By God’s Grace

life-supportA friend of mine lies motionless in a self-induced, alcoholic stupor. Caught between the worlds of here and there, she has lost her way, and can’t find her way home. I enter a trance in order to reach her higher self. At first she said she was too tired to battle life any longer. Using an ancient Shamanic technique I am able to set her free for a brief test flight. I watch her spirit dance with joy until she notices her tearful friends and family surrounding her bed. In that moment she realizes she has gone too far. Connected to life support equipment, she lies there motionless, with her fate now in the hands of others.

It has been a day full of tears as I reflect on our friendship. In my grief I reach out to past employees that worked at my restaurant who also knew her.

There is nothing worse than grieving alone. Death reminds us of the sanctity of life.Click To Tweet

Addiction is one of the great spiritual plagues of our time. While many debate as to whether it is a disease, a disorder or a habit, a chasm of sadness and discontent runs through the spiritual fabric of our society. It has been estimated that there are 26 million addicts in the USA. Last week I watched a prime time TV commercial advocating a product that provides relief from constipation caused by Opioids. It is time to find appropriate spiritual solutions. It is time to remove God from the back seat of the car and put spirit back in the driver’s seat. There is a triangle in the center of the Alcoholics Anonymous logo. This triangle is comprised of three complimentary sides that represent the relationship between mind, body and spirit. In order to live a healthy, productive life, all three must be in balance.

Addiction is one of the great spiritual plagues of our timeClick To Tweet

triangle of recoveryThe human body is resilient, and with a change of attitude and lifestyle it can be restored to a vibrant health. The mind, which fills the bottom ledge of the triangle, is tricky. Many of our actions become habitual, with little consideration given to the consequences of repeated unhealthy behavior. In order to prevent our subconscious from running amuck, we need to understand the third side of the triangle. A daily spiritual discipline is essential if one wishes to keep the mind finely tuned. For some it might be the 12- steps AA meetings, daily yoga exercises or chanting. Each involves prayer and meditation.

I was one of the lucky ones. One day after the grand opening of my restaurant, my father nearly died from a massive stroke. This tragedy jolted me out of my daze, and eventually led to my salvation. Call it grace, or luck, but within a year I had quit drinking; I didn’t want to follow in his footsteps and die at the age of 50. My friend was not so lucky; wine seduced her into darkness, isolation and despair. Now, nearly 30 years later, the cook of my former restaurant lies helpless in a coma, and I have decided to dedicate my life to help others heal.

I have known many addicts during my sojourn on this planet. I have a deep compassion for their plights and am at peace with their misfortune.. To this day I do not know why I was chosen. How well I remember the day when I rode in a New York City cab with three girls who refused to share their heroin with me. Upon reflection I realize that this event was a blessing, a miracle that saved my life.

My life could have followed a path similar to my grandfather, father, sister and nephew, who have struggled with addiction their entire lives. I was fortunate to reach out and grasp the helping hand of spirit. I am one of the lucky few. In the addiction treatment facility where I am presently employed, I witness our children dying weekly.

Facebook bares it all, if you dare to look.

Every single day I am reminded that I am no better than the addict who still suffers, and “ There for the Grace of God Go I.”

Every single day I am reminded that I am no better than the addict who still suffers, and “There but for the Grace of God Go I.”Click To Tweet

Please join us on September 18th to Help Break the Stigma of Seeking Treatment at the Heroes for Recovery Golf and Archery Tournament held at Escena Golf Course in Palm Springs. Not local, you can still donate to SafeHouse of the Desert, here.

Oya; Transformation is imminent

Oya; Change is imminent
Oya –Susan Matthews www.susanmatthewsgallery.com

Oya Yoruba – Ifa – Orisha Transformation
Oya is a powerful wind, a harbinger of change. Her husband Shango, a thunderous raging storm God, usually accompanies her. The combination of her sword and his fire purifies everything in their path, as they use hurricanes and cyclones to clear the way for new growth. Legend states, “What Oya destroys, you no longer need.”
As a Goddess of commerce, Oya keeps a watchful eye on all activities occurring in the marketplace. Those who heed her message will see their struggling business rise from the ashes and transform into a prosperous enterprise. Her name means, “She tore,” and if a business lacks integrity, Oya rushes in, and slices it up into shreds with her sword, ensuring that justice will be heard and seen.
Often disguised as a water buffalo, this Goddess is a fierce protector of women, capable of violent outbursts whenever a wrong needs to be made right. Despite her fiery side, Oya has a nurturing side, and is also known as a mother of nine, with her offspring representing the tributaries of the Niger River in Africa. When summoned by prayer, Oya empowers mistreated women, and engenders feminine leadership.

