Posts Tagged ‘karen chrappa’

Why are we here? That is the question for each one of us.

Is it to live a life unfulfilled? Without meaning?

To live a life devoid of passion is painful. Your unresolved pain contributes to the pain of our planet. Your unresolved pain becomes your legacy, what you pass on to others and what you leave behind.

Is this what you want to leave behind? Is your unresolved pain what you want to be remembered for? Is your unresolved pain the imprint you want to leave on the Earth?

You have inherited this pain from others but it is not yours. You have been asked to carry it because others could not. You have carried a lot of pain because you were able to and be grateful you have the strength. But you do not have to sacrifice your soul in the name of someone else’s pain. This is to be a martyr. A martyr in our culture has been elevated to a high status, as if being a martyr is a role or a destiny we should aspire to.

But a martyr is simply the weight of your unresolved pain that you carry. A weight that bears heavy on your soul and does not allow you to live in the fullness of who you are meant to be. Your unresolved pain keeps you struggling and suffering. You think you must, like it is your cross to bear, your station in life but where did this idea come from? Where did any idea about who you are come from? Who gave you these ideas? You did not come into the world with the aspiration to be a martyr. Or the idea you were worthless. Or the belief that life is a struggle. You may have learned these very early on but you did not come into the world this way.

Every idea that you have about yourself must be looked at and dissolved to reach the truth of who you are rather than subscribing to the outdated notions and ideas that have taken siege of your soul because someone else’s pain was too great to carry so it was passed on to you.

And why you? Why are you carrying this pain? Out of nobility? Out of some idea that you must? And who told you this? What authority are you listening to? What authority are you pledging your allegiance to?

There is an inner authority. A true authority. An authority of your soul. Yes there is authority and we must discover that inner authority to guide our soul. It is not the voice of your mother. It is not the voice of your father. It is not the voice of your teacher or anyone you believed at one time in your life held more power than you.

These authority figures have been given power over our soul. They have dominated the truth of who we are until we are unable to see. We have been made deaf, dumb and blind by the authorities in our families, our cultures, our churches, our governments for it keeps us from finding an inner authority. There is fear that if each individual listened to the voice of their inner authority there would be chaos. A loss of control.

It is this fear that has kept us dominated, suppressed by authority voices that at one time may have been outside of us but now live right within our own mind, directing, suppressing and controlling our own heart and soul.

We do not need an outer authority to maintain control over our soul for we are doing that ourselves by adopting these voices as our own. No longer do they live outside but have taken residence within.

Yet our soul longs to be free from domination. It is how our soul is meant to live.

In freedom.

excerpt from forthcoming book, very raw, title unknown, a work in sheer process

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Everything exists in relationship. In Nature there is no hierarchy to relationship. One does not dominate another and when one element is dominant it is to come into balance. Nature is always looking to be in balance and restore equilibrium. Evolution is always in a state of change so Nature is always recalibrating to find balance. As our population changes, Nature is adapting. As our climate changes, Nature is adapting. We look at these adaptations in Nature and say it is a disaster.


Do not worry so much about Nature for Nature has the power to right itself. It is we, as humans, where we need to put our attention. It is our state of imbalance that creates an undue stress on Nature and therefore requires her to be in an excessive state of recalibration. We can assist Nature in doing her job by reducing the stressload we place on her.

It is like this too with our bodies. Our bodies have an innate wisdom, a divine intelligence that knows how to heal. Despite poor diet and self-care, people recover from trauma, surgery, illness and disease due to the miracle of our body. Yet we can assist our body and support its heath by eating right, exercising and reducing the stressload we place on our bodies to allow our bodies to do their job with less effort, less strain.

It is the same with Nature and the body of Earth.

We are the biggest stressload on Nature. All that we waste, all that we consume creates tremendous stress on our planet. Simplify. Live simply. If each of us were to do this we would reduce the stress significantly.

