Personal Health Tracking

Stay on Track: A Personal Healing Action Plan

Personal Health Tracking

Healing is a marathon, not a sprint. Whether you are five minutes or five years into your healing journey, it’s easy to get distracted and wander off the path – especially when the world around you is in chaos.

In my book Heal Yourself—Heal the World, I dedicate an entire chapter to teaching you the basics of a Personal Healing Plan. Students often get bogged down with complex concepts, like chakras and mind/body types, and forget that simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in their personal energy field.

Living a healthy and balanced life is one of the best things you can do to protect and heal yourself. Doing things like getting enough rest and dedicating time to process emotions, eating clean food that nourishes your body, and spending time with people who lift you up (rather than depress you and bring you down), are all things you can do give yourself a leg up on the healing ladder.

All of the practices I write about below will nourish your body, mind, and spirit…if you make them a habit in your self-care routine. Over the years, the number one thing that the majority of my students struggle with is dedicating time for their self-care; this is not surprising considering there are so many things competing for their time and attention. To keep your healing goals front and center (and to see your progress over time), think about adding a monthly activity tracker page to your journal. You can create your own (there is no shortage of fun designs and ideas on Pinterest) or download a copy of my Personal Healing Plan Tracker.

The activities that you include in your Personal Healing Plan Tracker will be unique to you, however, there are some universal basic practices that you should use as guidelines. Think about the practices below and think about how you can incorporate them into your self-care routine and Personal Healing Plan Tracker.

Personal Healing Plan Habit Tracker

Download your free Personal Healing Habit Tracker today

Basic practices for personal healing

Good food

A new day, a new diet (or so it seems). As a general rule, diets are created by companies that want to sell you a product, be it supplements or shakes. The truth of the matter is that the foods that work best for you are completely dependent on your unique makeup.

We are all different, but there are a few basic rules to follow that will point you in a healthier direction:

  • Choose real food that is not processed whenever possible. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store: fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, poultry, dairy, and whole grain bread.

 

  • Drink plenty of pure water. You need about a quart a day just to replace the water that your body loses by breathing!

 

  • “Nonfoods” should be avoided at all costs. Think: processed foods in boxes or bags that have preservatives; canned items, especially tomatoes, that do not specifically say BPA is not used in the lining of the can; genetically modified and foods that are microwaved – your body doesn’t recognize these “nonfood” items and doesn’t know what to do with them.

 

  • Chemicals and pesticides are a problem. Whenever possible, opt for organic. (Note: you should also be mindful about the personal care products you put on your body. In the United States, lotions, fragrances, deodorants/antiperspirants, makeup, and hair styling products do not go through any regulatory approval process. Your body absorbs 60% of everything you put on it and I doubt you’d be okay with absorbing 60% of the lead in your signature red lipstick – no brands will be mentioned, but a quick Google search will reveal a Mother Jones investigation.)

 

  • Use of nicotine, alcohol, recreational and prescription drugs increase the body’s toxic load.

 

  • Opt for small frequent meals that contain protein if you are over 30 years old and/or are stressed; every two hours is ideal.

 

Exercise

Your body’s health is dependent on moving it. And you don’t need to start training for a marathon to get enough exercise: studies have shown that walking briskly every day can reduce a woman’s chance of getting diabetes breast cancer, and heart disease.

Here are some tips for exercising to support your body:

  • Exercise that requires focused and conscious movement (Quigong, T’ai chi, Pilates, yoga) give your muscles and brain a workout.

 

  • Go outdoors for part of your exercise. If you’re a gym or class fan, that’s fine but changing it up every once in a while (go to an outdoor yoga class or walk in the park instead of on the treadmill) will help you connect to nature.

 

  • Aim for a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise every day. Build it into your Personal Healing Plan Tracker and do your best to check off those boxes. Even a quick walk during your lunch break, taking the stairs, or parking further away from the building count.

 

Meditation

There are so many benefits to meditation that I’m always surprised that not everyone does it. It puts you in the present moment, relaxes your body and mind, washes away your stress, bolsters your intuitive abilities, and even makes you look and feel younger (take that expensive wrinkle creams!). Twenty minutes morning and evening are ideal.

Sleep

Sleep is one of those things that everyone struggles with at some point in their lives, be it getting too much or too little.
How much sleep do you need? Just like your diet, this also depends on your individual makeup. If you wake to an alarm clock, try going to bed ten minutes earlier each night until you wake up before the alarm rings.

You should also be conscious about using light-emitting devices before bed (sorry, turning on the dimming feature on your iPhone doesn’t make it an exception). Electronic devices have a higher concentration of blue light vs. natural light – and this impacts the levels of melatonin that your body produces. In short, you’re playing Russian roulette with your body’s natural circadian rhythm clock – and this can have devastating health effects beyond just not being able to fall asleep.

Connect with other people and creaturesContemporary Western culture – especially American culture – is extremely isolating. In contrast to American culture where children are expected to move out at 18 (and if they don’t, are considered unsuccessful), in many other parts of the world, such as Southeast Asia and Russia, it’s normal for entire families to live together, even when children are grown.

And while technology has allowed us to connect with family and friends that live far away, when you are out with family and friends put the phone down! How many times have you watched two people sit at dinner completely absorbed in their phone? It’s no surprise that we feel disconnected, alone, lonely, and isolated; we are social creatures and have an innate desire to be part of a community.

If you live alone (as many people do these days), consider adding a pet to your life. We need physical contact as well as social, and I’ve never met a dog that didn’t jump at the chance to sit on their owner’s lap.

Laugh

The world we live in is extremely chaotic, which results in instability and stress on society. Don’t ignore atrocities, but don’t be consumed by them either. For example, watch Seinfeld or The Big Bang Theory instead of the six o’clock news when you come home from a long day. Laughter is good for the body and the soul; it relieves stress and boosts immune functioning.
As much as possible, go to bed happy.

Challenge yourself

We all have bucket lists – and if you don’t, whip out that journal of yours and get planning! Keep in mind that your bucket list doesn’t have to be exotic and crazy, like skydiving or hiking Machu Picchu. Some of my students have confided that their number one bucket list item was to overcome an eating disorder or free themselves from a particular medication.

Essentially a bucket list is a set of goals you would like to achieve in your lifetime. By identifying long-term goals, you can begin identifying obstacles that sit in the middle of your path (either right now or in the future). A bucket list that you plan and work toward will challenge you and magnify your own personal healing power many times over.

For a complete guide to building out your Personal Healing Action Plan, check out Chapter 15 of my new book Heal Yourself—Heal the World. If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can pick a copy up at your favorite bookseller (or Amazon). The book also contains detailed guidelines and ideas about journaling, an activity that is crucial to healing. And you don’t have to put pen to paper to benefit from journaling — there are many other options available too.

You can set up a blog on your computer or tablet that can be purely for you, or if you are brave about sharing your journey, make it available for others to read. Another powerful way to record your thoughts and feelings is by vlogging: making a video of yourself speaking. Many people are more comfortable talking than writing. You can set up your smartphone or computer to video yourself speaking.

Lying hurts us

Lying: what it does to us (nothing good)

Lying hurts us

Lying is in the headlines today, but make no mistake, it’s hardly breaking news. A culture of lying and the devaluation of truth has been evolving for a long time. We’re in the midst of a war on truth and the collateral damage is devastating to us all.

As a spiritual teacher, I’ve been addressing lying for years, even writing a bestseller on that very topic in what now seems like a lifetime ago (how much has changed in the past 10 years!) – Truth Heals: What You Hide Can Hurt You (Hay House, February 2009).

How does lying affect us? Lies have a severe and negative impact on our personal energy field (our chakras) and our bodies, not to mention our souls. We all know the self-inflicted consequences of what we bring down upon ourselves, the emotional and physical damage, when we deny the truth.

On the flip side, once we get in touch with it, the truth has an amazing ability to heal us.

This was my own startling discovery back in my 20’s, when I had cancer. As soon as I was willing to look in the mirror and admit, at least to myself, the sexual assaults I had endured, I started to heal – I could actually feel it happening, right in my own body, in real time. Pretty exciting! Once I fell back in love with the truth, I started spreading it everywhere, and it’s contagious – pretty soon, others around you start using the truth as their set point too.

