Current Intuitive Blog

Healing As Collaboration 

I recently gave a psychic reading to one of the collaborators on my new record. 

I worked with this lady on previous records and I always enjoy her. Not only does she know her stuff, but she's also down to earth, generous, and adept at making her clients feel comfortable in stressful situations. And she enjoys being part of a creative team – which is what making a record is all about.

Not surprisingly, but still unusual: almost all of her questions in the reading were about others in her extended tribe who were having a challenging time right now.

So I read their "mini-movies" – what I saw them experiencing, what they were creating in their lives in the near future, and the ins and outs of their particular scenarios. 

After the reading, she felt relieved and much lighter. Part of the message she got was that she could be there for the people in her life as a helper (in limited ways) and listener, but she really couldn't do more to solve their problems, as much as she wanted to. Fortunately, I saw, these characters in her life's drama were on the path of figuring things out for themselves. 

The insight that you can't solve others' problems for them can be a frustrating realization for a natural healer! Believe me, I know – which is one reason I learned specific techniques to help others connect with their own most fruitful and authentic energy vibrations.

But I still can do only so much without the collaboration of the person I'm working with.

After musing about this issue after the reading, I wrote my client/collaborator a little note:

"I think it's tough for those of us who want to help others, and for you with your especially strong clan associations, when we see those around us suffer. However, it doesn't really work (unfortunately!) to solve other people's problems.

"Somehow the way we are wired on this planet is that people have to solve their own problems, and inserting other folks' energies into someone's system more often than not gums up the works. Like pouring in diesel when that vehicle runs on regular gas.

"The best thing you can really do is to let that person know you see them. That validates where they are and what they are doing as a spirit.

"Then communicate from within your own space with the other person, always including a speck of amusement. Because usually the other person can start to match this spirit of mild amusement without even knowing it. This makes their own energies move more quickly and they can start to release what isn't them and what isn't working. 

"I'm sure you do this all the time with your clients!

"Even in the healing work I do (in which I'm working with the underlying energy system that is aligned with the body), the other person can recreate anything I changed IF she doesn't get the communication part. When it works, it's because that spirit getting the reading/healing does intuitively and/or analytically understand what we are working on together. 

"So, essentially, healing is a process of communication – and collaboration."

Probably this lady knew all this, but I liked writing her about it anyway. Part of my lingering impulse to help solve others' problems. (Ha ha.) (Plus I improved the note a bit for publication here.)

Of course, we can take specific actions that help others.

But that's very different from jumping into someone's personal space to tidy it up like a mad housekeeper.

(I don't mean that my correspondent/client/collaborator was doing that. But know what it feels like to succumb to temptation and blunder on in. Never works out.)

When you stay aware of your own and others' energy boundaries, it reinforces the power and autonomy of all involved. How can we collaborate when we have become one big muddy entity?

Instead, start with just saying hello and asking the person in need what she wants. 

Even if she doesn't know the answer yet, she knows you are there asking the question. Which is a form of love.

copyright © 2017 Lisa Bernstein 

Questions for A Clairvoyant Reader in the Past Month 

Usually, this blog sticks to diabetes-related matters from my perspective as an intuitive reader and energy worker (not to mention as a person with type 1 diabetes).

smallish red rose from spiritualmechanicsofdiabetes blog by Lisa B
But it seems to be a good moment to pull back the curtain a little bit on my broader clairvoyant reading practice.

So, in that spirit, here are some pressing issues my clients have been asking about in the past few weeks:
  • A custody matter
  • An affair
  • A legal case
  • An upcoming promotion
  • The exact nature of a couple of new businesses under development (by two clients)
  • Whether to buy a second home in a particular city
  • How to make a bar mitzvah go well
  • What to ask for (and receive!) in a (now not so) rocky romantic relationship
  • The energetic roots of one client's ADD
  • The emotional aspects of another's hip pain, and 
  • Where to go on vacation.
Among other issues.  (I offer neutral insight on any question, with warmth and even humor.)

Every person I read got specific answers to their questions, including a sense of greater ease and clarity about relevant past and present forces and desires, and help with encouraging the future to unfold in ways the person I was reading would prefer.

Curious? Have a burning question? Want to let go of outmoded programming and old energies that keep you stuck? 

Good timing! Because I've just adjusted my prices to allow folks with various budgets to get readings. Try:

~ A 20-minute taste for $49 (clairvoyant or clairvoyant tarot)
~ A half-hour reading for $69, or
~ A full-hour for an intro rate of $99 or just $130 for returning clients. 

Come on, invest a little bit in yourself!  You will feel different afterward  – in a good way.

Get in touch here. And read some testimonials of satisfied clients here.
copyright © 2016 Lisa Bernstein

Lessons from Diabetes for A Creative Person 

It has become clear that diabetes is the health issue of our century, with worldwide massive increases in new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes, even in children; perhaps even more widespread prediabetes; and millions of new diagnoses of type 1 diabetes as well.
pink writing journal from Lisa B's blog on spiritual mechanics of diabetes
Diabetes gave me crucial insights
applicable to my creative work and play

But diabetes has a silver lining: it's a great teacher. This is so because it asks those of us affected by diabetes to pay more informed attention to our bodies, our energy levels, and our actions. 

The call to action may be lifelong, but the payoffs can be instant. Moment to moment, day by day, we can see the positive impact of out attention and choices on our health and well-being.

Here's another benefit I've found in dealing with the type 1 version of diabetes for more than three decades: a lot of what I've learned is crucial to my work (and play) as a poet, singer, and creative person. 

This post from my other blog (the one about being a singer and poet) gives those key lessons.

copyright 2015 Lisa Bernstein

How to Ground Your Body (Part 2)  

Last September, I posted about one of the most important tools in my toolbox: grounding the body – a wonderful way to release energy, stabilize yourself, and replenish your personal space.

