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.
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.
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.
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.
This morning while watering the plants at the office, a question popped into my heart – “Are you watering your dreams or drowning your fears?” As the last few drops dribbled over the leaf, there was silence. No reply, not even from the reptilian brain.
Fall is my favorite season. In the Northeast US this is the time of year that we can observe the maples and willows releasing their leaves with great splendor. An attempt to hold on to those leaves would be a detriment to the longevity of the tree. Nature’s seasonal rhythm nudges me to, once again, review my own branches.
Is it possible to be a deciduous evergreen?
Can I release what is complete yet retain that which feeds my soul?
I sometimes get caught up in the winds of change while still clinging desperately to what ‘might have been’. Trying new things, implementing small tweaks or embarking on new adventures is very challenging when you’re gripping tightly to what has become a limiting pattern.
For me, one of the cues that it is time to let go comes from observing my thoughts. If I am flying the ‘should’ flag at full staff, additional attention is warranted. If the smell of obligation is wafting in the air as the banner flaps about, it is time to lower it. Maybe a good cleaning, packing it away in storage or even setting it free may be in order.
Lately I have been feeling frustrated by the ‘should’ of social media statistics. Every software application that a business owner can use offers ‘valuable’ insight into what is best received. The number of clicks on a link can begin to feel like a popularity contest or electoral opinion poll. I found that I was chasing increased statistics which reduced the amount of time available to spend with clients or being truly present with my family. I had fallen face first into the swamp of ‘more’ as I chased after numbers. I know better, really I do, but it happened.
Fear…Fear of not being good enough. Fear of financial instability.
I was drowning in my self-manufactured fear.
As a soul-preneur, it is not always easy to discern the needles from the leaves. I find the habits of yesterday were clogging tomorrow’s potential. If I could just release what has run its course, there would be room for real growth in the next season. By holding on to behaviors passed their season, I was stymieing my own natural progression.
Today, as I am putting my life jacket on and allowing the life raft to pull me ashore. I can’t believe I am doing this…I am releasing old growth from the previously coveted mass mailing list. I have spent years building this list. It has served me well and I will spend some time today honoring its service before I set it free. The mantra I use in times likes these is – Faith * Acceptance * Trust * Gratitude (FAT Grat). As I willingly allow this pruning, I know that releasing good will make space for great.
As I watch the leaves of social media statistics and stale email addresses fall to the ground, I refocus my intention toward watering my dreams. A dream of serving those that arrive in this newly created space until, they too, are ready to be set free. By releasing this ‘should’ I am making room for what my heart beckons – quality presence with family, clients and fellow light workers. I choose to water my dream of inviting togetherness that really matters. No more chasing numbers!
What this means is that I will send out free-ranging blog posts free of obligations to ‘produce’ something because it is Friday. I am releasing the email addresses that are stale without fearing that there are too few on the list.
I am following my intuition, not statistics.
Are you ready to water your dreams? Is it time to release a fear or limiting belief?
Reiki and hypnosis are amazing tools to help you achieve your dreams.
Check out what is happening this fall as I offer classes and private sessions in Bellefonte, State College and Lancaster, PA as well as classes in the Washington DC area.
We seem to be roasting in our pots, boiling over the flames of fear that we stoked just before climbing in and closing the lid.
The vibration of fear was running rampant this week.
Everywhere I turned there was a frenzied shoring up of walls, stockpiling arsenals and fortifying assets. I would like to blame it on economics, the never ending barrage of political ‘news’ and lack of education but…I know that it will persist long after we cast our votes.
I heard statements like ‘they can’t use my space because they offer competitive services’ and ‘you can’t post that here because I sell the same thing’.
Thanks to Brené Brown and many others, I am slowly learning to take deep breaths when words create a physical response in my body. When these words smash against the inner canals of my ears, I have the proverbial nails on a chalkboard full body shiver.
