4/22/2016

Dear Mother Earth

treemagic3

Good morning, good morning! Oh it feels good to be back writing here again. I took a little break to work on my book proposal and have been creating some special healing content for a major wellness brand. I cannot wait to share all of the details with you in the coming months.

It’s Earth Day and I want to share a new poem and some mother earth musings with you. Everyday is Earth Day as far as I am concerned. Cultivating a strong connection to the earth and nature is honestly the most important practice in my life right now. It’s the foundation for everything. If I’m not rooted in the earth and living in as much harmony as possible with everything around me, my life feels very limited and it’s easy to think I’m alone.

As some of you know this past year I have been deepening my relationship to Hawk medicine, specifically the Red Tail Hawks here in Los Angeles. I’ve learned so much about my purpose and spirit through these fierce and majestic creatures. They are helping me develop my psychic capabilities and teaching me in a very tangible way to trust my inner compass like I’ve never trusted it before. This is my work these days, to expand my capacity to have faith in myself. Each time a Hawk soars by I talk to her and am in awe of how she speaks to my heart.

I’ve been praying for years. It has changed my life in too many ways to count and helped me navigate the darkest moments of my life. My morning prayers are always about enlarging my spiritual practice. They begin with asking the universe how I can open my heart to receive more love and guidance from nature. The universe loves honest questions from sentient beings. The beauty of asking questions in my morning prayers is that I never need to have any answers, the practice is in forming a question that points toward the light. The work throughout the day becomes slowing down and being available for the answers to flow in. And they always do in the most divine manner.

There are many ways we can celebrate the earth in our everyday lives that nourishes our spirit in meaningful ways. Pay attention to her. Talk to her. Honor her. Plant a garden. Sleep under the stars. Pick up trash in the park, even if it isn’t yours. Drive less. Eat local. Consume mindfully. The earth is really our first mother that loves us all equally and unconditionally. We are all her children no matter how our parents raised us, no matter what the did or didn’t give us, the earth is here for us all and has nothing but our best intentions at heart.

People often ask me how to make their dreams come true. If you want to create anything, become a devoted student of mother earth. Worship her in all ways and she will provide you with an endless stream of energy and universal love. It’s really that simple. As sentient beings we have a limited amount of energy and power. Awakening to the strong connection you already have with mother earth gives you access to an unlimited flow of energy and is the ultimate reminder than we’re never doing anything alone. We are always, always, connected.

Dear Mother Earth,
On this morning may I be graceful,
may I walk lightly on your surface, taking only what I need.

Dear Mother Earth,
On this morning may I be joyful,
may I dance with the butterflies, transforming any sadness into laughter that will help someone else’s heart.

Dear Mother Earth,
On this morning may I be grateful,
may I praise the wise trees on my windy street, feeling their truth in every inch of my body.

Dear Mother Earth,
On this morning may I be mindful,
may I consider you in all of my actions and thoughts, living in harmony, honoring your spirit.

Dear Mother Earth,
On this morning may I be radiant,
may the light in my eyes lift up every spirit I pass as the Hawk screams overhead, delighted that I am finally living our purpose.

All my heart.
x

Photos by Lani Trock

4/5/2016

Mineral Therapy // Selenite

Mineral Therapy // Selenite by Ashley Neese

I’ve got a ton of air and water in my chart so I’m always on the hunt for quick and effective ways to ground my energy. Welcome selenite. When I’ve had a full day of clients or just need to ground and shift my energy, I put my bare feet on a slab of selenite for ten minutes and I relax within minutes. Selenite reestablishes clarity, stabilizes emotions, and downshifts the nervous system making you more available for intuitive messages.

Selenite is a versatile mineral that clears energy blocks, dispels negative entities, cleanses auras, and illuminates the frequency of our consciousness. Being the sensitive person I am, selenite helps keep me at a more even keel, enabling me to tap into my inner light with ease and grace.

