Spleen Organ vs Spleen Meridian

The spleen and pancreas are closely related.

The spleen and pancreas are closely related.

I have recently been asked by several energy medicine students to clarify the difference between the meridian energy, which governs an organ, and the metabolic function of the organ itself.

For instance, in Eden Energy Medicine we talk a lot about how one of spleen meridian’s primary tasks is the metabolization of energy – but metabolization is not the primary task of the spleen organ. In order for energy medicine to continue to gain traction in the mainstream, it’s vital that EEM practitioners understand the difference between the function of the meridian energy and the physical organ after which the meridian is named, and to be able to dialogue knowledgeably with the medical community.

In Chinese medicine, what we know as the “spleen meridian” governs both the spleen and pancreas organs. Since we generally refer to the meridian channel as simply “spleen”, the pancreas’ inclusion is too oft forgot. The pancreas organ is part of the digestive system as well as being an endocrine gland, which produces enzymes and hormones (like insulin and glucagon) that help to break down foods. This metabolic function of the pancreas is the physiological correlation with the meridian’s energetic function of metabolization.

On the other hand, the spleen organ is responsible for filtering and purifying the blood, as well as the creation of red blood cells and the storage of both red and white blood cells. This physiological function of the spleen organ is the correlation with the meridian’s energetic function associated with the lymphatic system and immunity.

Spleen meridian governs both the spleen and pancreas organs.

Spleen meridian governs both the spleen and pancreas organs.

Energetically speaking, the spleen/pancreas meridian metabolizes energies that we come into contact with – both through our environment and through what we consume.  Physically speaking, the spleen organ does not metabolize anything – that responsibility belongs to her sister organ, the pancreas. So if we say (in “energy-medicine speak”) to a medical professional that “spleen metabolizes energy”, it won’t correlate with their understanding of the function of the physical organ, and we risk sounding like we don’t know what we’re talking about.

But if we say that the energy of spleen meridian governs both the spleen and pancreas organs, and as such is engaged in both metabolization and immune function – I think we can help to bridge the gap between western medicine and energy medicine.

Honoring The Divine Mother on Mother’s Day

star-day-momSince this day our collective focus is on Mothers, I would like to broaden the perspective and evoke our memory of The Divine Feminine, the One Mother who informs all that we consider to be mothering. This beloved attribute of the I AM presence, shows up in myriad ways, and is undiscriminating in who She loves. Though we refer to Her as she, her presence is genderless. She shines through any vehicle available; She is present in the soldier cradling a motherless child, She is present in the soup kitchen, She is present in the father who relinquishes his stance on homosexuality in the face of his gay son. She is present in the garden, in the school, in the hospital; she is the nurturance, guidance and support necessary for the flourishing of Life as it lives through the earth plane. She is present in the depth of grief, holding space for the regeneration of the heart. She is present at the height of joy, celebrating our success in harmonizing with The One. She is fearless, eternal, unconditional Love, present when we are a puddle of snot and tears, as well as when we are adorable and clever. She is present when you are giving birth to something; she is the endurance and supra-human strength that gets us through difficulties when we’d rather just curl up and die. Wherever compassion in present, there She is. Wherever something is allowed or forgiven, there is the Mother. 

Perhaps you have an earthly representative of the Divine Mother that you are honoring today, but if not, you can commune and pay homage to the Holy Mother by adoring the moon, or a rose, or your next meal. Better yet, adore and honor the feminine aspect of yourself.

Holy, holy, Mother-Father Divine Beloved
Thank you for this breath, and the next
The inhale and the exhale
The empty and the full
The stillness and the action
Both ever present, one moving into the other
I AM all that
I AM the divine marriage made manifest on this earth plane
I AM graciousness, I AM nurturance,
I AM beauty, generosity and peace
I see evidence of You in all things, and I celebrate your eternal presence.
In deepest gratitude and appreciation, I bless our collective awareness
With remembrance of You.

On Winter, and Living as a Rhythmic Being

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This is a reblog of a post I wrote back in 2009.

Here is one of my favorite things – knowing the seasonal calendar from a Celtic perspective.  Here is one of my favorite challenges – allowing the pace of my life to be gauged by the rhythm of those seasons.

