The Business of Being Busy

You are probably WAY too busy to read this. But that is exactly why you should read it. In this world of convenience, and all sorts of gadgets to "help" us, we are busier than ever!  How did that happen? Isn't all this new technology supposed to make it EASIER? Wasn't the original idea that we would save so much time not having to stand in line, sit in traffic, etc., that we would have more time for our families and passions? Well, THAT didn't happen. When our kids were little, my husband and I decided to move closer to his work, so that we could have more family time. I'll give you three guesses as to how that worked out. Yep, he just spent more time at the office, and it didn't improve our home and family life at all. Your priorities will ALWAYS show themselves in your actions. Think about it: the things that are MOST enjoyable/important to you, are the things you always make time for. If having money is the most important thing to you, you're going to spend as much time as possible working towards that goal. It is the same for anything else. When you meet someone who you enjoy spending time with, you WANT to make time for that, because it benefits you and makes you feel good. The things that you don't consider AS important, fall away naturally. It's the natural order of life.

I always make time for my sunset walks.

The tricky part of this whole equation is the wild card: Your issues, or, the stuck energy in your space. If you are stuck in a loop of "Women are crazy," you will keep attracting this pattern, and these types of women. There are many reasons why you would have developed this pattern, but make no mistake here: YOU have created this pattern.  ALL women are NOT crazy. Same with a pattern of "not having enough money." Do you constantly find yourself wanting more? Do you have "bad luck" with money? This is also a pattern you have developed, it's called a pattern of "lack." This is something that may require some really deep soul searching, or energy work, in order to clear.

sunset pier 9.19.14

The other pattern I see with being "busy," is the denial factor. It is really hard to sit in silence, when the silence is deafening. Many of us have thought patterns which are very damaging and painful for us to hear, and so we search for ways to drown these out. This comes out in the way of addictions, and compulsive patterns. When you find yourself being too busy to meet up with your friends, have personal time, or even eat healthy, it's time to look at what you are avoiding. Again, this may be very painful, and I would encourage you to seek help if you really want to address this. Energy work, therapy, or even life coaching, can be very helpful here, as well.

Wishing each and every one of you a blessed, beautiful day! xoxo Andrea

For information on energy healing, or to schedule a session with me, please visit my site.

Parenting through depression

I have personal experience with depression, and it is a crippling illness which is also very easily passed along to your children. It becomes a way of life, and sometimes, it is hard to even diagnose, especially if you have had it for a long time. Depressed children grow into depressed adults, and, eventually, emerge as angry, bitter, and lonely people. I know this because it happened to me. Anger is a sign

I know I was not born depressed, but sometimes it felt that way. I was always in trouble at school, and I went to school in an era where we were paddled by the principal. I got spanked at home, as well, as my parents did not know what to do with my blatant disregard for their rules and boundaries. My adult choices revolved around who I could tolerate (that was a short list), and I cycled through jobs very quickly because I could not control my temper, or deal with customers, much less my coworkers. I had mostly men friends, because I could not connect with women.

Many years later, after a decade of therapy, I understand that I was depressed. It started when I was young, and experienced some trauma, which went unresolved. I began to distrust adults, and cut off communication with my parents. I cried almost every day, and would sometimes burst into tears for no reason at all. I was labeled "emotional" and a "hypochondriac," and mostly just "rebellious." I used illness to isolate myself, as I did not know how to dig myself out of the pain. As a teen, I used drinking and partying to dull the pain, and it was all I knew for a long time.

My marriage and subsequent births of my two sons brought this all to a screeching halt, and my depression resurfaced with a vengeance. I became desperately unhappy, yet I still had these two sons who needed me to be a strong, healthy adult. I began to realize that I was spending so much time trying to run from the depression, that I was not taking any time to actually get underneath it. Here are a few things that really helped me to reverse my depression and start my road to recovery.

1) Exercise:  I know, this has become a dirty word, there are so many people with extreme views of this; it has become abused and overused. But, I am not talking about hiring a personal trainer and spending a gazillion dollars on gym memberships and equipment. Find something that you ENJOY, that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. I like to walk, and I happen to live within driving distance of a lovely beach. Parks and lakes are also wonderful for walking. You might enjoy bike riding, or skating, or swimming. It is important to get in touch with your body, and do something that gets you off the couch for a little bit every day.

beachin it

2) Diet: Another really hot topic, but, again, I am not talking about anything extreme. Just eat food that makes you feel good. My personal experience is that a bag of chips, some candy, and copious amounts of coffee/soda, makes me feel like my guts are going to fall out. I have learned which foods fuel my body in a way that makes me happy. It is not about being a certain weight or adopting an extreme eating plan. Eat to nourish yourself. Food is fuel. Enjoy it!

3) Personal Time: This is VITAL to your sanity. Taking the time to quiet your mind, and just breathe, is something we have lost, as a society. I enjoy meditation, and this often leads to frequent bouts of daydreaming:) Many people enjoy a candlelit bath, or even a leisurely walk alone. Looking inward, relaxing into your true essence, nourishes your soul. If you find yourself angry a lot, look at what is underneath that. YOU are the common factor in every situation in your life. YOU are the one who can change the direction of your thoughts. It takes time, and practice, but, with the proper information and support, you can slowly start to shift your thinking, and create things which are more positive, and even (dare I say it?) FUN!

4) FUN! Find something that brings you joy, and try to do it as much as possible. Laughter truly is the best medicine. For a time, you may want to refuse to watch heavy, dramatic movies, or read books which are sad and depressing. You must cull this energy from your life, so that you can start to recognize and welcome in that happy energy, which has been missing from your life for so long. Personally, I gave up watching CNN and cable news, simply because I found it to be too heavy. I enjoy being a part of the solution, rather than a spectator to endless tragedies. I am on several mailing lists for grassroots movements, and I give to the local homeless shelter on a regular basis. This is a proactive space for me, and I can find happiness in helping others.