As you become more grounded, you’ll start to notice that it makes the diabetic aspects of your life run more smoothly. There will be spikes and lows as ever, but you may find yourself experiencing more stable blood sugars as you more easily release stress. 

Even if this doesn’t happen for you, being grounded, and a little bit amused, will make it easier for you to alertly and calmly make the choices involved in caring for your diabetic body.

See the new blog post on my intuitive services site for part 2 about how to ground your body. I include some asides on how I apply this tool as a person with diabetes throughout my day.

(I used to put up two versions of these intuitive posts, one tilted more toward people with diabetes here, and a slightly more basic version on my intuitive services website, but I've since heard that some search engines don't like one to put up similar posts in two places. So I'm trying something new by linking you, dear reader, to the new post.) 

How you might feel when you first sit down to ground:

dog without much personal space from

Luckily, you'll use this tool for yourself, not anyone else. You don't have to be perfect when you do it, and you'll feel a lot better when you're done! 

copyright © 2014 Lisa Bernstein

"Kyoto Autumn Leaves" copyright Malcolm Browne used under Creative Commons license:

Tool #3: Ground Your Body (and Replenish It)  

tree from spiritual mechanics of diabetes blogYou go through life attracting information, data, images, emotions. Some of it feels like bounty. Some of it feels like stress. A lot of it is way too much for your body to handle. You’re overloaded. You may feel at times that it’s tough to cope.

Here’s a great tool for letting go of the overload: imagine grounding your body to the earth.

Grounding clears out the clutter so you can go on, refreshed, and create what you want to do or have next. Grounding allows you to release the static – background chatter from the present as well as more highly charged stuff from the past that’s gotten restimulated throughout the day.

What a relief!

The spiritual tool of grounding lets you release excess energy from your body.

The image of grounding comes from the science and practice of electricity. An electrician will tell you that grounding an object removes excess electrical charge, whether positive or negative. A conductive pathway is set up between the object and a ground. Electrons travel along the pathway, releasing from the object, and the electrical charge of the object then becomes balanced.

We can adopt that metaphor and ground our “body electric,” as poet Walt Whitman called it. But we don’t use a ground that you can touch in a literal way, like a PVC pipe or a metal bar or a wire. We use an image, a picture, that is envisioned – and then put to work.

The body stores energy. A grounding cord releases it.

As you go through the day, week, month, OK, let’s just say, your whole life, you take on energy from people and experiences around you. You probably call it something besides “energy” – “stress,” or “tension.” Maybe it’s not all negative, and you call it “stimulus” or “data” or “inspiration.”

Well, you’ve got a few choices about what to do with this stuff, whatever you call it. You can hold onto it; you can pass it to someone; you can transform it into something else; or you can release it.

stressed rose from spiritual mechanics of diabetes blogOften, holding onto this stuff means holding it in the body. The body is somewhat of a hoarder, instinctively helping you survive by collecting energy (sometimes in the form of calories) that it attracts throughout the day. But while the body contains programming to do this to help you survive, it’s not always particularly discriminating. It needs your help. Some energy is appropriate to store in your body and some isn’t. Your body often doesn’t know the difference.

You’ll start to know the difference, however, by virtue of the pain and discomfort you feel, some subtle and some blindingly obvious. I’m betting that as you read this right now, you’re becoming vividly aware of places in your body where you’re holding energy or tension that are now crying out for release.

A grounding cord can be your way of getting energy out of your body that doesn’t need to be stored there – a way other than venting to your friends on the phone or rummaging around on social media, for a couple of examples, to pass that energy on.

We start out grounding to our Moms – literally.

Grounding is something we take to pretty easily, because we know about it from being in the womb. Through an umbilical cord, all of us were grounded directly and physically to our mothers. At birth, that umbilical cord vanishes, but an energy cord remains, from the parent to the child’s first energy center, or chakra, at the base of the spine or the child’s third chakra above the belly button, to help ensure the child’s survival.

At some point between ages 4 and 9, the grounding cord from parent to child dissolves. If you’re a parent, you might know exactly what this means. All of a sudden things feel really different: your child is grounded to his or her peer group instead of to you, and he or she doesn’t listen to you in the same way as before.

teenager disconnecting from parent and grounding through peersThis intense connection to a group intensifies in adolescence. (And if adolescence is defined as grounding oneself through a peer group, some of us are still teenagers. Ever feel panicked when you couldn’t log on to your favorite social media outlet?)

Typically, we ground to other people and things.

Even if we’re not grounding ourselves through a peer group, many of us tend to ground ourselves through people or things. The difference between grounding and simple connection may be subtle. What’s the difference? You can tell if you’re grounding your body through a thing or another person if you need the connection to feel fundamentally secure. Maybe you’re a bit too dependently relying on someone you’re in a relationship with. Maybe you finally feel relaxed and grounded only when you’re in your kitchen or your garage.

Some people are grounded to something in the future (that job promotion, that trip to Hawaii), and when they get through it, then they can release and relax (until they set up the next future thing to ground through). Maybe you gain a sense of security by attaching yourself energetically to a pet – or a box of cookies. (I’ve never done that, of course. Uh huh.)

We all need and enjoy this range of connections. There’s nothing hugely wrong with them, but you want to be aware of the degree – so ask yourself: how dependent are you on this person or thing to feel an underlying sense of safety and stability?

The value of consciously using grounding as an energy tool, rather than haphazardly grounding your body through a person, thing, event, or social media page, is that it’s purer, it’s more direct, and you can control it.

For instance: have you ever grounded yourself through a love interest, only to discover that this delightful human is having a bad day or a worrisome crisis, or has in fact broken up with you, leaving you in the lurch energy-wise? Suddenly you feel as anxious and destabilized as the person you’re grounding yourself through.

vintage photo of spaghetti eaters from spiritual mechanics of diabetes blogOr, let’s say you often ground your body using food. You feel tired or overloaded or scattered, and your tactic for getting your blurry spirit closer to your body is to create a trail made of a whole lot of potato chips. Or a few cans of soda. It’s the Hansel-and-Gretel approach, the mode of the fairytale kids who left a trail of breadcrumbs as they journeyed from home through a dark forest. The catch: when the breadcrumbs were eaten, the kids were lost.

