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The Four Elements: Core Curriculum for Understanding the Self with Debra Silverman

You can build a harmonious relationship with yourself by understanding your elemental composition.

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Debra Silverman

As a spiritual aspirant part way through my own journey I realized there was an overlap of healing and self-understanding that was happening in parallel to my unlearning and unbecoming. Its a curious thing how every spiritual seeker finds the same set of books, retreats, teachers, and guides along our journey to help with our rebirth. Enter Debra Silverman, psychologist and astrologer who has spent her life (as she describes in the interview) helping people fall in love with themselves, their life, and each other.

Debra wrote The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition. This book opens up with a warning alarm, reverberating through the dense fog of humanity asking us to “Wake Up!” The earth is in crisis, humanity is in crisis and Debra reminds the reader that we are both the problem and the solution. For anyone invested in self development, part of our work here is to understand our elemental composition, cultivate each one, and find solutions to bring the ourselves and the world back into alignment and harmony–as best we can, all things considered.

What are the Four Elements?

Water, Air, Earth, and Fire.

In our interview Debra breaks down the different characteristics of each element, their positive and negative manifestations and how most of us have one element that is not as dominant as the other three.

Apparently I have almost no fire, which was really surprising to me as a Latina. This is partly because I’ve been conditioned to believe all Latina’s are born super spicy and culture lore tells us we salsa straight out of our mother’s womb with a bad attitude and confidence for days. I do love to salsa, but if I’m being honest with myself I do have a strong inclination for the softness of peaceful environments (earth), the silence of my own company–writing and creating (air), and the warmth of the Earth beneath my feet at the ocean (water) healing and feeling, instead of at some night club, dancing (fire) the night away.

It is clear that my missing element is fire and armed with this knowledge I can find ways cultivate the element of fire that feels authentic to my core personality traits (without making unnecessary drama as Debra says fire can sometimes do) and bring myself into a balance.

Her book is also a means for moving ourselves from a victimized state of being into an empowered position, where we accept that we decided to incarnate here, in this world, as this person, with this family, this personality, and these life experiences.

Debra says “it’s a volunteer position.” Once we accept that, it opens us up to the possibility that maybe everything that has occurred to us is useful, inspiring, and exactly what we needed in order to evolve and awaken.

As an astrologist, Debra talks about how reading and digesting our natal charts gives us tools and information to understand ourselves better, so that we can interact kindly with ourselves and not try to squelch our shadow sides or the things that make us quirky and unique. Gaining this level of self-understanding is paramount to living harmoniously with ourselves, from a place of deep acceptance so that you can fall in love with yourself.

But more importantly; Debra says, when you gain understanding of your chart, you can look around your ecosystem and create compassionate understanding for the people in your life, by seeing them with a fresh set of eyes and an open heart to love and accept them as they are.

 

Krista Xiomara is a writer, podcast host, healer, religious wounding and trauma expert, and co-founder of House of Enlightenedhood. She is a practicing Buddhist and incorporates wisdom from both Eastern and Western religions, philosophies, and spirituality.

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Awakening

No. 4: Learning to Trust the Universe

Leena Lemos explores the practice of unwavering trust and surrender.

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The Spiritual Anthropologist is a raw, humorous, and inquisitive weekly column by Leena Lemos that explores the dance between the human experience and the spiritual being.


Another universal lesson smacked me in the face today. I finally recognized a pattern that I assume many of us go through, so let’s dissect together, shall we?

In the past few months, I’ve traveled through massive transformations, which of course, in the duality of the universe, means there have been light moments of clarity/euphoria and dark moments of sorrow/hopeless.

Isn’t the fluid rollercoaster of growth so…fun?

Within this period of expansion, I can recall two instances where I completely lost my faith in the universe.

I cracked. I broke down (cue the ugly cry). I spiraled into a web of anxious worst-case scenario thoughts and negative self-talk.

Just as I found myself on my knees in complete defeat, the universe reminded me (within minutes) that these moments of anguish were manifested by my own fear-based narrative.

My pattern? I suffered (at my own expense) because I stopped trusting.

With this realization now in my awareness, it’s clear the past few weeks and the foreseeable future, are the macro version of this lesson of “trust.” Yet the difference? I’m able to consciously experience this sacred lesson in real time.

Will I stay grounded or will I let fear win?

