Tag Archives: mind-body connection
“Inner stillness is a place where our heart can speak
without the mind running it off the road.”
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
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe,
to match your nature with Nature.”
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
“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.
You 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
“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
“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.
The 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
“EFT offers great healing benefits.”
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
“We are the earth, made of the same stuff; there is no other,
no division between us and “lower” or “higher” forms of being.”
When I first opened to the idea of talking to animals, I wasn’t afraid. Other people did this—I was simply an observer, a reporter. But, as I continued to ask questions, pondering how this communication thing worked, I felt my inner world responding. Part of me was stirring, and I grew nervous and excited at the same time. Deep down, something had been triggered—an ancient memory? A dormant skill?—and that something called to me, quietly, yet persistent and tempting. Well, this is not surprising; this is often how deeper awakenings begin.
The very first time I heard an animal speak within my mind, a thrill ran through my body. I felt myself tingling—energy quickening, thoughts evaporating—in a strange, still, moment out of time. There, on the other side of my window: a gathering of birds upon a bush. Window, bird, bush—it is not so much the surface thing that calls to us, but the deeper energy of life force, the deeper call of relationship. It is as if you finally realize that an invitation … Read the rest
“The owl offers the inspiration and guidance necessary to
deeply explore the unknown and the magic of life.”
~Native American Teaching
What are you are seeking in your life? Health – Direction – Inspiration?
Every aspect of nature has a unique gift that goes beyond the obvious food or materials each provides. In many cultures, visitations from animals or other creatures are considered “medicine.”
For example, an eagle, who is the national bird in United States represents freedom, power and keen big-picture sight. The mouse has the gift of sensitivity of vision and smell to find details in front of its path. Ants are revered for their great strength and remarkable unity with their colony. Plants, trees and stones also play a large part of “medicine” for us.
As humans, we also have special gifts to offer with our communication, creativity and healing. Each of us has the power and aptitude to connect to the natural world for problem solving, art, music and healing.
Throughout my life and practice in the healing arts, I’ve been blessed with medicine from countless teachers in nature: from domestic dogs and cats to a wide range of wild animals, including monkeys, gorillas, dolphins, coyotes … Read the rest
“A Tarot reading looks at your current life situations through
the symbolic language of image and color.”
A Tarot reading looks at your current life situation through the symbolic language of image and color. Tarot cards are a unique tool available to anyone who can look at a picture and describe what they see. In the case of the cards, this symbolic language triggers an unconscious response within the individual, signaling intuition, which in turn, sends a message to the conscious mind.
The Tarot functions as a guide. It is an anchor and an advisor. It can direct, suggest and open one’s eyes to new possibilities along with revealing roadblocks, challenges and fears.
Tarot cards can be used for self-understanding, and are often called the “mirror of the soul.” They are useful in looking at the current flow of energy in one’s life, or in the examination of a particular issue.
A Tarot reading can foster an understanding of the different perspectives and needs within a relationship, whether with a partner, a child, or a parent. Tarot spreads can indicate the energies in any given situation and suggest how best to deal with that situation.
Traditional Tarot decks … Read the rest
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”.
I get asked this question daily in my holistic nutrition practice. It is not that overt. It is asked or stated in myriad ways. Can I heal without giving up this certain food? Can I get rid of my respiratory issues without giving up smoking? Can I lose weight without moving my body? Can I eat the same foods I’ve been eating and still lose weight or feel better? When you break these questions down to their essence, they are all the same. Can I change without changing? It is a far easier question to answer.
Through years of personal research I can state unequivocally that you can NOT change without changing. Believe me, I have tried every way around this over time. I have tried bargaining with myself, going halfway, roughing up my self-esteem and topnotch avoidance. The only thing that works is changing up what is not aligned with your highest self.
We’re going on a bear hunt
One of my children’s favorite books is ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen. The family meets many obstacles along the way, and the … Read the rest
“We need to love ourselves first, in all our glory and imperfections.
If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot open to our ability to love others.”
Love, Ah yes, that most elusive and most desired experience that all of us humans seem to want in this world. So why is it so difficult to attain it? Why is it such a misunderstood subject?
After working with people in private practice for the last 26 years in NYC, Boulder CO and Seattle I have come to see that love is the most misunderstood human experience. For most of us, we look for love in all the wrong places, mainly in other people: praying to find our beloved and live happily ever after.
The truth is, we will never be satisfied with another and their love offering until we are willing to love ourselves. When I explain this to my patients, I am almost always met with great resistance. I can see the pain in their hearts as they look at me and say, “Are you suggesting, Ellen, that I give up looking for my soul mate? Or worse, are you suggesting that I will never meet my soul mate?” … Read the rest
“Tarot reading is an art based on intuition, interpretation, and perception.
Tarot cards are your guidance.”
