Laura, Author at Experiential Online Animism Class - Page 10 of 15
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free spiritual development tool

Dreams – The Free Spiritual Development Tool We All Have

Want a free spiritual development tool? You've got it. It's dreams! Yep. Before there were Bibles, monasteries, or rituals, we all had dreams. Freud called dreams "the royal road to the unconscious" meaning the hidden part of yourself. Jung felt dreams were the way to tap into the collective unconscious, which is  the hidden parts of all of humanity. I believe that dreams are a part of  the universal unconscious, which is the Oneness to which we all belong. As such, it's a most profound free spiritual development tool. Dreams Allow Us to Create We're all creators of reality. Unfortunately, most of us create from our unconscious. We create from fear, so the things we see in our lives are dark, violent, and not affirming. When we create from our conscious hearts, we...

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spirituality of surfing

The Spirituality of Surfing

If anyone had ever told me that surfing was a spiritual pursuit, I would have said they were completely nuts. The spirituality of surfing? Bah! Funny, but it really is. I finally get why all those lonely guys in wet suits would be out riding the waves long after the summer crowd had gone. They'd be there early. I'd see them late. Rain didn't keep them away either. So what is the magic of surfing? Well, the only way to really do it is to surrender. The ocean is a powerful, moving force. You aren't going to control it, manipulate it, or outsmart it. The only way to work with it is to become one with it. To do that, you have to surrender. And surrender is bliss. It's the complete letting go...

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group spiritual retreat

Can You Really Do a Group Spiritual Retreat?

Can you really do a group spiritual retreat and get what you need to get out of it? Isn't it counter intuitive? Isn't a retreat about getting away from routine and simplifying? Does being in a group just turn it into a social event? Or maybe an intellectual event? Or maybe it's uplifting, but not necessarily transformative? I know. I get this question all the time. If the event is well planned, you certainly can get transformation with a group. Here are some tips on how to make that happen. No Care Taking! The most important thing is that you must not take care of anyone else! If you are a natural giver, this may be a bit of a challenge. It's normal to feel compassion. We want to reach out and...

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spiritual significance of scars

The Spiritual Significance of Scars

If you want to know about the spiritual significance of scars, visit a battleground, a holocaust site, or any symbol of horror. I've been to Tuol Sleng, Culloden, and Wounded Knee. I hope to visit Auschwitz some day too. You might wonder what that has to do with spirituality. Aren't those places of darkness? Actually, yes. The energy at  Tuol Sleng, Culloden, and Wounded Knee is oppressive. The lingering promise of horrible death wraps itself around you and threatens to choke you. It enters your pores and drowns you in unimaginable sorrow. They are wounds in the spiritual flesh of humanity. So, why should anyone go there? To never forget. To heal. To forgive, and to stand renewed. "The wound is the place where light enters you." ~Rumi We live in an age where scars are seen...

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giving too much

Spirituality and Giving Too Much

There are a lot of religious teachings that support martyrdom. Giving up your life, sacrificing comfort, living in poverty in service to others are all seen as ways to sainthood - literally and figuratively. Many spiritual traditions teach that spirituality is free and services are to be shared with the community. So, is there a line where you are giving too much? I say yes! Even good things can become bad things if they get out of balance. Just think of Goldilocks. Some porridge is too hot. Some is too cold, and some is just right. The same applies to giving. A person with healthy boundaries gives, and stops when it begins to interfere with his own well-being or values. Let's look at some examples to put this into perspective. "Sheila" and...

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The Many Benefits of Rituals

There are many benefits of rituals. You just have to engage in them with an open heart to see for yourself. There is nothing superstitious or evil about it. It's just a way to get in touch with yourself, your ancestors, and the universe. Rituals Help You Get Acquainted With Your World When you do rituals, you invoke the energy of people, deities, and things to help you. This helps you to get to know the energy of things. Which plants are good for throat ailments? How can trees take your emotional pain away? What element (air, earth, fire, or water) is best for increasing energy? What is good for taking things away? When you realize that things have energy, it may get you curious about how you are using your own energy. It may...

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beware of labels

Beware of Labels

Beware of labels. They exist to classify and separate. Sometimes, of course, this is necessary. If you want vanilla ice cream, you don't want to be served chocolate. But if you are talking about people, it can get tricky. People believe and live up to labels. This is why when I was  a dance teacher, I never told my students that something was hard. If I made it look easy, and they believed it was easy, they'd just do it. If I said, "This is an advanced move," they'd struggle. What does this have to do with spirituality? Well, when we talk about being awakened or enlightened, we are generally saying that we have something special and other people do not. To that I said, "How do you know?" What is enlightenment? What...

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spirituality as an escape

Spirituality as an Escape

There is no right or wrong path. You can't do spirituality wrong. All paths lead to the same destination. Some paths are just more direct and joyous than others. If you're using spirituality as an escape, you could be taking the hard, circuitous route. What does that looks like? Well, if your spirituality separates you from your human experience, it could be a way of not being here. It could be a way to escape your life. "I've learned that living is not the same thing as making a life." ~Maya Angelou I get that we are spirits having a human experience, but why not actually have that spiritual experience? Why be in a hurry to leave here? And if you're here, why not enjoy it. Have you seen the way sweet grass gently...

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Why Should Women Pay Attention to the Moon?

I was recently asked why should women pay attention to the moon? There are two answers to that. The first is rather practical. If you were going to be caught in a thunderstorm or heat wave, wouldn't you prefer to know about it in advance so that you can prepare? Knowing about the moon phase and what astrological sign it's in gives you that information. Generally speaking, new moons are for beginnings. Full moons are for banishing or getting rid of things. If you're a gardener, you want to know about the moon phase so that you plant at the best time. Bulbs and root vegetables are planted when the moon is waning. Plant above ground crops when the moon is waxing. Hair stylists, doctors, and therapists may also want to pay attention...

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sacred battlefield

Finding the Sacred on the Battlefield

A battlefield is not your typical place that a sacred seeker finds the divine. I mean, who ever heard of a sacred battlefield? If all life is sacred, then God is here too. On our last trip to Scotland, we stopped at the Culloden Battlefield where between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites and 300 government soldiers were wounded or killed. The butchery here is legendary, and modern Scots still show the pain of it when talking about it. It looks calm and picturesque today until you get to the monument. A dark, mourning energy penetrates the air here. It feels like the pain and dashed hopes of all Scotland lies here. Contrast that to American Civil War battle at Appomattox. This is where General Lee surrendered to General Grant which cascaded into a...

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