi universes you can access once you are able to journey. And ignore the one uppers……they have a lot of work to do.

The “M” Word

I am an intuitive empath—-and a sensitive…

No I am not “sensitive” in the sense that I take things personally. I use the word sensitive instead of the word “medium.”

There is a lot of misconceptions around mediums and I don’t like using the word. And its a part of my job that I do not participate in.

Why? I have a gift to communicate with the dead? I always have. Since I was a teenager, when I was really able to “tap” into the other side, I was always able to communicate with people who crossed over. And I was always able to prove it. Like when a an who died in Salem in the 1600’s came to me (and my family members in attendance). Not only did we later find his stone in Salem, MA….but we also discovered his death records in the library archive and were able to prove that he did, in fact, communicate. He is now one of my spirit guides (yes Nathaniel that is for you!)–or he always was but wanted to prove to me he existed!

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Later,  I developed a gift for automatic writing. Where you allow a spirit to enter you and communicate through writing. I did of course–“dabble”— with the Quija board–which I do not recommend–EVER..After several scary incidents,including one in which a spirit or spirits managed to knock a bird cage over, knocked candles on the ground and the bird died the next day..all witnessed by others…..my 1965 Quija board is now locked away  But, with a ll that said, I could always tell when someone wanted to communicate. My mother, grandmother and aunts all have the ability. Dreams, feelings. They all know when someone from the other side wants to talk.

When I was 17, my cousin and my mother were in one room using the Quija board, while I was in the other doing automatic writing. Something did not feel right–at all. The spirit was writing a mile a minute and I felt like he was grabbing my arm so damn hard it took all I could to make him get out….At the same time, he was communicating via the board and my cousin pulled back and said enough. We both got the same message from the same spirit. He died violently and was PISSED. That was when I decided to not ever do that kind of work again.

But as a sensitive, you don’t just “stop” ~ spirits come to you in dreams, in the middle of the day, before they cross over…I see and feel them–and occasionally hear them. Orbs appear in my home on a frequent basis. I feel energy shifts around people who have lost someone. I stay clear away from funerals. While I have been able to hone my ability better—and tell them to leave me alone–there are always those that like to know I “see” them.

In 2005 when a friend died, I saw and communicated with her…and I told her mother. Her mother’s response was “why you and not me.” And that broke my heart.

I dont know why. Things just happen. When a friend commited suicide, I communicated with him..but who could I tell? No one. I let it be.

When I do reiki sessions on clients, relatives will show up. Friends show up. But II tell them I can not pass on messages for them. Its not that I don’t want to give the client the message–to let them know their loved one is ok. Sometimes, I will just say “does so and so mean anything to you,” and leave it at that.

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Its because being a sensitive brings on  A LOT more responsibility — you are now the “medium” between the living and the dead. And it breaks my heart when I see grieving person who desperately wants to hear those words form their loved one who or wants to see what I see but cant.  Some see that as blessing. I know, without a doubt, this world is not the end all….Being a shaman — a “walker between worlds” I know this. I knew that before I could journey or astral travel.

Its a part of my job I do not allow myself to actively participate in. When the dead come through, I tell them, nicely, to go away.

And sometimes its painful for me to do so because I feel that it is part of my duty–but I cant bear to see more heart break on those who have lost someone.

Rather, I empower them. Speak to your loved one. They hear you. They see you. They feel you. You don’t need people like me to tell you they love you and care. Nor do you need people like me to be the “m word” — you have the ability to have that direct contact. It just takes and open heart and the ability to listen.

I use my intuition for other things…..the spirits are welcome, they just have their boundaries.

Men: Shake Your Groove Thing

This is a call to men: you can dance! Yes YOU!.

Men have been dancing for thousands of years—just as long as women. Dancing does not make you less of a man.  It does not make you less “manly” if you dance. And by dancing–I mean- just wildly shaking your booty just for the sake of shaking your booty!

I teach an ecstatic/meditative dance class called PRIMAL….and its open to MEN AND WOMEN….

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I always end up with a room full of women. Dont get me wrong, I love teaching…but I love when a dance class is open to both men and women and they participate. This isnt a lovey dovey waltz class. No. Its a wild, primitive, tribal based dance class. You dance your way. Even if its just skipping or hoping around the room. You move. Its hunter/huntress class -where dance is used to get rid of negative energy.

I think men are afraid of dancing because they think it makes them weak, “feminine”, demasculates them. Using dance s a form of meditation does not make you weak–it makes you stronger. Look at all the tribal cultures around the world—MEN dance! What makes you any different??? Its not a sign of weakness to free yourself through movement.

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Dont be afraid to dance! Just do it!

The Annihilation of Intution

As Albert Einstein once said:

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

And wow has it been forgotten. Most of us are taught to suffocate our instincts, because if we always go with our guts we may turn down a relationship or a job–that eventually in the end, ends up being bad for us anyway.

