Looking Ahead to 2021

Happy New Year!

2020 has definitely been one heck of a ride. At this time last year, I sat here making plans for expanding RiverEvolutions, for services and workshops I wanted to offer and for how to bring more visibility to what I do.

And then there was a pandemic.

Instead of being a year of attracting more clients, 2020 was a year of attracting fewer. But it was also a year of taking better care of myself and of doing some serious inner work on my “shadows.” It’s been a beneficial year in a number of ways for me, even if it hasn’t been the year I’d hoped.

I’m cautious about planning for 2021, because I understand more than ever how quickly and vastly things can change. But I do have some things in store.

I’m still offering energy healing sessions, channeling sessions, and my most recent addition, oracle card readings. These services are open to anyone who is interested, but my heart is in working with those who have experienced abuse and trauma and are working to embrace their inner power to create their best lives. The tools and services I offer are those that have helped me in my own healing journey from abuse and trauma and in claiming my own power, and I am excited to offer them to others.

Any time I’ve done sessions with others, mindset coaching becomes part of it. Mindset coaching is gentle guidance and encouragement in recognizing the thought and behavior patterns that hold you back from creating your best life, and identifying ways to counter and break those patterns. This will also continue in 2021, and will be explicitly included. It isn’t a separate service and doesn’t include a separate cost; it’s part of whichever service you choose to have with me. And it is optional; if you aren’t interested in any discussion or coaching around mindset blocks, we can leave it out.

All sessions until further notice are done on Zoom or Facebook video messenger. Zoom is my current preference because of the ability to record the sessions for the client’s future reference, but I have to admit I find Facebook video a bit easier technologically. So it’s up to the client which they prefer. I won’t be offering in-person sessions until I feel confident in doing so without risk to my clients’ health or my own. (Channeling and oracle card readings are also available by email.)

I am not currently planning to offer any classes, workshops, or instruction in 2021. I thought long and hard about this one, because I know a number of practitioners reach potential clients and give added benefit through classes and workshops. For myself, I feel that I need to get a better handle on *how* I want to teach and then determine *what* I want to teach, so I’ll be working on that throughout 2021 and plan to resume offering Chios instruction, as well as other classes and workshops, in 2022. By which time hopefully I’ll be able to offer some in person!

I will be putting together resources for learning, though. Over the past few months, several people have asked, either in Facebook groups or directly to me, about connecting with their guides and learning to channel. That’s one thing about which I feel very called to create resources such as ebooks and videos, so I will be working on that and introducing the resources as they’re ready. That isn’t the only thing I’ll be creating, but it’s the most prominent in my mind right now.

Speaking of channeling, in May I will be releasing the first Messages from Shiva book, in digital form and hopefully print. This is a compilation of the daily channeled messages I share on Facebook, with some additional content and arranged by topic and theme. It’s my hope that this book will bring guidance and encouragement to those who purchase it. I’ll be sharing more info and some giveaways as the release gets closer!

I am continuing my inner work as well, and utilizing resources on trauma-informed coaching and other services so I can offer the most beneficial experiences to my clients.

It’s my hope to offer support and guidance to people navigating their way into the coming year and into their best lives. May 2021 bring us closer to the lives we desire and deserve!

I Wanted an Oracle Deck…

In 2006, I was getting in touch with my spiritual side and with my gifts. Through that process, I discovered oracle cards.

Oracle cards are a divination tool. Generally, each card in a deck has a specific message, which is often printed on the card; the deck includes a guidebook that expands on the cards’ messages. Oracle cards are relatively easy to work with because, while you can certainly use your intuition and observation to interpret their meanings, you can also choose to just share the messages as written.

A wide variety of oracle decks exist. The number of cards in a deck varies from deck to deck, as does the theme and the messages. Unlike Tarot, which is always 78 cards with the same names and interpretations regardless of the theme of the deck, oracle cards don’t have to fit any set guidelines.

