Q: What is the most common message that comes through from guides?
A: This may quite possibly be the shortest answer in the 4 ½ year history of my column, as the answer can be summed up in eight words. Those who know me, and know my work, may be nodding their heads right now, smiles on their faces, because they know what I’m going to say. How could they know that? Because I say these three things so often I now joke about it (it’s still solid gold advice, but it’s funny to hear, no matter what the circumstance, some of the same things over and over again). I’ll go through these three gems a message at a time.
1. Just breathe—always helpful advice for us humans, if we want to stay alive. But more importantly, speaking to what happens when we get scared. We tighten up our stomachs, stop breathing, and prepare to either fight or flee.
When we stop breathing we close down our energy pathways, making it even more difficult to stay open to all possibilities and higher perspective and information. Try it right now: take one deep breath, from the bottom of your belly. Watch your whole front expand and breathe in as much air as possible. Now exhale as slowly as possible, breathing out as much air as possible. Do it again if it felt really good.
I once told a good friend of mine that when she was stressed out she breathed “crappy rabbit breaths.” At the time we both laughed as it sounded so funny, but if you look at bunnies when they’re scared, they’re breathing a billion times a minute. They simply CAN’T get a good deep breath when it’s that fast. In my work, people either breathe “crappy rabbit breaths” or not at all. Neither is good (even if you’re a bunny).
When we were in Alaska the naturalist told us that humpback whales exchange 80-90% air when they breathe, as opposed to only 20% for humans. We’re not making very efficient use of our breath now are we? So if possible, whenever you’re stressed out, or tired, or scared, or feeling confused, take a few deep breaths. That will serve to reset your scattered energy and align you back into yourself. Try it. You should feel clearer, calmer, more grounded.
Dr. Andrew Weil says it’s physiologically impossible to have a panic attack if you’re breathing deep, regular breaths. It’s only when we breathe those light, sporadic breaths that we mess up our systems. So breathe – just breathe.
2. All is well. The first time I heard this I felt like screaming (if you know me, you’d know that I’m prone to getting frustrated with new spiritual ideas sometimes, especially when I don’t understand them or they seem trite). How could I be hearing “all is well” if my life was falling apart at the time? It’s not just “fine” – at this time it sucks. But after my tantrum I thought about it for a while, and being the writer I am, I realize that oftentimes information that comes through the written word has a deeper meaning than just the surface definition.
In my world it’s the pure energy connection that’s the most powerful, followed by face-to-face interaction. Bringing up the rear is the written word, which is very limited – it’s just a series of lines and curves on a piece of paper. Written words can never convey the full meaning and context of something. They’re poor representations (and this coming from a writer who loves words!), so if we HAVE to use words, my intuition says, at least we’ll use them in such a way that we can get the most out of them.
Knowing this, then, I opened my Merriam-Webster’s dictionary from 1984 (don’t ask – it was just a really great year for dictionaries), and looked up the words “all” and “well.” Here’s what I got: “All. The whole amount or quantity of, as much as possible, every member or component of, every, wholly, altogether, whole.” “Well. Fountain, wellspring, to rise to the surface, justly, rightly, in a kindly or friendly manner, expertly, elegantly, attentively, fully, quite, advantageously, without doubt or question, clearly, prosperous, healthy.”
If you like to play word games (and who doesn’t?) you can fool around with the two different words to come up with different phrases. Some of my favorites are as follows: Everybody is whole, Everything is rising to the surface, Everybody is fully and clearly prosperous. You see? That means sometimes totally different than just my assumption that “everything is just okay.” That didn’t satisfy me one bit. But saying “everything is whole?” Now THAT’S something I can spiritually sink my teeth into.
3. Just two weeks. This is a personal favorite between my best friend Melissa and myself. We do energy work on each other, and trust me, we’ve both been in some pretty intense situations over the years. Whenever we try to find out, “How much longer?” our answer is, you guessed it – two weeks. At first we listened, but pretty soon, we were like, “Okay, tell us something different or we’re really going to cause trouble.” What kind of trouble we weren’t exactly sure, but we were really just expressing our frustration at what appeared to be just a pat answer.
But upon closer examination, this simple phrase helps us understand how energy cycles work. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end. There’s a start to the new situation, the rise in intensities, the subsiding of energy, then the recuperation or restoration. Until the next cycle. Some people are like, “Yeah, bring it on – give me all you got,” but that kind of energy would just blow you apart. It’s too much. In order to expand, we need to do it gently, in increments, steps.
So look at a step from the side. You are on the current step right now. In order to get to the next step you need to exert some energy to lift your leg (beginning), then shift your whole body, then lift your other leg (middle), to get onto that next step (end). That requires more energy than just standing on the lower step. Once you get to the next step, you need to rest up from your journey from the lower step (recuperation).
The point at which we’re usually the most frustrated and tired and scared is right AFTER the middle, right after we’ve done all the hard work of moving upward. We can feel the strain and the changes, and we think, “How can we keep going? Are we strong enough?” and we may think we just can’t do it anymore. So when I receive the answer, “just two weeks,” it serves to remind me that indeed, most of these energy cycles, or “next steps” usually take about two weeks from start to finish.
Of course some are longer, if it’s a bigger step, and some are shorter, if it’s a smaller step. We may not even be aware of those smaller steps, but I guarantee you’ll notice most of the rest of the larger steps. Some can last for months (health, relationship, work, family issues).
But for the majority of our growth increments, two weeks is a good time frame. Look at everything you’ve been experiencing these past few years and see if you can’t see if that two week cycle is accurate for you. If not, figure out the average length of your situations.
Just knowing that you’ll get through a difficult situation in a certain amount of time can go a long way toward calming you down. Most of us can face anything as long as we know there’s an end to it. You can even calculate your own end time if you tune in to how you’re feeling. If you’ve been feeling really anxious and restless for a week or so, ask yourself if those feelings are intensifying, if they’re stabilizing, or if they’ve started easing up. That will give you your own timeline of events.
If you know you’re on the downhill swing, you can most likely hang on for just a little while longer. If your feelings are intensifying, hang in there and ride with them for a while. Trust that you won’t feel like this forever, and that you are never given more than you can handle. Also trust that in the end you will be stronger, more open, more conscious than before. It’s sort of like going to the gym. At the time you’re tired and sweaty and sore, but the results are a healthy, buff body, so all the pain and toil is worth it. Find your “two weeks,” and feel more empowered.
So my information heard most for my clients (and myself)? Remember to breathe, because not only is everything always okay in this present moment, but whatever you’re going through will be done in around two weeks. And that continues to prove itself accurate information, over and over again.
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