Friday, February 1, 2019

3 Simple Steps to Feeling Better: The Only Short Cut That Works

Everyone wants to feel better. Everything we do is about creating a certain feeling such as happiness, contentment, or satisfaction. Want to lose weight? Get a new job? Find the love of your life? Win a Pulitzer prize? Make a million dollars? I can almost guarantee you that what you are really after is a certain feeling. Sure, if those things happened, there would be all kinds of benefits too, but what if I told you, you didn’t need any of it to feel the way you long to feel?

You don't need any thing to feel the way you long to feel.

What if I told you all you had to do was change the way you think? Change the way you think and believe, and you will change the way you feel. Thoughts determine how you feel. Beliefs determine how you feel. Everything you’ve been looking for is already available to you right now, if you choose to change your thoughts. It really is that simple.
Now, easy is an entirely different matter.
It’s not easy.

It’s simple, but its not easy.


And what if I told you that changing the way you feel right now is the key to achieving all those things you want? See, we’ve gotten it BACKWARD. The feeling comes first, THEN the achievement. We’ve been conditioned to believe in order to be happy we must acquire a certain body shape, a certain amount of money, or a certain amount of recognition. Where did we get this idea? 
Advertising.
Yes.

From the moment we are born, at least starting in the second half of the 20th century, modern humans who have access to newspapers, magazines, books, television, radios, and more recently smartphones, laptops, computers, and tablets are inundated with the message that to feel better we must acquire something. 


Did you know advertising is designed to effect behavioral change? And social media is the advertiser's wet dream. Ask any marketing expert and they’ll tell you how fantastic Facebook ad results can be, if you know how to work the system. 
Why? 
Because it’s possible to create a profile on each Facebook user, a profile so precise and intricate Facebook brags in “secret” negotiations (not really secret anymore) with advertisers how they can identify when its users are depressed or having their periods.

I kid you not.


In effect, you are bombarded relentlessly by targeted ad campaigns with the sole purpose to convince you that you can’t live another minute without their product or service. 
How is this done? 
By identifying your pain points and your pleasure points.
In essence, any business or entrepreneur worth their salt has spent money and time figuring out what you want and what you don’t want. They have used surveys and keyword data; Facebook , Google, and Amazon log and analyze your online activity, even the stuff you typed, but then deleted before you posted. Even what you send in those messenger apps. It’s all logged in a huge database and analyzed forward and backward, sideways and inside out.
Then advertisers pay top dollar to target you and your pain and your hopes and dreams so they can sell you the relief, the solution, and the euphoria.
Now that I’ve made advertisers and the people who facilitate their efforts sound like the Devil incarnate…

I DON'T think advertising is innately wrong or wicked.

I love some of the products and services I’ve discovered because of these tactics. I’ve found books and gadgets and courses that have changed my life. Really.

As an entrepreneur, I've found readers for this blog and my books with this kind of advertising, too.
But one of the negative consequences of 24/7 advertising is we ALL feel less than, inadequate, and unfulfilled because we are constantly bombarded with the message that we would be so much happier if…we bought this product or hired this coach or took this course or ate this way or exercised that way. 
All our problems would go away if only we could achieve X or Y or Z and their products will help you do that.
Some of these advertisers sincerely want to help you.
Some.

Some advertisers are selling us a bad dream and calling it a short cut.


So how do we tell the difference between the real transformational opportunities and the emotional manipulation?
By figuring what it truly takes to make us happy.
 And just for a moment consider: what if I'm right? and it’s a simple matter of changing the way you think?


Are you ready?

If so, I can get you started right now. No down payment required because I'm giving it to you for free. ;-)

Step 1: Stop chasing the feeling

Start creating it.
With your thoughts.
You’ve all heard about the gratitude journal, right? Start there. First thing in the morning write down 5 things you are grateful for. It can be as simple as the pillow under your head. But I also encourage you to get specific. Use descriptors and try not to repeat yourself. If you’re really stuck, don’t worry about getting it right, just do it.

Step 2: Gather proof that your life is already pretty great.

Spend your day looking for the evidence that your life is already pretty great. Look for the moments of abundance: a kind sales clerk who takes the extra time to help you with your return, the penny on the sidewalk as you walk to lunch, the convenient parking spot when you’re pressed for time, the cell phone in your hand, or the right medicine at the right time.
When you crawl into bed tonight, add this body of proof to your gratitude journal. Just make a list. Don’t worry about sentence structure or even spelling. Just write it down. As you build your body of proof that your life is full of things to be grateful for AND abundance in all it’s forms, you will begin to cultivate the feeling all those manufacturers are trying to sell you: happiness, contentment, satisfaction, or just feeling BETTER than you do right now.
You want to feel better, but you need to make it happen on your terms. I have nothing against a good product or service and I promote them shamelessly: I love my Foursigmatic Mushroom Hot Cacao and my luscious doTERRA essential oils. They spark joy and fulfill a real need in my life. But I chose them because they speak to my already abundant mindset, not because I feel I lack anything.