You get the picture. If you want to feel grounded, then do what’s simplest: do it yourself, and do it directly. Actually ground your body using the energy tool of imagining a connection between your body and the earth.

Along with getting into the center or your head, grounding is where you start in meditation.

All the tools described here are aimed at helping you as an energy being, a spirit, communicate with and get into alignment with your body (or get your body into alignment with you). Why would you want to? Because – and as a diabetic, you’ve gotten an advance press release on this – it’s through communicating with your body that you get to reclaim your energy, feel better, and create the outcomes you want for yourself and even others. It’s all well and good to be. But you can’t overlook the fact that, in this incarnation at least, the way you be is via your human body.

The best way to start this next phase of your body-being communication it to take time out for it apart from any other activity. That is, sitting down in a quiet place and being present in the moment. This is the vantage point from which you most effectively create anything. We usually call this meditation.

Feline Smile by Martin Kenny
Meditation is the focused place where you do things as a spirit, without distraction. Sure, you do things as a spirit – an energy being – all the time outside of meditation. But it’s easier if you practice it or focus on it in meditation, even if only initially for five minutes at a time.

Next you’ll learn to ground by sitting down and closing your eyes, but later you’ll apply this to grounding while going through your day. Just as you don’t start out learning to type while riding a skateboard, it’s easier to learn to ground and find your energy space if you’re not doing a bunch of other things at the same time.

To review very quickly: earlier, we learned the overarching spiritual Tool #1 of finding a little bit of amusement, which immediately gives us perspective ( and Then we learned Tool #2, bringing your awareness right behind your eyes, into the center of your head, to occupy the driver’s seat of your body ( Tool #3 is grounding your body.

Actually, you can use these three tools in any order. Ground first, find the center of your head, get a little amused. Or, get your awareness centered in your head, find amusement, ground. You get the picture (I keep saying that, don’t I? I seem to want to remind you that “getting the picture” is an intuitive process too.)

I’ve been using intuitive tools for more than 25 years, and I often feel I’ve achieved something huge simply by managing to sit down and do these three simple, but radically redemptive, steps. And if I can hit all three with my eyes open going through my day, I feel as if I’ve triumphed.

Start by just sitting down, closing the door, and closing your eyes. It sounds pretty easy, but it may be the hardest part of any of this: stepping outside of the energy streams and demands all around you, and taking a few minutes to slow down – for yourself. You can read through the description of how to ground, then do it; it’s OK to peek at the text as you go through the steps.

How to ground, first time. 
coiled rope from spiritual mechanics of diabetes blog

  • Find a quiet space to sit down by yourself without distractions. 
  • Ideally, put both feet flat on the ground. Sit up straight in a supportive chair so your spine can lengthen. 
  • Close your eyes. 
  • Notice your body. You can start with your hands. Notice what they feel like. 
  • Pay attention to your breathing. Don’t do anything to change it. Just notice it. 
  • Imagine that below your chair is a very large coiled-up brown rope, the kind they might have on a big old ship. 
  • Focus on one end of the rope and instantly see it (in your mind’s eye) connect to the base of your spine. It has magic Velcro on it to make this easier. 
  • Notice that the other end of the rope has on it a very large anchor. Drop the anchor. 
  • Watch that anchor fall to the center of the planet and uncoil that rope. Watch it falling. Now it’s halfway there. 
  • And then see that anchor keep going until it hits the center of the planet and stops there, landed. 
  • Imagine taking that rope, and in case there’s any slack in it, giving it a slight tug. Now it’s nice and snug, connected from the base of your spine to the middle of the earth. 
  • Just be aware of that connection. Don’t get hung up on literal geophysical issues about what’s in the center of the earth. Just imagine a simple image for it. 
  • In your mind’s eye, with your eyes closed, check your hands. 
  • Notice your breathing. Notice that space around you. Notice any difference between how you feel right now and how you felt before you did this. 
  • Notice that you feel anchored. Your body has grounding. The earth can accept whatever you’re already letting go of. Your body can relax. It’s safe. 
  • Take a deep breath. Relax back in your chair. 
  • Now notice one or two things that happened today or yesterday that you want to let go of. Don’t think too hard about it. Just drop them down that rope. Let them go. Down into the center of the earth. A conversation. A diabetes-related event. Something you ate. 
  • Enjoy this for a few minutes, or as long as you can stand to. Just sitting there, breathing in and out, letting go of stuff – thoughts, images, memories, responsibilities – just be present and release. If the phone rings, if your computer beeps, ignore it all. Just for a couple of minutes. All you’re doing is sitting here with your eyes closed, releasing. 
  • When you’re ready, touch your face, stretch, and yawn. Open your eyes. 

Was it easier than you expected? Did it feel a bit strange? Did it feel good? I expect that you’ll feel clearer now, more alert, and ready to do whatever you need to do, with a bit more energy.

More in the next post, including the replenishing part:
with a note to people with diabetes here:

copyright © 2014 Lisa Bernstein
"Feline Smile" copyright Martin Kenny used under Creative Commons license:

In-the-Body Meditation 

A few recent blog posts introduced intuitive Tool #2 for people with diabetes (and people without it): centering your awareness right behind your eyes – or getting into the driver's seat of your body.
woman driving from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

The first post on this tool noted that "taking control of what you’re paying attention to – and placing your attention on yourself, from yourself – are tremendously empowering acts."

You learned how to do that in the following post. Not that it's hard. In fact, the key to using any intuitive tool is to focus on it but without a sense of trying or a feeling of effort.

Next up was a post on playing with this centered awareness. Specifically, that blog post taught you how to start using your own attention to heal yourself. 

What's so great about being in the center of your head, or your sixth chakra, rather than other energy centers or chakras? That's the question asked and answered by the next post about Tool #2. Essentially, this energy center offers you certainty, clarity, and neutrality. The other major energy centers have great qualities too, and the post quickly summarizes them. (For instance, ever had a gut feeling, or just knew something off the top of your head?)
tire from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

So here we are in the last post about this tool, which is to say that taking time each day or so to sit down, close your eyes, gather up your awareness, and start placing it on your personal energy space is an effective, healing, refreshing style of meditation.

Meditation is your spiritual happy hour – but start with a hard-won, happy five minutes.

When you sit down, close your eyes, and get into the center of your head, you start to clear rather than override energy. It’s not the only way to do that. You might go for a walk on the beach, treat yourself to a spa treatment, get on your Harley, or take a vacation, and lo and behold – you’re refreshed. You’ve taken the charge of other people’s energy out of your space and out of your head. You feel pretty clear and comfortable with yourself. You find you can actually think for more than a couple of minutes.

rainbow raindrop from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

But then you get back to your life. The cleared-out feeling generally doesn’t last long even if you’re used to handling lots of energy demand. The competition for your attention starts up pretty quick. Your attention fires off toward different points. You feel overloaded. Where the heck did you go?

So as a daily coping strategy, you may start to override this load on your space by leaving the body energetically. Hanging out somewhere above your head while working. And afterward, spacing out. Where’s the beer?

The alternative – simply retaking your attention – is more effective in the long term.

If you’ve never started to meditate before, that’s fine. If you have meditated but in a different way, that’s fine too. As you take time for the next week or so to bring your energy into the center of your head, you’ll probably both be drawn to it and fight it.

That’s why it makes sense to just start to do it for five minutes once a day. More often, if you feel like it, is great! But don’t feel inadequate or guilty if you’re taking only five minutes a day, as you get used to this tool. Gradually build up to more time and keep adding the easy tools that the next blog posts will outline. But do give yourself a break about the process if it feels new to you as you get used to sitting in stillness and (in your mind's eye, or your imagination) looking around.

So, you decide to simply sit down somewhere and retake your attention. Feet on the floor, sitting up straight, you bring your awareness into the center of your head.

Hang on, and find a bit of amusement (Tool #1) because all those people out there who have your attention and who want to maintain it will then decide to call you, email you, and knock on your door. They don’t want you to take back your attention. I guess that means you’re doing something pretty powerful. 

Give yourself permission for these five or ten or more minutes to ignore them. Remember, if you need an excuse, think of it as a medical necessity.

meditation flower graphic from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

Or once you plan to sit down on that couch without the TV or laptop on, you’re suddenly compelled to wash the dishes, pining for a clean and empty sink as you have never done before. Or you have an uncharacteristic longing to clean out the garage.

Give yourself an A. All this means that you are doing a great job of reasserting control of your own energy space. It means that you’re learning to manage your attention – that is, you’re learning to manage all the competition for your attention. And as a diabetic who needs to keep an eye on your energy and blood-sugar levels, that's crucial.

It’s OK to bounce around.

Now you’ve made it to a chair, you’ve closed your eyes, and your awareness is snugly behind your eyes, or at least somewhere close. And you start to hit all the things in your space vying for your attention. 

Little bombs, small lit-up or loud or otherwise insistent pockets scattered throughout your space, start to go off. Things you’ve resisted. Things you’re competing with. Worries. Images. Memories. Concerns. Past, present, future. In short, various packets of charged energy.

Or you might notice a lot of thoughts running through your head, not unlike the translation running under the images in a foreign film. Suddenly you’re possessed by the need to analyze these thoughts. To think. To solve problems. To make lists.

All of this is excellent. It’s to be expected. It’s part of the process of getting back into the thicket that at the moment is your own energy field. Don’t fight any of it. Find a speck of attitude in which this deluge is funny. Wow, you must really be important if all this energy has to load up in your space.

Know that every time you noticed one of these energy packets, one of these thoughts, one of these images, you cleared some of the energy from it. If you heard the thought, if you saw the image, you de-energized it more. Success. Shortly, you’ll learn a couple of other tools to de-energize these intruding packets of energy.

It will get easier and go faster. The longer you sit there, the more times you sit there, it will get easier for you to find your own energy space. Even amid the various demands, you’ll find yourself enjoying the respite. Your body will relax. Your head will start to clear out. Your stress will decrease. You’ll feel more here.

Avoiding the nap syndrome.

Here’s another experience you’ll find as you close your eyes to get into the center of your head: the nap syndrome. You will hit some stuck pain in your energy field and nod off. You will “go unconscious.”

sleepy guy from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

Here’s a simple technique to avoid nodding off. Once you’ve closed your eyes and brought your energy into the center of your head, bring your attention to your breath. 

For a moment or two, watch your breath coming in and out of your nose. Don’t regulate it. Just observe it as it enters and exits the body. If you feel that you’re nodding off, exhale just a couple of seconds longer than you naturally would. Then relax and let the inhale come as it will.

What in your universe could use your attention?

Now, do one last thing after you stop reading. Give yourself one last gift for digesting all this information. Consider what in your personal universe could use some attention from you.
  • Be right in the center of your head. You’ve done it two or three or more times now so it’s starting to be more familiar. Find that space behind your eyes and let your awareness settle in there. 
  • No problems to solve. No demands to answer. The thoughts pass by. You’re giving yourself a moment to just be, with your attention behind your eyes.
  • From this space, ask the question, What in my personal universe could use some of my attention right at this moment? It could be a person, place, or thing. It could be in the past or the future. It could simply be your diabetes, or something specific related to it.
  • If you get an answer right out in front of you, gently place your attention on that answer. What part of your universe needs your attention? The answer may not make sense. Just accept it. Your job. Your partner. Your diet. Your elbow. The high school senior prom, whenever it was held. Place your attention right on that. Just look at that thing in your mind’s eye. 
  • After a minute or two, release your attention from that concept, that picture. 
  • Pat yourself on the back. Open your eyes.
  • Touch your face. Yawn and stretch. This takes you out of the light trance you just got into.
Trust this knowledge: with the power of your tangible, focused attention, you just energetically created a change in your world. Your attention released something stuck; it created a healing.

copyright © 2013 Lisa Bernstein

Eavesdrop on Your Body 

writing illustration by Anthony Russo from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blogShortly after I was diagnosed with diabetes, I decided to write down what my body was saying to me about having this condition.

I postulated that I would just listen and take dictation. I recorded the first things that came into my head that I imagined as the communication from my body at that moment. Here’s what I heard, and wrote:

Take care of me
I am your system
I am your lifeblood
I am a network which communicates with itself
I am a network of information pulsing within the world
I transmit what you need
Feed me
I unfortunately must be plumbed with a needle
In a haystack
In a dimwit
In a bad girl
In a durable item
In a shining woman with tresses of auburn and a gown of netted gold
In an arched cathedral where you once stood witness and sang
I am your support to find your signals
I am your trampoline
I’ve got nothin’ but love for ya, baby
I’ve got some pain for you too
I remind you with each pinprick that you have skin
I remind you that you have borders which any prick can’t get into
I communicate in infinities of systems
But all can be known with the inner eyes
All my organs pulse with knowledge
Feed me
Know me
I’ll make up for letting you down
Work with me
Play with me
I’ll nourish you
I’ll shine for you
I’ll be strong and sturdy
Through me you will cry, but then you will laugh
And eat!
Feed me
And I’ll feed you back
I’m all yours

I found myself near tears at points with the baldness of the truths that my blunt body stated. And I was impressed by the imagination and perhaps ancient memories it seemed to offer. I didn’t want it to be a finished poem; I was happy to just have it, a communication from the body like a message in a bottle pushed urgently to shore.

typing from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog
Afterward, I felt rather tender toward my body, appreciative of its ups and downs, its loyalty throughout this and other challenges. I felt forgiveness – toward my body, and from my body toward myself.

Try this little exercise, also called "free writing." Find a spirit of childlike playfulness. No judgments, just listening. You don’t have to be a writer to do it. The outcome doesn’t have to be “good writing.” It doesn’t have to be poetic or meet any other standards.

pink journal from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes BlogPick up a pen, or go to your computer. Pretend you’re just taking dictation. Don’t stop to revise. Don't stop at all, in fact. Don’t censor. If you don’t hear anything, write the first thing that comes into your head. Don’t wait for something “good” or “inspired” to come to you. It may feel like junk or nonsense at first. At some point, you'll start to get meaningful stuff, even if you don't see it that way while you're producing it. 

If you have a specific issue you've been working on, ask your body to talk to you about that. It could be weight gain. It could be exhaustion. Just ask, and "take dictation" from your body as it tells you something in response. See what flows from your awareness down your arms, onto the page or screen. Start.

No one else has to read it. Or you may want to share it. You’ll have fun, and you’ll feel surprise.

Whatever other emotions arise, just allow them to be there in your experience for a few minutes. Then take a deep breath, and exhale. Put away what you write someplace you can find it, so you can pull it out and read again.

I know that one thing you’ll feel is relief: one always does in the face of intimate truth.

The communication from my body shown above was written decades ago. The other day I decided to do this exercise again. Here's what came out:

You make me work so hard
And yet I love to stretch out
Here in the middle stretch, in fact, 
It’s a bit more challenging to keep taking the next step
Yet what else are we here for?
And what alternative do we have?
Yes, this dull ache is still here in the right hip
But so many other dull, or not-so-dull, aches have come and gone
I know you’re better at handling the flaring-up pains
Those dramatic, cry-it-out, think-it-out, emotional waves
But here I am just carrying you through
I need you to notice this
If I were a horse, would you give me an apple?
If I were a dog, would you massage me more?
In fact, I’ve noticed, you do massage your dog a lot more often than you massage me!
It’s OK to take it easy, you know
And I’m more resilient than you sometimes remember
So, baby, let’s get ready for the rest of the race
Or is it a marathon? A marvelous, a Malomar, 
A mistake, a message, 
A missive, or a mistress? (no – that last one is me) – 
Maybe it’s more than you bargained for,
All this living, and yet I know my duty,
To live, to revive, to restore, to regret, 
To resurge

copyright © 2013 Lisa Bernstein

What's So Great About Being in the Center of Your Head? (More on Tool #2) 

So what’s with all this talk about being in the head? What about being in the heart or other parts of your body?

As the previous posts touched on (, when you get into the center of your head, you bring your awareness into the sixth chakra or “third eye.”
getting centered in your sixth chakra behnd your eyes from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

It’s fine to be in any of the other major energy centers, or chakras, from the first one at the base of your spine to the crown, or seventh, chakra on top of your head. Each one has its own abilities, and you access them most fully by focusing your awareness in that chakra.

However, for consciously getting in synch with your body – whether in meditation or just walking around in the world – the sixth chakra often works best. This energy center offers you certainty, clarity, and neutrality. It gives you “clear seeing.” When developed, this ability translates into clairvoyant perception – when you are in a light meditative trance – of the energy movie around you.

Let’s contrast the sixth chakra with the fourth chakra, near the heart, which holds your abilities and information related to affinity and caring. Gathering your awareness and energy into your heart chakra for most of your meditation is not the most helpful thing you can do, because when you use your intuitive tools from this space, everything you do is colored by caring and the desire for closeness. You won’t have as much perspective. You might love everything you pay attention to or be overcome by other intense feelings. 

chakra illustration from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blogYou might want to use your heart energy to heal others, to fix situations. But if you do that from your heart, you won’t be doing it from a neutral point of view. You won’t see things as clearly. And you won’t feel as certain about what you’re noticing. You’ll have an agenda.

