Last week I was interviewed by Kole Hansen on her Warrior Women with a Purpose Podcast and it was SUCH a great interview that I wanted to share it with you all!
Kole is also a healer with an amazing story (which she tells on one of the podcast episodes) and we really jammed about the wisdom of our bodies, how things like illness are a wakeup call from the universe and more.
I hope you’ll take a listen and if you enjoyed it, leave a 5 star review on iTunes for the podcast!
I’m getting more and more excited to publish my first book… I wanted to share just a glimpse into my story that will be continued in the book.
When I scheduled my elective surgery for June of 2004, I had absolutely no idea that anything was wrong with me. As far as I knew, I was a healthy 24 year-old who simply was finally going to get the breast reduction that I had wanted since I was 16 years old. Although I was apprehensive about what is still a major surgery and unsure how painful my recovery would be, I was looking forward to the end result.
As the day of my surgery approached, I went through the standard pre-op procedure. Appointments with my surgeon, pre-op blood-work, and waiting for the day of the surgery to arrive. Then the night before my surgery, I received a call from my surgeon. He told me that he had received my pre-op bloodwork back and that the results looked abnormal. My heart began to race…
The surgeon first said that it could be some sort of error with the lab results themselves and asked me to return to the hospital to have the tests run again to make sure of what was going on. Panic was beginning to wash over me. I tried to stay hopeful that it was just a lab error or glitch but hearing something looked “off” was unnerving. We repeated the labs and they showed the same abnormal results.
Another call from the surgeon confirmed that surgery needed to be cancelled because there was something “wrong with me.” The surgeon said I should follow up with my primary doctor as soon as possible to investigate what was going on. My mind was racing. “I feel fine… I feel absolutely fine. What the hell is going on??”
The next day I saw my primary doctor who ordered more bloodwork to try and figure out what was going on. After the labs were drawn, I went home to await the results. I was filled with anxiety about what the lab tests would show was wrong with me. It felt like I had woken up in the middle of a nightmare. Again, it made no sense how I could feel completely fine and yet be told that something big was going on with my health.
Next thing I knew, I got a phone call from a gastroenterologist who I had never heard of asking me how I was feeling. “I feel ok,” I said as I felt a wave of panic rising up over me. He replied that since I wasn’t feeling any symptoms, it was ok to stay home that night but that I should report to the local hospital first thing the next morning, where I would be admitted, and he would see me there. Then he told me “If you start to feel any symptoms, come to the hospital tonight.” Well that was certainly unnerving to hear… I suddenly felt like a ticking time bomb that could go off at any moment.
I was completely shaken after this phone call from an unknown doctor and I waited nervously, continuously scanning through my body to make sure I felt ok until the next morning. In my mind I wondered what exactly I should be looking for in terms of symptoms but no mysterious symptoms appeared as I scanned my body repeatedly through the day and evening. What followed was a long afternoon, evening, and night of waiting and wondering but I was still feeling fine on a physical level so I didn’t report to the hospital until the next morning.
I hope this glimpse into the beginning of my story has peaked your attention and you will be excited to read more. Stay tuned for future sneak peaks into my story and my new book!
April was a month of big expansion for me personally and also for my business. I was speaking and sharing my work in a much more public way. I was stepping into my intention for 2017 of expanding and shining my light brightly and I was starting to feel a big surge of momentum in new clients and visibility for my business.
Then, about 2 1/2 weeks ago, my husband started to develop some significant pain in his feet. My focus has shifted to him as we search to uncover the cause of what is going on and get him relief from the pain.
I have experienced this pattern before in my life and business where momentum builds up, I feel like I’m really getting somewhere and then “something” happens…
In the past, I’ve said that I’ve been “de-railed” by something in my life. But last week, I was talking to my business coach about this pattern that I’ve experienced multiple times over several years. She gain me some great advice and said, “What if you shift your mindset around this and don’t view it as ‘de-railing’ you but instead a natural cycle of contraction after expansion?”
Those words were a very helpful mindset shift for me. You see, I have created a pattern and belief that “Whenever things start getting good, something in life just de-rails it…” In a way, this belief creates a “Why bother?” mentality and it also makes it a bigger deal that it needs to be.
Life happens. People get sick, family members die, someone loses their job… the list goes on and on. It is easy to say those things can “de-rail” us when in reality they are just life being life.
Nature is wise because it understands the cycle of expansion and contraction. Expansion cannot exist without contraction. Even though the seem to be opposites, the really are part of a cycle. A tree must let go of its leaves in the fall to make way for something new to come after a period of dormancy in winter.
So I’m making a major mindset shift and choosing to view this time as simply a time of contraction and life being life. I’ve made huge gains in the past 6 months, grown a lot, pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve stepped into being a public speaker, supported many amazing clients, learned how to use live video in my business and so much more… And just because life is being, well, life, that doesn’t take away any of those things that I’ve accomplished. Those things don’t magically disappear.
It is ok for me to honor a time of contraction from putting as much energy into my business so I can honor my need to support my husband. Honoring that allows me time to be present for him. And it is also bringing me gifts like getting inspired to start writing my very first book!
