Hope For the Future

Today, I had an amazing opportunity. I got to go and talk with a bunch of high school kids about Reiki energy healing and the Chakra system. I was so impressed that high schools are starting to teach alternative healing classes. What a gift for these amazing young people to get a taste that there are other options out there other than just a pill to help you when you are not feeling well.

The 22 students I met with were warm and engaging. They asked great questions and participated with all of the activities we tried. They were open but questioning. I really appreciated that they did not just take it as fact but rather asked smart questions. They thought about the principles that were being taught and then, very respectfully challenged, what was being told to them. I also appreciated their wise teacher who allowed the topic to adapt in order to address their questions. How I wish I could have spent more time with them.

When I first started my holistic healing practice people didn’t really “get it”. They really didn’t understand about our body’s innate ability to heal itself. They couldn’t understand how I might have been able to help them. They flocked to the massage therapists, but they just couldn’t really picture what I would do for them. When I think about it, why would they. most people back then had not experienced holistic healing. They couldn’t understand how armed with a gong, a deck of tarot cards, and a fist full of certifications, I could truly help them out. But I could see it.  I could see how I would be able to do an assessment, find the underlying emotion or cause of their health concern and work on that, instead of masking it with medications.

If I would have had more time with this dynamic group, of soon to be adults, I would have loved to teach them so many more things. I would have taught them about the underlying issues (often emotional) that sit just beneath the surface, causing other things to pop up in our health. I would have taught them about the gift of forgiveness and how it can free you more than the person you are forgiving. I would have taught them that they are enough; that we all have special gifts and talents. Which are usually not the same. I would have taught them some simple energy healing techniques. I could go on and on there is so much they could learn. In the future I hope to be invited to do other events like this with teens. These bright young people are our future and they give me so much hope.

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You Are Beautiful! Yes You!

I hear so many commercials on the radio and then see them in magazines for various ways to become beautiful. This magical weight loss pill or that amazing muscle building goo. Cool sculpting (I will be honest, I have no idea what that is or how it works) and laser hair removal. Why is it these types of products and services are so plentiful? Because we don’t feel like we’re good enough and those products cater to that. We are trying to win the favor of others and ourselves by how we look. I know that when my hair looks just right and I have on a snazzy outfit, I feel at the top of my game. But this is not what I am talking about. I am talking about how we try to change ourselves physically to feel better about ourselves.

I want you to know that you are beautiful just the way you are. You are! Beauty comes from the inside. I do not care if you have a scar on your face, a few extra pounds , or a unibrow. You are beautiful. Your radiance comes from inside. It has nothing to do with your outward appearance.

I can understand how easy it is to believe that loosing weight will make you feel happy. I was there once. I had gastric bypass surgery and lost over 100 pounds. I thought this would solve all my problems. It didn’t. I had to dig deep inside of myself and find the truth about me. That I am valuable as a person. That my beauty comes from the divine light that radiates from inside of me.  That loosing weight or another outward change would not make me any better of a person.

If you “fix” whatever it is you think is “wrong” with you, you will still feel the same about yourself. It won’t magically fix what is hurting inside of you. My recommendation to you is to work on healing that pain inside you. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love you! (I know it feels  and sounds funny – but it is worth it). Make a list about all of the things you really love about yourself. They can be physical but should also include your character as a person. If there are things in your character that you do not like,  work to change those. For example, I am on an adventure to stop complaining. It is a part of myself that could use a tune up. Other parts of your personality may not need to be changed but rather reframed. You just need to look at them in a different way. For example, many people might say I am pushy and bossy but I have come to understand this as being assertive and driven. I now love this aspect of myself.

Yes, I still diet. I am not, however, doing it because I think it will make me a better person or that people will like me more because of it. I am doing it because it is healthier for my body. Staying within a certain weight ensures that I can do the things I love to do, like kayaking, traveling, and riding roller coasters. Also having an awareness to when I eat and what I am eating, helps me tune into if I am eating to cover up some emotion that I do not want to deal with. It allows me to process that emotion rather than burying it under a pile of candy bar wrappers.

