Hello! I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have so enthusiastically embraced my latest book, Transform Your Life with Alchemy. It has been such a pleasure hearing from those of you who are reading, doing the work, and seeing change. I celebrate your honest intention for change and send you love and healing as you do!
So - as a thanks, I've brewed you up a special batch of tasty tea, something I like to call Transformation Tea. It uses the magic of the beautiful color-changing tea made with butterfly pea flowers (you can order it on Amazon); or, for those looking for something a little...stronger...you can also use a butterfly pea flower gin such as Empress 1908 gin. Why this ingredient? Because butterfly pea flowers make a beautiful cornflower blue tea that, when it comes in contact with acidic ingredients, transforms into a beautiful violet color.
Butterfly pea flower as an ingredient can also help decrease stress, induce calmness, refresh your mind, and bring positive energy into your life; so, it's the perfect beverage to consume as you work on your own personal transformation! Also in the tea is hibiscus and honey syrup (homemade), which is loaded with beneficial antioxidants to support your overall health.
Ready for your recipe? Here it is. Remember, don't stir this; serve it in all its beautiful layers, and then let the person you serve it to stir with a glass straw.
I am frequently asked about weight and weight loss after my classes, online, and when I appear at events. Today, I realized it's not something I've discussed in my energy healing books, which is strange when you think about it because according to NIH, 2/3 of the adults in America are either overweight or obese. It may even be doubly strange I haven't talked about weight in the context of energy healing because I often write about body image and health nutrition in my other work, particularly my cooking blog and cookbooks.
At one point, I would have described my own journey as a "struggle" with weight and told you that while it wasn't something that I necessarily felt defined me, it has certainly been a lifelong issue with which I continue to contend. I have gained and lost what I can only imagine are hundreds of pounds over the course of my life, and often my self-image of the moment was tied in to how much I weighed or what size I wore; or, as I thought of it, where I was on the yo-yo. I even had a body positivity essay I'd written called "How Being Fat Set Me Free" published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book.
However, as new research has come to the fore and I've worked to heal my own spiritual, physical, and emotional, and energetic issues, how I think about and understand weight gain, overweight and obesity, nutrition, body image, and health have shifted completely. And so I want to address weight in a very honest and compassionate way based on not only my understanding of nutrition and health, but also from the perspective of energy healing. Buckle up - this is going to be a lot of information.
I want to start by saying this: If you feel weight and body image has been a defining struggle in your life, you are not alone. It is something many people ask me about after my energy healing classes or in the messages they send me. They usually ask privately and quietly, looking around to make sure nobody else can hear them. As an empath, I often sense a deep feeling of shame from them as they ask. Trust me. I get it. It took me years to come to terms with my weight and even now, when I look at pictures, I sometimes cringe because I am heavier than I would like to be.
Weight is a painful issue for many. Being overweight is one of the last acceptable prejudices in our society. I spent years seeking medical diagnosis of a condition I knew I had from physicians who were unwilling to listen to anything I had to say from the moment I walked into their office as a fat woman. It took me more than two decades to even have a doctor be willing to order the simple blood test I needed to diagnose my Hashimoto's thyroiditis in spite of the fact I knew what it was due to my family history almost immediately when I started experiencing symptoms (and I fiercely advocated for myself). No matter what my health issue was for which I sought care and treatment for nearly 25 years, the diagnosis was fat. I had a cold because I was fat. I had kidney stones because I was fat. I sprained my ankle because I was fat. A bug flew into my eye because I was so fat, how could it miss me? Try as I might to advocate for myself, because of this dismissal from virtually everyone I encountered in the medical field, I felt deeply ashamed.
I've spent years studying health, nutrition, energy healing, weight, autoimmune disease, and many other subjects. I believe nutrition, movement, health, and physical habits are just as important a part of honoring our soul's path as spiritual practices and energy healing. There is a deep, unbreakable connection between body, mind, and spirit and when we experience imbalance in one, then there are imbalances in the other two as well. The result is dis-ease: a lack of ease in the body, mind, and spirit. This is important to understand for all conditions, and particularly for issues associated with weight.
When you consider this interconnectedness of body-mind-spirit from a weight perspective, it becomes even clearer. The best way I can explain it is from the perspective of my story, which I'm sure is similar in many ways to some of yours.
