Ten Energy Drains & Ten Energy Boosts

Do you notice when something – or someone – drains your energy? Are you aware of how your energy cycles throughout your day? Do you understand sudden fatigue as resistance to something you don’t want to do? Do you know how to protect your energy?

Let’s look at some of the things that can drain your energy:

1) Saying “no” when you want to say “yes” – or saying “yes” when you want to say no.

We’ve all been there, right? Whether out of politeness, embarrassment, people pleasing, duty, not wanting to disappoint, fear, or some other reason – we don’t speak our truth in the moment. When we aren’t true to our own desires, it can suck our energy right out of us! Rather than rushing an answer, allow yourself to take a moment, tune in, and see what you truly want. Then you are able to choose what is most beneficial for your life and energy – and say what you need to say. Importantly, if you fail to give yourself the necessary time/space in the first place, don’t be afraid to go back and speak up and change your mind. It’s your life and your energy – you get to choose to take care of yourself!

2) Certain people/conversations that don’t vibe with you.


Do you ever get off the phone with someone and feel completely drained? Or notice yourself feeling fatigued every time you’re with a certain person or group? Pay attention! Your body has important information for you! Listen for the message there – and then choose to set healthy boundaries. That may mean avoiding some topics of conversation … or it may mean avoiding certain people altogether. For myself, I notice my energy flag when I’m in large groups of people. So, I take extra care of myself if I’m in that sort of situation – and avoid large crowds when I can.

3) Certain foods that make you feel sluggish (not always a bad thing).


Sometimes it feels good to feel satisfied and a little sleepy after a meal … but not right before an important meeting where you need to think clearly! Or not when you have a busy day ahead and you need your energy! It’s helpful to pay attention to how you feel after you eat certain foods – and since everyone is unique, nobody but you can give you accurate feedback. Just notice – and make adjustments accordingly. Save some foods for when you can just relax and enjoy.

4) Expectations that feel uncomfortable for you.


Ugh! Sometimes other people’s expectations of us can make us want to build a blanket fort and hide – amirite? “Should” is one of the most damaging words in the English language. This is where healthy boundaries are essential. You can choose not to let other people’s expectations suck the life out of you. You have the right to live your own life on your own terms – you know, as long as you aren’t harming anyone else. It is arguable that not allowing other people space to be themselves is harmful. Create that safe space for yourself too.

5) Stress.


Ah, stress. It’s everywhere, right? Stress is a huge energy drain. It’s worth looking at ways to reduce stress in your life – and ways to handle/cope with the stress that is inevitable. I find it helpful to ask if the things that are stressing me out are actually important to me – or if I’m just falling into thought patterns that have been socialized into me. With some frequency, the reality is that I don’t really care about whatever it was that I was getting so worked up about. Another helpful thing I do is focus on the present moment – usually my stress isn’t here in this moment. (Thank you, Eckhart Tolle and Michael Singer for this insight!) Some people benefit from meditation. Some people benefit from long walks. Find what works for you and do it!

6) Worry.


How much of our energy do we burn up worrying about things that are out of our control? I’ve been a world-class worrier in my life. I was afraid that if I didn’t worry, if I wasn’t thinking of every possible contingency, then tragedy could strike. The problem is that it is impossible to think of every possible contingency – and that life is going to happen how it happens anyway, no matter how much we try to control it. I learned this when I fell while walking (not normally considered a risky behavior) and broke both arms at the same time! I could not have seen that coming or prevented it! We need to learn to let go of our worry – it is not protecting us! On the contrary, it is draining our life force as well as our joy and pleasure in life.

7) Feeling pressure to …


Nobody I’ve ever met likes feeling pressured about anything – not even fun stuff. In fact, feeling pressured takes the fun out of pretty much everything. It’s important that we choose to do things out of our own desire and pleasure rather than feeling compelled to do them in order to make someone else happy or to meet an obligation. In fact, sometimes feeling pressure to do something makes us feel resistant to doing something we’d otherwise actually enjoy and want to do! If you’re feeling pressure, maybe just take a look at how you’re feeling under there – and honor whatever it is you are feeling. That will most likely involve some communication – it’s worth the effort!

8) Hurry. Feeling like you have to hurry/rush.


So many of us rush through our days, from one thing to the next with barely time to catch our breath. I learned a long time ago to not over-schedule myself. I can’t do it! I know my energy limits – and honestly, I’d rather err on the side of being over-protective of my energy than trying to do too much and feeling overwhelmed. I know when I’m over-committed because I get irresistible urges to nap. It just knocks me right out. It’s okay to say “no” to people and opportunities – even fun! – to take care of your well-being.

9) Hunger.


Our bodies run on fuel. When we fail to feed them adequately, our energy gets depleted. This isn’t rocket science. Most people can’t think clearly, can’t function as well, and don’t feel energetic when we are hungry. I’ve known a few people who’ve gotten all excited with how energetic they felt if they skipped a meal. Meh. I don’t think that’s true for most people. Hunger makes me tired, cranky, irritable, and unable to function. I know I’m not alone in that.

10) Holding yourself back from what you want – that is exhausting
.

How much energy do you expend not allowing yourself to say or do what you would like to say or do? How much energy does it take to keep your social mask in place? To be polite when you’d like to scream? To keep control of yourself and hold back when you’d like to dance in the street or ask for a hug or ask for help? We spend so much time and effort managing our emotions and protecting our egos from the embarrassment of being human and the shame of needing things. That uses up so much of our energy. What if we were to choose to live authentically? To stop caring so damn much what other people think? Let your body move! Let your voice be heard! Ask for what you need or want. Let yourself be human!

