Los Angeles Light Pollution

Light Pollution: What it Does to Your Body/Mind/Spirit and 5 Easy Ways to Reduce It

In 1994, just before dawn, an earthquake hit LA and caused a city-wide power outage. Many residents who ran out of buildings for safety called 911 to report a mysterious cloud overhead in what was an otherwise clear night. That cloud turned out to be the Milky Way, our own galaxy, hidden for many years by the city’s lights.

We try to light up the night sky for a simple reason: we humans don’t see very well in the dark. But where a little light is a good thing, too much light, or the wrong kind, negatively impacts us, causing a host of undesirable effects, most notably, breast cancer.

The 24-hour cycle, or circadian clock, affects physiologic processes in all living things. These processes include brain wave patterns, hormone production, cell regulation, and other biological activities. Disruption of that rhythm results in ill health, unhappiness, and angst at the soul level.  

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone which is released in the dark and inhibited by light. While any light at night can interfere with its production, the short blue portion of the light spectrum suppresses melatonin the most.

Exposure to our artificially extended daytime in the modern world leads to sleep problems and sleep problems cause weight gain, stress, depression, diabetes, and cancer. The American Medical Association has recognized light at night as a carcinogen.

The excess light we create in our environment endangers all ecosystems by altering biochemical rhythms that normally ebb and flow with normal light patterns. Perhaps more importantly, we’re losing our connection to the night-time sky, a sky that our ancestors depended on for connection to the cosmos. We lose something essential, some part of ourselves, when we fail to connect to the dark sky and its planets and stars.

Though it’s not as dramatic as a chemical spill, light pollution now rates at the top of the list of chronic environmental issues. In 2016, reputable scientists reported that 99% of the United States and Europe experience light pollution. A third of the planet can no longer see the Milky Way and light pollution is increasing at the alarming rate of 2% per year.

Perhaps even more disturbing is the absence of awe when the night sky is no longer part of our lives. Philosophers have long written about the sacredness of the night sky and its impact on us; somehow a half-lit smoggy sky filled with light pollution just doesn’t take our soul to that place of wonder.

What can you do to preserve the night sky and your health and well-being? Here are 5 easy steps to take:

  1. Get new light bulbs. LEDs are great for saving energy (and money) but check to ensure that your bulbs are not using the blue-white spectrum. Find lower temp LEDs and compact fluorescents.
  2. Turn off blue light devices an hour before bedtime. That’s your TV, your iPad, your phone. If you use a reader, use an app that filters out the blue wavelength. That absence of blue light which normally would begin at sundown will allow melatonin to increase, which will lower your body temp, slow your metabolism, and increase leptin, the hormone that reduces appetite. (It was important for early humans that they didn’t get hungry in the middle of the night, because if you’re out foraging for food, you become food) Increased leptin levels play a role in avoiding cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer, especially breast cancer.
  3. Make sure your bedroom is completely dark. (Turn off the TV!)
  4. Turn off or shield outdoor lighting at your home.
  5. Talk to the governing agencies about light pollution in your area; be the one to spear-head a light ordinance or enforce the one already on the books.

Finally, if it’s been a long time since you’ve seen a truly dark night, make plans to go somewhere soon where you can. I spent the Thanksgiving holiday camped at Joshua Tree National Park and I can still feel the grandeur of that night sky. Try it for yourself, it will fill your soul.

Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

7 Tips to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

by Cathy Gabrielsen

Why are you so SAD? Maybe it’s because it’s that time of year—the transition from fall to winter, the death of the leaves and grass, and the onset of bitterly cold weather. Are you becoming more withdrawn, feeling depressed, anxious, or hopeless? Do you have unusual physical aches and pains or find yourself craving comfort foods, like heaping servings of pasta or popcorn? If so, Seasonal Affective Disorder may be the reason. 

Over three million people suffer through the change of seasons. There is not only the wintertime SAD, which is well-known and accepted as a serious condition, but also a summertime SAD, when the end of summer leaves you anxious and sad, with changes in appetite and insomnia. This is known as reverse SAD, when high temperatures and high humidity make you uncomfortable, and daylight is subtly shortening. Summer SAD can lead to major depressive disorder, which affects over 16 million people in the U.S.

Cathy Gabrielsen

Cathy Gabrielsen is a speaker, writer and Graduate teacher of LifeForce Energy Healing® at the Deborah King Center and founder of The Gabrielsen Healing Center.

Wintertime SAD can also be exacerbated by turning the clock back at the end of October. Winter hours can reduce your level of serotonin, the chemical produced by nerve cells that regulates your mood, and also melatonin, the hormone made by the pineal gland in your body that regulates sleep. With less of these mood enhancers in your system, you can wind up feeling depressed or anxious as winter comes roaring. It is natural to think that you should join the bears in withdrawing and hibernating for the winter, or that alcohol or recreational drugs will sufficiently numb the pain. But these are not optimum pathways for managing your inner pain. There are ways to ease the discomfort, depression, and overall negative feelings associated with this yearly time of darkness

Deborah King’s LifeForce Energy Healing® Program cured me of SAD, along with alleviating my anxiety. I took the time to explore and discover why I was feeling seasonal affective disorder and found that journaling provided me with an incredible way to release and heal my negative emotions. I also realized that self-care is vital in healing all types of conditions. Self-care involves taking the time you need to find ways that work for you. I found the best solutions for me were to take a clearing bath or walk in nature, find time for massage or acupuncture, and spend time writing in my journal. Find out what brings you joy, and try the following helpful tips to ease the emotional and mental suffering of the winter blues.

  1. Get outside in the fresh air and move even though it may be cold and dreary out there. Take a brisk “stroll” mid-day or evening and bathe yourself in the peaceful ambience of sunlight or moonlight on snow. Or walk for a few minutes at dawn, intending that you will have a glorious light-filled day. 
  2. Light therapy, also called phototherapy, works wonders! Lightboxes simulate sunlight and are an inexpensive and effective way to naturally stimulate serotonin and melatonin. Spend an hour each day under the lamp, working at your desk or doing the dishes or watching TV.
  3. Create positive new traditions in the winter. Instead of taking your vacation in the summer months, opt to get out of Dodge in mid-winter. It will give you something to look forward to, and if you head to a warm climate, you can soak up the sun.
  4. Stay in the Light. Stay connected with positive people, places, and things. If someone continuously brings you down, then stay away from that person. Watch an uplifting and light-hearted series. Stay in touch with your feelings and do what makes you feel good.
  5. Clear your chakras. Keep your energy field in balance and your chakras cleansed through meditative practices or energy healing. You will feel more energized and open to seeing things in a brighter light. 
  6. Create joy. Listen to music and dance. Use aromatherapy to surround yourself with uplifting scents. Splurge on a mani-pedi or facial and know you deserve to be pampered.
  7. Meditate. Next to using a light box, bringing more spiritual light into your life through meditation is a sure fire way to beat the winter blahs. Ramp up your meditation program, fitting in 20 minutes each, morning and evening. 

If you’ve been feeling out of sorts due to SAD, you’re not alone. There are literally millions of people struggling just like you this time of year. But now you know that there is something you can do to be happy.

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.



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.



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 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.


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.


Where are you on the spectrum?

No, not autism. I’m talking about the addiction spectrum.

Everyone’s addicted to something. We hear the word “addiction” repeatedly in the news, referring to horror stories about opioids and other prescription drugs. And let’s not forget about the stalwarts of addiction: alcohol, smoking, gambling, promiscuity (sounds a little like an ad for Las Vegas).

Facebook all day?

But what about other, seemingly more benign addictions. Facebook all day? Wine every night? Shopping online incessantly? Marijuana to put you to sleep? Hoarding up to your eyeballs? Overeating that same food again and again and hating yourself for it?

Growing up in a family of alcoholics, I definitely had the calling. By 18, I was addicted to alcohol, Valium, weight-loss pills (okay, speed, but it was legal back then), and over-exercising coupled with under-eating so I could stay model-thin. I was running ten miles a day. I was a lawyer with substantial caffeine and smoking habits. And a bottle of vodka in my desk drawer, for emergencies only, of course.

When I was diagnosed with cancer at 25, I had to stop killing myself in order to get better. Not only from the cancer, but also from the stranglehold the addictive substances had on me. The trouble with addiction is the anxiety or depression or extra pounds or whatever the problem you were trying to fix by turning to the substance or behavior, brings with it a whole new exponentially bigger (addiction) problem that is much harder to manage.

You can’t beat addiction without community.

The first thing I found on the road to recovery was community. AA was a life saver. The 12-step program held many of the keys I needed. “Recovery” is the balance, the scale on which you measure your addiction and vow to win. September is Recovery Month. If you’re trying to shake something, I promise you will be stronger within the AA network. Without someone saying every day “you can beat this disease, we’re in this together,” your chances of success are much lower. Community offers the truth-telling, sharing, and not holding it inside, all so vital to you on your path.

The Recovery Village website lists 32 different 12-step programs, chances are there’s one for you: they range from alcohol to cocaine, clutterers to crystal meth, and on to co-dependents, sex addicts, debtors, food addiction, gamblers, heroin, marijuana, narcotics, nicotine, gamers, pills, under-earners, and, my personal fav, workaholics. You name it, we can get addicted to it.

The community I’ve founded, the Deborah King Center, is based on energy medicine and is similar in many ways to a 12-step program, offering a community of like-minds as well as a host of tools for you on your journey. I also offer a year-long Masters-in-Training program that is limited to 20 people that I meet with every other week and give intense direction and support as together we work on their personal goals, which often include addressing a behavior they’d love to permanently put behind them.

It matters who you hang with.

“Birds of a feather flock together.” So annoying that old truism is correct; that we can indeed become like our (worst) friends. Sadly, I had to take a lengthy sabbatical from my rollicking Irish family, all high-functioning drinkers who also popped pills at the least discomfort. I left criminal law and the courtroom with its insane stress, where lunch was liquid, and segued into real estate law, where the lawyers at least left the office for the night before hitting the sauce. I had to let my witty assistant go as she was knee deep in cocaine and I was afraid I might join her.

Sadly, my best friend didn’t quit drinking with me, and, today, he so regrets it, as he deals with significant memory problems caused by alcohol, common to even just social drinkers. https://www.verywellmind.com/alcohol-damages-day-to-day-memory-function-62982 How heartbreakingly sad for a man who single-handedly escalated to the top of his field; so successful he bought his own jet at 25. Now not even all his millions can free him from an addiction that is rapidly killing him.

And then there’s the recent study, talk about a wake-up call, that reveals that even moderate drinking can make you more likely to develop Alzheimers.

Overeating yet again?

Food (too much or too little) is undoubtedly the hardest addiction to manage. It’s tricky, because you can’t stop eating altogether. You actually need to eat, but moderation—there’s that word again—is the key. I mastered food by studying nutrition and focusing on a healthy diet. There are ways to get a grip on the weight issue, don’t lose faith; use the tools I’m outlining here. And don’t forget to eat a little something every couple of hours; keeping your blood sugar even is crucial here.

Marijuana is not a panacea

The latest craze to legalize marijuana ignores the science that pot is a gateway drug, profoundly damages the young brain, and causes traffic accidents.

More significant for you, dear reader, is that it fogs the heck out of the adult brain and limits spiritual advancement. When I look deeply at someone (with their permission, of course), the pot user will have a telltale gray fog in their personal energy field that prevents them from stepping up another level in consciousness. Before you light up next time (or hit the brownies), ask yourself if you want to remain stuck in the same old narrow mindset, or are actively working to transcend; if the latter, try meditating next time in lieu of pot, it works way better.

The tools of the recovery trade.

After a few years, I was able to manage the drinking, drugging, smoking, under-eating, and over-exercising. The tools I used? Community (AA), meditating, getting plenty of sleep, super nutrition, energy healing, and spending a lot of time out in nature – each step helped me kick my unwanted behaviors to the curb.

But it’s still “one day at a time” as I battle the ever-present tendency to become addicted to the next compelling thing. I only have two buttons: on or off. On the spectrum, that’s the far extreme of the addictive personality. Moderation is a foreign concept, in my mind lumped together with boring, bland, and banal. Once an addict . . . those tendencies never go away.

One day at a time, forever.

