Yearly Archives - 2007

Seven Rituals to Enrich Your Life and Business

By Lisa Rickwood

What do Valentine’s Day, Christmas, dating, dinner and a movie and marriage have in common? Rituals. A ritual is defined as ‘any method of doing something in which the details are always faithfully repeated.’

Rituals give life meaning and help us celebrate milestones in our lives. They offer security, stability and routine and a sense of calmness to an otherwise chaotic existence. Rituals date back thousands of years with the ancient Egyptians. Theirs was a culture seeped in traditions. Eating, drinking, bathing, hunting and burying the dead were a succession of rituals.

Over centuries, mankind lost the importance of rites. However, many of us in the 21st century are reconsidering traditions and adding them to our lives as we desperately seek meaning during this increasingly shallow and disconnected time.
If you want to relax, enjoy your life and feel more connected to others, consider adding rites to your life.


1. Create a morning ritual to help you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your day. You might get up a few minutes early to: read, walk your dog, jog, play an instrument, write, do yoga – it doesn’t matter, just claim this time as your own. That way you have time for yourself and don’t feel resentful if your day is hectic.

2. While you’re working, create a ritual to start your day. This might include: having a coffee at your desk, checking your PDA for appointments, not answering phone calls for 15 minutes while you read and respond to urgent emails. You might also: set an agenda for the day, plan goals for the week…the list is endless.

3. When you’re at the office, find ways to meet colleagues and socialize during a lunch hour instead of running a million errands. Also, if you’re challenged and need help, you’ll have friends that can help you. If you work alone, join a network group that’s conveniently located near you, fits your budget and helps you build business. Make it a ritual to attend the meetings and record your new contacts.

4. Create time saving rituals for work. For example, only check email three times a day, organize your files, file away unused papers as soon as possible; create ‘time boundaries’ where you can’t be interrupted. Close your door, let the message machine take a call and finally, get up and take mini breaks every 90 minutes (for productivity).

5. At the end of a busy work week
, designate a night as Movie or board game night with friends or family. If staying home doesn’t excite you, sign up for sports and get out your weekly frustrations. The key is to make time for something special once you complete work; this creates a buffer to ease you through a hectic week as you have something to look forward to doing.

6. Create home rituals to ease into your time off. These rituals may include chores as you play ‘catch-up’ on errands. Be sure to add play to your list. Include ways to decompress, times to exercise, time with your partner, friends, family and time alone.

7. Create self-care rituals that put your needs first. If you think this is selfish, consider the rules on airplanes. Parents have access to oxygen masks before their children so they can care for their family in the event of an emergency. You’re no good to anyone if you’re exhausted, resentful or angry because you don’t have time for yourself. For example, you need to get enough rest, make time for things you enjoy such as: walking, yoga, working out at the gym, playing an instrument, biking, reading, writing…whatever makes you happy.

© 2006 Lisa Rickwood. All rights reserved.

Lisa Rickwood, “Small Biz Stress Buster,” is a small business coach, visual artist and author of Escape The Pace: 100 Fun And Easy Ways To Slow Down And Enjoy Your Life and co-author of Power & Soul: 42 Successful Entrepreneurs Share their Secrets for Creating the Business and Life of Their Dreams. She helps small business owners ‘master stress for professional and personal success.’ Get your FREE e-book, 5 Critical Actions That Hurt Your Business and Add Stress to Your Life…and How to Escape Them by visiting:


Starcodes horoscopes for week of December 14 – 20, 2007

by Heather Roan Robbins

This externally sociable and busy week glows with a contemplative warmth in more intimate circumstances. With the two emotional planets in internet signs, Venus in very private Scorpio and Mars in domestic Cancer, we may find ourselves with a packed schedule but longing for a few quiet moments to putter at home instead, or longing for a home that once was, never was but should have been, or we hope will be one day.  If we can turn that longing into appreciation for what is, savor the quiet moments of connection and see the spark of potential family in the eyes of strangers, this will be a much warmer holiday season.

