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How to Curb your Emotional Eating and Cut Down on Carbs Today!

Do you find yourself mindlessly inhaling potato chips? Do you nervously devour the entire bread basket at restaurants before your first course even comes to the table? Does your diet consist mostly of comfort foods like pasta and potatoes? Do you find yourself wandering toward the fridge after an upsetting phone call or email? Does a stressful day at work make you want to break out the nachos?

You may very well be an emotional eater, but fear not, you are not alone! The good news is you can curb your emotional eating – you have the power to overcome your struggles with food and weight.

The first step is understanding why and when you turn to stress eating. Everyone does it from time to time, but if you are someone who handles all your difficult emotions by eating – whether you are bored, angry, sad, jealous, or nervous – then you are clearly stuck in a destructive cycle that is not healthy for your mind or your body. Emotional and stress eating is a form of self-medication. While some people turn to alcohol and drugs, others turn to food, especially comfort foods like carbs which trick our bodies into feeling warm and fuzzy and safe. You may be eating to suppress whatever emotions you are feeling, but notice that once you’ve devoured that entire bowl of macaroni and cheese or that big bowl of buttery popcorn, your emotions are still there waiting for you. You usually end up feeling even worse than before you took your first bite. And now your body is going to wear the extra weight from that binge. It’s a lose-lose situation and the resulting shame and feelings of loss of self-control put you in an even worse emotional place than before.

So let’s rewind and think about what you can do before you take that first bite! Make it a habit to grab your journal every time you want to reach for food and answer these questions: Am I really hungry? Am I depressed or anxious? Why do I want this food right now? And really answer yourself honestly? What just happened prior to your craving this food? Are you mad or frustrated or stressed out or exhausted? Is there something else you can do to resolve these emotions rather than numb them with junk food? Perhaps you would feel better if you went for a walk outside or took a warm bath or called a friend. Maybe chewing on something healthy and crunchy like celery would help you keep your mouth busy and help you release those emotions.

One of the causes of your stress eating may also be a result of childhood habits. How was food treated in your household growing up? Were you rewarded with food for good behavior? Was food taken away from you as punishment if you did something bad? Was your family struggling to put food on the table and you now see lots of food as a sign of success? Did your family encourage you to “clean your plate” no matter how full you were? All of these habits are emotional eating habits formed very early in our childhood, but that does not mean they are habits we cannot break. If you are aware of why you eat and when you eat, it will be a lot easier for you to make a point to eat when you actually need to eat and you will be able to control your mindless emotional eating.

You may also have unresolved suppressed emotions from a traumatic or stressful experience that you are protecting yourself with through the comfort of food and emotional eating. Physical or sexual abuse, a difficult relationship or lack of one, divorce, the death of a loved one, or as is becoming more and more common in today’s struggling economy, the loss of a home or job, are all situations that you may be battling and trying to eat your way past.

If you know you are going through a rough patch and your emotions are strong, try not to store them in your body as they will do more harm than good if they are bottled up inside you. Let your truth out and give yourself permission to release these emotions. One of the best ways to do so is to write in a journal everyday. Take a few minutes every evening at the end of your day and write down what is bothering you, what is on your mind, what happened that day…be 100% honest with yourself and don’t sugar-coat or try to be eloquent in your writing. Don’t be harsh on yourself for what you are writing – these are your feelings and they are 100% legit. If you can let yourself be honest with your emotions on paper, you will make fewer trips to the fridge!

If weight has long been a stubborn issue for you, come to one of my in-person workshops and let’s get to the bottom of it together! To sign up for an upcoming workshop near you, please visit my Events page at: /events-workshops//

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Promoting Women’s Wellness

Women's Health Week

It’s that time of year again for Women’s Health Week and it’s about time! This year’s theme, “It’s Your Time,” could not be more appropriately titled. Now, more than ever before, it is vital to acknowledge Women’s Health Week and work to empower women today to take charge of their health and take great care of themselves. In the past several months alone, women and their health choices have been under attack and used by politicians as part of a political game more than ever before. There is a war on women going on, and women’s wellness and health issues are at stake. It is high time women take back their power, and both men and women unite together to promote women’s wellness. Let’s make women’s health a top priority in our everyday life! Not just this week, but every week and every year!

Defining Women’s Wellness

Women’s wellness embodies everything in women’s health – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Women tend to put themselves last as many of them try to balance work and family and do it all. Oftentimes, their physical, spiritual and emotional health needs are put last in the long list of daily to-do’s. Women are so focused on taking care of everyone and everything else that they forget to even think about who is taking care of them. It is perplexing to me that so many women aren’t on their own list of priorities, as I believe it is imperative that in order to take care of anyone else’s needs, they really need to be able to handle their own selves first.