I wrote Truth Heals to help people understand how important it is to find their own truth, and to stop living the lies that are holding them back. As I have long taught, it’s the lies we tell ourselves that do the most damage. And as former FBI chief, James Comey, tweeted recently, “small lies matter.” Indeed.

As you work to become more aware of your own truth, you can (simultaneously) work on refining your ability to discern if others are truth-telling. You have the power within you to turn on your own personal lie detector. In your interactions with others, even when watching someone on TV, your body tells you when someone is lying, you sense it in your gut. Listen to that little voice and trust your intuition. Learn to read other people and see beyond their words to what their body language, from posture, to fiddling, to facial expressions, is telling you. Learn what eyes are telling you without ever uttering a word and understand the difference between occasions when someone looks you in the eyes and those times when they are unwilling to meet your eyes. Identify what it means when a smile never reaches the eyes, because when that happens, the smile isn’t coming from anywhere trustworthy.

We live in a troubled and deeply divided time. It’s the age of He Said, She Said, and #MeToo, when major newspapers track politicians’ failure to speak the truth with daily scores. At the same time, the media we depend on for the truth and the institutions we’ve always relied upon to protect it, are now under attack.

What’s critical to understand is that today, more than ever, given the political environment where lying has been weaponized in high places, we must look beyond politics to understand the effect of lies and the war on truth upon us as human beings.

Whatever your politics, I’ll leave you with something that is accessible, positive, and hopeful:

The wisest and healthiest course is to rise above and rediscover the importance and healing power of truth in your personal life, so that you send out a ripple of truthfulness to all those around you. You can prove that “truth heals” and start a revolution.

Sound Healing Methods

Sound Healing Methods: 7 Ways to Raise Your Vibration

Sound Healing Methods

Sound is one of the most powerful healing modalities in energy medicine; not only does it have the capability to help you reach your core frequency, but it also connects you to your higher energies (and, thus, Source). One of the best things about the many different sound healing methods available is that you don’t need to be a natural musician or have special training — all you need is your voice and a few basics about sound therapy. The key to using sound successfully is finding the particular technique that will help you achieve your healing goals.

If you were to ask 20 different people to describe the concept of sound, you’ll likely receive 20 very different answers. For example, someone who enjoys going to live rock and roll music performances may describe the emotional side of sound because of a musician(s) ability to communicate strong feelings with the audience by singing a verse or playing a guitar riff; another person may enjoy live music and find it emotionally powerful, but describe sound it in a completely different manner as they prefer the sweet sound of a violin playing a classical concerto to a Fender Stratocaster.

Despite being extremely subjective, the healing capabilities of sound are universal. Sound not only helps you relax (and therefore decreases your stress levels), but it also can move through any energetic blockages you may be experiencing — including some physical blockages! If you, or someone you know, has ever tried to pass a kidney stone you are aware that it is an extremely painful ordeal (I’ve heard women say it makes childbirth feel like a walk in the park). When the stone is too large to be passed out of the body, doctors utilize a procedure called lithotripsy that uses sound waves to literally shatter the kidney stone into smaller pieces that can then be passed more easily.

While the application of sound in modern medical procedures is groundbreaking, we often forget about the tried-and-true ancient sound healing wisdom that our ancestors have been using for thousands of years. After all, the ultimate goal of sound healing is to reach a place of oneness, where pain and darkness are absent and there are only peace and love. Before I dive into the exciting world of sound therapy and the many different methods you can use to heal, it’s important that you experiment with each method (even if you are drawn to one particular practice over another); just like sound itself is subjective, each of these healing methods have individual strengths that you may find useful in different situations.

Sound healing techniques and exercises to help you fine-tune your vibrational frequency:

1. Achieve Balance with Voice Toning Exercises

voice toning exercises

Your own voice is a powerful healing tool for shifting your mental, emotional, and spiritual processes. Toning is the sound of your vibrating breath—a sustained single tone, with no words, no melody or harmony, and no rhythm. It often uses the sound of Om, which is said to be the very first vibration that became sound. It represents the union of body, mind, and spirit all in one. The “oh” part of Om vibrates at the level of your solar plexus chakra, thus helping you resolve issues around your identity and purpose, while also boosting your self-confidence. The “mm” part of Om is like humming with your lips closed and is the most powerful sound for bringing you into harmony with Source.

Try it now.

Ommmm…

Incorporating toning into your sound healing toolkit will help you breathe more deeply, giving your body and organs more oxygen, and opening your energy flow — so you stay healthy and can live a long, peaceful life. When you do this toning exercise (or sing or chant), it doesn’t just help you — the sound frequencies that pass through your lips go out into the world and lift up your family, friends, coworkers, and all of humanity! In addition to practicing your toning techniques solo, you may consider joining (or forming) a healing circle. If you have a copy of my book, Heal Yourself — Heal the World, I cover healing circles starting on page 223.

If you don’t have a copy yet, it’s available on Amazon >>

2. Connect with Source by Chanting

chanting

Chanting is the rhythmic singing of sounds or words, and it is commonly used as a spiritual practice. While certain types of chanting can be highly complex (such as the great responsorial and offertories of Gregorian chant in the Catholic tradition), it can also be straightforward (as kirtan from India). There are chants in African, Hawaiian, and Native American cultures as well as Vedic chants, Qur’an readings, Baha’i chants, Buddhist chants, chanting mantras, and psalms or prayers in Christian churches.

Kirtan — which is call-and-response chanting — is part of India’s devotional tradition called bhakti. The names of God or mantras are chanted to the accompaniment of the harmonium, tablas and other drums, and hand cymbals. It was Paramahansa Yogananda who originally introduced kirtan to the West in April 1926 — to a group of over three thousand people who joined together at New York City’s Carnegie Hall to chant Guru Nanak’s “O’ God Beautiful” together.

Yogananda wrote, “Sound or vibration is the most powerful force in the universe. Music is a divine art, to be used not only for pleasure but also as a path to God-realization. Vibrations resulting from devotional singing lead to attunement with the Cosmic Vibration or the Word.”

Many people feel silly or embarrassed when chanting, but I hope you’ll give it a try at least once and see if it’s the right sound healing method for you. After all, you don’t need to have Meaghan Trainor’s voice to belt out her latest hit song when you’re driving to the grocery store, so don’t hold back when it comes to chanting!

3. Chakra Sound Frequencies for Healing

Chakra Healing Sounds

Consistent sounds, especially pure vowel sounds, relate directly to the unwavering energy of Source. A mantra is a word or a phrase that is repeated frequently.

For example, if you kept repeating the seed syllable of Om, you would be doing a mantra. When you are repeating a syllable, word, or phrase, you “hear” its sound and sustain that sound silently in your head. The mantra vibrates throughout your body, mind, and emotions. Repeating a mantra can help you cope with post-traumatic stress disorder, help you chill out if you’re in a traffic jam, and accompany you on hikes or during your time at the gym. If you don’t already have a personal mantra for use in meditation, consider enrolling in my Learn to Meditate course and I’ll give you your own personal mantra to use in your sound healing exercises.

While mantras work on your whole being, sound healing for the chakras is called chakra tuning. Ancient Egyptian priests used vowel sounds to resonate with chakras, while Aboriginals from Australia and shamans in Native American traditions use toning and repetitive sounds in ceremonies to correct imbalances in the human energy field.

From a physical perspective, the simple act of chanting “om” or “aum” actually causes the release of melatonin, endorphins, and nitric oxide, relaxing your blood vessels, reducing your heart rate, and slowing your breathing. The result? A calmer, more relaxed you, courtesy of sound!

4. Sound Healing Instrument: Singing Bowls

singing bowls healing

There are two main types of singing bowls: Tibetan singing bowls (good ones are made of bell-metal bronze, a combination of copper and tin, while cheap ones are brass and have lots of impurities) and crystal bowls made of quartz crystal. Tibetan bowls are most frequently used to sound a tone at the beginning and end of a meditation session. The sound of these bowls brings a deep sense of relaxation and opens your chakras. Singing bowls were traditionally used in Asia, and the history of making sound with bronze bowls may even go back thousands of years to the Bronze Age.

