by Lani

The Yoga of Motherhood

March 19, 2015 in Divine nature, Intuition, joy, Lani, Marriage, meditation, Motherhood, Pain, Parenting, Rebirth, Rites of passage, Yoga by Lani

 

Perhaps the essential purpose of all relationships is to create the laboratory in which we uncover our own divine nature and encourage theirs. -M. Catherine Thomas

In perusing the journal I wrote during my first pregnancy, I chuckled to myself when I stumbled upon these words (written September 10, 2003, just a couple of weeks before I gave birth):

Sometimes I almost wish for a trial or challenge to come so that I can be refined by its fire. . . . I almost hope that motherhood will be a challengeWell, I know that it will be a great challenge. But I hope I will look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow every day. Because I do want so much to develop and become a better, more loving and more Christ-like person.

The very next entry wasn’t until two months later, November 21. I wrote this:

I said last time I wrote that I sort of wished for a trial to come. Well, it certainly came. The first few days and weeks after my baby was born were some of the most difficult of my life. I didn’t get any real sleep until after we came home from the hospitalwhich was two days after her birth. I was exhausted and overwhelmed by the new role of mother. I was having difficulty breastfeedingwhich made everything more difficult. . . . Plus I was trying to recover from childbirth (which left me with multiple tears and lots of pain). It was hard for me to do virtually anything because it hurt to move.

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The remaining pages of that journal include a lot of venting about the challenges of caring for a very high-needs baby (who turned into a wonderful young lady, by the way). She didn’t sleep well, she didn’t eat well, she wanted to be held constantly, etc. etc. In June of 2004, I wrote down a passage from a book that helped me put things into perspective: “One of the greatest surprises, and greatest joys, comes as you realize that those have-to’s in your life actually got you where you wanted to be all along” (Emily Watts, Being the Mom). Indeed they have. My four children, and all the have-to’s that come with them, have done exactly what I hoped for as a soon-to-be mother: they have made me into a “better, more loving and more Christ-like person.”

Loveliest of the arts

Back in February I started Kundalini Yoga teacher training, so naturally I’ve got yoga on the brain. What is yoga? Here’s how Yogi Bhajan describes it:

Yoga is essentially a relationship. Consider the origin of the word “yoga.” Yoga, as we in the West understand it, has come from the biblical word, yoke. This originated from the root word in Sanskrit: jugit. They both mean “to join together,” or “to unite.” Yoga is the union of the individual’s unit consciousness with the Infinite Consciousness. The definition of a yogi is a person who has totally leaned on the Supreme Consciousness, which is God, until he or she has merged the unit self with the Infinite Self. That is all it means (The Aquarian Teacher, p. 14).

So the ultimate goal of yoga is union with God. How do we unite with God?

Last weekend in teacher training, our instructor said: “Confront your ego/shadow self until you get to I am, I Am.” After saying this, she shared a story about her early years as a yogi in Brooklyn, NY, living in the ashram. Every morning before sunrise, she went to group sadhana [daily yoga/meditation practice]. She had grown up as an only child, so it was quite an experience being with all of those people. She said that life in the ashram was: constantly having people pushing your buttons, triggering your stuff. As she said those words, I thought: sounds like a family. Isn’t that why God gave us families? To help us confront our egos, our shadow selves, until we get to I Am?

Byron Katie has said:

The people we most need are the people we’re living with now. Again and again, they will show us the truth we don’t want to see, until we see it. Our parents, our children, our spouses and our friends will continue to press every button we have, until we realize what it is that we don’t want to know about ourselves yet (qtd. in M. Catherine Thomas, Light in the Wilderness, p. 165).

And Richard Rohr has said:

So we absolutely need conflicts, relationship difficulties, moral failures, defeats to our grandiosity, even seeming enemies, or we will have no way to ever spot or track our shadow self. They [others] are our necessary mirrors (qtd. in M. Catherine Thomas, The Godseed, p. 168).

Yogi Bhajan called marriage between a man and woman the highest yoga: “Male and female make a union and this complete union is the greatest yoga” (The Master’s Touch, p. 138). Indeed, marriage provides ample opportunities for confronting our shadow selves, refining our behavior, and drawing closer to God. Perhaps it’s because I married a very kind, easy-to-live-with guy, but marriage hasn’t been my highest yoga. For me, it has been the yoga of motherhood that has tested and refined me most of all.

Yogi Bhajan taught that it was the job of a yoga teacher to “poke, provoke, confront, and elevate.” If that is the case, no one has been a greater teacher to me than my children. No spiritual practice has done more to purify my soul than motherhood. Yogi Bhajan said: “The ocean is a very calm thing, but when the winds are heavy and high, then it’s very choppy. The wind represents your egothe higher the ego, the choppier is a person’s life.” Clearly I came to this world with a whole lot of ego to process through. My teachers have had quite a job to do, and they have done it very well.

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Being a mother has required more discipline, patience, endurance, sacrifice, strength, selflessness, service, intuition, love, and reliance upon God than anything I have ever done. Mothers partner with God in a way that no one else can. I put this slideshow together as a tribute to the divine yoga of motherhood.

I remember when Dallin H. Oaks shared this story in conference:

One of our family members recently overheard a young couple on an airline flight explaining that they chose to have a dog instead of children. “Dogs are less trouble,” they declared. “Dogs don’t talk back, and we never have to ground them.”

True. Dogs are lovely companions. But we’re in this life to be refined into godliness. Yoga is the “sacred science of god-realization.” I thank heaven for my four excellent yoga teachers who “poke, provoke, confront, and elevate” me daily.

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by Lani

The Accuser and the Advocate

January 5, 2015 in Atonement, Events, Grace, Jesus Christ, Lani, Love, Marriage, meditation, Parenting, Savior, Zion by Lani

“Cease to find fault one with another” (D&C 88:124).

