Opening Your Heart By Mobilizing Your Ribs

Here’s a lovely short video I made last year for relaxing and creating greater mobility in the ribs.

We hold so much emotional tension through this area. When we improve the resiliency in the ribs, it can have a profound impact on our mood, sense of ourselves, and how we relate to others.

Enjoy!

Shamanism, Modern Times, and Loss of Connection

A few weeks ago, I was at an absolutely lovely training on utilizing touch work to help heal early childhood developmental trauma both with children and adults as well. One of the main tenets of the approach was, first and foremost, deeply attuning to the client. This process of connecting to another can, in and of itself, be deeply healing.

In moments of repose, it caused me to reflect upon how Shamanism, being the most ancient of Spiritual practices recorded on the planet, evolved during a time when the very existence of our species relied on us being incredibly attuned to each other and the world around us. The conditions of our modern living have encouraged a greater and greater disconnect. We no longer have to attune to our infants bodily state – we just diaper. We don’t have to worry about how our food is raised or grown – we just buy it at the supermarket. How often do we hear on the news that the beloved garment we’re wearing may have been woven in a sweatshop? How often do you come across a family or group of friends and see everyone of them on their smart phone?

As a species, our bodies evolved to regulate and regain a healthy resiliency inside through contact with others and the environment. Just like tuning forks vibrating together in harmonic resonance, our physiology does something similar. But look what we’re tuning to now – technology, images, a society in high speed, high stress states.

For centuries, humans have been trying to deny and “overcome” their animal nature. This is truly sad when it is within the brilliance of that very nature that we find the keys to our salvation. Our physiology is programmed to restore a resilient and comfortable equilibrium through a healthy connection to others and the natural world. We reach outside of ourselves – outside of this world – to find “God” when the very essence of the Divine lives within every cell of your body, every animal, and every plant that exists on the planet.

Just as Dorothy discovered at the end of The Wizard of Oz that “There’s no place like home”, the true healing and happiness we’re looking for relies on regaining the deep connection within ourselves, our tribe, and the beautiful world we were born into. It is the ultimate birthright.

When I work with my clients, whether it’s with somatic psychotherapy or shamanism, the very first thing I do is attune myself – physically, mentally, energetically – to them. It is about creating a relational environment that is the most conducive to assisting the client’s system to heal and regain a sense of safety and comfort inside. It is about recovering our ability to be simply – and pleasurably – human in the presence of another.

If you have an interest in working with me whether as a therapist or shaman, I’m available for free initial 15 minute consults. Contact me here and we can set up a time to chat :)

Are you Getting Dirty with Life?

I came up with this expression during a lovely session with a client earlier today. I love it.

Getting Dirty with Life.

It came up in regards to her discussing a parent that was so caught up in living up to ideals and being perceived in a certain way, that they were unwilling to really feel their feelings and really just be in the reality of being human.

Life is messy. We make mistakes. We get hurt. Others hurt us. We have painful feelings. Ugly feelings. But that’s life. Denying it just builds immense internal tension and stress. And that will eventually erupt somehow and somewhere that often has little to nothing to do with the original cause.

What generally causes us the most suffering is our inability to accept and surrender into this messiness. We cling so tenaciously to how we want things to be, to what we want, who we want, and how we think we, others, and the world should be. But it’s all just not.

Can you sit with that? That life is just not what you want. Not what you think it should be. Can that be ok?

Because maybe the way you’re wanting it to be something that it’s not is not allowing it to be what it is. Not allowing it to be it’s full beauty – flaws and all.

There’s a Divine Order to the Universe on every level. If you think of how vast of a context that order holds, how could you expect your human mind to understand it and try to control it down to your small perspective?

We’re here. We’re on Earth. We’re Human. Do you allow yourself to feel every Truth of what it means to be a mortal human on this planet? All the Truths of being precisely who you are. Precisely all you’ve done and all that’s been done to you.

Have you ever met someone that claims to be very religious, or meditated a lot, or some similar practice that is centered around love and compassion? Has there been lots of beautiful words about love and compassion but somehow there’s just doesn’t feel to be a lot backing it up? Well, that usually means that person hasn’t been willing to really get dirty – to really face all the dark, challenging things within themselves. But this is exactly what we need to do in order to manifest true love and compassion.

We need to be able to get dirty with life. We need to get comfortable with all that we fear, want to avoid, feel shame or judgment about. We need to get messy – and be ok with it.

From the rich soil of the Earth, comes the greatest Beauty. By being present with and accepting your own “dirt”; by diving in and being real with it, you will find some of the deepest riches of your own Being. This is the place from which to grow a real life. A Meaningful Life – flaws and all.

Getting Your Priorities Straight – through the Chakras

What do the Chakras and Preschool have in common? Everything Has It’s Place.   

Some of the biggest inspiration I’ve gotten the last few months have come from my son’s Montessori preschool. A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing for a free introductory call on the chakras. That Thursday afternoon, I arrived at my son’s preschool to pick him up. I found him on the floor brushing the long wavy blond hair of a doll. My first internal response was surprise that he wasn’t playing with cars or dinosaurs – two of his favorite items. Once I dropped that, I fell into the intrigue of watching how captivated he was by this process. The next thing that caught my eye was the label on the tray the doll and her preening utensils belonged to – “Practical Life”.

It really struck me. There was something so poetic; so honoring; so in harmony about this. About the very design of this room.

Everything had its place. Nothing was higher or lower so to speak. It was a wall of shelves and cubbies filled and clearly labeled with all aspects of life. It was such a clear and beautiful representation of life – at least that of a life where its values are in harmony.

It’s an ongoing challenge for those I work with (and I need to include myself in this statement) to have a balanced sense of priorities in their lives. Even just the other evening, I was working with a very lovely couple. When I brought up the topic of them tending to their basic needs, they both got sheepish grins on their faces and admitted to being quite negligent with themselves in this department. How we care for ourselves is how we show ourselves love. It’s also how we show what we value.

The chakras represent all aspects of life in a balanced way:   Chakra 300x330

1st – Your basic Needs and Physical Identity

2nd – Your Wants, Sexuality, and Emotional Identity

3rd – Your Power, Will, and Sense of Autonomy

4th – Relationships, Balance, and Social Identity

5th – Communication and Self-Expression

6th –  Perception, Clarity, and  Intuition

7th – Divinity, Union, and Belief

When working with the chakras, it’s important to understand nothing is higher or lower – just different levels of density/manifestation. All are part of life, experience, and  being human. The health of one depends upon the health of all. All aspects are valued – are loved.

This is a wonderful perspective to look at life from. When we’re constantly bombarded from others, the media, life pressures, etc on how to think, feel, and behave, it’s easy to lose ourselves and become very unbalanced. We lose the joy and meaning of life.

It’s helpful to take a bit of a walk-through with the chakras to assess how you’re prioritizing each aspect of life and take positive action to bring things back into balance through behavior change. Where you spend your time, energy, and attention represents investment. It’s important to invest in each of the chakras.

I like to spend at least a week, if not a month or more, on each chakra with my clients. Looking at how each is currently being cared for; what are the past memories and beliefs associated with each; releasing old ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that continue to be a detriment to that chakra; and choosing new, positive behaviors to help heal each chakra and bring more joy, meaning, and love into life.

Keep your eye out for my new 21 Day Self-Love Challenge online course coming soon! It’s all about the Chakras, Priorities, and bringing your life back into balance and love!

Practicing “Non-Violence” with Yourself

Enjoy a more accepting manner of approaching tension in your body!