Category Archives: Relaxation

Spirituality Without Fanfare

Once you have been on your spiritual path for a while you will start to realise that it is best to not take yourself too seriously.

There are two types of people who practise spirituality, in my experience. Those who tell others how powerful they are or how enlightened they are or how good their expensive courses are…and those who just get on with it, quietly and without fanfare. Do a course for fun if you think you will get something out of it but do realise that the only thing really worth spending is time itself. Time to learn, time to experiment, time to let things simmer.

Unfortunately being bombarded with all these enlightenment sellers can put some potential newcomers off discovering more about themselves and their possibilities and that’s a shame as there is nothing to be nervous about. Don’t be scared by the hype, don’t be put off by those who dress themselves up as mystical beings who need to be adored. They are selling a service which is the spiritual equivalent of getting your nails painted…it’s fun but it isn’t an essential life choice. You can do what you need to do with a little online research, free resources, reading books and, most importantly, living the life and gaining the experience.

Those who are quietly spiritual know that everyone is an individual who will be spending years on their unique path, no expensive course is going to get anyone there quicker. Sorry. Sometimes it can even slow progress down as you are following someone else’s path not your own. Their way of doing things might not be yours.

Your path is your own and you don’t have to be doing A, B or C to qualify for any award. There is no award. There’s a reward for taking a spiritual path though. Several of them.

If you can successfully meditate you can make your daily life calmer and happier. This can take the edge off the hardest situation. YouTube has some really good meditations. Try Michael Sealey or Jason Stephenson.

Practising mindfulness will give you a better outlook on life and will make those challenges easier to deal with because you stay in the moment, at least long enough to have a break from your mind chatter. Here is a 8 week free course, run by Dave Potter a fully certified MBSR instructor.

Being able to work with the energies to heal yourself and others for free is your way to give back and to do your bit to help change one small part of the world which is suffering…whether that be an individual or a situation.  Learn how to give reiki to yourself with this previous article of mine Reiki For Self Love.  Where you go with it afterwards when it comes to helping others is for you to decide.

Ritual is a way to bring order to chaos as well as engaging in aged practices – whether you just count your morning ritual of shower, tea and toast before work or rituals used with your deity of choice, such as prayers. A good morning ritual sets you up for the day and most of us have several rituals which we enjoy. Perhaps yours is a candlelit bath or a cup of chamomile tea last thing before bed. A ritual is simply something you do at a certain time and, sometimes, for a certain reason. Getting a few rituals of your own in place will bring structure and certainty to your day and you will find you look forward to doing them. They will bring a comfort and a smile, a sense of well-being.

Learning how to work with herbs is another way that you can help yourself. Again there are many online courses out there for the basics but a good book will do you just as well too if money is tight. The work of Susun Weed is a good start if you are in the USA or Herbcraft by Anna Franklin and Susan Lavender is an excellent choice for those in the UK and Europe. Herbcraft gives a broad use for plants including medicinal and magickal as well as a bit of history for interest.

Learning which plants are edible is very important so do take care as there are some deadly ones out there too. 

Knowledge is essential when using herbs in whatever form you choose them. Several good books for cross referencing are essential and you should never rely on just one photo in a book to decide which plant is in front of you in the wild. Several good, clear close up photos are needed. Of course, the company of someone who already knows is ideal but few of us have that and so we must take things gradually and be careful with our choices by being sensible.

Here is a fun video done by someone just starting out using herbs. We all have to start somewhere…

Many of us enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or peppermint tea so why not take it a step further and start learning how to work with the energies of the plants in your vicinity, growing your own or even just in their essential oil form. Pure oils can be used for cleaning and sanitising your home, refreshing the aroma, getting rid of garden pests, used to heal yourself and pets and in a multitude of ways.

I have had no training in essential oils but taught myself gradually over many years and now use them in every part of my life. They are surprisingly versatile, useful and helpful and, of course, chemical free if chosen wisely. There are many articles online which will help you choose a starter arsenal of essential oils. My first three choices would be roman chamomile, lavender and peppermint. I have linked to an article for each to get you started if you are new to essential oils.

