Tag Archives: creativity

Why HeartMath®?

“Inner stillness is a place where our heart can speak
without the mind running it off the road.”
~Doc Childre

I’ve come to realize that my path to practicing HeartMath® came about quite by accident and yet was clearly meant to be part of my healing journey.

I’d heard of HeartMath® but never gave it much thought, assuming that it was only about healing physical heart problems, something I fortunately don’t have. But then, heart related “things” started popping up in different areas of my life.

Several hypnotism sessions turned into heart-healing experiences that I didn’t even know I needed. And an eye-opening weekend workshop with the brilliant, Dr. Joe Dispenza, shed light on the connection between our heart and our head and how the battle of the brain to control the heart causes stress in our bodies and struggle in our lives.

And then, when I met Anne Taylor through Kundalini yoga and learned that she is a HeartMath® coach, I knew as a student, I was ready and my teacher had appeared.

Now, six months later, I’ve completed the coursework and implemented daily HeartMath® practice sessions via my HR adapter and the Inner Balance app. I’ve graduated from Read the rest


What is HeartMath?

what is heartmath

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe,
to match your nature with Nature.”
~Joseph Campbell

A Dynamic Window into the Autonomic Nervous System

You may have heard of HeartMath®, but did you ever wonder what is or try to explain it someone else? Or perhaps HeartMath® and the concept of heart coherence is new to you altogether. This short article will explore what HeartMath® is (more broadly Heart Rate Variability biofeedback) and how a HeartMath® centered practice can support healing, personal growth, and inner transformation.

HeartMath® is a research and technology institute that focuses on mastering the harmful effects of stress through the power of the human heart, and what it calls “heart coherence”. Physiological coherence, in general, is the synchronization of all the oscillating fields within and outside the body—simply think of it as Joseph Campbell explains in the above quote: we are syncing our heartbeats with the heartbeat of the universe.

The weaker fields within the body (i.e. brain waves, respiration) will align with the stronger field of the heart. Electro-magnetic fields nesting within resonating elects-magnetic fields. It is a moment of tao, all is aligned with the great oneness … Read the rest


How to Reinvent Yourself: Step 1-Reflect

“Each phase of the transformation process has distinct milestones,
is progressive, and is not revisited.”

~ Suzy Ross

You may have noticed that I refer to myself as a “reinventionist”. There’s a lot behind my choice to use that tag for myself and my practice.

Mostly it’s because I’m drawn to working with people engaged in reinventing themselves because this has played such a large role in my life. I have re-invented myself, from the boots up, at least three times. And I’ve learned some valuable lessons I want to share with you here and in my coaching practice.

And clearly this is a universally experienced life passage— more so in today’s multi-tasking life than ever. People at 30, 40, 50, 60 even 70 are finding themselves needing or wanting to take their lives and careers in a new direction.

person at the edge of a lakeYou may be looking at making some big changes because you just got a divorce, lost your job, survived a serious illness—or retired. Or maybe an inner voice is telling you that your life could be better, bigger, more satisfying.

Time for a reinvention!

But, before I get down to the 3- stage approach I most often use with clients, … Read the rest


Energy Healing 101

 “The whole universe appears as a dynamic web of inseparable energy patterns…

Thus we are not separated parts of a whole. We are a Whole.”

~Barbara Ann Brennan

Along with your vascular, nervous, and skeletal systems, you also have an energetic system that is, like all energy, invisible to the naked eye. Your energetic system, or subtle body is like a holographic overlay on your physical body and is made up of power centers (chakras), energetic fields (auras), and conduits (nadis). Information about your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual states live within your subtle body.

Energy healing works in this realm. It is a general term for many modalities that remove blocks and energetic cords attached to others, grounds your energetic system to Earth energy, connects to light energy, repairs any energy leaks within the auric field or chakra system, and disconnects from any energy that is not your own.

If you are wondering why any of this matters, it is blocks within the energetic system that manifest as illness in the physical body.

