Metaphysical Freedom

Metaphysical Coaching (Life and Business), Counselor Consultation and Supervision, Mindfulness-Based Energy Work


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Adventures in Africa Part 1: Confronting Stereotypes/Myths

In March 2015, I traveled to Ghana, West Africa and stayed for a month. This was my first official flight overseas, so I was nervous. I was not sure what to expect on my way to Ghana. I flew solo, and was going to meet my host family at the final destination in Accra. I took a red-eye flight, but there was a brief layover in Amsterdam. When I made it to Amsterdam, I could already feel a difference in the air. There was a sense of movement and action that did not feel like mindless busyness.

My layover was only for a few hours, so I made my way to the next gate for the plane heading to Accra, Ghana. When I got to the gate, I immediately noticed that almost everyone was Black. The people’s beautiful dark skin had a supernatural glow. I KNEW I was among Africans. It was an exciting feeling. The second part of the flight was long and turbulent. When the plane landed in Accra that night, most of the passengers applauded in relief. Shuttle buses came to the plane to pick up the passengers and take us into the airport. It was raining and humid, but I was in Africa!!

Ghana flag and name

The customs line was long, and I had to wait for over an hour to make it through. Many diverse people were  in the line with me. I saw Chinese, Lebanese, Nigerian, Belgian, and Canadian visitors, just to name a few. I admit that I was surprised to see many “foreigners” coming to Ghana. Then it hit me…I realized that I may have had some subconscious stereotypes and misconceptions about Africa even though I consider myself to be a very open-minded and an independent thinker. Due to this realization, this first post of the series is going to address some of the stereotypes and myths that many people might have about Africa. Although I was only in Ghana, I think that a lot of this information is relevant.

Language Stereotype
Prior to leaving the US, many people asked me, “Do they even speak English over there?” Often times, the tone of the question was condescending and judgmental more than curious.
To answer that question…Yes. A majority of the people in Ghana do speak some English (and also one or more of the native dialects).
Honestly, even if the people didn’t speak English, I was willing to learn their language. As people of a culturally diverse world, I think it is beneficial not to be xenophobic or extremely ethnocentric. It benefits us if we do not go into another country expecting the people to speak the language that we are most comfortable or familiar with. It causes us to open up and develop an understanding of each other that verbal language can sometimes distract us from.

But yes, a majority of the people spoke English. This was a blessing, and I was extremely grateful.

Sign Above the door at a Primary school

Stereotype: There is extreme Lack of Education
This is not completely true. There are professionals such as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, teachers, etc in Ghana. I did notice that public schools seemed to get the least amount of assistance and care. The conditions were not the best ones for learning. (I will discuss this in a more in depth post later on in the series.)

There are colleges, universities, and tech schools in Ghana.

There are colleges, universities, and tech schools in Ghana.

Stereotype: People only wear Traditional Clothing
I can admit that I expected a majority of the Ghanaian people to dress in traditional African clothing. This was not the case.
In all of the places that I visited, the majority of the people were dressed similar to me or my close friends. They looked like Americans. I did learn that this varied based on regions, belief systems, and age.

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Adults waiting for a ride near the Volta Region.

Young people dancing in the park at Aburi Botanical Gardens.

Myth: There are only Dirt Roads and Villages with no Running Water or Electricity
There are some paved roads, and there are some unpaved roads in Ghana. I had the joy of experiencing both. In some areas, when it rains, the paved roads get washed away and turn back into muddy roads with enormous craters. It can make for a bumpy ride or limited access to areas, especially if you do not have a moto (motorcycle).

Man and woman riding the moto near the Volta Region.

Man and woman riding the moto near the Volta Region.

There are traditional villages and thatch roof houses like the ones that are often portrayed on television. However, many people do have homes like the ones in America, and they are HUGE!

Village home in Dodowa.

 

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Back view of a “toilet” at a village home in Dodowa. The owner was kind enough to let me use it.

Private bathroom in my bedroom

Private bathroom in my bedroom in West Legon.