I hope that this blog post inspires you to shift your mindset when life feels challenging and to honor that it is ok to pull back your energy from certain things to make room for others. I hope you are inspired to realize that contraction is a natural part of the cycle of energy and it is not something to be feared.
If this post helped you, please share it. And please comment with you own stories of expansion, contraction, and mindset struggles.
The sun is shining on this fall morning in Portland and I decided I needed to start my day with a walk outside, rather than heading to the gym. I need to breathe the fresh air and be supported by Mother Nature’s light.
The past few days for me, like for so many others, have been filled with a feeling of dismay, grief, sadness, frustration, anger, and fear. Living in what feels like a bit of a bubble in a progressive place like Portland, it is hard to believe the reality that we are now confronted with. A world where hate, racism, misogyny, and violence have come more fully out of the shadows and are now given legitimacy by the man who is president elect. Just this morning I saw reports of how high school students who are minorities are being targeted by fellow classmates and I am sickened.
To be honest, Tuesday night, I wanted to leave this country. I was saddened, angered, and dismayed that so many people could vote for a man I see as a hateful monster. My husband and I were talking about how to move to Canada… probably along with many other people.
What I have come to see in the past day is that I feel like doing so is running away and leaving those most vulnerable, minorities, people of color, the poor, and the LGBTQ community to fend for themselves when they will need us to stand with them and stand up for justice and their rights.
Before I began my path to this healing work that is now my life’s work, I was a student of history. I have an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in history and was well on my way to my PhD. I think many of us, looking at the history of Nazi Germany, can wonder how that was possible. How someone could come to power espousing such hate. I see the reality of it happening around us now… But the difference is that we have the lessons of history and we have all of the amazing work that Civil Rights activists who went before us have done. We can know the possibilities of what could happen AND we can know that saying “Its not my problem… I’m not black, Hispanic, gay, etc” is what people did in Nazi Germany. We cannot let history repeat itself.
I feel a deep and stirring passion in myself this morning to be part of those standing up and saying “No! You cannot take away the rights, dignity, and safety of those around me who are at risk!” I ask you to stand with me, to start the healing of our country’s deep legacy or racism, bigotry, and misogyny and stand up and say no.
In the midst of so much hate and fear, I have seen people banding together to stand up and fight for what they believe in and to protect and support the most vulnerable among us. This is what I choose to focus on. There is hope even in this dark time.
I plan to offer group healing sessions on a regular basis to support those of us who are being traumatized by what is going on, those who might be being victimized, and those who are ready to stand up with me and say NO! Last night, in seeing the ACLU standing ready to fight for our rights and liberties, I felt that I need to contribute. So for each of these group healing sessions that I offer, part of the money given to me will be donated to the ACLU.
Love trumps hate… Always. We will stand in love and we will win.
Today’s post is a particularly “real” one for me. My husband and I, as well as our extended family have been in the midst of a particularly rough time. Between my aunt passing away a little over 2 weeks ago (while I was in the midst of taking my latest BodyTalk class) to my mother-in-law falling and breaking her leg last week, to some other situations that need our time and attention, I have had significant moments of overwhelm in the past month.
This post is not about the “story” of what is going on in my life, however. It is about reflecting on how we get through tough times like this.
One of the key things that I am getting a reminder of during this past month is the importance of making time for my own self-care, even in the midst of chaos and overwhelm.
As my stress level has been higher than it usually is, I have tried to carve out more time to do things like slow down and focus on my breathing. I’m also tapping Cortices (a simple technique that you can learn how to do through this link) even more than I usually do. I’ve also sought support from others- both family and friends, as well as getting support from different healing practitioners. I’m upping the number of BodyTalk sessions I’m receiving right now to help me process my grief, stress, and overwhelm. I’m tending to my body with massage and other forms of healing touch. While it can feel hard to make time for those things when I have more on my plate than I usually do, I know that without those supports, my bodymind will take too much of a beating. And just because I’m a wellness practitioner doesn’t mean that I don’t need support too!
Another big resource during times like this is to make sure to get a bit of time out in nature. Connection with the energies of the earth and breathing fresh air in beautiful settings is a key way to help stay grounded. I’m hoping to get a nice walk in outside today, rather than going to the gym and walking on the treadmill.
If you are currently going through a tough time, please know that you are not alone. And please remember to take care of yourself. Find simple strategies to help your body release stress, tension, and built up emotions. When we don’t allow the energy to have time to release, it can build up like a pent up volcano and cause all sorts of problems! Seek support (professional and social) when you need it. We all need a little help sometimes.
Also, feel free to share what strategies work best for you in the comments below this blog; I’d love to hear your strategies too!
I’m starting to do a bit of video blogging and I wanted to share with you about how one of my toughest life experiences actually led me to where I am today. I hope it inspires you to know that even in challenges, there are positive outcomes.
Feel free to comment below on what inspired you!
Last week I went to a special celebration in honor of the retirement of my college mentor, advisor, and friend. I made a short video sharing with you about the experience and how it inspired me to think about what I want my legacy to be.
After you watch the video, I’d love for you to share in the comments a little bit about what you want your legacy to be!
Today’s post is another vulnerable one, drawing on current experiences in my personal life. 2015 was a rough year for me. It was probably one of the roughest years I’ve had… not THE roughest but it definitely ranked up there…
Other than getting married to my love, there were lots of very challenging things that happened in my life last year. Last spring, my husband was dealing with depression and anxiety due to a horrible boss who was harassing him and the situation led him to have to be off work on short term disability for a number of months. Watching the man I love have panic attacks and be in a depressed state was not easy for me. Sometimes I think watching someone you care about struggle can feel harder than struggling yourself.
It also wasn’t easy having him be home all the time. I work from home many days when I’m not seeing in-person clients and so having him here really felt like it threw things off with my routine, focus, and productivity. Fortunately he got the support he needed and improved and was able to get back to work (and his boss was moved into another position so he returned to work with a new boss!).
Our much anticipated wedding happened in early October and that was magical. It was truly a beautiful day and we had a beautiful honeymoon together. October was a great month for us and it felt like things were finally in a positive space and life was moving forward. My heart-fire was sparked up again!
Then, on November 8, we were rear-ended in a car accident. I experienced some whiplash but my husband developed more than just minor whiplash. He had severe pain in his feet, making walking even 100 feet agonizing for him. I was pushed into the role of being his caretaker since he could hardly stand or walk. The severe pain lasted over a month but he is now finally doing much better.
So what does this post have to do with living a heart-fire life? What does it have to do with you?
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting in the past few weeks. While I started 2015 feeling like it would be a great year for me and I would continue to grow my passion and purpose through my work, circumstances along the way felt like a detour. Most recently, being my husband’s care giver and having to go with him to countless medical appointments, drive him everywhere, and do pretty much everything around the house left me feeling exhausted and with little time to focus on my work.
For me, my work with my clients is not just a “job”… it is my purpose, my passion, my joy, a big part of my meaning and my “why” in life and as that has had to be in the back seat, I find my heart-fire feeling like it is dwindling. I have felt like I have not been doing what I am meant to do with my life.
The other pattern that I noticed last year was that being in a committed relationship pushed me into a pattern of not prioritizing my own needs and desires. I share this because I think many women struggle with this. As women, it is easy to put ourselves last, to take care of everyone first and only when that is done to take care of ourselves. I stopped doing many of the things that I would do as part of my self-care routine when I was single, not because my husband asked me to or expected me to but because I started making myself less of a priority.
What is heart-fire living?
To me, it is waking up feeling energized, excited and raring to go for the day ahead. It is feeling fully alive, passionate, and connected to my deeper self. It is really living, not just going through the motions.
I have not made certain things that fill up my cup and fan the flames of my heart-fire (like meditation, yoga, and time in nature) a priority for myself and as a result, I can feel a difference in my body, mind, and spirit.
I believe in walking my talk and practicing what I share with my clients but I have found that harder to do with all the circumstances in my life and with adjusting to living with my now husband.
For me, 2016 means making those things that keep my heart-fire strong a priority. It means getting back to daily meditation, finding my yoga practice again, and taking more quiet time to listen to my inner knowing.
What does heart-fire living mean to you? And what is your heart asking you for in 2016?
Today’s post is another transparent and vulnerable one for me. As my husband continues to deal with a great deal of pain after we were rear-ended last month, I have been busy driving him to a wide variety of appointments and taking care of him. And being a care giver definitely isn’t an easy task. The number of times I have found myself in tears or feeling overwhelmed during the past few weeks has been quite a large number.
This week I was planning to go to one of my regular networking groups for a holiday luncheon but when yesterday rolled around, I decided not to go. The reason was quite simple… I have been in a very emotional and overwhelmed space of late and as an introvert, it is even harder for me to go out in a group of people who are happily celebrating the holidays and pretend that I am cheerful.
So I gave myself permission to stay home and do what felt more nurturing for me. If I went, I would have felt like I had to put a smile on my face and pretend that all was ok with me when in reality, right now is a very difficult time for my husband and I. I really dislike how pretending to be happy and ok feels because it is NOT real and I feel like a fraud.
I’m sharing this in my post because I know the holidays can bring up a wide range of emotions for many of us. We have expectations from family and friends about how we are “supposed to” show up to gatherings and events and be filled with holiday cheer. But the reality is sometimes we are going through a hard time and we don’t want to go be around a bunch of cheerful, happy people and put a fake smile on our faces.
I support you in making the right choice for yourself. Whether that is choosing to not go to a gathering or activity you don’t feel up for or going and being honest and transparent that everything is not perfectly cheerful and great in our world, do what feels right to YOU. Don’t feel pressured by anyone else to meet their expectations or to pretend that just because it is Christmas that you are in a cheery holiday mood.
This, my friends, is my holiday gift to you. Be true to yourself and your needs first and foremost and give yourself permission to feel sad or down if that is how you are feeling this holiday.