The following is scientifically-proven in the Raven Life Laboratory: tried, tested and true. For my readers who have been following my blog for years, you already know that this conversation is as much for me as it is for you. I need constant reminders!
HOW TO BE FREE . . . IN TEN EASY STEPS
1. Stop hating rich people. The old 99% to 1% bullshit. I used to resent people who were wealthy. I thought they were ostentatious asses who became rich by raping the planet, the stock market and the little guy. When I started to learn about true wealth — the attitude we project about our lives, based on our choice of thought — I began to enjoy and appreciate those with serious dough. Oprah. Warren Buffett. Richard Branson. What amazing manifestors! Who am I to judge how they gained their wealth? All of them give generously and seem to love what they do. For all I know, they might be tyrannical in private. They might be a beggar in Calcutta in their next lifetime (or in a previous one). What I learn from them is the enjoyment of money — which allows luxury and freedom. Money is an illusion but they sure know how to bring it into their lives with ease. They employ many people and add to the economy. That’s what I focus on. The benefit, not the negative. I watch them and say, “Man, they are really enjoying this ride!” and it helps me become more comfortable in welcoming money into my life. And I’ve read for enough wealthy clients to know that they struggle with the same issues I have: fear of loss and whether they are loved/heard/fulfilling their purpose.
2. Love yourself enough to say goodbye. They might be your soulmate. They might be the love of your heart. But when you put your life on hold for someone else, waiting for them to change, be free, recognize how precious your relationship is — it will be more difficult to notice the other lovely places/people/dreams that this limitless Universe can bring. As Jeanette Winterson says, “Nostalgia for lost love is cowardice disguised as poetry.” Love yourself enough to say goodbye to what isn’t working – and your gut knows. As hard as it may be, love yourself and keep walking. Every footstep is another way of saying, “I trust life. I trust myself.”
3. Take time away from electronics and breathe. I love electronics. I love checking the stock market. I use my computers for everything — even meditation. I could spend hours clicking away on websites, social media and all kinds of information. It’s very relaxing — if I remember to also spend time away from the screen. I actually have held off buying a smartphone because it’s even more tempting to be connected to the mothership. It’s super important for me to include Nature in my day: take a walk, go to yoga and connect with friends. I find that if I spend too much time in front a computer, it makes my nerves fritteryjittery — and I put Shungite and other gemstones near my computer to help. When I wake up in the morning, I spend time preparing my coffee, feed the cat and the birds and don’t lunge at the computer. I make sure to turn off my devices at night and keep them out of my bedroom. It’s all about balance because computers are here to stay — but so is Nature. Be sure to give yourself time to absorb her energies as much as your electronics.
4. Be real. Who are you, anyway? At times, a client will apologize for cursing when they’re in session with me – and I look at them like wha? I spent far too many years as a holy-roller, so curse away. I love salty language — the feel of it in my books and on my tongue — and if it means I’m less lady-like, then all the better. I don’t stress time being someone I’m not — and it’s taken me decades to feel comfortable being who I am in this continual evolution. I was often told to tone it down, be less eager to show how smart I am and accommodate others’ discomfort over my sexuality. I made people uncomfortable with my questions and curiosity — in other words, being able to see who they truly were. I spent many years either apologizing for my existence or raging over the limitations that were placed on me (my perception of them, that is….)
5. You never know the whole story, so keep your judgment in check. It’s easy to make assumptions: they are this way because of that. I act like this because of (fill in the blank). We all carry stories that are much, much deeper than anyone knows — and how often do we show and tell? I remember one afternoon walking up subway steps, my messenger bag bulging with student journals. I felt a woman start to pass me on the right and I reflexively pulled my bag against my body so it wouldn’t bump her, something I had done a thousand times before in New York. She glared out of the corner of her eye and continued to the platform. When I arrived a few steps later, she approached me, face filled with rage. “What did you think? Did you think I was going to steal your bag? You think I don’t know why you grabbed it?” I was speechless and my cheeks grew hot with shame. It wasn’t that I had done anything wrong but as I looked at her, this middle-aged black woman ranting at me, I saw a part of her story. I finally said, in a quiet voice, “You don’t even know me. I pulled it against myself so it wouldn’t hit you. I’m a teacher. I live in the South Bronx. You don’t even know me,” I repeated. She didn’t accept my answer and walked away in a huff.