Now, let’s look at some things that can protect and even boost your energy:


1) Laughter.

Smile – all the way to your eyes. Did you feel that? Did it shift your energy? They say that a smile changes your mood. That’s even more true of laughter. There’s a reason that “laughter is the best medicine” is an adage that’s been passed down through generations. Reader’s Digest is not the only one who’s noticed! Laughter gets the happiness hormones circulating – and that gives us energy. Have you ever done a laughing meditation? You don’t even have to have anything funny to laugh at – you just start the physical motion of laughing and keep it going. Soon, real laughter takes over – and it’s very energizing! Try it! Share it! It’s really fun when done in a group!

2) Doing what you want to do, saying what you want to say.


There is so much power, freedom, and energy in living authentically. When you aren’t carefully editing every single word you say, your energy doesn’t get blocked. You just flow. Can you imagine a quiet mind? Like, not having conversations in your mind in preparation of how you’ll handle some conversation/issue or how you wish you would have? If you just speak your truth in the moment, you don’t have to worry about it. When you allow your life force to guide you and you don’t block it, the amount of energy that frees up can be amazing. Have you ever spent hours doing something you love – and you didn’t even realize how much time had passed and you never got the least bit tired? Maybe spend more time like that!

3) Food that fuels you.


Food is nourishment. Food is also pleasure – which is often tied to fun and connection. Food fuels us in multiple ways – not just nutrition. Food gives us energy, not just through calories and nutrients, but through pleasure. Yes, it’s ideal to get your fruits and veggies and proteins – to have a balanced diet. I believe it’s also ideal to enjoy your food, whether you are alone or are enjoying meals together with loved ones, friends, or community. Pleasure gives us energy.

4) Enough rest.


It is helpful to know how much sleep you personally need – and honor that. Some people need more sleep than others. That’s okay and nothing to be ashamed about. There are no actual rewards for sleeping less, even though some people act like there should be. Ignore them. Sleep is healing and restorative. Naps are heaven. Take what you need to feel your best. Yes, sleeping too much can drain your energy, but that’s not the issue for most people. Find your sweet spot and listen to your body’s cues.

5) Emotional, physical, mental, spiritual support and connection. Love
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You know the feeling when you’re excited to see someone? Or when you’re excited to go somewhere? For me, that excitement usually stems from feeling like I’m going to be feeling emotional, physical, mental, and/or spiritual connection – and it gives me energy. I’m excited to spend time with people that I love – or to meet new people with whom I may form connections. Interesting conversations feed my mind. Hugs and physical affection or shared activities (like walking, dancing, biking, swimming) feed my body. Laughter and a sense of belonging feed my emotions. Deep, authentic conversations feed my spirit. Being loved makes my energy feel expansive. What feeds your energy body? In what ways do your connections and activities make you feel more alive?

6) Self-care – baths, massages, Reiki, journaling – whatever makes you feel most

relaxed and alive.

So what do you do to recharge your batteries? In what ways do you nurture and care for yourself? I know I feel better when I do Reiki self-treatments and yoga regularly. Hopping on my bike is a guaranteed mood-booster. Playing music and dancing is essential to my well-being. I love a good massage (that’s one of the things I’m really missing during the pandemic!). Writing in my journal is my major coping tool. And water – whether it’s a bath or a hot shower, a pool or a lake – water heals me, relaxes me, allows me to recharge.

7) Gratitude. 


Don’t underestimate the power of gratitude! When I am consciously grateful for people and things in my life, my energy lifts. Focusing on who/what we are grateful for in our lives reduces stress. The more gratitude we feel, the less stress we feel – it puts us in a different emotional bandwidth. I’m not saying that it makes all of our problems/challenges disappear – but it may make the load lighter. When we put our focus on gratitude, our energy expands. Try it!

8) Hope, inspiration, purpose.


There is nothing like a sense of purpose to lift our energy! When we are inspired and hopeful, that’s like rocket fuel for our energy levels. What gives you inspiration and hope? What do you deeply care about? What would you like to create in the world – or enjoy in the world? If money were no object and there were no obstacles, what would you do? Let yourself try on that feeling – and watch how your energy rises. They say that if you can dream it, you can achieve it. In what ways can you move toward your dreams and desires? Sometimes offering others hope and inspiration can fill us up in ways we couldn’t have imagined. What can you offer your loved ones, your friends, your community?

9) Enjoyable exercise, preferably out in nature … because sunshine and trees and a nice breeze …. 


Getting our hearts pumping can help us gain energy. A lot of the time, people think that exercising takes up too much time and energy. Not true! Most people feel better and are more productive after exercising, getting more accomplished in less time. I make it simple for myself by only exercising in ways that I enjoy. I wouldn’t choose to do anything I found boring or unpleasant – not even for a “good” cause. So, in what ways do you enjoy moving? Do you like being out in nature – or do you prefer being inside? I love to ride my bike outside, feeling the wind and sun on my body, breathing the fresh air. It gives me a happiness quotient that I find helpful for my energy body. I believe that part of the benefits of exercise derive from the pleasure of moving our bodies and being physically present in our bodies – so make sure to do something you enjoy!

