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Tess Chronicles: Messages from One Woman's Spirit Guides in Hypnosis (Visit 3)

Visit 3: Walking on Water

To read the first Tess Chronicles installment click here, the second installment is here.

I arrive at the place I was at the first time I visited here and met David. I don't enter through any gates this time. It is windy, as it is each time I am in this place "on the other side." (Tess later interprets the ever-present wind to be a sign of constant energy.)

I am standing by the tree where I first met David. But instead of going into the wooded area, I am drawn to go the other way, towards the water's edge. On the other side of the water, Jesus appears. 

He says to me, “Come over here.” 

I respond, “I can't. I'll get wet if I have to swim through the water.” 

I then think to myself, “Why can't he just come over here?” 

As if reading my thoughts, he says, “You can walk on the water.” 

I find this idea utterly silly, but to my surprise,

as sure as I can walk on solid ground, I walk across the water. Jesus meets me half way, and we walk to the other side together.

We climb up a small hill, and I laugh to myself because I think it's really funny that Jesus is climbing up a hill in his open-toe sandals and white robe. At the top of the hill are two big rocks, perfect for us to sit on and from which to look over to the other side. The surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful—trees and grassy areas abound, all lush with vibrant color.

We talk and I start to ask the questions I have prepared.

(Note: I, Cynthia, had asked Tess to come up with some questions to ask for this session, questions about anything that she wanted--the world, herself, life, and such.) 

Somehow I’m finding it difficult to speak the questions out loud. I also have a hard time staying in the present moment. I am told by a voice in my head to concentrate. 

Jesus tells me that I already know the answers to these questions, and that next time we meet, Cynthia needs to come up with the questions instead.

(Note: Those questions and answers are in the next installment.)

Then I say, “Where is David? How come I never see him anymore? I thought he was meant to be my spirit guide.” David instantly appears. But he sits slightly below us on the hill. I ask him, “Why are you sitting down there?" Come up here,” I say, “Sit with us.” David says, “I am your humble servant and would be happy to sit up there.” 

His response is very unsettling. 

I say to Jesus, “I thought David was my

guide. He should be showing me what to do, not being my humble servant.” I can’t remember my reaction or his, but I do remember Jesus saying, “You are my queen.”  I think this is all really strange and I say, “But am I not David's wife?” It makes no sense.

Then I wonder, at this point, how much my conscious mind is interfering with the information I am receiving. As if reading my thoughts, Jesus tells me, “You will get better at this (communication) with time.” I am told that it’s time for me to go.

*******

This session was disturbing for Tess, especially when David said he was her "humble servant" and Jesus told her, "You are my queen." It's rightfully unsettling, but once I break it down, it really isn't that out there.

Our spirit guides are those who are more advanced than we are, often they are people we have known and been close to in past lives. Now they've become our teachers. It is said that when we finish our reincarnation cycle, meaning we have paid our karmic debts and learned the lessons we are meant to learn, then our job, so to speak, becomes that of serving--being of service.

Some of these advanced souls reincarnate to serve in the world, others help from beyond the world as spirit guides, and others yet are teachers to those on the other side. So it's actually fitting that David would say to Tess, "I am your humble servant." Even though the traditional idea of a servant is one who is "less than;" in this case, it would be one who is "wiser than." David has completed his reincarnation cycle and is now available to simply serve, and to serve Tess in hypnosis, specifically.

I think Jesus saying, "You are my queen" may be related to the incident that Tess had when she was a child, which we chronicled in the second installment. (She was told that she was Mary by an older woman Italian shopkeeper.) The historical Mary is referred to as "The Queen." Does that mean Tess is the incarnation of Mother Mary? Not necessarily. She is probably tapping into the collective unconscious of the energy of the spirit of the one who was Mary.

Also, Tess asking the question, "But am I not David's wife?" could be because in a past life Tess was his wife, not necessarily during David's life as David, but in another one of his lives in which they were together. She could access that information in hypnosis, as all of our past information is stored in the subconscious. Out of hypnosis she never would have said such a thing. But in hypnosis, that was her natural quick response. It could also be that she is bonded to David, as he is a spirit guide to her, and a symbol of that bond is the idea of a "wife."

What stands out to me as well in this session is the walking on water part. I think it's a metaphor for all of us to learn from. Tess gives reasons why she can't do it, but Jesus simply says, "you can." Once she trusts him and makes the effort, she is able to perform this seeming miracle, and Jesus meets her half way.

You don't have to believe in the biblical Jesus to benefit from her experiences in hypnosis. You don't have to believe in any of this, actually. Even if you looked at the messages she is receiving as metaphor, or at Jesus and David as symbols of love, truth, divinity, spirit, or whatever, it is still very helpful. The idea that there is one within us (perhaps, our higher self or even our own spirit guide) that knows we can do what we set out to do, that we do have mastery over our physical reality, all we have to do is trust that voice, and then make the effort. Once we take those first steps, Jesus, God, the whole universe meets us halfway.

Every effort in the right direction has great strength that rises up to walk us the rest of the way.

Listen to that still small voice, believe, and make the effort. 


Tess Chronicles: Messages from One Woman's Spirit Guides in Hypnosis (Visit 2)

Visit 2: A View from Above

To read the first Tess Chronicles post click here.

Though this session was done a couple of years ago, the profound experiences Tess had in this session have never left my mind.

I’ve come to understand that this particular hypnosis visitation was really a teaching about death. I hadn’t thought of that right after the session, or when Tess was relaying the experience back to me, nor when I wrote it out and read it through a couple of times, or even when I reflected on it. It wasn’t until just now while posting this that the thought occurred to me. I think her spirit guide wanted us to see that, in the words of Robert Monroe, “We are more than our physical body.”

 *******

As I am floating up higher and higher on what Cynthia calls my “cloud mattress,” I think of a guy I had driven by the day before who had been in a car accident. I had witnessed him laying motionless on the side of the road, and thought he must be dead. It was unsettling, and I thought about him a lot since I last saw him. 