If you are starting off on your path and follow the signposts above and in my previous nine articles then together they should give you your first few footsteps. You will be on your way to a spiritual life which allows you to grow, gain confidence, deal with challenges, heal your everyday niggles and give love and strength to those around you. There will be days when it all seems too much and you will want a break. Be kind to yourself on those days and do whatever you need to do. Everyone has a spiritual crisis at some point in their lives…sometimes more than one…but this is good because this is where the biggest shifts happen.

My final suggestions are to enjoy life, love who you are and do what you have to do to make your life your own. Never be dictated by those who surround you or even those in your area of choice spiritually. Always trust your instincts and if you aren’t sure what they are saying then meditate and wait. The answer is there.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Update – Air Dry Clay Playtime: Herbal Impression Tiles and Earth Goddess

Just a little update to show you how the tiles I talked about in my previous post came out after painting. They aren’t quite finished yet as I intend to add some imitation gold leaf before setting them out as a large tile. I am really pleased with how it is going so far.

I am itching for my Earth Goddess to dry completely so I can cover her with gesso and start painting. I will be adding dried plant matter to this under some mod podge and concentrating on textures rather than detail before covering her with colour and some imitation gold leaf.

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I can really recommend getting stuck into some sort of craft project. Make the time to create. Find something which brings you joy. You don’t have to be an expert in it, the important thing is to get satisfaction from the creation and have fun doing it 🙂

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Earth Goddess…finished ‘for now’

In the end I really liked the way she looked as above and so I decided to keep her like this for now and see how she develops. Lovely energy from her!

What’s In Your Mix? Fun Times With Creation and Growth

Creation is an important part of spirituality. Whether we choose to show our imagination through cooking, crafts, writing or growing herbs in the garden (or all of those things and more!) it is important that we have an outlet to manifest, achieve and create.

We don’t have to be especially talented in our chosen media. I admit if I had to make a living using my art then the chances are I would be hungry but the important thing is that I enjoy doing it. I have fun! Also, if things go well, I have something to decorate my altar, other parts of the house and the garden which I admit is rather satisfying.

Just lately I have got into working with air dry clay and have made the amulets (and several more) that you see in the header photo for my nature altar.  I really like exploring symbolism and I try to incorporate as much as I can into my work, practice and life in general. The above photo is my Mother Earth Goddess figure. She now has pins coming out of her underskirts ready to be rooted into a base which I will be doing in the near future. I intend for her to have flowers, herbs and plants at her feet.

I also like to draw and spent quite a while drawing out the above Antahkarana symbol for use in the room I send my distance healing sessions. It was surprising how long it took to work out how to draw the squares on to top on another like that. It looks so simple but…well, it was a little taxing surprisingly but good fun, especially for the youngest teenager who enjoy the process and her mother’s struggles immensely. She also had the lesson of ‘never giving up despite having an obvious inability to use a ruler with ease’ 🙂

Having something arty or creative on the go is a fabulous way to relax and find our inner child too. Remind yourself what it feels like to squash wet, sticky clay between your fingers or how great it feels to eat something you have grown yourself.

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Those of you who follow my blog will know I spend a lot of time in my garden. I like to think of myself as a small time gardener and herbs are my go-to plants of choice. The slide show above shows some of this year’s produce in its very early stages. In the last week alone things have really started to come to life.

Bringing the garden indoors sounded like a wonderful idea to me when I saw some inspirational mosaics made out of clay and so I decided to try a herb press mosaic and have produced some quite pleasing results so far.

I hope to incorporate the leaves I used once they are dry and then I intend to try out Pebeo’s Mixed Media paint on these once the primer and base colours are on. I have heard some good stuff about the possible effects when using this media.

Below is a photo of an interesting example and you can click here to see more ideas on Pinterest.

