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Blog

Filtering by Category: A-ha Moments

Moving Mountains. Or At Least Not Tripping Over Things.

Amber Adrian

It continually cracks me up - in a haha, REALLY, UNIVERSE? kind of way - how the most spiritually powerful people I know are the ones who struggle the most with the real life human stuff, myself included.

Connected to the infinite? Easy, got it. 

Powerful healer? Absolutely, no problem, easier than breathing. 

Receiving guidance from the ethereal, otherworldly beings of light? Naturally, not a day goes by.

Paying rent? Shiiiiiiit. 

Enlightenment is easy. 401ks are hard. 

But I know that’s not actually true. 

It’s all just energy. Money is energy. Rent is energy. The same energy we wield so powerfully to the benefit of everyone else.

What any struggle I have with money is really showing me is where my energy is funky, where my head is working against me, where I’m getting tangled in my emotions. 

(The emotion tangle is a particularly wily beast for the highly sensitive people. We’re not just wrangling our own but everyone else’s, until we learn how our boundaries best work.)

It’s like a human being born in an octopus’ body. Being an octopus is awesome, but it’s not what you expected. You have a vague sense that things should operate differently, but walking down the street on two feet feels impossible when you have eight tentacles instead. 

A wise human-octopus would accept the tentacles and learn to work with them. An unwise human-octopus would get mad and frustrated and sit in the corner of the tank fuming. 

(It probably doesn’t need to be said, but I am not wise.) 

Embrace the octopus, Amber. Embrace the octopus. 

I joke about not being wise, but it’s actually more like being an octopus in a human world. Where everyone is a human but you. The octopus is remarkably sensitive and has simply evolved differently than we have. Sensitivity can make everything trickier to contend with until you learn how to work with the sensitivity and aim it in a direction that serves you. 

I’m still learning to embrace the human. I’m still learning to embrace the sensitivity. I’m still learning how to move through the brain and feelings tangle and toward aiming all my energy in the direction I want instead of letting it scatter to the four winds. 

The more I come fully into my body, and feel my energy drop into my lower chakras (for the first time in my life, really), the easier this all becomes. 

For a long time, it was like trying to drive a remote control car. I was so far out of my body that I was trying to move my body like a puppeteer would manipulate a marionette on strings or an eight year old would operate the controls for a tiny Porsche. I would run into lamp posts and trip over steps and couldn’t ever find a safe space in my body. 

Dancing grounded me. Running grounded me. Lying in the grass grounded me. Lots of meat and potatoes grounded me. 

Emotions ungrounded me. Fear cut the strings and I would go floating into the stratosphere. 

No wonder it was hard to be be human. I was playing PacMan on an arcade console rather than strapping on the virtual reality goggles. 

PacMan doesn’t really get much done. But he does an admirable job of eating ghosts. 

So, getting into my body has helped a lot. Learning to line up my energy, my brain, and my emotions behind what I actually want, rather than letting everything freak out all the time, is helping too. 

I still have a lot to learn. Or more accurately, a lot to practice. I’ve known all of this for years, but it has been epically hard to actually DO it. Because I was floating around outside my body, dropping in for brief moments, getting hit with something and popping right back out again. 

I need to practice not sending my energy - worry, fear, doubt - in the direction of all the things that don’t serve me.

I’m still learning focus. Empath overwhelm is a definite thing and can send you into the energy-emotion spin for days (weeks, months, years). There are so many things I’m capable of and so many things I want to do that I have trouble getting my energy behind one thing. 

When I focus my energy, I can move mountains. We all can. 

Walking on the beach is one of the best ways to come back into the body, come back down to earth.

Walking on the beach is one of the best ways to come back into the body, come back down to earth.

Down the Channeling Rabbit Hole

Amber Adrian

When I was eight years old, I asked what god was. 

I didn’t ask my parents or a teacher or a preacher - I asked the ether. 

Specifically, I asked my bedroom ceiling. 

Talking to the ether was my thing in those days, along with stacks of Babysitters Club books and imaginary friends. So it surprised me not at all when I got an immediate answer. 

I saw all the living beings in the world as points of light. As I watched, all those points of light converged as a massive light in the sky - and that was god. 

Obviously. 

So, visions as a wee sprout, check. But then clairvoyance and all other clairs started retreating into the background as I got older. 

Stuff crept through, of course. Being nudged out of the psychologist’s office when he wanted to prescribe me a bunch of drugs. Blogging my way through my late twenties and learning that I could write my way to healing and answers. My physical body saying “hell no” as best it could to a relationship that wasn’t good for me. 

It wasn’t until what I call the cracking open moment in 2012, around the time of my dad’s death, that this weird path really began to unroll in front of me. 

Kind of like the universe said, “All right, it’s time. Let’s give her a kick in the ass.” 

A few months later, one of my first teachers walked into my apartment in Santa Monica and said, “Oh, you’re an empath and a channeler.”

I nodded like I knew what she was talking about and then, as soon as she left, googled “empath” and “channeler.” 

Slowly, I began playing with the channeling - automatic writing at first, for friends and then for kind strangers who were willing to be my guinea pigs. Eventually, I graduated to spoken channeling and then group channeling and energy healing and energy healing on a timer - setting it up for people like I was preparing the coffee machine to dispense life-giving elixir in the morning. 

It seems that as long as I’m willing to say yes to whatever is coming through, the more I get handed. As long as I’m willing to keep barreling down this unknown path, the universe will keep handing me etheric superpowers.

So that’s cool.

