Through ceremony, we learn how to give back. When we sing, we give energy through our voice; when we drum, we allow the earth’s heartbeat to join with our own; when we dance, we bring the energy of the earth and sky together in our bodies and give it out; when we pray, we give energy through our hearts; when we look upon our relations, we give blessings through our eyes. When we put all these activities together, we have a ceremony, one of the most powerful forms of gift-giving we humans possess. When humans participate in ceremony they enter a sacred space. Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance. Time takes on a different dimension. Emotions flow freely. The bodies of the participants become filled with the energy of life, and this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them. All is made new; everything becomes sacred.
-Dancing with the Wheel, The Medicine Wheel Workbook by Sun Bear, Wabun Wind and Crysallis Mulligan
What Makes Ceremony and Ritual Relevant in Our Modern World?
Most of us have had some kind of encounter with group ceremony or ritual by the time we’re adults. At some point in our lives, we’ll experience or witness time honored traditions that bring people together for a collective purpose. These experiences may have been positive or negative for each of us, depending on the situations and people involved. Rites of passage such as weddings, baby christenings, graduations and bar mitzvahs can bring deep feelings of positive change and heartfelt connection or they can be uncomfortably rushed through while tolerating family members with a “let’s get this over with” kind of attitude.
A Story of Two Very Different Kinds of Gatherings
I’ll never forget attending a typical modern baby shower for a colleague and a very a-typical Native American Blessingway ceremony for another pregnant friend in the same week. Even though the purpose of both events was to celebrate the expectant mother and her baby, the contrast of the two gatherings was remarkable. Paying attention to gatherings and ceremonies has taught me a lot about myself and life in general. Here’s what I learned from these two back to back celebrations.
The baby shower for my colleague was a gathering of women who were very distant, disconnected and distracted.
Each woman seemed insecure and competitive as they eyed each other up and down, checking out what the other attendees were wearing, looking at their watches and feigning interests as the expectant mother opened gifts with a forced smile. Have you been to this kind of baby shower before? I bet many of you women out there have experienced a similar event. There were so many unexpressed emotions and unreleased tension in the room that I felt like I was going to suffocate. But I won’t bemoan the plight of the empathic intuitive here because I’ve worked hard to know how to handle whatever energy I find in myself in, wherever I might be.
What really struck me was that I felt very lonely in a crowded room of beautiful women who didn’t know how beautiful they were and didn’t know how to utilize the power and energy of the other amazing women in the room. The mother-to-be opened her presents in a very distracted and hurried way, the entire event seeming uncomfortable and difficult for her. It felt like we were all just trying to get through this baby shower and get on with our day. This feeling of hurried impatience was ironic since we were honoring this woman bringing life into this world. I wanted to feel good about what we were celebrating but feel good vibes were in short supply and I left feeling sad and empty.
Later that same week, I attended a Native American-style Blessingway ceremony for one of my best friends. This amazing woman is very intentional about everything she does and she lives her life on purpose, not conforming to the norms of society. She and her sister had researched celebrations and traditions for honoring expectant mothers from indigenous cultures throughout time. She wanted to do something meaningful with the women in her life before bringing her first child into the world. She and her sister put so much love, thought and intention into how to honor not only the beautiful new life that was coming forth but also to create an opportunity for her, as the expectant mother, to feel fortified by her closest girlfriends and female family members. Her research showed her how time honored traditions held by our indigenous sisters would lift up the expectant mother with strength and support of her friends and family by adorning her, pampering her, making her feel beautiful, honored and capable of undertaking the daunting journey of childbirth. This is when I realized why I had felt so blah when I left that monotonous boring baby shower-there was no sacred ceremony or ritual in the occasion!
Tapping into ancient wisdom of sacred ceremony helped this group of women to connect and build community in a way that the other group of equally wonderful and amazing women had not known how to do. Utilizing rituals that harness our intentions helps us open our hearts to each other in a way that connects us with inclusive power that feels amazing, empowering, alive.
My friend’s sister facilitated the ceremony and guided us through the experience.
The group of women that gathered to celebrate my friend were asked to each bring a simple flower. One at a time, we added our special flower to a vase as we said all the things we appreciate and love about her, creating a gorgeous bouquet for her with so much love infused in it. Then, one by one, as we wrapped string around our wrists, we introduced ourselves and said our mother’s name and grandmothers’ names as far back as we could remember. It went like this, “I am Angela, daughter of Linda, daughter of Christine, daughter of Mary, and on and on. As we named the women in our lineage, we wrapped a long string around our wrist that physically tied us to the entire group. After I brought the women of my lineage into the circle, the woman beside me cut the string for me so I could tie the bracelet of string around my wrist to remember this day and send my friend strength as she gave birth. We then gave the new mama a foot bath with flower petals and painted her nails, adorned her belly with henna tattoos and braided her hair with flowers. We sang songs to the baby inside her, giving her all our wishes and prayers for her life through the sound of our joined voices. As we sang, “May you be joyful, centered and free” to the child in her belly, I felt so connected to all of those women in the room, even though I had never met a lot of them before. In that moment, are hearts were joined and we were a powerful force. The celebration went on for hours. We danced, we sang, we laughed, we ate wonderful food and all of us left better, stronger and enriched for being there, not to mention how fortified the young mama felt to go into a new chapter of her life.
At the time of her delivery, my friend was so empowered each time she glanced at her wrist and felt the connection to all the women who love her and took part in that ritual. In an act of solidarity, we would keep our strings tied on our wrists until the baby arrived. This simple act created a connection between us all and we reinforced this connection with the simple bracelet of string we wore as we left.
Days after this experience, I felt euphoric, floating on happiness, and my heart was smiling. At that time, I realized…this is what intentional, sacred ceremony is all about-the power we have as human beings when we come together for a collective purpose and lift each other up. It wasnt until much later when I fell in love with shamanism and found my heart’s true path of service did I begin to understand the meaning of ceremony.
Why is Ceremony Powerful and Useful?
Because It Brings Us Together and Puts Our Intention to Work
How Intentional Ceremony Becomes Relevant in the Modern World:
- 1- Ceremony gives you time to be undistracted from anything other than yourself or each other.
You can claim sacred space to process important events and issues in your life. Only the people and energy you invite in to your circle are allowed to your ceremony. By doing this, you can create a safe space for deep healing.
- 2- Ceremony is a way to maximize your intention, putting your goals and awareness to work for you.
- 3- Ceremomy is also a powerful way to connect to yourself and/or others thereby cultivating clarity and conscious communication in our relationships. Sometimes it’s hard to see ourselves clearly, much less each other. This lack of clarity makes self care and personal growth difficult. Ceremony gives you a tool to get to know yourself better.
- 4- Instant Empowement. No middle man needed for your ceremony. Want to shift your current situation? Want to get clear on a particular issue? There’s nothing stopping you from turning the tides in a positive direction through the power of ceremomy.
The power that human beings possess when they come together for a collective purpose is not always a beneficial one, but we can see the measurable effects of collective anger and fear playing out before our eyes, giving us proof of the creative potential we all possess when we put our feelings and intentions together and let them build in power. How powerful humans have been with creating a world full of chaos and separation. Those who are interested in positive change and want to create a world of unity, cooperation and equality do not need to fight against these forces, they need only to flex their collective intention muscles just as much as the groups who practice fear and anger collectively do on a regular basis.
Intention, authenticity, community and communication are key components to positive change and this is where ceremony comes in to play.
INTENTION and AUTHENTICITY are the two elements that make any ceremony or ritual relevant and useful. For example, we all know that a churchgoer could be sitting in church while thinking about their grocery list as communion is passed. They could chomp down on a communion wafer and drink from the juice cup or wine glass just as mindlessly as if they were gulping down a TV dinner while watching a reality show. Any ritual can be done mindlessly if you aren’t in the present moment and clear on why you are taking a certain action. But for someone who was present and intentional at church communion, they take that piece of bread and wine and make it something meaningful and life changing. They have the ability to stop everything else in their mind and only focus on this one thing that is sacred to them. They use the objects in the ritual as vehicles to take them somewhere they want to go. In the case of the communion wafer and juice or wine, it could be a profound act of cleansing and atonement, a turn around point of dramatic change, a moment for self reflection, healing and redemption, if they CHOOSE to make it sacred.
Ceremony provides a container for your intention. That “intention container” generates even more power when your intention is shared by others who join you, adding the power of community. This is how ceremony becomes a vehicle for positive change.
In traditional sacred ceremony, there is always a trusted officiant, a gate keeper, who brings sturcture, safety and organization to the event. Indigenous cultures would have a Shaman, Elder or Medicine Person to proceed over the rituals and events of a ceremony. The role of the ceremony facilitator is to confidently hold the space so that attendees can focus on their own internal experience, processing the inner work in a comfortable, safe environment. A capable shaman or facilitator is a trusted mentor who is, in essence, saying, “I’ve got you. Just do what you need to do. Everything else is taken care of.” The capable shaman provides the space for deep work and awareness to happen for the participants. Since he or she is leading the group and holding the space, this is not their time for processing and reflection. Their job is to be there for the attendees of the ceremony and it is not easy work.
Who gets to be a shaman?
This is where my work and message differ from many. I have something special to offer you. You have the ability to be a modern shaman, a true medicine man or woman of your own life. Not like the indigenous cultural traditions where you must be born, chosen or accepted into a special lineage of healers, but one who has taken control of his or her own life and embraces the tremendous responsbility of walking this earth with consciousness. This is the invitation I am extending to you. If it makes your heart light up, lean in a little closer and listen to what I have to say. Although it’s very beneficial to have the wisdom and guidance of someone who is experienced at holding ceremony, it’s not necessary. You can be the leader in bringing your family and friends together in a positive way and you need no experience. You only need an open heart and a sincere intention to bring positive change. Some of the sweetest, most powerful ceremonies I have experienced have been straight from the heart, no experience necessary. My friend facilitated another dear friend’s funeral with the most loving authenticity. Even though she had never been in the role of leading a funeral, the ceremony was perfect because she stayed in her heart and creatively made the occasion a true celebration that reflected her friend’s life. I’m currently working on a course for Shamanic practices for an empowered life that will give you many ideas for how you can hold space for others and bring forth community, connection and collective power. You can do this. The world needs you to lead, be strong and bring people together. And I’m right here to support you every step of the way. You can be the Shaman of your own life.
So, How Do You Do it?
Where do you start? The first thing I recommend is that you create an altar that represents your intentions. An altar is like a battery for prayers and manifestations. An altar is not sacred until you make it special. The objects you carefully place and set aside for a purpose generate power for you because every time you look at them, you’re reminded of what you are bringing into your life. It could be any small table that you adorn in a way that makes you feel good. The key is reminding yourself how you want to feel. We need to be reminded often of what we want versus what we do not want. Clean your table well and anoint it with special essential oils, especially if the table is made of wood. Find a place in your home where you will see it often but set it aside so others realize that this is a special place designated for you or for your family to place sacred objects. Try not to put your altar in an area where people will mistake it for a table and lay car keys or drinks on it. The purpose is to set aside some space as special, just for you or for your family members who also wish to participate. Carefully select the objects for your altar. Make sure they represent something meaningful to you.
That’s the thing about any object that is used in ceremony. It’s all about the intention that we give it because the intention is where the power is, every time. Wedding rings are meaningless if they mean nothing to the two people putting them on. For two people who assign the sacredness of a lifetime commitment to those objects, nothing could be important than those two pieces of jewelry.
This is what makes Shamanism so important and effective even in our modern world. Shamanism works under the principle that the world is what you think it is, therefore what you assign power is where your personal power will be. Power objects used in Shamanic ritual hold no power if they are not used with intention and given meaning. Basically, it doesn’t matter whether you use a candle, a crystal, a picture, a feather, etc. The key is that it means something important to you. Creating one’s own power tools is a great way to infuse an object with your own energy. This is why we make prayer sticks, life arrows, death arrows and medicine bundles in sacred ceremony. They are made by you and they are sacred to you and only you. They are a physical container for your intention, just like a ceremony. As humans, we need something physical to hold onto to manifest our prayers and desires. This is the purpose of power tools and sacred objects for ritual.
