If you have been working hard on your spiritual growth, it’s easy to get into the trap that if you are “good,” only good things will happen.
Good things will happen if you are spiritually devout.
If you meditate every day.
If you put spiritual development first.
If spirituality is your whole focus.
But then sometimes, in fact often, “bad” stuff happens anyway. Why is this?
It’s true that as you become more aware, your life tends to improve very rapidly. What you create or manifest as your reality, is what you begin to experience. When you are in higher vibration from spiritual practice, you begin to experience a higher vibration life. And yet…
The sad, rough stuff of life still happens. No matter how “good” you are.
Let yourself simply accept this. We’re here for the good, the bad, the all of it. We’ll have lessons in soul growth, until the moment we die. And after we die, we’ll come back and do it all again, in our next life.
Don’t try to use spiritual practice as a way of making your life all “good.” It doesn’t work that way.
We’re here to grow. Every single experience in our life takes us there.
When you are on the spiritual path, you will find that usually you have a nudge or crisis or event that results in an awakening.
Sometimes it’s really beautiful; the result of a very deep meditation, or an experience in a workshop or retreat.
But more often, it’s the nudge or crisis version that wakes us up the fastest. Getting fired, getting sick, breaking up, financial ruin, death… all of these big jolts break us out of whatever pattern we were in, so we can start again.
It’s like a do-over, a reset, a big shock in the circuit that makes us stop, take a breath, and reassess.
If we’re really aware, we see clearly how much we were on the wrong track.
And with this jolt, also comes awakening: we wake up to who we really are (unlimited soul in limited earth body) and what we’re here for (soul growth) and we get back into the business of life with new understanding and new appreciation.
When I work with people to discover their spirit guides, there’s often a lot of expectation that we will encounter a particular kind of guide: a tall, wise guide, for example, or a beautiful woman guide in lovely gowns, or a devout monk, and so on.
And yet, often… in fact very often, people have tiny guides show up in one or more of the guide positions: earth guide, spiritual teacher, mystic guide.
The tiny guide might be a fairy, or a leprechaun, or something like Tinkerbell. And often when people see these tiny guides, they laugh at first, because the guides are so delightful. But, then they get worried, that they don’t have “big” enough or powerful enough guides.
Don’t be confused by the way a guide first shows up. In all cases, the tiniest guide is not tiny at all: they are just showing themselves to you in this way, so that it will be easier for you to receive them.
Guides use humor and friendliness in the same way. They show themselves in non-powerful, non-aggressive ways, so that we are not afraid, so that we let our guard down, so that our childlike Self sees clearly.
Underneath the tiny aspect, the guides have other ways of representing themselves: they are incredibly powerful and wise. If you think you are ready to see this, ask your tiny guide to show you the other aspect of themselves, and watch them shape shift into something different.
The power will be astounding. You will see how big they are: ascended masters of tremendous wisdom and energetic ability. You may prefer them tiny, after all!
We use chakras a lot in spiritual intuition, because they are so quick and easy to read.
Usually, the way chakras present most often is in color. In other words, the vibrational energy of the chakra shows up in meditation as a vibrational frequency, which we see or recognize as color.
The colors are very simple and easy to remember:
Red: first or root chakra, security, stability, survival, money, fear.
Orange: second chakra, reproductive system, sexuality, creativity.
Yellow: third chakra, solar plexus, personal power.
Green: fourth chakra, heart, heart opening.
Blue: fifth chakra, throat, voice, self-expression.
Indigo: sixth chakra, third eye, clairvoyant seeing.
White: seventh chakra, crown of your head, divine knowing.
Sometimes we see brilliant dazzling gold, which is often about radiant healing, above the crown chakra. We often also see a beautiful pale or bright pink, which is often about love.
And of course, there are more negative or low vibration colors, such as grey, black, sickly yellow, sickly green, muddy brown. These usually show stagnant energy, illness, grief, and so forth.
When you are working in spiritual intuition and a color shows up, any color, you can trust that it has symbolic meaning.
This is one of the easiest ways to work with the information you receive; you don’t have to over think it, you can just look at the color, and know the message is about that particular chakra.
For example, if you received a meditation of a red self being discarded, you would understand that your old Self, based in the fear of first chakra, is being let go. If you received a meditation of yourself and a lot of yellow, you would know that this is about personal power. If you received a meditation of yourself dipping in a pool of indigo, you would understand that you are being immersed in the higher vibration of intuitive and spiritual understanding.
