What’s the Best Possible Outcome? A Quick Exercise in Dealing with Negative Thoughts

I’ve been trying something new lately. I have caught myself so many times recently fuming in my quiet moments over unfairness done to or around me, and it is toxic.

I realized that these thoughts are natural and they WILL happen, but I have control over what happens next. I have been actively on the lookout for these moments, and replacing the negative thoughts with ideas of what I want in my life a year from now, or just in the future at large. It’s incredibly refreshing to shift my focus and shift my energy, and I have noted that ideas and creativity flow more freely when I work on this. I call it “tending my Secret Garden” (lol I know it’s corny).

Anyone who has had a Reiki session with me knows that I teach a version of the Secret Garden meditation where I guide my client through a peaceful landscape that ultimately leads to their Spirit Guide. That landscape is the visualization of their soul, their dreams, all of the positive and beautiful things they hold dear to themselves, and once visualized, it is always there to be used later as a tool to remind ourselves what we treasure and what our minds are capable of creating—beauty, love, and peace ☮️.

Essentially, the idea of the Secret Garden is to simultaneously discover in yourself what you hold most dear, who you want to be, and that you have the power to change your own emotional landscape for the better. Whatever you imagine determines the conditions of the path you walk to that destiny—whether you make the sun shine or the thunder boom in the Secret Garden is up to you.

I leave you today then with one small piece of peace to keep in mind: What WOULD happen if, instead of focusing on the worst, you asked yourself—what’s the BEST that could happen? #soulunfold #breakingthecycle #changeyourmindset

Spirit Echoes: Light as a Feather

I don’t know how many of you truly believe in the Other Side. Every day, I’m blessed enough to experience the truth of life after death—even in small ways. And that’s available to everyone. I can teach you how.

Today, driving to a Dunkin Donuts drive thru line no less, I was having a moment. A low, self-questioning, self-effacing moment. You know the kind. And so I put my music player on…

And I earnestly asked if my main spirit guide would step forward and offer me a message in the next song.

And they did.

Feather

X Ambassadors

I will lift you up

For now and forever.

I will lift you up,

‘Til you’re light as a feather.

I know times are tough,

When you’re under pressure.

I will lift you up

‘Til you’re light as a feather.

I know you need somebody

Try to act like it’s alright, it’s alright.

‘Cause when you need somebody,

No matter what, you know I will lift you up.

For now and forever

I will lift you up

‘Til you’re light as a feather.

🙏 And I feel better. Thank you, Spirit.

Habits = Happiness: An investigation into confidence and manageable life change

I’m the first person to be annoyed when someone chastises me about better habits, negative thinking, etc…my inner b#%ch usually screams something about walking a mile in my shoes/does this person want a foot in their a$$/not all of us were born lucky, while I nod and smile politely.

However…there is something to be said for honest effort. There are a few things I need to change in my life:

1. My weight and general wellness

2. I need to organize my closets and cupboards/make my living space more efficient

3. I need to make more $$/have a healthier financial standing

4. I need to cook more and generally relax and stop holding my breath. I need to find time to just enjoy my life, which I’m not doing much of lately. I steal minutes from myself here and there while I mostly work myself to death.

5. I need to keep working to trust my gifts (I have had great success in this in the last year or so) and continue to just “see what I say” to build my clairvoyance and mediumship.

Building the habit of happiness will help me stay on track with shoring up the habits that will help me reach these goals. One of my main obstacles to success is what my mom used to diagnose as “lack of patience”–but as an adult, I see what she meant, and I see exactly what it is.

Sometimes I don’t believe in my power to make good things happen. I don’t believe in my own ability to change. This involuntary fear is depressing, and soul sucking, and it makes it hard for me to get up in the morning.

I have helped scores of people change their lives at this point through spiritual work, but I don’t believe in my own ability to change for the better. I don’t believe in my ability to do just about anything right, some days.

How screwed up is that? I have a whole book on deck about it. One time I was struggling to open this incredibly complex umbrella I borrowed (why why why would it have a hidden latch!?) while a security alarm counted down, and suddenly BAM I got it open and all was well. I literally just could not believe in my own ability to do this and was amazed when I figured it out.

To open an UMBRELLA.

Every time I successfully finish a spin class, I’m on top of the WORLD because I’m positive at the beginning that I will make a fool of myself and fall off the bike. However, 99% of the time I do not fall.

There is that one time I kicked my water bottle clear across the room, but that’s an anomaly.

My point is–I have a problem. I’ve had a problem for a long time: it’s called clinical depression and it doesn’t always go away. The generalized anxiety disorder did go away–and I thank my spirit guides every day that it’s gone and I have a new grip on life. I’m still depressed, though. I still feel like I can’t make a difference in my life or the world at large. I generally feel like I let literally everyone down every day, except for every now and then.

And I share this with you because so many people sit across from me at my desk at Willow or on video chat and tell me the same things I’m telling you here. But in them, I see the light of potential. I show them all of the paths their lives can take and what the potentials are for each choice.

And some of them come back to me, their light within shining, their lives changing because THEY made changes. I know it’s possible. I know it’s real. I see it every day.

My point is…what if it’s time for radical reassignment of who you are? I know it’s that time for me. I need to aggressively make these habits a priority, to plow through whatever used to stop me. Maybe I need to fully, unabashedly, powerfully believe in my ability to change myself and make an impact on the world, even if it’s just one more person. Maybe it’s time for me to believe in my thoughts, my ideas, my feelings, my own intellect, and bask in the love I show others while I amplify it outward.