Only time will tell, but I’m rooting for human Leena remember how divinely supported she is.

If you’re on this path, you are bound to experience a similar lesson, because…newsflash! We are ALL being called to step into our fullest expression; a version of us that effortlessly floats with the present moment. And while empowering in theory, this reclamation of self causes a great deal of turbulence in our physical reality as it shifts in accordance with our vibrational state.

You want me to go with THIS flow, Universe? THIS one? You’re joking. Right? Hello? Why is this happening to meee?

The intense energy that surges as we transmute lower frequencies can cause a plethora of things to go “wrong,” making life feel like an unwelcomed shit storm that just keeps kicking you while you’re down. But in reality? Chaos often occurs during times of rapid metamorphosis. The dark is releasing to hold more light. So you can shine.

You did call upon the universe to help you grow, didn’t you? Embrace it.

I know, I know, easier said than done because…let’s be real. Cultivating the unconditional trust that everything will work out for our highest good? It is no small fucking feat.

As humans, we’re meant to feel our emotions, but when we attach to them, we risk awakening our inner mammal who operates in perpetual fight or flight mode.

While in the midst of this lesson, I’m discovering if we don’t consistently take the time to strengthen our relationship with the universe, our survival instincts will make an entrance when in emotional overdrive, disconnecting us from our higher consciousness.

I’m also learning that its the constant practice of surrender that lessens the chances of falling down the rabbit hole into self-sabotage. Why? Because we begin to gather evidence that the universe always conspires in our favor.

As we collect more nuggets to put into our “This is Happening FOR Me” basket, we gain the strength to endure the dark and uncomfortable chapters. As we add items to the “Universe Has My Back and (Sometimes) Does My Dirty Laundry” List, the longer we can withstand life’s less favorable chapters.

It’s true. Putting our trust into something we can’t tangibly see or touch, doesn’t feel natural. Our ego wants control.

But is it the faith we need, the magical secret in our back pocket, the tiny propeller in the molasses, when it feels like our human life is in shambles?

Abso-fucking-lutely.

That’s why this time I’m going to choose differently.

And dive heart first into the unknown.

See you on the otherside.

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Expansion

Founders of The Indigo Sanctuary Pam Urbas and Andy Duchovany on Supporting the Collective

Finding our sanctuary with the Founders of The Indigo Sanctuary

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Pam Urbas and Andy Duchovnay

Pam Urbas and Andy Duchovany have been spiritual entrepreneurs long before spiritual entrepreneurs was a thing. They’ve spent the majority of their life quietly saving the planet, teaching yoga, educating the world on the environment, and building an ethical business that sources rocks and spiritual healing tools from around the world. They both have a relaxed and kind aura about them, as I watch them situate themselves over Zoom. They are living their practice and purpose, it’s obvious to me even before we begin the interview.

Both Pam and Andy come from Jewish lineages.  Pam’s parents were Holocaust survivors and I can never hear this without feeling a deep well of pain for our Jewish brothers and sisters who suffered this unspeakable atrocity. I encourage you to take a moment and few deep breaths to remember everyone who was lost and silently offer a moment of reverence and remembrance to them.

Pam is dedicated to the health and wellness of the body, along with the soul, mind and planet. She learned early on about nutrition and cooking with whole foods, leaving out sugars and fats from her mother. She is passionate about holistic health and wellness, and early on became a yoga teacher. As a runner, she started her own yoga home practice to help her body rebound from the stress of running and the wear and tear it takes on the body. She began working with the elderly and then runners too, in a home yoga practice capacity.

During this time Andy, who was a lawyer began working with a third party organization the represented organic food producers and Andy began advocating for hundreds of organic farmers around the world. Andy was instrumental in creating and helping pass federal regulations related to organic foods. Andy then spent the last part of his career working for the Environmental Protection Agency, working to protect and save our planet.

In parallel they began to build The Indigo Sanctuary with the express mission of supporting and empowering others through their individual spiritual journeys. Pam and Andy have many titles now: Rockhounds, Lapidary Artists, Sound Healers, Yoga Teachers, and Philanthropists. The Indigo Sanctuary is a online educational and  service driven business for the collective. Andy and Pam love educating spiritual seekers on how to use sound bowls, how to work with certain gemstones, the science of sound healing, and understanding the energetic centers of the body.