IMG_1930A couple of days ago, I attended Felice’s New Year, New You Retreat at a gorgeous home in Cottonwood Canyon. We ate, prayed, did yoga, meditated, danced, sang, made new friends, took gong naps, and journeyed into guided imagery. During one of our breaks, we had discussion groups. I attended a group facilitated by Andy Rasmussen discussing how we can create Zion in our hearts. It was AWESOME. We only talked for forty minutes or so, but I learned so much during that brief discussion. Little seeds of truth entered my mind and heart, changing me, expanding inside of me, and altering my paradigm completely.

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One of those seeds of truth has been filling my thoughts ever since, continuing to teach me. As we discussed some of the obstacles holding us back from creating Zion within ourselves and our communities, Andy said:

“Satan means ‘the accuser.’ Anytime you accuse someone, you’re acting in the role of Satan.”

Whoah. This bit of truth shook my entire soul with a deafening impact that echoed for days. Before I say anything else, I want to make a distinction. For the purposes of our discussion here, when I talk about making accusations or being an accuser, I’m not referring to legal matters or matters of serious abuse. There are times when it is necessary to be “accusers” and bear witness of crimes committed. If you have needed to do this, I’m not suggesting that you are, therefore, like Satan. For the purposes of our discussion–how we can build Zion in our hearts–I’m referring to our day to day interactions with people.

Yesterday, as we took our long road trip from UT to AZ, we were listening to Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly. She talks about how destructive shame is in our lives. Shame is different from guilt. Guilt prompts us to make positive changes. Shame, on the other hand, keeps us stuck in bad behavior. Brené Brown explains it well here:

The thing to understand about shame is it’s not guilt. Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behavior. Shame is “I am bad.” Guilt is “I did something bad.” . . . Guilt: I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Shame: I’m sorry. I am a mistake. (Source)

Shame says: “I am not enough. I will never be enough. I cannot change.” Though she doesn’t talk about Satan, Brene Brown does refer often to the shame scripts that run through our heads as “the gremlins.” I think it’s safe to say that Satan is the author of shame, and accusations are one of his primary weapons against us. Satan is the Accuser. We read in Revelation 12 (one of my favorite chapters in the Bible):

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (vs. 10-11).

In our discussion about Zion at the retreat, one of the participants asked a question about how we can maintain pure hearts in the face of difficult relationships or disagreements. I have continued pondering that question. Yesterday morning, as we packed up for our road trip, I asked God and myself: “If Satan would be the ‘Accuser’ in a personal conflict, who would Christ be?” Without skipping a beat, the answer came: the Advocate. Jesus Christ does not induce shame in our hearts. He believes we are worthy of love, no matter what we have done. “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). The word translated as “advocate” in this passage is translated differently in other parts of the scriptures:

The exact word is only used elsewhere by the apostle John (John 14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7), where it is rendered “Comforter” (KJV), or “Counselor” (RSV, NIV). Each of the four uses is referring to the help Father and Son provided the apostles through the holy spirit, and from which we greatly benefit in their recorded words. (Source)

Jesus is our advocate, our helper, our comforter, our counselor, and all of this He does with the Father in our behalf. They, together, help us climb out of the pit of shame and into the light of change and peace and love and hope. “The sons of Mosiah went from being ‘the very vilest of sinners’ to being men like Moroni and ‘men of God.’ This was only possible because of the Atonement and the life-changing, healing influence it has on the children of men” (Ronald E. Terry).

I like this explanation of how the blood of the Lamb overcomes Satan’s accusations against us:

There is a passage in Numbers where [Balak] tried to curse the children of Israel. [Balaam, the prophet Balak begged to curse the Israelites] said: How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed? He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob. “Can’t you see, God? Look there.” He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob. Now, why not? Well, there was a little lamb that shed his blood, and the blood was taken and spread all over the mercy seat. Underneath that mercy seat was . . . the Ten Commandments. It was a covenant of God. It came here between a holy God and the blood on the mercy seat, which looked forward to the Lamb of God. . . . Because of the blood, I do not see any iniquity behind. The blood answers all of the accusations of the Devil against us. . . . God says, “I don’t see it.” . . . When you take it to the Lord and ask for forgiveness, it is under the blood. It is gone forever. (Dr. J.B. Buffington, “The Accuser of the Brethren“)

What if we not only thought of Christ’s blood but also the blood of each and every person’s mother as the blood spilled on the altar for humanity. No spirit has come into this world without the blood of his/her mother being shed for that birth. And we all must rely on the blood of Christ for our rebirth(s). Can we remember those blood sacrifices when we are faced with someone we might wish to accuse or criticize? Can we remember the blood that was shed so that this person might live and learn and grow? Are we trying to wrench the sins of others out from under the Savior’s blood that has already been spilled for them? Are we playing the role of the Accuser, saying, “Can’t you see, God? Look there.” How do we become Christ, the Advocate, in the face of a difficult relationship problem? Let’s look at the words of Christ for guidance:

  • He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7)
  • Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? . . . Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:10-11)
  • Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)
  • For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17)
  • Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)
  • Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

One of the primary reasons that the Saints were unable to establish Zion in the 1800’s is because there were “jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes . . . among them” (D&C 101:6). As M. Catherine Thomas explains, “The ‘jarrings and contentions’ point to a basic impurity in the human heart, that is, enmity, which can be defined as hostility, hatred, or contempt for another person. . . . [Christ] says that when He comes again, and the veil over the earth is taken off, the powerful glory accompanying Him will consume every corruptible thing of man or beast, that is, will consume any being that has enmity of any degree in its heart (D&C 101:26)” (Light in the Wilderness, p. 152). If we want to create Zion in our own hearts, families, homes, and communities, we have to renounce enmity and become Advocates instead of Accusers.

All of this pondering has led me to want to say/show to everyone with whom I cross paths, particularly those whom I might be tempted to call my “enemies”:

“I am your advocate with the Father.”

