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Using Essential Oils for Meditation

essential oils for meditation

Meditation is a powerful practice used all over the world by people of all ages and faiths to help achieve calm, clarity and relaxation in the mind, body and spirit. Meditation is a practice in mindfulness, stillness and breathing, training your attention and awareness to allow you to better regulate stress, grow your spirituality, increase self-awareness, reduce anxiety, overcome grief and even access deeper thoughts and consciousness.

Meditation takes Practice

Regardless of your intention or spirituality, incorporating meditation into your daily routine can be an extremely rewarding practice. But it’s called a practice for a reason! It’s not always easy to quieten the noises and distractions of daily life, even for 5 minutes a day. Creating a meditation nook or corner in your home can help to support your meditation experience and your ability to relax into it. Fragrances, candles, cushions, blankets, and music are all popular elements to incorporate to improve a meditation practice or routine.

Enhancing Your Meditation Experience with Essential Oils

The use of essential oils in particular can enhance your meditation experience by providing calming, grounding or invigorating fragrances to accompany you on your inner journey. Different scents offer a wide range of properties, so it’s really a personal choice and a balance between what scents attract you and what benefits you’re seeking. In addition, many essential oils can be blended, working wonderfully together to promote a concoction of different benefits.

essential oils for meditation

4 Ways to Use Essential Oils for Meditation

1. Massage*

Blend a few drops of essential oil with a carrier or massage oil and massage the blend into your skin.

2. Pulse Points

Dab a few drops of essential oil to your pulse points or your third eye (the space between your eyes).

3. Diffuser

Add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser, such as a candle or misting diffuser.

4. Topical Use*

Rub a couple of drops between your hands and onto your feet, or place your palms across your face so that you can inhale the scent directly.

Depending on the methods you use, you can do these before, during or after your meditation session to immerse yourself in the beautiful fragrances of your chosen essential oils. It’s best to test an essential oil on a small part of your skin prior to topical use*, and make sure to avoid sensitive areas, including the eyes.

The Best Essential Oils for Meditation

To promote a calming and grounding effect, ylang ylang, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood or rose are all wonderful options. For a more invigorating experience, choose a citrus such as orange or lime. If you wish to create a relaxing environment, perhaps if you’re meditating before bed, then lavender or chamomile essential oils are perfect.

You can also experiment with blends, or choose blended essential oils that are specifically designed to promote such things as healing, peace, or deeper love.

Each oil has a complex profile with a range of effects, so it’s ideal to try a few and see which ones you truly enjoy.

meditating with essential oils

*Prior to using essential oils on your skin consult your doctor and/or dermatologist.

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How to Use Essential Oils

It’s no secret that essential oils do more than just smell nice. They’re packed with healthy benefits that soothe, heal and invigorate your body. These fragrant oils are made by pressing plant tissue to extract all the plants natural smell, flavor and health benefits. So, how do you use essential oils?

Ways to Use Essential Oils

how to use essential oils

Apply Essential Oils to Your Skin

Essential oils are great for your skin. But before you apply an essential oil to your skin, mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil, grapeseed oil or olive oil. A good rule of thumb is to use one drop of essential oil per one teaspoon of a carrier oil for a 1% dilution. Although essential oils are safe to apply to your skin, steer clear of your eyes, nose or mouth.

Our Healing Essential Oil Blend soothes and comforts achy, tired muscles. Rub a 1% or 5% essential oil dilution to the affected areas or add a few drops of these oils to a warm bath to restore your tired body. A few drops of an invigorating essential oil enhances your massage.

Diffuse Essential Oils

Diffusers come in all sizes and shapes, but there are four popular types on the market. These include a nebulizer, ultrasonic, heat and an evaporator diffuser. Each one uses a different method to diffuse the essential oil into the air. If you don’t have a diffuser, no problem. Add a few drops of essential oil to a cotton ball and place it wherever you want the oil dispersed.

Scientists suggest that essential oils can assist in lifting your mood. Try these oils in your diffuser to help your mood:

Essential Oil Blends to Help Your Mood

Other Essential Oil Considerations

Be careful if you use your essential oils on children or the elderly. Check with your doctor first. Never use an essential oil on a baby, unless your pediatrician says it’s okay.
Store your essential oils safely out of reach of children and pets.

If you’re pregnant, consult with your obstetrician before using any essential oils. Certain oils are never safe for pregnant women including camphor, parsley seed, sage and hyssop.

Throw away your older oils. Toss out oils that are more than 3 years old. Old oils can spoil and may cause an allergic reaction, so don’t take a chance.

If you’ve never used essential oils, give them a try and reap the many benefits they offer to your health and well-being.

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Plants: Mother Nature’s Secret Sauce – Hello Ayahuasca Part 3

This blog post is a part of a series. If you have not read Part 1 or 2 yet, you may do so here: Hello Ayahuasca Part 1, Hello Ayahuasca Part 2

Hello Ayahuasca Part 3

Laying in the fetal position on the floor of a hostel in Cusco, Peru and surrendering to the Shamans of Peruvian culture and sacred plant medicine, Ayahuasca, the most revered plant and the one they call their master teacher plant, I found myself a long way from the little Midwestern town where I grew up. Yes, this whole experience was pushing me way out of my comfort zone and yet everything inside me said this was right for me. And it didn’t take long for the medicine to take hold and with it, the throbbing inside my head began.

