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.


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.


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.


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.


Stuck in neutral?

hard choice

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


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


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.


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.


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!


Connect to Source: Make Prayer Work for You

This week, we celebrate a National Day of Prayer. While you may have an image of getting down on your knees with your hands clasped like the woman in this photo, prayer can take on many various forms that are as equally valid and spiritual as going to church. What makes something a prayer is its ability to carry what we are trying to say at a deep level, but cannot voice directly.

Here are some ideas for ways you can better voice your deepest thoughts and prayers this week and connect to Source:

Read or write a poem.
Reading and writing poetry is a great way to access Spirit and can be a very prayerful experience. I have been a big fan of poetry since I was a teenager and used to listen to old vinyl records of poems like Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods”. Often, poetry can express what you are feeling without having the words to say your feelings out loud. Poems can ground you closer to our Mother Earth and help you connect to Source, all at the same time. Their beauty can lift you to a higher spiritual place.

Get in touch with your artistic inner self.
Doing art as an act of prayer is an embodied, active prayer. If you undertake art with spiritual awareness, it will have a spiritual effect. In this light, creating art is the channel through which an artist’s prayers are manifested. Art as prayer is a conscious connection to the Creator, a true way to connect to Source. So pick up some paper and paints, or even markers, and draw what comes to your mind when you are thinking of your deepest thoughts and wishes.

Listen or create music.
Everyone can get in touch with their inner musical self and create prayer through music, whether it is listening to your favorite songs or singing and chanting your own music. Music can also be used as an introduction to prayer time or to complete the end of prayer. Kirtan chanting is one form of music that can bring you closer to your spiritual self. But even just putting in your favorite CD and listening to beautiful music you love can help you awaken your larger self and your sense of awe, beauty, longing, pain and joy. You can let music act as a vehicle to connect you to Source.

Move yourself into a place of prayer.
Movement itself, whether it is running or doing yoga, dance, pilates, or martial arts, can take you to a higher zone where you feel more connected to Spirit. Movement itself can serve as a form of prayer for you as it can help you transport your feelings and raise your consciousness. Not only will you feel more grounded and healthier in your body itself, but you will be able to put your mind into a place where you can express clearly your innermost thoughts and feelings to your higher Source. Dance especially can lift you and help you express what you are not putting directly into words.

Visit a calming place.
There are places, besides churches, where you are able to feel closer to Spirit and connect to Source through the power of prayer. Often, these are places close to Mother Nature, such as the beach or a park or the mountains. Take a walk and visit one of these places that help put the serenity back into your mind and thoughts and help you feel that closeness with Source. The thoughts and closeness you feel in these places can function as prayer and serve well to lift your soul higher.

Try not to think of prayer as a rigid, rules-based religious obligation. Instead, look at prayer in its most organic and creative light – through poetry, music, dance, and nature. Prayer is a powerful and beautiful tool that can help you achieve your highest consciousness and enlighten your soul, and everyone should feel invited to participate in prayer.

If you would like to become more adept at prayer and learn to coach others to do the same, please click here for information on my enlightening online certification course in the Power of Prayer.


Déjà vu or Past Life?

Have you ever walked into a restaurant that you know you’ve never set foot in before, and felt an intense sensation of familiarity?  Have you ever met someone for the first time, yet felt like you two go way back?  Have you ever been in a fresh conversation with someone and felt like you already experienced this exact conversation before?  Have you ever felt moments in your life that you dismissed as “coincidence”?  Can’t shake that nagging suspicion of “been there, done that”?  Well, maybe your familiar hunches are more than just feelings — maybe you have actually been there and done that!  What if your feelings of déjà vu and coincidence were genuine memories from a distant past, perhaps even from a previous life you experienced?

The term “déjà vu” was coined by French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac.  The literal translation of the French phrase means “already seen.”  Some refer to the expression as experiencing the past in the present.  Common among both children and adults, it is reported that 60-70% of people have experienced this uncanny feeling that they have already experienced something that is being experienced for the first time.  Déjà vu can be triggered through any of your five senses, it is not necessarily just something you physically “see” – it can be a familiar smell, taste, sound (pitch of voice, background noises), or feel/touch of something that triggers a past memory.  Perhaps you are recalling a familiar smell from your childhood that comes rushing back to you, or maybe the sight or mannerisms of someone you are speaking with reminds you very clearly of someone  you once knew and cherished.  While déjà vu has been documented in studies as early as the 1800s, it remains today a paranormal mystery that has not yet been solved.