Step 3: Repeat Daily. 

If you do this gratitude and abundance practice daily, you’ll soon be able to sort out which products and services have the right transformational experience for you because you’ll no longer be chasing a feeling. Instead, you’ll be cultivating it for yourself.
Now that’s true transformation and a short cut to feeling better right now.


 Are you ready to create a life you truly love by mixing spiritual practices with hardcore science and proven psychological strategies? Then join my private Facebook group The Karma Couch Connection. We're a tribe of heart-led, spirit-fed practical souls supporting each other to not only feel better, but to embrace our true Selves and live inspired lives. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST TO JOIN MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP 



 **As always, any links in my post may be affiliate links which means if you click and buy, I get a few pennies to keep this blog rolling. Thanks!*** 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Why The Phases of the Moon Will Make you Question Everything


I’m about to get totally woo-woo on you...and share how the lunar cycle has changed my life: or I should say how getting in alignment with the moon has made me question everything my teachers taught me. 



The Science

I’ve always been fascinated with the moon and it’s ever-changing face. I knew it’s cycle intimately living outside in the woods for 6 months some 20 years ago.
From the dark moon, also the New Moon, to the sliver of a moon- the crescent, to the radiant, glorious glowing orb of the Full Moon I've followed her dance across the sky time and time again. And much like my ancestors, I'm sure, I've wondered and pondered and measured and made correlations between her cycle and everything on this planet.
I've read a ton of the science about the moon’s orbit, watched documentaries about how it might have come into existence. I studied tides in school and was blown away to learn that the moon's gravitational pull is probably integral to the Earth’s and to human being’s evolution.
I've even delved into the moon landing and all the conspiracies around that business. Is the moon really an alien observation ship? Did it ring like a bell when the Apollo expedition dropped our space junk on it? ;-)



The Myth

Then I dug into the mythology and lore: werewolves, insanity, and crazy ER stories. There's way too much to go into it, but suffice it to say humans have known for a very long time that the moon has an effect on us. It’s in our stories and our psyche, although Scientific American published an article telling us why we're all luny to believe it.


The Magic

Next, I studied all the magical grimoires, Amazon titles, and pagan blogs to learn about how New Moons are for making wishes and Full Moons are for letting shit go. Apparently, you can bring love, money, and good health into your life if you perform the right ritual at the right time. And according to this Throught Catalogue post you can even detox with the right moon phase and phrase.
All of this moon fascination has led me to an amazing course I’m taking called Moon Goddess Training with the Luscious Hustle gals, Betsy and Laura. We just got started BUT I’ve been consciously working with the moon on my own now for over a year based on the book Moonology by Yasmin Boland and I can tell you that a LOT has changed for me.



The Why

By curiously exploring the energy shifts of the lunar cycles and how they align with my own internal shifts, I’ve started making things happen I felt stymied about in the past. Pretty crazy, huh?
Things are happening! I am so much more patient and productive then I’ve ever been. Is it magic? Or is it learning my natural cycles of creativity, productivity, and rest and how they align with the lunar phases?
I suspect a little bit of both.
Because I like believing in magic. 😘 It’s fun.
And I love studying the human animal in all her glory, including how we mentally, physically, and emotionally function at our best.



The Opportunity

We often miss out on opportunities to level up our lives because we resist thinking outside the box. Scientific American has a particular mission: to be the "leading authoritative force for the science discoveries and technology innovations that matter." So, of course, they are going to question the validity of the moon's effect on human behavior. Their interest in the soul is about finding a way to measure, weigh, and define it in a scientifically accepted manner, not feel the magic of being a soul having a human experience. At least I don't think so. ;-)
I was always all about the science. Give me studies. Give me investigations and intellectually stimulating debate. But eventually I discovered it was limited by its very insistence on strict interpretations based on very careful data collection methods. My friends, life is just not that neat and tidy. It's messy. Enter quantum physics. Talk about messy!
It's messiness is exactly why I love it so much. I love when humans get stymied. I love when we hit the limits of our understanding. It's a fascinating place to be, really. If you're willing to let go of everything you've ever believed...
But our strict reliance on data and logic means we resist what can't be clearly examined and defined. It's the left brain leaning mentality. Facts. Give us facts. But much of life, dare I say it, is a mystery. Venturing into the dark, into the murky waters of intuition and gut feeling is so...woo woo, the realm of adolescent rebellion and hedonistic, pagan Burning Man rituals, NOT the realm of smarty pants intellectuals. 
Therefore, for any self-respecting intelligent person like ourselves, it's far safer to stick with the tried and true, the socially acceptable, and our family's ways of doing things. It’s easier to avoid the conflict caused by thinking differently or entertaining the thought that Shakespeare was right: there are indeed more things in heaven and on earth than we can ever dream of.
Until it’s not.
Until staying safe inside our tightly closed world becomes more painful than taking the risk to bloom into our ever,-expansive possibilities.