Ayahuasca Experience Begins

With each breath I drew the throbbing increased until I felt like my brain might explore from the inside of my head. And then, just like on cue, I sat straight up and felt the need to burp and instead instantly vomited into my bedside container. Although we were in a darkened room, a tiny sliver of light from the street lights found its way into the room. I found it very interesting that even though I couldn’t see it clearly, that vomit appeared black in color, not at all the dark green color of the Ayahuasca plant medicine. And I thought to myself, whatever that is, good riddance. Maybe I don’t need to know more than that at this time. That should have been my first clue to what was coming next.

Surrendering to Ayahuasca

It was definitely coming in waves, consistent waves, much like the early stages of my grief.

As I re positioned myself on my side in my bedroll and closed my eyes, I felt like I fell into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory sideways. Everything was a shade of purple here and I was laying on my side feeling like I wanted to escape but on a deeper level knowing that I shouldn’t even try. This is what I came to the Ayahuasca medicine for, the stuff you can’t make up! But that didn’t stop my brain from trying! In my mind, I was saying “Wait. Stop. I don’t want to do this anymore. Can I tap out now? Maybe? Please? I don’t like this.” But the Ayahuasca medicine patiently waited for me to fully surrender as the throbbing inside my head began to pound again. Pound like the beat of a thousand drums! Inside my head! Will you surrender to me, the Ayahuasca asked. And finally, when my mind realized there was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide anymore (because I was of course in an unfamiliar place in Peru and probably unstable on my feet at that time too) I no longer had the energy to resist so I just said, “okay” and with that the whole scene inside the purple Willy Wonka Chocolate factor came alive.

The Jester

I had my eyes closed but the vision I saw in front of me was this amazing multi-dimensional form of wallpaper that began to move. As I watched it closely, I saw the form of a jester appear, again it was all various shades of purple and that wasn’t so bad until the jester started to reach its closed hand out from the wall paper and extend it toward me. No! No! No! Don’t do that I was screaming inside my vision, but the jester just smiled and kept moving its hand toward me until his arm was fully extended and his closed hand was right in front of me. Then he gently opened his hand and a white flower bloomed in front of my eyes. The Jester laughed a little at my silliness and retreated with his flower back into the wall. Good, I thought. That was a little crazy. But then the Jester smiled and started moving his hand toward me again. Now what I thought? Don’t do that anymore I was screaming again inside my head. But the Jester was unfazed and kept moving this closed hand toward me until again, he opened his hand and the while flower appeared. And then back into the wallpaper he faded again. So the third time he smiled at me and started to extend his hand, I felt no resistance to him or the flower whatsoever, and that’s when the whole scene changed. My world was no longer shades of purple, but instead became a very dark place and my head start to shake back and forth. I had no desire to stop or control the intermittent head shaking either since it wasn’t violent but it was definitely coming in waves, consistent waves, much like the early stages of my grief. I didn’t feel the need to understand any of it, but I did feel resigned to allow it to run its course.

The Dancing Wooden Mask

AyahuascaThe next vision I experienced was a dancing stick figure wearing a huge African type of a wooden mask. While the energy felt very feminine, I could also tell this was a powerful woman didn’t play. Her only question to me was repeatedly “Can you take more?” And my consistent response over the next four hours was “Aye” to which she proceeded to dance, and shake the rattles she held in her hands over my me and my spirit. All the while my head continued to physically shake back and forth like what I imagine a person with Tourette syndrome must go through. At times I could feel the darkness and sadness of all of my human emotions moving through me. At those moments, I would spontaneously begin to sob or moan, with no mental filter in place to suppress it. I didn’t care what anyone else in the room thought. I was inside my pain and all my human emotions. It was a sacred place and it was mine and it demanded to be honored and it was finally time. As the effects of the Ayahuasca medicine began to diminish, the dancing and rattling of my African medicine woman began to slow, and my head shaking started to subside, I could feel my two worlds merging again and I wanted to understand more about what just happened. “Why did you shake my head so much?” I asked the medicine woman. The answer was immediate and swift, “Because you held your trauma in your head trying to make sense out of something that is not defined by logic. It was stuck and so were you.” And with that she disappeared never to re-emerge and I was left to process this whole amazing sacred Ayahuasca experience with a new level of awareness.

This is truly the stuff you can’t make up! I understand now why the indigenous people revere the Ayahuasca medicine as a master teacher plant. It gave me something I didn’t even know I needed and had zero frame of reference to even experience or understand. But when I got out of my way mentally, the plant stepped forward and the Shamans held the sacred space for my healing journey. The best way to describe it was like dreaming while I was awake but even better if that’s possible. Yet it was work. Hard work. But it was time.

