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The headline reminds me of the Who song

I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

C’mon tell me who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

Oh, I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

 

A necessary inquiry if you want to live a full, rich life. Way too often we define ourselves by who we think others want us to be. Our family of origin has ideas and legacies that they may want us to fulfill. If the last five generations of your family were doctors, there is likely an expectation that you will choose that career path as well. What if, instead, you want to be a diplomat or artist?  Imagine the pushback you may receive from your well meaning but perhaps misguided family members. Do you have the courage to take a stand for your own desires?  I know people who have heard throughout their lives that their career ideas are pie in the sky and that they are living in fantasy land. Heck, I like pie (especially key lime and pumpkin) and fantasy land is one of my favorite places to hang out. My thought is that we wouldn’t have been given the idea to pursue a particular path if there wasn’t something of value awaiting us at the end of the path. I was blessed to have had parents who told me that I could do whatever I chose professionally, as long as I could support myself. I have a two page and growing resume that over the years has  included divergent jobs including therapist, greeting card text writer, minister, speaker, writer, coach, social worker, radio host, massage practitioner. These don’t define me, but they do reflect my world view.

Who we are is far more than the name on our birth certificate or the words on the our resume or job app. It goes way deeper to the core of our being. What are your values? How do you treat yourself and the people around you? What do you have the courage to do every day?   What fears and gremlins do you face when they roar at you?  Or do you run from them? What would someone who is YOU want from life?  Do you have the courage to ask for it and the willingness to embrace it when it shows up?

So many of us dance around the edges of life, rather than engaging it fully as a dance partner. Who will you chose to dance with today?  I choose YOU!

What are you willing to take a stand for?

 

http://youtu.be/TBQnhyUq_-I   Stand  (by Karen Drucker) sung by Fawny Frost

 

 

 

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I am holding this book called Transforming Pain Through Energy Medicine as a result of one those Hansel and Gretel breadcrumb trail experiences that so delight me. A few years ago, I was part of the Next Top Spiritual Author Contest, sponsored by Hampton Roads Publishing. As a result, I connected with talented writers with a message to share. One was a Washington State based Intuitive Life Coach,  Consultant and Reader, Workshop Facilitator, Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master and Energy Healer named Candess Campbell.  With both mainstream and metaphysical credentials, she is able to take what to some might seem out of their comfort zone information and translate it for an across the board audience. The catalyst was her work with a client who had both physical and emotional conditions that limited her severely and nearly ended her life. Candess was able to provide guidance that set her on her way. I would love to know how this woman is doing after using the ideas presented in this step by step tool kit.  Candess is clear that this book is a self help guide and not a substitute for medical treatment.

Since it is a 12 week course, she naturally suggests starting right where you are. Evaluation of current body-mind-spirit state is  the first step. As a writer, I give a thumbs up to her suggestion that readers journal their thoughts and feelings. Knowing that pain is sometimes a reflection of emotional condition AND conditioning, we are sometimes at the mercy of expectations based on family and trauma history and our bodies are barometers and repositories for such experiences. She applies Cognitive Behavioral Theory in conjuction with The Total Behavioral Map as was reprinted from Reinventing Yourself , by D. Barnes Boffey that incorporates the realms of Action, Thinking, Physiology and Feeling.  In each quadrant, she asks the reader to write ideas related to specific circumstances in their lives and as they do, solutions arise. Being a Ph.D Psychologist, Candess incorporates depression and anxiety scales to assess current functioning. A thorough self evaluation also includes a tool for determing level of physical pain; utilizing The Comparative Pain Scale, created by Jack Harich.

In the second week, Candess offers the opportunity for the reader to discover what lights them up and stirs their passions and discover their innate purpose. Like many energy healers, she utilizes the chakra system and the ways in which they shape our focus.

Week three introduces the weeding out foods that may be impacting on health and stamina and incorporating that which nourishes and sustains, in part by paying attention to bodily sensation. Exercise is an important aspect of healing which may incorporate yoga, walking, cycling or gym time.

