From Scott to Hannah: An Inspiring Journey to Happiness

The moment that I first met Scott some 10 years ago during an interview, I knew he was the one for the job. I was searching for someone to help me launch the Deborah King Center and Scott, with his ability to be both simultaneously wildly creative and precisely methodical, was excited to join me on this adventure.

In addition to the regular working hours that we spent together in the office, Scott frequently joined me and my husband Eric on book tours and at workshops and events.

A talented composer and musician, Scott was famous for treating our workshop attendees to live music throughout the program. The film crew would always marvel at his ability to wear multiple hats throughout the event: Scott managed the less glamorous (but essential) technical activities, such as coordinating the “run of show” (a minute-by-minute timeline) and audio feeds, and would then seamlessly move into the role of musician. As he sat down at the keyboard, he would silently observe and appreciate the energy in the room for a moment before he joined in with perfect harmony.

Everyone is flawless – from a distance

When Scott and I would select images for the website, he always gravitated toward photos of beautiful women. Many people would not have thought twice about this – after all, Scott was married with two children, loved his job, and appeared to be happy. While his life seemed flawless from a distance, these images of beautiful women represented perfection to Scott: for them, there was no struggle, no need to photoshop, no white lies, no need to show only a “good” side.

But deep in my heart, I knew that Scott was living a life consumed with hiding. Once, when Eric and I were walking with Scott across the grounds of a workshop, Eric looked down and exclaimed, “Scott, you’ve got pink polish on your toenails!” We all laughed … and simply continued over toward the building where I was scheduled to present.

Letting each layer fall away

“Gender dysphoria” or “transgender” is when a person’s emotional and psychological identity as a male or female is opposite of their biological sex. Like every living thing on Earth, a person’s gender identity exists on a spectrum and gender dysphoria fits well within the range of human biological variation. Research published in The Journal of Neuroscience shows that people with gender dysphoria have structural differences in their brains that are between their desired gender and their genetic sex.

Being forced to hide something so integral to who you are as a human being, out of fear of isolation from your loved ones and community, leads many transgender people to a dark place where depression quickly takes over and anxiety flourishes. The Trevor Project reports that 40% of all transgender people have attempted suicide (and 92% tried before the age of 25). As if the internal struggle was not difficult enough, when a transgender person is verbally or physically assaulted, their risk for self-harm more than doubles.1

This life is a journey – and when the time comes for you to turn a corner on your healing path, you will know. For Scott, his lifelong struggle to conform to what society told him was “normal” eventually became overwhelming: he ended his first marriage, left the Deborah King Center, and embarked on a deeply personal journey that led him to transition to Hannah. After years of hormone therapy and active leadership in the transgender community, Hannah’s healing journey has given her clear eyes and a full heart to share with the world.

And we are very excited to welcome her back to the Deborah King Center!

Healing is a lifelong process and, just like you and me, Hannah’s journey for peace and happiness will continue. For much of her life, Hannah was forced to wear a mask and act through a body that did not match her soul. By slowly letting each and every layer of herself fall away, Hannah shows us that when you love yourself and lean into faith, anything is possible.

To celebrate and honor Hannah (and hopefully bring a smile, remembering her website image preferences from many years ago), this blog post features before and after photos of Hannah –what a beautiful woman she has become. We are forever grateful that Hannah’s path led her safely home to her Soul Family.

Welcome home, Hannah!

More information about what it means to be a transgender person

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been unable to contain my excitement that Hannah is coming back to the Deborah King Center. In my day-to-day conversations, I’ve been struck by how often a student, colleague, or DKC team member tells me that they also have a loved one who is transgender. Last week, Sarah, who’s new on the team, told me her teenage son is transgender. She said that she and her husband knew from when he was a young age that he was a boy, even though he was born as a girl. While she and her husband have concerns about letting him start hormone therapy at such a young age (simply because the long-term effects are unknown), the family all agrees that the choice is his to make. One of her biggest fears, she told me, was around the high suicide rate among transgender people. At the end of the day, she wants her son to go on to live a happy life – just like any parent wants for their child.

If you’re wondering what it means to be transgender, here are some important key points:

  • A person’s biological sex refers to the physical differences—the chromosomes, hormones, and internal and external sex organs—that help us assign a certain sex to a newborn infant. However, this is much more of a fluid topic than is commonly known; biological sex is not always obvious.