You may wonder what any of this has to do with parenting. I have found that happy moms and dads, make happy children. If you can shift your own patterns, your children will benefit greatly, and you may be able to help them avoid falling into the depression trap themselves. My sons tell me that I am much happier than I was 10 years ago, and I am pleased that they have noticed. I still have days where I struggle, but for the most part, I am positive and happy.

If you need more help, we can schedule an individual intuitive counseling session, where I will help you find where this energy is stuck for you, and start to work on making some positive shifts. I look forward to hearing from you!

The road more (or less) traveled

Yes, this is going to be one of those "analogy blogs," and I make no apologies for it:) If you are a regular reader, you know I like analogies, and I especially enjoy spinning the old cliches into new twists. The old, "it's the journey that matters, not the destination," and, "life is a highway," are just a couple that immediately come to mind. I am sure you have heard both of those, perhaps to the point where you roll your eyes when you hear them. Often, cliches are where sound advice goes to die. They are good messages, but when they are used erroneously, they can actually be invalidating. It's a good way to avoid listening to your friend complain for the 100th time about her troubles, and an alternative to really challenging her to solve her problems, as opposed to staying in a cycle of discontent. Saying "life is a journey," and cutting her off, is much easier for you, but certainly not validating for her. The sun was hot that day.....

We are having record heat out here in Los Angeles, and yesterday my son and I decided to go to the beach, in an attempt to cool down. After the difficult task of finding parking, we started to make our way down to the water's edge. The sand felt like hot coals, and, even though we moved quickly, I ended up with blisters on my feet. However; the reward of the bracingly cool ocean water proved to be well worth it.

The same can be said for our life path. Often, it is painful and difficult, but we are aware that the reward is waiting for us, so we push onward. Sometimes, we go back to "cooler sands," but, in the end, the promise of fulfillment lures us out of our comfort zone, and we, again, brave the pain and the discomfort. It is human nature to avoid pain, for this is a survival mechanism, in it's most basic form. However; we must weigh the pros and cons of staying where we are, versus where we want to be, to make a decision from our higher consciousness.


If you are struggling with unhappiness, or confusion, let me help you gain some clarity! I am offering very special low pricing right now, to new clients. Send me an email at to get started today!

Are you reaping what you have sown?

Chances are, in the past, you have done some things that you are not too proud of.  You may not want to admit it, but if you are human, you have made mistakes, and made choices which have hurt others, intentionally OR unintentionally. "Karma" has become a cliche, mostly in thanks to shows like "My Name is Earl," and the phraseology which has emerged.  You may have heard things like, "Karma's gonna get you," and "You are creating some bad karma!" I have tried to use it in a positive way, as I think you may be missing the point if you are wishing "bad karma" on someone else.  Are you not, by wishing harm to another person, creating some bad karma for yourself? My interpretation of karma is that you "reap what you sow." This particular phrase has been around long before yoga was trendy, and milk came from nuts and beans. Growing up, I heard it a lot, but I never truly knew the meaning until recently. Many of you know that I have a checkered (to say the least) past. I have struggled a lot to find my inner peace and spiritual center. From pain and adversity comes progress, and I am living proof of that! Anyway, as I was going through my party phase, I was not living consciously, and I made many bad decisions. Most of them were fairly innocuos, but a couple have come back to haunt me, and I have lost a dear friend due to one particularly fateful choice.  As I reflected on this, and heard her pain, I realized that this is my karma.  Even though I did not do what I did to harm her, or intentionally cause her pain, all these years later, she is as hurt as if it happened yesterday, and will never look at me the same way again. It is my karmic debt to her, and the price is steep.  I have to acknowledge that I used to be a different person, in order to fully embrace who I am NOW.

Everything starts somewhere........

Next time you make a decision, think about where you are in your consciousness.  Are you aware and awake? Are you in fear? The energy that goes into your choices is the energy that will come back to you, eventually. Plant buds of love and kindness and you will soon reap the rewards.

Wishing you all the best KARMA in the universe! xoxo

Unconscious Parenting

Many parents struggle with the teen years, and, having a teen AND a tween, I can relate, but not in the way you might think. I see many parents of young children who are completely checked out, and they don't realize it, but this is setting up their children to have issues down the road.  I see moms pushing strollers in a daze, looking at their phones, while the child is plugged in to an electronic device, watching a movie. There is no human connection in that equation. I love having fun with my tween!

This morning, on my walk, I saw a group of very young girls playing on the sidewalk.  Their dads were talking to each other off to the side. As I came up to where they were sitting, one of the girls pushed her stroller towards me, as if to hit me with it.  The dads still did not look up, even when I said, "Wow, you wanted to hit me with that!" The girl looked at me belligerently, and finally one of the dads looked up, with a half smile that told me he had no idea what was going on, then went back to his conversation.  I smiled at the girl and kept walking, but my heart went out to her.  She was trying to get someone to engage with her, and if it took actually hurting someone to get attention, she was THAT desperate.  She coud not have been more than 4 years old, and I began to wonder what she would be like at 13, 14, or 15. I can guarantee you that she will not be a happy, fulfilled young woman.  I imagine it is likely that she will engage in unhealthy relationships with boys very early on, in another desperate attempt for validation and attention.  Her parents will spend a lot of money trying to apply a "band aid" to the problem that their unconsciousness created.

I have certainly watched my share of video games, just to hang with my guys!

