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We Are All Cosmic Travelers Wearing Human Suits

Amber Adrian

It's so weird being a channeler. Not for the obvious reasons - like talking to Jesus and unicorn visitations at three in the morning (though that's plenty weird, thanks) - but because, when I'm in the zone, I know all this stuff I say on the internet to be true. I feel calm, at peace, loved, and all is right with the world. 

But after I'm done with the channeling and back to the human stuff of making breakfast and paying bills and driving through rush hour with every other lunatic on the road (yes, I'm one of the lunatics), my brain cranks up the volume and is all THAT COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE RIGHT, LOVE AND LIGHT MY ASS, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, HERE HAVE A CHOCOLATE CROISSANT. 

Sometimes I can take a big enough step away from the chatter to remember that my brain doesn't have all the answers. It says a lot of things, it makes a lot of noise, but just because my brain says it doesn't mean it's true. 

Last week, I decided to release a meditation album on the spur of the moment. That's the fun part about this job - being blasted with inspiration while you're hanging upside down and all the blood is rushing to your head, and being able to just do it and see what happens. 

Because there's so much forking construction in my neighborhood (and it makes me want to throttle the world), I had to record the meditations after six at night or before eight in the morning. A few days ago, I woke up at six, turned on the microphone while wearing my flannel moose pajamas, and started receiving a whole bunch of meditations about tuning into your intuition, following your soul's path, balancing your energy (I put one of the meditations up for free - if your energy feels wonky, check it out!and it all felt awesome. 

But after I stopped and made myself an egg sandwich, all the doubts and anxieties and oh GODs started flooding back in. 

My challenge at the moment is hooking back in with that calm, loving, here's-the-handy-guidance space more often. Hour by hour, minute by minute. Keep honoring the feels and the crazy humanness while reminding myself of the truth and course-correcting my brain. 

Living this way is like eating salad or being in AA. You can't do it once and then be done for the rest of your life. You have to work the program. Over and over and over and over again. Every day.

It does seem to get easier. Eventually new pathways are created and it becomes easier to dwell in the land of ahhhh... rather than the land of FUCKING HELL EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS PLANET IS THE WORST I WOULD RATHER DIE.

amethyst buddha.JPG

Smug statue says "I'm cool, no problems here."

Being a cosmic being of infinite light in a human body - as we all are - is a daily flow. I wanted to say challenge, but I think it's just a practice. Like, practicing the piano can be a challenge but whatever you just show up again tomorrow and the next day and eventually you get so much better you can't even remember the time you got stymied by the dumb flamingo song. (Pianos just don't sound like flamingos and there's nothing anyone can do about that.) (Yes, I had to learn a dumb flamingo song in elementary school and apparently it angers me to this day.) 

Honoring the feels without getting bowled over by them, feeling the pain without drowning in it, observing the worries without getting stuck in them, noticing the negative thoughts and remembering the truth and putting the train of thought on a new track. Being human. Being cosmic. Same thing really. 

This feels like a good place to leave my favorite quote of pretty much all time: 

You are a ghost driving a meat coated skeleton made from stardust riding a rock floating through space. Fear nothing. 

Here We Are, Riding This World Together

Amber Adrian

We are in powerhouse times, my friends. 

If you've been feeling like you're on a teeter-totter - irritated one minute, crying because someone did something kind the next, angry an hour later, then spilling over with enough inspiration and energy to move Mount Kilimanjaro before passing out on the couch twenty minutes later  - you aren't alone.

Sensitive peeps are doing a lot of heavy lifting these days. There is a LOT happening - energetically, astrologically, on the world stage. Our shadows are coming up to play. To be seen, acknowledged, breathed with and released or integrated as a worthy part of the whole. And those shadows are little bastards. Sticky and representative of the parts of us that we mark "here be monsters" and attempt to ignore for the rest of ever.

But we can't seem to ignore them any more. (Goddamnit.) 

So we do what we have to do to stay with it. Sometimes it means running as far into the woods as you can and still make it back to your car by nightfall. Sometimes it means watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on your laptop three times in a row because the rest of the season hasn't been released yet (and that's just mean). Sometimes it means eating ice cream. Sometimes it means drinking green juice.

Sometimes it means doing it right, sometimes it means doing it wrong. While we're learning that there is no right or wrong. There's just you in all your human glory. There's just us, riding this spinning world together. 

The day after Trump was elected a thought jumped into my mind "This is what we've been training for." If Trump isn't the most farcical manifestation of America's shadow, I don't know what is. But this is why we've been learning how to take care of ourselves in new ways, work in new ways, see ourselves as whole rather than fractured pieces of an imperfect creature. 

You are perfect and I am perfect. Even while we're dancing with our shadows and trying to stuff pieces we don't like under the rug. Especially then. 

I can't say I've been blasting it out of the park. While I do feel like I've identified how I can best help in my own stuffed sea otter delivering / story sharing / unicorn wrangling way, I get paused and plagued by self doubt more often than not.

I hide behind coping mechanisms. I numb out. I isolate myself until I may as well be Gollum eating a raw fish in a cave. I may legitimately have zero friends left by the time this is all over. Thank god for the cats. 


Cat in question. How can you not feel better about the world when that's happening?

So, for today all this means signing "don't get rid of net neutrality you assholes" petitions (paraphrased) while singing along with the B52s on the radio because the 80s are everywhere and pondering the feasibility of recording 13+ meditations to support all the feelings and calm the churning brain hamsters in the next week. That's the work today. 

Tomorrow's work will be something else. I don't know what yet. Because plans are even more liable than ever to be tossed up into the air like confetti. But it's getting up, showing up, and doing what I can do. (Or staying in bed. That's sometimes the best you can honestly do.) 

Five Years

Amber Adrian

My dad died five years ago today.

Actually, this probably isn't the fifth anniversary of his death, because he died the day after Thanksgiving and the date changes.

But, to me, it will always be the day after Thanksgiving. Which is appropriate, because he loved being in charge of the turkey - basting it in butter and booze, with cornbread crumbs and bits of rosemary flying all over the kitchen.

Last night, we told stories - of how he got bitten by the rattlesnake and was a bit of a medical celebrity. How my aunt came to visit him in the hospital with a tin of rattlesnake meat. How we once ate Thanksgiving dinner at midnight because he didn't start put the turkey in until noon.

A few weeks ago, I was walking through the living room and thought I saw my boyfriend standing by the record player. When I turned my head to say something, there was no one there. Then I got the strong sense that it was Dad, poring over my boyfriend's record collection - just there to say hi.

Five years feels significant. It's a long time. I've changed a lot. We all have - because, let's face it, it's been a hell of a five years.

While no one ever wants to lose a parent, I do think of it as the event that cracked me open so I could see what was inside. When everything I'd been bottling up for most of my life came tumbling out, I got a chance to know myself better. Maybe for the first time.

I think that's what we're given in all these experiences - the opportunity to know ourselves better. When life hands us the nutcracker and gives it a firm tap, our shell shatters, showing us what's in there.

One of the last things my brother said to him was, "I'm excited for you, Dad. You're about to go on an adventure."

Hope it's been a fun adventure, Dad. We miss you.

dad hug.JPG

From Seething Rage to Restoration (Hardware)

Amber Adrian

Do you ever get so mad at someone that you would deeply enjoy watching their head go up in flames? Probably not, because you're a better human than I am.  

It's rare that I get so angry that violent destruction feels like the only solution, but it's happened a few times. It's never fun. When the mad hits me that hard, I do things like kick holes through my bedroom wall. (High school. That happened.) (About the same time my brother punched a hole in the hallway. Maybe repression is genetic.) 

This morning, my rage boiled over.


Raging hellfire of my anger. Also, a rather pleasant fire from a gloomy evening last week. 

I tried meditation. I had to imagine myself encased in ice on a frozen tundra - seriously - to quell the mad long enough to let the ten minutes on my timer tick by before getting up and pacing around again. 

I tried running. My skin felt like it was chafing inside my running clothes and, because the temperature was a blasphemous 49 degrees, it felt like I was breathing ice. 

I tried throwing a fit. In the privacy of my house, of course. I highly recommend a good tantrum - screaming into pillows, swearing, crying, etc. But after about twenty minutes of that, I still wasn't feeling any better and I was starting to get dehydrated.

