Yoga Groove

“Why does anyone join yoga? After all, how can I ever get my body to twist like a pretzel or stand on my head and get any benefit? Yoga is only a girl thing. Dudes are not allowed.” I had many similar sentiments prior to starting my spiritual journey. As an intuitive medium I have learned to lead by faith. Shortly after a life-changing conversation at a bar (link to blog) in the summer of 2014, my inner guidance, intuition, a small voice within led me to yoga and eventually my current yoga studio, The Yoga Project in Fort Worth. My Ego subsided as my faith kicked into overdrive. “Just how and why did your intuition lead you to yoga,” you may ask?

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For a couple of months after my life-changing conversation at a bar I felt I was walking on clouds. I felt like I was floating through life; going through the motions but consumed by images and feeling that were not necessarily my images or feelings. Somehow I sensed what I needed was to rid myself of this real life-daydream feeling. My body, my soul needed an anchor. My soul needed to be tied down. I needed grounding. The energy that I was absorbing was draining me. It was making me fatigued and loopy. I don’t consider myself a guru of meditation; however, I have always known the power of prayer and meditation. It was through prayer and meditation I received the answer: yoga. Today I recognize that I had an overactive crown and solar plexus chakra and I desperately needed to strengthen my root chakra to balance my energy.

My first experience with yoga was through an app I downloaded on my smart phone.  I learned the name of poses, breathing techniques, and what a modified pose should look like. I will admit though, I did not have the form that can only be learned from a yogi. Again, my inner guidance indicated that I needed a yoga studio. My inner guidance manifested itself in Groupons, promotional introductory emails, and Facebook ads within days of each other. I tried a handful of yoga studios in the Fort Worth area. I learned a great deal, but none of them felt like home. After a year search of avoiding year-long contracts, autodrafts, and schedules that conflicted with mine, I set my intentions to find a studio that was right for me.

I vividly recall the moment I saw The Yoga Project in Fort Worth Facebook ad. The fact that I could practice yoga while overlooking the Trinity River almost sold me. Fortunately for me, the Fort Worth studio is conveniently located down the road from work. The fact that I could practice during lunch and purchase ten classes at a time and have a year to use them, thus avoiding contracts, won me over. Again, my intuition delivered with meeting all my expectations and more. It has been a year and a half and I have gained so much more than what I expected.

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Through yoga I have expanded my own personal intuition. Through yoga I have acquainted myself with my own chakra system. And through yoga, my mediumship abilities have catapulted to levels that leave me in awe. Each time I step in the yoga studio is like walking into a sanctuary. I feel and see everyone’s energy. I sense everyone’s love converging to one singular heartbeat.  I feel the energy of self-determination of everyone present. On occasion, I have sensed people’s loved ones who have passed present in the studio, watching, cheering on their child/grandchild as they commence their personal path to self-discovery. In a bold move on my part, but guided by my inner guidance, I even delivered a message to a yogi. Yes, I have found my studio: this studio is my temple and my yoga mat is my souls’ Eucharist.

John 4:24 How To Handle Crazy

January 23, 2016, marked the first full moon of 2016. I wanted to write you to warn you of the many werewolves, crazies, and zombies you may see tomorrow [insert Michael Jackson’s Thriller]. Ha. john 4 part 2On a serious note though, I have noticed the amount of fear people are harboring these days. I am not sure if the full moon is to blame, or the passionate, sensational political season, or the recent depraved acts committed by humans against humans and animals alike flooding our headlines, radio, and T.V. Regardless of the source, fear appears to be the present energy.

Early in my spiritual journey I found myself often tired and fatigued way before bedtime. The best way to convey how my body felt is a combination of mental fog, hangover-like tiredness, mixed with a little runner’s high serum. In addition to my crazy body reactions, I realized that I could feel the energy, the common sentiment, around me. I am empathic.

As I grow and mature my mediumship, I have learned the importance of prayer, meditation, and setting boundaries. For anyone knowingly or unknowingly starting their spiritual path, please note that the veil between this world and the spiritual realm becomes thinner. As the veil becomes thinner, learn to protect and ground yourself. I acknowledge there is bad in the world but I have learned not to fall prey to it. From the first vile acts reported in Genesis, Cain against Abel, to the unimaginable killing of children ordered by King Herod as chronicled in Exodus, bad has and will always be part of our human experience.