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In our modern era we are relatively out of touch with the rhythm of our planet, let alone with our own animalistic rhythms – rhythms that yearn to be in sync with Gaia, whether we are aware of them or not.  With the many mechanisms that modify our environment, like lights and heat and hot water (and snow blowers and snow plows and cars) and so much value put on work and production, we are a species that is living in overdrive, missing out on the beauty and grace that comes with embracing the ebb and flow of our internal, as well as external, seasons.

This is especially apparent (in the northern hemisphere) during the month of December, our most yin month, the deepest of winter – when we are going crazy getting, doing, having, showing up – for the multitude of commitments and events that the holidays generate.  The planet is still and quiet, the magic of gestation going on under the surface, while we run around like chickens with our heads cut off.  The days are short and the nights are long, but we go on at a pace worthy of high summer, and wonder why we are tired and depressed.  SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is right, we are not utilizing our seasons effectively. We are not taking advantage of the down-time God has built into our physical experience.  We are constantly pushing against the tide of our natural rhythm, missing out on the regenerative process that winter offers us.

The disconnect from the seasonal cycles has been most influenced by the Gregorian calendar, which proclaims the solstices and equinoxes as the “beginning” of each season, when, by the Celtic calendar, these astronomically significant days mark the peaks or depths of each season, and the “cross quarter” days, the days half way between the solstices and equinoxes, are the actual beginnings of each season.  Consider the winter solstice.  Depending on what latitude your perspective is currently residing, December 21st often feels like it’s already been winter a long time, and then we get the news that it’s just beginning.  NOT.  Winter began back around the first of November, and we are currently within it’s depths – the longest night, right? As we move on, leaving the depth of winter behind us, we begin the upswing into spring. A mere six weeks after the solstice, the light is distinctly different, and (in some latitudes) ice is melting, the crocuses are blooming, branches are beginning to swell with color and juice (think maple syrup season), and February 1st marks the first day of spring. (Yes, it’s cold and it snows in spring. Spring has its own cycle within its three month period – it’s not all green buds and bunnies.) By the time March 21st rolls around, the earth is active with new life and we experience the equal day and night thing, marking the mid-point of spring, rather than the Gregorian “beginning”.  The whole year unfolds in this way: May 1st, beginning of summer, June 21st, mid-summer.  August 1st, beginning of fall, Sept. 21st, mid-fall.  November 1st begins winter, etc. (I am simplifying here by using the 1st and the 21st, as these days do fluctuate a little.)

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When we observe the light, shadow, color and vibration of the planet, and begin to harmonize with these cycles, rather than pretend that they don’t or shouldn’t affect us, we will come into a greater state of resonance with our environment and ultimately with our natural selves.  Of course, making real change in this disconnected relationship will take a massive shift in consciousness. In order for us to re-calibrate our societal rhythms, work places will have to lead the revolution, varying work shifts according to the season.  But all change begins with awareness, so the more we intentionally attune ourselves to the seasonal tides, the closer we will come to being in sync with the greater rhythm that moves us all, and we’ll lead our families and friends into a renewed state of grace.

Hindsight is 20/20-something

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Janie and AzaleaRecently I transported my daughter Azalea (23) to the fabulous city of Portland, Oregon, where she is launching her life as an independent entity. When I’ve heard, or thought of, the “empty nest syndrome” it’s always been in connection to a high school aged child graduating and moving off to college, but somehow I’d never considered the even bigger abyss waiting beyond that point; the time when the college student graduates and moves off into their entirely independent life. I don’t know that I’ve ever faced a greater test of faith in my life. Not even when it was me (at 17) launching into my independent life.

It’s not about the empty nest (Azalea had been living at home while attending our local university) I’m excited to have her room for my meditation/yoga space, and I’m gladly willing to surrender many of the co-dependent habits that she and I had developed over the years.  And through the wonder of modern technology we can visit daily if we want to, via Skype, phone, or text, so it’s not like we’re out of touch. What feels so big to me is wondering if I’ve managed to bequeath and instill the wholesome patterns of thought, awareness, self-love and self-responsibility that are the corner stones of a joyous and successful life.