So I turned on Atomic Blonde, that fall-of-the-Berlin-wall spy movie with Charlize Theron. I finally understand - after decades of rampant media consumption - the attraction of violence in movies. Charlize (can that possibly be her real name?) is a damn competent action hero and, as she kicked her way through East Berlin in awesome late-80s era shoes, my need for blood was satiated without doing any actual harm. To me, another human, or a hapless wall. 

After the mindless emotional pacifier of watching Charlize Theron kick KGB ass, I decided retail therapy was next up. Somewhat ironic, given the premise of the movie. Hooray for capitalism! 

Honestly, it worked brilliantly. Strolling around in the outdoor mall in the sun, buying shiny hair clips to replace the gap-toothed brown monstrosity I've been using for months, splurging on a pink sweater (half off at Banana Republic!) and pair of cream gloves (which I actually did need) with golden thread (probably didn't need that) and an animals-in-mittens mug was super soothing.

It finished wrangling my rage into submission. Which is actually sort of miraculous for a mall around Christmas time. 

I even went into my favorite store - Restoration Hardware Baby and Child. Seriously. I love it. It's where Marie Antoinette would go to set up her nursery if she lived in early 21st century California instead of 18th century France. They have unicorn rocking chairs and mini birch trees covered in fairy lights and hand-drawn giraffes and tasteful tea sets for tiny tea parties. And, no, I don't have kids.

I can't really explain why I love it so much. It's like when I told someone at a party that I went to see Bad Moms...and really liked it. She turned more fully toward me and said, "Why?" in enough of a disbelieving tone that I honestly felt kind of dumb because she knows I don't have kids - and I also didn't have an answer. 

I LIKE WHAT I LIKE AND I WANT TO LIVE LIKE A PRIVILEGED MARIN SIX-YEAR-OLD. Apparently. (I mean, who wouldn't? Later, I saw a kid in a pink sparkly tutu with a matching pink wig topped by a tiara. She was eating a chocolate chip cookie and I thought, "That eight-year-old is living my best life.")

All this actually makes sense. When I get so overcome with anger that I can't manage my emotions, I basically turn into a tantrum-throwing four-year-old. Then I plop myself down in front of a movie and buy myself a chocolate chip cookie. Hey, whatever works, right? 

Frankly, I'm just proud that I tried meditating before giving up and turning on violent TV. Also proud that my coping mechanism is now "chocolate chip cookie" rather than "bottle of bourbon." I take my wins where I can get them. 

Locked Out and Muddy Subtitle: Fuck Friday

Amber Adrian

After I pressed publish last night, I sat down on my bathroom floor and sobbed. Like something deep yet mysteriously prominent had rearranged itself in that quantum box where I keep everything I don't fully understand. (It's a really big box.) 

Sobbing on your bathroom floor is never fun - I've done it a fair few times in my life, and somehow, it's always on a white bath mat. Perhaps I should only use colored bath mats from now on. Because the color of my Cost Plus purchases are obviously the culprit here.

I've given up trying to explain my feelings. They've always been a mystery tsunami, like just hanging out on the beach in the sun with lemonade and your dog and then all of a sudden, "HOLY SHIT THERE'S A SEVENTY FOOT WAVE RIGHT ON TOP OF US."

(Don't worry, the imaginary dog is a champion swimmer.) 

That said, It felt like I was grieving something I had only just realized I lost, but had disappeared long before. I still can't explain why or what the good green earth was going on. 

All I can do with feelings is ask whether or not they're mine (half the time they don't, being an empath is annoying). If they do belong to me, just let myself feel them in my body without letting my brain attach a story to them. I'm usually only about 37 percent successful at this, but that's better than the last decade's .003 percent success average. 

For reference, attaching brain story to feelings often looks something like: 

Feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, pain, grief, etc, from apparent nowhere. 

Brain, ever helpful, hops quickly in: "It's completely logical that you feel this way, because x, y, and granny smith apple happened last week. In fact, we should probably obsess about x and granny smith apple for awhile, or maybe forever, so these feelings never happen again." 

Helpful, brain. Thanks. 

Anyway, post traumatized-bathroom-sob-for-no-apparent-reason, I wake up feeling much better and ready to greet the morning with vim and, I dunno, vigor - or at least coffee. And then there's another quantum collapse. I don't have a better description than that. Kinda like the black cat in the Matrix. The one you see after they've changed something. 

I'm reeling from latest quantum shift when I realize I don't have my keys. They're just...gone. I search my path from house to car, and conclude I must have locked myself out.


Peering in my back window to ascertain location of said keys - are they really in the house? did I drop them on the stairs and they're now in the ivy? shall I call a locksmith or try to engage a wily raccoon? - I slip on my rain-slick deck and fall on my ass in the mud. 

Fuck Friday, is basically what I'm saying. 

Hours later, after licking my wounds at Starbucks and driving almost two hours to means-of-unlocking-my-house-without-my-key (luckily, I had a spare set of car keys in an accessible place), I get back into my house.

My keys aren't there.

It's like they slipped into another dimension.  

Which would've been pretty sweet, except no. After retracing my steps for the seventh time, it seems that, actually, they're IN THE GARBAGE CAN. Couldn't the Matrix at least try? Try and make a slightly cooler shift in my reality? 

But this is the joy of blogging again. As I'm hopping mad on the freeway, because of course I don't have time to drive multiple hours today just to unlock my door, I think, "At least I have something to write about now."

Even if I'd rather Friday would slip casually into another dimension, maybe the one where my keys were hiding.  

Blogging Like it's 2005 and I Haven't Aged Twelve Years

Amber Adrian

Shasta is one bossy mountain. My boyfriend and I went up last weekend and we caught the first snow fall, which was pure frozen joy - even before the golden retriever in a bright orange jacket started bounding ecstatically through legit winter wonderland.

Shasta in the snow.JPG

Legit winter wonderland. Well-suited to ecstatic bounding.

In addition to the snow and donuts - not to mention the snow donuts that my race car driving companion took it upon himself to pull at the top of the deserted mountain, scaring the absolute shit out of me, because he didn't share his plan before starting to spin out - the mountain also gave me an assignment. (See: bossy mountain top.) 

Stop everything and write for 21 days straight. 

Also some stuff about silencing my brain and drinking green juice and exercising and, let me just say, I have not been as diligent as the bossy mountain probably intended. 

Mostly because all of this is terrifying. Doing nothing but writing when you're self-employed and "doing things" is where your money comes from is terrifying. Moving after months of sloth is terrifying. Writing after being in a creative funk for years is terrifying. Silencing my brain is terrifying. (My brain does not enjoy being silenced and becomes exponentially more obnoxious whenever I try.) 

Drinking green juice is actually pretty easy so that's fine. 

At this juncture, I should probably note that I am a super sensitive human and as diligently as I try to unhook myself from the collective emotional energy, sometimes I still end up in fear and, ya know, faintly hysterical terror. 

That said, getting back into this writing game is not going smoothly. 

Pushing myself doesn't seem to be working. Starting yet another novel and getting four pages in before abandoning it doesn't seem to be working. Journaling mostly just turns into all-caps yelling as I let my brain throw a tantrum to unleash all the feeling I've carefully hoarded thanks to that aforementioned sensitivity - so that doesn't seem to be working either.

Maybe the solution of my bright-eyed twenty-something self will work for me now. Back in 2005, at the virtual dawn of personal internet musings, I started a blog as a way to write daily. It worked and I loved it. But that was when we were just talking about our lives without much expectation and our friends were doing it too. It was a big ol internet party in those sweetly naive pre-social media years. 

I mean, the technology still exists. Where did we all go? What happened? It feels like it wants to come back. Some of the bloggers of yore are at it again - and some never stopped. (Who's still doing this? If you are or know of people who are, please share.) So here I am too, doing my utmost to silence the plague o' self-doubt and use my voice. 

Going back to conversational writing and less curation sounds like a goddamn breath of peppermint-flavored arctic air. Overthinking is choking the life out of me and my poor beleaguered words. 

Who would want to read this? - my brain 

You've lost your special spark and I refuse to subscribe to this claptrap. - person who unsubscribed to my newsletter and felt it necessary to tell me why

Should I be talking about this? Am I complaining too much? How is this adding to the world? - my brain


We'll see what happens. Whatever it is, I will do my utmost to squash the brain hamsters, unhook sticky emotion, and speak what is true and loving. And possibly annoyed and cynical. But that's the beauty of not over-thinking. You get to just be. 

