Category: Fun Ideas

  • 10 Steps to Successful New Year’s Resolutions

    10 Steps to Successful New Year’s Resolutions

    How many times have you made the same resolutions over and over, year after year, each time more determined to succeed and more frustrated and dejected when you do not? How many times do the failures of previous years stand in the way of your success for the coming year? Repeated failures are a heavy load to bear.

    CUSP, the spiritual path Eric Rasbold, my husband and co-author, and I created nearly twenty years ago involves setting specific goals with the intention of manifesting the life the practitioner wants to live. Each December, our students carefully choose goals to work on through the coming year to make their lives better. Because of this, we have almost two decades of experience with directed, pro-active resolutions and the fulfillment of those goals. We have seen what works and what sabotages success.

    Here are ten suggestions for making attainable New Year’s resolutions and staying on course to achieve them. Many of these suggestions are not what life coaches traditionally recommend, but they have worked for us and countless CUSP students. Make this your year of success that you can build on in years to come.

    1) Make a list. Most people want more than one thing to change in their coming year, yet choose only one or two goals in order to be realistic. Instead, make a long list of ways you want your life to be different this time next year. Be ruthless. This list is for your eyes only and you should pretend you can achieve anything that you put on the list regardless of financial, personal, or social obstacles. Hint #1: a quick way to madness and disaster is to attempt to manifest a goal of ego and arrogance such as “self-actualization” or “self-mastery.” The Universe has a delightful sense of humor where goals of ego are concerned. Stick to the basics. Hint #2: Do not attempt to manifest a negative. Your brain and your higher self love nouns and ignore verbs, so when you tell your brain and your higher self that you want to “lose weight,” your brain and higher self register “weight” minus the “lose” part. Instead, focus on what you want to GAIN, not what you want to BANISH. Most goals can be turned inside out to find a suitable gain rather than the loss. For instance, add “physical fitness” to your list rather than “losing weight.”

    2) Combine goals. Once you have completed your list, see what the goals have in common. For instance, wanting a new car, a better place to live, and a new wardrobe might combine into increased self-esteem, or prosperity. Wanting physical fitness, better eating habits, and freedom from smoking combines to health, strength, or wellness. Finding romance, improving family relations, and making more friends can combine into the goal of welcoming love. Embrace abstract goals rather than specific ones. Go deep and see what joined meaning the goals you listed hold for you.

    3) Find the feeling behind the goal. Most self-help programs tell you to detail your goal to the tiniest variance,such as to vow to go to the gym three times a week or make four new job contacts a week. We tell you to do the opposite. It’s great to come up with a strategy for success and develop plans. For your actual goals and resolutions, however, look for the feeling that you attach to those specific outcomes. “I want to feel prosperous.” “I want to feel loved.” “I want to feel healthy and strong.” “I want to feel proud of myself.” “I want to feel beautiful.” Intention does not flow through a list of activities, but toward a feeling you want to manifest that you either do not now feel or do not feel enough. Identify the feeling and you will find the magical boost to reach that goal. By working towards a feeling rather than a particular action, you open the door for many ways that your goal can manifest.

    4) Pace your goal. Too often, our efforts derail within a few weeks because we come into the process with guns blazing, then lose steam quickly. Do not see your goal as something you start on January 1st and continue forever, but as a growing, living process that you plant on January 1st and nurture through the year as it flourishes to fruition. Next winter, you will re-evaluate and determine how to progress this year’s goals further or create new goals for the coming year. Rather than starting out with a huge effort, start with smaller steps and build on them. Plan for your greatest success and ultimate fulfillment of your goal to occur around August or September. Think of your goal as a crop you are planting. You would not go into the fields, plant seeds, and expect to see your harvest the following week. Instead, decide what you will plant, then cultivate the soil, plant, nurture, and see the crop grow into its fulfillment over time. If you want to feel strong and healthy, take baby steps toward that goal rather than overwhelm yourself. Schedule a check up one week. The following week, go for a walk or step up your physical activity routine slightly. The next week, cut back or eliminate one unhealthy food you eat. The week after that, step up your physical activity again. Build your goal a little at a time instead of going all out in January. Putting everything into the first month causes most people to feel overwhelmed so that they run out of steam quickly. You want to build sustainable steps toward your goal and you do that by creating gradual change.

    5) Connect with your higher power. Whether you invest in a deity or believe your higher power is yourself, tune into it. Pray, meditate, journal. Take a few minutes (or longer) each day to connect to whatever you perceive to be your higher power and focus on your goal during that time. Allow the feeling that you programmed into your ultimate goal to flow over you during this time, even though you are not there yet. Imagine what prosperity will feel like, what health and strength will feel like, what welcoming love into your life will feel like and let that feeling run through you. Say “thank you” to your higher power for assisting you and for the successful completion of your goal. Imagine that your success is already there.