And that, my friends, is why the phases of the moon will make you question everything. Give it a try. What do you have to lose?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 

Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio


Just something to think about.

Sending y’all much love and healing light this weekend.
Namaste.
Are you ready to trust yourself more and get in alignment with your soul's purpose, but not sure where to start? FABULOUS! That's what I'm here for. Sign up for my newsletter and you'll not only get my weekly practical spiritual ideas for creating the life you love, you'll also get my 5 Tarot Practices to Activate Your Intuition. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY HIGH VIBE NEWSLETTER

Are you ready to create a life you truly love mixing spiritual practices with hardcore science and proven psychological strategies? Then you NEED to join my private Facebook group The Karma Couch Connection. We're a group of heart-led, spirit-fed practical souls supporting each other in raising our vibrations. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST TO JOIN MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP 

Want to feel better and be happier? Ready to get in flow and create some magic in yoru life? Need some spiritual guidance and practical life coaching about how to get out of the cynical mindset and transform your life into one you love, instead of settling for the one you have? Are you ready to step outside the box and open youself up to your full potential? If something inside you is whipsering "Yeeeeesssss" then CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A DISCOVERY CONSULT 

***As always, any links in my post may be affiliate links which means if you click and buy, I get a few pennies to keep this blog rolling. Thanks!*** 


Sunday, September 30, 2018

I Look for Things to be Thankful For

Sunday Morning Musings
In the back of my mind always is a hiking metaphor for life, but not a weekend backpacking trip or a day hike up to Old Rag and back.
Life is a Thru-hike: a long journey with the ultimate goal not to get to the end point, Death (which who are we kidding, isn't really an end but a part of a much larger journey than we can conceive of), but to make the absolute most of the steps in between.
Friday was the 20th anniversary of the endpoint, aka Summit day, of my Thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and this picture of me and my husband sums up so much of that journey.
So I asked Source this morning: Where am I on my journey, now? What do I need to be doing right now? What is my next step?
Then I drew the first three cards from Louise Hay's How to Love Yourself Cards: a deck of 64 affirmations.
I think the message is absolutely clear and I’m not at all surprised that the centerpiece, the keystone, is to be thankful.
Gratitude is so powerful because it releases the past, trusts the outcome, and fully, joyfully embraces the present.
Peace out


Are you ready to create peace and joy in your life but need some help? FABULOUS! That's what I'm here for. Sign up for my newsletter and you'll not only get weekly practical spiritual ideas for creating the life you desire you'll also get my 5 Tarot Practices to Activate Your Intuition. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY HIGH VIBE NEWSLETTER

And if you're ready to learn more about what it takes to transform the way you feel and make a life you love, then you NEED to join my private Facebook group The Karma Couch Connection where we support each other in raising our vibrations. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST TO JOIN MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP 

Want to deep dive into taking charge of your emotions and changing your life? Need some spiritual guidance and practical life coaching about how to get out of the cynical mindset and transform your life into one you love, instead of settling for the one you have? Are you ready to believe in the potential for wishes coming true but don't know where to start? CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A DISCOVERY CONSULT 

***Links may be affiliate links which means if you click on them AND decide to buy, I may get a few pennies to keep this blog going. Peace out.***

Monday, July 23, 2018

Only the Worriers Survive

I’ve been working on shifting my perspective on negativity and complaining. Overall, I’ve been avoiding anything and everything angry lately, especially in the toxic political arena. 

But I have become aware of my own negativity in my efforts to be positive. Is it possible that my own negativity is influencing the way I perceive? Absolutely! Because we see things as we are, not as they are. 

So I asked myself how can I see things differently? How can I change my negative perception of the toxic atmosphere around politics? And even and especially the people  presenting the negativity?

So far here’s what I’ve come up with: 

Human beings are wired to be negative. Yes, we are. We are wired to worry and to project and to assume the worst. Why am I so sure? Because the earliest humans who assumed the noise in the bush was a long-toothed hungry tiger got the heck out of there and survived. 

