March 2011

Greetings, 

I originally began this newsletter 2-3 weeks ago when the channeled information came through, but I got distracted and did not pull the information together to send out when I had intended.   Everything happens for a reason.  As I was pulling the newsletter together last night, and reviewing what had been written to determine if it still applied (it does), the following came through to be added:

The earth is talking.  Are you listening?  Be kind to our beautiful and hurting planet, to yourselves, and to those you come in contact with.  Our brothers and sisters in Japan, and their concerned loved ones, need our hope and our prayers.  Each and every one of you has a light within that shines out – please let it shine bright – you never know who or what your ray of light may touch or illuminate.  People are hurting, and scared.  It is being asked that you remember to care, and send a hope, a thought, a prayer.  We are all connected, in so many ways.   (Please note that the flow of information abruptly cut off here.)

Following is the original information that was given:

Welcome to 2011.  I hope this newsletter finds you well.  We made it through the end of the year, the step into the new year, and have begun to understand, and move through, the often “rough” changes that have accompanied this.  I am pleased to tell you that, although some of you may not feel like it, you are doing it.  Things are changing, and moving.  Its just that sometimes, while releasing the old, it is painful, i.e.. it hurts, is frightening, overwhelming, frustrating, etc. This is the time to face forward and utilize the skills and knowledge you have been learning and implementing, such as mindfulness of your thought patterns, meditation, prayer, release work, affirming work, ceremony/ritual, smiling, laughter, and involvement in the positive activities and behaviors that help you feel better.  You may need help with this – if so, seek the help of a holistic health practitioner (not in place of an MD if medical attention is needed), spiritual/religious mentor, counselor, or healer.  Remember to interact with loved ones and people/activities you enjoy.  No one has complete control over their environment and interactions, but (and this is a big ‘but’) each of us does have control over how we balance the unwanted aspects of our daily lives with the positive.  On a regular basis, are you allowing/helping the “dirty waters” of your cup to be released?  Are you allowing this same cup to be filled with clean/light water on the same regular basis?  They cannot coexist.

There are annual occurrences that can provide added energy to your journey, such as the Phases of the Moon (full, new, waxing, waning);  Solstices (there are two per year – summer and winter); Equinoxes (2 per year – spring & fall).  If these events speak to you – utilize their energy.  It is said that the most powerful days of the year, bringing about the most grace & blessings, are the Solstices and Equinoxes.  This year’s Spring Equinox will be Sunday, March 20th.

I know that on many levels  it has been a really difficult transition into 2011.  I believe that the energies will begin to lighten mid-to-late March.  Please remember that you, and the universe, are clearing the way for better experiences, for your hopes and dreams to be able to manifest.  Continue doing your “work,” but don’t forget to do the things that make you happy, bring a smile to your face, or contentment to you heart.  Even if these moments seem to be fleeting – if you allow them to surface, they will be more frequent, and can truly get you through a “bad’ day.

Below you will find information on solstices, equinoxes, the moon, number sequences, chakras, a couple writings, and a few web sites.     As always, if I can help you, or be of service in any way – please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With Blessings & Love,

Stacey Osder
‘Omnasztra’

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When Does Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Begin?

from “The Old Farmer’s Almanac (www.almanac.com/content/first-day-seasons#chart)

See the chart below to see when seasons begin for 2011 —namely, the spring equinox, the summer solstice, the fall equinox, and the winter solstice.

The four seasons are determined by changing sunlight (not heat!)—which is determined by how our planet orbits the Sun and the tilt of its axis.

  • At the start of spring—the vernal equinox—day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
  • At the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the Sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting shorter.
  • Fall begins at the autumnal equinox. Day and night are each about 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days after the autumnal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going southward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.
  • The start of winter begins with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, when the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon. After this date, the days start getting longer.

 

Seasons of 2011:

Spring Equinox

March 20, 7:21 P.M. EDT

Summer Solstice

June 21, 1:16 P.M. EDT

Fall Equinox

September 23, 5:05 A.M. EDT

Winter Solstice

December 22, 12:30 A.M. EST

NASA_seasons

Credit: NASA

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 For extensive moon information, including a moon schedule, full moon calendar, current moon phases, etc.  please visit :  www.fullmooncalendar.net

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Quote~    “What true patience is, is knowing that you want it and knowing that it’s coming and actually enjoying the unfolding along the way. Understand that you never get it done. So you might as well be patient. You never get it done, because every time you want and receive, you also receive a new perspective from which to want. Life is a constant unfolding of new desires and then a constant alignment to those desires. ”

Jerry and Esther Hicks/dailyquote@abraham-hicks.com

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Have you heard about KIVA?  It is my new favorite thing.  Kiva is an amazing non-profit organization, with a world-wide community,  that is dedicated to combating poverty.  Kiva allows you to make small loans to entrepreneurs on five continents, leveraging just $25, to change a life.  Please visit their site at www.Kiva.org for more information.   

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Samadhi Life – Living Inspired at www.samadhilife.com/index.html is a web site that is definitely worth checking out.  They describe themselves as follows:  “Our Mission:  Samadhi Life exists to provide resources and community for people as they connect and journey through cycles of spiritual growth and evolution.”  This is a great web site offering Integrated Services, Inspired Products, and Resources. 

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chakras

Interested in Chakras?    Visit www.eclecticenergies.com/chakras for information about Chakras, working with the Chakras, and to take a test to find out about the state of your Chakras.  This web site also offers information about Acupressure, Energy Exercises, Mudras, Enneagram, I Ching, and The Ego & the Unconscious.

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Many of you ask about seeing number sequences repeatedly, and their meanings.  Following is an excerpt from About.com Guide ( January 21, 2010), and addresses this question.  The author is Eileen Smith, Angel Intuitive.  She states that “… It really is, to simply put it, the calling card of the Higher Realms.  …  The numbers you keep seeing are a code that signals your ancient DNA, your cellular memory and your higher consciousness to awaken. To awaken to a phase, a more spiritual space in your heart and mind and within your life.   When I see these numbers, or when my clients do, I tell them to take a moment, breathe in deeply and say “I am ready to receive.” Here are some of the more common numbers seen and what many intuitives and healers feel they mean:

  • 10:10 is the Alpha-Omega number. The number of beginnings and endings, it is full of promise, and of opening to the “Compassionate Heart.”
  • 11:11 means “the Gateway”, it’s the doorway to your evolving self, your place within the current ascension of the planet.
  • 12:12 is the number when the Higher Realms wants to download into your consciousness new ways of being a human being and experiencing life on Earth. It is like the switch, turned on for you to step into your Divine Path to be of service for humanity and every living thing on the planet.
  • 333 is the Christ Consciousness number, and not anything to fear. It is a sign that you are being blessed and the high holy beings are directly overseeing your life or something in your life at this time.
  • 111 is a manifestation number. It means you are in a moment where you can create for your life. Be sure your thoughts are very positive.
  • 444 is an angelic realm number for prosperity and abundance.
  • 555 is the number of creating positive change and forward movement.
  • 777 is a very high spiritual number that signifies teaching or learning a more spiritually conscious way of thinking and being.   “

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A Parable Worth Sharing ~

Recently, I was working with a client, and an old story came to mind.  In case you have not heard it, I wanted to share it with you:  

There was a big flood, and the water around a man’s house was rising steadily.
The man was standing on the porch, watching water rise, when a man in a boat came along and called to him, “Get in the boat and I’ll get you out of here.”

The man replied, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The man went into the house, and the water starting pouring in. So, he went up to the second floor.
As he looked out, another man in a boat came along, and he called to him, “Get in the boat and I’ll get you out of here.”
Again, the man replied, “No thanks. God will save me.”
The water kept rising. So, the man got out onto the roof.
A helicopter flew over, and the pilot called down to the man, “I’ll drop you a rope, grab it, and I’ll get you out of here.”
Again the man replied, “No thanks. God will save me.”
The water continued to rise, and soon covered the whole house. The man fell in, and drowned.
When he arrived in Heaven, he saw God, and asked Him, “Why didn’t you save me from that terrible flood?”
God replied, “I sent people in two boats and a helicopter. I tried to save you but you wouldn’t let me.  What did you expect?”

November 2010

“No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.” 

– Albert Einstein

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Greetings,

It has been a strange year for many – very unpredictable, transitional, and emotional. Definitely a year of letting go, and of new beginnings.  I usually send the last newsletter of the year closer to the Winter Solstice or the New Year, but this year it seemed more appropriate to touch base with you near Thanksgiving. 

During unknown or challenging times, it is important to remember what you are thankful for – and sometimes you may be so overwhelmed or frightened that it can be very difficult.  However, if you allow yourself to be still for a minute – you will be able to find something that you are thankful for.  It may be a situation, a person, a quality within yourself, a beloved pet, an enjoyable hobby, a sunrise or sunset, a flower, etc.  It may be that you are grateful you made it through another day.  Gratitude can be big or small – it doesn’t matter – what matters is allowing yourself to recognize it, acknowledge it, and feel it’s warmth.

Regularly noticing the things in your life which make you feel thankful (and they can change daily) reminds you to be open and hopeful.  Positive thought really does build upon itself, just as negative thought does.  They also do coexist.  The beauty of it (which we often forget) is  that you can always, at any time, make an adjustment by bringing light into your thoughts.  And, yes, some days this is harder to do than others.