One theory worth exploring is that this phenomenon is a message from your higher self.  What if your cosmic self is recalling a memory from a previous life?  This moment can be a powerful, miraculous glimpse into your own soul if you are aware enough to notice it.  This experience can help you in your current emotional healing if you are mindful enough to recognize it.  Your soul on the subconscious level may be sending messages to your conscious mind.  These messages may be the very same déjà vu moments you are experiencing.

Too often, we dismiss these signs as ‘coincidences’ and miss their underlying significance.  Yet perhaps their significance is their very synchronicity and feeling of familiarity, which is letting you know that you are exactly where you should be, when you should be, and with whom you should be.  These moments are signs that are telling you that you are on the right ‘path’ for your soul.

At the same time, know that you do not need to act on your past-life déjà vu moments every time you notice them.  You are not obligated to form a bond with someone in this life simply because you may have had a connection in a previous life.  If you are aware enough to notice the connection, then you are already acknowledging your path and can view the knowledge as another window to a higher self.

Each time you notice this paranormal phenomenon, you are thereby increasing your ability to tap into this higher self and higher consciousness.   You will be connecting with your soul on a deeper level. This heightened state of cognizance can help you see your current life more clearly and can help you make the right decisions and changes you need to unblock the challenges that lie in your path.

These moments of déjà vu may very well be your soul sending you clues on how to handle the challenges taking place in your current life.  There is much we can learn from our past, so why not use these glimpses of your past – even past lives perhaps – to increase your understanding, heighten your awareness and learn how to better handle your current challenges?  Pay attention to the signs on the map with which your soul is guiding you!

You may just find a much smoother, more harmonious life in the present, all thanks to these glimpses of déjà vu from your past!


Sticks and Stones: Words DO hurt.


Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

We have all heard this expression as kids.  While this may have seemed like a great tactic to use on the playground in self-defense, words actually CAN and DO hurt.  And the pain caused from them often lingers long past the healing time of any cut or broken bone.  Some words can cause pain that may never go away, or create an “invisible” scar that one carries around their entire life.  The memory of painful words can lead to a lifetime of anxiety, stress, anger, resentment, and fear, among other feelings.

In today’s modern, western society of free thinking and free speech – both wonderful rights which we are blessed to have – we now have the tools to use our words to make an even deeper impact and reach an even broader audience.  On the bright side, we can spread a message of peace, love and tranquility to the world.  We can put kind posts on Facebook walls and support each other from afar.  We can use our words in a supportive, nurturing manner to make someone feel good about themselves.  We have the power to use our words to make others happy.

At the opposite spectrum, we can hurt each other on an even deeper level than ever before, with just our words.  Sadly, many kids today don’t just use mean names on the playground as a form of bullying.  They now use the power of the Internet to post terrible, hateful words they may not have ever even dared to utter in person – words so hurtful and cruel that several kids with bright futures have turned to suicide to escape from them.  The tragedy of cyberbullying has become so widespread that there is now new legislation being drafted to combat it.

Your words can cause harm.

Too often, we may say something without thought.  We may believe what we are saying is right and believe are words will help. In fact, we can still cause damage with our words. 

We may be challenging a person’s way of thinking or actions.  While we may all be speaking the same language, words can be misinterpreted or misread.  Sometimes clarification or further questioning is needed to understand the meaning behind the words. Despite our best intentions, we can still cause pain with our words.


Do you keep track of how many times you say something that can hurt someone else?  Who doesn’t repeat a little bit of gossip here and there?  Whether it’s true or false, we can still cause harm with our words.

Watch what you say, say what you mean, and mean what you say.

We are all inevitably prone to hurting someone with our words, even when it is unintentional.  No one can live their life walking on eggshells every single day – that is just not realistic.  But one choice we can all make is to be aware of what we are saying and its impact on others.  After all, words have started and ended wars.

We can think before we speak and choose words that we actually truly mean to use.  Think about how your words will sound and be interpreted by the recipient.