Venus and Mars in water signs can make all of us a bit more self-protective and sentimental; which is great for crying over a holiday special but tough on the little glitches of the holiday. We can feel paradoxically private, yet lonely, and may be usually sensitive to sentimentality or rejection.  It helps to reach out and bring the strays in by the fire, or offer a moment of real connection to those that might be far from home.

The vibe is imaginative and visionary this weekend, but not the least bit practical; great for holiday parties and gatherings if a bit dense in more intimate realms as Mercury sextile Neptune. Idealism and festive lights can throw glamour over everyday events; stop and sing seasonal carols with stranger on the street corner. Charity events prosper, favors are granted, just be careful how this good will is treated, we won’t forgive having our kindness abused for personal gain.

We can drift in to a dreamy cloud; if we feel overwhelmed, it helps to look for the benefit of the moments and take one step at a time as the Moon enters sensitive Pisces while the Sun conjuncts communicative Mercury.  If we keep our touch light we can share dream and concerns and take the conversation deeper, but give people room to breathe and don’t say everything that’s on the mind, just what needs to be said.  The energy is magical; children and adults alike can dissolve into the story. It’s a great time for a creative personal journey, but hard to keep to schedule.

Early next week we get the packages wrapped and mailed, the seasonal urgency is upon us, but in the busy crosscurrents it’s easy to let something valuable drop through the cracks unless we track carefully. Our own personal lives could overflow with deadlines competing with bubbling interpersonal opportunities. In the process some uncomfortable truths flow out in tactless moments, but it may save us time and energy later.

Look for an important shift in power, whether political or through natural forces, excitement buzzes with potential for major action on the world screen as the Sun, Mercury and Pluto all conjunct in outspoken, organic and freedom-loving Sagittarius  and under a feisty Aries Moon.

A minor but tough sesqui-square between Mars and Neptune can soften the edges, make us more relaxed and less decisive than these otherwise revolutionary aspects imply. They hint that our situation will take more finesse than power, because it’s more complex than it looks. Simple answers will bring even more complex problems. Enjoy the exhilaration, but neither push others nor be pushed around. Look instead for the positive intensity, be the counterpoint to the world’s weariness.

Midweek, Saturn retrogrades and ordinary work is put on hold; as the holiday agendas take over, we may be no less tired at the end of the day, but the pacing and content is different for the next few weeks, let the long-term projects rest until the new year.

A series of Jupiter-Pluto aspects can bring extraordinary events for some, or just turn up the volume on ordinary events. But we are grounded by a sensuous Taurus Moon, notice people are less flexible, but the hugs are unusually warm, eggnog may be extra tempting and the cashmere sweater too inviting. Watch the resources and pace the goodies, let the moment refresh for the bigger work ahead.

Friday, Dec 14 is great for the company party and good for any encouraging meeting, but if we want to change minds or confront, let’s hold it until next year. Warmth with confusion midday as the Aquarian Moon conjuncts Neptune, good communications mid-afternoon but watch a sharper edge near dinnertime, though it softens into a potentially magical evening. Love is in the community, but may be abstract or distracted in the one-on-one.

Saturday, Dec 15 socialize this morning and let the afternoon be more private. Take the opportunity midday to heal rather than repeat an old rift or sore point; make no promises, but drop the tension as Venus Squares Chiron.  Decisive afternoon, it helps to move the body as the Moon trines Mars. Energy may dissipate quickly this evening, we may feel our age or older, take a mature or traditional look at our situation or feel inhibited by circumstances as the Moon opposes Saturn.

Sunday, Dec 16 is warm with a sentimental streak. Our hearts are tender, treat expressions of emotions with great respects as the Pisces Moon trines Venus. We may long for what’s missing, or for times past; where possible, turn it in to gratitude for the opportunities to create those memories rather than mourning the water that’s flowed under the bridge as Venus semi-squares Pluto. Forgive a sad or sentimental feeling, don’t bother to analyze its roots, we just feel the melancholia in the sweet today. Energy is low but steady, don’t push the systems, be nice tonight; most of us are vibrating with internal processing and carry an extra emotional charge.