Below are tips and prayers I incorporate to help protect and ground myself:

  • Daily prayers and meditating (this is what I usually say in my moment of prayer)
    • AM:
      God, thank you for being with me today. Thank you for surrounding me with your love and your white light God; allowing only love, joy, happiness, laughter, and abundance in my life and rebuking anything else that doesn’t serve me, Lord, seen or unseen. Thank you for not allowing any one to bother me during the hours of 8-5 while I am at work. Thank you for giving me guidance and direction to navigate my spiritual growth as I learn I am in control of when people come through.
    • PM:
      Thank you Lord for this wonderful day. Thank you for the many blessings in my life. I thank you for giving me clarity on my gifts and life purpose. Thank you for keeping all spirits at bay while I sleep. I allow only divine messages through my dreams; only messages from You and Your Angels, God. Thank you for making me in control of my gifts, God, and I welcome your will for me, Lord.
  • Limit the amount of news you watch. Yellow journalism swings both ways. Remember the purpose of sensational journalism is to arouse, ignite fear, and perpetuate panic and anxiety. In lieu of watching the news, I read headlines, news blurbs, and iPhone News which condenses news to a few lines. I attempt to be current in world affairs while being conscience on not engulfing myself in news.
  • Learn to shut it off. When I do a reading, I imagine a window with a sign. I flip the sign to “open” to let those on the other side I am open for channeling messages. Likewise, I flip it to close when I am done. I am in control. [Insert Janet Jackson’s In Control]. I recommend you try something similar to shut off the white noise, the copious amounts of tasks, to-dos, emails, etc. occupying your mind.
  • Take salt baths. It does wonders when trying to shake off bad vibes and helps replenish your soul.
  • Eat sage (an herb) or burn dry sage in your living space. I pray and ask God to clear the space around me as I walk around with lighted dry sage.
  • When you shower, imagine God’s white light pouring on you. Imagine His pure love washing down on you. After you do this a few times, I swear you will start to feel His love.
  • Learn to not get involved in other people’s drama. This one was especially hard. The peacemaker inside me wants to fix people’s issues for the sake of calming the tension I feel around a particular situation. As a friend, I sought to help and inevitably frequently plagued with unintended consequences. Remember, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”
  • Learn to distinguish the difference between ego, and intuition. Remember ego is fear-based and nags as long as you feed it. It is those insecurities you have speaking loud and clear. Intuition is restrained and often a fleeting thought or feeling.
  • Meditate

john 4 part 3To conclude, in Scripture, John 4:24, we know “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth”. To me, the truth is there is good and bad in the world. I know God is Spirit. I pray, meditate, and have faith that His grace is with me and allows only love, joy, happiness, laughter, and abundance in my life and shuts the door to any werewolves, crazies, and zombies.

Out of this situation, only good will come

In the spirit if sharing personal information, I hope you find comfort in knowing everyone experiences rough waters. The following blog highlights my shortcomings as a father and husband. Again, I am baring it all in front of you. We are mere sailors navigating the seas that He has prepared for us. Luckily for us, we are all divinely equipped with a lighthouse, a beacon, and an inner compass. Louise L. Hay perfectly sums my perspective on life’s choppy waters or monsoons. She says, “All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation, only good will come. I am safe.”

Out of this situation, only good will come. Last August 2014, I was not aware of this quote. I did have cheerleaders on the other side rooting for Andrea and me. My monsoon lasted longer than I anticipated and almost flipped my little family’s boat. By the time I was forced to break into my children’s piggy bank, I was beaten and overwhelmed. I hijacked my son’s piggy bank and deposited the $111.00 into my bank account. Payday was only three days away and we needed to cover gas and groceries for the week. It was not the first time I had used my children’s birthday money to cover family expenses. Just two week prior to breaking in my son’s piggy bank, I slipped a yellow sticky $234 I.O.U into my daughter’s piggy bank. I was embarrassed, I was resentful toward my wife, and I was furious at myself. “I cannot believe we are in this situation! There are four degrees hanging on our wall, but we are living with my brother and we have asked my mother-in-law to buy the kids school supplies.” Using credit cards to pay for the basics did not cover the income shortfalls of a one-household income.

I was embarrassed. I could not believe we were living paycheck-to-paycheck. At that time, I was 33, father of two, and a husband, and we were living with my brother. Anytime a ray of sun broke through the clouds, something unexpected happened that derailed us from finding our own home. My original plan to live with my brother for a few months faded in the back ground as we now celebrated a year in his home.

