Category Archives: Writings

Heart Centered Living Spot Light

Hi there, if you are reading this, that means you are interested in being in our Heart Centered Living “SPOTLIGHT” through our facebook community page.

If you have not joined our facebook page you can do so here:

In order for us to start the process I need you to kindly download this form and then send it back to me via email at

Looking forward to what YOU have to SHARE with us <3

Download the Word Doc here: Heart Centered Living Spot Light

Or the PDF here: Heart Centered Living Spot Light

View the Eclipse With This Simple Homemade Gadget

The following is a good article on how to build a very simple pinhole camera based viewer for the eclipse. This is a simple effective and safe way to view the solar eclipse on Monday August 21,2017. I have built one before, many years ago and it works.

When is the eclipse happening??

Eclipse Map Shows the Eclipse starting shortly after Noon on Monday August 21 in New York.
Close up for eclipse times for Wellsburg,NY.
Close up for eclipse times for Wellsburg,NY.

The following interactive Google map based will give you the time of the eclipse for your location. Times are listed in UTC, 24 hour format. Subtract 5 hours from the time listed for Eastern Daylight Time, 6 for Central, 7 for mountain, 8 for Pacific.

National Weather Service Eclipse Information



The Elements of Cooking

I recently finished reading the book Cooked by Michael Pollan. The book is divided into four sections, one for each classical element. In the book he points out something that I really had not thought much about in terms of cooking in relation to the elements of fire,water,air and earth. It was an excellent read, I got a lot out of it in terms of widening my perspective on how food impacts our lives. The relation to the elements was an interesting way to put different “lens” on and view the process of cooking through them. In the book there is a lot of eye opening information of how food impacts our health. The fact that we have become a nation of outsourcing the bulk of our cooking to corporations that don’t have our health as their top priority is something to consider. When one comes intimately in contact with food, from the raw ingredients to the final product there is a natural awareness and inclination to know more about what is going into our bodies.

Cooked also got me thinking a bit deeper of the trans-formative power of food ( on us and cultures of the world ) and the energy used to transform food. External energy of one source or another must be applied to food to “cook” it. Mostly we think of this in the form of applying heat to food, but it can also happen “cold” in the case of fermentation and slow chemical reactions that occur due to enzymes breaking down food.

A Stomach Outside the Body

At the most basic level cooking food is a type of digestion, a pre-digestion of food, that takes place outside of the body. According to the book Cooked, there is a theory out there that actually says that human evolution is tied to cooking. We humans have a small stomach relative to other primates who live on a diet of mostly raw vegetables and some raw meats. Our jaw is also smaller as we have evolved to mostly eat softer cooked food. Our brain is larger than other primates and there is a chance that it got that way because we learned to cook. The brain for it’s size consumes a lot of calories, energy required from food. By cooking food humans can extract the maximum amount of calories from it, helping us develop the way we did over evolutionary time. Other than carrying weapons and making tools, cooking gives us an edge over the other animals. Cooking also has the ability to make things that would be indigestible or even hazardous, this makes me think of tapioca, toxic before it is cooked. Cooking have opened up a new range of foods that were previously unavailable to humans in their raw form. Effectively humans learned how to build a stomach outside the body by using fire to cook and predigest meat and vegetables.

A Boost to Culture

Cooking also makes sense in the development of human culture. If we don’t have to forage all day, it leaves time for a culture to develop and frees some people up to specialize in activities, such as making more tools, value added products and other things that make life even easier. Eventually enough free time is left over for the arts, philosophy and etc. to develop, then we have a real culture, that starts to draw, illustrate it’s life and write down it’s ideas. At that point we go from pre-history to a history that has been passed on. The torch gets past from the archaeologist to the historian.

Culture within a Culture

There also would also be a culture that develops around food, as people would have gathered not only by the warmth of the fire, but for some warm food cooked over the fire. I am speculating here but, it is even possible that domesticated animals such as dogs and cats were at first attracted to the smell of food around our social gatherings, being less fearful of us and fire and were tamable enough to become our friends. Who knows, but it is a possibility.