Evidence of energy healing practices dating back 1000s of years is found in cultures throughout the world. The ancient Egyptians practiced Sekhem. a form of energy … Read the rest


Struggling in Sapa

caribou in rice paddy

rice paddy terraces from above“Madam … Um, are you afraid of snakes, madam?” asked Cuong, my young, Adidas jacket-clad, skinny-yet-very-able-bodied Sapa trekking guide. “Ah, well … er… I don’t particularly like snakes,” I responded, looking trepidatiously around the heavy bushes clogging the steep, narrow path we were following. The two tiny Red Dzao ladies who had been trailing us for about a mile giggled gleefully behind me. “I hate snakes,” continued Cuong – breaking off a sturdy stick from a nearby tree and starting to whack his way through the thick bush. The two ladies grabbed my arms and we carried on as I emitted a shallow sigh.

two women in moutainsThe four of us had been “hard trekking” for over an hour – the two women, clad in traditional, vivid red scarves and head pieces and various colorful skirts and wraps, had glommed onto us as soon as our jeep dropped Cuong and I off at the top of the mountain. As is their custom, these local tribal women follow tourists like me around asking ad nauseum, with huge toothy grins, “where you from!?”, “what your name!?” and the most oft repeated word, “shopping?!!?” I had become used to them during the previous day’s seven-hour trek … Read the rest


What is EFT and How Does it Work?

finger touching hand

“EFT offers great healing benefits.”
~Deepak Chopra

Along time ago, after a severe traumatic event, I began suffering from panic attacks and developed severe, chronic anxiety. The side effects included averaging 2-3 hours of sleep a night, becoming destructively low functioning in my work life and having rapid heartbeats and stomach pains become the replacement for my morning alarm clock.

Thus began my journey to find a way to calm my nervous system down and get back into the driver’s seat of my life. This journey took me over 10 years. Against the wishes of therapists and physicians, I refused to start taking anti-anxiety meds, sleeping pills or anti-depressants. Instead, I tried almost every alternative therapy that I knew of. I wanted to walk through the fire to get to the other side instead of pretending the fire inside me wasn’t there.

One day, during an annual lunch with some girlfriends, one of them starting talking about Tapping. I asked some questions and then went home to do some research. Two weeks later I had an appointment with a local EFT Practitioner and went without any expectation or preconceived assumptions about how it might help me. I had learned years … Read the rest


Accessing the Power of Gratitude

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
~Willie Nelson

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

grateful handsThat’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. … Read the rest


Stretching Myself: Body, Mind and Soul

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you
as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

~John Muir

It’s the beginning of August and even though summer took a while to get here in the Northwest, I’m loving that it is finally here.

I am a summer lover and refer to its essence as “summertime mode,” which plays an important role in connecting into our innate playful nature; definitely a stress reliever!

This summer I decided to stretch myself out of my physical comfort zone and now am almost ready to leave for my long prepared John Muir Trail hike in the Sierras in California.

john muir trailI’ll be hiking about 60-70 miles or so of it. My amazing husband is planning on doing the entire 221 miles and more given some of the side trails he needs to take for re-supplies and rest stops!

I’m looking forward to it, but also am quite aware that I may have times of struggles.
I may wonder “what the heck was I thinking?”

That’s when I’ll need to STOPRead the rest


Duality: Can Authenticity and Career Co-exist?

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others.”
~Brian Buffini

Some people are lucky, they know their life’s calling early on–or so it appears on this side of the not so green grass. From an early age, I’ve had multiple callings, loud sirens usually leading me in opposite directions. After decades of practice, I learned to keep my vocations (or voices) separate, neat, and tidy in their respective “boxes”. Or so I thought.

two headed coinThe current duo at odds has been the real estate broker and the Kundalini yoga teacher. The Realtor and yoga teacher have strong opinions about one another, some not so pleasant. Kundalini is not a gym class kind of yoga experience. It is a spiritually based practice (of course all yoga is, just not always taught that way). The Realtor fears her clients won’t take her seriously if they see her Kundalini side, especially decked out in white clothing, chanting, sitting on a sheep skin, and sporting a white turban. Fine (I think), keep this pair in their separate boxes. 

Recently starting at a new real estate office, the owner suggested that I attend the company’s annual convention in … Read the rest


Planning Your Summer? How About Your LIFE?

“Live Your Life on Purpose.”

Summertime is here!

Believe it or not, the beginning of summer is the time of year, bar none, when we do most of our long-term planning, even though that detailed planning is for only a month or two in advance.

We start by identifying the emotion-driven goals we want to experience, strategize how to accomplish them, and then get into action so our summer objectives become our reality.

It’s a great formula that has us as the powerful catalyst for what we want.

Now how about your life and all the different aspects of it?

woman on road w suitcaseAre you planning with all the fervor that you plan your summertime activities; looking at possibilities, contemplating details, covering bases, and designing your plan of action? When you do, life opens up and you really do get more of what you want. Give it a try.

Where are you going?

Acknowledge your heart’s desire, that dream you’ve tucked away or something you would do if you really gave yourself permission. You will be better able to understand what is calling you forward and what happiness and success look like to you.

How will you get there?

What are your … Read the rest


20 Ways to Create More Happiness

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
~ Omar Khayyam

If you have days where happiness eludes you, here’s a few tips from your comrades on the planet that may help shift your mindset for the day. It’s the simple things in life that tend to bring the most pleasure. Try one or more today!

