I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jules De Vitto, a Transpersonal Coach and Trainer for Highly Sensitive People, as a guest on “The Highly Sensitive Humans” podcast. During the podcast, Jules and I chatted about our experiences living as HSPs and how we have used our own struggles and triumphs to help others thrive in a world that can both overwhelm us and fill us with joy.
Jules is offering a 3-Month Professional Training on How to Coach Highly Sensitive People starting on September 5, 2022. The course is accredited by the International Association of Coaches, Therapists and Mentors. It offers an integrative and embodied approach, drawing on psychological and spiritual perspectives, to help empower highly sensitive people who struggle with life.
Jules uses a mindfulness, trauma-informed, compassion-focused approach to her training. In the course, you’ll learn the fundamental skills needed to coach HSPs. Upon completion of the training, you’ll also receive Professional Development (40-hours) certification credentials.
Spaces for the course are limited to just 20 people. More detailed information on it can be found here.
Jules has a small number of scholarships available for those who require financial support to join the course. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to apply for the scholarship.
My journey into the world of podcasting continues with episode 88of Steve Silverman’s “World Gone Good” podcast. I had a wonderful time chatting with Steve about healing, writing, reiki, yoga, and following your joy. Some of the highlights include our Jodie Foster stories, how we healed our stomach aliments through mindfulness, and how we channel our inner truth through writing.
It was a genuine honor and pleasure being on “World Gone Good.” If you have thirty minutes to listen to episode 88, you can find it here. Better yet, start following Steve’s awesome podcast!
A year ago today, the winds sang of spring. Rebirth toppled half a maple in my front yard and I woke to the lyrics of “Silent Night.” A soul had passed back into the realm of pure consciousness after a life well-lived as Sue.
I have yet to meet a more remarkable being. I doubt I will. Sue had a way of connecting to Truth that made you feel like you belonged, and everything around you did too. She was the embodiment of divine feminine energy in physical form. It is no surprise that Isis chose her as a vessel to tell her story.
The last time I saw Sue was the last time I traveled to England. She cleared space in her busy day to take Larissa and me to Uffington Castle and Wayland’s Smithy. I had tried to find the white horse during my first trip to England, but had landed in the other Uffington, miles away from my intended destination. Fate, it seems, had other plans for me.
I can say with assurance that my life would not have been the same without having had Sue’s presence in it, even though I knew her for less than a decade. Death, though, does not bring an end to the essence of life and Sue’s presence has not wholly departed. Today, on the anniversary of her passing out of physical form, the dogs drew me outside an hour before they usually do. It was with some reluctance and a fair bit of annoyance that I set down the writing of this post, gathered my coat, gloves, and hat, leashed the dogs and made my way outside into a blustery day much like the one I woke to one year ago.
Instead of turning right, down her favorite path filled with sticks to chew, Rosy pulled me to the left. There, above us, was a falcon dancing across the vast canvas of sky. I have no doubt Sue has managed to keep herself quite busy with her work on the other side, just as she did here on Earth, but somehow she still manages to make an appearance when it is most needed.
For many of us, traveling evokes feelings that range from excitement to dread. Some of us don’t like to fly. Others have trouble adjusting to new time zones and dietary delights. When we travel, we often do a good job of checking off our lists of “what to bring,” and “what to do,” but we’re not always great at ensuring we keep our energy as balanced and healthy as possible.
Since everything is, in essence, energy, including our bodies, it behooves us to do what we can to keep it flowing on the right pathways and in as much harmony as possible. As an energy healer and EMYoga teacher, I incorporate many of these simple tricks and tips into my classes and teachings. They can be great tools to take along with your travels:
Spoon Your Feet: I learned this one in my EMYoga training. It’s simple and effective, and it works wonders. Take a stainless steel spoon and rub the rounded part of it in circular motions, or figure eights, on the bottoms of our bare feet. The magnetic property of the spoon will help balance your body’s polarity, as well as calm your nervous system. It’s a great way to both start and end your busy travel days and can help you sleep better.
Energy Shields: Our bodies are complex networks of energy systems, one of which is our auric field. This energy field can extend about six feet out from our physical bodies. It is in constant communication with the energy around us. Therefore, it only makes sense to keep it protected. A simple visualization of an energy bubble around your body can help keep your aura vibrant. I like to use either gold, white, blue or a mixture of all the colors in the rainbow to wrap around my body.
Weave Your Eights: This ties into the first two techniques I’ve mentioned. Donna Eden, the creator of Eden Energy Medicine, often talks about how our energy bodies use the repetitive pattern of the double helix (down to the level of our DNA and as large as our auric field). We use this weaving of figure eights a lot in EMYoga, which is based on Donna’s teachings. One way to incorporate the pattern into your energy body is to use the spoon technique on the feet mentioned above, but you can also use your arms to weave figure eights around your body, or simply visualize your energy body weaving together in this pattern.
Hook Up Your Energy: Another favorite of Donna Eden’s, hooking up your central and governing meridians will give your energy a nice boost when you are feeling depleted. Simply put the middle finger of one hand in your belly button and the middle finger of the other hand in the space between your eye brows. Gently press them in and pull up for three cycles of breath (ideally in the nose and out the mouth). Here’s a fun video of Donna demonstrating this technique during a workshop.
Calm the Nerves: There are so many great techniques to calm your nervous system. My favorites were learned during my EMYoga training through Lauren Walker, who trained under Donna Eden. All of them involved calming your Triple Warmer energy system, which is associated with your fight-flight-freeze response (among many other things). When we are nervous, we can calm Triple Warmer by wrapping one hand around the opposite elbow, and the other hand in a self-hug around our opposite low ribs. It’s an easy technique to use on a plane, train, etc. without drawing unwanted attention to your self.
If you are interested in learning about EMYoga, as well as simple techniques you can incorporate into your daily life to strengthen, balance, and cleanse your energy body, I will be teaching a Spring Equinox EMYoga workshop at Sharing Yoga in Concord, NH on March 20 from 1-2:30pm EST. The workshop is also being offered via Zoom. To learn more about the workshop, and my weekly Zoom EMYoga classes, please visit my website.
“Warriors of Light: The Labyrinth, was a great story to read with my daughter. From a young age, she was aware of the suffering of humans and our disconnection from Mother Earth. Recently, it has been more palpable as we had to leave our beloved homestead because our water was contaminated by application of forever chemical (PFAS) filled sludge on our neighbor’s farm. When I asked her if I should have shielded her better from what is going on in our broken relationship with Earth, she told me that she was grateful that I talked about these things with her and what we do to be transformation because she could plainly see that the relationship with Earth is out of harmony. Initiation is a personal path that leads to the universal story, and seeing that there are guides and paths to healing, it is not an easy or straightforward journey. It takes grace, forgiveness, acceptance, courage, honesty, bravery… There is power, too, in that we are not the only ones on the paths of the labyrinth, but others are making their way and our stories interconnect.“
When I showed these words to a friend of mine, she told me she wished there we more dads in the world like this one. I replied, “If there were, the world would be a vastly different place.”
After I read the email from the father of a young reader, my heart filled with hope, and my eyes, tears. We are living in a world of extremes as we individually and collectively struggle to control the chaos that we have co-created. The irony is that, for the most part, we seem to have forgotten that we have, indeed, created the hatred, violence, anger, injustice, and degradation of life that we so desperately are trying to find a way out of. Instead of kindness, compassion, and empathy, we too often point the finger in blame. We rage. We fight. We struggle for control.
And, we and all life on the planet suffer because of our actions (and inactions), including the living planet itself. Our struggles to be right. To hold onto limiting belief systems and ways of living are inhibiting us from living in harmony with life. How telling it is that a 9-yr-old child knows this innately, but somehow the vast majority of us have forgotten this Truth.
What we reap, we sow. Years ago, I made a vow to “find the light behind the story.” We are all bodies of stories, and together we share the stories of our history. We are long over-due to change the narratives. Read the words of the father in quotes once more. Feel them in your bones. What are they saying to you?
For me, they are a reminder of why I write what I do. The only way to change the narrative is to rewrite it. By rewriting it, we Do Not erase. Instead, we dig into our shadowland and find the light, and the light is what we grow. Our very lives depend upon it. If you are in doubt, ask a child who has not yet forgotten.
On days when the temperature is above frigid, I don’t protest the dogs’ favorite habit stopping to gnaw at every single stick they encounter during our noontime walks. Instead, while they ravage the broken arms of trees to top off their stomaches already filled with lunch, I study the language of trees.
Winter is the season of dormancy, but also of exposure. By mid-February only a few stubborn bunches of withered brown oak leaves hang lifeless from the trees that bore them. The floor of the forest has long been taken over by the element of water, suspending time in its frozen form in a mosaic of matter in various stages of life and death.
The artful practice of mindfulness is everywhere in winter, urging the walker to slow down. To breathe. To be still and observe the state of stasis. I love winter because of its offering to be still. The other three seasons can overwhelm the senses, but not winter. Winter pulls the mind inward and begs it to find the magic always held within.
There are days when I think winter is ugly and dreary. It stretches time here in the northeast in a way that tries patience. Yet, when I look closer, while the dogs feast on their finds, I find the magic of stillness revealing itself. Lately, this magic has taken the form of the language of the trees.
In truth, it is not the language of the trees itself that I read, but the story of the insect life that feasts upon them. I am in awe of the patterns. When I stop to read their art, I marvel at how each one is unique. It is a language of pictographic script that only the insect scribe understands, in truth, but it doesn’t stop the wondering mind from making an attempt.
Last night I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Barney Smith of the Story Comic podcast. It was truly a fun-filled hour that flew by. We talked about the writing life, self-publishing, the emerging field of visionary fiction, and why I wrote the Warriors of Light series to empower today’s youth.
I’d be honored if you checked out the interview, which is also on YouTube. Barney interviews all sorts of creatives, and more of his podcasts can be found at Storycomic.com.