Fire, Water, Air, Earth ( Grilling Chicken, Braising Pork, Irish Soda Bread and Fermenting Chaga)

Classical Elements

A cooking transformation is involved with all of the classical elements and I will  briefly look at each of them here and cover each element in more detail in forthcoming posts of this series.

  • Fire: Fire was the first element used by humans to cook. Humans most likely encountered fires set by lightning long before they learned to domesticate fire itself, then they captured it keeping it alive for a while and then finally figured out just how to start it whenever needed. Cooking anything, meat or plant, helps it become softer and it also breaks down the food on a microscopic level in a way that makes it nutritionally more available. Cooking with fire, especially slow cooking of meat, brings out the sweetness and mingles the smoke with the fat to create something sublime and irresistible. New flavors that were not there before come to full development.
  • Water: Cooking in water allows the molecules of the food to mingle and reactions to occur between the varied ingredients. This brings out a whole new set of flavors that is not possible by putting a hunk of meat on a fire. Water conducts heat well and allows for all the ingredients to be uniformly cooked. Finally because water can hold certain combinations of ingredients, it has place. Different dishes from all over the world stand out from each other by the fact that they have there unique combinations of ingredients and spices.
  • Air: Air as carbon dioxide in bread, produced as a metabolic waste of bread yeast, transforms something like dough, a ball of mud basically into a light fluffy bread with a hard crust. What a difference this made to people. Before bread there was only a type of gruel, grains cooked in water. With bread, you had a radically different thing, something dry. Something you could take with you, something you could put other food on, thanks to the Earl of Sandwich. It must have felt like magic. In fact, it still does, even though we know what makes it work today, the ins and out of microbes and all the reactions that make the browning of the crust just so good, it is still magic when a loaf comes out right.
  • Earth: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, all returns to the earth. The power of this transformation, of decay, harnessed and semi-controlled is what allows us to ferment foods. From beer and wine to sauerkraut, it all depends on these microbes that come from everywhere…“Everything is Everywhere”. This is a statement from the book that reminds us that the microbes are ready and waiting for something to feast on. Humans just have to provide the right conditions and care and feeding of the microbes and they will do their job. Helping to predigest to food that we will eat or produce the alcohol for our drinks that will preserve them for years. Recently I drank a long forgotten stout, that was still drinkable after 5-6 years, well preserved.


March 2016 and the Solar Eclipse by Numerologist Peter Shell


We are being encouraged and guided by celestial energies. This statement may sound quite dubious or even “new agey” to you. Let me add some additional information before you pass judgement.

First of all I unwittingly sat down to write this post on 3/6/2016. (3+6+2+0+1+6=18, 1+8=9)  or   (3+6=9)   (2+0+1+6=9)    99

Famous Numerologists of the past such as Pythagoras, Plato and St. Augustine believed that numbers could explain every occurrence. Galileo is quoted as saying, “Nature is written in the language of mathematics”.

During the solar eclipse of March 8-9 2016 the sun and moon will be found at 18 degrees in Pisces.

2016 is carrying the energy of 9. (2016 – 2+0+1+6=9) 18 degrees is also conveying 9 energies. (1+8=9) In addition, there is a celestial event (solar eclipse) occurring on March 9th. Realize if you will, the impact of these energies of 9 energy that is being ushered in.

We are talking about 3 distinct factors all radiating 9 energies into our lives. Three 9’s written as 999 is a powerful indicator that the time is right for taking notice of the meanings encoded within this 999 event triad.

So why all the fuss about 9? Nine symbolizes the ending of a phase or cycle. Every number can be reduced to the numbers of 1-9. Since 1-9 represent the purest distillation of every number, this resulting sequence becomes apparent. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,1,2,3 etc.

