Group Drumming Relieves Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Better Than Meds, New Study Suggests

Group Drumming Relieves Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Better Than Meds, New Study Suggests

Group drumming is one of the oldest forms of healing that dates back to the Stone Age. Known more widely as a Shamanic drumming circle, its focus is to gather the community together including people of all ages, with its main objective: to establish a connection with creation by means of a collective consciousness that emerges through the rhythm of the drum. Through each unique beat, the participants first get in tune with themselves and then with each other to form a rhythm that creates a collective voice.

image002While we are seeing a reemergence of drumming circles for healing, spiritual growth and shamanic journeying, not long ago was shamanism virtually wiped out upon the rise and spread of Christianity.

Today, growing numbers of mental health organizations are developing community music-making interventions for those seeking natural healing, and while up until this point there had been no real evidence of the effectiveness, in a study released March 14, 2016, researchers in the UK recruited 30 participants who were diagnosed by mental health services and (who had not yet received any kind of anti-depressant medication), in a 10 week program to study its adverse effects.

The participants were separated into two groups, one being a control group which were informed that they would be participating in a music and mental health study, but were
not given access to the drums and instead were enrolled in social activities (quiz nights, book clubs and women’s institute meetings). While the treatment group received weekly 90 minute sessions of hands-on authentic drumming with a traditional African djembe drum.

The results of the study were sensational and reported as below:

Significant improvements were found in the drumming group but not the control group: by week 6 there were decreases in depression (-2.14 SE 0.50 CI -3.16 to -1.11) and increases in social resilience (7.69 SE 2.00 CI 3.60 to 11.78), and by week 10 these had further improved (depression: -3.41 SE 0.62 CI -4.68 to -2.15; social resilience: 10.59 SE 1.78 CI 6.94 to 14.24) alongside significant improvements in anxiety (-2.21 SE 0.50 CI -3.24 to -1.19) and mental wellbeing (6.14 SE 0.92 CI 4.25 to 8.04). All significant changes were maintained at 3 months follow-up. Furthermore, it is now recognised that many mental health conditions are characterised by underlying inflammatory immune responses. Consequently, participants in the drumming group also provided saliva samples to test for cortisol and the cytokines interleukin (IL) 4, IL6, IL17, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP) 1. Across the 10 weeks there was a shift away from a pro-inflammatory towards an anti-inflammatory immune profile. Consequently, this study demonstrates the psychological benefits of group drumming and also suggests underlying biological effects, supporting its therapeutic potential for mental health.”

To summarize, by week 6 participants in the treatment group experienced a significant decrease in depression and increased social resilience with further improvement in mental health and well-being by week 10. Improvements continued and were maintained upon a 3 month follow-up. The drumming group also reported a major shift from pro-inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory immune profile.

by LJ Vanier,

This post was originally published here at March 23, 2016 by LJ Vanier.


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5 Blessings in Disguise You Need to Recognize

As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But, I think we can all agree that this is easier said than done. Sometimes it’s hard to see the blessing in the worst catastrophes and to remain confident that everything will work out, especially when you’ve just been blind sided.

While changes of this magnitude can serve as a major wake up call or a catalyst to initiate our spiritual growth and evolution of consciousness, when we hit these road blocks, it’s more than difficult to just pick up and say “hey, better things are waiting for me around the corner!”. It takes time to process, introspect and finally see, that the hand we’ve been dealt, was exactly the change we might have needed.

5. You lose your job

We all know that getting fired never feels good, but let’s be honest about it, if you were truly and honestly pursuing what you really wanted to do chances are you wouldn’t be kicking your lunch box down the street right now. Sometimes, when we can’t make the decision for ourselves to move on, life gives us a hard shove to get going in the right direction. Take time to reflect on what you appreciated about your previous position as well as the negative and you will find if you are honest with yourself, that it wasn’t the right fit for you.

Now is great time to do some real introspection, especially if you have been in the same role for a long amount of time. You may find a completely new direction and one that serves your true authentic self and let’s you shine.

4. You separate from your partner

First off I’d like to say, as hard as it may be for some of you to hear– not everyone is meant to be with us for the long haul. Everyone has a special purpose in our lives, and with each person we are able to share moments which leave lasting impressions that we can take with us along our journeys. At every moment we are learning and growing and we never stop; change is continual and as we change, it only makes sense that the people, experiences and circumstances change along with.

If you are newly single or mentally processing the fall out from a long-term relationship, the aftermath can be devastating. If the relationship has been closed off by one of the partners, the best thing you can do is keep your distance. Early after a breakup the emotions are still running high with both individuals and you’ll both need your space.

When we give ourselves this space, we allow for healing to usher in and a time of reflection begins. Quite often, if one partner has decided to leave, the other may also feel in some sense relieved, as relationships can only flourish when both partners are in harmony. Soon, you may begin to recognize that it was only the familiarity and the attachment to the person which enabled you to continue in the relationship, all the while your spirit was urging you onto new and needed experiences.

3.You lose your house

Losing your home is devastating. Without a home base to rest our heads at the end of the day can make us feel lost and unstable. A shift from the normal safe routine, we quite literally feel like we have been thrown out to the wolves, to fend for ourselves. Upon reflection however, you may find that your home wasn’t benefiting you in some way. Either the mortgage was too high, or the area where you lived wasn’t serving you or your families needs. Whatever the cause, when we can find trust in knowing that everything happens for a reason, we find comfort in the understanding that life can be like a tornado, and sometimes that tornado is what it took to shake us out of our stagnant state. It’s best to just let it pick you up, ruffle you up and put you back down where you are supposed to be.

2. You are diagnosed with an illness

The most serious of events to transpire, being diagnosed with any kind of illness quite literally catapults you into a state of shock. While this occurence may not rightfully fit in with a few others on this list, it is included because of its profound impact on emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. There is nothing more frightening than being told your health is at risk, while at the same time there is also nothing more that would motivate us more to live our life to the fullest. Being told that your time is limited or that you’re physical health will not permit you to do the things you once thought, immediately puts you on this path. The path to experience everything you can in the time you have. The path that opens your heart to forgive and love others in ways you never thought were possible and to appreciate the little things in life, that most others often tend to ignore.

1. You lose someone close to you

When you lose someone you love, there are no words to express how you feel. There are no words that can comfort a grieving heart and nothing will ever replace that person. You are only left with a gigantic void that pierces so deeply that it permeates to the fibre of your being. Now, we can never say that losing someone is a blessing, however we can say that not having this person truly and deeply highlights our immense unconditional, insatiable capacity for love, that we should always appreciate. I believe that love is at the fabric of our being, it is the fifth element, it is the vibration of creation and without love– life would cease to exist.

We can love far after a person is gone and long before they even arrive. Our genuine ability to love with all of our being is so deep that it transcends space and time and in the end if anything is to go on past our physical bodies when we die, it’s love.

by LJ Vanier,

This article was originally created and published here at by LJ Vanier March 15 2016 and was featured on

7 Signs You’re Not Living True to Yourself

“The only thing you can take with you when you leave this world are the things you’ve packed inside your heart”- Susan Gale

It doesn’t take much to be a spiritual person. Being spiritual really just means putting the emotional and psychological needs of yourself and others, ahead of the material and physical qualities of the world.

shutterstock_316177406-300x200Being spiritual is about showing compassion and helping others versus a continuous self-serving rhetoric that puts others down, while it catapults you to the top. Being spiritual is about being selfless in material gain and selfish in soul progression. But, when we lose sight of this our energy turns towards these material illusions that can lead us down a path of greed, jealousy and envy.

Because the power of our thoughts are so potent, the energy that accompanies them then radiates from our being like sounds waves. Quite literally, what we think holds its own vibrational frequency and when we align ourselves to what is true to our soul, we find peace, acceptance and harmony in our existence.

7.You overindulge in the material aspects of life.

You could have already guessed this one would be on the top of the list. While physical pleasantries can be comforting at times, we should never let them be at the center of our universe. Be authentic, pursue your passion and the material comforts will follow.

6. You worry too much.

care-self-1000x600Worrying and over thinking stems from lack of trust. When we don’t trust ourselves it’s hard to trust the world around us. But really, it’s like slapping ourselves in the face. When we aren’t confident enough in ourselves to trust our path, we end up undervaluing our own existence. Which leads us to…

5. You undervalue yourself

The best way to describe your higher self in this circumstance is to think of yourself as a child with hopes, dreams, creativity and all of the confidence in the world. When we are young our worlds seem small, and yet our imaginations are ten times greater. When we grow older, our worlds have grown bigger and the opposite for our imaginations. Your higher self knows that you have purpose, your dreams are important and your mind matters. Don’t sell yourself short, you are just as valuable as the next. Thing big, dream bigger.

4. You hold onto things too long.

me1At the fabric of our being we find energy and energy is always in a constant state of vibration. That is to say, energy is always in a state of flux. So should we be. We can allow our minds time to process, this is healthy. However, when we get stuck on things and can’t let go of them, they become weights that we carry around.

Not to get me wrong, I get it. Life can throw us some hard balls, and even more curve balls when we aren’t expecting it. Allow yourself time to process and time to feel. Feeling all of the emotions that we can really makes us feel alive. Embrace your sadness, celebrate your joys and then move on to the next.

3. You ignore your own needs.

It’s easy to get stuck in repetitive energetic cycles which do not serve our higher good. Whether it’s a lifestyle, a job, or a relationship, when we fall into these cycles we feel trapped, all the while knowing it was time to get out a long time ago. Usually at this point emotions begin to stir just below the surface as your inner voice is being neglected.

2. You drown out your inner voice

“Everyone who wills can hear their inner voice, it is within everyone”- Ghandi

alone-sad-girl-waiting-someone-broken-heartWe have all experienced intuition in the form of what we call an inner voice, but the degree of intensity will vary dependent upon the level of ones consciousness. Known as a flash of insight, this natural instinct can go unnoticed if someone has been ignoring it for too long. But when we trust our intuition it allows us to be more consciously aware of situations and activities in our life. Never be hasty, always take a moment to listen to yourself, trust yourself, trust your heart.

When we listen to our hearts, we are in tune with our intuition. This connection reveals the once hidden truths about ourselves, and our current situations in life, allowing us the opportunity to stay in touch with our subconscious mind; releasing us from limitations and removing aspects of the restrictive ego. This then leads to tremendous growth, creativity and an evolution of conscious awareness.

1.You are stuck in the past.

bellesprit.comThe only way to keep the past alive is to recycle the memory. When we recycle memories, we are unconsciously regenerating the old energy of these experiences, in order to “keep them alive” in our cells and when we do this, our ego then continues to feed off of the attachment. This repetitiveness causes our energetic body becomes stagnant and stuck without forward progression.

When you release the past, you raise your vibration and the old energy will die off allowing for new more positive energy to flow through. New energy brings change and change always brings new opportunities for growth and harmony.

by LJ Vanier,

This article was originally published here at by LJ Vanier March 15 2016 and was featured on

3 Reasons Why the Karma You Know Is the Karma You Don’t

3 Reasons Why the Karma You Know Is the Karma You Don't

“Karma has no menu, you get served what you deserve”. I am sure you’ve heard this before, among other phrases. The word karma has become so common in our vocabulary that we seem to accept it as a normal functioning part of reality. For instance, when someone is rude to another and then immediately following walks into a pole, we don’t hesitate to point out that “they had what was coming to them”. This is the understanding of day-to-day karma, as we have accepted. As every action has an equal and opposite reaction, we have adopted this understanding and called it karma, but this to me, is not the true meaning of karma.

fuck-karmaNow, on the other hand there is a karma that many have adopted, that firmly rests upon the belief of reincarnation. As I am sure that many of you are well aware of this fact, I will keep it light. The basis of this doctrine to put it plainly, is that as we incarnate from lifetime to lifetime we gather “karma points” good and bad for past actions.

Each lifetime you live, you will be paying off karmic deeds, as well as reaping the benefits of good karma (either in this lifetime or a previous) until all karma has been settled and you will no longer need to reincarnate.

