Breathing while you're struggling

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Keeping up with self care when the world feels like it's falling apart

Once again I have been experiencing that feeling that I can't quite catch my breath before the news of the latest tragic event rolls in. Then it seems like my own personal life wants to offer me a cup of tea infused with a beautiful problem. During a difficult time in my life years ago a friend gave me advice that I needed to make a list of how-to-cheer-myself-up when I'm down. Simple things like brush my teeth, go for a walk, buy a magazine and unplug the phone. I haven't used a list like that in a long time but following what has happened in Las Vegas, I think I need to recreate one. A tip for making that list: you can't make it when you're down, as the list tends to be sarcastic. Once again I've called on that friend, Becky Holtzman, to shed some light on self care, with a post about self healing through Reiki. Even if you haven't studied energy healing, you can still send healing energy to yourself just by placing your hands on your body and intending energy to go to that area.
Take care ~ Kim

Becky Holtzman is a Reiki practitioner with Orange Flower Healing and practices Reiki in Bloomington, IN. You can learn more about her practice at www.orangeflowerhealing.com

Reiki and Self-Healing ~ Becky Holtzman
 

The Japanese word Reiki describes both the concept of Universal Life Energy (Rei = Universal, Ki = Life Energy), and the practice of Reiki itself. It is a hands-on healing technique that encourages the body’s healing process by promoting balance and relaxation at the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.
 
After being initiated or “attuned” in a Reiki I class, the heart of Reiki is a commitment to regular self-practice. A full self-treatment takes about 40 minutes, with hands placed on the head, throat, chest, ribs, belly and pelvis. Reiki passes through the hands and into the body. Since each person is unique, and every day is slightly different, the variety of experiences is wide. In my 4½ years of self-practice, I have noticed physical sensations (warmth, tingling, pulsing), and emotional shifts both profound and subtle. I am still surprised at the quiet power of Reiki.
 
By practicing on ourselves every day, we learn through direct experience how Reiki works for us, as an individual. You might think of it as you would a martial art, yoga, or meditation: the more you do it, the more familiar and confident you become with the process. For me, self-Reiki is a way of continually building a body-memory for relaxation and restoration. When I place my hands over my eyes, at the sides of my head, or at my heart, my entire being immediately understands the invitation to drop into Reiki.
 
What I always feel after a self-treatment is better, even if I was feeling perfectly fine before. I’ve also noticed that I have an easier time choosing my yeses, noes, or maybes in decisions both important and minor. If I feel uncertain, cranky, or upset, I give myself a few minutes of Reiki. When I am happily surprised, or delighted, I’ve noticed that I spontaneously place my hand at my chest and feel Reiki start to flow. Like the Tao, as described in Lao-Tzu’s Tao te Ching, Reiki “is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.”
 
Reiki never goes away. Once you’ve got it, you can always return to it. Even if you haven’t practiced for years, when you place your hands on yourself and invite Reiki to flow, it will. It might feel erratic at first—think of a how a rarely used faucet spits and chugs when it’s finally turned on—but patience and practice will strengthen that flow. Invite Reiki to teach you. Notice what happens, and how you feel.
 
There is so much that is out of our control in the world, but with self-Reiki we are always able to comfort ourselves, support our own ability to heal, and listen for our deepest truths. That self-care will naturally spill out into the rest of our lives, to the benefit of everything we care about: partners, kids, pets, gardens, work, and our communities, both local and global. When we make time to care for ourselves, things shift, perhaps subtly, sometimes notably. Either way, everything around that initial shift moves a bit, too. A process has begun.

C'ville

If you would like to stay closer in touch, I have a more regular presence on Instagram and Facebook.
 

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Recovery

 
The past couple months have been very intense with the specter of racism evident for all to see. People of color may not have been surprised but for me seeing what occurred when white supremacists descended on Charlottesville in July and August was shocking and a call to action. It challenged me to think about how I help perpetuate racism by keeping systems in place that keep others down. If you struggle to understand the concept of white privilege, here is an excerpt from comedian Omar Ismail that was helpful for me.:

“Consider it this way. All I know about you is you’re tall.

Do you have any advantages? Yes.

Does that mean you don’t deserve the can of tuna on the higher shelf? No. Nobody is saying that. Eat away mighty giant.

Should you feel guilty about getting the tuna from the top shelf? No. Nobody is saying that. Lighten your soul’s burden and let it fly free in the clouds beneath your knees.

Does that mean short people can’t get the tuna? No. Nobody is saying that.
Does that mean there aren’t disadvantages of being tall? No. Nobody is saying that. You have our sympathy for your poor bruised knees.
What people are saying is:

Denying you are lucky is silly.