So to jumpstart your plan of action, here are some starter tips on ways you can celebrate Women’s Health Week and take better care of yourself and the women in your life today:

Physical Wellness: Taking Care of our Bodies!

  • Visit your healthcare professional/encourage the women in your life to visit their healthcare professional for regular checkups and preventative screenings.
  • Adopt an active lifestyle – make it a point to take walks, exercise, try yoga or Pilates or other mind-body workouts that will not only make you feel better physically, but will also ground you and improve your emotional health.
  • Eat healthy! Proper nutrition and drinking lots of water will go a long way in taking good care of your body.
  • Avoid unhealthy and risky behaviors and habits such as smoking, drinking excessively, and not wearing seatbelts or bike helmets.

Emotional Health: Taking Care of our Minds!

  • Make daily meditations a part of your everyday routine! Twice a day for twenty minutes will go a long way in helping you calm your mind and find your inner peace and sense of self. If you don’t know how to meditate or would like to learn an amazing meditation technique that will take your meditation to a higher level of consciousness, please check out my meditation download available online at: https://deborahking.b.smartzsites.com/learn-to-meditate/
  • Get plenty of Zzz’s! Sleep is important to keeping your stress down and taking care of women’s wellness. You may notice if you fall asleep often during your daily meditations that you may be lacking in the sleep department. Make sure you give your body and mind time to rest and recuperate before you start conquering the next day’s list of to-do’s!
  • Manage your stress better by learning to say ‘no’, making boundaries for yourself and keep them! No one can look out for you better than yourself, so be sure to set some limits so you aren’t overworked and overstressed!
  • Find something that brings you joy in your life – whether it’s an activity or hobby you love to do, or people you love to see who make you feel happy – and make a point to find the time to do it/see them.

Spiritual Calm: Taking Care of our Higher Self and Connecting to Source!

  • Reconnect with your higher self by reconnecting with Mother Nature – take walks through parks, on hiking trails, by the ocean. Appreciate all that our beautiful nature has to offer and feel closer to Source. Or try what I do, sleep outside to get a big dose of nature every night!
  • Journal your thoughts and emotions daily. Writing in a journal daily is one of the most powerful and uplifting tools both women and men can use to find our inner truths. If we can be 100% honest with ourselves, we can be honest with the world and we can connect closer to Source and each other.
  • Empower your Chakras! Daily meditations, taking a bath with sea salt and baking soda, hugging a tree, loving our pets, and tapping into our creativity are just some of the ways we can improve our chakra balance and thus, connect closer to Source. For tips on buffing up your chakras, you can read more in my blog on the Secret Seven at: https://deborahking.b.smartzsites.com/blog/2012/03/25/the-secret-seven-7-tips-to-buff-up-your-chakra-system/

These tips are a springboard towards better health for both men and women, but I urge all of you this week especially to please make a point to help the women in your lives as well as yourself to better nurture their spiritual, physical and emotional health. Too often, we move at such a fast pace in our society that women’s most basic needs get forgotten or left behind. Instead of pushing women’s wellness to the backburner this year, let us make a point of promoting and living it!

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Connect to Source: Make Prayer Work for You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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LOL, Laughter Therapy is no Joke!

Laughing zebra promotes laughter medicine

 

You know the old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”? Well, you may say it in jest, but take note: there is some validity to the phrase, and laughter as medicine is no joke! Perhaps we can all use a dose of laughter therapy to incorporate, as an addition to energy healing, into our daily lives. On top of making us feel happy and positive, laughter triggers physical changes in our bodies. Research and studies show that humor not only helps patients relieve stress and heal, but laughing and smiling may also play a large role in preventing sickness and disease. There is nothing more healing for your energy than laughter. Laughter will increase your benefits from energy healing. This is because there is a clear connection between our minds and our bodies. Laughter therapy is a valuable tool and a part of your process of energy healing that can be very effective in treating our emotional health, which in turn has a trickle down positive effect on our physical health. Laughter as medicine truly is a wonderful remedy for us all to embrace.

Here are some benefits of laughter and why we should consider investing in some good old-fashioned laughter therapy:

  • Laughter therapy is so easy. Anyone can laugh. Anyone can smile. Anyone can feel good and make others feel good.
  • Laughter is contagious. Everyone feels better when they are laughing and a positive mood will envelop you. Your energy healing and the energy healing of everyone around you will feel uplifted. You and everyone in your positive energy field will truly be closer to Lightness.
  • Laughter as medicine functions as an actual natural medicine – seriously! Laughter releases endorphins that can relieve physical pain.
  • Laughter suppresses the levels of epinephrine, the stress hormone, and lowers your blood pressure. Win-win! Less stress and a calmer, happier you!
  • Laughter therapy can also be added to your physical workout! Ever laugh so hard that your stomach hurts? That is because your stomach muscles and diaphragm are working! Try laughing your way into bikini season!
  • Laughter increases your dopamine, the hormone that regulates your mood, enthusiasm and learning, and also triggers pleasure. Who doesn’t want to feel good? Ummm, more please!
  • Laughter relaxes people and makes them more social. What better way to break the ice during an uncomfortable and awkward situation than to get everyone smiling and laughing? You can practice laughter therapy in public without anyone even knowing it…
  • Laughter can be used in the workplace appropriately to improve productivity and morale. Have you ever been on Southwest Airlines and had one of their spectacular flight attendants make you crack up during their takeoff speech? Southwest is just one company that takes their laughter and humor seriously and makes a point of incorporating it into their business corporate model.
  • Laughter as medicine is a good way to diminish depression. If you are laughing a lot, chances are you are also decreasing your stress ten-fold. Less stress will have a huge impact on treating depression. Add to that, the endorphins and happy chemicals you are releasing when you laugh, and you are well on your way to beating and overcoming depression! You will notice faster progression with your energy healing when your mood is already improved.
  • Laughter therapy reminds us that our journey in this world is one to be enjoyed and savored. Life is supposed to be an enriching and elevating experience for us all. Don’t take everything so seriously all the time!
  • Laughter therapy protects your heart. Laughter improves your blood flow and blood vessels, which can help prevent a heart attack.
  • Laughter therapy can improve your relationships. Shared laughter and humor is a powerful tool which keeps relationships fresh and exciting. Sharing humor with a loved one, friend, or even coworker adds playfulness, joy and energy to a relationship. It also can help you stay united through the more trying times.
  • Laughter therapy is free. It doesn’t cost you a cent, but will produce beneficial and positive effects on you and everyone around you. Why not laugh out loud?

So the next time you are faced with one of those moments where you aren’t sure if you want to laugh or cry, choose to laugh! Your body and mind will thank you for it. Find a way to use laughter as medicine everyday. At the very least, you can surely find something to smile about daily – Try this simple exercise and let me know how it goes! And don’t forget to LOL!

 

 

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Feeding your Emotions, NOT your Waistline

It is a vicious cycle. How many times have you found yourself indulging in a treat or mindlessly snacking on something sweet or fatty only to find yourself moments later regretting your actions and wishing you could go back in time and get a redo? And then to make matters worse, you beat yourself up over falling off your New Year’s resolution and comfort your guilt only by snacking some more…Well, you can take comfort in the fact that you are not alone!

Emotional eating, which is the term used to describe this addictive cycle, has very little to do with food. It is about your emotions and how your mind and body are processing them. Experts estimate that as many as 75% of all overeating and weight gain can be attributed to emotional eating. Learning how to take better care of your emotions can go a long way in helping you take better care of your physical health and overall well being.

Here are some steps you can take to put a stop to your emotional eating:

STEP ONE: Identify Your Triggers
Awareness and recognition as to when you are eating your emotions is key. One way to be able to spot the situations or events that cause you to overeat is to keep a food diary or journal. Write down everything you are eating, when you are eating it, what you are feeling right before you eat, and what you are feeling immediately afterwards. Are you stressed out at work? Did you just have an argument with your spouse? Are you bored? Be HONEST and don’t lie to yourself! By writing down your own truth, you will be able to look back on this journal and hopefully see some patterns. Maybe you are even someone who eats more when you are happy and feed yourself as a reward, but then you find yourself upset and guilty post-reward. Isn’t that silly then that your reward ends up becoming a punishment? You may also have more than one trigger – start a list so you can find your weaknesses and work on alternatives to avoid them!

STEP TWO: Hold Yourself Accountable
Ask yourself before you reach for the fridge, are you actually hungry or this just a craving? Make yourself take some time to think and honestly answer that question before you inhale your food. If you are hungry and truly in need of fuel for your body, the idea of eating a healthy snack should appeal to you as much as junk food. If you are having a craving, then you might automatically dismiss the healthy food in favor of the tasty snack. Can you wait a half hour to an hour to eat, or must you eat now, now, NOW? If your answer is the latter, chances are you are experiencing a craving and the need to comfort your emotions immediately, which is not true hunger. If you are really hungry, you can usually delay or ignore it for a little bit of time. Try waiting a half hour and ask yourself the same question again. Make yourself be accountable to your eating choices. You may find that the simple step of accountability is enough to make you think through your action from a more rational and grounded mindset.