Tarot is another one of the primary tools in the toolbox that has supported my own personal transformation. This box is filled with unique, healing tools that have guided, supported, informed, led and sometimes carried me over the last few difficult years, peeling back layers to reveal the life I am living today. The probability is slim that you would be visiting this website (thank you) without the gifts of tarot and other energetic wisdom tools.
The symbolism in tarot is fascinating. The story that the cards have laid out for me each time I’ve had my tarot read (and I’ve done this many times) has been uncanny; describing my challenges, triumphs, obstacles and pathway as if I am an open book. My readings have provided great clarity and assurance that I am supported energetically every step of the way on my life journey.
Symbolism also presents itself in our dreams and can reflect our subconscious beliefs and messages from our mind. This makes me a bit uncomfortable since my dreams are sometimes surreal and bizarre.
For instance, in a dream awhile … Read the rest
“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.”
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.
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 STOP… Read the rest
“We are all stories in the end.”
This is the story of the Blue Kong, and how it changed my life.
Half a dozen years ago, I was found by an American Pit Bull Terrier. As I arrived back at my truck after walking one of my Siberian Huskies along a local rail trail, I found what appeared to be an old, ravaged and wounded, pit bull, laying up against my wheel. The invisible sign was on, “Come here, and you will be helped.”
This dog, who came to be known as Gar, took close to a year to fix through the dedicated and combined efforts of my veterinarian and myself. He was only a year old but had the worst mange she had ever seen, was covered with scabs and scars and had multiple infections. Although subjected to constant foot soaks, injections, pills, Gar never resisted, never growled, and remained gentle, loving and kind.
Initially, we gave him a rubber toy shaped like a bowling pin, which he carried non-stop in his massive jaws for close to a year. The second pin never left his mouth and only lasted a few weeks due to the … Read the rest
“Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
~ Multiple Attributions
It is impossible to imagine that it has been 365 days since I heard the words “It’s cancer.” In so many ways – it feels like it was yesterday. In many others – I feel like this past year has been the longest of my life.
The funny thing is, as I sit and ruminate about all that has transpired, my mind does not focus on the fear or pain or sadness. Rather, I recall the laughter and the times with friends and family and the “good stuff.” There were times over the past year that I felt like a victim. Self-pity became commonplace for days on end. Yet today I truly feel fortunate. AND – I don’t want to sound like one of those “rah rah – cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me” girls. But really, I’m kinda thankful.
It is especially difficult to rationalize these kinds of feelings when I think of a friend who lost his battle with cancer. He was diagnosed around the same time as me. But his cancer wasn’t treatable. His cancer was mean and ugly … Read the rest
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others.”
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.
The 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
“Astrology is a language. If you understand this language, the sky speaks to you.”
Astrology is our most ancient science and art dating back thousands of years. All around the world, ancient cultures have used the stars and movements of the planets to gain guidance.
Beginning about 400 BCE, the first horoscope was developed. Until the past few hundred years, astrology was valued by almost all cultures. Most of our ancient myths are based on the movements of the planets and how they speak to our experiences on Earth. It is only in the last few hundred years, that we have separated ourselves from the wisdom of the sky and felt that we humans could understand ourselves as separate from the energies of the Earth and sky.
We are now rediscovering through quantum physics what was known in ancient wisdom traditions; everything is energy and everything is interconnected. We live in a holographic universe. The macrocosm reflects the microcosm. The movements of the planets and stars are mirrored in the energies on the Earth. With this understanding, there has been a resurgence and renewal of interest in astrology.
The gift of astrology is that we can gain guidance … Read the rest
A Tale of Survival
In the spirit of hope – of healing – of renewal – and of embracing those struggling with loss, I would like to share what I wrote of my own struggle to survive the loss of one of my sons in a mass killing a number of years ago.
I originally posted this blog two years ago, after the killings in Tucson, Arizona. It felt appropriate to share it again now.
Towards the end of President Obama’s moving tribute to those killed in an earlier massacre, he said: “Our hearts are broken by their sudden passing. Our hearts are broken – and yet, our hearts also have reason for fullness. ………Sudden loss causes us to look backward – but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us.”
Sometime after my personal tragedy, I was in a writing class where we were asked to respond to the question: “Where do you go when you feel there is a discrepancy between life as it should be and life as it is? … Read the rest
“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?
Are 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
“I have been criticized and ridiculed for turning to astrology,
but after a while, I reached the point where I didn’t care.”
My interest in astrology began as a young reader when I wondered what reason you could possibly have for NOT being interested in what your horoscope revealed in the daily newspaper. The questions became more serious when years later, being a Leo, I wondered whether marrying another Leo was a good idea (turns out it was).
More years would pass before my search for life’s true meaning inspired me to look beyond my horoscope and toward the heavens for guidance. My first professional astrological chart reading was exciting and posed a question I’ve been thinking about ever since. My chart revealed that I was destined to share my gifts with the world in a manner that was very far from my then-current career. The astrologer posed the direct question: “When are you going to start doing what you came here to do?” Well. Alrighty then. Guess I had some course correcting to do.