When angry or defensive words may enter my mind or yearn to be spoken by my mouth, I want to replace those thoughts with that: I am your advocate with the Father. I want to renounce enmity. I want to reach out to others who may hurt me, to recognize that their actions (no matter how vile) are covered in the blood of the Lamb, to remember the blood of their mothers, and to perceive that any critical words they may hurl toward me are really coming from the Accuser. I want to be an advocate, working with God, to transform contentious situations into moments of hope, healing, and peace. I am your advocate with the Father.

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P.S. I wish I had experienced this epiphany before I wrote my essays on unity in The Gift of Giving Life. Sigh.

by Robyn

My Divine Teacher

May 12, 2014 in Gratitude, meditation, Motherhood, Parenting, Power of Words, Robyn, Thoughts, Uncategorized by Robyn

“And a little child shall lead them”

Isaiah 11:6

Cali 2

 

My posts are just going to be have to be a lot less wordy. I struggle to find the time to write but I really do benefit from processing my thoughts into a post.

I’m grateful for motherhood. It is hard and I struggle with feeling like I am getting much done. Lately I have wanted to be able to put more time into studying my scriptures and meditation. I miss the “aha” moments and stream of revelation in the early morning hours. Alone time is hard to come by. Anyway so about a week ago, I was feeling this way, sitting with my cute little toddler playing on the floor when I had one of those “aha” moments. God reminded me, “She is your divine teacher, learn from her.” I nodded. “I know, I know. Thank you for this reminder,” I answered.  And I also knew that I was being told that I was to be learning from each one of my children.

We are told that we should become like our little children, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4).

I cuddled with my 4 year old in my lap during fast and testimony meeting last Sunday. After several testimonies she leaned into my ear and said, “I just know that He is Risen.” And that was that. So simple, real and authentic. She taught me. We don’t have to be wordy. And I took those words to heart. Simple testimonies. Shorter posts. Thank you Divine Teacher.

“If we have a heart to learn and a willingness to follow the example of children, their divine attributes can hold a key to unlocking our own spiritual growth. ” Jean A. Stevens, Ensign, April 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

by Robyn

Focus Meditation for Birth Workers

February 18, 2014 in Doulas, meditation, Midwives, Obstetricians, Prayer, Preparation, Robyn, Uncategorized by Robyn

I have been taking a midwife assistant class recently and one of the assignments I was given was to share a grounding exercise.  I pieced this focus meditation together based on some of the energy centers of our body and what I felt would help me step away and ground myself before entering a birth.  This is my first attempt at writing my own meditation so, you know, it is a humble offering. So far I like using it.  I think it would be helpful for doulas, midwives and helpers at any birth to do something similar.   I think I may do this one (along with prayer) as needed on any given day when I need to refocus with my children.  I also really like the calm heart meditation for this purpose.  I also usually pray before entering into laborland with a family.   What kinds of things do you do to ground yourself?

Grounding Exercise: Focus Meditation

Close your eyes.

Place your hands palms together like they are praying in front of your heart. This is the energy center that relates to our ability to give and receive love. 

Breathe in gently.

Breathe out gently.

Let your service be that which is motivated by love.

Now move your prayer hands parallel to your throat. This energy center relates to sound. It has to do with seeing and hearing truth.

Breathe in gently.

Breathe out gently.

May you speak and hear truth.

Now move your hands between your eyes above the nose where your “third eye” resides. After gently pressing your thumbs into this spot, roll your eyes upward toward the source of all truth. Focus yourself to this third eye. This energy center governs the mind. This chakra is the seat of wisdom, vision, intuition, and our concepts of reality. *

Breathe in gently.

Breathe out gently.

May you be conscious of the dialogue inside your mind and distinguish truth.

Now lay your hands open palmed on your knees.

Breathe in all of the resources that you will need for this birth.

Breathe out all of the things you will not need.

Breathe in strength, calm, focus.

Breathe out stress, fear, distraction.

Breathe in peace, humility, diligence.

Breathe out doubt, selfishness, pride.

Breathe in faith, power, love.

Breathe out the negative.

Breathe in the positive.

*We have a tendency to over analyze, over-think and let our mind get in the way of our intuition or promptings. Make sure that it is your inner vision that runs your life rather than those around you. Beware of getting stuck in a vision that someone else has for your life or seeks the approval of those around you instead of God.

by Lani

Healing Prebirth Wounds

January 15, 2014 in Abortion, Atonement, Dads, Energy Healing, Jesus Christ, Lani, meditation, Miracles, Motherhood, Pain, Parenting, Personal Revelation, Prayer, Prenatal influences, Savior by Lani

 

“I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief. There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother.” –Boyd K. Packer

Back in October, I wrote about discovering that my youngest daughter had come to this earth carrying wounds from a previous womb experience. She had been aborted by another mother. As I explained in my previous post, my daughter spent much of her toddlerhood in a state of distress, anger, sadness, and angst. Once I understood why, I felt compelled to do whatever I could to help her heal.

In June of 2013, I attended a meditation retreat taught by Felice. While there, I learned the meditation “Ra Ma Da Sa” for the first time. I learned that this particular meditation is a powerful healing prayer. We sang Ra Ma Da Sa at the retreat, and it was so beautiful that it penetrated every inch of my body and sent my spirit soaring.

The complete mantra is “Ra ma da sa sa say so hung.” It means sun, moon, earth, infinity, totality of infinity, I am Thou. Or, as I like to say, it’s basically a very condensed version of D&C 88:7-13:

This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God.

All healing comes from Christ, and His light infuses and gives life to everyone and every thing in the universe.

After returning home after our summer trip to UT, I decided that I wanted to sing/chant “Ra Ma Da Sa” every morning for 40 days with the intention of helping my daughter heal from her prebirth wounds. So I did. And it was life-changing.

