Falling Leaves Time

October brings with it the time of falling leaves, fun in leaf piles and a slowing down of things around us.  In nature we see things strengthen and prepare for the cycle of sleep and renewal that is about to come.  This time is also about introspection — the energy of the west.  This is when we too can go inside and strengthen ourselves by using our inner resources for the solutions that we seek on our paths of purpose and personal growth.  This is also a time of gratitude for all that we have accomplished in summertime, our “time in the sun”, and to use all that we gathered to sustain us through the coming winter months.  We can use this time to turn ourselves to the more spiritual aspects of our lives.  We can look back upon our accomplishments and gain power and resolved from all that was done.  It need not be big grandiose things that we accomplished; for some simply getting from one day to the next was a great accomplishment.  This is not to minimize or to create comparison, simply to celebrate what is was that we have done.  This is also the time of winds, west winds, reminding us of the maturity that we have gained though this last cycle.  It is the recognition of what we have learned that is important in this time.  Now is the time to consolidate so that you have a clearer sense of direction and purpose.  So like the plants and animals in nature, let them be our teachers.  As they strengthen and go inside, let us do the same in positive introspection.  Use your community and trusted mentors and friends to provide the strength and safety that you feel you need as you embrace this time.

Everything Has a Spirit

global-water-volume-freshIt’s July and this is the time that we celebrate the birth of an institution, The United States of America.  And while we have family gatherings, fireworks and much more, how often do you stop to think that this institution that we call “The United States of America” has a spirit?  All institutions have a spirit, and they embody the spirit of those that created and care for it.  Higher Self Bookstore is an institution and all the past and current caretakers have a duty to hold the energy in order for it to be successful and meet the community’s needs.

For the United States of America, for this institution, we suggest that all of us are the caretakers.  We often look to our elected officials but in truth they are simply meant to represent us.  We are the ones that are accountable for holding the energy of this institution, the USA.  So on this Fourth of July and all month, take time to consciously hold and send the energy you want for this institution that we are the caretakers of.  Hold the light and the ideals strong within you; not to change another’s view point or perspective, simply be that beacon of light, that personal firework that says this is what the energy of The United States of America is.  Imagine what could be created in an instant if all 325 million of us did that across the country.  It all starts with you and that one beacon of light.  Hold the energy.

Water Blessings

global-water-volume-freshWater… As one looks at our world, you would think that water is a thing of abundance. After all, 71% of the earth is covered in water although 96.5% of that is in the oceans. Only 2.5% of the total water present is freshwater (the larger bubble in the picture) and drinkable and of that, only 0.76% is readily accessible (the tiny bubble in the picture). So, that means that 0.76% of all the water present is available for us to sustain life as we know. Despite all the water we see, it truly is a precious resource to protect. Thanks to the efforts like Standing Rock and the local effort around the Line 5 Pipeline, much more awareness is being brought to how this resource is managed and cared for. The concern is also rising as governments around the world make changes to laws that have the potential to impact our drinkable water. So what to do with all this concern around water? Not all of us can go participate in Standing Rock or other events (around the nation and/or the world) that help create awareness. There is, however, something that each of us can do where ever we are to help bless, clean, and repair our fresh water resources. This work revolves around the power of prayer, intention, magic… call it what you feel comfortable with, but it is using energetic vibration to bring about change. This practice is actually something that we (Jeff and Jo) have done ourselves in the area and are hoping more people will take similar action. It starts with an intent and crystals, specifically pieces of quartz because the intention is then amplified — quartz has the unique property of being able to store and amplify energy. It’s why our LCD computer screens work (Liquid Crystal Displays); smartphone screens and such all use and operate on this principle. So by programming quartz with the intent “to cleanse and purify water, restoring it back to its original state for the benefit of the earth, all plant and animal life, and all human beings” we can, in our individual part, help to protect and restore that precious 0.76% of the earth’s water that is drinkable. To learn how to do this ceremony please read on. This process is being used in areas of Japan and have been shown through true scientific research to improve the water quality.
Quartz Water Ceremony: First find pieces of quartz that you’d like to program for this work. Cleanse them by smudging with sage and putting them under running water (tap water works just fine) while asking that any prior programming or energetic signatures be removed returning those quartz crystals back to their natural state. Now write out your intent for this quartz such as: “This quartz will cleanse and purify water, restoring it back to its original state for the benefit of the earth, all plant and animal life, and all human beings”. Hold your quartz in your hand and state out load your intent, while doing this, intend that all the emotional energy flow from your heart and hand into the quartz crystals. Continue to say your intent our loud until you feel the quartz has fully absorbed this programming intention. Trust your gut/intuition — you will know when it’s done. If you have some other ceremony from your culture or your spiritual practice that you want to use, that will work as well. All that is required is some technique from the heart to program your quartz. With your quartz programmed, now go to any water source and place your quartz into it. It can be a lake, stream, the bay, one of the big lakes, any water place will help. We went out to the tip of Mission Peninsula up in Traverse City and tossed out two programmed crystals and then drove over to Sleeping Bear Dunes and tossed out two more crystals into that part of the lake. We still have more programmed crystals to distribute to help promote the healing.
What is happening on a vibrational level is taking advantage of the conductive nature of water. The intent that was programmed into the crystal is just energy, and once that energy is transmitted to the water it propagates through the water just like a wave that we have all seen. This conductive nature of water along with the ability of quartz to amplify and transmit energy is a powerful! Please feel free to share your water stories with all of us at the Ways To Wellness.