So here's to just being. Like it's 2005 and we're in the first flush of internet sharing and I don't yet have that alarming trench between my brows. 

Hi, I'm Amber and I Talk To Unicorns

Amber Adrian

Unicorns aren't just the province of pre-teen girls - or 39-year-old women who buy glittery silver horns and strap them to their head. Unicorns have powerful and sacred energy - and a lot to teach us.

Now, I do hear myself when I say things like this. And that's always about the time I ask myself, "Wait. Have I gone actual crazy? After years of impersonating moose and pandas on the internet, of being entirely too attached to a stuffed therapy otter, has it finally happened? Have I officially circled the bend and taken up residence?" 

I might have. Honest to god, I might. But if I'm going to be in the nut house - whether between literal padded walls or the metaphoric nut house of this ever-more-histrionically-surreal-world - I definitely want the unicorns in there with me. 

Unicorns ride Harleys past me on the freeway when I'm cranky. Dance conga lines through my head - with extra glitter! - when I need cheering up. Join Jesus on the trampoline at my birthday party, tumbling and flying like equine rainbow gymnasts. 

When I'm in a particularly human moment and need a lift, the unicorns show up as cartoons - complete with candy colors and goofy horse grins. When I'm tapping in to their energy and channeling their power, they appear as the glowing silvered magical creatures of fantasy.

This is when I begin to think that I can't be the only one who sees them. There's a reason they're all over the internet and prancing down hundreds of streets on Halloween. There's a reason so many of us are drawn to them. Even Starbucks tried to blend them up and shove them into a frappuccino.  

Magical creatures - like unicorns, like dragons, even giraffes - have a profound and sacred power. Hidden for eons because humanity had contracted to the point where we just couldn't handle them outside the realm of zoos and myth and basement D&D tournaments. But we're expanding again. Our darkness is rising up to be seen and felt and, yes, honored. Our light is busting open the seams of this reality so that the reality we've known will never look the same.  

One thing I have learned - amongst the many lessons I'm pretty sure I'm still missing - is that when I flow with what feels good, life gets easier. And when I let myself be swept away by the unicorn crazy, I feel better. When I resist it, I feel worse. So the path forward is clear. It leads straight to unicorns and the other magical animals I've been channeling. 

Am I crazy? Maybe. But aren't we all a little crazy? Even those of us with relatively normal-looking lives - something I profoundly wish for on occasion - have some crazy in us, whether it's latent, emerging, or flying proudly on a flag. 

unicorn me.jpg

Fist bump to everyone who's ever felt crazy! While wearing a unicorn horn or not. 

Grinch of Las Vegas

Amber Adrian

My heart grew three sizes this weekend.

While I’m definitely the Grinch of Las Vegas - my 70-something mom and aunt both out-gambled and out-drank me - it was more than just fleeing the Strip for the rocks and the lakes.


Vegas has nice rocks. 

It was seeing my brother happy. It was exploring caves and riding a train with a stuffed fox-toting seven-year-old, and buying his love with vanilla ice cream. Sitting by a lake in the twilight while bugs hummed, kids ran, and a new baby kicked.  

Some people go to Las Vegas to gamble. I go to sheep-gaze.

It was wholly unexpected and so perfect. My heart definitely grew bigger, and that gives me more faith in myself and my capacity for love.

Before I left, I was telling a friend that I 100% expected this trip to be epic, I just wasn't sure what that epic would entail. Las Vegas epic makes most people think of slot machines and unexpected marriage certificates under an empty tequila bottle on the bedside table - not freshly-hatched babies or a field full of big horn sheep. But that's the kind of epic I prefer these days - and it doesn’t even require a hangover.

But going to Las Vegas with your family will definitely test your empath boundaries. I started to see where some of this grief I've been carrying around for years isn't my own, and realizing anew how hard I have to work to stay clear of what's not mine. When you feel it, you assume it belongs to you, especially if you've been sponging up other people's pain all your life.

It's the challenge of the empath - to remember to ask to whom this emotion belongs. Even when your brain can logically assimilate it to your own experience, pointing to a specific event and saying, "This. Yes, this is why I feel this way. It makes perfect sense." When, in fact, it isn't yours at all - and there's no sense to be made. 

God love you, smart empaths. It's not an easy road. Someone told me recently, "You're very smart. But more often than not, your brain completely fucks you." Well...yes. 

Luckily, having a stuffed therapy otter in your purse helps.

As we circled Las Vegas, getting ready to land, I got the hit that my father had just reincarnated in India, because he doesn’t want to miss this time, this rebirth of ancient wisdom that's beginning to sweep us clear of multiple dark ages. He hit the re-set button and landed back on planet Earth, ready to go. 

Honestly, who knows. As with most intuitive hits, they’re impossible to fact check. You just have to trust - and realize that, in the eternal sense, it ultimately doesn't matter. But it was fun to think about, in those last moments before we landed.  

We're all connected to our people - those we know and those we don't yet remember - on this plane and beyond it. It's like my relationship with my brother - fathoms deep and about half an inch wide. Like, we had no idea he had a girlfriend. He just...showed up with her. There was a lot of frantic rearranging of facial expressions, let me tell you. 

In the small talk sense, I know more about most of my first dates than I know about my only sibling. But it ultimately doesn't matter - I can feel his heart and so it makes my heart happy when his is happy. 

Maybe that's the reward for being an empath. I got to be so happy this weekend in Vegas because he was so happy. When there's that much love gathering, each heart reflects it like a hall of mirrors reflecting a lightbulb. And I got to feel it all - and feel my heart expand with it. 

Going to Mount Shasta So Jesus Can Roll His Eyes at Me

Amber Adrian

Mount Shasta has been tugging at me for months now. Sometimes my soul gets really insistent, and I've found that it's best for everyone if I give it what it wants. So last weekend I drove five hours toward what I've been told is one of the biggest energetic centers on the planet. 

Most of me is on board when I hear things like that, but there's still a small portion of my East Coast lineage and education that says, "Yeah, okay, whatever." 

My still-clinging cynicism was firmly chastened when I hit the town of Shasta and got so dazed that I almost hit a pedestrian. 

Whoops! Sorry! You're right, that was a crosswalk! I'm very glad you just got mad instead of covered in tire treads!

Between the sun in my eyes, an unfamiliar town, and the kind of energy that I only experience after I've been channeling for long periods of time - after which I have to walk and eat mashed potatoes and not be around other humans - I most definitely should not have been driving a heavy metal box. 

Once after a healing, one of my clients said "This is my favorite drug." That's the kind of energy infusing Mount Shasta. So deeply healing that you feel like you just popped a horse tranquilizer. It's the kind of energy that lifts you out of your body and into another dimension. A lighter, far more awesome dimension, unless the you in this dimension stops obeying the laws of traffic and common decency. 

Wandering around Lake Siskiyou, I gazed at the light playing on the water and was so entranced, I felt like a three-year-old who got into the pot brownies. I kept listing sideways, tipping into walls, people, and almost over a cliff. 

The next day, I met up with a friend and we went to the mineral baths and dunked ourselves in the freshly melted river. I felt myself leaving heartbreak in creek beds and felt old patterns and beliefs melting into the mountain. It was like a car wash for the soul. 

I also had the most literal Come-To-Jesus moment of my entire life. 

Now, Jesus has been showing up a lot lately. He made an appearance when I was walking down the street a few months ago. I was asking for information about the next round of Activate, the six month group healing thing I run, and he stepped right in and waved and said he was one of our guides. My reaction was basically "what the fuuuuuuck?" As you'd expect when Jesus walks up to you and says, DUDE, WE'VE GOT SHIT TO DO. 

I always thought Jesus was pretty cool. Whatever thought I gave him was split between being deeply annoyed on his behalf at the way his work got twisted up by power-hungry patriarchal agendas and being super into Christmas. Not just because of the presents and cookies - though I never turn down presents and cookies - but because it always feels infused with love. Christmas actually does feel holy to me, and also I like Christmas carols. Like, a dumb amount. Sorry, anyone who has ever spent time with me in December. 

That was about it until he basically accosted me on the street, because that was apparently the only way to get my attention. (He notes that I'm being melodramatic again - there was a gentle wave and zero accosting - and I say, Who's telling this story, you or me?) 

Like any good light worker and way-shower, I've been dutifully ascending. Dealing with all my old shit - and a lot of other people's old shit, damn it - so that I could be good and ready to do my work here. Because I'm here for some pretty specific reasons. You are too, if you're reading this. 