For a long time, I didn’t know what energy I was channeling. I knew it was deeply wise and loving - beyond that I didn’t need much information. 

A few years in, I figured it was time to find out.

I was walking through my neighborhood in Mill Valley and idly asked, “Is there anyone specific I’m supposed to be working with?” 

Immediately, I saw seven figures in front of me, and I stopped dead on the sidewalk. It was a rather immediate answer, like they’d been waiting for me to pop the question.

So I saw them. But since they weren’t wearing convenient name tags, I had to ask who they were. 

The first guide to step forward was Jesus.

I admit, that threw me. 

Since I was raised in the Church of Hippie, I didn’t have any particular thoughts about Jesus, except that he seemed like a cool dude and super helpful to everyone, regardless of race, creed, gender or occupation.  Also, Christmas is the best because who doesn’t like cookies and presents and trees in the house?

But I had questions and wanted to do some double-checking, during which he patiently humored me. “Yes, it’s me. Yes, people call me Jesus. Yep, still me.”

Standing with him were Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Archangels Michael and Ariel, Brigid, and Joan of Arc. 

Sure. Okay. Why not.

So I worked with them for awhile - both for myself and with groups of amazing women - and, sure enough, it just kept getting weirder. Because etheric rabbit hole.

A council of magical animals stepped in about a year later. Giraffes, unicorns, lions, otters, dragons, a peacock, and a feisty phoenix.

A few years after that, star beings started waving at me. So I started channeling them too - and basically dropped dead because the energy was so high. 

While I call it channeling, because that’s the word that resonates for me - like I’m turning my super sensitive radio dial to different frequencies and sharing what comes through - there are tons of speakers and teachers and writers who are tapping into this universal source and frequency in a similar way without calling it channeling. 

It really doesn’t matter what you call it. 

We’re all simply tapping into that well of universal wisdom. 

Everyone can do this. We all have access to this guidance and the healing. But it can be so helpful to have other people translate it for us, especially when we’re learning. Especially when we’re floundering. 

(I personally spend at least five percent of each day floundering, often quite a bit more.) 

But it was first called channeling for me, and that’s what stuck. 

Since falling down this rabbit hole, I’ve talked to dragons and Joan of Arc, gotten dating advice from Mary Magdalene, had visions of my future babies, had visions of other people’s then-future-now-present babies, hung out with Jesus, gotten writing tips from the ghost of Mary Oliver, released the ghost of the dude my grandpa killed in a bar fight in the ‘40s, had etheric birthday parties with unicorns doing back flips on trampolines - as much weird, amazing stuff as I can handle.

Playing with all this keeps opening new doors, and I’m so excited to see what comes through next.

chrysalis.JPG

“What if you didn’t need to suffer?”

Amber Adrian

Here, have a question that will implode your reality.

When my energy healer said this to me on Friday night, my brain went KABLAM. Like a cartoon frog being catapulted into outer space via rocket launcher.

That question is still sending ripples reverberating through my reality, a surprised green amphibian ricocheting through the continuum of Amber.

“What if you didn’t need to suffer?”

My god, what would I do with all that extra time?

Until the moment the question was asked, I didn’t realize how much of my experience was colored by suffering.

My thoughts, my feelings - basically the entirety of my internal reality.

The only time I’m not suffering is when I’m channeling, writing, dancing, eating, or maybe having sex.

But I want those times to be marked by joy, not the absence of suffering. My god.

I blame it all on my brain, of course. And that ever-pesky empath thing.

My brain throws a royal fit every time I expand. Since I’m expanding pretty much all the time right now, my brain is in a near constant state of flip-out. (Which is good, but when I’m mid-flip-out, I don’t remember that it’s good, so I just panic.)

Being an empath doesn’t help. Because so many other people in this world are suffering and I am picking up on it, simply by existing and doing things in the world. Things I can’t avoid. Like getting groceries. I do a pretty good job at being a hermit, but even hermits need potato chips.

What if I didn’t need to suffer?

What if I don’t need to suffer, just because everyone else is? What if I don’t need to suffer, just because my family did? What if I don’t need to suffer, just because the world says I do?

What if none of us need to suffer?

[KABLAM]

I know the answer is already floating around me. We always have the answer the moment the question is formulated. But my brain is still trying to catch up.

In this moment, I know the answer is breathe. Sink into your body, let your soul take the reins. Give your brain a break. This will allow a fuller understanding to come in, and the suffering to unravel and loosen and eventually drift away, leaving me in a different state of being.

When I was talking about this last night, I was asked: “What’s the opposite of suffering?”

I didn’t have a ready answer.

Peace? Joy? Neutrality?

Being?

I can’t think my way through this one. Thinking is more or less how I got into this mess in the first place. I can only be.

Trust the be-ingness of it all to unwind whatever suffering is woven throughout my experience, leaving freedom and, I don’t know, aliveness in its wake.

Some would argue that to be alive is to suffer. I would have probably been one of them. But I’m not sure I want to subscribe to that any more. I’m not sure it’s necessary.

What if we don’t need to suffer? What then? What opens up? What else can we experience?

The answers are still assembling, but I’m sure as hell ready to find out.

Cascade Falls in Mill Valley, California: a good place to go to not suffer.

Cascade Falls in Mill Valley, California: a good place to go to not suffer.

Geriatric Wonder Woman

Amber Adrian

Yesterday, I tried to go for a run. All I could manage was a geriatric shuffle.

One conversation with one human earlier in the day had totally sapped me.

