Showing posts with label Mindfulness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mindfulness. Show all posts

December 30, 2020

Letter from Deepak Chopra

Yay! I received a nice letter from the Chopra Institute:

Deepak Chopra, LLC

December 18, 2020

Kayla G. Rose

Dear Kayla,

Thank you for keeping the abundance of the universe circulating in all our lives with the gift of your book, Laphrodite's Guide to Mindful Menopause, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since you enjoy Dr. Chopra's teachings please consider watching at your leisure the free public service immersive lecture, The Future of Wellbeing with a meditation led by him and offered by The Chopra Foundation. Here is the link:

Dr. Chopra sends his warm regards and wishes health, success, wisdom and joy in the field of infinite possibilities!


Carolyn Rangel

Available from Amazon
or through Facebook

November 18, 2019

Reclaiming Hypatia

I've been doing art projects that have been on my mind for years, including painting this statue from Philippa Bowers, which was part of a Goddess fountain when I had my cafe. About two-foot-tall, glazed in a matt green, cradling a large vibrant purple amethyst cluster, We named her Hypatia after the greek mathematician, who was killed by having her flesh flayed with oyster shells.

We would add a few drops of bleach each week to the fountain water, to keep down bacteria. After a dozen years, bleach deposit both built up and began to decay parts of her face and body, as well as loosening the crystals in her belly. After I closed Herland, Hypatia came to live in my garden, along with an assortment of other broken nosed and gently damaged goddesses. 

Being flayed was a feeling I related to, and during those dozen years, I got over a dozen tattoos. Much of this was a reclaiming of my body, my beliefs, and my standards of beauty. A way to be comfortable in my skin. Everyone has scars on the inside - mine are on the outside, and they are pretty, colorful, and make for good stories.

Now I'm experiencing a new body image issue, that of becoming the crone, the hag, the elder. What does it mean to age gracefully? What does it mean to express my authentic self? I am questioning dying my hair, working to accept my buddha belly (now I know why it's called "middle" age), while pondering the delight in creases, folds, and wrinkles. 

So I decided to paint Hypatia, to reclaim her as a symbol of my croning. Her hair is silver white, with a crown of pearls and roses. I will begin detailing more of her face and body next. I'm also painting a wooden stand to a marble table that she might sit on, and a ceramic cat from my daughter's garden. I like working like this, on a few projects at once, since as the paint is drying on one thing I can paint another one. 

Someday I'll invite you over to my kooky painted house. There are lots of murals, but also lots of furniture, lampshades, even the toilet is painted. Keep making beauty, keep making art!

September 24, 2019

My Artists Creed

I once heard that there is no word for “art” in Bali because they simply make everything beautiful. Every Thing – every single bed, hidden doorway, ceramic flower pot, ubiquitous chamberpot – is somehow artistic, in its own way. I’m not sure if this is true, but it certainly could be my creed – Make everything beautiful. If I can’t paint it, I’ll put a sticker on it. If it is ugly, I’ll refurbish or get rid of it. If nothing else, I’ll put glitter on it. Oh yes, I will.
I can always tell when one of my clients is doing better, because they ask, “Has this always been here?” This could refer to the art-deco murals of trees in the front room, a lampshade carefully strung with lost earrings and broken pearls, the toilet in the guest bathroom that has been painted like sea kelp using enamel paints. No longer lost in their internal landscape of depression, anxiety and gloom, they take a moment to look around, perk up, observe their surroundings, become truly aware – and hopefully inspired, if not simply mindful. The random look of joy on their faces, a pleasant reminder for me that even though I am used to all this by now – it is a moment of wonder, a feeling of curiosity if not incredulity, a feeling of infinite possibility. My own mindful moment.

And the answer? Well, some twenty years ago, after going through a divorce and deciding to cancel cable TV, I found that I spent a lot of time worrying about my child or feeling frustrated by daily chores. Creating art, creating beauty, was a way to transform, to channel my energy into what I now call prayer – out of my suffering, grief, and depression, let something lovely be born. Khalil Gibran says, “Work is love made visible.” And as a result, let me be more present – with my child, my clients, my self.

And so every room is painted – I’m talking the resplendent four seasons became my hallway, gold and silver stars grace the ceilings, meticulous stencils of ripe red roses and palest lavender wisteria are a sharp contrast to the spongy backgrounds of blackberry bushes and underwater dreams. Embellished glass kitchen cabinets sing their songs with art-deco dragonflies, purring pussy willows, and golden outlines. Bored, I moved on from the big canvasses of white walls to the more intricate details. First, transformed common garden statues into marvelous radiant beings to celebrate my cronehood, then transcribed my horrible handwriting into cryptic runes onto tarot decks, and all along (yes, of course, this is Santa Cruz)- hosted a couple dozen new tattoos to inscribe art on my body, the ultimate illuminated manuscript.

I balk when people ask if I’m an artist (let alone a writer). I certainly am a dabbler, willing to try, to experiment. I perceive art as a lifestyle – much like being a Vegan, a Surfer, or my myth of the Balinese. While I don’t spend my time thinking about tofu, the temperature of the water, or whatever story someone s making up about me – I do try to create beauty, every day, in every way. As simple as a reworded email, as complex as the center of the Dolores Rose, who springs forth every January despite the chill to infuse my being with the scent of hope.

I struggle with that voice in my head says, “It’s not art if it’s not making money”. But it is beauty, and it is pleasing, and I know it makes this tiniest, tiniest, tiniest slice of this particular corner of the world an even better place. This is something I believe in, a practice, my particular artist's creed.

Blessed Be.

March 24, 2019

77 Tips for Mindful Menopause

In no particular order, here are 77 tips to experience Mindful Menopause. Watch out for my forthcoming book "Changing Woman: An Enchanting Collection of Myths, Musings, and Meditations for Mindful Menopause" which delves deeper into the practices outlined here. I hope this is helpful!