So do not worry about Nature for she is doing her job. Worry about you. What stress are you creating? What if we thought about everything that we dispose of? Where does it go? What does Nature do with it? How does my waste effect the elements? Where am I not in balance with my own body? When I am creating pollution, garbage and toxicity within me I am creating that in the world around me. This is serious to look at. Cleaning up the planet begins with cleaning up ourselves.

Look at the elements within you for you are made up of all the elements of Nature.

You are of this Earth and to her you will return. How are you tending to the element of Earth? How are you taking care of your body?

a small excerpt from the forthcoming book written last weekend, title yet unknown, raw and unedited



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I have never considered myself a “writer”. I have no formal training, no diploma that anoints me to this sanctioned post.

As I prepare for my first ever writing retreat I discover to my surprise I am a writer. Writing has been a longtime companion often under lock and key in a private world of diaries and journals.

Writing is an expression of my soul. What certificate is needed for our soul to speak?

One writing assignment to prepare for my“write a bestseller in a weekend” workshop (it usually takes a weekend to write a blog!) asks us to begin writing on…

What I am meant to do with my writing.

These are some of the words that come through.

Monk by Alexiuss

Monk by Alexiuss

Does your voice really matter? Does it really count? Do you have the strength and confidence to make a difference in the world?

You identify with doubt but it is simply something you cling to in order to keep from experiencing the majesty of your truth. It is a security blanket, warm and comfortable. But doubt is not the truth of who you are.

Doubt hides your truth, even from you. For there is fear in being seen.

Every time you allowed your truth to shine you were hurt. Your light had to dampen. It was not safe to shine.

Doubt is the dimming.

Doubt began as a warm, grey coat you put on for protection. But it wove itself into the fabric of your being, undermining your instincts, clouding your perceptions.

If the light of your truth was too bright for others, the natural response was to go dim to survive.

Doubt was a way to handle your light. That is all it is. A way to cope. A brilliant strategy but not your truth.

It is time to remove the cloak of doubt.

Is that even possible? Where would it go? How will I feel safe?

To be safe is a fundamental need. We continually look for security outside of ourself. We look in our bank accounts, we look to our partners.

We do not want our beliefs threatened for they are the bedrock of our safety net. Like with doubt. It limits you but the thought of living without it is unsettling.

Where will you hide? How will you live if you are exposed, naked and seen? That can feel more frightening than doubt.

Yet true safety, true security, will not be found until we are stripped naked of hiding places.

It is the paradox of spiritual law. To be safe we must leave what we have relied on for security for it has held captive our soul.

Our minds have dominated our consciousness for centuries. Laws have risen rooted in science and reason. Prove it says the mind. Show me and it succumbs.

The paradox of spiritual law makes no sense to the logic of mind for Spirit is not of the mind. It cannot be governed by its laws.

As our spiritual consciousness evolves our laws and beliefs must shift.

The laws that govern our soul need to be understood to offer guidance and direction.

It is time to take off the cloak.

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You can learn a lot from someone who is dying. When death is no longer an intellectual musing but has become an ill fated lover we are stripped naked in the face of our own mortality. Truth distills to simplicity.

Photo by Don Myer

A woman I work with is on hospice, bedridden for the past year. Our work is to get her on her feet so she can stay in her home to die, a requirement since she lives alone. Liability issues often take precedence. (That my friends is another blog!)

From a few shaky steps at the start, she is doing remarkably well now, pushing her walker for short distances in her home.

This work takes all of our focus. To start, she is much larger than me. Her legs are not always under her control. One missed step and she would be down with no way of getting her back up. I follow intently, holding her with one hand as the other pulls her wheelchair right behind her.

We venture one day to the back of the house, a space she has not been in for nearly a year. She sits back in the wheelchair after walking ten feet as magical timbres fill the air. Where were these beautiful sounds coming from?

Three Koshi chimes swing gently in the archway. My head inadvertently hit them as we passed under.

I was first bathed in their transcendent tones at a ceremony in Santa Fe. Tito La Rosa, Andean musician and sound healer from Peru was at YogaSource. Immediately captivated by their quiet wonder I ordered them when I returned home.

