Thursday, May 29, 2014

5/30/14—Being Guided on Your Journey

I don't know what's wrong with me this week, but I am incredibly uninspired. I have ideas for new posts, but none of them are calling to me. In nearly four years of doing this, I've never been so bereft of insight. So you get a classic post. I will say, though, I think about the story below where I got pulled over often and I still can't figure out why I didn't get a ticket! :) Here's the post...

I've hit a patch of either extra good manifestation energy or luck recently. I can't say which because I'm not sure I manifested all of it consciously. Regardless, I feel like I'm in a groove. More importantly, all this good stuff came to show me something quite Zen...there is no good fortune or bad fortune, there is just fortune. So this "extra good patch" I mention is just a perception.

Distinguishing between dualities puts us on a rollercoaster ride. To explain what I mean, one of my "lucky breaks" happened when I got pulled over by the police on Saturday. I was doing 38 in a 25, I didn't have current registration, my license plate was askew from having only one screw in it, and I didn't come to a proper stop at a light. I never drive that car, but since my "main car" had no AC, I decided to drive the little car out of the blue. I do believe there's a reason for everything, though. 

As the officer was listing out one infraction after another, I (rudely) looked up at him and said, "just give me my ticket." So I didn't deserve any breaks. But in the end, he only cited me for the license plate, informing me that if I showed a picture of it fixed to the judge, that he'd probably throw it out. And he reduced my speeding ticket—a ticket that could have been about $150 all by itself—to "failure to obey a street sign," a minor infraction. He tossed out everything else. So I not only saved about $200, but I didn't get any points against my license. 

So as I drove off, I thought to myself, "ok, was it good fortune that I got off so easily?" "Or is it bad fortune because I got pulled over in the first place?" And the answer that came to me was that there was a flaw in me even thinking in those terms. Because if you speed, you're going to get pulled over...haha. Bad crap is going to happen to all of us. And so will good crap. It's all just...

wait for it....


It's not good fortune or bad fortune. It's life. Today I brought my *other* car into the shop and got a SHOCKING estimate for how much it was going to cost to fix the AC. It wasn't "the end to my lucky streak" or "bad luck" or "karma coming to kick me in the ass for all the great stuff that's happened lately". It wasn't any of that. It was just the lifecycle of my car's AC. And I own a car with a really hard to access AC so the labor to fix it is really high. I was able to talk the shop down about 20%. The price was still shocking. But it is what it is. 

What I realized when I was driving away from the police officer is that, while I think there is a reason for everything, this thinking in terms of "good" and "bad" is something that stands between me and higher guidance, as well as manifestation. Buddhists have a simple word for it—judgment. I'm judging one moment against another to see where I stand with spirit and the universe! That's not exactly the unconditional trust that I preach and believe unblocks the channels to manifestation.

And while I intellectually know better, don't we all do this to a degree? Don't we all walk around like a champ on "good luck days" and like a loser on "bad luck days"? Ultimately, we're placing our worth and happiness on something outside of us. Both of those car experiences of mine are things I could either be sullen or happy about. Should I let the experience choose which? Or should I let my spirit choose which? Because my spirit tells me there's never a moment that the universe isn't on my side. And if I choose to see the world in that way, that's how it is. So why wouldn't I choose to see the world through the eyes of an always loving and generous universe? Why wouldn't you?

We get to choose which star we focus on while on our journey through life and whether we choose to be guided by perpetually beneficial forces....or fickle forces that are sometimes beneficial and sometimes seem to abandon us. Really, the only thing that stands between us and a life magically guided and protected from above is us and our need to judge. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5/28/14—Bringing Deeper Meaning to Life

I now have a Twitter account. If you're on Twitter, please follow me @tierneysadler. Also check out the radio show I share with two other wise ladies at We address a different spiritual topic each time. :) Now on to today's post....

I think we all would like a career and life filled with deeper meaning and value. But many years ago, during a life slump, I learned that you don't need to change jobs or your life in order to get that.

Deeper meaning and value come from service—to your higher power, mankind, your ideals, whatever. And everything we do is service. Or it can be, depending on the way you do it. 

The way society thinks, we think service is about WHAT you do. Being in the military, working as a social worker or volunteering are service, for example, because they directly serve others or some ideal. But being a computer programmer, advertising executive or bus driver are not. Those are just jobs. 

While the idea of service can sometimes be built into your job, service isn't a job. It's an attitude. Take the military for example. It's literally called "the service". But if you sell secrets, avoid assignments, undermine your team, complain all the time,'s not service. The military tends not to admit many people like that, thankfully. They tend to admit people with a deep passion for what they do, a desire to protect our country, a strong work ethic and courageous follow-through. It's not the job that's service. It's the way the job is seen by the people who do it and the way they get it done. 

Many years back when I was still starting on my spiritual journey, it bothered me that, although I really enjoyed my career, it didn't really serve anyone or anything. Like so many other jobs, it was just part of capitalism...part of making money for "the man." But then it hit me that I help smaller businesses succeed. I offer the same (or better) level of thought and creativity that they'd get at an advertising agency at less than half the cost. And if a smaller business can get noticed as well as a large business, that keeps the bigger businesses from getting all the money and building monopolies. Meanwhile, I'm helping consumers find other options to consider—usually more innovative, service-oriented options. 