So here are a few reflections that I had as I drove away from Portland and my adult daughter – things I wish I’d known when I was 20-something, and that I hope Azalea has an awareness of. (I’ve included some resources that might be helpful should you be interested in digging deeper.):

Everything is energy, and energy can be influenced and directed through thought, intention and application of simple techniques.  This means my body, my relationships, my interactions with the world, the space I’m inhabiting – are all forms of energy, and with this awareness and knowledge I can engage with those energies in order to balance, organize, and direct it for the benefit of my own health and happiness as well as for others.  (Energy Medicine, Donna Eden and David Feinstein. The EFT Manual, [Emotional Freedom Technique] Gary Craig. Fung Shui for Dummies, David Kennedy.)

There is no relationship more important to cultivate than the relationship between my small self and my greater Self. The understanding that I have of these two aspects of myself, and the love, compassion, forgiveness and allowance that I offer myself, is fundamental to how my life flows, feels and functions. All other relationships in my life reflect this original relationship.  (Spiritual Liberation, Michael Bernard Beckwith. The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer.)

Discipline is a wonderous thing. It is through discipline that mastery is achieved, whether I want to master a skill or craft, professional success, vibrant health or spiritual attunement.  The ability to sustain focus and concentration is crucial to manifestation, and this is a function of discipline. Somewhere along the way I developed the misunderstanding that discipline always correlated to something that I didn’t want to do and which someone else was making me do. I wish I had been aware earlier in life of the value of self-discipline, and that I had not only cultivated it, but that I had eagerly embraced it.

Meditation is the key to accessing the I AM Presence, and to developing the awareness of self (egoic consciousness) vs Self (spiritual consciousness). In my experience, meditation is the single most valuable practice I have established in my life. I didn’t seriously commit to it until I was nearly 40 and I wish I’d begun in earnest when I was 20. I would have saved myself SO much time spent in angst and anguish. (Integral Enlightenment, Craig Hamilton. The Secret of Healing: Meditations for Transformation and Higher Consciousness, Deepak Chopra. I AM Wishes Fulfilled meditation CD Dr. Wayne Dyer.)

Exercise is not just about staying fit. Exercise is the best thing I can ever do for the clarity of my mind and emotions, and to ease the soul’s challenge of embodiment. Movement pumps my lymphatic system which carries the metabolic waste produced by any modicum of stress I might be experiencing. If that metabolic waste is not being properly transported via my lymphatic system, it will cause me to feel depressed, dull, dim-witted, tired and uninspired. Exercise clears and energizes the physiological and energetic processes which facilitate enlightenment. (Not to mention that I just feel better in my body.)

From Nothing, Everything arises, and this applies in my life too.  Every single one of us has moments of darkness and despair when we feel lost, abandoned, or empty. I wish for all of us, when we’re down to zero, that we have the presence of mind to recognize that we are in a process, and remember that there is incredible power and possibility inherent in the dark night of the soul. I wish for all of us that we are able to be vulnerable without judging ourselves, and that in our vulnerability we have at least the slightest fragment of faith which allows us to surrender into the Great I Don’t Know. It was from out of Nothing that we emerged in the first place, and sooner or later we will emerge again with renewed clarity, wisdom and purpose. (The Wizard of Us, Jean Houston. The Way of Mastery, Jeshua ben Joseph, channelled through Jon Marc Hammer.)

Although Azalea’s leaving is by no means a dark night of the soul for me, I will heed my own advice and allow that I’ve done my best to instill these values in her awareness, and surrender both of us into the Great I Don’t Know.

Janie and daughters circa 2000.

25 Years of Marriage

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Janie and Joseph, Sept.1988

Janie and Joseph, Sept.1988

In about two weeks my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We’ve been living together since the day we met (I moved in as a roommate) as well as being students together at the Boulder School of Massage. We were both hired right out of school into the same clinic where we worked for two years before going into private practice together.  (At the same time we continued to share in our studies of Neuromuscular Therapy.) We’ve been working out of our current home office for about 17 years, so when I say we’ve been together for a long time I mean we’ve really spent a lot of time together (all told, twenty-eight years and counting).