I really want you to understand that you are beautiful. You are worthy of a magical and  joyous life. You are enough just the way you are. You are capable of greatness. It matters not what you look like. Be proud of who you are. Embrace yourself and know that you deserve the best that life has to offer. If you feel the need to work on something, do so, but do it for the right reason and in the right way.  Because you are beautiful, exactly as you are.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you see your beauty as I see it, as if by magic.

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The Power of Feeling Heard

Have you ever felt frustrated because you were trying to express yourself and no one would listen? Maybe it was something close to your heart and you just didn’t feel safe to share it. Have you experienced trying to share something and the other person just wants to tell you what you should do and give you advice that makes you feel invalidated. It can be so frustrating when you do not feel heard. There is truly a power, in those times, when someone really listens and you can fully let your soul express itself.

When I read tarot cards publicly, I have often found that the most powerful part of the whole process is not anything to do with the cards. It has to do with the person on the other side of the table feeling heard. I have had people break into tears because they were able to tell me something they had never shared with another person. I have seen the stress melt away from the person’s face and their shoulders relax as I truly listened to what they had to say. As I heard them, and did not judge them, they felt safe and validated. It is truly a gift you can give to another person.

I was with an amazing group of dynamic woman the other day. They were all sharing how, in their various ways, they shared healing with the world. It did not matter what their careers were. Over and over again I witnessed them expressing they same thing. They listened to people. They let them be who they were and kindly heard what that other was trying to express. Just think, you have that power too! You can bear witness to what your friend, client, family member, or stranger at the grocery store is telling you. When you are open to truly hearing people, you will be amazed what they will share. I have had people working the drive-through window open up and spill their guts to me.

Another friend shared a video on FB. It was about grief. It expressed that, people who are going through a loss, do not want your advise or for you to tell them everything is going to be okay. They need you to witness their pain and be there for them. Let them cry and express themselves and know that, not only do you not have to fix it for them, you can’t fix it for them. Just hear them, accept them, be there with a shoulder to cry on and a ear to listen to them.

So how often in life do you really truly feel heard? It is a magical thing when it happens. We are often so distracted and busy multitasking that we do not give people the time and attention they deserve. If you are not feeling like you are getting what you need, there are a couple things you can do.

  1. Find  a group – it could be a group of friends, a support group, or a spiritual group. ‘Meet Up’ is full of groups for various types of activities and interests.
  2. That really close friend – if you have a friend you can really talk to (not everyone does) tell them what you need. That you just really need them to listen to you and not fix it for you. That you just want to be heard.
  3. Seek out a professional – maybe this is a counselor or a therapist, but it could be a great hair stylist, massage therapist, life couch, psychic, or medical professional. You know the professionals you work with and you know what area you need to be heard in. These people are use to listening and you are paying them for their time. They may be just who you need to talk to. Perhaps it is time to pay one of these people a visit.

Whether you are the person who needs to be heard or the one who needs to do the hearing, there is a wonderful gift to be had in such a simple act. We all sit on both sides of this table from time to time. Be aware of those you interact with. It may be you who are able to share this powerful gift with them. Perhaps, by you modeling how to truly hold the space for someone to share their inner most thoughts, you will also be teaching them to do that for others in the future.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you always feel heard, as if by magic.

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Quality of Life; How To Find It and What It Means for You

As a hospice nurse, quality of life verse quantity of life, was something that often came up in discussion with patients and families. How do you want to live your life? What is an important focus for the time you have left here? You may not think this questions is relevant to you at this time, after all you are not dying, but this question is relevant to all of us. None of us know how much time we have left here. Even more importantly, sometimes quality of life and quantity of life are not the same thing.

According to Deepak Chopra, research shows that people who age well have 7 things in common.

They are:

  1. Meditation
  2. Wide social support systems
  3. Close relationships with family and friends
  4. Daily Multivitamin and mineral
  5. Good sleep and daily activity
  6. Life long curiosity
  7. Take on new challenges

Deepak goes on to say that most of these things are about quality of life. Therefore having a good quality of life equates to having more quantity of life too. I have seen this first hand in hospice. Patients on hospice, on average, live about 30 days longer than similar patients with the same diagnoses. Shifting the focus from curative to quality of life, actually extends life.