The medicine wheel in Native American traditions is simply a metaphor for each aspect of our self: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Each direction represents a part of us that needs to be recognized and worked with, in order to be healthy and whole. You can research indigenous styles of ceremony from all over the world and find a ceremony style that suits you best OR you can make up your own, just like our ancestors did. Those who came before us created ceremony around events, situations and seasons that were important in their lives and you can do the same. I encourage you to research various styles of ceremonies from different cultures and see what resonates with you. Ask yourself what types of rituals would enforce the things that are important to you? What acts of power will strengthen you to create the kind of changes in your life you desire?
An Easy Ceremony To Get You Started
Light a candle to remind you of your intentions. As you light this candle, get clear on all the things inside yourself and in the world you with to transform. Place each of those undesired thoughts, feelings and situations into the flame of the candle as you offer these things you wish to transform to Heavenly Father. Ask your heavenly father to transform and protect you and your world from these things that no longer serve you.
When you feel that you are clear, write down your highest vision for the earth, for yourself, for your entire world. Be clear and specific. Honor your Earth Mother by placing an offering of flowers to her on your altar. Create a life arrow by wrapping your piece of paper with all of your intentions around a stick and plant this stick in the ground. Literally plant your vision into Mother Earth. Spend time outside in nature thinking about how you can take better care of yourself, your body, your planet. Use the power of nature to help you clear negative thoughts. Think and speak what you want to create and see in your world. Pray and meditate outside if possible.
One of my favorite ceremonies is the Native American giveaway ceremony. This beautiful gift- giving celebration could be done any time you want to bring change to your life or create a shift. Many times it is practiced during one of the two Solstice times of the year (Summer or Winter) because of the great power of these seasonal shifts. Other beneficial times for a Give-away ceremony could be the New Moon or Full Moon time of every month. You can gather a few friends or family together and have a Giveaway ceremony anytime you like.
Here’s how to observe this very simple ceremony:
Pick an object that represents something that you want to grow or attract more of into your life. This might be an object that represents health, love, financial abundance, career success, fertility, you name it. Give this object to the earth by burying it in the ground or in a bowl of dirt you have in your house, if you’re doing the ceremony inside. By participating in this act of power, you are literally planting your dreams. The object you plant might be a business card for growing career success, a wedding photo for growing the strength of your marriage or a dollar bill for growing financial abundance. Whatever holds power for you in the act is the right object to “plant”. It’s always recommended to take something from nature that represents what you want to create like a leaf or a flower and assign your intention to this object as you plant it. This is what I recommend doing because in this way, we leave no trace and tread lightly on this earth with respect.
Pick another object that symbolizes what you would like to release or purify in your life. Make sure this object can be burned in fire or cleansed in water and release it to one of these elements. This works great indoors if you have a fireplace or outiside with a fire pit. If you don’t have a safe way to burn your object, you can always use a bowl of water for the offering.
There’s no wrong way to do ceremony. I’m only giving you a few ideas to get you started. The more creative you are, the more meaningful the rituals will be for you.
Any Act Can Be Sacred
I watch my mother while she attends her religious conventions and I appreciate her devoted attention, reverence and presence at those times. I also see her fellow church members doing a lot of daydreaming, talking, getting up and down a million times and just waiting for it to be over. The choice is always there for us to savor the sacredness of each moment or let life pass us by, staying in the mundane.
Building Community Through Ceremony
Community is vital to the health and happiness of human beings. With the technological advancements of our modern world where we can survive while isolated from others, we have to make a conscious choice and expend effort to have community. Ceremony gives each of us an opportunity to be seen and heard while we truly see and hear others in an authentic way. Setting up a sacred circle provides a judgement free zone where you can truly be free to express, create, heal and worship in the way you feel is right for you, without criticism. Sacred ceremony allows the participants to “make a joyful noise” to their Creator, to drum, sing, dance, chant or write their prayers. This gives a sense of freedom and connection at the same time. Coming together in such a vulnerable, exposed way may be scary for some who hide behind machines to communicate, but taking off the masks and personas that we utilize in our day to day life and coming to a ritual in a real and true way to connect with others and nature has immeasurable healing potential for our lives.
Ceremony Provides Clarity and Communication
In order to bring your true authentic self to a ceremonial circle, you must know what it means to be real and self aware. Sacred ceremony helps you attain clarity on who you are so that you can be your true self. No one can be clear on what they wish to create in this world if they have not found out who they are, what they’re afraid of, what their life means and why they’re here. Through this profound work, many remember their sacred dreams they once had as a child that have been locked deep inside them due to the abuse we’ve all experienced in different ways. Sacred ceremony gives us way to communicate in a clear, honest and respectful way. In a ceremonial circle, everyone is equal and each individual has a contribution and voice.
The clarity that comes from ceremony allows us to communicate with:
A) first and foremost, ourselves. We cannot be effective in life until we know ourselves. This is scary for many of us, the scariest part of self realization work, meditation, shamanism, etc. is spending time with ourselves.
B) God/Source/Creator. Connecting to a higher power and understanding that we are not alone in the universe and that we are interconnected to the web of life. When we quiet our minds and pay attention during sacred ceremony, time is different and we can feel our place in the universe, a sense of belonging.
C) other human beings. We need each other far more than we realize. The problem with how isolated our lives have become is that we’re lonely in a crowd. Ceremony can solve this problem because it’s heart opening and true honesty that brings a ritual alive and makes it effective and relevant.
D) Lastly, ceremony connects us with elements of nature. Nature is what we are made of and we can find our way back to ourselves through this powerful connection.
Conscious Ceremony Is Inclusive
This work is all about freedom, not rules and restrictions. Sacred ceremony encourages freedom of thought and belief, honoring what is important to you personally, not based on religious beliefs or ideas that have come previously from someone else. Sacred ritual or ceremony at it’s best allows you to look closely at what you believe and why, seeing clearly where you have put fences and limitations around your mind. Ceremony welcomes you to create love and beauty where those two things are absent and enhance love and beauty where you can find them. It’s all about finding the meaning and growth in the difficult and scary parts of being human, transforming ugliness into beauty and fear into effective power.
Our work will have a much higher focus of healing and empowerment than our current events-we are taking our hearts and minds to the next level to be more effective for ourselves, our families, our communities and our planet. Please join me in ritual any way you like-as long as it’s all about getting clear of what you want to release, creating what you want and connecting to each other with respect, authenticity and love.
What’s the difference between ceremony and ritual?
You can absolutely make a ceremony for yourself, but a ritual is probably the more appropriate term for not celebrating a shared collective purpose with like minded individuals. But don’t hold back from creating something sacred if no one else around you is interested. You are more powerful than you might think! Rituals for one are powerful, too.
I hope this information sparks you to create positive change in your life with ceremony. Be creative and have fun with this information. Do something different and meaningful with your friends and family. I am excited to hear how it goes for you so please leave a comment and let me know!
There’s a lot of people out there selling a ton of stuff, claiming to do so many things that will help you. When it comes to choosing a healing practitioner, how do you know if a healer is legit? Since I’ve been in the business of healing for so long, I no longer have room for new clients. But the regular clients I do see are like family to me and I love them. In this enjoyable season of my career, I’m into helping others nurture their own potential to become successful healers.When I’m considering receiving work from a therapist, there are specific qualities I look for in any professional. Here’s some things you need to know when choosing any kind of healing practitioner.
1-The first and most important quality I look for is someone who takes care of themselves. Are they walking their talk, practicing what they preach and does their life show it? If they’re in the health care field, are they healthy themselves? And I don’t mean perfect when I say healthy because none of us are perfect. What I mean by healthy is do they have a consistent self care practice, maintaining the daily work that goes into keeping a body, mind and energy field in tip top shape? We all have physical limitations and that doesn’t prevent someone from being a healer. I’ve seen talented healers on top of their game who have lost their limbs or vision. The legit practitioners who are mindful of their own self care practices are worth more than gold. These gifted healers are willing to do their own work to reach their unique potential. Watch out for “healers” who profess to do healing work that stay sick and/or broke all the time because they don’t take care of themselves before attempting to take care of others. True healers work within their own physical limitations and bring the very best of what they’ve got.
2-The second quality I look for in a healer is authenticity. While it’s necessary for a healer to take care of themselves in order to effectively do their work, I also like genuine transparency in a healer that reflects the honesty of their own healing journey. Run from any practitioners that put on a show that their lives are perfect. We are not here to be perfect. We are here to lift each other up by being real. There’s a fine line between a healing professional sharing too much information about their personal lives and making it “all about them” versus a therapist who makes themselves look perfect, putting on a show of a fake life that seems unattainable to the clients they serve. There is a happy medium where a healer can share his or her healing journey, being open about the challenges and struggles they face in a way that is encouraging while keeping the focus on the clients. Authenticity shows that we all struggle, fall down and get back up again and there’s comfort and support in that. A healing practitioner doesn’t have to be perfect in order to help their clients. A genuine desire to be their personal best and heal their own lives goes a long way with the clients a practitioner serves.True healers don’t worry about what other people think of them because they have the highest standards of integrity for themselves.
3-The third quality I look for is clarity. Are they professionally clear with their boundaries? Are they effective communicators? Do they inform you of their policies, fees and scheduling in a direct way that makes you feel informed and at ease? There are many gifted and intuitive healers that lack clarity in how to run their business. Just because someone is intuitive and wants to be a healer does not mean they have taken the effort and time it takes to get clear.
In review, three things to look for when choosing a professional healer: self care, authenticity and clarity. I have found that the right healers and teachers will come into your life when you’re ready for them. Ask yourself, “What kind of healer do I want?” Take some time to jot down the qualities that are most important to you in a healing practitioner. If you set an intention for the kind of person you want to attract into your life to help you, that person is more likely to come into your experience. Be ready. Above all else, trust your gut and your heart when it comes to how you FEEL about a certain healer. If you ask yourself if this is the right healer for you and you get a full body YES (a good feeling in your body), go with that person. They may not have all the credentials, training and shiny bells and whistles that other practitioners have, but they may be just the right healer for you.
Are you a natural born healer?
Now that we’ve discussed some key qualities to look for in someone who does healing work for a living, let’s talk about a broader category of healers that just might include you. True healers are not just a chosen few. They’re everywhere around us. They are touching the lives of others every day as they make their own lives better and help our planet. Some of us are “out” professionally, making our mark in the world as practitioners of various healing modalities. But many are quietly healing themselves and helping their families live more natural, sustainable and joyful lives. The very fact that you are reading this article shows that you are a healer of some sort. Even if you only work on growing yourself up or helping your kids to feel better or assisting our planet, you are a healer in your own right.If you’re an investment banker or a mechanic, you might still be a healer. Your contribution depends on how much you heal yourself, help the planet and serve others. That is the kind of healer I am speaking of, although some of us actually do it for a living. This is a new kind of healer on the scene, one that’s intentional about living the best life possible while he or she is on the planet. This person looks like anyone else you would meet on the street, but they are different. They’ve made a decision to be wide awake and aware of themselves in order to feel good and get the most out of this human experience instead of a life of zombie-dom, mindlessly doing things they don’t know why they do, feeling ways they don’t really enjoy feeling, being constantly distracted with thoughts that are not their own, in a hurry, and racing toward their death and not making a difference while they are here Yeah…they’re already past all that. This person is a true healer, a real deal modern day shaman, even if they only work on healing themselves. I use the word “new” to describe this person because they are not like the tribal shaman of previous cultures. This healer does not have to appropriate a culture that’s not their own and they don’t have to be initiated or born into a specific lineage. This type of healing work is not for the chosen few or selected “special” ones. This opportunity is available to anyone who wants to step up and be empowered to do it. Of course we all know that being self aware and awake is nothing new. The wise ones and sages who have walked this earth throughout time have always done this.