There IS running water and electricity in parts of Ghana. Not all places have running water or electricity, but many of them do. Unfortunately there is an issue with frequent electricity outages. The people are accustomed to it, and even have a name for it: Doomsor. Some days I had electricity, but almost every day I did not have electricity for 6, 12, or more hours. I seldom had hot water, but it was bearable because the weather is very hot and humid.

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Village children pumping water while a man walks by carrying goods on his head.

Stereotype: There is dangerous “Wildlife” (lions) roaming everywhere.
There are several animals in Ghana. I did not get to see the monkeys, elephants, zebras, and giraffes, but I learned that they have nature reserve parks in different regions where I can go see them. Everyday I did encounter many cows, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, and sheep freely roaming around the streets and in harmony with each other.

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Baby goat in Dodowa casually heading under the vehicle for shade.

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Herd of cows calmly crossing the street in the city.

Myth: All of Africa is only Deserts. There is no Vegetation.
Ghana is beautiful! I was able to experience the lush Aburi Botanical Gardens, go to the beach, see mountains, and visit the bush areas. Plus, almost every where that I went, there was mango, papaya, avocado, and plenty of foods growing naturally. It was magnificent!

Home on a hill in Aburi

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Walking a path out in the “bush” north of Aburi.

Cape Coast (The other side of the Atlantic Ocean)

Stereotype: There is nothing for Tourists because the countries are underdeveloped.
I would recommend that anyone with a genuine interest in the continent of Africa visit at least one country, even if it is only for tourism. In Ghana, there are hotels, spas, shopping malls, museums, national parks, and movie theaters. I am certain that other countries in Africa have the same amenities as well. 🙂

Spa in Sogakope, Ghana (Volta Region)

Spa in Sogakope, Ghana (Volta Region)

Museum in Kumasi (Ashanti Region)

Museum in Kumasi (Ashanti Region)

Myth: They do not like African Americans.
My experience was that many of the people do like African Americans…and people in general. I was often referred to as “sister” (or “girlfriend” or “wife” by some guys who were really trying to push the envelope). The mindset of the Ghanaian people that I interacted with is , “We are family”. The people were extremely nice, helpful, and I felt very safe. I met some kindhearted individuals and made wonderful new friends during my time in Ghana.

My message to you is this:
Africa is a rich and enchanted continent.
Do not allow stereotypes, myths, and targeted media coverage prevent you from visiting Africa, meeting the beautiful people, or exploring other regions of this planet.

If the inner guidance of your heart is pulling you to venture out, give it a try.

DSCN1920A loving presence is understood across all cultures and languages.

 

In Joy and with Love,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com
Questions about my trip? Contact me.


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Slave Dungeons or Castles? El Mina & Cape Coast in Ghana

El Mina Castle-Dungeon

El Mina Castle (Dungeon) in Ghana

I am currently in Ghana, in the western part of Africa, on my first trip to the continent. I arrived in the city of Accra late on a Tuesday night in March. I was nervous, excited, and exhausted all in one. The customs line for foreigners was very long, so it took over an hour for me to get through. When I made it outside the airport, the first thing that I felt was extreme heat and humidity. I had been on the freezing cold airplane for several hours, the airports were very cold, and then suddenly it was hot. The second thing I noticed was all the Black people…Africans. They looked so beautiful, glowing, and so dark that their skin mixed with the night sky. It was lovely.

My first week here was spent doing tourist-like activities. I have been exploring the region and getting a better understanding of the people. During this tour, I visited Cape Coast Castle and the El Mina Castle. Some ex-pats refer to these locations as the Dungeons instead of castles. These are places where Africans were held in captivity before boarding ships to be sent to other parts of the world as slaves.

Needless to say, going on a tour of the castles was an emotional experience for me. Maybe not in the way that you would think, though. Instead of tears of sadness and sorrow, I became very angry when I heard about the inhumane things that were done to my ancestors. Although I learned about slavery, I was only given a small perspective—one from the lens of American History. The more I learned, the angrier I became. It was disturbing to think about the level of maltreatment that one human can inflict upon another and continue to live a fairly normal day-to-day life.

I heard about the ways that Africans assisted the Europeans to capture other Africans, especially if they were from another tribe or were offered a large amount of European goods.