Hearing them filled me with the delight of a child.  “I love Koshi chimes,” I told her.

“You can have them”,  she said.

My initial impulse to her gift was, “Oh no, I couldn’t”, succumbing to the voice saying you can’t possibly have what you really want along with some tortured versions of better to give than receive.

My delight immediately shut down.

“The last thing I want is a yard sale when I’m gone.”

What really matters becomes crystal clear when everything that matters is slipping away.

“I see how your eyes light up when you look at them. I want you to have them now rather than wait to leave them for you in some will. It’s much more fun that way.”

Not only had my own delight shut down with my refusal but I was denying her the pleasure in giving them to me. We both lose.

As I opened the well of receptivity in my own heart I tasted a deep truth in giving and receiving.

A gift that is given and received freely, in its purest sense, is simply joy. A joy for the one who gives and a joy for the one who receives.

There is no agenda. No conditions. No strings attached to the gift. This dying woman offering chimes with unadulterated attachment was one of the purest gifts I have ever received.

Often a gift comes with conditions, hidden or blatant. If you are good, if you are worthy, if you love me, then, and only then is the gift yours. The price tag is often way too high. The giving comes as a way to keep someone bound. To keep someone needing us. It is the twisted power play of co-dependent relationships. The natural flow of energy between two hearts becomes so laden with conditions, expectations and demands. The gift becomes a burden to bear.

When we strip it clean and polish it to purity, this exchange of giving and receiving is an immaculate transmission of our sacred heart. Whatever the exchange, be it time, money, love or a bow tied box, the true gift is the lightness of joy.

I left her home like a child on Christmas morning, rich in a bounty of gifts.

There is a lot to learn from someone who is dying.

Head to the Peaceful Puddle for more on Koshi Chimes.

Listen to Koshi Chimes here.

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A dear friend was heading out of town. Before leaving he installed a state of the art alarm system to safeguard his home. Twenty four hours later we were digging a hole to call on protection from a higher order.

I do not have a recipe I conjure up if I need protection however once an intention for ceremony is set a co-creative dance with Spirit begins.

With little time to prepare I began gathering elements; a quartz crystal, red hot chili peppers, rose petals, sage, candles, beer. Sort of like Cooking Channel gone rogue.

The heart of ceremony is held in our intention. For this ceremony our intentions were to call on Spirit to hold this home, and all who dwell in it, in divine protection. As we hold this intention for ourselves we ask that all beings be safe and free from harm.

Our intention was then blown into the quartz crystal and planted in the center of our offering in the Earth.

Shadow of Crystal Pointing North

White candles were rolled over each other to strip clean our luminous fields of the roots of fear. Where do we not feel safe? Where do we feel threatened? Why do we need an alarm system anyway?

The candles too became part of our offering.

I love sage. What would ceremony be without sage? Especially in its native desert home. So a bed of sage was laid around the crystal to clear a path of good intent.

Can you see the crystal pointing up in the center?

You can smell the goodness!

If you are looking to keep harm away a red hot chili pepper will do the trick. Set like daggers, they built an energetic fortress that seemed to say…BACK OFF BUDDY! (or use any euphemism you may see fit)

All I know was nothing was invading this space.

A Chili A Day Keeps Fear Away

A Chili A Day Keeps Fear Away

The fire of our red hot intentions were soothed with herbs, sweets, dark chocolate and coconut yet the most important ingredient we bring to ceremony is our heart. And what better element to hold the intentions of our heart than the beauty of the rose.

Although there was no plan on how to use the rose petals this revealed itself as the ceremony unfolded. The white rose petals, holding the purity of intent, the blessings of the Apus and Divine Masculine energy, were laid in a clockwise direction around the outside of our offering.

White Rose Petals for Purity of Intent and the Blessings of the Apus, the Divine Masculine

White Rose Petals for Purity of Intent and the Blessings of the Apus, the Divine Masculine

The red rose petals, representing the blood of Pachamama and the Divine Feminine, centered themself at the very heart. As the colors fell into divine order the balance of Feminine and Masculine came into ayni, right relationship. As these dualities of energy come to balance it is the Masculine that protects the source of creation in the womb of the Feminine.