These last few months of living on my own again post breakup have been deeply transformational. I have the kind of clarity now that comes from having to create new life rhythms after being partnered for years. In many ways this has a been a return to my true self, my soul, and selenite has kept my intuitive center clear in moments where the emotional work has been very dark. I’m a big advocate for getting all the support we can in life. This past year I have leaned into my relationships with minerals and been amazed at how much they help me connect and tune in.

 

WHAT IS SELENITE?
The etymology of selenite is through Middle English selinete, from Latin selenites, from Greek selēnitēs (lithos), literally, moonstone or stone of the moon, from selēnē (Moon). The ancients had a belief that certain transparent crystals waxed and waned with the moon. From the 15th century, “selenite” has referred specifically to the variety of gypsum that occurs in transparent crystals or crystalline masses.
[Wikipedia]

Selenite is hydrous calcium sulfate mineral; a form of gypsum crystal also known as Satin Spur or Desert Rose. The stone is tubular in shape, with striations running along its length. Selenite is found in Mexico, South America, USA, Australia and Madagascar and formed in evaporative clay beds and hot springs. They crystal manifests in ice-like, clear, striated, fine, delicate crystals, and it can grow into either in the v-shape twinning, the fishtail configuration or in a single extended point.
[Tom Ledder]

Mineral Therapy // Selenite by Ashley Neese

HEALING BENEFITS
Selenite has many associations with the moon which makes it an ideal mineral for working with the subconscious, psychic channels, intuition, and primal instincts. The moon represents water, which is tied to our emotional and subtle bodies. Selenite will completely dissolve if left in water which is a beautiful illustration of how it can help wash away heightened negative emotions. This also serves as a reminder to practice being flexible in your life and to ride the waves of your emotions as they come, and when possible, to release with love.

Selenite is primarily associated with the crown and third eye chakras making it an excellent mineral for meditation and spiritual work. Regular meditations with selenite promote accurate psychic insights, deep understanding of your soul’s purpose, and healing of past life energies. If you’re looking for protection from your spirit guides selenite will help you tap into that power.

I bring selenite into all of my client sessions and classes because it very effective for removing energy blocks. Selenite is referred to as liquid light which brings clarity to getting down to the root of these stagnant areas. Often times clients aren’t always sure what their specific blocks are. I use selenite to enhance my intuition and expose the truth of their blocks while protecting them from outside mental influences. At night I purify my aura with a selenite wand to eliminate energetic congestion and cut parasitic energy cords that are a normal part of everyday living.

Selenite can be used to promote fertility and is a guardian of pregnancy and motherhood. You can use selenite to enhance all fertility from bearing a child to creating a new project. Selenite is also considered a love mineral, it encourages honest communication, promotes ease and harmony in relationships, and adds loving intentions to your energy body.

In addition to cleansing your minerals on the full moon, you can place them on a large slab of selenite. This will clear their energy and is great to do between full moons. The minerals I use on a daily basis get this treatment several times a month as they work very hard! Be sure to dedicate a specific piece of selenite just for cleansing your minerals.

Mineral Therapy // Selenite by Ashley Neese

HOW TO USE

Below are some of my favorite ways to use selenite. Try them out and see what feels best to you.

Meditate with selenite to…..

  • Clear your mind
  • Remove stress
  • Receive psychic messages
  • Reduce PMS
  • Tap into past life energy
  • Strengthen memory
  • Promote cellular repair

 

Keep selenite in your home to…..

  • Keep the energy clear and balanced
  • Promote harmony
  • Raise the vibration
  • Ward off negative energy

 

Put selenite under your bed to……

  • Stimulate dreams
  • Sleep soundly
  • Activate the subconscious
  • Encourage peace and tranquility
  • Reverse effects of free radicals

 

Keep selenite on your desk to……

  • Promote creativity
  • Keep focused on your work
  • Stabilize emotions
  • Inspire heart centered communication
  • Mental flexibility
  • Strengthen decision making processes

 

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Have you worked with selenite? I’d love to know how you incorporate it into your life.

 

Photos by Lauren Moore

Selenite from my friends at Energy Muse

3/22/2016

Cultivating Compassion in Difficult Times

Cultivating Compassion in Difficult Times by Ashley Neese

I’m not one to get political on the blog as that isn’t an area where I feel super comfortable. Today I was contacted by a big media outlet to create a piece to support the loss we’re all feeling right now from the tragedy in Brussels. I didn’t finish my piece by the fast turn around so I decided to share it here. This was challenging to write but it really got me feeling into how I can stay open through this which is truly a gift. Sending love far and wide today. You are all in my prayers.

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In the wake of this terrible tragedy in Brussels I turn to the wisdom of my practice. I’ve learned over the years that one of the biggest impacts I can have in this world is to keep my heart open.

Many people feel frustrated that there is nothing they can do to help those who are in pain right now. There is something you can do. You can commit to practicing compassion and keep all who are grieving in your prayers.

It’s normal to experience intense emotions during a time like this, anger, fear, grief, and sadness. Feeling any number of these emotions is a sign your heart is already open and a teaching in staying open through the loss we’re all feeling today.

From an energy perspective you have two choices, allow this terrible tragedy to shut you off or use it as a practice in staying open. When you shut down your vibration is lowered and it’s very challenging to access love, compassion, and wisdom. By staying open your vibration is raised and you tap into creativity, empathy, and intuition. In times like these everyone needs was much empathy, love and wisdom as possible. If you have the willingness to offer it you are doing a huge part to support the world.

When you practice compassion for yourself you are practicing compassion for everyone. You can have the biggest and most immediate healing impact on yourself and in your relationships. Let this tragedy serve to awaken you and open your heart to new depths.

Mindful practices for cultivating compassion:

1. Allow yourself to grieve. It’s brave to honor the pain you feel and it brings you close to your own vulnerability. Cry if you need to and let the emotions move through your body without censoring them.

2. Make your body an offering. Come into child’s pose and rest your forehead to the earth. Release your hips and soften your entire body. This pose is about connecting to your true source, Mother earth, and is a gesture of offering to your deepest wisdom. Focus on your intuitive center (third eye) and give thanks for all of your teachers. Send gratitude to the painful lessons you have learned because they have shaped your courageous heart. Soften. Breathe. Release. Rest.

3. Meditate on what you are feeling. Sit in a comfortable position, in a quiet space and focus your breath in your heart. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose to ground your nervous system and begin to soothe your heart. Place one hand on your heart and repeat the mantra as many times as you like, I am here for you. I am here for you. I am here for you.

5. Sit in meditation and direct compassion and love towards the people of Brussels. Breathe in light and love and breathe out this prayer, may you be free from suffering, may you feel safe, may you be loved. Repeat this for several minutes and close with your hands in prayer in front of your heart.

6. Squash the negative self-talk. When you catch yourself in a limiting belief or negative thought loop, pause, take a breath and repeat this mantra, darling I love you. Darling I love you. Darling I love you. Repeat this practice as often as necessary.

Please leave a comment and let me know how you are doing. I’d love to create community around this and support each other.

All my heart.
x

 

Photo by Lani Trock.

3/19/2016

A SPRING OFFERING

Spring Equinox by Ashley Neese

Happy Equinox friends! We are officially entering my favorite season for personal growth and renewal. I’ve spent the morning weeding my yard, preparing to plant some beautiful herbs and veggies. This season is all about connecting to the earth in a very physical way. I’ve never felt so called to get my hands in the ground and work with the soil to manifest my deepest desires. There is real magic in tending to the land and I feel how much I am healing by taking the time to ground myself in the most profound yet simple way.

This bowl of magic in the photo is from my teacher’s garden and I’ve been sprinkling these dried bits of tobacco, corn, sage, and lavender all over the yard. This is how I am honoring the transition within in nature and within myself. By returning this plant material back to the ground I am reminded of my truest source of power, the force that carries me when it feels like I cannot possibly take one more step and the force that shines though my eyes when I am out in the world, present and full of joy.

The deeper I go on my journey the greater my longing to connect to the earth and the practices that fill me up from the inside. There is so much power and energy available by taking the time to cultivate a relationship to nature. Each time I put my hands in the soil, water the plants outside or gently pull a lemon from the tree out back I am happy. There is nothing I need because I am truly one with everything around me. Tapping into the vibrations of nature and giving back to her as much as possible is becoming my spiritual practice.

The bees and Hawks came out to play earlier and even my cat is enjoying the potent energy of spring. I feel it in all of my cells, the vibration of new life coming forward and old energies being composted into something more vibrant than I can imagine.

And I’ve been called to compost so much during these last weeks. I can feel the internal shifts and the beliefs I’ve held tight for years rotting away. I feel done with them, over them, bored with them, ready to transmute them into joy, love, acceptance and peace. Spring is here as a reminder that we can compost as much as we are willing and that it’s our choice to live in our insecurities, our doubts, our fears. Today I give all of this to the soil as a prayer to live in as much joy and abundance as I am open to receiving.

In her essence spring is a metaphor for change and it’s up to you how much you want to shift. Some changes we welcome, others we resist. Today, decide if you’re ready to drop the resistance and soften into right here right now.

Are you willing to get super uncomfortable, shed whatever you need to shed to become a brighter more open version of yourself?

Are you willing to compost whatever is holding you back and tend to your inner garden, giving yourself loads of love, nourishment and tenderness?

I am. I am so ready for all of this. I have felt the presence of death in recent days and I feel how precious this life is. We don’t know how much time we have and I am unwilling to let another minute go by where my insecurities and fear are calling the shots. Today, on my knees with my hands firmly planted on the grass I pray,

Dear Universe,

Please help me transform this darkness into light that heals everyone around me,

show me where I can help,

and who I can serve.

Teach me through birds and animals,

the ways that I am here to lead and the messages I need to receive.

I am paying attention and I am ready.

I am listening.

I am willing to risk more.

I am open to receiving your guidance,

I expect it,

I trust it,

and I will take action on what comes through in a timely fashion.

I love you.

 

All my heart.

xo

 

Photo by Brittany Wood

3/15/2016

Inspiring Women // Aimee Ruiz

Inspiring Women // Aimee Ruiz

I am over the moon to introduce to you one of my dearest friends, Aimee Ruiz. We met in our early 20’s in San Francisco when we were young and free! Spending countless hours roaming the streets of the Mission, afternoon picnics in Dolores Park and learning how to show up for each other as the grown ups we were learning to become.

At the time I was finishing up my MFA and Aimee her undergrad in psychology. Aimee was my first friend  who taught me the value of clear boundaries and having difficult conversations. Over the last, 12 years we have remained close through moving cities, new loves, challenging break ups, starting businesses, family issues and everything in between. We have supported each others joys and regrets and I know I would not be who I am today without our friendship. Aimee is a brave and wise spirit who I am deeply grateful for everyday.

Aimee Ruiz is an acupuncturist and herbalist in Oakland, CA. She lovingly guides women on their journey from conception to birth and postpartum. Aimee has a thriving practice in Oakland and recently opened her own healing center. In our interview Aimee shares how she practices forgiveness, the spiritual connection she feels in nature and the importance of cultivating a strong community of women in business.

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What does your self care practice look like these days?
Since I spend my week taking care of other people, I focus a lot on my own self-care. I’m trying to keep it really simple these days and make sure that I get enough sleep, have some peaceful alone time everyday, and speak kindly to myself. I buy myself flowers often. I love getting regular massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care as well.

Have you ever struggled with self care in your life? How did you navigate that?
Definitely. It’s a continual process and I’ve really struggled in the past. I try to be gentle with myself, remind myself I’m human and that I am okay no matter what. Shame is such a killer. I need to feel safe in my own head, in my own body, and being. So that is where the work is. I’m pretty good to myself these days.

How do you practice forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a practice that I’ve been actively investigating at a deep level the last year or two so I can feel more at peace in my relationships and with myself. The basis for me is in allowing for my own imperfections and having compassion for myself that then flows out in to the world. The more I’m able to let myself off the hook with love and understanding, the more I afford that to the people around me.

Lately, I’ve been focusing less on how others actions affect me and more on just letting people be who they are and remembering that we all just want to be loved.

Share three books that you refer to often.
My most favorite book is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I’ve read it 4 times so far and I always hug it at the end. The I Ching is one of the guides that I consult regularly and I gain so much wisdom from its profound teachings. How to be an Adult in Relationships. My copy of this book has so many highlighted and underlined passages. It’s a true gem.

Inspiring Women // Aimee Ruiz

Do you have a morning or evening ritual? If so, tell us about it.
I’ve been allowing myself to have slow mornings lately as we near the end of the year. I hate to be rushed so I wake up a few hours before I have to leave the house. I love going for a walk but really the only thing I do every single day is sing. Singing has always been a heart-opening practice for me. After that, I try to do one thing that connects me to my higher self which may be meditation, qi gong, chanting, sending a little prayer to the universe, writing, and/or consulting the I Ching. I’m enjoying the freedom and flexibility of choosing something different every day to nurture my soul.

Connecting to nature is very important to you. How do you make time for it?
Being in nature is a spiritual experience for me so I can’t imagine going very long without the grounding I feel from being near trees or at the ocean. With that first step out in to the woods or the first wave that comes in to greet my feet, my soul feels nourished.

What motivates you to create?
Being in creative community is really helpful for me. When I was learning to weave, I took a class with other women who were inspired and motivated and that energy was so contagious.
Also, having a space to share and connect. I’ve been really loving working on my acupuncture photo project and sharing the beauty of Chinese medicine with others in a creative way.

How do you come home to yourself?
Being alone in nature. There is an indescribable clarity that I get from experiencing the expansiveness of a mountaintop or an empty beach. And I get to have that wonderfully complete exhale that only seems possible in these wide-open spaces.

Inspiring Women // Aimee Ruiz

Any words of wisdom for other women entrepreneurs?
Do whatever you have to do to make your dreams a reality and don’t give up! In my first year and a half starting my acupuncture practice, I worked 7 days a week as a nanny for 2 families and at 2 community acupuncture clinics while also building my business part time. Now I work solely in my own practice seeing the exact clients that I always envisioned.

Surround yourself with people who build you up. I have a handful of amazing women in my life I can rely on who have either gone before me or are forging their way the same pace as I am. Having women to confide in, learn from and laugh with on a regular basis has been such a huge blessing. And in turn, I get to be that for other women.

Tell us one thing you haven’t done yet that you really want to do.
I want to have a family. I look forward to the opportunity to love, laugh, support and walk through life with my loves.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?
Chinese medicine is crazy inspiring. We have been gifted an immense amount of information to learn from and that alone motivates and inspires me. My fertility clients inspire me daily with their bravery and vulnerability. I’m always motivated to continue learning so that I can help more people. Loving my career helps; that and knowing that I am contributing to healing in this world are just enough to get out of bed with a smile on my face most days.

What are you most grateful for?
I have a level of ease and contentment in my life today that I didn’t know was possible. I spent most of my younger years feeling quite fragile and in an incredible amount of pain. I’m so grateful to have learned to let go of my suffering so that I could really love myself. I’m so grateful to have chosen to live when I wanted to die more than a few times. I’m so grateful that even though my life doesn’t look like I thought it would, I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

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To learn more about Aimee please visit her website.

Images by Monica Semergiu.

© ASHLEY NEESE 2016