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

3 Simple Steps to Connect to Your Higher Self

Daily invitation for the Divine to enter your life.

Have you noticed all the bright and beautiful magazine covers inviting you to “Be Your Best Self” and “Live Your Best Life”? Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? When you turn the page, you discover they want you to cook a fabulous meal, decorate with artistic flair, and show up for the party in a stunning new dress. You feel pretty disappointed if that is the best your “best self” can do. You know in your heart there is so much more to you than meets the eye, and you’d really like to open that avenue to love, happiness, and peace.

As an energy healer and spiritual teacher, I’ve learned that the “best you” is really a higher you–your Higher Self, the part of you that is connected, always, to Spirit. In India, there is a saying that “God, Guru, and Self are One.” The same Power that created the universe–God or Source or Spirit—is also within you. You and Spirit are one. You don’t have to go anywhere or seek anything outside to find God. You only have to look within. And there you will find your real best self—your Higher Self—waiting to infuse your life with all the goodness you desire. Your Higher Self, in itself a part of the Divine, is much wiser and far more loving than your small self, or personality. It goes far beyond your everyday awareness and can transport you into transcendent realms. Your Higher Self contains all the very best parts of you that you incarnated into this lifetime to develop. It is a little bit like having a close friend living in your house, but you can’t see or hear them. You can’t reach this friend through any of your usual five senses, but intuitively you know your friend is there. You may doubt your connection to the Divine, but as you continue to look within, you will come to believe in the reality of your Higher Self and you will learn how to communicate with it.

Your Higher Self is a perfect being made of light and love—it’s you, the ideal version of you—and thus can offer guidance no one else can. When you align with your Higher Self, you are in touch with your soul and can experience Divine love and feel the effects of understanding that you are part of the interconnected world. Knowing you are loved unconditionally will make you more compassionate and loving toward others. Divine love will radiate through you and spread like ripples out into the world, becoming that gift of peace and good will you want to share today and always.

Although you are always connected to your Higher Self, there are ways to strengthen your alignment and make your connection clearer and more focused. Your Higher Self is within you, and you have the power to keep your point of contact with the Divine open and flowing. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Remember who you are. You are a child of the Divine and have the power to create your world with love, happiness, and inspiration. No need to waste precious attention on fear and doubt.
  2. Use your intuition. You have a channel of communication always available. Be open to the messages of Spirit. Use meditation to quiet your mind. Ask for what you need to know and be ready to receive.  Invite the Divine to enter your life each day.
  3. Make sure you feel good. Use healing practices to clear anything that might be blocking your connection to your Higher Self. When joy and gratitude and creative energy fill your heart, that is, when you feel good, your alignment with Spirit is healthy and strong.

When you are called upon to be your best self, during the holidays and every day, your Higher Self is always with you, waiting to guide and empower you with the spark of the Divine. Drawing from within, you will have all the energy you need to meet the world with love and grace.

To learn more about connecting to your Higher Self through meditation, pick up your own copy of my Learn to Meditate course.

The Secret Chakras Nobody Bothered to Tell You About

Many of you already know that there is an ancient wisdom hidden in your chakras – when they are open and clear you can receive messages of Divine guidance and spiritual growth.

You can even experience powerful initiations into higher energetic vibrations.

You might know about the 7 physical chakras – but did you know there are even more chakras above your head? These higher chakras are the gateway to discovering your true purpose in this life on this earth… and yet they are rarely spoken about… until now.

Once your physical chakras are balanced, cleared and charged – you pave the way to accessing these higher chakras and the gifts they are waiting to bestow upon you.

These can be anything from psychic and intuitive abilities, astral travel, bilocation and so much more.

I’ve just released a beautiful free video series that contains the best of what I’ve learned about chakras in my three decades’ of study and practice as an energy healer.

In the first video lesson we’ll explore the mystical higher spiritual chakras, and how you can begin the process of activating them.

In the second video lesson, you’ll learn all about your base chakra and ways you can clear, balance and strengthen it to begin a powerful process of healing.

You can view the first two lessons by clicking here >>>>>>>




Yoga and Energy Healing: Friends With Benefits


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

Health Is a Balancing Act

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

How Many Ways Is Yoga is Good for You?