So who’s this new person and what’s so special about them?
I have grappled with the old stereotypical images of what it means to be a healer and this is the picture of what I see as a modern day healer. The brave new healer is courageous enough to learn how love themselves and others. I see a person who has learned to live from their heart instead from their mind, most of the time anyway. And when they get out of their heart and start making decisions and creating with just their minds and egos, they feel the difference and are able to step back into a more loving, effective space. I don’t stay in my heart all the time, no way. I can totally get up in my head and make decisions with my ego. But I can feel the difference when I’m operating from love or intellect and I can always redirect my focus back to my heart, back to love. The brave new healers of the world create and operate from their heart space (most of the time) and hopefully we can live from that higher space and create our world from that place more and more. The more we practice being in our hearts, the better we will get.
I see brave people who are brave enough to really love themselves and others. This is NOT easy and one must be very brave in order to accomplish it. I’m not talking about a mental concept about what love is, all up in our heads. I mean truly living from love. The hard work of loving ourselves so that we can love others takes so much focus and time. The brave new healers are willing to do this difficult work. When anyone speaks of this work lightly like, “Just love yourself” or “love everybody,” they have not delved deeply into the magnitude of this work. It’s hard, plain and simple. If it were easy to love ourselves, the world would be a very different place.
The brave new healer practices self awareness. He or she lives wide awake. They ask themselves the tough questions about WHY they do the things they do, why they feel the way they feel. He stays tuned in to his body, aware of what makes him feel the best. She pays attention to how she responds to changes in her environment. These amazing individuals are all about making life the best for not only themselves, but for everyone around them. The brave new healer knows how to thrive in the modern world. This modern healer knows how to use the new world of technology to be more effective and informed. No, he’s not sitting somewhere in a hut shaking a rattle or meditating in a remote cave by himself. You might find him conversing with a barista in your local coffee shop or perusing gear for his next camping trip because here’s the thing about this type of healer: they know how to live life to the fullest. Living a full life requires adapting to the world we’re in and soaking up enriching experiences. Healers do not have to be isolated in order to attain some concept of enlightenment or spiritual growth. True growth and awareness comes from putting our concepts of oneness, consciousness, emotional mastery and compassion to work in the real world with real people in true life situations, not by running away from life and just thinking about how to be a good person. These people change with the times, embracing the changes that come from living in a technological world. They know how to use the tools around them, just like shamans of old used the tools that they had at their disposal. They don’t need to appropriate another culture or wear any particular garb to legitimize or identify themselves as healers.
The Brave New Healer is clear. This person is aware of her surroundings. She strives to be present and centered even though she won’t be all the time. She’s aware of what her motives and motivations are for why she does the things she does and what she wants. She has transcended simple knowing what she doesn’t want in her life and she goes after what truly makes her happy with full force. She’s had to do a lot of work to get clear. She regularly clears her living space and her work space. She clears her mind with regular meditation. She clears her body by eating healthy food and exercising regularly. Through these efforts and actions, she makes room for greatness.
The Brave New Healer understands boundaries.This individual has come to realize that having healthy boundaries does not make them a jerk or unlovable. They’ve come to realize that having healthy boundaries makes those around you have more respect for you in general. Instead, it’s magically the opposite. Having healthy boundaries helps those around you respect you. The brave new healer is honest. This requires much bravery in a world where we see even our political leaders not telling the truth and it’s accepted and understood by everyone. It can be scary to tell someone the truth from the heart, but they bumble around and be awkward sometimes but they come from the heart and stay real.
Brave New Healers know that what they think MATTERS. He’s in control of his mind. He knows that he can use his mind to heal his body and that his thoughts are creating situations and opportunities in his life. He knows these thoughts are his own to direct and manage and he accepts this position of leadership. She’s selective with what she takes in to her mind. She knows that the kind of entertainment she watches affects her well-being. These healers know that the images they see with their eyes along with the words and stories they take in with their ears are going to affect them for a long time. Brave new healers seek forms of entertainment that raise them up and enhance them.
Brave New Healers understand that what they eat MATTERS. They put the very best food they have access to in their bodies for optimal performance.They understand that what they eat and drink makes them who they are. At the same time, they’re always reaching for quality of life over shame and guilt when it comes to food, drink and entertainment. It’s called reaching for joy and growing past always trying to do the “right thing,” feeling guilty if you don’t eat a certain way or behave a certain way.
They understand that what they say MATTERS. She’s careful with the vibration of her words. She speaks life through encouraging, affirmative gifts that come from her mouth. She knows that her body responds to every word she says, so she’s careful to heal through her words.
They’re in the process of raising themselves and growing UP. He doesn’t beat himself up for the destructive thoughts that still lurk in his mind but rather he parents them and coaches those parts of himself with loving leadership. He is fully aware of the time he must put in to be a good parent to him or herself. Parenting and raising up those parts of ourselves that have stayed little and scared and not too functional is a full time job, just as much as having another little human that needs guidance and direction. The brave new healers knows that we never stop having to guide and lead ourselves to the higher vantage point, the bigger picture. Raising ourselves is the nicest thing we can do for the planet and all the inhabitants on it. And it sure helps to raise ourselves first if we choose to raise little humans, too. It takes work to grow up and be the people we are meant to be. Now I don’t mean being grown up in the sense of never having any fun, I mean growing up in the sense of addressing all the small, afraid childlike pieces of ourselves that influence our behavior in every aspect of our life such as our relationships (dealing with jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, fears and hang ups over money, sex, health, religion, death, God, etc),. Brave new healers are not afraid to take a close look at tough issues and they are not okay with staying stagnant in unhealthy patterns.
Brave new healers are cultivating a healthy relationship with money. They live like kings and queens because they realize that what they spend money on MATTERS. You are truly the king or queen of your own world. Do you live like a noble or do you live like a slave? Do you tell your money what to do for you or does your money run amok?Brave new healers love sustainable comfort and luxury because they realize the power that comes with how we use our money. When people think we can’t make a difference in the world, they aren’t realizing the fact that we vote with our dollars every single day. Our money is a way to harness energy and intentions toward ethical companies that care about our planet. How you spend your money is powerful. Take that power, claim it and use it! Imagine what would happen to greedy corporations that destroy the planet and torture animals if everyone just STOPPED buying their products. This requires knowing what you’re buying and researching the companies that you pour money into, yes another thing that takes time and shows you give a darn. Brave healers know they can make a difference in the world with their money, so there’s no shame or evil associated with dollars, they are just energetic tools. Brave healers also charge what they’re worth and pay fairly for the goods and services they want to support.
They understand the power of their presence. These brave healers realize that their energetic presence is a PRESENT because they have worked long and hard on the level of energy they bring to any situation. Their focus, time and attention are gifts they give to those who can appreciate the value of presence. They don’t waste time on guilt.These people understand the difference between guilt and accountability. Don’t waste time on guilt, but spend a lot of time on accountability, responsibility and the inter-dependancy of every action and decision we make.
Does this sound like you, or who you want to grow yourself into being? These brave new healers are my kind of people-the Light Bringers, The Way Showers. I want to celebrate them, lift them up and support their work. I’m here with resources and tools for every kind of healer in this world.This article and episode was inspired by my appreciation for those I see around me that are leading and teaching by being the best version of themselves every day. It takes a lot of courage to live life on purpose, with intention. If you are reading this and you relate to this message on some level, keep going because this is you. You are your own brave healer!If this type of healer is who you are being/becoming..I hope that you’ll connect with me and tell me the story of your transformation. Tell me about your journey of becoming a healer and how you are living the healer lifestyle.
How To Access Your Inner Healing Resources Without Spending A Dime
What if you already have everything you need to feel better? Just…what if? How would life be different if you came equipped with the resources necessary to take care of yourself instead of always having to rely on outside sources for your own well-being?
You already possess valuable tools that can help you feel better and they’re accessible to you whenever you need them. Right here in this moment, you have the power to enhance the way you feel. Feeling good is subjective to each individual’s personal experience. For one person, feeling good might mean having less pain, for another individual it may mean attaining greater levels of energy or optimum success in sports. Another person may desire more mental clarity or emotional peace in order to feel “good”. Only you can decide what that word means for you and what is your personal best at this time.
I’m here to put you in the driver’s seat of your own self care plan and remind you about what you’ve already got in this moment.
In a world of consumerism, it’s so easy to feel like we’re missing something when the reality is we already have what we need to make a positive change.
True peace comes from realizing that we don’t have to grasp for the next shiny object to make us feel better (because it won’t, anyway). It’s time for us to step out of our lack and “have-not mentality” in order to move into true abundance thinking. There’s nothing you to have buy and no one you have to pay in order to feel better.
What you DO have to contribute to the process is your own effort and time, if you want to be effective at feeling good.
Time is one of our most valuable resources. Even though we’re all born with our own unique circumstances and limitations, we’re all gifted with the same amount of hours in each day. When you tap into how truly precious each second of your time is, things in your life start to get better. Why? Because understanding the value of your time creates a mindset of prosperity and abundance. The investment you must make in order to feel better is to pour your own effort into the process and watch your life change.
I’m in the business of feeling good. I make my living helping others feel better. I notice that individuals who realize that they themselves are their own source of well-being tend to skyrocket to the next level of health and effectiveness. On the flip side, those who feel like someone else is in charge of how they feel tend to stay disempowered, in physical and financial distress.
I’ve noticed that feeling good results from an accumulation of many small actions.
Destructive habits and unhealthy choices accumulate over time and we create these cumulative effects ourselves. I call this the healthy or unhealthy snowball effect. One healthy or destructive choice leads to another.
My passion is teaching people how to take better care of themselves by gaining momentum through small, positive actions. Sometimes a healthy change can feel too out of reach if we lose sight of the gifts we have right in front of us. The little things we do each day make a big impact on our bodies and minds.
So enough already with limited thinking that keeps us disempowered about our potential to feel good! It’s time to lift ourselves out of destructive thought loops that focus on lack and poverty. These limiting thoughts have been handed to us from generations past.
Examples of impoverished thinking include, “There’s not enough time”, “I can’t make any friends”, or “It costs too much money to be healthy”.
These beliefs aren’t our own, we’ve inherited them and we don’t have to keep them. I often say, don’t believe everything you think!
Here’s a little dose of truth for you, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to be your own best healer.
If you practice the 12 free self care steps in this article, you’ll improve your physical, mental, emotional and…that’s right…financial health, too.
Let’s Start Feeling Better Right Now…
#1-BREATHING IS FREE
Breathing is the number one action you can take to feel better. Any kind of breathing practice gets a thumbs up from me. Breath is the bridge between the physical and spiritual realms. Breathing properly is a big deal and when it’s done correctly, it enhances everything. I’m a huge fan of proper breathing because I’ve experienced the benefits firsthand. I’m in awe of the simplicity of the greatest healing tool around. This astounding healing remedy is readily available for all of us.
Is there a better way to breathe?
My tai chi teacher always told me, “Your nose is for breathing and your mouth is for eating.” Apparently he was right because the research is in and nose breathing wins!
There are, of course, many different kinds of breathing techniques that all have their own merits. But right now we are going to get more refined with our breathing techniques so that we can make the most of how we feel.
Here’s some research on the benefits of nose breathing.
Nose Breathing Supports:
*Weight Loss. “In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers investigated where the fat goes when one loses weight and, as it turns out, we don’t burn it off, we breathe it out!”
*Lymphatic Health. Nose breathing “acts as a pump to..support healthy and active lymph flow”
*Spinal Health. “nose breathing is critical for flexibility and elasticity of the spine, head, neck and low back.”
*Stress Relief. “Nose breathing exercise reported 50% less flight or fight stress and 50% more calm parasympathetic activation when compared to mouth breathing.”
*Brain Function. “Nose breathing exercise increased brain wave coherence…associated with calm and organized brain function.”
