As we move into the time of the Spring Equinox, I am always reminded of the power of being in my center. You can imagine your center as looking like a lot of things, but for me, my center always looks like a crossroads.
The crossroads have long held a place of wonder in mythology and religion. Representing a place where two realms or worlds intersect, the crossroads are important because they represent potent moments of change. In many folk legends the crossroads are where you could meet the Devil if you were unlucky enough to be found there alone at night. In pre-Christian times, the crossroads were sacred to the Goddess Hecate.
The crossroads are neither here nor there, they are between. A space between the worlds, between moments, between choices. In the crossroads we are limitless, we are free to choose anything, but we can’t stay there, we have to eventually move on. The crossroads are simultaneously nowhere and everywhere.
One of my core daily practices is to meditate on standing in the crossroads. We all have a crossroads running right through us. I think of it as meeting in my lower belly, just below my belly button, in the place some people call the 2nd chakra. It is the place where the four directions meet inside me: that alchemical place where something new is born that is greater than it’s separate parts. For me, being a cis gender woman, it happens to correspond to my womb, which seems fitting, since that is another dark place out of which creation can grow.
In this meditation I stand with my hands folded over my lower belly and imagine two lines intersecting there. One stretches out in front and back of me, representing the past and future, I take a moment to recognize that the only place I can be is the present. The second line stretches out to the left and right of me, representing choice. If I have to make a decision between two things I might imagine each of those choices to the right and left of me and see which way my body is inclined to move.
When I stand in the crossroads I am IN the moment. Notice how the crossroads are both a time and a place? At the crossroads it is impossible to be anywhere but right here, right now.
When I take time each day to be in that place it reminds me that I’m not a victim. It is a magical act of taking my power back.
Too often life feels like it is happening to us. When we consciously stand in the crossroads we recognize our potential to be powerful. I may not control all the choices I am given in life, but I can choose how I react to choices I do have.
Maybe that choice would make all the difference?
It seems like a small thing, and maybe even too trite to mention, but all change comes from that small decision inside: I will chose differently this time.
Join me here in this liminal space and see for yourself what can happen if you take a moment to stand in the crossroads each day.
Want to learn more about working with Crossroads energy? Get my mini-course on how to use the Crossroads for personal alchemy.
real magic is not about escaping the mundane, it’s about finding joy in it
When I first took a vow to live my life as a magical act I felt so excited and giddy about the ways my life was going to change. I was walking on cloud nine for weeks. If you read my last post you’ll know that it did change in many amazing ways, some more amazing than I ever could have dreamed. But I also realized some very profound and real things that taking this vow didn’t mean. There are some very real misconceptions about the Law of Attraction, and walking a spiritual path. I found that once I debunked these five myths for myself, I was much less prone to resistance about following my path, and I enjoyed my spiritual practice a lot more. Read on to see if any of these myths might be preventing you from having a satisfying spiritual practice.
1. When Bad Things Happen It’s My Fault
Recognizing your own power to shape your life, and refusing to be a victim, does not mean that you are at fault when life goes awry. Let me explain. I believe the universe is a vast complex ball of chaos that doesn’t fit neatly into our human brain sized boxes of cause and effect. When we start to realize our own power, we often mistake that power for being omnipotent. I believe that everything that happens in our lives is an opportunity to learn a grow, but its happening may have nothing to do with us. Sometimes yes, the message is loud and clear. You keep getting in the same fights with all your friend, you keep choosing the same crappy partner, you keep finding mates that are just like your mom or dad. But life isn’t laid out and planned out from the beginning to end, there are the lessons we have to learn, and then there is Random Shit That Happens.
But doesn’t everything happen for a reason? Yes, but the reason isn’t always ours to know. What if that shitty thing that just happened is WAY better than what could have happened? What if missing opportunity you really wanted just saved your life? Not to mention that we live in a big world full of people all living their own lives, and learning their own lessons. Sometimes we just get caught in someone elses life lesson.
2. A Setback Means I’m Going the Wrong Direction
I see this one all the time. I tripped and fell on my way to class, maybe I should re-think the class. I didn’t get that job, maybe I should re-think my direction in life. Yes, when something is continuously hard to manifest, and we alway seem to be running into road-blocks, maybe its time to re-evaluate. But if we quit every time we encountered one set back, we would get no where. Chances are if one setback has you running for the hills, its has more to do with fear and resistance than divine intervention.
3. If everyone got what they wanted, wouldn’t the world turn into Chaos?
Yes and no. The flip side of learning that you are powerful and can draw what you want into your life is that you have to really decide what you want and why you want it. This is learning about Heart’s Desire. True soul-desire differs from greed because it serves a purpose. It helps you do your work here on earth, and that helps everyone. Greed is when we just want more, because we don’t know what truly nourishes us, so we keep needing more and more to fill the void that never get satisfied. And yes, there are those that use the powers of manifestation to get whatever they ask for, not realizing that they don’t really want any of it. But that’s not what I’m talking about when I talk about waking up to magic. I’m talking getting what really fulfills you, what makes your heart sing, so that you can give back. And a world where everyone knew what that was, and had it? That would be a beautiful world!