Whenever this passionate wind Goddess appears in your life it is a fortuitous omen signifying that you are about to undergo a powerful, spiritual transformation.Click To Tweet

East
When Oya arrives as a tempest East wind, a rapid transformation of your belief system is eminent. Your ideas, plans and memories may be scattered far and wide by the force of her raging storm. Once this upheaval subsides, stillness will settle in. This is a time to be patient and watchful, as vistas of exciting new possibilities are projected onto the screen of your mind.
Resisting change is a fruitless endeavor when Oya appears in the contrary position. Surrendering, and allowing Oya to “Clear the air” of old habits and rigid forms that stand in the way of progress will reveal new possibilities.

South
Without the invigorating breath of wind, stagnation sets in and death is sure to follow. Oya appears as a purifying rainstorm to saturate and nourish your arid emotional landscape. As a mother she understands that while you cannot always protect your children from the storm, your love can provide a safe haven where healing can take place. Call upon Oya to guide you to a place of serenity so that you can nurture yourself or a loved one.
Are you stuck in an unhealthy situation or relationship? If Oya appears as a south wind, hang on, and prepare yourself. Shango is never far away, and together they will ignite your inner fire. Oya is here to protect you in a loving manner as she nudges you toward a place of calm and security.
West
A change of season is in the air when Oya appears in the West quadrant. As a gatekeeper of life, Oya can guide you through transitions at home, business or within your multi-dimensional Self. If you are experiencing a loss, keep in mind that the cycle you are presently in is quickly waning. The fruits of your harvest will become evident after the next growing season.
If you are unwilling to plough your fields of negative thoughts and feelings, Oya appears in the contrary position. She manifests as a violent rainstorm to wash all obstacles standing before you, so that you can embark on new journey with confidence and enthusiasm.

North
Inner transformations unfold at a subconscious level before they become apparent. The presence of Oya in the North quadrant suggests that you may be on the cusp of a cycle, and on the verge of a great change. Oya is preparing you to make a leap from your current state into the unknown. Even though your coordinates may not give a clear indication of your present condition, you can be sure that Oya is aligning you to your magnetic north.
The appearance of Oya in the contrary position signifies that deep spiritual forces are at work. Every change has a tipping point, where old forms and ideas are cast aside, as a new higher state of consciousness rises to the surface. Be patient and know that all is well; feeling unstable is part of this transformational process.

Blown Away; when God was Wind

Artwork Erin Hanson
Artwork Erin Hanson

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” ~ John 3:8

During my research into the history of compasses I inadvertently stumbled upon an amazing world of winds. I quickly realized that since the beginning of recorded time, winds have played prominent roles in the myths and legends of ancient and indigenous societies. Throughout history many cultures have regarded wind as a mirror of Spirit. In Christianity, the Holy Spirit is synonymous with air. In Greek pneuma, like the Hebrew word ruach or the Sanskrit word prana, means “breath,” “wind,” or “spirit.” In parts of South America, the wind is known as wayra. As these winds lifted my imagination to greater heights, I became aware that there was much more to the energies of emotion and thought than I had first imagined. After spending many months researching the wonderful world of winds, I learned that wind energy is much more than a simple metaphor, and actually represents a real, dynamic force of nature.

As my studies carried me further back into the misty dawn of human life, I realized there was a time “When God was Wind.” I discovered the existence of more than 150 wind Gods and Goddesses in various cultures around the world. Each wind possesses a distinct personality and wields a variety of creative and destructive powers. As my understanding of these forces grew, I gradually developed my WindWork® program so I could teach others how to call upon these distinct Wind Characters to help them navigate safely through the trials and tribulations of daily life. During my classes at the Bhakti Fest, I invite  Vayu, the Wind God of Strength of India, to take my students on a spiritual journey and carry them away into the mysteries of the Universe.

Vayu India – Indus Strength

In Indian mythology, Vayu is a supreme deity that rules the space between the sun and earth. As a giver and taker of life, his role includes balancing light and dark energies. He is also known as a purifier, explorer, messenger of the gods and leader of sacrifices. As one of the strongest Gods, Vayu is portrayed as a white man carrying a bow and arrows as he sits atop a deer. He is often seen accompanying Vishnu’s Golden Chariot.