Why am I bringing this up? Easy. I am an intuitive empath who, after 20 years, am finally fully using my gift of intuition. And its amazing what happens when you let it flow. What you get back is empowerment, trust, love, blessings and the realization that you are fully in control of your own happiness and destiny.

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Working for corporate America for years and being told to fit the mold, I stifled a lot of my instincts. I took a job that paid a lot–even though my gut said “no.” I found myself in relationships and friendships that I knew were bad for me. And its normal in this society to do so. Admitting that you are walking away from something, even before it starts, because it doesn’t feel right is typically looked down upon. Why? Simply because society in general doesn’t want people to be happy.

While I am working on establishing my wellness practice, I have been actively interviewing at facilities that have part-time job openings-so I can have something to supplement my income while I build up my practice. Since I was 17, I always took a job because I needed/had to have one. They offered-I took. Regardless of what it was or what I would be doing. Even if I knew I was going to be dreadfully unhappy, I took it. I had all the means to just wait and find the right fit, but I never listened to myself. That all stopped back in December of 2014 when I turned down a job offer after an interview. Something in my gut didn’t feel right. All I could hear was a loud voice saying “ABSOLUTELY NO FREAKIN’ WAY ARE YOU TAKING THIS JOB.” 

And then I did it again shortly after–another job I turned down and was very open about my feelings towards, what I felt was an inappropriate group interview. I liked the office and the practice–but my intuition warned me it was going to be a bad fit. So in two months I turned down two jobs. Yes, my real focus in on my wellness practice, but I am also not going to take a regular job just because I need one. I want to be happy in all aspects of my life.

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Working as a Shamanic healer, its my duty to self empower others so they can lead and live well-rounded lives. So many of my clients, friends and family tell me how they have shut themselves down. How they make bad choices when they know they shouldnt have.

We all make bad choices now and then–but the sting always hurts a bit more when you KNOW you made the wrong choice and it could have been avoided.

Intuition is important. It’s the purest form of what makes us humans. Our ancient ancestors relied on it. They relied on it to live. To center themselves within that root chakra and use their intuition to the fullest capacity. We suffocate it. Destroy it. And it only hurts us in the long run. Animals always use their intuition. When ever there is a hurricane, tsunami or another approaching natural disaster, animals are the first to get to safety.

Intuition is in FACT, a gift. It’s a special gift from The Universe. To listen for the answers we already know.

Listen to your heart–your soul—THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS THERE!

Being Authentic In 2015

As I sit here in my living room waiting for the clock to turn to 12 a.m. to bring in the start of 2015, I reflect on what has been a year of growth, change and self exploration.

One thing I learned—and it was the hardest thing—was how to be authentic. Most people don’t question their own authenticity. I think everyone ought to. We live in a society where we self suffocate ourselves. We play by the rules and stay within an appropriate expectations of what society wants. Most of us have dreams but will never achieve them for fear of escaping the boundaries and entering the unknown fully judgmental world.

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I learned to, and started promising myself to, be more authentic. To me. Not to everyone else. I let go of a lot of baggage–and learned to check my emotions. I learned to listen to myself and check in with myself periodically. If something came up that brought up an emotion (like anger, jealousy, sadness) I would check in to see what was causing those feelings–tell myself they are petty–and fill the void they left behind with love.

I am still learning–but here is somethings that helped me:

1. Be yourself. Seriously. JUST BE YOURSELF. Dont worry about what others think. If you need to be silly, goofy and regain some of your child behavior–do it. If you are creative and funky–be that way. Do not conform to what OTHERS ideas are of you. As an old friend in highschool always said: “you do YOU.”

2. Do not live to please. Pleasing others means cow-towing down to them to suite THEIR needs not yours. Do things because you WANT to, not because you are looking for approval.

3. Be passionate. Best quote I have heard all year, “when you spend time  working on something you don’t care about it, its called stress-when you spend time working on what you love, its called passion.”–LIVE YOUR PASSION. Whatever it is. Be passionate.

4. Check in with your emotions. I walked away from world I spent a long time in–where jealousy, envy, anger, and pettiness where prevalent. I spent a long time in a relationship that was draining because I was losing myself (which ended in divorce). Check in with your emotions–and learn WHY you are feeling them. And if they are not healthy–then figure out what YOU can do to change that. Don’t blame XYZ for why you are feeling so pissed off….Its not their fault. Its yours.

5. Be kind to yourself. We all mess up. We all make mistakes. Its ok. We all struggle sometimes. We all have hard times. Be kind to yourself. You cant move forward if you are beating yourself up constantly.

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Hoping you all have a wonderful happy and healthy New Year–and I am so looking forward to sharing my continued journey with you into 2015!!!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!