Masculine and Feminine in Ayni

Masculine and Feminine in Ayni

To send our intentions to the Upper Worlds of Spirit our offering was covered in cotton harvested from the Earth.


Four gold candles, the color of protection, were placed in each of the four directions to anchor our intentions.

Our offering then burned.

We fed the land with white rose petals and beer to weave ourselves more deeply to Pachamama and offer gratitude for our prayers.

The ashes lay under the full moon and night sky of stars until buried the next morning.


Ceremony is the language through which our soul speaks. As a call for protection rang from the heart a ceremony manifested as never before. When we set out with good intention, ideas, inspiration and guidance will come through Spirit. We need only listen.

We are at the frontier of shifting paradigms both personally and collectively. It is a time to follow your own heart into ceremony to meet the birth of a new world order.

The only recipe to follow is the one within.

“This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don’t have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn’t have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

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It seems Walter Mitty and Bees are not the only ones with secret lives; the kind where we step out of consenual reality into a dimension woven from idealistic visions and waking dreams.

As we crossed the threshold to a new year, a brief and magical glimpse from the moutaintop parted the veils between what has come before and what is to be.

It started with a computer glitch.

I was looking to book a flight from LGA to SAV on New Year’s Eve. I stared at my computer screen in stark disbelief.


Did I get that right?

Apparently a computer malfunction created crazy airline deals. I inadvertently stumbled into the window of opportunity.

As much as the deal saved me good money I was hauling some pretty heavy baggage so I knew I would make up the difference in pretty heavy fees.

I arrived curbside to check my luggage as the veils started to thin.

“Are you a gold, platinum or silver member?”

“None of the above”, I confirmed.

“Well you have a first class ticket here. No luggage fees.”

I have been flying a long, long time but never, did I ever fly first class. I was stunned, in a giddy, Walter Mitty sort of way.

“What an incredible gift to start the new year with! I’m not even sure where it came from?”

“Oh you know who to thank” the luggage attendant warned as he looked upward.

A moment of gratitude for this auspicious blessing was shared between me, Creator and the luggage clerk.

This is an airport mind you.

Next stop.


I show my boarding pass and am directed to the TSA free line. The one with no passengers.

The line between reality and beyond belief is disappearing rapidly.

IMG_1882“Don’t take your shoes off or take out your laptop”, I am told.

After my carry ons are scanned a security guard humbly asks to search my bag.

My pendulum appears ominous when X-rayed.

Once the culprit was nabbed a little show and tell on how to use a pendulum to guide one’s life direction left the guard thoroughly fascinated. She couldn’t wait to start using one herself. A mutual exchange of appreciation, along with a promise to google pendulums, left both of our hearts open.

Should I remind you again I am in an airport?

As I step into Terminal D, divine intervention truly seemed to meet the third dimension as thousands of ipads stand as harbingers of hope beaming words that uplift over every countertop.


Use our ipads for FREE.
Good things happen in an instant.
Make travel plans with your TV shows. (I am not sure what that even means but it sounds enchanted.)


Snacks everywhere are gluten free, dairy free, vegan and full of chia seeds.

I buy gum and discover I have just fed a family of seven.


Hope for humanity swells from every inspiratoinal ipad as if our luminous fields are being rewired to goodness.

The world feels wholesome as I eat a gluten free sunflower cup knowing a family in America has been fed.

Hearts of strangers meet in oneness as the illusion that we are separate perishes.

The world we have been waiting for is here.

It is now.

I have been to the mountaintop.

I have seen the promised land.

And the world is good my friends.

It is




(Here’s another secret. Go see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.)

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One of the most auspicious gurus to cross the threshold to a new year with is a Spirit ally.

A Spirit ally reinforms our walk on Earth by guiding us from dimensions that are higher, wider and deeper than the limited lens that often informs our world view.

image[7]On a recent journey I met a white tiger, one whose wisdom I have been calling on ever since.