The easy going fellow who laughed it off was eaten. 

So even if the overly worried and anxious guy was wrong 19 out of 20 times, he was right when it counted and lived to pass on his worry genes.

The guy who was relaxed and was right 19 out of 20 times got eaten because he was wrong just one, very crucial time.

So here’s my new outlook: it’s human nature to assume the worst. It’s okay because it’s part of who we are and how we have survived this long. It only makes sense that this doom and gloom outlook on life would reach a fever-pitched crescendo in social media. 

We are wired to worry. 

The pay off for changing my perspective? I can let go of my frustration and hurt feelings. I can just let it go. My friends' political posts are all about spreading the word; they’re just looking out for me. 

I can be grateful that friends are giving the high alert signal because that’s what tribe mates do: alert each other of danger and look out for one another. 

BUT I also recognize that this is our human tendency and that 19 out of 20 times the perceived danger is not real. It’s wise to be cautious, but it’s not helpful to constantly be terrified.

While I’ll still take precautions to not get caught up in the toxicity, I at least can peek at my friends' timelines again with a new understanding and less stress. 

What do you think? 


Are you ready to create peace and joy in your life but need some help? FABULOUS! That's what I'm here for. Sign up for my newsletter and you'll not only get weekly practical spiritual ideas for creating the life you desire you'll also get my 5 Tarot Practices to Activate Your Intuition. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY HIGH VIBE NEWSLETTER

And if you're ready to learn more about what it takes to transform the way you feel and make a life you love, then you NEED to join my private Facebook group The Karma Couch Connection where we support each other in raising our vibrations. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST TO JOIN MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP 

Want to deep dive into taking charge of your emotions and changing your life? Need some spiritual guidance and practical life coaching about how to get out of the cynical mindset and transform your life into one you love, instead of settling for the one you have? Are you ready to believe in the potential for wishes coming true but don't know where to start? CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A DISCOVERY CONSULT 











Friday, June 29, 2018

Be Yourself, Trust Yourself

This week I challenged my High Vibe Life Facebook group to observe how authentic they were being in their daily life.

I decided on this challenge because it's been a big theme in my life this past year. As I've explored who I really am and what I really want in my life, I've been all over the emotional and spiritual spectrum. 

Who would have thought simply observing and becoming aware of how authentic I am being at any moment would have such a profound impact??

But it has and this week I’ve come face to face with my True Self and she wants me to reconnect with her, to be more spontaneous, to surrender to my natural inclination to tell stories, be creative, reconnect with my sense of humor and playfulness, AND to experience the joy of it all. 

During this intense journey of self-discovery, I went looking for essential oils to foster authenticity and here are my top 5:

1. Wild Orange. I’ve always loved Wild Orange essential oil and now I know why: not only does it help with anxiety, but it’s also the oil of abundance and reconnects us with our inner child. It encourages us to let go of a scarcity mindset and teaches us to be generous, to give without thought of compensation. 

Wild Orange also teaches us we never need to fear putting ourselves out there and to live from our True Self all the time. 

Use: Diffuse 2-4 drops with Breathe or Peppermint throughout the day. *Peppermint enhances the effect of any essential oil. 

2. Cassia. The Oil of Self-assurance teaches us to have courage, to lead with the heart and the soul. It has helped me be less shy and timid (yes, I can be) and see my own brilliance when I am feeling foolish and silly. 

Cassia invites us to let our light shine and boosts our confidence.  

Uses: Diffuse 2-4 drops or dilute 1 drop or less with a carrier oil and apply over solar plexus. Caution: Cassia can be irritating to the skin, be cautious when using topically.

3. Spearmint. The Oil of Confident Speech. People in need of Spearmint may hide their thoughts, opinions, and ideas by withholding their voices. (Um, I know it sounds absurd but this is so me!)

Spearmint helps you get clear about your thoughts and opinions and then helps you speak your truth. 

Uses: Diffuse 1 drop throughout the day. Smells AMAZING diffused with Wild Orange. Or Dilute 1 drop with carrier oil and apply over throat. 

4. Black Pepper. The Oil of Unmasking. This oil reveals the masks we wear, invites us to dig deep to the less understood parts of ourselves, and reignites the soul fire. It reveals the strength in ourselves needed to overcome our limiting beliefs and invites us to live authentically. 

When we're little, we are taught to suppress our undesirable emotions. We're told to not cry, not throw tantrums, and basically, instead of being taught how to express ourselves in a healthy way we're taught there are some emotions that are "bad" and shouldn't be expressed. So we bury them. There's an entire side of us, what we may consider our shadow side, that rarely gets to see the light of day...unless we've learned how to be passive-aggressive. 