One of the places to start is to document every day 3 things that I am happy for, and 3 things that I did this day that are remarkable and, also, how I’m feeling at that moment in time. I’m thinking this can’t hurt, it will take only a few minutes – really, the amount of time I’m usually spending watching pet videos on Facebook – and maybe it’s something I’ll be able to share with you all, along with my “Hearts Found in the Wild” photos you can see on my Instagram (@soul_unfold_tarot) and my Facebook (@soulunfold), which I may start sharing here as well.

There has been a wild Valkyrie living inside me for a long time, and I think she’s sick of the bullsh&$. She wants to be free, and I think I’m going to let her. I think I’ve known she’s been there for awhile and have neglected her.

After all this time, she may be what I’ve been seeking. It’s time to be the change I want to see.

In love and light,

Erica

So You Think You’re Psychic?: The Soul Unfold Checklist

Seated in front of a table, all 78 cards of my Rider-Waite deck spread in various formations in front of me, a wide-eyed client across from me, the statement that typically comes after all of the big life questions of health, finances, kids and romance is usually:

You know, I’ve been told that I’m a very intuitive person.  Can you see that in me?

The answer is always yes, because intuition is not a gift saved for the few.  Intuition is a muscle ready to be ripped and used and built up. Sure, some of us are born with that ability primed and ready to go, with just a few triggers necessary to make it shine.  It’s like this:  most people are born with the ability to learn tennis and play it to some degree of success.  However, not everyone is born to be a Serena or Venus Williams:  some talent is already pre-gifted, ready to be developed into star-quality abilities.

But with some work, almost anyone can play tennis well.  And with some work, nearly anyone can develop their intuition and learn to do what I do.  It’s all about how much dedication you want to devote to it.  Your life moves in the direction of what you prioritize: for the spiritually gifted, the river flows easiest in the direction of developing intuition to a supernatural degree.  For those of you not quite ready to tackle speaking to spirits who have passed on, or not interested in learning the language of Tarot forward and backward, intuition can still be developed to the level of giving you an edge in your daily lives.

Everyone comes to Earth to do soul work. We come to work out the snarls and kinks in our eternal spirits, to smooth our rough spots. We come here to unfold our souls, because only through trial and error, highs and lows, happiness and sadness in balance, can we have the opportunity to prove ourselves. Our existence at the source on the Other Side, when we are in full knowledge of divine love and not incarnated, does not permit us to make the decisions to become who we need to be.  We need this beautiful world, with all of its lessons, to effect change in our eternal selves.

Just as there is with anything on Earth, there is an easy way to unfold your soul and there is a hard way.  Neither is good or bad.  If you are here at soulunfold.com, then you are looking to tackle it head on.  So let’s get started.

I present to you the Soul Unfold Checklist.  For all of you who have ever wondered if there is a process to developing your intuition, there is.  This is the one that works for me, and I hope it works for you just as well.

Here is the short list:

  1. Choose your divination tool
  2. Journal your spiritual experiences, dreams and readings
  3. Meditate daily
  4. Read all of the spiritual books you can get your hands on
  5. Be patient
  6. Learn Reiki
  7. Practice your divination art of choice and Reiki on your friends

And here is a slightly more detailed list, but still not all-encompassing:

  1. Test the tools of spiritual communication and divination available to you to determine what works for you.  Be disciplined:  do not use this method just to relieve anxieties or answer questions.  Use it to develop a relationship with your spirit guides.
    • If you are interested in using cards as your tool, I recommend purchasing a physical deck for practice in downtime.  I also recommend downloading a digital deck for your smartphone and/or tablet. Tarot Pro is an excellent app to teach you what Tarot cards mean to you. For those interested in working with the angels, which I highly recommend, Doreen Virtue’s angel decks, including the well-known Archangel Oracle Cards, have given me incredible insights over the years.
      • Decks I love to use when communicating with the Other Side (disclaimer:  I have not been asked in any way to promote these items, I genuinely enjoy working with them):
        • Tarot Pro by Nuclear Elements (digital)
        • The Psychic Tarot Oracle Cards (John Holland, digital and physical)
        • Archangel Oracle Cards (Doreen Virtue, digital and physical)
        • The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards (Colette Baron-Reid, digital and physical)
        • Daily Guidance from Your Angels Oracle Cards (Doreen Virtue, digital and physical)
    • Randomized music
      • I prefer Pandora or the Amazon music player.  Sometimes I will use Spotify. Pandora works the best because it will show you new music you have never heard, therefore new messages will come through from the Other Side.
      • Look up the lyrics, record them in your spirituality journal (see step 2). You will develop meanings for songs that the Other Side will pick up on and begin to use as message for you in the future.  This is also how card decks work:  you develop a system of meanings for the cards/songs/dice, whatever you have randomized, and your guides use that system to give you message when you reach out if it is appropriate.  They do reserve the right to not give you a message when necessary.
    • Books
      • I have been known to use books to a multitude of purposes, but they can be a top-notch divination tool if you respond to words over visuals, the way I do.
      • Ask your guides what their message of the day is for you, then allow the pages to flip past your thumb like you are looking at a cartoon flip book.  Stop when it feels right, point at the page and your message will be there under your finger.  Need more structure?  Tell your guides the 10th line down on the page you land on is where you will look for your message, before you flip.
    • Fortune cookies
      • Fortune cookies are one of my favorite methods of divination (Read my post Kaleidoscope  to see this in action). On the front of my bullet journal are two fortunes I hold dear that came to me a few days apart:

        Fate loves the fearless.