The heart chakra is a fitting place to center your energy when you’re engaged in loving and affectionate activities. Also, chances are you already know how to be in this energy center. It’s more culturally acceptable to love than it is to see yourself, others, and situations without bias or competition. Being in your heart may feel more natural to you than being in the center of your head, where you’re simply looking and communicating. So practice something you’re less familiar with, which offers a great deal of power to see truth.

In addition, you don’t want to interfere with the important physical work of the heart by doing a lot of energy work from this chakra. Let your heart muscle pump blood; let your feelings of love and like and hatred and dislike flow in and out of your heart chakra. Feel close, feel distant; feel. But when you want to find a quiet space to simply be, perceive, get back in synch with your body, consciously and confidently release energy that isn't really you, and call back in the energy that is, bring your awareness to your sixth chakra as we’ve described.

The center of your head is such a relaxing place because of the neutrality, clarity, and certainty it offers.

To illustrate this further, think of your first chakra at the base of your spine. From the center of your head, just imagine it. (Notice how you want to go there energywise as soon as I mention it? That’s the habit of sending your energy wherever someone points you to.) This is where your survival information is stored. Here your fight-or-flight mechanisms are triggered: great, useful information if indeed your physical survival is threatened. If you’re having a physical emergency, you immediately leap into your first chakra at the clanging bells of adrenaline. 

But normally, you don’t want to be engulfed in that stressful, save-my-life response. You don’t want to sit in the middle of pure survival data when instead you’re seeking a restful, calm, clear seat in your body. You’re looking to release stress, not experience it.

get neutral from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blogThe other main chakras also are rich with abilities and information: the second chakra, where you experience emotions and sensuality, where you might experience a “gut feeling”; the third chakra, a crucial one for diabetics as it’s related to the pancreas and controls will, identity, and running the physical body; the fourth, the heart chakra, which we’ve just discussed; the fifth, or throat, chakra, which contains your communication abilities; the seventh, or crown, chakra, where you might “know things off the top of your head.” 

But as you can see from these quick descriptions, none of these offers the neutrality of the sixth chakra or center of your head. Here is where you imagine, visualize, or perceive what’s happening energetically, “see it in your mind’s eye.” And as yet another saying attests, we humans are wired so that “seeing is believing.”

If meditation is about getting into communication with your body and your energetic field, it’s good to listen from a point of neutrality – because the body has both positive and negative things to tell you. You’ll be able to hear all of it better, and respond better, not from your survival impulses, your emotions, your finicky diabetic issues of control, your heart, your communication center, or the top of your head – but from the unbiased seat in the middle of your head where you simply see.

Having a geographic area in my space where I can anchor myself, and feel more neutral and certain, helps me enormously in managing my diabetes. When I’m having low or high blood sugar and start to veer into spaciness, feeling disconnected from my body and my abilities, I can gently yank my attention right behind my eyes. This simple adjustment helps me to get back into the moment, to assess what I need to do to remedy my physical situation, and to just generally carry on.

meditating guy from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog
Remembering to place my awareness there throughout the day also keeps me on a more even keel, reducing stress, which in turn smooths out my blood sugar, blood pressure, and even heart rate.

All this is augmented by taking time out with eyes closed for a few minutes or more each day to use this tool – sometimes even on the bus, at a site where I’m consulting, or anywhere else.

copyright © 2013 Lisa Bernstein

Tool #2, continued: Play with the Power of Your Attention 

Attention is a physical thing. You’re standing in line, or sitting in your car, and for no apparent reason you suddenly turn to see someone staring at you. You perceived that person’s attention. It had a weight you could sense.

Attention is tangible: you can feel it.

Depending on the quality of that attention, it may have felt as soothing as a warm bath, as stimulating as a cup of coffee hitting your blood vessels, or intrusive and painful, a “cutting glance.”
attention button from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog
Gathering up your attention and placing it
on your self  is a healing act.

Attention may even be healing. I like it when you pay attention to me. Give me your attention for a minute. You have craved someone else’s attention just as others have craved yours.

You can rely on one thing that can be the most soothing thing to your body: your own attention.

Yet starting to gather your attention can feel difficult or weird at first.

Initially, it may feel like tough going to gather up your awareness into the middle of your head, only because you’re not used to it and you’ve probably never been validated for doing it. As the last post explored, most of us have been conditioned to look outward for what matters, and to follow others’ agendas about what we should pay attention to. 

Unless you’re a monk or a nun (and maybe even then), it’s a daring act to step back from the commotion and take the time to clear out your own overloaded head – and then to just rest there, start to notice your body’s responses to what you’ve been perceiving and doing, and finally, begin to zero in on the next steps you want to take in your life. 

To do all this gives you back a lot of power and control. So it naturally sets off some alarms for you – and others. Relatively extreme fears or anxieties may pop up for you as you do something as simple as sit still in a chair for, at first, let’s say, five minutes. You may irrationally wonder if you’ll somehow be punished or isolated from the tribe. You may feel that you absolutely must bolt from the sofa and grab a diet soda. You’re used to thinking about your future, your car, your bank account, your spouse, your ex, your job, your parents, your kids, and now and then, world environmental catastrophe. 

out-of-body note from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog
If your energy isn't occupying your body,
then who or what is?
That’s what people have always told you is productive and worthwhile and what a good, nice person does. You must be a lazy, selfish jerk to just sit there for a few minutes and not do anything except to start to pay attention to yourself. Or you must be a weirdo to not have your eyes on a screen of some kind, or an electronic device in your hand.

You’ve got a good excuse, if you need one: diabetes. You have to get yourself into clear communication with your body.

What you’re starting to do here is a style of meditation, one that’s not “transcendental” but takes a different approach, based on bringing your awareness into the driver’s seat of your body. It’s important to start out doing it not by transcending or consciously placing your awareness above your body, but by re-owning and re-occupying your body. You’re not occupying Wall Street here, just your original physical home.

