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.




Drowning in Fear

Drowning in Fear

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.





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




Healing Arts Entrepreneur: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

Healing Arts Entrepreneur: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?



Those of us who are both healing facilitators and entrepreneurs know all too well that a full heart does not always equate to a full bank account.

Most of us become healing entrepreneurs and enter into the personal service realm because we are passionate about supporting others. Paying the insurance premiums and balancing the checking account is just some of the behind the scenes activity that many of us dread.  We love attending continuing education classes to improve how we can best support our clients.  However the funding and time away from our business can be a challenge.

It is easy to forget, as a soul-preneur, just how many hours it takes to support a one hour session with a client. If you were to track your hours and income, are you even making minimum wage? If you were to take on a part-time job yielding this pay, could you even afford to take the job?

For me, the pull to focus on my private practice full time became very strong in 2012. There was absolutely no question that this is what I was supposed to focus on. It is now more than half way through 2016 and the money is still inconsistent. One week there is no more room for additional clients and the next week is all about getting caught up on the accounting and marketing. This clunky cycle can be a catalyst for my inner-critic to shift into over-drive.

The thoughts oscillate from throwing in the towel to hiring three employees so I spend all day teaching.

When I count up the hours per week and the deposits in my bank account, it can be a struggle to justify the expended energy for the financial return.

But then, at the bottom of a deep breath (okay maybe the tenth deep breath) and the end of a self-Reiki session, I find it. My spirit is clear and my heart is full…full of gratitude and love. As I take the time to reflect on the client sessions and classes, I quickly recall what it feels like to be in the presence of the universal energy flowing freely. It is here that I am clear – very clear that the choice to follow the calling of the soul is it.

So how do we sooth the egoic mind and also pay our creditors?

For me, when the ego is intense, I hear the voices of inadequacies crashing through my cranium. This rhetoric is so obnoxious that my heart begins to flounder in the never-ending sea of doubt. Amping up self-care is where I can begin to squelch these reverberations. Quieting the mind-fool-ness is not an easy feat…after all, over-analyzing is one of my super powers.

Calming the inner critic requires diligence and repeated practice, and I say practice because it feels like this is a never-ending effort. It starts with the breath. You know, that thing our autonomic nervous system performs almost 20,000 times per day. As the awareness turns inward, the exploration for the higher-self begins. Once re-connected with the real me, a harmony of meditation, Reiki and hypnosis ensues. This leads the way for the next phase of nurturing, which may include rewiring the brain by reading, coloring, walking, or rocking out to loud 80’s big hair band music. There is nothing Twisted Sister, Poison or Ratt can’t drown out.

As my head bobs like a dashboard novelty on a dirt road, I slowly find balance and am able to re-center.

With my head cleared, my attention turns to the spreadsheets and budgets in the search for monetary balance. This requires heroic skills some months. Just like so many others, I am way too familiar with which credit card has the highest interest rate and exactly what day the electric bill is due. Transferring funds from one account to another to keep the business separate from the personal is a challenge. As my vision blurs from small boxes and numbers, there is a pause.

With a deep breath and a withdrawal from the memory bank, and I am reminded that the most important dividends are deposited in this soul-preneur’s heart.

I leave you with just one question – “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

If you are ready to make some changes or explore a different squeeze, let’s chat.


Beth Whtiman