5,000 + Year Old Tree


This article over on Planet Permaculture made me smile this morning, as I paused to ponder the many seasons this tree has endured… the many people who may have taken shade beneath its branches. A pleasant, gentle reminder about endurance. Endings and new beginnings are inevitable, yet life endures. I hiked deep into a caved area yesterday and noticed that, even in pools as shallow as 12″, there was an abundance of water-life. Little fish just bursting with energy in the smallest, most hidden pools of water. Life just can’t contain itself here on the planet:)


Where I’ve been the last 2 days. New commitments in life are happening. This is a time of entirely new lessons that I didn’t even see coming… a time of strength and strengthening of bonds. The connection that happens in the mind and soul when the body comes together with Earth is so strong. This weekend, I experienced yoga looking down onto treetops as the sun came up. Forever changed, and feeling less and less distracted by the illusions currently surrounding us all. Incorporating yoga into my life has been a total game changer…

I’ve been working on a book of gratitude with someone very close to me the last month or so, and while we’ve talked about sharing it one day, I’m not sure sharing is always necessary. Sometimes sentiment is more important than that. I do want to share what I’ve learned from the experience of putting together this little handwritten book though… It’s the experiencing and the doing and all the things you learn along the way that speak the loudest.

Inner Awakening: Whole Brain Activation

Image by Mateu (Brazil based artist)

This week in the classroom at work, our team of hypnotists is educating clients about the benefits of whole brain activation, as opposed to left-brain vs. right-brain separation (or labeling oneself as one or the other). At our wellness center, we use Audio-Visual Entrainment to stimulate this process, in addition to hypnotic suggestions that merge both left and right brain approaches to change. Many people, even after just one session, report sensations of inspiration and increased awareness. Meditation, hypnosis, and focused awareness in general can help achieve whole brain activation, but routinely exercising the brain and increasing its capacity through intentional learning is what truly yields long-term benefits. (If any of my co-workers are reading this, you’ve been incredible in the classroom so far this week!)


Embrace Your Inner Genius

As soon as we begin to learn, we’re influenced by a left-brain-dominant society that teaches reliance on repetition, fact, and logic to achieve success. While using left-brain attributes  is important, merging the characteristics of both brain hemispheres is what helps us grow into a more enlightened state. The fusion of imagination and logic can be applied toward any intention. Tony Buzan identifies the following steps toward the achievement of whole brain activation:

  1. Recognize the potential of your brain
  2. Make your brain your hobby (read, go to the library, immerse yourself in what interests you!)
  3. Use both hemispheres of the brain
  4. Daydream BIG.
  5. Have the attitude that you can do anything

I would add three steps: 

  1. Commitment to daily focused awareness or spiritual practice (meditation, prayer, hypnosis/self-hypnosis, etc)
  2. Eat life-giving foods to get those fresh enzymes, vitamins, and minerals (raw fruits and vegetables)
  3. Spend time in nature regularly… experience oneness with the Universe : )


An Invitation to Self-Care

Making self-care a priority is sometimes mistaken as an act of selfishness. I speak with many clients who report that before joining one of our programs, they felt guilty about taking time out for themselves. The reality is, if we aspire to be effective in helping others or making contributions to the world (even in the smallest ways) it is important to care for yourself; It doesn’t mean that cultivating self-love is more important than loving others, but it is certainly of equal importance. Making the time to work through any barriers that you’ve built up in the past clears your heartspace, allowing the flower of self-love to blossom. (Tip: Regular chakra balancing can help as you move through the emotional process of letting go. There’s a really nice 7 minute tune-up I use regularly here). Maybe there are attachments to things that have been holding you back from experiencing your full spiritual, mental, and physical potential… but the moment you recognize what those attachments are, the process of growth has already begun!


Much love this Wednesday…

Michelle (Aurora)

The Land of the Free: Living off the Grid…. Illegal?

We’re healthier. We’re learning how to simplify. And we cannot be denied the right to do so.

Or can we? 