  1. Assume positive intent of others
  2. First thing in the morning, be grateful for all the blessings in your life
  3. Get more sleep
  4. Share the best thing that happened during the day with your partner/family first thing when you get home at the end of the day
  5. Random acts of kindness — randomly pay for someone’s drive-thru order behind you
  6. Think of something you use everyday, make sure it is the best quality you can afford, and take the time to really and care for it
  7. Walk at least 30 minutes a day
  8. Stop comparing yourself to others
  9. Remove advertising from your life
  10. Get a pet
  11. Smile at yourself in the mirror, smile at others – especially strangers
  12. Give more and expect less
  13. Help the people around you
  14. Spend time outside and breath fresh air deeply
  15. Give yourself and others permission to change
Read the rest

How to Reinvent Yourself Step 2: Re-Imagine

(Editor’s Note: See Step 1 – Reflect from Nicole Aloni)

“Whether your transformation happens through trauma, surprise, or intention,
the process begins because of a growing need for change.”

~
Suzy Ross

Next we’ll look at where your values coincide with your dreams for the future. Who you really are overlaid with what you long to do will form the template for your reinvention. Here lies the wisdom and the inspiration that will carry you through to the finish.

DREAM BIG

To begin this important step of re-imagination, journal, or write a short story about the life you’d lead if there were no limitations; If everything were possible. Or create a vision board (thank you, Oprah) with images of all the activities and dreams that make you feel alive. At this point, it’s also useful to ask yourself the question, “What have I been tolerating?”

To make this really expansive, it’s helpful to approach these creations with what Buddhists call Beginner’s Mind (an attitude of openness, eagerness and a lack of preconceptions as a beginner might approach any project). Give yourself a day or a week to really flesh this out. This process should be deeply enjoyable. If it’s not, … Read the rest


My Favorite Question

“You are capable of so much more than we usually dare to imagine”
~Sharon Salzberg

The sign on the blackboard said, “When you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got!” I saw that many years ago and it resonates to this very day.

I love the inherent invitation and wisdom of that statement – that the power of change lies in our willingness to use the brain to create a road map to the future rather than merely serve as a record of the past.

It doesn’t matter the situation, history, story, complaint or pattern we are experiencing. With 40% of our brain housing our creativity center, focused on delivering answers to queries and crafting ideas and visualizations, the powerful question that sparks that solution seeking region and grows us beyond our discomfort is always the same.

What are you going to do about that?

Seems like a simple question, however its invitations and implications are huge. Why? Because we are always proving to ourselves who we’ve always been or we’re demonstrating who we are growing into. And, this question clearly asks us to reach for our options and aspirations instead of … Read the rest


How to Reinvent Yourself: Step 1-Reflect

“Each phase of the transformation process has distinct milestones,
is progressive, and is not revisited.”

Suzy Ross

You may have noticed that I refer to myself as a “reinventionist”. There’s a lot behind my choice to use that tag for myself and my practice.

Mostly it’s because I’m drawn to working with people engaged in reinventing themselves because this has played such a large role in my life. I have re-invented myself, from the boots up, at least three times. And I’ve learned some valuable lessons I want to share with you here and in my coaching practice.

And clearly this is a universally experienced life passage— more so in today’s multi-tasking life than ever. People at 30, 40, 50, 60 even 70 are finding themselves needing or wanting to take their lives and careers in a new direction.

reflecting at waters edgeYou may be looking at making some big changes because you just got a divorce, lost your job, survived a serious illness—or retired. Or maybe an inner voice is telling you that your life could be better, bigger, more satisfying.

Time for a reinvention!

But, before I get down to the 3- stage approach I most often use with clients, … Read the rest


Building the New Habit Muscle

“Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.”
~Spanish Proverb

It’s not BREAKING NEWS! Habits are hard to start, much less change.

Jerry Seinfeld, in a random conversation years ago with a young comic* seeking words of wisdom from the master, expanded on a tool that parents and teachers have known for eons; the Achievement Chart.

When asked for tips on becoming a better comedian, Jerry replied simply,

“The way to be a better comic is to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes is to write every day.”

keep building the chainHe said to get a big wall calendar showing a whole year, hang it where you’ll see it every day, get a red marker and make an “X” on every day that the young comic sat down to write jokes.

After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.

And as the saying goes, the rest, my friend, is history. This short conversation has become what is known as the Seinfeld Calendar … Read the rest


Walk Your Way to Health and Happiness

“Walking is Man’s best medicine.
~Hippocrates, the father of Medicine

I’m a believer. What a great time of year to “step” into (or back into) the pleasurable practice of walking outside. Watch and experience the rebirth of your natural surroundings as you awaken your body through movement, one step at a time.