Apparently, if you do your energetic housecleaning well enough, you start having visions of Jesus. 

Yes, I do hear myself when I say these things. But I figure if Jesus takes the time out of his busy schedule to show himself to you as you're walking down the street, more or less minding your own business, you should probably pay attention. 

So I started paying attention.

(Though, apparently, not enough attention. One of the biggest messages from my Shasta trip was Jesus telling me that I haven't been listening. Damn it. SORRY, JESUS. I thought I was listening, but there have been some things I admit I don't want to do. Mainly in the area of eating vegetables.) 

When I do let him in, he does a stellar job at lifting me out of my drama and getting me back on track. A few weeks ago, I was driving and feeling super cranky. Until Sly and the Family Stone come onto the radio, and I get a vision of Jesus lip-synching "Everyday People" with the Marys (Mother and Magdalene) as backup dancers and I start laughing so hard, I almost had to pull over on the freeway. My entire energy and mood shifted to absolute joy in a hot second. 

But apparently, he's got a lot to tell me about my work and I haven't been paying attention. I'm like that annoying co-worker who ignores your emails until you have to get up, walk over to their cubicle, and smack them upside the head. Maybe that's why my soul was so adamantly shoving me toward Mount Shasta. So Jesus could smack me (gently, of course) upside the head. 

After a guided meditation at the base of the mountain, the friend I was with said, "It's like you're homies. Like you and Jesus have lived lives together."  Insert wide-eyed emoji right here. The energy she got was that we were friends and coworkers. Family. "Whatever he's been telling you to do, do it." 

According to the messages she received for me at the base of the mountain, I've only just begun to scratch the surface of my powers and gifts - and now it's time to get serious.

Unfortunately "get serious" seems to mean "stop it with all the fried chicken and TV." Give your body what it really wants. My body wants running lots of miles and green juice. My brain wants naps and fried chicken. But I am serious about this, so vegetables and miles it is. 

Besides the "be healthy" thing, I do tend to get confused because the messages I receive are along the lines of "Have fun! Have sex! Have more adventures and write about them!" Sex is my spiritual assignment? And road trips? Really? Well, that sounds too good to be true. 

And then I remember the broccoli. And Jesus rolls his eyes at me because he didn't specify broccoli and I know it, and if I'm going to go around telling people that Jesus is making me eat broccoli he says he can't help me. (Yes, I think I'm hilarious.) 

But basking in the powerful and pulsing healing energy of that mountain, where I'm so much lighter than I'm used to being, I remember that writing is the basis of my work - and writing my joy has always been the way I've moved into that lighter space, with or without Jesus and big mountains. 

He says, "Write. Write your adventures. Write whatever sounds fun. Because writing is where your love flows and you are finally loving yourself fully. So writing about yourself in the service of others is one of the best things you can do right now." 

Then I say, "Thanks, J-Dog" and he rolls his eyes again and told me I am the whitest individual ever and what is up with all the pink shoes. I say the pink shoes make me happy and he says, "Well, that's okay then." 

The veil really is getting thinner and I am so very thankful for that. It's reminding me that the density of this reality isn't all there is, and if I keep moving - if we keep moving - toward the light, we'll all get lighter.

Even if Jesus has to spend a lot of his time rolling his eyes at me. (Heh.) 

My Heart Feels Like Charlie Brown Trying to Kick a Football

Amber Adrian

Plowing forward, filled with hope, leaving the ground with the high of the kick as you look up to the sky ...and then the nausea-inducing spinal trauma of crashing flat into the ground. Yup, my romantic life most accurately resembles Charlie Brown trying to kick a football.

This is mostly my fault. If I try to date out of fear that I'll miss out, or because I'm bored, or because I want the quick hit of validation, or because I think I should, or before I'm completely out of the grieving cycle, that's when I get stood up four times in two weeks by four separate people or end up unraveling a tangled mass of karma. 

So I vow to be more careful a dozen times a week, to guard my heart better. But that’s not really what I want, and I know it. Even when I’m carefully instructing myself to just go ahead and be a different human this time. 

Being in a relationship with me means you occupy a portion of my heart’s real estate and you get to live there for the rest of your life, whether you want to or not. Luckily, my heart is growing bigger every day, so I don't begrudge the space. Construction is ongoing.

So far, three people have annexed a corner of my heart. As much as it hurts in the healing stage, if I love someone enough to assign them a lifelong corner of my left ventricle, how could I pass up that love for as long as it lasts? I can't, and I wouldn't want to, no matter what I tell myself in the getting-over-it process. 

Minor heart fractures do fade. Karmic entanglements do drift right back out again. Melt like ice cream on a hot sidewalk, leaving only a sticky residue to eventually wash away in the rain, the cement no worse off - and maybe even retaining a hint of that invisible sweetness.

But the big cracks, the breakages, those don’t recede as easily.

Two major heartbreaks in one calendar year strike me as more than plenty - and explains all this hard-felt keening and flopping in my ribcage over the past few months. 

(This is what keening and heart flopping looks like.) 

I was wrangling last year's heartbreak around this time in Hawaii. Hey, if you have to get over something, you might as well do it on a tropical island. The big energy of those islands had me rolling through vision after vision of my not-on-this-plane-but-still-very-persistent daughter

As these visions drove saltwater into the cracks to unapologetically bust me wide open, I saw my heart being knit back together with gold light.

Heart breaks open, you put it back together again. With Elmer's glue, if you have to. 

A friend once called me a dating warrior. “You just keep throwing yourself back out there to get trampled.” I'm an enthusiastic warrior, but apparently not a very good one. 

But every time I hurl myself into the ring, my heart does grow bigger. It has to. 

Feeling big clears out big space. Space for unconditional love to flood in naturally, replacing the sadness and the anger and the “here are seven reasons we both royally fucked up” judgment parade marching through my brain in an alarmingly predictable loop.

When the unconditional love starts sweeping everything clean again, the space that lets everyone have their own experience and knows that the love doesn’t go away even if the people do, that’s when I start having more trust in the process.

Trust in myself - that I haven’t profoundly fucked up this time, even when my brain is pretty certain I have. Trust that the right relationship will work out at the right time for everyone involved - and that I don’t have to hurl myself warrior-style into the coliseum to be gnawed on by a tiger for the privilege.

I do want to be kinder to my heart. I'm learning what that looks like, slowly but surely. It means not proceeding out of fear or need for validation. It means giving myself plenty of space and room to nurture me and my relationship with myself. For now, I'm just thrilled that my heart is finally feeling less raw. Joy is starting to feel more natural, and all the I'm-in-a-grieving-period bad decisions and massive karmic tangles have finally stopped. It kind of feels like a hot shower and big meal after running a marathon - routine experiences that suddenly feel like Christmas morning, simply because you put yourself through the wringer first. 

It's like the universe is asking for my faith, asking me to just surrender. Because the more I try to control, the harder everything gets. But if I just trust what comes my way, and trust myself to handle it, everything simplifies. 

Meeting My Daughter

Amber Adrian

My daughter first stood in front of me on a summer day three years ago.

I was sitting in the Super Duper Burger near my house, eating a hamburger under a sunny window and minding my own business, when she showed up out of nowhere - eight years old with long blonde hair and wise eyes.

I’ve had visions before, especially when I was younger, flashes of downloaded information about how we all connect as souls and how the universe works. But this was my first holy-shit-I-can-see-her-standing-in-front-of-me vision.

She was my daughter. In my future, but already so present. Her name jumped right into my head as we looked at each other and I started sobbing into my lunch.

It shifted and rearranged me on a cellular level. Not having children was no longer an option, because I had seen her and felt her and knew her as mine. I loved this vision that, even a year or two before, I might have chalked up to biology-driven yearning or low blood sugar. Which is probably why she waited to visit.

When I accidentally got pregnant a few months later and my new boyfriend was panicking, my rib cage released a few terrifying questions: Is this my daughter? Will I have to do this alone if he bails? Will I have to make a choice that will break my heart? In a channeled session with my teacher, my daughter told me that this wasn't the only chance, she could always come in another time, another way. 

I ended up miscarrying, and coped by developing a rather intense attachment to a stuffed sea otter

So many relationship decisions have been drastically affected by that summer lunch I spent crying into my french fries. Can’t commit to children? Bye. Not ready to even have the discussion? Bye.

