Letting Go of Stuff

I was talking with a young friend recently about how I have far too much stuff and how hard it is to get rid of my things. She said she and her husband recently bought a big house and they have the opposite problem. They need a lot of things for their home, especially the kitchen. So she is buying a lot of furniture and housewares.

I went through that phase at her age. I aquired things non-stop. It never occurred to me that one day I would have too many belongings. Youth is a time for filling up your home. Old age is a time for letting go of things.

I have been slowly getting rid of things for the past three years. I have two large plastic storage bins in an extra room that I fill up with books, clothes, kitchen things and anything else I am ready to donate and when the bins are full I put everything into clear garbage bags and load them into the back seat of my car and give them to the Salvation Army or Value Village.

The troubling thing is, I have been doing this for three years but I don’t see a big difference in my home. It is still overflowing with stuff.

A friend who is close to my age devotes a lot of time and effort to her downsizing efforts. We were talking about this one day and she mentioned the “removing something from the donation pile” phenomenon. We both laughed because I have done it too.

There is a little wooden sculpture I made for an art education assignment when I was in art school over thirty years ago. It was a throwaway thing. I made it for a mark in a class, not out of any deep sense of artistic purpose. I went to the wood shop and rummaged in the discard box and glued a bunch of odd shaped wood pieces onto a flat piece of wood. I didn’t put much thought into it. But when it was done it reminded me of a mini science fiction city-scape. It had a whimsical appeal and the different shapes of the wood pieces were aesthetically pleasing to me. I held onto that little thing for more than 30 years. Lately I have put it in my “donation” pile twice, and I have rescued it twice. Yesterday I picked it up, wanting to let it go but wondering why I can’t.

I thought about the feelings attached to the piece. I honored the work that went into it, and the meanings connected with it. I felt a bit sad because when I donate it, the people receiving it might throw it in the garbage, because it is just a strange little abstract wooden sculpture of no great intrinsic value, except to me. I contemplated how little bits of me are somehow tied up with my belongings.

I found that after I spent some time contemplating these things, I felt I could let go of the sculpture that had shared my life journey for over 30 years.

wooden sculpture

Trouble with Transdimensionals

In my role as a clairvoyant and shamanic practitioner I often encounter spirits, beings and entities when I journey in the inner worlds and on the spiritual planes. But occasionally I encounter mysterious creatures in the 3D world when I am wide awake and present in my body.

One time after I spent many hours creating and charging a complicated crystal grid, two angels appeared in my living room. They showed up after the grid was completed when I was relaxing on my couch after working on the ritual. I did not call or invoke them. They were two tall, substantial, glowing elongated ovals of bright light. One was about seven feet tall, the other six feet. They did not have wings, features or faces. My claircognizance informed me they were angels. I was looking at them (and a bit scared, actually), waiting for them to say something profound and angelic. Finally I said “hello” and they immediately disappeared. This all happened in the middle of the day with my eyes open and when I was wide awake. It felt like I was staring at them for a very long time but it was probably only a few seconds.

I had a different type of transdimensional experience with what I call “energy critters”. I see them as tiny black smudges that move quickly, and are only ever seen out of the corner of my eye. Unlike the angels I saw, who felt beneficent, the energy critters are never positive. They are opportunistic parasites who appear and feast on life energy when auric boundaries are broken down due to stress, sickness or other reasons. They are feeders and they drain energy. I only ever see them when I am dealing with extremely challenging events in my life.

One of my spiritual teachers was interested in beings and entities that manifest in the 3D world. He had many encounters with a variety of these entities and he taught his students ways to protect against engergetic intrusions from unwelcome entities. He called them “transdimensionals” and he said they are able to shift into our 3D world sometimes and be seen and interact with us but they are not able to stay here.

Recently I spoke to a lady named Laura who had two frightening encounters with a terrifying transdimensional. She is from Nova Scotia and when she was a child aged 5 or 6 they lived in a house next to a forest. They lived in Guysborough county, near a lake called “Giant’s Lake”. As a child she loved to explore the forest in her backyard and she spent many happy hours there. One day while playing in the forest alone she was approached by a transdimensional entity. He was the size and shape of a man, and he moved like a man, but he was an energtic being of pure malevolent darkness. She remembers feeling a visceral terror as she ran home. She has never forgotten this encounter and she never played in the forest near her home ever again. Her reaction to run away was instinctual terror. After her family moved away from Nova Scotia she never saw or experienced the entity ever again and she believes it was connected to that specific place.

She had two encounters with the entity. One was when she was alone in the forest. The other encounter happened when she was walking down a country road near Giant’s Lake with her mother and sisters at around sunset. She turned around as they walked along the road and she saw the same entity that had approached her in the forest, following her family. She was too scared to say anything and when she turned around again the entity had vanished.