The extreme things that knock you out of your body most are illness, pain, and discomfort. Discomfort can occur for lots of different reasons; you might feel energetically attacked, or you might feel physically unsafe. 

Generally, it goes against all your training, and perhaps your inclination, to deal with these factors by truly connecting yourself again with your body. Everyone else has taught you to manage pain by fleeing the body, energetically speaking. Let your spirit travel into a fantasy. Drink. Take a pill.

Actually, I have no problems with the moderate use of any of these strategies, and sometimes one does need to take a pain pill. But I prefer to have a choice about what strategy I want to use, and I want to use awareness tools in concert with other ones. I don’t want to have to be semi-unconscious in order to function.

Plus, spending more and more time out of the body creates a vicious cycle in which it becomes harder and harder to get in there and enjoy your space. If your awareness, your energy, aren’t filling and holding and enjoying your body, whose is? If your own energy presence is not occupying your body, a lot of other stuff starts to collect there: random data and stimulus from the day that your body encounters, feelings that you’ve had and taken on from others and other energies build up unattended.
feeling scattered from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog
You feel scattered when your awareness and your energy
are outside of your body.

Like a foreclosed house where no one’s living, an ignored body can find itself with accrued grunge and spiritual squatters. So getting into the body is a way of kicking out a bunch of junk that’s crept into your physical space. That’s one definition of healing.

In any case, just on the principle of pure feistiness, I don’t want anything or anyone to dictate where my awareness and attention can or cannot be relative to my body. And I don’t want to be dictated by habit or culture to abandon my body just because some things are going on with it that I didn’t ask for or because that’s what everyone does. My body goes through enough with diabetes without my getting all spacey on it.

Addressing what’s going on with me starts simply by placing my tangible attention in and on my lovely body, just as it is – fat, thin, high blood-sugar or normal, tired, vigorous, gorgeous, ugly, strong, weak. Wherever and however it is. Mine.

Right now I’m patting myself on my thighs as I write this. Good body.

This time, with your awareness in the middle of your head, give your body some much-needed attention.

Once again, read the actions described below, then take a break from reading and do them. If you forget where you are, it’s fine to stop, open your eyes, and find the next thing to do in the list, then go back to the process. You don’t have to be perfect before, during, or after. 

When you get used to this, you won’t need a list: you’ll just get into the center of your head pretty instantly.
bright eyes from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog
To get back into the driver's seat of your body, bring your awareness
behind your eyes.
  • Close your eyes. Be aware of the wall behind you. 
  • Be aware of the wall across from you. 
  • And now be aware of the walls on either side of you. 
  • And then add to that awareness the ceiling and the floor below and above you. Be aware of all four walls around you. Notice any effect that has on your body. 
  • Bring that awareness to your face, then to the top of your head. 
  • Then be in the middle of your head. Literally. Be in the middle of your head. That's a point directly behind your eyes. 
  • From the middle of your head, be aware of the distance to the top of your head. 
  • Be aware of the distance between you and your face or your forehead. 
  • And be aware of the distance between you and either side, left and right, of you. 
  • Notice what that feels like. Does it have any effect on you? 
  • Notice your hands, but be aware of the distance between you and your hands. Notice what your hands feel like from the middle of your head. 
  • Now, as you’re in the middle of your head, be aware of the distance between you and your breath. 
  • Here’s a fun part. Ask what in your body could use some attention from you? Please look at the body in your mind’s eye, with your eyes closed, and ask it where it needs your attention. Be specific. 
  • Give your attention to that part of the body. Gently place your attention on that spot. Just notice it. 
  • Go to the next spot. Just notice it. Breathe and exhale. 
  • Find one more place in your body that needs your attention. Just put your awareness on it. Say hello to it. One more inhale. Exhale. 
  • Repeat as much as you’d like to right now. Or maybe you’re done. 
  • Take a deep breath. Wiggle a little in your chair. Touch your face. 
  • Stand up, stretch, and yawn. 
Did that feel good? 

If you want to further explore or relish the experience, create a spiritual mechanics notebook for you to write
flower illustration from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog
Locating your awareness inside your body
feels good.
in about the experiences you’re having with these tools (the kind you can hold in your hands or your electronic version). Start an entry about what that exercise felt like to you. What happened? What did you notice? Surprises, discomfort, comfort? Let yourself write a little.

More to come soon in the next post!

copyright © 2013 Lisa Bernstein

Tool #2: Get Back into Your Body: Bring Your Awareness into the Center of Your Head - Part 2 

Continued from the previous post,

The first step to getting into your body is bringing your awareness into the center of your head. 

This tool is not hard to do. I’ve taught it to people over the phone who instantly feel comfortable using it. I’ve even taught it to second-graders.

baby with awareness in the center of its head from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes Bblog