*Workout Recovery. “Huffing and puffing during a workout are due to inefficient breathing and poor CO2 removal”
*Meditation. “Nose breathing exercise increased alpha brain wave activity compared to mouth breathing…aplha brain waves are produces during relaxation or meditative states” writes Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP in his article, 10 Breathing Exercises to Restore Mind-Body Balance.
#2-MOVING YOUR BODY IS FREE!
You don’t have to take an intimidating exercise class or buy a bunch of equipment to give your body what it wants. Just move and keep it simple!
No matter what mobility limitations you may have, when you hear the story of Ilchi Lee, the author of Brain Wave Vibration: Getting Back Into The Rythm of a Happy, Healthy Life, you’ll be inspired to move! He came up with this amazing healing technique because he could only move his head from side to side after an accident.
Take an example from Mr. Lee and move your body gently and creatively to refresh and recharge yourself. He didn’t let the fact that he was paralyzed stand in the way of his own healing. Now, that’s a powerful example of being your own healer!
Don’t let your mind distract you from moving your body. Try simple stretches and movements while your doing your daily activities. Put on some music that you enjoy and just MOVE!
There are so many different types of exercise out there. Find the kind of exercise that you enjoy. You don’t have to do workouts that feel burdensome. The whole point is to have fun and enjoy taking care of your body.
Remember, bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. Don’t overcomplicate it, just shake it.
#3-GOING OUTSIDE IS FREE!
Being outside is totally free and enjoyable. It’s so therapeutic to take in fresh air, sunshine, grounding and negative ions.
Try to give yourself the free gift of one “green hour” per day.
Have you heard about the new trend of Forest Bathing? The therapeutic benefits of being in the woods is nothing new but now celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow are extolling the benefits of walking in the woods. Whenever you feel down and need a quick pick-me-up, step out into the sunshine and notice how easily your energy can shift.
#4-AWARENESS IS FREE
Cultivating self awareness means paying attention to how you feel and why you feel that way. Many of us run around so busy that we don’t take the time do an internal check in of how we actually feel in any given moment. Once a day, take an internal check in/assessment of how you feel.
Here’s an awareness check list:
What kinds of images do you look at during a typical day?
What kinds of words are you used to hearing during the course of a normal day?
How much of other people’s thoughts do you consume on a daily basis through social media, radio, television, co-workers, friends, etc.?
Remember, it’s totally free to be selective about the thoughts and emotions of others that you let into your mind.
What kind of people do you hang out with on a regular basis and how do they make you feel?
Become aware of who is around you. The five people you hang around the most affect how you feel and act.
What kind of information are you constantly feeding yourself? Does your mental “food” come from books, podcasts, phone, Netflix, radio, television, social media, etc.?
Are you consuming mentally nutritious topics on a regular basis or more mental junk food?
Your mind is totally yours and you get to control what goes into it. Just like what goes in your mouth affects how you feel, being selective and going for mentally nutritious thoughts yields big results in your state of mind.
Remember, it’s totally FREE to be selective with what you intake through your five senses. It costs nothing to turn the television or radio off.
#5-SENSORY PLEASURE IS FREE
Here’s a great exercise you can do anytime you want to nourish your senses.
You can treat yourself to a sensory journey. It feels so luxurious and fun to do this exercise and best of all, it costs nothing.
- 1)-Visually take in colors and artwork that appeal to you, giving your eyes a gift.
- 2)-Listen to a piece of music that delights you, focusing completely on the sensations of sound. One song can shift your entire state of being and it’s free to listen.
- 3)-Feel the texture of a soft fabric or the smooth leaf of a plant; explore the sensation of an object that comforts you such as a cozy blanket, fur or your favorite sweater.
- 4)-Smell a fragrance you enjoy. Be creative with finding a natural scent you already have at your disposal such as a flower, herb, fruit or spice from your kitchen.
- 5)-Enjoy the sensation of taste by finding something in nature that is safe to experience such as a snowflake, honeysuckle or an herb like rosemary. Experience the sensory pleasure of taste for pleasure’s sake only, rather than merely tasting while you eat to satisfy hunger.
#6-CLEARING YOUR SPACE IS FREE
Whether it’s our physical living spaces, our minds, bodies, offices or even our cars, clearing our spaces helps us feel better. Limiting time with toxic people and eliminating processed chemicals from our diet are also free ways to feel better. It doesn’t cost anything to eliminate the unhealthy stuff. Let go of anything that is weighing you down and holding you back. Whether it’s clutter, junk food or negative people, lighten your load and see how much better you feel.
Our spaces reflects our inner state of being. If you’ve got more time than money, use that time wisely and make room for greatness by clearing out what doesn’t serve you.
#7-SETTING AN INTENTION IS FREE
Most people know what they don’t want in their experience, but few take the time to set a clear intention for what they DO want. Sometimes this is the scariest part of growth: committing to what we truly want.
Think about how you want to feel and what actions you are willing to take to achieve measurable results. An affirmation is not a denial of your present circumstances; it’s a seed you’re planting for the future. This is where affirmations and goal setting become valuable free tools. Writing down your goals and affirmations is an effective way to create positive change in your life. There’s great power in taking the action to write down a goal. Try it and see. What do you have to lose?
#8-THOUGHTS ARE FREE
At any given moment, check in with yourself about the current thoughts you entertain. Are you spending time with productive or destructive thoughts? Set an alarm on your phone to alert you at random times throughout the day and keep a journal close by. Record your typical daily thoughts for one week and notice what patterns come up in your thinking and who you spend the majority of your time with inside your head. This was a very revealing exercise for me. I was shocked to realize all the people I hang out with in my head who are not the most upbuilding and joyful company. I do this free exercise often and now I keep a thought journal where I enter six entries a day, based on the recommendations in the book, The Diamond Cutter by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally.
#9-THE WORDS YOU SPEAK ARE FREE
The words that come out of our mouths are important. We can focus on speaking upbuilding and encouraging words or we can allow ourselves to speak damaging words that break us down. The words we use have a great impact on our physical bodies as well as those around us who hear them. Choose your words carefully to speak life and build yourself and others up. It’s totally free to be encouraging with words and more importantly, words have their own vibration so we are constantly raising or lowering our vibration with each word we choose.
#10-SELF HEALING IS FREE
Self energy healing costs nothing and is easy to do. The only hard part about self energy work is quieting ourselves down and allowing the time it takes to practice awareness. Applying energy healing techniques to our own body can be as simple as focusing on areas of pain and discomfort, placing our hands over those areas and sending love to those body parts. Take the time to practice this free, easy self healing technique and notice what happens.
#11-ALONE TIME IS FREE
The therapeutic value of spending quiet time alone, with no distractions, is so overlooked. Try to spend at least five minutes a day with no other person within three feet of your body. This allows you to actually feel your own energy field when it’s not merging with the thoughts, emotions and energy patterns of others.
#12-SMILING AND LAUGHTER ARE FREE
Some of the health benefits of smiling and laughing include: better mood, lower blood pressure, erduced stress, better relationships, stronger immune system, lower levels of pain and longer life. I went to a laughter workshop one time and it was such an interesting experience. At first, we were all awkard since no one knew each other. As we mimicked the laughing noises the workshop leader made, eventually we were all cracking up with genuine belly laughs. There’s no reason not to take advantage of this free healing resource even if you have to fake it when you first begin. Get creative and see how many different kinds of laughing sounds you can make and watch how you naturally begin to experience a true laugh!
Now I want to hear from you. Is it easy for you to remember how many free ways you have to make yourself feel better or do you fall into a poverty and lack mindset, like I do sometimes? I know I need to be constantly reminded of all my blessings. We can always re-direct our minds toward all the beneficial resources we have available at any moment. What’s your favorite free feel good tip I’ve mentioned here or do you have another one to share?
Ok, so why did I leave social media?
It all started with the end of a relationship and the death of my father. I left social media (and pretty much the internet altogether) to take time to process these major life events in a sacred way, without a lot of onlookers. But then my sabbatical from the internet turned into something much more. My intentional hermit time became a concentrated dose of awareness and creativity. I found myself not only relishing in time away from digital interaction, but having full on resistance to ever returning.
Here’s what happened to me while I was away and the story of why I came back…
A lot has changed during the four years I haven’t been online. New podcast, new name, new online courses, but same me. I’m still focused on healing myself while supporting others to make their own lives better. The only difference is now I’m bringing all the good stuff that happens in my healing room straight to you.
The year 2014 brought huge personal changes that made me re-evaluate how I want to live my life and use my energy. By taking time to get clear, I developed a deeper certainty of what I want to accomplish while I’m here on this planet. I want to have a voice for positive change and support others who are doing the same. This is why I’ve decided to communicate, connect and share online again.
While I did miss connecting with interesting people that inspire me, I didn’t miss the time wasting aspect of social media in the least. I’ve become much more aware of where my time goes. Becoming more effective with the precious time I have has made my life better. The benefits from being away from social media outweighed my desire to see what was going on.
I’ll be honest..it’s not been easy for me to step back out on the internet. I’m a hermit by nature and I’ve really liked the quiet life my husband and I have created over the past few years. If my heart didn’t feel such a pull for positive change, I would just stay happily in my own little bubble.
“Buddhism has always taught there is a time and place for taking on the life of a secluded monk, for living apart from the world in order to serve the world. But serve the world we must and to do so, we must be in the world.”-The Diamond Cutter-The Buddha On Managing Your Business and Your Life by Geshe Michael Roach & Lama Christie McNally
I didn’t even realize how far off the grid I’d gone until one of my clients found my new office after three or four months of attempting to contact me. She’d moved back to my area in North Carolina after relocating to Florida. Since she moved away, my partner and I had built our own office and moved our business while she’d lost all her contact info in her phone. When she finally found me months later, she told me how hard she’d been searching since I’d literally vanished from the internet. She said it was like I had fallen off the face of the earth and I realized she was right. Anyone who wanted to see me over the last four years had to come into this little healing room and connect with me face to face, heart to heart. I really enjoy those kind of meaningful interactions. Even though I’m excited to offer the online courses and books I’ve created, I don’t want to lose that sense of real connection and authentic communication I’ve worked so hard to cultivate in my relationships.
I wasn’t going to jump back online until I was crystal clear that I could maintain healthy boundaries when it comes to navigating relationships and time spent online. That’s why I’m starting out with just a weekly email to my subscribers. My goal is to help others while still keeping the quality of life I enjoy. This requires maintaining a lot of healthy boundaries.
Am I against social media?
No, I am not against social media and I don’t consider the world wide web and artificial intelligence to be positive or negative. Just like money or any other tool, the internet is a form of energy and power that must be used with consciousness and intention. On this plane of duality, everything has a light upside and dark shadow side. What’s important is how we use the energy and tools at our disposal to accomplish want we want to do. Some of the benefits of social media include: building community, creating awareness on social and environmental issues and supporting those who are actively creating positive change.
What did I do while I was away from the internet?
-1) I became much more CLEAR.
I did this by spending time alone and a lot of time outside, in nature.
The #1 most important thing you need to do in order to get clear is to spend time ALONE and preferably be in nature. By spending time alone in nature, I was able to clearly define what’s important to me and what my motives where (the why) behind all the things I was doing.
Being alone and outside are two simple actions with great therapeutic benefits when it comes to increasing clarity and self awareness.
-2) I learned how to say NO with love.
It was time to pull my energy in and simplify my life so I could direct my power in more concentrated, effective ways. I discovered that while all of us have the power to do anything we want, none of us are as effective if we spread our energy in too many directions. For many years, I had grown and learned from saying YES to opportunities as they arose. Now, it was my time to bring life into balance by learning how say NO in a healthy way, even if the opportunities were good ones. I chose to restructure my busy schedule and prioritize two areas of my life. I took a break from teaching and public speaking in order to devote my full focus to my relationships and my private healing practice. I committed myself to cultivating and strengthening these areas, giving 100 percent of my focus. This commitment has taken a lot of time, dedication and observation. Refining my strategies for how I spend my time, what I pour my energy into and how I live my life helped me focus on what’s most important to me. This process became a life upgrade in many ways.
The right no at the right time can change the course of history.-Greg McKeown
-3) I worked with my own fear of missing out (FOMO).
The clarity I found through these life changes made me realize that even though I’d been doing a LOT of service to humanity, I was diluting my energy and this made me less effective overall.
Many of you who knew me prior to 2014 can remember when I was very busy doing lots of things that I enjoy. I was facilitating tons of workshops and retreats, running the esoteric healing school, seeing a full schedule of clients in my private practice AND doing a lot of speaking engagements and ceremonies. Life was in high gear back then and I was having lots of fun helping people heal their lives. But having lots of fun manifesting opportunities doesn’t necessarily mean I was being that effective for myself or anyone else. It’s funny because now I realize I was practicing manifesting and getting pretty good at creating opportunities, but I didn’t know how to manage all of that yet. Because of my lack of skill in dealing with my manifestations, I spent a lot of time going in too many different fun directions back then. I don’t regret any of that, it was just part of my learning process and growth.
-4) I took care of myself.
Taking care of yourself requires a lot of time and there’s no way around that. This is why most people don’t do it. Self care takes time to address our bodies, minds, emotions and energy.
We all know that any electronic device has to shut down occasionally to receive an upgrade. Well, guess what? We are highly sophisticated devices, too! I feel like my time away from all social media and most media in general was part of an upgrade or recharge for myself. I call it my “healer’s upgrade” because the break allowed me to get clear and take my professional work to another level. I turned off all the distractions and chatter by cleaning up the loose ends of my life where my time and energy spilled out in useless ways. I became more intentional and meaningful with every interaction. I cleared out the mental clutter of my life and it paid off in a huge way.
The rewards I received from clearing out the clutter included mental clarity, calmness and an enhanced ability to be present. I let go of a lot of “shoulds” “have tos” and “to do lists”, but I kept what was most important to me: my time, my health, my closest relationships and my clients.
Freeing myself up from the time it took to answer emails, comment on posts and respond to messages and requests made me realize how much energy had been going out on the web in a way that was not productive or nurturing for me. I realized that even healers and lightworkers who are making a difference in this world can still get caught up in distractions that drain our energy.
When you take time to up-level your self care game and to reflect on how effective you currently are, not everyone will respond well or understand what you’re doing. My social circle had gotten so big that I was not able to explain to everyone on the internet that my change was nothing to be taken personally, I just needed to refine and strategize how I spent my energy. After this long refreshing break, I feel like I can communicate more clearly and connect more effectively whether in person or on the internet because of the time I spent on nurturing my communication skills.
-5 I gave myself a gift. I granted myself enough time to grow a strong foundation for how I want to strategically communicate with the world. I plan on staying very intentional about how I use technology and I encourage you to do the same.
-6) I practiced awareness. What I mean by that is I paid more attention to where my time, attention, energy and dollars were going. Back when my energy was scattered all over the place, my efforts to be effective didn’t have as much oomph behind them as they do now.I became skilled at paying attention to what I was doing and where I was putting my time and attention. Anyone can do this, all it takes is practicing awareness. It’s totally free to evaluate where your hours and dollars are going. Your efforts will pay off by revealing to you how to get more of what you want and less of what you don’t.
What I learned from my time away…
I’ve learned that practicing awareness and paying attention to how I’m responding to the world around me is a lot of work. Just like anything, the more you practice awareness, the more skilled you become.
We can utilize technology, own it and manage it to be a force for good. We don’t have to let technology manage and use us.
An energetic perspective on the internet
You might not realize this, but every interaction you have online affects your energetic field as well as your body, mind and emotions. This was easy for me to notice after having removed myself completely from social media for so long. I paid such close attention to how my energy field interacts with others that it was easy to notice how quickly energetic connections form with those you engage with online. Only now do I understand why social media can be so energetcially depleting and emotionally taxing. You are literally sharing energy with each person you communicate with online.
Millennials, Indigo and Crystalline Children respond differently to the digital age.
I never thought I’d be old enough to say, “back in my day, before the digital age…” But I’m a child of the seventies and my energy field and body did not form inside the matrix of the world wide web. I didn’t come in this world well equipped to deal with artificial intelligence like our children are today. This is one of the reasons that time spent on electronic devices is taxing to me on all levels.
Years ago, many indigenous people foretold that children coming to the planet at this time would be different than those of us who came before. Now that I have a child of my own, I’m able to observe the differences in our energetic fields in a direct way instead of just speculating how these kids are different from me. Kids who are living now are natives to the digital age. Remember how we heard about the Crystalline children that would be coming in, many years ago? Now I understand! Their crystalline energy fields were formed in this new world and they are better equipped to deal with new ways of communicating.
I’m not saying that children who are young now don’t need to unplug and spend time away from their devices. I’m only telling you how differently their energetic fields respond to digital stimulation than those of us who are older. Awareness of these differences can foster compassion and patience.
Here’s some tips for dealing with overstimulation in our digital world…
If you feel overwhelmed from too much technology, go outside and leave all devices indoors. If possible, put your bare feet on the ground and let Mother Earth recharge YOUR battery and clear out the static. This exercise supports calmness and mental clarity. If you feel drained by too much interaction or stimulation on social media, imagine clearing everyone else’s energy out of the space inside you and within three feet around you. Do some deep breathing as you imagine your energy field, mind, emotions and body becoming completely clean. Set an intention to feel only your energy field, no one else’s, at least once a day. An easy way to do this is to focus on the Earth below you as you breathe and then focus on the Sun above you. This is an easy to way to get centered and release excess energy.
*Spend time alone. Save time in your busy day by combining being outside and being alone. Alone time in nature provides double benefits. You can’t get clear on how you actually feel while your energy field is linking and merging with the thoughts, emotions and energy patterns of others. We all need some time every day when no other human is within three feet of our body. Even if it’s only five minutes a day, spend time in your own energy field with no distractions. This practice will make a difference in your level of clarity and well being.
*Engage in self care activities that require you to be unplugged. If you find it difficult to regulate how often you open certain applications on your phone, engage in regular self care activities where you have to be free from your device. This will slowly direct your brain toward different kinds of pleasure. Enjoy massage therapy sessions, energy work, tai chi, yoga, himalayan salt caves, sports…anything that requires unplugging from your devices.
Where else can you find activities that don’t allow electronics? If you find it difficult to be without your device for the duration of a healing session or massage, this is an indication that you need more time away from electronics.
Take an hour before bed to be away from all electronics.
Turn your wifi off while you sleep.
Give yourself parameters for how much time you engage with social media. Experiment with different times of the day to be online, limit your exposure and see if you are less affected by interacting in the morning, afternoon or night.
*Cultivate healthy relationships
Don’t spend your precious time online with anyone you wouldn’t associate with in person. Be very careful with who you give your attention to because your energy is a gift. Are you giving your time to those who are worthy of it? Healthy relationships are the main ingredient to a happy life. Fulfillment in marriage, business, friendship or family life comes when our relationships and communication take priority.
*Take control of your mind Many things in life are beyond our control. But what we expose our minds to is completely our choice and we hold the power. Remember: you are in control of what you read, view, listen to and think. The landscape of your mind is 100 percent your domain. Make sure that the people and ideas you allow into your mind are of the highest level and deserve your attention.
Why I want to teach and connect online
I want to provide a sacred space of learning and support for a) everyone interested in self care and healthy living and b) healing professionals who help and serve others.
I deeply desire a strong community of healers who are changing themselves and the world in a profound way.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and I’d like to hear from YOU in the comment section below on how you navigate social media along with what challenges and benefits you encounter. I can’t wait to hear if you’re thriving from online interaction or you have some self care strategies of your own that are keeping you well. And I’ve also included some great resources below. Enjoy!
Show Notes From Podcast Episode #4: Why I Took A Four Year Break From Social Media
I highly recommend reading or listening to this book:
Deep Work: Rules For Focused Success in a Distracted World
by, Cal Newport
My favorite podcast series ever: Rewild Yourself with Daniel Vitalis
The first few seasons are my favorites. Daniel shares so much helpful info on topics such as self dental care, natural skin care, nutrition, etc. Here’s one of my faves on the importance of sleep:
Another podcast that I love: The Tim Ferris Show
In this episode, Tim showcases two chapters from Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by, Greg McKeown. This book helped me become more effective with my time and energy.
If you’ve worked with me in private sessions over the last two decades, this article is a huge thank you and a sharing of all you’ve taught me. I’m deeply honored by each person who has graced my treatment table and assisted my learning. My clients have always been my greatest teachers, giving me passion to teach others how to heal their lives. The profound and life changing experiences we’ve shared is the reason for this blog and podcast.
Working with clients in private sessions helped me discover how healing really happens in a way that all the classes and certification programs in the world couldn’t have taught me. Direct experience is always the best teacher.
There is a Mayan saying, En Lakesh, that means, “I am another you.” This saying makes me think of my connection to those I’ve been fortunate to work with over the years.
Each client’s transformative process has been a shared journey where we’ve grown together. Now with twenty-three years of private practice under my belt, I’m ready to share my personal healing stories along with the triumphant success stories of my clients. I can’t think of many professions that are as co-creative and symbiotic as mine, which is why I love sharing this work. If therapeutic massage and energy healing is something you’ve been thinking about getting into, I can honestly say that this kind of work continues to be a great joy in my life, keeping me healthy and happy. Not only do I highly recommend a career in hands-on healing, I’m developing online courses and support forums to help healers thrive.
I’ve always strived to make massage therapy and energy healing sessions full of effective and practical ways to enhance daily life. Now, I’m holding the same intention for these online offerings. My heart’s desire is to give you relevant tools and resources that you can take away from each podcast or blog that will make your life better. In this article, I’m going to share some valuable lessons that my clients have taught me over the years…
Lesson #1: Even though I’m a “healer”, I’ve never healed anyone other than myself….
I’ve held the space for others to heal and supported thousands of people to step into their own healing power. We all need external support to move forward in life and we also have to claim responsibility for our own well being.
Here’s one of many paradoxes in the healing world: no one can heal us but ourselves and yet we need each other in order to heal. This may sound contradictory, but it’s true.
No human being on the planet can heal you of any sort of affliction or illness, destructive thought pattern, habit, genetic mutation or dis-ease other than YOU. While you must do your own work, you can also summon the right people, experiences and community to support your unique healing process.
I empower my clients by making sure they understand that they are in the driver’s seat of their healing experience.
All I’m doing during a session is simply facilitating the “homecoming,” when a person is ready to come home to themselves and pay attention to what’s going on inside. Once you have the right support and resources, your body knows what to do and will take it from there.
The right help will fall into your lap at the right time in the oddest ways, if you are open to it. I’ve seen it happen a million times. You will connect with just the right massage therapist, stumble on to the perfect life coach or pick up just the right book at the right time to equip you with the tools you need to assist your body/mind/energy field.
The best thing I can do as a healing practitioner is take good care of myself and lead the way for others to do the same. I make sure to receive regular healing sessions for myself, recharging my own batteries so that I stay well. Since I can’t do my job if I don’t feel good, choosing this career path holds you accountable to your own well being in a powerful way. By focusing my energy on feeling good, I can provide a sacred space and safe environment for those who are brave enough to make positive changes themselves. We each have to do our own healing work.
I felt so happy the day one of my clients said to me, “I need you fix my shoulder…no, wait”, she paused, “I need you to help ME fix my shoulder.” When she said this, I smiled so big because I knew she was really getting it! She was empowered to heal herself and even though she could benefit from my assistance, ultimately she knew that she was the one that would make a difference in how her shoulder felt. I truly believe that the more each person learns, grows and heals their own life, they contribute to the collective healing of the planet. We are way more connected than it may seem. Your healing is my healing and vice versa. Every small thing you do helps us all.
Lesson #2: Self healing at home and seeking professional help from therapists/practitioners are equally important.
Self care at home is the day to day maintenance required for feeling good. Self care and daily energy work are the “brushing and flossing” of spiritual hygiene. Taking care of your body/mind/ emotions/energy field on a daily basis is extremely important. Even though professional healing sessions have great benefit, it’s not sustainable or realistic to think that one energy healing or massage session per month is going to keep you well, if you’re doing nothing on your own in between sessions. The more self care (self massage, energy maintenance, clearing, stress reduction, grounding, nutrition, breathing, stretching, etc), my clients are empowered to do on their own, the more they accomplish during their sessions with me. Taking care of themselves gives them more “bang for their buck” when they pay for professional support, making better use of their time and money. If I waited for someone else to work on me and never did any energy work on myself, I can’t imagine how poorly I would feel. It is up to me every single day to clean myself energetically from all the environmental debris and interactions with other people. Waiting to see an energy healer before you can feel good would be like never brushing or flossing your teeth and having only the dentist clean them on occasion. Can you imagine how yucky and disempowering that would feel? Think of self energy healing the same! My clients utilize me for blind spots, minor touch ups and energetic support, especially if they are undergoing emotional challenges that make it hard to stay clear enough to self heal. But they know that the day to day maintenance is up to them and it’s their job to keep themselves energetically clear and charge their energy “batteries” every day. Clearing your own energy field can become a natural part of your day, like taking a shower.
The more we learn to self heal, the more effective we become for each other and for the world. So contrary to what some may think, teaching clients how to be sustainable with their own healing only creates more loyalty and trust in the therapeutic relationship. Empowering clients to work on themselves gives me a stronger client base of the kind of individuals I want to work with-those who are healing their families at home and making a difference in the world. This teaching process has blessed me with a clientele of strong, powerful, abundant people who know what they want and how to ask for it. Because we humans are not meant to be islands all alone, I find that clients still want to see their healing professionals on a regular basis but it’s because they feel so good, not because they feel bad. A therapist who shows his or her clients how to take care of themselves is priceless. Want to learn more about self healing? I’m working on a course called Be Your Own Healer that will take your self care practice to the next level, so stay tuned for updates!
What Exactly is Healing, Anyway?
Healing is certainly a buzzword and it’s used frequently in our culture. Here’s some of the definitions I’ve found:
Healing: the process of making or becoming healthy, whole or sound again, to make free of injury or disease.
To free from ailment, to bring an end or conclusion, as conflicts between people or groups, usually with the strong implication of restoring former amity. To settle, reconcile.
A Biblical perspective on healing: to make whole or well, forgiveness, purification of an offense.
These are my thoughts on what healing is and what it isn’t, which brings me to Lesson #3…
Lesson #3: My definition of healing has changed.
To me, healing is not some destination or outcome. It is not about conquering or beating a dis-ease. Rather, healing is about achieving a state of empowered understanding about one’s self. Healing can happen when there is a reconciliation or harmonious outcome that results in heightened awareness, responsibility and acceptance.
Throughout my career, I’ve seen illnesses manifest as an opportunity for a wake up call, a relationship reconciliation or a major catalyst for positive change. Because the reasons for illness can be so varied and run the gamut from blessing to curse, healing has a specific meaning for each individual. Even if we utilize a disease to transition to the next phase of our existence (death), that doesn’t mean a healing experience didn’t occur. There are no definitive, black and white explanations for healing.
There’s no set formulas or time lines anyone can use for a specific healing outcome. There are too many variables for healing to make linear sense. I liken the process of healing to a spiral shape, rather than a healing experience being like a straight line where you have a beginning (pain or dis-ease) and an ending (health and well being). There’s no finish line when it comes to healing because it’s all about learning ourselves and figuring out what feeling good means to us personally. In order to become more aware of ourselves and why we have our habits and motives, life takes us in many different directions, teaching us through experiences. We have one of two choices: to be actively involved in re-creating and regenerating ourselves or to succumb to continual degeneration through destructive habits and avoidance. Once you’ve achieved a certain health goal, there’s always another level to attain.The healing process is more about coming to a better understanding of why things are the way they are versus alleviating symptoms.
“You never get it done and you can’t get it wrong.”-Abraham Hicks
We never really get “done” healing ourselves; we just go deeper and discover more aspects of ourselves to love, understand and forgive.
We always have the potential to feel even better and reach new levels of well being and vibrancy. We just have to ask ourselves…how good do we want to feel? Don’t let it discourage you that you will always have more to heal and work on but let it excite you that life will always be interesting. You’ll always have room to grow and discover even greater potential to understand yourself.
Success in terms of healing is all about being empowering ourselves to achieve a state of awareness and enjoy our bodies to the fullest until it is time for a new experience where we no longer have use for our physical body. There’s no need for any of us to feel like we’ve done something “wrong” if we have an illness or pain. Our bodies are complex ecosystems and it is part of nature to have violent upheavals in any ecosystem. All you have to do is to listen and pay attention (without judgement) to what your body’s trying to tell you. As messages from your body are relayed to you through pain or discomfort, stay open to what you can learn about how you’re responding to your environment.
Don’t try to make linear sense out of how and why some people heal and why others don’t because it’s a multilayered, complex and holographic process. Positive results can come from gradual changes over long periods of time OR our body/mind/field can rapidly transform in a very short period of time, if all the variables align. Since we are multi-layered beings, any positive change we make in one area of life will affect every other level (including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual).
I have also learned about what healing is NOT.
True healing isn’t about always feeling good and everything in life being perfect. Sometimes the process of inner conflict must be experienced. The process of healing can be ugly and messy and in some instances, one must go through a “dark night of the soul” before any type of resolution can be achieved. Look around at the conflicts we see on a national and global scale. Our bodies are the microcosm level of that macrocosm.
Sometimes there is turmoil and unrest inside of us as well as in our external world. Inner conflict doesn’t mean we did anything wrong, it’s a natural part of life. We are not designed to always experience one way of being. In this world of duality, we are here to experience positive and negative feelings and situations. Healing does not come from an end result, but rather through acceptance, finding peace with what is. The next time you feel conflict or unrest inside of you, simply be with that feeling so that it can dissipate with acceptance.
Healing is all about having the awareness to KNOW OURSELVES and why we feel the way we do. Understanding ourselves takes time, patience and courage. We must be brave to look within and observe our feelings, reactions and responses in different situations. When you pay attention to how you respond to people and environments, you uncover destructive patterns, thoughts and habits that affect your well being. By simply paying attention to this kind of behavior, we bring old patterns to light and empower natural positive change.
And I have found that we are all way too hard on ourselves when it comes to letting go of old patterns or trying to make a change. The best thing any of us can do is focus more on what makes us feel good and the rest will sort itself out IF we keep showing up to do the work and don’t run away from things that are good for us.
I encourage you to find out what healing means for you. Write down your own definition and create some measurable and attainable healing goals to move you forward.
It’s Never Just Physical. Our Minds and Emotions Affect Our Physical Bodies.
I’ve learned when it comes to pain and dis-ease, it’s rarely just about a certain body part. There are always mental and emotional aspects associated with anything going on in the physical body.
I began my career in massage therapy when I was 21 years old, wide eyed and innocent, in a chiropractic clinic in North Carolina. I came to that job with a very narrow and limited set of beliefs about how life works. The chiropractor would bring me in the room with the patient and explain to me what part of the spine she was treating, directing me as to what parts of the body to focus on during the massage session. Then, she would look up a body part, where the patient had pain, in a little blue book called Heal Your Body by Louise Hay. Over and over again, I was astounded as she would read the emotional and mental correlations that were associated with the particular body part the patient was having trouble with; it was like she was reading that particular person’s life story out of this strange little book. And I really knew what was going on with these patients emotionally and mentally because they would tell me about their lives during their massage session. This was my introduction into Mind/Body Healing. Since then, I’ve made it my life’s work to understand the connection between how our bodies feel and what’s going on with our minds and emotions.
Resources for Mind/Body/Emotional Healing:
Heal Your Body by Louise Hay
Messages From The Body by Michael Lincoln, PhD.
Lesson #4: Emotions aren’t negative and they weren’t meant to be removed.
We all hold emotions in certain parts of our body. I’ve always been able to discern and feel the energy pattern where clients hold emotions in their bodies. Even though I have this gift of high sense perception during my sessions, my approach to working with emotions was misguided. I got the concept of emotional release wrong for a long time. I would work tirelessly to clear certain emotions out of their body. My attempts to help clients “release” anger, fear, grief or shame from their bodies were unsuccessful.
I’ve since learned that these emotions are an important part of who we are and they aren’t meant to be eradicated; they belong with us. These emotions are alive, aware and responsive parts that want to serve us. They have the opportunity to grow up and evolve, just like we do. If our emotions are to work with us and assist us, they must be communicated with so they can learn to become more helpful.
During many sessions, I do medical intuitive work where I communicate directly with a specific organ. Since each organ is aware and responsive as I mentioned, sometimes I’m able to communicate with the consciousness of that particular organ during a healing session.
I will never forget the session where my client’s organs taught me how to be more effective in working with emotions. I could see that this client had a great deal of anger in and around her liver area. She also held a lot of fear in the energy field surrounding her kidneys. As I tried to remove the emotions from those particular areas of her body, something extraordinary happened: her liver and her kidneys spoke to me and taught me something new. First of all, her liver communicated to me that the anger wanted to become personal power and that it did not need to be removed. I was astounded and humbled. Her kidneys later expressed that the energy of fear wanted to transform into intuition, if I could just explain to the client that she could work with these emotions and organs to evolve herself.
After that, I approached the emotions stored in the body with much respect and consideration. These parts of us are just waiting to grow up and be worked with whenever we are ready to develop a connection.
What confirmation I have received after all these years of looking at Louise Hay’s little blue book. My work has transcended from simply looking at the emotional and mental root cause of the organ’s dis-ease to developing a higher thought pattern and emotional response for that area of the body. Rather than emotional release, this becomes mental and emotional development. It’s so exciting that we have the opportunity to continue to grow and reach new levels of awareness. In healing work, you never stop learning and that keeps me coming back for more.
Lesson #5: Healing is All About Relationships.
Our state of well being is directly affected by our relationships and how we process the events in our lives. We can all trace physical problems to a lack of ease in some relationship in our lives. Whether it’s our relationship to our own body, to nature, to our Divine Source (God), or to each other, money, etc., blockages and pain manifest in our body when one or more of our relationships is not in harmony.
Our relationships are the root of dis-ease because thoughts and are emotions are triggered by relationships. In ancient Hawaii, healers called Kahunas would treat someone who was ill or in pain by bringing in the entire family together for healing work. They understood that each individuals’s overall state of health was affected by the collective group, the people that person hung around the most. In many cases, Hawaiian healers would work with the entire family in order for the dis-ease of one family member to resolve. These advanced healers would also address the sick person’s finances because they knew that each person’s financial health was directly related to their physical health.
Consider the word: dis-ease. When someone receives a massage or energy healing session, the most beneficial part of the session is assisting the client’s body and mind into a state of ease. Imagine working with an entire family to bring a state of harmony into home life the way ancient Hawaiians did. This approach could alleviate so much chronic strain and tension! I can attest to the fact that many of my clients have brought profound healing into their relationships and families by simply working on healing themselves. If one person shifts his or her vibration and begins to work on self healing, the entire family changes whether they realize it or not. We only need to work on healing our own lives in order to affect big change. It’s truly miraculous what can be accomplished when one person decides to wake up and make positive changes that affect everyone around them.
Lesson #6: Clients heal faster when they pay attention and tune in to their bodies.
I see three consistent traits in people who heal their lives: they take time for self care, they have faith in something bigger than themselves and they communicate with their bodies. In my practice, clients who talk to and check in with their organs, acting as their own medical intuitive, are typically able to resolve physical issues quicker and their healing turnaround times have been much faster. I teach my clients how to be their own medical intuitive but many of them knew how to do so naturally and intuitively on their own before working with me. I’m currently developing an online course that will support do-it-yourself medical intuitive work.
People who are looking for someone else to heal them typically don’t get well or find a solution to their dis-ease or problem. It may not seem like it, but every time you are mindful about your body and energy field, every time you visualize feeling better or changing a certain part of your body, every affirmation you say, every positive thought you think, every time you express kindness toward yourself or another, you accelerate not only your own personal healing process, but the collective healing process of mankind.
Lesson #7: Miracles happen all the time, in and out of the healing room.
I’ve seen lots of miracles and I’m talking about real, legit healing miracles. Profound transformation is just one breath or stretch away for us all, waiting to liberate us. These healing miracles are hiding in the simplest moments of our lives. Precious experiences await in the spaces of time we claim for self care, the places where we allow ourselves to just be quiet and pay attention to what’s going on inside. This is the greatest gift of being on the treatment table. There’s nothing you have to “do” at that moment and that’s when the good stuff happens. I’ve been blessed to witness to healing miracles that have stretched my limits of what I believed was possible. I’ve watched clients find freedom, forgiveness and peace simply by letting go of things they’d been holding onto for a long time that they didn’t even know were there. I’ve seen chronic conditions disappear right in front of my eyes. I’ve seen men and women drop incredible amounts of weight in short periods of time when they discovered how to feel safe and free in their own bodies. I’ve seen forgiveness happen that changed the course of entire families. These miracles often occurred on the massage table in moments of stillness when the client could FEEL forgiveness in his or her body, instead of just thinking about what forgiveness is like. What I’ve seen first hand has given me a lot of hope for what’s possible for all of us. I’m working on compiling a collection of my client’s healing stories because I think they will inspire others to see what’s possible.
Lesson #8: None of us will make a positive change until we’re darn good and ready.
None of us will change a habit or pattern (no matter how bad it makes us feel) until we are ready on all levels, from the inside. Nothing anyone does or says will make that change happen quicker or faster in someone else. We can be aware of it, talk about it, read about it, think about it, but until it’s your time to heal something or if you’re holding on to a destructive pattern for some reason, anyone can tell you until they are blue in the face but you’re not going to change it. If you want to help someone, you can share what works for you, but then you have to be willing to let go and allow them to have their space to resolve it in their own time frame.
I have had clients that would come to me for years feeling awful, in lots of pain, and didn’t want to listen about changing what they were eating or trying some different strategies in their relationships. Sometimes it would take decades before something would be said to them in just the right way that they could actually wake up and hear it or something that they read or watched would just spark them and light them up to change. It could be all the same things I’d been saying to them for years, but the difference was THEY WERE FINALLY READY TO HEAR IT and they could make a change.
One day you might be on the massage table, just enjoying massage or energy work and all of a sudden, you’re transported to a memory in your childhood or somewhere deep in your past. Never discount these moments as trivial because the body is letting go of old files and programs. Realize that these things that have been stored in your body can be cleared when the time is right and it just might be time to let these old patterns go.
I’ve learned that we each have our aha moments at our own pace and it doesn’t matter how much we hear it from someone else, we get it when it is time to get it. This freed me up to share information with my clients and love ones but not be attached to the outcome of what they do with that information.
Lesson #9: We are still recovering from our conditioning that someone else is in control of our well being.
We are finally starting to release that old destructive program that there’s someone else responsible for our well being, whether it’s a therapist, a physician or a priest. I share with the people I work with how they can be their own best healer while still benefiting from sessions with me or anyone else. I could never be as good a healer to them as they can be to themselves. Being your own best healer requires hard work-practicing awareness and taking time to get to know your own body. It’s not a quick fix by any means. Health care professionals are so important and we need them but they were never meant to do it all for us. They are not with us every day to manage us and make sure we eat good, get exercise, nurture our thoughts and emotions, etc. so they certainly can’t fix it all when the accumulation of no self care catches up. I want to teach people how to have their own thriving self care practice. Your body/mind/energy field is your very own kingdom that must be managed and governed. So…without further ado, allow me to coronate YOU as sovereign over the kingdom that consists of your physical body, your energy body, your mind, your heart, your emotions, your DNA, your dreams, your thoughts…yes, all of this belongs to you and you are in control. You have been entrusted to rule this kingdom. What kind of a ruler have you been so far? When you really get this concept, things in your life and body begin to change in a big way.
Lesson #10: Unconditional Love On Treatment Table Is Real.
Something really sacred happens when the healing session begins. When a client completely lets go of the roles they typically play in the world, they become the best version of themselves with no masks. It’s vulnerable and raw and scary to fully surrender on the table but that’s where the healing happens. At this point in my career, I have put my hands on thousands of people, from celebrities to homeless people, from vibrantly healthy triathletes and bodybuilders to those in the final stages of AIDS and cancer, priests and prisoners alike, all precious and sacred to me. The massage table is a great equalizer. There’s no barriers or differences, there’s only unconditional positive regard. I get to see people at their very best because I see how beautiful they can be when the walls of protection come down and they don’t need to play a role for me. This is why I love bodywork and energy work so much. I love how revealing and transformative it is to truly meet ourselves on the table. Having time and permission to just breathe and be aware of what’s going on inside is so valuable. Even with people I didn’t really care about from a personality perspective, I can’t help but love them when they’re on my table. I think back to a really difficult landlord I once had. Everything about how I felt toward her changed the minute I put my hands on her. If you want to shift how you feel about someone, lay hands on them and open your heart. You’ll be amazed at how you can see them with fresh eyes because you can witness the beauty of their soul, even if all the layers of conditioning, fear and defense have made them not so attractive on the surface. Massage gets you into what I call “the real,” which is where I like to be when I interact with people. In this line of work, sometimes you end up knowing your clients better than anyone else knows them in the entire world. Each one of them is beautiful to me.
Every session is unique, which is why healing work never gets boring. Each person’s body is always teaching us both something new in each session.
I still love this work so much and I’ll always want to do it.
I like the shared benefit of bodywork and energy work. It’s not like one person is depleted and one is refreshed at the end; both parties have received a healing experience. I think this work has kept me young and feeling good and that’s why I want to teach others how to thrive while serving in this way. I’m ready to take this work into homes and communities so that every individual can feel empowered to take their healing into their own hands.
My work is to:
- empower everyone to heal themselves on a daily basis in simple and effective ways
- provide resources, support and professional development for healers of every kind.
I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope you’ll check out the podcast, too!
So now I want to hear from you..do you have a healing story to tell? What’s been your experience of bodywork and energy work, whether on my table or someone else’s? If you’ve had a profound healing experience related to massage or energy work, I want to hear about it! Can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below.
Why I Changed My Name
(And How You Can Activate The Power Of Your Own Name)
by Evangeline Hemrick
I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what’s up with my name change. Let me start by saying that if you’ve known me as Angela for a long time, you can still call me that and many people still do!
Evangeline (ee-VAN-juh-LEEN) has been my pen name for a while and the short answer to why I changed my name is that I just really like the name Evangeline and I married a guy with the last name Hemrick. Launching my blog and podcast felt like the right time to make a big change.
I feel like the long story is worth telling because I was never someone who wanted to change my name. I want to share this experience because I feel like the name each one of us represents ourselves with is a big deal. Here’s the story of what happened to me.
I Never Thought I Would Change My Name and Here’s Why I Did…
I have always loved the name I was given at birth, but I was never crazy about the shortened version of my name which everyone called me in the small mountain town where I grew up. When I was born, I was named Angela Monique, which means heavenly messenger. What’s not to love about a first name that spells out Angel?
But I was called Angie until I left home and created my own identity. It wasn’t that I disliked the shortened version of my name, it was that I just REALLY loved the name I was given and I’d never been able to use it. Little did I know that years later, my brother would marry an Angie and that was all the more reason for me to go by my given name instead of a nickname.
When I moved away from that tiny mountain town, started massage therapy school and got a job, I claimed the power of my name and my birthright. I finally stepped into the being named Angela and it felt good. I didn’t realize that I was claiming my identity at that time. I only knew that I felt all grown up using my real name. Since the day I moved away from home, the name Angela has served me well personally and professionally. That is why my recent change comes as such a shock to me and it makes me realize that everything changes, even when we are perfectly happy with the way things are! Sometimes, transformation calls for big life changes and that’s what’s happened to me. Having spent the last several years of my life doing deep self realization work and focusing primarily on my relationships, I committed myself to cultivating my relationship with:
- myself on every level (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual)
- my inner circle of friends and family
- my clients in my private practice.
I’ve spent a lot of time simplifying my life in order to be more effective at the few things I wanted to do really well. Taking time to get clear has brought profound changes in how I communicate with the world and what I’m passionate about accomplishing while I’m here. These changes in me are the reason for my new name and the catalyst for writing this blog, producing my podcast and creating my e-courses. I have realized that success in life is all about nurturing relationships and that’s why I am reaching out and sharing information. I want to have a relationships and build community with people who are interested in making their lives better. The things I like to write about and discuss on my podcast are all related to living more intentionally and getting the most out of life.
Another reason I changed my name is that I fell in love and married a man who had already adopted a young boy before we met. Now this child is my son, too. This unexpected and joyful turn of events in my life brought up a lot of questions for me regarding my name and how I wanted to identify myself in this new family. I wondered if I would take my new husband’s name (even though I swore I’d never do that again)? I had vowed that I would never take anyone’s name again and I’ve had a pretty strong stance on the issue until now. This situation felt different, like a unifying experience for all three of us to come together as a family all at once. And for some reason, I just really liked my husband’s last name (Hemrick). This was unusual for me because I had never wanted to take someone’s name before, although I had reluctantly hyphenated in a past marriage. The most surprising part was that everytime I would think about taking his name, I would suddenly think of changing my first name to Evangeline. It just felt right to me.
I’d never given much thought to the meaning of names until 2006 when I was introduced to Numerology, the ancient study of the numerical value in words and names. Since ancient times, civilizations including the Chaldeans, Babylonians, Egyptians and Persians had teachings and disciplines in Numerology. Every number has a spiritual significance. The spiritual aspect of names and numbers are highlighted many times throughout the Bible.
Evangeline has always been my favorite name to give a little girl and I had hopes that I would give that name to a daughter one day. But the name Evangeline Hemrick kept calling me and one day it hit me that it was MY pen name. After coming to this decision intuitively, I decided to check out the numerology on my new name. Sure enough, a huge numerological upgrade was happening for me! My new name has the vibration of 8 which is a very spiritual number (symbol of infinity) along with abundance, prosperity and recognition. My birth name holds the vibration of 1, which is all about leadership, action, independence and identity. But changing the name that I go by does not mean that I get a pass on all the life lessons that a “1 person” is here to learn, no way! I will carry all the gifts and challenges of being a 1 with me for the rest of my life. But what changing my name can do is enhance and add qualities to my life that were not there before. I can utilize these new gifts and take advantage of the enhanced vibration.
This new name change feels like a graduation, a rebirthing of some sort, but I will always be Ang, Angie or Angela to those who know me and love me. When you can totally embrace the name you were given at birth, there’s nothing to run from; there’s only expansion and growth opportunities up ahead, which makes life exciting!
There’s A Lot More To Your Own Name Than You Might Think
Your name is a big deal and the impact on your life might surprise you. Your given name is a possession that’s solely YOURS and it’s been with you from day one, affecting everything you do. Did you know that you carry power and potential in the numerical vibration of your own name? You have a certain destiny and life path number that was given to you when you acquired your name at birth. And you also have the choice of how you are represented in the world by the energy and intention you carry with the name you choose to use. The ancient science that explains all of this is called Numerology.
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.”
-Proverbs 22:1 (English Standard Version)
Does The Name You Use “Fit” You?