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


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

Yoga’s Spiritual Side

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

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

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


Kick Off a New Healthier and Happier You!


Beginnings are important. The first page of a book, the first line of a movie, a first encounter, the first month of a new year—they all set the tone for what’s to come. Think about how often the tone of your morning sets the tone for the day. Similarly, how you begin this new year and the behaviors you establish this month can set the tone for next twelve months, so you want to make it good!

January sees an increase in gym memberships and dieting, an up in detox meal plans and walks. Everyone wants to be healthier, and they figure that if they start the year off right, the positive momentum will keep them on track the rest of the year.

Real Healing Comes from Within

The problem is that fad diets and other thirty-day quick fixes don’t actually heal you, and therefore can’t really eliminate the negative behaviors you’re trying to put behind you. Real healing has to come from the inside and must treat your whole being, getting at the root of the issue. If your unhealthy habits are fueled by an old trauma or suppressed emotions—and nearly all bad habits are—you won’t be able to fully conquer the habit until you’ve dealt with the underlying emotional and energetic causes. This is where energy healing and meditation come in.


Energy healing heals all of you. It clears up emotional blockages in your chakras so they can move energy in and out between your field and the universal field, keeping you recharged and replenished. Energy healing also gives you the tools to process current emotions to prevent further buildup. Not only does meditation heal you, it also expands your awareness, and brings you closer to Source and your higher self. With the guidance of your higher self, you become able to glimpse your true soul purpose, the reason you are here on Earth, which helps you stay more closely aligned with that purpose and speeds up your spiritual progress. All these benefits and more from something that you can do from home in just minutes each day!

Meditation really is the best way to jump into energy healing, and it’s my best recommendation for how to kick off this new year healthfully and set a calm, collected, and centered tone for your 2015.

Here are three tips for successfully beginning and maintaining a meditation practice:


  1. Do it daily.

Meditation is like wine: it only gets better with time. It is an incremental process that re-sets your physiology and psyche. Done daily, it decreases stress, slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure, improves sleep, turns back the clock, as well as spiritual expansion and increased connection to the Divine. Twenty minutes, twice a day is ideal. Try meditating first thing in the morning, to start your day refreshed and centered. Keep in mind as you begin that every single person in the world can learn to meditate. Like anything else, with practice it becomes easier.


  1. Schedule it!

You’ll need to schedule your daily meditation time, just like you do your gym time or walking your dog or hair appointments. It’s that important! In the meditation technique I teach, you’ll see that I encourage you to meditate before you leave the bedroom in the morning, before the pressures of your day hit. Early morning is also the most powerful time of the day for you to connect with Spirit – right around sunrise is ideal.


  1.  Learn from a spiritual teacher.

Some of the mainstream meditation teachings put an emphasis on simple relaxation or tell you to empty your mind while meditating. How in the world do you do that! No wonder so many people give up! Instead, in the meditation technique I teach, I teach you to focus on a special mantra I choose just for you, which allows you to float just outside your thoughts and keeps you from getting restless.

No matter what you’re hoping to cultivate in this new year, meditation can help you. It improves every aspect of your being, just like energy medicine, and with continued meditation, all the pieces of your life will seem to make just a little more sense. Meditation can help you begin this year with more balance, clarity, peace, health, and happiness. I hope you will start right now!




Activating Your Health



Baby, it’s cold outside! Well, not here in California, but I hear the rest of the country is shivering. A lot of my students in the Northeast are dealing with blizzard conditions, and I’ll bet many of them are worried about colds and flu, if they’re not already walking around holding a box of tissues.

Most of you know that you have the ability to heal your physical body and to maintain a high quality of health. Healing ability is natural; when you give your body the right tools to work with, it can keep you humming along no matter how nasty the weather is!

So, how are you feeling? A little fatigued, a little headachy? Are you doing what’s needed to boost your immune system and fend off the attack of the germs?

It’s always good to remember the basics of health and healing. I’ve written a blog for Psychology Today that goes into five of the top ways you activate your natural healing ability.  Go to and stay well, with plenty of energy to accomplish all your dreams!




Get Energized with Superfoods!



Looking for a way to feel good inside and out, maintain a healthy weight, ward off disease and slow down the aging process? To maximize the effects of your regular healthy diet, make it a habit to incorporate a few superfoods into your daily menu. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they deliver the most nutritional bang for your caloric buck!


