Self Care in Times of Upheaval

There are times in life in which we each experience intense upheaval. A shifting of perception, experience or insight that occurs on one or many levels. During upheaval our experience may be fraught with pain, despair, joy, intuitive leaps, harmony, synchronicity or any and all other feeling. It can be through bearing witness to another’s journey or it can be a challenge that occurs on the physical level that connects to deep work in our emotional bodies. It can be a mental reconfiguration of beliefs, ideologies or faith that is like a lightening strike, and leaves us reconsidering our place and purpose in this world. On the spiritual level we are each capable of intuitive leaps of faith that transform our experience, our Soul Path, in one lifetime, accelerated far beyond the many centuries or thousands of previous lifetimes. Spiritual perception or enlightenment can manifest in different ways for every individual. We are each entitled to our personal unfolding. Yet, during upheaval, a re-configuring of that which has formerly made us feel secure, assured or safe in our prior experiences, we are each offered support and assistance from the Divine in a number of ways. The planet is home to millions of people, those who resonate and teach in so many diverse and powerful ways. We are offered the teachings and support, the service of this diverse world when we are willing to be open in our learning, our gathering of tools, and our expansion of self. I am deeply grateful for my additional sensory perception of the manifest world, and celebrate the wisdom gathered through interactions with Divine Source as Angels, Ascended Masters, the Fairy Kingdom, Spirit Guides and the Earth every day.

For those who find themselves in a cycle of upheaval, of re-examining that which they thought to be ‘true’ as new truth personally emerges, I offer some of the practices that have been of use in my life, with the preface, that I too, continue to learn and evolve and send out gratitude to all those who with a compassionate heart, are also evolving.

1.) Breathe into the Present. We are each multidimensional beings. We receive energy simultaneously from the present, the past and the manifesting futures. We are each, when we find ourselves in the centre of a massive transformation offered the simple gift of Breath work. Yoga, Thai Chi, and many other eastern philosophies that create union between body, mind, spirit and heart all emphasize the importance of Breath. The tool of awareness that draws life-force, prana, chi, shakti, into our cells and allows us to centre and ground into the present, to draw our awareness away from fear based thinking into the Here and Now. Whatever choices, movement or change we are experiencing, we can each spare the time and claim the sacred space to Breath 4 deep breaths, or 8, or 12 or 20. When the physiology of the body is offered this tool, we each can connect with a sense of Calm. In this calm, what are some of the things/feelings/learning that the self has Gratitude for in this moment? Gratitude can be for small and large aspects. Gratitude for the sun shining on ones face, or the chance to connect in a new way with loving the self?

For further reading on this practice visit: A Warrior’s Breath

2.) Draw a circle and bisect it with a cross shape, turning it into a wheel of self. In the four quadrants write:

Physical
Emotional
Mental
Spiritual

Looking at this drawing consider, how many hours of the day or how many days of the week, or how many years in my current life cycle do I spend living in/devoted to each of these quadrants? Do two of the four predominantly use up the time of focus and being? If so, what does this current upheaval/challenge/life cycle offer to teach me about exploring the other aspects of self for personal Balance or Transformation?
Each level of self is intricately connected to the other levels. If we, for example, are having a deeply physical experience, what does the emotional self seek to learn/express/clear? Some people may live the majority of there lives in only one aspect of the self, and yet through the connection to a loved one, or the world events at large, may find a time in life in which their beliefs, and personal perceptions are called into question/exploration affording a deeper human experience.

For further exploration of this practise visit: Balancing the Wheel of Self

3.) Ask for the help that we each identify we need. From the above practice we may each see the ways in which we could benefit from guidance, further tools, and support. On the emotional level do we seek the support of friends and family through loving words? On the mental level do we seek the support and tool kits a therapist, psychologist or counsellor could offer? On the Spiritual level are we returning to, or discovering space in our lifetimes for a new form of Faith that supports us in this new self that is emerging? The light that is offered through many diverse spiritual practices can offer a deep Peace to those that are seeking light in a new and expanded way. Perhaps through books, psychic readings, or other energy healing modalities. On the Physical level have we met the basic needs of our body? Have we received guidance, diagnosis, second opinions or medication that help us to work through pain? Have we fed out bodies nourishing food, and received the sleep we need to make clear choices about asking for the help during our upheaval? Have we experienced the healing touch of massage, reflexology or a simple but powerful hug?

For further tools for discernment visit: Boundaries and Personal Power

During the approaching year, or in any cycle of rebirth or upheaval, a prayer I will often use is as follows:

“Dear Divine Source, God/dess. of creation, please send the aspects of light that are most in alignment with my cycle of growth at this time. Help me to receive compassion from the universe, and from those who are in my direct life path at this time. Help me to be patient as this new level of being unfolds, and to set healthy boundaries for myself regarding self healing and existence, in this evolving world. Please let the light of Shiva and Archangel Micheal clear away my fears of unworthiness surrounding health, on any level, and send the light of the Divine Mother to infuse every cell of my energy body and physical body with regenerative growth and powerful Love. Thank you for reminding me through messages, signs and angelic support, that I am capable of becoming the new me, and releasing with peace, all that which no longer serves my purpose. Thank you, Amen, Om and Aho.”

Whether we are seeking connection to ourselves in a new or ancient way, may we do so with the knowledge that our Soul is radiant light, and we are each shining the way for others, whether consciously or unconsciously in this myriad connection of humans and light matrix.
Thank you for shining!

with light, compassion, and empathy for all of our struggles and miracles in growth,
Be Love
Kamia

*My greatest offering of Love can be found in ‘Soul Evolution’ by Kamia Shepherd a manual supporting self Love, spiritual exploration, diversity, Grace and Divine Source.  Thank you for buying and reading this work if it resonates with you at this time.