So what makes quality of life so important? It makes life worth living. What is the point in having a long life if you are miserable? Do I think that this means you should eat everything you want, party, and abuse your body? No, absolutely not. Although those things may give you pleasure in the moment, the abuse to your body is likely not going to contribute to healthy quality of life over the long haul. These types of abuses to the body take a toll on it, which could potentially cause disease and frustration.

A better quality of life can be found by:

  1. Working through you baggage
  2. Forgiving others and more importantly yourself
  3. Learning to truly love yourself
  4. Making healthy choices for your body
  5. Finding hope
  6. Having balance
  7. Surrounding yourself with people who respect you and make you feel heard
  8. Trusting the flow of the Universe to support you
  9. Awareness of yourself as an eternal being
  10. Remaining positive whenever possible but also acknowledging your emotions

How do you feel your quality life is? What steps do you need to take to attain and maintain a healthy, happy, quality of life? Remember that happiness is an inside job! No one can “make” us feel happy. It is a choice we make in every moment and with each interaction. Live your best life now. Don’t wait for tomorrow.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you have an amazing quality of life, as if by magic.

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Keeping Up With Healthy Initiatives When the Seasons Change

Healthy initiatives can seem energizing when you first start them. They give you hope of a better tomorrow and the good feeling in your heart of really doing something important for yourself. When Mother Nature sees fit to make changes in the seasons, it can throw a curve in your plans. Also seasonal holidays can seem like an excuse to no longer stay the course. Having a plan to combat these changes is the best way to not let them derail your progress.

If you follow my blog you probably know I have a number of healthy initiative all going at once. Taking Care of Me; Step By Step, is the blog that lays them all out if you are interested. My husband and I have been doing an excellent job getting our 10,000 steps in a day. We’re getting up and walking before work, then after work and again before bed, if we still need some more steps. This week we got snow here in MN. I wasn’t expecting it and upon waking discovered 3 inches of the pristine white stuff covering everything. I found it hard to want to get out an walk. I did eventually bundle up and head to the grocery store. I could have driven and it would have been quicker and warmer, but why not take care of 2 things at once. It was a nice sunny day. The bright sun reflected off the snow and I reflected on how to keep up with all that we are working on, despite time marching on.

I am a wonderful “justifier” and snow seems like a great reason to justify skipping a walk. Having a plan in place helps keep you on task. Just like with the intermittent fasting that we are working on. There is always a justified reason to not stay the course; family in town, a special gathering, or an appointment that throws a kink in things. Recently, when my brother visited, we met him early each morning for breakfast. I always look forward to this annual visit and our early morning breakfast and conversation. As his visit neared, I started to fret about what to do about the intermittent fasting and the fact the fact that I wait until 10am before I break my fast. In the end I had a conversation with my brother, who was gracious and understanding. I still met him for breakfast and I enjoyed a nice cup of hot tea, while we had our usual time together and great conversation. Having a plan helped me stay the course. I have so far lost 15.4 pounds by sticking to the intermittent fasting.

Finances is another healthy initiative we are working on. The holiday season is fast approaching. This is the time of year when people often try to spend money to show someone how much they love them. Buying someone a gift, that they may not need or want, will not necessarily communicate your love and appreciation of them. I encourage you to come up with a plan on how to handle this time of year. Start a savings account that you add to throughout the year. Set a budget for gifts and holiday groceries and stick to it. Find innovated ways to show your love and appreciation for those you care so dearly about. Start a conversation with your friends and family about other ways to celebrate your love and appreciation like agreeing to volunteer together as a family. Make an understanding about gifts and a cost limit. Give homemade gifts infused with good intentions and lots of love. There are so many options.

As soon as you decide to focus on a healthy initiative, something will come up to throw you off course. Try to think about what these things may be. Make a plan for them. Remember that healthy initiates are not things we do just for today or tomorrow. These are things we incorporate into our life an become our new standard of living. To ensure success at improving our life, we need to think about how to remain faithful to ourselves. We need to make ourselves a priority by having a plan to keep our momentum moving forward.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May all your plans come easily, so that you stay the course, and reach the goals you set for yourself, as if by magic.

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Busy for the Sake of Busyness

Do you ever feel like you are doing something just to be busy? Is it hard to find time to be still? This is definitely something I struggle with. On a nice day I will plan to go spend time outside in the hammock or on the Adirondack chair. I will get myself ready with a cup of tea and maybe bring a book or journal and plan to spend some peaceful time just relaxing. After about 10 minutes (if I make it that long) I will no longer be able to ignore all of the things that need to be done, that are jumping around in my head. I will get up and get busy getting something done. Am I doing things just for the sake of doing something? Why do I feel there is no value in resting and being quiet?

This is one of the things I appreciate about my trips to the BWCA with my Adventure Sister Emy. There were times when it was raining and there was nothing that needed to be done. We would sit under our tarp, listening to the rain, drinking tea and chat. After a couple of hours of this, there would be nothing more to talk or even journal about. All that was left was to sit peacefully and just be. Even in this beautiful, remote area this was very hard for me. I would feel anxious but then typically have a  bout of anxiety, followed by some kind of emotional breakthrough. Almost as if my subconscious was trying to protect me from the pain. As if it was trying to keep it pushed down deep inside and hidden away. I would get anxious and feel the need to do something, anything, rather than just sit peacefully and rest. There were times this feeling of anxiousness was so strong I felt I wanted to leave the Boundary Waters all together. Once I got past the anxiety though, a rush of bare emotions would flood up in me. These were not fun emotions but, by allowing them to come up, I was able to process them and eventually move past them.

This begs the question; is the constant busyness of our time really just a manifestation of emotional disconnect. When I have free time at home I am seldom able to just be quiet and let time pass. I always feel the need to be multitasking. When I am on the plane or the bus to the rental car center, I seldom just sit peacefully. Typically I am scanning emails or playing silly games on my phone. I heard Deepak recently refer to it as the “illusion we are doing something”. Why do we feel guilty when we do nothing? How often does this really happen? Even when we relax, it is typically in front of the TV. Take a look at your life and see if (like me) you find that you are always doing something.

So all of this begs the other question; how do we change it? It is safe to sit peacefully and do nothing sometimes? Is it even honorable? How do we get there? Currently I am trying meditation. I feel it helps me see that it is healthy for me to spend sometime quietly, just feeling the rise and fall of my chest while I breathe. I hope that from meditation I can move to a place where I can sit in quiet contemplation. It was so powerful when it happened organically, as it did, in the BWCA. Even having the chance for a once a year retreat to allow for some quiet, seems like an excellent idea. I certainly do not have all the answers here. In many ways this question is as individualized as we all are. There is power and awe in those quiet moments. They are worth looking for and fighting to protect.

Thank you for reading my blog today! I love you! May you find many peaceful moments throughout your life, as if by magic.

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Divine Timing

Have you heard of the idea of Divine timing? It is the concept that everything happens precisely when it is supposed to. It can be a very freeing idea. It takes a lot of the stress out of our lives and helps us be able to “trust” in the flow. How can a trust in Diving timing reduce your stress? Let’s go over a couple of quick examples and you can see how it has played out in your life from time to time.

  • You are running late to meet a friend but when you pull up you notice your friend is just arriving as well.
  • You apply for a promotion at work but do not get it. A few months later an even better position opens up and you do get this one.
  • You meet a person you are romantically interested in and things just don’t work out. A year or two later the two of you reconnect and everything works out swimmingly or perhaps you meet someone who is an even better match for you.
  • You want to buy a house and you find one you like. For whatever reason, the purchase falls through only to find a better house that is beyond your dreams, that you are able purchase.

These are all examples of Divine timing. Have you had examples of things like these happening in your life? Have you ever had times when you have tried to force things to happen a certain way and ended up in a situation that just did not feel right or comfortable? Did you obtain something, that in the end, you did not enjoy or it wasn’t what you expected?

By trusting in Divine timing, life has more flow to it. There is less stress. You can apply for that promotion without attachment. Simply give it a try and trust that it will happen when the time is perfect. When you are running late, you can travel safely to your destination knowing that you will arrive exactly when you are meant to. I am not saying that you should be disrespectful of people’s time or have no regard to being punctual. What I want you to understand is that if life suddenly swirls in and puts you behind schedule, trust it. Do not fret and worry. It will be okay.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you you travel through life in the perfect flow, as if by magic.

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