Energy & Chakras

Art, chakras & self-inquiry, oh my!

Oooof, what a year it's been so far, huh? For me, lately it's been more essential than ever to stay grounded and in touch with my body -- to listen deeply, to be nourished, and to express (literally meaning "press out") what I am feeling and carrying within. That's why this new offer comes at a perfect time for me, and I hope for you, too. 

I am thrilled and honored to be among the soulful artists and teachers in the next cycle of the inspirational 21 Secrets online workshop which will explore the theme: EMBODY. I am one of 21 teachers you'll hear from in this course, each offering a uniquely artistic approach to embodiment.

In my 21 Secrets segment, you'll join me on a colorful journey across the rainbow bridge of your chakra system. Oooo, one of my favorite topics to study and teach! We'll walk through the chakras as a developmental timeline, from womb through adulthood. You'll gain insight into how each chakra's qualities manifest in your life, and express your findings through art! Healing, honoring, and celebrating your body in your own artistic way will help to keep you connected to and caring for yourself in a time when it's imperative. And you all know how I feel about self-care!

EARLY BIRD SALE starts TODAY! Here's what's included:

  • A downloadable 150+ page eBook that contains 21 art journaling workshops packed with videos, photos, templates, and clear instructional content that is yours to keep and refer to again and again. This will be delivered to your inbox on March 27th at 9am Pacific, and it'll be yours forevermore.

  • Unlimited access to all workshops at once! You pick and choose which ones you do and when. There is no time limit or deadlines to meet — these workshops are yours to keep.

  • Membership to the private 21 SECRETS Facebook community where you can share, be inspired, and receive warm, supportive feedback.

  • The opportunity to learn a variety of art journaling approaches and techniques from the comfort of your home/studio.

  • Belong to a supportive online artist community that has been growing strong since 2010! 

Pretty awesome, huh?

The whole package is priced amazingly at $98, and you early birds can get $10 off using the code: emBODY when checking out between now and midnight Pacific Friday, February 11th.  

For more information & to register, click here.


So, what is Reiki anyway?

Reiki has been circling back into my practice more regularly since the new year, and it seems like a perfect time to write a little post about this ancient, subtle, and powerful hands-on-healing method. I am a Master/Teacher-level Reiki practitioner in the Usui tradition and lineage. I have been studying energetic healing and the chakra system since 1995, and I have been formally practicing Reiki since 2003. I enjoy calling upon Reiki energy for my own healing, cleansing the energy of a space, and for hands-on healing treatments for clients, family members, and friends.

This Spring I conducted two Reiki workshops in the Bay Area for therapists who also wish to become Reiki practitioners, and incorporate this type of energetic healing modality into their practices. In these workshops, I shared information about the psychology of the chakra system, taught specifics about Reiki I & II, and 'attuned' the participants to become Reiki practitioners. We gathered in a lovely space in Mountain View, and it just felt so good to send more healers out into this world.

So, what is Reiki?

Reiki is not a religion or dogma, does not take away from current belief system; it’s a gentle, effective, non-invasive hand-on healing modality based on an ancient form of healing. Rei means spiritual consciousness.  Ki means life force (sometimes called chi and prana). Thus, Reiki is a spiritually guided life force energy, which is everything around us (earth, air, sun, water.)

Some of the benefits of Reiki: 

  • Reduction in stress and anxiety
  • A sense of deep peace and tranquility
  • Release of blockages on physical, emotional and spiritual levels
  • Feelings of overall well-being
  • Renewal of spiritual awareness and insight
  • Inner stillness, allowing a deepening connection with self
  • Enhanced functioning of the immune system
  • Reduction in levels of chronic pain
  • Decreased time necessary for healing from illness or injury
  • Shortened recovery time from physical exertion
  • Management of symptoms from chemotherapy
  • Support for conventional medical treatment

What to expect during a Reiki treatment session with me:

I offer 75-minute Reiki sessions. You may think of scheduling a Reiki session as a self-care and self-inquiry treat to yourself, much like getting a massage or acupuncture. You don't need to be my psychotherapy client to receive a Reiki treatment, as I offer them independent of psychotherapy. At times when appropriate, I also incorporate Reiki with psychotherapy clients who are interested.