Here are a few healthy and tasty choices to consider:


Chia seeds – edible seeds that come from a flowering herb in the mint family. They were used as an energy booster in ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures, which makes sense, because chia seeds contain a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, and a healthy blend of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. You can add these mild, nutty seeds to foods and beverages for a heart healthy energy booster!


Blueberries – delicious, easy to eat and packed with healthy antioxidants, blueberries are also high in potassium and vitamin C. Be sure to add them to your shopping list, along with their colorful friends, acai berries, goji berries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, and cherries. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory (and did I mention tasty?) When selecting berries, the rule of thumb is that the darker the berry, the more nutrients are packed inside!


Kale – it’s been called the “healthiest vegetable on the planet!” Just one cup of kale contains about 100% of your daily requirements for vitamins A, C and K, providing major cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote healthy eyesight. Plus, kale is a great source of potassium, iron, phosphorus and manganese – as well as over 45 different varieties of antioxidant flavonoids that lend themselves to cancer prevention!


Salmon – veggies are great, but I always recommend that you add some protein in too. Lean protein helps you to feel full and satisfied, without adding fat to your diet. In addition, wild salmon, along with herring, sardines and mackerel is rich in omega 3s, which lowers heart disease risk, helps arthritis, and helps with memory loss and Alzheimer’s. It’s also believed that omega 3s are beneficial in treating depression.


Tea – swap out your morning coffee for a cup of tea! The overall antioxidant power of black tea is the same as green tea, but green tea also contains ECGC, an especially powerful antioxidant. A recent Japanese study on green tea found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.


Almonds – nuts are another superfood rich in healthy fats that help you slim down, and they’re a great way to get your protein on the go! Almonds are high in protein, heart-friendly, and very filling. While a bit high in fat, they are one of the few foods that, like olive oil and avocados, contain the healthy monounsaturated fat, which is proven to help stave off heart disease and diabetes and to help lower bad cholesterol. Limit yourself to 10 – 15 almonds a serving, and keep the skin on to maximize the healthy benefits.


These nutritional superstars are just a few of the foods that nutritionists and health experts are touting these days. I’ll be delving into this topic more deeply in my upcoming healing courses.


If You Don’t Love Your Body, Who Will?

“Everybody has a part of her body that she doesn’t like,

but I’ve stopped complaining about mine because I don’t want to critique nature’s handiwork …
My job is simply to allow the light to shine out of the masterpiece.”
~Alfre Woodard


I was thrilled to run into my student, Sharon the other day, but just as I opened my mouth to tell her how great it was to see her she launched into a monologue of self-loathing! She fretted about how out of shape she was, how awful she looked, and how she couldn’t seem to get herself down to a “decent weight.” I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something wrong with her mirror! Sharon isn’t a teenager, nor is she a waif – but the woman standing in front of me was a perfectly healthy weight for her height, and looked just fine!


Sometimes body image doesn’t have much to do with reality. The fact is that Sharon, like many people (especially women), can’t accept her body because she doesn’t like herself. From what she’s shared with me over the years, I know her lack of self-acceptance has deep roots in her relationship with her hyper-critical father. From the time Sharon was six years old, her father, through his insensitive comments and lack of affection, made her feel that she was never good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, and certainly not thin enough. As a child, Sharon didn’t get that her father was projecting his feelings of frustration with his wife, and Sharon’s mother, (who was indeed overweight) onto Sharon and making her the scapegoat for his unhappiness. She just knew that she didn’t measure up – and that feeling never went away. For the rest of her life she has seen herself through his critical eyes.


A father’s influence in his daughter’s life is so important, and his approval, (or lack of it) shapes her self-esteem, self-image, confidence and opinion of men for the rest of her life. Despite the fact that Sharon’s father died years ago, she still carries inside her the little girl who wanted to be loved unconditionally by the father she adored. Even as an adult, she feels unlovable and blames herself, and her healthy, strong, heavy-boned, Kapha body, for her inability to sustain healthy relationships with men and for her lack of confidence at work. What she doesn’t realize is that her body isn’t her problem. Her problem is her lack of self-esteem.