The Universe works very hard to make the information we receive easy for us to translate: color is one of the main ways we understand, and it is a clear and consistent tool.
Chakras are energy vortexes or portals in the body.
Most people can’t see them, but you easily sense if they are open, or closed, and if you meditate on them, you can notice that they are swirling in one direction or another, and you will probably be able to open or expand the swirl of your chakra, in meditation.
Thus, if you notice a chakra that is closed very tight, blocked or still, you can unlock it and allow it to swirl in a circle of energy, and even to expand to a size that is as big or bigger than your body.
Energy healers, such as hands healers, also work in this way, using the energy that comes from their hands, or the way that they use their intention, to unblock or open your chakras.
If you are feeling kind of yucky or sad or sub-par, it is a great idea to check your chakras. Just go up from the first or root chakra, to your second chakra in your reproductive system, to your third chakra in your solar plexus, to your fourth chakra which is your heart, to your fifth chakra which is your throat, to your sixth chakra which is your third eye, to your seventh chakra which is at the crown of your head.
Just notice what the energy feels like in each area. If it’s tight, small, locked, imagine or meditate on this chakra until you have the sense that is swirled open.
We spend a lot of our lives, maybe even most of the years of our lives, trying to figure out who we are.
When we’re kids, we absorb what others say about us: our parents, our teachers, our friends. As we get older, we take on what a more adult group says: our lovers, our colleagues, our bosses.
And yet still, we may have no idea of who we really are, because we have not defined it for ourselves.
When you get to that place, finally, where you stop letting other people define who you are, and you stop defining yourself as a category such as: mother, husband, accountant, dancer, whatever it is for you…. And just define yourself as worthy without those roles and identities…
This is where it starts to get interesting.
When you can throw all the stories and roles and past and identities and ego attachments away and just say, “Here I am, Universe. Ready to show up to what is.”
You discover when you show up this way, without an identity, the Universe tends to expand very quickly, bringing to you all manner of brilliance and enjoyment.
Your identities aren’t who you really are.
Consider if you can release them all, and just be a Soul in the world.
If you’ve ever been to an amateur recital, you’ve had the great joy of watching people sing. It’s especially amazing to watch people who are not professionals, because their whole Self shows up.
It’s not just about the struggle to remember it all: how to hit the notes, how to keep the rhythm, what the lyrics are, how to stand without clenching their fists or swaying their body.
It’s about the struggle to be absolutely vulnerable, and to show up inhabiting a piece of music, a vibrational experience over time, that comes through the body, and is presented like a prayer, a gift, an offering.
I went to a recital recently where one singer had a pretty terrible voice. And she owned that voice! She sang, and she let the music sing through her, and the gift of that openness, to show up to what happened, was astounding.
When you sing, by yourself, or with others, in private or on a stage, it’s a miracle. Long ago when I was in choir, they used to call it praying with the voice, and if you have ever sung, well or badly or somewhere in between, you know this to be true.
Every relationship you’re in is a direct reflection of your spiritual understanding. Depending on where you are, this can be an okay truth to look at. It can also be one of the most terrifying statements you’ve heard.
Like it or not, we attract those we have karma with.
We attract those we have lessons with.
Everyone we meet is our teacher, and we are theirs.
When you look at the people you are most struggling with, look immediately to your own self as a mirror of them.
If you are having trouble with someone who is negative, look to your own negativity.
If you are having conflict with someone who won’t keep their word, look to your own ability to show up.
If you are having issues with someone who keeps thinking small, look at your own relationship to thinking small.
We meet our match, over and over and over again.
Until we learn our lesson, and move on.
This is how karma—soul lessons learned over time—works. We meet our teachers, over and over again, until we master the lesson.
It might take an hour.
It might take this lifetime.
It might take many lifetimes.
And when we have completed that particular lesson? There’s always more soul growth, in this graduate practicum called life.
Be easy on yourself. Chances are high you’re doing the absolute best that you can, right now.
It might not be where you want to be.
It might not be who you think you are.
It most certainly won’t be perfect.
But if you could do any better, with where you are now with this particular understanding of yourself and your life and your relationships and your personality and your challenges… you would.