There is no special invocation needed to call forth a Spirit guide. They are always with us. Calling to them is more to orient us to their presence.

Information from a Spirit ally can come through in images, as words or as a felt sense or knowing in the body.

I often call upon the wisdom of a Spirit ally during my yoga practice as I meet a block or tension in my body, however any moment is perfect.


This morning as I practice I become witness to a self-created inner drama.

I am alone in the home of my former husband where I am visiting with my daughters. My sister-in-law returns after a morning errand. In my solitary practice I am now aware of the presence of another. I begin to question whether I should invite her to join me.

An inner conflict arises as to whether or not I am being selfish, anti-social, anti-yogic for wanting to be immersed in the nourishment of my practice without tending to the needs of another. Suddenly I am loathing myself for being so self-absorbed.

Early in life I learned that a want, need or desire was self-centered. That correlated to bad; something I did not want to be. Needs were viewed through a narcissistic window where I began to see myself as a selfish little girl I did not want to be.

Seeds of judgment laid deep roots. My desire to be solitary in practice this morning triggered the self-absorbed narcissist I loathe.

I call on White Tiger.

immediately my breath is fuller as if creating more space for what is present. I feel more deeply in my body. Judgment is the mother’s milk that keeps the mean and selfish one running on a perpetual loop of self loathing.

In the presence of White Tiger my internal judgment softens paving the way for compassion.

Each one of us has had to develop conditioned responses that are less than noble to ensure the love and attention we so desperately need to survive. We have all had the perception of our true nature perverted by erroneous beliefs imposed upon us. By their very nature these responses are habitual and unconscious keeping us blind to our own ignorance.

What is there to judge in this way of being human?

Judgment shuts the door on any possibility of change.

White Tiger shows me to let go through this felt sense in my body. Not only of the judgment I hold against the selfish one in me, but to let go of judgment for all beings who have suffered simply for being human.

Wisdom of White Tiger


Guidance from a Spirit ally may also appear as messages that can become powerful personal mantras.


These are just a few ways a Spirit ally can work on our behalf to empower and awaken us to the truth of our own nature.

The Shamanic Journey from A Structure for Spirit is now available on soundcloud.com so you may meet your own auspicous guru to guide your way in the year ahead.

What you will need:

  • 30 minutes of time and space free from distraction.
  • Pillows and blanket as needed for comfort.
  • Bandana or blindfold if you like to deepen your sense of darkness.
  • Journal to record your journey.
  • A palm sized stone. (In the book I suggest using a stone to anchor in the energy and honor your Spirit ally on an altar)

Click on the following link to begin your journey:

May all love surround you my friends.

And a happy and auspicious New Year!

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“Trauma leaves an almost indelible signature that a healer can perceive in the luminous field. Healers believe that this marks a person’s experience of health or disease for their entire life, like a cross that each of us has to shoulder. A shaman can help people to lighten their load, perhaps even help them understand the lessons they needed to learn from the original trauma they experienced, but it is up to each person to choose whether they carry their cross lightly, discard it altogether, or become burdened and overwhelmed beneath the weight.” 
Alberto Villoldo


Artist George Grie

I have worked with an aging population most of my life and one thing is certain. There are no definitive rules on aging. Time will certainly take its toll on the body but we accelerate this process by bearing the weight of our wounds with every step we take.

How can the burden of trauma affect the way we age?

Dementia, the general term for a decline in mental function, is believed to come with aging. Could dementia be a breakdown of mind that comes from a cross too heavy to bear?

I wonder as I walk into a full-blown episode of a mind lost to reality.

A 76 year-old woman I see for general deconditioning and mild balance problems also has a diagnosis of dementia. I have never noticed evidence of this on our visits other than some innocent lapses in memory. As is often the case, people with dementia can present a strong front of having it all together.

On this particular day her husband answers the door as I arrive. “She had a rough night”, he tells me. I find her groggy in bed somewhere between sleep and waking.