Although 2010 was described as a challenging year by many, it has been a year in which shifts have begun.  Many individuals have begun, or are beginning, to see the changes in their lives.  Things may not be where you had hoped they would be at this time, but more often than not, if you step back, you will be able to see the progress on yourself, your life, etc.  The progress may look/feel like baby steps, or great strides,  but either way the steps are leading you forward and you are taking them! 

2011 promises to be a different year.  It is a less transitional year, and more of a year in which people will see some concrete changes (these will vary with each individual, and with the amount of effort you have been putting into your necessary changes and desired goals the past few years).  It should be an easier, lighter year with more births, less deaths.  It is a more positive and settled year.  When I ‘look’ at it – I see a beautiful little pink flower just coming up out of the earth in the morning sun.  I am so happy to be able to tell you this!

I know that for many of you the changes and opportunities that were presented to you this year came in surprising ways.  The energy shifts have resembled a roller coaster ride complete with tunnels.  Congratulations on adapting to the twists and turns.  As you look back on this year, remember to think about all the things you learned, and to be thankful for the knowledge that you now possess, and can use in a variety of situations.

Below you will find some articles having to do with wellness, a few local holistic recommendations, some links to sites offering unique and meaningful gifts for yourself or someone else, a good excerpt on meditation, and a poem.  

I am so thankful and blessed to have crossed paths with each and every one of you.  Have a Splendid Holiday Season!   As always, I am available to support and encourage you on your path to well-being and wholeness ~ please don’t hesitate to contact me.  

Be Well, Be Thankful. Be Love…

In Peace & Gratitude,

Stacey Osder
‘Omnasztra’

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Natural Allergy Relief – Allergy Treatment Without Medication  by Corey Binns 

Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and coughing are all signs that allergy season has arrived, and it’s hitting harder than ever, with experts predicting this will be the worst allergy season in a decade. While many sufferers typically reach for an arsenal of over-the-counter or prescription medications to fend off symptoms, others may be bothered by the potential side effects or unable to take some due to certain medical conditions. The good news is you may be able to treat your worst allergy symptoms without medication.

Supplements and lifestyle strategies may promise relief. But be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they may interact with other medications you’re taking, says Roberta Lee, M.D., vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center and author of “The Superstress Solution.” In addition, read the box for the appropriate dosage and take according to the directions or as instructed by your doctor.

Watch the Clock

To keep pesky pollen, grass and other allergens at bay, keep your windows closed in the morning and at dusk, when allergens are at their peak. Avoid exercising during those times, as well.  “If you’re running at that time of day, you’re basically inoculating yourself,” says Lee. Take a shower after being outside to scrub off pollen and other allergens. Same goes for Fido. Give your pets a good washing so they’re not dragging pollen into the house.

Neti Pot

The fewer allergens you have in your system, the less you’ll sneeze and sniffle. Take a deep breath outside, however, and you’ll inhale pollen and other allergens that stick to your mucus membranes. That’s where a Neti Pot comes in handy. The hypertonic saline wash can flush out these allergens in your nasal passages.   “Pre-made nasal irrigation solutions found at the drugstore are perfectly fine to use,” says Lee.  She recommends using the Neti Pot twice a day.

Capsaicin

This ingredient, found in many spicy foods, comes from the chili pepper plant and can act as a pain reliever. It may also clear up your congestion. An over-the-counter nasal spray for allergies, called Sinol, uses capsaicin.   “The spray has an apparent effect on nasal membranes to reduce irritation by allergens such as pollens,” says Clifford Bassett, M.D., a member of the faculty at New York University School of Medicine and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital SUNY at Brooklyn.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Oily fish, green leafy vegetables, flax seed and hemp seed are all rich in omega-3.  “The trouble is most people don’t get enough in their diet,” says Lee. “I prescribe omega-3 for general health as an anti-inflammatory.”  This can help reduce inflammation, which amplifies an allergic response. Lee recommends eating oily fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and sardines once or twice a week. If you’re not a fish eater, take one to three grams of omega-3 fatty acids from supplements each day.

Vitamin D

Found in sunlight and naturally occurring in some foods, such as egg yolks, herring and cod liver oil, vitamin D is vital to protecting muscle strength as we age and in preventing cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases and may offer asthma and allergy protection. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels. Lee recommends taking 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 a day if they’re low. Or, if it’s a warm, sunny day, expose one third of your body to the sunshine for 10 minutes.

Ginger and Turmeric

Your spice cupboard is home to a host of tasty allergy remedies.  “Get involved in your senses and enjoy spices that inadvertently make your food healthier,” says Lee.  Both tumeric and ginger are powerful anti-inflammatories that may help reduce nasal and sinus inflammation. And unlike medications, they are also high in antioxidants. Lee says you can reduce inflammation and add more vitamins to your diet all at once by drinking two to three cups of ginger tea a day or cooking with two to four grams of tumeric a day.  “It’s kind of like getting two medicines in one.”

Stinging Nettle and Quercetin

Your body’s mast cells are filled with chemicals that cause inflammation. Exposure to an allergen can cause the mast cell to rupture, releasing chemicals that start an allergic reaction. Stinging nettle and quercetin are anti-inflammatory supplements that can act as mast cell stabilizers. Lee recommends taking two to four capsules of stinging nettle every four to six hours. Quercetin works like a natural Benadryl, Lee says. Take 500 mg twice a day.

Butterbur

This herbal supplement avoids the chain reaction of an allergy attack and decreases swelling.  “It helps with itchy eyes, swelling in your nose and coughing.”   She recommends taking about 50 mg twice a day.

Acupuncture

This ancient medical practice can alleviate many allergy symptoms. But, Lee cautions, you should find an acupuncturist who has trained for at least four years. Lee says you may want to visit an acupuncturist as often as twice a week when your symptoms are at their worst. During the winter when allergies subside, you may not need to see someone at all.

Reduce Stress

Pollen isn’t the only thing that makes a bad allergy season. Chronic stress can contribute.   “People with asthma have far worse asthma when they’re stressed,” says Lee.  Allergies are similar. To alleviate stress, Lee recommends an anti-inflammatory diet and deep breathing exercises.
(http://www.aolhealth.com/condition-center/allergies/natural-allergy-treatment?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl3|link1|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolhealth.com%2Fcondition-center%2Fallergies%2Fnatural-allergy-treatment)

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Drinking Water At The Correct Time

Maximizes its Effectiveness On the Human Body

 
– 2 glasses of water after waking up –  helps activate internal organs
– 1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
– 1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
–  1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack

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OLIVE LEAF

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Olive leaf is the leaf of the olive tree (Olea europaea). While olive oil is well known for its flavor and health benefits, the leaf has been used medicinally in various times and places. Natural olive leaf and olive leaf extracts are now marketed as anti-aging, immunostimulators, and even antibiotics. Clinical evidence has proven the blood pressure lowering effects of carefully extracted olive leaf extracts.  Bioassays support its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects at a laboratory level. A liquid extract made directly from fresh olive leaves recently gained international attention when it was shown to have an antioxidant capacity almost double green tea extract and 400% higher than vitamin C.   continued…. (see website – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_leaf)

Information also available at:  http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-olive-leaf.html ,  http://health.learninginfo.org/herbs/olive-leaf-extract.htm

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CUCUMBER

 


1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5 Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

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The Dash by Linda EllisThe Dash movie launched Simple Truths into the limelight, and has been viewed over 30 million times. See what everyone has been watching, and check out our blog for inspirational videos and articles, http://blog.simpletruths.com, and click on the link to receive a FREE newsletter! http://www.thedashmovie.com/land.html

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Holistic Recommendations:

Barbara Donoghue, CMT, offers incredible massage sessions that incorporate a combination of modalities including Swedish and Deep Tissue, Shiatsu and Pressure Point Therapy, Stretching, CranioSacral Therapy, and Energywork. Pregnancy massage is also available.  Call 323/252-8553 for more information, and to schedule an appointment in your home or office.  You will love it!

Dr. David Bond (Doctor of Chiropractic, Qualified Medical Evaluator, Diplomate in Homeopathy, Diplomate in Pain Management, Qi Gong instructor) is skilled in deep tissue, trigger point release, myofasical release and neuromuscular reeducation techniques as well as traditional and non-force chiropractic techniques. Dr. Bond also incorporates nutritional therapies, detoxification protocols and energy medicine.  For more information, visit www.essentialchiropracticcenter.com  or Call 818/501-8743 to schedule an appointment in either Sherman Oaks or Woodland Hills.  He is the best! 

Herbs of Hope Inc./Rev. Dr. Damir de Balkany M.C.CMaster Herbalist – Radiesthetist.  Offering Testing & Consultation.  Located in Ventura, CA (46 S. California Street #9, Ventura, CA 93001).  Call 805/652-1658 for further information.  His work is remarkable!

