9 books for your healing journey

Healing is a full-time job.

I’m sure you realize that. Maybe that’s why you don’t prioritize it, yet. Maybe that’s why you feel overwhelmed by it. Maybe that’s why you gave up everything to pursue it.

We all heal in our own ways and in our time.

At one point, I walked away from everything I knew and loved in order to heal. I wanted to make sure I was prepared for when the future needed me.

I had started my healing journey long before that, though. We like to think of the momentous decisions as “the healing beginning”, but when we think about it, we were opening space inside of us or challenging old habits and thoughts long before we saw evidence that we were changing.

Here are 9 book titles that are potentially life-changing. They offer different perspectives than the few that are most often regurgitated in our cultures. They talk about the power YOU have to create the life YOU want… and not in a monetary way.

Ready to blow your own mind? Here we go:

1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is an easy, quick read with a deep, profound message. Excerpt:

Humans agree to help each other suffer. If you have the need to be abused, you will find it easy to be abused by others. Likewise, if you are with people who need to suffer, something in you makes you abuse them.

2. Loving What Is by Byron Katie. This books shares an inquiry process. Excerpt:

If you think that alcohol makes you sick or confused or angry, then when you drink it, it’s as if you’re drinking your own disease. You’re meeting alcohol where it is, and it does exactly what you know it will do. So we investigate the thinking, not in order to stop drinking, but simply to end any confusion about what alcohol will do.

3. A Course in Miracles by Foundation for Inner Peace. This can be found in multiple volumes or a combined volume. Many groups exist around the world to go through this book together because it is a deep and intense work. Excerpt:

The world you see is but the idle witness that you were right. This witness is insane. You trained it in its testimony, and as it gave it back to you, you listened and convinced yourself that what it saw was true. You did this to yourself.

4. Succulent Wild Woman by SARK. This artistic book is fun and affirming. Excerpt:

Creative exploration will always result in mistakes, and if we fear those, we risk paralysis and a numb “good girl” mentality. Our morality may guide us in our sexual exploration. Is your morality yours, or the regurgitation of parents’ and/or religious beliefs?

5. Crystal Woman by Lynn V. Andrews. This is one book in a series about a woman’s adventures into her calling and shamanism. Better than fiction! This book is too full of magick to share an excerpt. You’re just going to have to read it for yourself, if you’re ready.

6. Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Martha Beck. This is a “how to” book for journeying back to yourself. Lots of magick here, too. Excerpt:

After returning from Rwanda, I met with several of “my” master coaches (born wayfinders all) to discuss new ways we could earn a living doing exactly what we damn well please. I couldn’t help noticing that several of these people looked like they’d been enhanced with Photoshop. They were all glowy: their skin was clear, their eyes were radiant, and they seemed to have the continuous, resilient energy of small children. They happily chatted about the magic that had wrought this rejuvenation. Two words: green smoothies.

This cracks me up! Such a great way to lead into the smoothie life. Okay, moving on…

7. Pranic Healing by Choa Kok Sui. If you can find this book for a reasonable price or you are financially wealthy, buy this book. It will serve you for the rest of your life. This is a book about how to free the energy healer inside of you. Excerpt:

 A cancerous organ or part is clairvoyantly seen as dark muddy yellow and red. There is too much yellow and red prana in the affected area, resulting in the rampant growth of cancerous cells. This condition is brought about by an overactivated basic chakra, meng mein chakra, and solar plexus chakra. Although these chakras are overactivated, they are very depleted.

8. Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan. This book centers on the energetic and spiritual offerings of plants, taking a few steps beyond herbalism. Excerpt:

Obviously plants do not have kidneys and bladders, but they store fluids and harbor the mysterious life spring just as we do. What is more, they will bring peace to our waters if we ask them to.

9. The Complete Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This is another book that has inspired many groups as a sojourning tool. It is three books in one and guides the creative-spiritual connection. Excerpt:

By letting our soul speak first thing in the morning, we align ourselves with the Great Creator. Over the years, I have come to consider Morning Pages to be a valid form of meditation, perhaps a form uniquely suited to hyperactive Westerners.

Within these 9 books, you will find almost all the healing opportunities you require from a cerebral and physical perspective. I wish you well.

alright, stop what you’re doin’

cuz I’m about to ruin
the image and the style that you’re used to.
I look funny,
but, yo, I”m makin’ money, see,
so, yo world, I hope you’re ready for me.
Now, gather ’round,
I’m the new fool in town
and my sound’s laid down by the Underground.
I drank up all the Hennessy you got on your shelf,
so just let me introduce myself…

Everything above this line are someone else’s words and I’m operating from memory, so I hope I got them all correct. The words are probably copyright Digital Underground or someone from the group and/or some writer they worked with. Just so you know. Not my words, at all, and they don’t belong to me.