Before I tell you more, I want to also explain some more background. I learned when my daughter was born that she was likely originally sharing my womb with a twin. Since then, I have received line upon line more and more information about her twin, my unborn son. I feel he is a powerful healer-soul, his name is Elijah, and he very much wants to come to our family, in part because he is very close with my daughter and his presence will help her (and me).

Four days into my 40 days of “Ra Ma Da Sa” I had a powerful “vision” type of experience while meditating. It was early in the morning and my daughter was still asleep. As I chanted on her behalf, I envisioned where she was and sent my love to her. Then I saw (in my mind) my unborn son, Elijah, appear at her side. He laid down by her. And then, suddenly, it was like her spirit was in pieces floating around her body. Elijah started gathering all the pieces of her spirit in the palm of his hand.

A few moments later, the Savior appeared at the foot of the bed. And Elijah handed all the pieces of her spirit to Christ. In the palms of Christ’s hands, the pieces fused together in white light. Elijah gathered more and more pieces and continued handing them to Christ, and in His hands they continued to glow and combine.

At the end of the meditation, I kept feeling the urge to cup my hands to receive her glowing spirit. Finally I did. I held her re-combined spirit in my palms. Then I put my hands to my chest and put her spirit into my heart. I told her, “You can be whole now, Baby.” And I filled my heart with love for her. Then I moved my hands from my chest, outstretched in front of me and set her free. It was amazing.

The next day, my daughter was awake while I meditated. When I started “Ra Ma Da Sa,” she sat on my lap and grabbed my arms to wrap them around her. So I sat chanting with my arms around her until she got up. A little bit later she came back in with her baby doll. At first she pushed her doll toward me and put its arms around my neck. Then she sat down in my lap with the baby on her lap and told me to hold the baby. So I continued chanting with my hands holding her arms and both of our arms around the baby. At that moment it seemed so clear that she was presenting the baby doll as her inner child—the spirit who had experienced prenatal and premortal traumas. And we were cradling that part of her in our arms while I prayed for her in song. It was only one of many beautiful, tender moments we shared during those 40 days.

There were many days, however, when my daughter’s behavior seemed to be getting worse. Her anger, neediness, screaming, and obvious emotional pain weighed heavily on me, and I wondered, If this meditation is supposed to be helping her then why does she seem worse than ever? But I carried on, hoping things would settle down eventually. Sometimes the process of healing stirs up subconscious resistance.

For 40 days I prayed in song for my daughter’s healing. And slowly, bit by bit, it came. Gradually, her energy shifted. The angst that had been so much a part of her presence dissolved little by little until it was just gone. She was, quite literally, a new child. But it wasn’t just her. We were all new. She opened herself up to connect with her father in a way she hadn’t ever done before. And simultaneously, my husband felt an intense love for our daughter, unlike anything he had felt for her before. It brought him nearly to tears when he told me about it, and he doesn’t cry.

Once freed from her pain, we watched my daughter soar. While she hadn’t been very verbal before, she suddenly began speaking in sentences. She blossomed socially, becoming a much more chatty and talkative companion. Where I used to feel weighed down by the pain radiating from her, I now could feel her peace and joy. Extended family members who visited couldn’t believe the change in her. She was free!

Another mother who is raising a former-castaway asked me last year:

When I discovered that my daughter had been aborted, it made sense to me why she is the way she is and the love I needed to show her. But I was thinking, why would her soul need healing if she was in heaven in Christ’s presence? Wouldn’t you think being in his presence would heal those wounds?

Her question led to lots of pondering and seeking. The answer that came to me, was this…

In many near-death experience accounts, we see that individuals are often given a choice of whether to return to their bodies or remain in heaven. I believe this emphasis on freedom of choice is a universal principle in God’s plan. As I pondered the aborted children waiting in heaven, the impression that came to me was that some of them are completely healed by Divine Love. But I felt impressed that it was all governed by choice. Some of those children choose to receive complete healing of their previous womb trauma. Their pain and sadness are completely swept away.

IMG_6114However, I believe the aborted are also given another option: to retain a portion of their memory of the experience and their pain upon returning to Earth. I feel that some of these children accept a mission to bring to light the reality of their existence and the truth about the trauma experienced by the aborted. They retain their “scars” just as Christ chose to retain His scars… as a testament to the world. They take up this bitter cup in order to share their truth so that future souls can perhaps be saved the anguish they have suffered.

When all of these impressions washed over me, I was in awe of these courageous souls. I began to weep as I looked down at my own daughter, recognizing the immense greatness of her soul, willing to carry such a painful burden so that others might know the truth. What strength! What love!

What a privilege to have been chosen to bear her, love her, and play a small part in helping her heal. I pray her experience and mine will aid others in their own paths to healing.

If you’d like to learn more about the “Ra Ma Da Sa” meditation

and try it yourself, see Felice’s post HERE.

My Bald Eagle – A Rebirth Story From Wendy Cleveland

October 7, 2013 in Felice, joy, meditation, Parenting, Thoughts by Progressive Prophetess

Some of you know that I am now teaching meditation to Mormons as my primary job now (second only to Motherhood). The Meditation chapter of The Gift of Giving Life, and my free e-book, Kundalini Yoga Meditation Explained For Mormons, which you can get here, has generated a ton of interest and for the last year I have been teaching on line classes. Now God has me writing a more in depth book/manual on meditation and the fruits of the last year are ripening in such amazing ways. A few weeks ago I put out a call for stories from people who have taken my class or watched my videos on YouTube and started their own practice. I got a few stories right away and more trickling in and more have been told to me, but I have to get people to write them. They are amazing! I love it. It’s so wonderful to see how  quickly and individually God responds to people who commit to draw a little nearer unto him each day.  Here is a short version of Wendy Cleveland’s story:

When I was 10 I saw a bald eagle. It completely took my breath away, I didn’t expect to see anything in the sky, and When I looked up. Their it was souring so majestically right above my head. Being only 10 years old didn’t stop me from appreciating the immense beauty of the moment. It was something that I have never forgotten and think about often. And often times I find myself gazing up at the sky waiting for my next encounter with one of these supernal creatures.