I learned how the female slaves in the castle were abused and sexually exploited by the governor and his men. The women were forced out of their dungeon and had to walk in a small open courtyard. The governor’s quarters overlooked the courtyard. He simply would point at the woman he wanted to have sex with, and then she was taken through a secret door to his bedroom. Once he was done, she was put back in the dungeon with the others. If she refused, she was left outside, a ball and chain around her ankles to suffer…as punishment.

Ball (without chain) for female slaves

In the courtyard: Ball (without chain) for female slaves who refused sex

There is a great amount that I would like to write about this experience, yet I will keep this post brief. (Maybe this will turn into a book.) One other thing that I will mention is the “Door of No Return”. The slaves were kept in the dungeons for weeks and months at a time (men and women were separate).
Think about it: Hundreds of people in one room–eating, sleeping, defecating, urinating, sick, etc…in ONE small room. The ones who died were taken out and tossed into the sea. The ones who survived made the life-altering journey onto the ships that transported them all over the world…. when they walked through the Door of No Return. Not only did they have to endure the dungeons, but the ones who survived had to endure the ship rides around the globe. What a shame that so many people suffered from this tragedy at the hands of their own people.

This is only a miniscule piece of the history of this planet.

Door of No Return

Door of No Return

Why am I writing any of this? Because I desire for you to open your eyes and your mind.

Slavery still exists today, right here and now, and it takes on many forms. Some examples are: Mental slavery, economic dis-empowerment, sex trafficking, free/cheap labor, and cultural imperialism.

I refuse to believe that human nature is naturally selfish, greedy, and immoral.

Yet, I do wonder: What will it take for all humans to see each other as fellow brothers and sisters on this planet? How can we mend the mistakes of those before us and live in a peaceful world instead of repeating this revolving pattern?

Several RIP flowers and gifts were left in the dungeons from visitors around the globe.

Several RIP flowers and gifts were left in the dungeons from visitors around the globe.

In spite of the anger I felt, I found one thing to be slightly comforting. Several people from all over the world left gifts, flowers, and memorials for the slaves who were in the dungeon. Most of them read, “Rest In Peace” and referred to humanity learning a vital lesson from the pains of the slave trade.

I know that healing is possible. But first, we must have compassion for ourselves and each other.

We all need each other now more than ever.

With Compassion,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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Letters to My Creator

open blank journalI love writing, and maybe you do as well. My most consistent writing practice began in my early childhood. I had a diary. Oh, the juicy, secretive world of diaries with their special locks and “keep out!” signs. Then I graduated to journals. I had several black and white composition books filled with some of my most intimate moments, fears, joys, and requests to God. I journaled almost everyday.

Recently, during the process of packing, I stumbled upon my journals from high school and college. I sat down for a moment and carefully read over my entries. I wrote passionately about my woes related to school issues, family, friendships, and relationships gone awry.

There was a pattern that took place in my writing:
1. I started out writing about the day (Ex: It was a rough day);
2. Then, I wrote extensively about the suffering or strife that I perceived I was experiencing (exaggerating most of it, by the way);
3. Lastly, as if in response to my discouragement, I wrote wise words of encouragement that were well beyond my years of experience and knowledge.
(Ex: I know that this is a situation where I am meant to learn about…)

I read through several of these journals, and was fascinated by something within them that I hadn’t noticed before.

You see, when I read more closely, I realized that I was also prophesying to myself in every entry.

At the time that I wrote the entries, I did not realize that they were more than words of encouragement, but actual prophecy. I didn’t know they were true until I reflected on the entries recently and recognized that most of the things had occurred!

But…
Where did those prophetic words come from?

I went into meditation about this question, and here is some of what was expressed to me. Spirit reminded me that I am always taken care of and supported by unseen forces. It was brought to my attention that when I wrote my journal entries, they were a way for me to connect with My Creator and seek guidance. It was a form of prayer.

The most beautiful message I received was this reminder:
“I already knew what you needed. I already saw everything you were going to request. I Am in You. Be in a place to receive those things.”

This makes me think of a biblical text that states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”

Take the time to think of all the things that you have requested of Spirit.
What would it mean for you to know that your requests are already known?

Better yet, what if there is already an answer?