As I stated in my Jan. 2016 post,” 9 represents completion and preparation for the new beginnings that will be ushered in with the next calendar year”. If 2016 is a Universal Year 9, then 2017 is the Universal Year Number 1. So we find ourselves in a 9 year, anticipating the approach of new 1 year.  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, (9 , 1) ,2,3 etc. As you see we are in the early stages of the transition contained within the parentheses of the above sequence.

Triple 9 energy is a strong reminder to get your life in order. Evaluate your beliefs. Do they still work for you? Sift through your clutter. What still serves you? Examine your belongings. What can you recycle, gift or re-purpose? Think about each of your relationships. Are they mutually beneficial or hopelessly one sided. Are your relationships stale and withered or vital ingredients for furthering your growth?

Nine is all about being flexible and allowing. We are being prompted to be open to new possibilities, new ideas, new circumstances, new people and new opportunities. However, nothing new can flow into a vessel that is already full!

You must create space for anything new to arrive in your life. It is said that, “Nature abhors a vacuum”. What is empty will be quickly filled. Use your discretion and decide what you will accept and what you can release. Make arrangements, so you can fully enjoy and benefit during the next nine year cycle.

An abundance of new possibilities will be approaching with the arrival of the Universal Year 1. 2017 should provide hope, abundance and prosperity too all who have made an effort to be prepared for the wondrous new year!

Evaluate, prepare and prosper! – Peter



The Soul Knows

Since the beginning of the year, I have been really taking the time to tune into all that is around me, inside me and that which is waiting to come forth.

What has been truly fascinating to me though, is how disciplined and on task I have been while also going with the flow and just simply allowing my soul to speak to me in other ways.

It all started on December 31st when I did my releasing ceremony.  (getting rid of what does not serve me) meaning thoughts, habits, patterns, beliefs and of course even old and worn out things.

This is usually done through meditation or visualization and many times writing as well. But always with some sort of intention and desired result.

I used to think that the releasing was the hardest part-but really the hardest part is the allowing the good to come in next, creating the space in your life for something new and wonderful to take its place.

I used to think that intention was everything, that if you saw it in your mind’s eye it would appear,-sort of like how that movie The Secret would have you believe.  Oh just pray hard and it will happen, or wish it into being and it will appear before your very eyes.

I know that is not the case, and I made that known back in 2007 when I was interviewed for a local magazine. I know that it takes hard work for the things that you WANT to happen to happen. I know it takes hard work to keep the things away that you DON”T WANT  to have happen  in order to make room for what you do.

The  secret is not really a secret anymore, and since then there have been countless  new programs, books, classes, and tools out there that try and show us the way, and many all very good in their own way. (pun intended)

But in my experience it all comes back to us not only FINDING OUR OWN WAY-BUT REALLY KNOWING THE WAY DEEP DOWN INSIDE, that when given the proper tools, instruction and time to work on ourselves, and be with ourselves, that we FIND OUR OWN WAY ( I am hearing Stevie Nicks) singing “You can go your own way” and yet I feel it is a play on words saying “Sure you can go your own way-but how does that make you feel? Are you tired? Are you scared? Are you happy? Do you feel free? Hows it working for you?

Going your own way takes a lot of effort, standing up for what you believe and know is right does too, breaking free from the habits, patterns and beliefs that keep you stuck or make you feel helpless is just a distraction for you to not go you own way. (Beware of the distractions they will get you every time)

I’m not saying to sell your house and move to the country and be a recluse for the rest of your life, I’m not saying to walk into work some day and tell the boss that you quit, and I’m certainly not saying to go up to your partner of 20 years and say we’re through.

What I am saying is that as you FIND YOUR OWN WAY, you integrate that into who you are and what you do, as you KNOW YOUR OWN WAY, all else changes around you, you are born anew, and you are who you have always wanted to be and knew  deep down inside.

Seat of the soul

I believe that not only comes from following your heart, but listening to your souls promptings. The SOUL KNOWS. But how often do we find time to listen to our soul?