I am itching to have a go. I will also be making some clay beads for some particular jewellery I have in mind…watch this space as there is a chance I will inflict them on you all 😉

Creating and growing are important parts of spirituality. It isn’t just about where you are in your head, it is about where you are in the outside world and how you interact with that.

If you want to imagine those roots of yours going deep into the ground to nourish your soul then what better teacher than a willing herb you have grown from seed who is happy to show you the way in the real world in return for a little care and appreciation? See how she grows when she is well nourished, has just the right balance of sun and shade and is given a good and healthy compost mix to grow in?

What’s in your mix?

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Usually bad things happen because we were in the wrong place at the wrong time or a decision we made has led to the circumstances we now face.

It certainly isn’t because we have upset a higher power. How do I know this? Because if our chosen gods were that involved in what we do there would have been no Adolf Hitler or any other dictator of a similar ilk. Lightening, if it were to strike anyone, would surely have struck Hitler or any other past or current leader who has done or currently does that amount of harm to so many.

Bad things happen because, well, they just do. It’s part of the web of life.

I don’t believe bad luck befalls us because we have asked for it or deserve it.

Some might argue there is always a plan. That our chosen deity has put these people or difficulties in our way to challenge us individually or as a species. Hitler certainly did more than challenge and it appears very few of the lessons humanity was taught by Hitler have done anything to make a significant change in the here and now. In 2017 I would say we are even regressing when it comes to racism, bigotry and committing genocide. Hitler got in to power because he was charismatic and he pandered to greed, power and superiority complexes not because a deity put him there to teach us a lesson.

Some religions would have us believe if we don’t do as the ambassador for that religion dictates then we will be punished by deity for our actions. I don’t subscribe to this nonsense at all and believe it is simply a way for religious leaders to control those people who choose to hang on to their every word.

I have had some horrible things happen to me (and to those in my family) in my lifetime so far. This isn’t because we deserved these things to happen nor because we attracted this bad luck. They happened because we made some questionable choices which resulted in these things happening. This isn’t self-pity by blaming myself or them, this is a simple fact. Every day we face choices and every day consequences of those choices are felt. If we fall over a crack in the pavement then we should have watched where we were going. Years ago we would do these things, laugh with some embarrassment or cry with pain and move on.

These days we look to blame others and be compensated.

We are building a culture of blaming others and taking no responsibility for ourselves.

When we blame bad luck we are turning the focus from our own choices on to the Universe and blaming that instead. Anything rather than just accepting that sometimes s*** happens or that we really should have thought more about the idea which led to our present circumstances before taking action.

Next time, hey?

How we deal with an upsetting event in the here and now is what will potentially shape our next few weeks or years.

It probably won’t change the life of whom we blame. In fact blaming someone else or something else can often result in the emotional impact living with us for decades because there is often no come back, no compensation and no karmic return and this can lead to depression, shame and regret. Sometimes even going so far as to destroy lives.

What bad things do give us is an opportunity to look within and grow as people. We can use these circumstances to better ourselves as individuals and come out the other side stronger and more able to face further challenges in the future. It also gives us the tools to help others who have similar things happen to them and it gives us a clearer perspective of our own blessings. If you have ever been hungry, truly hungry, you will appreciate every meal after that. If you have been cold, you will notice and appreciate the heat of a warm home. If you have ever wondered if you have a true friend then any bad times you have will make this clear one way or the other.

If you can learn to appreciate the small things around you that bring life and sustenance then you can find joy, peace, happiness and love for yourself and for others who cross your path.

Those things are ultimately the good parts of when bad things happen. If we let ourselves look at the hard times in that way, by looking inward for growth rather than looking outward for rewards, we will become more able to see the joy and be in our truth.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

The Spiritual Way

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I find myself at a crossroads of sorts with my spirituality. I have a great deal of knowledge on various spiritual subjects and now is the time for me to decide what to do with it. I am thinking of having a free series on this very blog in the future, once I have written it and fine tuned it, which will help beginners self-realise their own spiritual potential. There is no ulterior motive to this, just a desire to share what I have learnt in the hope it will help someone else.