  1. Acupuncture - I have found acupuncture to be enormously beneficial hormonal balancing. Before going on hormones, consider acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Like any natural remedy, it may take longer to see any results,but on the other hand, one also tends to experience less side effects. If you're not comfortable needles, acupressure and reflexology are alternatives that create flow in the meridians.
  2. Drink more water, no ice - you’ll drink more; same with using a straw. When you urinate, consciously let go of whatever has been pissing you off lately. Same when you defecate - say out loud, “I now release all this old crap.” Notice that as you release the accumulated emotional and physical toxins, the sense of well being and serenity that permeates your body.
  3. Research - You are unique, not a statistic. This is the time to activate your scientist and discover what works for you. You'll get a ton of advice from friends, colleagues, doctors, magazines and Internet articles, but ultimately the expert on your body is you. Be willing to experiment, take responsibility for your health and happiness, and do your own due diligence to honor your individual unfolding.
  4. Laugh - Practice saying out loud, "Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee, ho, ho, ho" It becomes so ridiculous you will begin to laugh for real. Laughter is the best medicine - Breathe into your Buddha belly and feel a big belly laugh whenever you want to feel high. Especially good when driving to the ATM.
  5. Fans - Wow, what a difference a fan makes! From little personal electric fan necklaces to full on ceiling fans, it's well worth investing in a cooling breeze. My fans range from a delicately carved sandalwood fan which I can add aromatherapy oils too ( peppermint is cooling, lavender is soothing). I finally figured out how to change the setting on the main ceiling fan to be cooling the house instead of warming, check yours out. We don't have air conditioning, but I sure do love it the car. Then I bought a small, portable desk fan, which I take with me traveling. When I feel a hot flash coming on, I throw back the covers, letting the sweat evaporate, then throw back on the covers, but feeling less clammy than when I didn't have the fan going. And in the spirit of the Tibetan prayer wheels, I wrote blessings on each of the fan blades, so that during the night I am being showered with blessings.
  6. Cold Wash Cloths - Never underestimate the power of a wet washcloth. When I feel a hot flash coming on, I've found it super useful to get up, go pee, run cool water over my wrists while getting a wash cloth soaked with cool water. After wringing it out, I'll either do a quick sponge bath along my arms, chest and back, or simply drape it across the back of my neck. Combined with the fan can be very cooling, just make sure to do no more than twenty minutes of with the fan to avoid over cooling muscles. Blot, blot, blot - Every time when you go pee, (adrenals) blot under your breasts, forehead, armpits. Learn to collect napkins in your purse, tissues in your pockets. you don't want the sweat to stay on your skin to attract bacteria or fungus.
  7. Kitchen Towels - I keep a stack of kitchen towels by the bed. Super soft and absorbent, baby cloths would be another solution. These I either stick between my breasts or between my thighs to absorb all the clammy sweat, especially when sleeping in the nude. A friend has recommended sleeping in sports gear with wicking action as opposed to pajamas.
  8. Bath Towels - For about three months I would have to spread a bath towel on the bed, which I would change every 90 minutes as it would get soaked in sweat. However, this was way easier than washing the sheets and mattress cover continuously. I also noticed my pillow getting a lot of sweat stains. If your mattress gets stained, sprinkle a box of baking soda all over it, let sit for a few hours, then vacuum thoroughly.
  9. Separate Beds - For some reason this makes e think of being a kid and seeing Ricky and Lucy having separate beds on "I Love Lucy". At some point I helped my mom make my parents bed, and I realized they had separate sheets and blankets under the coverlet. Later they had separate bedrooms for years. Now I get it. Not only does my husband seem to put out an incredible amount of heat, so do my cats, and I find myself feeling trapped and unhappy. Often I will go downstairs and sleep on the couch, massage table, or my daughters bed, just to have some breathing room and a few cool spots on the bed. This has created feelings of rejection in both my spouse and pets, so paying extra attention to them during the day has felt like a new mindfulness moment. To maintain intimacy with my sweetie, we practice a daily Cuddle meditation.
  10. Breathe - Sounds obvious, but all day long I get paid to remind people to take deep breaths and drink water. Long, slow, cooling breaths. Imagine your breathing deep into your belly, then deeper into your hips, deeper still into your knees, and even deeper into your toes. Make the exhale as long as possible. Breathe in the cool, breathe out the hot, dragon mama that you are. Or whatever you want... Breathe in calmness, breathe out the rage, breathe in peacefulness, breathe out the frustration, breathe in acceptance, breathe out despair.
  11. Meditate - Start your day by simply stating your intentions, take a moment to visualize them as if they have already occurred, feel that in your body, and breathe it into every cell of your being. To further amplify this frequency, write in your journal, speak your truth, or better yet, sing your truth. Attract what you need in order to grow.
  12. Purify -  hot showers, hot baths, hot tubs saunas: release toxins naturally and effectively. Transmute old poisons, shed your skin, wash away the past to feel cleansed and renewed. Neti pots cleanse the sinuses & clear the head of congested thoughts.
  13. Cold Floors - During the peak of menopause, sometimes my only relief was found lying down on my cool, wood floor. Like jumping into an icy lake, I would find myself gasping as I lowered my steaming hot back along the refreshingly solid yet slightly chilled floor, feeling the sweat gather at the small of my back, slightly disgusting sucking noises as I adjusted my shoulder blades. But like hitting a reset button, I would find the particular wave short circuited, lasting only a couple of seconds rather than long drawn out minutes. However, mopping and cleaning became a little more important as a result!
  14. Moderate Temperatures - Keep your bedroom moderate to avoid chills. While there's a compulsion to keep the bedroom/house as cold as possible, recognize that the heat comes from within your body and spreads out - it's not about the outside temperature affecting your body in an inwardly fashion. This means that once the flash is over, you'll feel cold, and in fact go through a cold flash/chill. This could cause complications from simply depressing the immune system and catching a cold to more severe illnesses such as pneumonia or Bell’s Palsy.
  15. Do It - One of the most frustrating experiences for me is that moment of waking up and feeling the surge begin. A part of me wants to resist, tries as hard as possible to simply go back to sleep. But we all know that what we resist, persists- and often comes back stronger. It has been a mindfulness practice to just get up and deal, like when i had an infant, or for some, when you hear the cat outside in the middle of the night. Go pee, drink water, asses what you need - it'll be easier to fall back asleep until the next cycle begins.
  16. New Rhythms - I found my sleep cycles changing drastically. Suddenly I was wiped by 7:30 pm, ready for bed at 8:00 pm. Then I'd be awake for an hour, a ninety minute sleep cycle, then up for another hour, respectively through the night. So even though in theory was getting eight hours of sleep, I felt cranky and exhausted all the time. Maybe one of the main joys of being self employed is that I get to choose my own eighty hours a week, so I could actually schedule in naps. while 45 minutes or a full 90 minute cycle was optimum, even just doing twenty minutes of hypnosis left me feeling refreshed, re-energized, and ready for the afternoon.
  17. Sleep as much as you want to. Take naps. Remember your dreams. Your mind and body are doing the repair work. This is where deep healing occurs. Allow yourself to go to bed when you want to, and to wake up when you want to. Get rid of your alarm clock - you’ll be surprised how easily you wake up when you need to, feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and refreshed, ready for a new day.
  18. Ice-olation - One of the things I noticed the most was a huge compulsion to spend more time by myself. I recognized that the word "alone" is also the word "all one". When I was alone in nature, I was all with nature. When I was alone with the cats, I was all ones with the cats. When I was alone by myself, I was alone with myself. This was so different from the intense loneliness that I had experienced in my past two relationships. I found myself chanting the mantra "Focus and Simplify" and applying this to all aspects of my life, not just cleaning out the garage. I let go of business groups, networking, luncheons, and other social occasions. Mostly I would be with a client, my husband, or by myself. When my adult daughter moved back for a while after collage, I felt the need to create alone time in a healthy way even more acutely, again like the bed situation, not trying to project rejection but create a sense of good boundaries. Being mindful meant being conscious of my own tendency to run away and instead create time and space in my calendar to go on writers retreats as well as time in the house by myself.
  19. More Cool Cloths - Put an undershirt in the freezer, slip on in middle of night. Also works well with a pillowcase, washcloth, or kitchen towel. Rather than ice packs, use a bag frozen peas or frozen blueberries wrapped in a towel, apply to back of neck, under arm pits, under breasts and/or on belly, lower back.
  20. Sunlight - We are so conscious of skin cancer, but one of the deficits as a result is the body not producing enough vitamin D. I found that sitting in the early morning sun for ten minutes a day completely changed the menopausal eczema around my mouth. Do use sunscreen, but also allow the sun to help regulate your cycles, and give yourself permission to simply sit for a small part of the day in order to recharge your battles, cellular and mental.
  21. Moonlight “Under the moonlight, that serious moonlight” - David Bowie I found my cycle shifting, from thirty three days to 28 to 22 to complete pellmell. Reconnecting with the moon is as simple as walking outside. Since I'm already awake at 2,3 or 4 in the morning, why not just walk outside onto the deck? I found the practice of "drawing down the moon" useful, simply cupping your hands around the moon and then imagining you Are flushing it down your body. Also helpful was using my online calendar to create reminders for the simple rituals of before. For example, I used to wash all of the sheets and towels after my period. Now I have a recurring reminder for. "big laundry" once a month, keeping the cleansing cycle on a mindful basis.
  22. Gurus - 24 years ago Susan Weed's book, "Menopause for the Wise Woman Ways" was easily one of my best selling items. Still in my 20s, when I leafed through it, nothing made sense. Now, thirty years later, I am just amazed at how pertinent this information is today. Louise Hay died last month at the ripe age of 90. She wrote her first book at my age, 50. Look around - who do you admire? Who resonates with your soul? Who spoke to you in a whisper years ago and now you can not, can NOT, ignore the roar? Do not look for a crutch, a leader, give your power away - instead notice where do you feel inspired, enlightened, and simply encouraged? In French, the word for heart is "coeur" so notice what boosts your heart now. Who are you mentors? If you never had a grandma, who are elderly folks in your life? What ancestral wisdom could you tap into now?
