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FEATURE - July 2016 - Santa Fe

Recipes from Around the World and Beyond for a Joyful Life

By Elissa Heyman


Why is it so hard to be happy? In the United States, The Land of the Free Where You Can Be Anything You Want To Be, counselors of all kinds hear from people who are doing well by society’s standards, but living a life that does not have purpose or enough meaning; it is not energizing, and they are very sad about this. Even sadder, clients feel silly for crying, as if the most important thing in the world isn’t their life and whether it’s fulfilling – their inner critic and internalized values from society tell them they should learn to just be happy with their perfectly good job! Striving for the good life makes it hard to listen to ourselves, and can obscure the life more aligned with our nature and what we enjoy. 


It’s hard to find joy when so much time is spent aligned with the values of others, with things that are not truly important to them.


When people tell you the intimate details of their lives and what truly gives them joy whether they are alone in the world or not, it is: a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, the freedom to express themselves, and the will to do good for themselves. Then they can be know happiness even in harsh conditions, and even if they’ve got just one of those circumstances.


People are always advising, “just be yourself”, in answer to the question, “what’s going to make me happy”. This is empty guidance to young people who likely already have college debt, and not supported by society whose unwritten law is to conform.  Moreover, the tool that can help guide you to your uniquely fulfilling place in the world, your intuition, is questionable. If you are taught to disregard your intuition and doubt what comes naturally, it’s easier to acquire the habit of conforming and doing what’s expected. The depth and extent of social rigging against one’s unique self can be hard to see. Only your heart’s desire can cut through it all and help you make the choice that brings you joy. 


Some societies help people, not hinder them, to fulfill their dreams and live heroic lives, even if they don’t have material well-being. The ancient Papago lived in southern Arizona, peaceful relatives of the ancient Mexican Aztecs. Their chief characteristics were that they never raised their voices, their movements through the desert were slow and deliberate, and they were always laughing.


What did they believe? They believed if they did heroic acts for others in the tribe, the supernatural world would grant them a dream, and in the dream they might be given a song. The words to the song always described something desirable like more rain, and the Papago believed in the power of these songs that were gifts from spirit: if the words were sufficiently vivid and beautiful, whatever was being sung about would actually happen. Their cultural and personal myths helped the people create beauty, be powerful, belong, have a purpose…and they were happy even though by ten o’clock in the morning, it was broiling hot and the only crop that could stand up to the heat were beans.


More and more people in today’s culture are getting used to the importance of daily practices to clear the mind. The positive belief underneath these practices is that, when you clear away the accumulated debris, what can emerge is perfect health and well-being.


In metaphysics there is the belief that the natural laws that operate in and around us create in perfection, and that all we need to do to regain health is to remove disharmonies and our natural state of health and flowing energy will re-establish itself. Similar to the daily need to brush your teeth and wash your face, however, a person must regularly release the accumulation of energy from the day before.


The need to take a breather from the rat race and counterbalance society’s expectations and constrictions is stronger than ever. Although it’s not a good idea to skip from practice to practice and never fully explore one, I’ve been trying a new one as a daily consciousness-raiser. Channeled by Rae Chandran, an internationally known spiritual teacher and healer, it is an easy to do chant from DNA Master Rheumeain from Pleaideas.  If you don’t have a practice that helps keep you in touch with your own values and what’s important to your heart, doing something to clear yourself out will help you lighten psychic burdens heaped upon you, and get a better understanding of what lights you up. This little meditation just takes a few minutes.


The first chant helps your body clear out whatever has happened in the past or is out of harmony; the sounds release cellular material, according to Rae’s article. The second helps balance your emotions, and the third helps you clear your mind.


The first one is “Uuaa Tatt Isk”. Chant it for twenty one days, twenty-one times each. The second heals the emotional body: Sa Me Hey Yaa Koo. The third chant is the mental body healing sound: Kuu Maat Tatt Mmmmmm. After chanting each twenty-one days, twenty-one times each, see if you feel like you are in a higher, more receptive to your own good, state of consciousness!  (A recording of the chants is on the Guided Imagery page of my website, and if you want to try chanting yourself, there is a music-only soundtrack uploaded as well.)

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Elissa Heyman has a psychic counseling and spiritual healing practice in Santa Fe, NM. Her weekly psychic horoscopes are featured on and KTAOS radio. Elissa’s guided meditations are free online, and recommended by Spirituality Health magazine. She offers private appointments in person and by phone, and workshops in Santa Fe. Visit for more information and to hear the recorded chants.

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