With the advent of our 25th anniversary, we’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on marriage as a spiritual practice, as well as our own marriage specifically, and I’d like to share some of the insights that have come from this reflection.

First off is my 60/40 rule of thumb regarding relationships.  It seems to me that a long-term relationship must be at least 60% fun, easy, harmonious and resonant in order for it to go the distance. Any relationship worth it’s salt is going to be ripe with opportunity for a soul’s evolution (read; challenges/the hard stuff) but if more than 40% of your time together is spent working shit out, then I think the relationship risks getting tired and heavy and worn thin over the years.  In my book, a 50/50 split between work and fun will not carry a relationship over the long haul.

Before Joseph and I got married we worked with a counselor to write our marriage vows. Being the out-of-the-box types that we are (the first sign of our compatibility) we did not go the traditional marriage-license-from-the-state, church-sanctioned route but rather created what we titled an Entente Cordial, a friendly agreement stating our intentions for our marriage.  Our work with the counselor helped us to determine what qualities were important to us in framing the marriage, and from those qualities we wrote the contract and subsequent vows.

Here’s what it says:

“With this document designed by ourselves, in our marriage we sincerely commit to the following standards:

  • Trust, honesty and respect
  • Clarity in communication and perseverance in understanding
  • Encouragement and supportiveness
  • Flexibility
  • A good sense of humor
  • A willingness to learn from each other
  • Acceptance of our differences
  • A willingness to seek professional help if we come upon a problem we are unable to solve ourselves

It is our intention, while joined in this union, to honor each other’s processes in striving as individuals to better ourselves, to become more whole people, and to bring that wholeness into our marriage.”

The other night we were reviewing this contract and assessing how well we think we’ve done so far (second sign of compatibility; we have these kinds of conversations periodically).  We were both very clear that the trust, honesty and respect part has been a no-brainer. We got that. Especially on the big stuff.

If there are times when we aren’t trusting the other, or aren’t being entirely honest, it’s more of a point-number-two issue, the clarity in communication part.  This is where I see us spending almost all of our 40% allotment of “hard stuff”.  It’s the part of our marriage which requires the most time and effort, and not just about how we communicate between ourselves, but in each of our ability communicate our individual truths. The twin aspect of this dynamic of course lies in each of our ability to really listen to what the other is trying to communicate;  listening compassionately and openly rather than reactively and personally.  (Indeed, this may be the entire crux of the spiritual practice of marriage.) From the perspective of 25 years, I’d change that standard to:

  • Clarity in communication and a dedication to compassionate, open listening.

Continuing down the list; we agreed that we’ve always been very encouraging and supportive of each other’s processes and interests, we are generally flexible (except when we get resistant), and there is usually a good sense of humor between us (but we have to watch out for humor that deflects a deeper moment or truth from being revealed).

We both recognized a bit of a stumbling block in our intention to “learn from each other”.  A particularly fine quality of our union has always been that we share many interests, have taken many classes together,  we respect each other’s unique knowledge and skills, and we both highly value continuing education in both sciences and personal growth.   We learn together and we learn through the context of our marriage.  We help each other expand our skills, knowledge, and understanding of the world, but we both  recognize a resistance to looking toward the other as our teacher. That feels like an imbalance in the relationship which makes both of us uncomfortable.  So, I would change that standard to:

  • A dedication to continued personal growth, and a genuine openness to the other’s interests, knowledge and wisdom

We seem to have done pretty well in accepting our differences, and though we haven’t  yet sought professional help as a couple when the going got tough, we have engaged in relationship-specific educational programs, as well as doing individual counseling at various times over the years.  We agreed however, that even after 25 years, we might do well to do some relationship work with the guidance of a counselor so that the next 25 years might be more of a 70/30 split between easy-fun and effort.

When we got married in 1988, at the ages of 27 and 34, we did not have the full awareness that by getting married we were committing ourselves to a spiritual practice. But somewhere along the way the realization dawned on us that our marriage is a context for our spiritual growth. It is a context which supports each of our personal evolution, providing a sustained opportunity to practice loving-kindness, allowance, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, and compassion. There’s nothing like a spouse to bring out the best in you – and the worst in you – and by considering our marriage to be a spiritual practice, it means that we are committed to doing the nitty-gritty work of ego evolvement on a daily basis.

