The flow of sacrifice
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on April 25, 2017

I was running my mouth about the same person.  Again.

Reiki master Shakti Barnhill looked at me. Again.  Her patience was dwindling.  Again.

“You’re talking about this person.  Again,” she said.

I was.  Again.

Exasperated Shakti held up her hands and said, “Let’s set a time limit.”

After some negotiation, I decided I would stop again-ing by Easter weekend.

This was going to be tough. I liked making myself miserable talking about this person, endlessly dissecting every email and flippant comment.  I knew talking about this person was just some of my crap, and I, like everyone else, like my crap’s familiar terrain.

How fitting my time window coincided with Lent. I only had 40 days left to Again.  The pressure was on.

The Great Sacrifices

It’s only a sacrifice if you don’t want to give it up, and there are three mighty sacrifices:

  1.  Addictions.

It isn’t only drugs and alcohol.   It’s any practice from shopping to scrapbooking which, instead of enriching our lives, makes us absent from our lives.

2.  Love everyone.

It is a potent sacrifice to abandon your wrath and replace it with love.

If you don’t love the world, all of it, you are a love sniper.  Your love, particularly your withholding of that love, is a weapon of power.

A person who lives in love is a pebble dropped into the water creating an expanding circle of ripples, and those ripples miss no one.

3. Stop talking.

Close your mouth and all that implies and start listening. Stop sucking the spotlight from others by waiting for your chance to talk.  Ask questions instead of hurling opinions.

Don’t just listen to other people.  Start listening to your inner self, your true self.

The Forty-Day Sacrifice Method

My habit to break was a Three Mighty Sacrifices triple whammy.  I couldn’t stop rehashing my furious addiction. I needed to release a person, and this method works for anything you are about to Again.


Every morning and night, for forty days, or whenever Again strikes, place your index and middle fingers over your closed eyes and plug your ears with your thumbs.  Take a deep breath and exhale with a slow hum until the vibration silences the ghosts.  Repeat until the mind is clear.

Trataka Gazing

Next, light a candle, and stare at the flame.  Keep your eyes open without blinking.  Your eyes will begin to tear.

When you finally close your eyes, envision the flame, and hold a stone in your right hand.  Imagine your Again filling this stone.

The Release

At the close of 40 days, I was ready to release my Again. I stood at the edge of a pond far from my home and looked at my Again stone.  It was quartz with lepidolite and green tourmaline.  It was one of my favorites, and now I had to chuck it.

I took a breath and cocked my arm.  I was anticipating a high, slow-motion spiral with my airborne stone reflecting the setting sun.  That didn’t happen.

My throw choked, and the stone stumbled into the murky water’s edge three feet away. I smirked at my Again’s anti-climactic ending, so much drama punctuated by an unceremonious ker-plunk in the mud.