The hallmark of the addict’s world is getting through one day at a time. You can make it through one day. The thought of a week or a month or, my God, a year, is impossible to contemplate. But you can get through one day. And the amazing thing is when you string together just 30 days of “one day at a time,” you can change any behavior. I promise.

Forty+ years later, I am still (proudly) clean and sober, but watchful every day for addiction to raise its ugly head; it’s never far away. And on my end of the addiction spectrum, that’s a win. It can be yours too.

The sun is healthy for you

Are You Shortening Your Lifespan by Avoiding the Sun?

(and Reducing Your Happiness While You’re at It)

A few weeks ago, I hosted a week-long workshop in Malibu and noticed how many of my students were avoiding the sun during the breaks on the terra cotta terrace outside the conference room. This kind of “sun phobia” is a common side effect from the 30 or so years of national guidelines from countries around the world that (incorrectly) stress the danger of the sun.

In fact, not enough sun may be worse for your health than too much sun.

In a recent study that tracked 30,000 Swedish women for over 20 years, they found that women who tried to stay out of the sun were twice as likely to have an early death as those who spent a normal amount of time in the sun.

Why? Researchers aren’t sure, but it’s likely because the sun stimulates Vitamin D production, which reduces risk for cancer, stroke, heart disease, and other common causes of death. The sun also reduces blood pressure, another beneficial affect. Plus, sunlight helps decrease inflammation throughout the body at the same time it’s increasing immune function, a double benefit.

There’s an interesting correlation in studies of MS that show that the more hours of sun you’ve been exposed to, the lower your risk of MS. You will also find your general mood improves after you’ve been in the sun; that’s because sunlight improves your endocrine system functioning. Finally, it may well increase DNA repair.

So how much sun is enough without being too much?

• Aim for at least 10 minutes (if you’re very fair) to an hour (if you’re darker) at least 3 times a week. No sunscreen is needed. If you’re going to be out longer than that, add a zinc oxide based sunscreen after that initial period of time. Don’t stay out so long you burn.

• Consider your skin, the time of day, the latitude and season. That is, use common sense. Before 8am is ideal in the summer; always avoid 10am to 4pm during the hotter months. Essentially, you need less sun time in the south than in the north.

• Before you slather yourself with a “safe” sunscreen like zinc oxide, know that it too may generate free radicals when exposed to the sun. Of course, I would assume you would never use a chemical sunscreen. Eeek.

The Sun and Health Concerns

The sun is not only a massive ball of atomic energy, it’s also a huge supplier of vitality—from photosynthesis in plants to your own ability to thrive. In the Rig Veda, it is said that the sun’s main spiritual principle is to energize all created beings. The Bible says the sun is the power of light to vanquish the darkness.

The more sunlight you get during the day, the more melatonin you make at night, and thus you have less stress and sleep better. The sun affects your mood and your ability to focus and stay alert. It decreases the risk of depression for folks who are prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Environmental Health Perspectives journal published a study that linked exposure to sunlight to a reduced risk of prostate, pancreatic, ovarian, and colon cancer. Another, in the Journal of Human Resources, showed that students did better in tests if they got enough sun every day, and other research has shown a strong link between exposure to sunlight and a better quality of life.

And, get this, time in the sun may even reduce the risk of melanoma. A study in the Lancet Journal showed that skin that had been exposed to short wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UVB) was associated with less risk of melanoma. People in the study who worked outdoors had less risk of skin cancer than those who were “safe” from the sun in their cubicles.

But what about skin cancer? It turns out that around 99 percent of skin cancers are non-melanoma basal cell and squamous cell cancers. Getting rid of them may not be fun, but they are very rarely deadly. According to the CDC, melanoma and other skin cancers kill around 11,000 Americans a year in the U.S., while heart disease affects around 650,000. So if sun exposure helps reduce heart disease—and there are a number of robust studies that show that sunlight is good for hearts—the risk to benefit ratio seems clear.

It’s summertime. So get outside after the sun rises or before it sets and enjoy some fun in the sun. Let that magnificent ball of radiant vitality empower your health and happiness. The days are long past since public health recommendations severely restricted sun exposure. The latest advice is to get some sun, seriously!

Spiritual clearing declutter

Cleaning up, clearing out, coming home

There’s a place we all want to get to, and that’s “home.” A place where you feel welcome, secure in the love and affection of those around you. A place that is not dependent on a wealth of material possessions, but on the richness of soul. A place where you are relaxed, where you are you, unadorned, unabashed, unafraid. You are safe. You are home.

Of course, your true home is not really a “place.” It’s a space, a realm of consciousness, a field of energy that at its highest level radiates truth, knowledge, and bliss. In the Vedas, this is known as satchitananda—the nature of ultimate reality. When you enter that realm, when you merge into unity with the All, you are truly home.

So the question becomes: how do you get there?

One way is by cleaning up and clearing out. Decluttering. The way it works is that when you clear out the external “stuff” that no longer works for you, that no longer “fits” into who you are or who you want to be, at the same time you are clearing out the internal “stuff” that keeps you stuck in the same old place.

Day by day, room by room, go through your living space. Clean up the bathroom drawers that have collected such a strange assortment of outdated lotions and potions. Toss it all in a garbage bag and clear it out of the house. Same with every closet. It doesn’t matter how much that cute jacket cost, you’ve worn it only once in the last five years. Out! Kitchen gadgets. The kids’ grade school projects. The garage. 

This may not sound like spiritual work, but trust me, it is. All those outer pieces of “stuff” carry vibrations, memories, emotions. There really are no inanimate “things.” They all reflect a moment in time and space, a combination of who you were then and the person who gave it to you. Or what you were going through at the time you bought it. You can feel the history of each object, but what does it do for you now? Does it lift you up or bring you down? Feel it, weigh its importance in your life. Each piece can then be passed along to a friend, hauled off to Goodwill, thrown out, or kept.

Every piece of clutter you get rid of makes room for more light in your life.  

The next level of cleaning up/clearing out is even more personal than old towels and chipped dishes. What about your CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes? Do you have tons of pre-digital photos that you could scan and save digitally? Old media to toss? What about books that may need a new home? 

Cleaning up is such a powerful spiritual tool because it goes far beyond the physical level. It’s like cleaning your electronic desktop. Turns out there are many folders of old stuff that can be archived or even tossed, just like those residual emotions that you really don’t have to hold onto anymore. . . any of the slights you’ve carried, those little stings to your ego that you’re still smarting over. Isn’t it time to let a lot go? To shred any pettiness, and to acknowledge any deep-seated emotions that may be ready to leave.

All this is a great starting point for moving from one “place” to another, from an old stuck realm of consciousness to a more awakened one. There are, of course, other levels, other gateways to pass through, but start by letting go of what you no longer need or want on the physical plane, and it will help bring you closer to the light and the feeling of home.

Your one true home, your soul.

Truth Taught By the Vedas

Are Your Genes Who You Are?

Or are you much more than just a biological entity?

Everywhere you look these days, there is a new study coming out on how your inherited genes affect your health (and everything else). Ever since the human genome was sequenced (the human genomic project was completed in April 2003), there has been a huge surge in research based on the information carried by genes, from how you look in your jeans to your propensity for becoming an alcoholic or coming down with a rare disease. These little packages of DNA have been given a god-like place in our understanding of who we are.

Just a few short years ago, a diagnosis of cancer took you straight to Western medicine’s tool bag, which held only three major tools: surgery, chemo, and radiation. If cut-poison-burn didn’t work, you were left with alternative approaches that weren’t covered by insurance. (I’m not knocking Western medicine, just the limited technologies and the limitations of our present health care system.)

But things are changing. Today there is personalized medicine available in cancer treatment, based on your genetic makeup and the composition of the tumor. It’s a giant leap beyond the standard “one size fits all.”

There are other emerging scientific fields that are looking at your genes for other reasons, like nutrigenomics, which is aiming to reveal the connections between specific nutrients and diets, genetic expression, and your health. Soon you may be able to find out why you can’t tolerate bread or cheese while your sibling practically lives on pizza. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, autism, longevity, digestive disease, cardiovascular disease, all sorts of cancers, obesity, even tooth decay are all being examined in light of an individual’s DNA.

It’s an exciting time to be checking up on the latest scientific research.

Even spirituality has gotten into the gene pool, with the idea that one particular gene, called MVAT2 (vesicular monoamine transporter 2, the “god gene”) is what turns a person inward towards mystical experiences.

And more and more, science is finding what deep meditators have known all along: it’s all one. The hip bone isn’t just connected to the thigh bone; everything in your body is connected to everything else. The way genes express themselves can affect myriad pathways in the body.

The genes you inherited from your biological mother and father, the life factors that have turned some genes on and turned others off, the interlocking connections between how gene expression affects different bodily systems—all this is being looked at through the lens of science, which is beginning to understand the reality and importance of a holistic approach to health.

But before we begin to think that genes are the be-all and end-all of who we are, remember that genes don’t explain the mystery of life itself, and who we really are. Your genetic makeup is the blueprint for your biology, but sages, shamans, and healers who work with energy medicine know that who we are isn’t based on physical matter, like genes, but on spirit.

This is the truth taught by the Vedas, and by all the ancient spiritual traditions—the body you inhabit in the three-dimensional physical world is not the whole of you, but merely a vehicle used by your Higher Self in order to experience the lessons that are to be learned in this lifetime.

Spirit, consciousness, or whatever term you want to use, is what permeates all life. You can’t smell it or taste it, you can’t use your physical senses to capture it, but you know when you are connecting to it. It may be when you’re out in nature and the quiet and peacefulness or the grand vistas and raw beauty elevate your consciousness, relax your rampant thoughts, and you touch that place of expansiveness and peace within yourself.

It may happen when you’re having sex or in nature or having an out-of-body experience. You may be sitting quietly at home, staring off into space, your mind a million miles away, when you are suddenly engulfed in light and you enter a state of inexplicable love. That’s not genetics; that’s grace.

So learn all you can about new genetic research in the areas that affect your life, but remember, whether your genetics turn on or off does not determine who you are at heart, in your soul, and at the very deepest level of your being.


{This article originally appeared on Psychology Today}

How to Lose Weight Without Dieting

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting

It’s nearly the end of January and chances are you’ve already blown your resolution to eat right and lose weight this year. Resolutions and dieting just don’t work. So what can you do about those unwanted and unhealthy extra pounds?

You can throw away your scales—the one in your bathroom that makes you cringe, and the one in your kitchen where you so carefully weigh out your food portions (before sliding into that pint of cookie dough ice cream). You can stop tracking calories in/calories out. You can stop worrying about which diet, and there are so many of them, might work this time.

Instead, use intuitive eating, a throwback to our ancestors.

Intuitive eating relies on your connection to your own body. In a culture based on intellect rather than intuition, in a workplace that requires sitting in front of a computer all day, in the fast-paced digital era where there is always a screen available to suck you into your head, you are probably not all that aware of your body . . . until it’s too late.

You didn’t notice what you were doing until the whole bag of chips was gone. Or your knees were hurting and the doctor said those extra 30 pounds weren’t helping. And you swore you would stop, until you remembered you had stashed a chocolate bar in the lower desk drawer.

Why do we so often eat in a way that hurts us rather than nurtures us? There are a lot of theories for why so many people eat in a way that is ultimately harmful to themselves—to their health, their appearance, their self-esteem. But, as a teacher of Ayurveda who’s worked with literally thousands of individuals, I know it all comes down to each individual’s makeup, the time of life they are in, and what they are dealing with emotionally. There is no one way for all, ever.

You may eat too much because you looked awesome in high school and could “get away with” eating everything, until you couldn’t. Or you were a slightly overweight child who grew into an even more overweight adult who is now treading the line of obesity. Or you picked up a wine habit that really added on the calories. Or you took medicine that put on the pounds. Or … or… or…

And you tried Weight Watchers and the Mediterranean diet and veganism and vegetarianism and raw food and fasting and the keto diet and eating right for your blood type and . . . you may have even lost weight, but put it right back on.

So throw away the rule book.

If you’re the type who isn’t hungry in the morning, don’t worry about “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I have a completely healthy 70-year-old student who has her cup of coffee in the morning and hits the gym for an hour before eating breakfast. On the other hand, if you wake up hungry enough to eat a cow, go ahead, your body is telling you it needs the protein.