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Marketplace:

Fortune Sitole, Artist:  Unique and remarkable art.  Description: “current pieces that “assemble mixed media to create townships of South Africa, showing every day life – playing ball, jumping rope, walking to school, washing, music and dancing. I use wood, sand, aluminum, oil and acrylic paint, sticks, bottle caps and other objects. I use all recycled materials and my work has been categorized as Folk Art, Raw Art, Township Art and Green Art. Townships in South Africa are slowly disappearing and my work documents their history…. Fashioning my work as homage to my ancestors, family and community, these pieces are a reminder of the day-to-day life in black South African townships. But shanties exist throughout the world and my art actually tells a story of the universality of poverty…  The characters in my scenes are about communities who have overcome adversity and have progressed into the 21st century.”   Fortune’s Website:  www.fortunesgallery.com

Josephine Wall, Artist: This artist’s creative output includes painting, pottery figures, sculpture, stained glass, and customized items of clothing.  She states that “Much of the inspiration for her mystical images comes from her close observation of nature and her interest in its preservation. Though she often strives to impart a message in her scenes, she also hopes to inspire in her audience a personal journey into the magical world of their own imagination.”  Please visit her website at: www.josephinewall.co.uk to see her work, and learn more.

Plein Air Life – Handmade Lip Balm, Lotions, and Skincare:  This company offers an incredible line of handmade products utilizing the freshest ingredients.  Products include handmade soap, candles, scrubs, lotions, body sprays, lip balms, lip colors, body balms, essential oils & fragrance oils.  They are located in Laguna, CA but their products can be purchased online.  For more information, visit their site at:  www.pleinairlife.com 

The Crystal Matrix Center  in  Los Angeles offers a wide selection of crystals, minerals, classes,  workshops, and holipathic treatments.  Please visit their site for more information:  

www.TheCrystalMatrix.com

BALI MALAS offers spiritual jewelry, created by Aum Rudraksha Designs, all comprised of the rudraksha bead.  Rudraksha beads are a symbol of compassion for humanity, a reminder of the present.  Please visit their website at:  www.balimalas.com

Juliette Campbell Jewelry is hand-made in New York City.  All  the stones are natural and of the highest quality available.  Each piece is one-of-a-kind and created to be worn as an everyday talisman to bring peace, happiness and good health into your life.  The website shows her pieces, and provides explanations of symbols and stones:  www.juliettecampbelljewelry.com

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Excerpt from “Broken Open” by Elizabeth Lesser

(p. 282-290)

MEDITATION INSTRUCTIONS

Since I have studied a variety of meditation practices, from teachers and cultures all over the world, one might think I have a highly ritualized and complicated meditation practice.  But actually my practice is simple.  While it is surely informed by all of my study and experiences, I would be mocking the real meaning of meditation if I represented it as an exotic journey.  Immersion into many forms of meditation has led me deeper and deeper into the most essential core of all of them: mindfulness – a nondenominational form of practice that teaches moment-to-moment awareness, a kind of falling in love with naked reality.

While books and tapes are good introductions to mindfulness meditation, I believe that they are not a powerful as working with a teacher or a group – what is called in the East a sangha, or a community of seekers.  A teacher or a sangha keeps us on track, inspires us, and answers questions along the way.  If meditation is something that appeals to you, I suggest participating in a weekend retreat or workshop in your area or at a retreat center.  Many community churches or yoga centers have weekly meditation groups.  The following instructions are meant to help you begin meditating, or to revive a stalled routine.

Chögyam Trungpa was one of my first meditation teachers.  He taught meditation as a twofold process: first, as a way to access stability and dignity in the midst of any situation; and second, as a way to wake up, as if from a dream, into vibrant and genuine aliveness.  Trungpa believed that at the core of life was what he called “basic goodness,” and that each one of us is basically good, and more than that, wonderfully noble.  “You can transcend your embarrassment,” he said, “and take pride in being a human being.”  Trungpa stressed good posture in sitting meditation practice as a way of demonstrating our basic goodness.  He said that keeping a straight back is a way to overcome our embarrassment at being a human being.  He often used the image of riding a horse when he taught meditation posture.  Sitting tall in the saddle tells the horse that you are the master.  Sitting tall on the meditation cushion or in a chair tells your mind and body that you are the master.  Sitting upright in the saddle tells the world that you believe in yourself.

Posture in meditation does not refer only to a straight back.  Posture includes the whole body.  The body and mind are inseparable in meditation, and a relaxed and energetic body creates a beneficial base for meditation practice.  Trungpa said that by working with posture in meditation, “you begin to feel that by simply being on the spot, your life can become workable and even wonderful.  You realize that you are capable of sitting like a king or a queen on your horse.  The regalness of that situation shows you the dignity that comes from being still and simple.”

I use Trungpa’s checklist of six body parts -seat, legs, torso, hands, eyes, mouth- as I sit down and assume a meditative posture.  I elaborate here on each point:

1. Seat: It is best to sit on a firm pillow on the floor or on a firm-seated chair. If you use a chair, sot forward to that your back does not touch the back of the chair.

2. Legs: If you sit on a pillow, cross your legs comfortably in front of you, with your knees resting on the floor if they can.  If you sit in a chair, put your feet flat on the floor, knees and feet hip width apart.

3. Torso: Keep your back comfortably straight, your chest open, and your shoulders relaxed. Philip Kapleau Roshi, the first Zen teacher I studied with, writes, “If you are accustomed to letting the chest sink, it does require a conscious effort to keep it up in the beginning. When it becomes natural to walk and sit with the chest open, you begin to realize the many benefits of this ideal posture. The lungs are given additional space in which to expand, thus filling and stretching the air sacs. This in turn permits a greater intake of oxygen and washes the bloodstream, which carries away fatigue accumulated in the body.”

A straight back and soft shoulders is a natural position. It does not have to feel forced or painful. In fact, after time, meditation breeds a sense of overall comfort. But often when we start to meditate, assuming a straight back makes us suddenly aware of discomfort in the body. This is why many people who meditate also practice yoga, or another form of physical exercise that strengthens and stretches the body.

One of the best ways to maintain a straight back and open chest in meditation is to repeat silently a phrase whenever you feel physical pain. For example, if you feel yourself tensing your shoulders as you hold your back straight during meditation, you can inwardly whisper to yourself, “soften, soften,” or “open, open.”

A straight back, open heart, and relaxed body will help your meditation practice immeasurably. A straight back will lead to dignity and courage. An open chest will nurture acceptance of life. A relaxed body will remind you to go easy on yourself, to treat your meditation practice as a gift instead of a chore.

4. Hands: Sometimes, when meditation gets very quiet, our concentration coagulates in the hands. It sounds strange, but you may experience this yourself. It’s not uncommon, as your exhalation dissolves outward, to feel as if all that is left of your body is your hands. Therefore, it is good to position your hands in a way that is both grounding and meaningful. You will notice in statues from a variety of religious traditions that the deities or saints hold their hands in intentional ways. These hand positions are called mudras in the Tantric Buddhist tradition – physical gestures that help evoke certain states of mind.

One frequently seen position is the forefinger lightly touching the thumb and the other three fingers flexed outward. Another common mudra is one hand resting in the palm of the other, thumbs touching. Many people like to meditate with their hands in the Christian prayer position of palms together, fingers pointing up. Some people meditate with their hands simply resting, palms down or upward, on their knees.

Each mudra evokes a specific quality that you can experience yourself merely by experimenting with them. For example, resting the palms upward on the knees indicates receptivity-openness to whatever comes your way. Hands placed downward on the knees produce a grounded feeling in the body, a sense of balance, and strength. My personal favorite hand position is where the thumb and index finger touch and create a circle. There is something about the thumb touching the finger that reminds me to be on the spot in my concentration, yet delicately so. I gently extend the other three fingers and rest my hands on my knees. This position keeps me steady and balanced. I attach the words on the spot to the mudra and use both the position of my hands and the intention of the mudra to bring my mind back to meditation when it wanders.

It is a good idea to stick with one position for your hands per meditation session, so as not to get distracted by the switching-mudra game. It’s very easy to turn anything into yet another way not to do the simple work of meditation. At the end of a meditation session, many traditions suggest raising the hands palm to palm and bowing. This is a way to indicate respect and gratitude for having meditated. It is also a way to experience a sense of humility as we bow to the universal forces of wisdom and compassion.

5. Eyes: Some meditation traditions recommend closing the eyes during meditation; others suggest keeping them open and directing the gaze downward, four to six feet in front of you, focusing on a point on the floor. Some suggest keeping a soft, unfocused gaze. I meditate with my eyes closed. You can experiment and see which way affords you the best relaxation and concentration. If you find that closing your eyes makes you sleepy, keep them open. If you find that keeping your eyes open is distracting, close them.

6. Mouth: We hold a lot of tension in the jaw. Let your jaw drop right now. Open your mouth wide, stick your tongue out, then close your mouth. Massage your jaw area from your ears to your chin. Now notice the difference. You can do this often during the day as a way to release tension. During meditation, it is not unusual for tension to gather in the jaw. The Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh recommends smiling slightly, while you meditate, a great way to keep the jaw soft. Or you can drop your jaw and open your mouth several times during meditation.

Understand that the pain or tension you may feel in your body as you meditate is

both physical and psychological. If you experience pain, constriction, restlessness, or all of the above, do not be alarmed, and do not take the attitude “no pain, no gain.” Adjust your position slowly and mindfully as many times as you want during a meditation session. The point of meditation is to be relaxed and awake. Therefore make sure you are comfortable, and at the same time sit in a way that keeps you alert.

At a meditation retreat I heard Thich Nhat Hanh answer a man who said he experienced pain in his shoulders and neck the minute he sat down to meditate. Thay asked the man if he felt that same pain the minute he sat down to watch television. He said that he did not.