Once oriented to my presence she lets me know this is not her home, a place she has lived in for the past twenty years. “Nothing here is mine”, she says claiming her husband has sold their house against her wishes and all of her things are gone. Were this to be true, imagine the fright.

Not only is she not in her home but she is certain her husband is ready to leave her. With my full attention, she finally feels she has someone who will listen. She wants me to know her husband cannot be trusted. “He acts very nice so no one knows that he lies all the time.”  Her husband, helpless and exhausted, seems as lost as she is.

She tells me her heart is broken. Her husband is with another woman. She has given everything to her marriage and now that she no longer has her looks he wants to leave. “I know I’m not a Barbie doll anymore“, she tells me, “but I don’t deserve to be treated like this.”

Although none of what she is saying is related to her present situation this betrayal existed in a former marriage. Her belief that it is happening now means she is feeling everything just as if it were true. “Everything I am telling you is real”, she said. I know it is. I feel it. Although her mind may be deluding her at the moment the wound of her broken heart is clear.

In a more frightening situation a few miles away, a woman I see has recently had back surgery. Her husband, suffering with dementia and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), had tried to kill her. In the final episode before entering the VA, he smothered her with a pillow as WWII raged on in his psyche. Believing he was at war, his wife was the enemy. She fought for her life and ruptured her disc.

What they have in common are the haunting wounds of their past. A cross that crippled the mind under its weight.

We are all wounded. We have all suffered trauma. And these wounds are clouding our perception of reality all the time. The only difference between those with dementia and those of us fortunate to have our mental health, is we have not lost the thread to reality just yet.

Imagine if your trauma weighed fifty pounds. What if you could strap that on your back and carry it around all day? You would feel its effect. This is where the accelerated breakdown comes in.

What might happen if we lighten our load? What if we drop the weight all together? How might we age then?

I cannot help but wonder what might have happened had my clients been able to find help to lighten their cross along the way. The burdens they carried for far too long were too much for their souls to bear. The mind broke beneath the weight.

I do not know how to restore the mind once its fragile thread to reality has been lost. Meditation can slow the progression but I offer this not as a remedy for dementia but rather as a call for us to take responsibility for our healing. Not simply for ourselves but for our loved ones and the collective humanity we share. Prevention may be our best medicine.

We cannot see what lies ahead as we grow older each day but we can learn to leave behind what no longer serves us. May each step we take bring greater ease to body, mind and soul. May grace be our guide home.

This article first appeared on MindBodyGreen as Why Getting Older Doesn’t Have to Be Painful.

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sol·stice [sol-stis, sohl-]

1. either of the two times a year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator. On or about December 22nd it reaches its southernmost point.

sooth·say·ing [sooth-sey-ing]  

1.the practice or art of foretelling events.

Solstice Soothsaying

Now say that ten times fast!


I did not want you to miss this prophetic ritual which accounts for the captivating alliteration!

I hope it worked for here is a festive Scottish ritual to bring a flair to any holiday or new year celebration:

  • Fill a large shallow dish with raisins and pour a few tablespoons of brandy over them.
  • Put out the lights then set ight to the brandy.
  • While it is still going snatch one of the raisins from the flames.
  • As you put the raisin in your mouth, make a wish. It will be granted in the next twelve months!

(It is less dangerous than it seems but care should always be taken.)

May all your wishes come true!

Adapted from The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Tradtions of Christmas by John Matthews

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025376-nelson-mandelaIf you are living Life,
it will break your heart.

Break it with beauty.
With loss.
With tragedy.
With mystery.

If you are living Life,
yes your heart will break.

Once we accept this inevitable heartache,
give it some space
and breathing room,
we can transcend its weight.

When we no longer
feel we need to hide,
numb or fight against
this inevitable ache of the heart,
we see this is what makes us human.

A small price to pay for the glory
to walk on the beauty of this Earth.

Let your heart ache with Life.
For it is this ache that connects us
to the heartbeat of humanity.

Sat Nam
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

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