When my kids were little, a very wise woman told me, "Meet their needs now, and they will grow up strong and healthy, without the drive of desperately seeking those unfulfilled voids." This has proven to be the best advice I have ever received. We push them out of our beds, and tell them we can't hold them, force them to cry themselves to sleep in a darkened room, and then wonder why they grow up distant and closed off to us. They are raising themselves, and they are not doing a great job.  Is this really surprising?  I am saddened that this is our next generation of leaders, for they are missing some important pieces, and growing up to be apathetic, and unconscious, for that is what we are teaching them.  If you are lucky enough to have a young child, please cherish this time with them, and reject the philosophy of teaching them "independence" from birth.  Let's instead move into a place of teaching them "INTERdependence," in which they can feel supported by the adults in their lives, but they have the confidence to go off on their own when they are ready.  I promise you that your child will not sleep in your bed, or want you to hold him, when he goes off to high school!



Are you "in bloom?"

You may have heard the expression, "Bloom where you are planted." I love this saying, especially on days when I am feeling discouraged at my perceived "lack of (fill in the blank)."  The word that stands out to me in that sentence is LACK.  Do you focus on what you don't have, or do you validate yourself for what you have done, and how far you have come? We are all evolving, whether we like it or not, whether we are conscious of the process, or not.  This morning, I saw a rose bush with dozens of new buds, and it struck me how all these buds will open at different times, some may not ever open fully, others will be picked, and still others will have their entire growth cycle on the bush. At the end of the rose's growth cycle, it is the most open it will ever be, and then it starts to wither away. The bush sees the same sunshine, the same water, and the same weather conditions, but each bud is different, even if only slightly. How many of these will open all the way?


The evolution of humans also follows this pattern, yet we are constantly trying to force ourselves to be like everyone else, follow the path someone else wants for us, and generally just denying ourselves the beauty that is our uniqueness. We beat ourselves up for "blooming" more slowly, or diferently, than how we think we "should." If we really just accepted ourselves for where we are now, and who we are now, we would free oursleves to blossom in ways we never imagined!

Free yourself to bloom!

Beauty is the reward of patience


5 things that hijack your happiness

When I ask someone if they are happy, they almost always say, "Yes!"  It has become automatic in our society. We all know that we are "supposed" to be happy, and have been taught that no one will want to be around us if we are sad, depressed, or angry. People even get defensive if you try to empathize with them.  There are several things that seem to get in the way of really being honest with yourself, and moving past that fear of having feelings that are uncomfortable. Until you really deal with those feelings, Happiness will elude you.

1.  Distractions:

In this author's opinion, distractions are the number one problem in society today.  I hear people talking about how "busy" they are, and this seems to give them some sense of self importance, and purpose.  Unfortunately, when you keep yourself so busy, you do not have time to really look inward, and thus you continue in a pattern that is likely not working for you. If you do not have time to get together with friends, or exercise, you are who I am talking about. You may not even "have time" to read this blog. Those who seem to be the most entrenched in distraction are the hardest to reach, and may never get out of it. Eventually, your body will not be able to keep up, and you will be forced to sit down, lie down, or simply slow down. When I first learned to meditate, being still was TORTURE for me.  I had to work my way up from 5 minutes, and now, after 5 years of practice, I can sit and be quiet for an undetermined amount of time. I used to be considered an extrovert, but now, I realize, I need a lot of alone time.  I still enjoy being social, but I do not have the same desire to always be the center of attention, and the life of the party. I prefer to observe, and appreciate the simple things in life.

Nature's simple beauty enthalls me!
Nature's simple beauty enthalls me!

2. Excuses:

I am sure you have some very good excuses for why you can not do the things that you really want to do. Most of us could write a book of them! There is never "a good time," you are always "too busy," and most of all, you "don't have the money." Some people even take it to the next level and start making excuses based on what they think the other person wants.  You can't follow up with that person because "They are probably too busy," or "It isn't a good time for them." Next time you hear yourself starting a sentence with "I can't do that because...." stop and ask yourself why you REALLY aren't doing it.  Why aren't you making the time?  Why are you constantly in a state of emergency so that you can not pursue the things that you really want to do? If you don't have the money, why not?  Are you spending your time and money on things that do not serve you?  Finding your truth in these situations will make your path clear.

3. Beliefs

A large amount of us are stuck in a belief system that is not even ours.  We are taught from birth to do things a certain way, and they become unconscious patterns, which create circumstances that become "who we are" and "our life." Our parents and caregivers are likely also unconscious of these patterns in themselves.  When a young child sees and hears a parent or caregiver exhibiting certain thought and behavior patterns, they absorb it and begin to take it on as their own.  This has been proven time and time again with studies and research in the most respected fields. What has not been widely examined is how deep these patterns go.  When my kids were little, I admonished them for yelling in the house.  When my oldest began to question me, I could not come up with an answer for "Why?" I realized that my parents had forbidden my brothers and I to yell in the house, and so I just absorbed that into my knowledge, and it became a "rule." If you find yourself saying things like, "I have always done it this way!" but you can't come up with a real reason, that is likely a belief that was instilled in you, and it may not be your truth.  This is another thing that can really block your flow of creativity and purpose.

red rose
red rose

4. Ego

If you are a regular reader of my blogs, you probably already know about this one.  One of the books that changed my views, and my life, is Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth." In it, he talks about how we allow our Ego to run our lives, and it is never in our best interest.  The Ego is that part of your consciousness that makes you feel like you need to defend yourself, and pass blame. It is formed when we are children, and we learn how to lie, and shift blame, so that we do not get "in trouble." It is a shame that most of adult society is rooted in this pattern, because it does not resolve anything; rather, it only passes the baton and relocates the issues.  If we could look past the Ego and face our faults and issues head on, we would move through them and really evolve as a society.  To live in your Ego is to constantly feel fearful, and it is almost impossible to create from this space.