Do you stay awake for the whole hour?”

Yes,” said the man.    

Well, then,” Thay suggested, “take that same position when you meditate and make the same adjustments for an hour and see what happens. Later you can see about straightening your body.”

As you sit down to meditate, approach the experience lightly so that your body relaxes, just as it would if you were about to slip into a bath or settle down before the television. Then choose your hand mudra, close your eyes, straighten your back, and at the same time soften your shoulders and expand your chest, so that your posture is also one of gentle openness.

Breath, posture, placement of hands, eyes open or shut: all of these techniques form the container for meditation practice. But none of them eradicates the absurd quantity and aggravating intensity of the thoughts that flood the mind when we sit down to meditate. Please expect this. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, pleasurable ones, disturbing ones – they will come and go as we sit in meditation, watching our breath, maintaining our posture. They are the weather of the mind. Our goal in meditation is not to get rid of thoughts. Rather, the goal is to abandon identifying with each thought as it comes and goes; to watch the thoughts as we would watch the weather from an observation tower.

Feelings also arise during meditation. They often rush into the empty space created when we slow down and sit still. At every retreat I have participated in, there are times when crying can be heard in the room. To an outsider it would appear strange to see a room full of people sitting in meditation on the floor or in chairs, some upright and silent, some bent over, crying softly. A strange sight indeed. But a beautiful one also. There is something so noble about the pure expression of feelings. When drama or sentimentality is absent, tears, are like a healing river moving freely through us. “The answer to anger or sadness or other negative states,” says Thich Nhat Hanh, “is not to suppress or to deny them, but to embrace them with mindfulness like a mother with a baby.” Suppressing feelings in meditation, as in daily life, is like blocking a stream with sticks and mud. Blocked emotions eventually gather enough pressure to break through the dams we construct. Better that they find their way out in the safe environment of meditation than in other situations, where we may be forced to act on them in thoughtless ways.

Guilt, doubt, anger, despair, and other forms of self-judgment are common visitors in meditation practice. So are our convictions, biases, and beliefs. The purpose of meditation is to step boldly into reality, just as it is in the here and now. Therefore, it is helpful to sweep the mind clean of belief systems. Strong opinions can be signs of our passion and intelligence, but sometimes they spring from that part of ourselves that wants to be right, and that holds on tightly to familiar explanations. The ego wants to be a “Republican” or a “Democrat,” an “American,” or a “European,” … It wants to judge things as right or wrong. It wants to be “for” something or “against” something. It does not want to delve more deeply into the full picture of reality. Thus, an opinion about the world can become a foe to mindfulness meditation.   …

…   As you establish a meditation practice, remind yourself every now and then why you are doing it. It is easy to fall into a rote form of practice or, even worse, to feel self-righteous or trendy just because you take a few minutes out of your day to cultivate a quiet mind and an open heart. Remind yourself that you are practicing so that you can be a peaceful person, so that the truths you discover in meditation become the way you live your life. After a while your practice will show up everywhere – from driving the car to reading a bedtime story to your child. Meditation is not separate from life; it is practice for mindful living.

One warning about meditation: Do not use it as yet another way to judge yourself. Meditation can be difficult. While it hones some of our better qualities, it also holds up a mirror to some of our worst. This is one of the reasons we do it: to see ourselves clearly; to love ourselves, warts and all; to crack through the hard crust of the personality until the gem of the self is revealed. Let your resolve to meditate spring from your longing to break open into life, not from enmity toward yourself. Let go of the burden of self-judgment by returning, over and over, to your most basic self, just as you are, with an attitude of forgiveness. Soon you will find yourself forgiving others, and forgiving the world itself.

TEN-STEP MEDITATION PRACTICE

1.             Place and Time: Find a private and relatively quiet place where you will not be disturbed by people, children telephones, etc. Choose an amount of time you are going to meditate. Set a timer or keep a clock close by. Begin with ten minutes, and work your way up over a few weeks or months to a half hour or forty-five minutes.

2.             Seat and Posture: Assume a comfortable posture, sitting cross-legged on a pillow on the floor or on a simple chair. Keep the spine straight, and let your shoulders soften and drop. Do a brief scan of the body, relaxing parts that are tight. Relax your jaw. Choose a hand position and gently hold it.

3.             Beginning: Close your eyes (or keep your open eyes focused gently on a spot on the floor). Take a deep breath in and let it out with a sigh. Do this three times. As you sigh, release anything you are holding on to. Remind yourself that for these few minutes you are doing nothing but meditating. You can afford to drop everything else for the time being. The pressing details of your life will be waiting for you at the end of the session.

4.             Breath: Bring your attention to your breathing, becoming aware of the natural flow of breath in and out of the body. Observe your chest and belly as they rise and expand on the in-breath, and fall and recede on the out-breath. Witness each in-breath as it enters your body and fills it with energy. Witness each out-breath as it leaves your body and dissipates into space. Then start again, bringing your attention back each time to the next breath. Let your breath be like a soft broom, gently sweepings its way through your body and mind.

5.             Thoughts: When a thought takes you away from witnessing your breathing, take note of the thought without judging it, then gently bring your attention back to your chest or your belly and the feeling of the breath coming in and out. Remember that meditation is the practice of unconditional friendliness. Observe your thoughts with friendliness and then let the breath sweep them gently away.

6.             Feelings: When feelings arise, do not resist them. Allow them to be. Observe them. Taste them. Experience them but do not identify with them. Let them run their natural course, then return to observing your breath. If you find yourself stuck in a feeling state, shift a little on your seat and straighten your posture. Get back in the saddle and gently pick up the reins of the breath.

7.             Pain: If you feel pain in the body – your knees, for example, or your back – bring your awareness to the pain. Surround the area in pain with breath. Witness yourself in pain, as opposed to responding to the pain. If the pain is persistent, move gently to release tension, and return to your posture and breath. You may need to lean against a wall or the back of your chair, or you may want to straighten your legs for awhile. Avoid excess movement, but do not allow pain to dominate your experience.

8.             Restlessness and Sleepiness: If you are agitated by thoughts or feelings, or if you feel as if you cannot sit still, or if you are bored to distraction, come back to your breath and your posture again and again. Treat yourself gently, as if you were training a puppy. Likewise, if a wave of sleepiness overtakes you, see if you can waken yourself by breathing a little more deeply, keeping your eyes open, and sitting up tall. Sleep and meditation are not the same thing. See if you can be as relaxed as you are during sleep, yet at the same time, awake and aware.

9.             Counting Breaths: A good way to deal with all of these impediments to concentration is to count your breaths. On the in-breath, count “one,” and on the out breath, count “two.” Continue up to ten. Then begin again. If you lose count at any point, start over at “one.” As thoughts and feelings, pain and discomfort, restlessness and sleepiness arise, allow your counting to gently override their distracting chatter.

10.           Discipline: For one week, practice meditation each day, whether you are in the mood or not. Even if it is for only five minutes, commit to a regular practice. See how you feel. If you notice a difference (or even if you don’t), commit to another week. Then consider joining a meditation group or taking a retreat and receiving more in-depth instruction and support in your practice.

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September 2010

Hello Everyone!

I am getting a lot of calls and questions pertaining to… “Will this ever change?”  Well, yes, and, no.  Life is truly an odyssey –  a wonderful, exciting, maddening, frustrating, emotional, and beautiful journey.  So, no – the emotional highs and lows, the shadow and light, guiding and illuminating our paths, will not change.  What will change is this:  As you travel,

and work with,  and through,  the obstacles of your chosen path(s)  –  the intensity with which you experience most obstacles; the way in which you address, and deal with, any given issue;

and the way in which it will impact you, will definitely change.  You are on your spiritual, emotional path.  As you have traveled along it, you have learned new and effective ways to address difficult situations.  People appear along the way to help, in a variety of ways, if you allow it.  Just remember to use discernment, and trust your heart and spirit.

We are almost at the end of Mercury Retrograde (it ends September 12th – for more information on Mercury Retrograde, and it’s effects, please visit Susan Miller’s website –

the links are below).  During this retrograde, old scars, patterns, and issues have revisited many.  This allows you to re-examine them, perhaps addressing some aspect that had previously been overlooked, or unable to be dealt with.  This is a good thing, however uncomfortable it may be.  It is timely.  Hold up your light.  Explore.  And deal with that which was not previously dealt with.  It is always more frightening to imagine what is in the dark, than to shine the light on it, and see who or what you are really dealing with.  You are safe, and you can do it.  Don’t forget that you are not the person that you were when the issue or situation first occurred, or came into your conscious awareness.  Remember that this is your odyssey, not someone else’s.  The journey is never over – it is about what piece of it you want to deal with today.  So, enjoy it, and choose wisely.  And if you make  a mistake – forgive yourself, learn from it, and smile.  Everyone makes mistakes – all the time.

Below you will find a variety of articles, writings, videos, links, and recommended books/authors that I thought were interesting and/or useful.  As always, I am available to support you with your journey, and your well-being,  in any way I can.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me.   Enjoy…

Love, Light & Blessings to You,

Stacey Osder
‘Omnasztra’

 

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Susan Miller’s Website:

has Mercury Retrograde Information, and more: 

Susan Miller’s  www.astrologyzone.com current trends

http://www.astrologyzone.com/forecasts/trends.html

Mercury Madness

http://www.astrologyzone.com/forecasts/mercury.html

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This month’s Whole Person Magazine, has a good article about the disappearance of honeybees.  You can visit  www.vanishingbees.com   to find out more information about this phenomenon, and to see the trailer of the documentary film featured in the article.  A client also  sent me the YouTube video below (which I have included for your convenience).  It is worth watching, and learning about.

