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I'm Awake! Now What?

Maisy Bristol talks using tarot and astrology to empower yourself, create self-love, and find a path forward.

Maisy Bristol discusses the empowering uses of tarot and astrology.

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Maisy Bristol

Maisy Bristol is a tarot teacher and astrologer, her passion and purpose is to help guide individuals towards clarity and self-development. When she was 15-years old she picked up an old Rider-Waite tarot card deck that was in her parents house that struck her curiosity. Maisy shares how this led to picking up an Ouija board with her sister and finding out there was a guest in their house from the other side. A gentleman who had passed on after suffering a heart attack in the home her parents had bought. Her parents confirmed the story with Maisy and her sister, which was a shock to all of them. Maisy later says that something about this experience made her interested in understanding what else existed outside our physical, three dimensional world. If this man could reach through the ether to make himself known, what else could be reached? So began her journey into tarot and astrology.

After hearing her recount this story, I tell Maisy how the only thing I truly believe in anymore is energy, it is so powerful and palpable to which Maisy wholeheartedly agrees.

Maisy and I dive into tarot and she tells us how it works, how its important to ask questions with clarity and intention. Her approach is gentle and kind when she talks about acting as a conduit for her clients, whom she is lovingly helping navigate life decisions, past wounding, self-forgiveness, and relationship woes. She says that her goal is to empower the people she works with, to give them the confidence to move forward with the truthful information that comes through each reading she does.

When I ask her, “What are some common questions or themes do you get when working with people?” She responds with “Most people are looking for confirmation that they are right on track, that they’re doing the “right” thing.” Which she quickly adds “what is the right thing?” Pointing towards removing self-judgement or adhering to social, religious, or familial norms. Once again putting the power back into the hands of her client.

I have to giggle internally a bit, and share that I really appreciate having a spiritual “report card” too. I often want to make sure I am doing it “right.”  Asking myself often, “Have I lived far enough into my purpose? Have I taken care of humanity well enough? Can I do more? Where do I need more expansiveness and compassion?”

Maisy affirms, many of us are asking similar questions–wanting to know we are on the right track of this human and divine life. The short answer is; “Yes! You are.” Give yourself a break and bring in some self-compassion when pondering such things.

Maisy’s work also includes looking at the past through the lens of tarot, to gain understanding and insight into old patterns, behaviors, and blocks. In looking backwards, we can garnish a great deal of information and tools to approach our present and waking life from a place of empowerment and clear-seeing. Maisy says, “Our past experiences, especially our childhood really shape who we are, what we fear, our triggers, our deepest needs and desires that no one knows about and its important to acknowledge them. Most of us are moving through life without even giving this a second thought. When you come to me, asking me about your relationship, I’m not just going to look at your current relationship, I’m going to go into all your past relationships to see how they’ve informed your current relationship and what tendencies you have, etc. There are things from our past that still resonate with us today that are crucial to acknowledge so we can heal from them.

Shining a light on old patterns, with a great deal of kindness and compassion Maisy says is critical in being able to move forward and can give you the confidence to tackle any new obstacles or challenges your life and relationships may bring to your feet.

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

One Breath at a Time: How Breathwork can Alleviate Anxiety with Ana Lilia

We are born with a self-regulating system that helps us combat stress and anxiety: Our breath.

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Ana Lilia’s voice has a tempered cadence that oscillates between a relaxing kindness and a compassionate gentleness. Which can be felt palpably and I immediately feel compelled to relax my body and my mind–reminding myself we have this hour together and there is no rush.

Perhaps this is why she’s the leading expert and healer in the breathwork space. She effortlessly imbues every breath and moment as it unfolds–without rushing or passing through it mindlessly.

Ana and I share a similar upbringing, in Catholicism. Ana says something that I’ve been holding in the depths of my being secretly. She discusses priests getting shuffled through her parish, without notice, incident, or explanation. The abruptness and secretiveness of the whole ordeal leaves her with sadness and unprocessed grief.   Ana says “The Catholic Church did not create a container for the pain we felt.” She’s right. The church has asked all its congregants to never ask what happened, we were all expected to move on without healing or questioning. We were not even allowed the right of reconciliation, which is a sacrament in and of itself in the Church. When Ana says this, I’m filled with sadness too and can feel the collective sadness of the of every person who once identified as a Catholic who had been asked to ignore what cannot be ignored.

Ana’s life work is centered around breathwork, healing, and embodiment practices. She has a soft spot for those of us in the collective who suffer from anxiety in it’s many shapes and sizes. Ana speaks about how many people who struggle with anxiety often feel shame in both acknowledging their anxiety and addressing it. It’s one of those societal contracts we’ve all agreed to. To never speak of the anxiety that suffocates us under our very westernized, and busy lifestyles. As Latinas, we connect with the cultural norms of staying busy, all the time. Idle states of being are not something our Latin culture practices, just the opposite. We are industrious to a fault.

Ana says to the audience: “Our lives in general are not designed to have our nervous system in a relaxed state.” She is right. Everything about the world we’ve created around us, is meant to initiate false senses of urgency, impatience, and importance that keep us agitated with not doing enough. Not being enough.

It is a radical act of self-love, to push against the pressure of our societies’ inclination to keep us distracted, overloaded, and outside of ourselves. Ana’s work is vital in building internal restoration and cutting the cord between external stimuli that keeps our internal systems on high alert, entrenched in stress and hypervigilance. One deep breath at a time.

In the gospel of Mary Magdalene, Jesus points to God existing in our very breath, teaching us in that one line about the sacredness of our life force–that many of us take for granted. How often do you go through your day, without breathing deeply? Have you ever placed your hand on your diaphragm to feel the power of your lungs, heart, and stomach muscles spring into action as you build the fullness of an expansive breath?

This is where we find alignment. This is where we find our innate holiness.

 

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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

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.

 

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