When I first became interested in oracle cards, I bought a deck, but something about it didn’t fully resonate for me. I felt drawn to create my own deck–so I did.

The first deck used digital art images created by my mentor, who gave me his permission to use them. The images gave their titles to the cards and were partial inspiration for the messages; however, I wrote the messages from my own intuition with contributions from my guides and from a collective of beings who introduced themselves to me as the Oracle Guides.

After a year or so, my relationship with my mentor dissolved, and with it went his permission to use his images. I retained the titles, because titles can’t be copyrighted, though I changed a few of them anyway. I also retained the messages, since I had written them in collaboration with the beings I worked with. However, my dream of publishing the deck went on the back burner for quite a while.

I did use the cards online to post “card of the day,” using stock images to replace the original pictures. But I wanted my own images, particularly as time went on and I started feeling drawn once again to publish the deck.

Over the summer of 2020, I was discussing the deck with my partner, who came up with what could have been a completely obvious solution: “Take pictures at the shore where you go for walks all the time.” That was a “duh” moment for me; I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it! That weekend, I spent a few hours at the shore taking pictures for my cards.

Within a week, I had reformatted the cards with the new images, and had christened it the Seascapes Oracle. I had two decks printed, one for my own use and one to loan out for reviews eventually. While publication of the deck is in the future (I’m hoping to have the process underway by this time next year), it is now ready for me to use to offer readings to clients.

Oracle readings are now available! I base the readings both on the cards’ messages and on my own intuition, and clients can request a general reading or ask a specific question. An email reading consists of three cards; I send an email with thumbnail pictures of each of the cards and a short paragraph about each message. Real-time readings are available over Zoom or Facebook video messenger, and can consist of three or six cards. A real-time reading lasts 20-30 minutes depending on number of cards.

If you’re interested in a reading, please Contact Us, or visit the Readings page for more information!

Power to Choose

How many times have you heard yourself saying things like “I have to do this” or “I have no choice”? If you’re like most people, those are phrases you probably use fairly regularly.

The truth, though, is that we almost always have a choice. We were created as beings with free will and the power to choose. We might not always *like* the options that are in front of us, but most of the time, if not every time, there are options.

For those of us who have lived in abusive or traumatic situations, that belief in the absence of choice may be particularly entrenched. After all, abuse, by its very nature, is the taking away of power. We don’t have a choice about how we’re treated by our abusers, and we certainly aren’t choosing to be abused. Those things are genuinely beyond our control. But having that power taken away can lead us to believe that we have no power in any aspect of our lives.

One of the most important steps in our healing journeys is to recognize the power we have to make our own choices. That doesn’t mean that we’ll always have options we want to choose! Sometimes when we say we have no choice, what we really mean is “That choice isn’t viable for me because of this reason,” or “Only one of those options comes without consequences.” But that doesn’t mean the other options don’t exist, only that they aren’t something that would work for us.

Freedom to choose doesn’t mean freedom from consequences, which is something people sometimes forget. You might, for example, choose to drive 100 miles per hour on Main Street; you’re free to make that choice. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get pulled over and ticketed or arrested!

Sometimes we confuse the existence of consequences with the absence of choice. As we learn to recognize and embrace our personal power, we need to learn that choice does exist, and to consciously make choices rather than falling back to a default because “there is no choice.”

This is something it’s taken me time to learn, and sometimes I still catch myself saying I don’t have a choice. But at those times, I stop myself and say, “Okay, wait a minute. What are my choices here? Why are choices A and B not valid for me right now?” Going through that process enables me to *consciously* choose option C, rather than just going with it because I’ve forgotten that I have the power to make a choice. I have free will, and I can use it.

The next time you’re faced with a situation in which you believe you don’t have a choice, I invite you to go through the process I just described. Ask yourself what choices exist in the situation. Not what choices you like, or which ones have no or fewest consequences, but just which ones *exist*. Once you’ve done that, look at the possible outcomes of each option, and consciously decide on the option that has the outcome you want.

Embrace and exercise your power of free will, and see how it can help you create the life you want to live.

Why I Chose Chios

In 2005, I was struggling. My marriage was toxic and at times abusive. I felt completely incompetent as a mother. I’d discovered I couldn’t fit into the box of public education, so my career as a special education teacher had come to an end.

Most importantly, and most impactful, I’d begun recovering memories of abuse and trauma I’d experienced as a child. Those things had never fully been forgotten, but I’d stuffed them into a strongbox at the back of my mind, and tried to pretend they didn’t exist so I could function on a daily basis. But now they were finding their way out of the box, and I didn’t know how to deal with them.

That year, I met someone who became a close friend and mentor. During one of our conversations, he told me he did a type of energy healing called Chios, and offered me a session. I figured it wouldn’t hurt, so I accepted.

The difference was immediate and profound, though definitely not pleasant. The mental strongbox opened, and a lot of things came out, some of which I’d known were there and some I hadn’t been consciously aware of. It was difficult, and I’ll always be thankful to my friend for his support and willingness to listen and help me process in the immediate aftermath of that session.

However, even though it wasn’t easy to deal with, the session was incredibly beneficial. Having the clarity of what had happened to me enabled me to deal with the events, and to work on my personality traits and behaviors that had developed as a result. I also became clearer on what I wanted my life to look like, and on the fact that I did deserve to live a healthy, happy, safe life.

The effects that Chios had on me and for me were amazing, and I knew after that first session that I wanted to learn the techniques so I could help others. My friend saw me as a natural healer and agreed to teach me. Within a few months, I worked my way through the Chios levels to attain the certification of Chios Master Teacher.

Chios won’t work for everyone. For some people, it simply doesn’t resonate, or it isn’t as effective as other modalities. For me personally, it’s the only modality that has ever fully resonated, which is why it’s the only one I practice. I have tried learning a couple of other modalities, but the information I studied literally would not stay in my brain for more than a few minutes, which showed me clearly that those modalities were not meant for me.

The reason so many modalities of healing exist is because nothing works for everyone, but everything works for someone. I have had clients and students come to me who have explored several other modalities and found, as I did, that Chios was the one that actually resonated. I recommend Chios to anyone who has found other modalities to be ineffective for them or for whom other modalities don’t resonate.

Beginning November 2, I’ll resume offering Chios distance sessions. A distance session lasts about an hour total, and includes discussion with me over video chat both before and after the healing work. During the healing work, all you need to do is lie down (or sit, if lying down isn’t an option) quietly for about half an hour, while I do the energy work for you. If this is something you’re interested in or curious about, please visit the Chios Energy Healing page on this site, or feel free to Contact Us!

I’m not currently accepting Chios students, but hope to resume giving instruction in Chios in early 2021. If you’d like to be kept informed about that, let me know!

“Create Your Best Life”

“Create and evolve into your best life” is the tagline for RiverEvolutions, but some people aren’t clear on what I mean by it. So I wanted to take a moment to explain.

I believe all of us have the innate power to bring things into our lives, change our lives, and create what we want to live. This isn’t some magical thing, though some people might call it magic; it’s a power we have purely by virtue of being alive.

As children, a lot of us play games of “make-believe” or talk about what we want to be when we grow up. We don’t recognize limits on our creative power. We believe in magic, we believe we can be whatever we want to be, and we create those things in our minds. And sometimes, those childhood “imaginings” and creations carry over into adulthood.

But sometimes we lose touch with that creative power. It might happen because adults tell us to stop playing “silly” games and make-believe. Sometimes, it happens because our power is taken away through abuse and trauma. We learn that life is a thing that happens to us, and we have to take what we get.

That’s a mindset I was in for a long time, and the events in my life didn’t do anything to change that mindset. But finally, I started realizing that I do have power in my own life. I can make things happen instead of sitting back and waiting. 