  23. Feeling Cranky - It's okay to be cranky pants. Just like puberty, just like being pregnant, the hormones they are a raging. Not that I was ever pregnant - my daughter was birthed by my ex-wife - but boy oh boy, have I witnessed some hormonal fluxes. In fact, if I ever start a Metallica band, it'll be called "Hormonal Flux". I've been with a pregnant woman, I've been with a transgendered person during their transition from female to male, I witnessed my daughter’s puberty - menopause brought me into a whole new emotional experience of riding the bio waves. Something as stupid as a band aid commercial on the tv puts me in tears. My mind obsesses on worst case scenarios, my dreams are plagued with apocalyptic scenes. My body is pumped with not just the mmmm whale noises endorphins but a bunch of testosterone, survivalist notions, my inner Rambo activated. Crank crank crank, churn, churn, churn, what has been helpful is to allow each catastrophe to unfold in my imagination and discover my own survivalist instincts as a result.
  24. Keep a journal, chart your journey - Probably the best thing I have done for myself. After a huge period of lethargy where I was beating myself up for feeling lazy, unmotivated , etc and had the vision of the goo in the chrysalis - its not going to do anything either, it's okay - I came back to the basic.
  25. Make art - Grab a crayon, a piece of paper. Not your journal, it does not need to be remembered indefinitely. Not the calligraphy pens, none of this is elegant. Nothing needs to be saved. Use crayons, cray pas, finger paints , get into the inner child, the visceral, viscous. Use your non dominant hand, do it upside down, think outside the frickin' box. Give yourself to destroy, to edit, to add to over time - there is the immediate fires of frustration and the long term satisfaction after putting in time for gratification. This is your time.
  26. Howl - Howl and wall as needed. For no reason. For every reason. We live in an intense time, full of contradictions, full of despair, full of fear. Let it out. Keen and wail like the widows of Sardena. Howl in the shower, let the sound of the water mask your turmoil in order to not upset the neighbors, but give yourself that cleansing sound. this is a time of release, not just the discontented sigh, the I'm putting up with things and being martyr bullshit. Be the bitch, in heat or out of heat, raise your shackles, bare your teeth. Be ferocious. The word fierce comes from the French word “fiere” which means fire, which means pride. Where is your pride? What are you proud of, feel fierce about? Key word here is passion - not sexual, not career driven, but dropping into your soul - what is it you have always wanted or always wanted to do? Howl your displeasure, howl about the unfairness, the inequalities that have kept you from your true purpose, just as all the other slaves before you.
  27. Alone = All One - Be conscious of creating alone time instead if getting sick or picking a fight. Deep in the chrysalis, everything is shifting, transforming, transmogrifying. Everything is up in the air while decaying as compost. So much on one’s mind, so much to simply let go of, transmute old poisons. There is no need to to get sick in order to have some time off - a mental day as a regular habit is way more yummy than scheduling in sick days. Same as noticing when someone asks, " are you okay" and a knee jerk reaction of " Oh, I'm just tired/ sick/ allergies." Stand in your power and simply assert, " I need to think about it" and then create the time/space to do exactly that, guilt free, cranklepuss free.
  28. Vasodilation - It begins in the middle of my chest, but more than that, a line from my collarbone to sternum. Pure heat, like the core of the kiln, the depth of the volcano. But then there are all the open arteries, the vents and cracks, leaks and fissures, enabling the lava flow. I've learned to regulate certain substances that simply are vasodilators, meaning opening the vessels, as they contribute to the overwhelming hear and discomfort during menopause. So rather than choosing vasodilators like red wine, coffee, spicy foods, be mindful. It might seem boring to have white wine, green tea, or less pungent foods, but there are w as to keep your tongue engaged, your palate stimulated, body satisfied. Choose to be the gourmet rather than the gourmand - One wants the finest things in life, the other, just a lot.
  29. Toxins - Well going through menopause you are transforming toxins. Not just physically, but also emotionally spiritually and intellectually. Avoid toxic people and toxic situations. You will find that your friends circle will change. Allow yourself to graduate from old friend circles and either find comfort in more time for yourself or a new set of cronies. Watch out for getting intoxicated as alcohol will also increase your hot flashes see. See liver support.
  30. Change is our friend - Be okay with changing your clothes every hour. Be okay with explaining the sweat on your lip. The okay with doing a few more chores because he will simply have more laundry as a result of all that wet. Find close that are really comfortable, loose around the belly. Button downs are great for letting intervene able to take off layers as needed. Stop wearing a bra. Nobody cares if you're tits are hanging to the ground. Seriously everyone is so self absorbed no one is really looking at you especially in a culture where youthfulness is exonerated. Allow your lymph glands to do their work of cleansing the body without being restricted by the tight elastic of uncomfortable underwear.
  31. Become friends with Death - Ponder your own death. Write your will or create a trust fund. This it a funeral home or decide if you would like to be cremated. You can now buy biodegradable urns that have a tree seed in them which can be planted. This is the time not to be morbid or get hung up on thinking about getting sick, but to be planning your own transition and ways to care for your family and friends. Think of this as a way to create peace with death as well as peace in your life by creating these contracts because, you know, witches spell it out.
  32. Making Peace - Speaking of making peace this is a good time to review your past make peace with it and let it go. Whether you have prior conflicts or regrets or resentment second be a simple as writing a letter, going to therapy, or telling the person that you love them and forgive them. Marianne Williamson defines forgiveness as no longer being affected by a person or incident, not that that what happened was okay or ever will be okay. But you can be okay. So forgive your parents, your siblings, your ex lovers. None of these people and none of the past define you now. You can do the Hawaiian Ho'oponopono ritual for forgiveness.
  33. Get a Job - Studies show that people who retire early tend to lead shorter lives. Why? Because often our work gives our lives meaning. There's a reason it's called an occupation - it keeps us occupied! Be okay with a complete new career change, even if you have "retired". Or consider volunteering, taking classes, or getting involved in local politics. After a period of isolation, reconnect with your community as a mentor.
  34. Let your Freak Flag Fly - Do you want your hair to go grey, purple, fire engine red? Have you always wanted to get a tattoo? Want to show up at work wearing fairy wings? Why not go for it? Play your body and what it means to you to grow old gracefully. Don't buy into the stereotypes and start wearing frumpy clothes. At least add a dash of glitter to your repertoire.
  35. Love Your Body - Feed yourself good, yummy foods that you truly enjoy to nourish your whole being; play with your body, dance, do yoga, go roller skating, get an exercise ball, stretch. Get rid of your scale - you’ll be surprised how much happier you’ll feel.
  36. Gain Weight - According to Susun Weed, women who gain ten extra pounds usually do better through menopause. As our ovaries stop producing estrogen, it's up to our body fat to producing it instead. Plus a little extra padding could be useful in a fall! And after years of playing the dieting games, isn't it about time to accept your body and stop wasting time and energy trying to be thinner? Deepak Chopra says that it's not thin people live the longest, but people who maintain the most consistent weight.
  37. Go on Retreats - As in re-treat yourself. What is a treat for you? A nice meal, a massage, a mani-pedi? Going camping, to a music festival, or a yoga workshop? A retreat could be one hour, one day, or one week. The most important thing is to plan them, put them on your calendar, claim the gift of time for yourself. I like to go on on four day silent retreat that are also writer's retreats. They are affordable and easy for me to schedule on a regular basis. Different in focus from vacation, retreats can be focused on personal reflection, relaxation and rejuvenation.
  38. Fire Up Your Brain - While going through the pause, I often found myself doing just that - pausing. Indeed, half of my exercise came from going upstairs and completely forgetting why I had gone there in the first place. Spacing out, blanking on names and words, forgetting what you were doing - a few more challenges to be sure. Practice mental exercise - crossword puzzles, Suduko, logic games, memory games. Build your mental muscles by affirming that you just "remembered" your keys, etc, rather than our knee jerk reaction of saying, "oh, I forgot my keys". Use your fingers to keep lists for short term memory. Use your phone for longer or long term lists. And remember, this could be a great time to practice beginners mind, the Buddhist concept of treating everything as if it was for the very first time, connecting with a sense of wonder and innocence rather than confusion or doubt.
  39. Practice Emotional Ergonomics - Ergonomic means to practice efficiency and comfort. What would bring you emotional comfort, and what is an efficient way to communicate that need? Let your partner/ kids/parents/friends) colleagues know you are in transition, might be a bit weepy, but still need to be taken seriously. These are tender times, much like the hard shelled crab busting out of its shell in order to grow into new form. Accept offers of help gracefully - much like having a baby, everyone will offer their advice. Nod sagely as the wise woman that you are, be proactive on any advice that resonates with you and disregard the rest. 
  40. Chose to be Active - I had my first car for 19 years. I've had my second Honda for thirteen now. If there's anything I've learned about cars is take care of them with regular maintenance, good grade fuel and lots of lubricant. My body is my vehicle, it has served me well for the last fifty years. Now the question is, what am I willing to do to make it last another 50 more? Choosing to be active is key. You don't need a frickin' yoga class, just bend and extend throughout the day. Go on walks to transmute energy. Stretch more! Check in with your accupuncturist, chiropractor, or massage therapist for regular tune ups. Remember Omega 3s to stay lubricated in your joints and AstroGlide for other slippery needs.
  41. Work is Love Made Visible - Do your own house cleaning or gardening. Deepak Chopra has plenty of examples of people living to be in their hundreds not because they went to the gym, but because they stayed active everyday, physically and mentally.