Have you experienced transdimensionals? Many people have!

Santa, the Shaman – a film review

This is a fun little documentary that suggests the origin of story of the Santa story is Sami shamans from Lapland. The film is nicely done. The interviews of Carl Ruck and Lawrence Millman are interesting and the animations and visuals are clever and appealing.

The story is not entirely convincing, though. The documentary tries too hard to connect every aspect of the Santa story in a literal way to folklore about the Christmas eve travels of Santa Clause. For example, they suggest that shamans visiting people’s homes and being rewarded with food was the source of the “milk and cookies” which children leave for Santa on Christmas eve.

But any weaknesses in the story can be forgiven because the film is fun, lighthearted and thought provoking. I welcome any pop culture documentaries about shamanism. I give “Santa is a Psychedelic Mushroom” a 4/5 and recommend watching.

Screen capture from the film “Santa is a Psychedelic mushroom”

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/578959/shaman-santa/
Is Santa Based on a Psychedelic Shaman? Dec 25, 2018 Video by Matthew Salton

Review copyright © Terri Robin 2019

Do You Dream at Night?

Do you dream at night? I had a rich dream life when I was younger but over the years as I experienced significant ongoing trauma in my personal life, my dreams disappeared. It would be more accurate to say my conscious recall of my dreams disappeared. Supposedly we all dream so I assume I was probably dreaming but just not remembering my dreams. My dream-life was a dry wasteland for decades.

I didn’t pay much attention to this until I enrolled in an intense, year long Jungian study course in 2017. One of the study units was about dreams. We were shown how to interpret our dreams and we were asked to choose one of our dreams and write about it.

As the other group members posted detailed accounts of their dreams, I admitted I had not been able to remember my dreams for many years. Up until that point my lack of dreams was not something that bothered me. I never thought much about it until I was asked to write about my dreams and I realized I had none.

Studying Jungian ideas in an experiential way for a year shifted something for me. Slowly, I began to remember my dreams. The first dream I recalled after my decades-long dream drought was a delight for me. I eagerly posted it in the online Jungian course group even though we were not studying dreams at that time.

I still do not have the rich, detailed dream life of my younger years, but I am remembering my dreams occasionally now, which is a wonder for me. Usually they are just brief snippets, but even that is welcome.

Intuitively, I feel like being able to access my sleep dreams again means I can access my life dreams again. It is like a fountain is flowing in my subconscious once more, watering the parched land and welcoming life and growth.

Copyright © 2018 Terri Robin
Image: Copyright © 2018 Terri Robin

Poem: “Happy Winter Solstice!”

New poem! “Happy Winter Solstice!”

Happy Winter Solstice!
This day is a promise.
The cold and darkness fades.
The sun returns with light and warm days.
Our ancestors in ancient times, 
gazed at the skies and knew these truths.
Spheres turn and return. 
There is certainty in the physics of space.
You can count on it.
May you be warm, full and happy today.
May you be blessed with loving companions.
May you be right with the world and know goodness.
May you feel this promise of light and hope.
May you spread this message to all.
Happy Solstice!

Image – Stonehenge
Poem – Copyright © 2018 Terri Robin

Neighbor Problems

In the category of “people who bother you”, neighbor problems can be the worst. Homes are a root chakra issue for most people, a sanctuary from the discordant energies of the world, a place of safety, security and peace of mind. A home is where we rest and restore ourselves.

A friend took me to a self help group. One of the participants spoke about the problems she was having with the “neighbor from hell”. Apparently he was noisy at all hours which annoyed her greatly. She spoke about all the terrible things he did that bothered and upset her. It did not appear he was doing anything illegal or overtly threatening. She seemed to enjoy all the attention from the other group members as they offered advice on how to deal with the neighbor from hell.

Sometimes we cannot see our own problems clearly because we are too close to them. The woman did not have a neighbor problem. She had an energetic problem. She was devoting most of her time, thought, feeling and life energy to her annoying neighbor. The more we think about something, the more space it takes up in our lives. Every aspect of her day became about him.

When it was my turn to speak I said the solution was easy. She should stop thinking and talking about him. She should do an energetic ritual and banish him from her mind, her energy field and her property. She should cut all energetic cords between him and her. She should set clear and strong energetic boundaries around her life that had nothing to do with him. She should find positive and productive activities to occupy her time. And she should release all of it to the Loving Universe to take care of. I said as soon as she did this, her neighbor problem would disappear fast. She looked at me like I was crazy and there was a moment of silence before she informed me that none of that would work .