My grandmother is 94.5 yrs olds. It’s one of the few, consistent facts she remembers. It’s become quite clear as of late that she has turned a corner in her life’s journey. When I call her, I’m never quite sure what type of response I will get, if any.
A couple of weeks ago, I called to receive her announcement, “I dumped all my medications.”
I hesitated a moment before I asked, “You did? How are you feeling?”
“I feel great,” she declared as she went on to tell me how all her previous discomforts had now vanished.
Later, after we hung up there were a flurry of calls and messages that she didn’t know about to confirm facts and safety. As far as I know, though, Gram is still off her meds but is being closely monitored and cared for in the facility where she lives. My grandmother, you see, has wanted to die since my grandfather passed away two decades ago.
But she has lingered here in this life and often she wonders why. Nearly every time I call her, she brings up her daughter, my mother.
“Did you hear your mother called me and she’s coming to visit me?”
This announcement followed the heals of the one about her medications. It took me a little longer to react, and now no one I have spoken with is sure if it is true. More than a week has now passed and as far as I know my mother hasn’t left the state where she and I both reside to travel 3,000 miles across the country to say goodbye to her mother before she passes.
My feelings are mixed, but what matters is how my grandmother feels. She’s waited 30 yrs, as she tells me know each time I call, for this moment, and it is enough in her mind that a long awaited connection of peace was been made. I don’t care if that call was real. I care that it has brought my grandmother the peace she has been waiting for.
Stories of the elderly or terminally ill lingering longer than expected in life are not uncommon. And, quite often it is because of a desire to mend relationships or to say goodbye to those that one holds dear. I am so glad my grandmother got the call she has been waiting three decades for. A call where her beloved daughter told her she wants to let go of their wounded history. Whether it was real or not doesn’t really matter because it has brought my grandmother the joy and peace she has been waiting for.
Last night, my grandmother brought me the gift of joy. And, after a very challenging year, it was just what I needed. Joy, in the dream, arrived in the form of a magical room I didn’t know existed in my “house.” When I crossed the threshold of the door, my body lost the pull of gravity and flew, guided by the unseen presence of my grandmother. Each stop in the room, yielded a gift of love and symbol of joy for the four members of my family.
Whether my grandmother’s spirit actually visited me in my dreams, doesn’t really matter. It is not uncommon though, to hear of such occurrences when souls are preparing to transition. Because I have had more than a couple “spectral” visitations that have been aptly timed, unexpected, and with synchronistic messages for loved ones, I’d like to believe this one was real. Real enough, at the very least, to bring the gift of joy. And, for that I am grateful.
It has now been more than a month since I have posted on my blog. I have allowed myself to be pulled elsewhere, but have not been idle when it comes to creating. Instead, I have decided to dig into the work of creation in every sense of the word in which I can define it.
Last year was a really tough year for me. It tested me in many ways, and what came out of this testing was a deep knowing that I need to return to myself. As completely as I can. I don’t think I’m alone. These divisive times call us individually and collectively to come home to ourselves, and in the process find what unites us to the web-of-life we are all a part of.
For me, self care has taken the form of no more substitute teaching as the stress far outweighed the benefits for me. Being underpaid and undervalued is a life pattern I am striving to release. It’s not easy to navigate back into the paying workforce when one consumes so much time into childcare, but I would not have changed focusing on my children and now teenagers as they grow into their selves.
Instead, I am realizing what I now have to offer the world and am finding unexplored paths to bring my creative energies into existence. In my writing life, I am moving into the third book in my middle-grade Warriors of Light fantasy series while a group of beta readers are going through the second book. I have decided self-publishing is not for me, so am exploring the somewhat more daunting world of finding a traditional publisher for the series.
I am also writing more poetry, after a bit of a lapse. I have collected a group of spiritual “yoga” poems in a file that are simmering in prospects as I also delve into the shadowland of the self to create from the raw material of pain that seeks voice. They are braver poems then I am used to writing, but I find them necessary and healing. It feels good to be bold where I have previously held myself back.
This boldness includes breaking into the world of podcasts and I am happy to announce I will be a guest on the first of what I hope will be several at the beginning of February. I will be sharing more on that later. In addition to guest podcasting, I am creating online workshops with a friend of mine. These endeavors have made it clear that I need to amp up my marketing game. Marketing, ironically is the field I was in before I had children. Not by choice so much as by default. The pay was good and I had a knack for the work.
I am finding marketing and marketing writing is much easier when it is not focused on yourself. This too is breaking me out of my comfort zone. There will be a shoot with a professional photographer soon, I hope. The scheduled session had to be canceled on her end because of COVID-like symptoms. I’ll need to channel some of my daughter’s confidence to do these, but they are necessary for the endeavors I am pursuing.
As I am going through this process of self care and delving into what I wish to bring forth into the world, I am noticing how freeing it is to release what is no longer serving me in a positive manner. This release opens the door for that “good” stuff to come in that feels true to the soul. I am reminded that the self, and the world we are a part of, is not served by staying small inside the confines of self-doubt and fear. The light comes in and goes out through the open door.