    6) See it to be it.  Use visual cues to connect with your goal. Write notes that say “You are loved,” “You are beautiful,” “You are vibrant and healthy” and place them on your mirror, in your car, or other places where you will see them. Burn candles dedicated to your goal. Choose a stone or a talisman that represents your investment in your goal and keep in in your pocket or close to you. Rub it at times when you feel your dedication to the goal sagging. Make a vision board that gives your goal an appearance and a physical form before it is here. Do NOT use photos of how you used to be or how you used to look as your goal. We are moving FORWARD, not BACKWARD.

    7) Be open. By focusing on the feeling rather than a specific attribute of that feeling, you open yourself to other ways for your goal to manifest. If you focus on health and strength rather than “I will go to the gym three times a week,” your goal can also encompass new ways to eat to support your goal or targeting vitamin deficiencies and system toxicities to heal. Keep your mind and your process open to all areas of health and strength and welcome new information and insight. If you work to manifest love in your life, welcome all forms of love around you, including family love, friend love, romantic love, and most importantly, self love.

    8) Be patient with yourself. Rome was not built in a day and it takes years to establish the habits and situations we wish to change in our lives. Sometimes, it takes that long to reverse them. When (rarely “if”) you step off the path that takes you to your goal, do not let it derail you. Take a breath, reseat yourself in the goal, and begin again in that moment, not the next day. If you find you are slipping often in a week, stop and consider why you are resisting success, then center yourself back into the process. Often, the answer is simply, “It’s easier to do what I have always done.” If you truly want change, you have to overcome that answer. If you are not sufficiently invested in the change to overcome that answer, then it isn’t time yet. Regardless, be painfully honest with yourself and accept that if you do what you have always done, you will have what you have always had. Change must come from you, not from the outside, and it is very rarely easy.

    9) Be fully accountable and mindful of your choices.  The fastest way to failure is to blame our actions on others or on outside circumstances. This  practice immediately relegates us to victim status. To be proactive, we have to admit that we ultimately make the choices in our lives. This involves tremendous honesty and accountability. We must break through the mindset that allows us to give our power over to others. “There was just too much pressure from others, so I had some drinks” actually means, “I wanted to fit in and be comfortable, so I drank alcohol when my goal is to quit.” When the weather is bad, we might make a conscious choice not to go to the gym, which is affected by outside circumstances, however the internal choice is if we choose not to work out in any way while at home. We must own our choices and be accountable for them, as well as the destiny and outcomes they create. Being accountable does not mean that you have to be transparent in a public forum or even tell others about your goals. It means being accountable to yourself and honest beyond reproach in your own inner dialog. With every choice, we must ask, “Does this behavior support my goal or not?” and act accordingly from there.

    10) Make your goals about YOU and no one else. We can try to change for others and it is admirable to want to please those we care about. It is also admirable to want the best for those we love when we can see they are making harmful choices. The raw truth is that it is nearly impossible to get another person to change by the sheer force of your will and it is equally impossible to change because someone else wants you to. You must limit the focus of your resolution on yourself and make resolutions for yourself because it is the outcome YOU want. Do not lose weight because your partner wants you to. Do not make the resolution that you will get your spouse to stop drinking or your son to get a job. Resolutions that focus on you and your own wants will succeed far more often than those we set for others or because of others.

    Best of luck to you in 2016 and I hope it is a year of tremendous success and accomplishment for all of you.

  • Smoke and Mirrors: The Art of Mirror Scrying

    Smoke and Mirrors: The Art of Mirror Scrying

    I did not believe what my High Priestess told me when she said if you sit in the dark in front of a mirror with nothing but candlelight, you will see amazing things. Of course, not believing it meant I was going to try it as soon as I possibly could, which I did.

    Scrying is a form of divination and meditation that involves using a reflective object of some sort as a meditation tool to see visions. Those visions can be of the past, the present, the future, or a possible future if different choices are not made. The most commonly known scrying is the use of a crystal ball. Hollywood amped up the mystery behind crystal ball scrying, making it seem more like a psychic television. The stereotypical process of a mist forming in the ball, then parting to reveal actual scenes from beyond time or distance is not how a crystal ball works.

    041111_magic_eye_1g_aYears ago, there was a craze of 3-D images where a person relaxed their vision and looked at a specially designed graphic, other deeper images would emerge. if you never saw one before (marketed as “Magic Eye” pictures), click on the image to the right until it is at full size and then stare at it, relaxing your vision. Eventually, you may see other images with a 3-D effect develop. In this case, it is four cylindrical shapes in various positions.