5. Fear

It has been said that most people are more afraid of success than they are of failure. To succeed means you will have to change your routine, and it falls into the "fear of unknown" category. To fail means you stay where you are, in the familiar, even if you don't like it.  It is human nature to cling to the familiar, and our ancestors needed to do this in order to survive. Venturing into the unknown in ancient times would often lead to death, or at the very least, mortal danger. Fear is a healthy part of being human, when it comes to jumping off a cliff, or diving into dark waters.  However; it seems to really cripple us when it comes to making personal decisions in relationships, career, etc. This is a time for moving forward, out of old patterns, and we have to conquer our fears in order to do this.  When you find yourself having trouble making a decision, ask yourself if you are afraid. There is a great quote from the movie Point Break, "Hesitation is Fear." I stumbled across a great blog on this quote, if you want to read more.

Image by Colleen Patrick
Image by Colleen Patrick

Are you looking for a Cosmic Bailout?

A few years ago, when I watched The Secret, I was totally convinced that I could turn my life around by changing the way I think.  The Law of Attraction has attracted many followers, and, as with all big movements, there are those who misinterpret the message, and make a mockery of the truth that is present.  In an episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the characters decide that they can each have what they want by "doing good deeds" and "gluing pictures of what we want on a poster board." The hilarious hijinks that ensue are a humorous take on how this message is misinterpreted. I never get tired of nature's beauty!

The Law of Attraction is not about acquiring fancy cars and houses, in an attempt to fill your emptiness with material items. It is not about laying around the house and watching television, waiting for a leprechaun to drop a pot of gold on you.  It's about being positive and proactive in your choices, and focusing on creating the life you want, by changing your thought patterns from negative to positive.  It's about imagining yourself in a place of success, rather than in a state of fear and failure. "What you put out into the world is what you will get back." If you are constantly blaming others for your failures, then you will stay stuck in that energy.  If you can turn that around and figure out what YOU are doing to sabotage yourself, THAT is the key.  As I have said many times, it is NEVER about someone else.  No one can take away who you are inside, and no one can stop you from fulfilling your life's purpose.

You may find other people in your way, from time to time, but these are just lessons you need to learn.  Most of the lessons I have had to learn recently have been regarding boundaries. This word is another one that is misunderstood and overused, but for me, it jut means being clear with myself, and others, about who I am, and what I want.  It's not about being angry, or rude to others.  When you are truly setting loving boundaries, you have inner peace, and love for others.  You don't need to use anger to keep people out. When you project love and peace, you will attract it back to you.  The "angries" won't have any place to connect with you, and they will look elsewhere.

Image by Lightzone Photography

My younger years were full of anger and bitterness, and I am here to tell you, it is exhausting!  Yes, I do still get mad, and sometimes say things I wish I hadn't, for I am still human:)  But most of the time I am not angry for long, and I can let it go fairly easily.  Emotions are part of being human, and if you are denying any of yours, do not be fooled into thinking you can sustain that for long.  It will come out, one way or another.  If you can stay grounded and present, you can deal with anything that comes your way, and learn the lessons attached to those feelings and reactions.  I know it's a total cliche, but "everything happens for a reason," and the sooner you can trust that, the sooner you can stop resisting the flow of life, and really accept your destiny, fate, or whatever you want to call it.

Let go, and watch yourself grow!


Moving out of relationships

Whether you want to admit it, or not, our lives revolve around relationships.  Work, family, and friends, are the lifeblood of our society.  A relationship is defined by Wikipedia as:

"An interpersonal relationship is a strong, deep, or close association/acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring. This association may be based on inferencelovesolidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences. The context can vary from family or kinship relations, friendshipmarriage, relations with associates, workclubsneighborhoods, and places of worship. They may be regulated by lawcustom, or mutual agreement, and are the basis of social groups and society as a whole."

It has been said that we choose our family before we are born. Energetically, we choose the people to have in our lives, based on what we need to learn.  In "Many Lives, Many Masters," Dr. Brian Weiss talks about this, and how it relates to the entire cycle of our life, as well as how it factors into our subconscious, from past lives, if you embrace that school of thought. In the work I do at my Intuitive Learning Center, we learn how to recognize and release these patterns.  There are many variables when it comes to our choices.  Why do some people end up rich, and others, poor?  This is a result of choices, conscious or unconscious, and I have seen many people turn their lives around by simply becoming conscious of making the choices that will lead to what they really want to manifest in their lives.

No parking!

When you find yourself in relationships that are the same, over and over, you need to ask yourself, "Who is the common denominator in this pattern?" YOU are the one who is attracting this, and it is up to YOU to change yourself, and your choices have to reflect that.  If you find yourself constantly being annoyed and angered by other people, ask yourself what you are not seeing.  It is not the other people, it is within you.  Some people have a hard time setting boundaries for themselves.  I have seen it time and time again, someone fails to set a boundary, and then, they are suddenly feeling "taken advantage of." If they had set the boundary and held it, no one would BE ABLE to take advantage of them.  There would be no drama or confusion.

being alone is LOVE

In times when you really do need to move out of a relationship, it is simply because you have grown out of it.  It may manifest as the other person "doing something" to you, but there is no need to place blame or use anger to move out of the relationship.  No one is "wrong" or "bad" when the relationship no longer serves you.  Setting loving boundaries is a very easy way to move out of the energy of it, but acknowledging with gratitude, all that you have learned from the interaction.  If you find that most of your relationships end with a lot of drama and anger, you need to work on your boundaries.

Learn to have the best relationship you can with YOURSELF, and then you can really start to create relationships with others, that serves you, and them, in your highest good and purpose.