Follow Your Own Unique Path

I am forever grateful for the gifts I received that night from Mother Nature, the Ayahuasca plant, and the Shamans of Peru. No words can even come close to describing the tremendous weight that was lifted from my body and my spirit. It was truly sacred and my childlike sketch of the medicine woman I saw in my vision in no way does her justice either. But that’s the beauty of it, the plant medicine doesn’t care, the medicine woman doesn’t care, the Shaman doesn’t care. There was no judgment in that space. Maybe I shouldn’t care so much either about what others think because they don’t know me better than I do. Maybe that’s the truth for all of us here. Maybe we just need to get out of our own way and follow our own unique paths. Maybe it’s just that simple. Then how awesome would that be? No script. No plan. Just the simple act of surrender, trust and stepping into the flow of the Universe every day. Sounds simple but we also know our human experience has conditioned us to believe otherwise. And that’s where I believe the real work resides for each and every one of us. That helps me to release judgment of myself and others because I know nothing about their experiences or the work they came here to do. And that brings me great peace and much joy too in a world of chaos. Thank you Mother Ayahuasca for the experience and thank you for the powerful lesson.

This blog post is marks the end of the series. For more great stories subscribe to the Sherri Sengsouvanna blog.

Disclaimer: Sherri Sengsouvanna does not promote the use of “Ayahuasca” or any other hallucinogenic. This blog post is merely to share her experiences with the plant.

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Plants: Mother Nature’s Secret Sauce – Hello Ayahuasca Part 2

This blog post is a part of a series. If you have not read Part 1 yet, you may do so here: Hello Ayahuasca Part 1

Hello Ayahuasca Part 2

Ayahuasca experienceWalking through the streets of Cusco that late summer evening in July, I could feel the energy building around my first Ayahuasca experience. By this time I spent a great deal of time in prayer and meditation to confirm that this was a ‘thing’ for me and my highest and best good on my spiritual journey. Yet, with every step I took as I followed the Shamans through the cobblestone streets, weaving in and out of alleys and climbing long series of stairs, which always seemed to go up and never down, I wondered if this was still a good idea. It seemed to me that each step I took into the night and away from my hotel was a signal to the Universe that this was really happening. Boy, I thought to myself, you are a long way from Corn County Iowa girl. Who would’ve thought we’d find ourselves here one day when I was young child growing up in small town America? Not me! That’s who.

Ayahausca Preparations

And yet, here we were. Following a Shaman pose through the streets of Cusco like a child follows a parent without question always feeling very safe and protected, and yet a little apprehensive too. A pose that included a middle-aged rugged looking Shaman that I’d spent the last couple of weeks with touring the sacred sites in Peru, another much younger Shaman who was considered a master of the Ayahausca medicine, something that was passed along in his family lineage. Then we were also accompanied by a very young Peruvian Shaman who I understood to be an apprentice under the Master Ayahausca Shaman. And, last but certainly not least, was the pretty young Peruvian female translator that would prove to be my touchstone for the evening.

Setting Expectations

As the translator began to relay the Ayahausca Shaman’s words to help manage my expectations of the events about to unfold, I came to realize that I would likely vomit during the experience, something that I seriously dreaded whenever I was sick. I know people who can trigger their gag reflex to make themselves vomit, because they say it makes them feel better, but I was never one of them. No matter how sick I felt, I always rode out the storm in hopes all my food and liquids would stay down. Now I found myself in a place where I was actually inviting vomit into my world. What was I thinking?

The translator went on to say that another way the Shaman would know that the medicine was working was if I had a sudden urge to “purge” which is their way of saying it might be a massive bowel movement or possible bowel explosion or just wetting my pants. In any case, the translator assured me that she would help me maneuver my way to the bathroom if I raised my hand for assistance. So now, we are looking at vomit, urine and poop as ‘signs’ that the medicine is working. Oh boy! It just keeps getting better!

Finally, the translator got to the part I was hoping for, the visions. This was where I wanted to see what happens when we die and pass over into the Higher Realms. She relayed that the visions typically begin within 30 minutes of drinking the medicine but sometimes they don’t and if that happens, the Shaman will offer us another cup. So, as I recapped the possible outcomes in my mind sitting there on the cold concrete floor in the Shaman’s hostel that night in Peru, it seemed like I might end up puking, pooping and/or peeing my pants and still not get the vision of what life after death might be like. And yet as I pondered all those unpleasant possibilities in my mind, I felt a wave of assurance wash over me once again as I felt the love of a Mother who says to the sick child, “Just drink the medicine. I know it tastes bad but it will make you better. I promise.”

Ayahuasca – The Green Slimy Drink

And like any good obedient child, I summoned up my last bit of courage as I stared into the green slimy liquid drink I was holding in my hand and said to myself, okay. I’m here. Let’s do this. Then I gulped down my first ever dose of Ayahuasca plant medicine as quickly as possible so that I wouldn’t let the bitterness sway my resolve to see this through. As I finished the last gulp and handed my empty cup over to the translator, I said my prayers to bring me whatever was in my highest and best good in this experience. At that moment I remembered the Shaman’s advice to lie on my side to prevent affixation in the event of vomiting and thought well that’s interesting. Then I curled up into the fetal position and invited the adventure to begin. It would turn out that I didn’t have to wait long. It was on. Hello Mother Ayahausca. Hello Junk in my Trunk. Hello Point of No Return. We are here. Welcome to the Jungle. We’ve been expecting you.

experience Ayahuasca

This blog post is a part of a series. Stay tuned for the next edition!

Disclaimer: Sherri Sengsouvanna does not promote the use of “Ayahuasca” or any other hallucinogenic. This blog post is merely to share her experiences with the plant.