  • On the other hand, a person’s gender identity is their own personal experience with their gender. For transgender people, their internal gender identity doesn’t match what it says on their birth certificate. Unlike gender expression (see below), gender identity is not visible to others. You can’t look at someone and know if they feel like a man or woman or other gender inside.


  • Gender identity can also refer to the role of a male or female in society. From a young age, we are socially conditioned as to how we see men and women’s roles; change to these traditional roles is usually met with a lot of resistance, such as women becoming CEOs or men being stay-at-home dads.


  • Gender expression is how a person manifests their gender identity: their name, clothing, the way they style their hair, the tone and pitch of their voice, and body characteristics. Different cultures at different times have had various ways of expressing masculinity or femininity. High heels, for example, were originally worn by men who had a higher social status. Pink, a color we now associate with girls, was actually reserved for boys. In the 1800s, English men wore red uniforms and boys, who were seen as small men, wore pink (a less grown-up version of red).


  • Sexual orientation is often confused with gender. What gender you are in your psyche and soul doesn’t determine who you will be attracted to. Transgender people can be straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Scott was attracted to women; so is Hannah, and she recently married another woman. Isn’t their wedding picture (above) fabulous!


  • While the word “transgender” is a new construct, courtesy of Western culture, societies around the globe have their own long-held traditions for third, fourth, fifth, or more genders. It may come as a surprise to learn that worldwide the sheer variety of gender expression is almost limitless and that gender diversity has a long history among many different cultures. PBS shared an interesting Google Map a while back that shows the many gender-diverse cultures all over the world.

Transgender people have a different gender identity and/or gender expression than one based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Some take hormones prescribed by their doctors to align their bodies with their gender identity. Some choose to undergo surgery as well. It’s important to note that transgender person’s identity is not dependent on physical appearance or medical procedures, but on their own sense of themselves. Let’s all move into a brave new world where we can each be our own unique self, divorced of any external constructs or labels.


How to Let the Total Solar Eclipse Re-Set You

It’s coming soon to the heavens near you: next Monday, August 21, 2017, there will be a total solar eclipse. The eclipse will darken skies over the U.S. mainland in a swath 70 miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina.

This eclipse can have a powerful impact on you, no matter where you are in the world: it offers you a chance to eclipse something out of your life. You may already be able to feel the ground shifting beneath you; know that your life is in flux and be ready for change. Get ready to make a leap of faith as your previous life dissolves into a more exciting future. Don’t hesitate or try to hold on to the past or you will miss this train of change as it roars into the station. Change cannot be negotiated and the eclipse can help you make it happen.

You’ll find plenty of information online and in local news about where and when to see the eclipse, how it will look, how long it will last, and how to view the celestial phenomenon safely. Of course, you’ll need some special eye protection to view this rare astronomical event.

Whether you are in position to see the total phase of this total solar eclipse along its narrow path across the U.S., or you view the partial solar eclipse from the rest of the mainland U.S., Canada, and northern parts of Latin America, you’ll be blessed with an exciting opportunity for awakening and reflection.

Not only will it be a spectacular and moving visual experience, it’s a perfect occasion to re-align yourself with the sun and moon, which hold a powerful sway over your psyche and soul. The eclipse will speed up your soul’s karmic journey through this lifetime; it will shine a light of exactly on where and what you need to let go of in order to move forward toward your true destiny. If you’ve lost your way, it will guide you back to your path.

Looking skyward on August 21, you’ll see the moon pass between the earth and the sun, creating a period of darkness. Watching the eclipse, be present in the moment, observe, and feel the ground shift beneath you as your soul corrects its direction.

Some amazing changes will appear in the sky during the eclipse. If you are able to view the totality of the eclipse, you’ll see the sun’s atmosphere suddenly appear like a halo around its outer edges. As the sky turns dark, planets and stars that aren’t visible in normal daylight can be seen. Depending on your vantage point, you might recognize Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter.

Taking a break from what might otherwise be a routine Monday in August—whether you are home, working, going to school, or traveling—will be a time-out for your soul. If you stop, look, and listen to your inner wisdom while the moon’s shadow passes by, you can re-set your awareness.

Here are some points to ponder as the Great American Total Solar Eclipse approaches:

1. Think of the eclipse as the closing and opening of a new chapter in your life. What could you resolve to end and begin at that turning point as the light disappears and then returns?

2. Ask yourself where you have strayed off your path; what steps can you take to get back on it?

3. Think of the eclipse as a metaphor for your spirit. When have you “lost the light” temporarily and then found it again? Use your journal to record your thoughts and feelings about the coming and going of the light in your life. What have you learned about your power to re-ignite or reawaken your inner light?

Observing the eclipse can be an opportunity to feel deep appreciation and gratitude for the amazing planet we call home. Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gargarin, was the first human to see the earth from space in April, 1961. He said, “Circling the Earth in my orbital spaceship, I marveled at the beauty of our planet. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty, and not destroy it.” Let’s make this eclipse the day where we all begin to heal ourselves and to work together to heal the world.


Ram Dass: A Legacy of Equilibrium

Just as one will never fully understand life until experiencing death, it is impossible to respond to your Spirit’s higher calling without reading the works of Ram Dass. For over four generations, Ram Dass’ spirit has been lighting the way for millions of seekers, helping them to break free of traditional Western dogmatic bonds through his teaching and the example of how he lives his own life.

One of Ram Dass’ greatest gifts is his understanding that life is not black and white and, when seeking out the Divine, does not have to be either/or; moreover, the narrow classifications that we as humans use when defining ourselves are fences of our own construction, built using very the limited amount of knowledge we acquire during our time here in the physical realm.

To break down our walls, Ram Dass encourages seekers of all types — those seeking happiness, love, joy, meaning in life, etc. — to be present in every single moment of life. His famous book, Be Here Now, is Ram Dass’ legacy will be one of balance: reconciling Eastern and Western philosophies, that in death and dying we will discover life and living, and helping seekers at all points in their journey discover that the path to divinity is being present in every single moment of life.

If you haven’t read Be Here Now, I encourage you to pick up a copy on Amazon or your library. I’ve also listed below a few pieces from Ram Dass’ (very extensive) teachings that I have found to be particularly enlightening.

We’d love to read your comments:


A Video Series Featuring Ram Dass and Stephen Levine


A Guide to Chakra Balancing

Your chakras are your seven primary energy centers of your body. Each one corresponds to certain body parts, physical processes, emotional condition and spiritual traits.

When your chakras are in balance, you feel, well… balanced. No, that doesn’t mean you can walk a tightrope when your chakras are open.

(Though it doesn’t mean you can’t).

If your chakras are balanced, you may feel positively energetic, eased or comfortable in and with your surroundings. You will find yourself connecting with people harmoniously and living your life unapologetically. However, if your chakras become blocked or damaged and you ignore them, you may suffer from a range of physical, mental, and emotional ailments.

I constantly stress the importance of taking time to practice chakra-balancing exercises because keeping your energy in balance is key to living a healthy, authentic life. It’s key to living your best life.

Essential Techniques for Balancing Your Chakras 

There are plenty of ways to restore balance to your chakras. The following examples are very powerful, but what’s most important is choosing a practice that feels right to you. Experiencing the natural flow of energy is your goal, after all. Thus, feeling truly comfortable is one of the essential aspects of these exercises. It’s okay to realize that not every exercise is the right exercise for you.

Using Affirmations

Affirmations are a powerful chakra balancing tool. Repeating certain phrases while focusing on your chakras helps you tap into their natural energy. They also have the added bonus of rewiring your brain. Chronic negative thoughts can be a symptom of unbalanced chakras, but they can also add to the problem. It’s a cycle of negativity that drains you of your essential energy.

Repeating affirmations helps you more easily replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.

To use them, meditate on the chakra you want to focus on balancing, and either out loud or in your mind, repeat the words.

Root chakra: I am safe, secure, and deeply rooted to the world. I belong here.

Practicing root chakra balancing will allow you to feel protected and secure. You want to use an affirmation that conveys these feelings. After all, your first chakra relies on an instinct for survival.

Sacral chakra: I am comfortable in my body, and physically balanced.

