Family Conflict

I feel very sad when I see people who are living happy lives and in happy relationships encounter opposition and even hatred from their family. Unfortunately, it seems to happen a lot.

Obviously different people have different beliefs. They’ve been brought up in certain religions and/or cultures that have strong, ingrained outlooks on things like marriage, same-sex relationships, sexual orientations, genders, and so on. For some people, overcoming those beliefs is difficult. This might be because they don’t understand other points of view. It might also be because they just plain don’t want to overcome those beliefs.

When beliefs interfere with family, though, something is wrong. And it probably isn’t the person who’s happy in a same-sex relationship, or a polyamorous one. It probably isn’t the person who’s just come out as transgender. The “something wrong” is that rigid beliefs are causing family members to turn against one of their own.

I’ve always taught my kids that the one thing I want for them more than anything else is that they be happy and safe. If that means they’re gay, or trans, or polyamorous, or whatever, that’s fine with me. Even if I don’t understand how they’re identifying themselves, I can see whether they’re happy and confident, and that’s what matters most to me. I don’t have to understand. I can just love and trust them, and let them be happy.

I know too many people whose families don’t think that way, and sometimes I just want to gather them all up and tell them I’ll be their family. It’s okay to believe what you believe. It’s okay to believe what you’ve been taught. But I can’t see how it could ever be okay to completely turn against your child, or parent, or sibling, or whoever, because their happiness means they aren’t living by your beliefs.

Believing What I’m Worth

A while back, I listened to a webinar about running a coaching business. One of the points the leader of the webinar made was that people, especially women, often develop products and a business but then don’t charge what they’re really worth. Because they don’t *believe* what they’re really worth.

I can say that’s definitely true for me. My past has led to me constantly underestimating my own worth, whether it’s as a person in general or as a parent or as a healer and coach. This has been a problem in trying to build River Flow Healing. I second-guess myself and doubt myself quite a bit, which is not an effective way to draw people who trust that I know what I’m doing and want to work with me.

My past impressions about money also play a role. Money has always been a difficult topic for me, and when it comes to my business, I don’t want to charge “too much,” because people might get upset that I cost that much and might think I’m not worth it.

That’s a major fallacy in my thinking. I truly know what I’m doing, and I bring value to my clients. That’s worth a lot!

I’m still working on myself as well as on the business. Improving one’s life and outlook isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing; it’s an ongoing, often life-long process. I’m learning to have more confidence in my worth and value, and that means I’ll get there.

What Are You Creating?

What are you creating in your life?

For some people, hearing they create their own lives, or they create things in their lives, is problematic. They hear it as victim-blaming if they’ve had traumatic experiences, or they just don’t believe it’s true, because magic isn’t a thing.

(Magic *is* a thing, but that’s a different subject for a different time.)

Creating your life, or aspects of your life, doesn’t mean you’re at fault when things go wrong. If we don’t know our own creative power, we don’t have control over what happens. We have to learn that we can have that control, and then how to use it.

When we think hard about something, really want—or don’t want—it, often it comes into our lives. We’re putting so much time and thought into it, and therefore we’re putting a ton of energy into it. Energy calls to energy, and the energy we put out draws whatever it is we’re devoting energy to.

If we understand that, we can begin to consciously and intentionally create what’s in our lives. If we’re constantly stressed about money and trying to figure out how to get it, and thinking about how we don’t have it, we’re unconsciously creating not having it. We aren’t putting energy into having money; we’re putting energy into the lack of it. But if we can shift that thinking into fully believing, and putting our total energy into, the idea that we have the money we want and need, we will have that money.

That doesn’t mean it’s going to drop into our laps, of course. When we consciously create something in our lives, it doesn’t appear out of thin air. At least not usually. What does appear is opportunity, and we need to stay open to the opportunities that arise to bring us what we’re creating.

So what are you creating in your life? And what do you want to create? Think about how you can do that.

Studying

I’ve been doing a lot of studying over the past few months. So much that some of it kind of leaks out of my brain. It’s a good thing I take notes!

When I was in school, studying was something I tried to avoid at all costs. I didn’t care about the things my teachers were trying to drill into my head, so I sat in class and mostly listened, took notes if I thought I should (or if the teacher required note-taking as part of the grade), and pretty much took tests from that. I often did homework the morning it was due, as I sat in the school cafeteria chatting with my friends.

The traditional school structure didn’t work for me. I didn’t fit in as a student, or as a peer. I wanted to do and learn my own things in my own way.

As an adult, fortunately, I have that option. I’m taking some courses, but they’re online home study courses that move at the pace at which I decide to move. I’m reading a lot of books and taking notes about the things that resonate for me, or things that I believe will be beneficial for me to know.

I wish I’d had the option to learn this way when I was in school. For years, I daydreamed about starting a school where kids could do exactly that: Learn at their own pace in ways that made sense to them.

There are schools like that in existence, and may well have been when I was growing up. Some forms of homeschooling, such as unschooling, operate on exactly that concept.

I hope someday it’s widely recognized that people are not cookies cut from the same cutter. We learn in different ways, and have different interests and needs. One thing we do have in common, though: We can all succeed if we’re given the right tools and opportunities. I wish that happened more often.

A Bit of History

Thousands of years ago, people began to recognize the power of the human touch in healing others. In ancient civilizations in places such as China and India, scholars identified the human energy system and discovered that through touch, energy in the auras and chakras, or meridians, could be manipulated, thereby causing improved physical and emotional health. In other places, faith healing or laying on of hands has been practiced for decades or even centuries.

Whether you believe the healer is manipulating the energy alone, or a higher power of some sort is assisting, the fact that energy healing or touch healing has been practiced in one form or another for millennia indicates that people believe it works.

Energy healing, put simply, is the practice of using certain types of touch or other methods to balance the human energy system. While some methods, such as faith healing, probably wouldn’t put it quite that way, the principal is the same. Touch in and of itself can be healing for many people, partly because through touch, we share energy with one another. When the touch is done with intention, using certain techniques or methods, it can be incredibly powerful.

I was trained in Chios® Energy Healing and another modality developed by my teacher (which I’m not naming here because I don’t practice it any longer, and because as best I can tell he isn’t yet training others in it). Both are based on the chakra system: Seven major energy centers on the human body corresponding to seven aura layers that surround the body. The chakras rotate at a certain speed, while the energy field vibrates at a certain level, which is not the same for everyone.

The healing methods I learned employ certain hand placements and other techniques to repair poor functioning or damage to the chakras and aura layers. While there are other methods of healing, such as crystals or flower essences, for the next few weeks I’m going to be explaining energy healing from the perspective I learned. That isn’t to say that the way I do it is “right” or that other methods aren’t as valid. There are many ways to heal and maintain health, and all of them work and are equally valid.

Roadblocks

What are your roadblocks?

It’s relatively common for people to put up roadblocks in their lives. The “I can’t” and “I shouldn’t” that cause us to avoid doing things we want to do, or cause us to stop trying if we aren’t immediately successful. Of course, those roadblocks are often what cause us not to be successful in the first place. We aren’t always aware of our own roadblocks, though.

Money is a big one for some people. They get stuck on “I need to make money,” and that blocks them from doing things they love, or from pursuing an opportunity that doesn’t look lucrative.

Doubt is a huge roadblock for some. We doubt we have the capability, or that we deserve to do what we’re trying to do, or that it’s even possible.

Fear is probably the biggest roadblock of all. Fear of not having enough, not being enough, not doing enough. Fear of failure—and sometimes, fear of success.

Those are far from the only roadblocks people experience in their lives, but they’re among the most common.

So what are your roadblocks? What is stopping you right now from doing something you would love to do, or something you believe would make your life better? Think about those things. Try to reason with yourself about them. Imagine what your life would be like if those roadblocks went away.

The thing about roadblocks is that we put them up ourselves, sometimes without even realizing it. And since we put them up, we can also tear them down. Recognizing what they are is the first step. Then figuring out, on our own or with help and support from friends, family, and/or professionals, how to remove them.

And then the way is clear for us to change our lives. We just have to try.

Polyamory

I know a number of people who are polyamorous, and who have encountered varying degrees of understanding and acceptance. Polyamory and other alternative relationship styles are more common than people realize.

Some people confuse polyamory with the polygamy they’ve heard about in the news. While polygamy can be a form of polyamory, it isn’t the only one—and cults that enforce polygamy have little to nothing to do with polyamory.

Polyamory, put most simply, is having, or having the capacity for, more than one romantic and/or sexual relationship. In general, people include romantic love as a requirement, since the “amory” part of polyamory means love. But as a broader term, polya, as some people call it, can also include sexual relationships that don’t involve romantic love.

There are many different forms of polyamory, and trying to explain them all would take a month or more worth of blog posts. Even then, I would probably miss something. Looking online, you can find a number of resources about polyamory if you’re curious.

There is no “one right way” to do polyamory. Relationship configurations and agreements differ from one person or grouping to another, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Jealousy is a thing for some polyamorous people, and there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that either, as long as the jealous person owns their emotions and controls their own actions and responses instead of trying to control their partner(s).

I’ve seen debate about whether polyamory is an orientation or a lifestyle choice. Personally I would say it’s both or either. Feeling as if you’re “hard-wired” for polyamory still requires a choice about whether to have polyamorous relationships. For people who consider polya their romantic orientation, *being* polya isn’t a choice, but *doing* polya is.