        Don’t be afraid of opposition; remember, a kite rises against the wind.

      • Don’t forget to ask your guides for a special message before opening the cookie.  If you want guidance for something specific, make sure you tell them what the topic is.
    • Runes
      • Runes are a symbolic tool of divination that I find to be rather matter-of-fact.  Their messages speak to me in a similar way to Tarot, only with the message purified down a bit more:  this project will offer many obstacles. The answer to your question about whether you should trust someone is Sol, the rune of sunshine, light and vitality. And so on.
    • Pinterest
      • Pinterest, you say?  Yes. Pinterest can be used from time to time as a divination tool, but you can only ask one question per search term and you have to be open to interpretation. I once asked what my next apartment would look like, and up came images of beautiful, small apartments with bookshelves.  Sure enough, I have a built-in bookshelf in my entryway currently.
      • Pinterest also makes an excellent visualization tool.  If you create a “Vision” board and revisit it often to feel what it would be like for those dreams to come true, you are doing your daily visualizations in a pleasurable and easy way.
    • There are many other forms of divination.  i Ching, tea leaf reading, pendulums and dice are a few that I am familiar with but do not use on a daily basis.
  2. Keep a journal. Record synchronicity, messages, meditation experiences and dreams.
    • Not sure what I mean by “synchronicity”?  Check out my blog posts The “Sines” of Change and Catalysis to read an example of finding message from the Other Side through random words or ideas occurring 3 times or more in one day.
    • Record your dreams every morning, immediately upon waking. Read over the journal as you progress and look for occurrences of premonition:  Seeing events before they occur. Even your weird dreams have meaning.  I do dream analysis often for my clients, and something as odd as seeing your boss covered in ants while you talk to her (a symbol that the relationship is “spoiled” or ruined beyond repair) can have meaning.
    • Any animal encounters that are particularly interesting can be messages from the spirit world.  Record your encounter and research the symbolism of the animal:  you will find within it a message.
    • Meditation is a powerful tool (see step 3) for building spirituality.  I would argue it is the most powerful tool in your spiritual kit for increasing intuition and achieving spiritual balance. I journal about my guided meditation experiences and have witnessed scenes as wild as a coy fish morphing into a dragon.  Having journaled my meditations means I can look back later and see how my meditation practice has evolved and what issues I worked through in the past.
    • Journaling is an incredibly valuable practice that never stops rewarding you. Looking back after years and seeing your subconscious speak to you and tell you how far you’ve come or what you have yet to change is worth the time it takes to write or type.
    • I began my spiritual journey through paying attention to my dreams. Through your dreams, you can begin to connect with your guardians, your own soul and your subconscious. I have even dreamed of “going to school” with people and beings I have never seen before.
    • Try asking a question or thinking of a problem you want to solve before going to sleep, then journaling about your dream and thought experiences upon waking.
  3. Meditate
    • Meditation is the practice that took me from a nube who occasionally intuited the unspoken truth to an experienced intuitive. Meditation is practice in listening to God. The tagline of this blog is “Learning to Listen: A Journey in Spirit” for this reason. I love using my randomized Meditations and Angel card apps to guide my meditation for the day, because it feels like my guides have a hand in helping me grow. I also love using the song Alpha to Theta by Lowell Brahms while I meditate, because if feels like it opens my mind up.
    • Set the Scene
      • Setting your meditation scene matters. My tub was my temple when i first started. I love meditating in the water with Epsom salts and lavender. It sharpens my visions and makes me feel purified like nothing else does.
    • Stilling your mind
      • Meditation will teach you over time to separate your random thoughts from message. During meditation, wait for the time that your random (I call them monkey thoughts) thoughts start to settle down.  Wait for the period of stillness that feels like zoning out to a cicada hum in the summertime.  Just beyond that stillness await messages from your guardians.  Don’t give up, your first message after the stillness is a miraculous occurrence.
  4. Read everything.
    • Read as many books about spirituality as you can.  Re-read the ones that speak to you the most. Take notes in your journal about what you want to explore and research those topics. This practice will tell you what your goals are and what abilities you are interested in developing.
  5. Be patient.  It takes time, but you will see signs all along the way. Ask your guides to show you a purple cow in 24 hours and by God, you will likely see a purple cow.  Just be open to the way in which your guides may fulfill your request.
  6. Learning Reiki from an authentic source who respects the process can speed up your spiritual growth.
    • Reiki launched me into the intuitive space and transformed me from an intuitive to an intuitive healer.  It was indispensable in my spiritual growth. To learn more about Reiki and its role in my journey, check out my blog post The Accidental Medium.
  7. Practice on your friends.
    • Whatever your tool of choice is, practice on your friends and record the results. They will love it and it will give you the feedback you need to grow.

In love and light,

Erica

BE the Grasshopper: How to Create Your Ideal Life One Leap at a Time

A co-worker and friend once told me, “E, you always make so much meaning out of your life.  I like how you put things together into a story.”  She has always been a keen observer of human nature, and she had a point.  I make meaning out of the seemingly random observations of my everyday life, both my physical and my spiritual lives (arguably they are two sides of the same coin, but you will have to read my book to see what I mean there).

You can do this too, and I’ll tell you why it’s a great practice.  Narrative is one of the most powerful survival tools given to humans.  Narrative weaves cultures together, starting all the way back to when stories were passed down by word of mouth and painted and carved by firelight.