People with poorly-balanced sacral chakras often indulge in food, sex, or drugs to compensate for all that is lacking. Emphasizing your physical comfort helps to rebalance the chakra. Your sacral chakra is about you and your attraction and desire for others; it is governed by movement so let your sacral chakra know it’s okay to let your feelings flow gracefully.

Solar plexus chakra: I am confident, worthy, and powerful.

The solar plexus chakra is where your sense of personal power and independence comes from. Use an affirmation that instills confidence and embodies power. Whatever your favorite attributes and qualities are assert them and then internalize them – this will be vital for this chakra’s healing.

The saying, “Trust your gut,” didn’t appear out of thin air. Trust your solar plexus chakra, it is the source of your will and purpose.

Heart chakra: I both give and receive and give love comfortably.

Although the heart chakra governs many subtle aspects of how you experience love, essentially, your goal should be to improve your own ability to both give and receive love. There are no limits on the type of love you’re able to reciprocate. Friendship, especially your, family and furry friends, are ll ready to accept the love you have to give and love you back.

Remember: “When you love fully, you can have a life of compassion.”

Throat chakra: I communicate easily and comfortably.

Balancing your chakra means being comfortable with communication, but also being comfortable with silence when necessary. Give yourself permission to express your thoughts, while also giving yourself permission to refrain from speaking when there’s nothing that needs to be said as well as speaking out when the need arises.

Don’t forget: “When you silence what’s wrong, you also silence what’s right.”

Third eye chakra: My thoughts are clear, and I trust my intuition.

Your intuition is a natural and positive reflection of your own wisdom. Use an affirmation that reflects this. Once your third eye chakra is open and balance, the possibilities of reaching your Higher Self, are limitless. Embrace affirmations as a form of chakra therapy for your third eye chakra.

Crown chakra: I experience the divine goodness of the Universe.

Understand that you are truly a soul living temporarily in a physical body rather than a body with a soul, your capacity for deep compassion and divine love begins to blossom.

Meditation for Balancing Chakras

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to balance the chakras. Begin by sitting with your eyes closed—either in the traditional lotus position, or in an alert position inon a chair—and focus on grounding yourself to the Earth via your root chakra. Feel the natural energy of the Earth radiating through your body.

One your intuition tells you that you’re sufficiently grounded, you can begin opening each chakra. Starting from the root and working your way up, visualize each chakra as a flower of the appropriate color.

(A red flower for the root chakra, and orange flower for the sacral chakra, etc.)

Visualize the flower blooming. This practice will open your chakras and help you to work through blockages and imbalances. Try to spend about 4 to 6 minute or twos visualizing each chakra. Continue your chakra balancing meditation throughout your week, or as needed. Just remember to always listen to them.

Using Energy Healing 

An energy healing practice, like Reiki, can restore the balance in the chakras. Seek out a Reiki practitioner to schedule a session, or learn Reiki yourself.

If you know how to perform Reiki, you can either perform a daily self-healing, or try the following chakra-balancing exercise: place one hand over the root chakra and another over the crown chakra. Feel the difference in energy between them. Keep your hands in those positions until both chakras appear to be operating at the same energy level. Then move your top hand to the third eye chakra, and your lower hand to the sacral chakra. Once they are in balance, move the top hand to the throat chakra and the lower hand to the solar plexus chakra. Finally, use both hands on the heart chakra.

Use Color 

If you feel you have a good idea about which chakras are out of balance, you can use color to restore that balance.

What if you’re feeling the need to overeat or indulge in another favorite vice like smoking or drinking to excess? Take a moment and get in touch with the feelings that motivate you in that direction; chances are, you’ll soon find out that you are way too stressed at home or at work, and really need a walk or a hot bath or a chat with a friend to decompress. It alsoThis probably means you need to focus on your sacral chakra, which corresponds to the color orange.

Wearing more orange clothing, incorporating orange into your home environment, and even eating foods of this color will promote a healthy, balanced chakra. This same principle can be used for any of the energy centers in your body.

Enjoying the Benefits 

You should always remember that it’s natural for your chakras to be in a state of balance. You deserve to experience the joy, confidence, and vitality that comes from practicing these exercises. As you spend more time attuning yourself to the function of your chakras, you’ll begin to develop a greater appreciation for their power in your life.