You produce sound from the bowls by using a mallet moved around the outer side of the bowl’s rim, much the same way as when you run a wet finger around the rim of a glass to make it sing. The sides and rim vibrate, creating a sound that has a basic frequency and several harmonic overtones. The sound waves released by both types of singing bowls emit a pure radiant sound that reaches up to the Divine. These pure tones create a vibrational sound field that resonates with and reharmonizes the chakras and the parts of the body associated with those chakras.

Healing through sound combined with the power of crystal possibly goes as far back as the legendary land of Atlantis. Even today crystal singing bowls are sometimes referred to as Atlantean bowls. Crystal magnifies and transmits pure tone. It’s one of the reasons quartz crystal is an integral part of telecommunications.

Crystal bowls are similar to robust radio transmitters, sending energy out into the atmosphere. The pure tones can activate the brain waves that send you into an advanced state of consciousness and can affect different areas of the brain, releasing hormones and neurochemicals that can lessen pain, overcome addictive tendencies, boost willpower, and pump up creativity.

You can find singing bowls on Etsy, certain bookstores, or health and wellness boutiques (including some yoga studios).

5. The Healing Sounds of Tingsha

Tibetan Tingsha Cymbals

Tingsha is a type of cymbal used in Tibetan Buddhist prayers and rituals. In some rituals, the cymbals are used to summon the “hungry ghosts” so they can be “fed” vibrationally. Hungry ghosts are not generic ghosts, like the spirit of your dead Aunt Millie, but ravenous spirit beings with tiny mouths and enormous bellies who represent those with emotional needs that have not been met. Old legends say that hungry ghosts were greedy women in previous lifetimes who never gave away any food. Calling the hungry ghosts and then offering them food, incense, or even a prayer lessens their suffering. In the bodhisattva tradition, enlightenment is only possible after all suffering has been eliminated for all beings.

Shamans use tingsha to clear the environment of any negative or disturbing energies and to bring auric fields into harmony. They are used in meditation and sound healing in much the same way as singing bowls. Generally, tingsha cymbals awaken and initiate healing on all levels and are said to generate an opening in physical, mental, and spiritual reality.

To produce a clear, harmonic sound, suspend each cymbal by its cord, holding it firmly where the string enters the hole on each tingsha. Strike the edges of the tingsha together, usually once, by angling one cymbal at about 90 degrees to the other. Let the tingsha sound until they become silent. You can find tingsha cymbals online, and you can see how to play or listen to their healing sounds on YouTube.

6. Sound Healing Instrument: Tuning Forks

Tuning Fork Sound Healing

You may think of the tuning forks that are used to tune a piano, but there other types of tuning forks that can tune your body. All your organs, glands, and cells vibrate at their own specific frequencies, and these frequencies correspond with musical notes. There are twelve keynotes in the human body, and all the parts of If your heart is healthy, it will vibrate at the note of F.

If you think of your body as an orchestra, your various body parts are all musical instruments playing at their own frequency or pitch. If you are healthy, your body will play a harmonious tune. If your body parts are discordant, you can use certain tuning forks to bring your body into alignment. When the right tuning fork is put near the organ or the chakra that is not in harmony, the sound waves will raise the vibration or pitch of that area. Tuning forks clear energetic blockages in the meridians in a similar way to acupuncture.

There are many different types of tuning forks. Classical tuning forks, the ones you’d use to tune your piano, are based on a piano’s chromatic scale. Then there are custom-made tuning forks that correspond with the twelve major organs in traditional Chinese medicine, as French musician and acupuncturist Fabien Maman, called the father of vibrational sound healing, discovered in the 1970s. He found that the pitch and timbre of musical notes had the ability to affect a cell’s shape, color, and energy. If you can tune in to the “fundamental note” of the cell, your energy field will come into harmony.

Certain tuning forks are tuned to the frequencies and musical intervals of heavenly bodies—the sun, the moon, and the planets. Other tuning forks address specific ailments and illnesses. Some tuning forks make a high-pitched delicate sound that can open you up to the angelic kingdom. Chakra tuning forks are a set of seven forks tuned to the frequencies of the seven chakras. Standard tuning forks are used for toning, releasing energy blockages, and clearing chakras or auras. Weighted tuning forks have a much stronger vibration and stay at their frequency for a longer period of time, so it is easier to feel their vibration. They work well for acupuncture-type treatments and muscle relaxation, and can provide immediate pain relief.

A very simple way of using a tuning fork is to strike it, which sends out strong vibrations through the air, and place it near the part of the body you want to heal or in the area of the chakra to energize it. Tuning forks can help provide a deep relaxation and relief from stress, promote mental clarity and concentration, increase physical energy, integrate the left and right brain, and bring the nervous system into balance.

7. Healing Rhythms and Drumming Therapy Exercises

drumming therapy exercises

One of the oldest methods of sound healing is shamanic drumming, which a shaman can use to facilitate communication between a patient and the spirit world. Drumming is also a shamanic technique for journeying, shape-shifting, and divination. The shaman listens intently to find just the right sound and uses certain repetitive rhythms to summon forth the guiding spirits.

The Greek definition of rhythm is “to flow.” Various rhythms convey different meanings, while volume and tempo affect the emotional body. The sound and rhythm of the drum create the bridge that allows you to flow into the world of spirit. Before a ceremony or ritual, the shaman will hold the drumhead over a fire, heating it until the drum is at the pitch the shaman wants to use.

The sound waves coming from the drum energize the systems of body, mind, and spirit and make them vibrate in harmony.

Drumming has been shown in studies to have a positive effect on those with Alzheimer’s disease, depression, cancer, stress, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as those with chronic pain.10 For example, neurologist Barry Bittman’s study on group drumming therapy showed it could increase cancer-killing cells in the body. Psychologist Robin Dunbar at the University of Oxford showed that drumming could release endorphins and decrease pain. Drumming can treat anxiety and stress, sleep issues, fatigue, high blood pressure, chronic pain, emotional disorders, and much more, as well as boost the immune system and deepen self-awareness. Drumming allows us to resonate with the natural rhythms of life.

Of course, other instruments can also be used for sound healing. There’s a very old, amusing story about using an instrument to find your perfect note, and it goes like this: In a faraway country, a man played all day on a musical instrument. This instrument had many strings, but he just sat and plucked one string over and over again. His wife said, “Dear, you have this wonderful instrument, yet all you do is play that one string over and over. All your friends have this same instrument, but they play all the strings and create beautiful melodies and songs. Why do you play only that one note?” The man smiled at his dear wife. He said, “Thank you for bringing that to my attention, and here is your answer: the others are busily searching to find their note, but I have already found mine.”

Sound Healing Methods

Learn more about sound healing

If you’re interested in taking your sound healing technique to the next level, enroll in the Sound of Healing workshop today.

Taught by New York Times bestseller Deborah King, the Sound of Healing is a 10-part, on-demand, self-study, go-at-your-own-pace video workshop in which you’ll learn new sound therapy methods that you can use to heal yourself or others. From understanding seed sounds for each chakra to witnessing and following along with a hands-on-healing session, this sound healing certification course will show you how to create harmony — body, mind, and soul.

Healthy Cats

Raising an Energetically Healthy Pet

When you aim energy healing in the direction of your loving pets, much of that healing mojo will come right back to you. All you have to do is show a little love for an animal by merely petting it on the head and it will automatically produce a hormone in you that activates your nurturing abilities. And this is just the tip of the iceberg—innumerable studies are now being conducted on the powerful connection between owners and their pets.

You’d be amazed to learn at how much making a conscious effort to heal and connect with your pets will benefit you in return.

Healthy Pets
Healthy Cats
Healthy horses

An example of how helping a pet can heal you: Elizabeth and Miracle Millie

A student of mine (who I’ll call Elizabeth) recently shared a story with me that demonstrates how animals and people can have powerful healing impacts on each other, both physically and emotionally. A few years ago, Elizabeth’s’ world was turned upside down when she suddenly lost her job. In addition to the devastating blow to her confidence and self-esteem, Elizabeth immediately lost her health insurance and was unable to continue working with the therapist who had been treating her for the debilitating anxiety and depression she had struggled with since childhood.

It didn’t take Elizabeth long to retreat to the dark places of her mind: she was spending days in bed, ignoring texts from concerned friends, and phone calls from family asking her to come visit so she could rest and reset in a safe environment.