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Janie and Joseph. Sept. 2012

Bridging Dimensions

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I think one of the biggest challenges of our time is that people are simultaneously living in different dimensions, and it can be very hard to meet on a plane of mutual understanding.  For instance, in my world it would never occur to me that I need a gun to defend myself. Not just because I live in a relatively safe town, but because it’s just not part of my consciousness or reality. But not long ago I had an online exchange with a woman who was calling me an idiot because I was suggesting that tighter gun control laws should be put into effect.  In her world it was crazy not to have a gun and be prepared to use it. In fact she had in the past – used her gun to defend herself from an abuser – and actually killed the guy.  Spent time in prison for it.

This woman and I live in different dimensions.  I could never convince her that I am right and she is wrong about guns. In my world I don’t need one.  In her world she does. There are many different factors that coalesce into the nature of each of our dimensions;  education, location, realization and vibration.

Though the exchange I mention was online, this woman and I are not strangers to each other.  We’ve met a couple of times, by means of energy medicine. First time she came to see me as a practitioner, and the second time was in the context of an energy medicine class.  This is where our worlds have crossed over, and when I worked with her energy, I fell in love with her – as one does when having the privilege of meeting someone so intimately – so I know her organic sweetness and vulnerability and love, and her desire to live a happy, healthy, vibrant life.  I also know a bit of her life story which is a tough one; raised in a depressed area, minimal education, poor health and nutrition, drugs, violence, prison, and all the weighty psycho-emotional baggage that goes along with that.  So her world has a distinctly different hue and tone than my own, the factors of which include; the privilege of being raised in an idyllic town by college-educated parents, a nutritionally savvy mother (whose mantra was “Adelle Davis says…”), a virtually violence-free life, no foray into hard drug use, and ample access to alternative thinking which has allowed me to see the challenges of my life as opportunities to grow, rather than proof of my unworthiness.

Whew.  What a contrast. To me this is a demonstration of the different dimensions I see existing simultaneously. We both have heartbeats, we breathe the same air, we each love our children, and we both desire love, peace, freedom and happiness, but we experience reality in very different ways. It is impossible (even inappropriate) to convince someone whose life experience is so vastly different than your own, that their way of thinking and doing things is wrong.  I think it’s a matter of living in different dimensions, so for me the question becomes – how can I most effectively serve people who want to be healthier, happier and pain-free, when we are living in totally different worlds?

Another example really came into focus during a conversation with a physician this week: I was learning about a local community health clinic and the amount of clients who come in regularly for issues of pain.  I’ve known this in the back of my mind – that a lot of people (I won’t say “most”) just want a pill to make the pain go away and they have very little awareness – or willingness to consider – how their lifestyle and emotions contribute to their pain, and how fundamental changes in the way they are living and relating – ie: diet, exercise, cigarettes, alcohol, toxic relationships, and their emotional IQ – could radically transform their experience of embodiment.  Or, even if they do have some inkling that their habits of living might be part of their problem, they have no clue as to how to transform those habits – how to transcend their current dimension into another, higher level of experience.  The real pisser is that our “health care system” isn’t focused in educating people about becoming healthier, about raising their vibrations, but thanks to the over-arching influence of the pharmaceutical industry, our system is primarily about “illness management” through drugs.

So I wonder. I wonder about how to reach a helping hand through the dimensions and, without being patronizing or self-righteous, inspire transformation. Simply telling someone that they need to change themselves – “shoulding” them with techniques and technologies  – is distinctly unhelpful.  The key to real healing, it seems to me, is in activating the spark of an individual’s innate intelligence, self-love, and passion for life, which is what will pull them, with interest, curiosity and authentic motivation, into a higher dimensional reality.

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Of Births and Babies

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From my vantage point, Life seems to be quite enthusiastic about continuing to express itself through human incarnation. Despite the turmoil that we humans have created here on the planet, new life continues to burst forth unrestrained, with all of its innocence and promise.  I personally know of 13 births that have occurred, or are impending, in the span of about nine months, and me not being a midwife or anything. I can hardly wrap my head around that number.