The Shadow

 2017 promised to be a year of change, and it sure is delivering on its promise so far.  It feels like everywhere we turn we are barraged with events, experiences, and information that moves us from our place of comfort.  As all of this is coming at us, it is easy to lose our light and our way, becoming victims to what is happening.  I invite you to view what is happening as a way to show us those parts of ourselves that we haven’t healed or that we have been rejecting as belonging to us – our shadow side.  As I reflect on the events that are happening here locally, around the country, and the world, I am grateful that it has provided me an opportunity to become aware of where I still hold biases:  old thinking and behaviors that are holding me back from creating the future I desire.  It is so easy to project my thoughts and feelings to others, getting caught up in all the rhetoric and activities, but all that does is feed and energize all of that which I truly don’t desire.  If I am going to help others, the world, and be of service, then I have to first start with facing those things in me that come up – that shadow.  So rather than give in to the fear and anger as I see or read about something, I first give thanks for making that particular issue so visible.  No more hiding, pretending or rejecting.  Then I work on partnering with that issue.  How can I work with these feelings and emotions and make them into constructive forces in my life?  To embrace and move through this change, I invite you to consider mustering the courage to face this side and partner with it.  Otherwise it will just keep coming up over and over.

Welcoming the Energies of 2017

Goodbye to 2016!!  It has been a year of challenges for many.  2016 was a difficult Karmic Debt year as the “16” brought us to face all the self-destructive things in our life and globally.  Just a quick look back at the year will bring this into focus for many.  As January 1, 2017 arrives, we begin to ask both individually and as a collective group, what will this New Year bring?  Traditionally, we make resolutions, set goals, create intentions, and manifest all sorts of things on December 31, the eve of the coming year.  Be assured, the high vibration, positive energies of what we each individually bring to the coming year influences what the group consciousness experiences.  Yet the energy from a numerology aspect also influences what is to come.  So let’s look at what some of the “big picture” energy is…

Many people just add up the numbers of a year to get the numerology.  This is a very valid way to do it but as our Numerologist Extraordinaire, Kirk Hall, explained to us, you lose some of the nuances of the numerology.  So while 2017 adds up to a Universal “1” Year, starting new cycles and beginnings, let’s look at it from a deeper perspective.

“20” and “17”:  The “20” is still guiding us towards that feminine energy, that energy of working together and in cooperation, but as it is followed by “17” we still have some Karmic work to do before we get there in “2020”.  “17” is a very masculine number and a very independent number.  The “1” will make this year another individually focused year, causing us to work through more of our personal stuff in a big way.  The “17” is a very creative, inventive, expansive number.  Individually we will be looking at new ways to do things, being inventive rather than following what has always been done.  ‘17’ will cause you to look at your spiritual faith and growth and push you to remain true to your spiritual and moral values.  ‘17’ also brings with it the Karmic Debt of ‘8’ – the law of cause and effect!  Our challenge this year will be to learn to face and overcome obstacles and to rise above negativities and use our powerful talents and manifesting abilities for the benefit of the self, others, and humanity as a whole. Perhaps 2017 will be a year where we are all faced to look at our own spiritual and moral values and with the influence of the “20” pushing us to do it in a way that brings us closer to cooperation.  Not an easy task for us in 2017.

So take time now as 2016 comes to an end to reflect, meditate, and release:   we all still have the opportunity to let go of all that no longer is for our highest good, those shadow-self aspects of ourselves.