Monday, Dec 17 anything can happen this crazy day, fun with a few wild cards along the way. Keep checking in with one another, the weather report and other variables for a change in plans or a change in mood as the Moon forms nine different aspects and enters Aries, while Sun conjuncts Mercury and Venus trines Uranus. Don’t try to corral others or exercise control issues, it won’t go over well.   Enthusiastic morning, impatient afternoon, and experimental evening; the unexpected events or impulse presents may be the best.

Tuesday, Dec 18 brings high energy with a short attention span. We’d like thing simple to day and revel wherever they truly are, but many-layered events are percolating, nothing may seem to go as planned, and people’s needs to be balanced as Mars sesqui-squares Neptune.  There’s a lot on our minds, forgive us our distractions and make the most of each moment.  Avoid a clash of ideologies unless it is truly time to take a stand; be truthful , bear witness and move on to something that creates more connection.

Wednesday, Dec 19 Saturn retrogrades and our work takes on a different quality. Mercury conjuncts Pluto and deepens the conversation, we may feel inadequate to a challenge at hand or want to make our point even if it means hammering their heads with it; it is much more effective to create curiosity. Some tough news or communication frustration early in the day can sort our priorities and add power to our connections later as the Moon trines Jupiter and Mercury.

Thursday, Dec 20 brings a day of extremes, potentially the best and the worst of moods. We’re willing to work hard but may loose our sense of humor as Mercury enters Capricorn as the Sun conjuncts Pluto. If the weight of what still needs to be done suddenly becomes painfully obvious, it helps to review recent accomplishments before proceeding. We’re ambiguous about company, may not feel truly sociable but are also deeply aware of how our choices may have contributed to any loneliness we feel. The paths we choose not to take whisper at us and ask us to consider alternatives in the future. Mercury conjuncts Jupiter later and opens up possibilities.

Visit Heather Roan Robbins’ Website


You Are What You Love

by Vaishali

You are what you love, and you love whatever you are giving your attention to. Eastern Spiritual teachings and many psychologies profess that whatever you give your attention to, is what you are making your God. If, for example, you spend all your time thinking about that next cigarette, then you have just made that next nicotine fix your God. If you are worrying about: your bills, your daughter’s boyfriend with the spiked hair and nose ring, the price of oil, the likelihood of another terrorist attack or CNN’s reported “fear du jour”, then you love worrying and stressing out about your life. Surprising isn’t it?! Not really, because we in the West consider love to be associated with something we have a positive affection for. However, according to the Eastern sciences of self-healing, love is where your attention goes, regardless of whether or not it is for something ultimately life enhancing.

The link between love and attention is synonymous, because of the Eastern definition of our Spiritual nature. Spirit is awareness itself. Spirit is inseparable from awareness, consciousness, or any other buzzword you’d like to use for it. Consciousness is what we bring with us when we come to the Earth plane. It is also what we take with us when the body expires and we shed the mortal coil. Awareness is our Divinity, our God juice so to speak. Therefore whatever we give our attention to, we are empowering with life-giving energy. Suddenly the value of being more discriminate with our attention seems like a Spiritually mature and Enlightened thing to do.

The Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) offers great practical advice when it comes to how to manage our awareness in our every day lives. Swedenborg suggested that we only give our attention to what lives in Heaven. For the sake of this sharing, we are going to define Heaven as a place of existence, or state of being, that is unlimited, and hell as the opposite. Swedenborg says when you find yourself giving attention to some thing outside of Heaven, simply stop, put it down and return your attention to Prime Source.

