Tag Archives: Whole body health

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


Can You Change Without Changing?

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”.
~Nathaniel Branden

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


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


What A Difference A Year Makes

“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.

pain is realIt 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


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


Beyond the Horoscope

“I have been criticized and ridiculed for turning to astrology,
but after a while, I reached the point where I didn’t care.”

~Nancy Reagan

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.

Fast forward a couple years and I’d be strongly encouraged to again have my chart read by Heather Ensworth, a Ph.D. Clinical … 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

UGH! Stuck. Again?

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
~ Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

REALLY? How can I be here? I am so tired of it all, of this storyline, of the equal measures of my impatience and resistance, the self-judgement and harsh thoughts, the lack of measurable results.

I have been here before. More often than I care to recount. I could hear my inner taskmaster hammering me for it all, “Where are the completed checkmarks on your to-do list, where is the weight loss, the decluttered house, the improved, deepened relationship, the finished coursework for the online program you’re taking, the updated business plan and refreshed website, and your latest article – well past its deadline. You can’t get anything done. You inept loser.”

I drew myself up, inhaled deeply and fully, threw back my shoulders and roared at my inner taskmaster. ENOUGH. Enough. This old familiar storyline is done. I’m scrapping it. It no longer serves me. At some point, I am sure it did, by protecting an ancient hurt or fear buried deeply in my psyche. I thanked it for its years of service and released it.… 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


What is the Feldenkrais Method®? How it Works

“Feldenkrais work is the most sophisticated and effective method I have ever seen
for the prevention and reversal of deterioration of function.”

~Margaret Mead, PhD, Anthropologist

I began studying the Feldenkrais Method® in 1984, after seeking every possible treatment (Osteopathic, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, various Massage therapies, Rolfing, Cranial Sacral, Acupunctureannie thoe w patient, etc.) for chronic, debilitating knee pain. I couldn’t walk, hike, bike or swim without pain. In one lesson, I experienced a profound shift in the alignment and coordination of my legs with my entire body. While it took me a while to shift the pattern causing this pain, over the three decades in studying this Method, I continue to refine the ease in my movement and life. This was the beginning of my career in bodywork and awareness study. I use this method (along with Nature Awareness) to help expand awareness to move past obstacles in learning, healing, performance and problem-solving.

dr feldenkraisThe Feldenkrais Method® named after its founder, Moshe Feldenkrais, is a sensory method of learning to refine one’s movement, improve function and expand awareness. Feldenkrais developed his method in the mid-1940s after suffering a crippling knee injury. He found he could teach himself (and others) to align, … Read the rest


Spirit Babies + Pregnancy

“Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind through the eye,
is the great invention of the world…enabling us to converse with the dead,
the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and space.”

~ Abraham Lincoln

Babies in utero talk to me. Specifically, their souls speak to me. The first time this happened, my mind tried to tell me it was a figment of my imagination. The baby’s voice was so clear, however. And it felt so true that I knew if had to be real.

boy and pregnant motherSince that first experience, I’ve worked with pregnant women and couples to energetically align and communicate information to and from their baby prior to birth. This can strengthen the bond between parents and baby before entering our world, especially in the case of second or third pregnancies when you have a toddler at home and are working a full-time job.

A session together is a respite from the everyday and a deep-dive in soul connection. You learn about personality traits, why your baby’s soul chose you now (yes, each of us chooses our parents), inklings into what their future might hold, and things to put in place before birth.

I … 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

HypnoBirthing®, The Mongan Method

 “When you change the way your view birth, the way you birth will change”
~Marie Mongan

Empowering Women to Connect to Their Natural Instinctive Birthing Bodies

Have you ever heard these types of statements?

  • Giving birth is painful
  • It’s something you just have to get through
  • Labor and childbirth is not something to look forward to
  • You don’t need to tough it out. Just take the drugs
  • It’d be great to just be knocked out and wake up with a baby

The women I teach in my HypnoBirthing®, The Mongan Method childbirth education classes, tell me they sure have! They hear these types of disempowering statements from well intentioned friends, family and even complete strangers. They find it interesting how people will readily share their “horror” stories when they see a pregnant woman!

Just like the majority of us, they’ve seen the movies that portray childbirth as extremely painful or comical and something to dread.

Anticipating pain and dreading bringing your baby into the world doesn’t sound like a great way to spend nine months! Yet, too often, this is the mass message that permeates our culture. It produces fear, stress and anxiety in expectant moms. This can often lead … Read the rest