  42. Mindful Eating - Your metabolism has changed drastically. Keep a food journal or do my fitness pal, which eventually I got tired of and called "my fitness nag". Forgive yourself the moments of carbo overload, reduce stress to remind your body it's all okay. Take smaller bites, take home more leftovers. Learn to savor and relish, back to being the gourmet instead of the gourmand. As we grow more vintage, our liver processes alcohol differently too - practice more moderation.
  43. Weep - Weep, cry, keen, howl, wail when you need to. At band-aid commercials, in the shower, when reminiscing about the past. 
  44. Cry with a friend, a counselor, your favorite pet, or a sappy movie. Release grief, disappointment, guilt, heartbreak, frustration. We release different biochemicals in emotional tears rather than those shed in physical pain. Use your tears to release those toxins. Or find a lachrymal, and capture your tears to use as holy water in your rituals.
  45. Reminiscing - "In memories golden basket, drop a pearl for me" - Laura Ingalls Wilder. Notice your memories replacing your eggs in your sacred space. Suddenly it is easier for me to remember my phone number in first grade or my kindergarten teachers first name than what someone told me five minutes ago. There's a reason all these memories are coming up now. Mainly, because you can handle them. Emotionally, spiritually, you have the experience and maturity to review the past, and much like the oyster who coats the irritating grain of sand with the iridescence of the mother, creates the pearls of wisdom.
  46. Potent Dreaming - Notice your dreams as you wake up every 90 minutes- an adrenal cycle. Are they more vivid? About closure? Lucid? I noticed my dreams becoming very heightened, especially right before walking up. If I could hold the image while going to pee, rearranging the sheets, or putting the fan on, often I would fall back into the same dream, able to take it further, sometimes to a satisfactory completion through lucid dreaming. Lucid, as in, I am aware that I am dreaming. Thus, mindful dreaming.
  47. Darkness - Darkness is our friend, as light stimulates the pituitary gland in the third eye. Keep your bedroom extra dark, or buy a sleep mask. I found that I generally woke up to the crowing of cats, ie predawn. If I actually got up, fed the critters, peed and even better pooped, putting on a sleep mask could offer anywhere from 90 to 180 minutes more delicious sleep. Try to keep electronics out of your bedroom, especially cell phones. If you need a clock, get a battery one with no all night clock display. Even pop your clock in the bedside drawer to stop from obsessing over lost sleep.
  48. Hot in the streets, Cool in the Sheets - Sometimes just finding one cool spot on the mattress for a hand or foot can make a world of difference. I've needed to rearrange cats several times, whose bodies tend to run a good five degrees warmer than ours, hence being my fuzzy water bottles of love. There are cooling sheets, pillow cases, mattress covers and even mattresses, depending on your budget. I find that having a king size sheet on my queen size bed serves as away to tuck between limbs, or to create a barrier from my slumbering husband, who also generates an incredible amount of heat. It is not unusual for me to get up in the night and take naps in the guest room, on the massage table, or on the couch, simply to find some coolness.
  49. Go outside - Yes, it is two in the morning. Yes, it is raining heavily, in fact I am up to my ankles in the flooded backyard. Yes, I am naked, arms outstretched to catch the cool drops if rain mingling with the sweat in my body. New moon or full, foggy or clear starlit sky, simply walking outside has proved to be a balm to the soul, a way to connect both to the darkness of night and nature's delight. I have become friends with the raccoons, opossums, skunks, and other nocturnal critters.
  50. Being Alone, Together -Menopause is hard, and can be hard on relationships. Ask your partner not to freak out during heart palpitations, memory meanderings, or emotional swings. I've emphasized alone time over and over, but also make some together time with your significant other. A sincere hug and honest communication will help ease any feelings of rejection or doubt that can occur during this sensitive time. Humor helps - whenever I get over emotional I’'ll make "sad whale noises" or even text that to my husband, daughter, best friend. The vocalization often helps to dissolve the lump in my throat and change the tears to a smile in my eyes.
  51. Go Natural Fibers - Invest in cotton or rayon as far as sheets and clothes go. Get rid of anything polyester, anything that doesn't breathe. Put away your silks for a while, they'll just get sweat stained. layers are our friend, both in terms of bedding and clothing, so be prepared for quick switches, i.e more button downs or zippers rather than struggling to pull something up and over your head. And look around your home - is everything made of plastic or synthetic materials? How much off gassing have you been breathing in for years? Even now studies show plastic bottles that get heated release estrogen. Come back to wood, glass, and ceramics. Yes, they might break, they might (gasp!) get old. Consider the Japanese tradition of Wabi-Sabi, of infusing gold into the cracks of time to elicit that which is precious.
  52. Free the Tatas - Stop wearing a bra, as much as you can, or at least get fitted for a new one. Nobody cares if you're tits are hanging to the ground. Seriously, everyone is so self absorbed no one is really looking at you especially in a culture where youthfulness is exonerated. Allow your lymph glands to do their work of cleansing the body without being restricted by the tight elastic of uncomfortable underwear. Do clean under your breasts daily, the sweat makes a harbor ground for bacteria and yeast.
  53. Cross Dress for Success - Wear men's underwear if your thighs rub together. The new boxer briefs for men are a zillion times better than the so called boy cut girl underwear. If it feels weird, sew the flappy closed, but it never bugs me. Men's underwear is cheaper, better sewn, and less likely to have thin bands of elastic that cut off circulation in thighs and belly area. My husband is almost a full foot taller than me, weighs more, but we fit in the same size waistband, much to my dismay. Solution? Buy different colors so they don't get mixed up in the wash!
  54. Healthy Flora - Changes are going on both internally and externally. Your whole biochemistry is changing. Use an anti-fungal, or antibiotic ointment in owie places, where you see or feel any redness of chafing. Especially between thighs, under breasts, but surprisingly also behind your ears, between your toes, any creases that can trap dirt. Be light with tea tree oil, choose a carrier oil or moisturizer in order not to end up over drying. Evening Primrose oil helps with psoriasis, eczema and menopause acne, whether taken internally or applied topically. Pro-biotics help the gut adjust to new metabolic conditions, create better digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Check with your doctor first if you have any allergies.
  55. Grieve - There is a difference between not being able to give birth anymore and being able to give birth and choosing not to have children of one's own. I never wanted to have children. Intact,there are only two distinct times in my life when I wanted to get pregnant. Once was in high school, simply feeling so happy in a random moment with my then sweetie, more a feeling of being pregnant with possibility than anything else. Then, in my late thirties, after getting divorced. I realized pretty quick it was not that I wanted another child, but wanting a child that I would not have to share with my ex (my daughter’s birth mother). So it came as quite the surprise that as my eggs dried up I grieved no longer having the option to conceive, even though I never felt the proverbial biological clock ticking, yet alone the biological urge to procreate. When I got together with my husband, he was quite willing to discuss having kids, despite our advanced age (I was 43 at the time, he was 56). Twelve years later, I still wonder if I will regret that we didn't try. My logical mind says no, health risks etc, my emotional side makes sad whale noises.
  56. Heart Magic - I glance down at my blouse. I can see it visibly moving with every palpitation. I wonder if my client notices too, the twitching cloth at my chest. My heart is pounding - in my chest, my ears, the roof of my mouth. I focus on each palpitation, distinguish the pulse in my neck as I discreetly touch the pulse in my wrist. Thirty seconds later it's over, passed, like the high tide. Many doctors prescribe statins at this time, so discover what is right for. you. Omega 3s, increased fiber and Vitamin E are natural adjuncts for heart health. What does make your heart pound? Fear, worry, excitement? Let every beat of your heart ripple out in a wave of peace.
  57. Sheila Na Gig - In many of the churches and cathedrals in Ireland, above the main entrance portal can be found the image of Sheila Na Gig. Slightly hideous, a grinning, bald hag is openly displaying her genitals. Her significance has been pondered for centuries - above the portals/openings, her own opening, is she the midwife if death or a symbol of rebirth? To me she is the epitome of the juicy crone, she who has the last laugh. When I die, I hope it's when I'm masturbating. Than my epitaph can say, "She had a hand in it."
  58. Hop To It - I certainly noticed that my predeliction for beer was hyper sensitive during menopause. But no doubt, hops also have an estrogen effect. however, I also noticed my sensitivity to alcohol increasing. Specifically, both red and white wines gave me headaches and the snuffles, something I always attributed to. the sulfites used as a preservative. But now more than ever, drinking hard alcohol made me feel hard and bitter. It was easy to feel nauseated, bloated, just plain old uncomfortable drinking the same amount as ten years before. Needing to be more mindful of my drinking was a matter of responsible drinking - thus avoiding less arguments, emotional upsets, hangovers and cures.
  59. Lespugue Goddess - The Lespugue goddess was discovered in 1922. Considered a fertility goddesses, I certainly see her as a crone. Pendulous breasts, extended belly, here could be the archetype to the the elder, she who survived, she who passed on vital information. We live in a culture that tends to dichotomies the virgin/whore, or the maiden/mother, so one has to ask, who benefits from attributing icons to these categories rather than a non sexual as in non reproducing female who still has power and influence for the clan?
  60. Rest in Peace - I go to bed ridiculously early. 7pm, maybe 7:30 or 8pm. I get up between 6am and 7am, twelve hours later, but in that time I’m happy if I get my proverbial eight hours of sleep. Why? Because I know that I will be up for hours in the interim. I certainly have learned that If you can't sleep, rest. What does it mean to be mindful about resting? It might mean watching one's breathing, or doing a body tour to relax each of the muscle groups. For me, this is my prime thinking time. All day long I deal with clients. And shopping and cat food. Finally, a time to review my thoughts, gain insights, and adjust my course. Rather than dreading these awake times, I have taken to cat napping more, practicing self hypnosis or simply meditating.
