The Real Danger of Fear

The Real Danger of Fear

Something Was Lurking

A sense of anxiousness washed over me as I stood, not so patiently, in line for my turn at the checkout.  It was a palpable flush of a keen awareness that something was lurking in the aisle to my left, just waiting to pounce.  Without moving my head, I begin to scan my surroundings.  Just as my eyes began to move like a cartoon character, I located the source of the impending doom…someone I had not seen in many years.  Our paths had not intersected since my late teens and that was just fine with both of us as our last encounter was, let’s just say, ‘unpleasant’.  There it was the predator, a sabretooth tiger and I was the prey about to be devoured as there was no escape.  Despite my efforts to invoke the cloak of invisibility, the tiger crouched as the scent of fear wafted through the air. 

The only words that were running through my mind are not suitable to share here.  As our eyes met, I felt the corners of my mouth ooze upward as my eyebrows furled.  One might as well gaze deeply into the soul of what is about to consume them.  My shoulders tensed as the breath quickened; finally, it was my turn at the checkout.  Despite my overwhelming desire to ditch the items and run for the door, I proceeded with the motions of the transaction.  As I hastily made my way from this arena of death, there was a familiar sound beckoning from behind.

I Had Been Mauled

As I turned, once more my eyes met those of the predator.  The tiger approached with out-stretched paws as it lunged toward me.  Much to my astonishment, it seemed I was being embraced, not eaten.  I stood paralyzed, unable to reciprocate as I was certain I had been mauled and did not realize I was dead yet.  The tiger offered a low rumbling growl that my brain began to interpret as words, humble and sorrowful tones.  It seems as though the tiger was acknowledging that our last encounter was indeed harsh and would like make amends.  We exchanged cursory conversation for a few moments and then each went on our separate ways, both fully intact.   

From the safety of my now locked car, I began to analyze the event (yep, this is still my superpower).  Why had I been so frightened?  What created the physical response to a perceived threat?  When else in my life have I experienced this?  Seriously, when was the last time I had been stalked by a sabretooth?

After many hours of introspection, it became clear that this was a learned response.  In my life there have been relatively few times when I was in true danger; events that would have caused my physical being to be critically harmed.  Why was it that a chance encounter (or synchronicity) with an old acquaintance brought forth such a response that the fight, flight, freeze response was invoked?

Confusion Between Danger And Fear

I am now working to understand how my confusion between danger and fear is affecting the choices I make.  What I have discovered so far is that I can logically understand that danger is real and fear is an illusion or learned pattern.  There is danger in crossing in a busy street, walking a tightrope over the alligator pit without a net, and skydiving. 

There appears to be a sub-category of danger that falls into what I would call ‘calculated risk’.  Examples of this would be crossing the street in the crosswalk when the walk sign is active, feeding the alligators before walking the tightrope, and wearing a well-prepared parachute when you leave the airplane.

But the most delightfully frustrating discovery has been that fear plays a profound role in my existence.  For me fear is the sense that something might go wrong or even worse, I might make a mistake; which activates the danger response.  Imagined or real (whatever real means), the response is the same.  My stress hormones must not ever subside as my brain can imagine danger in everything.  Each action must be carefully thought through and a plan for every variable must be developed prior to embarking on any journey.

The knotted double-dutch ropes of fear and danger that I skip over every day leaves me exhausted.  Some days existing is all that is possible because of the fear of conflict around every corner.  This imagined potential sucks the life from my soul.  Why do I continue with this thought/behavior?  I long for a place and time where we are kind, loving, and honorable.  For it is there that my mind has decided I could retire the ropes and rest a bit.

The Only Stripes I Can Change Are My Own

However, until this utopian land is discovered, I will continue my journey in this life.  Employing techniques like self-hypnosis, reiki, meditation, and yoga to explore more helpful emotions and scenarios the mind can create. Learning more about me and how I create my own perceptions may well manifest that peaceable place I so desire.  Along the way, I am committed to allowing courage to shine brightly when the fear rises up.  This power will grow as I am able to recognize the truth of danger and the falsehoods of fear; resting in the truth that a tiger will do as it was created to.  The only stripes I can change are my own.