I have to be so, so careful about the energy I allow in. People’s energy and emotion can hit me like a dump truck. If I’m not on my guard, the truck will flatten me. And possibly dump old spaghetti all over my head.

One conversation and I lost an entire day. Poof!

Geriatric shuffle instead of a nice productive run and climbing into bed instead of working.

At least I notice the drain now. That’s significant improvement from my days of WHY CAN’T I MOVE WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME. I can assess the situation and understand that I’m not shaking it off because someone else’s judgment was pointing a finger at where I’m judging myself.

I can look at that judgment, decide what I want to do about it, return to my truth and trust that everything is unfolding perfectly. (While also texting a friend for reassurance that I am not a shitty person.)

(I am not a shitty person. My friend said so.)

As I was army-crawling my way through the sludge, I kept reminding myself that just because someone else has a story and energy around that story doesn’t mean it has to be my story or my energy. They can have their truth, I can have mine. It doesn’t mean anyone is wrong, it just means we all get to choose how things look and feel for us.

What helped was imagining a shield of light on my arm - kind of like Wonder Woman’s bracelets - that I could swing up to send the energy deflecting back.

Pew, pew!

Unfortunately, the second I put the shield down, the energy zoomed back in and dropped like a wet wool blanket thrown on top of me.

Honestly, it made me mad. Mad that this happens to me, mad that it still happens to me even as I learn more about how energy works, mad that people hurl their stuff at me because it makes them feel better, even knowing that I used to do the same thing - and sometimes still do, if I’m in enough pain.

But I woke up today feeling so much better. Knowing that I’m allowed to make determinations about who I choose to spend time with based solely on whether or not my energy is drained afterward.

I want to spend my time and energy with those who nourish me, not suck the actual life out of me. Which in turn helps me be someone who nourishes rather than drains.

Being an empath is weird. The interaction of energy is weird. This is supposed to be my area, but I still have so much to learn.

I find this frustrating, as I would so much rather be perfect and know everything already.

But today, after I did a few sessions - including one high-frequency star session that knocked everyone on their asses - I started to wonder about the really powerful and intense experiences my clients were having as we sat on conference calls together. Why is that?

OH. IT’S BECAUSE ALL I DO, ALL DAY LONG, IS HAVE INTENSE EXPERIENCES.

Why can’t I go to the grocery store without crying? Oh, because I’m me. Why can’t I have a charged conversation without having to take to my bed, like a Victorian heroine in a melodrama? Oh, because I’m me.

BECAUSE ALL DAY LONG I’M HAVING POWERFUL ENERGETIC EXPERIENCES.

While this sensitivity to energy is a major pain in my ass, it also helps me help other people have their own powerful experiences - of release, of transformation, of their own divinity, of their own power, of feeling so much better about whatever the challenge is - BECAUSE ALL I DO ALL DAY LONG IS HAVE POWERFUL ENERGETIC EXPERIENCES.

Big sigh for not being a normal human, having normal human experiences.

The upside is garlic cheese fries on session days (they’re grounding! really!) and Netflix. So I can watch other people having intense experiences, while I sit in bed and eat popcorn with my stuffed therapy otter.

Trust Walk Hangover

Amber Adrian

Last week, I went on a trust walk.

I didn’t know what that was either. But when someone I sort of know says, “Meet me at a random park and let’s do a trust walk!” I am the type of person who says, “Hell, yes!”

One of the advantages of the empath / sensitive situation is that knowing who to trust is not my problem.

One of the disadvantages of the empath / sensitive situation is that a simple ninety-minute trust walk laid me up in bed for a day and a half afterward, about which my trust walk guiding friend said “What? That’s not a thing.”

Things that aren’t usually things do tend to turn into things with me. I don’t really know what to say about that except that I am a delicate peony and hopefully the delicate peony benefits are worth it to the people I care about.

I keep trying to describe this trust walk thing to people and keep doing a semi-terrible job, but I’ll give it a whirl for you.

A trust walk is when you get blindfolded and led around a place with nature.

When you’re in the dark, when your sense of sight is taken away, your brain starts operating differently.

We don’t often realize how much of our time and energy is spent categorizing the things around us. Even as I look around the room where I’m writing this, a room where I live, I notice the steady stream of thoughts, “Oh, there’s my red chair that an ex-boyfriend bought me; there’s my dragicorn staring into a bowl of crystals; gosh, I’m glad I tossed that rug in the washing machine, it really needed it; there’s my tiny refrigerator, maybe one day I’ll have a real kitchen again; there’s my bowl of fruit, I hope the ants don’t find it, crafty bastards.”

When we’re out in the world this reaction is intensified. We’re constantly classifying things in our head - noticing a lamp post so we don’t walk into it, reading the energy of the person walking toward us to decide how open we want to be (smile and make eye contact or eyes forward with a quick step?), tracking where we are so we can get where we want to be and then back home again.

It’s a steady barrage of information and stimulus that, when shut off, completely and utterly changes your experience of the world.

The first thing I noticed when the blindfold went on was that my brain quieted. It didn’t have its usual obvious input and so my senses automatically softened and widened - to hear the sound of the water and the dog collars jangling nearby. To feel the energy of the trees around me and the ground beneath me.

The second thing I noticed was that when my friend tried to guide me physically, it did not work at all. I couldn’t walk in a straight line and we both kept running into things. But if she walked a bit ahead of me and I could just track her energy and her voice, my path automatically straightened out and she could guide me verbally around things like mud puddles and trashcans.

The third thing I noticed was how much my energy tends to whirl above my head or stick in my heart. When my energy started to drop from my heart down into my torso and then into my pelvis, I realized that it hadn’t really ever been there before. It was like my entire center of gravity dropped.

Grounding myself and my energy has always been a huge challenge. Getting anywhere near my body took years - the first energy healer I ever went to said she had to yank me off the ceiling by my ankle. And I flew back out the first chance I got. So getting into my heart was a big deal. Dropping all the way down into my pelvis was a major triumph.

In this entirely new space of feeling and sensing, we wandered around the park. I almost fell down a hill, met a trashcan, kept walking straight into the prickle bushes (I was wildly attracted to those prickle bushes), and got really nervous when other people passed us.

After my blindfold came off - while I was still sensing things more energetically and elementally, and less visually and intellectually - my friend asked me how I felt when I was near her energy.

“How do you feel, what do you want to do?”

What I wanted to do was run away from her and straight into the arms of the nearest tree.

So I did. Because the tree felt safe. The tree didn’t need anything from me.

WELL THAT’S DOWNRIGHT FASCINATING.

And probably explains quite a lot about my relationships.

She didn’t need anything from me either. But in that moment, I realized how generally uncomfortable I feel around other people, because I’m afraid I’ll be required to take care of them energetically and I’m afraid of the effect they’ll have on me.

There was an opening that happened in that moment, one I’m still processing and don’t fully understand yet. But, in fascinating confirmation, the evening of the trust walk, I got a barrage of messages from people. Like something in my ability to relate with other humans shifted, and now they felt comfortable reaching out again.

My trust walk experience was so intense that when I got home, I had to stumble into bed, where I stayed for the rest of the day, barely able to move. The next morning, I woke up feeling like I had an energetic hangover.

My entire system has been coming out of hibernation. I’m rebooting. I’m beginning to see how I’ve been led down a very specific path so I can get where I need to be.

It’s weird and fascinating and makes me really curious about what’s coming next.

Trees are good teachers. Especially if you can’t see them because you’re blindfolded.

Trees are good teachers. Especially if you can’t see them because you’re blindfolded.

Fist Bump To Anyone Else Who Struggles With Boundaries

Amber Adrian

While I don’t want to jinx myself or otherwise tempt fate by putting this in writing… I think I might be on the other side of the Great Crash of 2019. I opted out of calling it the First Great Crash of 2019 because I am optimistically envisioning a henceforth crash-free year for myself, a year where I don’t get taken out for weeks at a time because I over-extended myself.

Culprit of this particular crash was my refusal to rest over the holidays when I was encouraged to and also my boundaries.

I can state without exaggeration that I have - in the past, let’s call it the past - had truly terrible boundaries.

Having good boundaries is like having a nice sturdy bucket. When you have a bucket you can catch things. If you don’t want the thing you’ve caught, you can take it out of your bucket. You can keep filling your bucket until it overflows and then you can offer what’s overflowing to other people.

Having not-so-good boundaries is like having holes in your bucket. You pour water in but it will leak right back out again.

For most of my life, I had less of a bucket and more of a fishing net. Nothing could stay - not friends, not money, not relationships, not energy. It all leaked out until I was standing there holding an empty soggy net and wondering what happened.

Since I’ve been working on my boundaries like a fiend, my fishing net has been tightened into a sieve. Better than a net that a crafty lobster can escape but money, love, energy continue to leak out.

This is exhausting and flat-out unsustainable.

Because work is one of my greatest teachers - at least until I have kids, which will be a whole new level of Dear God Help Me - I recently burned out hard.

After spending a few days in a tunnel of despair and also bed, I finally recognized that I had been giving away way too much for free or charging way too little in certain areas of my business.

Free energy healing and channeling for people is just a bad idea. I would sometimes think, why don’t I see anyone else doing this on youtube? Why am I the only one?

OH THAT’S WHY.

Boundaries, man. Boundaries.

The way the universe gets my attention is to cut off my money. It’s a last resort, used only after all the usual avenues of nudging me, poking me, sending messages via other people, and taking me out for two weeks with a cold had been exhausted.

Finally, the universe got sick of waiting. And it whisked everything away. Clients, programs I’d run for years, money I’d been counting on, the person I was dating - POOF!

Up in a swirl of phoenix ash.

In all the years of running this particular business, that had never happened.

So I was left in a puddle of pitiful, thinking forlornly “I can’t be doing all this for people and be in a constant state of terror around money.”

A sigh of relief was breathed by the universe, and my guides and angels patiently waited.

After watching a lot of Netflix, I finally connected the dots.

I was draining myself for others because I thought I had to. I thought that was how I was supposed to help. Because I do believe that everyone should have access to this kind of energetic help and information, whether they can pay for it or not. But there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve me destroying myself. Because that doesn’t help anyone.

So I’m reorganizing everything - how I work, what I offer, how it’s priced, how I share it. Complete foundational restructuring. So everything feels good and feels supportive, to me and those I work with.

BOUNDARIES.

Patching up the leaks in my bucket, tightening my sieve. Establishing healthy boundaries can be a challenging process, but so worth it. Mostly because who doesn’t want money and love? Who doesn’t want to give it a safe space to land and know it’s going to stick around once it does?

NO ONE, THAT’S WHO.

BOUNDARIES.

Sorry I keep yelling at you. I’m really yelling at myself. Maybe I should stop yelling. My system doesn’t like yelling - and allowing my nervous system to soften and feel supported is a big part of this process.

</yelling>

Part of me is now wondering if I should even post this because hi, lots of boring talk about boundaries. But if you’re still with me, it means this was in some way useful. Hooray! Thanks for hanging out with me, friend! Fist bump to all of us who are devoting ourselves to being healthy in the world. (BOUNDARIES.)

As a thank you for reading many paragraphs about boundaries, here’s a preview of my 2019 Christmas card. I’ve been threatening to do this for years, because the idea of sending out a photo of me with my stuffed animals to all my friends who always send beautifully shot portraits of their adorable children makes me laugh.

The Adrian family, as it currently stands. Sally would like you to know that you can best demonstrate your love by sending sardines.

The Adrian family, as it currently stands. Sally would like you to know that you can best demonstrate your love by sending sardines.

Zooming Out

Amber Adrian

I have decided to accept that I am a big wooden bucket of messy dysfunction. I’ve also decided that being a big wooden bucket of messy dysfunction is 100% okay. Maybe because the wooden bucket is artisanal. Crafted by a bearded gentleman in Vermont who hand-planes wood harvested from local trees with an axe that he inherited from his great-grandfather or purchased from a different artisanal workshop. It doesn’t matter.

Or maybe because it’s okay to be messy and maladjusted and chock full of undiagnosed mental abnormalities. I’m not going to call them illnesses. I don’t even want to call them abnormalities.* Because I don’t think any of this is abnormal.

(* Let’s call them curiosities. Undiagnosed mental curiosities. That’s much better. It invites exploration and wonder, rather than strife and shame.)

So we get anxious walking out into the world. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe the world is an anxious, angry place sometimes. It’s also full of wild oceans and butterflies and kind people doing their very best in a world that’s not always that kind. Maybe the next time you walk out into the world you’ll figure out something about how to be less anxious in the midst of it and you’ll tell me about it and I’ll say, “Hey, that’s a great idea” and suddenly we are less anxious and more able to notice the butterflies floating above the fray.

Maybe not. That’s okay too. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with hiding in your house for awhile.

We’re all just trying to accept and love ourselves as the messy, dysfunctional, divine beings that we are.

Divine and human, kind and unkind, total jerks and purely loving.

In a phrase, absolutely perfect.  

I’m starting to get mad at labels. Because they’re divisive. But they can also help us categorize our experiences and accept them and learn from them. Oh hey, look! Once again, there are two things seemingly at odds with one another occupying the same space.

Maybe we just need to zoom out. Like putting your fingers on the map screen and moving them together so you see California snuggled against the Pacific Ocean instead of the sushi restaurant on the corner.

Maybe if we give everything more room - our anger and our joy, our messiness and our maladjustment - we’ll start to see the absolute perfection in all of it.

Maybe.

I keep saying maybe because I have no idea. I throw out wild theories like half-done spaghetti in the hopes that something sticks to the wall.

But every time I zoom out on my own life, moving up into the air above it to peer down through the eyes of my higher self rather than my annoyed, anxious self, everything looks very different. Beautiful. Perfect. Fun. A way to expand instead of a mistake. An experience in loving instead of a heartbreak. An opportunity to try something new instead of failure.

Sometimes it’s hard to hold that height for long and I drop ignominiously back down into my cranky human self, but that’s allowed. That’s part of it. The challenge is blending the two - the divine and the cranky - into something resembling fully embodied divinity. Grounded height. Higher self and human self into one gleaming, sweating, star-laden meat suit. I don’t know. I’m struggling with the language because I can’t quite parse this experience. Maybe because I’m still drifting between the two, zooming up and down, in and out.

Trees and butterflies are what I think of as a solution to the zooming quandary. Nature and animals help us bridge the divine-essence-in-a-human-experience gap. Zooming in on a daisy growing through a crack in the concrete or the moss on redwood bark is its own kind of perspective and doesn’t inspire acrophobia.

So when in doubt, go find some trees. Hey, at least it’s getting out of the house. Pick big trees so that if any anxious humans wander your way, you can hide behind a handy trunk.

Oceans are also helpful, though harder to hide behind.

Oceans are also helpful, though harder to hide behind.

Star Seed Problems

Amber Adrian

If you've ever found yourself in the bathroom sobbing "I just want to go home" when you are, in fact, at home - you might be a star seed.

I've been ignoring this for a long time because I'm here, I'm human, may as well get on with it and enjoy the benefits of earth (which are chocolate donuts if you were wondering) (most bread products and baked goods, really). But then I found myself crying like a child lost in a shopping mall because I had this bone deep feeling of being alone and far from home and not sure how to fix it - and I realized it's time to dig into this a bit more.

I can feel my work about to deepen again, because looking back on it, most of the people I work with - if not all of them - are star seeds. We have trouble grounding, we have trouble with 3D things like relationships and money, we tend to feel lonely and like we don't belong. Some forget to eat (that's never been my problem) (DONUTS!).

But I'm going to have trouble helping them if I don't have a lock on this myself.

So. Guess it's time to dive into that whole being an alien thing.

P.S. And I thought it got weird with the whole Jesus revelation. NOPE. THERE’S MORE WEIRD WHERE THAT CAME FROM!

P.P.S. As I feel into it, I think I came in with Jesus, decided to stick around to make sure that whole love-and-support-for-all-humanity thing got carried out, and hahaha whoops, no wonder I feel like a failure all the time.

P.P.P.S. (is that a thing?) NOW I NEED A DONUT.

Transformation

Amber Adrian

Transformation can feel like: 

  • Every bad choice you’ve ever made rising up to throttle you. 

  • Spending the morning in bed. 

  • Anger blooming up out of nowhere. 

  • Old wounds doing a rain dance on your liver. 

  • Crying in the middle of an outdoor mall.

  • Wondering if you’re too damaged to get any of the things you want.

  • Events you thought you'd made peace with mooning you on the freeway. 

I may or may not have experienced every one of these symptoms in the past seven hours. 

It’s been a fun Thursday. 

I know I’m going through a transformation, but it’s easy to forget that and just feel like I’m failing at life.

Failing at life A LOT. 

Like everything I thought I knew is in question and all of the divine timing messages I get are complete bullshit.

Because obviously I have failed. A LOT.

But failure is a judgment and self-judgment never shows up more powerfully than when you’re about to burst into something new. 

So if you’re in the midst of a WTF-is-going-on-and-when-will-this-end? phase, you’re probably transforming. 

It’s not super fun. It’s rarely easy. But it’s worth it.

Transformation is how we do what we’ve never done before, how we step into our next evolution.

Transformation takes a lot out of you. Sometimes laziness is called for, as your entire system re-boots and your brain re-patterns. You’re doing quite a lot, even if it feels like you’re mostly just watching Netflix and eating half-off Halloween candy. 

But the more chrysalis processes from which you emerge, the faster the transformation goes.

The first few cocoons I crawled into were long, drawn out, painstaking, and painful. Now I can move through something relatively quickly - in a few days or even a few hours. It’s still painful, but I can usually see my way through it or beyond it.

So even though I spent a few minutes worrying that I was going to need years of therapy to work yet another uncovered trauma (good lord, do they never end), I got that nudge that said, “No, you don’t. Just keep moving through the feelings and being gentle with yourself in the process and this will quickly pass.”

It’s easy to make multiple “I Have Failed” arguments when most of your work is in the 5th and 7th dimensions and most of life happens in the 3rd. But if you’re arguing with yourself, it means your brain is far too involved in the process, and the brain mostly just operates as a 3D recording device.

Brains are certainly useful, but not so much in deep processes of transformation for which your brain has zero reference.

Hush, brain hamsters.

In the midst of a transformation, the best you can do is take care of yourself. Lots of gentleness, lots of care for your body and nervous system, lots of nature and water, lots of rest. Zero judgment of your path, your process, or your results. Just let yourself transform.

Times of transformation are not times to expect a lot from yourself externally, because you’re switching worlds and moving internal mountains and getting ready to emerge anew.

Caterpillars halfway to becoming butterflies aren’t getting much done, I guarantee it.

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Halfway to butterfly. Hence, totally fine that I have a sink full of dirty dishes.

Season of Surrender

Amber Adrian

Surrender one big thing and life gets all greedy and wants you to surrender more.

Fine. (Goddamn it.)

I was all proud of myself for releasing the life-will-align-with-my-husband-and-babies-plan again, when life went, “Great! Good job! We’re just getting started!” as it rubbed its hands together like a miser in a Dickens novel faced with a large stack of gold coins.

Really? We’re just getting started, life? I thought we were DONE.

“Nope! Not even a little!”

Life, the universe, and everything can be a brutal task mistress, I tell you what.

Because suddenly I went into expansion panic, into an emotional free-for-all around my intuitive work and money.

Sometimes I just want the earth to stop shifting below my feet. Sometimes I want to stop having to yank all my stability from somewhere deep inside, because my insides are tired.

But the universe thinks my insides are doing just fine, and tells me to keep going.

So much of our ego and safety and self-worth is tangled up with our work and creativity and bank accounts. Unspooling those threads feels destabilizing, even as it allows for stronger foundations to form.

Here’s what I’ve learned as I feel into what’s next for me on this ride of fulfilling my earthly purpose:

Get comfortable being uncomfortable. You’re fine.

Lift your hands off the steering wheel. You’re trying to steer a matchbook car and we’re trying to chauffeur you around in a Bentley.

Stop trying to stuff yourself into a box. There is no box and never was.

Surrender. Everything is so much easier and so much more fun this way, please do it already.

Note to self: Surrender isn’t giving up.

Surrender is trusting that there are other forces at work.

Surrender is sinking into the idea that you don’t need to have all the answers. Or any of them.

If things don’t look the way you want or expect, it’s because room is being made for something better.

Since I don’t know what this moment requires, in terms of my work or my money or my writing or any of the life purpose things up for review right now, I have to soften in and trust myself, trust what I’m shown, trust my guides, and know that there is no such thing as failure.

Know that I am protected and loved and supported, just as we all are.

Whenever I check in lately, I get “write more.” Because my plan was always to spend half my time on my writing and the other half on my intuitive work (energy healings, readings, channeling the guides, etc). Maybe that’s the emotional rumbling I’m feeling. My higher self is shaking me down to remind me of what I was always here to do, and what I’ve forgotten or resisted or found hard lately.

So here’s to room for something better, for all of us. Here’s to surrendering into the arms of peace and joy and love and whatever the fuck is in it for us when we finally let the universe wrest control from our hot little hands.

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And to writing more, in whatever form that takes.

Self Love Epiphany

Amber Adrian

Here’s a game-changing epiphany I had in the shower a few days ago: 

Whenever things aren’t going well, I always ask myself:

How can I do better? 

How can I do more, work harder, push myself farther? 

While some people thrive under the push, I do not. I am a creature of naps and wood walks, I am a sprite in a world that values the nine to five. Pushing, while I can and have done it, makes my whole system collapse in a pile of harried Why Does It Have To Be This Way? 

I'm a bit of a princess, to be honest.

But asking that question has a subtle energetic implication that in order to be worthy, in order to be loved, I need to do more. I need to be better.

Feeling like you need to be better - whether in your own head, in a relationship, or at work - is a goddamn soul killer. 

NO MORE SOUL KILLING PLZ. 

Instead - and here’s the shampoo-inspired epiphany - I’m starting to ask myself:

“How can I love myself in this place?” 

How can I love myself when it looks like I won’t be able to pay rent? 

How can I love myself when I’m in the middle of a breakup? 

How can I love myself when I’m having trouble getting anything done? 

How can I love myself when it takes a buttered trowel to shovel me into my jeans? 

How can I love myself when my financial spreadsheets don’t look the way I think they should?

How can I love myself when it feels like everything is collapsing? 

For me, the way to love myself in this is to remember that I am worthy and lovable no matter the circumstance. 

We are all lovable and worthy, simply because we’re alive. But we’ve been so rigorously trained out of that idea that it requires some rewiring to remember it. 

I love myself by being gentle with myself. By loving my legs for how well they work, even when they strain denim. By loving the energy of money and how it’s always taken care of me. By loving the roller coaster ride because it’s always taking me somewhere better even when, in the moment, it feels like somewhere much worse.

By loving myself just goddamn because. 

Of course this “How can I love myself?” question has a different answer for everyone. 

Just follow what feels best for you in each moment. If an action feels good, take it. If thinking a thought feels good, think it. If something you want requires something you resist, feel into it and ask how you can make it easier on yourself. Ask how it could be fun. 

As we learn to be gentler with ourselves, we learn to be gentler and more open in the world. And when we're in the world radiating the love we already feel for ourselves, everything changes.

Hoo-fucking-ray! 

In the meantime, be good do you. Do it however you’re guided. You know what’s best for you, always. 

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Phoenix Rises and Coughs Up Magic

Amber Adrian

Last week was a phoenix week, and, boy, the phoenix does not fuck around. 

It felt like everything was being torched into oblivion: my family, my business, my bank account, my relationship, my energy, even my car. 

Burn, baby, burn. 

What I’ve noticed about those deeply uncomfortable, everything-is-disintegrating times is that, once you give up the illusion that you have any say in your life whatsoever and breathe through every awful feeling - sometimes that's when you get the biggest breakthroughs. 

My week featured exhaustion, being ready to throw in the towel on this business I love, knowing a final breakup was imminent, bad-news-of-the-your-car-is-dead variety, shooters in my town, and my bank account yelling code red before gasping and dying a pitiful death.

All I could do was throw up my hands and surrender. By Tuesday, I was still clinging to my shreds of control. By Thursday afternoon, I had given up completely. 

By Saturday? It felt like everything had shifted. Even my car was revived. 

Sometimes when you let your life burn to the ground, you create space for rebirth. 

It’s not comfortable. In fact, it’s downright terrifying. It feels like everything I depended on for stability, for safety, was crashing down around my ears. 

In these moments, the world is asking you to trust, to let go of control. Mostly by wresting away the illusion that you ever had control. 

Trust becomes the only option if you don’t want to a) find yourself rocking in the fetal position or b) hitch a ride with the first spaceship off this planet. (Sometimes you rock in the fetal position anyway because that's the only option.) 

When you trust, when you truly surrender - maybe in a way you’ve never surrendered before - something opens up. 

My whole life shifted in a day. I even got my beloved car back.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is let it all burn, knowing that you are safe, you are supported, no matter what it looks or feels like in the moment. 

As humans, we have a limited perspective. We can't see the path ahead of us. The path behind us is littered with false beliefs and skewed memories and wounded stories. All we have is the present moment. 

When I remember to step out of my head and just breathe through whatever's happening, with curiosity and faith that everything will ultimately be okay, that gives life just enough room to cough up some magic.

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Then you get to stand on a mountaintop, spread your arms in triumph, because you are a goddamn phoenix rising. 

Also, you still have a car.

"Fuck It, It's Showtime."

Amber Adrian

"Fuck it, it's showtime." 

... is my new life motto. Thanks, Deadpool. 

(P.S. Peter "I just saw the ad" is my new hero.) 

My usual brand of cinematic escapism tends toward cartoon animals, love stories, or inspirational odds-beating, but every so often I like a good (anti) superhero. I just cover my eyes whenever there's blood. 

It may be because a friend once called me a warrior. He was referring to me and dating, because I am all too willing to stride out into the arena to get the shit kicked out of me, but sometimes I think that the creator of Wonder Woman was really tapped into something. A lasso of light? Deflector arm bands? Pretty sure there are dimensions where such things are 100% real life and I'm pretty sure I've spent time there. 

Or I just have an extra good imagination. Does it even matter which? 

I feel like there are a lot of things I'm here to do, and I think I've been holding back more than I thought I was. So much is welling up in me daily and I don't write it down or put it on video or otherwise unleash it. 

 

Malaise, depression, insecurity, and anxiety ensues. I'm pretty goddamn sure most of my downward spirals into such gloom can be traced back to the moment something wanted to bubble out and I stuffed it back down. Because I didn't have time. (Or it was scary.) Or I've already posted today. (Or what will people think?) Or I should put the effort into things that will pay the bills. (Homelessness is clearly the result of doing things you love.)

In other words, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. And not just because - let's face it - I always have time. Because nobody cares how often I post or don't post. And I always have so much more energy for paid work when I've put out what wants to come through me on any particular day. 

I HAVE SO MANY WORDS IN ME AND MOST OF THEM HAVE BEEN STIFLED NO WONDER MY BRAIN IS BASICALLY MADE OF STATIC ELECTRICITY AND PASTA. Also otters. 

A lot of my attention has gone to where my feelings have been stifled - and I think that was time well-spent - but it's really time to start paying attention to the words too. So many thoughts, so many stories, so many projects. And I have all the time in the world. 

So.

Fuck it. It's showtime. 

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Another tick in the "all my excuses are bullshit" column? I CAN DO BASICALLY EVERYTHING ON MY PHONE. Whether I have good hair that day or not. 

The Life-Changing Magic of Good Hair

Amber Adrian

Stop wanting, stop expecting, let it look entirely different ... and you end up eating free fried chicken in the fancy seats.

Since all that kicking and screaming I did earlier this week, I've managed a new level of surrender. Surrender is one of my big lessons in life - meaning, I'm absolutely terrible at it and despise the very thought.

Sure enough, the second I give up and offer up a big fat FUCK IT, life decides to reward me.

When Lan and I met up in San Francisco on Wednesday, it turned into one of those magical days that only ever happen in movie montages.

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Cinematic hair! (Mainly because someone spent forty-five minutes aiming a blow-dryer at my head which, I can assure you, has never before happened in my life.) Stunning scenery! Amazing sushi! Random invitation to a ballgame in, get this, the fanciest seats they have!

You know what they have in the fancy seats? Free beer! And fried chicken and chocolate chip cookies! Our seats had cushions! No wait in the bathroom line! There simply aren’t enough exclamation points to properly convey the experience.

This, apparently, is the true power of surrender - and great hair.

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Thanks, Lanny. Thanks, hair. Thanks, magical day. Two thumbs up, would surrender again.

Trading Dreams For Joy

Amber Adrian

Turns out, telling your truth in the moment clears out so much space.

Truth really does go moment by moment. Just because something feels like the truth today doesn’t mean it will feel like the truth tomorrow. This is really important for me to remember. 

While I was embarrassed about sharing all those Disenfranchised Dreams last night, I’m so glad I did - and not just because people are so dang kind. I feel so much more hopeful today.

Being an empath who’s still learning good boundaries is like having to vacuum up after the world, because half of it just tramped muddy footprints through your kitchen as it tossed used sandwich wrappers on the floor.

I spend a lot of my time clearing space.

(“Clearing space” is my vaguely obnoxious term for shuffling through all the emotions and feelings and thoughts that I pick up from other people and finding room in my head for me.)

Anyway, saying "HI I’M SO SAD THAT NONE OF THIS HAS HAPPENED, ALSO A BIT HUMILIATED, LIKE IT SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT HOW UNWORTHY I AM (it doesn’t) AND LIKE PEOPLE WILL JUDGE ME (you won’t) FOR IT"… is actually a huge goddamn relief.

Because saying the sticky painful things without staying in the painful sticky things is so crucial for me. Me, the relentless queen of cantankerous melodrama. 

Here was my Blab All Over The Internet process for feeling better about disenchanted dreams, if you're curious:

  • Think a thing about hopeless dreams, start writing the thing, keep writing the thing because it helps me understand my feelings about the thing.
  • Feel vaguely queasy but share the thing anyway.
  • Read kind things and let them soothe me to sleep, hand clutching the phone precisely the way you're not supposed to do.
  • Get out of bed the next morning, pretend to exercise (hand up if this is a thing you do), and realize “Hey, that doesn’t feel so much like my truth anymore.”
  • Sure, I’m almost forty and that baby thing feels a little pressing (which means the relationship and the money thing definitely feels pressing), but all that could shift tomorrow.
  • Or not. It doesn't matter.
  • Realize that stating my truth in the moment cleared space in my head, heart, and feels. Enough to realize that it was just that moment. I'm not even 40 yet. My life is not over.
  • Maybe I just need to do my thing and enjoy all the many things there are to enjoy in the everyday.

Being careful to distinguish my own feelings and energy and thoughts from whatever I just picked up at the grocery store from random strangers or when on the phone with a friend is an ongoing process - and crucial to dreams.

More than that, clearing out my own space has the unintended but welcome effect of making some goddamn room for joy. I feel joy so much more powerfully than I did a few years ago.

Joy is a pretty good trade for dreams. So maybe I should just surrender to that and let my dreams do whatever the fuck they want to do. They can tag along, they can fall into the abyss, they can tap me on the shoulder. Whatever.

You do you, dreams. I’ll do me. Maybe we’ll meet again sometime.

In the meantime, there are so many things that make me happy. Make my wizened little soul feel joy.

Giraffes. Cartwheels on beaches. Road trips with Sally. Toasted rice tea. Dance class. Wearing my unicorn horn. My little cottage. My hippie weird. Giraffes.

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If you want to share some of the things that make you happy, I would love that. 

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.

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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. 

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.&nbsp;

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. 

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. 

My brain is already kicking in with OF COURSE THERE'S A WRONG PATH AND YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY TAKEN IT, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT IN THE GUTTER WITH A NEEDLE, WHICH IS ANOTHER WRONG PATH. OF WHICH THERE ARE MANY. 

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. 

Quiet.  

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. 

Anyway. 

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. 

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. 

Dear Horoscope: I CALL SHENANIGANS.

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.