Narrative brings meaning to life.  And meaning is what drives us forward.  Without meaning, we are pinwheeling through a sea of chaos, which is exhilarating and hopeless and horrifying, but still, we build a narrative to explain that, too, the narrative that nothing matters because there is no end game and no reason for existence and you either follow rules for comfort’s sake or live in anarchy, but nothing really matters.

It is true.  We live in a world of disorder, a two-sided Janus of a Universe built on opposing poles of chaos and yet infinite, magical wonder, right down to seeing the Golden Ratio in a leaf’s design and the beauty of the tides and their magical, yet dependable movements. We are disorder and order infinitely and miraculously woven into complex designs that only beings beyond our reach could have engineered.

We are a narrative built of the energy created when polar opposites revolve around one another, and we cannot escape this story.  Even the endings of our stories are just another part of the narrative structure.  Think about it like this—your life structure follows a narrative that you have created through your actions.  Most of this narrative you wrote yourself, with some of the structure gifted to you by forces out of your control.

Each one of us is a narrative within a greater narrative, and each of our physical lives is part of a soul’s greater, overarching narrative.  Starting to see the structure now?  Each thread of the tapestry is composed of millions of other threads, all weaving together to create one big book.

In keeping wzth my own narrative, at the end of every day, I love to spend a few minutes with my journal, piecing the events of the day together and making sense out of the signs and symbols sent my way.  I aid it along with mini readings for myself, as well, and I string each day together to see the overarching trends of my soul’s direction and what my spirit guides are urging me toward.  It is an incredibly easy and fulfilling practice that anyone can do—and you will find yourselves more spiritually attuned and feel your soul growing and reaching when doing this practice. You will feel more connected to the Divine in a personal, comforting way than you have ever been before.  There are even mediums among you, some of you who have not yet fully discovered your own abilities.  This is the practice that will bring those abilities to shine.

So last night, I worked in my journal, then in the minutes before sleep, I sought some inspiration in fitness boards on Pinterest, then looked at the savvy workout program I have created for myself.  I thought “I’ll wake up in the morning and do my workout.  Nothing’s going to stop me.”

Well, the Sandman stopped me, but not for long.  After I had readied myself for the day, I was on my way out the door but heard a loud noise coming from the direction of the window air conditioner.  I went over to check it out and realized I had to add a shim to the window to stop the rattling.  As I looked for the perfect spot for the shim, I encountered a horrifying object.

A 4” grasshopper crouched at eye level, daring me to do something about his presence.  I am terrified of insects—just a visceral, lizard-brain reaction takes over and I can hardly focus when one is nearby.  However, I finished shimming the window, finished my locking up, and went to work.  I probably should have identified the grasshopper being so high up, so large and so insistently in my face as a sign from Spirit, but I did not realize that until I was in the car and my fight or flight response had finished hurling insults at the little green monster.

I thought throughout the day about the significance of the grasshopper, and my intuition told me it was important. I researched the symbolism and there it was.  In some Native American traditions, the grasshopper is a symbol of making dreams come true, of grounding your dreams to the Earth, yet also making them fly.  The message suddenly unfolded before me, and I pulled an angel card to see if I was definitely on the right track.

The angel card that came up stated “Healthy Lifestyle.”  The grasshopper was there to remind me of my dreams, telling me to bring them to life, nudging me with a note about how I prayed for help with my fitness and how I need to make consistent steps to making it happen.  Because I like nothing more than to see good messages come in threes, I also queued up my music player for a random song, and it played a song titled “Vrkshasana,” which translates to “being grounded without being inflexible.”  It is notably also a song with a picture of a woman doing yoga on the front of it, and yoga is one of my favorite fitness practices.

The cherry on top, though, was last night, in pure, effortless synchronicity, I heard two quotes stand out from a show I was watching on Netflix with my boyfriend.

Pennsatucky: Man, do you know what it means when there ain’t nobody up there punishing the evildoers? It means there ain’t nobody giving out prizes for the good ones neither; ‘Cuz there ain’t no judge. There ain’t no justice. We just crawl around this earth like ants…
[pause]
Pennsatucky: And then we die.
Then, perhaps somewhat unbelievably, later on in the show, long before I came face-to-face with the jumping green monster on my window:
So-So:  BE the grasshopper.

BE the grasshopper, Erica.  Dare to jump, therefore to fly.  Exercise.  Become both supple and strong.  These are important elements to living my best life.  Important elements to bringing forth the narrative I want to create with every breath I take in this incarnation.

Later in the day today, someone close to me also reminded me to take the vitamins I have been neglecting to take for weeks.  Guess what?  Those amazing vitamins made me feel great, allowing me to power through my day’s work until 9:30 p.m., then create this blog post. They also help me stay motivated for morning workouts.

One of the elements of this world for which I am most grateful is cause and effect. Throw a rock, hear a splash.  Put effort into something, it will respond.  That is the beauty of this world, that we can make an impact, we can effect change, because with change comes transformation, and transformation is the whole reason we move around this Earth.

Cause and effect.

Call and response.

Some people would call this naiveté on my part, but I don’t believe we are destined to just crawl aimlessly around this Earth until we die.  We are the meaning makers, we are the storytellers.  The truth is, the world IS chaos.  It IS meaningless.  It IS designed to make us question meaning, to make us think there is nothing beyond it.  We are given the tools to MAKE meaning.  We are the narrative, we are the myth makers, the legend creators, the heroes and the villains.