10) Fun, play, doing things you truly enjoy
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When was the last time you allowed yourself to be silly? Do you remember fun? Play? Adults can get so caught up in survival mode, busy working and being serious – that we forget how to simply relax and have fun (or use over-indulgence in alcohol as a poor substitute). What did you enjoy playing as a child? Do you like board games? Video games? Drawing or painting? I remember we used to play practical jokes on each other with some frequency. Just the thought makes me feel giddy. LOL What makes you feel alive? Do you like to play catch? Four square? Golf? Tennis? Basketball? It’s worth making time to play! Don’t take yourself too seriously or that ruins the fun! Pre-pandemic, I loved to go out dancing and singing karaoke. The key is to be willing to be silly and just have fun! Maybe there’s something you’d like to learn to do. What are you waiting for? If you enjoy it, it’s giving you energy! Go for it!

Please feel free to share in the comments below the things that you’ve noticed drain your energy – and/or the things that lift your energy. If you would like some coaching on how to live more authentically and boost/protect your energy, feel free to hit “Home” at the bottom of the page and contact me!

Energy Clues

Have you ever been getting ready to go somewhere or do something … and then suddenly, you feel like you desperately want to take a nap? It may even have been something you were looking forward to immensely, but your energy somehow feels zapped, like your battery is almost dead?

Have you ever been dead tired, couldn’t even keep your eyes open … and then you get a phone call that suddenly has you wide awake, energized, and excited to go out?

Do you pay attention to what your energy is doing throughout the day and night? Do you ever notice the subtle shifts of energy that are happening all day long? Do you notice the big shifts? Or do you just push through it all and do what you feel needs to be done?

Do you notice how you feel after spending time with certain people? If you pay attention, you’ll notice that some people drain your energy … and some people leave you feeling uplifted, inspired, and energized. You might want to pay attention to these energy clues and make decisions about with whom you spend your time accordingly!

Your body is always communicating with you. The question is: are you listening? Unfortunately, if we don’t pay attention to the smaller clues, like subtle energy shifts, then the body may start getting louder, with increasing fatigue, pain and dysfunction.

So, for example, when you eat something, notice how you feel afterward – has it energized you or made you long for a nap? Which, naps are good, don’t get me wrong! And sometimes a comfort meal that makes us sleepy is just the ticket, right? But awareness is good too. Maybe we have a presentation to give that we want to be energized for. It would be helpful to eat something that fuels us rather than slows us down in that case.

Something I couldn’t figure out for the longest time is why I’d feel so tired when I was in a theatre watching a very enjoyable play. I’d have the thought/awareness that this play was incredibly fun/moving/well-done – I was loving it! – and at the same time, I was having the feeling that I couldn’t wait for it to end so that I could go home and sleep. What I finally came to understand is that, being very empathic, being in a large crowd is draining for me. I frequently get tired when there are a lot of people around, no matter how much fun I’m having.

It’s not just large crowds in person, either! I was noticing that every time I got on a Zoom call with a big group of people, I’d start nodding off. It didn’t matter how interested I was in the topic or the people, I’d feel my eyes shutting themselves! Then a friend pointed out that I was probably absorbing everyone’s energy and it was overloading me, basically blowing my circuit. I started being more aware of the energy and consciously shielding myself – and that helped a lot!

Here are 3 quick ways to begin to take intuitive clues from your energy:

1) Notice when you feel tired. Did it come on suddenly? Were you getting tired a few minutes before – or did it just hit you? Do you have reasons to be tired – or is it hitting you unexpectedly? Have you just spent time with someone or talked to them on the phone? Do you regularly feel tired after being/talking with this person? Think about the circumstances around your fatigue. Did you just eat something that makes you sleepy? Were you in a situation that drains your energy (like me at a play)?

2) Notice when you feel energized. Who/what makes you feel like you are lit up with energy and excitement? Or even what makes you feel quietly motivated and energized? What foods make you feel alert and active, ready to play and/or be productive? Who/what fuels you, body, mind, and spirit? What conversations excite you? What music moves you? What purpose gives you life?

3) Follow your energy to the extent that you can. Make choices that charge you up! I know that sometimes there are things we feel obligated to do for work or our families or friends – but there are also times where we get to choose. When I feel myself resisting something by getting tired, I ask myself, what would excite me to do right now? What would give me energy to choose right now? So, for example, if I’m thinking I should be applying for jobs and that has me feeling drained and like I want to take a nap … I think, what would make me feel awake and alert right now? What would I be happier to be doing? Then I think about writing a blog post or reading a book or baking cookies, and decide to do that instead … and my fatigue miraculously disappears! When I go do that for an hour or so, then I can come back and apply for jobs with a better attitude and more energy. And if doing the thing I really want to do doesn’t give me an energy boost, then maybe I just really need a nap!

When we are paying attention, our energy can give us clues to whether something or someone is a “yes” for us or a “no” for us. Another useful tool in our intuitive toolbox.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Paying attention to my energy has certainly helped me to make better choices in my life! I continue to grow in awareness and I am grateful for that. If you’d like help identifying your energy patterns – or if you’d be interested in receiving some Reiki energy or energy healing, please click on “Home” below – and contact me for an appointment. Be blessed!

The Gift(s) When Things Go “Wrong”

My life has not gone according to my plans at all. In fact, the cliché, “We make plans and God laughs” comes to mind. I’ve been determined to make the best of things – which is not to say that I haven’t had my grief, whining, anger, despair, resentments, and complaints along the way. I’ve had the full range – and to be clear, I value the full range. I’m a big fan of Carl Jung, who famously said, “I’d rather be whole than good.” 

However. Even through all of my resistance – even though Life has had to drag me kicking and screaming at times – the fact of the matter is that if I stop to breathe and center myself a moment, I can clearly see where each experience has led me to where I needed to be, to the lessons I needed to have, to the strengths I needed to develop, and to the people with whom I was meant to connect. Every single, horrible, disappointing, unpleasant, heartbreaking, and/or unwanted event has had a purpose. There are a few things that I’m still not sure why they happened the way they did – but I do know that they are part of what brought me to where I am today, which is definitely where I need to be. So, there’s that. 

In addition to the “negative” responses I’ve had to the interruptions, blocking, and destruction of my own plans, I’ve also experienced personal growth, strength, courage, resilience, compassion, and a host of other “positive” impacts from these detours Life has thrown at me. 

A few examples: 

Falling and breaking both of my arms at the same time was decidedly not fun. However, that accident showed me some very important things about my life. It exposed a “friend” whom I’d spent most of my days with for years, to whom I’d given money, loaned my car, given free childcare, and frequently (daily) fed her and her child – as not being my friend at all. I could have gone on giving and trusting forever had I not been given the opportunity to clearly see that she was just using me and didn’t actually care about or value me at all. She did not lift a single finger to help me when I was completely helpless.

Thankfully, that same experience also showed me a true friend, a retired nurse, who took me into her home and took care of me for two months – until I could take care of myself again. The first couple of weeks, I couldn’t even hold a toothbrush or a fork. She did everything for me. I don’t know how I would have survived without her. My gratitude for her is endless. My gratitude for basic health and mobility also increased thanks to that experience, along with my understanding of how it feels to be at the mercy of other people’s compassion, care, and kindness. I’d been the caregiver a few times in my life. This was my time to allow myself to be cared for – and to do something that I’ve struggled with: to allow myself to receive. Just receive. Not give back. Not over-give, doing something even nicer/better for the other person. Just receive. 

In fact, Life has busted me down a few times in the past few years. It’s been challenging for me in my life to ever ask for help – or for anything. I’ve let my ego stand in the way. I’ve let fear stand in the way. I’ve let a sense of unworthiness block me from asking for what I want, need, or desire. I’ve had a hard time pushing past that – so Life pushed me. When I had cancer, I had to have surgery in a different state than where I lived – and a few friends took me in and took care of me throughout the whole ordeal and healing time.

Later, when I risked everything on an invention I created and the business that I thought would take the world by storm … and ended up having to sell my house and go into bankruptcy – I was welcomed into a friend’s home, where I was able to rent an inexpensive room. My pride may have been kicked in a bit, but it was good for my ability to accept help and to feel belonging, care, and community. I also learned the important lesson that allowing other people to give generously to you gives them the opportunity to feel good about themselves, to feel generous, loving, giving, kind, and empowered. Because when someone is able to be strong for other people and help them, they feel empowered. I’ve denied people those good feelings too often in my life by refusing to accept help, needing to be “self-sufficient.” Life taught me that I can’t be – that being held in community matters.

I may regret my marriages, but my first marriage gave me my beloved child and my second marriage took me to a place in Florida where I wouldn’t have gone on my own, where I met wonderful friends and chosen family. So, the marriages served their purpose – not to mention the many lessons I learned in each marriage about life, myself, and relationship/s. 

There have been countless incidents of redirections, closed doors, roadblocks, falls, losses, hurts, and other upsets. Sometimes Life has been gentle and sometimes not. There have also been countless incidents of kindnesses, opened doors, opportunities, grace, love, hope, possibilities, and other beneficial occurrences. My life has been blessed. Everything that has happened in my life has given me some form of gift – perspective, wisdom, insight, blessings, friendships, love. 

My life is no different in this than anyone else’s. We all have our paths we are meant to travel, our lessons we are meant to learn, the gifts we are meant to receive. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of our plans. We think we know exactly what we want and how it should all unfold. I’m learning to go for what I want – but also to hold it loosely, knowing that the Universe may have better plans for me. I’m learning to trust my journey, trust my path – and know that everything happens in Divine Right Order and Timing. I’m patient with myself when I’m struggling to accept what’s happening. It isn’t easy giving up our illusions of control and “safety.” Self-compassion is an essential ability to develop. I just try to remember to tap into my Inner Knowing – and to connect with that eternal Self that can keep me calm, grounded, peaceful – and in trust that there is a gift in every situation for me to discover – and that I am always on the right path for me.


Are You Paying Attention to the Signs?

Life is frequently sending us all kinds of signs, both subtle and overt, to help guide us along the way. They come in countless forms – numbers, songs, colors, fortune cookies, memes, passages in books we read, snippets of conversations we overhear, literal signs, and more. The Universe is constantly talking to us and interacting with us – the question is: are we paying attention?

I met my second husband on 1/23/4. When I met him, I started seeing those numbers everywhere – on street signs, on the clock, on restaurant or grocery bills. That number sequence just kept showing up – and that gave me an assurance that this was the right path for me. Now, that marriage didn’t work out, but it did have a lot of important lessons. In my next post, I’m going to be talking about how sometimes the things that seems to go “wrong” actually lead us to where we need to be. There was perhaps no other way to get there.

I talked in a previous post about how my Mom had lit a candle to let me know she was still around and okay after she’d passed. When my Dad had passed many years previously, my Mom had been in a college computer graphics class. She was working on a project when her screen went blank. It remained blank for over ten minutes. Even the professor couldn’t figure out what was going on. It was only later that she found out that my Dad had passed of a sudden heart attack at that exact time that Mom’s screen went blank. Now, every once in a while, one of my screens will go blank for no reason – and I feel like that’s Mom’s secret code for saying “hi” to me and letting me know she’s still around.

You may think that’s just imaginative on my part – but a little over a year ago, I had a visit with a psychic medium. Now this psychic didn’t know me at all – but my Mom came through loud and clear. She told me that my Mom mentioned she enjoyed seeing me with her colorful tea mugs, which I use every morning. The psychic mentioned the sand-dollar earrings I was wearing, which remind me of my Mom because she loved sand-dollars. She said my Mom acknowledged her awareness of my wearing them and the connection I feel to her through them. Just little signs, but they mean a lot to me.

She predicted that I would be moving to Colorado even though that wasn’t the plan. We were planning for my loved ones to be joining me in Florida. We actually tried it that way, but it didn’t work out – and just as predicted, I ended up moving to Colorado, where I am very happy to be!

I have a new attitude as of late in relation to losing/misplacing things – because I’ve noticed each time that I do, I find other things that I wasn’t even thinking of that were beneficial for me to find. Or sometimes, I get an intuition to do something – and then that leads to a whole series of events that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t followed that intuition and taken that webinar or joined that group, etc. To me, those are all signs that I am being Divinely guided.

In fact, in order to remember so I could write this post accurately, I was listening to the recording of that meeting with the psychic – and heard helpful things that I had forgotten about – so I feel like I was meant to listen to that recording today. One of the things that I hadn’t even registered at the time was her mentioning the number “23” – which was my anniversary day that we’d always celebrated each month. Strange that in the reading, I didn’t put it together. That happens sometimes – you realize later what a psychic was referring to.

This is so cool. I’m listening to when Nodira predicted that I’d be moving in about 8 months to a year, which I insisted wasn’t possible because it was going to take me two more years to finish my license requirements for my professional teaching certificate. Guess what? Almost exactly one year later, I moved. She’s also telling me that I always have a “team of Divine Helpers” around me – and says, “If you need guidance, you can always say, ‘Give me a sign in the physical world. Show me if I’m making the right choice.’ Something you will see, someone will pass you by and say something, or a banner somewhere or a sticker on a car in front of you, something. The more aware you are, the more able they are to talk to you.”

See what I mean? I am happy to have further confirmation of this psychic’s accuracy – and it feels like another sign among many that I should contact her again. I’ve been having that feeling and she’s been brought into my awareness several times in the past few months. If I hadn’t been writing this post and hadn’t wanted to remember some other details, I would not have been listening to this recording! There are so many signs of how we are being guided in our lives if we look for them – countless synchronicities. It’s easy not to notice them if we aren’t paying attention.

Many of us are familiar with the “1111” – and the various meanings ascribed to that. “1234” remains a frequent guiding post to me. I often see “444” and “555.” When I see those patterns of numbers, I just pause, take note, see what Life may be trying to get me to notice – or just feel a sense of trust, of being held. There are times when I’ll be feeling stressed or worried, then I’ll see those numbers and feel a sense of relief and reassurance.

When I’m in tune and paying attention, I see how much my life is guided and how everything seems to be orchestrated to bring me to wherever I need to be, and to provide me with whatever I need, whether that be material things, opportunities, information, messages, or connections. It always comes – I just sometimes have to look for it. When I worry or feel doubtful, Life provides me with hope and inspiration. I’m not always paying attention and sometimes when I’m not listening to the gentler guidance, Life has to turn up the volume – which is not always pleasant. It’s much nicer when Life can whisper and guide me softly and gently. I find that the more grounded and centered I am, the easier it is for me to pick up on the signs all around me. The more I follow and trust my intuition and signs, the more effortless and relaxed life feels.

If you’d like to talk about how to get more grounded and in touch with your own intuition, click “Home” on the bottom of this page and contact me through my website. Remember to pay attention to the signs all around you! Blessed be.

The Magic Pain Relief of a Small Ball

In a time when going to a massage therapist (or anywhere) may seem too risky, it’s helpful to have ways to relieve sore areas in our bodies on our own. There are lots of home self-care techniques that I recommend to my clients. Yoga and stretching are helpful, of course. Unwinding is great! But what about that knife of pain between your shoulders that stretching doesn’t touch and unwinding hasn’t shaken loose? May I introduce to you the amazing yellow ball.

Now, the reality is, you can use just about any ball of any size or hardness. You can use foam rollers and other shapes too – but this 4 inch yellow ball (that I bought many years ago on Amazon) has been a lifesaver to me over the years.

Here’s how it works: wherever you have a sore spot, put the yellow ball under it and lie on it – or put it against something and lean into it. Here’s the secret: don’t push or force – just let your body sink in, allowing your body’s tissues to soften gently onto the ball. Most people find it more comfortable to do in bed. You can do it on the floor, but it may be more painful because on a hard floor, there’s no give under the ball. You may be able to do it on the couch, but the couch may have too much give. You’ll have to experiment and see what works best for you.

Here’s the other secret: it can take your myofascial tissue (that surrounds your muscles and is the webbing that holds your body together) 5-7 minutes to release. So, you need to relax, breathe, and sink in for 5-7 minutes to get the best results/relief. A lot of the time, when people are stretching, they rush through. Mistake! One minute really isn’t going to do it. You have to give your body’s tissues time to release!

Once you release one spot of pain, you can move the ball to another spot. I will often stick a ball behind my back while I’m sitting (I’ve got one there now!) or even driving (just be sure it doesn’t drop at your feet while driving!). What the pressure of the ball does is allows restrictions in the myofascial tissue to release – which relaxes the tension and takes pressure off of pain sensitive nerves. It can make a huge difference in how we feel and in many cases even in our range of motion.

You can try it with a tennis ball. I’ve found that to be a little too small and hard. I’ve used a yoga ball successfully – it’s a little bigger than the 4″ ball. In desperate situations, I’ve even used a water bottle or a rolled up towel.

To learn more about myofascial release and its benefits, check out John Barnes’ website. If you’d like some coaching around self-care techniques or individualized suggestions for specific areas, I’m happy to help – just contact me!

Imperfect Is Okay – Stop Playing Small

What gifts do you bring to this life to bless your family, your friends, your community, and the world? Are you using them? Or are you waiting until you have a little more experience … or a little more education … or have perfected a talent/skill to a higher level? Are you holding yourself back until you reach a mythical place of “good enough”?

Many of us hold ourselves to impossible standards of perfection before we share our gifts with the world. How much talent or skill or ability is wasted because we hold ourselves back? How many needed actions aren’t taken, positions aren’t filled, offices aren’t run for – because we deem ourselves unworthy and don’t even try?

So many of us count ourselves out, wait for the “right” moment (that almost never comes), and spend our lives pursuing lesser goals than those we are capable of because we hold ourselves to much higher standards than those to which we hold other people (and those to which other people hold themselves). Why do we do that – and more importantly, how can we stop doing that and get out there and contribute our best efforts, indeed our best selves, to the world?

I don’t have the answers, to be honest. I’m not going to allow that to stop me from postulating and making some suggestions, however. I think part of the problem is that we are taught learned helplessness and compliance as part of our socialization. We are taught to follow authority and rely upon “experts” – and the line is often unclear, unfair, and/or prohibitive when someone can be considered an expert. So, we minimize our experience and our perceptions – our own relevance – and accept other, often less qualified, people leading the way.

Perhaps part of it is that people of conscience and consideration believe that someone else is more qualified than themselves to handle various situations, so they step aside or give up. Some people are afraid of getting in trouble if they accidentally overstep. A good number of people are shy and avoid drawing attention to themselves or tooting their own horn. We live in a culture where we are constantly told that we are not good enough – and that thinking we are is arrogant. Pride is bad, right?

Unfortunately, this leaves the door wide open for people who have no compunctions or fear of getting in trouble to move into positions for which they are completely unqualified, causing great damage in their wake. This is part of the reason why we have governments, legal systems, medical systems, and corporations that are led by a bunch of narcissists and sociopaths – because good people count themselves out – or let themselves be pushed out – and allow bad people to take charge. That obviously needs to change.

Now, back down to the individual level – what gifts aren’t you sharing because you didn’t think you were good enough? What chances aren’t you taking? What words aren’t you speaking? How much of your power are you giving away? How are you going to take your power back, speak your truth, and live your best life? How are you going to help to create a world where everyone is valued, respected, and treated with kindness and compassion?

For healers, please realize that your gifts are essential – and that you don’t have to be a “perfect” human being to share them. There is no such thing as a perfect person. We all have our flaws, faults, and long histories of mistakes. We all have poor judgment and ignorance at times. We learn, we grow. We all have good that we can contribute now. We don’t need to wait until we achieve some sainthood level of “goodness” before we can help other people. We can help people now! We need to help people to the best of our abilities, whatever that may be in this moment. We do have something to offer! We may learn more and continue to evolve in our skills and abilities in the future – but that doesn’t mean that we can’t start doing the necessary and needed work now!

It seems to me that this world needs more people who are willing to step up into their power and do what needs to be done. Heal, lead, create new possibilities for all of us. Stop waiting for a perfection that will never come. Stop allowing unscrupulous and unqualified people to take charge. Step up! And for heaven’s sake: VOTE! Vote for decency and democracy. Take back our country from this narcissistic wannabe autocrat and all of his enablers and sycophants! It is time to HEAL the soul of this nation. Never have we faced a more important challenge in our lifetimes. It’s time to stop playing small and to do what needs to be done – as individuals and as a country. The future is in our hands.

Muscle Testing

My first awareness of muscle testing was as a young teenager when my chiropractor would use applied kinesiology to test for weaknesses along my spine and meridian points. Years later, when a similar concept was taught in my energy healing school, I was excited to learn!

Over the years, muscle testing has become second nature to me. I use it every day in all different kinds of situations. It’s sort of an internalized guidance system that allows me to connect with my intuition/inner knowing.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always accurate. Sometimes it’s influenced by my feelings/desires. However, I do take that into account – and the reality is that the vast majority of the time, it is surprisingly accurate. Like, 90% or more of the time in my experience.

No, I haven’t used muscle testing for things like choosing lottery numbers. I don’t think it works that way. I have used it many times to ask, for example, if my symptoms require medical attention, did I lock the door?, will the truck make it to my destination safely? Yeah – that last one was on my harrowing trip through the New Mexico tundra in a rental truck. My muscle testing consistently saying that I would make it – and believe me, I checked every few minutes – helped to keep me relatively calm. You see, I’ve come to trust when my fingers hold strong and give me a clear “yes.”

What do I mean, when my fingers hold strong? Well, this is how I do it: I put the tip of my middle finger (you can use any finger) underneath the tip of my thumb. I ask a “yes or no” question – is this food safe to eat, should I make this phone call, should I apply for this job (whatever I’m wondering) – and then I apply a gentle, but firm pressure with the finger that’s trapped under the thumb. If it holds strong, that’s a “yes” – if it breaks through, that’s a “no.” It’s very similar to using a pendulum. I’m aware not to influence it with my own opinions or desires. I want truth/guidance.

I often start by tuning into my hands, getting my fingers into position, then asking, show me “yes” and show me “no.” I’ll do that once or twice, then once I feel calibrated, I’ll ask my real question/s. I often ask more than once just for confirmation. It’s not really necessary, but it gives me comfort, so I do it. The point of any healing or divination technique is to make it work for you.

Muscle testing – if it holds, “yes” – if it doesn’t hold, “no.”

I’ve been using muscle testing for over 20 years now. It has carried me through many experiences and decisions. It’s not a panacea and I’ve still ended up making some less than stellar decisions. However, I have found it to be incredibly useful – and the reality is that in many situations, if I had slowed down enough and thought to connect in with myself and do some muscle testing, I may have made some better choices. It doesn’t work unless I remember to use it!

I muscle test to see what vitamins/supplements to take – and how often/much. I muscle test to ask whether or not to apply for a specific job – or to follow up after applying. I muscle test to ask should I go this way – or that way. I muscle test to see if certain foods will agree with me or be harmful for me – or not. In reality, it may just be a security blanket – but I’m grateful for that security blanket. I value the peace and the guidance that it has brought me.

I encourage you to try it. Just see what happens. Ask simple questions to test/play with it at first. Will my phone ring in the next hour? Then see how accurate you are. Will my children get home on time? Will they be late? Just see what happens. It is unlikely to be correct every time. I’m not sure that anything in life is correct every time. It’s just another tool in your chest that you can use to access your inner knowing that can give you a perspective beyond your mental chatter.

Some people make a circle with their thumb and finger on one hand, then use a finger from the other hand to try to break through that circle. In applied kinesiology, they have you hold an arm or leg in a certain position, then while touching various points on your body, put a little pressure and see if the arm or leg holds. It’s really quite fascinating and effective. If you haven’t experienced applied kinesiology before, I suggest you seek out a chiropractor or someone who specializes in it – just to experience it.

In the meantime, play a little on your own with muscle testing. It’s fun! It can also be very helpful! It’s not a replacement for doing research or for expert advice or for thinking things through – but it can certainly be a helpful way to check in with your own intuition when you’re having trouble thinking clearly. To me, it’s been a useful way to check in as well as a great comfort whenever I’ve sought guidance and/or reassurance.

When I First Started Doing Intuitive Readings

A little over 20 years ago, I was coaching a high school girls’ sports team. The athletic department had instructed us coaches to let our players know that if any student athletes were caught smoking or drinking alcohol, they would be summarily dismissed from the team and no longer allowed to play the rest of the season.

So, at the next practice, I conveyed the information and added that I was in energy healing school and learning how to read energy – and would be able to see in their auras if they’d broken the rules, so to take it seriously. It was an idle threat because I would never intentionally violate someone by looking into their aura like that without their permission, but the kids were very intrigued that I could see things and all started asking me what I could see in them.

A little aside: people so badly want to be seen, truly seen and felt for who they really are. People are longing for others to see beyond their surface and to acknowledge them at deeper levels. I find this to be a universal truth. We all want to be seen in a way that we feel deeply known and to feel like we are connected and we matter.

I promised the kids that I’d stay after practice and do some readings if we could please finish practice. After practice, I sat with them in the bleachers and connected, one by one, with their permission, by gazing into their eyes and just allowing what came up intuitively to come out. It was really fun for everyone. I don’t remember many details from so long ago, but I remember the kids being amazed at how accurate I was – just from sitting there quietly and tuning into them.

With one girl, I sensed that something had happened when she was in about third grade – and told her not to tell me what it was, I wouldn’t invade her privacy, but whatever it was had a very strong impact on her life and she needed to deal with that. Tears slid down her cheeks as she nodded. I encouraged her to talk to an adult in her life, a parent or therapist, and to work through this. She was clearly very moved.

I did as many readings as I could, but it was starting to get late, so I promised I’d do more the next day. There was so much enthusiasm for it!

Well, the next morning I got a call from the athletic director. Of course, some parents had complained. I was ordered to not do any more readings ever. The kids were super disappointed when I told them that afternoon at practice. I was too. It had been a great way of getting to know them better and build rapport – as well as a good way to have a positive impact on their lives, which has been what has always driven me – having a positive impact on people’s lives.

So, that’s the story of the first time I did readings for people who weren’t family or friends or in energy school with me. Connecting with people at that deeper level is something that I love to do – and feel very honored to do. It’s something that I think many of us are capable of doing if we just slow down and tune in. Try it if you like! With permission/consent, just sit quietly with someone and look deeply into their eyes. Hold that sacred space with them and tune in. See what comes up. Don’t be afraid to say what you think/feel/see/smell – any messages you get. You can ask, does this make sense to you? Play with it! The more you can let go and just have fun with it, the more you can tune in and pick up. Being too serious closes down your receptiveness.

Even after all of these years, I think it’s so important to keep a beginner’s mind. No matter how tuned in we are, we can only see what we’re allowed to see – and our interpretations of what we see (and by that, I mean visualize in our mind or feel or have a direct knowing or hear, etc.) do tend to run through our own filters, so may not be accurate for the person we are reading. So, take it lightly. Ask questions for confirmation. Let the messages be what they are – and as the saying goes, “take what works and leave the rest.” I think we all benefit when we connect more with that inner stillness and our intuitive abilities. If you want to talk more about this, I am available!

Healing Is An Ongoing Journey & Perfection Isn’t Part of the Deal

I found a bin of my old papers in the basement a few mornings ago when I was looking for a toaster oven. I brought the papers upstairs to check them out. There were letters that I wrote to my Mom from when I lived in Spain and lots of letters and writings from when I was married to my first husband. They make me so sad, honestly – how loving and giving and innocent and naive and boundary-less I was back then. I was trying so hard – and I was hurting so much. I’m not sure why these are coming to my attention right now. Maybe so that I’m aware of my boundaries when I do meet my new husband/lover/partner in life? I don’t know.