The Vanishing of the Bees

This is a trailer for the documentary feature film – The Vanishing of the Bees.. For more information or to help support the making of this film visit www.vanishingbees.com.

(In case the video above does not work – the link is:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL-A8Apn1_s    )

 

 

 

 

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Following are some videos that, in the words of a friend of mine, are wonderful, and actually mean something! :

http://personalgrowthcourses.net/video/what_matters_w_mitchell

http://personalgrowthcourses.net/video/challenge_day


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How To Forgive :

Rather than hurt ourselves with bitterness, the best course of action is to simply forgive.  Forgiveness is the ultimate reset button.  Sadly, millions of people struggle with forgiveness, but it is because they don’t understand how to forgive.

The first thing you have to understand about forgiveness is that it has nothing to do with your emotions.  You may feel the emotional pain of what that other person did to you till the day you die – it has nothing to do with forgiveness.

Second, forgiveness has nothing to do with erasing your memory.  You may remember what that person did to you till the day you die.  Forgiveness is simply this: a decision to let it go.  The Greek word that translates to “forgiveness” is “aphieemi,”  literally “to send off,” “to release,” or “to let go.”  This means forgiveness is the act of sending away incidents that cause offense to brew in us.  It means we can’t keep focusing on the wrong done to us.  Forgiveness is an act.  This is an example of forgiveness: “I forgive you.  I will never use it against you in the future.  I will never speak of it again to you or anyone else.”

When you forgive, you decide to release the person from his or her guilt, period.  You may remember the offense repeatedly at first.  That’s okay.  The commitment to forgive a person is a commitment to “send away” the incident every time it reappears in your mind. 

Once the apostle Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

That’s 490 times.

Luke, in his Gospel, adds the phrase “a day.”  Imagine forgiving the same person 490 times a day!  Truth is, it is pretty easy to get consumed by someone’s offense.  When a person does something that really hurts you, you will naturally think about it over and over again.  Practicing the principle of forgiving someone 490 times a day means every time you think about what that person did to you, you prayerfully give it to God.  The choice to forgive means we keep forgiving.  Over time you will find the incident losing strength.

You must also remember that forgiveness has more to do with your tongue than your head or your heart.  If you’re still talking about what that person did to you, you haven’t forgiven him or her.  You need to hush.  You need to let it go.  The good news is, God will help you do this.”

Excerpt from “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”   (p. 271-273)

by Mark  Gungor

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LIKABLE  LINKS:

Spirituality & Health Magazine | The Soul/Body Connection:
www.spiritualityhealth.com

The online Self Improvement Community:    www.selfgrowth.com

International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers:  www.grandmotherscouncil.org

Care2 Make a Difference – Causes & News for people passionate about animal welfare, human rights, and the environment. Also has e-cards. :   www.care2.com

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RECOMMENDED READINGS :

Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow”   by Elizabeth Lesser

    Description:   During times of transition, amid everyday stress, and even when we face seemingly insurmountable adversity, life offers us a choice: to turn away from change or to embrace it; to shut down or to be broken open and transformed. In the more than twenty-five years since she cofounded the Omega Institute now the world s largest personal-growth and spiritual retreat center Elizabeth Lesser has been an intimate witness to the ways in which human beings deal with change, loss, and difficulty. She herself has struggled to submit to what she calls the Phoenix Process allowing herself to be broken open in order to rise like the mythical bird.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You Are That” by Gangaji

    Description:  The lives of thousands of people have been influenced by Gangaji’s teachings. You Are That is a collection of her classic offerings, first shared more than a decade ago and now updated to include both original volumes, a new introduction, rare photographs, and new insights. This exquisite special edition delves into natural inquiries about our existence, including the nature of mind, how to expose the core of suffering, and how to overcome the last obstacle of self-doubt.

    Eloquent and direct, Gangaji guides practitioners of all backgrounds through an examination into the self that often leads to unexpected glimpses of awakening. “This is a moment of reckoning,” she teaches.   “Do not take this moment casually or trivially. Recognize that for whatever reason, you are aware of the possibility of realizing the truth of yourself as limitless consciousness-you are that!”

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires” by Esther & Jerry Hicks

    Description:  This fascinating book by Esther and Jerry Hicks, which presents the teachings of the nonphysical entity Abraham, will help you learn how to manifest your desires so that you’re living the joyous and fulfilling life you deserve. As you read, you’ll come to understand how your relationships, health issues, finances, career concerns, and more are influenced by the Universal laws that govern your time-space-reality – and you’ll discover powerful processes that will help you go with the positive flow of life. It’s your birthright to live a life filled with everything that is good – and this book will show you how to make it so in every way!

    According to Abraham, the reason so many of us feel frustrated, is that we have difficulty knowing how to ask and receive whatever we want to be, do or have.   This book offers an excellent, in-depth discussion on how to change one’s life by matching the vibrational energy of one’s desires–taking the power of positive thinking to a whole new level.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time” by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

    Description: One day in 1993, high up in the world’s most inhospitable mountains, Greg Mortenson wandered lost and alone, broken in body and spirit, after a failed attempt to climb K2, the world’s deadliest peak. When the people of an impoverished village in Pakistan’s Karakoram Himalaya took him in and nursed him back to health, Mortenson made an impulsive promise: He would return one day and build them a school. Although he was a homeless “climbing bum” living out of his aging Buick in Berkeley, California, Mortenson sold what few possessions he had to launch one of the most remarkable humanitarian campaigns of our time.” “Three Cups of Tea traces Mortenson’s decade-long odyssey to build schools, especially for girls, throughout the region that gave birth to the Taliban and sanctuary to Al Qaeda. While he wages war with the root causes of terrorism – poverty and ignorance – by providing both girls and boys with a balanced, nonextremist education. Mortenson must survive a kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, death threats from Americans who consider him a traitor, and wrenching separations from his family.” Today, as the director of the Central Asia Institute, Mortenson has built fifty-five schools serving Pakistan and Afghanistan’s poorest communities. And as this real-life Indiana Jones from Montana crisscrosses the Himalaya and the Hindu Kush fighting to keep these schools functioning, he provides not only hope to tens of thousands of children, but living proof that one passionately dedicated person truly can change the world.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows     

    Description:   “I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….    As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends–and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society–born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island–boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.  Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s…

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

RECOMMENDED AUTHORS:   

Sanaya Roman,  Florence Scovel Shinn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joseph Campbell.

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 The Story of the Butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge
and expand enough to support the body,
Neither happened!
In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
crawling around.
It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness
and haste did not understand:
The restricting cocoon and the struggle
required by the butterfly to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready
for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly
what we need in our lives.
Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been
and we would never fly.

So have a nice day and struggle a little and teach well.

                                                            – Author Unknown

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May 2010

Greetings,

I hope you are doing well, and enjoying a plethora of peace, happiness, and balance. 

I do not usually forward the type of information in this newsletter to my clients, but I felt that these three articles are important and/or of value to many.  In this newsletter you will find:  1) A Sioux Prayer Request from Chief Arvol Looking Horse; 2) The closing of the Bodhi Tree; and 3) A thought provoking and insightful story.  Feel free to forward this email…

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or inquiries.

Take good care,

Stacey Osder
‘Omnasztra’

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From :  Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
———————————- 

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their  Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.  We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue.  I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth. As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc’i Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer.   Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children’s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipel

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Bodhi Tree Bookstore Is Closing: Bad News for Buddhists

By Gendy Alimurung, Tuesday, Jan. 12 2010 @ 4:02PM

    Bad news for Buddhists and others seeking enlightenment: the Bodhi Tree Bookstore is closing. Owners Phil Thompson and Stan Madson informed their staff last Wednesday that the cozy Melrose Avenue shop, a nationally renowned and much beloved spiritual center, will be shutting its doors in a year’s time.
After some eight months of discussion, Thompson and Madson decided to sell the property to a local business owner who leases space to several other nearby retailers. The Bodhi Tree opened in 1970. Land values in the area have risen dramatically since then. Meanwhile, the business of selling print books has been on a steady decline. For years, real estate agents had been circling the Bodhi Tree like vultures. In the end, selling the property became a much more profitable option than continuing to sell books.
Thompson and Madson started the bookstore when they were in their 30’s. They are now both in their early 70’s. They were aerospace engineers who left a life of science for one of contemplation and meditation.
“Twenty years ago we felt like it was an expanding situation,” says Madson. “We were concerned the store was getting too big. We had a staff of 100. Publishing was expanding. Spirituality was expanding. But what changed was that the market became widely dispersed.”
Books on Wicca and Astrology and Native American shamanism used to be tough to find. But now every Borders and Barnes & Noble carries a significant selection of religious, spiritual and New Age literature. And what can’t be bought at a bricks and mortar shop can undoubtedly be found online at Amazon. For cheap.
For the Bodhi Tree, the question of how much to grow became one of how long to hold on. Thompson and Madson built most of the wood shelves and fixtures in the store themselves. The floors creak. The walls are permeated with the smell of incense. Two chubby bookstore cats roam the aisles and pause to be petted by customers who call each kitty by name.
Thompson likes to think that the place has helped people who were lost, who were trying to discover who they really are, whether that be through Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. They both worry about what will happen to the community once the store is gone. Where will people go for spiritual solace?
“Perhaps a wealthy philosopher entrepreneur will come in to buy the store and keep it going,” says Thompson. “A sort of philosopher king. Or queen.”
In the absence of a deus ex machina, however, the Bodhi Tree’s fate seems sealed. “We thought we had more time,” says Madson.
www.laweekly.com

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X: A Fabulous Child’s Story

Louis Gould

(edited and paraphrased by Linda Thurston)

Once upon a time, a baby named X was born. This baby was named X so that nobody could tell whether it was a boy or a girl.