Here are some tips for starting a walking practice and why walking, particularly outside, is good for body, mind and spirit:

  • Walk outside. Did you know we spend 80-90% of our time indoors? Enough is enough. Walking outside and spending time in nature feels good and promotes mind-body health. It beats going to the gym, where the air is stale, it’s noisy, smelly and, let’s be honest, swimming in bacteria. Being outside allows you to experience the natural rhythm of the day and the season while soaking up a healthy dose of Vitamin D. You’ll find that walking outside lifts your spirits and releases stress like nothing else can.
  • Walk alone.Nothing against a social walk; they’re good for you too. But, developing a personal practice of walking alone will take you to an entirely different place. It is a fantastic form of mindfulness meditation and will
Read the rest

Follow the Thread to Find Your Purpose

“The two most important days in your life are
the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
~Mark Twain

To understand your true purpose, take the time to determine what would truly fulfill your passions.

Remember

A good place to start is to remember the games you most liked to play as a child.

  • What tasks did you enjoy?
  • What roles did you choose both among your friends and in your imagination?
  • What got you excited before all the filters and restrictions were imposed?

If reincarnation is a part of your philosophy, exploring your past lives will reveal lifetimes when you were expressing your purpose. You can even explore and learn from those lifetimes when you failed to find or pursue your purpose.

Know yourself

  • time and money no objectWhat is your true nature?
  • What are your cherished values?
  • How do you best function, and what is the highest use of that functionality?

Ask yourself the well-worn question about what you would do if time and money were no object. This time add the caveat of what you would do if you had to spend all your time away from the house except to sleep, and it can’t be anything … Read the rest


Permission to Stop: Your Gateway to Freedom & Fulfillment

“I was dead, then alive. Weeping then laughing.
The power of love came into me and I became fierce like a lion,
Then tender like the evening star.”

~Rumi

At the beginning of 2012 I was sat with a wonderful and inspiring group of entrepreneurs in a mastermind meeting, all of us eagerly helping each other with the launch of our new businesses.

I’d wanted to run my own business for years and was deeply frustrated that I was still only doing the work I truly loved on the side of my corporate career. As much as I ached to bring my business to life, I had a familiar frustration and anxiety bubbling inside me. I was worn out from trying to formulate my ideas, continually going round in circles.

I was stuck. Again.

The rest of my life was on hold… I was approaching my 40th year, still single and living once more at my mum’s to focus on my business, side-lining my passion for adventure and travel and other things I loved, branding fun as frivolous and instead immersing myself in a multitude of personal development and business courses. It was a painful place to be, although I … Read the rest


On the Quest for Purpose

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself
and know that everything in this life has a purpose.”

~   Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Finding true purpose is a challenge that plagues most people throughout their lives. Well…that is being kind, perhaps, because there are plenty who really never give it a thought and just walk through life doing what is acceptable or necessary. They don’t inquire, step out of line, make waves, take a chance, or dance like nobody is watching. They keep their heads down, and don’t take risks.

Is this you? I don’t think so.

You, on the other hand, are more aware and curious. You suspect there is something missing and desire more out of your life than the status quo. You have that nagging sense about something that needs to be discovered. Something more, something deeper.

Your friends and family may consider you successful because you have chosen a suitable career. Yet, in the quiet moments of your life, you ponder the lingering question about whether this is really the correct path that leads to fulfilling the goals and higher purpose that were a part of the deal your soul promised when incarnating into this lifetime.… Read the rest


The Art of Allowing Joy!

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
~ Rumi

Spring is upon us, the cherry blossoms in their full bloom are bowing to the shifting skies. The sideways rains pound upon the window panes, the air is filled with a refreshing chill and the sweet scent of promise.

the risk it took t blossomWhile running in the early morning rain, I have been thinking about this promise that we feel awaken at the first breaths of Spring. What is this promise? In part, it is the promise of fulfillment. It is also the promise of joy. We hope to see our seeds bearing fruit.

As I have been contemplating Joy, I have begun to wonder when does Joy arise. We allow ourselves to feel the full breadth and wonder of joy at the birth of a child, birthday celebrations, engagements, weddings, graduations, promotions, sunsets, smelling a sweet honeysuckle bud and the beginning of relationships. These events seem to lend themselves to a universal experience of joy. But, I wondered, where else do people allow themselves to experience joy?

Where do you allow yourself to experience Joy?

I made a list for all those places I experience … Read the rest