Tag Archives: personal transformation

Stress Relief Tip: Be Proactive and Reactive to Stress!

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
~Lou Holtz

Which is a more useful response to stress: a proactive or a reactive response?

Actually, it’s both!

woman screamingWhat’s important is to find healthy proactive responses and healthy reactive responses.

First, is the proactive approach.

Proactive approaches involve modifying your behavior or mindset before the stressful situation has occurred.

To illustrate, let’s imagine you are moving to a new home. This is typically a pretty stressful event!

Healthy proactive responses would include:

  • Making a plan for moving day
  • Gathering all packing supplies in one area
  • Asking friends and family for help with packing, moving or unpacking
  • Carefully labeling boxes with their contents
  • Hiring a cleaner to prepare your new home or clean your old home
  • Arranging child care for moving day
  • And of course, buying snacks for any friends who come to help!

change your mindsetThe other approach to managing stress is reactive.

Reactive approaches involve changing your behavior or mindset during or after the initial stress has occurred.

Healthy reactive responses would include:

  • Taking rest breaks when you need to
  • Remind yourself that you won’t feel unsettled for long
  • Focus on the positives about the move:
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In Praise of Raven

“The raven is the paragon of the air, and more. It is assumed to be the brains of the bird world. It has a greater variety of calls than perhaps any other animal in the world except human beings. It is an imposing bird.”    
~Bernd Heinrich

In the midst of a rough month — work issues for my husband, boyfriend problems for my daughter, legal problems for a friend, frustration with taxes and government institutions for myself — I lose my sense of balance. I feel ornery, short-tempered.

One day I drive into town. It’s fifteen minutes down a straight road bordered mostly by trees and woods (though even that is changing as more houses and developments pop up — another cause for frustration). It’s a cold, clear day in the middle of winter. After a few miles a raven swoops across the road in front of me. Ravens almost always make me smile. Up ahead I see more of them, perched high in snowy trees. Once you acquire an eye for ravens, you know where to look. Sometimes, you feel their presence without ever seeing them.

At the grocery — a favorite gathering place for ravens — they peer … Read the rest

Full Moon + Total Lunar Eclipse

BIG. BOLD. New Beginnings. Harvest Full Moon. Create your Miraculous Full Moon Ritual (more heregoo.gl/iSzvxy) and connect to this powerful energy surge to propel you strongly into harvesting your new growth cycle.

Many Moon Events All At Once = Big Life Movements
Super full moonThe lunar eclipse full moon occurs when the sun + moon + earth pass through a precise alignment of simultaneous sunrises/sunsets casting orangish/red tones on the moon referred to as a Blood Full Moon. This configuration energizes your connection to relationships and big life visions and goals. A Super Full Moon with total lunar eclipse is very rare. This is the first one in 33 years, and it won’t happen again for another 18.

With so many energetic astrological events happening at once, there have been rumors and prophecies around the idea of the world ending. What is really happening is the firm ending of an old paradigm in consciousness. Thankfully so, if you welcome the needed the shift in your own growth.

Whatever has been in process for you for quite some time with your relationships, connection and dreams can now move into their transformative changes for you with your willing openness.

Have you noticed a … Read the rest

Lunar Ritual

Lunar Ritual… Read the rest

Effecting Change With This Month’s Lunar Cycle

“My mantra for this time, is ‘one box at a time’ It will all
be accomplished in its own good time.”

~Susan Scofield

Much has been said about the Super Moon, Blood Moon of Sept 27, 2015. Super Moon, Blood Moon.  Super epithets describing a fairly normal cosmic occurrence.  What we do know for certain is that this a total lunar eclipse.

The Sun is currently in the early degrees of Libra, the sign of relationships, which puts the Moon in the opposite sign of Aries, the sign of self. This means that the issues involved are self vs others.

Eclipses are crisis points, meaning stuff happens, things shift, long-term situations that have been awaiting change, do just that. A tipping point, the fulcrum, or hinge upon which life takes a turn. Full moons release energy that has been stored up for a month, or in the case of an eclipse, six months or more.

In astrology, the Moon represents our past, our history, our reaction to stress, our habits and routines. The Moon’s role is to maintain homeostasis throughout both our physical and emotional body, and it does this through continually repeating patterns that have worked in the past. … Read the rest

Mercury Retrograde in Libra: Finding Relationship Balance!

“Perhaps Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry.
However, this is an excellent time to reflect of the past.
Intuition is high and coincidences can be extraordinary.

~Farmers Almanac

This Mercury Retrograde (September 17th through October 9th) is in the sign of Libra, highlighting the realm of relationships, the cosmic dance between self and others. Libra also rules balance, fairness and justice.

retrograde moonA retrograde period is nothing to fear, in fact, just the opposite! With the right perspective it can be an extraordinary time of gaining deeper perspective on how/why/when to move your life forward, powerfully (and more clearly) when Mercury goes direct. This MR points to a period of rebalancing aspects of your life that are out of alignment, especially on the relationship front.

So this MR point your compass towards transformation! Your North Star now lies in exploring your relationships and how they can help you understand and expand your life. For now, they are truly a mirror to your soul!