Sharon is a great example of the disconnect that exists for many people when it comes to how they view their own bodes. According to recent research, your image of your own body is only indirectly connected to your body mass index (BMI), a common health measure of weight relative to height. A much more convincing factor is how you view yourself is how you believe others view and respond to you.


What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see what is actually there, or a distorted version of yourself, someone no one else can see? In my healing courses I often come into contact with people, like Sharon, who are blocked from a healthy self image by issues in their past that continue to haunt them.  Energy healing is one way to remove those painful emotions. Once they have been removed, it helps to work with a life coach to replace those negative emotions with positive healthy affirmations. Continue processing those feelings through a regular practice of journaling and meditation, and work on accepting and loving yourself, and your body!


Your body needs a cheerleader, not a critic! If you’re ready to embrace a positive body image, you won’t want to miss this week’s radio show. I’ll be interviewing a very special guest, who believes that self-worth is not measured by the size of your thighs or the width of your hips, but by the breadth of your dreams and the depth of your love! Tune in and get inspired!


Are issues from your past getting in between you and the life you want to lead? Interested in exploring other ways to expand your consciousness and live in the light? Check out my brand new book, Entangled in Darkness, FREE with it’s companion 4-part live online course, Seeking the Light. Join me on the path to a great body image!


It’s Movie Time!

Out West, where I live when I’m not traveling, we’ve been having an unparalleled heat wave. Sneakers are actually melting in parts of the Southwest, and Death Valley (well-named) was at 130 degrees! Experts are predicting some of the hottest weather ever. (global warming in spades for those still doubtful folks) Here in southern California, I’ve found the best solution for getting through this record-breaking heat: go to the movies!

I totally enjoyed White House Down, an action-packed and completely absurd thriller about terrorists invading the Oval Office while the hero (played by Channing Tatum) saves the world single-handedly. It’s great fun watching “president” Jamie Foxx kick a terrorist and shout: “Get your hands off my Jordans!” It’s definitely a laugh-yourself-silly movie, perfect for getting your mind off the weather and whatever else may be keeping you down.

Plus, it’s worth taking a drive to your nearest indie theater to see Unfinished Song. It’s quite possibly the best movie I’ve seen this year (and I see a lot of movies)! Terrance Stamp stars as a difficult old man with a wife, the fantastic Vanessa Redgrave, with cancer who sings with a local group of retirees. Sounds depressing but isn’t: these two veteran actors in their 70’s are at their peak and turn in award worthy performances. Stamp plays with great subtle feeling a man who is so closed off to life that he is beyond numb, while Redgrave infuses her character with khumor and warmth. Break out the Kleenex and be prepared to really feel – all in all it’s a real heart-warmer of a movie and a celebration of life.

Heading out of the heat and into another indie movie, I saw Twenty Feet from Stardom, based on the true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends. I love movies with great music, and this is one of them! With a cast that includes Bette Midler, Lou Adler, Darlene Love, Mick Jagger, Sheryl Crow, and all the gal backup singers, how could you go wrong? It is also a poignant examination of the question of why some make it to stardom and others do not.

So kick back and enjoy your summer. And remember there’s nothing like an air-conditioned theatre on a hot afternoon. Hope to see you at the movies!

7 Tips for Losing Weight Without Diet or Exercise!

No one likes to look in the mirror and see those extra pounds that two sets of Spanx can’t hide. And no one likes to feel guilty about eating something yummy or not running a half-marathon. Fortunately, there are ways to lose weight—believe it or not— that don’t include starvation diets and sweating.

Here are 7 tried-and-true tips that will help you fit into your favorite jeans again:

      1. Get enough sleep. Weight loss is impossible if you are sleep deprived. Once you start getting the amount of sleep your body needs, you’ll lose a pound or two a month without doing any else. Really. Sleep deprivation affects the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and leptin, the hormone that sends the message to your brain that you are full. When you don’t get enough zzz’s, you are much more likely to eat a whole pizza rather than just a slice or two. So turn off the TV and the computer and your smart phone an hour before bed, make sure your bedroom is totally dark and cool and no stimulants like caffeine.
      2. Get enough sun. It’s a simple formula: light deprivation causes depression; depression can lead to weight gain. We actually need a minimum of 20 minutes of sun on our bodies in the early morning or late afternoon, without sunscreen, at least five days a week all year to get enough Vitamin D to feel happy. If you live in a place where you get the winter blues, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), your hypothalamus gland gets imbalanced and sad, irritable and tired. It also makes you crave more carbs. If this is you, check out full spectrum lamps and light therapy boxes that mimic natural sunlight.
      3. Double your meals. Now you really think I’ve flipped, but listen. Take the food you currently eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and divide it in half—that means splitting your normal portion for each meal into two, not doubling the amount you eat. In other words, eat half that turkey sandwich at lunch, and the other half mid-afternoon. Make sure there is some good quality protein in each of the meals/snacks you eat, even if it’s just a handful of almonds. When you let your body get too hungry, you run the risk of overeating. Keep your blood sugar stabilized and you’ll stop heading to Starbucks for a pick-me-up. And speaking of Starbucks, when you do end up there, stick to the Hibiscus, not the double Frappuccino!
      4. Don’t isolate yourself. If there is a hole in your life where relationships should be, then you are probably filling it with food. These days it’s easy to be in regular contact with people, even if you don’t leave the house. Call them, email or chat online, meet new “friends” on Facebook, get in on the conversations on your favorite websites. Think about joining one of the websites like or even if you’re just looking for a walking partner.
      5. Forgive yourself for having gained weight. We all know the power of forgiveness. But forgiving yourself can be much harder than forgiving someone else. When you are ashamed about having put on the pounds, forgiving yourself is an important part of releasing your past and moving forward. Forgive yourself for the specific things you feel bad about, not about the person you are. You’re a good person no matter how much you weigh.
      6. Deal with your repressed emotions. Your story may not include childhood sexual and emotional abuse (like mine did), but we all carry emotional wounds of one sort or another. When you have an emotion but don’t acknowledge it or process it, you may wind up gaining weight as an act of protection against getting hurt again. Think about the fact that the belly is the center of the emotional body. You may be numbing yourself with food to keep from feeling certain “unacceptable” emotions—like shame, jealousy, anger, bitterness, etc. Stop running away and face what you feel. It might help to talk to a therapist or see an energy healer soon.
      7. Stop stressing about your weight. You’ve already got enough stress in your life, what with kids and aging parents and your job or lack of one and your relationships and paying your bills, and then there’s your doctor harping on you to lose weight before you come down with diabetes or heart disease or something worse. Of course, you’re more likely to crave a big bowl of chocolate chip ice cream if you’re stressed. If you worry about your weight, you’re simply adding to the stress, as well as creating more emotional pain, like low self-esteem. Constant stress can make you want to eat fatty, salty, or sugary foods in order to calm down. So what can you do to relieve your stress besides running five miles a day? Try 20 minutes of meditation. You’ll be amazed at how much your stress level will drop. Take it from a spiritual teacher and energy healer, meditation is the fastest way to address stress. 

A New Look at Your Eyes!

Submitted by Nancy Neff – Certified Energy Healing Practitioner and Deborah King Center LifeForce Coach

Although I’ve always been healthy and fit, eating well and exercising to maintain my physical and emotional self, like most people I considered my eyes to be in a separate category from the rest of my body. I knew shedding excess pounds could help with heart disease or diabetes, or that getting regular exercise or time outdoors could help with depression. But I used to think there was nothing I could do to change my “bad eyes”—my mother’s constant lament about my nearsightedness when I was a child.


Yes, I grew up wearing glasses that seemed to get thicker every year, as I retreated further into my books and away from interacting with people. I was so worried about my vision getting even worse that I practiced walking around the house with my eyes closed, memorizing the location of the furniture. Those thick eyeglasses were eventually replaced by thick hard plastic contact lenses, which I wore for decades. Then I learned that it was possible to improve my eyesight. Wow! You might as well have told me I had wings and could fly.


In working with a behavioral optometrist to gradually improve my vision, I sometimes struggled with too-weak glasses that caused me to strain, get a headache, and feel tired. I learned that strain meant I was doing something in an inefficient way. Seeing clearly is supposed to be easy! I found that if I gave an image a second or so, it often cleared up. Since I was used to rushing through every task I took on, this was a real exercise in patience for me.