There Is.transparent open bookAffirm for yourself today:
Everything is already in order, and the solution is clear.

 

 

With Affirming Love and Light,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com

Biblical reference: Jeremiah 1:5


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Conscious Social Change

“Nobody with innocence loves to go to jail. But if he puts you in jail, you go in that jail and transform it from a dungeon of shame to a haven of freedom and human dignity. Even if he tries to kill you, you develop the inner conviction that there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true that they are worth dying for…” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If there is one thing that I would change about the quote above, it is this: “What are you willing to LIVE for? What do you desire to see changed in the world we live in right now?”

February is celebrated as Black History month in the United States of America. It is also the month where they celebrate Love, Romance, and relationships in honor of St. Valentine.

When I pondered upon what this month means for me, I thought about the fact that there really is not a specific month to represent the history of all beings. My history is your history because we are all connected, and inevitably we all impact each other worldwide.

I also began thinking about the state of the social structure in this nation. There is unrest among many groups of people who are called the “minority” in the United States of America. The nature of this unrest is a recurrence of similar themes that have spanned over several generations. There are rallies against injustice, war, and inequality for all humans. This history seems to repeat itself, while the people headlining the movements are the only difference.

Why is this the case? What is missing?

Soldiers are deployed and encouraged to fight for their country and the freedom of their people. Yet, right here in our own land, many are not Free.

Freedom first begins in the mind.

If a group of people have been taught to believe and perceive their world from an inferior perspective, then their lives will continue to reflect this status, even if they do rally against their status. This is because they are creating what they focus upon. Do not get me wrong, there currently exists a covert and overt hierarchy in American society which affects various groups of people in different, yet painful ways. This hierarchy exists because the nation was created by a group of people who believed that to divide, conquer, and monopolize power was the way to live.

But it is not.

Violence, separation, and destruction only breed injustice, greed, and death.

It takes a conscious movement of everyone in solidarity in order for this ancient, ineffective system to be eradicated. I have read that the largest population in the United States right now is the generation born between the early 1980’s and early 2000’s, also known as Generation Y or the Millennials.

Why does this matter?
The largest population in any place can have a huge impact on society. It begins with a shift in conscious awareness, collectively joining together, and is followed by mindful action.

Think about what your ideal world looks like. Is there a major disparity among groups of people based on the color of their skin or partner preference? Of course not.
What can you do to shift things in the direction that makes this ideal world more tangible?

If you are passionate about it, then you have the first ingredient that is needed to take action. Every piece of this Peace puzzle has a major part.  First, begin to connect with others who believe in your cause. Second, discuss solutions from a collective and conscious point of view. Third, mindfully put things in motion from a solution-focused perspective. You will see just how much the world you desire begins to unfold.

You and I are the game-changers. We are the ones to lead a conscious movement, not by repeating old patterns of our predecessors, but by acting from a higher state of awareness and connectedness that focuses on the solution to the problems we face now. We need each other, and we are the answer.

We must create and influence the world that we desire to live in.

We are the catalyst

With love,
Dana (Intuitive Dana)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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Who Colors Your Life?

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
–Jim Rohn

“You are the company you keep.”

Heard that before?

Think about it for a moment, and make an observation right now: Who is around you? Who are the people that are a part of your inner circle? What are you listening to right now? What books are you reading? Whose Facebook status are you always checking?

As my life has continued to evolve, so have the people who are in it. Some friendships have faded away, some have emerged, and others have transformed and strengthened over time.
When I was in high school I did not pay close attention to the people who surrounded me. I had friends that were in gangs, had failed classes, and got into fights often. At the same time, I had friends that were part of leadership organizations, in the band, athletic, and some who were academically inclined. I felt like I was connected to all of them, but I didn’t really know who I was.

My lack of self-awareness caused me to get into trouble. I was among the “wrong crowd” and had to deal with being in the wrong places at the wrong times. It was embarrassing and also very confusing.
During my sophomore year, I was selected to become Drum Major in the marching band. Taking on this role shifted my perspective. I had to spend a lot of time with other leaders and forward-thinking people in order to be a leader myself. I started to see some of the foolish things I was doing. I also began to isolate more and look within. Many of my friendships changed, but I knew it was for the better.