If you are ready to examine your own stripes, check out these classes that could help you discern your truth.  Start with Reiki 1 and 2, and continue on with Advanced Reiki and Reiki Master Teacher.  Open to all that are ready to explore.  Offering CEs to massage therapists and nurses in Stroudsburg, Bellefonte, and Lancaster, PA. 

Check out the schedule here.




Bullshit – That Is It!

Bullshit – That Is It!

Let’s Ride!

It has felt like a year of chasing dreams while mounted on a three-legged, one winged Pegasus through a meteor shower.  The heaping bowls of crap I have been feeding myself had left me bloated.  The rhetoric that was rolling through my head sounded something like this: ‘you can’t do that because you don’t have the money’, ‘this is too hard, you don’t have what it takes’, and ‘you can’t possibly think you are good enough to do that’. 

Tickets, Tickets, Please

One small stone on the track and the entire bullshit train would be stalled in Doomstown for weeks.  I tried very hard not to let the outside world affect me. But honestly, the constant barrage of deaths, unfathomable remarks from those in leadership roles, and the ridiculous media frenzy of ‘news’ is nearly impossible to buffer against.  There was no shortage of blips and snippets to deepen the derailing grooves in the tracks. 

The taste of regret lingered in my mouth like that of a Monday morning after a competitive drinking weekend.  All of the roads that were left unexplored were being traveled inside my head… What if that choice would have been made instead of this one? I should have seen that coming. What was I thinking would happen?

The stench of rotting unrealized potential wafted through the air as my dreams decomposed beneath my feet.  Inside the same day, there could be a registration for the specialized training for the business, which was quickly followed up by applying for full-time employment. One must keep all options open, right?

My old nemesis had quietly snuck into town on the last train and had set up camp in my own front yard.  Not Enough is her name and doubt is her game.  And this time she brought the whole damn clan.  Scattered through the lawn like creepy gnomes, each one offering an insecurity, hesitation, or blatant self-sabotage. 

Bullshit energy!

Then I came across this quote:  “The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it”, by Alberto Brandolini.  My first thoughts were focused on the external BS that others try to feed me.  But it soon became clear that it was me, ME that was both the producer and the refuter.  It was not the outside BS production that was fertilizing the gnome filled lawn, it was ME! 

While I continued to re-read Brené Brown’s, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, I found a passage that seemed to articulate what my soul was experiencing. 

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” 

I had been trying so hard to fit in and belong that I lost myself in the hussel.  I had been acquiescing and stifling my true self in an attempt to be part of something; something that can only accept my authentic self.  I can be authentic only when I believe that it is safe to be vulnerable.  To be vulnerable, I must trust and believe in myself.


So, I am refueling the train with the now sun-dried BS patties and pulling out of Doomstown, waving goodbye to the creepy gnomes as we pass by.  

What crap are you producing?  Are you ready to explore the wilderness?  Do you remember who you really are?

I have found that my training as a Reiki Master Teacher has offered a fountain of inspiration along my personal trek through the wilderness.  

If you are ready to explore, check out these classes that could help you reconnect with your truth.  Start with Reiki 1 and 2, now being offered in Stroudsburg, Bellefonte, and Lancaster.  Open to all that are ready to explore.  Offering CEs to massage therapists and nurses.  Check out the schedule here.




Can You Spare Any Change?

Can You Spare Any Change?

I have been quiet for several months.  It finally feels like I am finding my footing again.

It seems like so many of us have been going through a metamorphosis of sorts.  The last few weeks have me wondering…   

Does a caterpillar know it has wings? 

I will be honest; maybe too honest…I have been hiding from many of my friends and neighbors.  The current state of affairs in the world had me feeling very raw.  Spending even a few minutes on social media felt like salt in the wound.  There were so many polarizing posts and fearful, frightened folks lurking around every corner.  The intense shouting, screaming, and fists in the air – nobody listening to the ‘other.’  The sharks always circling, just waiting to interject their next exclamation of protest.

I found myself struggling to get out of bed in the morning and the stench of anger wafting through the air was nauseating.  I was not just Oscar the Grouch grumpy; it was full-fledged, ear steaming anger.  I was sick of the opposing sides bullying each other to the point of adult temper tantrums.  I realized I was slipping through the cracks and being dizzied by the vortex of fear.  I find my views fall somewhere between walking the streets with a crocheted pussy on my head, and lawful killing of animals while they sleep.  I had, in fact, built my own wall and was turning away ‘refugees’.