  61. Tap into your Power - Stimulate all of your glands- it's not just about your ovaries. Tap on your third eye/pineal gland, thymus, sore spots/lymph, try some light chi gung on kidneys. EFT, also known as Emotional Freedom Technique or Energy Tapping is a useful way to transmute sine of the emotional toxins arriving during menopause. Using the key phrase,"Even though "I'm emotional right now, I completely love and accept myself" while tapping on meridian points.
  62. Chart It - In the medical industry we have a saying - "If you didn't chart it, you didn't do it." not only is charting important for accountability, it is a great way to feel in control of your symptoms. Charting can be as easy as notes your wall calendar to a more complex spreadsheet, whatever makes the most sense for you. Simply take notes such as extra weepy today or assign values (on a scale of 1 to 10 my stress level today is...." ask your partner to take infrared photos during your flashes, proof positive of the feeling of solar flares emanating from within.
  63. Altruism - Right now, in these turbulent times, i truly believe that the most radical, political (as in for the people) act that I can do is reading to toddlers once a week at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Center, here in Santa Cruz. Studies show that happiness can be increased when we do kind acts for others, with no need for pay, although we do need recognition. As you step into the role of the crone, no longer mothering your children or your business, where would you like to invest your precious energy? Become a docent, volunteer, be the storyteller, the grandmother, even if you've never giving birth.
  64. Evolution - We are the only animals who do this. Dogs go through estrus (bleed when in heat), but we humans menstruate, we bleed AFTER. And are the only animals who continue to live for a significant time (half or our whole lives) without being able to reproduce. What evolutionary purpose could menopause serve? Certainly having another person who has experienced childbirth could be helpful to a younger generation, particularly if there is no completion for male attention. Interesting that we become less attractive by societal standards, but also by biological attractiveness. Like cows learning to be domesticated in order to insure survival, maybe many of the so called symptoms or at least the signs of aging could be natures sneaky way of ensuring longest invite through a combination of usefulness and nonthreatening characteristics.
  65. Going Crazy - My dad asked me if I was willing to be crazy when I went through menopause. His memories of his mother - we're talking 1960s Italy here -  is that she went crazy during her menopausal years. I remember a particularly dramatic day in Milan when she showed up unexpectedly after taking the bus from Rome, her arms in the air, screaming at the top other lungs,"Io Venuto!” Being crazy is something I'm pretty paranoid about, mostly from messages from my parents, no wonder I got into the field of mental health. But what is crazy? There certainly are the manic depressive moments, emotional sensitivity, angry outbursts, and storms of tears, but I never actually questioned my sanity. I have been aware of the roller coaster, and thus mindful as I result, to read these as symptoms that need addressing, not labels for the rest of my life. Back to soothing teas, acupuncture, doing self-hypnosis as wells as art and journalist to channel mine, and hopefully my grandmothers energies into something grounded and centered.
  66. Mutating - This is not medical or pathological, this is normal, said the monarch to the caterpillar, no, to the pupating mass of undefinable metamorphosis. I have felt so smooshy, gooshy, in limbo. Everyday a new part of my body hurts. Usually just for a day, like my body is saying hello here is your little toe, hello let me introduce you to your gallbladder. I notice the twinges and try not to pathologize them. I notice my belly getting bigger, now I know why it's called middle age. I notice my brain turning to mush, as I try to remember something my daughter mentioned five minutes ago, while suddenly I can recall my childhood phone number with ease. Because it’s hard to define myself, it's hard to design myself.
  67. The Void - I find myself thinking about empty vessels. On my altar, an empty basket, or an empty bowl sits in front of the crone. Where is there sacredness in the absence of all? I find myself contemplating the black hole in the middle of my uterus, which is not just blank but somehow sucking in all of my life force within. I succumb to the abyss, allow myself to wallow in the nothingness of my soul. What this really looks like is staying in bed for hours on end. Maybe it is this hollow feeling that I try to feed with food, with alcohol, with endless crossword puzzles. I long to be hollow like a drum, still resonant, still beating.
  68. Be a B.I.TC.H - An acronym for (You) Bet I Take Charge Here. Or, Being In Total Control of Herself. So go ahead, be a bitch, a hag, a nag. Allow yourself to be charge, to walk with your head held high, to not move over in the sidewalk when a man is walking by. People will call you a bitch, but you can just smile.
  69. Focus and Simplify - Go slow. Savor. Your not spacing out, you're being super ridiculously present. Right now half my exercise comes from walking upstairs and wondering why I went up there in the first place. At first I'd be annoyed and irritated with myself, an easy thing to beat myself up over. Now instead I treat my life like I treat my garden, I flit from one task to the next, easily distracted so have developed ways to not lose the shears.
  70. Man o pause - I discovered that many of my male clients who were my age or older were experiencing some of the same symptoms, mainly emotional hypersensitivity. One client confessed to crying during war movies for the first time. Again I wonder, what evolutionary purpose would that serve? Certainly to have an elderly male who is not just good at being a warrior, but now able to develop both compassion and emotional intelligence would be an advantage to any tribe or culture. Certainly men's hormones will dip over time.
  71. The Wounded Healer - According to Greek mythology, Chiron is the wounded Healer. He was an immortal, but as luck would have it he got stabbed by one of Hercules' poison arrows. Now he was condemned to being in agony for eternity. He scoured the earth looking for a cure, trying each and every one of the herbs for medicinal properties, but to no avail. So he decided to turn over his knowledge of the healing properties of plants over to humanity, even though he still suffered. The gods and goddesses were so moved by this gesture they decided to let Chiron become mortal, and thus die from Hercules arrow. Now he is an asteroid in the sky, known as the rainbow bridge according to Barbara Hand Clow and other astrologers, linking Mars and Jupiter, our deepest desires and our willingness to be in the social world. the message here is how to change one's deepest wound into ones greatest gift, to bridge our selfish desires with our desire to improve the world, not just enjoy it. Myself and many of my clients are experiencing a Chiron return around the age of 50. We are looking at our past and recognizing the need to stop being a victim of past conditioning, it is not our wounds that define us. So how to walk not necessarily as the hero, but the healer, the teacher, the mentor, and in whatever way encourage future generations despite our own frustrations. Check with your local astrologer or an ephemera to see where Chiron is in your chart.
  72. Remember to Remember - You can boost your memory by "remembering" instead if forgetting. Every time we say, "Oh no, I forgot my keys (or whatever)!" we are actually affirming forgetting rather than what actually happened - you remembered (present tense) that you forgot something (past tense). Affirm the present moment, the remembering, and retrain your brain to say, wow I just remembered my keys, to pay the property taxes, to breathe... Rosemary is for remembrance too, so use some aromatherapy or consider taking Gilko Biloba to also boost memory.
  73. Righteous Anger - Guess what, there's a lot to be angry about. So don’t just be a cranklepuss or a curmudgeon, notice what is really infuriating - might be some old family dynamics or just feeling a lack of control in our government. Anger is truly a force to embrace, rather than just trying to be nice or deny it. It can explode and harm others, or implode and harm self. Anger serves a purpose - it lets us know that something is not right, something needs to change. Often behind anger is hey or fear. Take for example if someone is standing on my foot. It hurts. I express pain. They don't do anything about it. Now I express anger - I get louder, or maybe I even shove them off my foot. Then negotiations need to start - does the other person see the harm, take responsibility? Do I just act the victim and not say anything, or respond in a passive-aggressive way, i.e make them feel guilty without letting them know what happened? Whether it is your spouse or your government w ho is stepping on your toes or your rights, now is a good time to be fierce and passionate in expressing yourself, your needs. Channel that anger into something passionate, productive, and for social good.
  74. My Precious - I have never been so hot, do sweaty, so Gollum, so realizing that I am "my precious" .Honor this time, in whatever's best for you. You are precious, your time is precious. I found myself letting go of business networks, social gatherings, old friends and even family. My time to myself - not to do anything but stew in my own juices- were some of the most healing and best times, even if in them I wallowed in hot, sweaty misery. There is a particular selfishness during this time of holding our blood to ourselves - no longer needing to be acknowledged as the attractive maiden or the productive mother, this is a time of coming home to oneself. A harsh reality for many husbands who thought that after retirement their wives would take care of them, instead we have an army of cronies ready to take down nuclear missile testing grounds.
  75. Be Old - name it claim it. Say it out loud, fierce and proud. Be your magnificent crone, baby witch, pierced elder.
  76. Frugality - Be frickin' wise with your money. Everything is changing, including your energy. Plan ahead. You might want to lavish your grand kids with eating out and trips to the toy store. Be smart - they will remember a simple picnic in the park. Put that money into a college fund instead. Be mindful of the difference between spending and investing - whether referring to your time, money, or other resources.
  77. Be Humble - You have never done this before. Puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause - you’ve been through some of these hormonal roller coasters, but nothing like this. Thank the goodness you are stronger than before.
  78. This Too Shall Pass Yes, it will. Practice the mantra, "My life is good - And only getting better!"
Blessed be.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is intended to indicate or imply that Kayla Garnet Rose is a licensed medical or mental health practitioner. This article is not meant to diagnose, cure, or treat in any way, medical conditions, illnesses, or diseases. Hypnotherapy is not the practice of medicine, psychology or psychiatry, and is not in any way intended to be a replacement for diagnosis or treatment of any complaint or ailment. Persons with medical conditions should seek treatment from a licensed physician or other licensed healthcare professional. Persons with mental disabilities, disorders or illnesses should seek the care of a licensed psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other mental health professional.

March 13, 2019

You Know What To Do

she thought she had a decision
to make...
but it had already been made.
she felt it inside her.
now she just had to admit it.

-terri urban, bone sighs

December 14, 2018

Even Fairy Elves Need Reiki

Fairy Elves love Reiki
You may remember the visit from the Easter Bunny for Reiki last Spring... Well, even Fairy Elves know the importance of self-care and self-love during the busy holiday season, and come in for some Reiki to feel refreshed, revitalized, and rejuvenated!

Reiki taps into Universal energy and is channeled through intrinsic touch. We all know that premies thrive in hospitals when held - and this is the same gentle, loving, healing touch that is safe, soothing, and deeply comforting, allowing the body to do it's own natural healing.

Reiki sessions are done fully dressed, with a gentle laying on of hands or holding energy above key body points, corresponding to the meridians used in acupuncture and acupressure, chakra centers, and trigger points from traditional massage. It is perfect for anyone who can not receive regular massage for any reason - fibromyalgia, cancer, abuse survivor, highly sensitive or deeply shy - but still wants to receive the benefits of deep relaxation, releasing emotional blocks and mental stagnation, as well as experiencing more clarity, balance, and overall resiliency.

So remember to treat yourself this busy season with your own personal retreat at the Rose Sanctuary, and gift yourself the time and space to reflect, recalibrate, and start the New Year listening to your inner voice saying, "Thank you - my needs have been met."

December 1, 2018

Nature's Generosity

Driving out to the lighthouse at Point Reyes, seeing the long stretches of shoreline washing turquoise over the sand, reminds me of the generosity of nature, the infinite caresses along the shoreline, the enduring patience of the sea.