For more information, visit www.MeganSkinner.comRead the rest

Full Moon, Super Moon, Total Lunar Eclipse—Oh My!

moon-blickSunday’s Full Moon in Aries (7:50pm PST) is also a Super Moon AND a Total Lunar Eclipse! Lunar Eclipses are a powerful Full Moon that relates to endings, as the Moon passes through the deepest part of the Earth’s Shadow. It’s also a Super Moon, meaning the Moon is at its closest point to Earth. There’s only been five times since 1900 where the Super Moon has coincided with a total Lunar Eclipse—and the next won’t happen for another 18 years!

So, this Lunar Occurrence has extra, triple-IMPACT, and expect to feel some shakeups in your life! The Moon is in the early degrees of Aries, giving it a powerful, push-forward, get your needs meet vibe. This is a time to watch out for being reactive and extra sensitive about expecting others to understand and get your perspective.

This Moon is seeking balance! It aspects both the current Mercury Retrograde and Sun in Libra, continuing the relationship theme of balancing individual needs with relationship needs. The next Lunar Eclipse, in March 2016, will be in the sign of Libra, directly opposite this one. This means that you get to see both sides of coin—relationship-wise—between now and Spring. And ultimately find … Read the rest

Entering the ‘Crack in the Wall;’ an African Adventure

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire,
you ‘will’ what you imagine and then you create what you ‘will.’”
~George Bernard Shaw

Africa, Africa. The sun sneaks up to the rim of the horizon and its light wakes up the masses to the wide eyed innocence of the African dawn. The bare branched trees along the ridge of the Magadzavane plateau stand in salute to the bleary-eyed sun stark against the moon washed sky.

africcan sunsetThis is Swaziland and William Whitecloud‘s Meet Your Writing Genius retreat. William, the author of The Magician’s Way has brought us to a place overlooking the Rift Valley of Africa and into the heart of his most recent book, The Last Shaman. Somewhere between Johannesburg and here we have been led through the ‘crack in the wall’ into a shamanic world.

As a bestselling author, William already has credibility. But in this other world he shows us that he is more than just an author, he is a transformational guide who reveals the secrets of high level creative function. I learn that I have it in me. I discover that when I let go of the need to know … Read the rest

Walking in Balance

annie thoe walking across rocksA Retreat With
Annie Thoe
Feldenkrais Practitioner

 Sept 26-27, 2015
Mosswood Hollow Retreat
Duvall, WA

Quiet the inner and outer buzz…Immerse yourself in a beautiful Northwest environment.

Improve balance, well-being and life direction.

We’ll use lessons based on the Feldenkrais Method®, earth-based practices and nature awareness to align your body to balance better on your feet, loosen your hips for easier walking, relax your breathing and expand vision. Over the weekend, you’ll become more fully centered, connected in nature and calm.

In addition to movement and earth-based activities, you’ll enjoy some of the most scrumptious and healthy gourmet food you can imagine. You’ll also have time to wander the grounds of this magical wildlife habitat– from dragonflies and frogs to pileated woodpeckers and eagles.

Feel your place in the world around you! Great for all beginners, as well as those experienced with Feldenkrais work.

annie thoe instructorInstructor: Annie Thoe, Feldenkrais Practitioner has been working with sensory learning, healing modalities and earth-based practices for nearly 30 years. She practices in Seattle & Woodinville and is author of Sensing Vitality self-help audio series.

Info/Register at: www.sensingvitality.com annie@sensingvitality.com or 206-271-4270

Tuition:  $250 if paid in full by Sept 4, $295 thereafter

Includes … Read the rest

Support from Our Animal Guides

“As I walk and spend time in nature, I open to these synchronistic experiences
with animals and set the intention to be open to their wisdom.”
~Heather Ensworth

About 20 years ago, I was going through a major time of change in my life. My primary relationship was ending, my work situation was uncertain, and so much of my life was in flux. I felt uncertain, confused and anxious. Every morning, part of my daily spiritual practice was to walk in the woods near my home.

One day, when I was in a particularly dark place and feeling depressed and overwhelmed, I came around a bend in the trail, and there on a branch in the tree right above me, was a barred owl. The owl stared and me, and I stared at the owl for several minutes until it flew off. The next day, I encountered an owl again. The third day, I was coming back from my walk, later than usual, and got back to my house at mid-day. There standing in the middle of my back yard was a barred owl. It is very unusual to see an owl in the middle of the day, let alone … Read the rest

Wild Kingdom

“Some travel to see the difference. Others travel to make a difference.”
~Int’l Volunteer Headquarters

I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t more interested in petting a dog than talking with a human being. Nothing against people … I just get more comfort and peace and, often, inspiration from creatures on four legs. So it should come as little surprise that animals have been the inspiration for a few of the biggest decisions of my life.

kathryn gilmore walking with lionsBack in 2006, as I sat in my office at a creative firm in Seattle staring at my computer, the lions roared. I was on my lunch break – hopping from site to site, trying to find some entertainment as I burrowed into my daily salad. I can’t recall exactly how it happened, but I stumbled upon an article about a woman volunteering with lions in Africa. Huh?! People – every day people like me – can do that? I became intrigued. Well actually … obsessed is more like it. Typing the words “Africa”, “lion” and “volunteer” into Google, I quickly learned about a few organizations that allow people to spend time in various African countries, working with big cats. The concept soon … Read the rest

Timeless Medicine From The Owl

“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.

annie thoe w monkey on her backThroughout 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 Good Day

Yesterday, as I made my way to the garbage chute in our temporary living quarters, I found myself opening the door and walking into someone else’s home. Clearly, my mind was a million miles away as it took me a few very confused seconds and a loudly barking dog to step back into my reality. It was an embarrassing reminder that I was living on auto-pilot and had drifted off course.

