Posts Tagged ‘Change’

Help for Empaths: Navigating the Should’s

This topic arises so often in sessions that I feel led to address it here, too. Many times, life tugs in different directions. Empaths, especially, sense how our own decisions affect the people we know and love. To some extent, this is a good thing. A person who lacks any empathy is also known as a narcissist or sociopath, so yes, we do need awareness of how our behavior and attitudes affect other people.


Empaths feel the emotions, attitudes, energy and thoughts of other people to a sometimes debilitating degree. Even the thought of hurting someone else hurts us. Without protection, we feel the disappointment, judgment, illness or whatever other pain of someone else within ourselves. When lived unconsciously, empathic “gifts” feel awful. Mysterious body aches, overwhelming sadness, anxiety, general confusion or lack of desire: I always advise empaths to ask, “Is this mine?” Because many times, it’s not. Good energy hygiene aides discernment.

I call this the Energy Brush Off, but it’s also a Japanese technique called Kenyoku or “dry bathing.” Bring your right hand to your left shoulder and then sweep down your arm, past your fingertips. Repeat on the other side, left hand to right shoulder, sweep down past your fingertips. Alternate sides three times, then flick your fingers like you washed your hands and can’t find a towel.

Repeat morning and night, like you brush your teeth. You can also do the Energy Brush Off anytime you felt good until you interacted with someone or something then suddenly felt tired, angry, sad, oppressed or “not as good as you did before.” Sudden shifts in health, emotions or energy levels often indicate some kind of empathic exchange. Brush that energy off before it settles in and becomes “yours.” It won’t really be all yours, but it becomes much more difficult to sense your own emotions, desires, attitudes, hopes and dreams when you embody those of everyone around you.

Good energy hygiene offers a regular reset to your own energy field. The more often you return to yourself, the more you recognize your own energy, including your own longings and desires. Continue reading

Here? … Or Here?

Here’s where we are:

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

~W.B. Yeats, “The Second Coming,” lines 1-8

Here’s why:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~Marianne Williamson, “A Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles”

Here’s where we could be:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~Anais Nin

Hasn’t that day come?

Seriously, humanity, it’s time to blossom. Show us whatcha got:

Jaya Jagatambe

I’ve been feeling and drawing upon a lot of Kali/Durga energy lately. With Lake Michigan all choppy, I almost got blown in today by a giant gust of wind on my 102 pound frame. I’ve written on the destructive, transformative process of Kali before, but right now I’m celebrating the loving fruits of her power. For a translation of this chant, please click here. Jaya Jagatambe!

Serenity, Courage and Wisdom in the New Year

Happy Twenty-Ten! May we all shine!

Personally, I cannot remember a greater feeling of freedom passing from one year to the next, or one decade to the next. It seems like this planet just released a collective sigh of relief as we waved goodbye to 2009 under a Blue Moon with a Partial Lunar Eclipse. The thirteenth Full Moon of the year, this one had such potent energies, and it was exciting to know so many people opting for a spiritual New Year’s Eve.

In light of the New Year and the fact that we’re still under some challenging influences for a couple more weeks, I thought I’d write on something that keeps coming my way, The Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And the Wisdom to know the difference.”

Reinhold Neibuhr wrote the original version of this little piece in a stone cottage in Massachusettes. It’s a simple prayer said by people all over the world every day. Although I’ve known it since childhood, for the past few months, the Serenity Prayer has become one of my biggest synchronicities. Because of the title, most people use this prayer to feel OK about their present circumstances. They ask for Serenity when life becomes too challenging and confusing to handle on their own. Courage and Wisdom often seem to take a back seat. I know they always did for me when I recited this prayer going through the Workers Comp and Personal Injury trials for my brain injury. I didn’t care so much about Courage or Wisdom. I just wanted the stress to go away!

Synchronicities with the Serenity Prayer during late 2009 have given me a different perspective, though. In November, I bought a bag of Runes and a “Healing Runes” book to go with them. I had started studying the original Runic Code after my trip to Mendocino, and this bag of mini “stones” seemed like a fun adjunct. I didn’t really expect to use the book. I just wanted the Runes. The Healing Runes, though similar, did not exactly match the Runic Code I’d been working with, so I started drawing Runes and reading the names and descriptions. I set an intention/question and pulled one whose explanation included the Serenity Prayer. I said it, expecting the issue to begin to melt into quietude. I did feel more peaceful but found the issue did not go away. Rather, it grew stronger. The more I said the Serenity Prayer the more the feelings took root with calm insistence. I had so not expected this that I drew several more Runes only to find several more variants of the Serenity Prayer expressed in the book’s explantions.

Quasi-skeptic that I am (yes, I actually do put intuitions and synchronicities to the test!) I read through the entire book to see if every Rune included the Serenity Prayer. Nope. Just the ones I happened to draw. Later that afternoon, I spoke to an old friend who just happened to say, “This just came to me for you. What’s that prayer called? You know, the one about Serenity and Courage?” When I got home, I opened a Life Recovery Bible to a “random” page: it featured the Serenity Prayer in big calligraphy as an explanation of some verses. “OK,” I thought, “Runes, an old friend who never talks this way, the Bible … all telling me to embrace the exact same prayer!”

I have continued to deepen my experience with this prayer and found not only Serenity growing, but a quiet sense of Courage and a stronger sense of how to choose a path that formerly seemed unwise. I always pray. This part was nothing new; however, the influx of Courage to take action surprised me. I really had expected Serenity and a faith that even things that felt too slow or like a compromise would suddenly reveal their “rightness” because, of course, they must be right, right? I mean, they had always seemed right before! Why the sudden upsurge of feelings around them? It must just be a letting go, right? Right?

Not necessarily. As a Life Coach and Intuitive who speaks with people from around the world, I enjoy the advantage of taking a kind of world pulse. Especially since 2008, and increasing through 2009, continuing even now, it seems the majority of people are experiencing cyclic shifts. “The Road Not Taken” has reappeared for many as a viable option. As we cocreate our universe and approach whatever shift will or will not happen between now and 2012, we’re getting a chance to use all our tools, all our skills and to explore all our possible realities. Courage and Wisdom have come up in sessions more often lately than ever before as people realize that the status quo probably won’t get them where they want to be. Radical shifts sometimes require radical actions and time, space and energy seem to compress and expand as needed before finding the desired fit.

If you do not yet have Serenity, take heart: we’re all in an intense phase of the journey. However things play out, your heart wants to lead the way. Courage comes from the heart. From Love grow the roots of Courage –sometimes requiring immediate action; other times asking us to wait. And wait.

Many people continue to express their impatience with life transitions. Glimmers of change peek through, yet I receive so many new calls from people just wanting a tiny affirmation that they’re on the right track. Oftentimes, they are. The timing just moves slower or faster than they would have preferred.

Wisdom arrives when people learn to ride the ebb and flow of time. Whether we recognize it or not, the universe shares its quiet and compassionate order with us in the form of synchronicities and answered prayers. When we learn to trust in this fluid nature of reality, we can stop trying to force our way through life. We can “go with the flow,” understanding when to coast and when to swim. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, though 😉 , so I’ve listed below some of the quickest ways to cultivate a Serene, Courageous and Wise Heart in the midst of “out of control” change:

1 ) This one’s probably obvious, but take a moment to say the Serenity Prayer, either silently or out loud. It seriously works!

2 ) Get out in nature. Let those negative ions rejuvenate you and reconnect you to the rhythms of the Earth. The more trees you can stand among, the better. Trees hold Wisdom; they dig deep and reach high.

3 ) Get creative. Painting works best for me because writing still keeps my chattering left brain involved in thought. When I pick up a paintbrush, the rest of world momentarily disappears. Other people love to sing, chant, knit, prepare food, or create poetry.

4 ) Allow yourself to dream. Naps and daydreams can provide insights and inspiration otherwise crowded out by thoughts or other responsibilities. Sometimes even meditation becomes a chore during major stress. If you feel like checking out under the covers for an hour, let yourself go. You might find your problems begin to resolve themselves. At the very least, you’ll feel more relaxed and able to face them in their proper time.

5 ) Change your routine or take a trip. Shake things up a bit. When we get in a rut, everything looks monumental. Shifting out of the ordinary encourages us to tap into the extraordinary. We also return with fresh perspective on the same-old same-old.

6 ) Eat well. Raw foods tend to provide extra clarity and elevated mood. Sometimes a little comfort food helps, too, though. Monitor your moods so that you can use food to nurture rather than sabotage. If you feel extremely tense, that’s a sure sign to opt for more alkaline foods like leafy greens, umeboshi plum, lemon juice and fresh fruits and veggies. If you find you have so much clarity that you can’t stand not taking action, a little brown rice might just take the edge off. While going through a major shift, try to honor the needs of your soul as well as your body, finding and tweaking the balance as needed.

7 ) When in doubt, remind yourself, “This too shall pass.” Because it will. It really will. And if you need some extra encouragement or affirmation, I would feel honored to join you for this leg of the journey.

Blessings and Love,

Laura Bruno

Lessons from Kali: Goddess of Destruction, Time and Change

I decided to reprint this 2007 article and excerpt from “If I Only Had a Brain Injury,” because I know that so many of you are struggling in these turbulent times.  I have lost track of exactly how many souls I’ve helped “cross over” this year, but it’s definitely far into the double digits.  Some of you have lost a lot of money; some of you lost loved ones; some of you may feel as though you’ve lost yourself.  I’ve been there.  More than once.  This article came to me in Fall 2007, but it still resonates today, perhaps even more so:


Black and naked (except for a necklace of 50 human heads)-hair wild and tongue out, Kali certainly knows how to make an entrance! Brandishing a sword and a human head in her two left hands, she destroys everything in her path and then dances maniacally upon the dead. In terror, awe and morbid fascination, we stare. Fight or flight?

But how can we fight she who destroyed everything we thought we knew? Cut to the core, how can we run? No matter: in a battle against the universe itself, where would we run? Old instincts flare, but they no longer serve. When Kali appears, life as we knew it ceases to exist.

As a Medical Intuitive and Life Coach specializing in transitions, I receive many “post-Kali” calls. Individual traumas vary: life-threatening illness, disabling injury, divorce, job loss, natural disaster, financial emergency, or-sometimes even more disturbing-an uncanny sense that things are about to change. (Kali phones ahead with her party plans.) Despite variations, these experiences hold one thing in common: they demand attention. What little warnings, gentle nudges, intuitive hits or lesser traumas did not accomplish, Kali has. Distractions, whether silly or sophisticated, just can’t compete with complete annihilation.

In order to begin rebuilding, we first need to examine the destruction. Doing so takes courage. Even though we ultimately need to look at the mess ourselves, it helps to have a Kali-survivor involved in the surveying process. Someone who has already faced Kali knows the pain of loss in a way that well-meaning friends or family sometimes cannot understand.

There are losses and then there is what I call a “Kali loss”: the sense that our entire reality was an illusion and nothing real remains. This feeling does not respond to typical cheer-up methods because those methods, too, reveal their illusory nature. Alone and scared, we yearn for deep, unchanging truth. Anything less just adds to the overwhelming carnage. Most people cannot afford to witness this level of destruction because doing so might crumble their own comfortable sense of reality. Instinctively, they put up walls to protect themselves, fighting us when we try to share the magnitude of our experience. When our usual support system fails, we’re supposed to turn inside, but inside’s a terrifying mess right now.

We cry out to the universe for help and Kali herself arrives-in the form of someone who has already witnessed his or her own destruction and rebuilding. Someone who honors the beauty and life-giving force of such experiences. Someone who can afford to look at our mess because his or her reality has already crumbled and reassembled in a powerfully expansive way. Non-attached to our previous conceptions or enculturations, s/he can more quickly and easily sift through the rubble, drawing our attention to pieces ready for new construction. S/he also helps us to look Kali in the face, recognizing our own prayers for change and ability to manifest the answers. When we paradoxically turn to Kali for help, she reveals herself not just as destroyer but as Mother-Creator.

Initially we might find Mother Kali in a book, a synchronous new friendship, a spiritual advisor, or Life Coach, but eventually we begin to recognize her in ourselves. By witnessing our own destruction, we find those parts that cannot be destroyed. We find our Essence, “that” which defies all labels and runs through everyone and everything. Kali’s black form absorbs all color and all vibration: she contains it all. The sword and head in her left hands symbolize Divine inspiration striking down our ego. The 50 human heads around her neck represent the 50 sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet-the root of all language. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” “But the Word is very near. It is in your mouth and in your heart so that you can do it.” We feel Divinity surging through body, mind and spirit, and we, too, begin to dance. “Let the dead bury their own dead. Come, follow me.”

Only then do we notice Kali’s two right hands-ready to bestow the blessings. As a Mother, Kali does not shelter her children. She throws us into the fire and lets all illusion, enculturation and attachments burn to a crisp. We scream as costumes turn to ash, railing against a universe that allows such suffering. And then it happens. We emerge from the fiery, bloodstained pit. Lighter, easier and full of Grace. We no longer fear death because we’ve already been through it. Signs of life sprinkle the horizon as green shoots push their way through now fertile soil. We learn that some trees will not plant seeds until the searing heat of fire tears through their casings. Pain and sorrow reveal themselves as parts of Life. Freed from the limitations of fear and resistance, we can revel in naked existence. Recreating ourselves in ways that express the fullness of our being. When ego goes up in smoke, we turn ourselves inside out and let our Light so shine.



Copyright 2007 and 2008 by Laura Bruno.

Related:  “Why Telepathy Makes People Mad