Stop looking bewildered every time a short person can’t reach something. We’re sick of explaining this incredibly simple concept……

It works out well for most people, for the grocery store to put most things on medium shelves.

If you can help shorter people with things on higher shelves, do so. Why would you not do that? Short people can help you with stuff on lower shelves.

We are annoyed that the people who run the grocery store put all the best stuff on the top shelves.

There are a lot of people who are putting things on higher shelves because they hate short people. Don’t associate with those people.

For the entire article click here.

I have been impressed to see how our local ‘alt-health’ community has come together to try to help heal these traumatic events. Various local organizations have pulled together therapists, acupuncturists, body workers, and healers together to donate their time to folks affected. I felt honored to volunteer at Common Ground Healing Arts during one of their offerings. There were 11 practitioners that night and 40 folks were able to receive services.  
 
How do we heal from the impact of living in a town where a terrorist drove into a crowd of people and killed one of our own? How do we move forward toward unity?  I was inspired by Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro: "Here's what I want to happen. You ask me, 'What can I do?' So many people … I want this to spread. I don't want this to die. This is just the beginning of Heather's legacy – this is not the end of Heather's legacy. You need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability. 'What is there I can do to make the world a better place? What injustice do I see?' … You poke that finger at yourself like Heather would have done. You take that extra step. You find a way to make a difference in the world."

What is that spark inside of you? Please take what it is that you do well and share that with others.  

Warmly,

Kim

Have you heard the buzz?

black lives matter

If you are needing some support processing the hate and violence from the August 12th events that occurred in Charlottesville, come on down to Common Ground Healing Arts for free bodywork / acupuncture / healing services, tonight, August 30th from 5-8 pm, I'll be there offering free energy healings. 

White Priviledge

Site of terrorist attack in Charlottesville, VA where a white supremacist drove into a crowd. The energy downtown at the vigil last night was a mix of feeling ungrounded, hyper vigilance and also kinship. Personally, these events are making me more committed to take responsibility for my own racism and for bringing into light the way we systematically oppress people of color and foster white supremacy to grow. #blacklivesmatter

Site of terrorist attack in Charlottesville, VA where a white supremacist drove into a crowd. The energy downtown at the vigil last night was a mix of feeling ungrounded, hyper vigilance and also kinship. Personally, these events are making me more committed to take responsibility for my own racism and for bringing into light the way we systematically oppress people of color and foster white supremacy to grow. #blacklivesmatter

Seeing Unity

third eye chakra

Are you seeing the differences or the connections?


The third eye or 6th chakra is the chakra that’s located in the middle of our forehead and the one which moves our view from only a micro level to the macro level. Shifting the view from how it impacts my family and me to how it also impacts society. It is through this chakra that we have moved from the pollution of the 1970’s to now where it is standard to recycle and test emissions. At first the implementation of these programs probably seemed like a burden to have to sort what could be recycled versus trash, but the minor inconvenience was worth it for the greater good. There is a parable that is really great at illustrating what I am talking about. Click here if you’d like to read about the farmer’s son: a tale of fortune or misfortune. While I was staying at a resort this summer I kept seeing litter. I first thought, people are so rude, why don’t they put that in the trash or recycling can? (Judgment) First I walked past it, then my 6th chakra chimed in: you can do something about it. So I turned around and picked it up, and you know what? I transmuted that judgment about others into something positive for myself and the greater good. Through this act I was also able to release the judgment. It reminded me again I always have a choice. So, if you see some trash sitting about, I highly recommend picking it – you may be surprised how much better you feel.
 
This chakra is the place where our intuition can come in but also can be blocked when we start to doubt. When you start questioning yourself or going in circles about a decision, often you get even more confused – this is a clear sign that your third eye is closing or not fully open. This is also the place where we are able to recognize the silver linings or gifts that come from illness, death or a painful breakup.
 
When our 6th chakra is balanced and open we can come up with a good idea and are able to recognize the steps required to carry it out. We can use our intuition, wisdom, and judgment to bring things to fruition.
 
A couple months ago a family member said something to me that I took as a criticism and instead of being able to evaluate it, I felt anger and shame. Apparently my 6th chakra was off, because fast forward 3 months and that same family member said that same thing to me and this time I saw they were really saying it as a acknowledgement of all what I do and this time I could take it in as a compliment. A friend of mine often says, “Humans are fascinatingly bizarre creatures.” Yes, we are.

Here's a brief overview of the third eye chakra.
 