Here’s the step-by-step, highly aware version of doing it consciously for the first time. First, read the activities described below, then close your eyes and do as much as you can remember. When you’re done, open your eyes and check whether you did it. Repeat as needed.
  • Find a quiet space to sit down by yourself without distractions. 
  • Ideally, put both feet flat on the ground. Sit up straight, which helps your energy system get into alignment. It’s better to not lie on the ground while starting to do this, because you might doze off. 
  • Close your eyes. 
  • Raise your hands to either side of your head and lightly touch yourself just above the ears. Imagine a straight line through your head that connects your two hands. 
  • Now move one hand to lightly touch the middle of your forehead and the other to touch the back of your head. Imagine a straight line through your head that connects your two hands. 
  • Notice that point where the first line and the second line intersect. Bring your awareness there. Now your awareness is behind your eyes roughly in the middle of your head. 
  • Bring your hands to your lap. 
  • Let your awareness settle into that space a couple of inches behind your eyes. 
  • Notice how that feels. 
    bring your awareness behind your eyes from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog
  • Imagine a horse galloping across a meadow. Let the image go. Keep your eyes closed. 
  • Check if your awareness is still in that space a couple of inches behind your eyes. 
  • From behind your eyes, postulate that there’s a small movie or laptop screen (but no actual laptop or movie projector) immediately in front of your face, about 8 inches away. 
  • Let yourself see a rose – any color or shape – on that screen. 
  • Take a deep breath. Look at the rose. 
  • Now fold up that screen and let it spontaneously combust, leaving nothing behind. 
  • You may find some sense of pressure or congestion there in the middle of your head. That’s natural. It may have been awhile since you’ve been there. And nature abhors a vacuum, as the saying goes. 
  • Take a deep breath, and as you exhale postulate that you’re releasing any unwanted energy from anybody or anything else from inside the middle of your head. It’s yours. Breathe, exhale, and repeat as much as you want. 
  • This place where your awareness is is your property. No one else owns it. 
  • Be mildly amused at any trespassers luring you into chatter, or any distractions. Just let them pass through as you enjoy sitting in the middle of your head. 
  • You might start to look around, with your eyes closed, at the center of your head. What does this space look like? If you’re inspired, start to redecorate it. If not, just notice. 
  • Touch your face, which brings you back into the present and helps take you out of the light trance you just got into. 
  • Open your eyes. 
  • Notice where your awareness starts from now, in terms of your own physical geography – still behind your eyes? If not, where else? 
Congratulations! You did it.

Notice how you feel. Resist the urge to judge or evaluate. Right now, you’re gathering information for yourself.

Now, as you keep reading these words, with your eyes open, bring your awareness back behind your eyes. Keep reading these words from that place in the middle of your head. Your awareness is comfortably seated in that place inside your head, while you read this page.

You’ve just put yourself in the driver’s seat of your body.

in the driver's seat from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

With your awareness just behind your eyes, you put yourself in the driver’s seat of your body. The pilot’s seat; the control room.

This spot is the location of the sixth chakra, which is related to the pineal gland in the endocrine system, our “third eye.” You have access to a clearer view by using your awareness from the sixth chakra. Here, you have greater neutrality and certainty. 

Lightly touching your temples and then the front and back of your head simply helps you remember where the middle of your head is. You may feel silly doing this, but feeling a bit silly is actually a great intuitive tool. Seriously. I mean – uh – really. As an earlier post explores (, a readiness to see the humor in things is one of your most helpful spiritual tools. Approaching the use of intuitive tools with a leaden seriousness isn’t going to get you anywhere. It promotes a feeling of deficiency, as if you need years of study to access your own intuitive abilities and as if you couldn’t possibly have the expertise needed to use them.

Ditch that idea. Postulate that this intuitive tool is fun and that you can do it. 

Anyway, as you become used to finding the middle of your head and letting your awareness settle in from behind your eyes, you may not need to make these gestures. But giving yourself a geographical grounding of where your head actually is can be a great tool if you feel so overloaded that, to change the saying a bit, you don’t know your head from a hole in the ground. 

There you are, with your awareness snugly settled in the middle of your head. You’re already getting more experienced, aren’t you, at bringing your awareness back into that place. Look around the room. Look out the window, if you’re near one. Notice the distance between where your awareness is and what you’re looking at.

You’ve just gotten back into your body – a powerful place for a diabetic, or anyone, to be.

Don’t try hard. If you notice that feeling, you’re using your body, not your spirit, to handle energy.

Notice that you don’t need any effort to do any of this. The body loves effort. The spirit does not. In fact, effort – the feeling of trying really hard – gets in the way of using spiritual mechanics. The body likes to exercise and it experiences exercise as physical work. If you are noticing that “trying hard” feeling, it means you are using your body – not your spiritual tools – to do spiritual mechanics.

The more effective way to handle energy is to use energy tools from the center of your head, in your sixth chakra. You wouldn’t ask your dog to solve a math problem. And you wouldn’t ask your sixth chakra to catch a ball. Use energy tools to handle energy, and specifically, use your sixth chakra to do so with neutrality and certainty.

sixth chakra or third eye from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

In fact, one of the factors contributing to your diabetes and to difficult blood-sugar control probably is that you’re using your body, not your being, to handle the energy of situations and communications.

Of course, the need to try hard is familiar. You’re used to it not only because your body likes it, but because probably you’ve been encouraged to work hard and try hard in school and at home. Well, in the arena of meditating and using energy tools, you’re off the hook. Don’t try. Just do. But do from the center of your head.

For instance, I notice that when I’m in a room that feels chaotic to me, I get a feeling of pain or tightness in my belly. 

Often I don’t feel quite “safe” energetically or even physically in a chaotic environment, whether it’s a big crowd or a small gathering. To be more exact, a couple of inches above my belly button, my body starts to feel tense. I learned that this is the location of my third chakra (more on this later); when I feel challenged or threatened, I tend to respond by trying to control what’s going on in the room using my third chakra. Ugh, chug; I get that feeling of pushing a big rock up a mountain. I’m aware of that feeling of physical effort – which is odd, because all I’m doing is, let’s say, sitting on a chair or standing at the edge of a room.

These are clues to me that my body is going into effort in its attempts to fix something going on around me. Once I have that awareness, I can shift tactics. One of my very first tactics is to note where my awareness is. Is it down in my gut trying to calm the room? Or is my attention scattered all around the room? Or have I left the premises, awareness-wise, because I couldn’t handle what was happening right here, and now I’m thinking about work or my car or a recent conversation? And my next tactic might be – breathe, exhale, and bring my awareness right behind my eyes.

target image from The Spiritual Mechanics of Diabetes blog

Now I’m centered in my own space. Whew, what a relief. At least from this vantage point I can see a bit more clearly and feel a bit more comfortable. I’m in my own body, and my own driver’s seat of that body. And that’s really one of the best places to simply be while being aware.

copyright © 2013 Lisa Bernstein