This past week really brought those births and babies into the forefront of my daily experience.  Two women that I am close to both had their babies three weeks early. One (which I did not attend) was hard, as birthing will be, but unfolded naturally, and the other (which I did attend) was over-the-top difficult and not what mama and papa had hoped for or imagined. (Except for the part in the end whereby a healthy baby girl was safely delivered.) To top the week off I had a baby shower to attend for a baby that is due next month. (Even in line at the grocery store I was flanked by babies – they’re everywhere!)

I had been invited to attend this client’s birth to provide energetic support during the labor.  Knowing herself and how she generally reacts to pain, she felt that she could use the extra support of someone who could engage with her subtle energies to keep her as grounded, centered and as calm as she could be during the endeavor.  I won’t go into too many details of the birth except to say that it was to be at home, which plan was derailed from the get-go by a precipitous rise in the mother’s blood pressure, necessitating the use of the hospital and all of its technology.  (I would like to say for the record that Providence Birth Center in Medford, Oregon totally rocked. I was super impressed with the nurse-midwives there, and deeply appreciated the respect with which they treated this home-planned birth situation, as well as how most of the staff warmly welcomed an energy medicine practitioner as part of the birth team.)

So, it’s a funny thing about how we try to judge whether what we’re doing is working or not.  I would love to be able to say that energy medicine saved the day and that a C-section was clearly averted because of energetic interventions, but that was not the case.   I do feel it’s safe to say that energy medicine did keep this mother grounded, calm and centered during a very emotionally and physically draining period of 72 hours, as well as rescuing the papa from collapse and giving him a second wind (he was working nearly as hard as she was).  The fact that this mama was able to continue giving it her all for as long as she did and despite numerous restrictions on her natural flow (monitors, catheters, IVs) seems to be a testimony to the energetic support she had;  keeping her polarity balanced, her triple warmer system in check, her meridians moving, her chakras engaged, her source points open, and her energy crossing over the midline as well as balanced between back brain and forebrain.  It was delightful to have the assistance of  Papa, midwife, and best-friend holding points along with me, so that the energy support was consistent and so lovingly administered.  Perhaps the fact that the mama never lost her grace or composure could be attributed to her energies being attended to, but that could also be her inherent goddess-nature wholeheartedly rising to the occasion.

There is so much magnificence revealed during a birth. One of the things that I reveled in, and which Papa and I were discussing as he recovered from hitting a wall, is how present a birth brings us into the Now moment.  The world falls away and there simply isn’t anything else that exists but the love of the moment. As humans we rarely get to experience this because our minds are habitually focused on the future or the past, but during a birth, it’s all about now, now, now. And that Now is absolutely filled with Divine Presence. I can see how that Presence and immediacy pull midwives into their calling, and my respect for their profession is fathomless.

Another thing that I reveled in during this birth experience is how, when we think we have absolutely nothing left to give or to draw from, when we are at the bottom of our well and we find it dry, Source, our supra-human strength (which is never separate from us) wells up from within and carries us through our travail. This is the moment when the awesome power of vulnerability and complete surrender can be marveled in.

Welcoming baby Cheyenne.

Welcoming baby Cheyenne.

Sense and Sensibility

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What good beauty,

without an eye to behold?

What good song,

without an ear to hear?

What good the sweet flavor of peach

without a tongue to taste?

What good the scent of pine or rose

without a nose to smell?

What good a touch or caress

without a body to feel?

Beauty is the offering

Beholding is the receiving.

Song is the offering

Listening is the receiving.

Flavor is the offering

Tasting is the receiving.

Scent is the offering

Smelling is the receiving.

Touch is the offering

Feeling is the receiving.

Opening, Closing

Inhaling, Exhaling

Rising, Falling

Giving, Receiving

This is the sacred pulse of All That Is.

It is the sacred pulse of your own breath

the sacred pulse of your own heartbeat

It is the sacred pulse of your inspiration and revelation.

In this embodied experience we must do our part equally:

Offer beauty and behold beauty

Offer song and listen to song

Offer nourishment and savor nourishment

Offer our full presence and receive the scent of the moment

Offer our loving touch and receive the caress of the Beloved.

In this way the Life Force Impulse continues to expand and create through us.