Simple pleasures

I have been seeing a lot of television shows and movies coming out lately, about losing electricity world wide. This, of course, is a disaster of epic proportions.  I began to take stock of my dependence on electricity and technology, as well as my family's. Most, if not all, of our entertainment is dependent on electricity.  When the power goes out, my kids have "nothing to do." We don't have a deck of cards, much less any board games.  What about photos of your loved ones, and your special moments? The list goes on: phones, cooking components, cars, medical equipment, etc.  Some of these things are more convenience than necessity, and it gives me pause. awaken yourself

In my quest within myself, I began to look for more simple pleasures, and this led me to the beach, the farmer's market, and places similar to these. I can enjoy nature without any electricity or technology, actually, it is best in it's natural form. When I go to a coffee shop, I don't have to immediately bury my head in my phone or computer. What if I sit there and smile, and say Hello to people? *gasp* The funny thing is, once I start talking to people in person, it is contagious.  Other people start to chime in, and soon, we have an animated discussion, and have made some new friends.

Image by Lightzone Photography

What are you missing, by living your life on the computer, or phone? You may be unconsciously burying your head in the sand, trying to avoid human contact.  Many of us have been wounded deeply by personal relationships, and we are afraid to be vulnerable again. Trust me, I understand this one. But, how are we to heal those old wounds if we choose to live in denial? Unfortunately, the only way to heal, is to feel. You have to make the conscious choice to open up that Pandora's Box and accept that these feelings are a part of your past, but they do not have to define your future.

For more on this subject, read my chapter about Burying the Lesson.  Feel free to email me if you need further information or have questions!

Love and Blessings to you on this day!

5 Dates with Yourself

When I began my "journey" into Happiness, I was asked the question, "What do you do for yourself?"  This had to be something that didn't involve a lot of money, or any other person/people.  It had to be a solitary activity that was pleasing to me, and no one else.  At first, I had a really hard time coming up with even one thing.  But now, years later, I have a list, and here are 5 of my favorites: 1.  Walking on the beach: 

Sometimes, I go twice, depending on how busy my day is, or how stressful.  I have even been known to go at night, to listen to the crashing of the waves against the shore. Once you find your happy place, it is truly a sanctuary.  Winnie the Pooh knew he needed a "thinking spot," and so do you!

Beautiful every time!

2. Enjoying some good food

For me, this means one thing:  sushi.  Obviously, everyone is different in their likes and disikes, especially when it comes to food.  Find something that you enjoy, but make sure you are eating "consciously." Enjoy and savor the flavor and texture.  I take mine to go, because I don't like sitting in a restaurant alone, but many people have no issue with this.  Do what works for you, this is, after all, YOUR date.  Sometimes, I cook for myself, too.

3. Music

There are so many variations of this one, that I didn't specify.  Technically, music involves others, since the musician is performing, but you can listen alone, so I think it's still fair game.  For the purpose of really serving your higher self, I would encourage you to find some music that is uplifting, and calming.  You may even find that the you enjoy what you used to call "elevator music," and "old person music." Since no one else is involved in this decision, it will just be our little secret.  No one else needs to know what kind of music really speaks to your inner self.

Lady Antebellum's "Compass"

4. Meditation

This has been a huge part of my path in recent years.  There are many different types of meditation, and you do not have to sit in the lotus position for a day to acheive results.  You may have preconceived notions of this word, but I assure you that if every one of us took 30 minutes a day to simply sit in silence, the world would be a much better place.  Being still and quiet is difficult for those of us who have spent a lifetime trying to distract ourselves.  However; once you master it, the rewards are great, and endless.  There are lots of great resources online for learning this ancient and lost art.

Lightzone Photography

5. Water

Again, there are tons of variations on this one, I personally enjoy a nice salt bath, but you may enjoy swimming, a jacuzzi, or something along those lines.  Water has a very effective grounding effect, and you can also use it for powerful visualizations of washing away energies, cords, etc.  I like to meditate in the bath, listening to music.  When I go to let the water out, I visualize all my stress and energy from others that I have collected over the last day, washes down the drain.  You can do a quick version of this with a shower.  Again, make it your own, it's your time to give to yourself.

Making time to nourish your inner light is key to finding contentment and Happiness.  As a good friend of mine says, "Happiness is found many different ways, and each are as varied as the soul who is searching for it."

Happiness from Within

How would life be different for you if you could not see, hear, or speak?  At first, you may think this would be awful, but think about it:  You could not HEAR any negativity.  You could not SEE anything but what is inside you.  And you would not SPEAK any harsh words that you could not take back.  And so we learn from Helen Keller, to live without outside distractions, is the greatest gift of all.  People pay thousands of dollars to live in remote areas, and it is often the wish to “escape” from society.  This just proves to me, once again, that happiness is found in YOU.  It is not outside of you, just ask Helen.  She was one of the most inspirational people of her time, because she was free from all the outside influences that may have discouraged her, she could not hear all the voices that said, “You can’t do that!”  She was free to pursue her heart’s desire because she didn’t know failure was a possibility.

My son goes to school with a boy who was born blind.  He seems happy, and is always smiling.  My son asked me, "Mom, what do you think it would be like to be blind?"  I wasn't sure how to answer the question, so I asked him what he thought (classic parenting trick). He talked about how he would miss the colors of the world, and knowing what everyone looked like.  I reminded him that this boy had never known any of that, so he wasn't aware that he was even "missing" anything.  We then discussed how, if you only had your other senses, it would affect your perception of yourself.  It was concluded that, in many ways, to be blind is freeing.  As Helen Keller, and many others, have discovered, you have what you need inside you already.  Most of us are shaped by the opinions of others, whether it be our family, friends, or acquaintances.  If we are to really find our truth, we have to dismiss anything that did not originate from our inner selves.

To be physically "blind" is not the worst thing that could happen.  However; to be spiritually "blind" is extremely damaging.  How many times have we watched a loved one self destruct?  How many people have destroyed themselves, because of what others think?  Often, finding your inner truth is the key to survival.  A woman who used to be a close friend of mine recently ended her life.  She was a beautiful person, but did not know it.  She was tortured by the limits that others had forced upon her, and never had the confidence to shine her own light brightly.  I tried to help her, but the damage was too severe.  She eventually shut me out, and then, she shut down.  When I learned of her passing, I was sad, but not surprised.  There are countless examples of this type of situation, and I am sure we all know of at least one person who this has happened to. That person who never quite fit in, and was never really content with themselves, and finally ended up on a path to nowhere, whether it be drugs, drinking, or even suicide.  I know, because I was on this path at one time.