Long before Baby X was born, all the smartest scientist in the world worked out the details of the Official Instruction Manual for Baby X’s parents and, most important of all, to find the right set of parents to bring up Baby X.

These parents had to be selected very carefully. But, finally, the scientists found the Joneses, who really wanted to raise an X more than any other kind of baby—no matter how much trouble it would be. Ms. and Mr. Jones had to promise they would take equal turns caring for X, and feeding it, and singing it lullabies.

The day the Joneses brought their baby home, lots of friends and relatives came over to see it. So the first thing they asked was what kind of a baby X was. When the Joneses smiled and said, “It’s an X!” nobody knew what to say. They couldn’t say, “Look at her cute little dimples!” And they couldn’t say, “Look at his husky little biceps!” They didn’t know how to play with the baby or what to say to it.

Ms. And Mr. Jones had to be Xtra careful about how they played with little X. They knew that if they

kept bouncing it up in the air and saying how strong and active it was, they’d be treating it more like a boy than an X. But if all they did was cuddle it and kiss it and tell it how sweet and dainty it was, they’d be treating it more like a girl than an X. The Official Instruction Manual said “plenty of bouncing and plenty of cuddling, both. X ought to be strong and sweet and active.

On his first shopping trip, Mr. Jones told the store clerk, “I need some clothes and toys for my new baby.” The clerk smiled and said, “Well, now, is it a boy or a girl?” “It’s an X,” Mr. Jones said, smiling back. But the clerk couldn’t help. Everything in the store was in sections marked “Boys” or “Girls.” There were “Boys’ Pajamas” and “Girls’ Underwear” and “Boys’ Fire Engines” and “Girls’ Tea Sets.” Mr. Jones remembered that the Official Instruction Manual said “Buy plenty of everything!”

So they bought plenty of fluffy pink pajamas in the Girls’ Department and Spiderman underwear in the Boys’ Department. And they bought all kinds of toys. Tractors and trucks and a girl doll that talked in three languages and said, “I am the Pres-i-dent of Gen-er-al Mo-tors.”

The Manual said, “Never make Baby X feel embarrassed or ashamed about what it wants to play with. And if X gets dirty climbing rocks, never say Nice little Xes don’t get dirty climbing rocks. Likewise”, it said, “if X falls down and cries, never say ‘Brave little Xes don’t cry.’ Because of course, nice little Xes do get dirty, and brave little Xes do cry.”

Then it was time for X to start school. The Joneses were really worried about this, because school was even more full of rules for boys and girls, and there were no rules for Xes. The teacher would tell boys to form one line, and girls to form another line. There would be boys’ games and girls’ games, and boys’ secrets and girls’ secrets. The school library would have a list of recommended books for girls, and a different list of recommended books for boys. There would even be a bathroom marked BOYS and another one marked GIRLS. Pretty soon boys and girls would hardly talk to each other. What would happen to poor little X?

The scientists had to make sure that X’s mother had taught X how to throw and catch a ball properly, and that X’s father had seen sure to teach X what to serve at a doll’s tea party. Finally, X was ready. The Joneses helped X button on a nice new pair of red-and-white checked overalls, and sharpened six pencils for X’s nice new pencilbox, and its nice new bookbag.

The Joneses had asked X’s teacher if the class could line up alphabetically, instead of forming separate lines for boys and girls. And they had asked if X could use the principal’s bathroom, because it wasn’t marked anything except BATHROOM. X’s teacher promised to take care of all those problems. But nobody could help X with the biggest problem of all— Other Children.

They couldn’t tell what X was by its clothes or haircut. And it was very hard to tell by the games X liked to play. Either X played ball very well for a girl or played house very well for a boy.

Some of the children tried to find out by asking X tricky questions. Like it’s favorite book, which was Lassie. When X said that its favorite toy was a doll, everyone decided that X must be a girl. But then X said that the doll was really a robot, and that X had computerized it, and that it was programmed to bake fudge brownies and then clean up the kitchen. After X told them that, the other children gave up guessing what X was. All they knew was they’d sure like to see X’s doll.

There was a seven-letter-word spelling bee in class that day. And a seven-lap boys’ relay race in the gym. And a seven-layer-cake baking contest in the girls’ kitchen corner. X won the spelling bee. X also won the relay race. And X almost won the baking contest, except it forgot to light the oven.

The Other Children noticed something else, too. X seemed to have fun being good at boys’ skills and girls’ skills. “Maybe X is having twice as much fun as we are!”, they said.

From then on, some really funny things began to happen. Susie, who sat next to X in class, suddenly refused to wear pink dresses to school anymore. She insisted on wearing read-and-white checked overalls—just like X’s. Overalls, she told her parents, were much better for climbing monkey bars.

Susie’s parents were horrified by her behavior. But the worst came when the twins, Joe and Peggy, decided to share everything with each other. Peggy used Joe’s hockey skates, and his microscope, and took half his newspaper route. Joe used Peggy’s needlepoint kit, and her cookbooks, and took two of her three baby-sitting jobs.

Their parents weren’t one bit pleased with Peggy’s wonderful biology experiments, or with Joe’s terrific needlepoint pillows. In fact, they were furious. It’s all that little X’s fault, they agreed. Just because X doesn’t know what it is, or what it’s supposed to be, it wants to get everybody else mixed up, too!

But the other children wanted to have twice the fun like X. So they were mixed up and happy and free, and refused to go back to the way they’d been before X.

Finally, the parents decided to call an emergency meeting of the school’s Parents’ Association, to discuss “The X Problem.” They demanded immediate action. The Joneses, they said, should be forced to tell whether X was a boy or a girl. And then X should be forced to behave like whichever it was.

The principal was very upset. Disruptive influence? Mixed-up misfit? But X was an Xcellent student. All the teachers said it was a delight to have X in their class. X was a very good student. X had won first prize in the talent show, and second prize in the art show, and honorable mention in the science fair, and six athletic events on field day.

Nevertheless, insisted the Parents’ Association, X was the Biggest Problem Child they had ever seen!

So the principal reluctantly notified X’s parents that numerous complaints about X’s behavior had come to the school’s attention. And that an Xamination by the school psychologist was requested. Then the school would decide what to do about X.

All through the examination, you could hear the psychologist’s low voice, asking hundreds of questions, and X’s higher voice, answering hundreds of answers. At last, the door opened.

Wiping his eyes and clearing his throat, the psychologist began: “In my opinion,” he said, “in my opinion, young X here is just about the least mixed-up child I’ve ever Xamined!”

The Parents’ Committee was angry and bewildered. Didn’t X have an identity problem? Wasn’t X mixed up at all? Wasn’t X any kind of misfit? How could it not be, when it didn’t even know to act like either a boy or a girl?

The psychologist whispered to X’s parents. “If I ever have an X of my own,” he whispered, “I sure hope you’ll lend me your instruction manual.”

Later that day, all X’s friends put on their red-and-white checked overalls and went over to see X. They found X in the back yard, playing with a very tiny baby that none of then had ever seen before. The baby was wearing very tiny red-and-white checked overalls.

“How do you like our new baby?” X asked the Other Children proudly.

“It’s got cute dimples,” said Jim.

“It’s got husky biceps, too,” said Susie.

“What kind of baby is it?” asked Joe and Peggy.

“Can’t you tell?” said X with a big, grin. “It’s a Y!”

http://coe.k-state.edu/about/download/profdev/X%20story.pdf

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December 2009

Happy Winter Solstice Everyone! 

This is a time of transformation, and movement (finally!  I know some of you are breathing a sigh of hope and relief).  It has been a long, and sometimes difficult, journey to this point… so many have been waiting, some avoiding, most doing their best to understand and transform any issues, scars, and obstacles.  You have been working hard, and if you have not already begun to see positive results – you will soon.  We have stepped through a doorway, and the future is different – it is brighter, a bit easier.  The changes may be subtle, or dramatic, but they will be there.  As always, I am here to help you if you need me. 

There are a few things I want to share with you…

~~ First is a wonderful, short video from Humanity Healing (www.humanityhealing.org).  I stumbled across it, loved it, and thought it a beautiful way to honor you, the solstice, and the transition to the new year.  The name of the video is “Intention: Aware & Awake”,  the url is:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFPDrBCXnE

~~ Pepper Lewis offers an inspiring and informative article (“Making the Most of Your Spiritual Toolbox”) at:  http://www.thepeacefulplanet.com/library/toolbox.php

~~ Many of you ask me about meditation, and about the energy of different stones.  