In my first year of college, I was somewhat rebellious. I had come from a small hometown where I was not allowed to go out much with friends. When I got out on my own, I wanted to explore the world (or at least Savannah, Georgia). My friends were partiers! We stayed up late, danced, played games, and always found something to laugh about. I loved the times I spent with them!

I made many mistakes, though. I was not seeking answers to important questions because I did not know what I needed to ask. I remember taking a psychology exam and asking my professor how I did on the test. He said to me, “Oh, you probably did how you thought. You made a B.”

But I didn’t think that I made a B. It dawned on me that something about the way I presented myself made me seem like a B was my goal. I was just doing enough to get by, and wasn’t applying any more effort than that, but I did not realize it.

I slowly began to notice that my core values were different than my buddies who I hung out with all the time. I had a scholarship and grant money that paid for my education, and had to maintain certain grades to keep them. Most of my friends weren’t as concerned about their grades, if at all. I also was one of the few people who liked having morning classes, but staying up late made it difficult to get up on time.
I surrendered to the fact that I needed some guidance, and had to change the people I surrounded myself with in order to expand the way I was viewing my experience.

I felt drawn to some of the mentors at the university, and I began taking on student leadership roles. I spent a great amount of time serving others and  left a legacy on campus. I loved doing that type of service, and I began making more connections to people and situations that lined up with my desires.

Now, I am surrounded by a completely different group of friends. We are conscious, mindful, life-loving, and progressive entrepreneurs. When I look at them, I am inspired to keep expressing my gifts and expanding my personal vision.

The music I listen to on a consistent basis, the movies I watch, and the books I read are all different now as well. They are positive and encouraging. I naturally migrate towards things and people that support my growth and propel me towards continuing to live my passion and purpose.

It is clear that we are all highly impacted by those who surround us. There is a subtle exchange of energy and conscious information that occurs when we spend time, communicate, and connect with others. This same exchange occurs when we listen to music, watch videos/television, and read information.

Maybe it is time for you to reconsider those whom you choose to surround yourself with. Do you feel that these influences are guiding you forward, holding you still, or pulling you back? If you do not like the answer, you have the power to change all of this today. Decide on what you truly desire, and make room for the Divine connections and influences that are sent your way.

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Remember: The energy that surrounds us is the energy that we embody.

We have the power to choose how we color our lives.

 

With Love,
Intuitive Dana (Dana D. Robinson)
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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Give Thanks

You may have heard numerous times that “gratitude is the best attitude” or some similar type of slogan. The ideology behind these types of quotes implies that staying positive helps one to cope with life’s stress.
From an energetic perspective, everything has a vibration, frequency, and overall feeling. Our thoughts, words, pictures, places, vehicles, jobs, etc. all emanate some form of energy.

We are energy.

Imagine what it would be like if you got up every day and expressed thanks instead of dread.

I have found that the more I give thanks, the more I find things to be grateful for.

Here are a few examples…

  1. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I usually say out loud (or in my thoughts) is: “God, thank you for this lovely new day.”
  2. When I get up and do my morning routine (shower, eat, wash my face, brush my teeth, etc) I say different types of thanks, but they are usually like this: “I am thankful that I have warm, clean, running water that I can bathe myself with. I am thankful that I have the ability and functionality to take care of my own body. I am thankful that I have food to eat and it is easily accessible. I am thankful for my life, and I know that everything works for my good and in my favor.”
  3. When I am stuck in traffic, I still give thanks and say: “I am thankful that I have a car that is in good condition and takes me to and from where I need to go. I am thankful that I have a job and a way to take care of my needs.”
  4. Even when I have felt “hurt”, upset, and frustrated, I have given thanks saying: “I am thankful that I can experience emotions. I am thankful for my tears. I am grateful that I can allow myself to feel my feelings.”
  5. When there is a death, I still give thanks and say: “Thank you God for allowing this person to be in my life. Thank you for my role in this person’s life. Thank you for the wonderful experience that I had in sharing Life with this Being.

 

I encourage you to begin this type of dialogue in your daily routine. You can start with small steps. For instance, being out in nature made giving thanks such an easy “task” for me.

Giving thanks shifts our perspectives from lack to abundance.
Giving thanks opens the door for more things to be grateful for.
Giving thanks is a form of prayer that affirms our victory.

Have you noticed the trees today?

 Mossy Trees

Give thanks for the simple things.

 

In gratitude,
Intuitive Dana
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com


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Music: The Universal Healer

What would this world be like without music? I cannot imagine. I grew up with a passion for music. My earliest memory of it is when I was approximately 2 years old, hands held high for my mother to pick me up, but she wasn’t able to because she was hand- washing dishes. She looked down at me and said, “Not yet, wait one moment honey.” She began humming and singing a soothing song as she cleaned. I recall slowly putting my arms to my side and listening to her while feeling peace in my heart.
During my early childhood, my two oldest siblings took piano lessons. They would come home and play the songs that they learned. I would ask them to play the songs, laugh contentedly, and then ask them to play the songs over and over again. Eventually, they became annoyed or exhausted and stopped. There came a time when I asked them to play a song again (for the one hundredth time I’m sure), and they declined, walking away from the piano. Instead of being upset, I remember being curious and determined. I desired to hear the song, and could almost feel it within me. I timidly walked over to the piano, hummed the tune loudly to myself, and began playing notes. I played the song! This was how I started playing by ear. I felt overjoyed because I now had the opportunity to play the song as much as I wanted to. I used this same technique to play some of my favorite radio tunes as well.

The piano was my first instrument, and soon my voice became my second one. I grew up listening to artists such as Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle and Mariah Carey. I sang often (at home) and performed mini talent shows for my family members. I freestyled, made mix tapes, and created my own songs, too.

My teenage years were the most challenging times for me. I was socially awkward and self-conscious. I became extremely introverted, almost reclusive. I mostly listened to Rap, R&B, and alternative music. When I felt upset, I locked myself in my room and sang and cried until my heart seemed to burst with relief. I also played saxophone and percussion in the marching band, and continued playing piano by ear. Some days, I remember sitting at the piano for several hours, getting lost in the melodies and harmonies, becoming one with the myriad of vibrational tones. Music helped me to express myself, to cope with challenges, and essentially to heal.

Currently teaching myself to play guitar 🙂

In regards to healing—-right now I work as a licensed psychotherapist in a facility. I am integrative in my approach, meaning that I incorporate various techniques to support my clients’ wellness. I believe in holistic health, so I address the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of recovery. I have worked with clients with ‘severe’ mental health issues such as Schizophrenia. I have found that music can bring forth miraculous results. One day, I led a group on coping skills and chose to incorporate music into the material. During this group I witnessed an almost non-responsive schizophrenic client go from being completely detached to being very lively, smiling, laughing, and even dancing with the other group members. All I did was play a song that he recognized.

It never ceases to amaze me to see how my “severely mentally ill” clients respond to music. Most of them smile, their eyes light up, and many of them begin having lucid conversations with me. It is as if they are brought back to the present moment, revived from the abyss of their psychoses. Other therapists have expressed similar experiences. Many are using music to revive those who suffer from the symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and even Autism. Researchers have found that musical memory is stored in a different area of the brain than other types of memories; it is believed to be tied to emotion, thus making it easier to access.

Music is ageless. I listen to artists such as Donny Hathaway, The Beatles, Bob Marley, and Earth, Wind, & Fire. These artists are from generations before mine, yet their music will continue to live on.
Music is amazing. As a healing force, it can be used to tone chakras, aid in meditations, and call in the angels. Not only is it a healer, but it is also Universal. Think about this: There are thousands of concerts held worldwide where people from different nations attend in order to experience the music–even if they do not speak the same language.

Music is a Universal Language. Dare I say, it is inter-universal. Music touches the vibrational frequencies of peace, love, and harmony. It is a Divine Language that the hearing impaired, “mentally ill”, and young children alike can all understand.

Let’s add more positive music to this world and see how easily we remove the barriers that create wars.

 

What does music mean to you?

Check out this story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX-xToQI34I

 

In Harmony,
Intuitive Dana
http://www.metaphysicalfreedom.com