Vayu is attributed to severing the peak of Mount Meru, a sacred mountain of Indus cosmogony. In one tale, the omnipresent Vayu overhears two Gandharvas (nature spirits), discussing the strength of Vasuki, the snake deva. According to their narrative, Vasuki originally created the world. He transformed himself into a rope that anchored the very first boat to a horn fish, which allowed the Lord to emerge from the stormy sea. Upon hearing this, Vayu became enraged and a battle with Vasuki ensued. Vasuki wrapped himself around Mount Meru three times, and Vayu blew his breath full force in an attempt to uncoil hm. As Vayu blew harder the mountain swayed, and Vasuki tightened his grip. Mount Meru ordered them to cease their battle lest he tumble into the sea, and put an end to civilization. Brahma appeased Vaya and Vasuki by praising their virtues. As Vasuki released his grip the peak of Mount Meru sank into the sea.

An understanding of Vayu provides insights into the intrinsic nature of time, space, karma, life, and death.   Vayu is viewed as a formless, spiritual wind; a prevailing, dynamic force of nature that energizes all life, but, when absent, invariably leads to stagnation and death.

East

The appearance of Vayu in the East signifies that now is the time to use the power and strength of your mind to undertake something new in your life.

Like Vasuki, ideas can also be steadfast and stubborn. Thoughts are neither good nor bad; some are lighter, while others are denser. Vayu is asking you to become more aware of your thoughts and memories.

In the contrary position, this card suggests that you stop comparing your gifts with others. Are you clinging to outmoded ideas? Patience is required and timing is of the utmost importance.

South

Vayu is a temperamental wind known for his sudden outbursts. Progress is slow when we react from a place of resentment, pain or anger. Use the power of Vaya and visualize your negative emotions gracefully exiting your body. Once Vayu relaxed and stopped resisting, an island of peace and harmony manifested.

If Vayu appears in the contrary position, it means you should hold on, and sway with the breeze. Be observant and patient. When the time is right, respond accordingly.

West

Vayu can be always felt but never seen. Likewise, our actions are often invisible to others and ourselves. Have faith in your strength. Tap into the powerful energy of Vayu before you embark on a journey or commence a project. Be patient and you’ll be amply rewarded.

If Vayu is blowing against you, you may have to surrender, pause and reenergize before moving on. It makes sense to work alongside community members during the harvest, for there is strength in numbers. This is a time to proceed with caution; Vayu is said to have fathered hundreds of offspring because of his impetuousness.

North

The arrival of Vayu in the North signifies that an energetic interplay between static and dynamic winds is taking place within you. You are being challenged to look deeply into your inner self and discover your life’s purpose as a spiritual being. Your actions, or lack of them will directly impact your Fate and Karma.

The North West quadrant is where Vayu makes his home. He’ll blow into your face forcefully and incessantly until you learn how to connect with the formless residing within. Thoughts, feelings and actions are manifestations of latent creative energies. What are you expressing in your life today? What are you pouring into your Divine Matrix?

If you want to go deeper with Vayu, join me at the Bhakti Fest for After Yoga, The Dishes.

Use code ReneeBaribeau2015 to save 10% off your ticket.

If you want to be Happy, Be

Whatever you want, produce that quality in yourselfPositivity is like a GPS tracking system that can be developed and finely honed over time. Google Earth cars constantly roam the streets of earth with their cameras in order to update and improve Google Maps. In order to experience more positivity in your life, you must likewise fine-tune your own GPS on a daily basis.
Step One: Each day, establish a precise GOAL. What do you want to achieve? The higher you aim, the greater your chances are for success.
Step two: is be POSITIVE. Once you determine what it is you want to accomplish, align every fibre of your being with your goal.
Step three: SURPASS your vision. Inspire yourself on a daily basis by striving to outshine your previous accomplishments.

Black Rock Clearing Exercise

Black RockHere is a easy way to clear blockages and re-energize your entire being using a Black Rock.
1. Sit or stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
2. Place the rock in your right hand. Energy flows into your left hand, along the heart meridian, and flows out your right hand.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Visualize unwanted energy flowing out to the stone.
5. Command and direct this energy into the stone.
6. Express your appreciation and gratitude by saying, “Thank you.”
Length of time: For healers: 10 minutes for each client. For general cleansing: until you feel complete.
I keep a black obsidian in my car. I often hold it as I drive to keep me grounded.
Please add your suggestions and comments. Share this simple, effective technique with others.
Always lead by example, clear your energy first before sharing with others. Click To Tweet