Sometimes I wonder if I should give those relationships more of a chance, if maybe the flesh-and-blood human in front of me should win out over the etheric vision. But she was so powerful - as an energetic being, as a part of my future - that if this man wasn’t ready for her, I couldn’t stay. Because I wouldn't be sacrificing my dream child, I would be sacrificing some essential piece of myself.

She looks like me, but lankier, with light-filled eyes she'll get from her dad. 

She left for a few years, as I struggled through that relationship and breakup, but when I was in Hawaii last April, my daughter started showing up again.

Wearing goggles and bumblebee wings and racing around a grassy farm fueled by a delirious hybrid of pure joy and epic sugar high.

A toddler, handing me a lollipop because she sensed I was sad.

In the last vision, she tugged on my hand, dragging me through the zoo as I ask, “Where’s your daddy?”

I cried a lot in Hawaii, is what I’m saying.

She’s been quiet for the last year or so. But I’m sure she’ll show up again. It would be super convenient for me if she really would point out her daddy. But I don’t think children are that biddable, especially spirit-realm-children you can’t threaten with loss of television privileges.

I turn 39 in July, which is terrifying on one level, but on a deeper, more peaceful level, I know I have time. I’m healthy, pretty damn fertile, and still working on healing my own wounds and releasing ancestral patterns so they aren’t passed on to her.

She’ll be like me, and probably even more so, a ninth generation sensitive with superpowers that will likely be both a gift and a terror. The more work I do before she’s born, the more I’ll be able to help her when she lands on this planet in the haze of forgetfulness that we souls sign up for.

Or maybe she’ll be born fully realized, knowing exactly who she is and how she’s here to contribute, and just needs me to feed her and clothe her, and drive her places. I don’t know. But I’m really excited to find out, and finally hold her in my arms.

Living in the Crucible

Amber Adrian

I am so, so, so ready for a change. 

When you feel stuck, it’s often because something energetic, emotional, physical or spiritual needs to be unraveled before you can move forward.

But unhooking the threads of karma that bind you is no small task. It’s like picking apart a tapestry and re-weaving shadowy demons into white dragons. You can’t leave any loose threads or they’ll form a pathway to let the shadows to walk back in.

We’re entering a six month cycle of great change and, in order to be ready for this change, I’ve been deep in releasing mode. I’ve been burning things, tossing things into the ocean, doing rituals, and throwing a few hissy fits in the general direction of god. (Or in the general direction of my bed pillows, but if god is everywhere, it’s basically the same thing.)

People have been telling me for years that I have self-worth issues. I mean, yeah. I get it. But unearthing your self-worth from the landslide that buried it often means digging without a map - it can be hard to know where to aim your shovel. You have to rewrite the stories you’ve absorbed from others, untangle the knots of normalized abuse, peer at the karmic baggage you may have grabbed - and empaths are so much more likely to carry other people’s bags as well as their own. For the first three decades of my life, I was basically a martyred hotel porter.

When I look at the Facebook highlights of the past ten years, it looks like a litany of loss. Death, miscarriage, getting fired, trying-and-failing-trying-and-failing, getting fired again, breakup after breakup after breakup. My ego has been thoroughly thrashed.

When I scan through the loss litany, relatively unbroken by brag-about-able triumph, my life starts feeling like a crucible whose only purpose is to burn me down to the bone. 

Where I go when the crucible feels extra hot. 

Where I go when the crucible feels extra searing. 

But the up side to all that fire is that I've gotten really good at transmuting dark into light. 

Diving into the depths of the bubbling muck of your soul and swimming around even when you’re afraid you might suffocate and hitting the same problem over and over again from every angle will show you what you're made of - and I'm made of pure tensile strength, baby. I am whittled down. Sometimes I feel like I'm two taps away from breaking, but I haven't broken yet. I've bent, I've danced, I've sobbed like a broken doll, I've set fire to the branches, and I'm still standing. 

I’ve gone from unconscious empath to understanding that if I’m angry for no reason, it’s not because I’m slowly and methodically going insane, it’s because I just sucked up that anger from someone else. I’ve gone from hating myself for being too sensitive to recognizing that sensitivity is my primary superpower. From words that were funny but flagellating to being able to write my story from a place of deeper, if less amusing, compassion. From trapped in the hell of my own head to relatively accessible joy.  

If it took that litany of loss to get me to a place where I’m mostly free of the hell my brain spent most of every day re-building, it was worth it.

But I'm not here to swim in my own stuff forever. I'm not here to heal everybody else. I’m here to feel joy. I’m here to share what hits me in the solar plexus and expands from my rib cage. I’m here to be a gift to the planet, just as you are.

So I’m re-weaving the patterns of my life, unraveling the threads of the images that don’t serve me and tying off all the loose ends. It’s not easy to keep track of all those dangling knots. And just when you think you've tidied everything up, you find a whole new room full of yarn. 

But we can’t be that gift until we see ourselves as that gift. So that’s where my effort is going now. Into the day-to-day process of keeping my energy and gratitude and joy high. Not to heal myself or anyone else, but to know that ascension from the hell of your own head is possible. Because it is. And it’s required.

And sometimes that means spending the evening watching TV and eating ice cream straight from the carton so you can get up in the morning, light the match, and ask what the crucible has for you today. 

My Job Description Involves Angels. So...That's Weird.

Amber Adrian

In the pilot of Newsroom, one of the main characters says, "America leads the world in only three categories: Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending."

When realize you've entered a category mocked by Aaron Sorkin, you have some thinking to do. 

Raised in the church of hippie, with a brief dip into Christianity every December, I certainly had a passing acquaintance with the idea of angels. But I never gave them much head space. Because I was an adult with an education, a reasonable grip on reality, and a slight allergy to feeling stupid.

In a Portland bookstore years ago, I passed a magazine rack boasting CHANNELINGS FROM METATRON and made a rude comment. Possibly accompanied by a snort. 

Five years later, everything I dismissed in that bookstore has become part of my daily lexicon. Because I am a channeler. I can ignore it or embrace it, but either way, it's part of me. And, while I'm still not 100% sold on the name Metatron, damn can the dude balance a chakra. 

Aligning my sarcasm with my healing, my channeling with my East Coast education, my love of words with the challenge of capturing these experiences in language, and my tendency to curse while tapping into the divine has become something of a quest.

I've been told by many fellow healers and intuitives that it's time to stop waffling and step the fuck up. "Allow yourself to be seen." "Own your magic." "Learn to embrace your gifts."

I still don't know exactly what that means and if one more person tells me to do it without telling me how I'm going to shriek so loudly they cringe in Timbuktu. 

Here's what I can say, even though stating it so bluntly still makes me nervous: When you tap into the energy of the angels? Holy whoa. You feel your body shift on a cellular level and this sense of peace descend from seemingly nowhere. Sometimes it's a gentle vacuuming of the icky feels hanging out in your stomach. Sometimes it's like getting hit with a horse tranquilizer.

But, and here's the catch: it can't be understood intellectually. Even the word is just to give our human brains something to wrap around. This energy has to be experienced viscerally - and we're a world that lives in its head. 

Straight Up, My Actual Job Involves Angels

Today, I woke up at 3 am - not on purpose, I assure you - and by 4:30 a.m., I was trekking back and forth to my altar to fetch whatever crystal called to me for the person I was working on. I'd plop down on my big red chair, feel into their energy, and the name of an archangel would pop in. So I'd grip my crystal and call on that angel, asking them to send healing energy to land in the person's body, emotions, mind, or energy - wherever they most need it. 

Whenever I'd double check the timezones to make sure the healing landed when the client had requested it, I'd get an angelic eye roll, like, "Woman. I am an unfathomable being of light and power. I've got this." 

Fair enough, angelic being of unfathomable light and power. 

This is maybe a fourth of my collection. I might have a problem. 

This is maybe a fourth of my collection. I might have a problem. 

Yes, I'm every new age cliche that has a meme on Facebook.

Here's the thing: This using-the-energy-of-angels-to-heal-people-across-the-world thing totally works. Which shocked the hell out of me when I got the text from my first guinea pig.

I can sit in California with a crystal I bought for three bucks and, in ninety seconds, send energy in someone's direction to land hours or days later - and they feel it. A lot of it. Right at the specified time. 

These suckers have cured migraines, helped people sleep the sleep of the well-drugged, helped them feel lighter and happier and more prepared to move through life.

Really. It blows my damn mind. 