A couple of months ago during meditation I was told the following:

“The Seat of the Soul is the Seed of the Soul which rests and takes root in the heart. This is where the answers come for your life’s purpose hence your soul’s purpose. The seed is life itself but you give birth to it.”

Little did I know how much of a hold that message was going to have on me and how I was going to bring that into expression. Or maybe I should say birth that into expression.

That message was indeed my Soul’s Promptings to create the
Sanctuary of the Soul-

A place where we explore some of our deepest longing questions, a place where we not only give birth to our own seeds but nurture them so they take root.

To understand that for true peace, love, happiness, and heart centered living to take hold, we need to pay attention to the promptings of the soul, which resides in the heart center.

I invite you to awaken your heart center and seed your soul’s promptings in our Soul Sanctuary.

*Please note that I will be making an audio recording of these teachings that will be available for download*

To sign up and learn more, go here


In love, service and gratitude


Renee Pic 2013



The spectacular ride for 2016 starts this month

As we were planning our Monday night Heart Centered Living calendar of events, I noticed that all four major phases of the moon fell on Monday evenings in February. Hmmm, how interesting! I’ve never taken note of this occurring before, so I breezed through 2016’s calendar and did not find this happening for the rest of the year. I grabbed some old calendars and searched further.  This happened in May 2015 and also in July 2014.

With a little web surfing I found a very cool website. Four consecutive moon phases aligned on one weekday apparently occurs once in a calendar year.  Occasionally, it can happen more than once during a calendar year. Moving forward, we will wait 17 months for this occurrence to be repeated. The moon influences our emotions to an extent that most people are not aware. Think of the moon’s power over the rising and lowering tides here on earth. Then realize its vast potential to influence your moods and how you feel.

So, the moon places a special spotlight of attention and influence on February 2016. Interestingly, February is also a leap year.  This month is distinguished, by having 29 days instead of the standard 28. Numerology points out that since 2+9=11, February is going to experience the energy influences of number 11 throughout the month.

Number 11 can be seen as double 1’s. One is the number of high energy, individuality, independence, hard work and new beginnings. 11 is all about knowing without thinking. In other words it bolsters your sensitive nature and encourages you to use your intuition. Symbolically 11 looks like a door frame with an opened door, offering up an invitation for all to enter. 11 can be reduced by adding 1+1 to equal 2. Accept the invitation, enter through the doorway of 11, express the gentle qualities of receptivity, sensitivity, tact, cooperation and harmony that Number 2 embraces.

The 9 energies of the Universal Number for 2016 are urging you to happily release everything that is old, worn or outmoded in your life. This includes material items, personal belongings, relationships, jobs, homes or ideas whose time of service to you has elapsed. Graciously allow them to be cast off; creating a vacuum that will be quickly filled by the influx of new energies that are coming your way during 2016. Engage with the energy of the double 1’s to increase the momentum of your future manifestations. You are all being primed to reach for your brass ring, claim your power and the prizes in life that you deserve. Act now and be prepared.
Enjoy the ride throughout 2016. It’s going to be spectacular! – Peter

Paramahansa Yogananda

Long before Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and other spiritual teachers that we have invited into our living room on television , there was Paramahansa Yogananda.

Paramahansa Yogananda


A few months ago Renee and I watched the movie Awake. It is a documentary about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda. I had known of him through Tom Long, who some of you might know from his center in Greene, NY. He is a big fan of Paramahansa Yogananda and generally when Tom likes a spiritual teacher that much they are someone special. I thought that it would be good to look into Yogananda’s writings and after watching Awake, I put him in the forefront of my mind when I considered what book to read next.

Heart Centered Living will feature the movie Awake later this month on the 29th at 6PM at the First Congregational Church. 30 Main Street Binghamton,New York.