Inside the folds of my brain I can feel the reaction begin like a water park wave pool siren blaring – ‘Are you f’ng serious? What the hell are you so afraid of, it is just a damn piece of paper!’.
Then the little darling on my left shoulder, sporting wings and a halo, pokes me with the devils trident…breathe, you know these voices are fueling the fire. You are on your judgmental high horse…the one you need a ladder mount.
Breathe and descend – NOW!
As with any newly introduced practice, it takes determination to shift from old habits.
After all, I have only been at this for twenty years 😉
Once the breath and navel shake hands and hug the heart, it is time to review why the words were screeching on my soul’s chalkboard. What confabulation of a screenplay was previewing in my mind’s eye?
The leading role starred Ego with a strong supporting performance from Judgement and a cameo appearance of Self-Righteousness.
This short film has replayed a thousand times in my Perfectionism Theatre.
Some previews were private but most are free, general admission for any poor bastard that dared to enter.
Boundaries are good, right? We all need to know where others’ limits are so we can operate around their perimeter, entering only at the designated gates and when invited. But what about those unexpected visitors that may present an opportunity for collaboration that has been divinely generated?
The recognition of fear in our daily lives can be daunting. While fear may play an important part in keeping us safe from the saber tooth tiger, what we have come to perceive as ‘danger’ may be more of an opportunity than a threat to anything other than Ego.
Fear can be useful in understanding ‘real’ dangers like being too close to the fire, entering into the roadway or stepping off of tall buildings.
A healthy respect for the tiger’s teeth may keep you in good health.
But what boundaries are erected in the name of fear? Is competition real? If we are focused on what we do best and offer our products, services and love in a way that is in line with our higher self, does it really matter what others are doing?
Is being a ‘good’ spouse, parent, child, business owner, or soulful being really threatened by ‘competition’?
As a Reiki Master Teacher and consulting hypnotist, I am grateful that there are others in my area offering their services. I believe that we each have a gift to share with others in a way that only we can.
I am not the best Reiki teacher for everyone and I don’t have the expertise to work with every behavior that hypnosis can help. I have a list of preferred providers that I refer people to when I am not the best person to help. It is important to me that those seeking to make improvements find the best resources available to meet their needs.
As the “Fear” movie credits begin to roll and the crowd shuffles out, once again the doors on the Perfectionism Theatre close. The critic inside may find that Fear can help in many ways….
Fight Each Adversary Ruthlessly OR Focus Energy Advancing Rigorously.
If you find that you are ready to sit next to the fearful plot that was created in your theatre, let’s chat.
Reiki and hypnosis have helped me implement new skills and extend invitations for more visitors into the boundaries of possibilities.
I offer private Reiki and hypnosis sessions, Reiki Classes, NCBTMB Continuing Education Credits, as well as ethics training for licensed massage therapists. I also offer presentations and speaking engagements to share the benefits of Reiki and hypnosis.
These are offered at my private studio in Bellefonte, PA, Sage Continuing Education in Lancaster, PA, The Teal Center in Arlington, VA and d’EnnerG Therapeutics in Gettysburg, PA.
Book your session today, let’s talk about we can collaborate to create FEAR (Focus Energy Advancing Rigorously).
Blessings for all the very best!
Being an entrepreneur is a freakishly delightful nightmare. As a sole-proprietor, if you don’t do it or hire someone else to do it; it isn’t getting done.
Everything from the cleanliness of the restrooms, to the budget and marketing plan – it is all you baby!
You are in complete control – no more nagging boss or derelict co-workers. There is nobody else to pass the blame or credit on to.
Owning a business allows you to have things your way; whether is it functional or not. And, my way has always been ‘perfect’. Everything has to be ‘just right’ with all things in their place, attention to every detail, organized, presentable, neat, and tidy.
I have invested hours sorting, straightening or as we say in Central PA – redding up.
Yes, we say that here and the translation is: to clear the space of clutter and/or clean the area. We also have many other equally odd terms but the list is too long to ponder today.