This side of us emerges whether we like it or not, so why not choose to integrate all aspects of ourselves instead of repressing half of who we are?

Now, I'm not blaming parents or anything like that. It just happens, so anyone who's got their knickers in a twist right about now, just know I too am a parent trying to figure out how to raise my wild monkey children with the best of intentions. Relax.

Uses: Dilute 1-2 drops in a carrier oil and apply to bottoms of feet. ( I also add a few drops to olive oil and toss with fresh popcorn or salad.)

5. Kumquat. The Oil of Authentic Presence. This oil invites us to stop repressing our true feelings behind a socially acceptable facade of feigned happiness. It assists in anchoring our identity in the truth in order to live authentically. 

It invites us to shift our focus from garnering outward acceptance toward the journey to inner alignment, contentment, and healing. 

Uses: Diffuse or place a drop in hands, rub, and inhale. Apply 1-3 drops along with black pepper in a carrier oil to soles of feet. 

The source for most of the oil information in this post is my most valued resource for essential oils and emotions, the book Emotions and Essential Oils. As always, any links to products or sites in my blog posts may be associate links which means I get a few pennies if you decide to purchase, with no additional cost to you. 

If you want to learn more about essential oils and/or living an authentic, high vibe life, come join our tribe HERE~>The Essentials for Living a High Vibe Life.

Be true to you!

Peace out, my friends.


Are you ready to create peace and joy in your life but need some help? FABULOUS! That's what I'm here for. Sign up for my newsletter and you'll not only get weekly practical spiritual ideas for creating the life you desire you'll also get my 5 Tarot Practices to Activate Your Intuition. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY HIGH VIBE NEWSLETTER

And if you're ready to learn more about what it takes to transform the way you feel and make a life you love, then you NEED to join my private Facebook group The Karma Couch Connection where we support each other in raising our vibrations. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST TO JOIN MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP 

Want to deep dive into taking charge of your emotions and changing your life? Need some spiritual guidance and practical life coaching about how to get out of the cynical mindset and transform your life into one you love, instead of settling for the one you have? Are you ready to believe in the potential for wishes coming true but don't know where to start? CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A DISCOVERY CONSULT 











Friday, June 15, 2018

How Do I Know I'm on the Right Path?

Once upon a time, I decided to hike the Appalachian Trail. Before that, I had only gone on weekend backpacking trips, but the man I had fallen in love with was a past grand master. I could not for the life of me envision our happily ever after if I remained unadventured. Yes, it's a word. ;-)

So, I planned and I shopped. I picked over backpacks, technical clothing, stoves, pots, boots, socks, and various tidbits and gear. All the while I wondered...would I make it. Was I capable of living in the woods for 2,000 miles plus? How would I deal with the cold, the rain, the bugs, the heat, the pain? I had long moments of great pause, was I really doing the right thing?

But underlying all my doubts was the certainty that I had to try.

And so I did. I found myself, with my new husband, at the top of Springer Moutain. It was a cold day, with clouds in the sky. It wasn't the send-off I'd imagined...sunny, blue skies with little fluffy clouds floating along...it was cold and wet and a little bit scary.

And I wondered... was I doing the right thing?

It started to snow as we hiked our first mile, but it was light and fluffy and I only had a mild tingling of worry. I hiked slow and steady, watching my footing and often forgetting to look up and see the forest. We met other people just beginning their thru-hike at the first shelter. They stuck out their hands and introduced themselves, some with trail names already. My hubs had thru-hiked three years before and introduced himself as the Professor. A guy turned to me and said, "then you must be Mary Ann!"

And I wondered...would that become my lame ass trail name?

I was adamant that would not be my trail name, and a friend said to me, "You better come up with a trail name pronto or it is going to stick. That's how trail names happen."

That night, we camped in a pavilion next to a graveyard and joined a group of hikers around a campfire. It was cold and our socks were wet from sloshing through a stream or two. One of the hikers put his wet socks on his hands and held them over the fire to dry. Several of us warned him not to hold them too close to the fire. Synthetic blends melt mighty fast. "That's why I put them on my hands," he said with a smug smile.

A few minutes later, I smelled something weird, like hot tires. Someone called out, "Hey, what's that burnt rubber smell?"

"Oh, shit!" The guy with the socks yanked his hands back and sure enough, the bottoms were melted and scorched black.

"Should a' known," Everyone chorused and laughed.

His trail name became Should-A-Known. So yes, it happens fast and depending on the situation, sticks immediately.