I realized she was quite attached to her “bad neighbor” problem. The advice I gave her was powerful and true but she was not ready to hear it. Letting go of the problem from an energetic level was literally unthinkable to her at that time. But perhaps my words planted a seed that would grow in the future, opening her consciousness to expanded possibilities when she was ready to take that step.

Copyright © 2018 Terri Robin
Image: “homes” copyright © 2018 Terri Robin

Age Gracefully by Radically Reinventing Yourself.

Old age is not particularly special or virtuous in and of itself. Old age is simply the terminal stage of the human lifespan. What is good and virtuous, however, is giving back, contributing, growing and deepening your learning as you age. Senior citizens who achieve this are often described as “wise”. This article describes a beloved Japanese elder who stayed active and vibrant as he aged, contributing much to his community and country.


“Until the turn of the century, Dr. Hinohara was known mainly in the medical profession. Then, at age 90, he published “How to Live Well,” a collection of commentaries on life with his gentle visage on the cover, wearing a doctor’s coat and holding a stethoscope. The book said people over 75 shouldn’t be shunted to society’s margins, and he exhorted his fellow elderly citizens to consider themselves “on the job” of living even if they were retired from paid work. “

Stories like this are inspirational but we should remember that high achieving elders were often driven, high-agency people in their younger years. Is it possible for someone to radically reinvent themselves as a senior citizen? If you believe in the power of human potential, then the answer is yes.

Copyright © 2018 Terri Robin
Photo: Dr. Hinohara

Move Towards Simplicity

There is nothing inherently wrong with complexity but when you are faced with making decisions, consider moving towards simplicity. If you have to jump through numerous hoops to accomplish something it might be worth your while to do so, or it might be a pointless energy drain. Consider this when you make decisions.

Simplicity in this case suggests “easy” or “least effort necessary to achieve a good result” or “elegant solution” or “creative minimalism” or even “less is more”. It does not mean reductive or childish or lacking effort or simply not caring. Simplicity also suggests authenticity, because being yourself is much easier than trying to be someone or something you are not.

Practicing simplicity is one of many ways to walk the Path of Goodness. How do you actively move towards simplicity? One way is to rid yourself of energetic detritus you have gathered over the years. Habitual thoughts and actions define you. Can you think differently? Can you do things differently?

Your body will tell you when you are moving towards simplicity. Gently bypass your mental complexes and defenses and anxieties. Tell them you are in charge now. Step back and observe the byzantine maneuvers of your thoughts, and how they tend towards complexity. The more you practice listening to the wisdom of your body, the more simple your life will become.

Listen to your body wisdom. Pay attention to your heart energy (love), your belly energy (protection) and your grounding energy (survival). Listen to them first, and then by all means check in with your head energy afterwards because reasoning has a place at the table too. This is how you move towards simplicity and walk the Path of Goodness.

Copyright © 2018 Terri Robin
Image – Cape and Sands beach, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, copyright
© 2016 Terri Robin

Aging and Achievement

In the article “What can we learn from people who succeed later in life?“. Albert-László Barabási makes some good points. When you consider that aging is a biological reality we all face, it is surprising we don’t hear more about aging and how to be healthy and productive as we age. The largest cohort of aged people in human history, the baby boomers, are now entering their later years. Perhaps we don’t hear much about aging because it is depressing. Youthfulness is considered to be energetic, beautiful, and healthy but people often equate aging with decline, senility, weakness, and sickness.

I recall reading an article about early achievers and late achievers a few years ago. Apparently some high achievers peak very young while others peak relatively late in life. This article speaks about high achievers who peak later in life.

I love the story of Japanese painter, Hokusai, who died at the age of 89, having been remarkably productive in his later years. A genius and an eccentric, he called himself “Old Man Mad With Painting”. The article does not mention Claude Monet, a long-lived artist who produced an incredible amount of high quality work well into his 80s. Picasso is another long-lived artist who stayed productive as he aged but Picasso’s later work was a shadow of his earlier genius. Unlike Hokusai and Monet, Picasso peaked in his youth.

The article describes high achievers, creative, intelligent and driven people, who peak later in life rather than earlier. The title of the article notwithstanding, every person in the article already had agency, intelligence and determination when they were young. They call this a person’s “Q factor” and they claim “Your ability to turn an idea into a discovery is equally important, and that varies dramatically from person to person”. According to the article, “We all start our careers with a given Q, high or low, and that Q-factor stays with us until retirement.” The idea that we don’t change is rather depressing, and it clashes with recent research in brain plasticity that suggests people can make radical positive changes which can be measured by brain scanning technology.

Copyright © 2018 Terri Robin
Image: The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by Katsushika Hokusai