Physical level: The 6th chakra governs the eyes and pituitary gland.

Psychological level: When this chakra is balanced we are able to trust our intuition and are able to clearly see things but not be judgmental.
 
Spiritual: This governs our intellectual understanding and clarity.

If your third eye chakra is off you may notice the following:

  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Insomnia
  • Sinus issues
  • Inability to carry out your ideas
  • Inability to feel clear about a decision
  • Tendency to be judgmental
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations / paranoia

Some suggestions for opening your 6th chakra and bringing your chakra back into balance:

  • Experience indigo light emanating out from your middle of your forehead.
  • Massage your forehead.
  • Yoga poses: standing forward bend, head to knee pose, dolphin pose and child’s pose.
  • Affirmations: I am open to my inner guidance. I trust my feelings. I am full of wisdom.
  • Meditate.
  • Stop checking your phone or electronic devices 1 hour before bed.
  • Essential oils; geranium, lavender, clary sage, grapefruit and sandalwood.

 
If you’re feeling you need some support with this chakra or just to rebalance from the summer shifts click here to schedule a session.


 

Speak up, please

throat chakra

What is it that you haven't said?


Ready to dive into some truth telling? An open fifth chakra is what you need. Mother’s Day was a hard time for many folks I know. They have strained relationships or have experienced abuse from their moms. They don’t want to celebrate with them or be bombarded with the hoopla that surrounds this holiday. I also know many out there who wish to be moms and haven’t been able to conceive or have had many miscarriages and disappointments. I also want to presence the moms who have so so relationships with their kids for whom this day brings feelings of being unappreciated.
 
One of hardest parts of all these possibilities is the feeling that we can’t be open and honest about it. The constricted feeling that if Mother’s Day is miserable for us, we need to isolate or suck it up and be fake, when the most healing thing we can do is to own our feelings about it. Many times well meaning people respond to these feelings with, “But you should be grateful at least you’re here.” Or “Focus on the positive.” As we all know when someone tells us either of those things and we’re not feeling it, we do not feel grateful or happy.
 
What does this have to do with the throat chakra? When our throat chakra is balanced we understand it is our right to feel the way we do and can express our emotions without having to diminish another. The throat chakra is about taking in and assimilating (both food and information), speaking our truth and bringing our full self through our work and sharing that with the outside world. This chakra is also related to listening, being able to hear what others have to say, even if what they have to share with us is that we’ve caused some pain.

When I was in healing school a teacher at the beginning of the year mentioned that all the students needed to speak up, not just the ones who felt comfortable. If we were to not share what we were thinking or feeling we would create a drag on the class as a whole. Each one of us was vital to the energetic field we were creating and a hole would be created by our lack of speaking out. If I'm feeling anxious about expressing something, I often think of this to summon the courage to share. 

Here's a brief overview of the throat chakra.
 
Physical level: The 5th chakra governs the throat area, neck pain, teeth, thyroid, speaking and hearing.

Psychological level: When this chakra is balanced we are able to express emotions and feel we are heard.
 
Spiritual: This governs our ability to express the truth and communicate freely.

If your throat chakra is off you may be:

  • Over-talkative
  • Unable to express views
  • Dogmatic
  • Unreliable
  • Arrogant
  • Experience thyroid issues
  • Overeat and never feel satiated
  • Feel like no one listens to you

Some suggestions for opening your throat chakra and bringing your chakra back into balance:

  • Experience sky blue light emanating out from your neck and throat.
  • To open your throat chakra quickly; sing your favorite song out loud – if you’re shy do this in your car with the music turned up.
  • Yoga poses: shoulder stand, neck rolls, baby cobra pose, fish pose and plow,
  • Affirmations: I speak the truth. I communicate honestly and directly. I always speak from my heart.
  • Practice chanting the sound “Om”
  • Essential oils; birch, lavender, oregano, chamomile and peppermint.

If you’re feeling you need some support with this chakra, schedule a session, we can see if you need a chakra restructuring or chakra balancing to bring your truth out. Here’s to being you in your most powerful form.

 

To those with battered hearts

It is through the heart that we heal

The fourth chakra, also known as the heart chakra, is about our relationship with our self and loving others.The heart chakra is the middle chakra on the 7 chakra system. It is the place that connects the body chakra centers (1-3) to the spiritual chakra centers (5-7) and it is the place where all healing originates. The heart chakra is where we carry our beliefs about love and relationships, about giving and receiving love. This chakra also controls our openness to life as well as our will in the outside world. 

Here's the breakdown on what the fourth chakra governs on the physical, psychological and spiritual levels. First though, where to find it - the fourth chakra is located in the center of your chest.
 