One week after Elizabeth’s life shattered, she was scrolling mindlessly through Facebook on her phone from bed. Suddenly, she stopped at a post from an animal rescue organization about a disabled dachshund in need of a foster home. The rescue called her “Miracle Millie” because they didn’t think she would survive the night; a staff member at Animal Care and Control had found Millie in a cardboard box outside of the employee entrance to the shelter. In addition to surviving the severe August heat, the on-duty vet recognized symptoms that pointed to poisoning. Upon further evaluating Millie, the doctor realized that she had “gone down” and likely had IVDD (a common—but devastating and lifelong—back disease in dachshunds). We’ll never know the exact events that took place to Millie arriving at Animal Care and Control, but most likely whoever had Millie before she arrived at the shelter didn’t want to deal with a dog that couldn’t use their back legs, so they poisoned her. When Millie didn’t die, they left her outside the shelter.

By the grace of higher powers, the dachshund rescue group that Elizabeth followed on Facebook pulled Millie from the shelter and got her into an animal hospital nearby. Over the course of weeks, Millie made an amazing recovery and—on that one day when Elizabeth was on Facebook—needed a foster home where she could gain back her strength, put on the weight she had lost, and begin to trust again.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Millie made an amazing recovery, and on the day she was scheduled to be released to a foster home, Elizabeth checked out the shelter’s Facebook page, and the rest is history. She took Millie and for a month, they kept each other company on the couch…each healing in their own way: Millie from her physical trauma (Elizabeth assisted her in eating, drinking, and physical therapy exercises designed to build up her back muscles again) and Elizabeth from her job loss that compounded her depression and anxiety (Millie sat there right next to Elizabeth while she responded to job post after job post, listened to recruiters wax and wane about their wonderful client…only to never be heard from again, and gave her the extra confidence she needed when a hiring manager wanted to talk on the phone).

The story of Elizabeth and Miracle Millie has a happy ending: Elizabeth landed a job that was a step up from her previous one and Millie now lives in the countryside with a newly retired couple who are avid sports fans (and spend a lot of time hanging out on the couch together). When you hear Elizabeth speak of Millie, she doesn’t consider it an act of charity or a “nice thing” that she did for an animal in need—rather, she speaks of how Millie saved her. Millie gave Elizabeth a reason to get out of bed each morning and helped her work through what could have been a much more difficult time.

Any pet lover will immediately understand the bond between Elizabeth and Millie. As someone who has worked with both people and pets, I can attest to the shared and exchanged energy between both parties. And as a pet owner, you want to keep that energy healthy, happy, and balanced all around—so you both are able to thrive and live your best lives.

how pets heal us
Millie's preferred activity: snoozin' next to Elizabeth on the couch.
pets and healing
Elizabeth helping Millie at a physical therapy session.

Ways to care for your pets that keep you both feeling good:

Feed your pets natural foods

Animals are as sensitive as humans to the unnatural additives, colorings, and preservatives that are used in many brands of commercial pet food. They may be allergic to some of these harmful chemicals, which could lead to behavior problems, excess weight gain, or dental issues. Holistic vets recommend natural diets, like raw foods, for cats and dogs.

Give your pets pure water

If your pets are not drinking enough pure water, it will affect both their health and their energy field. The smell or taste of tap water may not be appealing to them, so try filtered water or still (non-bubbly) mineral water. Beef broth or other meat broths, which you can cool down for them, are another way to get your pets to drink more.

Let the sun shine on your pets

Pets need sunshine for health as much as we do. They need to go outside for at least an hour a day to prevent depression, lethargy, and illness. Full-spectrum lighting has been used to prolong the lives of hamsters with heart disease. Keep both you and your pet healthy by going outdoors in the sunshine for a walk. If you have indoor pets, make sure they can access a place in the sun by a window.

Be a friend to your pets

Just like us, pets need companionship. Animals get lonely, so they love being around people and sometimes even other pets. I actually got a mini—a small horse—to keep my big horse, Influence, company when his pet goat passed on. Some pets, such as rabbits, gerbils, birds, fish, guinea pigs, and even rats, do best in same-sex pairs. Hamsters, on the other hand, are happiest by themselves in their own little world. Some pets, like llamas, will really become despondent if they don’t have the companionship of another llama; you’ll want to be informed about their needs before you choose an exotic pet.

Give your pet(s) space

All pets need lots of room to move around easily. We cannot imprison our pets in cages, pens, or runs that are too small. However, some dogs feel safest in a “den,” like a crate or kennel for sleeping. Listen to your animal’s needs and act accordingly.

energy healing for dogs

heal yourself heal the worldLearn more about energy healing for pets

Pets have always been an important part of my life and I have experienced their amazing healing capabilities firsthand. So, when I started working with Simon & Schuster on my latest book, Heal Yourself—Heal the World, I planned for an entire section of it to be dedicated to energy healing for pets.

As an energy healer (and animal lover), I’ve spent many years studying and practicing a variety of mindfulness methods and healing techniques specifically for animals. This helped me to be there when any of my own loving animal companions were in pain and in need of my healing hands. In Heal Yourself—Heal the World, I share these methods with you so you can be equipped for any animal that might live with you (or come through the doors of your new practice as an energy healer).

energy healing for cats

You may also like:

Celebrating Pets! What we can learn from their intelligence, abilities, and healing powers.

Celebrating Pets! What we can learn from their intelligence, abilities, and healing powers.

Real World Animal Farm (Pigs Still Get The Best Of It)

Real World Animal Farm (Pigs Still Get The Best Of It)

The Royal Meow

A German Shepherd, a Doberman, and a cat have died. All three are face to face with God, who wants to know what they believe in. The German shepherd says: “I believe in discipline, training, and loyalty to my master.” “Good,” says God, “then sit down on my right side. Doberman, what do you believe [...]

Truth-Roy-Moore

The Truth About Truth

Roy Moore and the Weaponization of the Lie

Roy Moore got me thinking about this, but that was only the beginning, not the end. Truth, or what each of us as individuals believes the truth to be, goes beyond politics, religion, pretty much everything.

Independent of your point of view or agenda, truth today is under assault. The impact is seen in the heated, passionate and all too often irrational debate on sexual harassment, health care, tax reform, North Korea, and Roy Moore.

Today, such monumentally important topics are all bound by an association that is at once awkward and uncomfortable. It summons conversation few are willing or prepared to have because the topic is Truth in the largest context of all: Does it matter anymore?

You may remember what George Costanza told Jerry Seinfeld back in the day:

Remember, Jerry. It’s not a lie if you believe it.

Who could have imagined the King of Angst would be so incredibly prescient?

Only now, the Truth hurts but this time not in a playful, comedic way. It’s personal.

Alternative truth, like alternative facts, undermines our confidence in our ideas, our values, our leaders, our institutions, our future, even in ourselves.
If truth can become a malleable discretionary possession, where does that leave us?

Last week on TV I watched as an older female voter in Alabama was asked if given Judge Roy Moore’s burgeoning stable of accusers, she could still support him.
She answered, Yes, emphatically, and the reporter pressed on, asking the question that had to be asked. Was it because she didn’t believe the accusers, or did what they say just not matter?

The woman didn’t hesitate. She didn’t believe them. She believed it was all made-up, a passel of lies. Whether she wore blinders or rose-colored glasses, you’ve seen this before. What’s different today is how the context and pervasive nature continues to evolve.

Bigger, bolder and scarier because it’s so commonplace. The new reality is Fake News from Fake Media delivering Fake Truth.

A big chunk of the public seems more than okay with this, while the rest of us don’t know what to do about it. Truth is no longer known and defined but highjacked and become the stuff of political alchemy.

Truth twisted, subverted and leveraged, as needed, and on-demand.

How did it come to this?

It’s in our very nature but that fact should alarm more than comfort.

Children, when caught by their parents, instinctively know their best defense is Deny, Deny, Deny. This recalls the Sales Rule of 3’s; that timeless axiom that vendors of every product or service know as a path to a successful sale.

  1. Tell ‘em.
  2. Tell ‘em, again.
  3. Tell ‘em what you told ‘em one more time.

Such repetition is also frighteningly effective with a darker purpose.