I function best when order and organization are plentiful.
It is easy for me to find value in filing papers, folding sheets, vacuuming and even cleaning the restrooms. Attention to the small details creates a welcoming and professional environment for me and my clients.
As a healing facilitator, the energy of the facility is extremely important. Re-arranging furniture until it finds the perfect place is therapeutic for me. Well calculated and uber-analyzed decisions over toilet paper, location of plants and wording on signs are some of the divinely imparted gifts I have to offer the world.
If it is worth doing, it is worth doing ‘right’.
One of the things that frustrated me most during my corporate stint was the philosophy that there always seemed to be enough time and resources to do it again, but never enough to do it right the first time.
So since I am in charge, I made sure that I would take the time to get it right the first time. None of the tom-foolery in re-do-land was going to creep into my business.
Or so I thought …
As the opportunities and networking sprouted like the crocuses in early spring, I wanted to make sure that I did not miss ‘that one’ connection. I spent time after the family drifted off to sleep or engaged in their own activities; researching, calculating and squeezing each detail into my carefully managed calendar.
I only allowed the most obscure or regionally distant events to fade into the background as I planned my well designed garden of success.
It all came together perfectly – painstakingly perfect.
However, eventually my calendar was overflowing, without a moment to spare. I was compacting eight hours of sleep into six so I could get it right the first time.
I knew that I was teetering on a rocky shore but this was my opportunity to shine and I wanted to offer that perfect beacon of light to every passing ship.
Deep down I knew it was time for a change, but perfection must be maintained.
Get it all right the first time.
Over the next few months I started to say ‘thank you but I am not able to make it”. At first there was self-inflicted guilt, but eventually it became tolerable.
However, with the expanded space in my schedule, I began to hyper-focus on the remaining tasks. The ensuing waves of analysis began to crash on my rocky shoreline. Eventually I succumbed to the relentless pounding of the perfect waves.
As I bobbed to the surface, gasping for air, I realized I was drowning in my very own sea of perfection.
As I climbed into the life raft, it was only then that I became keenly aware of my precarious situation. If I continued to clutch the weight of perfection, I was going to sink.
I was paralyzed by the overwhelming sensations that were rocking my boat – sink or swim.
My thoughts and body lay still. My shallow breath finally came into my awareness. Breathe, just breathe was my only thought.
As I drifted ashore, breathing much deeper now, I knew it would require diligent effort but I was willing to swim. I was willing to release the weight of perfection, even if it were one pebble at a time.
Over the next few weeks I began to observe the increase of energy that would pulse as I allowed the release of the perfection in small areas of my day. When I say small I mean that I was able to resist the need for all the toilet paper to be ‘over’ the rolls in the dispensers.
One step, no matter how small, is where we all begin as change is invited.
Soon, I found that there was something to this new found freedom. The tasks were being completed and good decisions were being made with less effort.
I had a renewed trust in my ability to navigate any circumstance that life had to offer. Perfection became a tool in the cabinet, it was available but I didn’t need to carry its weight every step of the way.
Learning to employee perfection as a tool rather than a burdensome weight continues to be an adventure for me.
Sometimes it feels like perfection is rusting away in the cabinet and I may have forgotten where I placed this old friend. Typos in a blog or an inaccurate date in an email that was sent to the masses – have I gone to the dark side 😉 – breathe – just breathe is my reminder in those moments. Then I give thanks that it is not a matter of life or death when I misspell a word. Nor will the zombie apocalypse begin because the date was inaccurate.
Yes, I do still have tendencies that are more inclined to the side of perfection, but now there is just a little more balance.
In this place of balance is where I feel most able to move freely.
When the desires of perfection become heavy and I begin to struggle under the weight, I breathe – just breathe.
Do you have a weight that prevents you from moving forward?
Try a few mindful breaths as you draw them deeper and deeper into your abdomen with the intent of inviting relaxation and clarity.
Blessings for all the best