After I started to meditate I witnessed my life changing. Not slowly, like I was used to witnessing progress in my life. Meditating has affected me in countless ways, I could literally write a novel about it, but for now I would like to share how meditation helped me find my Joy again.

I had been living a beautiful blessed life with a beautiful family, & incredible friends. There was so much that god had blessed me with. But in the state I was In i hadn’t felt JOY in many years. I was living in a kind of numb state where I could only feel the negative emotions in my life, feeling things like love and joy, were as rare as seeing a bald eagle souring in the sky. When I began meditating I started with Kirtan Kriya. This meditation helps clear generational issues, and promotes change. I set an intention to my meditation to clear any generational chains I was carrying from ancestors, and to clear any negative issues in my own body. I started seeing a difference right away.  Since then, the big metaphorical rock I had been carrying on my shoulders has disappeared.

Since meditating I have learned how to listen to my spirit, and commune with the Holy Ghost in everything I do. I have learned that God often times sends me dreams to communicate with me. In one dream, god showed me all the times in my life that I had felt joy. In every instance I had been surrounded by my family.   I learned two things from that dream, one, that I hadn’t felt joy (real joy, that starts from within and radiates out of you like a bright light, that and sometimes you can’t help smile, laugh, or even cry) and two, what it was like to feel joy again. From that day on it was my goal to feel joy a least once a day. Some days I did some I didn’t. But when I did It was joy from my family. I had to let go of any distractions that were keeping me from enjoying my beautiful family. But eventually I found a little joy in everyday, until I got to the point where I was basking in joy almost continually. Praising God for my family and for my  joy. It was like looking up into the sky and seeing the elusive bald eagle everyday. I know that having joy in our posterity is the mode of heaven and earth. God wants us to feel that joy. Meditation helped me get my joy back. And I am forever grateful.

If you would like to learn more about meditation or get my free e-book you can visit www.treeoflifekundaliniyoga.com or my blog www.progressiveprophetess.blogspot.com. Last night I realized that there are about 50 days left until Thanksgiving, so if you started a 40-day meditation today you could finish before T-day.  So I have decided to discount my introductory online meditation class to only $50. This is $22 of the regular price and it will only last for a week. So if you have been wanting to learn meditation from an LDS Christ-centered perspective, click here now to just do it.

by Lani

Wounded Warriors

October 4, 2013 in Abortion, Atonement, Depression, Dreams, Energy Healing, Forgiveness, Grief, Intuition, Lani, meditation, Motherhood, Pain, Parenting, Personal Revelation, Prayer, Pregnancy, Prenatal influences, Priesthood, Priesthood blessings by Lani

A reminder of our official disclaimer:

Though we have made every attempt to be consistent with the correct doctrine and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Gift of Giving Life and all related media are an expression of many of our own thoughts and reflections upon pondering the truths of the gospel that we treasure. Our book, website, and facebook page are not official declarations of doctrine in regards to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to which we belong and cherish our membership. Please make sure to pray and ponder about everything you read.

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to quote a scripture:

“The whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin” (Moroni 8:8).

I absolutely believe those words to be true. In the context of Moroni’s words, I interpret the word “whole” to mean “without sin.” Little children are 100% whole in that sense. However, I have come to understand that while all children are whole, in the sense of being “without sin” themselves, some babies come to this earth already spiritually wounded. I have learned this truth first-hand.

In 2010, when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter (fourth child), something led me to the website of Sarah Hinze. At the time I felt very drawn to Sarah. Sarah has done extensive research into pre-birth experiences, and I found her research fascinating. I felt like God wanted me to connect with her, but I didn’t know why. Simultaneously, I was experiencing (for the first time) antepartum depression. I had never been depressed during a pregnancy before. I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much darkness and misery. It seemed so strange after three previous happy pregnancies.

After the birth, when my baby was eleven months old, I had a striking and memorable dream. Occasionally God speaks to me in dreams. I feel that this was one of those divine messages. Here’s what I saw…

I was walking with someone. I don’t know who it was. The road we were walking down looked like a ghost town. Dark, abandoned buildings. Dirty. Trash everywhere. But we were the only people walking down a deserted road. Eventually, we went over to the gutter on the side of the road, and I picked something up. At first I thought it was just a piece of garbage. But then, as I looked closer, it seemed to transform in my hand. It was a baby!  A tiny baby… only an inch or two or three. It fit in the palm of my hand, and it was alive.

My immediate thought was, “We have to find her parents!” I held her and began searching. As I searched, she grew miraculously (in the space of a few hours) to be five or six years old. A sweet little blonde girl. I took care of her while looking and looking for her parents or at least a suitable home for her. As I cared for her, I felt my heart ache and fill with love for her. Part of me really wanted to keep her, but another part of me thought, “I can’t take care of another kid right now!”

Eventually, after realizing that our search was futile, we brought her to a non-descript building. There was a massive line of children coming from the door. I got the impression that all those children were like her. They were waiting in line because they had nowhere to go. We headed to the back of the line to leave her there, but my heart was torn and breaking. I wanted to keep her, but I also didn’t feel like I could. Then the dream ended.

My interpretation of the dream was that the little girl from my dream was a special spirit who had been rejected and cast aside repeatedly, perhaps through abortions. She was hurting, and she desperately wanted to come to Earth, to be wanted and loved. I felt that I had been chosen to “rescue” her because I have the compassion and experience to know how to nurture a soul acquainted with abandonment. I felt that she would be bringing some of that heartache with her to Earth and that I had the means within me to help her heal. I thought this spirit sister was still waiting to come to my family, that she was a child I had not yet brought to Earth. I also felt that God was calling me to help rescue all the other children like her, castaways waiting for their turn on earth.

