self-compassion

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.

 

Interview & Giveaway: When healers don't walk their talk

I am honored (and honestly quite giddy!) to have been interviewed by coach and thought-partner extraordinaire, Jac McNeil, about why it's important for helping and healing professionals to stay in their integrity by walking their talk when it comes to self-care. I hired the heartful and whipsmart Jac last year to help me with the nuts and bolts of manifesting the vision I had for creating an engaging, soulful, online experience for healing arts practitioners worldwide to revive their self-care practices in order to prevent the occupational hazards they report most often: burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, isolation, and insecurity. As a therapist who specializes in working with other therapists and helping professionals, I know all too well how difficult it can be to develop and maintain our own self-care rituals. My answer for this dilemma is the concept of micro-self-care, a method I guide my fellow helpers and healers through implementing in the SoulSpace Series.

In my conversation with Jac, she asked me these four questions:

When-Healers-Dont-Walk-Their-Talk.
  • What do you mean by "micro-self-care"?
  • In your experience, what micro-self-care techniques tend to have the most impact/value for healers?
  • Why do you think most of us avoid/ignore micro-self care?
  • What’s your favorite micro-self care technique and why?

Hop on over to the interview to read what I had to say on the topic, and enter on her web site for a chance to win a free spot in the upcoming SoulSpace Series, which kicks off on February 8th. Jac will choose the giveaway winner this Wednesday, February 3rd. Good luck!

It's time to create some SoulSpace

All summer, I've been deeply engrossed in the creative process of incubating and manifesting a long-time dream of mine, and I'm so stoked to finally be able to share it with you all! I'm super-excited to introduce you to the SoulSpace Series. (Really, I just clapped, here alone at my desk.) It's common knowledge that the relationship between the therapist and the client is the most beneficial and effective aspect of healing work. Way more-so than any techniques, tools, theories, training, tips, and tricks. So, as helping professionals, it is imperative (even ethically so) that we lovingly care for our most valuable tool -- OURSELVES! (Um, not selfish in the least.) If we enter into our healing work while suffering from burn out, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, lack of inspiration, lack of confidence/trust in ourselves -- then no one benefits. I want you to be the most clear, present, attuned, connected, and inspired healing practitioner you can possibly be -- the world needs more of that.

And this, in a nutshell, is why I created SoulSpace.

The SoulSpace Series is a super-accessible, guided online experience that reacquaints you, alongside a supportive cohort, with your creative, compassionate, inner healer and weaves a practice of rhythmic, micro self-care rituals unobtrusively into your everyday. (Think: sustainable, bite-sized, daily rituals vs expensive, annual vacations and retreats. We'll wither away waiting for those. <-- did you guys read that article?)

SoulSpace invites you into a deeply soulful and contemplative space that is also refreshingly playful, permissive, creative, and light. Over the course of the, 6-week, online program, you'll master simple, self-care rituals that nourish your practice and your day, walking away with concrete practices you can dip into in even the smallest moments you have between clients.

Whether you're a student training to become a psychotherapist, coach, or bodyworker -- or if you've been in practice for years in a setting where you're supporting clients emotionally/spiritually throughout your day -- I created SoulSpace for YOU.

Click here to more about SoulSpace, cozy up in your favorite blanket, grab a cuppa pumpkin-something, join a tribe of fellow healing arts practitioners this autumn.

Now is the perfect time.

Oh, and I'm giving away one free enrollment this week, only on Instagram! Hop on over to follow me and enter! (The winner will be chosen on Monday, September 21, 2015.) Giveaway has ended and SoulSpace is underway for the Autumn 2015 session. I'll offer it again after the new year, so stay tuned to my e-newsletter to find out when the doors open for enrollment.

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.

New ways to think about self-care

With the first series of my self-care for therapists group now complete, I'd like to share our diagram where we brainstormed both tried-and-true and brand new ways we can honor the self:

Some of the phrases the group used to define self care included "honoring the self," "refilling the well," and "making time and space to be mindful of my parts." (You can see these around the center of the drawing, on the green petals.)

The image above contains collective wisdom about the ways many of us may already be working self-care into our lives, and it also contains ideas that might be new to you for considering how you might refuel and practice gentleness and kindness with yourself.

We looked at how we can offer ourselves care in the following categories, and I've listed just a few examples below:

Physical

  • sleep/naps
  • exercise (running, yoga...)
  • diet/nutrition (gut health, eating breakfast...)
  • self-pampering (massage, spa day...)
  • medical care (regular check-ups, bodywork, natural supplements...)

Emotional

  • therapy (self-study, self-inquiry)
  • art (can also be physical, spiritual, and social!)
  • writing (creative writing, journaling...)
  • alone time
  • travel

Social

  • spending time with loved ones
  • setting healthy boundaries
  • community involvement
  • picking up a new hobby

Spiritual

  • daily  practice (mindfulness, prayer, meditation, ritual...)
  • retreats
  • energy work
  • spending time in nature

Spatial

  • declutter your space
  • creating a sacred space at home (altar, resting place...)
  • fresh flowers/plants and natural light
  • playing music you love
  • memorabilia or photos that are reminders of joy
  • choosing clothes you feel good wearing

In discussing how therapists can honor their therapist selves around their work day, I presented ideas surrounding client sessions. For example, we covered:

  • how therapists/healers might prepare for their work day (physically, spatially, mentally, spiritually)
  • how therapists can honor (and not abandon) themselves during therapy sessions, and
  • how therapists can cleanse, refuel, and honor themselves after their work day

Notes on these can be seen on the left side of the diagram above; however, it is important to create rituals that are personal and unique to you.

In my private practice, many of my clients are other therapists, therapy graduate students and interns, healers, and caregivers who wish to create personalized, sustainable ways of making self care part of their daily rituals. If you'd like to connect with me for a free 20-minute consultation to see if I may be able to help you, please contact me.

I plan to offer a similar group later this year, most likely in autumn. Stay tuned to find out when by signing up for my e-newsletter (over there in the right column) and by following me on Facebook and/or Twitter.