Are You Thinking Too Much?

Answering for myself, yes! Lately I have been finding myself in frustrating and unproductive thought loops much more than I’d like. Today, a message from Dr. Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and meditation teacher, turned up in my inbox. Just when I needed it!

If you could use a break from perpetual overthinking, you might enjoy his blog post, Rest Your Weary Head. It’s full of simple, yet powerful tips for breaking the cycle. And if you need the CliffsNotes, just extend your exhales. It’s the easiest way to calm the nervous system down. Long, slow, full exhales are fantastic hacks when you need to bring it down a few notches quickly.

If at all possible, though, I highly recommend checking out his blog. I find his work to be easily accessible (meaning you don’t need a PhD to follow it!) and immensely beneficial. I’ve you’re wanting a more thorough intervention, I very much enjoyed his book, Hardwiring Happiness. A daily meditation practice has contributed greatly to the sense of peace I experience most of the time. It also helps me notice when I’m thinking too much and motivates me to intervene so I can return to the peaceful place. For me, the rewards are definitely worth the investment!

Reiki Special Offer

First-time clients almost always ask me how often they should receive Reiki treatments. Of course, the answer is different for everyone. For people seeking to supplement a healthy lifestyle, once per month is often a good maintenance program. People who are ill, working through trauma or serious emotional issues, exposed to extreme stress (anyone?!), and/or engaged in deep spiritual or personal growth generally benefit from more frequent applications.

As part of my ongoing efforts to make Reiki more easily accessible, I’ve decided to offer a special package for long-distance and virtual Reiki sessions. Through the end of June 2021, you may purchase a series of seven hour-long treatments for the price of five. That’s almost 30% off! This seven-pack offers a tremendous amount of support for those experiencing major transitions, such as new parenthood, returning to the workplace, relocation, or recovering physical, mental, or emotional health. It can also provide consistent tune-ups for those on a lifelong wellness journey.

You’ll have 12 months from the date of purchase to receive all seven. Some people like to dive deep and go with weekly treatments and others like to space them out. It’s entirely up to you! You also get to choose if you’d like to connect by video, phone, or simply email me your intentions and remain unplugged for the hour. This time is for you, so we will tailor the series and each session to fit your needs.

Contact me if you’re wondering if Reiki is a good match for you, or to make a purchase and schedule your first treatment. Regularly $90 each, this special offer of seven sessions is only $450. In addition to saving $180, this investment in your wellbeing is designed to encourage you to get the assistance you need for whatever you’re going through. Observation suggests that many are going through Big Stuff lately and Reiki and I are here to help.

Refreshing Your Self-Reiki Practice

I’m often asked how one can get back into a self-treatment practice after a lapse. The simplest way is to bring your palms to press against one another in front of your heart center and invite the Reiki to flow. You could then recite the Reiki principles, sit quietly with a hand on your heart and one on your belly or anywhere else you feel drawn, or move through the traditional series of hand positions.

Reiki will always be there for you once you’ve been attuned by a Reiki Master Teacher. Luckily Reiki doesn’t begrudge your neglect and will begin to flow when asked. You might not feel it strongly at first, but the more you practice, the more natural it will seem, and the more relaxed and receptive you’ll become. You needn’t do anything more than apply this healing energy in the way you were taught, no matter if it was months, years, or even decades ago.

Another option is to get a treatment from another practitioner, setting an intention to help you ease into a routine. Sometimes just saying your desire out loud can be powerful, and having another person witness this awakens a sense of accountability. Experiencing the benefits of a treatment, at your own hands or someone else’s, can activate devotion to a self-care routine.

Yesterday I provided a long-distance Reiki treatment for someone who wanted to begin a daily self-care practice. She had taken a class years ago, but never followed through in real life. We collaborated on how to best support her goal and the result was a phone call during which I guided her through a series of hand positions, layered with affirmations, while simultaneously delivering Reiki. Somehow she managed to stay awake from this double treatment and reported a deeply relaxing and inspiring experience.

You could also retake the training if that feels helpful. I’ve received a lot of benefit from doing this myself. Even with the same teacher and the same material, I had a very different experience as I was in a different place, with a different level of understanding. As the curriculum is far from standardized, different teachers might provide entirely different content. It’s not at all necessary to repeat a class since Reiki itself can teach you everything you need to know once you’ve been initiated, but I enjoy learning, and fellow geeks will probably understand that I did it for fun as well as knowledge!

Finally, you might consider renewing your attunement. While the attunement you received during class never wears off or goes bad or gets stale, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have another. It’s rather like jumpstarting a car! If you feel the need for a powerful intervention, this is the way to go. I offer refresher attunements as a stand-alone service that could also be combined with a treatment for a super-relaxing double feature. Since Reiki isn’t limited by time or space, this can be done remotely or virtually, depending on your preference.

You have many options! I’d suggest starting with a self-treatment using the hand positions to lay the groundwork for establishing a habit of providing Reiki for yourself daily. Even ten minutes makes a big difference when done consistently. Then if you still find yourself wanting more, consider a treatment, class, or refresher attunement. There’s no shame in getting support from the professionals. That’s what we’re here for!