Use Meridians in Your Energy Healing Practice

The word ‘meridian’ might take you back to middle school geography class – and you wouldn’t be totally off the map. The meridians used in energy healing are actually a similar concept to the geographical coordinate system you learned about at the age of 12.

All living things are vibratory beings, each constantly sending out unique signals that generate an energy field. Your body grows out of this energy and something if shows up if your field that isn’t optimal, like a blockage or distortion, it will manifest in your physical being.

With roots in ancient Chinese and Indian healing practices, meridians are used today by energy healers of all types worldwide, from acupuncturists in New York City to yoga teachers in Rishikesh, India. Modern science is now proving what healers from thousands of years ago have always known: energy pathways are vital to your health.

What – and where – are meridians?

Just like the meridians on our globe make up an interconnected coordinate system, the meridians in your body are energy pathways through which qi (chi) and blood flows continuously.

According to meridian energy healing practice, when the qi flowing through these pathways gets blocked it can have serious consequences for your mind and body. You may find that your vitality diminishes or that your organs aren’t performing at their peak. You can even suffer from mental health issues.

The meridians in your body flow roughly along the natural lines of your arms and legs. The practice names the lungs, heart, pericardium (the membrane around your heart), triple warmer (the pathway from the arteries in your neck through the center of your heart), large intestine, small intestine, stomach, bladder, spleen, kidneys, gall bladder, and liver as the principal pathways of the meridians.

Meridians flow up the body (yang meridians) and the other flow down (yin meridians). They are also related to natural elements, and some are more active during the night than the day.

Something to take note of is that their names correspond to their biological function and not always the organs themselves. In addition, there are extra meridians – called centerline meridians – where energy is stored. The two most important centerline meridians run from the bottom of your lip down the front of your body and down the back of your spine.

As mentioned before, modern science proves that meridians exist. Research scientists at Seoul National University recently have confirmed the existence of meridians, which they call the ‘primo-vascular system’, and consider it to be related to our cardiovascular systems. To prove their hypothesis, the scientists injected dye into acupuncture points, and were able to see that the dye followed the lines of the meridians. The dye did not appear in places outside of the meridian pathways.

Ways you can use the Meridian healing system in your energy practice

One of the most interesting things about meridian healing is the inherent mind body connection.

For example, we all know that eating a diet full of processed food can make you sick and lead to a whole host of energy problems. In Western medicine, a doctor would simply recommend eating healthier and perhaps give you a prescription. However, an energy healer using meridians would focus on solving the underlying issues that cause the problem, such as mental health issues like anxiety or depression.

Since negative emotions are what are create blockages and disrupt our qi, it’s important to stay in touch with our emotions and figure out why we’re feeling the way we’re feeling. It becomes much more than simply addressing the physical symptoms of a problem, but walking back and examining the emotional reasons behind our behaviors.

Meridian healing argues that emotions will cause us to be drawn toward things that may harm us. Instead of simply saying someone should stop overeating, meridian healing would acknowledge that a person might be overeating because they’re stressed out at work or at home. By identifying the emotional mechanism behind the blockage, meridian therapy connects the mental and the physical.

Negative emotions correspond to specific meridians. Once you understand the reason behind your physical symptom, you can then identify the meridian that you should focus on healing. For example, if you’re anxious, worried, or stressed you should be focusing on your stomach meridian. If you’re feeling fight, flight, freeze, or overwhelmed, you should focus on releasing blockages in your triple warmer meridian.

Just like your meditation, incorporating meridian healing into your practice is something you do entirely on your own. While taking a transformational yoga class or getting a relaxing massage is always a good way to show yourself some self-love, meridian healing is something you can do and see results immediately.

Try giving yourself a simple meridian healing massage; all you need to do is trace your meridians using a gentle touch. You can touch your skin directly, or go over your clothes, or hover an inch above your skin. If you can’t reach a part of your body that is perfectly okay, just envision yourself continuing the line uninterrupted. Repeat this process for however long you would like. However, be sure you are moving in the right direction, because moving against the natural flow of qi can have a weakening effect on your body.

Incorporating meridians into your energy healing practices will support radiant health by facilitating the flow of energy throughout your body. When you are able to achieve balance, your physical and mental health will be enhanced – so you can live your best life.