Ahead of his time

Yogananda was surprisingly ahead of his time. I’ve read a decent amount of spiritual writings over the years, but I was quite surprised how his writings are not only ahead of their time but are timeless. They can apply to then, now and certainly the future. Since watching Awake, I have been reading “Man’s Eternal Quest” by him. All of the quotes in this post are from that book and I have noted the page numbers. The book was created from a number of his lectures from the 1920’s on through the 1940’s. He conveys his teaching in a style that is understandable and readily grasped. He relates his teachings to life directly.

“Yoga is for everybody, for the people of the West as well as those of the East. One would not say that the telephone is not for the East just because it was invented in the West. Similarly, the methods of Yoga, although developed in the East, are not exclusively for the East but are useful to all mankind.” (p17)

He was also intuitive to such a degree that he predicted his own death. “I will not die in bed, but with my boots on, speaking of God and India.” After he gave a speech in 1952 and ended with a reading from his poem “My India”, he lifted his eyes upward and entered mahasamadhi, an advanced yogi’s earth exit. He had died as he had lived,exhorting man to know God. (from the Introduction of Man’s Eternal Quest)

Yogananda crossed the boundaries between Hindu beliefs and Christian beliefs in a fluid manner. His belief system included the belief in a Christ consciousness. He spoke of self realization and how it can only be learned through experience.

“Self-realization is not something one can learn from books, it comes only through personal experience. Realization of truth, experience of God – not dogma merely-is what every religion should bring to it’s followers. What Jesus Christ realized, we too must experience. He didn’t teach that his followers should worship him as a personality, but rather experience what he experience in his oneness with God. That can be attained only by meditation and bu following God’s laws. To worship Jesus because he is Jesus is not enough. Embrace the universal ideals he taught, and strive to be like him.”(p 27)

Yogananda’s Spiritual Legacy

Yogananda started his teachings in America in 1920, eventually winding up in California where in 1925 he founded the international headquarters for Self-Realization Fellowship. Temples exist all over the world today, over 500. The closest one to Binghamton, New York is in Syracuse, New York.

He  founded the Self-Realization Fellowship to disseminate his teachings and to preserve their purity and integrity for future generations. In that way, no matter what material you encounter out there about Yogananda, you can be certain that material that bears the seal of the Self-Realization Foundation is pure. The seal means that it has been vetted by people that have been been trained by his closest hand picked disciples. The seal appears on the top of the Self Realization Fellowship Site and also shows up as the little favicon that shows up in the tab when you open the site.

Kriya Yoga

Yogananda was a practitioner of Kriya Yoga as a path to meditation. When many people think of yoga the first thing that comes to mind is the poses of physically directed Hatha Yoga, but there are actually quite a few different types of yoga. Kriya yoga seems to be more of a mediative self reflective type of yoga, a method of connecting with inner peace and source. It reminds me a bit of Buddhist meditations that I have participated in, in the past.


Self Realization Fellowship

I read on the Self Realization Fellowship Site that there are Self-Realization Lessons that are available as a 3.5 year mail order course where material is sent out every two weeks. Yogananda made sure that it would stay affordable in that the cost of the lessons are just to cover the cost of printing and mailings.

A blog that focuses on quotes from Paramahansa Yogananda

Heart Centered Living will feature the movie Awake

Monday, Feb 29th 6-8

(Heart Centered Movie Night)  Awake

The life of Paramanhansa Yogananda. By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring the millions who practice yoga today. Love Offering $$

Watch the trailer for Awake





What is Love to You?

What is love?
 What is your personal definition of love and what does it mean to you?
 Where in your life do you feel the presence of unconditional love?
 How do you show love to yourself?
 Where and how can you show more unconditional love in your life?

love heals all

These questions help us to take a step back and become aware of our true thoughts and feelings surrounding love.  At our very cores, in our most natural form, we are love.  Part of the reason love feels so good is because we are allowing our inner selves to be seen in it’s most vulnerable form.  When we allow our ideals about love to be shifted and skewed by another’s perspective we find that the love in our lives does not feel fulfilling.  We feel as if we are lacking love, or we feel as though there is struggle or work associated to the love in our life.