Planting Seeds for Compassion, Teaching Children Yoga

When my daughter began kindergarten in 2012, like many parents, I hoped her school experience would encourage her curiosity to learn, provide opportunities for kindhearted friends, and gift me with five blessed hours of alone time. In the first few months of school she would confide in me over lunch, the joys, the sorrows and the frustrations of navigating her new social and education reality. I delighted in hearing that her new best friend was kind and helpful, and that her teacher devoted time and energy to each child’s particular learning needs. One day she asked me what a particular swear word meant. When I asked where she had encountered it, she explained a classmate had taken to calling her that and stepping on her hands or kicking her when saying it.

I went to the teacher immediately to ask what could be done to stop the violent words and behaviour. The teacher explained that the particular child was receiving a lot of support from the school and came from adverse circumstances. After hearing the child’s story, I altered my approach from asking for intervention, to offering my presence in the classroom as another avenue for providing an expanded positive vocabulary, and developing tools for self awareness, through gentle yoga classes.
My theory, was that a greater focus on positive self talk might encourage a wider and kinder vocabulary in students, as well as fostering a more gentle interaction in group dynamic, while balancing all of the major glands in the body though the postures, and might effect a more gentle physical shared experience.

“Yoga makes me feel calm” (kindergarten, grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) *from a pool of just under 400 students

“Yoga makes me feel like I love everyone” (grade 1 student)

I taught that particular kindergarten class a series of four classes, stipulating that so long as children respected the personal space of one another, and stayed on their own matts, they could follow along in a way that felt right for their own bodies and self. Children delighted in being shown through their ‘island’ that their personal space was entirely their own for exploring their bodies and feelings. I was quietly amazed as the majority of the class followed every body shape and breathing technique. Children would learn from one class to the next how to navigate and distinguish between opposite sides of their bodies, balance in stillness on one foot, building strength and confidence in powerful shapes, and relax with their fertile imaginations unleashed at the end of the class. Their brains were flushed with freshly oxygenated blood through their first few movements, and the room would still to near silence. The child who had been bullying mine, carefully stayed on their own ‘island’ (matt) hugging their knees and rocking back and forth for the first year.

Soon after I was welcomed into that classroom, other teachers in the school asked if I would teach in their classrooms. I felt delighted to be sharing simple tools with children for self regulation, awareness and wellness. We practised breathing techniques that balance the pituitary and pineal glands, and shapes that revitalize our immune systems. Children learned how twisting can balance their insulin levels, or regulate the adrenal glands, helping us each to feel a deeper sense of safety and ease. That first year I taught in five different classrooms, with a span of kindergarten to grade 7, mostly in a volunteer capacity, happily sharing a positive dialogue and watching the children’s receptivity to perceiving themselves, one another and their learning environment in a new way. When working alongside that first group of Grade 7’s, the majority wrote of their experience, that yoga had significantly decreased their sense of anxiety and stress while in school. I quietly marvelled at the ways in which that hormone rich age group respectfully approached themselves and one another when asked to be squished so close together around their desks, upside down, twisted and exposed in unfamiliar experience.

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is how calm I can be.” (grade 5-7)

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is to be calm, to listen to my body.” (grade 3)

“My favourite shape in yoga is mountain because it helps me be strong and not afraid.”
(grade 2)
“My favourite shape in yoga is tree and mountain, it was peaceful to me.” (grade 3)

In those 20 – 40 minute long classes, I often felt as though I was watching small and large miracles. During the second year of practice the child who had bullied mine in kindergarten wrote of their yoga experience “Yoga makes me feel calm, and to calm down when I am upset before it.” (grade 1) During the second year the same child began to participate in over half the shapes (asanas). In the third year, the child is an exemplary leader, participating in every shape, often at the front of the class.

In their own words, elementary school students say that:

“Yoga makes me feel happy.” (kindergarten)

“Yoga makes me feel good.” (grade 2)

“Yoga makes me feel relaxed” (grade 3)

“Yoga makes me feel more healthy” (grade 2)

“Yoga makes me feel strong and brave” (grade 2)

After three years in an elementary school, in which children grades kindergarten to grade 3 received up to 16 instructional yoga classes each for a school year, I have had the good fortune to expand and teach in other learning environments.

“Yoga makes me feel relaxed free and confident” (grade 3)

Another elementary school, kindergarten to Grade 7 had an introductory 4 week session. The older children, in their first class looked around at one another with uncertainty, giggles, insecurity and embarrassment. I explained that our yoga classes were a time for them each to remember ways in which they were capable and powerful in learning to understand what feels good for their bodies, and to respect one another as each individual learned, breathed, bent and twisted in ways that were safe and comfortable. I also explained that yoga was time for developing an internal gaze, to explore our mental, emotional, physical and intuitive selves. During those four classes, the children’s eyes softened, no longer seeking nonverbal approval from one another, but closing their eyes to tune in more fully to their own experience. The embarrassment level shifted, and each child participated, focused on their own body and breath for a 40 minute class in relative silence.

“Yoga makes me feel good about myself” (grade 5-7)

“My favourite shape in yoga is stretching my legs because it makes me feel capable to do more things in life that make me feel good.” (grade 5-7)

What a remarkable shift I witnessed during an age in which hormones and peer acceptance can wreak such havoc.

“Yoga makes me feel amazing, I felt free.” (grade 5-7)

“The best thing I learned about myself during yoga is I’m actually better at things than I thought.” (grade5-7)

I have recently had the good fortune to be welcomed into two preschools where I spend a weekly session with 3yrs and 4yrs old. They are so focused, one could hear a pin drop. Their eyes are huge and round as they listen to instructions and seek to make new shapes with their bodies while using their imaginations for things such as ‘gathering handfuls of sunshine’ (during pranayama/breath) or ‘uncurling like leaves and flowers opening in spring’ (during asana/body shapes). I am also blessed with a few classes a year where kindergarten children and seniors in an assisted living home, practice chair yoga together. The elders watch the children, so focused and free in their imagining, and I see the elders light up in the shared imagining, oxygen saturation and gentle movement. Circulation benefits physical and mental health in all ways. When we have simple body movement, combined with conscious breathing, we are often offered gifts in elevated mood, and hopefulness for ourselves and this world.

When I spend time watching the children, noticing the way they respond to deepening their breath, and holding a shape in stillness, I continue to feel that I am witnessing small miracles.

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is that I am unique.” (grade 2)

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is that I am brave.” (grade 2)

A parent approached me in my second year and related a story of witnessing her daughter fall and hurt herself. The child sat up, shifted her posture and began to follow the deep belly breath she had recently learned in kindergarten. She was mitigating her experience of pain instinctively, seeking calm. The parent voiced amazement in watching the self analysis and transformation in her 6yr old.

“Yoga makes me feel relaxed and calm.” (kindergarten)

“Yoga makes me feel rainbows happy” (kindergarten).
I have had several parents relate instances where their children are incorporating movement and breath from school, into their daily lives. Some want to teach the rest of their family, everything they have learned that day. Others want to share in deep belly breathing at bedtime. When I drop off my child at school it is often to a chorus of children asking me “When do we have yoga next? Is it today?” Many of them are children such as the one who inspired my volunteering the first year, kids that struggle with focus or kindness, but are learning to the best of their current abilities, to assimilate self awareness, compassion and calm. These same children will mirror learning challenges in the classroom, such as a challenge to focus, through their body shapes in yoga. Through balancing on one leg for example, often children who have difficulty focusing in class, will be the first to fall over. Yet through the course of a year, those children will grow from holding a balancing posture, with focus from a single breath to 4-6 breaths in a row, an incredible shift in their mental and physical regulation.

Recently a friend asked me about teaching children’s’ yoga, and if I planned to continue in the upcoming years. I replied I was still passionate about teaching, and I believed learning to breathe and move for calm, strength, focus and power should be a basic human right. He cheered. I further explained that I often wondered “How powerful would we each feel as adults, if during times of heightened anxiety, stress, pain, frustration or anger, we naturally took a few deep breaths, finding a physical posture that helped us feel calm, or strong, or confident or focused, and then made our next choice, action or reply?” My daughter was riding her bike down a steep trail for the first time, and as she paused at the top of an unknown hill. I asked her if I could assist her.
“No Mama, I’m asking myself if I can do this.’ she replied, taking four deep belly breaths as we do at the beginning of each yoga class. At the end of the fourth breath I saw her smile. “My body says I can do this!” and she pushed off with confidence.

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is that I’m strong.” (grade 3)

“The best thing that I learned about myself in Yoga is that I am Powerful.” (grade 5-7)

“The best thing that I learned about myself in yoga is that yoga can calm me down” (grade 1)

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is that I could be peaceful.” (grade 2)

How could our professional and personal lives shift if we had learned at a young enough age, that it felt wholly natural, to balance our hormonal secretions, invigorate our organs and balance our circulatory, skeletal structure and the master glands of our miraculous bodies to the point that doing so was as familiar as reciting the ABC’s? Many of the children have assimilated their body movements and breathing to such a degree that I hear them whispering the instructions even before I voice them. They particularly focus on new shapes or breathing that teach them about their physical bodies such as compressing and detoxifying their lungs, or learning a sensory controlling posture, which inevitably brings absolute stillness and quiet into the classroom. One grade three student who often struggled with stillness and verbal quiet, asked to practice a particular sensory controlling pose every class, after learning it the first time. The student shifted to eagerly anticipating his yoga classes having experienced a way to self regulate with a powerful new tool.

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is I to find peace, and I never noticed so many things about myself before.” (grade 3)

“My favourite shape in yoga is downward dog because it stretches the back of my legs. Thank you so much for teaching this.” (grade 5-7)
“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is how calm I can be.” (grade 5-7).

During a children’s yoga class I use vocabulary that focuses on the physical benefits, such as having their heads below their hearts and saturating their brains with fresh oxygenated blood which helps us feel calm, and better at problem solving. All language used respects the cultural differences, faiths and spiritual beliefs of our multicultural country. Some classes ask that I refrain from using the word ‘yoga’ I then explain we will be ‘stretching’ to help us all feel more ‘balanced’. I am happy to shift dialogue to be inclusive, just as I appreciate other educators doing so for my own child in alternate learning environments. Our classes have a predictable flow, with new shapes inserted that build on the foundations built in the previous classes. Children amaze me with balancing in stillness, in a core muscle building shape that also stimulates emotional confidence and using ones assertive voice. This shape is introduced in every class, the ‘boat’ posture, one I watch shift from two breaths in stillness to 6-8 breathes over the course of the year.

“The best thing I learned about myself in Yoga is that I am powerful and brave.”(grade 3)

There is also a focus on nature, and the ways in which our human self is connected to, and a mirror for the natural environment. At the end of each school year we brings our matts outside, where children are looking at mountains and trees as they make the same yoga shape with their bodies.

“Yoga makes me feel like I am in a field of flowers.” (grade 2)

In this way we foster a connection to our environment and a sense of belonging as well as fostering the confidence to be focused on the self even when the outside world provides distractions as everyday life passes the schools field in cars, on bikes, maintenance crews and dog walkers. Children train their internal gaze to allow that the outward environment can be erratic and unpredictable, yet through their breath and movement, they can complete tasks, invest in their personal health, and support one another’s individual experience by respecting time and space while others also focus and move with mindfulness.