On a practical level I am working with the universal energies via Reiki to send free distance healing to those who ask for it and those whom I offer it to. I do this up to three times a week. I am finding this very satisfying as one of my beliefs is that the universal energy is there for all of us to tap into, not just those with enough money to pay for it. I know Reiki helps and I like to get stuck in there and walk the walk as often as time will allow. You can learn how to work with Reiki yourself by reading a previous article of mine here.

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It is really important to remember as you start on your path into the spiritual and metaphysical worlds that being humble is one of the most important things you can learn to be. Learning how to send healing or exercising your psychic muscle isn’t like an episode of Charmed and you won’t be banishing demons next. It is all about self-improvement and learning to help others. It is about listening. Feeling the emotions of other people and recognising them for what they are. It’s about taking responsibility for your thoughts and your actions and realising how those thoughts and actions make their mark in the collective consciousness.

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At the very least you can learn to become much more aware of what is going on around you and more appreciative of the little things in life that you might have otherwise rushed past. Mindfulness is an excellent example of a technique which will help you be more in the moment. There is a completely free online 8 week course in Mindfulness which you can access here. Trust me, it is well worth the effort.

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Being spiritually aware isn’t about just sitting bolt upright, cross-legged and meditating. Where the humbleness also comes in is admitting that sometimes you can cock-up being all Zen and in fact get just as mad, irrationally or otherwise, as the next person. Nobody is perfect. The stoppage is having the control to think about what you will do next before instinctively just going for the primal option and acting without thought, potentially doing great harm to yourself as well as others. Guilt and remorse tend to stick around in their black gooey state, particularly in those quieter moments, and can be very difficult to rid yourself of. Why have the bother?

Having faith in whatever deity or truth you choose to believe in can be very empowering. When you have that sort of faith on your side it will give you the strength to walk away from toxic people or those who would harm you. It gives you the backbone to say ‘Enough!’ and leave. There is nothing fluffy about true faith and belief. It gives you the courage and feeling that you are never alone and that you are heard.

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One final thing I will put at the end of this blog – every religion is the right religion for the person who chose it as their own, as long as it harms no other. Faith gives us strength but we should never assume it will give that same strength to another, their needs may be different to ours.

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Now, more than ever, we must try to live in harmony and embrace other people’s differences and unique ways. We are all equal. We must learn to share what we have with each other, freely and with love, for the betterment of us all.

Staverton Thicks

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Even on an overcast day in February, Staverton Thicks near Woodbridge, Suffolk is still the ultimate fairy tale wood of childhood stories in its bare bones of winter.

This place is tucked in very near to the very popular Rendlesham Forest (yes, the place where the UFO is said to have popped by for a visit next to the former USAF base) but few people seem to know of its existence.

It is a place which sets pen to paper. Robert MacFarlane talks of it in his book The Wild Places where he recounts a tale told to him by the late Roger Deakin of naked dancing deep in its heart. Sara Maitland tells of her own visit in her book Gossip from The Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales where she had an encounter when she strayed off the path.

We didn’t see any cross landowners whilst we were there although I was prepared to sacrifice one of the teenagers to the cooking pot should the need arise. They are SO expensive to keep these days, aren’t they? Fortunately there was no need and we proceeded unmolested, enabling us to ask the spirits and elementals who dwell there for a few twigs and feathers to take home with us.

I took so many photos that I have decided a gallery is the only answer to fully share this wonderful and very magical place with you.

As my adult daughter with learning difficulties said of the trees “They look like paintings, Mummy.” and she was right, they do.

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Red Apophyllite

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This piece of clear, red and green Apophyllite has been with me for a little over a month now and has been a real pleasure to work with.

It gives off a really palpable, strong energy which everyone who has held it has remarked upon, even those who aren’t earth energy minded. There is just a power to it which buzzes in the hand and it is a truly extraordinary piece. I would say it is on par with my Lemurian Seed Crystal for energy output and there is something ‘otherworldly’ about it too.