I was resentful. We liquidated our savings and 401k to launch my wife’s practice. The expected return on investment did not meet the realities of a small business owner. Although Andrea tenaciously worked to launch her practice, it never quite took off as we hoped. My fear-based ego repeated, “All she has provided for this family is insurmountable student debt and now business debt.” I felt tricked since this whole time we felt lead by God to invest in the business and followed His guidance.  He promised everything would be OK. At the moment, things weren’t OK.

I was furious at myself. Our financial situation, or lack thereof, placed a dagger in my marriage. Love faded. Darkness filled our bedroom and souls. We both can admit now, we were hanging on a thin fiber of a thread. “Till death do us part, or money struggles ruin our marriage,” I commonly quipped.

Out of this situation, only good will come.

While rough waters plagued my life, Spirit made synchronistic attempts to show me everything would be ok.

In the darkest of times, as humans, we innately gravitate toward our personal “lighthouse”, or beacon, by using our inner compass. My wife and I prayed and meditated like nuns in a monastery. The Bible, the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, a candle we lit during prayer, and Paw-paw, my wife’s grandfather, shifted my anger-based mind to a pleasant, gracious, affirmative-based mind.

“Prosperity in all areas I now name: good health, wealth, and happiness is what I claim. As I light this candle, of this I know, all three of these areas as I will it, make it so.” Andrea and I repeated that verse in between prayers as we were nestled around the Bible, a green candle, a holy cross made out of stone, and a vision board we created. For each area of prosperity, we recited what we were thankful for. For example, regarding good health, a prayer after the verse would be “Dear God, thank you for blessing us with healthy children, thank you for comforting my mom and sending angels her way to alleviate her pain from cancer. Thank you for filling her soul with love and laughter. Thank you for eliminating the stress we are enduring at the moment and replacing it with love. Thank you for our family’s health.”

This special time, between Andrea, me, and God, brought us closer. Daily, we were committed to allotting time to focus on the positive. By doing so, it forced us to shift our way of thinking. The walls my mind constructed encapsulated embarrassment, resentfulness, and fury. After months of shifting my way of thinking, the walls gradually deteriorated. I was thankful for living with my brother. What better time for my children and nieces to develop a close relationship? I was thankful for the opportunity to live with my brother and act as we did when we were living under our parents’ roof. As for resentfulness, I know so many people with grand ideas and aspirations of being an entrepreneur but allow fear to imprison innovation. We were blessed to give it try early in our lives.

All along, Paw-paw and Grandma were very much present in my voyage across rough waters. One morning in August, Paw-paw randomly showed me a picture of soldiers gathered around a flag.    TeddyThen he showed me Andrea sitting at her desk and the anxiety I felt subsided; I was showered in peace. I received a call from Andrea later that day. She called to tell me she bought (rather her legal assistant bought for her) a picture on sale from two art vendors making rounds in the neighborhood offloading art in exchange for $30. I immediately asked, “Is one of those pictures of soldiers gathered around a flag?” Indeed it was! When Paw-paw died, Andrea received his audiobooks and one was about Teddy Roosevelt. The picture she bought was of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. It was a sign. I shared my encounter with Paw-paw. In the category 5 monsoon of our journey, Paw-paw stepped in and gave an uplifting message or sign.

On a separate occasion, I channeled Grandma, not knowing Andrea just moments before prayed saying, “Grandma, it would be nice to hear from you.” That day, Andrea flat lined with work and surrendered. Without my knowledge, Andrea specifically requested Grandma present herself and deliver a message. Guess what the message was?  “Honor God.”

Out of this situation, only good will come.

To find solace in the storm, prayer and meditation alone will not suffice. Unfortunately, bags of gold did not parachute in from the sky.  My positive mind refocused my attention. By the end of August, I was an Uber driver working nights and weekends to supplement our income. Andrea applied for contract work and interviewed for a couple of prospects. All were dead ends. By the end of November, Andrea secured a fulltime job as a Managing Attorney for a non-profit organization. Non-profit was always her passion and was her end goal with her private practice. The job literally fell in her lap through a good friend from law school. She was able to keep her office, paralegal, and start a branch in Dallas. Just like Paw-paw reiterated time and time again, Andrea remained behind her desk with a fixed, steady income. As for me, I too secured a better-paying job by early December. After struggling to keep faith for a year and a half, our lives totally changed in the period of two months.

Next time you are overwhelmed and feel like giving up, remember my story. Keep faith.  Change your perspective. Be more thankful. See the signs around you from your passed loved ones. Be more gracious, and repeat, “out of this situation, only good will come. I will be safe.”