I made a pivotal change in improving my visual health and function when I started to study energy medicine. I had been focusing only on the mechanical aspects of vision improvement, like wearing increasingly weaker glasses (or none at all when it was safe), shifting my gaze from near to far periodically when reading or at the computer, blinking enough, and resting my eyes whenever they felt tired. Now I also started to pay attention to how my visual system was feeling. I let myself really enjoy the everyday miraculous act of seeing, inviting the rich colors of my environment all the way in with no lenses to block them, being more aware of depth and the interplay of light and shadow.


I’m also more aware of how my eyes are an intrinsic part of me, and that anything which helps my body and my attitude to be healthier will help my eyes as well. Many people disregard simple health practices that would help their vision, like staying well-hydrated (the eyes are mostly water), or good posture (a cramped neck or shoulders can restrict the blood flow to the small capillaries that nourish the eyes), or getting enough rest. The eyes heal and regenerate during sleep, and you ignore your body’s messages of fatigue at your peril.


Vision varies with your current level of happiness (or not), your level of fatigue, and your surroundings (out in nature vs. in a cramped hectic office). If you experience momentary visual blur, it is not necessarily cause for stronger glasses; maybe you just need a meal, or to get up from your computer and go for a walk! Take a moment to check in with your body and your eyes to see what they need right now before jumping to the conclusion that your vision is declining.


Like pain in the body, visual blur is simply a signal from your system that you need to change something. Maybe it’s a belief, like “Since my mother’s vision declined when she was in her 40s, mine will too.” To paraphrase Henry Ford, if you believe your eyes are going to get worse, they probably will! Deborah King, spiritual teacher and master healer,  tells us that limitation or wrong beliefs exist first in the human energy field, which surrounds us; if they stay in place long enough, they can become a problem in the body. The eyes are actually an extension of the brain: the inside back of the eyeball, the sensitive retina that receives the light rays and images to decode, grows out of brain tissue as the human embryo develops. So I believe that if you can change your mind to have a more positive uplifting attitude, you can change your vision for the better.


Another thing I’ve learned from my energy medicine studies and healing courses is that maintaining a positive, grateful, optimistic attitude about my vision is essential to my seeing clearly. Clear visual focus requires mental focus, paying attention to what I’m looking at. Try looking at the world with the joyful curious eyes of a child to whom everything is new. Seeing is a gift, every day. The eyes have it!

Written by Nancy L. Neff – Certified Energy Healing Practitioner and Deborah King Center LifeForce Coach


Weighing In



It’s that time of year, the beginning of a new year, when, once again, you’ve made a resolution to lose weight. And your first act is to step bravely onto the scale, with your eyes open. Horrors! You didn’t think you ate THAT much over the holidays! Or maybe it’s been years since you were ready to face the scale, and just kept buying new clothes (with elastic waists) as your old ones “shrunk.” Reality sucks.

So, how are you going to tackle those extra pounds this time? Atkins? South Beach? Weight Watchers? Jennifer Hudson looks pretty good. Are you going to track your calories, fat, protein, sugar, carbs, and water intake on Are you setting goals for running that half-marathon in six months?

According to The New York Times, four out of five people who make New Year’s resolutions will break them, and a third won’t even get to the end of January before giving up. And the top resolutions are always losing weight and exercising more (and getting out of debt and saving more). Where did all that self-control go? Where’s the willpower to resist that donut or bagel or mocha frappuccino?

There has to be a better way than struggling with those self-defeating resolutions and then quickly regaining whatever few pounds you managed to lose. And there is.

Like everything else in life, you can approach weight loss from a spiritual/holistic perspective, not just calories in/calories out. To really lose weight, you have to lose the weight between your ears, not just around your middle. You have to change your thinking, your emotional connection to food, and the psychological issues behind your weight. Without addressing the true root of your weight problems, even if you lose a considerable amount of weight, the chances are good you’ll gain it all back.

So how do your subconscious feelings drive your eating? Some spiritual teachers have said that the cause of excess weight is fear, which blocks feelings of love. So when you overeat, or eat the “wrong” foods, you are feeding your feelings, not your body. Emotional eating is an obsessive relationship with food. What are you trying to get from food? What is missing in your life? Are you using food to numb your pain? Are you beating yourself up because you can’t seem to lose that weight?