I didn't know I could shift energy like this until about a year ago. I didn't know I could call on angels to do healings - whenever and wherever I wanted - until a few months ago. And the discovery was as simple as, "Hold on. Other people can do this. So why can't I?" 

So I did. 

We can all access this kind of power. Especially if we choose not to worry about getting mocked by Aaron Sorkin.

We're a culture that's learned to live detached from our bodies, our hearts, our intuition. Since these things can only be experienced in the body, in that lump of muscle beating in your ribcage and the tender energy that surrounds it, angels can't exist until we learn to tap into these places.

But if I can tune in to this unfathomable light and power, so can you. 

I think that's what I'm here to do - remind people of this. To remind them of how loved, and precious, and needed they are.

And if I can lay aside my well-crafted sarcasm to commune with angels and only feel a little bit silly, so can you.

So until more specific information around "owning my magic" comes through, admitting to the internet that angels are part of my job description seems like a reasonable next step. 

Because I Know You've Been Dying for a Sally Update

Amber Adrian

I have a weird relationship with a stuffed sea otter. I can admit it. 

It all started when said stuffed sea otter became a stand-in for a child I miscarried a few years back. Things have since escalated. 

Her father and I separated, because he wasn't sure he wanted a stuffed sea otter and I plan on multiple stuffed sea otters. Sally was sad for awhile, but she was comforted by both Roger (her red sea star) and Pony (her silent giraffe pal). But she's pretty sure she doesn't want a sibling. She enjoys being the only recipient of my affection. She'd much prefer to be the only recipient of everyone's affection, but I've warned her about the dangers of getting greedy. 

Sally has developed a sassy side - being a teenager is apparently an inter-species phenomenon. She's started turning Roger sideways and poking those who don't do her bidding fast enough. She pulls up Amazon when I'm not home and uses my credit card. She drives like her sole life goal is to hike my insurance into the stratosphere. 


I never had a security blanket or a favorite stuffed animal as a child. But as a 38-year-old, I've gotten a bit overly reliant on a cheeky otter. She's in my carry-on when I travel. I miss her when I'm gone all day. I sleep with her every night. I tell her I love her. 

While it's a bit strange, maybe it's not unexpected. I don't have a husband or a child or a pet or even a plant that stays alive long enough to see a season change. I honestly never thought I'd get this far along in my life without kids or a partner or a Boston terrier. Humans are designed to love and, if there isn't someone readily available, we will love whatever else we can wrap our emotions around. 

Part of me worries about my devotion to Sally. I'll carry her around like a baby while making tea and look down at her and think, "This isn't normal."

But, really, love is love. Loving Sally makes me happier. Having her around brings me honest-to-god joy, especially when she turns her sass on the new human in my life. We can use all the happiness we can wrest out of the world right now. 

So I make no apologies for Sally. And Sally is unabashedly thrilled with herself, just as she is. 

Yup, she even takes selfies like a teenager. 

Best Defense in a Cheeto Battle

Amber Adrian

Tomorrow, the day a human-size Cheeto takes to the Oval Office, I will be doing none of the things a concerned/enraged/pick-your-modifier citizen should be doing.

I will not be writing a letter to my senator. I will not be marching for anything. I will not be gnashing my teeth over the state of the world.

Instead, I will drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and down the coast to Half Moon Bay, where I will get a haircut, a massage, and gaze at the ocean. The way we do in California. I will have dinner with magical friends. I will take care of myself.


To do my work for this country and for this planet, I have to take care of myself. I can’t show up in the world from a place of fear or anger or pain because if I do, that’s what I'll spread. 

Enough fear, anger and pain has already been spackled on until we’ve built ourselves a robust cement cage - and wonder why we feel trapped.

We’re not trapped. We have voices and intelligent curiosity and our own gifts to share, gifts that will shift the world in the direction we long to see.

But we have to take care of ourselves so that we can unleash those gifts, that light and that love, in the world. 

So rather than steep myself in outrage (not that I ever object to a little well-placed anger and I fully accept that it may crash my little Self Nurture Party tomorrow) I'll be nourishing myself, and hopefully losing some of these goddamn persistent knots in my shoulders. 

There are no shoulds here. Yes, you want to show up for the world in the way you most believe in. But there’s no one right way to do it. 

For those of you who are marchers and impassioned letter writers, I salute you. For those of you who build movements and change the world for the better with your whirling energy, I bow in your direction.

For those of you who are easily overwhelmed, who know that marching would drain your reserves and somehow never get to the “write letter to congressman” box on your to-do list, fist bump. I'm with you.

Here's something we can do instead: Participate in 100 small actions that can be done in 100 seconds over the first 100 days the President is in office. After saying for months that I wish someone with my values who understands political action would just tell me what to do already in a way that wouldn't fry my cortex, I was over-joyed when this landed in my inbox. 

(Meaning, I'm pretty sure I invented this. The same way I invented the iPod and iTunes. By grumbling about how I had to wait until morning for Tower Records to open up so I could buy a whole CD to get the one song I wanted. By saying, "I really should be able to magically get this one song right now." LO AND BEHOLD.) 

Know that whatever you do, it’s enough. Know that showing up for yourself and your family and your community is enough. The last thing we need to do right now is beat ourselves up for any perceived failing or lack. Because that’s the energy that helped get us into this tangle. If all you do is help yourself feel better, raise your own energy, you will raise the energy of the world. I promise. From that place, you can take action that will have massive impact, whatever it is.

I love you, fellow Americans, fellow humans on this planet. You are enough and you do enough.

And if you are marching, make sure you bring mittens and a snack.

New Journey Requires Old Pen (Or: Blogging Like It's 2006)

Amber Adrian

Writing about myself was how I learned myself. Before I understood my extreme sensitivity, before I knew that I was sucking up everybody else's emotion and making it my own, before I had any notion of my own operating system. In those darker years, I would take the mess of my life and feelings and start writing a blog post. By the time I was done, I had cracked open the cement box of whatever was weighing me down and let in some light. 

I adored blogging. Back in 2006, I started a blog called Moose in the Kitchen to help me write everyday. It was my thing for years. Talking about squirrels and feelings helped me sort through the tangles of my life. It helped me feel less isolated in whatever prison I had built in my head. Words were the only real power I wielded at that time. Some of my first channeling came through in that space, though I didn't know to call it that. 

In the years before all this intuitive work, my writing was funny and self-deprecating and, more often than was probably healthy, self-flagellating. But it was a sacred space. My sanctuary. Writing myself to answers felt like magic. It was magic. 

Social media came along and blogging was no longer the only way we could interface via screen. Blogging started becoming used in business and boundaries got confused. Self-sabotage kicked in, as self-sabotage does. I stepped away from writing to focus on my intuitive work and amusing self-deprecation cannon-balled into rampant earnestness. 

But life just doesn't work as well when I'm not playing with words. When you're a writer who doesn't write, the wheels start coming off the bus. It's not noticeable immediately, but after awhile you're hopping down the road in circles, like a dizzy three-legged dog. 

Blogging like it's 2006 means not taking myself so seriously, not taking the words so seriously. I wrote thousands of words every month and none of them had an agenda. Words are here to be played with. Because play is where the magic lives. Magic tends to run screaming when I decide I need my writing to be a certain way or do a certain thing for my life. 

Enough with that, self. 

I want to find the sweet spot between the wild polarities of the blogging 20-something who hated herself because she was locked in a brain that tried to put her in the context of the normal world and the intuitive 30-something who sees so much bright light that she gets a bit overbearing at times. I've been trying to think my way there, but thinking rarely works. Because our brains, wondrous machines though they are, are only capable of spitting back canned recordings of where we've been. They aren't capable of navigating unknown terrain.

Only in the space of imagination and play can that new terrain begin to unfold. So it's time to write myself into a new space instead of trying to think my way there.  

So I'm going to blog like it's 2006. For me. For whoever might want to read it. Not to establish myself as an authority in anything (I am quite literally an authority in nothing except my own journey, and I often need other people to tell me things about that journey). Not to further any quest or agenda I might have. Because agendas are exhaustingly unproductive and quests never lead where you were expecting anyway.  

Since trying to guide my life and my story toward where I think it should go has left me dazed and wondering where seven years went, I'm just going to tell my story. I'm just going to show up to the words the way I used to, the way I love to do, and let them tell me what I need to know. 

What Happens When You Meditate For An Entire Day

Amber Adrian

Spoiler: Nothing. 

Nothing happens when you meditate all day. Sweet, blissful nothing.

You go in with an agenda, because of course. You are a human being and if you're going to spend all day staring at the wall, you'd damn well better get something out of it, thank you very much.

You walk out having no idea what your agenda was or even that you had one, because you’re all pumped up on peace endorphins.

We all want the answers. We want to know that our actions will yield fruit, that our life is headed in the right direction, that we are safe. 

But sometimes we have to realize that it's not time for answers. That there is absolutely no way we can take a wrong turn in life. Because there is no right path or wrong path. 


Why meditation can be really nice. Especially a day of it. Because, after two sittings where my brain spun mercilessly, it finally wore itself out like a three-year-old after a birthday party with Spider Man, a piñata and multiple rainbow-frosted layer cakes. 

And then there was silence. My need for answers quieted. My desire to be safe quieted because I am safe. In this moment, I am always safe. My path is just my path. It just is. 


My inner guidance has been prompting me to meditate two hours a day. Obviously, my brain thinks that’s bullshit, so I haven’t been doing it.

But absent other answers regarding my life, I’ve vowed to follow my internal guidance and trust it, even when it doesn’t seem logical - which, frankly, is most of the time. So when a friend invited me to a day-long meditation retreat on Sunday, it sounded like exactly what I needed. So off I went. 

It was held at a beautiful home in the Oakland hills - complete with pool, mountain view, and strategically placed Buddhas - and the day was run by a man with luxurious locks of the Inigo Montoya variety. He also had a duck wing to wave the smoke of burning palo santo on us.

I admit, I did wonder where he got that duck wing. Is there a one-winged duck moping around in a field somewhere?

I also wondered how everyone else kept their lower extremities from falling asleep. I had to do the awkward attempt-to-slowly-and-subtley-stretch-my-legs-out-in-front-of-me as my feet get caught on my skirt and I almost tip over, while everyone else is a marble sphinx of enlightenment. 

What I learned from a day of meditating with my body: Healing can be easy. (Except for the feet thing.) 

It doesn't have to be this elaborate ritual of energy clearing and slightly-frantic prayer and lists of things I have to do daily in order to stay sane. My god, no wonder I burned out. My perfectionism even got my healing in its sticky grasp. 

Sometimes, allowing ourselves to just quiet down and rest is the very best healing there is - the very best thing we can do for our brain and our body and our life. 

What I learned from driving to Oakland to meditate with my body: Men I have dated are everywhere.

This is the problem with being single for a long time. At some point, people you once dated become impossible to escape. Driving to the house on Sunday, I drove past the street of one of my poor dating decisions a few months ago. (The one who yelled at me a lot, if you happen to remember that.) Then, on the table at the retreat center, I saw the face of a guy I dated years ago staring up at me from his business card. He's now, apparently, a Tantric sex coach. It was too good not to share, but we were on a silent break. It almost killed me not to wave the card in my friend's face so we could die over it together. 


Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Is not to meditate two hours every day because that's still crazy talk. But do pay attention to those little nudges - the ones that are prompting you to a new habit or a new creation. They're gentle, they're quiet, but they're so very worth listening to. Listening to your intuitive nudges is the easiest way forward in this time of uncertainty and change. 

When Love Goes Awry

Amber Adrian

If you’ve never seen your dead father staring out at you from a stranger’s face, I assure you, it’s an experience.

At this point, I'm just spending my life splatting face first into the space-time continuum of metaphysics. Over the past four years, I've worked with all sorts of coaches and mentors and healers who do really fun, weird, and often completely inexplicable things.

One day, my smoke alarm starts howling like a banshee of the damned while I'm on Skype with one of my coaches. My ears split and my eyes watered and I spent ten minutes trying to get the damn thing to stop – made more difficult by the fact that there was no smoke anywhere and I couldn’t reach the off button.

When the unearthly shrieking was finally curtailed, I hop back on Skype and my coach asks, “What were we talking about right before the alarm went off?”

Often, when there's a disturbance in the force - the phone cuts out, Skype hangs up on you, or fire alarms go berserk - it means something important is happening energetically. 

We were talking about my father and it was so intense, my coach sent me to his mentor - a man named Carl who does family constellations. 

Far better explanations of family constellations exist, but my understanding is that they call in the energy of the family and the specific family members, alive or dead, and whatever is needed to be released or healed shows up. People playing the roles within a family will begin expressing the emotions they feel – sadness, anger, relief, comfort – emotions that shift and change and vary depending on who is introduced into the constellation and what their relationship was in life. Family constellations often shed light on patterns and feelings and events that even the people within those systems don’t understand.

So on a summer Wednesday, I end up in a room where a circle of Carl’s students are waiting to call in the energy of my family.

Sitting in a gazebo under the stars of Northern California, I watched a small Asian woman in striped pants take on the role of my grandfather. I know nothing about my grandfather, except that he left abandoned the family when my father was very young. I don’t even know his first name, although I carry his last.

A blonde woman in a red shirt took on the role of my father. She started dancing. I dance, but to the best of my knowledge, my father never danced a day in his life. But there she was, twirling and spinning, before collapsing in a chair. Her eyes narrowed as she glared at my grandfather, and a deep anger began to radiate from her like electricity. “Rage comes in waves, I suppress it like it doesn’t exist. Turn it off, don’t look at it, eat ice cream.”

“So I push it down and create a new life,” she continues.

If I had any doubts about the process, they would’ve been laid to rest right about here. I’m well-acquainted with deeply suppressed rage – and my father’s favorite comfort food. Before he died, one of his last requests was for ice cream.

I know better than to think that a man abandons his family simply because he wants to – there are always reasons, deep and profound and unsettling reasons, why such a course of action is chosen. But when my grandfather, still in the form of a small woman in striped pants, turned to my father and said, “I’m overwhelmed by warmth and tenderness. I can’t look at you because my heart is aching,” I was surprised. Without ever really thinking about it, I reflected my dad’s anger toward the man who took off, leaving my father and his family in a very bad situation that lasted until my father left Pennsylvania for California.

What came through in that small room was that my grandfather was young, maybe not yet ready for the demands of a family. He loved his young son, but he was restless, he longed for adventure. He wanted to be at the bar with his friends.

As he was explaining the love that wrestled with his need to leave, a woman sitting in a chair across the room suddenly flopped face down, nose squashed into the carpet. “I just need to be here,” she said.

Nobody has the answers in a family constellation.

Carl has no idea what’s going on, the volunteers who assume the energy of different family members have no idea what’s going on, I sure as hell don’t have any idea what’s going on. We all just have to watch it unfold and put together the pieces. That’s why sometimes, when there’s an unknown element at work, a random person will flop out of a chair and squash their face into the carpet. Even when they’d really prefer not to because the carpet has been molding on the floor since approximately 1982.

Suddenly, the woman playing my grandpa begins to look guilty. “I did that,” she said, pointing at the woman on the floor. “I did that.”

That’s when it gets really weird. Like film noir weird. Like the moderator looking up from her notes and saying “holy shit” three times weird.

Turns out, my grandfather accidentally killed a man in a bar fight. So he and his buddy left the body lying there and skipped town, never to be heard from again.

Children, even when only a few years old, perceive things.

Looking at the dead body on the ground, the woman in the energy of my father says she feels a strange sense of peace. “You won’t see that,” she says to my grandfather. “You’ll run because of it. I’ll see it for you. It feels good, because it’s reliable. If this is all I can have of you, I’ll take it.”

“Shit, shit, shit,” says my grandfather.

A man who was accidentally murdered by my grandfather in 1944 in a small mining town in Pennsylvania made my smoke alarm shriek seventy-one years later.

Left on the ground in an alley, he needed resolution. The energy was called in so that my grandfather could acknowledge and own and apologize for what he’d done.

Carl makes a joke about dragging the body to a river. “It would’ve been a sign of respect to put me in the river,” says the woman playing the dead man to my grandfather. “Don’t just do this and leave. Put me somewhere.”

After accidentally killing a man when a fight got out of hand and then abandoning his family, my grandfather lived a haunted life. Death was all the only thing that brought him peace. 

When a parent abandons their child, the parent is left half-alive. Even when that decision is made out of love, out of fearing of hurting the child if they stay. Decisions made from a very deep love can do great harm. Simply because, at the time, there doesn’t seem to be another way. Fear consumes and makes it very difficult to make choices that will serve us well. On a deep level, this can impact the family for generations if those emotions are not fully felt and acknowledged and peace made.

“Just kill me,” my grandfather says. “It’s better than feeling what I’ve done to you.”

“This is the first time in any constellation when ‘Hey, douchebag’ is a healing statement,” Carl says.

The murderer and the murdered each turn to each other and say, “Hey, douchebag” and the ownership of accidental, terrible actions transform into something funny and heart-breaking and healing.

"Hey, douchebag" was their path to peace.

Emotion was deep and overwhelming, experiences described by these people who had never met me or any other member of my family so closely mirrored my own experiences – of being overwhelmed, stuck behind a wall, going blank with no words in times of great stress or emotion.

That’s why I love this stuff. It makes you question what you believe to be possible and nudges you into expansion.

After absorbing the energy of murder and abandonment, my father wasn’t very alive. All he wanted was to escape and begin a new life and shield his children. He wanted to shield us – and so my brother and I took that shield and divvied it up. For reasons I never fully understood, I couldn’t let things in while my brother couldn’t let things out. This includes money, relationships, connection, love. Not all-inclusive, but I’ve always felt a wall there.

At the end, my grandfather and the accidentally dead bar buddy lying on the ground behind us, my father turns to me and my brother and says, “We can breathe now.”

“You’re seeing your father for the first time,” Carl says. “Because of what happened, he could never be fully present.” Even as I write this now, I begin to cry. Because it’s true. My father had to maintain a certain distance his entire life. Less so with my brother and I than with most people, but distance nonetheless.

We received a blessing from our father that day from beyond the grave. Children receive a spiritual blessing from their father. If his wounds block him from giving that blessing, then our supply of money and of creative power becomes crimped, because it can’t run through the pipeline without causing Dad stress.

After his death, we received what he meant to give us while he was alive. Drained by circumstances beyond his control and without the tools to heal it, he simply didn’t have it to share.

Who knows what of this is true, what truly reflects what happened in my father's family. But on some level, who cares? More is gained from believing than disbelieving. More is healed by allowing the experience in than in shutting it out because it can’t be proven.

And it reminds me that love always comes through, even if circumstances and choices block love or the ability to give what we all want to give our families. That love is always held in trust for us, to be delivered when the time is right, even if it takes lifetimes. 

Bumblebees On Yoga Mats and Other Signs from the Universe

Amber Adrian

A few days ago, I was in downward dog when I noticed a bumblebee ambling slowly down my purple yoga mat. Not buzzing around in flight, just...walking. Straight toward my left foot.

I admit, bees make me skittish. A perfectly reasonable response, given that they are quite capable of piercing flesh and any part of me they touch swells to four times its normal size.

Once, on a camping trip as a kid, a bee landed on my ham sandwich. In my usual oblivion, I bit into the sandwich anyway and the bee, trapped inside my mouth, bit me. I yowled and spent the rest of the afternoon being deeply unhappy.

After a few more such events, I came to the wise conclusion that if a bee decides it wants to share my airspace, I will cede the battlefield and scurry for the nearest indoor haven.

But with the bee on my yoga mat in my living room, there wasn’t really anywhere to go, except into the bathroom. So, as we gingerly shared floor space, I remembered that this wasn't the first bumblebee recently.

After managing to avoid bees for at least twenty-five years, I'd had three visits in less than a week.

A few days earlier, I was eating on my deck when a bee decided it was deeply interested in my lunch. Rather than argue over who gets the potstickers, I picked up my bowl and went inside with a  "good riddance, sucker." The next day, another bee decided it was curious about my lunch. But this time, I was inside a restaurant. To get to me, the bee had to abandon the safety of the great outdoors, fly through the door, navigate the counter and past any number of tables and other people’s presumably tempting food, before getting to me and my shrimp curry. I shrank away like the coward I am and eventually it buzzed off. 

It took a bumblebee strolling down my yoga mat to finally get my attention, walking in a straight line all the way down the long side of my mat - quite a trek for an insect - before wandering off.

I’ve been asking the universe for signs lately. I do that, especially when I’m feeling in the dark. Nature is pretty smart - it knows how to make mountains and construct the human hand, after all - so I figure it has a better grasp on my life than I do.

Three bumblebees in three days? All right, universe. I’m listening.

So I did a little research on the symbolism of our furry flying friend.

It’s said that if a bumblebee appears in front of you, it will lead you to your destiny.

Yeah, wish I knew that before I saw all those bees. DID THEY FLY TO MY DESTINY WITHOUT ME? Curses.

Well-trained little service bugs, bumblebees tirelessly pollinate blooms and remind us of the interconnectedness of all living things. Also, stop and smell the damn flowers.  

As signs go, it felt fuzzy. But the reminder to stop and appreciate the sweetness of life is very needed right now. I've been lapsing into fear lately, and it does my life zero good. But I do know that when I stop to notice what's happening here and now, the fear eases. Because there is no fear in the present moment. Fear only holds sway over the past or the future. So if I just look up at the blue sky or the bougainvillea crawling up a porch, everything settles.

It wasn’t until a few days post-bumblebee that I remembered a vision I had in Hawaii a few months ago. Hawaii has a big energy and I was getting downloads every few days. In one of them, I saw my (as-yet-nonexistent) daughter, age nine or ten, dressed as a bumblebee. She was racing around and yelling - goggles strapped on and wings flapping in her wake. 

Maybe that’s what the bumblebees wanted to tell me.  

That everything is on its way and my only job is to trust that it’s all happening perfectly.

May you also feel the sweetness and the trust this week - preferably minus bumblebee attacks. 

The In-Between Is Where Life Happens

Amber Adrian

My horoscope said that the entire month of July was going to be awesome.

So far, I’ve been dumped by someone I really liked, run out of money for the first time in many years of self-employment, and turned 38. 


But I actually do feel better than I have in a long time. Peaceful, calm, and happy. Despite that whole turning-38-with-no-job-no-money-no-husband thing.

Because I’m doing my thing.

We all have our thing. That thing we do to keep ourselves sane, keep ourselves happy. The thing that, if we stop doing it, our life slowly starts to slide off the rails and we’re not sure how or why it happened.

Some of us need to run, some of us need to write, some of us need to garden, some of us need to draw, some of us need to meditate.

My thing - apparently - is diving deep into the center of my soul and my energy, digging around, and seeing what needs to be released and moved around and otherwise shifted.

It settles my head, the head that wants to spend its time making me feel less than, feel unworthy, feel like it’s best that I don’t have what I want because I just don’t deserve it.

It settles my heart, the heart that sometimes hollows itself out under the weight of what it sees and wants but feels it doesn't have yet. 

It helps me feel at peace with whatever is happening in my life, helps me understand that my worth does not rest in external circumstances, and it helps me feel open enough to smile at people I pass on the street. 

The power we wield over our own lives isn’t so much around getting what we want, but in how we exist in the in-between spaces - when we don’t have what we want, when we don’t know what’s coming next, when we just don’t know.

The in-between is where life happens anyway.

It’s tempting to feel like my life will start when I have the job, when I know where my money is coming from, when I meet my future husband.

But that’s just not true. My life is happening right now. It’s happening in this coffeeshop, on this bright California July morning, as I write for you. It’s happening when I go out for a run to the beach or remember that the top on my car comes down and it’s a beautiful day, so I should really just drive out to Sonoma in the open air to eat hush puppies.

The in-between is where we can sink down into our thing - dig in our garden, write our next story, run an extra two miles today. Just because we know that our day goes better when we do.

And all we have is the right now. Literally, that’s it. It’s a relatively simple concept, but it’s one of the hardest things for humans to grasp. We’re constantly straddling what happened last year and what we hope will happen next week. But our only real power, our only real joy, is in what's happening in this moment.

So look up. What’s happening right now?

Is your tea kettle whistling? Is your favorite person or animal in the room with you? Just be with that for a moment. 

I’m sitting in my favorite coffeeshop on the road to Stinson Beach. The sky is blue, the sun is bright, Can’t You See by The Marshall Tucker Band is pouring out of my headphones, and words are finally pouring out of my fingers after staring at my laptop for half an hour worrying that whatever I wrote wouldn’t be good enough.

But it is good enough - as long as one of you reads this and gets something out of it, then it’s perfect.

That’s my life. Right now. And it’s a good one.

May you enjoy each moment of your life for precisely what it is, as it’s happening. Because this is where joy lives. Right now. Right where you are.