    Scrying works in a similar fashion. You look into the reflective surface and relax your vision. This gives your eyes a chance to check out while your inner vision starts to work.

    Scrying is not limited to crystal balls. “Obsidian Mirrors” are another way to scry. These can either be an actual piece of obsidian polished to a fine shine or a picture frame with the back of the glass painted black. Looking into the blackness is just as effective as looking into clear, smooth quartz. For some people, it is even easier to use black than clear. Scrying onto the surface of water contained in a reflective or back vessel is also effective.

    Of all methods of scrying, mirror scrying is arguably the easiest and in my opinion, the most interesting.

    After dark, arrange a mirror so that you sit directly in front of it and have a candle on each side, between you and the mirror. Make sure there are no additional light sources in the room. Wear clothing that is dark and does not reflect from the mirror. Sit approximately 18-24 inches from the mirror at most. Light an incense that you enjoy. Play meditative music if you wish. As the candles burn, relax your entire body, starting with your face and working your way down to your feet. Feel your muscles and your mind relax more with every breath.

    When you have relaxed completely, work to still your mind from mundane thoughts. See them as tangible objects whirling around you that stop and drop to the floor, then disappear. Make your mind as blank as possible. Focus on the surface of the mirror and the reflections you see from the candlelight and occasional wafts of smoke. Do not strain your eyes to see anything or work too hard. Relax and let it come to you.

    With mirror scrying, you will sometimes see physical images. You may see your features shift and change until you look like someone else. You may have images appear in your mind or through your third eye. Pay attention to any impressions you receive when you are in this state.

    For my first mirror scrying experiment, I asked, “What did I look like before this life” and I literally saw my features shift and change several times. It was quite a relaxing and enjoyable experience. As my mentor said so many years ago, “You will see amazing things.” It may not happen immediately and may take practice, but this technique is fascinating to try.

  • Regarding Puff: You Be the Judge

    Regarding Puff: You Be the Judge

    Peter_Paul_and_Mary_1963Those of us who are as old as dirt’s grandma and even a few who aren’t remember many happy moments spent around campfires singing Peter, Paul, and Mary songs.  “Too Much of Nothing,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane,” “500 Miles…” They were the voice of a generation and that generation was mine.

    Arguably, the most popular Peter, Paul, and Mary song was “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which was a daily player on radio stations, as well as featured on a segment of “The Treasure House Artist,” my own favorite part of the Captain Kangaroo show.

    From its release, rumors circulated that “Puff the Magic Dragon was about (I lower my voice conspiratorially here) the marijuana.

    The definitive urban legend resource,, is clear that we all (a generation of open-if-fuzzy-minded free spirits) completely have our heads up our asses for being so suspicious as to think this song is about (sssh) pot. Maybe we just wanted it to be about pot because that would be fun.

    The writer, Leonard Lipton, who wrote the lyrics when he was 19 and then passed it on to his roommate, who wrote the music and tweaked the words, said this about the song:

    “[Puff is about] loss of innocence, and having to face an adult world.  It’s surely not about drugs.  I can tell you that at Cornell in 1959, no one smoked grass.  I find the fact that people interpret it as a drug song annoying.  It would be insidious to propagandize about drugs in a song for little kids.”

    No one Cornell University in 1959 smoked weed.  No one. In fact, Leonard is appalled that we even considered that anyone did. In fact, I’m quite sure no one alive in 1959 smoked weed. Didn’t we invent it in the 60’s? At this point, I may have to have my tongue surgically removed from my cheek.

    Lipton’s roommate and co-writer was Peter Yarrow, who was 1/3 of Peter, Paul and Mary (the Peter part, obviously) of he says:

    “As the principal writer of the song, I can assure you it’s a song about innocence lost. It’s easier to interpret ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as a drug song than ‘Puff, the Magic Dragon.’ This is just a funny rumor that was promulgated by Newsweek magazine. There is no basis for it. It’s inane at this point and really unfortunate, because even in Hong Kong it’s not played because of the allegation it’s about drugs.  But I assure you it’s not.”

    Begging to differ, my own opinion is that only someone who is hopped up on weed can make “The Star Spangled Banner” about pot.

    On the other hand, looking at the lyrics of “Puff the Magic Dragon” is like reading the biggest joke in the world about weed. Mary Travers, the Mary part of Peter, Paul & Mary, said:

    “Peter wrote the song in 1958 and it is not about marijuana. Believe me, if he wanted to write a song about marijuana, he would have written a song about marijuana.”

    And I believe that’s exactly what he did.  Noel Paul Stookey, the Paul part of Peter, Paul and Mary, could not be reached for comment because he was laughing his ass off and could not speak.