In order to approach weight loss in a new, positive way, you have to be ready to do the deep inner work that’s needed to suss out your personal connection to food, eating, and weight. Yes, those are all different. And we are all different. There is no one answer that works for everyone, just as there is no one diet or exercise program that works for everyone.

By now you’re all familiar with the tools I’ve used to do the work of uncovering my own emotional blockages, especially journaling, meditation, and energy healing. If you have trouble doing this type of inner work by yourself, find a therapist or teacher or healer who can help you unearth the hidden reasons behind your weight.

Basically, we’re talking about weight loss from the inside out instead of from the outside in. The stronger your connection to your own divine core, the more you open and listen to your intuition and guidance from your Higher Self, the more support you will have as you tackle whatever lingering childhood issues or traumatic residues are behind your problems with weight. The road to success lies within. When you lose that weight between your ears and release whatever blockages are in your chakras, you’ll be able to lose more than just emotional blocks.

The optimal way to go about it is to make gentle changes in your lifestyle, in your approach to nutrition and fitness and health, along with doing the inner work. Check out my article on on “Five Surprising Ideas on Weight Loss” for some recommendations you may not have thought about. Think of it as an adventure in consciousness, not another plunge into a restrictive way of living.

This year, stop worrying about your resolutions and, step by gentle step, walk the high road to lasting weight loss, and a happier and healthier life all around.


When Stress Can Be Good For You

Not all stress is bad – here are 5 examples of occasions when stress can be good for you:

1.   Recovering from surgery. Going under the knife is stressful. But the short-term stress of surgery can work in your favor by actually helping you to heal faster. In nature, wounds usually happen following stressful situations, such as when a gazelle is being chased by a lion. Short-term stress hormones surge through the body in anticipation of the potential outcome–like the gazelle getting bit but managing to escape–and gets the body ready for the fast healing that will have to take place.

2.    Preventing colds and flu. If you’re feeling deadline pressure in the short-term, your body will most likely work overtime to keep you well. That’s because some stress is helpful to rev your immune system to fight off viruses and bacteria since it’s the stress-regulating adrenal glands that balance immunity.

3.    Increasing connections. Even if you’re not the type to actually embrace stress, it may motivate you more to reach out to others. In fact, short-term stress has been shown to boost levels of oxytocin, a.k.a. the bonding hormone.


4.    Enhancing memory. Have you ever been in a stressful situation where your mind felt super-aware and laser-sharp? It’s the rush of hormones to the prefrontal cortex (a brain region important for controlling cognition and emotion) that may boost your working memory, or the short-term kind used in speaking, problem solving and processing sensory information. 

5.    Toughening up. Whether you’re stressed because you lost your job or are having marital problems, those feelings could be life-changing–in a good way. Those of us who deal with misfortune are actually more well adjusted than those who’ve had no bumps in the road at all.


Calcium and Heart Health

Calcium with Vitamin D on by user Ragesoss

A European study published in Heart (a medical journal) in May of this year came to the conclusion that “increasing calcium intake from diet might not confer significant cardiovascular benefits, while calcium supplements, which might raise (heart disease) risk, should be taken with caution.” What the researchers are suggesting is that when supplements supply a sudden burst of calcium into the system, the calcium seems more likely to end up in the plaque that lines artery walls than to build stronger bones.

Basically, we’ve been lied to about cholesterol and calcium by the same people who brought us SAD—the Standard American Diet. Cholesterol, far from being the big bad guy in heart disease, is only one component of plaque: cholesterol is pliable, and vitally important for brain cells and nerves. Calcium, on the other hand, when it forms deposits (calcifications), is a much more worrisome part of plaque. Calcium can pile up in organs and cause kidney stones; Alzheimer’s disease stems from calcification of brain matter; arteries hardened by excess calcium lead to heart attacks. Where does most of that calcium come from? Processed foods that have been “fortified” with calcium, or from supplements that are high in elemental calcium.