~ For a ton of information on meditation, visit:  http://www.meditationiseasy.com/index.htm

~ Heaven and Earth Jewelry offers the metaphysical properties of many stones at:

http://heavenandearthjewelry.com/ecommerce/control/category/~category_id=metaproperties/~pcategory=resources

I wish each and every one of you a brilliant 2010!! 

In Love, Light & Peace,

Stacey Osder
‘Omnasztra’

September 2009

Hello Everyone!

I hope this email finds you safe, peaceful, and enjoying your summer.  There has been quite a bit of planetary action these last few months – eclipses, retrogrades, and so much more.   I am by no means a planetary expert so I always appreciate it  when I come across information that is informative yet easy to understand.  I recently read two such articles explaining some of these current influences, and I wanted to share them with you.  

As always, I am available to support you with your journey, and your well-being,  in any way I can.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of service to you. 

Following are the articles, and a link to a beautiful video on You Tube – “The Om”  . 

Enjoy…

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Excerpt  from Cynthia Killion’s September Newsletter

(www.cynthiakillion.com) :

“We do have a couple of significant astrological & energy shifts happening this month.  The first is Mercury Retrograde on the 6th (or 7th…depending on which time zone you live in).  The second major shift is Pluto stationing & going direct on September 11th.

 I realize that if you’re not a professional astrologer (or at least a serious student of the subject), all this talk of “stationing” & “retrogrades” might sound like goobley-gook at worst, or a foreign language at best.  I understand. Which is why I like to try to put it into plain & simple words, for those who don’t speak “astrologeuse” (smile).

Let’s take Mercury Retrograde first.  This is what is happening from about September 6th through September 29th.  “Retrograde” means “appearing to move backwards from the earth’s vantage point”.  When a planet or heavenly body retrogrades, it usually means disruption, breakdown, challenges, problems, or reversal in the energies or areas of life that are “ruled” by that particular planet.

Mercury is said to “rule” communications, transportation, technology, travel (especially travel by car), contracts, commerce, business, the mind, mental processes, and the intellect. It is the rational, thinking mind, as well as all the countless day-to-day decisions we make involving the rational, thinking, mind.  So when Mercury goes retrograde, the rational thinking mind doesn’t really work all that well, or at least, it’s not as effective as it usually is.  Also, the “usual order” of things seems to break down.  Things often just don’t turn out or work they way they are “supposed” to during this time.  Even though you try to “cover all your bases” and make the “best laid plans”, things seem to change and morph at the last minute in spite of your best intentions.

Can you see how Mercury going retrograde might have potentially negative effects on the day-to-day operations of life?  Of course, it’s only “negative” if you’re expecting things to flow as they quote-unquote “normally” do.  But if you’re aware that communication could get fuddled, that travels slows down, and that plans must frequently get re-arranged during this time, then you’re not as likely to get so “bent out of shape” by what happens during Mercury retrograde.

How to survive (and thrive) during Mercury Retrograde in a nutshell….  Be flexible, fluid, and intuitive.  Avoid making decisions only with your rational mind, as the rational mind isn’t very effective on its own right now (is it truly ever?).  This is a good time for introversion, reflection, and meditation.  Avoid starting anything new, unless it involves spiritual contemplation & meditation or you have been thinking about doing it for sometime.  Of course, you can’t shut down your entire life or all activity just because Mercury is retrograde for 3 weeks.  Listen to your heart, and you will know when it is right to act, and when it is better to hold back.

Mercury retrograde is good for activities that start with the pre-fix “re”…redo, redecorate, renew, resubscribe, reflect, rework, refocus, replenish, restart, renegotiate, relearn, remove, remind, reignite, reinspire, rethink,  review, return, revisit, and so forth.

Pluto Direct.  Enough about Mercury….let’s talk Pluto already.  I feel kind of sorry for Pluto really, because after all, he was recently demoted to being just a “dwarf planet”.  I think this is complete BS, because anyone who has followed the movements of Pluto knows that, while Pluto may be tiny, perhaps even subtle, the effects He has on our lives can be quite POWERFUL, even traumatic, shocking, or at least, cathartic. 

Pluto spends a lot of time in retrograde each year (about 6 months).  Now it is turning back “direct” on the 11th.  In this case, “direct” means that it will now appear to be moving forward from the earth’s vantage point.  (This is the opposite of retrograde.)  In other words, its orbit will look normal again. When a planet goes “direct“, it represents a time where the areas of life that it symbolizes can finally resume normally activity and begin to flow smoothly again.  Except, it usually takes a little while for everything to get back to normal, especially when we are dealing with a slower moving body like Pluto, which takes about 248 years to go around the zodiac (contrast that with the Sun, which only takes a year!).

Pluto “rules” a lot of different areas in life, including transformation, regeneration, and the will.  Pluto has just entered Capricorn, where it will remain for over a decade.  Capricorn is associated with structure, responsibility, maturity, spiritual mastery, career, business, world governments & institutions.

With Pluto going direct, you might find your sense of self-empowerment and direction increasing, especially as it relates to your missing, calling, or any other area in life where you feel “pushed” to take on additional responsibility.  Probably you will feel encouraged & empowered to look at new ways of earning income or becoming more serious about your mission in the world.

For the last 6 months or so, all of us have been experiencing a kind of deep-level inner transformation.  Now, with Pluto going direct in Capricorn (a very material-world kind of sign), it is time to manifest some of this internal transformation into the “outer” world and make change in practical, real-world level ways.  It’s also time to begin understanding & owning your own power to shape and create your own reality.  You may not be the only force in your world, but you are certainly an important one.  You have the power—and the responsibility—to change limiting situations in your life, by changing your thoughts, feelings, and most important of all—your actions.  In other words, if you want something done, then be willing to get it done, and also be willing to let it be done.

Finally, Pluto going direct may symbolize a time of endings and deep physical & emotional “purging” followed by a time of renewal & rebirth.  In fact, I would say with Mercury going retrograde, and Pluto going direct, that it is an excellent time to RENEW in any are of your life that has become stagnant, and to experience spiritual REBIRTH.”

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Excerpt  from Maria Shaw’s Newsletter (September 2009):

“Leo Energy – Mars/Saturn/Jupiter/Sun/Uranus

“The Unveiling”

It is in the best interests of the Universe if you can keep calm, cool and collected during these times. On the way to you is the important date of 09/09/09!!!

I can’t emphasize enough about this date. Leading up to it and even after it could be days and nights of stress, confusion and upsetting events. Not just to you, but to the community, city, state, country you Live in. These are the times that try Men’s Souls.

The planet Mars is interacting with several planets at this time….

The planet Mars, the planet of action, sometimes aggressive action, is here squaring off with the planet Saturn. Saturn is the planet of seriousness and responsibility. Even if you are a good con artist or talker, it will be hard to get out of a situation you have found yourself in.

Someone or something in your world makes it clear that you need to stop what you are doing. Don’t let it get to you. Sometimes you try and try and try, and things still don’t work out the way you want.

It is simply a time to plan a little more carefully. This is the time to be informed. If you need to, see a professional. A counselor, a lawyer, a doctor. Sometimes you have to go to the pros to find out the facts. Hard work is here. If there are delays in getting what you want, that may be a good thing in the long run. If you think you are going to get off easy, look out!!

If you want to keep your job, if you want to make an impression on your boss, if you want to get ahead, you can’t sit and pout now. The best things in Life don’t always come easily. Sometimes you have to work for something worthwhile. If you have to search, work, toil, sweat, worry a little, go to bat for someone, have a full plate right now, guess what??

Join the majority of the people on this planet! There are those out there, who feel deep in their Heart that the world owes them. They feel that someone else can do the hard work.

They are used to someone else taking care of them. For some reason, they made a choice early in Life never to grow up. You may wake up someday and find the world has passed you by.

You Live in a different paradigm now. Getting by on your looks won’t work. Well, maybe for a little while.LOL. Seriously, it is time to step up to the plate and be counted!

Mars also is meeting up with the planet Jupiter. It is time to clean out the clutter in your Life.

You will have plenty of Energy to do this. It is a time of growth and expansion. Moving forward is a good idea before the Mercury Retrograde that will hit you next month. Confidence is a good thing now. Try something that will give your self esteem a boost.

Mars is very active now and interacts with the planet Uranus too. This planet is in Retrograde until December 1. Uranus, the planet of the unexpected is going to make you feel restless.

As mentioned above, you may have road blocks or delays and forced to reconsider what you were doing. Now, is a good time to see what changes need to happen in order to make your Life better. To hold onto something or to let it go may be a decision you have to make.

Maybe it is better to hold onto something and just a wait it out. Energies may change within a month, week or even days. Don’t give up!

Finally, the Sun meets up with Jupiter. The Sun represents the self or you. Jupiter is the planet of growth and expansion. Where are you now? Are you where you want to be? Is it time to make more money? Is it time to save? Is it time to spend? Is it time to invest in your future? Is it time to move on in a relationship? Jupiter is still in Retrograde and wants you to look at things that did or did not turn out the way you thought they would.

Maybe new ideas are perking in your brain, ideas you never thought of before. Jupiter turns direct on October 12th. So now is a good time to plan.

My Message for the Now is how to prepare for the future with the new Energies coming in the next weeks and months. I use the words “The Unveiling” because in a way you are becoming more aware, more conscious, more knowledgeable of the Energy around you.