Shine your own light, and do not be afraid of it!


Living in Consciousness

At some point in our lives, we start to realize that we have emotional baggage.  Perhaps someone points it out to us, or perhaps we are shown by circumstances.  However the information reaches you, it is your responsibility to take the next step.  Most people live unconsciously; meaning, repeat the same patterns over and over again, bemoaning the same result with all their "friends," finally coming to the conclusion that you need a drink, vacation, meaningless fling, or shopping spree, to make you "feel better.' After you have successfully avoided your emotions, the whole process repeats itself over and over until there is a breaking point.  The most common breaking point is illness, but injuries (physical or emotional) are at the top of the list, as well. Photo by Mark Jackson

20 years ago, I was married to a wealthy man, planning a family, and generally not concerned with the future.  11 years later, I became a divorcee with two sons, and the playing field changed.  Suddenly, I had to deal with lonely nights, financial issues, all while maintaining a brave face for my two young sons.  I resorted to drinking as a companion, along with all the habits that come along with that choice.  After a few years of this, my body broke down and would not allow me to drink any longer.  I would become violently ill after a drink or two, and my "friends" dropped away, as I wasn't entertaining to them any longer.  I was forced to look at all my baggage, and it was not pretty.  I soon found other distractions, and one of them was food, and cooking.  I became immersed in cooking, health, and diet.  It was fun while it lasted, but soon, I was unable to afford the expensive ingredients that I needed, and so again, I was at a loss.  I spent a few difficult years learning how to balance my budget, and the shopping addiction was revealed.  I had a huge closet full of clothing that I never wore, for one reason or another.

My cats give me lots of pleasure

Finally, I began to realize that I had been placing my Happiness in external things, and people, instead of just dealing with my baggage and creating my Happiness from within.  I didn't need to take another class, or read another book, I just needed to search myself for the answers that were there all along.  I am reminded of a quote from a song by America: 

"Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't already have."

10 years after my divorce, I am now building a career that I love, my oldest son is in college, and I am Happy. I don't have a lot of money, or a huge group of friends, but I am rebuilding my ideal for who I want to be.  I am free from the expectations of wearing designer clothing and drinking bottles of wine.  I am excited to go on my beach walks, and spend time with my younger son.  I have discovered that the simple pleasures in life are best when you come from a place of contentment and peace. I do not need any distractions to accept and enjoy who I have become, after unpacking a lot of baggage, and getting rid of those things which do not serve my higher purpose any longer.

Be free, and be Happy!

Action, or RE Action?

How many times have you defended yourself with the protest, "But he/she started it!"  Of course, you may not use those words, as I would hope we have all moved on since kindergarten, but I still hear people justifying their behavior by comparing it to other's actions on a regular basis. Your actions stand alone, and if you constantly find yourself saying things like, "He/she really hurt my feelings!" or "He/she made me angry!" then you are in a pattern of REaction. This translates into giving away your personal power, letting someone else dictate your actions. childhood programmingWe have all had this experience, as we all have egos, and that part of us enjoys drama. One of my favorite "zen stories" of all time goes like this:

 Is That So?

The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

In great anger the parents went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would say.

When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility. “Is that so?” Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth – that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.

Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: “Is that so?”

 Hakuin could have defended himself and made a huge drama out of this, but he accepted the child and raised it in a peaceful, loving environment.  As the mother clearly was not ready to raise the child as her own, he accepted the gift from the Universe and likely gained some knowledge of his own.  When we defend ourselves, or allow the ego to take over, we are creating drama where there does not need to be.

I never get tired of sunsets!

Next time you find yourself "mad" or "hurt," ask yourself if the words you are about to say, or the action you are about to take, can stand alone.  If you are cut off in traffic, and, in turn, flip off the other driver, take out their action and leave yours in the equation.  Is this who you are? Or is that you reacting to them?  The answer is clear. In beginning to live a conscious life, and turning around your actions so that they are yours alone, you will start to see an inner calm that perhaps has eluded you until now.

"Your actions should not be contingent on someone else's.  Stand alone in love!"



Happy Holidays: 2013

Have you ever noticed how the holidays seem to bring out the worst in people, including yourself?  The last minute shopping, the pressure to decorate your home with the latest accessories, the cooking, cleaning, and guests from out of town.  Let's not even talk about the money aspect, it's a bottomless pit!  When you are a kid, none of this matters, because you are the one benefitting from it, and you are blissfully unaware of anything, other than the fact that you don't have school, you can sleep in, and there is lots of yummy food to be eaten, plus, you get presents!  Your parents (or the adults in your life) take care of everything, and so the cycle goes.  When you start to have your own family, you accept the role, because that's the cycle. Winter sunsets are the best!

A few years ago, I had lost my job, and had very little money.  I was unable to buy the special food, presents, and decorations.  And you know what?  We were fine.  The kids hardly noticed, and I was astounded at how much easier it was for me.  We still had each other, and the fact that we didn't have a tree, was irrelevant.  The kids told me it didn't matter, and we spent the holidays relaxing, enjoying being together.  They didn't get up early on Christmas morning, because there weren't any presents, but they didn't really need anything, anyway.  We had a nice day, watching movies together and then heading down to the beach for the sunset.

The last few years have taught me many valuable lessons, but during the holiday season, this is the most valuable lesson of all.  Excessive consumerism is not mandatory.  Make your own traditions and enjoy being together.  Take a road trip or a hike.  Make some hot cocoa and watch whatever movies you like.  They don't HAVE to be Christmas movies.  If you are religious, there are many traditions, church services, and gatherings you can attend that are free, or donation based.