Now I don’t know about you, but something just doesn’t sit right with me about all of this.

1. Guilt

What are the two best ways to control a population? Fear and Guilt

When we insinuate that karma translates to deed, we instil an automatic emotional reaction which usually transgress as guilt or unworthiness. Karma, is not to be equated with guilt. Karma is to be equated with action. I can’t help but refuse the idea that we are here on this earth until we finally “get it right”, or pay off some kind of debt. We are here to learn, to grow and to experience life as a soul incarnate, in the divine creation of human existence.  We are here because we choose to be here, no guilt, no strings attached.

So what is karma then?

shutterstock_291501230Recently, I was thinking. And in this thinking… I started thinking… about over thinking…. and I came to the realization that over thinking, while many understand is the “art of creating problems that were never there to begin with” I saw more clearly that lack of trust, was the true cause and that lack trust initiates over thinking, which becomes the sole”cause of action” or karma.

When we are unable to let go of control, we cause our own misfortunes, we create unnatural expectations and veer from our own path. When we learn to trust however, we form a basis of guided action, which winds our sails, and allows for the natural progression and evolution of the mind, body, heart, and soul.

When we act out of emotional response, exhibit impatience or lack of acceptance, we are only hurting ourselves and we move farther away from our higher self and deeper into the darkness or un-illuminated layers which mask the light within us.

Think of yourself as a lamp shade. Each time you lash out against someone, rush into things without thinking, or try to eagerly make plans without listening to your inner voice, you are really only hurting yourself and adding another shade or false mask over your energetic body. All of these actions make the light bulb inside of you harder to see. Each shade you add over yourself dims your light inside, and this is why peeling back the layers or masks of your ego is so important.

2. Alchemy

In Daoism, it is taught that if one is to clear themselves of all karma one must take the middle path, and in the words of Alan Watts “shoot and shoot quickly, before the devil knows what you’ve done”. Now, what this is referring to is alchemy– turning the lead into gold and following the real yellow brick road. This is real karma, in its truest understanding.

What does this mean?

Scientifically speaking, we are the microcosm of the macrocosm in the universe. As above, so below, and as within, so without.We are the miniature representation, that possesses the characteristics and qualities of the larger macrocosm. This includes our physical body, as it exists within the larger whole of its system.

Essentially, your soul is the point of singularity, that is found within a black hole or a star and the sun is just black hole reversed.

inside outSo, in terms of our eternal energy, it is understood that our souls are stars and black holes are simply stars turned inside out.

An un-enlightened or un-illuminated person is just that, an inside out star. When we clear our “karma” what we are attempting, is to clear all stagnant energy and turn the light inside out to shine brightly for all to see. “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious”- Carl Jung.

In order to accomplish, it takes the de-layering of emotional and psychological conditioning of the mind as well as deep introspection, (knowing yourself) which can be namely achieved through prolonged meditation as well as occulted rituals and rights of passage. (This may be why in freemasonry the initiates are shown to draw a circle using a compass.) Karma can then be viewed as layers of energy that are formed in your mind radiating in your energetic body and to break through you must first peel back the layers of yourself.

When you can forgive yourself and understand that your words and actions are created by the level of conscious awareness that you exist in, you have taken the first step towards karmic freedom. Freeing yourself of karma then becomes the simple act of healing yourself and allowing your light to shine through.

3. You Are Free

Indoctrination, no matter how widespread or vast, need to be seen as such– originally presented as doctrines of truth, that can later become lost in translation. Namely, because of the lack of direct experience of the soul. While I can’t refute the position of reincarnation as I strongly see it as a truth myself, I can however point out that there is no need to keep a karma score. Guilt will only become a hinderance in your spiritual evolution, as it takes a great deal of acceptance when peeling back the layers of your black hole, to reach your light.

You are a star, you are free, it’s time to shine.

by LJ Vanier,


Originally published here at by LJ Vanier March 21, 2016

5 Ways to Find Yourself When You’ve Lost Your Way

5 Ways to Find Yourself When You've Lost Your Way

“We only lose what we cling to”- Buddha

Feeling stuck? Don’t sweat it. Sometimes getting lost, is exactly how we find ourselves. In one moment, you may feel clear and concise about your goals in life and the next, you have done a complete 180 degree turn and are set out on a new path. Change is never easy but it is always necessary. Like energy, if things never changed, life would become stagnant, and the more we are able to adapt and flow in a state of non-attachment, the easier we can make it for ourselves.

So, when the wings of change come sailing through, leaving you feeling lost, confused and without a clear direction. Always remember.

5. “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

There is no finish line and there isn’t a destination. “We do not dance and aim at certain spot in the room because that is where we ought to arrive at, the whole point of the dancing is the dance”- Alan Watts.

Every day we learn something, and learning is the most soul satisfying endeavour we can indulge in. The soul loves growth by experience, otherwise…. we wouldn’t be here. So stay cool, calm yourself, you don’t have anywhere to be but where you are.

4. Trust yourself

You are the only one who knows what you are looking for, take your time, go inside and find out what gets your heart pumping and your juices flowing. When change comes it is always needed. Although it may feel like a catastrophe and something you never wanted to happen, in time you’ll see why it had to happen.

3. Be vulnerable

Vulnerability is the first step to courage and is the foundation of self-confidence. But, who really wants to be put in a position where they feel they have no control over anything? It’s a hard spot to be in. Learning to let go then becomes a battle between your spirit and the masks of your ego. Your ego fights to stay in control, while your higher awareness knows its time to surrender. All in this in an elaborate scheme to mask your true authentic self from finally shining through allowing you to find your destined path. You have already made the choices for yourself on a higher level of consciousness, you are simply here to walk them.

2. Take the risk

You will never know unless you try. The greatest part of change is that when one door closes it allows for the opening of others. Life will not leave you without options, but it is your job and choice to take advantage of them when they come.