Like Joan Didion said, we tell ourselves stories to survive.  We shout into the wilderness and we are the voices that record on the ages.  We are also swallowed up by the vastness of the Universe and snuffed out like candles at a moment’s notice.

Today, my story is about bringing my dreams to light, and yours.  My spirit guardians are guiding me toward fitness, telling me to take that first leap, and even right now as I write this, I see one of my guides making a grasshopper leap in my third eye to show me that if I just try, if I just give it some effort, they will take that effort and expand it, turn it into a miraculous leap forward, like the huge (yes I was horrified when I saw it, anybody who knows me knows I was horrified) 4″ grasshopper exploding effortlessly almost 6′ up to my window to remind me of my role in bringing my dreams to light.  Tomorrow, I will finally wake up as early as I need to and start my new regimen.  And my guardians will make sure that my results are faster and more powerful than I could have dreamed.

In making that pact, I turn back to you, because you are my true focus here.  I already know my path, and I am following it as my guardians light the way, 6′ in the headlights at a time.  My question for you this post is simple and it’s also a challenge.

What story will YOU write today?

Catalysis

As a medium, I often encounter clients who refuse to acknowledge signs of change. Spirit communicates with us in every way that we can sense-through occurrence, thought, feeling, dreams, sight, smell, sound, touch, taste, intuition, you name it. Your life has a story arc, a narrative structure, that did not happen by accident or entirely by your conscious design. Your life unfolds according to a basic blueprint prescribed by you and your soul group when you are in Heaven, then you add the details on the fly here on Earth as you live out your lessons, some in triumph, some in despair. To guide you along that narrative, Spirit throws signs in your path, directing you toward necessary change. When you studiously ignore those signs and bluster forward while looking behind, Spirit has a way of opening the blinds.

Just when you need it, Spirit sends a catalyst to spark and accelerate change in your life, enabling you to transform. That catalyst often feels like all hell breaking loose, or as a friend of mine recently put it, “a series of WTF moments” (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, of course).

What brings me to talk to you today about catalysis is what brings me to talk to you about anything, any day.  The word “catalytic” appeared to me three times (plus one for good measure) this past week in very distinct and separate occasions, clearly pointing to a message. The message is that transformation and freedom from pollution and stagnation in life require a catalyst, and to allow Spirit to send catalysts into your life, you need to embrace the Unknown. It’s time to flirt with disaster, to set off on a journey, even if it’s a metaphorical one. It’s time for a grand adventure.

The word catalysis refers to an increase in the rate of a chemical reaction. The first instance of “catalytic” last week occurred about 10 feet from me in a Walmart store.  It was humorous enough to catch my attention and make me chuckle while I shopped.  A young lady told her gentleman companion that the “Cadillac converter” in her car had “gone bad.”  The gentleman kindly corrected her with “catalytic,” inspiring her to say “I don’t even know how LONG you can DRIVE a car with a bad Cad-cata-CONVERTER.” For all of his knowledge of pronunciation, the young man also did not know the answer to this question. More to come on that later, as the answer, apparently, is “forever, it is not intrinsic to the operation of the vehicle” (courtesy of my research and my own gentleman companion).

With the Cadillac converter long forgotten, I set off on an adventure to the movies Saturday night to see “The Nice Guys” with Ryan Gosling and the lovely Russell Crowe.  A major plot point in the movie centered around the emergence of catalytic converters in the automobile industry and what it meant for preventing air pollution.  Oddly enough, I and my gentleman partner were unaware of this plot point going in, and he had noted that he thought he saw smog lying near the ground as we drove to the mall that evening.

This, my friends, is not a long, boring story for much longer.  This is synchronicity #2, Catalysis edition. Still just a series of coincidences, however, that I chalked up to “life is funny.”

That was, until the next day, Sunday, when, feet on the dash of the car in the pouring rain, I read aloud a truly excellent horoscope written by Rob Brezsny in a local paper. The horoscope (for my sign) ended with:

Now is an excellent time to reap the catalytic benefits of being willingly lost in a wild, idyllic, relaxing setting.

Well, what do you know.  Spirit is trying to talk to me about catalysis.  I proceeded to meditate on the subject of catalysis, and to read everything I could find about how catalytic converters work.

Essentially, a catalytic converter sets off a chemical reactiont that converts emissions into less harmful gases. It spurs and accelerates a reaction to ultimately result in reduced pollution-cleaner air, greater clarity.

I also asked Spirit through my music player to help me further understand their message. The lyrics were daunting:

You were my fire, so I burned, ’til there was nothing left of me

I, I touched your face, I held you close, ’til I could barely breathe

Why give me hope, then give me up, just to be the death of me

Save the rest of me-“Hesitate,” Stone Sour

Catalysis is about igniting a reaction, firing up an essential change in the elements at play. It is about burning off what existed before until there is nothing left of it and creating something new, and in the case of a catalytic converter, it is about breathing easier.  The final sign was undeniable.

Breaking the messages down to their basic elements, we have a repeated message about a catalyst.  Catalysts set off reactions, they spark change. A catalytic converter, at the heart of this synchronicity, results in less pollution in the air and is better for all surrounding life. It clears the air and presents stagnation.