We don't need most of the gadgets and junk we already have, much less MORE junk to add to it.  In my family, we have agreed not to get the adults gifts, but spend whatever money we have on the kids.  As the kids have gotten older, they just want money.  This is not really AS fun, but I do enjoy mailing off my cards with gift cards stashed inside.  Since we live far away from our relatives, I enjoy the thought of them opening my card and maybe having a distant memory of who we are.  Someday, we will all be together for the holidays, but, until then, this will have to suffice!

Nothing warms like a nice fire!

This year, we got a tree, and I put lights on it, telling my son, "You can help me put on the ornaments later."  Well, we never got around to that, and we still think it looks fine.  The cats still like to drink the water, and climb up the trunk. There is no pressure for it to be "perfect" or adhere to any set of rules.  We enjoy the scent of the tree, and the pretty lights.  Next year, we may or may not get one.  It's no big deal either way.

Christmas, and the holidays, are about the Spirit, family, and love.  As long as we enjoy each other, not much else really matters.  Blessings to all of you during this special season!


Where are you NOW?

On my beach walk this morning, I happened to go a little earlier than usual, as I knew it was going to be hot today (In November, 79, really????).  I noticed how the air was so dry it almost hurt to draw breath, the sun was hot on my back, and I decided to walk further than usual. I reached the point where I was to turn around, and suddenly, the sun was right in my face.  I was wearing sunglasses, but it was so bright and intense that it hurt my eyes.  I tried to shade myself with my hand, but my arm soon grew tired.  I tried tooking sideways, but that isn't the best idea when walking on a crowded path.  I wished I had a hat, had worn sunblock, and I felt my energy spiraling downward very quickly. Suddenly, I looked out at the ocean, and noticed how smooth the water was, like a silken blanket, only marred by the occational surfer or paddleboarder.  It ocurred to me that I had begun this path, and the only way to finish it, was to face the brutal searing heat in my face.  The only way back was through the discomfort.  I could choose to focus on the negatives, or I could accept my path and try to see the positives.  Immediately, I noticed the beautiful fragrant roses, the adorable puppy wagging its tail at me, and the spring in my step returned.  I was so uplifted, I almost broke into a run.  I finished my walk with a slight sunburn on my face, but I no longer attached negativity to that.  I live in a beautiful beach community, where I can walk on the beach year round.  That's enough to be thankful for.

I am HERE.

My message to you today is:  When you see the obstacles and less than ideal circumstances, you have a choice.  Will you choose to push these aside and focus on what you have to be thankful for?  Or will you choose to allow the negativity to engulf you, and thus; rob you of your joy?  To turn the tide, you must make different choices.  Sometimes they are painful, and hard.  Sometimes you might get burned.  But ultimately, change comes from making those hard choices, and isn't that what you want?  To reach your goals, you must step outside of your comfort zone and look where you are in the moment, pause, and be thankful for this.  It is your life.

Karma: is it yours, or theirs?

I hear a lot of people saying things like, "Karma got them!  Yay!" or, "That person finally got what they deserve!" and it makes me sad.  I am sad because this is very clearly a negative view of the world and your fellow man.  I have come to realize that, in our hurt and pain, we have chosen to take pleasure in another person's pain and hurt, thus perpetuating the cycle.  No matter what someone else has "done" to you (more on this in my other post), YOU are responsible for YOUR personal karma, and the way you act towards another living being, determines what this is.  It is totally separate from blame, or punishment.  The way you treat others is YOUR KARMA, they way they treat others is THEIRS ALONE. Spread the LOVE!

Many of you know that I struggle a lot with a neighbor family.  They seem determined to be difficult, hateful, and completely uncooperative, no matter WHAT I do.  Recently, I sent them a very strongly worded email, asking them to please respect the property lines, which they are not currently doing.  They sent me a message back, basically, saying, "Eff you!"  I was upset and extremely disappointed.  I have tried to trust the universe to help me set loving boundaries, but it never seems to work with these people!  I tried to respond in a way that kept my boundary clear, but was not mean spirited.  They did not reply.  The next day, I noticed that the mother (who is the most angry and tortured of the entire family), had become very ill.  At first, I was "happy that she got what she deserved."  I then realized that no matter what she has "done" to me, no one "deserves" to be sick, or ill in any way, and I decided to pray for her and send her healing energy.  Is it difficult?  YES. But since I believe we are all connected, who am I REALLY hurting by sending her negative and hateful energy?  That's right, I am hurting myself, as well as adding to the mass of negativity that already exists in the world.  I do NOT wish to participate in that.

I have a favorite quote from Pema Chodron which I think of often, especially in situations like this:  "Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know." It gives me a good perspective when I look at relationships which have been a constant struggle for so many years.  What is my lesson in those situations?  Perhaps it can give us a perspective on those long standing feuds we have with certain family members.  Why did we bring these people into our lives, if not to teach us something about ourselves?


Next time you find yourself taking pleasure in someone else's pain, ask yourself if that is the kind of person you want to be.  It is actually a big shift, and it may take some time, but once you realize that we are all in this together, perhaps you can find your compassion, and love for others, as well as yourself.  Do you want to spread love, or hate?  It's an easy choice, once you really recognize your pattern.  We can make a difference, one consciousness at a time!

Do something randomly nice for someone today, without any chance of recognition.  I like to leave change next to parking meters.  It's fun!  Spread the goodwill and you will soon find it transforming your life.

Are you honoring your agreements?