Let's face it, people and businesses need "stuff". And you can't find the "stuff" if you don't know it exists. Being someone who helps you discover your options is service. Helping smaller businesses succeed is service. Making senior-level thinking available at affordable prices is service. And the more I consider my job service—as a needed part of keeping society healthy, happy and moving forward—the more reverence I tend to put into it. The more passion I have for it. The better my attitude. The more of a "mission" I feel I'm on. The better the energy I can wrap it all up in. 

Everything you do, whether you're an accountant, administrative person or CEO is service. The only differences between a job and service is a) seeing how what you do serves and b) treating what you do with service and reverence. And this extends beyond your job to running errands that keep the household going, planting flowers in your garden to make the neighborhood pretty—even just sitting on your front stoop and smiling at passersby is service. 

We have the potential to make everything we do service, to treat everything we do as sacred and to move through life in reverence. There doesn't have to be a special time or special circumstances. Right now and right here work just fine. You don't have to search for ways to add deeper meaning to your life. You don't even have to change anything you're already doing. You just have to change the way you see what you're doing. Once you see how important everything in your life is to the greater good, you'll just naturally serve. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

5/26/14—Smudging Your Home

I didn't have much to say today, so I dug up a popular post from the past. It's about smudge and smudging your house.

Smudge is, at its most basic, just dried sage that you burn to purify your home or items, such as things you might buy from a second-hand store. You can buy it loose or tied up in a little bundle like in the picture. The kind you use to purify things is not the kind you have in your spice cabinet. Many different kinds can be used, but most prefer white sage, which is what's pictured. You can usually get white sage bundles at Whole Foods or any kind of metaphysical store. Otherwise, there are tons of online sources to use. One thing to know is that many say burning sage smells like marijuana, so you might not want to smudge just before you go out the door to visit the local police station.

Sage is one of four sacred Native American herbs used for ceremony, purification and healing. The others are cedar, sweetgrass and tobacco (or, alternately, lavender). Often you can find bundles with more than one of these herbs included. 

What kinds of things might you "smudge" or "sage" or purify with sacred smoke? You might smudge a house you're trying to sell or a previously owned item you've received to release the energies of the previous owner. If you buy crystals or other metaphysical items, you might want to smudge them to clear any energy that gathered before you bought them. You might smudge yourself as part of a healing ritual. And if you're taking part in a spiritual ceremony, the facilitator might smudge you upon arrival. Most likely, though, you'll probably be smudging your own home to release negative vibes, ease a change or transition, clear out stale energy or as part of a regular energy cleansing of your home. 

How do you smudge? It depends on what you're smudging. If it's an object, just light the sage until it catches fire. Then blow the flame out and let it smoulder. Then just run the object through the smoke, like you're bathing it in the smoke. That's it. The sage will probably go out on its own, but if you have a stick, you can douse it in sand or earth.

Sweetgrass puts out less smoke than sage and needs to be re-lit more often.
The braids are usually a couple of feet long. I keep a sweetgrass braid in my
car as an air freshener. It has a sweet, fresh, vanilla-like scent. 

If you want to get fancier, then it's good to know what each of the herbs does. Sage and cedar remove negativity, heal and purify. Sweetgrass and lavender draw in positive vibes. You'll find a lot of different thoughts on what I've just said and that's OK. Really, any of the herbs can be used to cleanse. Sometimes cedar is used on the heels of sage to purify after negativity is removed. And sometimes lavender is used to call in beneficial spirits. What's most important is the intention you place behind the smudging.

To smudge a home for any of the reasons mentioned above (though for harmful ghosts, you will probably want a professional's help), light the sage stick on fire and blow out the flame. You will probably have to re-light the sage several times during this process, so bring your lighter with you. Start at the North end of your home on the lowest floor and "bathe" the space, following inner perimeter of your home in a counter-clockwise direction (in other words, move from north to west to south to east). By bathing the space, I mean blow the smoke toward your walls and into corners, wave the stick up and down and make sure the smoke gets everywhere, including in the middle of the room and in closets. All the time you're doing this, you can repeat your intention, such as "this sacred smoke cleanses and removes all negativity from this space."

Once you're done with the lowest floor, then move up to the next floor and the next until you've cleansed all levels of your home, moving in a counter-clockwise direction, starting on each floor on the North wall and repeating your intention throughout. Then you can open your windows long enough to air out your home, if you like. Or you can just let the smoke settle in there. It depends on your tolerance and preference for that sort of thing. 

Most won't have to go far to find a some cedar to burn. It's always nice
to use homegrown ingredients when you can.
You can stop there and that's cool. You'll probably notice your home feels more lighter and more open. Your house should now have neutral energy. But if you'd like, you can repeat the process IN REVERSE with sweetgrass to draw positive energies in. So in this case, you start in the North on the top floor moving clockwise (or north to east to south to west.) Then work your way down from the top level of your home, all the while repeating your intention, such as "I fill this space with light and positive energy." As an FYI, sweetgrass has to be lit more often than sage, so don't be discouraged if it's more difficult to work with. 

Now, as I said before, you can buy smudge bundles with multiple herbs in them. If that's the case, then I would just follow the instructions above for sage. Personally I prefer doing the separate thing. And my habit is to add the sweetgrass step maybe every other time I sage. If you google "smudging ceremonies" along with the  specific purpose you want to smudge for, you should find tons of information to help you accomplish your goals. Mine is just one way to do it. Again, the intention behind it is more important than the steps you take. 

Whether you believe the smoke has any "power" or not, sometimes just the ritual of doing something like this can help release emotional things we're holding on to. Even when done symbolically, it could be just thing you need to draw a line in the sand between yesterday and a new tomorrow.