When we as Spirit adopt a physical body, it comes complete with a nervous system. Swedenborg says that the purpose of this sensory feedback mechanism is that it keeps us real about what we are giving our attention to, because now we have to feel it. So how can we be sure if we are surrendering our attention to something that truly has our best interest at heart? Well, how does it make you feel? When you tell yourself that you do not, and will never have enough time, love, money or opportunity, how does that make you feel? When you convince yourself that you need to foster a story, with your attention, that your butt is so big it is generating its own gravitational field, just to keep you from devouring another box of Twinkies, ask yourself how does that communication make you feel? Could there possibly be a kinder, gentler route one could navigate awareness through such as, “Body, beloved friend, I love you, I care for you and I will only give you the highest food respect I can, because I value your healthy and well-being.” How does the communication you give your attention to feel? The feeling feedback we get is the ‘keep it real’ arena that Prime Source has blessed us with. If we monitor these feelings, we can minimize confusion and uncertainty.

When we run an inner dialogue that qualifies everyone on the freaking planet as having the I.Q. of an amoeba, except ourselves of course, how does that makes us feel? Frustrated? Annoyed? Superior in a mean spirited way? Giving our attention to a story that our personal Divinity is greater than the God consciousness of others, clearly is not something running rampant among the Angels in Heaven. And what is it that makes us humans so vastly different from the Angels? The Angels are infinitely better practiced at policing their attention, and arresting all non-Heavenly violators.

If we want to live in Heaven, we have to start practicing living there with our attention. If all we ever practice is seeing and living our lives as separate from the Angelic community, how will we ever find ourselves dwelling there? If we talk with the Angels, to give them our attention as an enlivened, love-devoted present relationship, in our here and now reality. When we find ourselves entertaining anything outside of Heaven’s Gate, we can simply hand it over to the Angels. Surrender to Heaven whatever does not belong in Heaven. Let go and let God recycle the energy into something more useful like happiness, a playful attitude and a generous Spirit.

What we give our attention to is the highest form of inner Spiritual alchemy available to anyone. The physical, outer-world based alchemy reality is simply a metaphor for turning the heaviest of our thoughts, the lead, into the purest gold of our focused attention. And unlike the arduous exterior atomic version of alchemy, the inner can be accomplished in an instant, in the blink of an eye, without expensive equipment, nasty bad smelling acids, or cluttered laboratories. Inner alchemy happens as quickly as it takes to release the dark and turn towards the Light.

When you are watching your mind, your attention, you are also in the present moment. Being aware of where you are going with your mind, is like strapping on a seat belt that keeps you firmly in the here and now driver’s seat. The times when you lose track of what you are doing with your attention, is when you are most likely to start projecting off into the future, or withdrawing to relive some past event. Watching the flow of our awareness keeps the present moment on the radar screen. Letting the mind wander without consciousness to what you are loving, what you are making your God, is when the ‘you are here’ red dot drops off the radar, and the plane starts to lose altitude. This is the entire purpose behind practicing any form of meditation; it keeps you in the now, watching the thoughts come up and practice letting them go. If you never practice opening your mind and letting go of your “stories”, how will you have that skill when you need it?

Aligning ourselves with the truth that you are what you love, and you love whatever you are giving your attention to, is why every Spiritual creature is having a physical experience. Having the Blessed opportunity to feel the truth of that higher Spiritual reality, in an arena we cannot fake, is why the Earth was created. Surrendering our free will and attention only and solely to what resides in Heaven, no matter what the physical world throws at you, is the life purpose of every person, everywhere, throughout all of time. If all of that is not enough to convince you that watching your attention is the definition of Spiritually maturity and success…then I’ve got some property in Heaven, I’d like to sell you!

© Vaishali 2007

Vaishali intimately understands the journey of moving the mind from imprisonment to liberation. She was born into an abusive, alcoholic family and knows first hand the impact of being raised in a hostile environment. At age 8, a teacher who served as a beloved mother figure was brutally murdered. She has been diagnosed terminal twice – once as a result of an illness and the second time as the result of an auto accident. If that wasn’t enough, while literally fighting for her life, she had to endure lies and infidelity in her most meaningful relationships.

Vaishali hosts her own weekly “You Are What You Love ” web-cast on and is a monthly guest host on “Seeing Beyond”, a KEST 1450 AM radio show in San Francisco. Her articles have been published in magazines nationwide. Vaishali has appeared on national radio and TV programming including Oprah & Friends Radio, ABC’s “View From The Bay”. To learn more please visit


Did Santa originate from shamanic magic mushrooms?

Christmas – Discover Little Known Secrets of Christmas Related to An Amazing Ancient World!

by Bernadette Dimitrov

Discover the ancient world relationship to Christmas through magic mushrooms, the Pole Star and the World Tree! There is research that suggests that many of our modern-day Christmas symbols and icons are actually derived from the Shamanistic traditions of the tribal people of pre-Christian Northern Europe. They consumed sacred mushrooms and based many of their traditions and celebrations around these sacred mushrooms which bare resemblance to many of our modern Christmas traditions.

There is an interesting history attached to these magic mushrooms we see illustrated in children’s fairy tale books and especially with images of elves and Christmas. They come from the ‘fly agaric’ or amanita muscaria mushroom (red and white in color). These mushrooms are usually associated with magic and fairies. Ancient people used these mushrooms for transcendental experiences and insight. These mushrooms contain hallucinogenic compounds. The Shamanistic traditions included celebrations around the consumption and harvest of these sacred mushrooms. Celebrations similar to our Christmas traditions.

Interestingly these specific mushrooms grow only under certain types of trees being mostly firs and evergreens which are synonymous with Christmas. Ancient people considered the mushrooms the fruit of these evergreen trees. As these mushrooms sprang from the earth, ancient people were amazed because there was no visible seed. Thus it was considered a ‘virgin birth ‘resulting from the morning dew (seen as the semen of the deity). It has been written that the silver tinsel prominent today to drape over our modern Christmas trees is derived from and representative of this divine fluid. Many ancient people including the Shamans and the Lapps (Finland) and the Kyoak tribes of the central Russian steepes believe in the idea of a ‘World Tree’. They believed the trunk of the tree was representative of every day life and known as the ‘middle earth’, the roots of the tree stretched deep into the earth to the ‘under-world’ and that branches stretched upwards into a heavenly or cosmic realm. The World Tree has been described as a kind of ‘cosmic axis’ where the planes of the universe are fixed.

The North Star also known as the ‘Pole Star’ was considered sacred by ancient people because all the other stars revolved around its fixed point. They believed the top of the World Tree touched or connected to the Pole Star. The Shamans belief they pass into the realm of the Gods as they climbed the metaphorical tree. This is believed by some to be the real history of the star on the modern Christmas tree.

Researchers tell us that the active ingredients of amanita mushrooms are not metabolized by the body and so remain active in the urine. It is considered safer and preferable not to eat the mushrooms directly but to drink the urine of one who has consumed the mushrooms. This process enables many of the toxic compounds to be processed and eliminated on the first pass through the body. Ancient people drank each others urine as a common practice of recycling the potent effects of the mushrooms. It has been found that even on six passes through the body ingredients of the amanita mushrooms remain potent. It has been argued amongst some scholars that the origin of the phrase “to get pissed,” comes from this ancient urine drinking practice associated with the amanita mushrooms. This urine-drinking activity preceded alcohol by thousands of years.

The sacred animals of these ancient people were reindeer that were also fond of eating the amanita mushrooms. In fact they would seek them out, and then prance about while under their influence. Reindeer also enjoy the urine of a human who had consumed the mushrooms. Often tribesmen would carry sealskin containers of their urine which they used effectively to attract stray reindeer back into the herd. The effects of these mushrooms usually include sensations of flying and size distortion. This may account for the many legends of flying reindeer or winged reindeer transporting their riders up the World Tree!

About the author: Visit & sign up for our FREE Newsletter full of fun, tips, tools & resources & you’ll get our bonus f*r*e*e 10 day e-course – Amazing Ways to enrich your Christmas experience by The HoHoHo Expert, Bernadette Dimitrov, author of the world’s best Christmas ebooks and audio books. Your resource for creating fun, meaningful and cherished memories today!

Get more information or purchase Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) mushrooms discreetly online.