I was raised to be honorable.  This means a lot of things, and everyone may have a different interpretation of what it means to them personally.  My understanding of it is to basically, do what you say you are going to do.  One of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, calls it "Being impeccable with your word."  I have come to realize that sometimes, we honor our agreements with other people, and sometimes, this hurts us.  Now, you may be thinking, "I can't be selfish!  I have to do what I said I would!"  But, hear me out, as this is a different kind of agreement, I am talking about the unspoken agreements we make with other souls, on an unconscious level.  Neither party is really consciously aware of these agreements, but they are very powerful and can often hurt both sides, in an ongoing pattern of destruction. How old were you when you made your first "agreement?"

You may or may not believe in past lives, but if you do, this has an even deeper meaning, for you may have agreements with other souls and carried these with you for many lifetimes.  This creates certain patterns which result in painful experiences, time after time, that cause us to be unhappy and frustrated.  For now, let's just talk about this lifetime, since I think we can all agree on that.  Many spiritual teachers believe that we are born carrying certain agreements with our family members.  Let's use a hypothetical agreement you might have with your sister.  Suppose you made an agreement with her to take care of her, no matter what.  How can that be a bad thing?  Well, it can be a good thing in early childhood, but, as we grow and evolve, you both may "grow out" of the agreement, and this creates tension between you.  Your sister doesn't know how to break that agreement, so she starts to do self destructive things, such as drugs, alcohol, or other self defeating behaviors.  This makes you come to her rescue time after time, and enables that agreement to be "honored."  You are both, unknowingly, staying in that pattern, because you do not know any other way to be.  If you try to stop saving her, the guilt overwhelms you, and the voice inside your head warns you that "she could die, you must save her!" She continues to need you, and you continue to rescue her, until someone "breaks the agreement."  This is sometimes called "tough love" or "betrayal."  It is very painful when it happens, and often, there is not a resolution for a very long time.

Who will your "path" lead you to?

Something I have been saying to myself a lot lately is "Someone is going to be upset if you (set that boundary), is it going to be YOU, or the other person?"  Often times, we choose to honor these unspoken agreements instead of honoring the fact that we need to move on and take care of who we are today.  Sometimes, you can talk to the other person and you can both become aware of the agreement, and work together to break it.  More often, you must break it on your end and deal with the "energetic fallout."  If you have a therapist or trusted advisor to help you with this, it is ideal.  You have to be in a strong confident place in order to really set the boundary and truly break that agreement.  The other person will not really understand why you are changing your behavior, and they may escalate their behavior to try to hook you back in.  I have recently had a person in my life with whom I had to break an agreement, and he was very unhappy about it.  He tried every tactic he could, including threatening suicide, to get me back, but I stood firm.  I knew that if I kept rescuing and healing him, he would never evolve into the person he had the potential to be, and I would eventually grow to resent him tremendously.  Both of us have to move on in order to reach our potential and blossom into the beautiful flowers that we are meant to be.

I have learned this, and a lot more, at True Insight Spiritual Center.  They are a great resource if you are feeling lost, frustrated, or stuck with your life.  Please feel free to email me with questions, as well, or to request a reading from my Services page.

Many blessings, Andrea

Are you in a Rut?

We are told at an early age that to be "lazy" is to be "bad."  The trouble with this adage is that the definition of "lazy," seems to be a bit hazy (accidental rhyme).  I touched on this in an earlier post, and it has come to my attention again, due to recent events.  The opposite of lazy is, arguably, to be productive.  What is behind the mindset of someone who does not want to be, or is not able to be, productive?  It is our old friend, Fear.  Fear of success, failure, and many other things.  Perhaps you have tried to be productive in the past, only to have your achievements invalidated and dismissed as "not good enough."  Whatever the reason, if you are in a place of healing, I believe you are producing exactly what you need at the exact time you need to do it. Carmel and statue

Getting out of a rut is hard.  You have to first recognize that you are IN the rut, then you have to find the way out.  Many times, we are stuck because we have turned off our "opportunity radar."  These missed opportunities come in many forms, big and small.  I have recently been working with a company that is going to revolutionize the economy, healthcare, and business practices as a whole.  Since we are a start up company, we have to bring in referrals of qualified people we know.  I am calling all the people I know who struggle financially, and the ones who need the most help are the ones who are the most hesitant!  It is a classic lottery situation.  The "lottery curse," as we call it, culminates with the big money winners being in the same, or worse, financial situation than they were in when they won the money.  This is a classic example of being in a rut and following established patterns of lack and devaluing oneself.  One of my favorite ways to illuminate these patterns for people is to ask one question:  "And how is that working for you?"  No one has ever said "It's working great!", and that will usually result in a conversation where they can see that they need to take a chance and put themselves out there in a different way.  Another great example of this is the movie "Yes Man," where the main character attends a motivational seminar and has to take a vow to start saying Yes to all the opportunities around him.  His life undergoes a HUGE change and in the end he lands in a very different place, and is fulfilled and happy.  He spent all his time saying No, and ended up alone on his couch.  Comfortable, but alone and unhappy.  How's that working for you?????

My other kitty being equally as lazy......

In order to be "productive," we must first heal the part of us that is scared to take chances and say Yes to these opportunities that are everywhere.  Start recognizing the choices you have, instead of playing the victim and feeling sorry for yourself. This is just your Ego having a temper tantrum, as a good friend told me once.  If you spent a day with me, you would see me taking a lot of time to collect my thoughts and meditate.  When I feel overwhelmed, I find space to breathe and recenter myself.  This allows me to be MORE productive, but to the casual observer, it may look as though I am being "lazy."  A good friend bragged to me, "I never sit down!"  and I wondered if she realizes that she is falling into that old belief system.  If you never sit down, you are living in distraction and chaos.  If that WORKS for you, great. But honestly, I can't imagine that it would be working for anyone.  Taking the time for yourself is NOT being lazy.  Running around like a crazy person 24/7 is NOT being productive.  Find your balance and find your peace.

Wishing you all peace and blessings on this beautiful day!