IMG_6650When I told my husband about the dream and my interpretation, his response was, “Maybe it’s just telling us where [our youngest daughter] came from?” I assumed he was just speaking from his own lack-of-desire to have any additional children. I wasn’t ready to open my mind to that possibility. No, it couldn’t be her, I thought.

A little over a year later, through a series of divinely-orchestrated events, I finally met and became dear friends with Sarah Hinze—the woman I had admired from afar on the internet since my pregnancy. I devoured several of Sarah’s books and developed a special connection with her. Over the past several decades, Sarah has gathered many stories about the spirits of aborted babies returning to earth. So we started working on some projects together, with a mutual desire to raise awareness about the “castaways” (like the little girl in my dream and countless others like her).

Through my work with Sarah Hinze, I became familiar with two stories that were influential in helping me open my mind and heart to the truth about my dream, my pregnancy depression, and my daughter:

We found that these were the feelings of the little girl in my womb. I was feeling all her feelings with her. . . . we learned that this little soul had been in another body that had been aborted. She was experiencing again the fears, rejection, sadness, and feelings of being not loved or wanted. She was feeling that she was nothing; and that she might possibly be destroyed again (“Learning to Trust“).

 The day I found out I was pregnant I literally danced for joy!  I had known he was coming for a number of years and was so anxious to have him.  I could feel he was pleased I wanted him so much.  Yet, in the ensuing weeks, I could feel a sadness about him.  I did not understand why. . . . In the beginning of February, I finally received the answer I had been looking for.  I was told by a friend who could see and talk to spirits, that Michael was . . . sad because he had been aborted a few years prior by another woman (“Receiving Michael“).

As I pondered these stories, my mind began to open to the possibility that my husband had been right with his interpretation of my dream.

Indeed, our youngest daughter had, over time, grown into a very clingy toddler who cried excessively. Though I had always gone out of my way to help her feel safe and loved and secure, she still seemed to have a constant mistrust of my permanence in her life. Always afraid to let me out of her sight. She was restless, doubtful, anxious, and seemed so often unhappy. And I was exhausted and at my wit’s end wondering what I had done wrong with her. All she had known all her life was love, safety, and compassion. So why was she so miserable?

Then just a few months ago in June, I finally asked God. After feeling little whispers here and there, urging me to open my mind and heart, I got on my knees, and I asked if my youngest daughter was the little girl from my dream. Almost immediately, it was like hundreds of little puzzle pieces clicked into place in my head, and a tidal wave of intense anguish swept over me. I gasped and started sobbing. I felt impressed that the vast portion of the pain I was feeling belonged to my daughter. I believe I was given a small taste of the agony of her festering pre-mortal wounds. And I sobbed and sobbed, bathed in her agony and my own guilt for having been so blind to her wounds (and so resentful of her neediness), for nearly an hour.

Once I had calmed down enough to explain to my husband why I was sobbing, I asked for a priesthood blessing. Within that blessing, I was given divine confirmation of the impressions and revelation I had received. She was the little girl from my dream. She had been cast away multiple times in the past. My heart was broken for her.

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A few weeks later, I had a conversation that served as another witness to my daughter’s pain-filled past. She is now two-and-a-half years old. On that particular morning I had been praying and meditating with the intent to help her heal. So it seemed fitting that she, somehow sensing my focus on her pre-earth self, started a conversation with me about it:

“I was in your belly,” she said.

“Yes, you were!” I said with a smile. “Did you like it in my belly?”

“No,” she answered. And then the moment passed.

Maybe ten minutes later, we were in her bedroom changing her clothes or doing some other morning task, and she said, “I was sad.”

“When were you sad?” I asked.

“In your belly,” she said.

Though I was not excited to learn that my daughter’s womb experiences had been, in fact, painful for her, it was also a relief to hear her little voice speaking the words. I felt that it was both a confirmation that I wasn’t crazy and a confirmation that my efforts were doing something and stirring up something inside of her, which is often one of the first steps to healing. I was happy that something had given her the voice to speak her pain out loud.

I will have to save the rest of our healing journey for another blogpost, but I wanted to at least share this much today. I want to bear my firm testimony that there are many spirits being sent to earth in these days who have “baggage.” They are, of course, whole and pure, in the sense Moroni spoke of. But some of them are also carrying painful wounds that they received before they ever took their first breaths. I believe that many of these children are being compensated for their previous trials and pain through being sent to loving homes where they can be nurtured in peace and heal. Perhaps one of your children (or a future child) is among those wounded souls. These special spirits need special mothering, tenderness, empathy, compassion. You can read more of their stories HERE.

I have written about the Spirit of Elijah in our book. I believe these special wounded spirits are among those Malachi was making reference to when he said:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children” (Malachi 4:5-6).

I invite you to turn your heart to these children. I invite you to gain your own testimony of their existence. I invite you to resolve to do whatever you can to help them heal. It is my belief that some of the most valiant and gifted of heavenly fathers children are among them, and it is for this very reason that Satan has (often repeatedly) thwarted their entrance into mortality. They are the armies that will eventually destroy him. Let’s help empower them to do so.

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by Lani

Fearless: Mothering Zion

September 13, 2013 in Angels, Book, Fear, Lani, meditation, Motherhood, Music, Thoughts, Zion by Lani

Fearless: Mothering Zion
By Lani Axman

We know he is coming
To gather his sheep
And lead them to Zion in love,
For why in the valley
Of death should they weep
Or in the lone wilderness rove?
(Redeemer of Israel, Hymn #6)

One of Satan’s primary weapons is fear, and as the world grows more and more destructive and evil, I believe that fear will be the downfall of many. “And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people” (D&C 88:91). I know from personal experience how debilitating and destructive fear can be. I recently emerged from a life-and-death battle with anxiety/depression myself. Fear is the enemy. Fear will destroy us if we let it. It nearly destroyed me.

IMG_5369_2Personally, I believe that the women bearing children now are mothering Zion-builders. If we and our children are going to survive the turmoil ahead of us, if we are going to build Zion, we have to leave fear in the past. We have to become fearless and teach our children to do the same. Before we can build the New Jerusalem on earth, we have to build that “city of peace” within ourselves. We have to become the New Lani or the New Marie or the New Jessica… new and improved, with salem/shalom or peace/security/wholeness at our cores.

I’ve been doing an extensive study of Zion over the past several months. I’ve learned more awesomeness than I could share in this brief post, but I do want to give you three keys to becoming fearless mothers of Zion gleaned from my recent studies.

1) New Eyes

Without eyes to see the truth, we are much more vulnerable to fear. But we can “inoculate” ourselves against fear with new eyes. President Boyd K. Packer explained that “the word inoculate has two parts: in—’to be within’—and oculate means ‘eye to see'” (Source). I love this story from 2 Kings, chapter 6. Dallin H. Oaks summarizes it well:

Because Elisha had helped the kingdom of Israel repel the Syrians, they sent a great army with horses and chariots to capture the prophet. When Elisha’s young servant saw the armies surrounding their city, he cried out in fear, but Elisha reassured him:

“Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

“And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kgs. 6:16–17.)

The Lord intervened to confuse and blind the Syrians, and they were taken prisoners by the armies of Israel.

When I read this wonderful story as a boy, I always identified with the young servant of Elisha. I thought, If I am ever surrounded by the forces of evil while I am in the Lord’s service, I hope the Lord will open my eyes and give me faith to understand that when we are in the work of the Lord, those that are with us are always more powerful than those that oppose us. (Source)

With new eyes, Elisha’s servant was no longer afraid. If we, too, are to become fearless, we must cultivate spiritual sight… the ability to see things as they really are… to see what God sees. Sometimes this kind of “seeing” has very little to do with our eyes and much more to do with the processing of what we see—what we think about what we see. We can train ourselves out of a gut-fear-reaction when presented with something “scary” by constantly filtering what we see through the eyes of God: “What would God see here?”

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2) New Minds

The way we process what we see has a lot to do with our minds. So much of fear begins in the mind, so the mind is a huge key to breaking the fear cycle. Romans 12:2 reads, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” and 2 Timothy 1:7 teaches, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I love what Sheridan has to say about this subject in our book: “How can we make our minds firm and let go of any fears we have learned or inherited? Karl Menninger has said, ‘Fears are educated into us and can, if we wish, be educated out.’ Hypnosis and meditation are great tools for harnessing the power of your mind and unlearning deep-set fears” (p. 285).

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Felice’s “Meditation” essay describes how meditation can help us transform our minds and thought-patterns:

Every time you think or act, your brain creates a neuro-pathway. The more you do it—the more energy you attach to certain thoughts or actions—the deeper that pathway becomes. Just like when a hose is left on in the dirt—the water cuts a deeper and deeper groove. Let’s say that deepening rut is your negative thoughts. Pretty soon other related thoughts and feelings start to fall in that groove—which means that you increasingly get into a similar state. Meditation creates new neuro-pathways which will eventually allow for new feelings and thoughts. (p. 201)

(You can learn much more about meditation on Felice’s website.) As we create new neuro-pathways and thought patterns, designed by God instead of Satan, our minds will become fearless.

3) New Songs

Psalms 40:3 reads: “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and [stand in awe], and shall trust in the Lord.” If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Zion’s builders/inhabitants over the past few months it is this: they SING. Over and over and over the scriptures declare that Zion is home to those who sing “songs of everlasting joy.” Zion mothers are singing mothers. And God’s praises fill their mouths.

The story of the Jaredites crossing the ocean to the Promised Land illustrates the power of such songs:

And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind. . . . And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord. . . . And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them. (Ether 6:6-12)

It took 344 days for the Jaredites to cross to the Promised Land. They sang without ceasing for 344 days! And I have a hunch that it wasn’t just because they liked singing. I think it’s because they understood an important truth about music: singing diminishes fear. I imagine the Jaredite mothers sang their children’s fears (and their own) away as the endless waves and winds beat upon their vessels.

When you use your voice as a sound instrument, powerful things happen inside of you. Among those: 

* Your heart rate relaxes and decreases.
* Your blood pressure decreases.
* Your stress [fear] hormones decrease.
* Your body enhances the release of endorphins.

(Source: Meditation as Medicine, p. 114)

A recent study out of Turkey also found that singing in a choir is associated with reduced anxiety levels (Source). Sometimes when I’m having a hard day, my toddler will say to me, “Sing, Mommy! Sing!” It makes me smile because she’s learning at some level within her soul that singing can chase away our fears and sorrows.

Singing is a key to becoming a fearless Zion mother. In the beginning, our songs may simply be tools to chase the fears and worries from our hearts. We will sing as a coping mechanism in a fear-filled world. But eventually those songs will become so much a part of us that we will not be able to keep from singing. We will fill the air with our voices and songs of everlasting joy. We will be fearless. We will be Zion.

Light Warrior-Mother

September 3, 2013 in Felice, meditation, Motherhood by Progressive Prophetess

ligth warrior

For the last 8 weeks I have been teaching a kundalini yoga and meditation Series called Being and Raising a New Age Child. What is a new age child? A new age child is a child of the latter days. The dawn of the new age was not indicated by any plantary movement or world calamities so much as it was indicated by the birth of some very special children. These are the ones that the ancients predicted would come. A new age child has come to usher in the millenium

Many of you reading this are new age children and are parents or will be parents to a new age child. They are special children—in any and sometimes every sense of the word. To learn more about what it means to be or have a new age child, you can read the course description here.