I thought about her the entire night and the next day, told my classroom of juniors who were Hispanic and African-American students. They were very protective of me and disparaging of the woman, though I encouraged them to kind — and asked them to tell me their stories. Sure enough, my sweet teenagers told of being followed or embarrassed in stores, especially those south of 96th St. and having to bear a constant suspicion because they were not white. Some of them may become this woman in the future. She was unable to see me — because I represented every person who cast that cloud of judgment over her.
6. Stop watching the news…or if you don’t want to turn it off, write a check. I don’t follow the news, other than the weather and the occasional unwanted snippets. I don’t own a TV and only have a FB business page so I don’t see the endless stream. Yes, there are positive stories out there and social media is a great venue. However, the majority of the news basically puts your soul in the line of fire. I’m convinced (or as I like to say to my friends, “I’m certain of my uncertainty”) that much of the energetic drag that we feel is because of the news. Child abuse. Endless wars. Animal abuse. Grinding poverty. Terrorism. The 99% to 1%. There are reasons that only the negative is shown but I won’t bore you with conspiracy theories. The great news is that you can click it off or be selective as to what you watch/hear. If you start to feel despairing of what you perceive as the state of the world, write a check to your favorite charity. Volunteer at your local food bank. Bring your dog to a nursing home. Take a class. Develop your healing abilities. Say a prayer for the world — not just America.
7. Love your body. It’s one of my favorite topics — being kind to your beloved body. Think of all of the ways she carries you though each day. Your senses. Your feet. Your brain. Your faithful heart. All of the ways your immune system keeps you safe. Say thank you. Speak kindly — she’s not your enemy. Treat her well. Eat with love. Give her what she wants and she will reward you with energy and enthusiasm for life. Some of my favorite ways to care for her: a hot bath with essential oils and Himalayan salt. Foot rubs. Massages. Naps. Organic products, both in and out. Blessed coconut, sesame and olive oil. Yoga. Appreciating this physical experience with everything I can muster. Oh, and affirmations. I have them plastered all over my house. I often wonder why it takes people so long to come out of the bathroom. It’s because they’re reading all of the affirmations!
8. The choices you make now affect your future self. I’m not just talking about tomorrow or your 2015 resolutions. What I’m referring to is your future self — the next lifetime. Yes, I believe in reincarnation and the eternal soul. That’s why I want Raven — me, right now — to have the most glorious life possible. Not suffering. Not clawing my way to heaven. Love and beauty and kindness. Choosing to heal, rather than hurt. My friend Gabriel — a gifted clairvoyant — loves to sit with me and laugh about all of our warrior lives together — the battles, the women, the marauding. Somewhere deep in my soul, I know I’ve experienced many blood-soaked lifetimes. The difference now? We’ve come back to heal ourselves and help others. Decapitation, though once effective, isn’t an option now. I often think about the life I’d want to experience during the next go-around (though I’d prefer to never return to Earth, to be honest). What type of family? What gender? What timeframe? Why would I want to return? Which soul friends would join me? How would my soul like to evolve? The choices we make now pave the road for the next lifetime – which means that we have the opportunity to deal with our present karma…or life lessons, if you prefer.
9. And speaking of karma, forgive. Oy, that word again, right? I wouldn’t presume to tell you how. That’s a deep and wide personal discovery. What I will tell you is that the key to freedom is forgiveness. I almost hate to write that, since so much has been said (Sunday church, anyone?) But in my own potholed journey, I’ve transformed much of that soul-crushing shit through forgiveness. Maybe I should use the word understanding, instead. I am starting to understand why I chose the family, the parents, this particular moment in time to live, the gender, the country, the sexuality. I am starting to understand why the villanous assholes in my story popped up when they did. I’m starting to understand that many of the patterns that I play out in my relationships have probably been there longer than this one life, and here’s another chance to turn the wheel and change course (see #8). Most of all, I don’t want to be an bitter old woman with bad skin.
10. Know that you are amazingly brave. Hey, you got up. You’ve read this long-ass post. You’re walking into another day. I’ve sat with many of you over the cards and have heard pieces of your remarkable stories: your love and sorrows and dreams. And I think you’re awesome! I hope you remember how brave you are — and that you surround yourself with people who celebrate that, too.