It made me contemplate my trail name hard. I'd already had two people call me Mary Ann and I refused to believe that was any kind of trail name. Who has a trail name like that??? It's boring next to the Professor or Roy G. Biv (Should-A-Known's hiking companion) or Snore-a-saurus. Now those were trail names! I couldn't end up with such a pedestrian trial name. But I wondered...would I?

I woke up to snow all over our tent the next morning, still contemplating my trail name. I spent the better part of the hike that day mulling it over. Snore-a-saurus, the friend who recommended I nix Mary Ann asap, suggested Miss E. He thought that was clever since my hubs always called me Missy. I thought it was equally as pedestrian. No, it had to be something I could tell my grandkids about and smile. I wondered...would I smile over Miss E or Mary Ann?

It eventually came to me on day three...my trail name. It would be Peacepipe. I was a little disappointed that this was how my trail name would come to be. I'd hoped that I would be dubbed on the trail by the hikers I met, but what they were trying to knight me with was even more disappointing, I decided. I told my hubs; I told Snore-a-saurus. They weren't as enthusiastic as me, and even I wasn't jumping for joy. This sucked. I wondered...should I just let Mary Ann stick?

But I didn't. I claimed Peaceipe by introducing myself as such, over and over again. I had no great story to tell about my name, other than it was in self-defense. But I wondered...was it the right way to go about getting a trail name?

And I hiked. Miles and miles, over mountains and through creeks. I faced the rain for 40 days and 40 nights (I kid you not). I watched people drop like flies, abandoning the trail because it wasn't what they thought it would be. There was too much rain at the beginning. We joked about swimming to Maine, our gear growing mold, and our feet perpetually water-logged. That's a problem, by the way. Ask a soldier about trench foot.

When we reached Gatlinburg, I was still wondering how to make my trail name feel official, earned...right. I was still struggling with it, dang it. While we took a couple days off, I roamed the streets and shops of that famous Tennessee town, brooding way too much. Then I came across a shop full of Cherokee folk art. A very simple red clay peace pipe called to me. It was small. Just the right size to stow away in a backpack. And I wondered...did it mean something?

Along the way over the next few months, I started drawing a little peace pipe after my signature in log books, etching it into my mind and soul. I was Peacepipe. I was Peacepipe...wasn't I?

I found feathers. And friends. I attached the feathers to my pipe; the friends to my heart and soul. I discovered some beautiful blue glass beads in a little town in Massachusetts, and that my capacity for endurance outstripped any preconceived notions. I strung the beads on black leather thongs and tied them to my little peace pipe. And I wondered...how do we just know our soul tribe when we meet them?

Then one day, deep into the woods in Vermont, I had a bad moment. I wondered what the hell I was doing on that trail for all these months? I was tired, but tired like I was running on fumes tired. I ached. I hadn't NOT ached for weeks. I sat down on a log and stared at the three-foot tall ferns, a sea of them between the trees, and I cried. What was I trying to prove, anyway? I gingerly took off my pack and examined my hip blisters. Yes, I said hip blisters. They'd formed as I lost weight and my hip belt became too big. And I wondered...had my endurance run out?

Was this still the right path for me?

Maybe...maybe not. I couldn't imagine giving up, but right then, it was so hard to keep moving. But what was I going to do? Quit right there, in the middle of the forest? And what? Wait for a helicopter to lift me out?

Pfft.

No.

I at least had to hike to the next town.

Later that same day, feeling weary and exhausted to my soul as I slugged out the last couple miles of the day, I heard my trail name being called. Excitedly. Enthusiastically! "Peacepipe! Hey, wait up! Peacepipe!!"

My tribe mates Sensei and Peacemaker came around the bend, backpacks tacked down, their faces lit up with smiles as big as boulders. "Look what we found!"

And they held out this little stone. Pink. "Look!" Peacemaker poked at the stone.

At first, I didn't see it, then I did. My mouth fell open. A "P" shape created by another type of stone, maybe quartz, embedded in it. "That's so cool! How in the world did you find that?"

Sensei said, "I was crossing that stream back there, looked down and saw it. In the water. I couldn't believe it. I called out for Peace and gave it to him."

I grinned at Peacemaker. "That is such a cool thing to find! How awesome!" His trail name was Peacemaker. How perfect, I thought. What an amazing memento. Nothing could have been more perfect.

"Oh, no. It's not meant for me,"  he said. "Look closer. Look."