From my cloud mattress, I now see this same guy rising above his body on the side of the road performing somersaults and backflips in the air. I think, “Why is he doing that?” As soon as I think a question, the answer usually just comes. I understand it is because it’s what he wanted to do (somersaults). He seems to be enjoying it.

Later, he is on another cloud just above me. I can’t see him but I know he is there.

Once I reach my destination, I come to a hilly field with long lush grass. There are vibrant green trees to each side. I lie on the grass, it is so nice and soft; the sun is shining on me.

Up to this point in the hypnosis session, I am experiencing something unusual. My physical body is feeling like I am going completely sideways. The sensation is disturbing enough that I think I will have to take my self out of the hypnosis to stop it.

David, my spiritual guide, tells me (via a voice) to stay calm. He says once I meet him I will feel okay.

Cynthia says. “You are now aware that you are not alone.” I see spirits walking and peeking out from amongst the trees alongside the grassy hill, and then David appears, looking exactly as he did before with the long beard, wearing the same white glowing robe. At this point, my physical body feels upright and normal again. I no longer panic about my physical self.

As I stand up to go towards him and he moves towards me, we become one.

It’s hard to put into words and explain, but there is no sensation that this is a moment, it just is.

I see light around the environment, but other images around us are hazy. Once I join David in his light, a sense of calm envelops me. It’s as if we melt together.

David says, “We are one. We are the same.” I find that hard to comprehend and he explains that even though he is David and I am who I am, we are still part of the same.

He tells me that when he guides me, I also guide me.

I can’t remember the order of questions and answers that I have prepared to ask him today, and I can’t even remember if I ask the questions or just think them.

I ask questions about money again, nothing specific. “Will I have enough?”

He answers that I should not worry about money and all those other sorts of things. 

He tells me that it has already been decided—that I never need worry about money and such things, that I will always have enough. He says, “I will take care of all of that if you trust that I will.”

In my day-to-day life, I have often wondered if I could win the lottery. I do not ask this question when I am with David, but he tells me that I will not win the lottery. He says, “Because that would be too much money and would bring only another set of worries.” H

e explains that I will have it just so, so I will not have to ever worry.

I have some other questions about things – an important potential job my husband is waiting to hear on. He says, “Yes, it will happen.” He tells me this almost in passing with no importance attached to it whatsoever. (Later I come home and learn that it is true, my husband got the job.)

Then David says, “Come this way.”  We walk over the hill and see the other spirit guides from the first visitation. Again they are sitting in a circle around a tree stump, but they’re less clear to me this time. I notice in this hypnosis session that I am receiving less images, and they're blurry, but the feelings and sensations are much stronger than other hypnosis sessions.

I then ask David who he is and how they are a part of all of this. He says (referring to me, as well), “We are all one. We are a group. We are the chosen ones.”

I am taken aback. I think that is completely embarrassing and egotistical to think of myself in that way. He says, “That is exactly why you are who you are. It is better to be humble.” He tells me I choose to come here for us all to learn and that I am very brave and courageous. It makes me uncomfortable.

I ask, “Are you King David?”

He answers, “Yes, I was.”

I am curious, “How am I part of the group?”

He says, “It is not important who you are or who you were. You do not need to know this now.”

I surprise myself by asking, “Am I Mary?” *

No answer.

* (I believe Tess asked this question because of an inexplicable experience she had when she was ten years old. Her family was vacationing in Taormina, Sicily, Italy when she and her mother walked into a market. The shopkeeper, an older woman, ran up to Tess, wanting to touch her. She said, "She is the Virgin Mary" and explained that she had seen her (Tess) in a dream. Tess' mom was shook up by the experience and quickly left the shop. Tess does not remember the experience, but her mother relayed it to her a few years ago.)

David tells me that we are all a group, but he has been chosen from the group to be my guide. He says, “It is an honor and a privilege to guide you.” This makes me feel very emotional. I have tears in my eyes. 

He then motions me, “Join in the group.” We all join our hands together again; we are one.

Cynthia’s voice tells me, “Your guide has something special to show you.” He laughs and says, "We are already one step ahead of her."

He takes me farther down the hill to an edge. What I see is hard to describe. I see the earth below, but the view is like a map of lights above a dark blue world. The lights below are in fast motion, crisscrossing over each other.

I am only now aware that above us are only to be described as shooting stars of light and air that arch above our heads from the world below, moving really fast, and then shoot behind us. There are lots and lots of them all the time, all traveling at great speed. It is something spectacular to behold.

I don’t know where they are going to, but then

I am made aware that they are other spirits (souls/people) leaving earth. They are spirits returning Home.

I wonder, “Why aren’t they coming over here, to where we are?” I receive no answer. I giggle to myself because I find it funny that they travel so fast. I would have imagined that they would be very slow and deliberate. The feelings I have are of calm serenity; I have no fear.

Cynthia says, “It is time to come back now.” David assures me it is time to go now and I can come and visit any time.

As I am guided back down to earth on my cloud mattress I think about Locked-in Syndrome (which I have reading up on a lot recently) and I have the thought that if researchers tried hypnosis on Locked-in Syndrome patients, it may wake them up.

One more thing, at some point during this time David tells me that Cynthia is my guide on earth, so I can always reach them and she will show me the way forward.

 *******


Tess Chronicles: Messages from One Woman's Spirit Guide in Hypnosis (Visit 1)

Visit 1: Meeting

On August 6, 2008, I met a client I’ll call Tess. She is an attractive, uber-stylish thirty-something wife and mother, who is also a successful Hollywood creative type, transplanted from Europe. Tess contacted me to help her overcome anxiety and a fear of flying. She told me that she didn’t believe in hypnotherapy; she was admittedly just desperate to heal her phobias when someone referred her to me.

Tess was raised in Catholic schools, though she questioned their tenets throughout her schooling and eventually abandoned religion all together. From then on, Tess was agnostic. She didn’t really give it much thought.

Maybe it was her Catholic European upbringing, but Tess showed very little emotion in or out of hypnosis. It was unusual. Hypnotherapy at some point can make people emotional, but not Tess. Yet she took to hypnosis exceptionally well. We did six sessions and the anxiety and phobias began to disappear.