I decided that what I could do was focus on me.    

I started going to the gym – yes, inside where the equipment is 😉   I visited a new medical professional to look at things from a different angle.  I switched up some of the supplements, food choices and went searching for even more personal development tools.   And next week, a commitment I have had for the last two years will dissolve.   With all these changes, I am hoping that my time inside the chrysalis of 2017 is coming to a close.

Emerging with wet wings that quickly dry and a clear aura are my goals for the next few weeks.

While I gain strength and stamina, I share with you what has been maturing in the Inspired Holistic Wellness cocoon.  There are more details on the calendar.

  • Medical Reiki ™ Workshop on June 24 and 25 in Bellefonte (Reiki Masters only) – Deposit due April 21st
  • I have applied for approval to award nursing continuing education credits for Reiki classes.
  • PA State Board of Massage Therapy determined that Reiki CEs will still be honored toward license renewal requirements.
  • The next Reiki I and II class is at Sage Continuing Education on June 10 – 12.
  • Added Friday evening hours. You can now ease into your weekend.  Check out the on-line scheduler.
  • Special discount on in-stock products for my loyal followers. 20% off sale extended through April.   Just mention “spare change” when you shop.
  • Classes are returning to Arlington, VA this fall.
  • Office closed May 5 while I tag along on a field trip with my daughter.
  • Office closed May 16 – 23 while I travel for training.
  • Acupuncture is now being offered on Thursdays in my office. Contact Thomas Jordan at 814-470-7080 directly to schedule your session.
  • We are creating an additional office at the Indigo Wren’s Nest Wellness Centre. If you are looking for a quiet place to work or see your holistic focused clients, give me a shout.
  • Currently reading “Breaking Free from the Victim Trap” by Diane Zimberoff.  Have you read this already?  Your thoughts?

Even when things appear to be dormant and crunchy on the outside; there is great change happening. 

How are you coping with the changes in your life?       Do you retreat inside your own walls?

Best wishes for a delightful spring.




Dear Santa

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I really tried to be nice, but there was this thing, and then they, and I – well….

I know you are making a list, checking it twice and your going to find out…

I am not always nice.  Please, let me explain…

‘Tis the season to give pause and offer a moment or two of retrospection as this year quickly draws to a close.  One thing is for certain, these past twelve months have brought forth a steaming pile of change.  As I survey the topographical horizon, it can be a challenge to climb high enough to catch a glimpse of January 2016.  So I have resorted to Google calendar as my periscope.

On the home front there were piano lessons for a teenager; which have given way to the trumpet and marching band.  There was also lots of planning for a collaborative workshop that was squashed by a snow storm.  The summer brought about the beginning of my fourth year of focusing mostly full time on my soulpreneur business; in between transporting the trumpeting teen to her first job and the plethora of summer time adventures.  As fall began to settle in, the schedule became a bit tighter.  As long as everything was on schedule, we kept chugging along.  The cooler weather also brought opportunities for me to share Reiki classes in other locations – another amazing blessing!  I was also able to attend the Mid-Atlantic Reiki Conference where seeds for 2017 were sewn.  

Looking pretty good so far, right?

However, as I begin to traverse the core landscape of 2016, I exhumed some skeletons that might bring into question which list my name may appear.  There are a few times when I spoke harshly; well okay more than a few but I truly tried to suffocate the thoughts.  More often than not, I kept quiet while others were shouting, that should count for something, right?  I so badly wanted to remain on the ‘nice’ list. The aspirations of developing the skill to artfully express my dismay of the vial garbage oozing into the atmosphere are still just that; aspirations.  So the best I could do was keep quiet, most of the time.

Santa you know that for us bridge builders, 2016 has been a smoldering tinderbox. The political climate that has been festering, for way too damn long.  The back draft of November 8th seems to have fully engulfed my structure.  We have all endured the uninformed, antagonistic and blatantly incorrect statements from friends, family and co-workers.  I do admit I found a bit of solace in the ‘unfollow’ options offered on social media venues.  I have found comfort in the return of erectile dysfunction commercials and squeaky reindeer on television.  However, I am left feeling like a day old soiled diaper as I enter into the final weeks of this year. 