Truth is, these feelings of lack and unfulfillment, struggle and work are illusions we’ve allowed ourselves to believe through altering our own personal essence to be shifted to fit or be boxed within another’s.  

Remember Love comes in all shapes and sizes,
through daily monotony and surprises

Love is the connecting link to all that is life
not just a family, or husband and wife

Love is what we are in our purest of forms
True love never ever expects us to conform

Unconditional Love is the main ingredient
in our quest for inner and outer peace
Which is why it is so important to make sure
it is something we always practice and never cease.

So this February, as we begin to see

THe Reds & Hearts
HUgs & Kisses

While recalling those chick flicks and stereotypes that portray

The feelings behind a new Mr. & Mrs.

It’s important to remember that love is more than that….
Whether it’s seen as:

A deep rooted emotion
or An enticing game
that when sparked has the potential
to ignite an everlasting flame

Alll those..

Roses & Candy
Dinner & Dates
Are nice but not always needed
in the union of two inevitable fates

Because Love…

which usually appears as a deeply felt attraction

Is as unique and special as the two souls exchanging it

A Secret language between two
and an irreplaceable bond amongst the one you love and you


I hope this portrays to you that even in all the fluff, superficial, and material forms our society pushes into LOVE on this Holiday….that it is more than that.  That while gestures and gifts can be comforting and make you feel good, the BOND you share, in true UNCONDITIONAL love is all you need.

So RELAX…take the pressure off your relationship today (Even if you are choosing to HONOR the one you have with yourSELF) and immerse fully into the unique connections your lover and you share. It’s IRREPLACEABLE, one of a kind…and whether it stands the test of time matters not; for on this day, in this moment you are in LOVE.  You are enamored by their presence.  You want to EXPERIENCE life with them by your side.  In all reality at the CORE of your love it matters not what surrounds you.

The GREATEST thing about love and being in it is…when it comes right down to it, it’s a UNION of you and your partner and that is all you NEED.  Like the famous Beatles Song:

All you Need is Love”
So go out today…and every day really….and…
let it flow freely through all that you are
~Be Open to the Love that Seeks You~
allow it to find you and wrap you in it’s warmth
~Be Grateful~
for all the presence of love in your life


At the deep dungeony depths of our heart’s desires
All we truly want is to LOVE and to BE loved
in ALL forms.
your HEARTS wishes
and make every MOVEMENT today
from a place of LOVE

If you are interested in exploring your own definitions of Love within yourself and your life come join me:

Monday February 15th 2016
6:00pm at First Congregational Church
30 Main St. Binghamton, NY 13905

We’ll dig a little deeper and  be introduced to why
Self Love is so important and
the upcoming opportunity to be a part of
my new Self Love Experience Workshop Series

~ Hugs, Love, & Sunshine ~

from my HEART to yours,

-April Williams <3

Heart Centered Living’s Winter Fermentation Workshop

Greetings Friends of HCL,

I am writing to remind you about Heart Centered Living’s Winter
Fermentation Workshop that will be held on Monday the 25th, 6-8PM at
the First Congregational Church in Binghamton, NY. Please have a look
below for the details. Feel free to contact me at 607-226-6943 or
reply to this email if you would like to register or have questions.

Additionally I do have some extra water kefir kernels if anyone is
interested in starting up a batch of water kefir. I will be offering
these to registered workshop participants first and whatever I have
left will be first come, first serve. For those who are curious about
water kefir, there is a brief segment about it on this page…

Happy New Year to all,


**Heart Centered Living’s Winter Fermentation Workshop**

**Taught by Erick Clasen and Bonnie Pecka**

**The workshop will be held on Monday, January 25, 2016 from 6:00-8:00
PM at the First Congregational Church, 30 Main Street Binghamton, New

**Class will be held downstairs in the church kitchen.**

Sourdough bread and beet kvass will be the stars of this workshop.
There will be samples of both sourdough bread and beet kvass to taste.
Additionally, there will be samples of fermented foods such as kimchi,
hot pepper sauce and garlic dill pickles. These samples are all made
by traditional fermentation methods. Samples of beverages such as
kombucha and water kefir will be available as well.