In our interview they discuss the care and intention they take in collecting stones for their business. They share insights about tuning into the energy of the stone, understanding it’s own evolutionary story and tumbling stones in their lapidary workshop. They are gracious with their teachings and desire in supporting the collective. If you purchase one of their sound bowls, they will help you learn how to use it and connect with you over Zoom to walk you through gently, step by step in creating your own internal sound healing.

They also support two young girls in Nepal through their scholarship program, which Andy says “it is important that we educate women and move away from oppressive patriarchal structures that keep our girls uneducated.” We couldn’t agree more!

They are incredibly mindful when collecting natural resources from Earth. Their approach is ethical, sustainable, honest and transparent. They want to make sure that they do their part to keep our world in balance while supporting the collective through natural Earth resources that enhance the practices of seekers like you and me.

What they want you to know most, is that it important for each person to have their own sacred sanctuary, filled with stones, sound bowls, self-education, spiritual practices, yoga and meditation tools, and the intention to go inward and heal.

When we do this, we balance ourselves and the world around us. We do our part to show up in our wholeness, invested in humanity and our Earth–which is the ultimate sanctuary.

 

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Expansion

Exploring the Akashic Records with Josephine Hardman, PhD

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Learn the origins of the Akashic Records with Josephine Hardman, PhD

Josephine Hardman is an intuitive healer, Akashic records teacher, and podcaster. She’s dedicated her life’s work to helping spiritual aspirants find their way, heal their past, and tune into their innate wisdom. She has an interesting life path story, I’m so excited to unpack the origins of her personal story, that I can hardly get out my prefixed question about her early childhood experience with religion and spirituality.

Josephine grew up in a deeply open and spiritual home, with parents who both nurtured and invited exploration into spirituality. She recounts hearing the shuffling of tarot cards from her fathers desk. He was a trained transcendental and mindfulness meditation practitioner. Her mother was a psychotherapist who expanded her practice to include spirituality, folding in energy work and yoga and the use of the Akashic records. In this progressive environment Josephine had free reign to explore and be curious, she was also a highly sensitive child.

These beginning steps are fascinating, as many of us who come to merge on the path of spirituality find ourselves undoing and unlearning strict Abrahamic roots or nothing at all. Our spiritual education starts later in life, and I can’t help but wonder as I’m listening to Josephine speak how this “head start” in spirituality helped her in own life. She first affirms, that being in this environment helped her as a highly sensitive and intuitive child, who both had the language and experience to understand the non-physical reality around us.

Josephine is erudite and spent many years in academia dedicating her life to education of others. She notes how she has carefully created courses for her students who want to learn the Akashic Records leaning on both the academic and spiritual learnings modalities of education to help each student fully integrate and retain what they learn. Her love of literature and language makes her an ideal teacher, finding all the right words and high notes to help the any seeker on their path of expansion and exploration.

As our conversation continues to unfold, Josephine discusses how growing up on the spiritual path at an early age, she too experienced how disorienting and unsettling the spiritual awakening process can be. She mentions how interacting with people and having them say one thing and their body language and internal energy contradict what she was sensing and feeling. As a child and one with sensitive and intuitive skills she wanted at times to escape this reality of feeling so intensely. From my perspective, of not having a head start and coming into contact with my intuition and innate wisdom later in life I understand this disorientation she speaks of and I can’t imagine how a child would navigate it. But she did and I instantly admire her life story more deeply in this moment when she honestly articulates the ebb and flow of her childhood.

As we fast forward into the interview, we arrive at Josephine giving the audience an overview of the inception of the Akashic Records, how they are access, utilized, and what they can teach us. She breaks down the benefits of accessing the records and gaining information about ourselves looking back in time and peering into our past life decisions and current ones can aide in breaking old patterns, internal blocks, and limiting beliefs. She uses an example from a recent session where a woman had inherited through her lineage (like many of us do) a conditioned response to “staying small” or “playing small.”  A common theme we see in our current society that asks women to be small, demure, and to not make too many waves or conflict. Using the records Josephine assessed that this trait was passed down to help keep ancestral and descendant women in her lineage safe and was a coping mechanism. Working with her client, together they honored her ancestors for instilling this as a means of protection and breaking the cycle through this client, thus liberating her lineage backward in time and forward. .

 

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