STEP THREE: Find Alternative Activities that are GOOD for You
Perhaps you are eating when you are bored or stuffing your face when you are angry…why not find a different way to release and soothe those emotions? How about a hobby or physical activity to take your mind off your troubles? Going for a run, hike, or walk is a great way to let out some steam, get in touch with Mother Nature, and nourish your emotions. Singing and dancing can free your mind from the stressful events and work in your life. Even knitting or drawing can take you to a rewarding place where you don’t need to feed your body with junk and extra calories. You don’t necessarily have to be exercising for hours on end to find a replacement for food. There are many spiritually and physically healthy ways to move your body, release some of those good endorphins, eliminate those cravings, and bring you inner peace all at the same time. And you will find that at the end of your activity, instead of the guilt and self-loathing you get from emotional eating, you will be full of self-respect and accomplishment. Yay, you!

STEP FOUR: Relax your Mind
If overeating is a way you numb yourself from all the stresses in your life, you may be in desperate need of some quiet “me” time! Take time out of your day, everyday, to check-in with yourself and do daily meditations. Sometimes just being able to have that solitude and introspection is enough to be able to see the rest of your day with more clarity. You will be more connected to your higher self and a greater consciousness and be able to make better decisions and handle your stressful situations in a much calmer manner.

STEP FIVE: Treat Yourself!
Sometimes that Sprinkles Cupcake or Häagen Dazs ice cream really is worth the fat and calories! It’s okay to let yourself have junky food every now and then, but the importance of it is to NOT beat yourself up for doing so! Make it part of your “plan” to allow yourself some sweets and junk, and get rid of that horrible guilt you like to pile up on yourself afterwards! And if you do slip up and find yourself mindlessly eating to numb your feelings, acknowledge where you are, what caused it, and move forward by forgiving yourself. There is absolutely no reason to continue or enforce a brutal cycle!

Take these steps to heart, and you will find yourself taking better care of your emotional health. Feed your emotional appetite with happiness, care, and love. It will taste so much better! Bon Appetit!

Want to read more about emotional eating and weight? Check out more information at: https://deborahking.com/topics/weight/

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Sticks and Stones: Words DO hurt.

 

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

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

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

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

Your words can cause harm.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Silence can be golden.

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

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

Choose words for kindness.

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

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

Choose to be one who makes a beautiful image.

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Which Healing System Will Work for You?

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported doctors are tracking a patient’s mood, social life, and lifestyle to better manage their illness. They are trying to define health not just in the degree of mobility a knee or shoulder may offer, but whether the knee or shoulder is limiting their patient in participating in what makes their life full and meaningful. From regular monitoring, the doctors say they will be able to determine how extreme their patient’s treatment should be and what alternative medicine therapies to recommend.

It’s important to understand the mind-body connection as it relates to health. It is becoming more well understood that recurring cases of emotional stress can manifest a real mind-body connection issue that can present themselves in many physical problems—and can even impact someone’s own healing system mechanisms. So we are broadening our view of health and wellness and understanding one healing system is rarely enough.

Praying, meditating, journaling and chakra healing are all forms of healing systems. They allow conventional medical treatments to work more effectively; they allow us to explore the depth of our emotional pain—no matter what it is attributed to—without the fear of losing control and losing ourselves. Use these healing systems and see which one works best for you.

Every ancient culture on Earth, from the Mayan and the Aztec to the East Indian and Chinese, had healing systems that worked. The key is to learn which one will work for you.

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The Price We Pay

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

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

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

  • Identify when and how you feel when you experience them. Determining if they are primary headaches (such as migraines) or secondary headaches (caused by other illnesses or triggers) will help you treat them.
  • Honestly, assess the rhythm of your day and determine if stress, food or sleep patterns may be triggering your tension headaches.
  • Mix alternative medicine techniques with any conventional medical treatments that you may be receiving. Our clients have received headache relief from journaling, more regular exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer, massage, and balancing their chakras through energy healing.
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Be a Snoozer, Not a Loser

Chasing the sandman? You’re not alone. Sleep disorders are a big problem for Americans today, and the consequences are much worse than getting caught stifling a yawn during the big meeting at work. Research shows that missing sleep can leave you at greater risk for obesity, not to mention heart disease and heart attack (among other health problems). And more people than ever are driving drowsy, which is just as dangerous as driving drunk.

The answer? Certainly not popping more pills (or trying to get your hands on a little “Jackson juice”). Whether you suffer from trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep, you can improve your chances of catching more z’s by learning to get in synch with your body’s natural rhythms. As you might suspect, that’s going to entail slipping between the sheets at a reasonable hour instead of burning the midnight oil (including late-night texting or checking your Facebook feed). But believe me, the benefits are worth missing a You Tube link or two or even skipping another bad zombie movie.

Check out my latest Huffington Post article, Can’t Sleep? 7 Steps to the Land of Nod to read my expert advice on energy healing designed to help you become a first-rate snoozer.