The Beloved is a generous benefactor 

but does not waste Its energy knocking on closed doors.

– Janie Chandler, Sept. 2011

Our senses are portals through which we glimpse the Eternal and experience Creation. They are our means of participating in the unfolding of infinite possibilities that arise from the field of no-thing and pass through our experience of some-thing (the effects of embodiment, if you will). We are conduits of Divine energy and our senses are its feedback system.

If we think of our bodies as the temples of our souls, and our souls having incarnated into this physical plane in order to evolve consciousness, our senses can be seen as the threshold between spirit and matter. With awareness, our senses allow us to delight and participate in the infinitude of Creation, but the trick is, there can be a fine line between delight and addiction.

Our challenge as ego-beings is to notice how we become attached to our senses’ preferences and to the limiting belief that what we experience through our bodies is the end-all be-all of reality. If we tend to live solely through what we feel, see, hear, smell and taste, thinking that this is an accurate perception of All That Is, we are limited to what our senses tell us and we miss out on the greater scheme of things.

When we actively develop an awareness of our role in Creation as sensory beings and become joyful participants in this constant feedback loop, we can, as Michael Beckwith says, “see with the eye behind the eye, hear with the ear behind the ear, feel with the heart behind the heart, so that you can see the invisible, hear the inaudible and do the impossible.”

It is through the collaboration of our senses and higher awareness that we are able to perceive reality as infinite, creative, generous, playful, ever expanding and evolving, expressing itself on the physical plane in a myriad of delights. Through the wonder of our senses we join with Creation as vital participants in its pulsating dance between Source and Manifestation.

Since the Eternal experiences itself and its infinite potential by means of our senses, this, in my opinion, makes them holy aspects of our human selves—aspects that warrant reverent and mindful attention. I’d like to suggest that when we rub our eyes, we do so with gratitude that they behold the magnificence of Creation; when we smell a rose or line-dried laundry, we celebrate the magic of scent; when we caress our bare skin, we recognize our flesh as the frontier between manifest and unmanifest; when we brush our teeth, we do so with awareness of how our mouths experience the wonder of flavor and taste; and when we hear the sound of church bells in the distance, or the voice of our beloveds, we do so knowing that Life itself is speaking to us.

More From the Adrenal Zone

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This past week I have felt SO much more myself than I had been during the weeks I was going without my reliable adrenal tincture. Which, but the way consists of equal parts:

Rhodiola

Ashwaganda

Eleuthro

Gotu Kola

Kirin Red Ginsing

(Please research these herbs yourself, and consult with an herbalist or naturopath for further advice.)

Tincture-

I have really come to appreciate the value of contrast. In this case the contrast between feeling crappy and disconnected and feeling vibrant and connected, has given me a powerful insight.  (The trick of course, when growing by means of contrast, is to be able to stay aware that insight is imminent, despite being immersed in the not-wanted part of the equation.) What I am aware of from this phase of “embodiment research” is how, when the body-temple’s chemistry is messed up, my access to Source seems restricted.  Not that Source is any less present, but my access is extremely limited.  When my body’s chemistry is out of balance, my channels of connection seem to close off – like there are traffic cones temporarily blocking the thru streets I regularly use to commune with the Divine. I may be doing my spiritual practice; study, prayer, meditation, yoga – but I am not able to feel the Presence, or myself as Presence, like I do when the chemistry is in working order. It’s a very discouraging and empty feeling when you’re used to feeling yourself as I AM more often than not.

Over the years I have found the talks of Abraham (of Abraham-Hicks) to be very helpful in expanding my awareness of All That Is.  Abraham has helped me become attentive of my thoughts and feelings, and has taught me to vibrationally pivot so that I am aligned with the Yes of Life, or floating my boat downstream as Abraham would say.  Recently, the question I have been wanting to ask Abraham is “yes, but what about when hormones cloud your clarity?”  When my chemistry is off I find it much, much harder to tune into the higher vibration of anything, let alone having the wherewithal to make the pivot necessary to align with the flow of creation.  When my chemistry is off, my monkey-mind takes over and it seems nearly impossible to find an open channel to tap into the infinitude of Source.