This was one of my fave songs as a teenager, though. ‘Humpty Dance’ was a riot, and even though my friend and I had no context for anything the guy was rapping about, we loved the song.

I remember one part, in particular, that we could not understand, no matter how many times we listened. The Hennessy line above. We had no idea what Hennessy was. Never heard of it, never saw it. We lived in a sheltered, religious, suburban world. Our parents didn’t drink and we didn’t hang around other youth who had parents who drank.

I remember rewinding the tape over and over, again, as we tried to make out what the rapper was saying. We finally settled on “heavy C”, even though it made no sense. The real lyrics didn’t make sense to us, either, so we just put in what we thought we were hearing. It was rap. Rap often made no sense to us.

We kept listening to it, though. I’m not sure why. Maybe the beats got to us. I remember listening to Tribe Called Quest daily. I remember sitting with the same friend and writing out the lyrics, because we just had to memorize a particular song and, honestly, we had no idea if Q-Tip was even speaking English sometimes.

I was in my 30s before I knew exactly what Digital Underground and Tribe Called Quest were talking about in many of their songs. Their music wasn’t made for girls like my friend and I, but we poured over it and loved it, anyway.

That’s how much of life is, isn’t it?

Often, we move through this world having no idea what’s really going on, but we love it, anyway.

We have no idea what folks are talking about, but we love hearing them talk, anyway.

Attraction works like that. You don’t know why you’re attracted. Maybe if you could figure it out, you’d turn the attraction off. Instead, you just feel the way you feel and do your best to muddle through any confusion. Maybe you adjust your perceptions, just so you can feel like you made a little sense of what’s happening.

And, maybe it will take you over a decade to decode things. Maybe, like me as a teen, you make up words for the bits you don’t understand and you keep moving. Life is too busy to stop and research what’s going on. There’s really no one to ask. There’s no Google for real life and real problems, right? You just figure out what you can and move it along. You do your best.

It’s okay that you’ve been doing that. It’s okay that you didn’t have the time or the energy or the desire to figure out the truth back then. Perfectly okay. The world did not stop spinning just because you didn’t know what was going on. That’s as it should be.

But, in this moment… breathe in.

And, in this moment… breathe out.

Keep breathing, keep living in the moment.

The past is gone. That confusion happened. But, if you stop what you’re doing now, you’ll be amazed by what you are able to understand.

let freedom ring

We live in precarious times.

Well, the times are always precarious, since time isn’t really real. I mean, we invented clocks and telling time and calendars and gave more meaning to the rotation of the Earth than maybe was initially intended, so time is always precarious.

What I mean is that we live in precarious governments.

I was once mistaken for a refugee. In my own country! I am a natural USA citizen and for a couple of years, I lived in a small city with a large refugee population. I loved it! I was able to hear various languages and see humans of various skin tones as I wandered the city, and that always feels very good to me.

Then, some “white” couple saw me walking down the street and spoke to me in French. It just so happened that most of the city’s refugee population were from African nations that had been colonized by France. I was appalled that the descendants of the European colonizers of my homeland would think me to be an African refugee. I yelled at them that I was an American and kept walking. I’m sure they were in shock.

I was angry about this for at least 2 years.

Lately, in the USA and Europe, there is a lot more talk about immigrants and refugees. Most of the people we Americans want to think of as immigrants are refugees and also have more historical ties and right to be on American soil than the descendants of colonizers who are so determined to keep them out. The entire argument of the colonizer descendants hinges on this: we don’t want to be outnumbered. But, the only reason they can pretend they aren’t already outnumbered is because they have no problem killing and imprisoning everyone. This is the legacy of their ancestors and the truth they live in daily.

Every day, it seems the USA is getting further away from freedom after a couple decades spent trying to inch closer to it. “Liberty” used to be an important American word. Now, we use variants of it to discredit and defame people. Who in the world, in a country that claims to value freedom, would find “liberal” to be an insult?

More and more, we are faced with the insanity of racism/white supremacy. Every day, we must confront how illogical and irrational ideas based solely on the social fiction of race are and how to manage when most of our gatekeepers are afraid of everything.

Fear is pervasive. It’s the fastest-spreading contagion in the world right now. And, there is no vaccine for it. Sorry! We’re going to have to stop relying on our “scientific advances” and get really honest about what it means to be human.

As an American who is well aware of how problematic people of European descent have always been for this land that my ancestors allegedly called Turtle Island, I feel sad at times. There isn’t much one can do against insanity. When people are insane, they are dangerous and incapable of being reasoned with. The best you can do is stay away from them.

But, we are living in the zombie apocalypse. Insane people are literally everywhere.

This isn’t a partisan issue. Never in my lifetime has it been so clear that both major American political parties are horrible for the American public. And, most Americans I speak with accept this truth, yet they will still only vote for either the Democrat or Republican candidates.

They have the fear. It’s contagious and it wipes out all symptoms of the freedom.

What’s the solution, you ask? Obviously, we must sit down and shut up. All of us. Meditate, contemplate, and re-calibrate.

But, good luck with that. We’re too worried about our other social fictions called “bills” and “money” to do anything real in this world.

And, so the madness continues.

you are now in hive mind

I’ve been doing this work a long, long time.

What work is that? you ask.

I’ve been doing the work of spiritual integration.

I call myself a transformation coach, because I am in the work of transformation. Not simple transformation, where one goes from one state to another. I think of the butterfly analogy so many of us love when I think of regular, old transformation. Look, the caterpillar became a butterfly! Yes, it did. But that’s not all that happened.

All that nasty stuff happening inside the chrysalis? That’s where I come in. I’m not interested in turning caterpillars into butterflies. That kind of transformation is not in my hands. But all the inside nastiness, the melting of the physical body, the complete loss of one’s former identity…that’s the stuff I can help with.

I think many people associate transmutation with transformation and the two don’t really have anything to do with one another. Transmutation is changing negative into positive. Transformation is understanding there is no negative or positive, only illusion/delusion and the waking up from it.

Ultimately, those who seek clarity will go through the process of transformation, with or without coaching support. Those who seek reality will transform. The butterfly analogy is quite unfair, really. Both the caterpillar and the butterfly already live in reality.

The other day, a friend shared a dream she had. I shared a similar dream I’d had the night before. I told her the dreams felt collective and wondered how many others had had a similar dream over those couple of days. She reached out to another friend and found out that friend had also had a similar dream.

As a dreamwalker, I know that dreams are not as personal as many of us like to believe. In my life, dreams often teach me. They tell me what’s going to happen in the future (often years ahead of time), they tell me what’s happening in the present (especially if there is conflict happening behind the scenes that I need to be mindful of ), and they give me insight into what humanity is processing as a whole.

Collectively, we are processing a lot of energetic turmoil. The times we are currently in remind me, energetically, of the 1960s. During that decade, people all around the world were waking up to how little power they had in the systems around them and they were demanding more. This was a world-wide phenomenon; a collective awakening.

Today, we are in the midst of another collective awakening and I will tell you why: we never finished the work from the 1960s. We became afraid, we became drug addicts, we became stagnant. But, the work is never over until it is. In transformation work, this is always true: you will keep getting presented with opportunities until you take them and keep doing your work. Doing anything halfway is fine. It can be part of your process. No one gets to judge your process.

But process means the work is not over.

A lot of leaders, especially spiritual leaders, will focus upon transmutation right now. They will encourage us to attempt to step out of the pain and into the glory. But, what about all the inner messiness that occurs in-between pain and glory? What about all the pain and sadness and anger and hopelessness and guilt and shame that needs to be part of the process? That feeds the process? If we just transmute it, we don’t integrate the lessons. We don’t actually do the work.

Your emotions are not simply “bad” feelings. Your emotions are teachers. They are neither bad nor good. They are information.

When you turn away from the information in your life, can you actually change anything?

I think the 60s are calling. Maybe we need to stop trying to “transmute that shit” and pick up the phone.

what holds your talking stick?

A talking stick is sometimes utilized in community settings where different people will get a chance to speak. The understanding is that only the person holding the stick will speak; others will take the important opportunity to truly hear the speaker and respond at the appropriate time.

This is an old practice that has come to us from many, different directions. It is a way of keeping order amongst humans, who have a tendency to become disordered rather easily. Especially when someone says something they don’t want to hear.

One of the reasons I enjoy communicating through social media is that it operates like a talking stick. You cannot talk until I have had my say. There is a lot of potential for healing and clarity in social media, but it depends upon intention and use, does it not? A simple tool in the wrong hands will become a great weapon. Continue reading

7 habits to cultivate healing from trauma

Life is all about habits.

We can become habituated to anything. ANY. THING.

Many of us have become habituated to dysfunction and abuse. Our society acts like these things are fringe social issues, but they are, in fact, the norm. I’ve never met a single woman or man who wasn’t abused or traumatized in some way.

Have you?

As someone who considers herself a Healer, I attract people who may be perceived as broken. I have attracted “broken” people all my life, even before I realized I had a gift for serving those who need it most. At times, I have resented this calling. Being a Healer often means you have to suffer, just so you can internalize and truly empathize with what you have been called to heal. Experience is a wonderful and profound teacher.

Not all Healers have dealt with their own trauma, though. I have met, unfortunately, many Healers who still don’t understand their self-worth, who still don’t understand that they are inherently worthy of the best life has to offer. They became habituated to suffering and never saw themselves as worthy of the freedom they so desperately wanted to share with others.

I don’t think you can share what you don’t even have.

For years, I supported women, but I still had my own work to do and I knew that. I hesitated to be put on a pedestal and I refused success when it tried to befriend me. I just don’t believe in doing anything halfway, you know?

Eventually, I embodied the reality of Abundance in such a way that I just couldn’t jive with suffering, anymore. Like…it doesn’t stick AT ALL. When I’m around people doing great civic work and I see that they are still operating from a fear and scarcity mindset, I realize they are still habituated to suffering. And, I walk away.

To some, this looks callous. To some, this looks like I have my head in the clouds. But the truth is that I know for a fact that Life Is Beautiful. And, I am worthy of all that beauty. Sure, there is crap out there. I know. I have survived a lot of it, myself. But there is also beauty.

I can turn my head and look at what I want to look at. So can you.

If you’re struggling with the habit of feeling traumatized, here are a few steps to help you on your healing journey. We have all been there, my friend. But we don’t have to live there.

1. Walk away. That’s right. Walk away. When something isn’t serving you, when something makes you feel bad, you walk away from it. Distance yourself. Physical distance is best, if you can manage it, but psychological and emotional distance is good, too. Learn when to tell yourself, “This isn’t for me.” And, then leave it where you found it.

2. Focus on gratitude. Crap happens to all of us. But just because something happened doesn’t mean we have to give it a lot of space in our minds. I’m not saying pretend it didn’t happen or distract yourself with mindless games. I’m saying distract yourself with a sense of gratefulness, because just like the bad things that happened, there have been good things. Even if you can only think of one good thing that happened today (and maybe it wasn’t “I woke up”), that one good thing is still a GOOD THING.

3. Meditate on love. Love will change your life. It will change everything about how you view the world. Sit and just think about love. Think about how you feel when you love. Think about how you would like to feel. Maybe you’ve never felt loved before. Imagine what feeling loved would feel like and then…

4. Love yourself radically. Don’t just normally love yourself. GO BIG OR GO HOME. Like, seriously. Say nice, loving things to yourself out loud…no matter where you are. Include others in it. “We look FABULOUS today!” Buy yourself gifts. Literally litter your home with trinkets so that when you see what you’ve bought, you bring a smile to your own face. Get cute every day so that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you like what you see. If you need to make wardrobe or other changes, DO IT. You are the most important thing in your life. Act like it.

5. Change your environment. Okay, you’ve walked away from the messy folks, the folks who bring you down, the folks who are generally miserable. Now, you need to work on bringing positive vibes into your spaces. Put up artwork that makes you feel all good-tingly inside. If you love being on social media, follow a bunch of positive sites…even if you feel like it’s ridiculous. If they’re talking about Law of Attraction stuff, even better. You know why? Because…

6. Remember that Like Attracts Like. I know, I know. You’ve always heard that opposites attract. That’s gotta be why you’re always in dysfunctional relationships, right? Wrong. Because opposites don’t attract unless you’re a magnet. You’re a human. With humans, similars attract. You have got to look at what is going on within you that is attracted to harmful people and situations. You have become habituated to dysfunction and you can become habituated to health. Whenever you find yourself drawn to something or someone, ask yourself why. “Is this a reflection of who I am? Is this a reflection of who I want to be?” Your life is a mirror.

7. Forgive yourself. Maybe you can’t forgive your abusers. Maybe you can’t forgive a certain situation or a certain person. But you can forgive yourself. A lot of us get stuck in the habit of dysfunction as a way of subconsciously punishing ourselves for past mistakes in judgment (even if we were too young to have really made a mistake). It’s not your job to punish yourself; it’s your job to love yourself. And, forgiving you for being a mistaken person in the past (even if that past was 5 seconds ago) is a HUGE part of loving yourself.

It’s possible you’ve never been told this before, so let me tell you, now:

You are precious and worthy of the best life has to offer.

If you need to, print that out and tape it somewhere you can read it several times a day. It’s the truth. And, you are amazing for making it this far in such a challenging world. Kudos!

a favorite human

Sadhguru is a current favorite human of mine. Someone put this video together to him expressing his ideas around yoga or, really, what he calls Inner Engineering. His idea is that yoga is about aligning the human experience with the universal experience. This flies in the face of the way most Americans understand and practice yoga, because we have objectified the human experience. He is an Indian expressing more truth about yoga than many of us understand or practice. I appreciate him.