Apophyllite is also called the Reiki crystal as it is said its effect is similar to a Reiki treatment. I can certainly vouch for its healing energy which is very powerful. This crystal can chase away the darkest of days and brings joy and peace when held. When I have worked with it for longer I shall start to use it in my long distance healing work along with my Lemurian Seed Crystal and my Amethyst cluster as I feel this is the way it wishes to be worked with.

Apophyllite is a stone of truth and it is said it will help you see the truth of any matter more clearly. It is usually clear or green so it is unusual to find a piece with this red hue to it. It is simply the result of minerals near the crystal being absorbed into it as it is forming and it makes a unique crystal. The photos really don’t do this particular crystal aesthetic justice…the clear, green and red sparkly formations on their igneous matrix is really delicate and beautiful up close. I am pretty certain the matrix is basalt (giving strength, courage and fanning the fire within!), which hardens into a vesicular texture (similar to a pumice stone in appearance) and so this crystal is very light in weight too. It needs very careful handling as the crystal can flake and the matrix is very fragile. Don’t drop it!

Apophyllite can be worked with when seeking knowledge of spirit guides or power animals. It can clear a room of negativity and your aura too and is a perfect stone to have in the bedroom to help encourage a decent night’s sleep.  It is said to be a crystal which can heal family rifts, encourage togetherness and lift the vibrational energy of any room it is placed in. A stone of high vibration, it can be used to cleanse other crystals and can be easily cleansed itself by waving it through a wisp of incense and voicing your intention to cleanse it.

If you are a healer then I recommend getting a piece of this and experimenting with it. I feel it has great potential to significantly enhance my personal spiritual work and I am just about ready to jump in and see just how good these vibes really are 🙂

 

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The Best Things In Life Are Free

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This is Arnold. Now don’t worry, I don’t go around talking to my stones all the time (or do I? *cue spooky music*) but this chap has been around long enough in my vicinity to get himself a name and a purpose. He is the stone I turn to where others may use Boji Stones or Moqui Marbles. Why? Well, because he was found in England where I live and so has the energy of the land turned into him over all the years Mother Earth took to make him. Add to him a big dollop of intention and he is the English equivalent in my mind and serves the same purpose in my meditations – a focus for my work, an anchor for my travels, protective and grounding.

I don’t know exactly what Arnold is made of, a bit of a mish mash I think, but he sits nicely in the palm of my hand and I love his criss-cross lines of quartz. I wouldn’t mind if he was part house brick…no judgement here. Plus he was free. I stumbled across him and took him home so long ago I can’t remember when I actually got him but he is still here and still actively being used.

The idea of showing Arnold to you all is to point out that, even though I love my crystals and their energies, there really is everything we need out there on our walks and in the woods around us, no matter where we live. The most in-tune energy wise and powerful tools we can use are the ones which have the energy of the land directly around us imprinted on them, just as we do. A river stone, a beach stone, a twig of fallen wood, pine cones, herbs from the garden, a feather…all these things are free and do not need to be purchased.

When you discover the world of nature around you, you discover how rich you actually are, not how rich you need to be to work with it. Freely given is always sweeter, in every area of our lives, and that includes what we choose to have around us to decorate our homes and what we use in our personal celebrations of nature.

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This week those of you in the UK may wish to join Big Garden Birdwatch coming up on the 28th January. It is free to do, great to do with kids and very easy. The packs are downloadable and it doesn’t take much time.

It Starts With One Ripple…

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Now the holidays are over and everyone in the family is returning to their normal routines, I took a moment to reflect on how the holidays went and the lessons which had been learnt. I was pleased to note that despite our large family being all together in the same house there were no disagreements this year…for a family as large and extended as ours that is quite an achievement. We all love each other but personalities can clash, especially after one too many mince pies!