I frowned, squinting at the stone, not sure what he was talking about. Then, like it had popped into existence at that exact moment, I saw it: a little pipe shape. Unmistakable. It was almost the exact same shape I had been drawing in the log books at the shelters when I signed my name. My whole body flooded with prickly energy, like chills running through me, every hair on my body standing on end. I think I got choked up, but I laughed through the confusing tears. Shocked. Surprised.

And happily, wondrously in awe.

"It's a peace pipe!" I cried out. And we all laughed at the pure magic we had the honor to be a part of.

I have never felt so on the right path as I did at that moment.

And I wondered no more.

Peacepipe '98

Are you ready to create peace and joy in your life but need some help? FABULOUS! That's what I'm here for. Sign up for my newsletter and you'll not only get weekly practical spiritual ideas for creating the life you desire you'll also get my 5 Tarot Practices to Activate Your Intuition. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY HIGH VIBE NEWSLETTER

And if you're ready to learn more about what it takes to transform the way you feel and make a life you love, then you NEED to join my private Facebook group The Karma Couch Connection where we support each other in raising our vibrations. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST TO JOIN MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP 

Want to deep dive into taking charge of your emotions and changing your life? Need some spiritual guidance and practical life coaching about how to get out of the cynical mindset and transform your life into one you love, instead of settling for the one you have? Are you ready to believe in the potential for wishes coming true but don't know where to start? CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A DISCOVERY CONSULT 










Saturday, June 2, 2018

How to Take Really Good Care of Yourself on the Off Days

My Kodi girl
So this week didn’t go at all like I planned. I had a great post on self-care and even planned a Live video in my Essentials for Living a High Vibe FB group to show you what’s in my Off-Day Kit. But the Universe had other plans. 

Like I had to make the heartbreaking decision to let my senior dog go. Thank goodness my husband and I are such a good team because having discussed the inevitable ahead of time made the process not easy, but bearable. My precious Kodi girl had a bad health episode a couple months ago and we nursed her through it, but the vet warned we could expect a repeat in the future. Our Alaskan Malamute was almost 13 years old, had progressive arthritis, among other old dog issues, and well, no one lives forever. So, we sat down and talked about it several times over the last two months. So when Kodi fell ill again this past Sunday, we were prepared, although anxious. I still held out hope we could nurse her through this. 

Unfortunately, things didn't work out the way we'd hoped and there we were, staring at death's door. :-( We followed our plan and we both held her as she slipped away. For me it was important to be by her side right to the end...and I was.
I see so clearly now in the immediate aftermath of Kodi’s passing how getting clear about my core values informs and sustains me. We all have to make hard decisions in our lives and we will second guess ourselves at times, so its really important for us to know who we are, what we value, and that we are mere humans doing the best that we can. Because when the storms of doubt blow through, you'll need a rock solid foundation to keep you grounded.

I’ve had to dig into my self-care arsenal these last few days, and I’m sure I will need all my off-day tricks in the days, weeks, and months to come. The ones that have come in most handy are:

1) Know yourself. This sounds like a strange self-care item, but it's actually the most important thing you can do for your wellbeing, next to loving yourself. Get to know yourself. Right now, before the hard things happen, sit down with a cup of tea and explore this person you're becoming, because we're always in a state of becoming. We are not static, fixed relics. We are living, breathing, in-the-works collaborative pieces of art designed by a Creator who knows a lot more about life and living than we will ever be able to fathom. Figure out what your top 3 priorities in life are, what you believe in, what you don't like, and where you're headed. Dig deep. Make the process of getting to know yourself an ongoing thing, because it is. The relationship you have with yourself informs absolutely everything in your life, including and especially your most intimate relationships with others. And when you have to make hard decisions, you'll be able to trust that whatever you decide to do, it's in alignment with who you really are. And that goes a long way in comforting you in the aftermath, believe me.

How do you get to know yourself? All kinds of ways. Keep a journal, but ask yourself important questions like "Do I believe in God? A sentient Universe that guides and assists? If not, why not? If not, what do I believe in?" Hint: you have to believe in something, even if it's just yourself. Stuff like that. Take yourself out on dates. Go to lunch with yourself, go to museums, concerts, and other things that you're curious or intrigued by. Don't just go where you've always gone, explore, step outside your normal routine and see what clicks with you. You don't know what will appeal until you give it a try. There are many other ways to get to know yourself, but these two activities will get you started. The rest will flow naturally out of your curiosity. Be open and as non-judgmental as you can be. 

2) Self-acceptance. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Acknowledge you are doing the best that you can and things will work out. They really will. Be gentle with yourself, love yourself, and forgive yourself. Curl up on the couch with loved ones and watch an old favorite, comforting movie and give yourself the space and time to process in your own way.

