Archive for November, 2011

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”  William Arthur Ward

We are well versed in the merits of gratitude. It alters our outlook turning obstacles into opportunities and loss into lessons. Gratitude creates a spiritual viewpoint that allows us to ride the waves of human experience with equanimity, softening the hard edges with grace. Gratitude attracts like a magnet more of what we hold in appreciation into our life.

As with any practice, the virtues are only bestowed once we embody the teachings. In order for gratitude to bless the life we are living we must first weave them into our soul. How do we ensure gratitude does not exist merely as a concept or good idea? How can we ground gratitude into our bodies so the goodness of gratitude informs our actions?

One place to begin a practice of gratitude is to bring appreciation to the body in which you dwell. Do you know anyone who would work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without a break or vacation and never once receive a thank you for their tireless efforts? Think of all the jobs your body performs every day. Your heart has not stopped pumping since your time in the womb. Your lungs continually regulate the flow of oxygen essential to your survival. Like an ever-running steam engine, your digestive system converts what you eat into fuel, providing energy to function. The jobs required to sustain your life every day are endless. Treating your body with appreciation helps heal and restore right relationship between you and your body. Holding your body sacred helps bring the sense of sacred to everything in your life.

In the spirit of giving thanks, I offer Attitude of Gratitude, a guided meditation, to help us embody the blessings of gratitude, not merely as a concept, but as a living and breathing teaching within us. This practice awakens a sacred awareness of your body temple. It offers an opportunity to give thanks for all the service your body so willingly provides. Lie comfortably on the floor, or as close to the Earth as you can. If you are distracted by any discomfort in your body, try placing a pillow under your knees or beneath your head for support.

Take a moment to reflect on your experience during this practice. What stood out or seemed significant to you? What, if anything, changed or shifted in your awareness? Ask your body what it needs to feel nourished and supported? It may require more rest, more water or more greens. Maybe it needs more movement or fresh air. Listen to the wisdom within and wait for a response. What is one thing you can do today to demonstrate this appreciation for your body and honor its needs? What is one thing you can do today to embody the goodness of gratitude?

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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How do you spend the last five minutes of your day? Are you rehashing arguments? Replaying worries for your future? Reviewing your regrets and what ifs? I encourage clients to use this time to empty their bodymind of stress that has accumulated from the day by exhaling tensions from their body. With intention, these stresses are sent right into the Earth where they are energetically composted. The weight of the body releases its effort and need to hold on.

After hearing Wayne Dyer’s keynote address at the Hay House conference this past weekend I now take this practice a step further.

During the last five minutes of your day he suggests aligning your subconscious with intentions to access your highest self. When we stew in anger, fear and worry before drifting off to sleep, our subconscious mind interprets this as our reality and will create experiences for us that match that reality upon waking. We can create a shift in our reality by reprogramming our subconscious mind during this potent portal to dreamtime.

During the last five minutes of your day tell yourself…







What experiences might be created to match this reality?

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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A place of uncertainty in my heart steers my shamanic journey this morning as I ask for what I need to see in this space of letting go.

Bats swoop over and around me. I am met by the steadfast stare of owl. I follow soft moss under my feet. It carries me over a log. I can go no further as the large upended roots of a tree stand before me. The log begins spinning. No longer can I keep my balance. I slip and free fall into a vast body of water. Most of this journey remains here, at the ocean floor following trails of clam shells and sea creatures. Everything flows and sways. Ahead I see a castle. As I come closer I see it is made of starfish. Orange and colorful. They seem to wave. I am met by a God of the Waters, King Neptune. He tells me to see. I am trying very hard to get a vision. I cannot see anything. He tells me I am looking in the wrong place. In the distance I see mountains, far away, very dark. I begin to spin. All I can see are these dark shadows of mountains in the distance. I spin faster until my form begins to dissolve. I ascend, traveling upwards, until I reach the heavens. It is here I receive this message:

You are a STAR.
It is time to occupy
Your rightful place among the heavens. 

