Just be

Do you ever crave silence, or do you like to lead a lifestyle that is filled with work, to-do lists, taking care of others, seeing friends and family, and the buzz of modern day technology?

For the past 2 weeks, I have conducted an experiment by observing mankind and I have found that most people spend their waking hours in a flurry of activity. As I watch people walk down the street, stand on street corners, purchase coffee, or stand in line at the grocery store, a majority are on their cell phones or listening to their IPod and are disconnected from their surroundings. This morning was a particularly beautiful morning in Virginia and as I sat down by the Potomac river just to watch the waves and the ducks, 9 out of 10 people that walked by were on their cell phones or IPod. They were tuning out the world and a beautiful morning. What struck me was that they missed an opportunity to just be in silence and take guidance from their inner voice.

As I talk to people about the chaos of modern life, some say that they enjoy the constant movement of life, while some feel exhausted by the constant demands of work, family, friends, and technology that never leaves them alone. When I suggest a time out (from 1 to 48 hours) away from everything except being in silence and enjoying your surroundings, everyone grimaced at the idea and came up with two excuses: (1) I don’t have the time for a time out, or (2) I don’t think I could stand being with my thoughts. These two responses are precisely why we all need a time out away from television, computers, cell phones, IPods, and activities that simply keep us busy from just being.

If you do not feel that you have the time for a time out, then you are likely going through life on a treadmill trying to get from one task to another, falling into bed exhausted, and waking up exhausted. We all have demands on our life; some are vitally important, such as taking care of an ill family member, but others are simply tasks that can be put off an hour or a day. If your life is so frantic that you cannot even take a one-hour time out, then are you really living?

If you feel unnerved about the idea of sitting in silence with nothing but your thoughts, even if you are out in nature and enjoying Mother Earth, then a time out will help you relax and to learn what your inner voice is telling you. And if you do not like what you hear, you can begin to change the chatter so that it is more positive and supportive. By drowning out your inner voice with “stuff”, the voice is still making an impact on your subconscious. And if that voice is unknowingly critical and judgmental, that will leave you feeling depleted and unworthy. So although it may feel uncomfortable to disconnect, consider doing this even for a few hours. Then increase to where you can disconnect for longer periods of time more frequently. Doing so will strengthen your ability to hear your inner voice (your intuition) and put you on the path to taking control of your life. Remember, we are human beings not human doers. And what is the point of being on this glorious planet if we won’t take time to smell the flowers?

Please share your comments on how you feel about taking a time out.

Don’t forget to heal

Reiki on my cat, Oscar

I spend most days working on issues that involve animals being in harms way, animals that have been abused, and finding better ways to protect them. I recently launched the National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse through the National District Attorneys Association and as Director of NCPAA I will be creating training programs for prosecutors on how to handle animal abuse cases. But as I work day-to-day on training and educating others on how to handle the aftermath of abuse, and while there are numerous prevention programs across the U.S., I also work on how to help the animals heal from their experiences.

Over the past month, I obtained my master-teaching certifications in Usui Reiki and Integrated Energy Therapy, two energy healing methods. Some of you may have heard of energy healing and how it can help people achieve immediate relaxation, and overtime help to provide support you through the healing process. But what many people may not know is that Reiki and IET work wonders for animals. Through the relaxation of healing energy, it  allows for the greatest healing in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies for people and pets. For pets, energy healing can help with behavioral issues, physical ailments or disease, and can help frightened and traumatized animals recover after trauma and abuse.

When I read stories of how animals have been rescued from an abusive or neglectful environment, whether it was a dog, cat or cow, I am always relieved; but then my next thought goes to whether the animal is receiving any healing. When we hear of people who have been victimized, those people often undergo therapy and counseling. And while many people may think that an animal can simply “shake off” the trauma of abuse or neglect, we cannot stop with the rescue and need to start thinking about providing healing to animals after they are in a safe place.

To help bring more healing to pets (and people!), I have created a new business called Manifested Harmony. The beauty about energy healing is that it can be done remotely, as well as in-person. Since energy knows no space or time boundaries, I can be in my home in Alexandria, Virginia and send energy healing to an animal in India. For years, I have been providing healing energy to homeless cats at a cat orphanage where I volunteer and I have seen amazing results. With my own cats, I have also seen them recover from illness much quicker. Most recently, my cat, Oscar, was unexpectedly diagnosed with diabetes. I know that energy healing along with insulin injections have quickly helped him to get on the path to wellness.

So if you have a pet, or known of an animal, who needs healing, consider energy healing. I know that you share my vision to help all pets live safe, healthy and happy lives. And now, incorporating energy healing in to my work feels right. If you have engaged the services of an energy healing practitioner, please share your story!


A Gratitude Time Out

Gratitude journalWhat does gratitude mean to you? Do you ever ponder what you are grateful for, or do your days pass by without giving it a thought? For most people, life is so hectic, filled with to-do lists, taking care of others, and getting from one place to another, that they do not take a moment to revel in gratitude. Gratitude is one key step to consciously working the Law of Attraction into your life. When you can list what you are grateful for, even just 5 things, you shift your vibration and your energy to a positive level. That shift can bring about positive changes and help you draw things into your life that you desire.

Consciously working gratitude throughout your day is essential to living a harmonic life. When you are stressed, struggling to meet a deadline, encountering difficult people, working a job that you dislike, sitting in traffic, or bombarded by the chaos in life, that is precisely when you should take a gratitude time out. For even just one minute, sit wherever you are in silence (turn off the radio, TV, computer and any distractions), close your eyes if you can (unless you are driving!), and mentally reflect on what you are grateful for. Even if you feel like your life is falling apart, there are always things that you can be grateful for.

Be grateful taking a gratitude time out; be grateful for the breaths you are taking for that means that you are still alive and able to take control of your life; be grateful for anyone in your life that is supportive and loving (especially pets); be grateful for the sunshine, a fresh breeze, birds that sing to you in the morning, and that frisky squirrel that is determined to get into your backyard bird feeder. If you take the time to reflect, you will surprise yourself at how much you have to be grateful for, regardless of what realities may plague your life. Whenever you feel on the brink of a stressed-induced breakdown, take a gratitude time out and notice how you can immediately shift your energy to a positive path. Because once you can step onto a positive path, your are one step closer to manifesting what your heart desires. So today, take at least one gratitude time out. And do the same tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day …