The other lesson which stands out for me is one in the wider world. There are a lot of people out there who just need a hug. As part of my spiritual service for the holidays I wanted to reach those people who were having a hard time and just needed to know that someone somewhere was hearing them. I thought the easiest way to do this was to use my long distance healing techniques to send them a bit of a boost. I decided Facebook was the simplest way to find them.

On two of the Facebook groups I belong to I posted a simple message stating my intention to do a mass energy healing session in a couple of hours time and asked that anyone who needed a hug, who was in pain or who was lonely to add their names in the comments and I would name them and channel energy for them in a group healing session. Within half an hour I had hundreds of responses. Their needs ranged from those who were indeed having a hard time just because it was the holidays to those who had loved ones in hospital. By the time the two hours came to a close I had well over 400 people asking to be included.

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This may have seemed like a impossible amount to cope with but it was very doable. I had devised a plan in advance which would allow me to hold the energy in a cone shape and then simply allow that energy to touch each person as they were named. I trusted my reiki guides would do the rest. It worked very well and I had excellent feedback.

A couple of healers who were also online at the time joined in by holding space and sending energy too and it was a joyous connection for all, with some participants having very noticeable positive results.

Now to the sceptics among us, I would simply say I don’t mind how this is viewed to have worked…either in full belief of the reiki working its magic (which is what I think) or simply by the placebo effect…to me it was a clear indication that this type of group healing CAN be beneficial and is worth doing. At the very least it soothes those who need it most as it makes them feel heard and valued. A bit of a win all round, I think 🙂

I will be looking to do more of these types of group healing sessions in the near future and on a regular basis. At this time I think it is important we all do what we can to help other people. It is easier to batten down the hatches, draw our family to us and hope the lightening doesn’t hit but there is work to be done by all of us out in the wider world  for those who are less fortunate than ourselves, for those who are oppressed…and for anyone who just needs a hug.

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Anybody can send healing to another. You can do so using prayers, keeping them in your thoughts in a positive way, sending them positive affirmations and seeing them in your minds eye interacting in their own lives in a positive way by using visualisation to that effect. If you wish to try hands on healing you can have a look at this post I did in 2016 Reiki For Self Love which will show you how easy it is. You could then adapt this to send distance healing if you wish. A wonderful way to do this is to hold a crystal in your hands and visualise the crystal as being the person to whom you are sending healing energy. Talk out loud by speaking positive, healing affirmations and direct all your positive energy at the crystal. Sounds a bit ‘out there’ but what it really does is simply focus your thoughts and the energy whilst giving you something tactile to centre on. And it works.

I am an extremely lucky woman – I have a loving family, enough food to eat and a roof over my head. I am going to make 2017 the year my healing activities are my abundance – with humbleness and kindness, for free and with good, powerful intention.

I ask you to join me. We aren’t as helpless as we may sometimes feel. One ripple added to another and another and another can be very powerful.

Dumortierite

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For those of you who are studying I can recommend a piece of Dumortierite. This little chap has been with me for a while and I usually grab him when I am pondering a particularly difficult concept in some dusty tome or wondering whether I will ever be as funny as I would like to be. My children tell me no but I refuse to give up trying *Mum power*

Dumortierite was named after the man who discovered it, the French palaeontologist Eugene Dumortier, who presumably found it whilst he was concentrating on hammering away a small, intricate fossil out of some rather nice blue rock which he got sidetracked into thinking might make a nice stairway.

Those of you with over-excited canine companions may be interested to know that attaching a small piece of this beauty to their collars may help them calm down and stop them ‘jumping up’ unsuspecting visitors to your home. Although you may not want to go for this option if the thought of Butch getting friendly under the table on the leg of the very critical Aunt Lucy this Christmas fills you with a certain peaceful contentment.

It is said Dumortierite can help you keep organised, boost your psychic potential, boost your creativity, release your fears, express yourself and keep you calm and centred. It is said to bring you hope. Try meditating with a piece if you want to find out your life path and discover what would bring you contentment.