A month into the process, Candess speaks about hypnotherapy and trance states that can be self induced or with the help of a trained therapist. She encourages goal setting as part and parcel of this week’s work to reduce or relieve pain.

Assessment of beliefs comes along in week five, knowing that they shape our perception of what is so and what can be accomplished. Bruce Lipton’s classic The Biology of Belief is explored in this chapter. She encourages strenghtening of intuition and counteracting limiting beliefs that may reinforce dis-ease.

Halfway there, Candess reminds readers that Stress Comes In Many Forms, which is the name of the chapter. She uses the Holmes and Rahe scale that gives numerical significance to pivotal life events ranging from the death of a spouse (number 1) that rates 100 life change units to minor violation of the law which measures out at 11 life change units. She suggests ways of going beyond identifying stressors to creating stress reducing habits.

In the seventh week, readers are encouraged to feel whatever arises since we can’t heal what we can’t feel. She uses a tool in which she makes a statement such as ” I am unworthy.” which may be a prevailing and self fulfilling thought and then replaces it with the words “I am worthy.” Our bodies believe what we think and act as if it is true. Anger, grief and guilt can be pain inducing emotions. Setting boundaries is an important part of honoring our feelings.

Prayer and meditation are added into the mix in week eight. She lets the reader know that spirituality need not mean organized religion and prayer comes in many forms and her own connection to the Divine led her to become a minister. She shares various meditation techniques, including Transcendental Meditation (TM), chanting a mantra, breathwork, mindfulness and guided meditation.

Week nine addresses the subject of trauma, which includes PTSD, symptomology, EMDR (Rapid Eye Movement),soul retrieval and an assessment of the level and intensity of traumatic and abusive situations that may be impacting on the reader’s life now.

In the tenth week, she takes a look at the energy system that permeates the body and the ways in which being in certain environments impacts on mood and levels of pain and goes into greater depth on the chakra system as was introduced a few weeks back.

Energy medicine in week eleven suggesgts Kinesiology and muscles testing as assessment tools  and acupuncture as one of several treatment modalities that also include essential oils and crystals. Now, for some, this may seem like ‘cosmic foo foo’ but there is anecdotal evidence that benefit has been achieved.

In the final week, it all comes together in the chapter called Integrate and Receive. Energetic modalities, including Reiki and Healing Touch are recommended for bringing it all together.

Transforming Pain Through Energy Medicine is a well researched tool that has something for everyone regardless of condition, lifestyle and age. Appendices in the back of  the book provide a thorough compendium on the modalities she mentions throughout the book, so readers can reference and reinforce their remedy. Various websites are available to explore further.  This is a tool that should be in the hands of any one with a body that experiences pain, whether it is chronic or acute who desires to give it up.

www.candesscampbell.com

www.energymedicinedna.com

 

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Although I like giving credit where it is due, I have no idea of the identity of the artist who created this profoundly simple image. If anyone knows, please let me know. It speaks to me of an eternal truth; that the most important aspects of our relationships, have little to do with what’s on the outside and a whole lot to do with what lies beneath the facade we each wear. How did that armor or mask develop?  Perhaps it was created in the service of pseudo-safety. The thought that “If I don’t show you all of who I am, then you can’t hurt me.”  Sadly, that keeps us from really being SEEN, KNOWN and FULLY LOVED. It is when we ‘dare to bare’ our hearts to each other that we can engage in healthy relationships. Last night I taught a class for a group of social workers who were there to earn continuing ed credits (we need to renew our licenses every two years) and learn about co-dependence and boundary setting. For some of the folks, it was an affirmation of what they already knew and for others, some aha moments took place. Mostly it was about ‘gettin’ stretchy’ with their own awareness of the relationship dynamics that can play out for their clients and for themselves.  For me, it was about throwing off the Wonder Woman cape (although I told them that I had left it in the car with my faerie wings…I really do keep two pair in the car, since I am a clown and my character is a faerie named Feather) and becoming transparent. Scary at times, but these days, I find myself doing it more often for several reasons. The first is that for most of my life, I have had an image to maintain….zen mama, go with the flow, the go-to person, the get it done one, the keep on keepin’ on, tap dancing-people pleaser, everybody’s sweetheart. Last night, I shared that I am surrendering those roles bit by bit, since they don’t always serve. The second, that became abundantly clear when I read the evaluations, is that when I am genuinely sharing, it creates safety for others to do so as well.