Tess continued to come in every couple of months for what we called maintenance sessions. One day while we were talking, I had the feeling that Tess needed to receive some “higher” guidance. I suggested that we do a session to meet her spirit guide. I rarely, if ever, suggest this type of session to a client, so I was surprised to hear myself say that, but something about it felt important. Tess didn't know anything about spirit guides, but she had developed a trust in me and said she was game.

Her first session was so remarkable that we decided to continue to meet with her spirit guide every so often. We’ve done about eight or nine over the last couple of years, and we continue to do these sessions today.

Over a year ago, her spirit guide asked us to share this information for others to learn from, which I'm obviously just now getting around to doing. The messages went pretty quickly from personal messages to Tess to impersonal messages to all of us.

With her permission, and as instructed by her spirit guide (and guides), I am sharing some of the more interesting sessions with my readers, as recalled by Tess. I will list them in chronological order, as that makes the most sense. Tess and I just had a fascinating session last week, which I will post soon. Please continue to search this blog for updates on what I call “Tess Chronicles.” I hope you enjoy these installments.

 

*******

Cynthia is guiding me to a place far above this world. I don’t know where I am going or what it will look like. She tells me the intention is to meet my spirit guide. I have no preconceived ideas. I don’t know what a spirit guide is or what he or she might look like. I am floating up higher and higher until I arrive at a place by a beautiful lake. I swim in the lake and then sit on the water’s edge, leaning against a tree.

I am in a lush wooded area, but there is a lot of light coming through the trees. It is extremely peaceful. I am alone at this point, but prior to that someone was swimming in the lake with me and lying next to me by the lake. He left, and I am not aware of who he was.

As I sit by the tree I am alone, knowingly waiting to meet someone.

Then Cynthia says, “You are now aware that you are not alone.”

That is when someone appears in a white robe with a long beard carrying the Bible. He is all light. He stretches out his hand to mine and I stretch mine out to his, as our hands touch they blend together and become one. I am astonished that our hands become all light together.

Cynthia tells me to ask my spirit guide his name. He answers, “David.”

I have prepared questions that I want to ask, mostly about money, like “Will I have enough?” He tells me that money is not that important.

I agree and say, “No, it’s not.” He says, “Then do not to worry about it, you will always have enough.”

I ask him about my work. He replies,

“Everything you want is within your reach. All you have to do it reach out and get it.”

He says, “Now it is time to meet the others.” I’m confused, there are others?

He guides me through a small trodden path in the woods a short distance to a clearing where there are men (spirit guides) sitting in a circle. 

They are sitting around a tree stump holding hands. They all have Bibles, too. I realize they are the Disciples. I say to David, “You are all really real.” (I had always thought the Disciples were fictional figures in the Bible meant to tell a story.) I feel excited and surprised that they are actual people.

I see them as light, no faces, although I am aware that they are all men. 

David tells me to join them. David and I sit in the circle and we all join hands. I don’t hold David’s hand, as he sits away from me. When we join hands, we all become one. I don’t have a feeling of holding any one man’s hand in particular just an overwhelming sense of knowing that we are all completely joined in a circle.

As we are still in the circle, something strange begins to happen. My physical body starts to feel constricted. My chest feels heavy, and I can’t breathe. I can’t catch any air. David tells me that it is time for me to go back. As my chest becomes heavier and heavier, I start to panic. I wake myself up out of hypnosis, scared that I may die—a terrifying feeling of leaving my body for good.

*******

Fairly quickly after “waking up” from hypnosis, Tess was able to shake those feelings and find her stability, because her consciousness was back in her body. She was amazed at how real the meeting with her guides had been. I too was surprised at the ease and detail of the session. I knew something special had just occurred.

Tess has an uncommon ability to vividly connect and recollect her hypnosis sessions in this “other” place. It’s what makes these visitation sessions so unique. Tess is also quick to point out that she doesn’t easily believe in “all this.” That’s what makes her, in my opinion, the perfect subject for these visitations. Skepticism aside, Tess was excited to continue this journey, and so was I.

In the next post, I will detail an experience she had that I still talk about to this day. Stay tuned.


We Eloped! A Joshua Tree Elopement

 

We knew we wanted our wedding ceremony to be just between the two of us, but we also knew that we wanted to share our special day with friends and family in the form of a video (that my husband Brad made). It turned out to be the most beautiful day of our lives. For more information on "our story" and "wedding details," etc. visit www.BradandCynthia.com.

 

 

Growing into My Animal Rights Activism and Spirituality

 

                                                             

Twenty five years ago on any given Saturday afternoon you could find me on the street corner of Martel and Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, standing behind a beige card table with stacks of anti-vivisection brochures, mostly on cosmetic and household product testing, photos of bunnies with their heads in sockets and their eyes being burned, the usual stuff. I was there representing LCA (Last Chance for Animals, a LA based animal rights organization) encouraging passer-bys to sign my petition and boycott Proctor and Gamble, and the like.

I don't know how I got there. Meaning, I don't know how I got involved in animal rights. There was no defining moment. No person or animal who inspired me. No book I read. No movie I saw. No revelation. Nothing. I don't even remember deciding to become a vegetarian at that time. I just made a sign and showed up at a protest that I somehow heard was taking place. It all happened organically, as if I had no choice but to be carried along the winds of destiny that was my life. It was what was supposed to be.

Growing up, we had tons of pets: unneutered and unspayed cats, constantly having kittens (gasp!), a dog, a bird. I loved them all. But I wasn't obsessed with them. I didn't like animals more than people. Though I do remember becoming abnormally distraught because my brother accidentally ran over a bird with the lawn mower. It wasn't love that ignited my passion, it was injustice. And maybe that is love. I don't know. At a young age, I knew something was unjust when it came to the treatment of animals. I'm a Libra, the sign of scales and justice, so perhaps it was bigger than me, after all.