The ocean is bountiful and generous in her treasures, feeding us, giving us ways to transport our goods and travel the world. The wind provides free energy for sails, the sun is just asking to harvest her rays. Even the times I see the kudzu overtaking a rusty truck, here is nature simply reclaiming with infinitesimal confidence the natural order of entropy and return to the source. 

The cows chew their cud, not knowing who they will feed, with steak and ribs, unperturbed by their fate, accepting the random kindness of a stranger rubbing their face, giving free grass over the barbwire fence when I stopped by the side of the road to take a picture of the red barn in the grey fog. 

The crows have plenty say, doling out caws and criticism, chattering in the redwood tree outside the bay window. Maybe so do I. As I stretch my back and shoulders, breathing in the clarifying breeze, I ruffle my own feathers, present in the moment, aware of the luxury of time. And not only do I have plenty of time - but every moment counts.

June 15, 2018

Depression and Mindfulness

If you wake up with the sniffles, you might decide to stay in bed, see your doctor or go to an acupuncturist. However, if you wake up with depression, often one gets bogged down in the “Why is this happening to me, even if parts of my life are going great?” This kind of thinking - asking “why” does nothing for the healing process, and indeed can often cause a downward spiral. Instead what is important to ask is, “What am I feeling? And what can I do about it?”

When we are stressed, we go into the traditional fight, flight or deer in the headlight (freeze), but there is another response - nesting. Often depression can linger much like a low-grade fever. You don’t feel crappy enough to go to bed, but you struggle to get through the day. Simply taking 30 seconds to practice the Simple Self Hypnosis technique is a way to relax, calm yourself, check in with your needs, and proceed with more confidence.’

I’ve written about Seasonal Affective Disorder before, which sometimes is easier to manage because it is predictable as it is seasonal. so it can be easier to set up your ducks, much like taking extra vitamin C or echinacea in the wintertime to build up one’s immunity. These holistic remedies are an excellent adjunct and are well worth repeating here.

1. St. John's Wort - While does not make me euphoric by any means, gives me an even keel. I find it most effective taking it at least one month before my regular symptoms appear in February.

2. Sleep - Hibernation is my friend. I sleep anywhere from 9 to 12 hours plus take naps during the winter time. Way better than checking out on drugs, alcohol or any other escape mechanism. Plus, I look so young with all that beauty rest!

3. Sunshine - There is a reason why I live in California. However, I remember when I was a kid living rainy, cold Luxembourg my parents buying a tanning lamp to give all of us a seasonal boost.

4. Vitamin D - Of course is naturally produced by being in the sun, but what with global warming and polar vortex conditions, consider supplementing your regime. Vitamin C is also our friend, boosting immunity.

5. Aromatherapy - Orange, bergamot, and lemon all uplift the spirits. Combine with a carrier oil and use as either a room spray or body spray. Check for allergies first!

6. Stop drinking alcohol - Quite simply it is a depressant. Again, like taking herbs, I find it most effective if I stop drinking one month before I usually experience my winter blues.

7. Wear bright colors - I find myself reaching into the closet for the grey and black clothing, reflecting my inner landscape. Deliberately choosing to wear purples, reds, yellows, and other bright colors helps me "fake it until I make it."

8. Have an Orgasm - I went to a workshop on tantra and what I remember the most is to engage in self pleasure, even if you do not feel like it. The hormones and neuro-transmitters released are the same for happiness and feeling in love. Apparently sex is better than valium!

9. Receive Reiki/Massage - Intrinsic touch is crucial to human happiness, especially if you are single or choose not to engage in tip number 8.

10. Smile/Laugh - another "fake it till you make it" technique, I schedule a lot of lunches with colleagues and make an effort to hang out with my friends more, as being isolated simply leads to that spiral of depression. Watch funny movies/tv shows/internet sites, avoid the news/radio/facebook, be super selective.

11. Do some Hypnosis /Meditate - I have discussed this before in my post "Meditate, Don't Medicate". Taking the time to set your intentions, experiencing deep relaxation, letting go of stress and simply allowing yourself to be present are soothing, healing and comforting. Check out my YouTube video "A Simple Self Hypnosis Technique" for more information.

12. Be Active/Exercise - another way to release those feel-good endorphins, a twenty-minute walk can do wonders for your mood. Start small - just five minutes, once around the garden or the block. On rainy days I do the "Just Dance" program on the Wii. Shake it up!

It has been said that “whatever you resist, persists.” Not only does it persist, the feeling often gets stronger. If I hear a gentle rumble in my tummy telling me I’m hungry, I can ignore it at first. However, it will get louder and even painful if I don’t attend to my body’s needs by feeding and hydrating. Same is true of depression - if we don’t pay attention to the earlier red flags, it can explode into anger or implode into feelings of crumbling self-worth, hopelessness, and despair. So don’t resist depression, recognize it must serve some evolutionary purpose, and invite yourself to discover ways to feed your mind, feed your soul, in order to feel your needs are met and you can operate from that place.

Caroline Myss says that “all illness is an initiation”. What initiation could you be experiencing during times of depression? Does the caterpillar ask itself this during metamorphosis, or does it weave its cocoon and be willing to go through an intense transformation? How is the depression like a cocoon for you? What are you doing in there, besides for stewing in your own juices? Being depressed can mean having nothing to do but really, really focus on yourself, heal those old wounds instead of picking at scabs, and truly heal and deal.

If you had a broken leg, you’d go get a cast and give your body time to mend before going dancing again. Often depression is a broken heart, a broken spirit, a broken home. Use the cocoon of depression to be your cast, give yourself not just the time to heal, but the resources. This could mean time to yourself, with a loved one or a healer. This could be receiving unconditional love from your pet.

Zora Neal Hurston said, “There are years that question and years that answer.” Allow yourself to enter the answering years. Again, instead of asking why, ask how-how will this help me grow, what can I learn from this, what would I do the same, what can I do differently?

Being mindful simply means being aware. How can you be more aware of depression, treat it with velvet gloves, invite it in for tea and conversation, feel wiser as it leaves? Start simple: play music - could be uplifting sure, but that adds to persistence - delve into opera, heavy metal, country music - listen to all of the other broken hearts and recognize you are not alone in these feelings. Find the rhythms, the lyrics to express your anguish, emptiness, and bafflement. If you can’t sing, at least hum.

Notice light - are you hunkering down in the dark? Wearing sunglasses to avoid eye contact? If it feels like too much to sit outside and absorb some beneficial sunlight, simply visualize light - light in your heart or around your heart, light in your belly, feeling light on your feet, cultivating more lightheartedness. Stop reading the news and feeding your mind with other people's tragedies, this just adds to your burden. A while ago I deleted my Facebook personal account as I found reading about my friend's getting divorced or their pets dying just added to my feelings of helplessness. While I have a business page, part of my personal mindfulness practice is to only post positive stories, to help others feel uplifted or inspired. Ask yourself, is social media part of what's keeping you down?

Notice color - are you wearing black or grey every day? It’s okay. Maybe wear some bright yellow underwear underneath to remind you that there is sun behind the clouds, the fog will lift. Or use an uplifting aromatherapy oil like lemon, orange or bergamot, all which are sunny and soothing.

Notice smells and tastes, what are your healthy comfort foods? Chicken Noodle Soup? Notice any self-medicating with coffee, cigarettes, beer, wine or recreational marijuana, which often have the opposite effect of numbing one’s emotions and indeed often seem to heighten the emotions, adding to the downward spiral of depression, combined with feelings of shame, guilt, and remorse. Again, if you had a broken leg, would you partying every day or sipping bone broth? The choice is yours.

And you do have a choice. While you might not feel that you have a choice in being depressed any more than a choice of catching a cold or getting cancer, the truth is you must mindfully question what purpose does depression serve? Why am I willing to stay depressed? What do I get out of it? Attention? An excuse to procrastinate?