Upcoming Online Mindful Self-Compassion Course

The other night I watched my 4 year old nephew open his birthday gifts with great gusto. “This is AMAZING!” he proclaimed regarding a new Lego set. Well, I feel the same way about Mindful Self-Compassion! I recently completed this 8 week program [click here], and it had a profound effect on me. You, too, can learn about ways to infuse your life with both formal (such as seated meditation) and informal (remedies for self-soothing out in the real world) practices that will create profound shifts. I found the facilitators, Annie and Anne, to both be welcoming and nurturing. They did a great job of creating a safe space for us students to explore the practices and share about our experiences.

From the class description: “With self-compassion, we can motivate ourselves with encouragement, forgive ourselves when needed, face and befriend our shortcomings, care for others while caring for ourselves, and live more authentically. Research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthier habits of caring for our bodies, and more satisfying personal relationships.”

Who doesn’t want all that? We can enjoy these rewards just by changing the way we think. The material is simple and accessible and quite effective. Being a part of a group helped motivate me to practice by fostering a sense of accountability that is often missing when I learn a new skill on my own. Having a community of like-minded people sharing the journey was both comforting and inspiring.

Or you could check out the workbook [click here], which I found to be incredibly helpful, without taking the class. From there, you can access wonderful guided meditations, both recorded and offered live online for free. Sadly we don’t learn about being compassionate to ourselves and others in kindergarten along with other important life skills like sharing and reading. I wish we did! But it’s never too late and this is a powerful technique that’s simple and easy to learn. Two thumbs up!

Online Yoga Series with Dana Wills

I met Dana several months ago in a Mindful Self Compassion course. I enjoyed her warm and peaceful energy so much that I’ve been joining her weekly meditations on Mind Oasis. When she told me about her upcoming yoga series in May of 2021, I was super-psyched!

If you’ve come to the conclusion that all that twisting like a pretzel and jumping back and forth is not for you, never fear. That’s just one style of yoga that happens to be popular. I don’t care for it much myself! This will be very, very different. It sounds like the perfect remedy for all the stress and anxiety that many people are experiencing.

Here’s the invitation from Dana:


We will start with gentle yoga movement to prepare our bodies for a short seated meditation, then get really comfy and lay down for Yoga Nidra. I’ve created this series, imbued with self care and self compassion, because it’s one I’ve always wanted to take!


Yoga Nidra, the “Yoga of Sleep,” is an ancient practice that taps into our true selves through deep and profound rest and relaxation.  You may well go to sleep as you are guided through, but your conscious mind will still be very much at work, incorporating the relaxing steps that light up the brain in a step-like fashion.  It can also open up a portal for creativity.  You can use Yoga Nidra to help with sleep and deep relaxation, or to recharge much like a power nap.  They say that 20 minutes of Yoga Nidra is as good as 4 hours of sleep.

The classes are offered online through Mind Oasis on Wednesday evenings (6:30-7:30 pm MT), and in studio at jalaBlu in Buena Vista (my “yoga home!” for the past three years) on Thursday evenings (6:30-7:30 pm MT).  Can’t make the trip to my amazing little mountain town studio?  You can join us online for that one, too.  


Register below for one of three options, and let me know if you’re coming and we can talk details.  Thanks for your consideration — I’d love to see you there! 


Register HERE for Wednesdays ONLINE at Mind Oasis

Register HERE for Thursdays ONLINE at jalaBlu

Radical Compassion with Tara Brach and Rick Hanson

I learned a lot listening to this podcast from two renowned meditation teachers. They delve into a variety of hot topics with wisdom and compassion. If you’ve ever thought that meditation wasn’t useful in the real world, this might be an opportunity to change your mind! And I can attest from personal experience that changing your mind can change your life. Radical compassion is a fascinating subject and completely applicable to the challenges that most people face in this day and age. Check it out!

Leave the Red Zone, by Dr. Rick Hanson

My inbox is quite the mixed bag today! There’s an astrology report announcing super-intense cosmic energies and a weather forecast predicting a major winter storm in my area. All this on top of so many people already struggling with cabin fever. Massive snow seems to bring out either the very best or the very worst in Philadelphians. Some people gladly shovel their neighbors’ sidewalks and others get aggressively proprietorial about parking spots. All in all, I’m expecting a very interesting next few days!

If you find yourself stressed out, overwhelmed, frazzled or irritable, you might enjoy this blog by Dr. Rick Hanson. He outlines some simple techniques for cultivating inner calm despite outer chaos. Stress has major physiological affects which can negatively affect one’s health over time. I can personally attest to the beneficial results of these methods. The more consistently I apply them, the happier I am.

Whatever the world is throwing at you, there’s help to be had for minimal investment of time and effort. Safe, easy, and free plus the side effects of improving focus, relationships, and overall wellness? It’s a no-brainer for sure!

Upgraded Hair Care

This post has been trying to come through for a few months now and I’ve been dodging it unsuccessfully. My brain says it isn’t exactly on topic; my heart says to write it anyway. Eventually the heart always wins! And I suppose body-care fits squarely into the self-care category of holistic health and wellness, so… here we go.