Our heartfelt New Year’s wish for all:  May wisdom, compassion, grace, and love guide you, enrich and bless you, be shared by you in this and every moment of 2017.  Namaste…

These Changing Times

These Changing Times

As you might imagine, at the Ways To Wellness we get all kinds of emails from spiritual teachers, authors, and concerned customers.  As we read through all these messages, it seems that there is a common thread resonating through many of them that revolves around F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real).  As I write this, I don’t want to minimize in any way the feelings any single individual may have for these are real and personal and must be honored.  And, I don’t intend to promote a particular individual or party for all diverse perspectives have value.  Instead, I’m looking at the energy of all that is occurring — from the events at Standing Rock to the U.S. election on November 8th and all that has transpired since then because the energy currents are strong.  Let’s look first at what the global consciousness chose on November 8th.  The global consciousness (all of us) were faced with a choice between slow and difficult change or fast and chaotic change.  The global consciousness chose fast and chaotic.  We hear the words ‘hate talk’ thrown around a lot, and I wonder if that isn’t being misinterpreted.  I don’t believe for a moment that the global consciousness is still at the place of hate for others; we’ve ascended too much for that.  Instead, I believe that ‘hate talk’ represents hate of the ‘status quo’.  How you define ‘status quo’ is where the chaos comes into play.  Each individual lens is different and defines ‘status quo’ in a way that is personally unique.   We need to honor that if we are to move forward in a constructive way.  In a recent shamanic journey circle that we held, the group journeyed and asked to be shown how we each can transmute our personal fears into constructive passion.  I feel this is something we can all meditate on and learn from.  The global consciousness has made a choice, and we have a choice to help make this next transition as quiet, simple, painless, and complete as possible.  We can do this by first turning inward and addressing our own fears, transmuting these fears into constructive passion and engagement, and then becoming that example for others so that they may do the same.  In this way we help move through these times to the ‘better times’ we dream of.  One spiritual teacher I listened to mentioned the changes that each of us can look upon for ourselves – understanding what “The Divine Feminine” really is.  For women (who generally work and act from the heart), it’s about moving away from having a ‘reactive heart’ and moving into having a ‘responsive heart’.  For men (who generally work from the mind), it’s about moving away from having a ‘defensive mind’ to developing a ‘diplomatic mind’.  We’ve already seen and felt the impact of what happens when ‘reactive hearts’ meet ‘defensive minds’.  Imagine for a moment what could happen when ‘responsive hearts’ meet ‘diplomatic minds’.  For me’ I see these times as an opportunity to transmute our fears into constructive passion and begin to use our ‘responsive hearts’ and ‘diplomatic minds’ constructively and with intention.  These can become the methods and tools that will allow us to move through this fast and chaotic change that was chosen in the least difficult way.  It is my sincere hope that some of this will resonate with you to bring peace and understanding to this confusing and chaotic time that we are experiencing.

In love and light,


September Preparations

September – that time when school starts back up, we once again settle into routines and schedules, and nature prepares for fall by giving us one last burst of harvest time and color. It’s also a time for reflection on what we’ve accomplished so far, and how we want to change course for the last few months of the year before winters settles in.
Fall reminds us to take stock, to make sure all our preparations are made for the shifting seasons. This a time to express gratitude for the bounty that we have been given. There are many celebrations around the time of harvest that are a reminder to us to be grateful for all that we have been given. The importance of gratitude in our life is sometimes overlooked as we move along our spiritual path. But it is gratitude, both the recognizing it and the expressing of it, that brings happiness and joy into our lives. Gratitude acknowledges that we have received gifts of many different varieties from many sources. It says to the universe, “I see your great deeds” and through this recognition we are in a position to recognize the blessings that we do have. Gratitude then shifts to appreciation whereby we begin to acknowledge and grow from even the challenging aspects of our life. By focusing on what we have and what we have shifted, we are able to manifest and bring more joy into our life. There is a saying, “Energy flows where attention goes…” and that is what occurs when we take time to slow down and express gratitude and appreciation for what we have and what we have experienced.
Sometimes finding gratitude can be difficult as we tend to look at big material things as source for our gratitude. Simply being grateful for and appreciating waking up each day can bring about improved health. Being grateful for one thing in a meal can manifest more food and nourishment. Gratitude is a way to de-energize the “lack of” thoughts and generate abundance in all areas of your life. So as we move into this phase of our seasonal cycle, take a moment and just express gratitude for the fact that you were able to read this article. Then go thank a teacher. 