And since you do have free will and free choice, what are you going to do about it? Suicidal feelings are a reason to note that it is not that you want to die, but you want the feelings that you are going through to die. Get professional help, realize you are worth it. I certainly know that you are.

I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 15, a label I have struggled with ever since. In the last couple of decades, I have boiled it down from year around symptoms to the month of February, mostly the last two weeks. The first of March has become to signify the beginning of Spring, not just on the earth but truly the rebirth of my psyche. Rather than resisting the dark of winter, I have created a way to move through. Much like knowing it is inevitable that I will get a cold or the flu, I strive to bolster my immune systems - physical and emotional. I accept this time much like accepting being premenstrual, however, I know there are ways to alleviate the symptoms and create better mental health.

And if I can do it, you can too!

Please note: This is not meant to be a substitute for any medical or therapeutic advice. Do what is best for you, but please, create a support system for your self. You deserve a healthy happy life and can manage your emotions without having them manage you!

December 25, 2017

December 18, 2017


Q. Who are your typical clients? What can I expect?

A. Clients can expect to experience insights for personal growth and transformation. Both hypnosis and Reiki are incredibly effective for managing stress, releasing blocks, and discovering long term, successful solutions. Commonly people come in for: insomnia, weight management, stress management, smoking cessation and other habit changes. Hypnobirthing, pain management and accelerated healing are also benefits of hypnosis. On the trans-spiritual side, sessions can be focused on accessing inner guides, dream work or past life regressions. Enhanced performance, whether for a test, sports event or public speaking, comes with the guidance and positive reinforcement that hypnotherapy provides.

Q. What advice do you have for a client looking to hire a provider like you?

A. There are a few things in life you never want to buy at a discount: brain surgery, dentistry, parachutes and hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy is an investment in your self. It is most successful for people who are willing to put in the time, over a length of time. According to American Health Magazine, hypnotherapy has a 93% success rate after just 6 sessions. Dedicating this time to go deep within yourself is a way to value, honor, and truly listen to your deeper wisdom.

Practicing the Simple Self-Hypnosis technique between sessions in the best way to accelerate the process, integrate the information, and put into action all that your truly want in life.

Q. Will I still be in control of my mind when hypnotized?

A. Hypnotherapy is nothing like stage hypnotism. I do not have a pocket watch, nor can I make you cluck like a dog or bark like a chicken, reveal any secrets, or somehow program you to come and wash my windows.

All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis, and my role is simply to guide you into a relaxed, focused state of concentration. When in this "trance" you are completely aware, able to remember everything clearly, can communicate easily and are always in control. I always encourage my clients to record their sessions for home reinforcement.

Please check out my YouTube video "A Simple Self Hypnosis Technique" and decide for yourself if you would like to take the work to the next level by working together.

Q: How many sessions will I need? 

A: Resolving your issue will depend on the issue itself, as well as on your commitment to change. Typically, you will know within 3 sessions whether Hypnotherapy is effective for you. Sessions may be recorded for home practice.

Q: How often should I schedule sessions? 

A: The goal is to teach you simple, effective self hypnosis techniques. Depending on your motivation and commitment to change, some clients visit each week, some monthly, others come as often as they see fit to address their needs.

Q. How much does it cost?

  • A. 90 minute sessions are $150. Recommended for First-Time Clients, and those wanting longer hypnotherapy, Reiki or Mindfulness Coaching sessions. Also recommended for Tarot Readings, Astrology Readings, Past Life Regressions, and Spiritual Guidance sessions.
  • 60 minutes sessions are $110. Recommended for: Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness Coaching, Chakra Balancing, and Deep Relaxation with Reiki.
  • Quit Smoking Program is $495. This 5 session package includes an initial consultation and 4 regular 60-minute sessions for smoking cessation, stress reduction, and positive reinforcement.
  • Students, seniors, SSI and cancer patients all receive a 10% discount.
  • Major credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, cash and checks accepted.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if they will cover hypnotherapy.
Ready to invest in your health and well-being? Click here to book your appointment online! Please call or email with any questions.

November 27, 2017

Work is Love Made Visible

This was a productive week. I thought about the Kahlil Gilbran quote, "Work is love made visible." This is so true for me when I work with my clients - I am aware of the love, the care, the tending to another person's needs. I wanted to extend this to other areas of my life, so my housework became my house love, and my homework became my home love; working in the garden became loving in the garden, working on my website became loving my website; even sending out emails became sending out love letters. 

Midweek I thought, "I should mow the lawn" then laughed because I knew it was the last thing I was going to do. The question became, "What would I love to do right now?" To my surprise it was getting out the chainsaw and chopping up the firewood, a task that has been on my list for over a year. What a delight cross that one off, sore arms and all. Interestingly, the next day I found myself in the right mood to mow. I notice the things that I have to do can still be done with love, which I guess is the essence of mindfulness.

November 13, 2017

Changing Habits

I'm always curious about how to continue good habits I've started and what other healthy habits I can create for myself in a joyful way, rather than as a chore or burden.

Interestingly, I moved my supplements from by the coffee machine to the bathroom as a direct influence from my sweetie. When I get up in the morning I'm used to hearing the hum of their toothbrush followed by the rattle of medications and I realized I'd probably be more consistent in taking my herbs and vitamins if I combined it with my daily cleaning routine, which has worked well over the last week. 

Two habits I want to get into (or back into) are 1) doing daily stretches/yoga and 2) meditating. I printed out a copy of the sun salutation and have been doing this simple series for the past couple of days, either on the deck actually in the sun or in the bedroom, now that it feels like there is more space after switching furniture around. I can see getting a bigger, cushier rug up there for yoga during the rain season.

Also getting into the habit of stretching while watching TV with my daughter. It is so hard to be so passive, and though often I multi task on the computer. My back has certainly been talking to me for awhile about better posture and less sitting on my ass. I find myself stretching between clients, and even sometimes during sessions if they are lying down with their eyes shut, I can be gently moving my body in a kind of dance while leading the trance.

Part of this all came to me a few months ago when I first went to Wilder Ranch and I was reading a detox book talking about exercise and how simply action = life. I was singing my little warm up song in my head and flexing various muscles groups, and realized I could do this while driving. So for the last couple of months I sing my little song which driving, tensing and flexing muscles, thinking if it as "microsizing" ie micro exercising. Considering it's twenty minutes each way, I figure I'm getting forty minutes of exercise instead of passive driving. Sometimes I do it before going to bed or when I wake up in the middle of the night.  I feel good about being active daily by walking, hiking, yoga, mowing, sex, and now I want to balance it with passive exercise: stretching, Reiki, massage.

The other daily habit I want to cultivate is meditating. It used to be so routine and now it feels lacking in my discipline. That sounds too harsh. For me, meditating is a way to focus in, discover and express my essential being. It is a creative act and a recreative act, and has taken many forms throughout my lifetime, including yoga, coloring tarot cards, journaling, blogging, and yes, even farmville was a meditation in it's own right. Playing Suduko or doing a crossword puzzle has a similar effect on my mind - it is relaxing, and something has shifted from chaos to order. 

So it's not like I don't have this habit, I just want it to shift form. Rather than sitting with my morning coffee and playing solitaire, I want to sit with my coffee and create tarot cards. I put the little table and chair in my altar area, along with colored pencils and my tarot binder, creating an inviting space for me to start my day. Doing the mandala art was inspiring and put me back in touch with the joy of making art. I'm sure you know what I mean, that zen zone when working on your photographs, different from tankville as a creative and productive act, hopefully relaxing for your engineer mind otherwise occupied with codes and bugs.

I like the habits my partner and I have created in our relationship. I like sharing our dreams in the morning, I like how we make coffee and make the bed, I love our habit of making out. Good and healthy, kissing is probably our best discipline. What good habits are you being mindful in creating now?