You see, being nice is really freaking hard sometimes. 

I embrace the fact that we all have backstories that color our future.  I also believe that no one person or group has the only solution.  I want bridges in my life.  I want to be able to cross over to the other side, visit awhile, learn a bit and even commiserate for a moment.  It is possible that I may become better informed; more well-rounded and develop additional empathy by visiting over there.  Yet, returning to home base and being with my tribe is where my soul feels warm and fuzzy. 

It is likely that I will not see eye-to-eye with you on which list my name is found.  However, I will share my wishes in hopes that my intentions are taken into consideration.

I would like you to deliver:
  • Respectful, articulate and well informed conversation.
  • Empathy, a steady and free flowing river that touches every soul.
  • Health – mental, emotional, spiritual and physical (I like green and purple bows).
  • Wealth – of courage to be ‘me’. Authentic, genuine, and compassionate with myself and all those I connect with.
  • World Peace, I know this is a long shot but…thought I would put it out there.

Thank you Santa!

And to all…

As we navigate the on-slot of holiday cheer and move beyond the jingling balls, please remember – I See You.  Your light is needed in this world.  Let’s continue to build bridges between us and them.   

Reiki is a gentle yet powerful Japanese technique that promotes stress reduction and relaxation.  If you are like me and need a little help to bring this back into balance, give me a call or go on-line today to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.




The Weight of Right

The Weight of Right

We have all heard it before: “Forgiveness is the key to happiness.”

In Luke 23:34 we find the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

A Course Miracle also invests a great amount of time discussing the importance of forgiveness with statements like, “Forgiveness paints a picture of a world where suffering is over, loss becomes impossible and anger makes no sense. Attack is gone, and madness has an end,” in lesson 249.

Life can be challenging some times.  Our bodies can feel dense and our minds quickly become filled with limiting thoughts.  Then we add in the never-ending political campaigns and 24/7 ‘news’ being blasted at us, and soon the sensations of being attacked roll through.  Like a cold front on a late summer’s day, these conditions are just right for a storm.  

For me, there are situations in which ‘right’ is very clear – offering assistance to a wayward animal, lending a helping hand to those feeling overwhelmed, or taking a stance with a bully.  However, there many more times when the concept of ‘right’ is very ambiguous.   The idea that three lefts do make a right comes to mind here.  The most direct route might be to take a right, but if you miss that turn, often times three lefts will also get you where you want to go; it just takes a little longer.  

In my teens and early twenties, I seemed to have perfected the art of three-lefts.

I wielded harsh words, acted out, and explored with substances in an effort to numb my experiences.  These choices led to some scary incidences and kept my guardian angels on high alert.  Anyone that tried to steer me in the right direction was indiscriminately ripped to shreds in the blink of an eye.  I would disconnect with these earthly advisers and dive right back into self-sabotage mode.

Today, I still struggle with situations where I have experienced the ‘wrong’ way to navigate life’s challenging moments.  I want to spare others by sharing the wisdom gleaned from my ‘wrong’ ways – but, just like me, they are focused on their own right way.  A wise man once told me that, “the smartest person is the one that can learn from another’s mistakes.”  We can choose to fight for our right or we can decide to support those that are ‘wrong’.

Each time we impose our right on others, it has a weight.

I am working to become aware of my own arguing, defensiveness or feelings of defiant behavior.  When the awareness rises I try to pause, breathe and ask myself:  Is this right worth the weight?  What is the impact of me imposing my right? Is this a safety concern or a chance support the ‘other’ while they find their own right?  the-weight-of-right-1

As I make my way through the joyful role of parenting, I find that I am trying to share the same things with my daughter that my family tried with me.  It takes great effort from me to listen to her words without the taste of disdain and regret from own youth.  I will admit that this is exhausting some days.  The amazing thing is that she seems to be much more open to the wise man’s ways than I was at her age.

Our rights add up and the weight compounds.  Often, by the time we reach forty-something, we find that the burden of this load is more than we can bear.  Forgiveness for ourselves and others is a powerful tool. Some of the forgiven rights may be like a grain of sand while others offer such a relief that the body finds a renewed spring in the step.

When my words and actions follow my heart, the right is worth weight for me.  Lending a hand to someone is well worth the weight of a arriving at home a few minutes later.  Offering a hug, cup of tea and time to chat with a dear friend in a time of need is worth the weight of getting up an hour earlier to finish the tasks that were put on hold.  Being kind lightens the load of all the other bullshit in this world.

However, when I feel judgement rise up, notice my hand on the hip, or observe my finger wagging – the weight will be a burden that I do not wish to carry.  For me, these are physical indicators that I am imposing my right.  Verbally there may be cues like “because I said so” or “it is not up for debate, just do it”.  Emotionally I can feel anger percolating in my gut.  The practice of awareness is just that…practice.  If I can bring focus to these areas, the weight of my right will shift.

How do you discern between ‘my way or the highway?’  

When is it appropriate to speak up or walk away?  I can’t answer these questions for you.  Only you know what is right for you.  I encourage you to be brave enough to lean into the possibilities of exploring the load you are carrying?  What is the weight of your right for others?

I leave you with this question – Is this right worth the weight?

And when you are ready to try forgiveness, this affirmation may be helpful:  I forgive you. I release you. I set you free. Not for you, but for me.  This has passed and I am present.

Reiki and hypnosis are great tools to help sort through the weight of right.  Are you ready to dig in?  Schedule your appointment now.  Evening hours are available Tuesday and Thursday.




The Giver Receives: Learning to Accept Help

The Giver Receives: Learning to Accept Help

learning to accept helpThis past week was filled with more opportunities than I could shake a stick at.  The ‘game changer’ for me was a chance to facilitate the inaugural round of Reiki classes in the Washington, DC area.

The germination period for this seed was much longer than my mind perceived it should be. There was plenty of watering, tending, and nurturing that were invested into this budding adventure. I lost track of the transplanting efforts for these Reiki classes as we moved the seedling from one month to the next, searching for the perfect conditions for the roots to take hold. We tried weekdays, weekends, advanced levels and beginner classes.

About a year ago I met with an amazing healing arts practitioner that has managed to nurture her garden of dreams for more than 25 years. Brenda Teal and the marvelous crew at The Teal Center for Therapeutic Bodywork have a healing oasis in the heart of Arlington, VA. They have worked long and hard to manifest this place of respite and rejuvenation among the sky rises and caterpillar-like traffic.  I am absolutely delighted to have the privilege to be one of many visiting instructors they are hosting.

While many of the other presenters have well-established careers in teaching, mine is just beginning to reach beyond my backyard. 

As my daughter continues to spread her wings and fly across the football field wielding a brass bell and roll stepping, my plan is to travel more to share what I have learned about Reiki. My husband supports my efforts as he tickles the retirement dragon. I am blessed to have such a supportive family.  My parents also pitch in with gram’s taxi and pap’s watermelon pancakes. And then there are the new-found friends that were made during an episode of summer-time dumpster diving.

It took me more than a year of therapeutic counseling sessions to build a (still awkward) relationship with the word ‘no.’

And this past week I was pushed into the next layer of my perfectionist, self-sufficient, and stubborn facade. I had to ask for and accept help. Talk about stepping in a pile of wet and stinky fertilizer…I found yet another level of vulnerability.

I had to ask neighbors, friends and family to pick up my ‘slack’. That is the word I use when I am forced to ask for help because I can’t keep all the balls in the air and do everything myself. Some might offer the term ‘fiercely independent’ to describe me – I prefer self-sustaining 😉 

I fancy being the giver, not the receiver. 

If I am going to follow my heart and fulfill my dreams, accepting help is necessary. 

In the letting go of I can do it myself, the sprouts of support are blooming wildly.  Weeding out my ego will require persistent awareness.  I still feel the false sense of ‘If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself’ wrapped around me like a warm chrysalis.  But, this experience has given me renewed courage to spread my wings and fly.

If you are ready to explore your dreams and stretch your wings a bit, join me in a Reiki class.  We start by focusing on learning about ourselves and then expand into sharing the healing energy with others. 

Check out the schedule here