Life Is A Spiral

In the last several months, two reoccurring themes have been coming forward through conversations and social media – the first is the concept of living a heart centered life in which everything flows easily, and the other is that life seems crazy, chaotic, and moving at an accelerated pace. Sounds like two opposite ends of a spectrum, or a duality, doesn’t it? Well, here we would like to offer a visual analogy that brings order and harmony into these two ideas.
All of life is a spiral, a sacred spiral. It begins at our own personal heart center, the place where our soul-self is protected and nurtured and flows forth in the never-ending story of our personal journey. Our heart center or heart chakra truly is in balance when we can honestly, completely, and unselfishly love our soul self. And oh, my, is that challenging for most of us! Liking, let alone loving, the person you are in your personality, ego based self is almost impossible because you look outwards for validation. But I encourage you to simply spend some time resting in your true heart, mediating, listening to, and loving the soul that you are. Your soul self doesn’t need outside validation or labels. You are not someone else’s ideal. Remember, even the labels we associate as “good” define and limit you. When you live in a heart centered place, one in which your true self manifests your reality, you begin to live authentically which translates into a life of joy, creativity, non-judgment, and compassion.
Now think about the expressions we use – “My life is spiraling out of control”, or “I feel like I’m spinning around and around but not getting anywhere.” These expressions illustrate how important it is to allow your life to flow while understanding the concept of a heart-centered, spiraling life. Think about it this way — A spiral can be seen when in contrast, visible as a curve of light around darkness, such as a black line against a white background. The lessons we choose to learn circle around us, giving us an opportunity to grow and expand. When the spiral is traced clockwise, from the inside out, it allows us to share and give of ourselves to others, to shine our light and live from a place of love and light. It also allows us to look at aspects of our divine nature and to enfold all other aspects within that divinity. When we spiral and trace the circles in a counter-clockwise manner, we gain an opportunity to revisit our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. This is how we learn and grow; how we release dis-ease, doubt, karmic debt, and disharmony.
Creation itself reflects a spiral. Think of sacred geometry including the Fibonacci sequence that creates a spiral. Stars burst forth from cosmic spirals! Nature abounds with spirals – Nautilus and other sea shells, vine tendrils, flower centers, pine cones, snail shells, the way millipedes curl up, goat’s horns, and on and on. It is an ancient and recurring pattern. And, although not visible, it energetically occurs within each of us beginning at our heart. So now, take some time and begin to connect with your internal sacred spiral. Are you able to sense the center of this spiral at your heart? Is your energy moving clockwise or counter-clockwise? Are you in the flow of living a compassionate, trusting, non-judgmental life?

Creating Our Reality

It seems that everywhere we turn these days, even if we aren’t plugged into the television and other news streams, we are being barraged with events, thoughts and beliefs that are testing us — testing us to be sure that we don’t stray from the lightbearers path and that we continue to dream a new dream, a new positive reality into existence. Sure it’s easy to get caught up in the rhetoric, the drama, and the emotions that all of this brings which is precisely what is behind all that is happening. These old energies are trying to knock us off center, to nudge us back to the old dualistic ways that have brought about this strife to begin with. I’m not suggesting or implying that the rhetoric and these events aren’t hurtful, disturbing, or a whole host of other descriptors because they truly are. What we do have choice over is our response. You see it’s just all energy, and when we respond from a place of strong, old style emotions, all we do is put fuel to the fire that is burning – keeping us stuck. By making judgemental statements and/or posting tongue in cheek things on Facebook and other social media sites when we feel slighted, we are keeping ourselves stuck. Remember, anything less than compassionate love is adding to the disarray around us. The old ways, responses, and energies are not the catalysts that are going to turn this all around. So here’s some thoughts to consider: 1) Honor the power that is being expressed even if it is contrary to your beliefs. Most of us act out when we feel a part of us has been shutdown, shutoff, or traumatized instead, acknowledge and honor that feeling and the power it has on your response. This is the first step in reconciling your feelings/energies and beginning to work in partnership with those feelings and energies to bring about positive change. 2) Recognize the part of you that needs healing and love, the part that was triggered by the power you have now honored bringing all of this into your awareness. It’s important that you be real and be vulnerable as you do this. The universe knows the difference between doing and acting. Sarcasm is far more deadly than you may believe. 3) Thank these events and the power they are wielding within you for their teachings, and then just love them. Yep that’s right, but not the going-through-the-motions kind of love. The kind of heart centered love that says I really mean it and feel it. Compassionate love will acknowledge the old energies and ways making them feel heard and welcome so that they can become a partner in your life rather than something you shun. These three things just might be enough to really shift the world consciousness in a direction that lets in more light, allows us to be more connected to our higher self, our authentic self, and to build the reality we desire and have come here to create. It’s the real Shadow Self work.

Essential Oil of the Week-Rosewood

The health benefits of Rosewood Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an analgesic, antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, antibacterial, cephalic, deodorant, insecticide and stimulating substance. It is extracted from the rosewood tree.
It blends very nicely with the essential oils of Orange, Bergamot, Neroli, Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit, Lavender, Jasmine and Rose.