I invite you to take a look at the relationships in your life to see where you may have been playing hide and seek with your heart. Do you keep it behind a wall of protection, fearing what will happen if you expose too much of it to the light of day?  Have you felt as if it is chipped and worn? Yesterday I interviewed Rob Jacoby (author of the Map To Love) on my Vivid Life Radio show called It’s All About Relationships. We spoke about the concept of the ‘broken heart’ and agreed that when we feel like that, it really is our heart expanding to allow more love in and yet, there are those who would shut it down for business instead. I prefer to see my broken places as those in which I can let in more light and love.

So today, I encourage you to dare to bare your heart to the world…. I’ll show you mine…..

www.vividlife.me

www.themaptolove.com

http://youtu.be/6eBcQo3yUVQ Let Your Love Flow-The Bellamy Brothers

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On the day you were born, an entire life buffet was spread out before you, with sumptuous experiences waiting in the wings. Somewhere in the recesses of your newborn brain and ageless soul, you knew this, since you were once upon a time immersed in love soup. And then, my take on it is that by the time you were old enough to express yourself in words that the adults around you could understand, you had developed a sense of spiritual amnesia and forgot about your Divine origins.

Perhaps the rest of our earthly incarnation is an effort to experience our ‘lost’ heaven. Unhealthy relationships, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes (and other addictions), excessive acquistion, high risk behaviors may all be fleeting  and fruitless attempts at regaining the bliss we once upon a time knew.  I have witnessed first hand in almsot 35 years of serving folks in recovery from mental health challenges and addictions, the impact that such a desire to fill perceived ‘holes in our souls’. Sometimes it has felt to them, that nothing will quench their thirst or truly feed their hunger.

What has nourished me throughout my life has been a deep and abiding connection with the ‘God of my understanding’ which is a term used in the 12 step recovery community. Raised in a Jewish family, attending synagogue and Hebrew School throughout my childhood and adolescence, I felt safe and protected even in the midst of loss and change. At age 4, my world changed dramatically when my beloved maternal grandmother died. It was the same year I was diagnosed with asthma and yet, somehow I knew that everything would be ok, since my parents told me so and I believed them. I knew it when my dad got layed off from jobs and then was diagnosed with a cardiac condition and my paternal grandmother passed and my aunt joined them; all by the time I was 18. And yet, our faith got us through. My parents knew instinctively that love trumped everything and they reinforced that in all they did. Never did they allow me to use asthma as an excuse to hold back and refrain from living full out.  As a result, I joined a swim team at age 11 and earned a whole bunch of ribbons for butterfly, freestyle and relay events until I was 18 and then coached for three summers after that. This was one of those “thank God I….” experiences since it was unlikely that I would have taken that first long distance plunge in the pool otherwise.

In the 54 years I have been on the planet this time around, there have been many of those, including breakups and budding relationships, deep and abiding friendships, formal education and school of life lessons, fostering one child and adopting another, new careers that add to my 2 page and growing resume, ectopic pregnancy, death of friends, my husband was I was 40 and he was 48, ordination as an interfaith minister, becoming a reiki master, interviewing the Dalai Lama, writing a book, becoming an adult orphan, losing my dad in 2008 and my mom in 2010, watching my son grow into an honorable man, spreading my wings, traveling world wide, sometimes in body, sometimes with my word-wings.

At the buffet table of life, I gratefully hold out my plate and ask for a little bit of everything.

http://youtu.be/36bItoBXpxk A Little Bit Of Everything by Dawes

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