1. Be stuck

And finally, if you have exhausted all of your efforts in trying to move forward with your circumstance to no avail, it is time to just be stuck. Too often we try to force things when we are bored or unsatisfied, which tends to cause more problems than there were to begin with. If things aren’t manifesting, it might just be that the universe needs the time to reorder itself and gather the energies required to elevate you onto your newly chosen path.

In order to keep the energies that are building for you on their highest possible course, place your disposition into a state of acceptance and gratitude. Take comfort in knowing that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

by LJ Vanier,

This article 5 ways to find yourself when you’ve lost your way was originally published here at

3 Truths That Come To Light When You Expand Your Consciousness

“What you are seeking is seeking you” – Rumi

I knew that I always liked this quote, without really knowing why. To be honest, for the longest time I never really understood what it meant. Then, everything changed.

1. Discovering the Light

In Daosim, it is believed that the journey to enlightenment starts by turning the eyes inside out and there is an african proverb that states “when there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot touch you”. As we have all learned by now, the way that view the world around us, is a projection of our inner world, and so our quest for happiness, enlightenment and satisfaction lies primarily upon filling our selves with light and love in order to then radiate it into the world.

Sadly however, as a defence mechanism, we seek to avoid the inner work of illuminating the shadows in our minds and neglect doing what is necessary, to reach an enlightened state. New age spirituality for instance, relies too heavily on focusing on the love and light aspect; when we seek out, search for, or try to attain this light we are essentially chasing our own tails. That is what Rumi is portraying when he makes this statement. We become like dogs and cats spinning around in circles, all the while missing the point. Rumi, I feel had a very good sense of humour.

The point being, we are the light because we are awareness and when we can increase our awareness, we expand our consciousness. That is, we make the unseen-seen and bring unconscious thought forward into a consciously understandable level.

You see, awareness is like a field of energy, “awareness is in your whole being, awareness of itself is like a light inside, do not imagine in as the sort of light you see, light and awareness is one of the same thing” – Mai Agate Valjataga.

2.Reconnecting to Unity Consciousness

All is one. We are all one. We are all connected and every man and woman is your brother and your sister. This isn’t religious, this is science.

While there are many interpretations of unity consciousness, and many perceptions to be had. Today I will give you a glimpse of mine own. I am not asking that you believe it, I am not telling you to take it as the “gospel”. What I am going to tell is that this is my perception. This is what I saw when I found the light, when I projected out of my body and into the universe and this is what resonates with me.

The universe, is sexual. The universe is playful. The universe is God. My physical body is the projection of my creator because I am just a cell in its body. I see that the planets are also cells, and we are cells within those same cells. My aura is my protoplasm and my body is the nucleus.The entire universe is creation at all moments, cell multiplication and death. I see the big bang as the moment the sperm entered the egg. I see the milky way as the semen of the gods, and I see that I am a universe. Because I am capable of creating life, and I am part of creation, I am also a god. When we create life we are creating a universe of cells, with their own unique consciousness, no matter how small.

I see that my soul is a spark in the night sky, a star, and when I leave my physical body and ascend into the heavens, I will shine bright for all to see. You and me.

“Every human being knows everything as all that is needed to know is contained in the memory of their cells and the zero point quantum field. The only problem is they have yet to discover how to read that field”- Mai Agate Valjataga,Kreet Rosin Excerpt from Your Every Feeling Creates You

3.The Immortal Foundation of the Soul

It was once believed, that a person cannot be truly considered a soul incarnate until it possesses pure and genuine compassion for others. I find this to be extremely poetic. Compassion, while it sounds like a simple and common word. It isn’t always easy to attain and uphold a higher perspective. To put your ego aside and elevate yourself to a level of understanding which sees every being as child. That is to say, we are all infants in the universe and to rise above and “take the high road” as they call it, takes an enlightened mind. A soul who has found the light within, and makes the conscious choice to be righteous in judgement, righteous in understanding and righteous love.

Righteousness, to me doesn’t me being right. It means showing love, compassion and understanding, no matter what you think is right.

by LJ Vanier,

This article 3 Truths That Come to Light When You Expand Your Consciousness was originally published here at March 8, 2016 and since has been featured on For permission to republish please contact directly.

12 Signs You’re Disrespecting Yourself (and How to Stop)

12 Signs You're Disrespecting Yourself (and How to Stop)

by LJ Vanier,

“How people  treat other people is a direct reflection how they feel about themselves” – Paulo Coehlo

Every relationship we have, can be viewed as a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves and setting the tone for the right relationships, lies heavily upon us. By trusting ourselves, listening to our own thoughts, feelings and emotions, we become more authentic and this gives us the wonderful opportunity to become comfortable in our own skin. Yet, when we are not comfortable with who we are, we project onto others, what we cannot accept of ourselves.

12. You are “judgy”.

“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to thinker what he thinks into it” – Ernest Holmes

Remember that each time you lash out against someone, whether it is behind their back or to their face, you are meeting an aspect of your own shadow. So turn those words back around, because what you just said, is exactly what you need to heal, accept and alchemize within you. Tongue lashing someone with crude remarks is a sure sign that you’re not comfortable in your own skin; you’re too hard on yourself and you lack self-acceptance. When we judge others, not only are we bringing forward an aspect of ourselves, we are unknowingly hurting someone else, based on our own perception of the world in how we see others.

11. You seek validation from others.

We seek attention and validation from others when there is something missing. A void that needs to be filled, and without the proper tools and the introspection to understand and alleviate the cause, we search for an external reaction. You are the cause and the reaction. What you seek in the world is already within you, you already know the answer because you asked the question. Measure yourself by your own standards and set the bar high because you’re worth it.

10. You put yourself last.

Doing things for others can bring us joy and satisfaction, but there is a sacred selfishness that we can’t afford to ignore. When we over-indulge in giving our time, our energy and our good nature, we may think that there’s no harm but be warned, like a car we can’t run on empty and we all need a refill. 

9. You repetitively do things you dislike.

Whether it’s a job, a lifestyle or a relationship, continuing on in the same energetic cycle that doesn’t serve your higher good is not only unhealthy, it can cause mental and emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression. If you find yourself feeling like you are stuck on the rat wheel, you already know its time to get off. It will not do you any good now or later, so trust that something better will be waiting for you around the next corner, and it will.