Not too far down the road from now, I have plans to make living off the grid a reality. With a few different options in place, I’ve gained a good deal of insight and inspiration from others who have already begun their self-sustained lifestyle. Intentional living / self-sustainability has truly been picking up over the years! I was fortunate to have been exposed, partly, to this lifestyle growing up in the forward-thinking, community-driven, environmentally-conscious little town of Athens, Ohio, and spent time at friends’ homes whose families were already living this way back in the early 90′s; skylights in almost every room to allow more natural light, beds built as mini-lofts to save space, and ladders in place of staircases to make smaller living spaces function more efficiently. As I’ve grown more serious about these plans for the future, I continue to research and educate myself on issues related to living off the grid. Some of the things happening in recent years are downright shocking. Yes, it is actually illegal now in Florida to “live off the grid” (click link for full article), and states are getting stricter on their zoning policies as the interest in self-sustainability continues to increase.

Well, we have faith in us. We will continue to  increase our capacity to create fuller, simpler, healthier lives. I celebrate those who have made this change, or are transitioning into a simpler lifestyle. Thank you. You inspire the rest of us! Happy Independence Day [early].


Here is a list of valuable links on the subject of sustainability / intentional living.

Going off the Grid: Why It’s Good For You

Solar Cooking

Costa Rica’s Eco-Village

Living Income Guaranteed

Living off the Grid Can Be Illegal

Single Mom Builds Off-Grid Lakeside Cabin Near Columbus, Ohio

Do You Live in a Constitution Free Zone? 

Ultimate Off the Grid Guides

Free Campsites in the USA

“Workamping” Opportunities

 Government Steals Couple’s Private Backcountry Land & Cabin

Activist Post: New Study Promotes Agenda 21-Style “Land Grabs”

“Future Earth” 

 Canary Island the First In World to be Powered by Just Wind and Water





A visit to Sheldon Church Ruins, SC. © 2012


Change of scenery offers inspiration to further explore the scenery of Soul within.
Click here for more info on this landmark. 

meal simplicity: presence


For a more spiritual meal experience: simplify. This is one small [yet powerful] change I’ve made along the course of simplifying life that lends an opportunity to actually taste gratitude. Try bringing meals into your meditation space and dining quietly, with the focus on gratitude toward nature, nutrients, and nourishment. You’ll find yourself more aware of the body’s “I’M FULL NOW’ radar. This practice also helps you feel more satisfied and can, at times, become an altogether enlightening experience. Developing a structured, healthy routine that incorporates a fair amount of raw, life-giving foods is directly connected to mental and emotional stability/maturity, in addition to physical vitality.

Other dietary changes I’ve made in the past year include:
  • abstinence from alcohol
  • no more daily coffee
  • transitioning to an Ayurvedic routine
  • proper hydration, 60-90oz H20 daily. [24-36oz upon waking, then waiting at least 30 minutes before breakfast]



How to Deal With Negative People Who Sabotage Your Life Passion Pursuit


Just thought I’d share this article as I’ve been reading on the subject. Valuable, easy read. Photo above is from a conceptual session back in 2009.

To quote a section from the article:

So how do you stop the negativity and get them on board?

Here are two types of naysayers you may encounter:

The first group is people who are going to be negative and attempt to sabotage your efforts or your self-confidence about your passion, no matter what. These are people who . . .

  • think they know best what is right for you;
  • feel deeply threatened by positive change in other people;
  • simply enjoy making others feel bad or insecure (this, oddly enough, allows them to feel better about themselves).

There is only one thing to do with these people:  Avoid them completely.

If that isn’t possible, limit your exposure to them and try to curtail any conversations around your life passion pursuit. If this person happens to be your spouse, then it’s time to get some professional counseling to help you both navigate through your changes and their reactions. (This is marriage-ruining stuff if not addressed in a healthy, proactive way.)


Healthy relationships demand that you involve the people whose lives are closely intertwined with yours. You need to share your life passion plans with them, particularly your spouse and children, so that they feel safe and included.

On the Human Being



We are all valid, beautiful souls. Something that keeps popping up in life is the concept of stigmas. Let’s just take a moment to look at the definition of the word:


plural noun: stigmas
  1. 1.
    a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
    “the stigma of mental disorder”


The masses become immersed in false paradigms of “what should be”… and while we have moved through history often forgetting about how magnificent it is to simply exist, I feel the shift happening. It becomes obvious when real transformation is occurring; we observe synchronicity happening around us, people come into our lives (seemingly) out of nowhere that share our worldview, doors start opening and we find ourselves in new situations that challenge our integrity and shift our consciousness. Self-awareness increases, peacefulness is felt. This is what is possible when we let go of the stigmas and open our hearts completely.