4. If I have the power to shape my world, what if I think a bad thought, won’t something bad happen?
We can’t control our thoughts. We can’t control our emotions. Yes learning to lean more towards positive thought and healthy emotional expression is a good thing. But magic doesn’t happen by accident. Its not like the movie Carrie, where we wreak havoc with our anger. Magic takes a specific conscious intention, it takes a ritual act to focus that intention. Intentionally hurting someone with our words or actions has bad consequences, but not in the form of knives spontaneously flying across the room. Yes if you are always thinking negatively, chances are you are surrounded by negativity, but only because you can’t see anything else. You aren’t going hurt someone just by thinking badly of them, unless you are really trying hard to curse them. And if you are, then we need to sit down and have a little talk about magical ethics.
5. But I’m totally on board with this magical life thing already, why do I still have dirty dishes to wash and debt to pay?
You know how in the books little faeries come and clean your house and do your dishes, or a handsome stranger saves the day? Yeah, that’s never gonna happen! The mundane tasks we may love or hate still exist whether you live magically or not. The difference is how we look at them. I still have to mop my floors, clean my room, feed my family and pay the bills. But if I choose, mopping my floor can become a blessing or space clearing on my whole house. Feeding my family: a spell of abundance. Paying bills, well this is still a hard one for me to wrap my brain around, but what if every time you gave someone money, it came with a silent blessing: “may you have everything you need.” It seems silly and small, but imagine how different things would be if every time money changed hands, it came with a blessing? Its not in the avoiding of these mundane tasks that we find the sublime, but in the embracing of them as potentials for acts of magic.
And now I would like to hear from you. What other myths about spirituality can you think of that have proved to be untrue? Leave a comment below. And if you like what you read, pass it along by sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (easy social share buttons below)!
We all want to make a difference, feel like we are here on earth for a reason. Truth is most of us feel totally unimportant when it comes to actually changing the world. We often think of grand external gestures that make the most difference to the world, but there are three simple things we can all start doing right now, that would radically change the world as we know it. Now before you read them and get all indignant at me, let me clarify, I said they are simple, I didn’t say they were easy. In fact, you could easily spend your whole life trying to master just one of these things. But I do believe they are all connected to each other, and as you read them, I want you to imagine how different the world would be if we all did these things regularly.
Let yourself be vulnerable.
Author, researcher and speaker Brene Brown has written a lot about vulnerability. She has identified shame as being the primary emotion that drives us to do bad things. What she has found is that in letting ourselves be vulnerable, we find the courage to quit all the behaviors that we use to numb ourselves to pain. We also separate from the shame cycle that keeps so many of us locked in misery. In her book Daring Greatly she writes:
We all have shame. We all have good and bad, dark and light, inside of us. But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us — that we’re bad, flawed, not good enough — and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs. If we want to be fully engaged, to be connected, we have to be vulnerable. In order to be vulnerable, we need to develop resilience to shame.
She goes on to illustrate how shame correlates highly to violent crime, bullying, addiction and aggression, but that over-coming shame leads to innovation and daring: that in order to take risks we need to feel worthy and resilient to shame. Notice how I said resilient, not immune. In what ways does shame come up for you? How has shame made you do things that hurt others? Shame is a necessary part of humanity, but it shouldn’t be what shapes our every move. For more great stuff by Brene Brown check out her TED talk.
Follow your heart’s desire.
In a previous article I discussed how our heart is the part of us that is most connected to our highest calling. If each one of us had the courage to fully embrace what our highest calling was, we would live in a world where each person inherently knew, and felt, their own value. When we aren’t in touch with our heart’s desire, in its truest form, we also find that we are drawn to material things, as a means to satisfy ourselves. But we all know that money alone can’t buy you love, or fulfillment, or even happiness. By truly tapping into what really fulfills us, what really inspires us, we find that we don’t need to consume as much, we don’t need to spend as much, and that alone would make a huge difference in the world. Have you thought you really wanted something only to get it, and realize it isn’t enough? Do you harbor desires that you don’t talk about because you are afraid they are selfish or trivial? For more on this, check out a talk I did this past May.
Realize your connection to everything.
It’s a myth and a falsehood that we are separate individuals with out connection to everything around us. When we come from a place of feeling like we a separated from everything, we don’t consider how our choices affect our family, our friends, and our environment. We also feel isolated, alone and cut off from that which truly feeds us. One of the greatest lies of this era is that the earth is merely a collection of resources to be exploited by man, rather than a living breathing entity with a life all of its own. Read more about the Big Lie and how it affects us. The world around us is rich with things we cannot see or name, we are all connected to each other in ways we could never imagine. Did you know that your heart has a magnetic field that affects people you come into close proximity with? Or that most of us can sense what others are feeling even when they never say anything about it? What if you lived your life knowing that you were part of an immense web of interconnectedness instead of feeling like an isolated being?
How do you incorporate or struggle with these three concepts? Leave a comment below, and be sure to share this article if you find it useful.
Allison Carr LAc believes that healing yourself makes the world a better place. Learn more about her work and classes at http://allisoncarr.net/
photo credit: nutmeg66 via photopin cc