It’s simply this:

  • Say something three times and many people will believe it’s true.
  • Say it ten times and many of them will think it’s their own idea.

Bringing us back to the Honorable Roy Moore. This troubled and disgraced judge, assailed by teenage accusers, notorious for spewing ideas that scared people on both sides of the aisle, who had to be watched at high school football games because he hung around young cheerleaders, knows just how to handle it. He denies, denies, denies.

Roy says he didn’t do it, he denies everything. Alabama voters soon will decide if they believe him and give him a pass, or looking beyond politics, hold him morally accountable.

The new normal can’t be that something is true because the speaker believes it to be true, or thinks it ought ¬to be. That’s not good enough. That sells everyone short.

Because truth is what simply is. When truth is under siege, the lynchpins of society become precariously unmoored. Red or blue, young or old, rich or poor, black or white, immigrants or Mayflower descendants, there are pronounced consequences for all of us when the truth is abused and misused.

My first book, Truth Heals, (no irony there) addressed sexual harassment; I’ve long advocated zero-tolerance for it. Yet, I also believe in the power of forgiveness and second chances, but with a caveat: forgiveness that is earned by taking ownership for behavior, learning from past mistakes, and accepting the empirical truth about truth.

That truth does matter.

Because truth must matter.

For all us, from individuals and private citizens to public servants and world leaders.

One standard for all because the truth is the truth and a lie should not be weaponized.

Obliterating the truth can’t be allowed to excuse a serial child molester like Roy Moore. A man with a history of perverse behavior so widely known that as an Alabama District Attorney he was banned from the mall.

By any measure, that takes some doing.

Truth should be revered, respected and protected at all costs.

Because in the end, the truth is all we have.

Worldwide Healing Day

Worldwide Healing Day

Worldwide Healing Day

Mother Earth is ill, and she is approaching a breaking point. She has been extremely kind, nurturing, and merciful to her inhabitants: she has given us nutrition through her fertile grounds, quenched our thirst with cool water from her rivers and springs, and provided shelter in her forests and caves. Somewhere along the way, we lost the vision of her benevolence and began to treat her as our prey rather than as our respected and honored parent.

First came the dig economy: the reckless extraction of resources from the earth, which enabled a small number of countries, corporations, and c-suite executives to amass great wealth while leaving the majority of earth’s inhabitants in poverty and causing permanent damage to the environment.1 After years of abuse, Mother Earth is simply doing what she must to survive, which is to remove our ever-expanding population from the equation.

Just as we greedily take raw materials from the earth without considering the impact on future generations, we also apply the same philosophy to the gig economy: paying workers as little as possible with little or no benefits, and when the inevitable happens, cutting them loose and moving on to the next warm body. Is it really any surprise that violence, hate, and fear permeate every aspect of our society? And fear begets terrorism—from the mass shootings in the United States to the brutal killings by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

For too long we have been treating the earth and all living beings as resources that can be thrown away once their purpose is served. Right now, we have the opportunity to join together and make a vital decision about our collective future: change our greed-based ways or be changed by the consequences: floods, caused by rising sea levels and extreme weather, sweep away entire cities; storms of epic size and strength decimate entire regions; uncontrollable fires leave behind ashes and death; and droughts make water, the basis of life, hard to come by.

Religions around the world have shown how integral water is to us: Native American oral traditions reference a flood that cleansed the Earth and re-purified it, just like the account of Noah and the Ark in the Christian Bible. Ritual washing for purification is used in all three Abrahamic religions, as well as in the dharmic traditions of the East and in the Pagan and Earth religions.

When I began to think about Worldwide Healing Day, over three years ago, the world was on a very different trajectory. Yes, we were leaning towards the edge, but we still had hope: major emission offenders were beginning to be held accountable; science provided facts about climate change that were not ignored or disbelieved; immigrants worked openly and embraced the American Dream; when catastrophe struck, communities banded together and governments provided aid. Fast forward three years and we are living in frightening times; it has become impossible to detangle one crisis from the next. Climate and cultural crises have overwhelmed our empathic ability to give and receive compassion and love.

There is a silver lining—a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build anew a society based on caring for the health and well-being of the planet and one another. When we integrate our knowledge of what must be done with what we are experiencing in these ongoing natural disasters, wisdom emerges. When you share your wisdom in conversation with others, it acts as a catalyst for them to go out into the world and become part of the solution.

Mother Teresa once said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” So many movements have been built around the concept that global change must start locally, with each one of us. If you are feeling lost and alone, Worldwide Healing Day will help you resolve your personal turmoil and find your way again. If you’re already involved in the process of healing and have started to absorb the spiritual teaching of “heal yourself/heal the world,” join us for Worldwide Healing Day. Connect your bright light to that of others to create a superstorm of healing and love.

Sign up for Worldwide Healing Day >>

About Worldwide Healing Day

Worldwide Healing Day is an annual event led by NY Times best-seller and Spiritual Teacher Deborah King. Every year on October 21st, people from around the globe will unite as one to collectively focus their intentions and create a unified field of healing energy. Each individual healing thought is magnified by the thousands of other simultaneous intentions, creating a vortex of love and compassion that helps us heal ourselves and the world.

Heal Yourself – Heal the World

Deborah conceptualized Worldwide Healing Day while writing her fourth book, Heal Yourself—Heal the World and she dedicates an entire chapter to this special day. Go on an energy journey of a lifetime withHeal Yourself—Heal the World and embracing your inner healing powers. Deborah explains how your energy shifts and expresses itself through your chakras and shows you that you really do have the power to heal. Filled with meditations and profound techniques, it’s a do-it-yourself guide to healing yourself and to sharing your newfound skills with others, including your pets. Along the way, you’ll meet your spiritual guides, learn about meditation and mind/body types (a handy tool indeed), and understand how to stay healthy and in love with your life. Get your copy >>

Citations:

  1. The concept of “Gig and Dig Economies” is from a speech by Naomi Klein, a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker. Her 2014 book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, was a NY Times best-seller.
animal energy healing courses

Communicate with Your Pets through Energy Healing

animal energy healing coursesI love animals with all my heart, and I know many of you share this same deep passion.

At any given time, I have had a menagerie of pets at home in all sizes and shapes.

When my husband, Eric and I lived near Lake Tahoe, we eventually found our way to a great piece of ranch property in the mountains that was perfect for raising animals. The place was like Noah’s Ark, complete with llamas, a playful pig, Mr. Goat (who traipsed along freely when my beloved horse, Influence, and I went riding up the steep mountain trails), peacocks, Bessie the cow, plenty of chickens pecking their way around the barn, and even a pond of fish. These animals were some of my finest teachers; they taught me so much about how to listen to what they had to say below the level of human speech, how to lovingly treat those we live with, and how to heal with touch, and later, with intentionality.

There are no shortage of health benefits that come with pet parenthood. From elevated serotonin and dopamine levels to lower blood pressure, the medical community agrees: your pet is always actively healing you. In fact, animal therapy has become so popular that it is now regularly used in hospitals, children’s recovery centers, and long-term care facilities for the elderly.

When you open your home to an animal, be it a teacup poodle or a tortoise, you realize how receptive they are to energy. Although invisible to the naked eye, your energy field blends with the energy field of others, including that of your pet.

People that struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health diseases understand the role that a pet can play in alleviating disabling symptoms so that healing at a deeper level can take place. Conversely, when you heal your own energy system, you are also caring for the energy field of your furbaby. In fact, clearing and balancing your own energy system positively impacts your pets. Your pet is always actively healing you. Especially your cat!  You can do the same thing for them!

As an energy healer, I spent many years studying and practicing a variety of methods and techniques specifically for animals. This helped me to be there when any of my own loving animal companions were in pain and in need of my healing hands. Below, I’d like to share a few of these methods so you can be equipped for any animal that might live with you or come through your doors as a practitioner. By the way, many of these methods can cross over into the human realm as well.

You may not be able to chat out loud with your animals, like in animated movies, but don’t underestimate an animal’s keen ability to communicate. Animals respond and connect with you in many ways, such as through body language, tone, speech, and appearance. When you listen to your pets, especially in a quiet state, you may receive subtle thoughts, feelings, or images from them. By having a positive, open, and honest state of awareness, and by noting their body language and their expressive faces, it is possible to communicate with them. After all, that’s how animals communicate with each other in nature, by sensing intuitively what is happening in their environment and with other beings. You can trust that they will be honest with you.