During a Reiki treatment, you will lie comfortably on a massage table, as you remain fully clothed. You may wish to gently close your eyes as you lie quietly on the table and relax fully into the treatment, remembering that you do not need to do anything to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

The room will be comfortably lit with either candles or soft lighting. Soothing music may be played to enhance relaxation.

I will spend a few minutes getting to know you better, as well as discussing Reiki treatments and finding out what your reasons for coming for a treatment might be. Anything that you choose to share during your treatment will be kept confidential, remembering that this is a safe and sacred environment. If you have any significant areas of physical discomfort, be sure to share that information before the treatment begins, or as you become aware during treatment. I then will gently place my hands over/on the major energy centers, or chakras, of your body, leaving the hands in each position for a few minutes, helping the body to bring itself into balance as it draws in the healing energy of Reiki, and may spend additional time at other areas of the body that seem to be calling for attention.

During the treatment, you may experience a variety of sensations throughout your body such as heat, vibration or tingling, pulsation or flowing energy, lightness or heaviness, deep relaxation, and occasionally temporarily intensified emotions as you release blockages from the past. You may also fall asleep for all or part of the treatment, or find that you do not experience any physical sensations at all. This is perfectly normal, since Reiki does not need to be perceived for you to receive its many benefits, nor do you need to be awake during the treatment.

If you'd like to learn more, I recommend the following books on Reiki: (clicking on affiliate links below will open the Amazon page for the book in a new browser window on your computer) 

Or feel free to contact me to discuss scheduling a session.

Workshop for therapists: Reiki I & the chakras

If you're a therapist or therapy grad student/intern interested in becoming a Reiki practitioner and incorporating the wisdom of the chakra system into your work with clients, check out the intimate workshop I'm offering in Mountain View on Saturday, March 14th.

About the workshop:

In this workshop, we will explore the psychology of the chakra system, and you will be attuned as a Reiki I practitioner. Reiki I is used for self-healing, so this is a wonderful resource for self-care. I will offer Reiki II (for offering Reiki sessions to others) and Reiki III (which is the Master/teacher level of Reiki) attunements in the coming months for those who participate in this first workshop.

Please see full details below (click image to enlarge) and contact me if you're interested. Just a couple openings remain. (Workshop is now full, but do contact me if you want to be alerted for future offerings.)

Recommended reading for participants:

For those pursuing a path in the art of hands-on healing and who enroll in my Reiki workshops, I recommend a few inspirational and informative books. Below you will find a short list of book titles, along with affiliate links to these texts on Amazon.

Keep in mind that this reading is supplementary to the trainings, and not mandatory. You will receive a bound workbook during the workshop that I put together to give you the essentials of what you will need, though these writings are recommended to peruse either before (and particularly after) the training to enhance your knowledge.


Recommended books on the psychology of the chakra system:

Recommended books on Reiki:

Spring cleanse with Reiki

Happy spring!

I hope each of you are enjoying the beauty of the season! Spring is a time of awakening and blossoming, a time when the earth and our bodies awaken from winter's hibernation, and our energy warms and becomes more expansive. It is also a time of a great global shift -- politically, environmentally, and spiritually. As we all experience these changes externally, it is essential to integrate them internally. To rediscover a resting place, a sense of stability and support in our own bodies. It is the perfect time to cleanse the body and spirit, to sharpen your awareness, and to center your intentions. It is wise to come into this enlivened energy of spring and changing energy of the world in a mindful and compassionate way.


The gentle approach of Reiki is a perfect support during a time of change and rebirth. Reiki is an ancient hands-on healing technique where the practitioner guides universal energy to restore balance in the body, mind and spirit. It is done while laying on a massage table, fully clothed, and relaxed. During a Reiki session, you are provided an opportunity to deepen connection to your body's energy system, cleanse unwanted baggage, and gain insight on what you are called to do now. The experience of receiving Reiki is restorative, relaxing, and for many it can be quite cathartic.