**Sourdough Bread**

Homemade Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is healthy because the fermentation process breaks
down a lot of the anti-nutrients in the grains. It is also
self-preserving. It may get hard with age but will rarely get moldy.
It’s amazing how fermentation can be used to naturally preserve food
instead of using harmful chemicals. Sourdough bread is easier to make
than you would think. Why not give it a shot?

**Beet Kvass**

Homemade Beet Kvass
Beet kvass is a fermented tonic and a snap to make. It’s a delicious
choice to incorporate into your health and wellness tool belt any time
of the year. Because it is packed full of probiotics, vitamins and
enzymes, it is not only tasty, but healthy and nourishing. In addition
to beets, other things can be added to flavor (and further fortify)
the beet kvass, such as ginger, garlic, citrus, etc.

**Workshop attendees will participate in making their own sourdough
starter and beet kvass fermentations to take home.**

Registration: The workshop cost is $25 per person and also covers
supplies. Seating is limited. Please register for this workshop by
Friday, January 22nd. Registration is as simple as calling or
messaging Erick at 607-226-6943 to make a commitment to attend. Call
today to join us for this fun and informative workshop.

Bonnie Pecka is a registered nurse and lives in Greene, NY. She is the
author of One Small Pebble, a leading website and inbox magazine for
empowering individuals around the world who want to make healthy
change happen. You can learn more about her and the magazine by

Erick Clasen lives in Maine, NY and has started collecting food
recipes and has basic fermentation information made available online


PDF File

If you do not want to receive any more newsletters,

To update your preferences and to unsubscribe visit
Forward a Message to Someone

powered by phpList, —

Silence is Golden – Meditation and Beyond by Energy Practitioner Debbie Matsushima

Ah. The New Year’s Resolution. What’s yours – start a diet; exercise more; develop healthier eating habits; quit smoking; learn to meditate? If it’s learning to meditate, that’s not impossible. I’m not going to spend a lot of time explaining the “how to’s” of meditation because there’s so much that’s been written and recorded about it that it could fill a few dumpsters! I want to go beyond that and generally advocate silence.

Meditation is a great way to start being silent. Start slowly if it’s new to you. Carve out five minutes of your busy day and take that time to look inward. I was taught the “RPM” method of meditation – rise, pee, meditate! Some days that works for me and others it doesn’t, but I always try to fit it in my day, even meditating with my earphones plugged into my iPhone’s recorded meditation music on an airplane. Busy parents can get their children to meditate with them by showing them this method for slowing down.

Your meditation can take many forms. You can use a CD for guided meditation or find music that fits the length of time you want to sit in stillness. You can always just use a timer to signal the end of your session. If these methods don’t appeal to you, just look into a candle or into any crystal and see where it takes you. Find a mantra or affirmation that appeals to you and repeat it to yourself during your silent time. Don’t worry about the mind chatter; just think of it as clouds passing before your inner vision and let them drift past.

For me, meditation was my first step in going deeper within. Sometimes that mind chatter really meant something to me – it was an “ah ha” moment. I found that those moments increased as I let my world got quieter. I turned off the TV, stopped listening to even classical music on the radio, and stopped playing CDs as I went through my day. I paid less attention to the computer and did less texting. All these things (and all the resulting silence) brought me more inspiration and insights. I could hear the voice inside me that really guided me. That was my inner self. And I learned that when I truly had inspiration, that came from my higher self. I believe that my higher self is my connection to the divine and I know that we all have that ability to connect with our higher divine self.

So, take time and start that meditation resolution. Enjoy the silence it brings you, and you just might find that you start craving that quiet for longer than five or ten minutes. Bring it into as much of your day as you can and listen to your higher self for inspiration and guidance. We just have to get quite and listen!


Namaste, Debbie