There are four ways you can activate your intuitive power to communicate with your pets:

1. Sending and receiving feelings (clairsentience)

One of the easiest senses to develop when communicating with an animal (or person) is called “clairsentience” (clear sensing); it is a great way of “feeling into” another living being.

To use this communication method, you will tap into the energy centers of your second, third, and fourth chakras. Next, tune into your pet and simply receive the information you need about him. As with everything related to energy, it might take a bit of practice. However, the payoff will be well worth the effort: you will be able to sense what your pet is feeling.

If an animal is in pain, you may even be able to tell where that pain is and what’s causing it. But remember, this is intuition, not an expert medical diagnosis. Always bring your pet to the vet to verify what’s going on and to be advised if medical treatment is recommended.

2. Sending and receiving through the auditory channel (clairaudience)

In the same manner that you use clairsentience, you can also send thoughts mentally to your pet – and receive them back. We call this method “clairaudience” (clear hearing) because you can hear words and phrases from your pet in your mind.

By listening and being in-tune with the vibrations of your pet, you’ll be able to hear them loud and clear.

Recently, a student of mine (Ellen) was telling me about a health scare her beloved standard poodle went through. One day, Ellen noticed that Joujou (French for “toy” and “play”…because that’s all he ever wanted to do) was a little off; he was still energetic, but she felt that Joujou was telling her something wasn’t right – because she kept hearing the words “stomach”– and she immediately took him to the vet. It’s very good she listened because Joujou had a twisted stomach (a breed-specific problem that can strike dogs with big narrow chests, like standard poodles and German shepherds) and had to have emergency surgery.

While Ellen was using clairaudience, she did not understand what drove her to act that day. She was worried her reaction was simply a freak accident…what if something like this happened again and she did not recognize it?

To demonstrate the power of clairaudience, I told her about how I would always hear my horse, Influence, tell me when he needed to stop and take a break from the hot weather on rides through the desert. Your pet is always speaking – be sure to listen!

3. Sending and receiving visual images (clairvoyance)

When you can send and receive mental pictures and images between you and your pet, this type of communication is called “clairvoyance” (clear sight). This type of communication is extremely helpful when you are physically separated from your pet and searching for them. Tune in deep within your energy field and you’ll be able to “see” the approximate area to which your pet has wandered.

Clairvoyance is also helpful if you adopted your pet and want to discover what happened to them in the past. All you have to do is establish a connection and ask this pet to show you images of previous experiences. When using clairvoyance, remember to go beyond the scope of logic as you process the information. Also, keep in mind that sometimes the images you receive are symbolic.

It’s important to remember, especially when a pet had a different owner prior to you, that the things you see may be upsetting. Sadly, just as people abuse other people, they also abuse animals. If you do discover your pet has past trauma, it is 100% within your power to help them heal. I dedicate an entire chapter to healing your pets in my book Heal Yourself – Heal the World.

4. Knowings

As your eighth and higher chakras open, you may find that you begin to receive information that is commonly referred to as “knowings.” With this ability, you can immediately receive the information you need to help your pet. However, for now, assume that this isn’t the channel you are working on, as it’s more likely that you are receiving information from a pet or a person in one of the three ways described above.

If you think you’re receiving knowings, be suspicious that the information is instead coming from your personality; if it is, that information is not coming from a place of trustworthiness and should be questioned. I often find that newer practitioners incorrectly believe they are receiving knowings, when it’s actually their personality doing the speaking.

But for future reference, when you have been initiated to above the third initiatory level (which is pretty high), you may well begin to receive knowings. This is the method that I use the most in obtaining information. In this case, the information simply flows into your mind without you even asking for it, and you are given all the information you need to help that pet or person.

Which method you start using with your pets depends on your individual intuitive power. If you’re one of the 40 percent who are kinesthetic learners and do best when you’re “hands on” and can feel or sense information, then you’ll use clairsentience. If you are one of the 20 percent who prefer processing information by hearing it, clairaudience will be the way to go. If you are one of the approximately 40 percent who learn best by seeing, you will most likely lean toward clairvoyance in your communication with your pet. Finally, if you’re in that 1 percent group of people who have knowings, you’ll get the information that way. As you work with your pets and other animals, always remember that each of these beautiful creatures wants to be understood in the same way as humans.

What better reason to develop these intuitive healing skills than to help a pet?

With all that our pets do to keep us happy and healthy, it’s important that we do the same for them whenever we can.

If you’re interested in taking a deeper dive into energy healing for your pet, be sure to join me in my course Energy Healing for Pets and Animals.

hannah

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.

dkc-7.16

Create a Sacred Space for Meditation and Healing

One of the most important parts of meditation is having a space that is sacred. A spiritual sanctuary where you can leave it all behind – email, cell phones, and other outside distractions – is crucial when you are meditating and working to strengthen your connection with the Divine.

Everyone’s sacred spaces are unique and you may find that your preferences change over time. Many of my students enjoy meditating outdoors, retreating to a particularly green area on grassy knoll in the park or a deserted spot at the beach when the sun is shining; others prefer to be indoors, perhaps surrounded by others, and some find tranquility in complete solitude, basking in the silence and security that only one’s true home can provide.

Whether indoors or outdoors, you will find your healing journey is much more meaningful if you have a sacred spot where you can connect with the Divine. Using your sacred space for meditation and yoga, and find the clarity and tranquility you need for your path forward. In my 30+ years of practicing and teaching, I’ve learned that creating a sacred space for meditation doesn’t involve a lot of time or money; in fact, usually the opposite is true: sacred spaces that have minimal distractions will allow you to refocus and realign your energies so that a deeper level of healing can begin.

Designate space for practice

When you are searching for a sacred space for meditation and healing, you should explore a few different places before settling on one. Many of my students find that spare rooms or a nook of a bedroom can easily be transformed into the perfect meditation area with minimal efforts.

Keep in mind that the place you initially choose might change – and that’s okay! As you learn more about what your practice needs (and doesn’t need), you may outgrow your first sacred space. Alternatively, you may discover that your new-found space isn’t giving you the serenity you thought it would.

For example, your daughter is now grown and doesn’t use her childhood room in your house anymore. Since this is the only room in your house that isn’t used regularly, you decide to try it out for your sacred meditation space, despite the fact that it still has many of her childhood toys on the shelves and teenage-angst music posters plastered on the wall. However, even after removing the posters and relocating the My Little Pony collection to the closet, you still find you are unable to focus on your meditation practice: every time you try to connect with Spirit, you are interrupted by a memory that happened in the room.

Your sacred space sets the tone for your entire meditation practice and should encourage you to be fully present in the moment, breathing deeply, loving yourself, and leaning into your faith. If the space you choose doesn’t support you in the ways you need, it’s okay to let it fall away and look for a different area.

Once find a space and designate it as your sacred place, avoid bringing outside distractions near it and you’ll find that your relationship with this wonderful area blossoms and grows.

Make the space yours

When adding features to your sacred space, focus on practicality and comfort. You want to give yourself enough comfort so that you are able mentally to focus on your practice, transcending your physical being. Items such as a yoga mat, meditation cushion, or a blanket are all things you should keep nearby so you don’t have to interrupt or pause your practice to find them. A small clock can also be useful, so you don’t have to get up and check how much time you have left.

While it is important to provide yourself with practical basics needed for comfort, you should be mindful not to go overboard with physical items that may “bring you happiness.” This happiness is earthly and short-term; your meditation practice should be focused on elevating your Spirit in the long-term. Let me explain what I mean.

When pricy yoga pants came into the yoga scene many years ago, many lifelong yogis recoiled at the fact that their practice was being used sell $100 status-symbol pants. Practicing yoga is something that is open to anyone: children to elderly, have to have-nots, physically fit to disabled, and everyone in between. To have a meaningful practice, all you need is your body – you don’t even need shoes (and certainly not status-symbol pants). My point is this: to have a sacred space where you are able to retreat and meditate, you don’t need many physical items around you. After all, they won’t be useful to you in the spiritual realms.