My grandma worked in a slaughterhouse in Omaha, Nebraska where I was born. I remember the unforgettable stench of death wafting through the air. You could smell it on Omaha back then. It was like the whole city had B.O. The slaughter houses were smack dab in the middle of the town. Today they're hidden away, inconspicuously, on the outskirts, so consumers aren't reminded of the horrors behind the slaughterhouse walls, animals discreetly transported at night when no one can see them. Omaha was smellier back then, but more honest.

I spent formative years in Wisconsin, home of cheeseheads, dairy cows, and hunters, like my dad, who eventually became the Head Editor of the Agricultural Department at Kansas State University. (Go figure he'd have a vegan animal rights activist daughter.) It wasn't unusual to come home from school to find two huge deer hanging from the rafters in the garage, blood dripping from their beautiful majestic bodies into dark red puddles on the concrete floor below. I stepped around the blood, trying not to look at them, trying not to feel anything. We ate frogs, squirrels, fish, quail, rabbits, deer, anything he hunted. I hated it all. I didn't like meat except turkey. He never hunted turkeys. Had I grown up on McDonald's or Taco Bell or processed roast beef deli slices and hotdogs I may have loved meat. But I grew up on a different kind of meat. Meat that tasted like the dead animal it was.

The wind eventually shifted directions, and animal activism took a back seat to my first love, spirituality. I had begun Transcendental Meditation in childhood, and had already been a student of A Course in Miracles for four years by the time I was standing on Melrose. As I delved further and further into the teachings of the Course, I continued to eat vegetarian, phase out dairy products, leather, wool, down feathers, donate money to animal rights groups, and shop cruelty-free, but animal welfare was no longer at the forefront of my consciousness. A Course in Miracles was. I lived and breathed the Course for ten years. It somehow required all that I had. It wanted my full undivided attention. And I gave it to it. So much so that it led me to becoming a hypnotherapist.

Then, about four years ago, the winds of change began to blow again. They gently picked me up and set me down someplace I hadn't been before, somewhere between animal rights and spirituality. I'm no longer solely focused on one or the other. I am laser focused on both. My life isn't about animals or people, it's about animals and people. To me, it's all the same. There's really only one of us here and what we do to the smallest of us, we do to all of us. Likewise, when one of us heals, we all heal. I've come to realize that I had to tip those Libra scales one way and then the other in order to find my perfect balance. I now feel more equipped to tip society's scales toward healing and justice for ALL.


My Thirty Days of Transcendental Meditation Challenge


Did you see "America's Most Unusual Town" on Oprah's "Next Chapter"? It's about Fairfield, Iowa, a town in which people collectively practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day. As a result, the community experiences no crime, but rather peace and robust health.

I was initiated into Transcendental Meditation when I was seven years old. My father had our family initiated into the practice. At seven, I received a "walking mantra" whereby I would repeat the mantra while walking--to school, on the playground, etc. At ten, students can then practicing sitting meditation. I assume it's too hard for kids under ten years old to sit still for twenty minutes a day.

Meditation stayed with me over the years. Teenage years saw me meditating less. As I grew older, I realized the need, value, and purpose of it in my life. I would call myself a sporadic TMer. I try to do it each week, sometimes I'm on par every day, other times meditation takes a back seat to self-hypnosis or listening to a Robert Monroe CD (another form of transcendental consciousness, much like guided hypnosis).

There are people like David Lynch who began practicing TM at the same time I did and has NOT MISSED ONE DAY of twice daily, twenty minute meditation. I am floored by his discipline. My dad has that kind of discipline. I don't. I have periodic discipline. Here is a wonderful little book David Lynch wrote on the influence of TM in his life and film-making: Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity.



The only thing I take issue with is that in some ways TM has become elitist. It's expensive, about $2,000.00 to get initiated and receive a mantra.

Guru Dev, an enlightened Indian yogi, began transcendental meditation in order to bring a simple form of meditation to the masses. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (the face of TM) was a university physics student in India when he heard about Guru Dev. He became a devotee. Guru Dev told Maharishi that his assignment was to bring meditation west. And so he did. That's when the Beatles got involved and it really took off.

I believe the intention of both Guru Dev and Maharishi were pure. I also believe most people involved in TM have pure intentions, but when our family got initiated, it cost us $25.00 a piece. Two thousand dollars is simply too expensive, in my opinion. As a hypnotherapist, I understand the value of charging enough so that people take their practice seriously. If I charge too little, I notice that clients are more inclined to cancel, not show up at all, "forget" to do the homework, and basically, put little effort into their healing. But there has to be a happy-medium. To be fair to TM, there are scholarship programs available, so anyone who sincerely wants to be a part of TM, can be. That's good.

The David Lynch Foundation, for instance, is teaching TM (giving scholarships to) inner city school kids, war veterans, homeless people, and those imprisoned, with great success.

After watching the Oprah special, I was inspired to up my TM practice to the twenty minute, twice-daily routine. My boyfriend Brad, also a TMer, is on board, as well. We particularly enjoy meditating together.

So I'm going to blog about my journey of the next thirty days of TM and let you know what changes I see in myself when I practice this technique regularly. I am hoping it motivates me to keep going for the rest of my life.

I'm sure the OWN network will be airing the segment again, and it's just a matter of time before they put the entire episode online, but here is a sneak peek at "America's Most Unusual Town."




Off to TM. Day 1. 

For more information on TM, the most scientifically studied form of meditation, visit. www.tm.org.


Meatless Monday Recipe: Peanut Butter Dog Treats: "Kookies."

 

Photo: Brad Klopman

Did you know that the world's oldest living dog is a vegan named Brambles? If you'd like to check out this amazing being who could teach us all a thing or two about food, both for ourselves and our pets, click here.

My previous dog, Mason, died of kidney failure, and with 20 fatty tumors plaguing his poor body. I have no doubt it was because I fed him commercialized dog food.

When I adopted Kansas he had degenerative back disease and hip dysplasia from the get-go. He walked like an old man, even as a puppy. I began researching, and found that not only was the cause a lack of proper nutrition, but the solution was also to be found in nutrition.

In fact, there were no cases of hip dysplasia in dogs before commercialized dog food, like 60 years ago. And dogs' ancestors, like wolves, do not have hip dysplasia either. Interesting, no? I wrote a blog post about it. Check it out here.

The post also contains a recipe for stew that I make Kansas each week. His diet is 75% vegan. And although I was told Kansas would not live a long life, he's going strong at 7 years old. (Update: Kansas died January 4th, 2015 from heart failure.)

As Hippocrates, the founder of medicine, said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

Not only do I make Kansas his food, but I also make his treats. I've adapted this recipe from others and added flax seeds for extra nutrition. I've made these many times without flax seeds though. And I have yet to meet a dog who doesn't love them!

Peanut Butter Dog Kookies (K for Kansas)

1/2 cups peanut butter (I use all-natural.)

1 cup water

2 Tablespoons oil (Dogs naturally love refined coconut oil, but you can use vegetable or canola oil.)

1/8 cup ground flax seeds

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups white flour

Preheat oven to 350. Mix peanut butter and water and oil, add flax seeds, then slowly add the rest of the ingredients. Knead dough.

I roll the dough out to 1/4" and use a cookie cutter. But you could also just make the dough into a long cylinder shape and slice pieces to flatten. (I mark them with a "K," because I'm ridiculous like that.)

Bake for 25 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet. Let cool on cookie sheet.

The flax seeds make this a bit gooey because flax seeds by nature are an egg substitute that I use in baking. I usually bake the kookies a bit longer when I use flax seeds.

The treats do go bad so I usually leave about 10 out and refrigerate the rest.

Here's Kansas eating a kookie this morning. A happy peanut butter loving dog!

 

Photo: Brad Klopman

Your Daily Grind is Your India

Hi Friends!


So I'm taking this week off to finish writing my book, YOU'RE ALREADY HYPNOTIZED: A GUIDE TO WAKING UP. Yeah, I know, I've been saying that for years now. But believe it or not, I really do see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm just working on final, final edits. I've decided to make it an ebook available for download and for electronic readers, so I've still got to get the cover designed and figure out exactly how to go about making an ebook. I have also recorded about forty hypnotherapy sessions that will be available with the workbook section of the book that I need to somehow get on a new site for downloading. (If you have any suggestions or know how to do this, please email me.) In the meantime, here's an excerpt from my book. Thanks for your support. We'll talk soon. Now back to the grind. 


Excerpt from YOU'RE ALREADY HYPNOTIZED: A GUIDE TO WAKING UP.


Over the past nine years as a hypnotherapist, I have seen a thousand clients with a thousand different issues, and though I treat each client individually, at the root, every problem is the same: We are asleep. We don’t remember who we are. We have forgotten our identity as children of God—or goddess, love, our higher self, truth, spirit, source, the universe, or whatever you prefer to call that spiritual apex—and that forgetfulness has caused a sleep-like state that has manifested into myriad specific problems seemingly “out there."


To heal is to awaken. But we must first understand that we are asleep before we can awaken. Only then can we begin the process of undoing the false ideas we have accepted into our mind. Healing doesn’t actually require us to do anything. Rather, we must undo the roadblocks or, as I call it, “de-hypnotize” or “deprogram” ourselves.


The path of awakening is highly individualized. For some, the most spiritual and healing thing they can do is daily meditation. For others, however, it is to get out of the house and get a job, or learn about food and lose weight, or give up alcohol. By tackling the behavior, they develop the self-esteem needed to look at the underlying issue. It would be silly to tell a heroin addict to reflect on his deeply buried psychological and spiritual issues. He couldn’t do it. But if you change the behavior first by getting him clean, he would then have the capacity and perhaps the willingness to look at the cause of his addiction.



I’m not here to decide whether meditating or getting sober or finding a job is the right place to begin your awakening. I don’t have enough information to make that call. That’s why this book addresses common issues from all levels: physical, psychological, and spiritual. How do you determine the most “spiritual” thing to do? It varies with circumstance. It wouldn’t be mindful to pay for yoga classes every day if you owed people money. It wouldn’t be enlightened to follow a guru for months while neglecting your children, or spend hours in meditation in a filthy house. It wouldn’t be virtuous to teach healthy living while secretly living as an addict. Nor would it be holy to care about people, but not about animals and the environment, or vice versa.


This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect before we do what we feel guided to do or are passionate about. If we all waited until then, we wouldn’t start anything. It just means we must be honest with ourselves. Awakening requires a certain amount of consistency. The outer and the inner need to reflect each other as much as possible. But until we are healed, we will be dreadfully inconsistent.


I remember a client who said her life’s goal was “to achieve enlightenment,” yet as we talked, I noticed she had trouble standing up for herself—she was scared to quit a job she was miserable in and too insecure to leave an unhappy marriage. I wanted to tell her, “If you’re too afraid to change jobs, you’re not exactly ready to transcend mortality.” But I didn’t. In hindsight, maybe I should have. The best I could do for her was to help her gain enough self-respect and confidence to be decisive and communicate her needs. Once she achieved that, her life took off. She switched jobs, got a divorce and a new boyfriend, and is much more fulfilled.


We can’t skip steps up the ladder of enlightenment. Our quest begins right here, today, exactly as we are. It’s true that no one becomes enlightened with a drinking problem. And no one can love herself, yet hate her thighs. No one is free who carries monstrous debt. And no one reaches self-mastery by being duplicitous, hurtful, or despising himself or anyone else. Not because we’re being punished if we do those things, but because our choice to do those things blocks our highest self.


Enlightened people don’t need drugs, food, people, or things in order to do, change, cause or fulfill anything.  They have no lack. They’ve awakened to the truth that all they need is within. Our wounded behavior reflects our sleeping mind. And a sleeping mind is not aware it is sleeping. It desperately and unsuccessfully looks for its identity in the world. Our only real purpose here is to wake up. We begin that process by using whatever is in front of us—addictions, phobias, grievances. Anything can lead to awakening if we follow it far enough.


Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, hypothesized that we spend the first half of our lives developing an ego and the second half trying to get rid of it. I interpret this to mean that we must express individuality before we can know oneness. That’s why people rarely seek to know their spiritual self in their youth. They’re too busy figuring out who they are in the world. We first need to know how different we are from everyone else and gain confidence in ourselves before we can see the truth that underneath it all we are all the same. We must develop a keen sense of our individualized, egoic self before we can transcend that self—only then do we become truly revolutionary.


The spiritual journey is an inward journey of awakening your mind, not an outward excursion. You don’t have to trek through India, do yoga, or spend long hours meditating. All those things can be important if you feel guided to do them, and certainly the world would be a better place if we all stilled our minds each day, but everyone’s path is different. It’s a mistake to think the spiritual path is big and fancy and brightly lit or that it involves only what we think of as “spiritual.” The spiritual path is actually quite small and quiet and doesn’t necessarily look good in purple. It’s so humble that we constantly overlook it. You may be expecting a magic wand to change everything while neglecting the potential miracle of growth right in front of you.


Your daily grind is your India. It is the spiritual classroom you chose in order to learn your life lessons. Each new day brings you to a precipice with the opportunity to leap into greater awareness. You just don’t see it because it’s hidden in the mundane like washing dishes after you use them, accepting your body as it is, letting go of addictions, being able to receive a compliment or say “no,” or “yes,” learning to walk away or to stay, choosing love when you want to choose fear, and finishing what you start. Those perfunctory tasks can teach us the mindful qualities of integrity, discipline, honesty, responsibility, and respect—all necessary ingredients for self-realization.


That’s why Buddhist monks lead simple lives: wake up, meditate, eat breakfast, clean, meditate, eat lunch, meditate some more, prepare dinner, meditate again, bathe, and sleep. Their day-to-day routines rarely change. Nisargadatta Maharaj, arguably the greatest Indian sage, was the keeper of a small goods store and lived in a very modest apartment on a crowded street in Bombay. People flocked to his apartment from around the world, crowding each other to sit on his bare floor and listen to the wisdom of non-dualism that flowed. Nisargadatta’s life was uncomplicated and ordinary in form, but extraordinary in content.

Vegetarianism and Blood/Body Types

The first part of this post is written by me as a lead in to Daniel Kucan's post which follows. 


If I were told that in order to live a long healthy life I would have to eat meat, I wouldn’t do it. If I were told that it would make me feel better and look better, I wouldn’t do it. If I were told that it was for my blood type or my body type, I wouldn’t do it. If I were dying and someone said that I just might live if I ate meat, I still wouldn’t do it. Lucky for me, researchers have found that the healthiest diet for human beings is a vegetarian diet. Not for some human beings, but for all human beings.

Studies show vegans and vegetarians live 6-10 years longer than meat eaters. They’ve also found incidents of cancer and heart disease and strokes and diabetes and Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis and high blood pressure and a whole host of other serious health issues are significantly lower in vegetarians and even lower still in vegans than in meat eaters. Yet, none of those are the reasons I am vegan. Those things are just the proverbial icing. Nice side effects. Bonuses.

The reason I wouldn’t eat meat even if it were the best thing for me is the same reason Gandhi didn’t drink cow’s milk on his deathbed when doctors ordered him to do so or die—because most of the meat and dairy we consume is a product of horrific cruelty. And I have always known with everything that I am that what isn’t good for an animal isn’t good for me. And that’s good enough for me. I don’t need to hear someone rattle off the health benefits. I’m sold on pain and suffering. I hear that and I’m out.

When people say, “I can’t be vegetarian because it’s not for my blood type.” I want to say, “What blood type is that? Cold-blooded?” I’m astounded that we care more about a fad diet than years of sound evidence that clearly states NOT eating animals is the healthy way to go. I’m even more shocked that we care more about this diet than the fact that millions of animals are suffering in silence, hidden away from our protected eyes and ears.

Dogs and cats and horses all have different blood types within their breed. And some horses don’t “have to eat meat” while other horses are better off with plants. All horses eat the same—on all seven continents. Just like all cows. And gorillas. And elephants. And so on. It should also be noted that horses, cows, gorillas, and elephants are four of the strongest animals in the world, and they’re herbivores!

Human bodies are not elite bodies. The human body isn’t more of a miracle than a cat’s body. We’ve just decided it is. With varying degrees, generally, all of these bodies have the same needs: food, sleep, water, sex, and activity. They all have hearts and lungs and a sense of smell and sight. In fact, our human body is often slower, weaker, and less agile than many animals. So what makes us think the human body is so much more special than a horse’s body? How much better could our bodies be if we have astoundingly higher rates of disease than animals’ bodies? What makes us believe that we are the only species of bodies that have to eat differently among us? 

I contend that all human bodies need the same fundamental diet, just like all other animals left to their own devices would eat the same things within their breed. As studies continue to show, ALL human bodies live longer, healthier lives on a plant based diet. In a later post I will write about how the human body is most similar to herbivores (teeth, intestines, without claws) and radically different from carnivores. We have not always eaten meat, we have been conditioned to eat meat. As the ADA (American Dietetic Association) says, “Most of mankind for most of human history has lived on a vegetarian or Lacto-ovo vegetarian diet.”

Today as I was mulling over this whole blood type theory, and the myth I think it is, it dawned on me that there was only one person I should turn to to get another opinion—my whip smart, funny, thoughtful, vegan, animal rescuer, super fit, ex-physical trainer, television personality from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and now star of HGTV’s Desperate Spaces, friend: Daniel Kucan.

Here’s what he sent back. (Scroll down to see his post.) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks for taking the time to be a guest blogger, Daniel. I still believe in astrology though. 

 

The Magick Behind "Eat Right 4 Your Type"
and the Difference Between Thinking and Believing
by Daniel Kucan


My first guest blogger and I couldn't be more happy to have him! None other than Daniel Kucan, television personality from "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and HGTV's "Desperate Spaces." (The above post explains why I asked Daniel to give us his take on this subject.)