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Plants: Mother Nature’s Secret Sauce – Hello Ayahuasca Part 1

Hello Ayahuasca Part 1

It was July 2017 when I embarked on one of the most memorable adventures that I’ve undertaken so far in this lifetime. Over a 3 week period, I was looking forward to experiencing some of the most amazing sacred sites in Peru with the highlight being what some are now calling the 8th wonder of the world, Machu Picchu. And while I could write extensively about how peaceful and yet fascinating I found each and every day to be on that trip, it wasn’t Machu Picchu that blew my mind, although that’s not to say it didn’t live up to the hype. No. Instead it was the peacefulness of the indigenous people, the medicine of their Shamans and most importantly, the wisdom of the plants that I discovered in Peru that actually forever changed my path in this lifetime. And now that I know what I know, I understand that Mother Nature has a secret sauce for healing our emotional trauma, and it’s her plants (and sometimes insects). And I was about to meet one of her most powerful healers, the plant Ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca brew

All My Fears Show Up

Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I had very little exposure to illegal drugs and quite honestly, I had a seriously deep-rooted fear of mental illness including the possibility of losing my mind in my old age to some disease like Alzheimer’s so recreational mind altering drugs simply didn’t intrigue me at all for as long as I can remember. Now couple that fear with numerous amazing emotional healing stories I was hearing about a plant utilized by the Shamans of Peru for healing emotional traumas such as PSTD, grief and more, a vine that grows deep in the Amazon jungles of Peru called Ayahuasca, and you can appreciate the set up as this is where the conflict began.

ayahausca in Peru

What To Do

For on this trip there would be an opportunity to experience the plant medicine of Ayahuasca under the guidance of a highly recommended Shaman. And clearly, I had all the necessary prerequisites with all the junk in my trunk that I carried from the death of my son Todd, and yet…I wasn’t quite sure if this was a good fit for me. So I did what I do. I prayed to my Angels. I prayed to God. I prayed to Todd. I even prayed to the plant Ayahuasca because I had Googled enough to know that the plant was said to have a living wisdom all its own and if it wasn’t respected, many people who consumed identical dosages would not only have completely different experiences, some would have no effect at all if the intention was not healing or the if they weren’t ready.

Was it right for me? Was I ready for this plant? I didn’t know but I asked the only question I need to know these days, “Is this [fill in the blank with the word “Ayahuasca” at this particular crossroads] in my highest and best good at this time?” Each time I posed that question, which I did many times over the weeks leading up to the trip, I felt a reassuring affirmation wash over my entire body.

Act One: The Surrender

Ayahuasca brew in glass with shamanic drum and medicinal herbs. Eventually I surrendered to the idea that I would do this thing called Ayahuasca while in Peru. This thing I heard so many wonderful and a few scary stories about. But the story that actually drew me in was the one where someone experienced what they described as an “end of life review” where they actually felt that they had died and met their Angels or Guides on the Other Side. Since none of us are getting out of here alive, I definitely had a burning desire to better understand the dying process and what I might reasonably expect when I got to wherever we all go when we hit the eject button. In fact I had even envisioned on numerous occasions a Time Out Corner on the Other Side, where I intended to find Todd and set him squarely in upon my arrival because his departure from this realm left me feeling so broken for so long that I thought that would be a very fitting initial act exercising my parental authority when I saw him again.

Here We Go

And so the build-up began. The Ayahuasca plant called to me. I dreamed about it. I felt Todd say, “It’s a good idea Mom.” I saw signs every time I asked. And I thought it might be cool to meet some Angels or even Todd in a new way if that was possible. So I signed up. I knew what I wanted and with any luck, maybe I would get it. But I had no idea what was in store for me. I had no idea what I needed to experience, but the Ayahuasca plant knew. It had waited patiently nearly 25 years for me to arrive at this moment. Now the secret sauce was brewing. Mother Nature was smiling. It was time. And the mountains of Peru was the place. Here we go!

This blog post is a part of a series. Continue reading here: Hello Ayahuasca Part 2

Disclaimer: Sherri Sengsouvanna does not promote the use of “Ayahuasca” or any other hallucinogenic. This blog post is merely to share her experiences with the plant.

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Lessons From the Ancestors – Part One

Boots on the Ground

Day One – Lessons From Ancestors

lessons from ancestors
It was August 6th 2018 when I landed in Shannon, Ireland, the land of my ancestors. Although I’m approximately 75% of Irish ancestry, I had never made it a priority in my life to embrace my Irish roots. But all of that was about to change. On this day, I instantly felt the warm embrace of ancestors long passed over into the higher realms welcoming me home. I did not know to what extent they intended to open my eyes and reveal wisdom or lessons to me during my visit but I was completely open to them and could definitely feel the excitement in the air. It felt like I was home in a land both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

I knew this would be another great adventure if I could simply stay out of my own way and trust the unseen promptings of my heart to guide the way. For I know that is the language of the higher realms where our souls live on into eternity. A language of love that speaks through the heart. Such is not an easy task to listen and follow the heart without question but I think I did well. So many amazing ‘aha’ moments and wisdom to be revealed along the way. All in divine order. All with constant signs from the Universe along the way to validate I was exactly where I was supposed to be at exactly the right time on this sacred journey.
With every breath I drew on this first day in Ireland, I felt my soul restored with an energy that I couldn’t put words to. Yet I could feel every cell in my body resonate with this place. Why should that be surprising since I am the result of every ancestor before me and it’s that DNA that runs my operating system? Even though my mind wasn’t aware of this place that my ancestors called home, my cells certainly remembered it on some level. And I was more than happy to put life on pause for two weeks to find out what I didn’t know about them and this magical place. I surrender. Let the adventure begin!

The Rowan Tree

Day Two – Lessons From Ancestors

lessons from ancestors - rowan tree
Who knew there is such a thing as a Rowan tree? Who knew the Rowan Tree Hostel and Café would be the first signs welcoming me to Ennis, Ireland on Day Two? Who knew the Rowan Tree Café would set the bar high for our morning coffee stops throughout the entire trip? Who knew that my next children’s book would feature a talking tree and now I know it’s a Rowan tree? But perhaps I should take a step back and let you in on the fact that my maiden name is Rowan. Whoa! These are my people. This is my tree. This is the main character in my next book! How exciting it was to feel validation at every turn arriving in Ennis that day. I can’t wait to learn more about the Rowan tree and the wisdom that my ancestors want to help me share with the children in my next book. The project continues to evolve into something bigger than me with a divine plan unfolding in perfect order.

Thank you Ancestors for the gift of the Rowan tree. I will do more research on this tree for sure. I will honor both the tree and my ancestors with this character in my new book. How cool is THAT! Soooo very interesting! Memo received and an awesome lesson for Day Two.

How I KNOW the Universe Speaks – It Whispers

At another point much earlier in my life I might have completely missed the synchronicities of how the Universe and my ancestors were speaking through the events that unfolded in the first couple days in Ireland. I might have chalked it up to coincidence or brushed by it quickly with a comment like “that’s interesting” and just moved on with the busyness of life. But no more.

What I’ve come to know without a doubt at this point in my life is that THIS is how the Universe speaks to me based on my belief in a supreme Creator of all living things that loves and values all of us equally. While it has taken me some time to get to this place of slowing down, being present in the moment, listening to the sights and sounds around me, and following the promptings of my heart, I feel like I finally get it!

I KNOW the Universe speaks through the whispers that resonate through the heart for it is there that we all experience great joy, when we listen and take action. The ego might try to convince me otherwise from time to time. That’s okay too because it was part of my life lesson to learn to listen to my heart and utilize it as my internal GPS rather than my mind. The ego also tried to convince me for a long time that when the body dies, we are done but then my son Todd proved to me that he lives in the higher realms where I can’t see with my eyes but I can feel with my heart. That is the language of the Universe. That is the language of the Heart. That is the language of the Ancestors. And that is where we can always find or reclaim our God given birthright of joy and unlimited blessings. It’s how I KNOW the next book will feature a talking Rowan tree. It’s how I KNOW my ancestors will help me share wisdom with the children. It’s how I KNOW there are no such things as coincidences in my life anymore. It’s how I KNOW that we are all eternal souls having human experiences. The Universe whispers “follow me” from my heart. When I follow without question, I find blessings beyond my wildest expectations waiting for me on the other side, like the Rowan tree. So my prayer for anyone reading this is that you also practice the art of slowing down and listening to the whispers of the Universe because there you will discover your gifts that only you can bring into this world.

“Just trust yourself. What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe, just maybe, you will discover that you can create Heaven on Earth.” – Todd

Spoiler Alert: Next Lesson involves an ancient Celtic language based on…you guessed it…TREES! I love it!

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The Spider Delivers Another Divine Lesson

I always know it’s going to be interesting when discomfort shows up in my life because that’s where a divine lesson resides, but I had no idea the divine lesson that the spider came to teach me recently. It was a good one.

divine lesson

I had just arrived for a week’s vacation at a beautiful little cottage near the ocean in Alabama. We choose to stay in an Airbnb rental so we could have a more quiet space than the hotels or condos on the beach. I also love houses that have some character too. So naturally, I was delighted to discover that the Universe had guided us to this lovely little beachy cottage on a quiet street that was located just across the street from the water and it was loaded with special little touches and lots of character.

Divine Lesson #1 – Broken Bed

But My Bed is Broken

I was so happy to climb into comfy bed after a long day’s drive knowing that it would be an awesome week of both divine guidance and some much needed rest too. Although the bed appeared to be very beautiful and comfortable upon my initial impression, I had a very restless night’s sleep with no dreams because it felt like the mattress was sinking in the center and I kept trying to roll away from the center all night long but each time I woke up there I was again drawn into the ‘sink hole.’ Let’s just say that I woke up the next day with a sore back and more exhausted than the day before.
Question from the Universe to me: What does a broken bed mean to you?
Answer: I don’t know but there are more beds in this house so I’m going to sleep in a different bed tonight. Problem solved.
Universe: That’s your choice.

Divine Lesson #2 – Broken Toilet

But The Toilet is Leaking

I really should have known something was up when the toilet in the master bathroom wouldn’t stop running after the first day there. Water represents emotions to me so I could sense that something emotional was really stirring but I didn’t know what and I’ve learned that all things show up on the divine schedule so whatever it will be, it will be. After a few minutes exploring my options with a DIY approach to repairing the toilet myself, I just surrendered and shut off the water to the toilet instead and said to myself, “I guess I can live with this toilet as is until we leave and then I will let the owner know that they need to fix it before the next guest arrives.” So imagine my surprise when the owner sent me a message the next day saying she needed to stop by to look for a water leak because she just received a water bill that was unusually high.
Question from the Universe: What does the broken toilet mean to you?
Answer: Something to do with emotions coming to the surface.
Question: What do you want to do about that?
Answer: Nothing at the moment. I can use the toilet in the other bathroom and the Owner can fix it after I leave.
Universe: That’s your choice.

Divine Lesson #3 – The Spider

And Then The Spider Shows Up

Okay, so apparently my lack of interest in my divine lesson resulted in the Universe sending me a spider next. In my state of total exhaustion, I found the most comfortable place to sleep was the outdoor sofa on the cute little screened in porch. There I slept the next morning away while my husband was off enjoying a round a golf and woke up feeling very relaxed and restored for the first time in a long time. Although the porch was screened in, I still noticed the occasional mosquito or spider around me but I chose to ignore them rather than kill them. So the following day I was quite surprised to see a small bug bite on the inside of my forearm surrounded by a bruise. I had never experienced a bug bite before in my 55 years on this Earth that resulted in a bruise so I was clearly confused and knew the Universe was speaking again. When I showed my arm to my husband, he nonchalantly stated that it was a spider bite.
Question from the Universe: What does the spider mean to you?
Answer: Well holy crap you have my attention now. I have a bruise on my arm and I didn’t even see the spider or feel the spider bite me.
Question: What does the spider mean to you?
Answer: The spider weaves a beautiful web that connects all things together here on Earth. I’m not afraid of spiders. I love spiders. Why did it bite me and more importantly why did it leave a bruise?
Question: Why do you think it bit you?
Answer: I don’t know but that’s never happened to me before.
Universe: Remember the beauty and gifts of the spider. You are connected to everything and everyone here on Earth. What you say and do affects everything and everyone. Sometimes your words can bruise. Sometimes a divine lesson can hurt a little bit too. It’s all okay. Just be more aware of this.

BAM! There it is! My Divine Lesson

After the first couple of days of discomfort on my vacation, everything seemed to settle down until it was time to leave and I enjoyed the remainder of my stay soaking up the beauty of the sunshine, sand and water. It felt like good medicine for my soul. But I had this nagging feeling that I didn’t fully understand the messages of the broken bed, or the broken toilet or the spider bite from this trip. That is until we were on our way home and the Owner sent me a nasty message that WE had broken the bed and she intended to charge me for it after she got an estimate to repair it. Instantly I felt highly insulted and triggered by her tone and manner and the accusation itself. My back was so sore from trying to find a comfortable place to sleep that we actually decided to check out a day early so we could sleep in our own bed. And now THIS? Really Universe??? What the heck is going on? Just as I was feeling drawn into the fight and ready to respond to her nastygram with a strong dose of my own human defensiveness with something like “I will dispute any charges on my credit card for this because the bed was clearly broken before we arrived” I felt my Divine team step forward and say “Pause. Don’t send that.”
Me: What would you have me to do? Pay for something I didn’t do?
Universe: No. You can say that you believe the bed was broken before you arrived. Did you notice the bed frame was similar to the one your parent’s had when you were a child?
Me: Yes.
Universe: Do you remember that sometimes the support boards broke on that bed frame from normal wear and tear?
Me: Yes.
Universe: Are you sure the bed was broken before you arrived and not just the result of wear and tear from the prior tenant or perhaps from you?
Me: I really believe the bed was broken, just like the toilet, before we arrived.
Universe: So say that instead.
Me: Okay.
Then I sent a softer and toned down response to the Owner as follows, “I assure you it was that way upon our arrival or we would have slept in that bed. We both have sore backs now.” And again I felt the sting in her words when she instantly retorted, “I don’t understand why you would not have said anything. You say it was clearly broken yet you don’t mention anything and the bed has been slept in. I can’t prove you did it so I won’t charge you but I don’t believe it was that way.” Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! More bruises in those words…” I don’t understand…I can’t prove…I don’t believe…” How many times have I used those same words? As I sat there stunned over this exchange, I looked down and again noticed the spider bite and bruise on my forearm.
Universe: Remember the beauty of the spider. You are all connected. What you say and do affects everything and everybody. Let it go, live your life with joy.
Me: I understand but those words are still hurtful. I feel wounded by her tone and manner.
Universe: It’s okay to feel that way. Pause and carefully consider your words when you feel like that. Just because you feel wounded doesn’t require you to return the favor. That’s your choice. That’s your divine lesson. You stayed peaceful and used words that spoke your truth but didn’t harm others. Good job. You did well my Child.
Me: It wasn’t easy. I wanted to go to that fight with her.
Universe: Your spiritual work is never going to be easy but it will always be worth it, of this you can be certain. Now sleep well and remember the power of your words. You have the choice to bruise like the spider or lift like an Angel. Slow down and choose well.
Me: Memo received. Thank you Universe. Thank you spider. Thank you broken bed. Thank you leaking toilet. Thank you property owner. Thank you Angels. Thank you Todd. By the way, I think I love spiders even more now. That was a good divine lesson for sure!