So for the last 8 weeks, I have been thinking more than usual about what it means to be parents in the new age, when we are literally living in the prophecies. Some of us are also re-parenting ourselves along with our children.

I have never loved war metaphors or hymns that talk about battles, but a few years ago I started using the term light warrior, to describe certain people that I couldn’t describe any other way.

A friend recently pointed out that in the ancient scriptures many of the great prophets were also fierce warriors. I had not previously noticed this—or didn’t include it as part of their identity. Nor would I have included it in my identity, until recently.

Now that I look around, I see that I am surrounded by this concept everywhere.

For example, I hang around a lot of Sikhs. If you have ever learned about the Sikh faith you will know about the Soldier- Saint concept. Most Sikhs that I know carry a sword—(in America it is sometimes a very small sword on a pendant) to remind them of this. I won’t go into the history of the Sikhs, but the Saint-Soldier is a compassionate humanitarian as well as a defender of liberty and religious freedom.

While trying to do some archetype work to help me learn more about my sacred contract (mission in life) I found that to my surprise, while I identify with the Artist, Healer, and Teacher archetypes, I identify more strongly with the Destroyer. Many therapists,  healers and teacher are actually Destroyers. Destroyer of illusions, habits, and other things.

It is illusions that I want to address.

I love science. I also love when science admits that they don’t know whowhatwhy. One thing we know from science and from Quantum Physics is that we see with our eyes less than 1% of reality. A lot less than 1%. That means that there is a huge amount going on that we don’t see. And much of what we believe is based on a minute part of big picture.

Every now and then I get a glimpse a big picture—it is almost like God pulls back a corner of the curtain and I see just a little bit more.

angels watching

I am convinced that if we could see with our spiritual eyes for just 15 minutes it would change everything. First of all, I am sure we’d be surprised to see just how supported we are. How we are surrounded by angels, and ancestors and supportive energy that we don’t understand. Maybe we would be more grateful for this support. Maybe we could call on these angels more. Angels have to respect our agency, so they often wait for us to invite their help.

If could also see the many subtle and not subtle ways we are under attack, we might make different choices to protect ourselves and our children. Children are an easy target. They are vulnerable.  They are preyed on by subtle, dark forces whose sole purpose is to destroy them, destroy you, your marriage, and your family. Seriously. If a devil torment your child and get them to melt down enough times, you might just lose it, right? You might have a fight with your spouse about what to do about this child. That tension might create more tension…In truth, you just need to cast out the devils.

Even very young children are vulnerable to devils and unclean spirits and they get in when you invite them in to your home by sinning against the light that you have. For most LDS people, the two biggest culprits are judgment and anger. These will let darkness in every time. That is why it so important to protect your family by filling yourself with light and truth and being awake. Most judgment and anger comes from your unconscious mind which is not the awake part. And the only way to clean out and fill THAT part with light is to work on the unconscious level.

Every mother these days needs to be an awake light warrior.  So cast out the scorner! And follow Nephi’s counsel:

“Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days.” –2 Nephi 8:9

I love this scripture! For one, because I love a properly used exclamation mark, and also because I have been blessed to be led to meditation as a wonderful awakening tool. Specifically, I believe the Kundalini Yoga Meditation technology is one of those ancient awakening tools. This 5000+ year old technology of God-realization is amazing.  Many others have now happily shared this experience of awakening and becoming more like Christ through their daily communion with God. In a shorter sentence: it changes people. Fast.

If you haven’t taken the 40-day meditation challenge in the book, The Gift of Giving Life, I invite you to take my 6-week introductory meditation webinar, which will guide you through your first or subsequent 40-day meditation. The intro webinar is currently on sale and there are partial scholarships, too. You can find more about it and register here. You will also find there a free e-book on meditation if you are hungry for more.

natalie and riker


Sat Nam

 

by Lani

VBT #8: Newborn Photographer interviews Lani Axman

April 30, 2013 in Book, Intuition, Lani, meditation, Personal Revelation, Prayer, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

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I was honored to be interviewed for today’s Virtual Book Tour post by the phenomenal newborn photographer, Amber Fife, of Fife Photography in Oklahoma. Amber also happens to be one of my dearest friends. We met as roommates during our first year of college at BYU in 1999, and I’ve adored her ever since.

Here’s an excerpt of today’s post:

How have you seen these stories changes the lives of women who read them? 
There’s really nothing more rewarding as an author than receiving emails, comments, and hugs from the people whose lives you have influenced. We have, both individually and as a group, received so much positive feedback that it’s really been totally overwhelming (in a good way). I think we knew we had participated in creating something pretty marvelous, but the positive feedback has far exceeded my expectations. Women have found peace and healing after miscarriages and traumatic births, women have found strength and courage to change to more respectful care providers, women have discovered a new awe for their miraculous life-giving abilities, women have come to a better understanding of the importance of the procreative process, and women have had spiritual experiences and found answers to prayers within the pages of The Gift of Giving Life. It makes me so giddy to see these things unfold.

The Gift of Giving Life Book CoverWhat was your favorite experience in working in the whole process of this book?
My favorite part was feeling like an instrument in the hands of the Creator. As we worked on writing the book, we really felt like our words were divinely inspired. I received a lot of my inspiration while showering, actually. It was, as I sometimes joked, my “meditation closet,” since it was one of the only times during the day that I was alone and relaxed and quiet. That process of going from a sudden flash of insight to spilling the words into my keyboard and sitting back afterward knowing I had just participated in something sacred and powerful… that was really cool.
See the full post HERE!
Also, today is the last day to order for Mother’s Day delivery through DeseretBook.com. They’re also having a special 30% deal today (enter promo code: APRIL3013)! Order our book today for a special woman in your life!