Contact me for a Reiki session today. 

Grounding & rooting: First chakra support

Do you sometimes feel the need to "get grounded" or to "feel rooted" when in the midst of uncertain times or a transition? When we are undergoing change or find ourselves in a new situation, not only our physical beings, but also our energetic bodies, need to find ground. If you are experiencing issues with money, security, stability, housing, or family, your first chakra may be in need of some tending and attention.

The notion of the chakra system began in India over 4,000 years ago in the literature of the Vedas and was brought to the west in the 1920s through the tradition and practice of yoga. Yoga, meaning yoke, is a discipline designed to merge the individual with the divine by passing through seven expanding states of consciousness, represented by the chakras. The word chakra is derived from the sanskrit word, cakram, meaning wheel or circle. Cakram, or chakra, refers to “a spinning sphere of bioenergetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column."


There are seven major chakras stacked on this column from the base of the spine to the top of the head, as well as minor chakras in other vortices of activity, such as hands, feet, fingertips, and shoulders. Chakras are not necessarily physical entities that can be seen or touched; they express spiritual energies in physical locations on the body. Each of the seven major chakras is related to areas of the body, wavelengths on the color spectrum, psychological issues, and basic rights.


The first chakra is called Muladhara, the Sanskrit word for root. It is located at the perineum, or the base of the spine, and corresponds to the adrenal glands, legs, feet, bones, and the large intestine. On the light spectrum, the first chakra is linked to the wavelength producing the color red. Muladhara governs the central issues of survival, security, family, and finances. It grounds one to the earth element, the womb, and the material world. The basic right expressed in the first chakra is the right to be here and to have. Fitting with other psychological developmental models, the first chakra is congruent with Erikson’s first stage of trust verses mistrust, Freud’s oral stage of development, Maslow’s physiological realm, and Wilber’s pre-personal pleromatic or uroboric fulcrum.

At times, you may experience symptoms associated with first chakra disturbances, such as issues with your adrenal glands, legs, feet, bones, or the large intestine. Eating disorders, sciatica, and constipation are common when one's first chakra is off balance. The shadow side of the first chakra, or the dark emotion associated with it, is fear.

To become grounded in the root chakra is to be oriented to time and space and to bring consciousness into the body. Grounding provides one with the ability to contain and to set healthy boundaries. In the first chakra lies the validation of one’s existence, or the basic right of being here and having one’s needs met for survival.

How can you support your first chakra easily, right now? We can all use a reminder that we are being held, by our bodies and by the earth. Activities that promote feelings of being grounded are beneficial to a sense of well-being. A few ideas for self-care that directly accesses first chakra balancing include:

  • Wearing red or black, the colors associated with the first chakra (perhaps even painting your toenails with these grounding colors, while setting an intention for rootedness)
  • Eating grounding foods, like meats (if you eat meat,) nuts, and other proteins. Root vegetables such as beets and radishes are supportive, as well. The act of mindfully preparing the food we eat tends to be a grounding experience.
  • Wearing or carrying the gemstones ruby, garnet, or hematite and/or carrying any important piece of earth/rock with you in your pocket
  • Taking a bath in healing mud or clay
  • Burning cedar inscense
  • Making art - specifically working with clay, stones, or earth
  • Connecting with family - researching your family tree, hearing stories from your ancestors, finding your geographic roots (perhaps traveling to your place of birth or the land native to your family,) cooking your family recipes
  • Connecting with nature - perhaps through gardening, hiking, planting a tree, collecting rocks, and laying with your back against the heavy, warm, solid, vibrant earth
  • Go get a massage (a hot stone massage may specifically target first chakra imbalance)
  • Make an appointment to receive a Reiki or energetic counseling session
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Yoga postures: knee-to-chest pose (apanasana), chair pose (utkatasana)
  • Being mindful about sitting in a grounded way, wherever you are (desk, couch, etc.) with both feet firmly planted on the floor, hip width apart and parallel to each other

Resources on the psychology of the chakra system: