Nourishment for women and men, Raspberry Relief is home to interviews, meditations and unconventional insight that makes your soul say aaaah.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Soul Mates, Karmic Partners and Twin Flames

A former student chatted with me this morning about her mother's re-marriage, and I felt inspired to summarize the myth of Soul Mates, Karmic Partners and Twin Flames. Doing so reminded me that this has become one of my "signature myths." I discovered it upon meeting my husband and have since shared it with many of my closest friends. Now, I extend it to you. Here are condensed descriptions of each relationship type. Bear in mind, the myth accepts reincarnation as a reality. As with all myths, you may choose what you believe to resonate with truth and leave the rest. Also, most people apply these descriptions to romantic relationships; however, there is no need to limit them. These terms apply to all close relationships.

Soul Mates: These people are like cosmic classmates. You incarnate together lifetime after lifetime and just seem to "get" each other. This is because you are literally energy vibrating at about the same frequency. You may have greatly different life experiences; however, you approach life with the same basic perspective. You help each other evolve at a steady pace and have few troubles. Everyone has many soul mates. When soul mates unite, they often work closely together to nourish the development of children and/or innovative ideas.

Karmic Partners: These are people with whom you have some specific issue to resolve. Your immediate bond is intense, but the longevity of your relationship is limited. Either you learn from each other, find peace and then go your separate ways OR you realize the issue cannot be resolved at the present time and go your separate ways. You will re-encounter each other, or similar souls, when you are more prepared to learn what needs learning and to heal what needs healing. Relationships with karmic partners can be very rewarding and empowering when past issues are resolved and healed. They become "go to" people in times of need and the kind of "exes" who remain your friends. Alternatively, relationships with karmic partners are prone to becoming abusive and draining. When this occurs, additional negative energy accrues; however, some people fight to stay together out of the mis-guided belief that they have a karmic debt to settle with each other. Allow the relationship to dissipate, knowing that debts will be settled when you are ready and that any premature attempt to "push the river" will only cause greater harm.

Twin Flames: These people originate from the same energy at the same time. Therefore, they represent different aspects of the same person. Twin Flame relationships can be very difficult because you are constantly being forced to face parts of yourself that may make you uncomfortable or ashamed. At the same time, Twin Flame relationships are earth-shakingly loving. Committed Twin Flame partners inspire rapid personal evolution with enough force to significantly change the world.

In the spirit of this post, check out Joan Baez performing her classic "Diamonds and Rust."

Free to Fly: My First Healing Session with Bhima Giri

I lay down upon the bed where my husband received his healing before me. My son slumbered next to me in his crib as my daughter slept upstairs. My stepson son was distant but close within my heart. I waited for a light and was greeted by a fly.  Buzzing, buzzing, he walked along my arms and legs and circled my head. He flew toward my throat opening the chakra there so I could speak honest and true. I twitched but received the gifts of this creature. Energy tense within me began to relax and flow slowly through me as though my life force were being renewed. Blocks cleared in my left leg, right arm and throat. My crown chakra opened wider, and I felt a peaceful calling to step away from what constrains me and to fly free.  A crystal lotus-shaped vase began to glow. A gift from either my husband's stepmother or a former student, I have not thought of it as sacred, but it is what I need, a missing piece for rituals now and later. I take this renewed gift with gratitude and peace that flows through my evolving spirit. Our session marks the awakening of the next stage of a major transformation started four years ago following a fire that stimulated creation in the wake of its destruction. There is love among the ruins. Flowers in the ashes. Beauty in the ugliness. Humor in the severity. Laugh and Be. These are the messages I take with me. My husband called to unknowingly signal the end of our session, his pilgrimage underway on this Solstice day. Today we will walk through a week, physically separate and spiritually united, as we have never been before. I'm thankful to encounter Bhima Giri along my way. Lightening bug in the day time dances around my son. My daughter wakes. Blessings come. And, I recognize the blessings that have always been. Peace. Fire. Love. Power. Release. Kali. Be.

Visit the link above for more information about scheduling a healing session.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Full Circle: Talkin' Hula Hoops and Life with John Adams

 Above: John's hoops and his cat Duncan
The day before Twilight 2011, my husband C. and I arrived in Athens around midnight with our two youngest children in tow.  Tornadoes had just swept through our corner of Northwest Georgia, and 24 hours ago we’d all been crouched, along with our dog and 70-something-year-old godfather, in our root cellar.  When we crawled out into life without power and internet, we packed our Airstream camper and took to the road.  We had already planned to go to Gwinnett County for my stepson’s birthday, but, instead of turning back after our time at Chuck E. Cheese, we just kept going North on I-85.  Having graduated from UGA in 2004, I had Athens in mind as a destination.  However, I neither knew about the upcoming races nor stayed to enjoy them.  Instead the highlight of my Athens adventure happened behind a Baxter Street strip mall where my husband found a tiny slice of spring paradise and set up a temporary campsite for me and our children while he used the coin laundry facility next door.  I filled my time by interviewing my old friend John Adams, a former Russell Hall co-ed turned hula-hoop maker, and discovered four little nuggets of wisdom. 
1.  Evolution happens.
John says, “When you’re a little kid, you get a plastic hula hoop that is really no good.”  He continues to imply that, in and of itself, this isn’t a major problem because little kids do seem to have a lot of fun with plastic hula hoops.  However, allowing this child’s toy to completely shape your perception is an issue.  In reality, there is a whole sub-culture of hula-hoop girls out there who devote a lot of time and attention to the art of hoop dancing and take pride in showing off the results at concerts and creative festivals nationwide.  John is inspired by watching these lovely women perform.  At the same time, he recognizes that taking such a dualistic, child’s toy vs. serious hoop dancer, approach is limiting.  Free-spirited, fun, flexible, durable and individual are some adjectives that describe both John’s hoops and the sort of personally evolving folks for whom they’re made.   
2. Struggle is over-rated.
John looks at me then smiles slyly.  “You don’t have to exert effort to hula hoop well,” he says.  His meaning is that quality hula hoops tend to keep themselves in motion without people going overboard to keep them spinning.  I think this is a good metaphor for how people choose to live. If you construct a life plan that is rigid and unoriginal, you may have a difficult time keeping it in motion.  However, if you create a life plan that is designed to be personally sustainable, then it takes little added effort to keep it going and reap the rewards. In keeping with this philosophy, John seems open to embracing new ways of living until he finds the one that fits best. 
3. Create your own reality.
 John reveals that his hula hoops are constructed mainly from irrigation PVC pipe and carefully applied alternating colors of electrical tape.  He adds that the internet has been instrumental in helping him make hoops effectively and spread the news about his products.  One may say the accessibility of materials and information comes from a willingness to create new uses for existing things and to openly accept the wisdom that others voluntarily share—two more great practices for balanced living.
4. Be natural.
When I think of John, I remember the guy I met while signing our buddy Nora’s petition to have permanent ash trays installed outside Russell Hall.  He was tough—always kind of angry but still interested in the world and the lives of the people with whom his life intersected, a young man at the center of both teenage drama and early spiritual awakening.  Ten years later, interviewing John about making hula hoops feels strangely natural. Perhaps this is because the motivation behind the work seems so honest and clear.  In addition to citing his girlfriend Christen as inspiration, he simply states, “I saw a beautiful thing in the world and wanted people to know about it, to have it.”  If the inspiration behind all great ideas were so natural and direct, people would probably have a lot more peace. 
To order a customized hoop from John just in time for summer concert season, e-mail

Sorry ,Sid

Sid the Science Kid is a decent show most of the time, but today they are singing about getting vaccinations. The song tells children that it is their civic duty to become vaccinated.  Seriously? Do people really think this way? This episode is a clear-cut example of propaganda directed right at youth. I will use it one day to teach my kids a lesson about the importance of being critical of the media at the same time that I teach them about why we don't support vaccination in our home. As for today, my 3-year-old is shouting at the TV, "Siiiiiiid, they're WRONG!" Go girl!

As for me, I probably would have been singin' and dancin' right along with Sid at my daughter's age, but, then, I hadn't had biology yet. My current opinions of vaccination are addressed pretty well in the following article:

To summarize: There is little to no solid evidence that vaccinations actually do what they claim. There is also limited evidence that vaccines cause autism, cancer and severe degenerative physical and mental illness., as their opponents claim. However, the illnesses which vaccines fight are generally less horrific than the illnesses they may create. Since it's a gamble either way, I'd rather my kids get sick with something more or less "natural" than with something that I WILLINGLY GIVE THEM in the form of a chemical cocktail sometimes cultured upon a base of . . . wait for it. . . . monkey brains. I think most common-sense people would agree with me were it not for social programming like ol' Sid the Science Kid that makes it look like vaccination is the choice of sweet kindergarten teachers and loving grandmas. In contrast, the face of anti-vaccination must look like a monster.

Do I look like a monster?

I don't think so.

Does the pharmaceutical industry somehow fund Sid's existence? Probably.

What is Natural Parenting?

Multiple sources define "natural parenting" in slightly different ways.  Having read several of them, I think of natural parenting like this: It's a way of nurturing and relating to your child that maximizes his or her inherent strengths and abilities as well as your own.  Rather than looking to outside sources to protect, educate, or indoctrinate your child, it asks that we first look within at our own physical, mental, and spiritual resources. It's a form of self-empowerment that usually turns out to be physically healthier as well.  While it doesn't condemn mainstream society, it does encourage free thought, and it gives children the right to claim their own voices, ask questions, and forgo traditional wisdom when they sincerely believe it to contradict what they know to be best for themselves. 

In my opinion, the following list sums up general characteristics of natural parents and their children:

1. We take a holistic approach to health care and are well-versed in alternative medicine.  Even though we sometimes deem medical doctors necessary, we support natural childbirth, resist mandatory vaccination, and use a combination of healthy eating, gentle exercise, meditation, supplementation, and alternative therapies to treat and prevent most illnesses.
2. We practice green-living and enjoy spending time outdoors.
3. We build a family-like network with people who may or may not be related to us by blood.  As a result, we frequently volunteer at community events and invite others into our homes.  We may plan regular gatherings and open community centers or non-profits.  When we travel, we typically make a point to connect with the locals instead of sticking to tourist attractions that could appear anywhere.
4.  We have a deep appreciation for music, literature, and art.  We encourage our families to create.
5. We take a non-traditional approach to education and home school our children or send them to private schools that reflect our personal philosophies.
6. We have a deep sense of spirituality; however, it's typically too rebellious for the confines of organized religion. 
7. When it comes to disciplining our children, we focus less on praise and punishment and more on helping our kids objectively understand and learn from every incident so they may independently become the best possible versions of their own unique selves.

Personally, I strive to be a natural parent. In the course of raising my two children and stepson, I've found another way to define natural parenting: It is giving birth to yourself and being transformed into someone who manifests the future for her family, one day at a time.

For more information about natural parenting, explore the links below.