“My favourite shape in yoga is tree because I feel tall and powerful.” (grade 5-7)

“My favourite shape in yoga is mountain because it makes me feel balanced.” (grade 3-4)

I’m not sure how many years I will have the joy of sharing yoga with children in a school setting. Like many things, it depends on the support of the teaching staff, the principal and the availability of funding. Yet for every year and every child I am able to teach, I feel a little more hopeful for our planet and species as a whole.

When I ask the children to imagine during their laying down restful time (savasana) and to think about the ways they have the power to build, connect, share, and create across this wondrous planet, as they lay quietly on their matts, relaxing at the end of the series, I cannot help but envision a future in which they take those words to heart, celebrating one another’s strengths and carrying just a little more acceptance into adulthood for the ways we all move, breathe and bend differently on all levels. During each class we say out load one positive self affirming statement, inspired by SO HUM (I am that, that is I). With their hands over their bellies they all roar statements such as “I AM BRAVE”, for it is brave to bend and shift, to giggle or fart with all your classmates baring witness. The children are given opportunity to say things such as
“I AM WISE
or KIND
or GENTLE
or POWERFUL
or CREATIVE
or STRONG.”
All of the attributes we carry as humans and choose whether or not to foster. Some of the children instruct one another on what the words mean, or share what they felt the word means when applied to themselves. When I asked children what the most powerful words were that had ever been spoken to them, I got answers such as ‘My dad told me I’m a kind boy, and I try hard at everything I do.’ or ‘My grandam told me she loved me.’ I then encouraged students to consider the power their words have on one another, before each student looked around the room and said “Thank you for being powerful friends.” It was an incredibly heart filling experience to see them looking at one another with the new understanding that they had the ability and the power to effect the way someone thought about themselves. Encouraging positive self esteem as the children grow older, will be such a huge part of the ways peers and individuals internalize feelings of being supported or criticized.
“Your weekly affirmations were beneficial to the children and helped them vocalize- and maybe even internalize-these important messages. This was my favourite part!”(kindergarten teacher).

After each class, the children go back to their regular learning schedules. They move back desks, and pick up bits of paper, they learn French and music and math, and all the many other systems our current schools incorporate. Yet, once a week or four times a year, during the first half of their day for 20 mins or half an hour, the rooms are mostly silent, the ocean of the floor punctuated by rainbow hued yoga matts, their islands that are just for them while breathing together, imagining, and taking note of all the ways we are each growing and changing every day. During this time, students are encouraged to be utterly themselves. To voice the colour of bird or magical creature their body shape represents, to feel welcome in expressing if they are fans of rainbow sparkles, kindness or courage. To build their warrior strength as both young women and men, and to see that every one of them is a superhero in their very own way. There are no tests, or expectations on my part as a yoga instructor. I ask them to give themselves the gift of doing the best that they are able on any given day, and if they ‘feel’ that they have invested in themselves, then I celebrate each of them. It is a small thing, this 20-40mins every two weeks, in the course of a life, but I witness small seeds of compassion and strength being planted during that time, that could blossom in unexpected and incredible ways as the children age. Perhaps a stronger connection to respecting their own bodies will influence the ways in which they are respectful of one another as adults in relationships both professionally and personally. Perhaps having felt what a balanced physiological system feels like, there may be slightly less of an inclination towards toxic substances that change the way their bodies and minds feel. I can only hope to bare witness over the years, as I have had the extreme good fortune to do this far, and have some of them become teachers in their own right in whatever field of study they choose to invest in as adults.

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is that it helps me to learn and try my best.” (grade 1)

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is that is makes me wake up so that I can learn.” (grade 1)

“The best thing I learned about myself in yoga is that I could get stronger.” (grade 1)

“The best thing that I learned in yoga is that it made me have a good day.” (grade 2)
For all of those yoga teachers out there who feel drawn to working alongside and empowering children, may you connect in a positive way in local studios, schools or private lessons with the students who can benefit most from the wisdom and wellness you carry.

With sincere thanks to each of the teachers and children who has thus far welcomed me into their classes, you all teach me every day!

with light,

Kamia (Durga)

*For related blogposts visit:

A Warrior’s Breath

Celebrating Highly Sensitive Children

Authentic Voice and Inner Calm

*Kamia Shepherd is the Author of “Soul Evolution” available for instant download and order worldwide through Amazon, iTunes, and FreisenPress:

Purchase Now ‘Soul Evolution’

Authentic Voice and Inner Calm

 

Recently I have had several people comment that I am very calm, which often surprises me. My internal landscape has volcanic eruptions of emotions, etheric pendulums of cosmic unfolding, and a mental dialogue at the speed of a hummingbirds wing. Yet I accept these comments, as a reflection of a personal dedication to balance. Through the authenticity of acknowledging what I need in each moment to find a balanced self, balance can resonate like calmness.

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No matter how old we are in physical body, we have aspects of ourselves that will forever be as pure and innocent as a young child. In the capacity of acknowledging that this aspect of self exists, we are offered the choice to honor the words, action and movement that can be practiced to bring about personal authenticity, calm and empowerment. Our words, beliefs and faith in the outside world often mirror the words that we use with ourselves.

I have the good fortune to work with a few hundred children, sharing in the gifts of Yoga. Children are receptive on so many levels. Their ‘intuition’ and heightened sensitivities, their sixth sense, is finely tuned to discerning the nonverbal cues adults send around them each and every day. If we seek to empower them to feel safe, confident and supported, one of the ways to do so, is to attune our inner voice with our outwards voices and actions. Before I teach and share yoga with the children, the future generations who will be caretakers of our planet, I empower myself to seek personal balance. In my personal practice I feed myself honesty. The words, the feelings, the movements and breathing that my being is calling out for, in its search for balance. On days where I am sleepy, vulnerable or discouraged, I empower myself to be honest on an internal level with these feelings. If we are feeding ourselves with gentle, loving kindness such as ‘I know you are doing the best that you are able to at this time. Thank you, I am proud of you.’ Instead of a negative or hurtful thought pattern, other people we encounter, particularly children, will hear gentleness and loving kindness in the words that we use with them. Authentic internal voice may sometimes say ‘I expected better from you today,’ But it can also say, ‘I forgive you and know that you can do better. I love and respect you in the ways that you are growing, changing and learning every day. In this inner dialogue, we begin to see changes in our outward lives.

