Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sometimes I Just Don't Know

Sometimes, I just don't know what I'm supposed to do in a given situation. 

Sometimes I'm just bogged down with all of my spiritual responsibilities - to self, society, and God. 

A situation presents itself, and I'm faced with a dilemma. First, I focus inward, centering and grounding myself. I focus on my breathing. I listen for higher guidance. I notice any sensations in my body. I notice my relationship to my surroundings. How am I feeling? Is this an ego reaction? What is Spirit trying to tell me? 

Then my mind might drift to more existential aspects. I might be thinking what sign the Moon is in, how this is affecting me. Or what essential readings I've been digesting, and what lessons might be coming up for that. Have I recently had bodywork or other healing work done, am I processing and releasing stuff there? Or perhaps other astrological aspects, like how this is exactly a lesson for my South Lunar Node, etc etc. Or some past life stuff coming up. Or is this related to my soul's Goal of Flow, as related to the Michael teachings... or an instance of a blockage in my Solar Plexus chakra giving me an opportunity to release and strengthen here...

We're always processing these things. Sometimes more aware at certain times than others. You might be sitting right across from us and have no idea that all of this is playing on a background track of our minds, all the while trying to regulate our body and energy and breath, and stay completely open and relaxed and present to the conversation we're having with you!

Then, I might think, do I share this with you? Or is this for me to sort out for now?

As healers, we are taught discretion in what we tell our clients. Maybe they don't give a damn about angels and spiritual entities surrounding us and guiding the work. Maybe they're not ready. Maybe telling a client some message we received would be detrimental or disturbing, or confusing. 

It's our duty as healing practitioners to practice discretion, and err on the side of 'less is more,' I believe. If something is really pressing or meant to come to light, generally, it will, in one form or another, or louder than before. This is part of the process of learning to trust the healing process and greater powers that be, as well as becoming more attuned to divine timing.

Then I step out of the default healer role and let myself just lose my shit sometimes.

Then forgive myself, practice non-judgement for myself, not needing to analyze what's been released, not needing to understand...

Then I'm with someone else, and they're in pain. And I know, but I don't know... they're asking for help, but I can see myself in them. I empathize, I feel their pain, but I know this is a lesson they have to learn. And I can't do this for anyone but myself. We all ultimately have our own journey, our own lessons and learning.

Sometimes the hardest thing as a healer is knowing we have to stand back and let others do the work. 

Sometimes, I have no idea what to do but provide compassionate presence. A kind ear. 

Sometimes, all I know to do is just try my best. 

Whatever that 'best' is, in that moment.

Straighten my spine, breathe deeper. Am I focused enough in this mediation now? Am I doing this yoga pose the best that I can? 

Am I fully present to this person right now? To my body? Is there something more I can do now?

And for all the things that I do not know, God help me, to do the best that I can, for the highest and greatest good of all.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Illness has an uncanny way to shift paradigm and appreciate the little things we take for granted. Such little things. Like, being able to sit up without feeling nauseous. 

These past couple of days with stomach flu, or food poisoning, whatever, leave me grateful...

... constantly reminded that everything occurs in perfect timing. Like, the Lemon-Ginger-Echinacea Juice that’s been unopened for months now finally came to its truest, fullest purpose; the leftover matzo from last year finally came into its own for food plain and easy on the stomach, and was thankfully consumed.

This is how the stomach flu progressed by levels of gratitude, my inner mantras.

During the night, I was held at bay. I succumbed to laying on my back, hands over my abdomen, just remembering to breathe. I surrendered to the pain, the aching in my body, tracking it with my mind. Oh, it’s here now. I feel it in my thighs, my legs, my low back. My joints. 

What does it look like? Like a hastily-drawn orange-red haze, scribbled with a fat pastel over my legs, my arms, my stomach. Yet my feet, neck and shoulders were cold, so cold.  The cold hurt, but I couldn’t move, because moving hurt. 

If I slept, I didn’t know it. I was in the in-between state of staying aware to my body, the aching, the cold, the heat, and the ugly pulsing in my abdomen that wouldn’t cease. I was on the brink of nausea and all I could do was breathe and feel it. Feel the waves of intensity, see it in colors, note the sensations as they took over my body. Surrender. Just feel it and let it move through. 

According to the clock, hours went by. My husband called me from hundreds of miles away, his voice cracking in pain. In that instant I knew everything, and it confirmed my own condition. When we hung up, I said to myself, I have to get up to get water. I need water. Several minutes passed. Angels, I need strength to go get water. I still couldn’t move. 

Hours went by. Somehow I'd slept. Without thinking I stood up. Wow, I can get up. I am so thankful that I can get up and move. 

I am so thankful to be able to drink water. I could drink water, and it was the best thing ever!

More hours went by. The nausea was much subsided in my stomach, now cramping moved down my intestines. But this meant I could try eating. 

I went to the kitchen. I need whole food, something easy to digest, I need sugars. The clementines that have been sitting uneaten didn’t have enough time to glimmer in almighty light – I ate a clementine, and it was the best thing ever. 

I slept, more hours went by, and my husband staggered in the door. I ate another clementine. I felt less pain in my joints, less aching. Every time I woke up, I felt slightly better. I am grateful to feel less pain here. Little by little, hour by hour, I followed the sensations, literally in my gut. 

After more time, I ate honey. Then Matzo. Every half hour, I could nibble a bit more, and it was the best thing ever. I have never looked so forward to eating a banana. 
White rice! Saltines! Huzzah!! Thank you, thank you, for this food, for this ability to eat this food, to feel this food nourish and heal my body. 

Oh, illness, thank you for making me grateful for the little things. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

How Tarot Changed My Reality

When I was 15 years old in Freshman year of high school, I was trying out for the soccer team. It was a few weeks’ ordeal and I was horribly anxious and impatient. Having been newly introduced to a Tarot reader at a New Years party, I was fascinated by the art and decided that this would be a way to know if I would make the soccer team or not. It couldn’t hurt, anyway, and it helped distract me a little. Thanks to a bunch of new websites popping up dedicated to such esoteric arts, I was able to scavenge lots of free “coins” to use for online Tarot readings. You can believe that I was online every night, asking the same question in different ways: “Will I make the soccer team?”

Part of me was skeptical of the process, but even more of me was curious and eager for any answers or clues. How could floating my mouse over the “spread” of cards on the screen simulate the real-life experience of picking Tarot cards? Did waving the cursor actually “shuffle” the cards, or was this all nonsense?

I didn’t care. I wanted to have the ultimate answer: Would I make the soccer team??
Different days would yield slightly different answers, vague enough to be noncommittal and open-ended to possibility, which was both hopeful and maddening. Why couldn’t I just get a simple answer --- yes or no??

Yet the more I asked, the more I began to pay attention to the nuances in the answers, and the interconnected stories that the cards laid out. Depending on different layouts, each position refers to an aspect of the question – background of the situation, my personal intention, outside or unknown influences, etc. The same card in different positions told different stories. Futhermore, the way the cards connected to the others in a given spread gave emphasis to different aspects of myself. 

Soon, I became less interested in the overall outcome or answer to my question, and enthralled with the depth of the Tarot cards. Undoubtedly, I wouldn’t have continued shuffling that digital deck over and over if the spreads didn’t speak volumes to me, and seem to reveal deep aspects of myself that my emerging teenage self couldn’t even fully contextualize yet. 

If I didn’t understand a message or a card right away, I thought about it; I digested the information, I slept on it. I allowed insights to filter in and for life to unfold and confirm what the cards were telling me. I became less interested in asking, “Will I make the soccer team?” and began exploring all aspects of my life: relationships, school, family, my personality. I always kept an open mind, but increasingly heeded the advice given in the cards. It was hard not to notice coincidences increasing in my life and how they corresponded to the Tarot cards. 

Soon, I created my own makeshift Tarot deck and bought a guidebook. I started doing spreads for myself and as with anything, gained confidence with more practice. Over time, once I got to know the cards, it was less of an intellectual strain of piecing together the puzzle (although this is still fundamental) and more of a feeling experience. I could see how cards balanced each other out, and I could recognize intuitive “hits.” I learned that the aspects of ourselves and situations are far more important than the outcome; the point is what we learn. By observing how life mirrored the cards, I could then start to affect my own life by seeing ahead. This is why intuitive and oracle arts are so empowering! Mysterious, yes. But once you begin to see these as another tool, and recognize that perception itself is something to be honed and mastered, then you see how we as individuals create our own reality.

As it turned out, I did make the soccer team that year. But what I gained from studying Tarot shaped me far more than that soccer season, far more than I ever could have imagined. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Healer's Toolbox: Perceptive Awareness and Trusting the Process

Often I get the question of, "How do you know where to put your hands in a healing session?" Or, "How can working on one area affect another?"

The answer can be understood when we recognize the meta-scientific perspective that we live in a reality of matter, space and vibrating particles that are all connected. Through the power of the mind and setting intention, we guide energy to flow through a medium and reestablish balance in a system in order for optimum functioning to occur. 

In other words, I'm opening my awareness to what's already occurring and guiding a process while leaving the final result to higher intelligence beyond me. 

The body is a highly intricate machine. We eat a meal, the food gets digested and its components are distributed correctly. We don't consciously think, "Protein particles of chickpeas, go rebuild my muscles. Fiber, sweep through my intestines and exit my elimination organs." We don't stare at a flower bud and will it to open its petals in a mathematically beautiful and symmetric spiral. Life happens. Intelligence unfolds. 

So it is with energy. 

A person comes to me with a headache. We set the intention to clear the headache. I lay my hands on the person's forehead and there's enhanced energy flowing through this area. But there's also energy flowing elsewhere. I feel energy in the forehead erratic and buzzing. I sense a stream of energy connected to this down through the Solar Plexus area. I sweep my hands down to this energy, following the pulsating that I feel, centralized as a dense, heavy energy ball. I continue to move my hands and clear this area until the heaviness, the buzzing, eventually relaxes and dissipates. In that moment, even though I'm not even working on their head, the person reports that their head feels so much better! In addition, the sense of nervousness they'd been feeling in the "pit of their stomach," that they didn't even realize they'd been carrying, is gone. 

So while we set an intention, working on one area of the body or energetic system can clear another area. 

We trust that wherever the energy needs to flow for the client's highest good, it does. Could I have cleared the headache directly by working in the head area? Perhaps, yes. But was that the core of the problem? Where did the disturbance originate, their thought process, or in the energetic area of the body connected to our values, sense of self, and sometimes emotions? Or did one affect the other? 

Yet perhaps more importantly, how would I have known?

Part of this is the mystery that requires the flexibility and openness of healing work versus the diagnostic and prescriptive science of traditional medicine. 

So, as healing practitioners, while we trust the process of healing and energy to go where it's needed, we can more effectively assist the process by using our tools of perception. 

I read a quote that went something like, "How do we fill up a swimming pool? Sure, we can turn on the hose in the backyard, and eventually it will fill up the pool. But we can be more effective by putting the hose directly into the swimming pool." 

That is the role of a healing practitioner.  Opening to a process unfolding, and with awareness and intent, guiding it along. 

Ending with a quote from Albert Einstein:
My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What You Don’t Know About Your Healer

So, you think all health and holistic practitioners are wishy-washy, carefree spirits twirling in sunshine and rainbows of our own glorious auric fields?

(Well, maybe some are, and to them I say… grrrr!!!!!!!!) 

No, seriously. I think it’s good to share some things that many of us in the healing community go through to dissuade anyone thinking we’re disconnected from the full spectrum of human experience. If any practitioner ever has come off as flighty or down-right ridiculous, maybe there’s a reason for it, or, perhaps if you knew the things that often plague and bewilder us, maybe you’ll  forgive us a little. 

Dirty Secret #1

Let me let you in on a dirty secret: health practitioners have hang-ups, too.

 Since we tend to be a lot more sensitive, this can lead to a lot of self-criticism, self-judgment, and insecurity about our self-worth. I can’t tell you how many practitioners I’ve met who have gone through these same growth points on the way to developing their craft: 

- recognizing we have certain talents, much of which are intangible, yet nonetheless valuable to human experience (caring, compassion, empathy, listening, nurturing … I’ll hold off of any extra-sensory perceptive skills for now)
- seeing where there is need, and where we are drawn to help: the elderly, veterans, children, spiritual life coaching, cancer community, women’s issues, abuse, trauma, etc
- feeling worthy to accept payment for our services, period! (a reflection of self-worth and confidence)
- being able to brand and market ourselves, and charge more for our time and credentials

Dirty Secret #2: 

We’re constantly tottering on the line of our heart’s desire and what the rest of society actually wants from us. 

We feel spiritually called into our vocation. It is a sense of duty to humanity, the world, divinity, whatever you want to call it. There’s this progression of trepidation to accepting our path, elation when we’ve claimed it, and then frustration when the rest of the world doesn’t seem to understand or want our gifts. 

Example: We want to witness miracles of people breaking through limitations and emotional bondage through massage and bodywork and end up over-worked and underpaid in a corporate structure that doesn’t resonate with our ideals. The quality and depth of the work that can be done is unforgivably diluted. Yet we need to pay the bills. 

I’ll reiterate: we’re sensitive! It takes SO MUCH STRENGTH to actually claim our identity as healers. After so much inner reflection, refraction, sometimes dissolution and tedious rebuilding of ourselves, to only face rejection can be soulfully crushing. 

So what do we do?

We keep going. We improvise. We sometimes forcefully push our noses back to the grindstone and make ourselves finish that certification or class or grit our teeth through our daily jobs as a stepping stone to getting where we want to be… which isn’t always clear. 

We also come together in community support. Sometimes we just need to know we’re not alone in this journey. Or that we haven’t completely lost our minds. Yet… (see below for #3). 

Most of all, we keep searching within for inspiration and answers. It’s a never-ending journey. 

Dirty Secret #3

We crave community and don’t always know how to ask for it. 

You’d think the people touting how much we need deeper connection would be able to tack this one on the wall no problem, but not always. This goes back to our sense of self-worth and self-acceptance. Or feeling like we have to shoulder the burdens of the world and therefore do our own healing alone so as not to unload on anyone else. Oddly enough, sometimes it’s our clients that remind us to seek help and support when we need it. 

Dirty Secret #4

We have inner demons, too. We have our shadow side.

We just get more practice with how to release and express these sides of ourselves. We understand the ebb and flow. All things come to pass. There’s always something brighter and sweeter past the painful spots. 

And no, unless we attain Buddhahood, I don’ think this ever goes away. Like anything else, the process and pattern just gets more fine-tuned, our responses more precise. 

Dirty Secret #5

We are always driven by something greater than ourselves.

Even if it makes you cringe, inevitably, most health and healing practitioners subscribe to some higher source, authority, or power, even if it’s simply within ourselves, or a sense of universality and connectedness. 

It might annoy the crap out of you, you might think we’re hopeless idealists… but it’s what we witness day after day, and it’s what keeps us going. 

On that note…

Dirty Secret #6

We like to use the word “God,” but shy away from it publicly. 

Unfortunately. Don’t want to offend anyone else out there. So we keep it for private use. We’re okay with it. 

One more thing. We will never, ever stop trying to be better for ourselves and others, no matter how crazy our rituals and appearance and vernacular become. If it betters the whole, then it’s worth it. We’ve done our duty.