All I can feel is the light of this star. I am the light of this star sitting in the infinite black sky. I am surrounded by other stars. Each of us occupying our unique and rightful place. Each of us illuminating this vast and infinite darkness.

This is a time of initiation.

We are rebirthing.

Remember my friends…


AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

(Shamanic journey available on iTunes)

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The times we live in have been prophesied by ancient maps of many different traditions. They all point to a time of the birthing of a new consciousness. And that time is now. Our evolution is driven by creation which is accelerating at unprecedented speed. The same creative force that drives the evolution of the Universe, drives the evolution of our very own Soul.

Evolution. A time of birth. A time of death. A time of change. 

Conditions that tend to make us all a bit fearful. Our human nature prefers a more predictable path. We like things we can count on. We like to feel safe and in control. In the midst of these transiting times, cultivating stillness is essential.

In stillness, we become a receptive vessel. We source from an infinite consciousness into which we are all linked. This information lands in our body as a knowing, a felt sense. There is no need to justify, defend or make sense of this information, we just know. It is our truth. The more we listen to the voice of this truth, the more we allow our life to be guided by the infinite intelligence of Spirit.

What if we were to trust that what we need would come to us in stillness?  This is in direct opposition to mind that needs to figure out, have a plan and do something.

Last month a practice for cultivating stillness came through from the Stone People that bears repeating here. We have much to learn from the element of stone as teachers of stillness.

Find three stones. Cleanse them in a sea salt bath overnight. Once the stones are clear they will be used to nourish and sustain our bodies on all levels. For the practice, lie on your back. Place one stone on your belly. Place one stone over your heart (the center of your chest) and one stone on your third eye, the center of your forehead. Let your breath start to deepen and slow down. Feel your body resting more deeply on the Earth. Let your self be still to receive the steadfast stillness of the stones. Let this absorb into your body as you lie quietly. This medicine is recevied in stillness. Stay quiet until you feel a sense of stillness in your body. This will deepen with practice. 

We are birthing new levels of Soul consciousness now. With this birth, comes death. Let us learn to recognize what it is that is ready to die. What limited beliefs, worn out identities or ways of seeing ourselves and the world can we let go of so we can make way for what is to come? And that my friends we do not know. We stand at the precipice and trust. Let stillness hold this space.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit 

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Fresh Air
Morning Practice
Restorative Yoga
Bare Feet on Sand
Soul Community

A simple list.

I intend for this list to grow. Add something new everyday if I can.
I invite you to do the same. Start noticing, each and every day, what nourishes you.

What puts a smile in your heart?
What gets your juices flowing?
What brings you to center?
What stills your mind?
What calms your heart?
What connects you more deeply to your body?
What connects you more deeply to Spirit?
What brings your life a sense of purpose and meaning?

We will bring this list to our next New Moon Despacho.
We will feed, in ceremony, what nourishes us.
Let Spirit guide us to shape a life
that nourishes each and every one of us,
each and every day.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Al·che·my [al-kuh-mee] 

  1. any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value. 

With my heart feeling much like the ash left after burning our Cuti Despahco, I journey for guidance. “Shamanic journeying is a tool that accesses information at the level of the energetic and puts you in communication with Spirit. Processing and accessing information from this higher perspective re-informs your life in an efficient manner. Shamans work to create healing and transformation at the material level by creating change at the level of the energetic.” (excerpt from A Structure for Spirit)

My heart has been laden with loss since the breakup with my boyfriend. It took a long time to even call him that. I was divorced about 4 years when we met. I was not attracted at first. Our relationship grew slowly. Our time together was a magical mix of deep friendship, erotic lovemaking, poetry, ceremony and heartache. With him I learned to drop the control of manipulation that had previously steered my relationships and surrender to the unfolding of magic. He has been my most dear and divine lover. Now it is over, my heart burnt to ash. Times like these call for a shamanic journey.