I've always been a curvy girl. Even when my body fat was extremely low when I taught aerobics and competed as a bodybuilder, I still had boobs and a butt. It's just my body shape (I'm an hourglass), but in the 80s as I grew into my adulthood, curvy girls weren't fashionable. The body type back then was aerobically fit, flat, and extremely slim. Because of my body type, I often felt fat, and people often commented that I was "overweight" (I wore a 1980s size 7 which is probably about a 3 to 5 now). Media images perpetuated the message that my perfectly healthy body was somehow gross and aberrant.
Because of this ambiguity about my weight, I developed the belief I didn't deserve to eat. When I ate anything, I felt powerful shame for my weakness. And then I spent hours exercising just to counteract an apple. Perhaps not surprisingly, by the time I was in college I had an eating disorder. I mostly didn't eat. When I did I threw up and exercised fanatically. I came home from my freshman year in college the thinnest I'd ever been as a 1980s size 0 to 3, and for the first time ever, people started complimenting me on how my body looked.
And so, I developed a belief about my body and food. Eating - any type of eating - was bad and shameful. I was not entitled to eat. Think about that. I developed the belief I was not entitled to provide my body with nourishment. When I ate with people and they expressed envy at how little I ate, I felt virtuous. If I did eat something on the "bad" list and someone made a comment such as, "I don't know how you can stay skinny and eat a cookie," I was embarrassed and ashamed. I had created and embodied a pattern of thoughts that continued to plague me for decades.
I also believed that about three hours of punishing exercise a day was good. If I only did two, I was ashamed of myself. If I sat and rested, I felt ashamed. I came to believe I was no longer entitled to nurture my body and give it rest, even when it cried out for it or when it was injured. At one point, I broke my foot (I dropped a 50 pound dumbbell on it) and continued to work out on my foot because to not work out didn't seem like an option.
After college, I was certified by ACE as a personal trainer and an aerobics instructor. I worked in a gym and taught 12 90-minute aerobics classes per week. I was a competitive bodybuilder and coached a bodybuilding team, so I also spent at least 3 hours and usually more per day lifting weights. At the same time, I ate about 900 calories a day (I know because I tracked it religiously) so I could lose body fat and be competition ready. I was exhausted all of the time and terribly unhealthy, but people regularly complimented me about how I looked, how fit I was, and how thin I was. I wore a size 0.
I clearly remember the day it all changed. I was at the gym doing my normal thing when I suddenly felt something shift inside of me. As if someone had flipped a light switch, all of the energy drained from me, and I started to shake and cry. It was as if one minute I felt normal and the next minute, I felt totally unlike myself.
And then the weight started to come on. After the first 40 pounds, I went to see my doctor, terribly ashamed of what was happening. I remember telling him what my symptoms were: exhaustion, anxiety, hair loss, always being cold, brain fog, rapid weight gain in spite of the fact I was only eating about 900 calories a day and continuing to exercise as much as I could. This is what my doctor told me: "You're not a bad person because you're getting fat. Remember that. But you are eating too much and not moving enough. I think you must be underestimating how much you eat and overestimating how much you exercise." He didn't order tests. He didn't do a physical examination. He sent me home with a pamphlet on diet and offered me a prescription for diet pills, which I had the presence of mind to refuse. So essentially he told me a) I was getting fat; b) it was my fault; and c) I was either deluded or a liar about my food intake and exercise. And although I measured every portion, tracked every calorie, and counted every minute of exercise, I believed him because he was an authority and I was not.
This was the pattern for the next two decades until my weight soared to over 300 pounds, I was exhausted all the time, I had exercise intolerance, and I constantly felt ill. During that time, doctors continued to berate me for my weight, tell me all I needed to do was eat less and move more and be more honest about how much I ate and moved, and not a single one ever suggested that what was happening to me might be a symptom of something else. In most cases, I had begged those doctors to test my T3 and T4 thyroid hormones because I knew what was happening to me, but they would only test my TSH, tell me it was within normal limits, and send me on my way feeling discouraged and ashamed.
As the years went on, I developed a deep distrust of the conventional medical system in our country. I stopped visiting doctors unless it was an emergency, because I knew what they would say and how they would treat me. Most could barely hide the disgust in their eyes and their impatience. I started to work with energy healing and alternative medicine concepts and studied nutrition in depth to find out what it was my body needed. I was beginning to get a picture of health and nutrition that was quite different than any of my doctors had ever shared with me, and I knew I needed to make vital changes in my emotional, spiritual, and physical self.
Then one day I ran into a friend who had shared many similar struggles. She had a sparkle in her eyes and looked healthy and happy. She'd also lost significant weight. It turned out, she had been treated by a local nurse practitioner who didn't approach health care in quite the same way. With a glimmer of hope, I made an appointment. It was life-changing.
