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Succumbing to Solstice Darkness

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The culture clash between winter solstice and Christmas is battling for my allegiance. On the one hand, the sun will set on the winter solstice today in Seattle at 4:20 p.m. This time of year, I am ready to pack up the day and begin my long winter’s nap by 7:00. On the other hand, that seems laughable. Who has time to go to bed at 7:00? This is the frenetic holiday season. Too much to do! Not enough time! Additionally, I find myself fighting the darkness. I sit in front of my light box as I work. In the evenings, I turn on all the lights and crank up the music to fend off a desire to hibernate while I push forward in accomplishing the items on my to-do list. Yet my body refuses to be ignored. It is allying against me and siding with circadian rhythms that dictate...
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Following the Unexpected Path

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It is shocking that I am an energy medicine practitioner. At least, to me it is. Five years ago, I would never have imagined that I would open my own energy healing business. Even sitting in the Level 1 Healing Touch class I could not have imagined it. Within ten minutes of class starting, the instructor explained the energy system: the chakras and auras. I sat there thinking, “What the heck am I doing here?! I have no idea what to think about chakras and auras!” It sounded so woo-woo and I struggled not to roll my eyes and heave deep sighs. But sometimes we are led down unexpected paths, and this was all Universal Energy/Source/God’s doing. On the surface, nothing about my previous experience prepared me for this change of career. I started in theatre administration, then moved to human services and finally stayed home for a number of...
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Rejuvenation

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Summer has ended. Most of us are saying good-bye to the vacation season and easing (or some of us are being thrown) into the new fall rhythm—school, refreshed energy for work projects, activities that resume once everyone is back in town from far-flung adventures. But how many of us truly rejuvenated during this summer season? After my family’s epic road trip (see previous blog post:  The Epic American Road Trip ), I was exhausted, cranky and in need of space to myself. So I took it. It felt like a matter of survival—not just for me but for members of my family as well. As the saying goes, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I squeezed in three days to myself. It’s a funny thing, going off on your own with idyllic dreams of recharging and rediscovering your best self again. Reality usually hits me in the face the...
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The Epic American Road Trip

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It’s a part of our American culture: loading the kids and all manner of gear into the car and then setting off down the winding road in search of adventure, family memories and hopefully really good ice cream. We succumbed to the madness this year, filling the car’s rooftop cargo carrier so full that our 11-year-old had to sit on it to close it. As if that weren’t enough stuff, we couldn’t see out the back window due to the piles of camping gear. The goal was a 2300-mile loop from Seattle through Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons, Hells Canyon in Idaho and home again. We found adventure. We created family memories. We even ate good ice cream. What we didn’t do was have a vacation . By vacation, I mean a time to let go of stress and the chance to rest and rejuvenate. It was quite the...
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Barefoot Labyrinth

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Mud squished cold between my toes in the shade, but iridescent green moss that had warmed in the sun eased the chill as I weaved my way barefoot through the labyrinth. I had retreated to a small island off the coast of Washington state to find my grounding again. The rush of life had depleted my energy to the point that I truly was not fit for anyone else’s company anymore. Time to take a break and recharge. The labyrinth is laid in beach stones in a small clearing surrounded by wild rose, Douglas fir and alder trees. It is as beautiful a sanctuary as any great cathedral. Mother Nature seemed to be thumbing her nose at my calendar which indicated it was the beginning of March. She was cavorting as if it were mid-spring, not still winter. She dared me to take off my shoes and socks and walk...
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Slow Down

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“ Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last.” These lyrics from the 59 th Street Bridge Song by Simon and Garfunkel have become my theme. They speak the truth for me - we move too fast. Our days are full of busyness and rushing. Must make breakfast, finish that work project, shuttle the kids to an activity, grocery shopping, dinner to make, and the list goes on and on. The cell phone rings. A text must be answered. A friend is in need. Oh, take a photo of that for the grandparents. We are “hooked up” and constantly on the move. We fall into bed exhausted. When we are not physically moving, our minds are in constant motion sorting out what needs to happen next, that comment a co-worker made, a frustration, a new idea, and again, the list goes on. Have we become...
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About Those New Year's Resolutions...

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So. It’s February. We are one month into 2015. Do you remember your New Year’s resolutions? Frankly, I don’t. I think they had something to do with losing the weight I put on over the holidays (should have followed my own advice in the blog post below entitled “The Holiday Food Battle”). But really, does it matter? The point is that we reflect on what we want and need in life, and then work toward it. We can do that anytime. As an energy medicine practitioner, assessing what I need to stay healthy and well is a necessity on a daily basis, not just annually. Energy Magazine has created a Self-Care Kit to encourage us in caring for ourselves and keeping track of our progress. It’s free. Just click on the Downloads tab in the menu above. It contains a mandala-embellished weekly planner, suggestions for self-care, affirmations, and tools for...
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Sanctuary

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There is a place I go to when I seek solace and quiet, a holy place. I discovered it quite by accident on a walk early one morning when I stopped for a moment to “drink in the morning.” In that moment I was aware of something different, as though I was standing in the presence of something timeless, a feeling of grace. It was tangible and palpable. As I stood, my soul began to resonate and a feeling of connection and peace washed over me. I have tested this place, going back over and over again. Sometimes I have returned day after day, sometimes after a stretch of time in between. I have walked toward this place and back and forth in it, sensing the place and watching as the feeling gets stronger and dissipates with distance to insure I am not imagining. Each time I am there I...
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Color in Winter

colored pencils 500In these cold, dark days of winter I close the blinds as the day’s last rays of light are slowly fading to keep out the cold. Even if it does not make the house warmer, it makes it seem warmer and cozy. I eat comfort food, read more, go to bed earlier. Sometimes I am content with this way of life and other times I long for more light and longer days. February is the hardest month for me. Winter is dragging on and yet I feel spring, just around the corner, in my bones. I long to have the world colored vividly again.

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The Holiday Food Battle

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I was standing in the grocery store aisle, surrounded by black and orange. All I needed was a gallon of milk. But in order to pick up a gallon of milk, I had to traverse through a maze of black and orange Halloween merchandise, including piles of candy. Despite my passionate embrace of healthy living and eating, I’m a sucker for chocolate Halloween candy. I sighed a deep, bone-shaking sigh, knowing the holiday food battle had begun. Every year at this time, I have a little pep talk with myself about holiday eating. It generally goes like this: “Remember to eat mindfully and enjoy your food.” “Make sure half your plate is full of vegetables.” “Treat yourself, but in moderation.” “Stop when you are full.” That’s great advice and when I follow it, I feel pretty good both physically and emotionally. Not choosing to follow my own advice and resist temptation...
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