What the angels and Spirit are telling me is that they want me to experience more of life, to allow for change, because change leads to transformation. To willingly enter a time of uncertainty and allow it to be a catalyst for positive change can be wildly refreshing. Embracing change and opening space for a new version of yourself allows you to create a platform from whatever life throws at you next and to build on it, instead of holding onto the past and being shoved into the future by a catalyst you could not have foreseen.

Faith and trust are important at times like these. I have experienced catalysts before, including when I was first building my mediumship. The catalyst for my psychic development was being initiated into the practice of Reiki. A channel opened up to the Divine during the very first attunement and I never looked back.

Probably the most moving catalyst I have ever encountered is a man named Ken Baldwin. He was written about by journalist Tad Friend in an article in The New Yorker titled “Jumpers.”  Friend captures the memory of Baldwin leaping from the Golden Gate Bridge, stating:

As he crossed the chord in flight, Baldwin recalls, “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped.”

Baldwin’s catalyst was leaping from a bridge known for ushering in many gruesome deaths.  But Baldwin survived to tell his incredible story, and, wherever he may be right now, that one act of bravery, of telling that story to a journalist for The New Yorker, has saved someone. That act has given someone the catalyst to achieve a new mindset, to look at life from a new perspective. When i’m in times of despair and anxiety and I just don’t know where to turn next, I think about Ken Baldwin.  I consider that moment of perfect clarity as he arced through the air, and I think about how my busy mind would snap to and solve all of my problems as I spun out of control, rear over teakettle, like he did.

This, my friends, was one of my early catalysts, my spark for change in the depths of depression.   I share this story with you not for sympathy, because I am miraculously strong and healed now, on most days. I share it because, essentially, stories like this enable others to heal and to step into an imaginary space with a new perspective, without actually leaping to imminent danger.

I share it only because I want you to answer a question for me, and for you. First, gather all of your most pressing problems, and sit in front of a computer or a pen and paper. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine Ken Baldwin taking that last step.

What solutions do you see?

In love and light,

Erica

“‘Til The Love Runs Out”: A Message from Beyond

Today’s message from beyond speaks for itself, readers. It inspired me, and I’m always looking to pass that inspiration on, so I hope it inspires you, too.

Me:  Spirit, will my dream of becoming a motivational speaker really come true?

Spirit: Til the Love Runs Out by OneRepublic

I’ll be your light, your match, your burning sun,
I’ll be the bright, and black, that’s making you run.
And I feel alright, and we’ll feel alright,
‘Cause we’ll work it out, yeah we’ll work it out.
I’ll be doin’ this, if you ever doubt,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.

I’ll be your ghost, your game, your stadium.
I’ll be your fifty thousand clapping like one
And I feel alright, and I feel alright,
‘Cause I worked it out, yeah I worked it out.
I’ll be doin’ this, if you ever doubt,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.

I got my mind made up and I can’t let go.
I’m killing every second ’til it sees my soul.
I’ll be running, I’ll be running,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.
And we’ll start a fire, and we’ll shut it down,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.

There’s a maniac out in front of me.
Got an angel on my shoulder, and Mephistopheles.
My momma raised me good, momma raised me right.
Momma said “do what you want, say prayers at night”,
And I’m saying them, cause I’m so devout.
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out, yeah.

I got my mind made up and I can’t let go.
I’m killing every second ’til it sees my soul.
I’ll be running, I’ll be running,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.
And we’ll start a fire, and we’ll shut it down,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.

Ooh, we all want the same thing.
Ooh, we all run for something.
Oh for God, for fate,
For love, for hate,
For gold, and rust,
For diamonds, and dust.

I’ll be our light, your match, your burning sun,
I’ll be the bright and black that’s making you run.
I got my mind made up and I can’t let go.
I’m killing every second ’til it sees my soul.
I’ll be running, I’ll be running,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.
And we’ll start a fire, and we’ll shut it down,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.

I’ll be your light, your match, your burning sun,
I’ll be the bright and black that’s making you run.
And I feel alright, and we’ll feel alright,
‘Cause we’ll work it out, yeah we’ll work it out.
And we’ll start a fire, and we’ll shut it down,
‘Til the love runs out, ’til the love runs out.
‘Til the love runs out.

The Necessary Illusion

Don’t worry, Soul Unfold readers–I have not left your side.  I even reach out to you while running out to grab lunch. Yesterday’s card was The Devil–it was one of those days that is like quicksand, where you feel like you can’t get a foothold, and more questions and to-dos just keep pouring in.  I was also grumpy, which is Devil-like!

Guess what, though?  After all of that whining I did about canceling my vids, someone special gave me a webcam and setup, so I will be coming to you in all-new high definition very soon (hopefully tonight, but my God, I really have to do laundry).

Today’s card is the Ace of Wands–this is a card of career and creative opportunities, and wands are the suit of flame, so consider this card to be like the flame re-igniting in my soul (every now and then the pilot light gets blown out, no shame in that game). It is also my “YES” card for some situations–the Aces of every suit can function that way from time to time, but take care with that, because sometimes they mean “YES EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT OK” and not “YES THIS IS THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION.” It is a positive card with a lot of germination energy–as in “we’ve only just begun” (sorry about the Carpenters earworm, but at least you’re in good company, I gave it to myself, too):

Stay tuned to find out if I have more to say about the Ace of Wands later on.  I am also considering blogging about the Akashic records soon–anyone interested?  I recently received a request to write about astral travel as well.  I am somewhat uncomfortable with OBEs (Out of Body Experiences), although I have seen my soul cord upon waking (thick silver cord extending out of my lower chest/solar plexus area) and have experienced lucid dreams where I am visiting with angels and other spirit guides.  I am still growing in this area, so watch for more cool things to happen.  I have experienced clairaudience before (I am writing about this in my book, and one of my posts on this blog describes this encounter with Spirit Guide Althea).