Many parents have told me they wished they could feel a greater sense of calm when with their children. I offer them this gentle encouragement. ‘Instead of seeking to appear calm, give oneself permission to acknowledge what the self is truly seeking to feel Balanced, the calm follows honoring ones authentic self.’

If we are willing to be forgiving and kind internally, the world around us shifts and reflects this seeking for personal balance. Peoples actions, choices and impact then gather the momentum for us to recognize ways that we can be encouraging, forgiving and supportive of others. Children especially will feel a devotion to balance and kindness radiate off of us.

One of the prayers I use out loud or internally when seeking to acknowledge my authentic voice and self is:

“Dear God/dess, Creator and Light source of this magnificent earth, please help me to receive the gifts of self knowledge that allow for accurate identification of the thoughts, words, movement and color I need at this time to reconnect with a Balanced sense of Self. Please send the light resonance of the Archangel Micheal and Shiva to cut through all lower vibrations of self doubt or negativity I have been feeding myself. Please send the compassion, beauty and grace of Quan Yin and the Archangel Jophiel to assist me in seeing the beauty I have to share on an authentic level with all those I influence and encounter. Thank you beautiful earth for cradling my footsteps, as I stand in stillness or walk in new directions that honor my Soul Path. Thank you, Amen, OM and Aho.”

What are the words we can each feed ourselves in this moment to afford an opportunity for balance or self healing? Placing our hands over our heart centers we can take a series of deep breathes and ask our intuitive selves, ‘What do I need at this time?’ Whatever the answer, we are then given the choice to listen and honor the intuitive, innocent self that answers.

May we choose Compassion and Grace.

With light and respect for the ways we are each seeking balance at this time,

Kamia

*Author of ‘Soul Evolution’ Kamia Shepherd offers Divine Love and heart based prayers, practise and anecdotes.

*For other related blogpost and tools for parenting or honouring the inner child visit:

What about the 6th Sense?

or

Celebrating Highly Sensitive Children

*To request a personal reading  to gather self awareness on relationships, soul path, or present lessons effected by past lives, visit the Certified Angel Card Reader (R) page

Being Present, Harnessing the Light

As the spiritual energy that we are open to receiving, is transmuted into our conscious minds and bodies, we must each seek to ‘ground’ our being into the physical world, like an anchor holding a ship215_39316475312_913_n at full sail. Our physical being is the vessel for the spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects of self. Without it, we return to radiant light. As many people embark on spiritual awakenings, it is particularly important to engage in a personal practice of ‘grounding’ that allows for the harnessing of etheric energy and expanded consciousness in a healthy physical manner of being.

Our bodies must receive the care and nurturing, the expression and balance they need to maintain alignment for divine health. Some of the ways that etheric awakening can effect the physical body, are to accelerate sensitivities in patterns of food, exercise, and breathe. We may notice reactions to food, beverages, and others substances that require us to change familiar patterns, to effect greater personal wellness. We notice the way our body craves movement and the relationship to our breathe with feelings of calm, peace or personal power. The power of our bodies to transform,regenerate and heal, being filled with vital energy, is directly effected by the spiritual, mental and emotional beliefs we carry about ourselves and the world at large.

For those that astrally protect, dream walk, or are highly sensitive through feeling (clarsentience), sight (clairvoyance), hearing(clairaudience) or divine inspiration(claircognizience), the body requires investments of time and care that align the full self in a healthy way with the physical manifestation of the the world. Each person, instinctively is drawn to the physical manifestation for personal ground that is most suited to their particular resonance. Some people need water, to truly connect and ‘feel; the cells of their body being anchored to the earth. others need high alpine winds, or the slopes of mountains, while others still have a park bench, a beloved garden, or the field of grass they feel drawn to laying down upon. We, as individuals, walk the planet, each footstep cradled by a greater living source, the life force of the earth. Through our connection both to the earth itself, and the body that houses us, we become more acutely aware of the ways in which our own gifts can effect positive change, growth, sustenance and joy personally and publicly. For example, if I have dedicated a week to ‘receiving’ messages from the divine source, in service to others, I must also take several hours in the following days, to reconnect with the physical reality of my own life. If I give a reading, or a prayer for another, my personal being, seeks to be grounded in a very physical way through time in nature, preferably with my shoes off.

What are the ways in which we can each identify areas in our life that are seeking balance through personal ‘grounding’? A simple prayer/meditation/practice that I have found useful is as such.

Interlacing my fingers, I place my hands palms facing down over my navel. Breathing deeply, I allow my mind to relax, and my spiritual awareness to unfurl, and I pray something like this:

“Dear God/dess, please guide my body and being to the healthiest grounding practices and places that I am resonating with at this time. Please send the assistance of Archangel Micheal to cut any chords that are connecting me to energy draining patterns, and please send the assistance and strength of the ascended master Shiva to revitalize my cells so that I am aware of the ways my physical empowerment will benefit the whole of my life purpose. Thank you, Amen and OM.”

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After I have uttered the prayer, I allow myself to receive any messages such as through images or feelings that encourage an expression of anchoring on the physical level. perhaps I feel the gentle breeze such as would move through the forest when on a trail, or the sound of water rushing, like when visiting a waterfall. Whatever the message is, as encompassing as a full day out of doors, a yoga practice or for a few minutes of dancing around the room, I commit to honoring the impetus, and being more fully present in my physical being. Through this presence, I am more rooted, balanced, and grounded in harnessing the cosmic vibrations of compassion, peace, and strength which I seek to transmute to the world at large. When we allow the physical to express itself, energy is transmuted and released, patterns can be changed, and empowerment harnessed.

May we each feel strong, in body, mind, heart and spirit,

with light and respect for your journey,

Kamia

*for further encouragement on self actualization, and spiritual unfolding, purchase:

‘Soul Evolution’ by Kamia Shepherd  a book for transformation, enlightenment and divine Love.

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Taking Your (inner) Child Outside

The earth is like a giant power source of universal consciousness and light, that connected to our physical and etheric bodies is in a constant transformation, with the ultimate goal of peaceful balance.  When people and spiritual healers talk of ‘being grounded’ what they are referring to is the strong and balanced connection between the multilayered self and the resonant energy of the planet completing a circular exchange of healthful energy.

Most people will have a memory or witness a moment with their own children in which a disgruntled, or unhappy feeling diffused and was replaced by joy during an ‘outdoor’ experience.  Perhaps this will be a memory of building industriously for hours with sticks and rocks at a small creek, or the joy of jumping over waves at the sea side.  In my case, making mud pies decorated with dandelions always made me feel happy.

What ever the moment or memory is that holds a positive tone, it is my deep heartfelt wish, that it has been recreated in new ways throughout the course of your lifetime, and that a connection and collaboration of energy exchange exists each day in your life between your Self and the earth.

For myself, I can say I had several years of delightful outdoor play.  Then came the birth of my child, and some of that play slowed down. Yet even the slower interactions based not on adrenaline seeking but on meditative communion with a sleeping baby on my chest, afforded the same balancing of energy.

I’ve heard people describe their meditative state as best achieved through the cessation of thoughts, yet for me, my most successful meditative state is when I am outside, allowing all of the jumbled thoughts, fears, ideas and creative inspiration to rush through my mind like so many galloping horses.  In their wake comes a calm, a settling of the mental dust, a greater space to receive messages from my higher self, and a deep reverence for the earth who is cradling my footsteps, brushing clean my aura and offering deep revitalizing breaths of fresh air.

However you are able to interact with the natural world today, I encourage you to create space to do so.  For some this might be driving home from work with the windows rolled all the way down.  Perhaps others it will be an outdoor exercise of muscle and ecstatic adrenaline.  For others still, a walk or sitting on a favorite bench or chair in the sunlight.  In whatever capacity you are able to interact with the outside world, you will benefit from doing so.

In the depths of winter, such as in the landscape I often reside in, when the temperatures have dropped and the world is soft and white, I like to gaze at a tree and dream of the way the roots are deep beneath the snow, gathering life from the warm earth, and envision that I too am a tree, aware of the many layers of soil and rock, running water, and lava that all exist beneath me. If you were a tree, what tree would you be?  Perhaps drawing this tree, or downloading an image, with strong roots and healthfully lifted branches will be your communion and grounding with nature today.

In honor of the fairy realm, the devas and spirits of the earth, I offer this prayer:

“Blessed trees and plants, and earth, thank you for nourishing and sustaining me.  Thank you for growing towards the light, and reminding me to stretch my awareness, and my being equally between the earth and the etheric light that surrounds us all.  Please God/dess, nourish and protect this earth even as you send angelic assistance and support to each human learning to cherish themselves, one another and the planet. Thank you Archangel Ariel for reminding me to be an advocate of all growing things, both within myself, and in the world to which I am inextricably linked.  Om and Amen.”

words and photo by Kamia Shepherd
words and photo by Kamia Shepherd

May you grow with the light,

Kamia

For further planet prayers, and exploration of communion with nature please visit:

‘Soul Evolution’ by Kamia Shepherd (Buy Now)

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*To arrange for facilitation of guidance from your angels please visit the Angel Card Readings(tm) page

The Silence of Being

Silent Morning
Silent Morning

Today I have no voice.  No physical voice that is.  The universe and I have been circling my laptop, and now, with a few liters of lemon tea beside me, I can smile ruefully and acknowledge that my keyboard felt neglected, my spiritual expression in the last week has been lacking, and all points considered, a sore throat is a small price to pay when it affords an observance of ‘Silence’ for 24hours.

I have heard the sound of the wind in the leaves of trees, the buzzing of bees and the gentleness my daughter imparts to her dolls as she gives them voices and enacts her version of the world at large through their adventures.  I have spent two hours meditating, and re-written a list of ‘priorities’ for my life.  In the hustle and bustle of daily life, I find it easy to let some of the most important focuses in a balanced life, slide to the wayside, such as gratitude for one’s health, the continued health of those we love, and creating space for the Sacred and the Soul.

A vow of silence is an opportunity to reconnect with all of the words, thoughts and feelings that we experience internally, sometimes subconsciously.  All of these feelings and words spin in a whirlwind, waiting to be given a voice.  Perhaps they are dreams or desires for learning and growth that do not need a ‘voice’ so much as an internal acknowledgment followed by a physical world action.  A desire to return to artwork, can be a loud scream internally, that will turn to a shriek of glee when the first tube of paint is  opened or a box of clay is ordered.  Perhaps there is a desire to begin to support a cause one has long believed in, but never found the time or space to become involved in.  A poster board that proclaims freedom for others, an end to violence, or a preservation of nature.  All of the words within our spirits that are fueled by a desire for a more loving planet, these to can be ‘loud’ internally, and waiting impatiently to enter the physical plane through action.

In the Silence of Being, the voices of our Angels are welcomed, and heard.  In the quiet times, all of the images, the passions, the desire for change that begin to bubble to the surface, are also messages, support and loving guidance from one’s Angels.  Every person is capable of connecting with and hearing their angels.  The positive thoughts we have about ourselves, the ‘you can do it!” those are the messages from your angels that are waiting to stream through.  Take a moment or a day, for a commitment to self and silence, and allow the ‘true’ voice of your being to return to a place of balance.  What you want to talk about when you are finished that vow, will often amaze you.

One of my favorite quotes I heard laying silently in savasana in a yoga class, “In the Silence of your Being, there the Dance is.”  The yoga teacher spoke it in a soft voice and I return to it, on days like today, wondering how it has been so long since the last time I really honored my own internal ecstatic dance of being. My dance is one of Divine Love.

I find I want to remind all the people I interact with, or think of today, that I love them.  If each word is a struggle to speak past a raw throat, then I want the words to really mean something.

It was an honor to share life force and thought at this time with you,

may your day be filled with blessings,

Kamia

To reconnect with your own inner Being and Wellness through the facilitation of Angelic Messages from your personal guides and guardian angels, please visit the Certified Angel Card Readings(tm) page.

*for further internal expansion and inspiration visit ‘Soul Evolution’ by Kamia Shepherd (Buy Now)

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Becoming Who We Are Right Now

Allot of people I’ve been interacting with have remarked about their changes in energy levels.  Changes to their physical energy levels, their ability to offer and sustain familiar patterns in relationship, and their desire or lack of desire to manifest and create new energy for interests on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual plane.  What I am gathering, from personal experience as well as these illuminating conversations, is that this is a year with an ‘opposites’ theme in some respects. Be patient with yourself and others, transformation is powerful, all encompassing, and challenging.

 

If you have lived many years in a pattern of sedentary, stillness, this year you may feel as though there are fireworks attached to your feet.  Suddenly all you can do is MOVE.  For this change I celebrate you!  It is a natural manifestation of all of the light you have gathered up until this point.  It is safe to move forward, to change and relocate and have a very different life all of a sudden.  To apply for a new job, get engaged, dye your hair a vibrant shade and dance down the streets, singing all of the way.  You are not losing your sanity, you are simply channelling another aspect of your beautiful self you have always fostered internally. Harness your impetus and enthusiasm for change, and cheer those around you that you are witnessing doing the same.  Your heart chakra is beaming golden, rainbow radiance, and this is a gift to the entire world as well as your inner Self.

If you, however, are an individual used to ‘achieving’, this will be a year where perhaps that impetus to exercise seven days a week, nurture everyone around you, and sleep five hours a night, isn’t really working anymore.  Your internal flame is still just as bright, but it is sending light into your own cells, transforming the expression of your essence in a new and unique way.  You are still a beautiful, talented, energy-rich being, but no, you cannot achieve as much in a day as in previous years as perhaps were accustomed to, and there can be physical repercussions if you attempt to force yourself to do so.  Respect your body and soul’s need for this gift of regeneration, and create space in an otherwise hectic schedule to just slow down and receive.  Receive the messages from you inner wisdom, your connection to the divine, and your loved ones.  Allow them to gift you with the bouquets of flowers and kindness you have been so very comfortable bestowing all of these year.  Being still, does not lesson your importance, as those around you who are even now bursting forth from their accustomed shells, can tell you.

It takes courage to try a new approach to your life, and courage is required to sit in stillness, just as it is required to go rocketing down another pathway.

This year is a transformational year.  It is important to remember that transformation requires ALLOT of energy.  To rebuild the self on any level, to birth a new dream, create a new job, project, loving relationship or lifestyle, the self is drawing from the internal flame, that divine light that is always accessible, and making the light manifest in this world.  We are all manifesting on a cellular, soul and emotional level.  Our hearts are shedding lifetimes worth of debris.  The emotional roller coaster that accompanies this release can be exhausting or exhilarating.  Either response it the natural response for our individual bodies and life journey’s at this time.

A focus that can help to bring each individual back to a place of balance, amidst the every changing year, is to remember self kindness, acceptance and respect.

Respect that your process is unique and your own.  Be kind as the patterns that are familiar are stripped away, and feed yourself loving words.  A mantra I find useful is “I accept where I am on my journey.  I trust that I am evolving at the safest speed for me.  I accept Angelic support and aid at this time.  I am radiant with light.”

 

Your higher self is using this brilliant opportunity, this transformational year, to flow more freely into your every day life. Honor the inclinations you are having whether they are for extra sleep or a sky diving adventure, restorative yoga or taking up downhill mountain biking.  Your instincts and ideas are communications from your Angels and Higher self.   Embrace these changes and celebrate what a magnificent being you truly are!

 

With respect and light,

Kamia

*for further inspiration visit ‘Soul Evolution’ by Kamia Shepherd (Buy Now)

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For a Certified Angel Card Reading ™ to facilitate messaged, guidance, and love from your higher self, please visit the Certified Angel Card Readings ™ page.Image

Being Free from Disappointment

Dealing with disappointment is a skill that can benefit from some fine tuning on the etheric plane as well as emotionally. To stimulate a balancing of all of our ‘bodies’, begin with the physical, through balancing the third and fourth chakra’s.  Most people will experience disappointment as a feeling in their stomach, or in relationships, at their heart center.  A heaviness or pressure in either of these regions can lead to further feelings of self doubt, lethargy, and fluctuations in appetite. Bending forward in a forward bend, seated or standing helps to release from the stomach.  Spreading your shoulders wide to the sky and tilting your head very gently back, opens and clears at your heart center.

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The steps to fully alleviating these feelings, are to at first acknowledge them with Love.  Of course, the lottery ticket that didn’t win, the relationship that was painful, the job  promotion or offer that didn’t come was disappointing.  Most importantly, those disappointments are in no way a reflection of your worthiness, beauty, or soul purpose.  They are experiences on the human plane that come with having signed on for your present incarnation as a person.