It is discouraging to witness some of the same stagnant patterns happening over and over again throughout history — prejudice, greed-based war, social expectation… the list goes on. These things stifle our ability to operate in alignment with a Higher Purpose. We only move away from serving others and move into egoism if we continue to follow these practices that promote separation and unhealthy competition.

There is one thing we are always responsible for, and that is: choice. We transform when we begin to practice separating the Higher Self from thoughts, behaviors, and perceptions that occur in the mind. We can move into the bird’s-eye-view of our Higher Self and transcend our experiences by learning to choose what we want to think, do, and feel.

Until we commit to some level of inner work, to give ourselves permission to shed the tears, to admit to where we’ve fallen short… we can never learn how to properly care for ourselves, and so care for others.  This includes developing deep respect for all people. This requires letting go of assumptions about others regardless of their past or present situations. We can never know what someone is going through, has gone through, or will go through. So, the more we care for ourselves the more we can open ourselves to genuine care and kindness toward all beings. A step forward in seeing the true beauty of others. A step closer to truly serving. Anything or anyone who doesn’t support this… respectfully dismiss and move forward indefinitely. Be the example.

It’s just that time now… to move away from idolizing people for their ability to express talents, for their looks/bodies, or for their social/social media status ["popularity, career, etc"].

Further, there is no mental or physical condition that invalidates one’s existential Universal significance.



6 Simple Ways to Manifest Virtue


Maybe you’ve been in search of a way to change your current environment? You’ve felt something shifting inside, and it has become increasingly important to create harmony in your environment or current relationships. Your contribution to the Greater Good is important to you. Is this you?

Intentionally manifesting virtue is one way to improve your experiences and perspectives (isn’t that refreshing to ponder?!). Focusing more on a virtuous way of life aids you in making better decisions.  Here are 6 simple ways you can manifest virtue in your daily life.

1. Practice unconditional love. The art of offering others genuine care and kindness is one way to cultivate patience, understanding, and good listening skills.

2. Watch the sunrise. Getting up early, or setting aside time in your morning to watch the sunrise is a simple way to connect with nature and to be reminded of the simple things in life that you are grateful for.

3. Gratitude, above all. What things do you have to be thankful for in this moment? Practicing gratitude throughout each day is humbling and diminishes feelings of lack.

4. Meditation or Self-Hypnosis. Whether you’re emptying out your mind completely, or devoting a portion of time to intentionally direct a specific energy (for example, as with Metta Meditaion which extends intentional loving kindness to all beings in the world) — committing to the daily practice of focused awareness has a profound effect on self-concept, empathy, worldview, universal connectedness (oneness), mindfulness, and sense of wellbeing. Daily meditation practice is also directly linked to decreased stress, better sleeping habits, and increased self-confidence.

5. Write about it. Writing about experience, growth, and understanding can help you improve your communication skills and help you acknowledge your values and emotional cues.

6. Connect with your values, and surround yourself with others who share them. What are your deepest ethical values? Putting our values into words is typically not something we walk around doing from day to day, so making it a priority to actualize those values is extremely important. Realizing your values is only the first step; actions must follow suit. Volunteer work, spiritual discussions with others who share your worldview, book groups, attending public lectures and events that are extensions of your deepest ethical values — these are some basic ways you can put your values into practice and begin to manifest a more virtuous life.

Have a great week!

Fleeting Observations

Honey Moon, June 14, 2014

 Under the Honey Moon of June 2014 with Amy  – I have yet to see any of the photographs she created, from this ethereal experience we shared. This image is a digital rendering of two separate photographs. The halos around the moon were visible to the naked eye and looked almost like a rainbow stretching for miles across the night sky. 


All that we see… how does it compare to everything unseen — those things that can only be felt?
Those things that can only be believed in…
Are dreams any less significant than our daily waking lives? (no.)
Dreams,  projections of the immeasurable continuum called “infinity”.
Waking perceptions, fleeting observations.