While changes take place, it is important for you to be able to handle them.

This is not the time to become FEAR BASED, EMOTIONAL, WITH A BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES MENTALITY! It is about business, authority, and responsibility. It is about home, family, nurturing, contentment and security.

This is a time to think first, react second. This is a time to be more analytical, not to plod through without planning. This is a time to be spend less, save more. Here are some ways to cope:

1. YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS TIME: This is a time of the new and unexplored territory. You may be asked to do something you have never done before. The Earth is changing, the economy is changing, the environment is changing. You may be afraid of health epidemics.

You are alive now. You were born at the right time. You are here to learn the lessons and have the experiences of the new. For whatever reason, you are here to serve your Soul’s purpose. Every Soul has a part to play in the changes happening on Earth now. That includes you.

2. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE CRAZIES: It is a time of social networking. That is a good thing. There are those who will take advantage of it. You can choose to be in the now, living the best Life you can, or you can go to the dark. You can be part of something that is all smoke and mirrors. All illusion. You can be part of hysteria. Even though you may be tempted, try to take breaks from Facebook, Twitter, texting, emails, cell phones. Every once in a while try to take a break and just sit under a tree, or sit by the ocean.

3. MAKE YOUR OWN LIGHT: You are all Lightworkers, bathed in Light by God. Each person has his/her own aura or Energy field. Your persona follows you wherever you go. You make this journey alone, believe it or not. You can be surrounded by people, but the ultimate person you have to deal with everyday is yourself. Your Light is important. Your relationship with a higher power or God is important. It is time to Trust in your own Life, and the God in your Life.
4. IT IS NOT JUST YOU: There is a growing gap between the main channel and what is happening in your Life. Some things just seem out of the Twilight Zone. It can be confusing to watch TV, the Internet, listen to the radio, etc., and not wonder what is going on in the world? You can feel panic attacks, and fear when you hear about all the craziness. If you can keep centered, and not absorb all of this, that will be good. There may be surprises about your place on this planet. If you are suddenly seeing the world differently, you are not alone. Millions of people feel just like you.

5. EMBRACE THE UNKNOWN: As the old and familiar are taken away, you may feel like the unknown is scary. It is a time of being stuck, in limbo. Not always bad. You are in a transition, waiting for the next chapter to start. Anything can happen. Thoughts can manifest into reality. If you are a client of mine, you will understand that Karma can be completed now. This is a great time to let Karma go in your Life. You may have more Karma in the future, but now is a good time to complete negative Karma.

6. BE PRESENT IN THE NOW: This is a mantra I talk about everyday. Do not give up hope. Know that a dramatic shift in your thinking may happen. If doors are closing in one place, look for where doors are opening in another place. You will see coincidences, signs and get Messages to lead you where you are supposed to be. Please don’t shut out any opportunities. You may feel more free. Maybe losing something you were used to, will eventually be liberating.

More to be revealed on the changes coming. Be strong, be real, try to Live in the Now.

The veil is moving away. Things will be shown to you. Don’t be afraid.

This was sent to me by a radio listener of mine and I would like to extend credit to the writer Marylou Chapman. I couldn’t have said this better! “

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You Tube – “The Om”:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7ofPdEgsoQ

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Love, Light & Blessings to You,

Stacey Osder
‘Omnasztra’

October 2008

Greetings Everyone!

I hope that each and  every one of you are doing well.   It has been awhile since I have written – I have been meaning to, but you know how that is!..  These are exciting times we are living in, aren’t they!?  Difficult – yes, but extremely exciting as well, on so many levels.  It seems an appropriate time to share a few different things with you (see below).  Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions, need further information, or are in need of my services.

As always, it is a pleasure, and an honor, working with you.  Thank you for all the referrals.

Many Bright, Beautiful & Peaceful Blessings,

Stacey Osder
‘Omnasztra’

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Many of you are on prescribed medications, dealing with increasing health costs, etc.  Following are two websites you may find helpful to obtain free and/or low cost prescriptions.  They are both great programs, and provide in-depth information on the websites.

www.freemedicinefoundation.com   (Montel Williams publicized)

www.walgreens.com   (Walgreens Prescription Savings Club)

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I receive many questions regarding the “energy” of our times, astrology, and planetary influences.  Following are three of my favorite websites addressing these subjects:

www.whatuponplanetearth.com  (energy alerts, which you can sign up to receive, are always informative)

www.moonsurfing.com  (email alerts are available for moon phases, and their influences)

www.astrologyzone.com  (astrology information, including monthly forecasts)

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A good article on silence, and its benefits:

THE BENEFITS OF SILENCE
By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.

In the August issue of “Ode” magazine, Tijn Touber wrote, “Being silent means more than just holding your tongue.  It means listening for the softest, most subtle sound of all—the sound of the soul.”

Last April, I was forced to keep vocally silent for a week after minor surgery on my vocal chords.  Among the benefits I derived from not talking aloud (not even a whisper), was my penmanship dramatically improved.  The notes I wrote to my wife were at least legible.  The experience of not speaking allowed me the opportunity to identify some other benefits of silence.  Here are some of them.

Verbal silence invites you to become mentally silent as well.  Thinking has been defined as non-verbal language.  One of the first exercises in learning how to meditate is to slow down (or completely stop) the mental activity called the “monkey mind.”  Like a monkey in a cage, our thoughts usually jump from topic to topic in a rapid and endless motion.  By not speaking, you can more easily learn to control the speed of your “monkey mind” and that allows your mind more easily to become silent…the necessary step for effective meditation.

When you do not talk, you become more sensitive to your external environment.  After a week of silence, Tijn Touber exclaimed, “Never before had I felt such intense contact with everything around me—precisely because I hadn’t uttered a word.  It was as if all my senses were wide open…”

Not only do you become more attune to your external environment, you also begin to focus more clearly on your internal environment.  When you can’t verbally respond to the world outside your skin, you become
more aware of what is going on inside: every little discomfort; your breathing pattern; your pulse and heartbeat; your digestive sounds; etc.

Many times, using words can serve as a defensive “smoke-screen.”  We all know people who speak incessantly, never letting you “get a word in edgewise.”  They are constantly talking to protect themselves from being vulnerable to any responses from others.  Their need to talk keeps them from receiving any responses from others.  Other people very much appreciate it when the talker goes silent.  It allows them
the opportunity to share their feelings and ideas.

When you are silent, it invites others the opportunity to be silent too.  Religious orders know very well the benefit of “keeping the rule of silence.”  When it is okay, even encouraged to be silent, that silence is never interpreted as negative or hostile (the “silent treatment”).  It makes silence a comfort and a respite from the noise of every day living.

Internal silence enhances your ability to listen fully.  When you don’t feel compelled to talk, you are able to be fully present, focused on what others may be saying.  We all know the value of really listening without mentally composing and rehearsing a reply.  Fully listening to another validates that what s/he is saying is important to you.

Italian psychiatrist, Piero Ferrucci, believes that silent contemplation is a human necessity.  In the same “Ode” magazine, he compares it to the necessity of “going to the bathroom.”  “But we deny this basic, physiological need—as if the entire society were to forget to go to the bathroom.  That’s serious!”

The “ecoactivist,” John Francis writes: “Silence is not just not talking.  It’s a void.  It’s a place where all things come from.  All voices, all creation comes out of this silence.”  Perhaps Tijn Touber is right.  When you are both internally and externally silent, you are ready to listen to the sound of your soul.

Don’t wait until you have vocal-chord surgery.  Regularly, take some time to stop talking aloud AND internally.  You may be surprised at what you can learn about the world around you…and your soul.

+++++++
Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D. has 30+ years experience as a Life Coach and Licensed Psychologist.  He is available for coaching in any area presented in “Practical Psychology.”  Initial coaching sessions are
free.  Contact him: (970) 568-0173 or E-mail: DrLloyd@CreatingLeaders.com or LJTDAT@aol.com.
Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life coach.  He serves on the faculty of the International University of Professional Studies. He recently co-authored (with Patrick Williams)
the book: “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” (W.W. Norton 2005) It is available at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.
If you found the above column useful, feel free to share it with friends. If you are interested in your personal spiritual growth, I believe this is the best site on the Internet.
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Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D., 3421 Polk Circle West, Wellington, CO 80549
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This is just a wonderful story.  I had forgotten about it, and came across it again recently.  Enjoy..

A Water Bearer in India Had Two Large Pots


“A water bearer in India had two large pots,
each hung on either end of a pole
which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it,
and while the other pot was perfect and
always delivered a full portion of water
at the end of the long walk
from the stream to the master’s house,
the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily,
with the bearer delivering only one and a half
pots full of water to his master’s house.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments,
but the cracked pot was miserable,
ashamed that it was able to accomplish
only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure,
the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day
by the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why? What are you ashamed of?” asked the bearer.
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load
because this crack in my side causes water to leak
out all the way back to your master’s house.
Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work,
and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt compassion and said,
“As we return to the master’s house, I want
you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill,
the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming
many beautiful wild flowers on the side
of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because
it had leaked out half its load, and so again it
apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there
were flowers only on your side of
the path, but not on the other pot’s side?
That is because I have always known about
your crack. Accepting what was given to me,
I planted flower seeds on your side of the path,
and every day while we walk back from the stream,
you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to
pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table.
Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this
beauty to grace his house.”


Author Unknown

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