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Creating Your Oasis

My life can be insanely busy. Sometimes, I am going in so many different directions at once that I need a few air traffic controllers just to handle the logistics. But I am able to not only survive but actually thrive in the midst of what might seem like chaos to everyone else. Want to know my secret? I have an oasis of calm at my very core that I draw from all the time. I can help you find that space too.

Otherwise, the pace of modern life and the onslaught you face each day from more than six billion people on the planet and the ever-present sound and fury of the media are enough to leave you constantly gritting your teeth (if you’re not already grinding them at night—mouth guard, anyone?). And that’s just the static that comes from the outside world. You also have emotional issues and physical stresses that have collected over the course of a lifetime that add to the energetic din in your head (thanks to those old fear-based tapes that keep playing in your mind). It’s no wonder so many are popping anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs like candy these days.

You may at first think this doesn’t apply to you. But think again. Is your phone or your iPod always in your ear? Is your TV blaring in the background 24/7? How many e-mails or tweets did you send just yesterday? So many never have a moment of peace and quiet to check in with themselves internally. So the first step to creating an inner oasis of calm is to actively create habits like meditating and journaling, both of which help clear the backlog in your mind so you can see not just the forest, but also the trees. Both of these tools will go a long way in helping you keep your sanity.

If you’re afraid that you’ll be wasting your time, know that these things are practices, and the more you give to any practice, the more you will get out of it. In fact, I can just about guarantee you that before long, you’ll be absolutely amazed at what comes up for you.

Meditation helps because it works at a deep level of consciousness to give you access to whatever information you need to restore your life to harmony. Tons of studies have shown the benefits of meditation, including the way it improves a host of physical conditions and fosters peace of mind. There are four levels of awareness: waking, sleeping, dreaming, and the meditative state, which is a much more expansive type of awareness. In the spaciousness of meditation, you slip into the gap that exists between thoughts—the entrance to the infinite universe, called by many names: Spirit, Source, God, Universal Energy Field, or simply the Unified Field.

In this vastness, we are One, connected to each other and All That Is, with access to pure unlimited energy. Here, anything and everything can be accomplished. The noise of daily life abates and our minds and hearts and bodies can come into balance. Think of meditation as a giant broom for sweeping away any stagnant or blocked energy that you may have buried deep in your body. You are cleansed at a deep level, and now can allow an effervescent stream of creative energy to bring beauty and innovation to your life and to the world. And you don’t have to do it for hours a day. Even just 20 minutes of meditation will refresh you as much as several hours of sleep.

While meditating connects you to the universe, journaling connects you to your very core. So often, when life gets too difficult or a situation threatens us, we get scared and stuff our emotions. We may not think we have a right to be angry, for example, so we don’t express it. But that doesn’t mean that our anger goes away. We can’t wish away reality any more than we can wish away gravity. Journaling helps you uncover emotions you’ve been pushing down so you can deal with them in a healthy way by processing them. Beneath almost any problem is truth waiting to be acknowledged and set free. You may have heard me say this a time or two, but I’ll say it again anyway: truth heals. But it can’t heal you unless you uncover it and confront it. And journaling is one of the simplest and safest tools I know for doing that.

So give both meditation and journaling a try. Then share your experience with me on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear your stories!

 

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Determining Your Ayurvedic Dosha


Determining Your Dosha

To get started on a deeper exploration of Ayurveda and the wisdom it holds for your health and well-being, take the following quiz to find out which doshas are most prominent in you.

Instructions: For the 20 statements listed below each dosha, mark from 1 to 3 how accurately the statement fits you.

1 = Doesn’t fit me

2 = Fits me partially or part of the time

3 = Fits me very accurately or most of the time

At the end of each dosha section, tally your total score for that dosha by adding up the individual scores within that dosha. Then when you get to the end of the quiz, compare your scores for the three doshas.


VATA

  1. _____ I have a tall, thin or small-boned build; I don’t gain weight very easily.
  2. _____ I have a tendency toward anxiety or worry.
  3. _____ My least favorite kind of weather is cold weather.
  4. _____ I develop gas or become constipated easily.
  5. _____ Left to my own devices, my eating & sleeping habits are often irregular.
  6. _____ My hands and feet tend to be cold.
  7. _____ I typically walk more lightly and quickly than others.
  8. _____ I like to be active; sometimes it’s hard for me to sit still.
  9. _____ My hair tends to be dry.
  10. _____ My tendency is to eat quickly, and I have a delicate digestion.
  11. _____ My sleep is light and interrupted; I may even suffer from insomnia.
  12. _____ I learn things quickly but tend to forget them quickly as well.
  13. _____ I am easily excited.
  14. _____ My moods change quickly.
  15. _____ Decision-making tends to be difficult for me.
  16. _____ My nature is to be enthusiastic and vivacious.
  17. _____ My mind is very active, sometimes restless, but also very imaginative.
  18. _____ My speech pattern is quick and people say that I’m talkative.
  19. _____ I tend to have dry, rough skin, particularly in winter.
  20. _____ My energy comes in bursts and I get worn out easily.

VATA SCORE ___________


PITTA

  1. _____ I am a perfectionist by nature.
  2. _____ I tend to perform activities with a high level of precision and order.
  3. _____ Hot weather makes me especially uncomfortable or causes me to quickly become fatigued.
  4. _____ I really enjoy cold foods, like ice cream, as well as cold drinks.
  5. _____ When conflicts arise, I tend to become intense, impatient, and irritable.
  6. _____ Skipping or delaying meals makes me very uncomfortable.
  7. _____ Whether I show it or not, I am easily annoyed and quick to anger.
  8. _____ My hair is fine, thin, and reddish or blonde and prematurely grayor balding.
  9. _____ I don’t tolerate spicy foods well.
  10. _____ I tend to be quick to perspire.
  11. _____ I tend to be stubborn.
  12. _____ I am fairly strong and can handle many physical activities.
  13. _____ My bowel movements are regular; I am more likely to have loose stools than constipation.
  14. _____ I am more likely to feel that a room is too hot than too cold.
  15. _____ I thrive on challenges and am determined to achieve my goals.
  16. _____ My hands tend to be warm.
  17. _____ Under stress, I can be quick to anger and am often critical of both myself and others.
  18. _____ My appetite is strong, and I can eat pretty much anything I want to without problem.
  19. _____ I tend to maintain my weight without much effort.
  20. _____ I tend to gather many facts before forming an opinion.

PITTA SCORE ___________


KAPHA

  1. _____ My physique is large and solid.
  2. _____ I sleep deeply and for long periods of time.
  3. _____ I gain weight very easily, sometimes it seems just by looking at food.
  4. _____ Skipping meals is easy and not typically uncomfortable.
  5. _____ I need a full 8 hours of sleep in order to function well the following day.
  6. _____ I am typically groggy in the morning and slow to get my day started.
  7. _____ I frequently suffer from sinus problems, asthma, chronic congestion, excess mucus or phlegm.
  8. _____ I tend to be sensitive and affectionate, sweet and forgiving.
  9. _____ I have smooth, oily, moist skin.
  10. _____ Cold, damp weather affects me adversely.
  11. _____ It’s my nature to be calm and slow to anger.
  12. _____ My weight tends to be above average for my build.
  13. _____ I tend to do things slowly and methodically, in a relaxed and leisurelymanner.
  14. _____ I learn slowly but my retention and memory are good.
  15. _____ My general disposition is easy-going—it takes a lot to fluster me orstress me out.
  16. _____ I eat and digest slowly.
  17. _____ I have dark, thick, wavy hair.
  18. _____ My stamina and endurance are strong, and I enjoy a steady energylevel.
  19. _____ The gait of my walk is generally slow, steady, and leisurely.
  20. _____ My reaction to conflict is to get lazy or depressed.

KAPHA SCORE ___________


FINAL SCORE


Vata ________ Pitta ________ Kapha ________

Understanding your results: If your primary dosha is extremely prominent, with a score as much as twice as high as your second dosha (for example, Vata–55, Pitta–21, Kapha–19), you are a single-dosha type. If no dosha is extremely dominant (for example, Vata–34, Pitta-55, Kapha–29), you are a two-dosha type, with the leading dosha coming first in your body-type name. If all three doshas are nearly equal (for example, Vata–43, Pitta–38, Kapha–46), you are the rare three-dosha type.

Have fun!

To learn more about your Dosha score and Aryuveda, check out my online Energy Medicine Program where I teach all that in level 2.

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50/50 movie review

Near the end of 50/50, one of characters asks, “What now?” And that pretty well sums up the theme of this amazing little gem of a cancer film that is a “must see.” Maybe you’re trying to decide whether or not to get in our out of that relationship or job or city or apartment, but you do assume that something will follow. Compare the experience of 27 hear old Adam, played skillfully by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who has to contemplate a world where there might be nothing coming after “what now.” Really an inconceivable state of affairs to most people, certainly to a twenty-something.

Adam walks into the doctor’s office with a backache and walks out with a grim unpronounceable cancer diagnosis; he researches it on the Internet and finds out his chances are 50/50. But hold on, this film is not depressing. With a brilliant screenplay written by Will Reiser, who had his own successful battle with a similar cancer in his twenties, and co-starring Seth Rogen, hilarious as Adam’s best friend, and coincidentally, Will’s best friend in real life, the two main guy characters create the most real, most entertaining 99 minutes slice of life about cancer you will see.

Seth’s approach is a blend of backslapping friendship and a steady diet of chatter and crude jokes that would entertain even the most distressed cancer patient. (His list of supposed celebs who beat cancer includes Patrick Swazye) Director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) takes this memoir and smoothly rolls it out without a hitch. The dialogue is spot on and will have you rolling in the aisle. And you’ll love Anna Kendrick (remember her great performance in Up in the Air with George Clooney) as Katie, Adam’s therapist. She’s so young (even younger than he is) that he asks her if he is her first, second or, possibly at best, third patient ever. Other supporting roles that round out this film include Bryce Dallas Howard as Adam’s departing girl-friend; she simply can’t “do” cancer, as many friends and family in real life find they can’t either.

Overall, the film succeeds because it never succumbs to sappy sentiment; often funny, even more often angry, very true to life and well worth seeing. And what really makes it work is the undying (no pun intended) friendship between Adam and Seth, a bro movie through and through. Bring the popcorn and enjoy!

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Mind vs. No Mind

When I was speaking at a conference not long ago, I met a woman named Sandy. She told me that she was 62 years old and had fallen twice in the previous year, breaking bones each time: a couple of ribs in the first fall and a hip in the second. The doctors told her that she had advanced osteoporosis and, naturally, she was quite worried. Sandy didn’t have any idea what was causing such an advanced case at a relatively young age, so she’d come to me for help.

I began by asking her about her childhood, as I had a vague knowing that somehow it was related to her condition. At the same time, I felt into her energy field using my own body as a sensing mechanism. Sandy said that she was born with a hip deformity and had undergone several corrective surgeries before the age of two. This information dovetailed with what I got when she first walked up to me: a lot of fear and a disconnection from the natural world—that is, she didn’t feel connected to the earth and she wasn’t grounded. I concluded that this was likely the result of her early surgeries’ damaging impact on her base chakra.

In Sandy’s energy field, I sensed that her first chakra was distorted in shape and circling in the wrong direction, which means it was unable to take in energy and caused her to exhibit a distorted view of reality. She thought the nature of the world was trauma and pain and that there was danger lurking around every corner. She was also unable to receive any sustenance from Mother Earth, the source of all our strength and health. This explained the weakness of her bones.

Throughout this process, I went back and forth between “Mind” and “No Mind.” We all know what the first term refers to: when we’re thinking with our left brain. In my Mind, I was reviewing what I knew about the condition of osteoporosis and how it’s often a result of a poorly functioning first chakra. From No Mind—that place in ourselves where we sense and feel, and from which we get our intuitions—I received information from the unified field and all of my senses, both normal and paranormal. This is how I obtained the information about Sandy’s childhood and the fact that the base chakra’s condition was a factor.

Next, I focused my attention directly on her physical body and found that her bones had that porous feel I associate with osteoporosis. Again, I moved between Mind and No Mind to arrive at this conclusion. At this point, I was pretty much done with the intake part of the session.

Working in an expanded state, I checked and deepened the connection with my guides (from years of doing this work, I am linked with them constantly). I specifically requested that they work through me, and then I expanded and raised my own energy field to accommodate their higher vibration. The guides began to resolidify Sandy’s bones, using my body as the vehicle.

At the same time, I “heard” what Sandy needed to do in order to get well. Using that information, I gently explained to her that her bone problems were associated with those early childhood surgeries that had separated her from the earth. Therefore, reconnecting to it would help build bone health. I suggested that she walk barefoot on the beach (she lived very near the ocean) and spend time sitting with her back against a tree. These activities would put her in direct contact with earthly energies to further sustain bone strength.

When the guides had finished their work, I used my focused intention to firmly root Sandy’s first chakra and sacrum directly into the earth. I did this without thinking; for me, it’s as automatic as driving a car or brushing my teeth. I also recommended that she take up a practice like yoga, Pilates, or dance to bring her more fully into her body and aid in keeping the grounded connection I had helped her establish.

Some months later, I heard from Sandy. She reported that she was less anxious, more balanced, and peaceful. She had followed my suggestion and was taking dance classes. She had also formed the habits of eating outside at noon, sitting with her back against a tree, and walking barefoot in the sand at least three times a week. Her osteoporosis tests had improved dramatically, and she no longer needed to take medication for the condition.

Much of the information I received about Sandy, you would have picked up, too. In fact, you’re probably already getting more than you realize about people’s emotions and their health. When you become your own shaman, you will know how to go from getting occasional hunches to having fully developed intuitive skills. These are wonderful gifts of the spirit, and you will know that what you receive is highly accurate. Our culture calls advanced abilities “paranormal” or “beyond the norm,” but that’s only because 99 percent of modern humans have turned these sensing abilities off. The good news is that they can be turned back on rather easily.

Excerpt from Be Your Own Shaman by Deborah King (Hay House 2011)

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What do the colors in your aura mean?


Everyone has an aura—the colors that portray the electromagnetic field that emanates out from the human body. Of course, every living thing and every object in the world also have auras, as we are all composed of particles of vibrating energy. In a person, the aura extends out about 2-4 feet from all sides of the body (as well as above the head and below the feet) in an egg-shaped field.

I teach how to sense auras and what the colors indicate about someone’s feelings, thoughts, behavior, and health. Once trained, you’ll be able to sense where imbalance exists and what needs to be corrected. Keep in mind that you can sense colors, using your whole body, and that “seeing” is less reliable than whole body sensing.

So what do the colors of the aura mean? There are some generalizations, but there are many gradients of colors, each with subtle differences in meaning. For example, the color red in the aura often relates to the life-force of the physical body, including the heart and circulation. We usually associate red with the first chakra, and indeed a deep red can indicate that someone is well-grounded, realistic, or oriented to survival.

Red is the densest of all colors, which means it can create the most friction, as in anger, anxiety, or obsessions. But look at the range that is possible: a muddied red can point to anger, while a clear red is powerful and passionate—just think of a woman who can carry off wearing a bright orange-red dress: she’s confident about herself and her sensuality. If it’s a bright and clear color, chances are that person has a healthy ego.

When red veers off into pink, new meanings arise. If the pink is light and bright, there may be a new romantic relationship happening. Or it can indicate clairaudience, artistic leanings, sensitivity, or tenderness. A murky dark pink, on the other hand, shows that the person may be immature or have a dishonest nature. A dusty pink can mean that someone is being “nice” instead of being “real.”

Each of the colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, as well as gold, silver, black and white, and earth colors—can change constantly, depending on your mood, what’s happening in your life, and what you’re up to at any given moment. Those who are trained to “read” auras have to have a lot of flexibility in their interpretations because different tones of the same color can have such different meanings. There is also confusion caused when someone else’s energy is in the aura.

Be careful of believing what someone tells you about your aura unless you totally trust that person’s abilities and integrity. It takes a lot of intuitive wisdom to interpret the colors of your aura.

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Diabetes: Where is the sweetness in your life?

If you are over the age of 45 and overweight, you should take a moment and consider the risks of diabetes. A recent news article stated that more than a third of a billion people around the world have diabetes, a number that’s growing as more people adopt a Western lifestyle. There are almost 18 million Americans with diabetes, and about 5 million more who haven’t yet been diagnosed (in some cases of type 2 diabetes, there are NO symptoms). And that’s not counting the 57 million who are pre-diabetic.

Genetic predisposition, obesity, and lack of exercise are certainly factors in diabetes and need to be considered, but in energy medicine we can often trace the non-physical origins of the disease back to control issues, especially overbearing parental control and a propensity for bottling up emotions. When difficult emotions are not expressed, they are stashed in the body and held down so as not to have to deal with them. This emotional “lid” puts pressure on systems, organs, and glands, especially the circulatory system and the pancreas. It makes sense that the leading cause of death for diabetics is cardiovascular disease, ending in heart attack or stroke.

What I frequently hear at the cellular level of someone with diabetes is where is the sweetness in life? Sugar has been substituted for love, and the body’s mechanisms that regulate sugar are out of whack. In my experience, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can be dramatically improved through a change in one’s core beliefs and the release of stored emotions, along with changes in diet and exercise.

Have you let someone hijack your personal will? Have you turned to soda, cake, and candy rather than facing your relationship with a controlling parent? Have you given up trying to do something about your weight? Have you convinced yourself that you have no time or ability to exercise? Are you resigned to having the same disease that crippled a member of your family?

Of course, if you are diabetic, you’ve got a lot of company, including Halle Berry, Nick Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers), Patti LaBelle, Larry King, Randy Jackson (hey “Dawg”), Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Billie Jean King, Delta Burke, Dick Clark, Meat Loaf, Della Reese, Morgan Freeman, Aretha Franklin, and B.B. King. Diabetes can strike anyone of any age, race, or gender.

I urge you to get tested if you think you might be at risk. The American Diabetes Association has a short simple test at https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/diabetes-risk-test/ to help you become aware of your risk factors for this prevalent disorder. Diabetes is fully treatable, so the more you know about your risk, the better. Remember, knowledge is power!

If you do get diagnosed as having diabetes, watching what you eat and exercising are absolutely essential, but you also need to treat the mind and spirit. It can be difficult to overcome emotional eating habits that you have learned in childhood, but you can vastly improve your health by working through the emotions that have led you to this point, and by finding ways to reduce your internal stress.

It’s time to wake up, check your risk of diabetes, and see what you can do to prevent it. If you do have diabetes, you can regain control of your life and regain a sense of self-worth. You do have it in your power to relieve or eliminate your symptoms, reduce and eliminate your risk of serious complications, and live a happy, healthy, and full life.