It’s important to recognize that we are where we are, because this is where we are. It’s as far as we can get, today.
You can do a lot of self work and get further.
You can face your fears and get further.
You can experience massive opening of your heart and get further.
But right now, today, you are where you are.
Love yourself anyway, okay?
Love yourself for being you, on your path, right now.
P.S. Take a listen to Ask Sara Radio, now streaming live on the site.
We hear so much about Being Here Now, and it is incredibly wise advice.
Of course, we need to know how to get out of all distraction, and just be. Of course, being is all we are.
And yet, sometimes, we’re supposed to do, not be.
Sometimes, being can be a way of hiding out, detaching, not to be present by saying we’re being overly present.
Sometimes, doing is what is called for.
There are obvious times when doing is imperative: if you witness someone fall on the sidewalk, you don’t just close your eyes and go into meditation on the event. Of course, you spring up and race over and help the person stand up.
You do, because that is what is called for.
If your child is hungry for dinner and it is your normal meditation hour, you don’t close the door and go meditate. You go into the kitchen and you make your child some food.
You do, because this is what is called for.
Check your own position on doing vs. being.
If you’re still not sure, maybe David Bowie can help: on “Modern Love.” he sings: “I know when to go out, and when to stay in. Get things done.” Channel your inner Bowie.
If you’re really active and out there and always running around, it’s time to slow down into being. If you live very slow, mostly relaxing, inner focused, continually turning inward, it’s time to speed up into doing.
We all have many facets and sides to our Selves. It’s important to utilize them all.
P.S. Ask Sara Radio is now streaming direct. Tune in!
If you’ve been in spiritual practice for a while, and are used to going into beautiful meditations where your guides are fully communicating with you and giving you very clear messaging, you’re going to one day have the experience where they aren’t going to be there.
Or, maybe they will be there, but they’ll be hazy, or vague, or in the distance. Or maybe they’ll even show up, and sort of turn away, or wave you off with their hands.
As if to say, not today, my friend.
Or, the shop is closed today.
Or, we aren’t doing a meeting today.
If this happens to you, it is a sign that you are meant to do other things besides meditation and guide communication, for a while.
Sometimes we use meditation and contact with the guides as a kind of crutch for getting through our lives: we ask the guides a lot of questions that we already know the answers for. For example, we might continually ask the guides for a specific question, over and over again.
And the guides continue to give us great information, or information for us to explore. But instead of going out and acting and exploring and doing, we just sit at home asking questions. Doing more meditation.
Asking over and over again, when we have already been given the answer.
After a point, our guides will not provide us with more answers, until we’ve taken action on what we’ve received.
If you find yourself in a place where the guides have temporarily closed up shop, don’t despair. This is a sign to get out in the world in an active, physical way. Meet people, do things, allow yourself to receive synchronicities, and actually follow them.
This will lead you to your next step.
P.S. Listen to our FREE Spiritual Psychic podcast now.
There’s this myth that you have to know your spirit guide’s name.
And, it just isn’t true at all.
Sometimes, rarely, you will get a name. If you are American, this name is often something really plain, like Bob, or really fancy, like Ashkar, or St. Germaine.
If you get a name, great. Go with that.
But if you don’t get a name, don’t spend another moment worrying about it. Our spirit guides are real beings, who exist in other dimensions, who have the ability to work with us in vision, symbol, language, and emotion, in order to help us with our understanding of the ineffable All/One/God/Universe/Source.
They are like translators for us, using systems of understanding that are familiar to us.
They are much more interested in helping us receive a vision of an eagle diving into the sea, for example, that helps us understand our life’s purpose, than they are in giving us their names.
It’s not easy for us, as humans, to receive these visions fully. The guides seek to give us what is most important: the vision and the understanding, in the limited time they have when our concentration is strong.
The thing is… our concentration is pretty limited! Our guides aren’t going to waste it on names. They want us to get to the juice, the core, the essence of what we need to know about our life and our path. Names aren’t a priority.
Let go of the need to know your spirit guide’s name. If it happens, great. If not, focus on the more important aspects: what your guide or guides are bringing to you, for your higher understanding.
P.S. Listen to the FREE Spiritual Psychic podcast now.
It’s really important to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Why you’re working toward what you’re working toward.
A lot of people say they want to “help others.” It's a nice phrase. But if you are saying that you want to help others, when what you really want to do is get your finances in order and stabilize your life… then own that.
If you’re saying one thing, and feeling another, the Universe is going to figure it out. And when the Universe senses that you are not in alignment with your vision, the Universe causes the whole big machinery of manifestation that you have created to come to a screeching, massive halt.
If you are pushing in one direction, because society or your mind or your parents or your friends or whoever it is says that this is the way you should go, but if in your own quiet and tender heart, you really want something else….
Well, if you find yourself in this place, chances are good that you’re going to be stuck. You’ve been stopped by the Universe, until you figure out what your heart really wants.
In human life, the heart is where the soul resides. The heart is what the Universe listens to. If you’re not doing your deep, true heart’s longing, the Universe isn’t going to help you in any way.
And of course, if you are doing your heart’s longing, the Universe will put everything into hyper drive, to help you in all ways.
Own your real dream, no matter what it is.
This is what you’re here for.
It’s great to follow spiritual teachers, to a certain point.
Yet one of the things we learn when we follow a spiritual path is that you have to create your own path.
You have to create the trail as you walk it.
Build the plane while you’re flying it.
It’s like bushwhacking through the jungle.
Or trying to find your true north, without a compass.
The thing to know is…
There is no map.
There is no clearly marked path.
There is no defined way.
The Universe does not deliver a scroll to you upon your birth with all your whole life determined, and all you have to do is diligently trudge your way from Point A to B to C and so on until death.
And… thank goodness for this!
Instead, you get the magical, amazing, delicious, difficult, and gorgeous experience of walking in the mystery: of walking toward where you think you’re going, with only the slightest understanding of what is around the next corner.
You have to walk blind.
You have to walk in the mystery.
Nobody has the answer.
Nobody’s ever going to get the answer.
The only answers you’re going to get, are the ones you discover.
It’s beautiful, to fly free this way.
Embrace the mystery.
It holds all the room you need to live, love, fail, learn, and grow.
P.S. Tune in to FREE Spiritual Psychic podcasts!
It can be super funny and super annoying when people start to get all spiritual on you, spouting off this master and that teacher, going to this workshop and that retreat.
As if the more books you can read, and the more trainings you can attend, the more spiritual you’ll become. As if the more you can rub shoulders with the “big” teachers, the more their understanding rubs off on you.
It’s all ridiculous, isn’t it? It’s really giving away your power.
You, as a Divine Soul, are just as spiritual as any famous guru, teacher, priest, rabbi, master, and so forth.
A teacher may be a little further on that path than you. But you can’t move forward on your path, just by attaching to a teacher.
You have to do the work yourself.
You have to have the experiences.
You have to grow into your understanding.
This kind of awakening isn’t transferable (even if they tell you it is). You can’t be activated or realigned or awakened by anyone else.
It all comes from you as soul Self, deciding to be awake.
Be wary of teachers who tell you that if you hang around with them, do their program, etc., that you will become spiritually elevated.
But it might be, that in giving away your power, you put yourself in an even worse position. You become a spiritual sheep.
Instead, own your own power. Do your meditation. Do your practice. Get out and explore the world as your own spiritual sadhu, or stay at home and explore your spiritual Self that way.
Read books and take trainings and go to retreats… but understand that the power to transform comes from within you, it is something you already possess. Another cannot do this work for you.
P.S. Listen to the FREE Spiritual Psychic podcast!
If you are a person over a certain age, you have probably been taught that sugar is a treat.
It’s something that tastes good, and it’s something that we have when we’re celebrating. It’s something that we have when we want to feel good and have fun.
Yet we’ve known for a long time that sugar is a drug; that it’s as addictive and mood altering as anything out there on the streets.
When we have some sugar, our mood spirals up, we feel great, powerful, giddy, charged up; and then the sugar runs out, and we retreat into a slump of depression, lassitude, and anger.
Up, down, up, down. All in the name of “fun” or “treat.”
And even if you try to avoid blatant sugar, like candy or soft drinks, you will find it in most processed foods.
One day, probably not too far in the future, sugar is going to be disdained as we once shunned fat, gluten, chemically processed foods, alcohol, drugs.
Until then, pay attention to your own relationship with sugar. It’s not a sweet, harmless thing. It’s a mood altering drug, disguised as a cupcake. It’s a mood destabilizer, disguised as soda.
If you want to be steady, balanced, calm, peaceful, sugar may not be a fit for your life.
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There’s a lot of talk about minimalism these days: about the idea of seeing how few possessions you can have, how little you can live with.
The idea of course is that we don’t really need a lot, and sometimes having a closet filled with clothing, or a house or apartment filled with stuff is much more energetically confusing, than having just a few well-loved things.
The trick is to curate your collection.
And it’s not just about minimalism: having less because that’s a path that’s popular right now. Instead, it’s about not allowing anything that you wear, or use, or own, to be something that doesn’t reflect who you are.
It’s easy to hold on to a jacket that you had a few years ago, because it’s still “good” or because you paid a lot for it. But when you look at this jacket as a curated piece of a very small collection of clothes that you wear; clothing that is a statement and an expression of who you are right now… you can see easily, if this jacket reflects your Now self, or not.
Curating your collection is also a way of showing the Universe who you are now, and who you are becoming; who you desire to become.
When you let go of clothing, décor, items that no longer reflect who you are, the Universe has a much easier time bringing your new reality to you.
We hold the high watch whenever we are holding vibration at a high level for others.
You might experience this at an event, where you suddenly go into a trance state or experience yourself a bit outside of your body, and you become the observer and the witness to all that is going on.
If the occasion already contains a lot of positive energy, you will probably be able to see this energy as a golden kind of light, and you will attach to that energy and hold it; you will continue to create it for the group.
If the occasion holds a lot of negative energy, you will be able to see this, and by the power of your intention, you will be able to shift that negative energy to positive, or mostly positive, and you will hold that energy for the group.
You will be holding the high watch.
The thing is: nobody can hold this for a long time, by his or her self. This is why we call in the guides to assist us.
And more importantly, this is why we rely on each other, as kindred souls, to help us hold the high watch. Thus, when we falter, we know someone else is praying or meditating or witnessing with love.
All of us, together, create this earth reality. We must hold the high watch together, if we want to rise together.
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Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz might well be a manifesto for living a spiritual life.
You’ve got the girl with the ruby slippers, who leaves home to find it’s always with her.
You’ve got important archetypes: Good (Glinda), Evil (Witch), Reason (Scarecrow), Heart (Tinman), Courage (Lion).
And those amazing flying monkeys and talking trees and munchkins and the Emerald City, which stay with you always.
But what interests me most is how Baum (and later Elton John) wrote about the Yellow Brick Road. It’s really a path of Flow, isn’t it? It’s a path of pure synchronicity, drawn by the Universe.
So much so, that if you just stay on the Yellow Brick Road, never veering off to where your ego or your fear or your hesitation wants to go…. well, then you’re in pure Flow, all the time.
And when you are in Flow, it is incredibly easy for the Universe to take you to your Highest Possibility.
Today, think about what the Yellow Brick Road is in your life. What’s the easy path? The path that’s so simple, so inviting, that you can just skip down it? That’s the path to walk on.
Life isn’t meant to be hard.
Flow always shows up as the easiest, most effortless, most delightful way, beckoning to us with a smile on its face.
A few days ago I was working on a pretty big (for me) project, and I started to freak out in a way that I haven’t freaked out for many years.
In fact, I’ve been so calm and serene and detached from outcome lately, I had started to think my freaking out days were over.
The Universe keeps pushing us to be bigger versions of ourselves: to expand more, to grow more, to try new things, and to have that completely humbling feeling of beginner’s mind, over and over.
When you’re in beginner’s mind, everything is new, difficult, confusion, chaos. You don’t have a way to orient yourself, because it’s all new. You don’t have those landmarks of having done something before. Or maybe you do have landmarks: of where you tried to do something before, and failed.
But you know, failing is just a marker. It shows you where you are on your task of growing yourself up.
Freaking out: when you come to that trigger of possible failing, or having failed in the past, is always an option.
Or you can also skip that Great Big Freakout, and just trust that all is well. Either way, tantrum or no tantrum, you’re going to be fine.
It might be interesting to see what facing the big, the new, the seemingly impossible feels like, without the Great Big Freakout.
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Sara blogs on spirituality and intuition twice weekly. Get Daily Divine direct to your inbox, plus instantly download the FREE ebook, "What are Your Unique Psychic Gifts?"