Silence can be golden.

Ask yourself, do I really mean to say what I am saying, or am I too rushed or careless right now for the right words? Sometimes it’s best to say nothing at all! And ask yourself, are the words you want to speak necessary for someone to hear, or are you suppressing emotions of your own and looking for an outlet to let them out? Are you healing emotional hurt of your own and seeking a place to take it out on someone else?

Think before you speak and know that you do not always have to fill the silence.

Choose words for kindness.

Be the better person, connect to your higher self and make a point to use your words to make others feel good, not bad.

As Blaise Pascal wrote, “Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men’s souls, and a beautiful image it is.”

Choose to be one who makes a beautiful image.


The Price We Pay

Have you ever wondered whether small, constant headaches are the price we pay for living in a hyper-charged, over stimulated society? For me, tension headaches were a daily companion as I went through college and law school. I thought they were par for the course and was a little surprised when I found out that others did not routinely suffer from them.

Women are more likely to develop tension headaches than men quite possibly because we are trained from birth to suppress our feelings. Society rewards us for handling career, family, household, and community responsibilities without missing a beat or feeling exhausted.  But for many of us, it can be a burden—feeling so disconnected between our inner emotional struggles and the outward calm we present to the world. When we hide from the truth, we don’t allow our energy to flow freely in our bodies resulting in ill health in the form of tension headaches.

Here are three things that you can do to find relief from the pain because our fast-paced society is not going to change…only we can:

  • Identify when and how you feel when you experience them. Determining if they are primary headaches (such as migraines) or secondary headaches (caused by other illnesses or triggers) will help you treat them.
  • Honestly, assess the rhythm of your day and determine if stress, food or sleep patterns may be triggering your tension headaches.
  • Mix alternative medicine techniques with any conventional medical treatments that you may be receiving. Our clients have received headache relief from journaling, more regular exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer, massage, and balancing their chakras through energy healing.

7 Tips for Getting a Friend Through a Divorce

When the Dalai Lama says that his religion is kindness, you may think that he’s being a little simplistic. But have you considered what it means to be kind? It means really listening to others, allowing your friends to open their hearts and listening to their problems without judging them, then finding the right response that may lead them gently in a new direction.

 A classic time to be truly kind is when one of your friends is going through a relationship breakup. The end of a relationship is one of the most difficult upheavals many people will ever face. It’s an emotional roller coaster that you would like to help your friend survive, but how do you do that?

 Here are 7 tips for how you can help your friend navigate this emotional mine field.

  1. Be careful not to assign blame. Your friend may be blaming his soon-to-be ex, thus fanning the flames of anger. Or he might be blaming himself for failing to keep the relationship alive and healthy, and is angry at himself and guilt-ridden. You can remind him that not all relationships are meant to last forever, and the romantic relationship can transform into one of friendship, which is especially important if children are involved. Suggest he find a place where he can express his anger safely and release his guilt, such as in group therapy.
  2. Encourage your friend to express her feelings, whatever they are. If she’s being stoic, remind her that emotions that aren’t expressed can get trapped in the body where they can do physical harm. She can take up beating pillows or kick boxing or going down to the beach to holler at the waves, whatever it takes to let the emotions run their course.
  3. Help him understand that this is a period of significant loss. Loss of a significant other can be worse than death, and requires a mourning period and great personal adjustment. Grief is normal. He may be losing all their mutual friends, where he lives, even his pets. Remind him he has the opportunity to gain a better understanding of who he is by himself, without having to defer to another, an understanding of what he really wants in life, and what he needs to do in order to heal himself. All of which require time.
  4. Reassure your friend that her sex life doesn’t end when the relationship does; in fact, it may improve. She is still attractive (no matter how old she is) and worthy of finding love again, when she is ready. Her self-esteem need not be lessened by divorce, and there’s no need to “prove” her desirability by jumping into another relationship right away. And if your friend is of the gender of your own preference, don’t think jumping into bed with him/her is an act of kindness, it’s not. Stick to being friends without “benefits.”
  5. Help him with practical matters that may be new to him, like setting up a kitchen and cooking. He’d probably love help with moving, getting settled in the new place and making new friends. Above all, stay in touch with him so he doesn’t feel alone.
  6. It’s very therapeutic to watch others going through the same things you are. Watch movies with your friend that can help her express what she’s feeling, from “The First Wives Club” and “War of the Roses” to “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Waiting to Exhale,” “The Squid and the Whale,” “Wonder Boys,” and a host of others.
  7. We all “get by with a little help from our friends.” Be the friend who can make your friend laugh.

As Oprah has said, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” Now that’s the kindness of a true friend.


Capital Punishment Punishes Everyone

Troy Davis was murdered by the state of Georgia on Wednesday, September 21st, yet there remains much doubt about his guilt. Justice seems to have taken a lethal injection in the Davis case – in my opinion, capital punishment is itself a crime. When we deliberately execute someone, we diminish our own humanity.

The only good to come out of the Davis execution is that it has ramped up the forces of those of us who want to see capital punishment abolished. If only it wasn’t such a handy platform for politicians who want to be seen as “tough on crime.” Just look at Rick Perry in Texas, whose constituents cheer his stand on the death penalty.

There are other ways to keep murderers from harming anyone else. I know there are evil people out there. I know there are those who deliberately set out to harm others. But capital punishment is a crime against humanity.

Click here to read my blog on the Huffington Post and post your comment there – make your position on capital punishment known; make your voice count.


The Help

As many of you may know, I’m a movie buff. I love sitting in a darkened theater and being swept away by a good story. Now that it’s fall, it’s movie time again and I’ll be posting reviews of the ones that may open your heart, challenge your beliefs or expand your horizons. Sometimes a movie comes along that triggers a deep emotional response and brings up memories. That happened to me recently when I saw The Help.

I grew up in northern California, far from the segregated South, but my mother gave me a taste of the old South right in my own home. One of the fixtures of my childhood was Mamie, our “help,” who worked for my mother half a day every day and all day on holidays. She came to work for our family when my mother was a young pregnant bride of 19, married to my 41-year-old father, her former boss and a prominent politician. Mamie, who was my father’s age, was always there for me from the time I was born—a loving presence in stark contrast to my mother’s coldness and indifference to me. I adored her.

Just like in the film, my mother insisted on being called Mrs. King (although Mamie called her other employers by their first name) and I was always Miss King. She served our meals and then ate her own in the kitchen. When I was old enough to question my mother about that, she said the help always ate in the kitchen, no matter what color they were.

It was a confusing situation. I certainly didn’t think of my family as racist. My father was a bleeding heart liberal who spent every holiday driving around town giving away clothes and money to the needy. My mother came from a working class background; her own Portuguese mother had taken in sewing and cleaned houses. Why didn’t she treat Mamie more like an equal?

Although I knew that all the “colored” folk lived on the South Side, the poorest part of town, it never occurred to me to question why. As children, we accept what is without question. I knew about the South Side because Mamie lived there, in what was basically a shack. When I was old enough to drive, one of my chores was to drop off the family laundry and ironing at Mamie’s in the morning and pick it up again in the evening.

I left the movie and spent the rest of the evening thinking about Mamie and my family. My mother was considered a kind employer (one of Mamie’s sons still calls my mother once a year to see how she’s doing). Mother insisted I come home from college to be at Mamie’s bedside as she was dying in the hospital. Mother was the only white woman who attended the black funeral when Mamie died at 56 from heart failure (not surprising after eight children and a life of hard and often demeaning work).

As my emotional reaction to the movie gradually faded, I began to question the beliefs I had grown up with about discrimination, about prejudice. As children, we so readily accept situations as normal, as being “just the way things are.” This is why it’s so important to examine our beliefs, so we can shake ourselves out of complacency and come to a more conscious understanding, so we don’t pass along to future generations the same sorrows and injustices.

If you haven’t seen The Help, I recommend it. One of my clients who grew up in Mississippi with a black nanny wept copiously throughout the film. But even if this particular situation is not one that you experienced personally, have you experienced discrimination based on your class or race or religion? Conversely, what have you felt and believed about those who are of different class or race or religion from you?

In the spiritual universe, we are all One. There is no doubt about that. By examining the hidden traces of prejudice and discrimination that you may hold, you can free yourself from whatever hinders you from experiencing that unity.

Isn’t it amazing what a good movie can do?