3) Long showers. Yes, I ran the hot water out twice this week. I play mantras and sing along with them and let the emotions ebb and flow. Try it. Water is emotionally as well as physically cleansing.

4) Take time off. While you may think you can’t afford it, you can and should take a mental health day. Cancel appointments, politely bow out of meetings or other obligations. The world will not end, the people will get over it, and you don’t even have to explain yourself. You can spend the day taking really good care of yourself. If you feel any guilt about taking a day off, keep this in mind: a single day off can recalibrate your mental, emotional, AND physical well-being so you can perform better at your various jobs and life roles. Otherwise, you’ll limp along until you have a major crash that will have a much bigger impact on your health, your family, your relationships, and your career. Take the day off. Everyone will benefit. 

5) Meditate. And I don’t mean on the off days. Meditate every single day, even if it’s just for 3 breaths. Let’s do it now:  
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Done. Do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. You see, if you only meditate when you “need” to, you won’t reap the amazing rewards you could if you’d been practicing all along. What I discovered this morning is my regular meditation on the ordinary days, even when I felt like I didn’t have time or the desire, prepared me. It prepared me to enter that space of peace and healing when I really, really needed it and didn’t think I could.

When you’re hurting, anxious, depressed, or angry it can feel impossible to find your center. That’s why you have to meditate now and every day. I avoided my meditation practice the last couple days and I wish I hadn’t because this morning when I started my guided meditation on grief (see the Headspace app) I felt myself sink into that quiet space and it was so peaceful I cried, but they were tears of relief. Meditation isn’t magic. It’s real, palpable medicine. 

6) Be there for a friend. When you’re having a bad day, it may not always be possible depending on what’s happening but if you can, reach out to a friend you know is hurting or struggling. Go have lunch together. Go for a walk together. You don’t even have to talk about specifics, just be there for someone else and you’ll find your own struggle easing, the load will lift. Helping is healing, my friends. The funny thing is lately I’ve found I don’t even need to search out a friend to help; it’s as if the Universe conspires for them to be there at the right time. Or maybe I've just made some great friends. ❤️😉

7) Clean, Declutter, & Organize. When I need to clear out mental space, I find it incredibly helpful to clear out physical space. I recommend starting with something personal, like your closet. But if your entire closet feels overwhelming, start with a sock drawer, your jewelry box, or your makeup bag. Dump out all the contents on your bed, then sort into four piles: love, like, toss, donate. Don't think about it, let your feelings lead. How does it feel when you hold that item? Don't think about how much you spent on it: guilt is non-productive in this case. If it's broken but you love it and it gives you that jolt of joy when you hold it, see if you can repair it. Old tattered concert t-shirt make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Keep it! Brand new $100 pair of shoes leaves you cold? Take them to a consignment shop to recoup some of your money. Then figure out why you bought them if you didn't absolutely love them so you don't make that mistake again. 

Revisit the "like" pile and hold each item one more time. If you don't love it, why can't you let it go? It's okay to put those items in a box and set it aside for three months. If you never have the urge to go get them after 3 months, let them go. And finally, clean the drawer before you put your loved items neatly back. Make sure your new arrangement is pleasing to your eye. You want your mind to be at ease when it scans that drawer or jewelry box.

These are a few of my go-to Off-Day Kit strategies and practices. So, maybe I've had more than a simple "off day" this past week, but the same comforting practices work for the really bad days, too. I urge you to create your own Off-Day Kit right this minute. if you don't know where to start, copy mine and see where that leads you. I don't mind at all. :-) But don't just say "Okay, yeah, that's my Off-Day Kit." Write it down someplace you can always find it. I use Evernote.

Do you already have some off-day care strategies? If so, I'd love to know what they are. Let us know in the comments and keep the conversation going.

Much love and light to you!

Peace out.

Are you ready to create peace and joy in your life but need some help? FABULOUS! That's what I'm here for. Sign up for my newsletter and you'll not only get weekly practical spiritual ideas for creating the life you desire you'll also get my 5 Tarot Practices to Activate Your Intuition. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY HIGH VIBE NEWSLETTER

And if you're ready to learn more about what it takes to transform the way you feel and make a life you love, then you NEED to join my private Facebook group The Karma Couch Connection where we support each other in raising our vibrations. CLICK HERE TO REQUEST TO JOIN MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP 

Want to deep dive into taking charge of your emotions and changing your life? Need some spiritual guidance and practical life coaching about how to get out of the cynical mindset and transform your life into one you love, instead of settling for the one you have? Are you ready to believe in the potential for wishes coming true but don't know where to start? CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A DISCOVERY CONSULT 













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