Your sacred space should be minimalist. However, using tools that help you tune into your body via your five senses will help you refine your meditation techniques.

1. Sound

There was a reason you couldn’t focus in your daughter’s room: those Led Zeppelin posters from her high school years still conjure up memories Robert Plant’s voice belting down your hallway when she was supposed to be doing geometry homework. Nobody will deny Plant can sing, but the sounds his music evokes in you are likely very different from that of your daughter (she said it was “peaceful” and “helped her concentrate on studying”).

Save your music for when you are not meditating, as even the most relaxing music, even a wind chime, can inadvertently pull you from the depths of your meditation. Instead, luxuriate in the silence. If there are voices nearby that could interfere, simply turn on the white noise on your phone when you put it on “airplane.”

2. Smell

Aromatherapy and essential oils have many different types of healing properties, both from a physical and spiritual perspective. For example, lavender usually has a calming effect, while lemon energizes.

If you don’t have an oil diffuser, don’t run out and buy one. To get the same effect, simply boil a cup of water and place a few drops of essential oil inside. Bring it with you into your sacred space and you’ll immediately notice the effect it has on your practice.

3. Taste

Your sense of taste is one of your most powerful senses. Moreover, food and drink – the methods by which we stimulate the sense – is closely synced up with our state of mind.

A warm cup of tea will help clear your mind and put you at peace as you begin your practice, while a cool cup of water recharges and resets as you conclude your meditation.

4. Sight

Stones and raw crystals are one way to bring the beauty of the earth into your sacred meditation space. Choose a healing crystal that resonates with you and your intention for your practice. For example, pink tourmaline will bring joy, positivity, and love to your healing ritual. In contrast, black tourmaline will clear your mind of clutter and negativity.

5. Touch

When you are contemplating and setting your intention for your practice, hold the raw crystals or stones you have chosen in the palm of your hand. Observe the texture, weight, size, as you decide the goals you would like to achieve in this session. Then place the stone several feet away from you so that its energy field doesn’t interfere with the expansion of yours.

If you don’t use crystals, you can stimulate your sense of touch in many other ways. Try writing down your intentions for your session on a piece of paper and placing it in front of you. The act of writing down your intention will support you as you move into the meditative quiet.

Creating a sacred space for meditation and healing will keep you centered and on-track to achieve your own goals. Healing is not an easy or quick process, but if you look forward to reconnecting with your Spirit in your sacred space, you are that much closer to moving forward and discovering your true destiny.

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Stuck in neutral?

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Well, I’ve finally gotten around to writing about procrastination. I guess there’s a reason I often repeated Scarlett O’Hara’s words in Gone With The Wind: “I’ll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.” Indeed, we all do it. We put off till tomorrow what we don’t want to face today. It can go on indefinitely. There are, however, consequences to not moving forward in your life, to not embracing change. Emotions get buried deep inside, trouble ensues.

What’s interesting is that procrastination doesn’t come from laziness. Believe it or not, that “lazy bum” who can’t get off the lounge chair in front of the TV has a lot in common with the spiritual seeker who frequently blows off meditation practice. It all comes down to self-love: loving yourself enough to get into gear and do what you know you have to do in order to be the person you want to be.

So how do you start the ball rolling? How do you finally get off the couch and walk into the rest of your life? That’s what I’ve just written about in a blog for The Huffington Post. You can read it and comment there http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-king/what-if-tomorrow-never-co_b_9088122.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS+for+the+Soul.

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Make Friends with Your Journal

Does the word “journaling” give you scary flashbacks to high school English class? Do you see worrisome visions of blank pages, broken pencils, and ticking clocks? Maybe a threatening red pen hovers over your newly-hatched sentences? If you are a reluctant writer who thinks you couldn’t possibly have the time, patience, energy, courage, clarity, or gumption to start a journaling practice, give yourself a hug and think again.

As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I have seen the miraculous benefits of journaling. It can awaken self-awareness and help heal emotional wounds. Journaling is a simple but powerful way to get in touch with your feelings and recover your authentic self. When you give it your honest and heartfelt attention, your journal becomes a safe place to release negative feelings and discover buried truths.

Your journal doesn’t need to be hard work. You are not creating War and Peace, (although you may uncover some battlegrounds from your past). Your journal is not for a grade or for anyone but you. You are simply trying to capture the truth of what you think and feel. The more freely you capture words, the better. Give yourself complete freedom to write.

Be completely truthful in your journal. Say it like it is. If you’re angry, be angry. Write it out uncensored. The point is to be authentic. When you can trust yourself to be truthful on the pages of your journal, you can trust yourself to be truthful in the world. Just watch how your whole body relaxes as you express your truth. The movement of your hand over the paper or keyboard can release toxic energy and make room for healing energy to enter.

Why are so many important truths buried inside, unexpressed and even unknown? Children are often taught by society that feelings are bad and shouldn’t be felt, let alone expressed. Stuffing down emotions is the cultural norm. Yet in order to have a fulfilling life, complete with a healthy body and relationships, you must own your emotions. They are a natural part of you and need to be experienced fully and then let go. To be truly strong and joyful, you have to live in truth. Journal writing helps you do that.

Here are a few guidelines for getting the most out of journaling:

  1. Do it daily. Like brushing your teeth, create a habit that ensures good emotional hygiene. Get the old energy out, and then keep up the practice to prevent new toxins from accumulating.
  2. Use pencil and paper or keyboard and computer; both are equally effective. Your goal is a stream of consciousness, which will come about merely by using your body (your hands) to communicate.
  3. Be honest. Practice rigorous honesty about your feelings no matter what they are. It’s time to honor your emotions and this is the place to do it. Don’t hold anything back.
  4. Don’t edit or judge your writing. You are trying to tap into your deepest feelings, not create a perfect composition. You’re doing something important for your well-being, and that requires letting the thoughts and feelings flow uninterrupted.
  5. Keep your journal safe. Make sure it is tucked away in a secure place so you have the privacy you need to be honest with yourself. To be uninhibited in your journal writing, you need to know that it won’t be subject to the scrutiny of others.
  6. Share only if you want to. If there is a trusted friend, therapist, or other loved one with whom you want to share your writing, by all means do so. Revealing your truth to another person, who then gives you unconditional acceptance, will increase your ability to process out the energy.
  7. Be committed to the truth. Use your journal as a self-healing tool for your personal growth, self-improvement, emotional health, and physical well-being.

The goal is simple: to get to know yourself better. Telling the truth about your life is the first step toward positive change.

Because I believe so strongly in the value of journaling as a component of energy healing, I always include questions for your journal in my weekly newsletter. Use these questions to expand your self-awareness and develop your intuitive power. You’ll soon discover that your journal is a healing friend

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Yoga and Energy Healing: Friends With Benefits

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Nearly everyday, it seems like there is some new health fad or alternative therapy saying they can help you lose weight fast or detox your system in twenty-four hours or make you happy with a pill. These quick-result claims are usually bogus, and are often actually harmful, because the way you heal yourself is not quickly, but sure and steady like the turtle. Your health is not worth risking for a magical overnight cure, and all true, effective, lasting healing takes some time and effort. But if you want to get the most healing bang for your buck, there is one healing practice that has stood the test of time and is the closest thing to a magical cure you will find: energy healing.

Health Is a Balancing Act

The mind-body-spirit connection has been well established by studies and research that illustrate that your system is a balancing act: each aspect of your being—mind, emotions, body, and soul—affects the other aspects directly. Unprocessed emotional trauma can block your chakras, disrupting your energy flow, and those distortions in your chakras can cause physical illness or injury. Spiritual depression, too, can cause physical depression—an experience you may have gone through before finding the right spiritual path—and physical pain can cause spiritual pain or lack of faith.
Think of each element of your being like a support beam in a house. When one beam cracks or fails, the whole building is weakened and becomes more susceptible to additional problems. You are like that house; when your chakras are blocked or your body is ill or any foundational part of you is somehow not functioning properly, it throws the whole structure—you—out of balance, and leaves you open to further harm.

How Many Ways Is Yoga is Good for You?

This is where energy healing can come in and save the day. As an energy healer and spiritual teacher, I introduce my students to many techniques that clear, charge, and balance their chakras and energy field and therefore heal the rest of them: journaling, meditation, being of service, forgiveness, shamanic breath work, Ayurveda, and many more. Today, I’d like to focus on one technique that is nearly as old as energy medicine itself: yoga.
This ancient Indian practice has soared in popularity, with yoga studios everywhere and yoga clothes as their own fashion trend. This spiritual practice is now done by everyone from celebrities to businessmen to schoolchildren, and most people know at least a pose or two. There have been many studies and plenty of evidence to support the wide range of positive results attributed to yoga that it’s now well known for its myriad health benefits.

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Physically, yoga improves flexibility and muscle strength, aids digestion, helps you sleep better, lowers blood pressure, ups your immune function, decreases pain, and even increases sexual performance! Mentally, yoga helps you focus, releases stress, reduces anxiety, and calms your thoughts. Yoga has also been linked to higher self-esteem, amplified inner strength and power, deeper awareness, and more peace. Plus, it can help you tone your body and lose weight. And this is just the tip of the yoga iceberg!

Yoga’s Spiritual Side

At its core, Yoga is a spiritual practice, passed down from yogis who devoted their lives to spiritual pursuits, and “yokes” the body and the soul energetically, just as does the practice of energy healing. Yoga uses movement or postures, called asanas, to revitalize your nervous system, your circulation, and your flow of prana, positively affecting your personal energy field. Yoga also emphasizes the breath, or pranayama, and uses the breath to move prana in and out from your body during the movements. The asanas and breathing are done together in a specific way to soothe and link your body and mind, clear and balance your chakras, and bring you in touch with Source.

Yoga makes a great complement to your energy medicine practice and any of my healing courses. Yoga is not just about stretching your mind and body, but about really connecting to yourself on a deep spiritual level, grounding you to the Earth and your physicality so that you have roots from which to grow your spirituality, and increasing the flow of energy within you. Yoga and energy healing both strive for harmony and balance, clarity of thought and intention, and a deeper understanding of your higher self.

In its own way, yoga is a type of energy healing, so when you practice yoga and energy healing together, the results will multiply exponentially. They’re like friends with benefits, each helping to boost the effectiveness of the other, and working toward the same goal of healing and transforming your entire being.

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4 Reasons to Forgive

Forgiveness is an essential part of healing. When you have suffered a wrong, or even a perceived wrong, the resulting hurt and anger can burrow deep into your heart and energy field and begin to fester. The longer you harbor the resentment and bitterness instead of forgiving the wrong, the higher the chances that those negative feelings will cause discord in your system, creating blocks in your chakras and eventually, physical symptoms and illness. Forgiveness is not easy for anyone. Trust me, I know. It took years of intense personal work through energy healing for me to be able to forgive my father for his abuse, and my mother for her blind eye and cold shoulder. If you have experienced severe betrayal or violence, abandonment or abuse, especially from a trusted family member or caretaker, forgiveness might seem like an impossible feat. It does take courage, but you can do it, and your life will improve a hundred times over once you do.

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Here are just a few of the reasons to practice forgiveness:

1. Forgiveness makes you feel better. Forgiveness takes the power away from the hurt or wrong and helps you to let it go. As long as you hold on to resentment or anger it can manifest in your life as depression, self-blame, guilt, loss of motivation, revenge fantasies, anxiety, and other emotional and mental issues, as well as physical health problems, especially those related to the heart chakra, including asthma, pneumonia, breast or lung cancer. When you forgive, you take a large step forward in healing yourself. Studies suggest that forgiveness improves the function of the immune system, and research has shown that pain levels decrease when patients forgive inner hurts. This is because forgiveness releases the clouds of darkness those negative emotions create in your field and body, and allows for light energy to fill those holes, which charges and energizes your whole being.

2. Forgiveness is not excusing. I want to make sure you understand that forgiveness is not excusing what someone did to you. There are likely very real betrayals and traumas in your life that are not excusable, and you should not have to feel like you need to minimize what happened to you. What forgiveness does entail is letting go of the residual emotions like resentment, anger, hurt, and bitterness that stem from what happened. Forgiving means you stop feeling hostile, that you let go of any need or desire for revenge or retribution. This is not a weakness; quite the opposite, in fact. It takes a ton of strength and courage to forgive, and if you can manage it, it will speed up your spiritual progress as well as set you free.

3. Guilt impedes your healing process. Guilt is a parasitic emotion. It eats at you from the inside, churning your stomach and making you tense, and not doing you any good. The only potential it has is spurring you to own up to your mistakes as best you can and to learn from them. Then you must move on, which includes forgiving yourself. Self-forgiveness is possibly more important than forgiving others, as you have to live with yourself every second of every day. If you are constantly beating yourself up over past mistakes, that blame and anger can cause blockages in your personal energy field. If you don’t forgive yourself, you put yourself at risk. If you already have a health problem like cancer or another disease, you must remember that it is not your fault! You were working with what you knew at that time, and you cannot control pollutants or genetics or abusers. There is nothing to be gained from wishing you could change the past, and self-blame only does further harm. As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I encourage students to learn from the disease and then move on by forgiving yourself and letting it go. It is the only way to heal.

4. Forgiveness is for you, not them. The only person who suffers from a grudge is you. Holding onto the desire for revenge, or any other hostile emotion regarding someone who wronged you, doesn’t actually harm them the way you might want it to. In fact, it backfires, and causes you tremendous damage.

When you forgive, you lift a weight off your chest that you probably didn’t realize you were carrying, but you will feel so much lighter and freer once it’s been removed. When I finally realized one day that after years of journaling, meditating prayer, and energy medicine techniques, I no longer felt any hatred or bitterness toward my parents, it was like I was reborn. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I felt utterly uplifted.You will, too.

If you have tried to forgive and are having trouble releasing your anger or hostility, try journaling about your feelings, which sets them free from your body and energy field and allows for fresh universal energy to fill that space. I also highly recommend you take one of my energy healing courses, which will give you plenty of techniques for processing and releasing your emotions so you can become healthier and happier. Lastly, be patient with yourself. Forgiveness can be very difficult, and can take time. But it is so worth the effort to be able to be free of the chains of guilt and bitterness, and move forward in creating the life you want.

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The Ultimate Mystery

Ancient Celtic gravesite

 

During the weeks I spent helping my 89-year-old mother recover from a bout of pneumonia, I found myself thinking about the way many Americans feel about death. Unlike medical doctors, who see the death of their patients as a personal defeat, I am an energy healer. I know that healing is not the same as curing. We can heal old traumas, rewire our misperceptions and ill-founded beliefs, untie our psychological knots, steep ourselves in gratitude and forgiveness, and yet not recover from diseases that have a firm grip on our physical bodies.

 

Death is inevitable, so why are most people afraid of it?

 

Because they can’t imagine what’s on the other side. All fear basically comes down to a fear of the unknown. And death is the ultimate mystery: uncharted territory, the unrevealed secret, the uncertain future. Personally, as someone who can hear the dead, I am certain that death is not the end. I also know that we are here—in bodies on Earth—to get over our issues, whatever they may be. It was always difficult between my mother and me, so I am working on healing our relationship while we are both still here.

 

To read more, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-king/facing-the-great-unknown_b_4616521.html

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Know Someone Who has a Problem with Pills?

Prescription drug abuse is epidemic, and not just among the rich and famous. Do you know someone who is struggling with an addiction to prescription meds? Could that someone possibly be you? Does your doctor know exactly what you’re taking in prescription meds and herbs and supplements? Pills can interact with each other and someone has to be looking out for those possible interactions.

 

It’s so easy to pop a pill to cure whatever ails us – stress, anxiety, insomnia, aches and pains – but if we’re not careful, that “quick fix” can cause big problems! For example, you can take a sleeping pill and suddenly find yourself driving down the highway in your pj’s and not know how you got there! Worse than that, combining the wrong meds or taking the wrong dosages can be lethal! We’ve lost some wonderful people that way. Don’t let that happen to you or your loved one!

 

Check out my latest blog in the Huffington Post to learn more. While you’re there, do leave a comment to help others who are dealing with this problem. Here’s a chance to become the change you want to see! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-king/prescription-drug-overdose_b_3882396.html