Acknowledge that you are disappointed, yet simultaneously take the time to allow and ask for help from your guardian angels, helpers, guides, ascended masters and god-force, also aids in washing away, so to speak, the energy from your heart and stomach. Your third chakra, for example, corresponds with your personal feelings of Power.  It is the driving force that allows you to be assertive, physically strong, shielded from lower energies, and positive in life affirming action.  When you apply for a dream job, one you don’t think you may get, and you don’t get it, you are disappointed. You have also, however, just sent out an energy beam to the universe saying you are starting to realize you deserve a happier, more fulfilling position than you believed previously.  This message is loud and vibrant.  It is like an energetic shooting star that gets brighter with your continued confidence in yourself.  To allow the disappointment of an initial try to dim that light is counterproductive to your overall well being and success.  Look at the situation that has disappointed you, then allow yourself to release it, and say affirmatively from a place of your own centered power at your stomach, “I create space for greater happiness and abundance in opportunity, awareness, and love.”

Each of us has a negative personal mantra chorus we carry around that blocks our abilities to manifest, and your angels and guides sincerely want you to change that mantra to a positive one.  Absolutely, on every level they want you to be vibrating at your highest potential for energy, abundance, prosperity, love and personal truth.  If you wish to identify the negative mantra, take a moment to follow the pathways of your thoughts when you experience disappointment.  What is the first response in thought you have?  Is it, “I knew I couldn’t get another job.” or “I’m not worthy of love,” or even “I’ll never change.”  Widen your awareness and ‘feel’ where these thoughts are experienced in your body, most often it will be at your stomach or heart.

To change these affirmations to ones radiating light, take out the negative and replace it with a ultra-positive. “I am absolutely deserving of love,” “I excel and enjoy my career, I find creative solutions and opportunities everywhere I look,” or “Every day I am growing and learning along my joyous soul path.”  The difference in feeling, on the emotional, physical and spiritual plane will be almost instantaneous.

To remove the last traces of disappointment energetically, consider seeking a session with a light worker, this could be a book from the library, a massage, reiki, or an angel card session.  Your thoughts are alchemical, you have the ultimate power to transmute fear into gold, but sometimes, even the most balanced, grounded, independent person can use some help.  Asking for help is another lesson in dealing with disappointment, and there is no shame in it, rather the opposite.  The angels applaud your desire to reach out and have light reflected to you through friendships, relationships or services.

 

May your day be free of disappointments, yet if they come, may they not control you.  Be rich in your self praise and personal journey of exploring the new avenues that are unfolding.

with Light,

Kamia

‘Soul Evolution’ by Kamia Shepherd (Buy Now)

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For a personal Angel Card Reading(tm) with Kamia please visit the Angel Card Readings page and explore spread options and pricing.

A Warrior’s Breath

I had a spiritual teacher who once suggested we listen to our voices, take note and then take four deep powerful breathes and listen to the same words once more. When I try this exercise I am astonished by how much deeper my voice sounds after the larger breathes.  It is as if, the space in my body, the expansion of my lungs, has released a more powerful version of who I am, and allowed my actual voice to speak my truth.

Sometimes in western culture, we forget to really Breathe.  Our physical bodies need oxygen to function, but our etheric bodies, our emotional and mental ones as well, are all deeply connected to our Breath. In a state of anxiety or panic, people often take short, shallow, and rapid breathes.  In deepest relaxation, the gentle rise and fall of their diaphragms is like the deep rolling waves of the ocean.  To breathe with intention for ones greatest sense of well being and balance, is to remember, that no matter how overwhelming life may seem, there is always enough time to Breathe.   In the spirit of encouraging you to speak your truth, with confidence and power, I am delighted to share  a breathing technique with you.

The Three Part Belly Breath is an introduction to deeper breathing.  It can be done at any time, anywhere, while sitting, walking or laying on your back.  My favorite variation is with a combination of yogic instruction and ‘energy awareness’.

*First interlace your fingers, and place your palms across your stomach.  By interlacing your fingers, palms facing down, you have just blocked all other energy beyond your own personal resonance from your aura.  Enjoy this sensation and take a few normal breaths while you ground into an awareness of your physical body and self.

*Next close your eyes and visualize the pathway your inhale follows, attribute a color that resonates with you to the air, such as soft gold, or healing green, strong blue, or loving pink.  Notice how the breath flows through your navel cavities and down your throat expanding your lungs.  On your next breath, imagine the color flowing deeper, expanding your belly, and pressing outwards at your palms. Your exhalation follows the same path, up from your stomach, resonating through your lungs, up through your throat and out through your nostrils.

*It may take two or three inhalations before you are able to draw the breath all the way into your belly.  Note the feeling of space and expansion as your throat, heart center, and stomach all begin to create greater space for breathe.

*When you feel that the air is saturating your being, a slight dizziness may temporarily occur, at which point it is best to be sitting.  Take another eight breaths.  When you are ready to open your eyes, it is a good time to chant a mantra, of your own making, a personal affirmation, a prayer, or a spontaneous sound of joy or release.

*Unlacing your fingers, gently place your palms face down, if you would like to feel a greater sense of grounding, or hold them face up, if you wish to receive energy from the universe, your higher self or angels.

Most importantly, return to this deeper breathing throughout the day, when commuting, working, sitting quietly and contemplating life, or in the moments before sleep, give yourself the gift of deeper breathing.

Be loud in your breath, like the wind moving through the trees, be powerful in your fueling of your body and Self, and carry that energy into your waking life as the prana-fuel for your expression of your own unique gifts and truth.

with joy, Kamia

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‘Soul Evolution’ by Kamia Shepherd (Buy Now)

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