From my current vantage point it’s seeming to me that hormonal chemistry is a key element in our ability to feel Source, or Presence,  as it moves within our body-temple, living in, through, and as us.  So in a way I guess my question is similar to the age-old query of “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”  but rather  in this case my question is “which comes first, Presence or hormonal chemistry?”

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I Haz Adrenal Glands

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Yesterday I threw my adrenals for a loop.  Poor guys – they were buzzing like a swarm of mad bees.  Thank All That’s Good that I have some powerful tools in my back pocket which helped me remedy the situation: awareness and energy medicine.

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Several factors contributed to the uncomfortable situation that I found myself in yesterday afternoon: heat, stress, the absence of my very-helpful adrenal-supportive herbal tincture, and painting a livingroom.  Some of you may know that adrenal burnout is something that I’ve experienced and recovered from in the past, and that the tincture I take daily has been a real boon for the recuperation of my adrenal glands.  I ran out of that tincture about two weeks ago and I hadn’t gotten around to refilling it yet, which I suppose would explain why caffeine has been slowly sneaking back into my afternoon routine.  For that matter, sugar and alcohol have also been making more frequent appearances in the evenings – the desire for which would be related to those dear adrenal glands wanting some kind of juicy boost, like a gal who knows her boyfriend is bad for her but she can’t quite quit him.

So there I am, driven to finish painting our second livingroom (the first one had it’s treatment the previous weekend), 100 degrees outside (and we don’t have air conditioning)  haven’t eaten much since I started working at 7 am, and I’m jonesing for something cold and yummy to get me through the afternoon. Enter a kick-butt glass of iced espresso.  I didn’t even get 1/2 way through it when I started feeling the mad bees inside of me. It feels like their hive has been kicked and they are under my skin buzzing away, anxious to be set loose. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling I can tell you, but like I said at the start, at least I have the awareness of what exactly is going on and I have tools that can remedy the situation.

Of course step #1 was to stop drinking the coffee and switch to a lot of water. Then I ate some protein. I couldn’t stop the painting just yet, but I did ask my family for help and gratefully they stepped in to speed the process up.  When we came to a logical stopping point I sat down and took about 20 minutes to do energy work on myself. (I could have pushed on for another couple of hours to complete the project, but I knew that that was a bad idea for my well-being so I opted to hold it over until my next window of opportunity.)

First plan of action – sedate triple warmer. Such a handy thing to know how to do with acupressure points. (If you don’t already know this technique you can learn it from Donna Eden’s book Energy Medicine, or from my DVD The Visual Atlas of Energy Medicine.)

I followed holding those points with holding what I call the Jack Benny Posture, to further calm the old fight-or-flight system.  (I hold one side for however long it feels good, and then I switch to the other side).

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The “Jack Benny” posture.

Next I strengthened spleen. I took a good long time holding the points for each of these meridians, wanting to give them as much time as they needed to come into balance.  I followed the acupressure points with vigorously rubbing the spleen neurolymphatic points under, and slightly lateral to, the breasts.

Then I rubbed both the adrenal points (1″ above and 1″ lateral to the belly button) and the cortisol points (1″ below and 1″ lateral to the belly button) and followed that with what I call Cradling the Adrenals: rub the hands vigorously and place one hand over the above-mentioned adrenal points and the other hand opposite them on the back.  I hold that for however long I can, preferably waiting for a nice warmth to develop under my hands, and a sense of relaxation to set in.

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Finally I held what Donna Eden calls the Rooster Comb Hold (or the Triple Axis hold) for a good long time, propping my head and arms up as I leaned back on the couch so that I could be as relaxed as possible. (The above link will take you to a nice little video of this technique.)

By the time I went to bed I was feeling quite normal and I slept well (despite the heat) and you are right to imagine that one of the first things I will do today is go and get my tincture refilled, and forgo all stimulants.  I will also take the time to do all of the above energy techniques again, along with my version of Donna Eden’s Daily Routine (which, if you’re interested is now available as a download from my website.)

I love my adrenals – I couldn’t live without them – and I am sorry that they had to get so mad in order to get my attention.  But kudos to me for listening and knowing how to take action on their behalf – that’s the kind of empowerment energy medicine can bring to a person’s life.