Physical level: It governs the thymus, heart, circulation, chest, lungs and balance. 
 
Psychological level: When this chakra is balanced we can feel compassion for ourselves and others.
 
Spiritual: This governs our ability to have unconditional acceptance for ourselves and others. It also mediates between the world of spirit and matter.
 
If your heart chakra is off you may experience the following:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Anxiety especially in your chest 
  • Grief; inability to feel or overwhelmed by feeling
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Co-dependency
  • Fear of loneliness
  • Fear of commitment
  • Betrayal
  • Resentment towards others
  • Burnout at work or in your relationship

Some suggestions for soothing heart burn and bringing your chakra back into balance:

  • Experience green / pink light emanating out from your fourth chakra
  • To open your heart quickly; look at a picture of your dog, child or a loved one who brings a smile to your face. You can use this to help you with making choices from the heart.
  • Yoga poses: downward facing dog, low lunge, high lunge, camel pose, bridge and corpse
  • Breath of fire
  • Affirmations: I accept pain is a part of my growth. I love myself and all I am. I am grateful for all the love that is in my life. My heart opens with love for all beings. 
  • Place hand on 4th chakra and envision a clearing of any gunk between you and those you love and those you have a hard time loving
  • Essential oils; bergamont, rose, lavender, melissa, basil and frankincense.

I found this video and feel like the man speaking really is expressing what the heart understands. Even when we have experienced loss and heartache we can still find happiness. 
 
Bringing our fourth chakra into balance will bring the sense of knowing what you need to bring in healing. Here’s to being you in your most powerful form.

If your heart is in need of some repair, come on in for a healing.

Mundane or magic?

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I keep getting reminders that the mundane is actually not. I was at the gas station and my car wouldn't start and right when I was about go down that path of getting grouchy, I looked up and saw this, a beautiful Luna Moth. Luna Moths only live for 7 days and during that time they can't eat (they have no mouth) and drop 400-600 eggs. They are often considered a symbol of intuition, reproduction and rebirth. And for me a reminder to find the pause. 

The Fire Within

Who are you?

This is the question the third chakra often prompts us to answer. The third chakra, also known as the solar plexus, is about our relationship with our self - who we are in the universe, our belief in our self and our personal will in the outside world. It is where we take any criticism that comes our way and evaluate it. It is why we use the expression, "punched in the gut."  It is also where we come to really feel powerful in the choices we make and have confidence that we know what is right for ourselves. If we have a breakup or move houses or switch jobs, we will often find this chakra off. Or if we are even contemplating any of these changes we may find our third chakra off balance. The third chakra is also where all social movements start, many people have found with the change in presidency that their third chakra is activated. They feel fired up to stand up for what they believe it. The element associated with this chakra is fire.

Here's the breakdown on what the third chakra governs on the physical, psychological and spiritual levels. First though, where to find it - the third chakra is usually located below where your rib cage opens up.
 
Physical level: It governs the digestive system, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, adrenals and immune system. 
 
Psychological level: When it is in balance we are not easily manipulated or swayed to other's ways unless it aligns with our own. While outside approval is nice, when our third chakra is in balance, it is not necessary for us to act, we feel strong enough on our own. We are able to come from a place of strength and integrity.
 
Spiritual: This governs our ability to face life's obstacles with integrity. We know we can take risks and handle any situation we are faced with. When our solar plexus is open and in balance we can clearly hear intuitive information and act on it. 
 
If your solar plexus chakra is off you may experience the following:

  • Difficulty feeling feelings
  • Extreme highs and lows of emotions
  • Low self worth 
  • Workaholic tendencies
  • Desire to control
  • Addictive personality 
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Digestive problems
  • Judgmental
  • Need constant reassurance
  • Overly concerned about what others think

Some suggestions for bringing your solar plexus back into balance:

  • Visualize yellow light / fire coming out from your third chakra
  • Yoga poses: plank, warrior III, bow, child's pose and cobra pose
  • Breath of fire
  • Affirmations: I determine to treat myself with respect and honor. I am my own person. I am open to receiving all life's good things. 
  • Place hand on third chakra envision any criticisms bouncing off
  • Essential oils; bergamont, ginger, black pepper, lemon, clove and wintergreen.

A friend shared this video with me and I felt like it's such a brilliant example of a healthy solar plexus ~ hope you enjoy this video and also can feel "Soy Yo" or "I'm me". 
 
Bringing our third chakra into balance will bring the sense of knowing who you are. Here’s to being you in your most powerful form.