This beautifully produced video speaks to this global crisis of mindlessness and invites us to step into our day from a place of presence, of noticing, of appreciating the gifts of this amazing universe that surrounds and supports us.

I invite you to start your day with this brief message. Return to it throughout the day if need be, and perhaps end your day with this reminder that every experience of our day is a unique gift presented to each and every soul on the planet.

As we practice this practice, we begin to see ourselves and our world as interconnected. Our perception shifts and our worldview expands. And as our vibration rises, we become the ripple in the pond that has the power to change not only our … Read the rest

The Power of Your Promise

“People with good intentions make promises.
People with good character keep them.”

~Author Unknown

locking little fingersPromises! We make them, break them and in a quest for attaining a level of honesty and integrity with ourselves and others, we work to keep them.

As defined by the Mirriam-Webster dictionary, a promise is a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified. No matter our age or circumstances, that is the basic truth.

Promises are steeped in a fundamental hunger for something different. It’s what we proclaim we are ready for and capable of delivering. Whether declared in a spoken agreement or silently decided, we are reaching for hope and emotional relief and our promises are the very way we put our skin in a game we want to play.

While others may judge us on our ability to keep our promises, what is most significant is recognizing that we intensely judge ourselves and our future successes based on our ability to stay the course and honor our word.

Promises are packed with personal power and potential and here’s how you make them count.

Think before you commit.

Take a breath! Whether speaking to yourself or others, remember that … Read the rest

When Life Overwhelms

“I feel safe in the rhythm and flow of ever-changing life.”
~Louise Hay

Be the river. Let go. Stop resisting. Flow.

Have you ever had one of those months? This past month was grueling for me. I found myself depleted and struggling against life. It was difficult to make it through each day. I was worn out and fantasized about crawling into a ball in the middle of my bed and spending the entire day there, hiding under my covers. Each request or demand for my time and attention felt like nails on a chalkboard and increased my angst. There was no particular trigger or event. It was a cumulative effect of too much doing and not enough being. I had stopped taking the time to listen and connect with my inner voice.

river path viewI walk my dog each day along a lovely river path. I am fascinated by its changing beauty through the seasons. It feeds my soul. The river’s current evolves from strong and powerful to peaceful and meandering. In the middle of winter, I can catch glimpses of it still flowing beneath the icy crust. Always. It flows. One particular day when I was feeling like I wanted … Read the rest

Book Review: Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly coverBrené Brown walks her talk. As researcher, she has delved deeply into the difficult topics of vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. As a public speaker, her TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability” is #4 on the list of the 5 most viewed TED presentations of all time. And, as an author, she has the prestigious honor of having two books achieve the coveted #1position on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Daring Greatly” is one of those books. This is a book about the courage to become vulnerable in a culture that promotes the idea that we’re not good enough; that there is always someone better than us. It’s about the crippling effects that shame has on our willingness to become vulnerable. And it’s about the armor we create to protect ourselves for the shame that often comes with vulnerability.

Her words touch places within us that can make readers feel uncomfortable. And that’s the point. It takes courage to live what she calls a “Wholehearted life,” filled with engagement, purpose and authenticity. And so, the good news is that acknowledgement and healing follow discomfort. When we understand our responses to triggers, it diffuses them. When we understand … Read the rest

The Path to Understanding

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you
something else is the greatest accomplishment
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we’re all trying to figure out how to transform ourselves into our best selves, one of the biggest challenges is trying to explain your choices to others who may not understand your personal journey.

Growing up in a more alternative family, I’m used to people questioning my lifestyle. I was born at home, my parents opted out of immunizing us, and we were vegetarian; all things that the kids at school didn’t quite understand. As an adult, these things haven’t changed and I am still constantly questioned about my choices: how do you get enough protein without eating animals? Aren’t you worried about getting measles? You were born in your parents’ bedroom?!

i simply am quoteAll of these are fair questions but it has taken me a while to find the appropriate way to respond to them. It is so easy to become defensive or to feel like you have to convince people that your way of life isn’t wrong. I’ve even encountered people who have felt like my choices were, in some way, suggesting that their ways … Read the rest

A Paradigm Shift and a Headless Warrior

“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.
What we really want seems impossibly out of reach so we never dare to ask the universe for it.
I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it”
~Jim Carrey

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. I’ve received two readings from Susan Scofield (see feature article) who masterfully deciphers the wisdom of the cards. The story that the cards have laid out each time 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 … Read the rest