8. You’re angry.

“Anger is a sign that something needs to change” – Mark Epstein

What is anger? where does it come from? and why does it have the ability to boil our blood so much!

A face of the ego, anger can come knocking for a variety of reasons. Anger is a sign that you aren’t satisfied with your current situation, whether it be emotionally or psychologically. To be plain, your basic needs are not being met and your ego “I” is letting you know loud and clear that you need to serve yourself a little better.

7. You let others have too much say in your life.

“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?” -Danielle Laporte

Whether its our parents, our friends, coworkers or our bosses, we are always getting advice from somewhere, (whether we are asking for it or not is a different story.) The point is to entertain a thought without accepting it. Feel for yourself if what you are being told resonates with you, the real you, the child that has hopes and dreams for itself. Be mindful of what you allow into your decision-making, this is your life and you are the only one living it.

6. You tell white lies.

Even the smallest fib, is a reflection of your own self-confidence. Never lower yourself to try to impress someone else. Be you, be real, you are enough just as you are. Anyone who can’t respect the truth, isn’t worth your time.

5. You mask your emotions.

Since I was young, I have always viewed feelings and emotions as separate. I understood that my emotions were based on instances where I had been hurt or wronged and transgressed due to often confusing and difficult times in my life. Whereas my feelings were much different in that they were a clear inner knowing of who I truly was, what I supposed to do and served as my guidepost of light in the darkest of times.

Too often though, I see others unable to differentiate between the two and choose to mask everything that they are feeling due to the inability to comprehend, or the fear of what they might find buried and hidden away in the hidden closets of the mind.

In an attempt to drown emotions, we flush away our elevated instincts (intuition) by use of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and anything else that can be used as a distraction, keeping us from dealing directly with what is at hand. And the greatest tragedy of the matter, is that when we chose to forget the bad, we also forgot the good.

4. You can’t take the bad with the good.

You can’t add anymore water to your cup if it is already full. When we are unable to release past experiences, by working through them emotionally, psychologically and spiritually we feel like we just can’t take another bad, or we think to ourselves, “if anything else happens I just can’t take it”. Naturally, we seek out the fun-filled aspects of life and negate all responsibility. Quite often, this is known as a mid-life crisis. It’s all of things that we’ve been avoiding for so long and they will always at some point work their way forward. Whenever we are ready to stop running and surrender to our own pain and suffering, we can release its hold on us and we are ready to take on anew. Empty your cup.

“it is my solemn declaration that the entire purpose of suffering is to awaken the soul”

3. You’re hard on yourself.

It is my personal belief that self-acceptance and humility fall hand in hand. While there are many people who believe that we all make mistakes, I am not one of them. That is to say, we are perfect just as we are. If someone is going to keep score– stop. Life is about learning and growing, not tallying our karma, and when we can forgive ourselves for the things we didn’t know then, that we know now, we ascend into love and acceptance of self and release the burden.

It’s a weight you’ve been carrying too long, drop the bag.

2. You don’t trust your intuition.

We all have instincts. A flash of insight or an inner voice that guides our decision-making process, but it is your choice whether or not to listen. Make the one that serves you first.

1.You’re not following your heart.

Your heart knows long before your conscious mind has had time to process your feelings. You will always get a soft nudge, an internal knowing, whether you should or should not proceed in any of life’s situations. Yet, it is common that this nudge is overlooked; usually buried by emotional triggers of the brain, that cloud the mind, and steer you off course. It usually why it said that we should never make a hasty decision, and it is dead on. Always give yourself the time to separate your feeling or inner knowing from your emotions and once you have, trust yourself. Trust your instincts and trust in knowing that in life and in love, it always finds a way.

by LJ Vanier,

Originally published here at March 8, 2016


12 Things You Need to Know About Loving a Scorpio

12 Things You Need to Know About Loving a Scorpio

Loving a Scorpio is anything but boring. They are passionate, intense and full of great mystery; a Scorpio knows how to keep things exciting and their sexuality is nothing to be taken lightly.

Scorpio’s are naturally empathic and highly intuitive which makes them more sensitive to emotions than most. Scorpio’s are dominating and head strong, but in the end they will always follow their heart. Because of this quality in themselves, they most often listen to the hearts of others over rational thinking processes and can be left confused and hurt when someone doesn’t follow their truest desire.

So if you are dating, are married to, or are simply related to a Scorpio, here are the crucial things you need to know.

1.They are intense

No other sign in the zodiac can match the intensity of a Scorpio. Whatever they do, they do it with reverence or they won’t do it all.

2.They can be self-destructive

The sign of the alchemist, Scorpio rules over death and rebirth and therefore is natural at breaking down aspects of themselves in order to start over from scratch. From an outsiders perspective, it may appear to be self-inflicted abuse however a Scorpio knows that it may take a melt down in order to build themselves back up again and this time, stronger than ever before.

3.They can be overly sensitive

As Scorpio’s are highly intuitive and naturally empathic, they tend to absorb the energies of others and reverberate them into their being, let alone trying to cope with their own emotional dealings. Therefore scorpios can be highly sensitive and it is important to support a scorpio, they way they need to be. Reassuring a scorpio “that everything will be o.k” and that there is no need to worry can do wonders for emotional stability.

4.They are introverted

The extroverted introvert, a scorpio loves to be the center of attention when at a vibrational high, yet will become recluse once the energy is either attained or dispelled. They are naturally gifted at “small talk”, and know how to be charming without letting outsiders see the real authentic part of them.

5.They believe in fairy tales

Scorpios are magicians by nature and they are keen at reading between the lines. Love stories like The Notebook or fairy tales like Cinderella, conjure their inner knowing that miracles are real. A scorpio loves to search for these hidden meanings laying just below the surface and will scratch until they break the veil.

6.They are stubborn

The intensity and tenaciousness of a scorpio can drive them into tunnel vision. Once they are set on something, its hard to make them see anything but what they are focused on. When offended a scorpio will plant their feet hard and dig in deep. It takes the soothing and calm demeanor of their partner to melt their ice and bring them back to a level head.

7.They are independent

A scorpio is clear to let you know that they really don’t need you, without speaking a word. They are strong, determined and self-sufficient. The hard shell of a scorpio allows them to manage alright when it comes to the everyday, but what they really need is someone who can match their level. No doubt a scorpio has or will have gone through relationships where they assume the leader role and while they can do this with ease, for the long-term they are looking for someone whom they can trust enough to lead them.

It takes a lot to earn the respect and trust of a scorpio and this is because they can see right through you, don’t ever think they can’t.

8.They tend to be over thinkers

A scorpio always hears what is behind the words being spoken, the “what’s not being said” is their domain and because of this, they can’t help but lean towards the overthinking end of everything. 

9.They take things seriously

On the downfall, scorpios are known to take life a little too seriously and need to be reminded that the universe is playful! They are hard on themselves and are known to hold guilt for a longer than normal period of time. Let your scorpio know that they shouldn’t sweat it “like water off a ducks back.”

10.They are highly observant

Not much gets past a scorpio, a natural detective, they will be on to you before you know it. So if you are trying to be sneaky, you’d better be on your A game.

11.They are highly sexual

No doubt, word on the street is that a scorpio is crazy in bed. If you aren’t looking for anything but the contemporary, choose a different sign to be your mate. Scorpios know how to take normal ordinary sex and amplify it into something more– sensual, spiritual and creative. They understand the power of sexual creative energy and know just how to wield it. But beware if you double cross a scorpio, they have complete control over their reproductive organs can shut it down, turn it off and lock it up, just as quick.

12.They are crazy!

Scorpio’s are highly creative and this creativity needs an outlet! If a scorpio is pent-up with out a release, or stuck on an idea without closure you’d better watch out because its going to get out, one way or another.

by LJ Vanier

This article was originally published here at by LJ Vanier January 3 2016.

8 Ways to Attract More Positive Relationships In Your Life

8 Ways to Attract More Positive Relationships In Your Life

Are you looking to create more authentic, positively charged relationships in your life? It’s something we all need more of and sometimes, it can feel like the relationships we have are dragging us down and down right draining of us of our precious energy. Even after a spiritual awakening, or a shift in consciousness towards a more spiritual path, we find that we can’t keep the level of vibration that we need to sustain the levels of light, love and soulful expression, we once had attained. We feel like we would do anything to get back to it, but we can’t seem to move forward past these “negative relationships” that are all around us.

Knowing more about energy, will be our key to achieving what we seek.

8. Get Out of the Past

empathic-min-minHow many times have you heard, “how can you begin a new chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”. There is nothing that resonates more than this statement. An instinctual reaction, it’s natural for us to formulate an expectation of the future and project it forward based on our memories. However, this precise action is in direct opposition with our own natural biology, as well as the laws of nature and reality itself.

What we perceive to be reality is just an illusion, and at every moment photons and electrons are flashing on and off, and this flashing is known to be the death and birth of these photons/electrons at the speed of light itself. This phenomenal occurrence is happening throughout the entire universe and “in your body your skin cells are dying once every month, your stomach cells die every five days, and the liver renews itself every six weeks. Your DNA, that makes the genetic material inside those cells, that is holding the memories of 13.8 million years of cosmological time, is not the same as what just a few weeks ago.”- Deepak Chopra.

These organs and cells are recreating themselves all the time. Now, tell me are you the same person as you were last year? How about, a week ago? Didn’t think so.

10-save-you-timeWhen we recycle memories in our minds, we are unconsciously generating the old energy of these experiences, in order to “keep them alive” in our cells, so that the ego can continue to feed off of the attachment. So like the old saying goes, “if you love something, let it go” because attachment is not love, love is without attachment, need or want. And when you do this, you will raise your vibration by letting the old energy die off, allowing for new more positive energy to flow through.

7.Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Getting out of your old habits and routines, is a great way to break up stagnant energy. When you get up and get out, you can’t help but change. Your perspective of life is measured by your surroundings and trying new things brings you a larger perspective of the world around you. Not to mention, the body loves movement. 

6. Let people judge you

This is also something that you may have heard several times, and it is one of the hardest ttumblr_mykzdliWi31suwvhgo1_500o undergo. It can be very difficult to appreciate, a good kick in the face. But when it comes, it is always exactly what we need and here’s how. Because everyone in your life is a mirror, they will reflect the light and the dark aspects of yourself.

Now when someone criticizes you, they are taking your un-illuminated, low vibrational energy, and showing it to you. They are your energy busters and they (unknowingly themselves) have come to help you transform and evolve. The only aspect of you that becomes “hurt” is your ego, but the soul doesn’t mind and is actually thankful. So, embrace your opposition, they are doing you a big favour and remember to always “love your enemies”.

5. Understand that rejection is a good thing

Rejection is judgement on steroids. Flat out, someone has told you that “whatever you have going on”, they don’t want any part of it. This can feel pretty bad, but don’t feel that way. It just means that you either you haven’t evolved to the point where they are, or they haven’t evolved to your level. It’s all about matching frequencies. If you are rejected, you need to work on your self-worth, and know that the door was closed on you because you subconsciously knew better. If you only consciously knew better, you would have closed it yourself. Keep going, you’ll find your match in every situation.

4. No more complaining

deep conversationsIt is said that 99% of conversation is complaining and when you think about it, it’s pretty accurate. Every time you engage in conversation that involves the “what’s not going right”, you lower your vibrational energy. This is an old habit and it can be hard to kick because just about everyone engages in it. Make a conscious choice when you find yourself complaining or speaking to someone else is, to find a new perspective and bring it into your conversation.

3. Stop over thinking everything

Over thinking creates a rash of problems that typically would not have presented themselves had we not given them so much attention. This is because when we over think things our actions then begin to follow our thinking. If we would have just left it alone, and let it be we wouldn’t find ourselves in our current circumstances. Calm your mind and reassure yourself, that what you are worrying about is likely not going to happen. No action needs to be taken, just let it flow and let it ride

2. Love yourself first

We attract who we are, not what we want. So the more inner work we have done to illuminate the darker aspects of ourselves, the more we allow for positive flow of energy. By raising our vibrations, we shed the energies of our former selves and allow for the cataclysmic transformation of the former. Positive thinking can only last so long until it too, becomes a false mask we put on to hide unresolved emotions. Give thought to the aspects of yourself that you value most as well as the negative, and be comfortable in bigstock-Sad-Girl-Draws-A-Heart-On-The--42745087your own skin. Every one of us has a shadow side that we don’t show to anyone, but when can embrace this shadow, we give rise to a power within us that allows our true light to shine.

1. Open your heart

Living with an open heart, is a courageous way to be. Especially if you’ve endured the pain of loss. Have courage and don’t let it take away from what you might gain. Don’t close your heart to love and remember that love is without attachment. It is the one thing that is everlasting and transcends all space and time. Love is the ether, love is the fifth element that gives birth to all of creation. So create the life you desire for yourself, create the relationships you seek to explore. And always, be authentic in your wishes, let your soul speak.

by LJ Vanier,

Originally published here at December 23, 2015

5 Clear Signs A Deceased Loved One is Nearby

5 Clear Signs A Deceased Love One is Nearby

You don’t have to be a psychic medium to get in touch with deceased loved ones. In fact,  passed souls will always reach out to us in times of need or longing. They can come with important messages or just to simply give you their reassuring presence and let you know everything is o.k. Usually though, we tend to overlook these phenomenal events as an overactive imagination and classify it in our minds as grief processing. But if we could all raise our awareness a little bit more, we might just find comfort in knowing that we are never alone. 

5. They Appear in Your Dreams

5 Clear Signs A Deceased Loved One is NearbyA vivid dream of a deceased loved one is classified as a lucid dream or vision. This is because of the potency of the dream. Quite often these are so intense that they wake you up in the middle of night filled with emotion. You may even be consciously aware of the fact that you are dreaming and not even realize it.

4. You Feel Their Touch

Most commonly felt shortly after a loved ones passing, the sensation of being caressed softly, either on the back or the hand is a clear sign of comfort from the deceased. Others may also just feel, that they are not alone and sense the presence of someone else in the room.

3. Unexplainable Phenomenon

It is not uncommon for passed spirits to affect electrical components in the home. You may find burnt out light bulbs more often, or other devices starting to go haywire for no other apparent reason. Think about it, if you were on the other side… wouldn’t you?

2. Hiding or Appearing Objects

There have been many accounts of the deceased “stealing” things from the home only to later have them appear in the most random of places. It may feel as though you have lost your mind, but don’t worry they are just trying to get your attention! And apparently you
are not listening. On the opposite, you may also find that you have lost something that is really important and when you begin stressing out about it.. suddenly it appears in the strangest place, easy for you to find and you could have sworn that you just looked there.

1.You Smell Them

UnknownOur sense of smell is the strongest of our senses and just one whiff can bring back a thousand memories.

The most common accounts of fragrances are the smell of cigarette tobacco or cigars while no one in the smokes, perfume and flowers.

Interesting Story:

My 3-year-old daughter (at the time) came into the room one afternoon. She was playing with her kitchen set downstairs. In her hands she held a plastic plate, plastic food and a spoon. I asked her if she was making herself lunch and she told me “yes but I have to go get more for Bill, I’ll be right back”. (I thought this was a funny thing to say).

She came back up from downstairs with another plate and so I asked her “who’s Bill?”. She looked at me and told me with a completely straight face “he’s sitting at the kitchen table”. My mind quickly raced to try to figure out what she was talking about… until I realized. Bill was our old neighbour he was in his early 90’s when I last saw him and Bill  passed away 2 years ago. She would have been 1 years old at the time of his death.

by LJ Vanier

7 Ways to Activate Your Chakras Using The Spiritual Power of Dance

7 Ways to Activate Your Chakras Using The Spiritual Power of Dance

“Dance is the fastest, most direct route to the truth — We dance to fall in love with the spirit in all things, to wipe out memory or transform it into moves that nobody else can make because they didn’t live it. We dance to hook up to the true genius lurking behind all the bullshit — to seek refuge in our originality and our power to reinvent ourselves; to shed the past, forget the future and fall into the moment feet first. Remember being fifteen, possessed by the beat, by the thrill of music pumping loud enough to drown out everything you’d ever known”

1397604630“We dance to survive, and the beat offers a yellow brick road to make it through the chaos that is the tempo of our times. We dance to shed skins, tear off masks, crack molds, and experience the breakdown — the shattering of borders between body, heart and mind, between genders and generations, between nations and nomads. We are the transitional generation” “This is our dance” –Dr. Bruce Lipton

Do you ever feel like the energy in certain areas of your body have become stuck or stagnant and meditation or Reiki just isn’t clearing it up.? You might feel it manifest into physical symptoms such as sore joints, bones or muscle tension. Dancing is a great way to alchemize these blockages and really get the energy flowing again.

Each chakra holds its own sort of akashic record of information storage and these portals of consciousness are like gateways, that elevate our own conscious growth. When this energy is free to circulate, it highly impacts our emotional, mental and spiritual state and the more this energy flows the higher our awareness expands.

So let’s free up those blockages shall we?

Root Chakra: Located at the base of your tailbone when stimulated it activates an exchange go energy between the legs and the sex organs. Movement of this chakra generates a strong sensation of grounding energy between your body and the earth.

root chMove this chakra to generate sensations of security and to develop a strong connection between your body and the earth. To activate this chakra, visualize yourself like a tree with your feet rooted into the earth allowing for the rest of your body to bend and move like bamboo. With each step you take, focus on this connection.


Sacral Chakra: Located at the area in your lower spine and just underneath your belly button in the front. Movement of this chakra generates the balancing energies between your masculine and feminine energies. Move your pelvic area in small circles at first then gradually begin making larger circles.

Solar Plexus: Located just under your breast bone, movement of this chakra will stimulate your heart and lungs. Known as the seat of the ego, activation of this chakra brings self-confidence and strong will power.

green trance888you dance, visualize the sun inside of you, shining brightly throughout your whole body and piercing from the tips of the your fingers and your toes.


Heart Chakra: Located in the centre of your chest, movement of this chakra stimulates energy flow through all extremities of the body. Activation of this chakra releases a potent emotional connection to the essence of all of creation through love, compassion and tolerance. Spread your arms outwards, open your chest and spin!

Throat Chakra: Movement of this chakra stimulates your throat, your mouth, your face and your eyes. Activation of this chakra gives freedom of expression of your own individuality. Bring your head back with your throat poised outwards and give a good release! Belt it out at the top of your lungs.


Third Eye Chakra: Located on your forehead between your eyes, movement of this chakra stimulates the back of the neck, and the top of the head. Activation of this chakra brings a deeper connection to your intuition beyond instinctual.

chakradance-art-2Close your eyes and feel the energy flowing as you dance–through the previously activated chakras and focus the energy pulsing in your forehead. Once you feel the pulse, begin pulling the energy back and forth in a push-pull manner from the back of your neck just below the skull to the front.

Crown Chakra: Located above your physical body, movement of this chakra creates a connection between your physical, etheric body and higher self.

With all other chakras now activated, focus the energy that is pulsing between your third eye and the back of your neck and complete the connection by drawing a point at the top of the head and bring all of the energy above you.

Finally, keep the movement of each chakra until you can feel its sensation. Always recognize the emotion you feel as the energy moves through the chakra and release the attachment to the emotion to move through it. This will keep the energy flowing.



And remember to let the music give you the movement, to bring you the message and create the magic!

by LJ Vanier

featured image credit

3 Potent Ways To Achieve An Astral Projection Right Now

Astral projection may not be what you think it is. Common use of the words often get misinterpreted when discussing the events of out-of-body travel. But, there is a major difference between an astral projection and an out-of-body experience.

astral proAn out-of-body experience is an event known as a split in consciousness. Meaning that the viewer has achieved dual reality in both their physical presence as well as in a non physical body of conscious reality.

Common out-of-body experiences include hovering over ones own body, (looking at yourself while looking at yourself) as well as being in the same location in this plane of existence, but existing in two different conscious forms.

An astral projection on the other hand is a projection of consciousness that elevates the traveller to the astral plane, that is not locally found in familiar or common places such as your bedroom, home or office.

When travelling the astral plane, you encounter dimensions of reality that are unfamiliar and unknown; these places, include planets in our own solar system, planets in other systems, as well as free travel alike travelling through space like a shooting star. The farther one travels, less and less beings the soul will encounter.

Other more common astral projections include unfamiliar planes of reality that resemble our current dimension and yet, are an alternate version of reality.

Through mine own conscious travels, I have experienced both local travel where I could look back at the earth from above, as well as non local travel where it felt as if my soul broke the speed of light and arrived to a place unknown. Many of times have I travelled far and near, learning these planes of reality and still I find that my soul yearns deeper for knowledge, from each of these experiences.

Ones first out-of-body experience, followed by an astral travel will open the mind and illuminate the senses leaving the seeker ever thirsting for knowledge and understanding. It is an experience that everyone must have at least once and when you do, you’ll be relaxationhooked too.

Astral projection and out-of-body experiences are most easily achieved when we are in a state of relaxation. This is why most travellers find that their projections take place either early in the morning or late in the evening. And so, if you are looking to achieve this, it’s best to try when you are completely relaxed.

Here’s how to do it.

1.Consciously Control Your Dream

Take full advantage of the moment in the morning when you are first waking up. When you realize you are waking, before opening your eyes and allowing your consciousness to fully return to your physical body, stay in limbo. Draw upon what you were just dreaming about and reprocess it in your mind. It is also advantageous to set an alarm for yourself and wake mid-night– 3-4:00 am, especially as our dream state is most active in deep sleep.

Do this as often as you can and this will train the brain in preparation for splitting your consciousness into an out-of-body experience or astral projection.

2. Set Your Focus

When we imagine different scenarios in our minds, whether it is a worry or a fantasy, we transmit a brain wave frequency. This frequency has been monitored using EEG technology and each wave we send out, holds it own frequency vibration. Now, depending third eyeupon the potency of the thought and by whether it is positive or negative. (Positive thoughts hold a higher vibration, as opposed to the negative.) it will create a ripple effect that can be viewed like a pulse or a sound wave, that is completely in line with the beat of your heart and transmits from your mind’s eye”.

When we align our hearts to our positive thought manifestation, it becomes the driving force and the manifestation point, that ignites all of the chakras in the body, catapulting the traveller beyond the out-of-body and into the astral plane.

3. Start The Wave

There are many techniques in order to loose the spirit from the body or split consciousness in order for free travel. My personal favourite is known as the earthquake of the mind, but today we will focus on the wave technique which is a little more subtle and will ease you in, first to an out-of-body experience before splitting off so intensely.

It is not well-practiced to immediately hit the astral realm, as psychosis can easily follow if not prepared for the journey. Taoists often warn about the dangers of extended and frequent astral travel and I can attest to this as well.

The wave technique has also worked well for me and feels like a dimension washing over you like water, the final step is to just take a deep breath, let go of fear and go under. 😉

The Wave:

Lie down in a comfortable position, in loose fitted, light clothing. Set your focus at the bottom of your feet and visualize raising your energy from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head. Feel it every step of the way.

chakrasIf you lose your focus, start back at the bottom and continue to bring it up through your legs, into your knee caps– into your torso- into your heart, until finally it is at eye level. With each chakra point you reach, you must balance the chakra as the flow of energy reaches, it. You can achieve this by non-resistance to each emotion that arises as the energy moves through you.

When the energy reaches the heart, let go of this plane and everything in it, this will be a test of non attachment and it will make the difference between reaching astral travel or not.

Finally, take a nice deep breath and bring the energy into the throat chakra. Let go, allowing the energy wave to wash over you completely.

Happy Travels!

by LJ Vanier

Originally published December 20, 2015 at by LJ Vanier