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Honoring My Dad on This Father’s Day

father's day

A Gift to Both of Us

It’s interesting that it has taken me 55 years to get to a point in my life where I can finally and honestly say that I honor my dad for all that he has done for me in this lifetime, from both this side and from the higher realms where he resides now. To say that my dad and I started off on the wrong foot right from the beginning might be a bit of an understatement. Even when I was first born, I can see in concern in my dad’s eyes about the child in his arms. Did he know then that I was coming into this world to challenge him at every turn and to challenge any authority figure in this world that didn’t make sense to me? Probably not. But I am convinced the life lessons from my father I learned over the years was because he knew something. He knew I was very different from my two older brothers and I don’t think he knew quite what to do with me. Not then and not for the next 21 years when we were together on this earth. It was a wild ride while learning all the life lessons from my father to say the least.

life lessons from my father

No Excuses

During those 21 years there were many moments where I tested him and he gladly returned the favor to remind me of his authority role in my world. My dad ran our household like an army drill sergeant where nothing I did ever seemed to good enough to please him and his constant loud barking tone just wore thin on my nerves at times. But, looking back now, I know that he was doing the best that he knew how to do raising seven children on a factory worker’s wages amid the constant chaos that only seven children bring to the table every day. It was definitely Darwinism at its finest, a test of the survival of the fittest, every day growing up with six siblings. The gift that my dad gave me through that chaos was to always do my best work the first time. No excuses. No second chances. Those life lessons from my father have served me well in my career and in my life in general. It has definitely helped me to get farther faster in this lifetime for sure and manifest my dreams with a sense of determination and grit. No excuses! Just do it! Thank you Dad for that gift.

Challenges of Alcoholism

My dad also had challenges with alcoholism which I judged harshly as a child and a rebellious teenager. At that time I could only see those behaviors as flawed and how his choices were making life harder for me as the oldest girl in the family and my mother, who I am convinced is the closest person to a saint that I will ever meet in this lifetime. Today, I am able to reflect on my dad’s choices and know in my heart that his addictions were part of his soul’s journey and it was perfect in every way for him. For me to judge him or anyone else for that matter, is not a reflection of them. Instead it is a reflection of judgment that I’m holding about myself as seeing myself as less than perfect in the eyes of my Creator. It continues to serve me well today. Thank you Dad for that gift.

Dad in my Dreams

Leading up to this Father’s Day, my dad recently showed up in a dream which is rather unusual. I don’t generally have many messages from him in the higher realms so I was quite surprised to see him in this dream. He was wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans with rolled up cuffs, and appeared to be younger, maybe in his mid-thirties. He had lost a few pounds and looked really happy which made me smile because I don’t remember seeing him really happy very much in this lifetime. As I reached out to give him a big hug, I told him how happy I was to see him and his smile let me know that he was genuinely happy to see me too. As I hugged him, I couldn’t help but notice over his shoulder the nice older white Porsche that was parked behind him. I thought to myself, “Good for him. My dad finally gets to enjoy some of the finer things like a nice car, something he never had in this lifetime.” My insights from that dream are many but my biggest takeaway is that my dad is happy and doing well in the higher realms. What a gift! Thank you Dad for that gift too!

Life Lessons From my Father

So on this Father’s Day, I honor the man who signed up to be my dad. I know it wasn’t an easy assignment. I know I tested your limits many times. I know the life lessons from my father were very different than my personal life lessons and yet I know we were perfectly sent for each other to grow spirituality through the chaos of life. I’m sorry for all the grief that I gave you while you were here on earth but I’ll never be sorry that I picked you to be my dad. Happy Father’s Day in the higher realms Dad! You deserve all the divine blessings in the higher realms! Enjoy Father’s Day knowing that I finally get it and thank you for being my dad! I love you always and forever! I’ll see you again in my dreams….or otherwise!

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Reflections Today of Being on This Planet for 55 Years

February 6, 2018 – Today is a special day for lots of reasons. Yes, it’s my birthday and I’m celebrating being on this planet for 55 years. The number five in numerology is all about change and double fives, well, you get the point…this year is set to shake things up and push me out of my comfort zone in BIG ways for sure. Let’s do THAT, whatever it is that I came to the planet to do! I say Yes and Yes! Thank you Universe.

And for those of you who knew me 25 years ago when I turned the big 3-0, you also know that tomorrow is the day my son Todd passed at the tender young age of 12. Clearly the biggest trauma that any parent can endure. Yet, it’s interesting how those two back to back days are completely entwined around life and death, huh? Well, I’ve known for some time that I would one day get a tattoo to commemorate my son but I didn’t know exactly what, where or when.

And then about 10 years ago, I met my hubby, Saysana Sengsouvannawho suggested that we get tattoos and again I knew truth when I heard it but I chose to delay delay delay on that front again….mostly because I like to avoid pain. LOL

But this year it was time. Time to celebrate all the highs and lows of my life with a meaningful reminder to me each and every day when I put my feet on the floor. Sat nam means truth is my name and the lotus flower , well it represents the beauty that resides within that emerges from the mud that I’ve experienced and survived. All of that mud has purpose. It has served me well. I no longer allow myself to be defined or limited in any way by what has happened in my life. Instead I choose to remember that in the eyes of my Creator, I am known as a child of the divine and surrounded by unconditional love with legions of Angels to help me with whatever challenges arise.