In considering writing about the Akashic records, I want to encourage you strongly to remember that there is a reason we are born with innocence of the endless futures and pasts that surround us. We do not have knowledge of our past and future lives because we are here to fulfill the current life plan we have written for our souls. The current iteration of you, the wave spiraling out from the Source that is you right now, was divinely concocted to encounter this world with all of your faults and glories and to make the impact you are making, whether you view that impact as positive or negative. Knowledge of the future and past can change people, can orient them away from their purpose, so encounter it carefully and continue to ground yourself in the present, or you risk falling down the rabbit hole of needing to know everything-and that is a dark path, I promise.

I received a message from my future self yesterday about this subject.  You can communicate with your future self, too-just ask your divination tools what message your future self would send you if you could sit in front of him or her, and even imagine him or her walking in and sitting across from you.  It will be one of the clearest, most helpful answers for your present situation that you could imagine, and you will feel the imprint of your own spirit in the response (because it IS you answering, but I promise, it will feel like the best, brightest, smartest version of you ever).  My future self told me along with a card flip (my question was:  if my future self could give me any advice right now to help us make it to where we need to be, what would she tell me?):

“It’s OK not to know.  All information will come to you at the right time. For now, it’s up to you to make the decisions, to be brave, to try.  That is what it means to be human.”

She kicked me in the pants and reminded me to be a person of faith, the person who takes it one step at a time.  And no, before you ask, she does not respond this way every time–at other times, she has reminded me that we get stronger every day, she has warned me of dead-end ideas and situations, and, recently, that wisdom comes with experience. Basically, when I communicate with the angels, they comfort me and give me love and support (and occasionally real talk), but when I communicate with myself, she kicks me in the rear and reminds me to grow up.  She’s a jerk, but she’s who I want to be when I grow up.  Too bad she doesn’t have a British accent to go along with that bad attitude.

Curious about whether my present self gives my past self advice?  I believe our souls are nonlinear, and that time and space are necessary constructs made by humankind to move forward in a physical world. I often meditate with my past self and offer her solace and advice, and it is a healing, wonderful exercise in which I discover how far I have come in this leg of my journey and truly feel like I am sending energy to the “past” where it is needed. If you ever doubt that time is an illusion, consider those days when we “spring ahead” (this weekend) and “fall back” an hour, or consider time zones and how events occur at different times according to where you live, but they occur at the same “moment” for everyone. Yes, that is the measurement of time we are talking about, but it gives you pause when you consider the possibilities outside of our physical world. From the top-down, spiritual perspective, time is an illusion, a construct, but it is a necessary one for us to get the essential work done while we’re in this arena called Earth.  Time is one of the greatest tools we have to truly learn and change, and ultimately, transformation and change are the secrets to why we are still breathing.

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom in Darkness: Letting Go of the Need to Know

It’s OK not to know.

I mean it. In fact, not knowing is the basis of the human condition. It is part of the contract we agree to before we take physical form—we pledge to embark on this journey in which we will not experience Divine love in the same way as we do in Spirit, where it infuses our beings and is ever present. When we take our human bodies, Spirit is still present, and God’s love is still everywhere, but there is a separation, often referred to as “the veil,” to prevent us from fleeing back home.

That veil is the basis of our constant need to control our environments and know the future. Human survival is about evolution and response, and nothing can prepare you for a situation like knowing exactly how it will play out. As a medium, I have experienced the constant need to know what comes next and temptation to pin that information down. I struggle with this temptation every day, but thankfully, the tools that I use are designed to gently remind me when my questions are overstepping boundaries that are in place for a reason. My divination tools offer me insight about the future without telling me too much. They tell me just enough to make better decisions.

When we sit up at night and we worry about the future, we waste time. Everyone knows that worrying is sometimes useful and sometimes a waste. Worry is a barometer—it is your intuitive self indicating that something is wrong. Your subconscious runs numbers and schemes all day, and that is where your worries surface from—your intuitive self can know more than your “aware” self. You do need to pay attention to those nagging concerns, but only if they are problems you can work on. Identify what you are worrying about, write it down, follow it with a multi-step plan to correct the imbalance, and thank your subconscious for the alert. Then: release. Release the worry. Surrender your fate to the Divine. The most relaxing feeling in the world is knowing you have done all that you can and the rest is in the hands of the Divine. You have incarnated on this Earth into a form that is not all-powerful like you are in Heaven. This is Heaven’s greatest gift to us. We have the opportunity to grow but almost none of the responsibility, because we have a limited range of power in our physical forms.

If you are worrying about something that is out of your hands, then you are toxic, septic, even, with energy that drains your batteries and does not give back, and you can cleanse yourself of that physically and spiritually. My Moonshine Meditation with Archangel Haniel from this blog is ideal for cleansing yourself of needless worry and feeling Divine comfort.

Worries are akin to messages from your computer that indicate something is off. One message from your antivirus that there is a Trojan horse in your system is great, because you can navigate to your antivirus program’s dashboard and tell the program to fix the problem. Done deal, no more alerts. However, sometimes worries become messages that in themselves are like viruses. A message from your PC that continually indicates something is wrong, but there is no source of the problem, is in itself often caused by a virus. This is what happens with worry in our spiritual systems. Worries tell us what is important to us and what we need to fix, but when they become viral and fear-based, they become our very human attempts to tell the future and dispel the terror of the unknown. It is easy to tell whether your worry is a helpful message or a virus. If you can do something about it and the worry disappears after you set in motion the fix for it, then it is a helpful message.