    You can all but hear Jon Lovitz writing their official statements:

    Let’s go through the lyrics a bit at a time and then you can be the judge.

    Puff the Magic Dragon
    By Lyin Lenny Lipton and Propagatin Peter Yarrow

    Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
    And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.

    Puff.  Obvious.   Dragon (“draggin” – an inhale from a joint is called a “hit” or a “drag”) and “lived by the sea”  To grow the best pot with the biggest, stickiest buds, Marijuana needs a balanced and reliable water supply…a whole sea of it. “Autumn mist” – thick smoke looks like the mists of autumn

    Hanalei is the name of a city, a bay, a beach, a river, a valley and a lookout point in the Northern part of the island of Kauai, Hawaii.  Throughout the late 50’s and 60’s, some of the best weed, called “Hanalei Blue” came out of Hanalei. Mind you none of this weed was ever smoked at Cornell university. The pot grown in Hanalei was so popular that there is still a glass pipe manufactured called “Hanalei Blue” in honor of the strain of pot.  Hanalei Blue was rivaled only by the still popular “Maui Wowie.”

    These days, very little cannabis is brought to the continental United States shores from Hawaii because, being a small island, the location is easily canvassed by DEA agent looking for plants.  The greatest success has been with helicopters using infrared lights.  Most pot cultivated in Hawaii is now grown indoor via hydroponics….

    Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff
    And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff

    As most people and anyone who purchased a Cheech and Chong album in the 70’s know, joints are rolled with thin rolling paper.  Before ZigZag (a popular brand of papers) was produced with self-sealing adhesive, joints were tied off using small strings or tiny bits of wax.

    Together they would travel on boat with billowed sail

    Billowed sails also look like a plume of rising smoke.

    Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff’s gigantic tail

    A reference to the paranoia some people when they are writing about smoking pot? Or actually smoking pot?

    Noble kings and princes would bow whene’er they came

    This addresses the cross-class appeal of weed.  Look at Prince Harry and tell me he doesn’t.

    Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name

    There is a bit of “honor among thieves” that historically allowed passage of ships that are importing cannabis.

    A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys
    Painted wings and giants’ rings make way for other toys.

    There comes a time in most people’s lives when they have to stop getting loaded all the time and be a grown-up.  Smoke a joint and “painted wings and giants’ rings” can easily become a theme of conversation or so I’m told.

    One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
    And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

    Egad!  Jackie isn’t going to get loaded any more!  Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot?

    His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain

    Green scales of… marijuana buds?

    Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.

    The red fiery ash at the end of a joint is called the “cherry.”

    Without his lifelong friend, Puff could not be brave
    So, Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave.

    When you got no (Jackie) Paper, the weed goes forlornly back into the stash box.  *moment of silence*

    Like hitting “play” on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” CD at the very moment the MGM lion roars for the third time on the intro to “The Wizard of Oz” and noting the remarkable ways the album and the movie match up, could this be just another overthought coincidence or is it more likely that a couple of stoners wrote a fun song about getting loaded, even though they were at Cornell University and then denied it because radio stations refused to play a song about bud?

    The world may never know.

    Note: The author of this post knows nothing, absolutely nothing, about marijuana and is a 1959 graduate of Cornell University. 

  • 10 Spells For Money and Prosperity

    10 Spells For Money and Prosperity
    photo from

    Most people find themselves in circumstances from time to time where a little more money is needed. Here are some quick and reliable spells, all personally vetted for effectiveness by the author, for upping the level of financial prosperity in your life and/or generating quick funds from sources expected and unexpected. (more…)

  • All Hail the May Hole

    All Hail the May Hole

    In our circle, we work a strong duality between male and female energies and although we love the traditional celebrations, we always like to put our own spin on things. Beltane is a delicious High Holiday, ribald with innuendo and fun, celebrating the union between the masculine and feminine archetypes. In this blessed time of coming together, we honor the fertilization of the land and revel in the pleasures brought to us by earthly existence. That being the case, we always thought it as a little one-sided to ritualize this sacred day with only a maypole, the representation of male virility, thrusting its mighty prominence up out of the ripened land. (more…)

  • Food and Energy – Part 2

    Food and Energy – Part 2

    In Monday’s blog, we talked about the feasibility of working magic toward  a positive outcome using the food we prepare. In this posting, we will discuss the nuts and bolts of how to do it. When working magic through food, there are two categorizations to consider. (more…)

  • The River Meditation

    The River Meditation

    On Monday, the Energy Magic blog focused on an important subject: Where does your energy go? What follows is a brilliant meditation developed by my husband, Eric Rasbold, for visualizing your energy flow, plugging up the leaks, and widening the passages to let more flow to your desired recipients. (more…)