The trick is to know when you’ve had enough. As a student of Ayurveda, I would counsel you when you’re eating, take a bite or two or three and then put down your fork. Notice how well you’re chewing. Did you swallow quickly in your haste to eat? That food will be harder for your stomach to digest. Try stopping when you’re halfway through your plate of food. Notice: are you still hungry? Are you emotionally satisfied? Do you want to eat more because you’re needing more food, or just because there is food still on the plate? Were you taught to finish your plate, or are you able to leave food on your plate when you’re no longer hungry? Are there enough of the six flavors (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent) in the food you’re eating to be satisfying? You need those six flavors at every meal or you’ll be inclined to overeat because you’re not feeling satiated.

Try eating half your lunch and keeping the other half for a mid-afternoon snack. Maybe you need a lot less food to make your body happy at each meal than you’re thinking. But don’t save food beyond a couple of hours, as it becomes amma, or too dead to do anything except put on pounds and wreak havoc at the cellular level.

Remember, no rules. If you don’t feel like eating, don’t. If you don’t like kale, don’t eat it. If you are craving pasta with alfredo sauce, eat half the serving and then evaluate how you feel.

If you binge, notice how your body feels, as well as your mind. The more you realize what food is doing to your body and how it makes you feel, the more in tune with your body you will become and the healthier and happier you’ll be.

So what should you eat? Anything you want that makes your body feel good rather than painful. How much? Enough to just satisfy hunger, not enough to bring on pain. One of my venerable teachers from the East taught me to eat just enough to fit in the palm of my hand; surprisingly, it is enough.

In a sense, this way of relating food to your body, instead of simply obeying the psychological forces behind your way of eating, is a spiritual path, not just a health fix. You have to become more conscious, more aware of what you’re doing. From Ayurveda, I know we have to acknowledge and respect our digestion—it is the gateway between the food we put in our mouths and the nurturance our bodies receive.

Take a moment and feel your stomach: take a deep breath, deep enough so you can actually feel the middle of your body. Bring your awareness down from your thinking mind and into your body. It is, after all, the temple that is housing your soul.

Make this your resolution: This year I will be kind to my body.

Limiting Beliefs

Heal Your Limiting Beliefs (But First Discover Them!)

Do you ever feel like you are running in place instead of moving toward your goals and dreams? Like you’re pounding away on a hidden treadmill going nowhere. Clearly, something is holding you back, when your path seems to be blocked, and chances, you are blocked by limiting beliefs you don’t even know you have.

What’s a Limiting Belief? 

Just like 15th-century Europeans who believed that the earth was flat, you may have unexamined beliefs that are incorrect. Such beliefs may be limiting you, holding you back—especially those that stem from fear-based thinking. Fear is always limiting, as opposed to opening, expanding and freeing. When you start to look closely at your personal beliefs, you may be surprised to find that some actually close doors rather than open them. Limiting beliefs can stifle your vision, your potential, and your power. You won’t set sail to explore the world if you’re afraid you might fall off the edge.

Where Do Your Beliefs Come From?

Typically, your most important beliefs are unconscious. You haven’t examined them because you don’t even realize they exist. Over 90 percent of your core beliefs originated in childhood, coming from your parents or caregivers, school, and culture. These subconscious views run the greater part of your life and shape your potential to be happy or unhappy, rich or poor, healthy or not so much. You have inherited what you believe, most of which is unconscious, and all of it dramatically influences your life.

Do You Know What You Believe?

Questioning your beliefs is an exercise well worth the effort. It’s part of the process of self-discovery needed for spiritual growth and healing. It will free you from all kinds of limitations in life, including fear and living according to what’s right for someone else but not for you. You’ll want to ask yourself: “Where did this belief come from?” and “Does it still work for me, or is it limiting me in some way?” If you think that an idea no longer fits you, ask yourself what might suit you better.

Here are some of the personal “belief” areas you’ll want to examine:

Religion – this is usually the primary limitation for people when they want to expand their consciousness. What, if any, childhood faith were you raised in? Do you believe in the tenets of that faith now? Do you practice them? Are they fear-based? Are you aware of unconscious beliefs from your early education about religion that may be negatively affecting your life today? Also, consider your beliefs about the religions of others. Do you automatically reject others or their thinking because their religion is different from yours, even if you give only lip service to your own?

Politics – So many people automatically exclude everything from the “other side,” assuming that no good can possibly come from it. Do you automatically decide that everyone who opposes your viewpoint is 100 percent wrong? How much do you expose yourself to the beliefs of the other camp? If very strong feelings arise when you look at this area of belief, consider it closely and make sure that love and not fear is ruling your outlook.

Social Values – Where do you stand on the right of women to make decisions about their own bodies, the death penalty, gay marriage, social welfare programs, and other important topics? I always try to read well-written pieces on both sides of every issue and then consciously recheck my position. Have you thought through your own views on these issues recently, or do you automatically determine that there can be nothing of merit on the other side?

Race – We’d all like to think that we’re blind to skin color, but the truth is that we inherit racial prejudices from our family of origin, our schools, and our country—and these are very hard to delete. Bring your feelings into the light and really examine them.

Money – I can almost guarantee that if you have money problem, they can be traced back to certain beliefs you inherited from your family of origin. What are your beliefs about abundance and your own relationship to it?

Relationships – What subliminal or even overt messages did your mother and father give you about interpersonal relationships? How healthy is your relationship to yourself? Is your self-talk positive and empowering? Do you believe in your worthiness and potential? What about your relationship with a significant other?

Why Is It Vital to Question Your Beliefs?

Most of your preconceived beliefs are unconscious unless you make the effort to shift them into your awareness. Here’s why it’s important to bring all of them into your consciousness:

  1. Your unconscious beliefs may inhibit you from becoming all that you are meant to be. It’s nearly impossible to expand and grow, to take in new information and make new choices, when you are confined to operating solely according to preexisting ideas.
  2. If you want to work comfortably with others, you’ll need to be able to accept their beliefs and treat them with the same respect you would your own.
  3. A person with a lot of fixed beliefs is acting from fear. Being afraid to give serious thought to the activities and opinions of others means that you are judging them without really giving their ideas your full consideration.

To free yourself from limiting beliefs that keep you “running in place” instead of growing into your greatest good, give some thought to your beliefs. Find out where you really stand. Free yourself to be open-minded and self-determined, think what you want to think, be in the driver’s seat of your own consciousness!

Full moon in August

Full Moon in August: Celebrate the Gift of Plenty

Looking for a sign to guide you toward greater spiritual awakening and growth? This coming Sunday, August 26, the night sky will present you with a powerful opportunity to be awed, inspired, and taken to the next level! The full moon this week is capturing your attention reminding you of the eternal cycle of change and transformation that you are a part of. Ancient cultures used the moon’s movement to mark the seasons and guide their activities. You can use this same celestial energy to connect to your 8th chakra and above and to shine a light on your path.

Sit outside with as much skin uncovered to the moon as possible this week, to absorb its light. Then, this weekend, grab a blanket or sleeping bag and join me on your deck or in your back yard; this is THE month to sleep outside. Watch for falling stars, frequent in August!

What the August Full Moon Tells You

In Native American tradition, the August full moon is called “the Sturgeon Moon,” “the Green Corn Moon,” “the Grain Moon,” or, for the Dakota Sioux, “the Moon When All Things Ripen.” For tribes near the Great Lakes, the “Sturgeon Moon” marks the time when the large, prehistoric sturgeon fish is most plentiful and most easily caught. For all of us, the meaning of the August full moon is “plenty,” a time when the life-giving essentials of the Earth come forth.

There are questions you can ask in this time “when all things ripen” to help you heal and grow in mind, body, and spirit. The concept of “plenty” has important spiritual significance. It has brought life to humankind from the beginning and defined our relationship with the Universe. What does faith in the “plenty” of our world mean? What we believe about the Source of our plenty and our relationship to Source and to one another guides our lives. Now is the perfect time to explore what seeds have ripened in your life this season, what is plentiful, and how you have responded.

Full Moon Beams Power

You can use the illumination of the full moon to cast light on inner things, to help you look at your inner world of emotions, worries and anxieties, dreams, and unconscious beliefs. You can draw on full moon energy to explore and evaluate your goals and your ambitions in the window of moonlight. Remember that full moon energy amplifies your emotions and magnifies what is going on within. Look closely and learn. You can use the following questions to discover what the August moon’s promise of plenty means to you:

How do you define plenty?

For the Native fishermen of the Great Lakes, a bountiful catch of sturgeon signified plenty. Life depended on the gifts of the waters, the land, and the sky. What does plenty look like for you? Is it health, attractiveness, money, friends, career opportunities, achievements, faith? How does plenty make you feel and why?

What seems to be lacking in your life?

It may be that a sense of plenty escapes you. If you have a feeling of lack, try to determine what you think is missing. Do you see plenty somewhere other than where you are right now? See if you can find the origins of lack in your life. What exactly do you feel is “not enough”?

What has ripened for you in the current season?

Have you achieved a goal you were working toward? Did you set out to achieve something that has now come to you? If you have, how has it affected your feelings of plenty and/or lack in your life? 

How does it feel to be on your present path?

Your present life has grown from your past choices, hopes, dreams, and actions. Do you feel like your current path is the right one for you? Do you feel confident and inspired? If not, why not? How would it feel to revisit your choices? 

How have you shown gratitude for the plenty in your life?

Whether your heart swells with a feeling of plenty or you feel you could be on firmer ground, you have grounds for gratitude. The freedom, the energy, and the willingness to examine your inner self is something to be grateful for. Nothing empowers you like taking time to look within and seeing the gift that is your life. Make a gratitude list and be sure to include your power to recognize plenty and share it with the world.

Spending time with these questions brings comforting knowledge of who you really are and why you are here. Self-discovery brings peace, joy, and a sense of what is possible for you in the new span of days opening before you.

May the full Sturgeon Moon bring you a new sense of plenty and a new awareness of the miracle that is you. And may you be blessed with the radiance of healing moonlight on the evening of Sunday, August 26. See you outside next Sunday!

Happy energetic group

Your energy matters

Have you ever noticed the power of your smile? How different does it feel when you walk onto a crowded elevator with a smile instead of a look of irritation? Your smile is evidence of positive energy shining forth—sending waves of peace, tolerance, hope, and comfort into the world. Does it really matter whether you cultivate positive energy and project it forth? Nothing could be more important. Our world’s wellness depends on the kind of energy you contribute.

Energy Matters

In an energy-driven universe, we are givers and receivers. We are conduits of energy and we can decide what kind of energy we take in and give out. The news tells us the world is hurting. Too much hatred, anger, fear, greed, mistrust, incivility, rudeness, and selfishness have been going unchecked. And the greatest of these is fear—fear of not being enough, not having enough, fear that there isn’t enough.The good news is that individually and together we can use our positive energy to counter this absence of love.

I think of Rumi’s call to action: “Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.” Ask yourself what energy you are you sending forth into the world. Do you bring light? Do you focus on love and unity? How do you present yourself to the world—your face, your body language, your words? What are your rules of engagement—-kindness, courtesy, laughter, openness, curiosity, respect, love?

You have the power to heal the world with your energy. You can change your energy, grow it, cleanse it, clear it! Here are five essential healing energies you can work with:

Compassionate Energy

The power to love and care for one another may seem to come naturally, but actually it is a learned behavior that is modeled for us. We love because we are loved and we know how love feels. Each day you can model compassion by consciously sending loving energy to the people you meet.

Creative Energy

Did you know you are a creative genius? The power to dream, imagine, invent, and build is part of who you are. With our creative gifts, we humans can envision a hopeful, sustainable future and travel there together. You bring joy to the world each day that you work, play, dance, sing, play music, write, paint, design, have fun, or teach someone else to do the same.

Courageous Energy

Every day that you spend living in faith rather than wringing your hands in fear is a great day for the world. Believing in a benevolent universe and a positive future takes courage. Being a role model for faith in the ever-present goodness can help heal the world. Be one of those who appreciates the good, who smells the rose, pets the dog, and shares a laugh at every opportunity.

Cooperative Energy

Can you imagine a world where cooperation—not competition—is the rule of the day? There is too much emphasis on who wins and who loses. Cooperation allows everyone to bring their gifts to the table. We can begin by choosing cooperation over competition at every opportunity.

Connective Energy

Quantum physics has confirmed what traditional wisdom has always told us. We are one unified energy field. When a tree falls in the forest, not only is there a sound but the air quality on the other side of the globe is diminished. We are connected and what affects one, affects us all. Unity is our foundation. Whatever you can do to strengthen your connection—to Source, to the natural world, to your fellow humans—do it today. Smiling at those people in the elevator blesses us all!

Chakra Health

Power Up Your Chakras!

As the daily news continues giving us reasons to be nervous and worried, anxious and afraid, angry and confused, how are you doing in this struggle between fear and love? We know what fear looks like, and we know we have to rise above life-destroying fear and seek life-affirming love. Each of us has the power to choose and use the unlimited energy of love available from our Divine Source. Take a look within. Is your connection to your loving Source clear and open? Is the energy of your love at the ready, flowing and powering your mind, body, and spirit? For the challenges we face, taking good care of your personal energy centers, your chakras, can help you fight fear.

Your Chakra Power

As invisible but vital energy centers, your chakras are designed to move energy between your personal field and the universal field. Your wellbeing depends on the energy you bring in, and your life of joy, fulfillment, and service depends on the energy you give out. Love can’t reign when fear is blocking the channels. When clear and balanced, your chakras are the means by which you replenish your energy and maintain your health. Without the healthy flow of energy through your chakras, you might feel empty, depressed, and powerless. Each chakra represents an aspect of higher consciousness that is essential to your life. As a system, the seven basic chakras integrate your mind, body, and spirit; and each has a physical, emotional, creative, and spiritual component.

Your Chakra Gifts

Each of your chakra centers is important because each one allows you to call forth different skills and strengths and bring them into the world. Keeping your chakras clear and balanced allows you to access your highest gifts and talents—those powerful energies that are your contribution to the world! Here are some of the ways your chakras affect your life:

First Chakra – This foundational chakra located at the base of your spine keeps you grounded and rooted, firm and secure in the world. However, fear of destructive events like those we are experiencing in our world today combined with personal fears about safety, security, and stability can disrupt or distort the free flow of energy in the first chakra. Taking a walk in the beauty of nature, actually touching the earth with your bare feet, can bring you back to the foundation of your being, make you feel present and safe, and strengthen your first chakra.

Second Chakra – Located about half way between the base of your spine and your navel, the second or sexual chakra is the center of your emotions and desires, and your interactions with other people. In the work of moving away from fear and toward love, a balanced second chakra is vital to helping you enjoy healthy intimate relationships and overcome feelings of guilt and shame that may interfere. Bathing in the ocean or a bath of sea salt and baking soda strengthens your second chakra as it restores you to the purity of your true nature.

Third Chakra – Located at the solar plexus and the center of your body’s metabolic fire, the third chakra is the seat of personal power. This primary power center is the source of will, purpose, and action—that which “moves” you in the world. If managing your energy in a healthy way to reach your goals and fulfill your purpose is a challenge, you may need to devote some loving attention to your third chakra. Physical activities such as gardening, sports, T’ai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates can awaken and recharge this energy center, especially if performed outside in the early morning sun.

Fourth Chakra – The fourth or heart chakra is the bridge between the three lower chakras that connect you to the earth and the three upper chakras that connect you to the Infinite. When the heart center is in balance, you are content, caring, compassionate and forgiving. Heart chakra balance gives you the courage to give and receive love even when fear and anger threaten to close you down. How precious is an open and compassionate heart in today’s world! One of the best ways to boost your heart chakra is by giving and receiving love with a pet. Animals are great role models for the unconditional love that heals us.

Fifth Chakra – When fifth or throat chakra energy is free-flowing and balanced, you are free to speak your truth. You are empowered to express who you are, what you feel, and what you believe. Speaking for your beliefs and your truth is essential for you to express the love that can overcome fear in the world today. Writing down your feelings with total honesty can help clear and charge your fifth chakra. Take time to use your “voice” to write, sing, read aloud, and communicate your true feelings.

Sixth Chakra – The sixth chakra or “third eye,” located between the eyebrows, is the source of intuition. When balanced, this chakra helps you keep an open-mind and have faith in your inner guidance. It supports your sense of the interconnection of all humanity and helps you seek the truth in any situation. When this chakra is out of balance, you may feel out of touch with your intuition and struggle with fear-based negative thinking and narrow-mindedness. Daily meditation helps you awaken this chakra and lets you increase your inner wisdom and your ability to “see” clearly.

Seventh Chakra – The seventh energy center or “crown chakra” is located at the top of the head. This is your connection with spirit, your higher power, and the universe. Opening outward and upward, this chakra draws light energy in from above and fills you with an experience of transcendence. Meditation, prayer, and communion with nature are powerful tools for boosting the seventh chakra. Keeping this connection free-flowing, balanced, and clear is your key to bringing all-powerful love into our world.

Working to take care of your chakra energy centers is simply making sure that you have access to all the powers, the gifts, the talents, the energy and the light that is you. Get ready to share your gifts, to move forward in love, to inspire and encourage others, and to live a life of love and joy.

You can learn more about the health of your personal energy centers and how to supercharge them here in the Secrets of Chakra Wisdom Course.


Shrugging at Addiction

Do you have a friend or relative who is struggling with addiction to opioids? Would you even know if they were in the grips of addiction, or are they too embarrassed to admit it?

The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportion in the good old U.S.A. People are in pain—whether that pain is physical, like post-surgery, or emotional, like the hopelessness and despair that has encompassed whole towns and rural areas in our country. And when you go to the doctor, looking for help with your pain, you are handed a prescription—a legal pathway that can lead straight to addiction. Eventually you are desperate to get more of these miracle pills that take away your pain for the moment, even if they cause more pain in the long run. Or you simply turn to heroin—easy to get, hard to let go of.

It’s a terrible thing to experience, whether in yourself or in a loved one. And “just say no” has been proven, over and over again, not to work, despite the current president saying about drugs, “it’s really, really easy not to take them.”

It’s not easy, but there are ways that will help. Ready my blog in Psychology Today at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mining-the-headlines/201711/shrugging-addiction and add your comments on my Facebook page; let’s help become the change we all want to see!



Seven Chakras

Improve Your Mood Instantly with Chakra Cleansing

Taking time to recharge and reset your body, mind, and Spirit is essential to overall health and wellness. Everyone has different methods for releasing the negative energy that naturally accumulates throughout the day: some enjoy taking a hot bath with lavender salts before bedtime while others detail their hopes and aspirations in a journal so they can stay on-track to reach their healing goals.

If you find that your healing rituals are becoming less effective, you may need to spend some time cleansing your chakras so you can get your entire being back on track.

We have seven primary energy centers in our bodies called chakras. Since each chakra correlates to a body part, there are specific ailments and dysfunctions that result if it is blocked. Any time that we have a physical issue, it weakens us emotionally. By cleansing your chakras and releasing stale energy from the body, you breathe new energy into the area of your body that is struggling for air.

And just as each chakra corresponds to a physical body part, they also have a powerful influence over our mental and emotional well-being. The clearing of energies past their prime will help you work through fears and emotions that can safely be freed.

Cleanse your chakras and improve your mood

You can learn to cleanse your own chakras in a quick and effective chakra cleansing meditation.

A grounding meditation practice

Focus on your root chakra and planting it firmly in the ground. Feel the energy of the Earth as your physical body and Spirit connect to Mother Earth. Suddenly, you’ll feel energy radiate up through your body and your mind.

Focus on opening your chakras

After completing your grounding meditation, you can begin opening each of your chakras, one by one. You’ll want to start with the root chakra.

To do this, visualize each one opening. Since each of the seven chakras has a specific color associated with it, a calming way to focus on each opening think about each as your favorite flower in one of the seven colors.

As you focus your energy on a particular chakra, imagine that flower — in its corresponding color — blooming.

Beginning with the root chakra, think about a red infant flower bud that is tightly bound, protecting its delicate petals from the harsh world on the outside. As you look at the young flower, you can tell that there are hundreds of petals on the inside that are ready to break free from the confines of the shell. Suddenly, you notice movement and the flower opens up into full bloom, radiating beauty and life into everything surrounding it.

Once your root chakra has opened, you can move onto the next. As you work through each chakra up to the crown, imagine each one blooming in their corresponding color.

Root chakra (red)

Sacral chakra (orange)

Solar plexus chakra (yellow)

Heart chakra (green)

Throat chakra (blue)

Third eye chakra (violet)

Crown chakra (gold)

If you aren’t a flower or plant enthusiast, you can visualize doors opening or clouds parting. This entire opening meditation should take you approximately 28-42 minutes, spending 4-6 minutes to open each chakra.

Breathe energy into each chakra

Going back to the start of your grounding meditation, refocus on the energy that you pulled from Mother Earth. It is now time to use this energy to flood each of your chakras with life, like water racing downstream in a river. As you visualize the water running through your root chakra, observe how it flushes away impurities and stale energies.

Move onto your sacral chakra after you feel your root chakra has been cleansed. At the end, you will have seven streams of energy flowing through each of your seven chakras.

Return the energy source to Mother Earth

When you feel that your chakras as cleansed and feel it is time to turn off the energy flow, start to pull back on the energy streams. Just like you would turn off a running faucet or unplug a lamp, the energy will fall back into the Earth quickly.

Return each of your chakras to their resting state

After the flow of energy has been returned to Earth, it’s time to close each of your chakras. While we aren’t closing chakras entirely — completely closed chakras are not healthy or sustainable for anyone and completely open chakras will drain your own energy — it is important to dial down the energy on each.

Just like you would turn down the volume on a radio or adjust the thermostat in your home, adjust the energy level on each chakra. You will start with at the crown chakra and move your way down to the root. Adjust the level until you feel comfortable: too low and you may feel a sensation of heaviness; too high and you may feel nervous or anxious suddenly.

This process of adjusting your chakras is unique to each individual. There is no wrong or right way to cleanse your chakras. What feels right to you may feel wrong to someone else. Each person is different.

To find out what feels “right,” pay close attention to your emotions, feelings, and physical state as you move through the cleansing process. Over time, you will observe things that repeat and sense subtle energies. There’s a reason why it’s called “meditation practice” — practice makes perfect.

ptsd awareness

PTSD Awareness

In honor of National PTSD Awareness Day, I would like to encourage all of blog readers and friends to join me on Facebook and share your thoughts and experiences with PTSD.

While people usually associate PTSD with the men and women who serve our country in the military, I assure you that this terrible disease can strike anyone. As with all mental health diseases, PTSD is something that people are uncomfortable talking about in the open — which only increases the feelings of isolation that PTSD patients suffer from. Below is my personal experience with PTSD

My experience with PTSD


My husband and I were doing a one-day rock climb at Lover’s Leap, a sheer rock face west of Lake Tahoe, and I was in the lead. Cold and tired, I had set the belay wrong. I heard Eric cry out below me, and felt the rope burning through my hands as he fell 50 feet toward the ground. Then I saw his head hit the ground, hard. The rescue took all day. I was dehydrated, freezing, in shock, and my hands had been cut down to the bone from trying to stop the fall. Eric sustained a closed head injury and I had PTSD.

I was cold and tired and I had set the belay wrong. Suddenly, I heard Eric cry out below me, and felt the rope burning through my hands as he fell 50 feet toward the ground.

Then I saw his head hit the ground, hard.

The rescue took all day.

I was dehydrated, freezing, in shock, and my hands had been cut down to the bone from trying to stop the fall.

Eric sustained a closed head injury.

A week or two after the accident, I developed an embarrassing speech impediment. I couldn’t really drive, I was too sure there was an accident waiting to happen. My food allergies intensified. I knew I wasn’t okay, and sought help.

I had PTSD.

I got the diagnosis of PTSD and immediately began working on it with meditation, journaling, and energy healing.

Over time, I got better. I am eternally grateful for support and love of Eric, my friends and family, and my extended Soul family during that difficult time.

Whether you are a PTSD sufferer yourself, have a loved one struggling with the disease, or simply want to join the conversation and help bring this debilitating disease into the spotlight, let’s connect on Facebook or Twitter!