If your worry is something you can do nothing about and it plagues you mercilessly, then you are dealing with a virus and a spiritual and physical cleanse can help you.
Purging viral worry from your system is best achieved by meditation or what some people call “finding your center.” At my spiritual center is a place where I am eternally sitting in lotus position, enfolded in gentle green light and peace. Wherever I may be in the physical world, this aspect of my spirit is always present and available for me to take a time out. I developed this secret “room” at the center of my spirit by meditating for a few minutes every day. During my meditations, I was eventually able to achieve a place of such peace that I am now able to replicate it in visualization at a moment’s notice.
Finding your center is about learning to listen to Spirit, accessing Heavenly love, and then remembering what that feeling is like whenever and wherever you need it. The secrets to finding your center are as follows:

1. Regular meditation
2. Patience
3. Faith in yourself and in a power higher than yourself

In Corinthians, the Bible speaks of the nature and importance of love, famously stating in 1:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Not to be forgotten are the underpinnings of love—faith and hope. Faith is nothing more than patience—patience with others, patience with self, patience with the human condition. Hope is love extended into the future. Hope is allowing space for love in your heart and putting a down payment on your dreams.

It’s not love, faith and hope alone that move the mountains in your way in life. It is what you do while you foster faith, hope and love. Faith is accepting the laws of physics on this Earth. Faith is the presence of action filling the void of defeat. Faith is reminding yourself that small changes make big results. You throw a rock, you get a splash. For every action on this Earth, there is an equal, but opposite reaction. Holding onto that thought will bring you more faith than you will ever need. And hope? Hope is the 5-year plan you wrote down in the first place to guide those rocks you are throwing into the waves. Hope is doing something about it gladly and allowing for your future to be what you want it to be.

Release and surrender are the keys to walking a spiritually tuned path. You have to release your expectations, surrender your path to God, and pledge to just try. That’s it. Then put one foot in front of the other–sometimes literally. I follow a blog titled Zen Daily Habits (at http://zenhabits.net/) and written by a man named Leo Babauta. In one of his first entries, Leo writes about how he changed his life, what the early days of those changes were like. He writes about making small changes—basically, taking baby steps. He speaks of lacing up your shoes and going running for 5 minutes every day until that 5 minutes becomes easier, then slowly increasing the amount of time you run and, as a result, improving your health. Leo writes brilliantly about change and how to make it happen in a method he calls “taking the long view.” Taking the long view means making small changes bit by bit in preparation for a future you would like to help shape. Taking the long view is love, faith and hope in action. Taking the long view is getting back in the game and playing for win or for defeat, for love of the game. Taking the long view is how you break out of ruts and taking the long view is how you halt worry in its tracks.

When mystic Eckhart Tolle writes about the power of living in the now, he harnesses a great force—the force of accepting that we do not know what the future brings, and that is OK, because the future does not exist yet, and every moment in the future is a moment that will come to pass in the now, therefore the now is all there is, so there is no point to living in the future. There are, however, like myself, some very literal-minded people out there who cannot live in the now. Planning is essential to human survival, and planning is a form of hope and faith. Where literal-minded people can access the power of now is at the point where your plan ends—be willing to take action, to try to shape your future, but then to sit back and enjoy the present moment as it unfolds. Enjoy the 5-minute run and the mini victory it brings you every day. Enjoy the idea if you are on a weight loss journey that every day you diet and exercise is a day you will look and feel better than the day before. The power of now combines efficiently with the idea of the long view when you juxtapose them with release, surrender, hope, faith and, most of all, love.

Out of the 3 concepts of faith, hope and love, it is hope that is most marketable for mystics. Hope is what everyone is selling, from famous mediums to modern mystics to Zen masters. Hope. I can give you hope, too. It is free. One foot in front of the other—that is the starter kit to hope. Anything can and does happen every day. That is hope.
Test your hope muscle. Try asking your higher power to take the wheel in the ultimate act of spiritual surrender. Try giving the angels, if they are your jam, as they are mine, or a specific angel permission to help you with some aspect of your life. Or just tell the Universe you give her permission to help you with a certain situation. Then, stand back and watch the opportunities roll in. It could be that a friend gives you a pair of running shoes you needed because they don’t fit her. It could be as well a blog post that advertises how to run a 5K in 5 weeks. It could be a friend asking you to go to Zumba.

Whatever it is, it’s coming if you ask for it. Watch for it. Do it. Keep doing it. God waits for you to arrive. You are a singular crystallization of God’s love, and the Universe is singing to you through me, through your dreams, through your joy and most of all, through your hope.

All you have to do is try.

In love and light, playing my heart out for you—Erica.

With You, I Am Blessed: Accessing Spiritual Love and Managing Anxiety

Watch for tonight’s post: With You, I Am Blessed: Accessing Spiritual Love and Managing Anxiety. I will be offering the techniques I used to overcome anxiety, battle depression and become medication-free. I will also write about how to protect yourself spiritually from the physical and spiritual world around you, and some lighter fare about what it is like to communicate with spiritual beings–you may even be surprised at already knowing what this is like, but after reading this post, you will be more aware.

With Love–Erica.