Today is a special day because I honor my life’s story which I will continue to write with joy until the day I leave this planet. I honor both of my children, Todd and Shannon, my hubby Saysana, my grand daughters, all of my family and friends and each and every one of you who have played a role, big or small, in the movie of my life. Through your eyes I have learned to see the world with a different perspective based on your life experiences. That’s priceless!! So thank you for being my teachers and inspiring me to become the best version of myself.
Today is special because I feel like I’ve reached the age of wisdom where I KNOW without a doubt the Universe is constantly conspiring to deliver to me whatever life lessons I’ve asked for before I was born. There are no coincidences, only divine appointments for me and for all of us.

May each of you who have read this far feel the love of your Creator and Angels surround you today to feel supported in all you do and all you are going through. May you be inspired to see the beauty in the mud that we call life. And may you write the most amazing story for your life….the one that only you can….because YOU CAN! That is SAT NAM my friends and that is why today is special.

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Following My Heart and Living with Joy

writing spot

I’m Not Crazy – I’m Just Following My Heart and Living with Joy!

writing spot

It’s Friday afternoon on a hot early summer’s day in Texas. I can feel the humidity in the air as temperatures are approaching the 90s and I know it’s only going to get hotter over the next several months in Southeast Texas. But today I’m laughing to myself as I sit on this amazing porch swing taking in the all sights and sounds from my second story perch outside my new writing studio in this quaint little eclectic community in Southeast Texas where I’ve landed with a divine purpose. It was less than a month ago that I had what I thought was just a lunch date where I met an old friend at this place. I thought we were just going to lunch to catch up, but what I didn’t know then that I know now, is the Universe had other plans that day! Yes it did and of course my son Todd, in Spirit, was leading the way.


Todd passed into the Higher Realms when he was just 12 years old which is more than 25 years ago but what I’ve come to understand since then, is that Todd is no 12 year old child anymore. While Todd still has the same infectious sense of humor that he had in his lifetime, which is one of the easiest ways to know that he is around me because, like today, when I find myself laughing and wondering, “how did I get here?” Instantly I can feel him hugging me and with all the wonder and excitement of a child, he whispers, “Isn’t it cool here Mom?” And that is how our conversation started, a conversation that I was able to draw inspiration from.

My Conversation with Todd

Todd: Isn’t it cool here Mom? I brought you here to write and write with purpose so we could really get busy on our divine projects. You know we still have a lot to do, right? You know we have lots of books to write for the kids, right? You know the kids are the leaders who are coming to Earth now to show humanity the divine way out of the darkness and chaos, right?

Me: Yes, Todd I know these things are true.

Todd: Then why would you be surprised that I wanted you to come here every Friday from now on and write with me?

Me: I’m not surprised by anything you do anymore. I just find it funny that I never saw that coming when I came here for lunch.

Todd: But that’s the beauty of it Mom. If I had told you then why you needed to go to lunch there, your humanness would have resisted because you didn’t think you would have time to do it. But as soon as you went there, you FELT it and knew it was your truth. Bam! I know your triggers and I knew how to get you there. After that, well the rest is history and here we are today swinging and playing like children on a Friday afternoon. And it’s from this space that we will write our next book for the kids.

Me: Let’s talk about that for a second Todd. I’m getting that this book will have a talking tree that is full of wisdom for the kids. I see the children sitting around an old oak tree where they will listen to the stories and wisdom of the tree. It reminds me of some of my fondest childhood memories of Kindergarten when we sat on the floor around the teacher at story time. It was what I most looked forward to for sure!

Todd: Yes Mom. We definitely have a main character that will be a wise old talking tree but we will also have some other awesome characters too, like a magic singing flute and a spider who lives in the tree. The beauty of these characters is that just about any child can find a tree in their backyard to talk to, or a musical instrument like a flute to play and of course there are spiders everywhere! What we are going to help them remember is that all living creatures big and small have important roles in the divine order of the Universe and they all have wisdom and magic to help them with whatever happens in their life. Those are the stories we will tell around the base of that talking tree with the help of singing flute and others. How cool is that? Now you know why you are here. Any other questions?

Me: What should we do today?

Todd: We should just slow down and remember what it was like to be five years old, when we were carefree and we didn’t worry about anything. Yes, let’s just do that today. Because in that space, you will feel the trees and hear the trees talk to you in a new way. It might be the wind rustling through the leaves. It might be a feeling. It might be a memory. It might be so much more! So let’s just do that today and see what shows up next. (Laughing and winking)

Me: Okay Todd, let’s just do that! You have my attention, as always. I’m sure it will be another divine adventure.

Todd: You know it will be Mom!

My Writing Inspiration

And that’s how I’m choosing to write the story of my life these days with divine guidance, listening to my heart instead of my head, and there I’m discovering a world of joy. Some may think that’s crazy but that’s okay because it makes me happy beyond belief, brings me prosperity and abundance for everything I need and most importantly, I know Todd has another divine adventure waiting for me if only I will surrender and accept the invitation.