The link between calcium, vitamin D, and bone health is fully supported by the European Food Safety Authority, but the big push for calcium supplements by mainstream medicine is supported only by a lot of simplification. Western medicine tends to take things apart, pull apart all the factors and study them in isolation. What Ayurveda and other Eastern traditions do is just the opposite: they look at things as a whole, and understand the complex interactions of our bodily processes. Ayurvedic practices, which have helped to keep me healthy for decades, set the cap for supplemental calcium at 500 mg max/day, while also adding Vitamin K2 (which carries the calcium out of the bloodstream and into bone), magnesium, and Vitamin D3 so the calcium is properly absorbed by the body.

You can see why it’s important to address your calcium intake. Yet it’s admittedly tricky. A friend of mine is lactose intolerant and has been diagnosed as having osteoporosis. She can’t get calcium from dairy products, and you have a eat a truck-load of kale to get enough calcium, yet she needs it for her bones. Fortunately, she is in the care of an “integrative doctor” who understands her needs and has set her on a good nutritional path.

But what about you? Do you take calcium supplements? Do you also take magnesium, K2, and D3? Do you get your other vitamins and minerals from supplements or from food (like juicing tons of veggies a day)? Do you get your important trace minerals from Himalayan salt? Who is overseeing your nutrition? It is highly beneficial to see a holistic practitioner, at least once, who is very knowledgable about diet and supplements and takes into account who you are, your body’s tendencies toward health or disease, your digestive ability, and your food likes, dislikes, and allergies.

It is so important for us all to take responsibility for our health, and especially for the health of our children. It’s not easy when there is so much conflicting or confusing information out there in the blogosphere. Above all, learn to listen to your body. Meditate, and listen even more deeply. You’ll find what you need to know, and be led to those who can help you.


Cutting Back Caffeine: When is it Too Much Caffeine for you?

Many people enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning to help conquer those early mornings. Others reach for a soda in the later afternoon for a little boost of energy to keep themselves going. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying some caffeine, I urge you to consider cutting back if it’s causing you problems.

So how do you know if you are getting too much caffeine?

From an Ayurveda standpoint, your sensitivity to caffeine depends on what your dosha type is. Ayurveda is the ancient Hindu science of health and medicine. Practiced for more than 5,000 years, Ayurveda’s holistic science focuses on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. In Ayurveda, every individual is unique and there is no diet or lifestyle routine that works for everyone. This is precisely why caffeine may be fine for some but a problem for others.

Ayurveda theory states that the five elements of space, air, earth, fire and water make up everything in the universe, including the human body. These five elements come together to create three different doshas, or energies that make up each individual. Knowing your dosha type will help you determine how sensitive you may be to caffeine and whether you might need to make some changes in your drinking habits.

The three Dosha types are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata consists of air and space elements; Pitta consists of fire and water elements; and Kapha consists of earth and water elements.

If you are a Pitta – that is, if you have a lot of the fire element already present in your body – caffeine is likely to cause you problems. Pittas are already fired up and the extra heat, acidity and dryness that coffee brings can cause problems. Vatas and Kaphas have far less issues with caffeine, because of their constitution.
But the main culprit is the high acidic quality to your drink. You may have been fine in your twenties and thirties drinking coffee everyday, but for Pittas, who are prone to more sensitive digestion, there is a high likelihood that as you age, your sensitivity to caffeine intensifies. By the time you are around age 40-55, you may be facing a lot of side effects from caffeine that you never experienced a few years before!

The other issue with caffeine is that it is hard on your adrenal glands. As a stimulant, it gives you a boost and causes you to run on false energy. You are actually draining yourself and exhausting your adrenal glands. Ever notice how you often end up more tired and sluggish on the days you drink a lot of coffee and soda? Sounds backwards, but it really isn’t!

What can you do to combat this sensitivity?

Well the obvious answer is to cut back on your caffeine intake. If you notice you are drinking too much caffeine, try limiting it to one cup in the morning, and then switching from coffee to herbal tea. You can also try using exercise as a natural stimulant to help your body wake up in the morning and give yourself a natural high.

And here’s another important tip. Coffee is super dehydrating so one of the most important steps you can take is to hydrate yourself constantly. Drink more water! A great rule of thumb to use is: For every cup of coffee, caffeinated tea or soda you drink, drink an equal amount of water at the same time. Keep yourself hydrated and it will diminish any side effects from coffee.

For more health and wellness coaching tips, including more information on Ayurveda, please check out my LifeForce Coaching Elite Video Series at: