Monday, August 8, 2016

The Importance of Meditation for Children
Meditation is one of those things we all know we should be doing every day (like flossing!) but if the habit isn’t started when we’re young, it becomes really hard to begin as an adult.
Anyone who has a regular meditation habit can tell you that it is the single most important thing they do for themselves to handle the daily stress that comes with living. In a world full of childhood depression, anxiety, cutting, drug abuse and suicide, it is vital for children to have the ability to self soothe, unwind and recharge their batteries.
I read this story once, and I share it with my meditation students regularly:
“A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
When we meditate, we are putting the glass down.”

There are several methods of meditation, but the easiest one for children, and really for all beginners, is guided meditation.
Guided meditation is used to consciously align with peaceful energies. To do this, we focus our meditation on the specific things in our lives that are robbing us of peace, with the purpose of bringing ourselves into harmony with them.
Meditate for Mental Health
For example, if you need to have a serious conversation, and it’s making you nervous, meditate on the situation by imagining the person sitting across from you. When you feel their presence, have the stressful conversation with them here, in the ethers. Stay with it until you feel a resolution and can shake hands with them or even hug. Doing this takes a heavy layer of stress off your shoulders and makes the actual conversation a breeze. Children are geniuses at pretending and they are great at this kind of meditation. They also have a very real need for exercises like this, as they must deal with bullies and overbearing teachers.
Meditation may not completely eliminate the causes of stress or discomfort, but it will change the way we think about stressful and uncomfortable things. We meditate to transcend suffering by shifting our perspective from being a victim, to being a person of power. This shifts the importance we place on discomfort by enabling us to create a healthy relationship with everyday things. It allows us to disengage from the cognitive & emotional stressors and activates our higher, peaceful mind.
Meditate for Physical Health
Thoughts have energy, and that energy affects the physical body. When we have appreciative thoughts about ourselves, we create health, and conversely, when we focus on the things we dislike about ourselves, we are essentially inviting those things to continue to decline.
Meditation consciously bridges the gap between the physical particles of the body; the cells that can be seen under a microscope, and the spiritual, energetic body, which is the intelligence that binds those particles together. It creates the connection between the mind and the body. It is in this space that we actually, literally, create the physical body that we inhabit.
When dealing with a specific illness, meditate on the condition by sending your awareness into the body. Look at the organs or tissues that are affected by the malady, and send them love and light. If you perceive any disharmony in the cells, or see any darkness to indicate illness, visualize your white blood cells multiplying and going to work on removing the darkness. See them simply coming through the area and taking the darkness with them to be excreted as waste. When everything seems clean and healthy again, surround the area with protective White Light to ‘seal’ the work you’ve just done. Then smile broadly, with your whole face, signaling to your body that all is well.

Calm Scene Meditation
Choose a time and place when you are not likely to be disturbed. Turn off your phone. If you like, you can put on a selection of meditation music and light some incense. These things will become triggers, or helpful tools that set the tone for easy meditation sessions in the future.
Have your child get comfortable in a favorite chair, legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor, hands in their lap, with their eyes closed.
Read this to your child, slowly, and in a calm, soothing voice:
“Take a nice, deep breath. Let it out.
Another nice, big inhale… and blow it out.
One more nice, big cleansing breath… and as you release it, feel the weight of your body sink into the chair.
Imagine a door in front of you.  
Open the door and you walk outside into a lovely green pasture. There is a shimmering lake in the distance with a big, full, mature weeping willow tree on the shore.
To your left is a grove of trees that extends back and around the back of the lake. Slowly make your way to the weeping willow tree. Feel the soft grass on your feet,… smell the fresh spring air,… the blossoms in the pasture. See the swans glide across the glassy surface of the lake.
You’re in paradise,… your own personal Calm Scene. Your loose, comfortable clothing swirls lightly around your ankles in the gentle warm breeze, while the sun kisses your upturned face.
When you reach the majestic willow tree, make your way around to the far side of it so you are between the tree and the lake. Find a comfortable place to sit among the roots,… maybe you can lean back against the tree. Take in the sights and sounds of the lake and the trees,… the birds… the butterflies.
In this beautiful, peaceful place, you can find the answers to all of your questions. You’re completely safe and relaxed.
Focus now on a question that you need to have answered, or you may simply allow your mind to be open to any messages from your sub-conscious.
When you feel complete, it is time to return to waking consciousness, so begin to slowly make your way back to the door. Stand up… feel the warmth of the sun on your skin,… smile,… and breathe in the fresh, spring air. Come back inside.
Breathe deeply and begin to stretch a little… wiggle your fingers and toes… take another breath and slowly bring yourself back,… One more deep inhale, gently blink your eyes open and stretch as if you just woke up.”
Discuss and write down the details of the session.
It is a widely held belief that if the children of the world were all taught to meditate regularly, we would achieve world peace in just one generation.
About the Author
Bonnie is a Holistic Health Practitioner, nationally board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, a Doctor of Shamanistic Theology and a Master Herbalist. These degrees fully encompass the fields of herbs, vitamins, and nutrition, as well as spiritual and emotional health. Additionally, she is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and a SCW certified Yoga Instructor.
It is her goal to bridge the gap between physical health and spiritual connection for her clients. As a speaker and teacher and in private practice since 1998, she explains the link between these subjects in her book, “Spirit Flight, Claim Your Joy and Your Health Will Follow” and in her course, “Medical Intuition, Becoming your own Shaman”.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Being a Village Healer

August 4, 2016 Belize was hit by Hurricane Earl in the wee hours of the morning. We all awoke to devastating wind and water damage.

The morning of August 5, 2016, the day after Hurricane Earl

In the midst of all the chaos and clean-up, Mary, a local resort owner, called to tell me that an elderly woman in the village, Miss Sally has been doing poorly for about 5 days. She’s not eating or drinking anything and she has diarrhea and is vomiting as well.

I tell her, "Let me eat my breakfast and I'll head right over to see her."

To which she replies, "Good, because this is your role in our village. You have to come when we need you."

"Don't I always?" I don't know whether to be flattered or insulted.

"Ok. I'll tell her you're coming." 

When I arrive, Mary and a neighbor of the sick woman, Irene, tell me that she has been to hospital and that she is making them crazy with her refusal to cooperate with them; she won’t take her meds or drink her electrolytes. They tell me she looks like a corpse and they are concerned about having to handle burial expenses if things keep on this way. The two of them are talking over each other excitedly, and their exasperation is palpable. 

Mary says, "She's being such a stubborn old woman!"

I tell them both, "On one hand, yes all of your concerns are well founded, and I understand that you’re doing the best you can … BUT on the other hand you are dealing with a strong-willed woman and you have to let her decide what she wants."

I go across the street, prepared to sit with a dying woman. I imagine holding her hand and reminiscing about good times until she passes. I prepare to spend the morning with her, helping her cross over.

I announce my arrival from the front yard of the little, one room, stick and thatch house as I make my way around to the river side, where her door is. Her weak voice tells me, “Ok. Come in”.

I shoo her dogs outside, put down my bag and make my way around the curtain into her bed-space. Yes, she’s lying in bed, but her eyes are bright, though not as bright as her raspberry Kool Aid hair. 

She grins. What a character! 

I tell her that she’s making the ladies across the road crazy. She smirks in response. I sit on the edge of her bed and she tells me, almost apologetically, that this is her bed and her couch.

I say, “Your living space.”

She nods her head, “Uh huh.”

I ask her how she feels and what she’s eaten today. She says she hasn't eaten. The diarrhea is almost gone, but she still feels nauseous. I ask her what she typically does for herself in the past when she feels poorly. “Do you eat toast? Fruit? What is your go-to belly food?” She pauses and looks thoughtful, but she can’t think of a thing. 

I ask what she’s craving. What does she want? 

Again, a thoughtful stare then she says, “Nobody has asked me what I want.” Finally, I suggest ginger-moringa tea, and she thinks that’s a good idea.

“OK,” I say, then I feel a nudge from Spirit. “How about a little energy therapy?”

“Mmm. Mm hmm.” She hums.

“Make yourself comfy and I’ll start”

She does and I do, in silence. I had no intention of doing a session with her, so I didn’t have my music prepared, but when Spirit speaks, I listen.

I can see through the sticks into the yard and I hear a neighbor’s baby cry. I hear the chickens squawk out in the yard, and the ladies are gabbing across the street. I ground Miss Sally’s energy and I begin to look at her; really look. I see that she has some intestinal distress and I clear it. I feel the openness in her heart and I revel in it. Then I look up to, and above, her crown. 

Hmm I think. She’s ‘in there’ Immediately, I go to her root chakra and see that her life line is brilliant. She’s not going anywhere. I seal her and surround her with white light, then I touch her shoulder. 

I sit on the edge of her bed, hold her hands and my first words to her are, “You’re not going anywhere, honey. Regardless of what you may think, this is just a glitch. A hiccup. You’re going to be fine.”

Clearly she doesn’t believe me.

I tell her, “Look. I have given last rites, and the spirit of someone who is leaving will be halfway up and out of the body through the crown. That, and they never have a trace of a life line left. Your one is strong as iron, man. You’re ‘in there’.”

As tears begin to come to her eyes, she asks, “But what if I’ve had enough?”

I said, “That would be fine, but that’s not what I see today. It’s just not that time.”

I help to prop up her pillows and we talk more about what she would like to eat. I tell her I baked the cinnamon-raisin swirl bread that she loves, and when I bring her the ginger tea, I’ll bring the bread with me.

I tell the ladies that Miss Sally isn't going anywhere just yet, and they are relieved to hear it. "I’ll be right back with the tea and bread." 

Mary asks what I have for her dog, who is bleeding from the chest from a puncture wound that she got from a fight with a local dog. The hurricane has displaced Mary and her dogs, and territorial issues were bound to happen.

“Oh, and since you’re going to get the medicine, do you have anything for the baby? She grabbed the hot iron and burned her hand pretty good.” A very pretty little girl, of around 18 months old, is sitting on her mothers lap. I tell the woman, "My own sons first word was 'hot' because he did the same thing when he was around the same age."

The little one holds out her hand and I hover my hand over hers and say, "Hot" in a sing-song voice, as if it's a two syllable word. 

She smiles and says, "Hot" back to me. What a dolly!

“I’ll be right back”

I go back to the trusty old SUV, fondly referred to as the ‘Super Trooper’, shoo the ducks from the puddle underneath the vehicle, and slowly, but loudly, motor away toward town. I pass several friends on the way out to the main road and we exchange pleasantries and ‘how did you weather the hurricane?’ factoids, and I make my way to the Chiney for the tea. 

Tea in possession, I go to my house for the herbs, salves and tinctures that I promised everyone.
As I gather my supplies, friends show up with beer and rum and they’re ready to commence part three of the hurricane Earl party. “Gotta go, kids. I’ll be back”.

I arrive back at Irene’s house, go inside and hand the tea off for the ladies to prepare. I dole out the Blossom Salve for the dog, and the Burn Rx for the baby, the Belly Balance diarrhea tincture for Miss Sally (just in case) and explain how to administer all of it.

Tea prepared, I pick up my things and I tell Mary to imagine what it will be like when she’s old and someone tries to tell her how to do things. “You’re still gonna want things to be done your way, right? Well so does Sally. Ask her what she needs and she’ll tell you, but don’t smother her. She’ll be fine.”

I cross the road with a cup of tea and the cinnamon-raisin bread. “Miss Sally! I’m back!” I call from the yard.


The dogs great me warmly, and it occurs to me that in all the many times I've been here, they have never been so friendly before. They usually guard her fiercely. I’m sure they know what’s going on and they know that I’m a good guy.

I remove my muddy shoes as I enter and put my things down, then I walk around the room divider and step right into a puddle on the wooden floor. She has missed the 5 gallon bucket and tinkled on the floor. 

“Do you need me to clean this up for you?” She nods. 

I find a handy-wipe and clean up the mess, then ask if she has water. Of course she doesn’t. I hang the rag on the edge of the trash can, wipe my hand on my jean shorts, and return to her bedside, where she is sitting up on the edge with her feet on the floor. Very promising!

“Want to try some of the ginger tea?” I hand it to her. She sips at it slowly and smiles. She hands it back and I place it on her dresser. She turns away from me to rearrange her pillows. There must be 6 of them! And when she turns back, she’s surprised to see that I’m still there.

“Yes, I’m still here. I’ll go but, Miss Sally, the ladies are making soup for you”

She makes a face.

“What kind?”

“Chicken” I say, “Look, they’re going to keep trying to feed you and care for you. You have to be nice to them, but… you tell me when I should have them bring it to you. Do you want it now? Or would you like it in a few hours?” wink-wink.

Her eyes sparkle. She gets it. “In a few hours,” she says.

I help her fluff the pillows and get her back in the bed. She’s tired and will sleep now.

As I get back in the Super Trooper, Mary calls a 'thank you' to me. "I don't know what our village would do without you, Miss Shaman Lady."

I snort-giggle and wave to her as I go.

What a crazy, wonderful life!


The names have all been changed for privacy reasons.

Bonnie's book, SPIRIT FLIGHT, Claim Your Joy and Your Health Will Follow is available on

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