For other people, it’s entirely a choice. It sounds like the way they would like to conduct their romantic life, so they do it. They don’t necessarily feel like they’re wired that way, they simply like the idea.

That said, polyamory definitely isn’t for everyone. But it is a valid way to live and love.

Overcoming Doubt

About a week ago, I underwent my witchcraft initiation ritual. Since I’m a solitary practitioner, I wrote the ritual, and enlisted my mentor’s assistance as my witness. This wasn’t necessarily the best idea. Having him there caused me to feel very self-conscious and worried about doing things wrong. Even though I’m a solitary practitioner and I wrote the ritual, which means there *is* no “wrong.”

I find that sort of thinking cropping up in a lot of areas of my life. Even as a very young child, I hesitated to do things unless I was almost one hundred percent certain I could do them right. I usually knew the answers to teachers’ questions in school, but I wouldn’t raise my hand if I wasn’t positive.

A few years ago, a friend who knew I wanted a hobby gave me a bass guitar and told me to figure out how to play it. I’m not the world’s best musician, but I do love music, and I’m a fairly decent singer. But I was afraid to sing in front of him, let alone fumble around with the bass, because he was a musician with decades of experience on his own and playing in bands, and I was afraid I would mess it up and embarrass myself in front of him.

Other things that I’ve wanted to learn or try, I haven’t done, because I doubt whether I would be able to do it right—or, sometimes, at all.

It’s human nature to have some doubts sometimes. But when the doubts interfere with doing things you want to do, things you love or at least love the idea of, it’s time to make some changes in how you think. That’s something I’m working on, and something I’m reasonably certain I can do right.

Parenting–and Being–Adults

When one’s children become adults, and go from living in the same house and leaving dirty dishes everywhere to having their own home, at least part of the time, it’s an adjustment on both sides.

The now-adult child is trying to find their footing on their own. Going to college or moving on to a career. Living alone or with roommates or partners instead of parents. They might not want much contact with their parents; they are, after all, adults now. They don’t need to be parented, or at least have the perception that they don’t. Or maybe they still do feel like they need their parents, and they want to keep their distance so they don’t lean on their parents too much or don’t get too homesick. Even if they don’t talk to their parents often, though, they often miss them.

Assuming there are no younger children at home, the parents are dealing with suddenly having a much quieter house and a lot more time on their hands. Whether or not younger children are still living at home, the parents miss the child who has moved out. And they may mourn or regret all the things they wish they’d done with that child when they were young, because now there’s no longer a chance.

Much of the time, parents and children love each other. Family bonds can be very strong, and those bonds are tested when circumstances change. Not having daily contact with each other can lead to feeling disconnected. And sometimes it’s harder than one might expect to be away from the home you’ve had all your life, or to have someone no longer in your home.

This is a time to lean on others. To let friends and other family members help you get through this transition. It’s a time to find activities or social outlets where you can meet people and fill the time you now have on your hands.

Most importantly, it’s a time to remember that you’re family and you love each other, and distance and lack of contact won’t change that.

Relearning What the Child Knew

When I was a child, I believed in magic. Completely and wholeheartedly. I heard voices when no one was around. I had conversations with the wind and with trees. I felt things changing. Sometimes, if I tried hard enough, I felt like I caused change. And I had “imaginary” friends who knew a lot more than I did.

Of course, growing up with very literal, science-minded parents, I was taught that those things weren’t real. I was also, unfortunately, taught not to say anything about those things to others, or I might get locked up. I didn’t have resources then to find out more about witchcraft, or energy healing, or anything along those lines. Though to give my father credit, a few times he surprised me with books about psychic phenomena and other metaphysical topics. But none of those had anything that rang true for me.

I grew up. I forgot a lot of what I knew and did as a child. My imaginary friends never went away, which I couldn’t understand, but since I didn’t have many friends or people to talk to, I was kind of glad they were there.

When I was about 35, I became friends with someone who taught me about channeling and guides—and I realized my imaginary friends might not be so imaginary after all. He taught me about energy healing, and I remembered the times when I was injured and held my hand over the cut, and felt heat and then the pain went away.

He and I weren’t friends long, but he made a pretty big impact on my life.

About a year and a half ago, I became friends with someone who taught me about witchcraft—and I realized I wasn’t the only one who talked to trees. That the voices I heard as a child might not have been my imagination either.

I’ve realized over the past decade or so that all the things I thought made me weird, and my parents thought meant I was crazy, weren’t exclusive to me. Other people believe the same things. I’ve learned things as an adult that I knew instinctively as a child, and I’ve felt like I was coming back home.

I tried to raise my own children with open-mindedness toward things like magic, energy, and guides. Whether or not they talk to guides or trees or anything like that, I wanted them to know they weren’t the only ones, and there wasn’t anything wrong with them for it. I hope I did okay with that.