There are all sorts of stories that I wish were true. There are fairy tales, urban legends, creation stories, pseudo-scientific theorems, all manner of folksy bits of wisdom that appeal to me on a sort of mythic, dramatic level. Or, and I find this aspect of myself even more disturbing, I occasionally find myself believing an inscrutable story because it speaks to my prejudices and predispositions; I often make the conscious decision to believe something because it is useful as evidence to support a position upon which I have already made a choice.

I believe it is this exact same principal that makes people believe in astrology. It’s lovely for a complete stranger to tell us “you have a lot of unused potential” or that “you will soon experience a big change.” In my opinion, we believe these things because we want to.

I have no doubt that it’s this exact same phenomenon that explains why the “Eat Right 4 Your Type” fad diet is being accepted as even mildly valid. The blood type diet is advocated most famously by naturopathic physician Peter D’Adamo. (Anyone rational should have huge issues with the term “naturopathic physician” anyway. It is exactly as oxymoronic as “creation science,” but that’s a subject for a different article.) D’Adamo’s thesis is that, as human beings evolved, they moved throughout different parts of the planet and developed certain dietary requirements based on the locations in which they now found themselves. Since blood type also seems to coincide with certain geological locales, D’Adamo links these two things and “presto!”, he can now magically tell you what you should be eating.

And it’s really that simple, and really that magical. While there is a certain appeal to the notion that those of us with ancestral ties to the Himalayan Mountains should be eating foods that were plentiful there, there is no scientific justification for this at all. There have been no peer reviewed studies to support this theory, and in fact, D’Adamo himself hasn’t published any studies, although he claims to be conducting them. Likewise, anyone with even a fair understanding of evolution knows that the timeline proposed by D’Adamo doesn’t provide nearly enough time for this to have occurred. 

The other fly in D’Adamo’s ointment is that, sometimes, people do get really sick. What happens then? What happens when someone has been eating right for their blood type, and they get an infection and develop kidney disease, or they smoke and are stressed out and they have a heart attack? Now, they have to change their eating habits in order to minimize their risk of further damage. But their blood type HASN’T CHANGED, only their dietary restrictions. There is NO EVIDENCE linking blood type and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. 

The most preposterous bit of hokum is when D’Adamo claims that eating wrong for your blood type can cause blood agglutination, where the red blood cells start to stick together and clot. Blood agglutination kills people. It is not caused by eating the wrong kind of toast, or eating too many grains when I should be having a starch. 

The question is further clouded by a particularly pernicious turn in the dietary advice D’Adamo suggests. More than half the country is type O, and the diet given for type O is a completely reasonable, healthy, well balanced one. Anyone who was to follow this diet, would almost certainly lose weight and feel good. Since statistically more than half the people reading the book and following that diet will get good results, good testimonials are a sure thing. 

I am not so cynical as to suggest that D’Adamo has done this on purpose, but it wouldn’t surprise me either. Book sales are books sales, after all. 

I have a particular disdain for this type of pseudo-science. It plays on our romantic notions of uniqueness and our craving for history and ancestral ties. It’s a beguiling fairy tale to be sure, but until someone can do a double blind study that statistically proves it, it’s a fairy tale nonetheless. But quackery like this also relies on the idea that, as long as it makes emotional sense, then we will accept it as truth. 

Let’s be honest. If no one had proven that the Earth moves around the sun, then I wouldn’t believe it. It just doesn’t make emotional sense. I believe, deep down, that the Earth is the center of the universe, even though it’s completely, demonstrably false. Or flying; I don’t for a second believe that an airplane can fly. An airplane is like a gazillion pounds of metal and polyester, it can’t possibly fly. But I know that it will. It is this conflict between what we “think” and what we “believe” that provides a platform upon which folks like D’Adamo can build their “science.” 

I refuse to seek answers grounded in irrationality. I demand to look beyond my prejudices, my simplistic, emotional demands. Simply because something pulls at our emotional strings or makes sense in a mythic way, does not make it science, and I refuse to base my ethical decisions upon it; and you probably shouldn’t bet your health on it.


Dreams: A Royal Road to Knowing Thyself

 

The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind. -Sigmund Freud

We’ve all skidded by on our good looks and charm long enough. In this New Year, it’s time we use more of ourselves, not just to help ourselves and the world, but to know ourselves. That is, after all, why we're all here.

I contend that the subconscious mind is our most highly underutilized tool. We know our conscious mind all too well; it’s always chattering. The conscious mind is the analytical, logical, willful, judgmental, discerning part of ourselves. Necessary, but not who we are.

There is a “hidden” part, the subconscious mind, that holds deeper truths and vast untapped potential. And I don’t mean potential in acquiring things like in The Secret-type stuff. (Aren’t we beyond all that ego-driven “get, get, get” “me, me, me” mentally? That’s all just child’s play that keeps us stuck in the illusions of this world.) I mean, using this hidden part of ourselves that we know very little about to come to realize our true potential.

In short, the subconscious mind is the picture mind and feeling mind because it’s the storehouse of all of our memories—from this life, past-lives, even natal (womb memory)—and it’s the feeling mind because it is the seat of our emotions. It's also a wellspring of creativity, and a link to other states of consciousness and awareness. Through the subconscious we can even access the Divine, amongst other things.

If we use the perennial iceberg metaphor, the conscious mind is the small visible tip of the iceberg above the water's surface while the mass and strength and power and driving force of the iceberg floats below the water's surface. This is our subconscious. We can’t glimpse it with our conscious mind. We need a different type of vision.

Accessing this deeper part of ourselves requires going under the water’s surface. Two ways of diving into those bottomless waters and exploring the subconscious are hypnosis and dreaming. Both are natural states of mind that we experience within any given 24-hour period—one during the day, the other at night.

The hypnotic state is an altered state (as opposed to our usual conscious state) of awareness whereby we have bypassed the conscious mind. Watching television, daydreaming, driving on the freeway, being in the “zone” while playing a sport or painting or writing can put us into this state by collapsing, so to speak, the analytical mind, giving way to the subconscious. We’re no longer thinking critically, rather we are allowing, responding, receiving or creating from a stream of consciousness.

We also bypass the conscious mind through nighttime dreaming. Although both hypnosis and dreaming are natural states of mind that we don’t consciously conjure up, they can be honed and utilized as tools for self-realization, or to just help us find a misplaced sentimental necklace. The possibilities are endless.

Neither state needs to be taught, each needs to be cultivated. Today we will focus on accessing our subconscious through dreams. In a later post, we'll talk about doing it through self-hypnosis.

We all dream, we just don’t remember our dreams, at least not all the time. But that’s only because we don’t care to remember them. If we wanted to remember our dreams, we would. (On a side note, I have noticed in my practice that clients who smoke cigarettes or pot have a much more difficult time accessing their dreams.)

I encourage you to want to remember your dreams. Within your dreaming mind are messages, ideas, potentiality, dimensions of reality, creativity, connection with others, teachers, those that have lived before, time and space travel, your Higher Self, and the location of your lost necklace.

Don’t take my word for it, here is what

Seth

says about dreams:

When I speak of the dream world, I am not referring to some imaginary realm, but to the kind of world of ideas, of thoughts, of mental actions, out of which all form as you think it emerges. In actuality, this is an inner universe rather than an inner world. Your physical reality is but one materialization of that inner organization. All possible civilizations exist first in that realm of the inner mind.

And I like what

Edgar Cayce

says:

Man approaches the more intimate conditions of that field of the inner self when the conscious self is at rest in sleep or slumber, at which time more of the inner forces are taken into consideration and studied by the individual.... It is each individual's job...to understand his individual condition, his individual position in relation to others, his individual manifestation, through his individual receiving of messages from the higher forces themselves, thus, through dreams.

I have been studying and using my dream-state for years. For some reason, in the last couple of years, one thing that state has made me become psychically aware of is earthquakes. In May of 2008, I woke up and said, “There’s been an earthquake.” I turned on my computer and saw that 10,000 people had died in an earthquake in China while I slept. I said the same thing the morning of the Indonesian earthquake.

It might have to do with the fact that when I fall asleep at night I ask my consciousness to be of service to the world in any way it can to whomever needs me during my sleeping hours. Of course, this starts with the idea that 1. I am not my physical body and 2. that my mind is joined to the mind of every mind. In other words, there’s really only one of us here. My understanding of the nature of reality rests on these premises. My point being, we spend a third of our lives asleep, why not use it for healing ourselves and helping others?

I've also used the dream-state to communicate with people who can't communicate with me on the physical level, like deceased relatives, philosophers from times of antiquity, even a little boy I used to work with who had severe autism. He didn't speak, but in my dreams we conversed.

My friends, the resources are limitless.

Here are some of my tips to remembering your dreams.

Before falling asleep:

  1. Put a special notepad just for dreaming by your bed. Title it “Dream Journal.” And write the date. Start tomorrow. Jan. 1. 2010. Or if you’re serious, get a voice-activated tape recorder. They probably have an app for that. (No, I don’t know if they do or don’t.) But with voice activation you don’t have to fumble for a pen and paper or turn on the light. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written down a long, very important dream in the middle of the night only to wake up and find that I wrote over the same line twenty times. I thought I wrote a whole page of notes, but I scribbled one jumbled, illegible sentence.
  2. Tell yourself before falling asleep, “I want to remember my dreams and I will remember my dreams.” And feel that desire. It’s a desire to know yourself. We should all have a deep desire for that. In fact, that should be our deepest desire. Get in touch with it and say it with all the meaning you can muster.
  3. Then, if you have an issue that needs resolving, talk to your subconscious, “I ask my subconscious to help me resolve ________ through my dreams tonight.” Or “I ask my subconscious to help me know the right thing to do about _______ when I awaken.” Or "Give me the message in my dreams as to what is causing this illness, or how I can begin to heal it." Or something like that. You get the idea.

When you awaken:

Take a moment to check in with yourself. Be still and reflect on the issue that needed resolution. Notice what your instinct tells you to do to resolve it. Usually, it’s not what your conscious mind would say if you asked it after lunch. Upon awakening, your conscious mind isn’t quite back in full-

atencion!

-force; use that leftover dreamy link to your subconscious to know the right action.

Now write down what you remember from your dreams and analyze it. You don’t need a book. You are the best interpreter of your dreams. If you don’t remember anything write “nothing.” At least you’re putting energy in the direction of remembrance. Willingness is the key that opens the door to your subconscious.

If you just have a feeling, write that down. Start somewhere. Then ask yourself, “What is it about myself (or this problem) that makes me feel _______?” If you only remember a color, write it down. “Blue.” Then ask yourself, “How does blue make me feel?” “Calm” or “It reminds me of when I lived near the ocean.” Write it down.

If all you recall is a single symbol (symbolism, by the way, is the language of the unconscious.) write that down, “Tree.” What does a tree mean to you? List some descriptive words for a tree. How do trees make you feel? Do you have a favorite tree? What could a tree be a metaphor for in your life? Protection? Needing to be rooted? Nature?

Then title the dream, “Tree.” And turn the page for the next night’s dream.

Keep doing this and soon enough your sleepy subconscious will shake off the dust and get to work for you. It’s like a beautiful, luxurious car that’s been sitting in the garage for years while you’ve been trekking twenty miles in the snow every day to work because you forgot you had it. It may take a few tries to start the car, but once you do, it will open up a whole new, interesting and fun world.

Sometimes you won’t know the meaning of the dream until months or years later. You will be amazed to look back in your journal only to realize that a particular dream was actually a premonition, that the event unfolded exactly as you had dreamed it.

The subconscious is so much wiser than the conscious mind that the conscious mind doesn’t even know how much it doesn’t know. This year, seek to know what you didn't know you knew. "Know thyself," through dreaming.

Check out these books to learn more:

Edgar Cayce on Dreams

by Robert Waggoner

Interpretation of Dreams

by Sigmund Freud