A shamanic journey expands our ability to see our life from a perspective both higher and wider than ordinary realms of consciousness. We travel to the extraordinary realms of Spirit consciousness. When we are lost in the day to day survival of living or are trying to heal a broken heart, we are blinded by our fear and our pain. Our vision is limited. The shamanic journey expands our way of seeing. This information, like a blessing, showers down on our life.

A shamanic journey is like following a trail, driven by your intent. You may find yourself walking along the roots of a tree which take you to a river where you are met by a guide who takes you to Eagle where you fly to mountaintops. On this particular journey, my intent was to find what my heart needed for healing. And so it went. I follow the tracks. Eventually I am led to a clearing. My head is shaved, my body scrubbed and covered in mud. I am laid on the Earth. Hands begin chipping away at the black, dead wood sitting at the base of my heart. It cracks open. A smooth, golden liquid is poured in. It fills my entire body. This golden liquid transmutes into a precious metal. I have found, through this journey, what I am looking for. In my heart sits pure gold.

Alchemy. A magical process of transmuting something of little value into a substance of great value. This journey has taken me through an alchemy of heart. The burnt wood and ash at the center of my heart are of little value. Their purpose already served in fire. Through this journey I receive pure gold, a precious metal. Yet it is the broken heart that holds the magical power. Our pain is there to crack us open. For therein lies the gateway to gold.

My heart is not yet empty of grief but its load is lighter.

I am re-informed by a new mantra.

I have a heart of pure gold!

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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I am buying a lot of lemons. With time and space stretched before me this weekend, I am retreating with the Master Cleanse. I was introduced to this particular cleanse about 10 years ago. With water, lemon, cayenne pepper and a bit of maple syrup (for vitamins, minerals and sweetness), it seems to do what it says it will do; cleanse. Why cleanse? Why now? After ceremony, our energy bodies reconfigure.

“From a shamanic perspective, your physical body is shaped and informed by the electromagnetic field that surrounds it. This subtle outer body is also known as the light body, the energy body, the luminous body or aura. Your light body informs through thought, feeling, beliefs, archetypal and ancestral patterns, wounds and trauma held within its field. Your life is being created through the filters of this information. The matter of your physical body is literally shaped through patterns of darkness and light emitted through your luminous energy body.” (excerpt from “A Structure for Spirit”)

When we release patterns such as the victim from our energetic body through ceremony, we are creating change in our light body. As we change the patterns at the level of the energetic body, we are sending new information into our physical body. Our physical body will replace every cell in its system in 7-8 months as it continually regenerates itself. To give my physical body the most optimum conditions for regeneration, I cleanse.

As I cleanse my physical body, I bring the intent of clearing any patterns of limitation, any shred of attachment to the victim or powerlessness within me. This intent cleans up my energy body along with it. Along with any physical benefits one may receive from a cleanse, for me, cleansing creates a shift. I am not here to recommend a particular cleanse, detox or fast. Whatever method you choose, power it up with your intent. Dedicate your efforts to a deep clearing of any energetic impressions that have laid physical impressions of lack. Create space for nourishment as we bring these offerings to our next New Moon Despacho. Let us discover more deeply what nourishes body, mind and soul.

Here is a brief outline of the Master Cleanse:

  • Combine juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 Tbsp genuine maple syrup, 1/10 tsp cayenne pepper with 10 oz of water
  • Drink 6-12 glasses throughout the day.
  • No other food taken during this time.
  • Make internal salt water bath by adding 2 tsps uniodized sea salt to 1 quart warm water. Drink entire amount first thing in the morning for elimination and a good colon washing.
  • Come off cleanse gently. Orange juice recommended to prepare digestive system to assimilate food followed by fruits and raw vegetables, in that order.
  • 10 day minimum recommended. I do it for 5. I know others who have done if for forty.
What are you ready to cleanse?

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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