For years I’ve been spending a small fortune on organic shampoos and conditioners with less-than-optimal results. Either I don’t love the ingredients or the way my hair looks, smells, or feels afterwards. I especially dislike the single-use plastic containers. Sadly, everything available in bulk locally just doesn’t suit me either. I tried shampoo bars and was greatly underwhelmed.

Last spring when my business was shut down and I was confined to home, I decided to conquer this predicament once and for all. Some online research led me to the “no-poo” technique, which (I’m happy to say!) has absolutely nothing to do with constipation.

I was surprised to read that suds simply aren’t necessary to clean one’s hair even though we have been conditioned (pun intended!) to believe they are. No-poo advocates claim that the suds strip natural oils from hair, stimulating the scalp to produce more oil and causing a never-ending cycle of greasy hair/shampoo/greasy hair… It makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Some people are able to care for their hair using only hot water. Not me. I’ve gotten hooked on the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method. I love the simplicity of the ingredients; perfectly naturally substances that come in cardboard and glass, respectively. Here’s a lovely bonus- extremely low cost! Good for my hair, my budget, AND the planet. A rare trifecta in the natural products realm!

I have a crystal-clear memory of my first no-poo experience. Afterwards, I was sitting on the back patio reading and my neighbor told me that my hair looked glamorous.

Yes, that’s right!

Glamorous!

I remember it vividly as that’s not a word that has ever been used to describe me or any part of me. I had towel dried, but not combed, my hair and was wearing my 2020 uniform of pajamas. I felt pretty much the opposite of glamorous.

Just wait. It gets better! I noticed that my hair was super soft and rarely tangled. My scalp did not get oily. It looked really good on days 3, 4, and 5. Days 6 and 7 it became a little limp and by then I’d usually gotten some moisturizer or almond butter or something in it which compelled me to “wash” again. I haven’t tested the limits of this system, but I suspect if I was neater, I could go much longer in between treatments.  

You can easily find instructions for no-pooing online. I’m just here to let you know that this cheap, simple, easy, non-toxic shampoo alternative that can last up to a week and help save the polar bears is available to all of us.

Give it a few cycles before you make your final judgment. For me, there was a sticky feeling the first few times, which I think was actually the residue of former products being released. It hasn’t happened again in the many months that I’ve been doing this. Twice I’ve felt the need to do a deep conditioning, but that isn’t new for me.

If you’re interested in spending less than $15 annually to have glamorous, shiny, healthy hair without creating unnecessary plastic waste or exposing yourself to chemicals, I can wholeheartedly suggest that you give this a try. I’d love to hear how it goes if you do!

Help for Empaths

I’ve been revisiting the tools and techniques in The Emphath’s Survival Guide; Life Strategies for Sensitive People over the last few months. As the fear and anger in the collective realm continue to escalate, I’ve been finding a need to step up my protective mechanisms.

Judith Orloff, MD says, “Empaths have an extremely reactive neurological system. We don’t have the same filters that other people do to block out stimulation. As a consequence, we absorb into our own bodies both the positive and stressful energies around us.”

If you’ve ever been scolded for being “too sensitive” or commanded to “toughen up”, you might be an empath.

If you’ve ever wished you had armor like Ultraman, you might be an empath.

If strangers tell you their problems and people dump their emotional garbage on you and it feels like being slimed by ectoplasm, similar to what happened in Ghostbusters, you might be an empath.

If you’ve ever wanted to move to a remote forest with no neighbors, well that’s probably a human thing, but if you’ve actually looked up properties in Alaska and learned how to make your own candles, then you might be an empath!

The good news is that once you understand that there’s nothing wrong with you, that sensitivity can be a blessing, that there are ways to protect yourself that don’t come in a bottle or loaded with sugar, you can take action to cultivate your wellness. In these pages, you’ll find great wisdom to help you navigate. I sure have!

Change Me Prayers

“Change me, Divine Beloved, into One who honors my emotions. Let me have my feelings without judgment, and then release them. May I feel deserving to say no when needed. Show me how to be kind and loving to the child inside who needs care.”

This little gem comes from Tosha Silver’s book Change Me Prayers. It resonated with me deeply this morning and intuition tells me that others can benefit from these wise words as well, so I’m sharing them here.

My emotions are all over the place these days, and I hear the same from people of all walks of life. I’ve observed that the simple practice of noticing and accepting whatever comes up without attachment, denial, or aversion contributes tremendously to my ability to return to peace with greater ease.

Witnessing all the parts of myself is essential for reclaiming wholeness. I cannot be whole if I’m rejecting any aspect of myself, including inconvenient or uncomfortable emotions. I’ve spent decades and loads of money and energy avoiding grief and anger only to discover it controlling my behavior from the shadows. Now I’m choosing to face it head on and allowing it to flow through me.

It is my hope for all of us to cultivate and enjoy inner calm despite the turmoil of the outer world. Tosha’s book, and this prayer in particular, are simple tools for spending maximum time feeling as serene as possible. Why not give it whirl and see what happens?