I drew “Challenge” later that morning in the Angelic Messenger cards. “You are undergoing a period of spiritual initiation in order to give a specific presence and form to your dreams, hopes and expectations.
The guidance from this card suggests that you are being called to finish up old business, both physical and spiritual, in order to move forward with your life physically and spiritually. You are also being guided to relax and accept the guidance that is coming to you from your angelic teachers rather than feeling you must do everything for yourself and by yourself.”

Pretty interesting to get that right when I’m looking at old issues (old business), right? And I definitely have been feeling alone and sad – and being told to relax and accept guidance feels helpful and soothing to me.

“The true challenge in your life involves your willingness to confront your own inner demons and to allow your deeply-felt dreams and aspirations from your spirit to surface into your life.”

Boy, I feel that. I feel like I’m looking at my inner demons closely right now – the feelings of being abandoned, of being powerless, of being more trouble than I’m worth, of not being enough, of not being at choice, but rather being stuck – it’s all looking at me in the face right now. It’s not comfortable – even as I recognize them as not even true. I’m also still sitting with allowing myself to remember/connect with my spirit’s longings. I remain in a bit of a fog as I wait for my dreams/purpose to clarify themselves for me.

The card then talks about initiation as being a part of a sacred ritual for those entering an important spiritual passage. It talks about trusting the Universe to guide you and provide for you – all messages that I feel are relevant for me. I’m not sure where I’m being guided – but I hear these words to trust. “You will need to accept a deeper and more profound insight into the nature of your life.” Is that what I’m getting from reading these old passages?

“You have not failed, but you are being sought to acknowledge the power of the sacred in your life and on the Earth. You are being asked to trust the Universe because you are awakening to dreams, visions, and spiritual understanding that will serve you well in this life.” Interesting to read this when I’ve been sort of mumbling to myself the past few days/weeks how I’ve “failed at everything” in my life – how I’m basically a complete failure in every area. (I’m not usually so mean to myself – I’ve actually developed a mostly very loving relationship with myself, but every once in a while, the old “beating myself up” tapes run.)

Under the Spiritual Opportunity of this card – it says, “You no longer need to live without, or at the ‘bottom of the barrel,’ seeking only the dregs or leftovers from life. You are made of the essence of perfection, and you are being encouraged to overcome resistance from inside yourself, or from others, and to give your dreams a chance to grow in the world.” I’m going to need to sit with that thought for a while. I can feel it pulling me toward wholeness and healing. I’m willing to let go of resistance and attract my good to me. I’m also willing to accept money into my life, letting go of the harmful ideas I’ve carried that my giving/helping is only “pure” if it is done from the heart without financial gain or motivations. That’s simply not true – and my work deserves to be rewarded. I deserve compensation for my time, my talents, my skills and abilities. I’ve invested so much time, money, and effort in learning the healing techniques and other skills I’ve picked up along the way. Healers need to get paid too!

As I was making dinner the night previous to finding those papers and drawing the “Challenge” card, I was looking out the kitchen window at the beautiful evening sky, the colors and the clouds. I was chopping vegetables and thinking that, honestly, I didn’t much care if I kept living – that I didn’t want to be a burden and I didn’t really have much hope for my life. I was thinking of all of my previous failures in life and in business and in relationships – and just feeling like I didn’t have expectations of things getting any better – or even ever being okay for me (which is kind of crazy because I’m in an ideal situation for me right now in many ways – I love living with my family, I love living in Colorado, I really like this house, I’m happy in my room – I just know that I can’t stay here forever – and the prospect of leaving with no real prospects – that was making me feel like giving up, like my life was over – like I’d failed at everything). And then I looked up and saw a beautiful rainbow in the sky – in fact, two beautiful rainbows – and I was like, it’s a sign that things will work out for me – to keep the faith. I went outside and took pictures. I remembered to breathe and to stay in the present moment. Everything is good here in this moment.

The next morning after the rainbows, I found those old papers, which showed me not only the mistakes I made when I was younger, but also my resilience and how far I have come in the years since then. Then I drew that Angelic Messenger card that told me I’m not a failure – and that things would work out. Isn’t that an interesting synchronicity? And that’s not all! The first pin on Pinterest that morning as I sat down for breakfast was, “You are getting so many signs. Trust it.” Yes, I trust it. It’s not always easy, but I know. Deep down, I know.

Healing Stones and Crystals

When I was diagnosed with cancer a little over five years ago, a friend of mine gifted me that Rose Quartz healing stone (above). It joined my circle of healing stones (below) as part of my healing rituals and meditations.

I was away from home, so I made a make-shift altar and gave myself time and space to heal. I re-read several Louise Hay books and I wrote a notebook of my own healing affirmations that I read daily. I prayed for healing and for guidance – for myself and for the medical team handling my case. I was (and am) beyond grateful when the surgeon told me he thought they got it all.

Altars don’t have to be fancy to be effective. Creating a sacred space to engage with the spiritual dimension is more about intention than anything. When I was away from home, I simply made a small stone circle and lit a couple of candles. At home, I have a more elaborate altar (below).

Healing stones and crystals, meditations, and affirmations remain an important part of my life, allowing me to feel grounded and balanced – and to return to center when I get pulled away and lost in drama/fear/worry. They bring me comfort and help to calm me when I feel scared or agitated – which is particularly helpful to me in these uncertain times.

There are lots of good books about the energies and properties of different stones and crystals. If you’re looking for something to do, maybe look into what’s available and experiment and play a little. See what you feel. It’s fun – and for me, it has been healing as well.