At my first appointment, the nurse practitioner ordered what I'd been asking doctors to order for years - a T3 and T4 thyroid blood test. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it came back abnormal, and I was finally able to receive the Hashimoto's thyroiditis and celiac disease diagnosis. She told me that my health picture was complex from years of misdiagnosis and misinformation, but that we could unravel the knot. I cried on the way home from my appointment, relieved someone had finally talked to me and heard what I was saying rather than talked at me and berated me.
With my prescription of natural desiccated thyroid medication and the elimination of gluten from my diet, I noticed a substantial improvement in many of my symptoms, and I actually started to lose weight. With that puzzle piece in place combined with what I'd learned about nutrition, movement, and energy healing, I began to make real strides in improving my health and finding a place of balance once again. It took a long time, and I had to make significant changes in my beliefs about myself as well as in how I nourished my body.
What You Can Learn from My Story
My health picture was extremely complex, and it was deeply rooted in trauma I'd experienced in my life, my belief systems about myself and food, the ways I chose to move and nourish my body, and much more. The shame I felt and my belief my body had completely betrayed me also contributed to my growing ill health and dis-ease. In my case (as in almost everyone else's case), the physical affected the emotional, which affected the spiritual, and it all looped around itself with each of these factors affecting the other to create a state of chaotic imbalance in my being. Therefore, regardless of what I did for diet or how I tried to balance myself spiritually, until I'd worked through the emotional beliefs I'd absorbed and created about food, my body, and health, I was unable to unravel the gordian knot.
As I started to unravel it, I realized my weight issue was related not only to messages I'd internalized about ideal bodies, but also to trauma sustained as a child and in young adulthood, food choices that didn't work with my body's unique needs, lack of care when my body cried out for food and rest, shame about the biological necessity of nourishing my body with food, negative messages from the medical establishment and media, and much more. My body was the outward expression of all of the pain I was holding onto. The fat created a layer of protection that I felt kept me safe from sustaining further trauma. It was only with a combination of loving care for my body, medical intervention to diagnose celiac and Hashimoto's diseases, healing nutrition, sustainable and pleasurable movement, forgiveness of self and others, deep spiritual and emotional work on body image, energy healing work, and additional spiritual work that I was finally able to gain some level of control. And for most people with overweight and obesity or body image issues, their situation may not be exactly the same as mine, but it is likely just as complex.
Managing the Physical Aspects of Obesity: It Is Not a Disease - It Is a Symptom
Here's something many of you have probably never heard from your health care providers, but it is nonetheless true. Overweight and obesity is not who or what you are. It does not define you, nor does it say anything about you other than this: It is a symptom of underlying medical issues. Obesity and overweight is not the disease. It is the symptom. Even if you're drowning your sorrows in a gallon of ice cream and two large extra cheese meat lovers pizzas every night before you go to bed, it is a symptom. I'll say it again because this is so important. Overweight and obesity is NOT a disease of its own. It is a symptom that is the manifestation of processes that have gone wrong in your body (often hormonal), and obesity researchers are starting to recognize this. Some possible causes of the symptom of overweight and obesity include:
So what can you do? There are several physical steps you can take:
Image by Devon Breen from Pixabay
Eat in a Way that Nurtures Your Body
Every body is different, so we all need to find ways to eat that work for us. However, one of the most important physical and emotional things you can do is eat to nurture your health. This involves a process of figuring out which foods work for your body and which don't. To discover this, I recommend a 15 to 30 day elimination diet (I've outlined an elimination diet in this blog post) followed by several weeks of testing various foods to see what your body tolerates well. Some general suggestions to eat to nurture your body:
Respect Your Body's Needs
Our bodies are constantly talking to us. We've just learned not to listen to them. Think about it: when we have a symptom, one of the first things we do is take a medicine to suppress it (aspirin for a headache, for example). But these symptoms are your body's signals, telling you there is an imbalance that needs correcting. When you mask the symptom or ignore it, you are discounting your body's message, which is telling you there is an underlying cause and something is wrong. When you are tired, your body is telling you it needs sleep. When you are in pain or have a symptom, your body is pointing out an imbalance that could lead to dis-ease. It's up to you to start to respect and listen to what your body has to tell you, and then to thank it for sending you clear signals.
Image by Jackson David from Pixabay
Managing the Emotional and Spiritual Aspects of Weight
Ah the emotional aspects of weight. When you truly stop to think about what body fat is and what its purpose is, it seems almost silly body fat, the number on a scale, or the size of our ass are so emotionally fraught for so many of us. And yet, it is. We have huge emotions tied up in weight. We allow it to control us and to direct our self-image. Sometimes, we allow our fat to keep us from living our best lives. We allow our body size to define us. We believe that if there is more of us than there are of others, we are somehow, on some level, less than. And so, when we look at ourselves in the mirror or in a photograph, we cringe inwardly and send the message to our bodies, "I hate you."
With those simple three words, we do so much damage to ourselves. We hurt ourselves emotionally. We harm ourselves physically. And our spirit recedes just a little because we are disowning this spectacular biological marvel we carefully chose and gifted to ourselves when we were spirits deciding who and what we'd be in the adventure of our new embodied lives.
When we look at our bodies and hate them, we are rejecting the gift we gave ourselves out of love before we arrived as babies in our mothers' wombs.
Thought, words, and belief are powerful. Look no further than Masaru Emoto's research he laid out in The Hidden Messages in Water in which he showed just how powerfully thoughts affect how matter manifests. Look at the powerful picture of broken, muddy water crystals from thoughts like I hate you, versus lovely, ordered crystals from thoughts such as I love you. Your body is 60 percent water. Imagine how your thoughts, such as "You're ugly" or "I hate you," or "You're disgusting," affect your body, which has done nothing but love and support you from the moment you were born. If thoughts, words, and beliefs harm water, what does that energy do to you?
Don't believe your body has supported you since the moment you were born? It's a marvel. Every day your respiratory system takes more than 23,000 breaths without your intervention. Every day your feet and legs support you as you stand. Your heart pumps more than 115,000 times each day, sending the life force that is blood throughout your body. It has carried you all your life - millions of steps to get you where you need to go. Our bodies do this for us without being asked. Our bodies have always been there for us, but it's so easy to hate them rather than holding them in the awe, gratitude, and love they deserve.
There are many reasons we disconnect from our bodies. I know I did. For many years - most of my adult life actually, I felt as if I existed somewhere outside of my body - as if I hovered above it rather than inhabiting it. I had decided if I had no control of what was happening to me physically, I'd just become a mind and a spirit instead, and focus on those aspects of self. But without balance between the three, body-mind-spirit, there is no health and there is no wholeness. Even if we are gravely ill, we cannot disown our bodies. In fact, illness, pain, and bodily issues exist to force us to inhabit them so we can find balance and seek healing.
For many, disconnection from the body feels necessary to survive. For people who have endured physical or sexual abuse or trauma, it feels safer to pretend our bodies don't exist or aren't part of us. And often in the case of overweight and obesity, we pad ourselves with additional girth with the false belief we need extra size to keep us physically and/or emotionally safe. This creates only a false sense of security, however. Doing so distracts us from the true issue, and it keeps us from finding balance and true healing.
In other cases, our bodies are larger than normal to hold our generous, gigantic, overflowing spirits and big dreams. They have grown to suit us. They have grown to fit and support us. And yet, in spite of the gift our bodies have given us in this way, we say, "I hate you. Why can't you be thinner/more attractive/curvier..."
Our bodies need us as much as we need them. It is a partnership of three, and in order to live a rich, full embodied human life, we must respect this triumvirate. We cannot heal until we can look at our body in whatever form it takes with however much fat as it has on it and say with a depth of truth and gratitude, "I love you."
So how do we heal when we have internalized so many messages about our bodies for years, when we feel our bodies are a source of pain or shame, or when we truly feel betrayed by them because of what has happened to us? How do we learn that in order to be a fully realized and whole human being, we can't be a mind and spirit floating outside of a body? How do we get to a place where we can look at ourselves and truly say, "I love you body. Thank you body"?
We do the work. We delve deeply into our shadows to find the parts of ourselves that we hold in shame or pain, and we shine the light of love on them. We recognize the fallacy in the beliefs we hold about our physical selves. We speak words of affirmation, love, and acceptance towards our bodies, even when we don't believe them. We fake it 'til we make it. We wear clothes and jewelry that make us feel good. We stop worrying about what others think, throw convention aside, and clothe and decorate our bodies in ways that make us smile and laugh. We start using our bodies in ways that feel pleasurable and joyful to us. And we constantly monitor our thoughts for those fleeting messages that flit through our minds that tell us our bodies are somehow wrong, shameful, or not enough. And then, we practice gratitude with our bodies. We notice all they do for us and we take the time as often as we can to gently place our hands over our hearts, close our eyes, and say quietly and with feeling, "Thank you body."
You Have This Body for a Limited Time Only
Finally, remember this as you work on healing. You will you occupy this wonderful, beautiful, bold body for only a short time before you leave it, return to the Source, and then choose a new one for a new life. You chose this body when you were in spirit. You wanted it for a reason. It is where you reside, and for the immediate future where you go, it goes. It is here for you, and regardless of its condition, it is a pretty amazing partner that supports you even without you asking. Your body deserves your love. You deserve your love. It doesn't matter what size your body is or how it looks. It only matters how you inhabit it, how you treat it, and how much you love it for the time it is with you. So you might as well settle in and find as much joy in this lifetime as you can for as long as you have this body. It's been with you since birth, and it will always give you exactly what you need to serve your greatest good in this lifetime.
Thank you body. I love you body.
Image by Couleur from Pixabay
Sitting With Your Symptoms
I woke up this morning at 3 AM with tightness in my chest, a a cough, and congestion. Given it's cold and flu season, it doesn't take much for me to understand what's happening in my body physiologically, and it's easy to reach for the nearest symptom relieving medication so my body's signals don't bother me as I go throughout my day.
It has been my solution for years; take care of the symptoms so I can power through. In the Western world, this is often how we deal with physical discomfort - a.k.a. symptoms. We ignore the invitation for rest and contemplation they provide and instead go straight for suppression because having symptoms during our busy lives just feels so darn inconvenient.
I came into adulthood in the 1980s when the motto was, "No pain, no gain," and I took that crap seriously. No matter what my body signaled, I powered through it either ignoring or suppressing any symptom that arose. Perhaps not surprisingly, the messages from my body grew louder and more intense until my first chronic illness entered my life: Hashimoto's thyroiditis. That was my body sending messages loud and clear to me, and yet I continued for a few more decades to power through until I discovered a kinder approach. Even today, powering through is my first instinct, arising from my ego which loudly proclaims, "Show no weakness! Pain is for wimps!"
In Ayurveda, there is a principle called samprapti, which describes six stages in the progression of disease. Each stage progresses from the one before it, offering you the opportunity to heed a signal (symptom) before it becomes systemic. Ayurveda focuses on doshas, or forces, comprised of the five elements. These dohas, Vata (air and space or ether), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (earth and water) must be in balance for emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health to be optimal. When imbalance between the elements occurs, it first shows as a symptom. If the imbalance is ignored instead of addressed, then the progression of disease begins.
These six stages include:
Therefore, it's in our best interests that, instead of powering through, we accept our body's invitation to bring it back into balance when the first symptom, no matter how mild, arises.
When you have a symptom (physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual), no matter how mild it is, your body is issuing you an invitation. It's alerting you to an imbalance that is present and inviting you to discover how and why it has occurred.
During these times, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a moment to sit quietly with the symptom instead of ignoring it and forging ahead with your day. Close your eyes for a moment, focus on the symptom, and ask, "What is it you are trying to tell me?" Then, breathe deeply, empty your mind, and listen. Your innate intelligence will tell you what you need to do to return to balance because your body, mind, and spirit always seek to return to a harmonious state before imbalances can set in, get stuck in your body, and manifest as illness.
BJ Palmer, the son of the father of chiropractic Daniel David Palmer said, "The power that made the body heals the body." In other words, your body has an innate intelligence to return to balance and wellness if you remove the forces that are causing its dis-ease. And sitting with discomfort of any type (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) as soon as it arises allows you to listen to the invitation being issued in order to address an imbalance long before it ever has the opportunity to progress into something catastrophic you can't ignore so your body, mind, and spirit can return to a place of optimal wellness through its own innate intelligence.
And so I laid in bed at 3 AM, with my eyes closed and my Reiki hands resting over the area of tightness in my lungs. I listened to my body's invitation for balance, and I listened to what it told me was out of balance. I breathed deeply and allowed my mind to go where it needed to in order to release emotions that had stuck in my chest. I didn't try to suppress the discomfort. Instead, I moved into it and allowed it with all of the attendant thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that came with it. If the symptoms arise again, I'll need to do it again, sitting with my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical symptoms alerting me to the opportunity to recognize imbalance and release it so my body, mind, and spirit can heal themselves.
Image by Bhikku Amitha from Pixabay
Life Force Energy
Several years ago, I had a life between lives hypnotherapy session. (It is a super cool experience - I would highly recommend doing it with a qualified hypnotherapist). For people who don't know what LBL is, it's a hypnosis protocol developed by Dr. Michael Newton in which a hypnotherapist induces a deep level trance and then guides you through your death in a recent lifetime and into the space between incarnations when you exist as the purest form of yourself. In this space, you are able to learn things about yourself, such as why you may have chosen a certain lifetime, who the people are who have incarnated with you for thousands of lifetimes, and more. It's an intense experience.
Thousands of people who have had these sessions report common experiences, which has allowed Newton and other therapists working with the protocols to develop a model of what our existence might look like when we're not embodied. It's fascinating reading, and I highly recommend Newton's works Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls, and Memories of the Afterlife. It's life-affirming stuff that can help you gain a broader perspective on what it means to be an embodied soul.
Anyway, in my LBL session, one of the questions my hypnotherapist asked was, "How much of your life force did you bring to this incarnation?" Now normally, as far as I can tell, people bring quite a bit - 50 percent or more (the rest remains with the "soul,"which goes on doing it's soul work). So naturally I was surprised when my answer was 15 percent. However, on reflection it made sense. In this lifetime, one of my major life challenges has always been having enough life force energy, which has manifested physically. I've struggled with anemia since I was a kid. I currently partner with a few autoimmune conditions that continue to leave me severely anemic, lowering my energy. (For example, normal hematocrit numbers for a healthy adult female are about 12 to 16 g/dL. Mine have dipped as low as 7 before, requiring an immediate blood transfusion).
In energy medicine, blood represents life force energy. So after my LBL, suddenly it made sense why I've always struggled with maintaining sufficient levels of blood, but I never understood why I chose to challenge myself physically in such a way in this lifetime.
This past year, which has been a challenging one for me on many levels, I noticed that the more emotional challenges I faced (and I experienced them in virtually every aspect of my life), the more I also struggled with maintaining even the minimally healthy level of hematocrit. In other words, there is a correlation between my physical ability to maintain my life force energy and the energy I expend emotionally and give away to others. As an empath, my emotional boundaries also tend to be fluid because I am so likely to experience other people's emotions as my own.
So as I've struggled recently with life force energy, I've focused on why I might have chosen that in this lifetime and what growth opportunities it provides me, since I truly believe every challenge our souls offer us during an incarnation exists for our benefit and growth. It's up to us to parlay those challenges into new strengths.
One of the things I've come to realize is that my low life force energy forces me to lower my physical activity levels, quiet my mind, and tune inward. If I didn't have these periods of low physical energy, I would just go and go until I dropped; it has always been one of my tendencies to pack my life as fully as humanly possible, running until I'm depleted. Low life force energy has tempered this substantially for me, and it is during these down periods I often experience my most significant spiritual growth.
Another thing I've come to understand is that because I have given myself a limited supply of life force energy in this lifetime, it means I need to find ways to conserve it. This is important as I am someone who gives large amounts of energy away to others. However, I've realized that instead of freely giving it away, I need to focus my life force energy on things that truly matter. So I've created a "sniff test." Now, whenever I start to give any of my energy to something or someone, I ask myself, "Is this worth giving my life force energy to?" In some cases, such as in my writing and teaching, the answer is yes, it is worth the energy. However, the answer is often no.
This has made me more mindful of the myriad of unimportant things I've worried about and focused my energy on over the years. It's helping me to redefine my priorities and focus on the things that are truly important to me: my relationships with the people I love, my teaching and work, spiritual practices, music, joy, and, of course, writing. Because of my limited life force energy, I'm learning to cultivate those things that bring me joy and hopefully make the world a better place instead of getting lost in the minutiae of daily life. It's helping me to stop dedicating emotional energy to things that ultimately don't matter, such as what others think of me. It's also helping me to define my boundaries and find kind and compassionate ways to set and enforce them.
While this is my path, there's a takeaway for others if they choose to discover it: dedicate your life force energy to those things that truly matter. Let the rest go. Only you can decide what matters to you, but the universe provides you with endless opportunities to discover and refine these things. Start by noticing where you put your energy. Listen to the thoughts that run through your mind and ask yourself this: Is it worth it to dedicate any time or energy to this? If I do dedicate time and energy to this, will it help me grow, improve my life, meet my goals, or make the world a better place? Is spending time and energy on this a true reflection of who I am?
Everyone experiences challenges in life. Our souls have offered these challenges as gifts, and it's up to us to sift through the rubble to find the diamond hiding within each challenge. It's okay to spend some time hating the challenge. It's okay to spend some time hurt, aching, angry, or whatever other initial emotion the challenge evokes. However, after we've allowed ourselves to have the full experience of whatever emotions arise with each challenge, it's also up to us to decide what we do with that experience. Do we attach emotional energy to it and dwell on it for the rest of our lives with hurt, anger, and bitterness, or do we use it to propel us to new self-awareness, compassion, and understanding?
In each lifetime, we get to decide how we interpret our experiences, how we react to them over the long-term, and where we place our life force energy. Thus, it never hurts to do a gut check and ask ourselves whether it's worth giving away something as precious as our energy to something that doesn't serve who we choose to be.
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay
Reframing Health Conditions
I believe our thoughts become things and where we focus our energy is what we create in our physical lives. So I truly believe it has been my pattern of thoughts and beliefs throughout my life that has created any and all health conditions present in my life right now. And I also know if I created a health condition, I can dis-create it.
To do this, however, takes great focus and faith. It means I have to learn to look beyond what I perceive as my physical reality to the subtle energies that underlie everything. And when I'm struggling with symptoms from a health condition, this isn't always easy to do. After all, if something hurts, that feels pretty darn real.
The other thing I need to do in order to dis-create a health condition is to actually stop believing the condition is irreversible. And since I am a physical being living in a physical "reality" where I've learned certain conditions are, indeed, permanent (just ask WebMD), I also have to battle against beliefs I've held since I was very young about the nature of reality and the physical realm.
It's a pretty tall order - especially given that I am as firmly rooted in my physical presence as anyone else. As an intuitive energy healer, I have a lot of tools at my disposal to help with this, but I am still a product of a lifetime of beliefs.
Likewise, it doesn't help that in my thoughts and words, I take ownership of my condition and in doing so, I reinforce the belief the condition is something that is a permanent part of me.
For example, I've been pretty open that I am living with celiac disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. These are conditions I've written about a lot (including writing books about them), so they are a powerful part of my self-image. I think and say frequently, "I have celiac disease." "I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis." And every time I say or think those things, I strengthen their energy in my life, and I reinforce the energy that these things are a part of me and always will be.
With celiac disease, I also continue to give power to the belief system by studiously avoiding gluten, and that's not something I'm going to stop doing for the foreseeable future. However, it creates a unique energetic challenge for me. Every time I eat in a restaurant, dine with someone else, or shop for food, I scour ingredients to ensure there's not even a trace of gluten in them. And every time I search for gluten ingredients, I'm reinforcing the belief, "I have celiac disease."
I was teaching a Reiki class this weekend with a group of women. During the course of the class as I talked about various aspects of energy healing, I noticed myself a few times using my celiac disease and Hashimoto's as examples saying, "I have celiac disease." "I have Hashimoto's." Then, one of the women mentioned to me a condition she has, and something clicked into place.
Every time we say, "I have _________ condition," we are owning that condition. We are saying, "this condition is part of me and always will be," and in doing so, we are reinforcing its energy. I realized I needed to change the way I think and communicate about any health condition I might have, whether it's temporary or "permanent" in order to change the energy surrounding it. Because if I own it over and over again, I strengthen it.
So if the language, "I have...." or "I am...." is creative and brings about conditions in our lives, is there a way to change how we think and speak about a condition or disease so we don't create energetic ownership and set it more deeply in our psyches? In the class, I struggled to come up with new wording that resonated with me. I offered things like, "I am living with...." and ".... is my partner in life right now," but even those felt too ownershippy.
Then, on the way home, I realized there was a way of thinking and speaking about illness that worked for me. And since so many people struggle with chronic health issues, I thought I'd share it with you, as well. The phrase I came up with is this: "Celiac disease is my teacher right now." "Hashimoto's thyroiditis is my path to awareness right now." "A migraine is challenging my pre-conceptions right now."
With these statements, I've acknowledged a condition or a symptom exists, but I'm not owning it. Instead, I'm recognizing it for what it's presence really is in my life: a path to my higher self and ultimately a path to my healing.
This feels right to me. It's new. I'm working with it. But I wanted to share it with you. If it resonates, if it feels right, I recommend you try it. Find a non-ownership phrase that helps reframe a condition, symptom, or illness and try to bring that into your consciousness whenever you feel yourself taking ownership of the illness. It could just create a new pathway to healing.
Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay
Body, Mind, Spirit
All Healing Is Self-Healing
There's a "secret" I share at the start of any energy healing workshop that is the single most important thing you need to know about healing: regardless of the healing modality used, all healing is self-healing.
For example, in Reiki when I offer you Reiki energy, you draw the energy from me into your body and spirit. All I do is make it available. I'm not the one doing the work; you are.
When you are drawn to a crystal and you use that crystal to affect your vibration through entrainment, you are allowing the crystal to do so. You are choosing to align with its energy, and you are allowing healing through your intent and willingness to match your vibration to the healing frequency of the crystal.
When you take a pill--whether it's a sugar pill or a powerful drug--you alone are determining its effects on your body by your intention, beliefs, and attention (thoughts). It's why the placebo effect is so powerful.
You are a powerful healer. Through your focus, intention, and belief, you allow for the conditions of healing. So regardless of the type of healing you choose; energy, traditional medicine, Reiki, crystals, sound, meditation, or something else altogether, you are the healer. Healing occurs because you allow it.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Want to Sleep Better?
For most of my life, I've believed I was someone who didn't sleep well. In fact, that belief was so strong I often found myself awake in the middle of the night, sitting up and wishing I could be asleep. When social media became a thing, I noticed something curious; there were lots of other people who were sitting up in the middle of the night all over the world feeling exactly as I did - that sleep would never be something they did well.
Then, I started to pay attention to how I thought and spoke about sleep, and what my expectations were surrounding sleep. I noticed I frequently told people I suffered from insomnia. I also noticed my thoughts before bed each night included things like, "Oh gosh - I hope I don't have insomnia tonight," or, "Hopefully tonight my sleep won't be disturbed."
The universe supported the thoughts by making them creations. I tossed and turned. I suffered hip pain that woke me frequently. The universe even sent me a little dog (who I dearly love) that woke me up several times a night for seven years. The universe wasn't being perverse or mean. It was supporting what I believed about my sleep. Once I understood this and noticed my own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, I was already halfway to a better night of sleep.
First came the behavioral issue with the little dog. I consulted with animal communicator Karen Anderson who reminded me my beliefs about what my dog, Monkey, was going to do each night (wake me up multiple times) was part of the reason for Monkey's behavior, and she kindly suggested I change that expectation. She also communicated with Monkey and gave me some tools for dealing with behavioral slips and within a few days, the behavior had ended. It has not returned, nor do I expect it will because once I realized that behavior was in large part driven by my expectations, I was able to change the way I thought about it until my expectations changed, and then I was able to change my experience.
I also started to change my thoughts about the quality of my sleep, which also led to a change in my expectations. Every time I noticed myself slipping into my beliefs about insomnia or hoping I didn't sleep poorly, I paused for a moment, visualized myself sleeping well and waking refreshed, and repeated the affirmation, "I sleep peacefully and comfortably and wake refreshed." I now use this affirmation every night before I go to sleep, as well as throughout the day if I notice any of my old thought patterns about sleep creeping in. One of the things I've found is along with sleeping better in general, I've noticed I am less likely to be awakened by aches and pains (such as persistent hip pain I've experienced for several years) throughout the night. Now I'm working on changing my thoughts, beliefs, and the story I tell about that hip pain, but that's another blog for another day. Right now we're focusing on sleep.
Other Solutions (Metaphysical & Physical)
I also implemented some metaphysical solutions, which serve as a reminder that the focus of my thoughts need to be on peaceful sleep. They also create an energetic vibration that is more supportive of peaceful and restful sleep.
Your Better Sleep Program
With some attention to your thoughts, habits, and environments, it's possible to reprogram yourself to sleep peacefully so you won't have to sit up all night with other insomniacs on social media.
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay
Virtually everyone has a supply of past hurts- both major and minor - stored away and ready to rise to the surface. As we explore this pain over and over again, however, we allow ourselves to feel hurt once again as we relive it. This creates a vibration that attracts similar energy and perpetuates our pain.
I'm not suggesting you ignore what happened to you. Instead, I'm suggesting you transform it into a source of strength. You survived, and you can thrive. Don't allow anyone to steal your power from you, regardless of how much they hurt you.
You are a superhero, and you have the power to change not only your experience, but the entire universe through your rising vibration. Use your pain to fuel your power. Rise stronger than ever to live the beautiful and vibrant life only you can create.
Image by deepak meena from Pixabay
Affirmation for Health
Image by Gary Skirrow from Pixabay