Do you like the sound and the feel of the name you use? There’s a certain power in holding out your hand and saying to someone, “I am ____”. How are you utilizing that power when you identify yourself? You may have never even thought about it but your name is something worth considering and putting intention into how it’s used by you and others.
In this article we will discuss:
- What Numerology is and Why It’s Useful to You
- How To Find Out The Numerology of Your Own Name
- How to Be Intentional and Strategic With The Use Of Your Name
- Things To Consider If You’re Thinking About Changing Your Name
What is Numerology And How Does It Work?
Numerology is the universal language of numbers. By breaking down the patterns of the universe into numbers, we are able to uncover information about the world as a whole, as well as useful information about every individual. Our name has a specific vibration and numerological meaning. Parents deliberate on the weighty responsibility of what name to give their child. One concept of Numerology is that our name has deeper meaning for our life purpose rather than a random decision our parents made. Ancient wisdom teaches that our names were spiritually destined and transferred to the consciousness of our parents. Whether you believe this is possible or not, it’s easy to see that our names have the power to influence our lives.
“The mother has known the child since long before she even became pregnant. The father ditto, of course. The connection has always been there. And when the baby is named, the intuitive connection is powerful. Even when I hear stories about misspellings, last minute changes and so forth, I consider those to be the final touches to make sure the child receives the proper name. Some people don’t like their names. Some people hate them and never use them. Still, the magic works. A careful analysis (of numerology) will probably reveal the source of this dislike.”
-Hans Decoz, Numerologist
If you aren’t an esoteric wisdom geek like me and you don’t enjoy researching ancient teachings that are still relevant, let me sum this up for you in a nutshell: your name has a specific numerical vibration that affects you, whether you believe it does or not. Everything in the universe has a numeric value and life is very mathematical, which I think is really cool. But even if you aren’t into woo and you’re totally skeptical about the whole thing, it will serve you well to at least know what you have to work with in the numeric value of your name. You can learn what strengths and challenges that come with the vibration of your name, which will make you more effective in every area of life. Your name is a vibration. It has power in it and it means something.
Reasons You Might Want to Check Out Your Name Numerology:
- For curiosity’s sake, to see what energetic blueprint you came in with-what challenges, strengths, traits does this name have for you?
- To do an internal check-in/assessment of how aligned you are with your life path and if you feel like you are living your soul purpose.
- To make a strategic career move or big life change-to see what you’ve accomplished with the name you’ve been using and be clear on where you want to go and who you want to be.
How To Calculate The Numerology Of Your Own Name
If you’re not into math or you want to save time, check out “What Your Name Means” at PaulSadowski.com. This is a quick and easy way to discover your destiny number and it’s one of my favorite resources. I’m also a huge fan of Dutch numerologist Hans Decoz and you can check out his work at www.worldnumerology.com Here’s how you can calculate your own name numerology and you don’t even need a computer, all you need is a pencil and paper!
Write your full name as it is written on your birth certificate. Find the corresponding value for each letter of your name. Add all of your numbers up digit by digit. When you have the total of all the letters in your full name, keep adding until you have a single digit number.
You can find the numerical value of each letter by going through the alphabet and grouping the letters with 1 through 9 and then start again. It will look like this:
A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 4, E = 5, F = 6, G = 7, H = 8, I = 9,
J = 1, K = 2, L = 3, M = 4, N = 5, O = 6, P = 7, Q = 8, R = 9,
S = 1, T = 2, U = 3, V =4, W = 5, X = 6, Y = 7, Z = 8
Write each numeric value under each letter of your name.
ANGELA MONIQUE WILSON
A N G E L A M O N I Q U E W I L S O N
1 5 7 5 3 1 4 6 5 9 8 3 5 5 9 3 1 6 5
Then, add them all up, keep adding until you have one number left.
My destiny number is a 1.
What To Do When You Find Your Number
Cross reference several numerology sites to get the full meaning of your number. Some information will vary from source to source, but the life lessons and basic meanings of the numbers are pretty consistent. I’ve given you a couple great resources for checking out the meaning of your number but it is up to you to go deeper and reflect on how you see those qualities manifesting in your life.
To Take a Married Name or Not?
My teacher, who introduced me to numerology in 2006, strategically kept her married name even after the marriage was over, because it was an upgrade for the vibration of her name. She liked the way the name flowed and it added qualities that she wanted to include in her professional brand. Since someone who was so knowledgeable about numerology was intentional about keeping someone else’s name, I decided to delve deeper into the whole marital name conundrum.
After studying numerology extensively, I no longer have a strong stance on either side of the “Should a wife take her husband’s name?” argument. It depends on the situation, how the numbers add up and what feels right for the individuals involved. After careful observation, I find that there’s no two situations alike when it comes to a name change for marital reasons. Each person must make their decision based on how it makes them feel to link their identity to a particular tribe.
I am all about gray areas and do not think that anyone should be judged for taking someone’s name or not. I know people who specifically do take their spouse’s name (husband or wife’s name) because of the numerical power and extra oomph they acquire with the new vibration. Sometimes the husband takes on the wife’s name for his middle name as a way of making a united front and honoring her family as well. This would be more than a nice gesture if the numerology turns out to be an upgrade for both parties- what a power couple!
I also have friends who have chosen a completely new last name that they decide on together. This is a beautiful way to begin a new family of your very own and set a powerful intention for the life you are creating together.
So here’s the thing you need to know about numerology and why I took the time to explain all of that to you:
The name you were given at birth holds lessons, strengths, challenges and blessings that do not change, even if you alter your name. However, you can add to that particular vibration, if you choose a new name. You can be strategic with how you add to your life path number. If you embrace what you are here to learn, you can enhance how your name affects you.
What If Someone Else Doesn’t Seem to “Fit” Their Name?
We all know the feeling when you meet someone and their name just totally suits them or it doesn’t. Sometimes you just can’t remember a person’s name because it just doesn’t seem to go with their personality. You might even continuously get their name wrong because you just feel like their name should be something else. Have you ever met someone and their name just didn’t resonate, just didn’t feel like the name for them, but you can’t really explain why?
Here’s some possible reasons for this…
They may not be using their actual given name, which is associated with their life path and soul purpose. Someone may have nicknamed them or they may have changed their name to get away from some part of their life lessons they did not want to deal with.
They may be in a growth period where old name associations do not match their new vibration.
And it’s also quite possible that you may have a personal association with their name that makes you unclear to assess their energy correctly.
How Is Your Name Being Used By You And Others?
I would like to invite you to look at how you allow your name to be used in all areas of your life. Many people shorten their family members’ names when they are young. If someone shortens your name, it can be endearing and familiar or disempowering and diminutive. Only you know how it makes you feel because it depends on the intention behind the action. For example, I like the way it feels when my family and friends call me Ang. It feels cozy to me because I want them close to me. However, if someone who doesn’t know me at all calls me Ang or Angie, it can feel like a power play and I am quick to correct them if I don’t like the way the energy feels . For some of us, shortening our names can jolt us back to the past, to an identity that no longer defines us or serves us. So you can enjoy the comfortable feeling of having your name shortened or you can speak up and let them know your preference to be called by your name.
Here’s an example of a power play where someone is altering other people’s names.
CLICK HERE to WATCH short segment
Netflix show: Girlfriend’s Guide To Divorce
Season 2 Episode 9
For conscious communication and energy awareness, ask those in your life that you refer to by shortened names if this is what they want to be called. When I learned about this I asked those people in my life, whose names I had habitually shortened, if they preferred to be called by their given name. This is a way of showing respect and honoring someone’s identity. This is a fascinating exercise to do with friends and family because the results will vary. Some people don’t care at all, some have a strong preference, but everyone likes it that you took the time to be thoughtful and considerate. Simply put, it is good manners to get permission before altering someone else’s name.
There is no “one size fits all” or black and white rule for the name game. My husband prefers his name shortened. He resonates with the name Steve because his son is called Stephen, the full version of his name. This creates the separation in their identities and it works for both of them.
If you or someone you know is considering a name change…
Just think of very simple, one-word names of famous people and the feeling they evoke in you when you hear them…Prince, Madonna, Cher, Pink, The Rock…you get it…you immediately get a distinct feeling when you hear even one simple name. What’s amazing about these people is that each of them put enough intention into one small word that was not originally and solely theirs and they made that word theirs; they own it and everybody knows it. They claimed those tiny little letters and made them mean something more and they took ownership of that vibration.
Many people change their name when they undergo a big change or transition in their life and they need a new vibrational representation of who they are. We all undergo mini-deaths during this one lifetime. This simply means that it’s a natural part of life for some chapters of our story to end and other chapters to begin as we transition. Look to nature to see how death and rebirth cycles happen seasonally. As personal changes occur, you may not feel as resonant with a name that you have used for a long time.We all have the potential to change and grow, constantly becoming more of our true nature and less of our conditioning.
Changing your name is not about running away from parts of your life that you haven’t dealt with; its about transformative, open hearted growth and authenticity.
Things to consider before you change your name:
Try the Name Bath exercise. A name bath, similar to Louise Hay’s affirmation bath, is a very simple exercise where you have a few friends surround you and just say your name out loud while you relax with eyes closed, taking in the sound and feel of your name, literally bathing yourself in that particular vibration. Feel the resonance of your name as you hear different voices, pitches and tones used to say the name you are currently using. This exercise is also a great way to “try on” a new name, if you are considering a new identity or taking on the name of a spouse.
Do the math and get to know yourself better through the numerology of your given name FIRST. Check out your Life Path number and see if it rings true to you. What obvious strengths and weaknesses need your attention? Numerology brings more self awareness and gives you an edge to work with what you’ve got. After working with your given name, check out the numerology for your new name. Check if the numerical meaning matches the direction you are now going in life!
Changing your name legally is not something that should be taken lightly. Give much time and thought to this important decision. Give this sacred decision time and lots of intention, meditation and prayer. Be aware that others resist your name change and this is perfectly normal because change can be hard for all of us. The energy of your name is all wrapped up in who you are and for some, change is difficult so sometimes it’s hard for those who love you to let go of the old you and make room for the new. This can be scary to family members and friends, so it takes a lot of compassion and patience on your part to help them get used to the change. Let them know that even though you are growing and changing, your love for them is always there and it’s just that much stronger, so they have nothing to fear with this change!
If you’re experiencing resistance on the issue of someone else’s name change, sit with that for a minute. What makes you uncomfortable about this person’s changes? Are you wanting to keep them inside a box of who they were in the past? This is easy for all of us to do sometimes. Just be clear on what makes you resistant to any kind of change in someone else. If they are making a clear and healthy choice and not running from things that need to be addressed in their own lives, see if you can offer them your support during their growth process.
If you take one thing away from all of this, I hope it’s this: being intentional about your name is part of living a sacred and empowered life. You are in complete control of how you wish to be represented and other people may have their own opinions about what they wish to call you, but it’s YOUR NAME and it is a special and sacred part of your life. You have the right to choose it and be who you want to be. If that means you keep your given name and cherish it until the end of time, so be it! Or if it is time for you to grow and bloom into a new identity, you are free to choose. There are lots of resources and tools to help you get the most out of your name experience.
Now it’s your turn to explore…
Take some time to reflect on your current name, whether it’s your given or chosen name. Have you ever considered whether you like your name or not? Do you feel more like you identify with your first or middle name? Do you know the story of how your family came up with the name you received? Do you feel like your given name represents who you are at this time? Did you receive a nickname or a shortened version of your name from your family early in life? And do you feel this nickname reflects who you are today? A lot of how you feel about a nickname will have to do with your family history and whether your memories are positive and affirming or not. Have you taken a new last name in marriage? How does that name feel to you compared to your given name? Some people cannot wait to get rid of their last name and get a new one and others are deeply connected and proud of their lineage.
So now I want to hear from YOU. Tell us any interesting stories about how you got your name, how you feel about your given name, if you took a name in marriage and what that was like. I know you’ve got some interesting name stories on this topic, so share them in the comment section below!