What I want in my life is what I can have, if I am focused and believe I’m deserving of having the things I want. If my life isn’t working out the way I want it to, that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve good things; it means I need to examine where I’m not using my creative power, and make changes in those areas.

When I talk about creating your best life, I’m talking about reclaiming your power and using it to make things happen in your life. And evolving? That means learning to *accept* your creative power, learning how to use it, and pushing beyond the fears and “what ifs” to actually put things into place so you can live the life you truly want to live.

Basically, I believe everyone deserves to live a life where they feel fulfilled and happy. Learning to create that kind of life is a journey, one I’m still on myself. But tools like energy healing and channeling have helped me recognize, reclaim, and use my creative power, and that’s what I love to do for others using those tools. For me, part of creating and evolving into *my* best life means helping other people create and evolve into theirs.

Today

Today, I’m undergoing surgery to remove my thyroid, as a result of the health issues I’ve mentioned in previous posts. Obviously, I pre-scheduled this post!

I appreciate good thoughts and healing energy that anyone is able and willing to send. The surgery itself is not major, but there are risks, as there are to any surgeries. More difficult for me, I will be alone in that my family members won’t be allowed into the hospital, so I won’t wake up in the recovery room to see them waiting for me, or be able to have them visit and sit with me while I remain in the hospital overnight.

At the same time, though, I am looking forward to having this taken care of. So many of the physical and even mental health issues I’ve experienced over the past two to three years can be traced to the thyroid problems. Once the thyroid is removed and I’m put on medication (which is simply a version of the hormones my thyroid is supposed to make and hasn’t been), I’ll feel so much healthier and be so much more able to accomplish things!

For the next few weeks, I’ll be somewhat out of commission as I recover. I have some blog posts banked up that I’ll be sharing, and my newsletter will go out on its regular schedule. I’ll be poking around on social media as well. However, channeling sessions and email channelings are on hold until September 28, and Chios sessions are unavailable until November 2, to give me time to tend to my own health and recovery.

 

This is and will be a good thing. This I believe.

My Voice

As a child, I was taught not to use my voice, especially when it came to speaking about the things I knew to be true. My mother became easily overwhelmed when I talked “too much” (meaning, talked the way a young child typically would), and my father was horrified and upset if I talked about magic, having invisible friends, trees talking to me, or any of the other things that made up my world at the time. My father and other adults also told me not to talk unless I had something important to say, with the implication–and sometimes explicit statement–that nothing I had to say would ever be important.

Whether it was because of how adults treated me or something I would have experienced anyway, I also have always had a great deal of difficulty with expressive language. The ideas are there, in my brain, but sometimes the words to express them aren’t. And even when the words are there, sometimes I’m too afraid to speak because of what others might say or do. Anxiety about saying the wrong thing, about being accused of lying or having someone misunderstand me and get angry with me because of it, has been a constant in my life.

I also have difficulty comprehending what others say; sounds get into my ears just fine, but the words sometimes get jumbled or translated into gibberish as they reach my brain. This only adds to my difficulties with speaking and my anxiety about conversations.

As an adult, I lived for about fourteen years in a situation where speaking my truth was literally unsafe. I learned to be quiet no matter what was going on. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but self-preservation took over.

Now I’m in a safe situation, but with some people who don’t understand or don’t believe in the magic, energy, and other things I’ve rediscovered from my childhood. My entire business is based around those things, but I can’t talk about them to my husband or some other people in my life. They won’t harm me, but their eye-rolling and disrespect aren’t much better.

For many years, I’ve learned not to speak my truth, not to speak up for my needs, not to express my wants and dreams. Even as I started learning about energy, and knew that choosing to be silent would have negative effects on my throat chakra, which could lead to negative effects on my overall health and wellbeing, I was still too afraid to speak. I did energy work on my throat chakra, but didn’t carry that through to speaking up about what I believe in, my gifts and skills, and even who I truly am.

Now, in a couple of weeks, I will be having surgery to remove my thyroid. My immune system has been attacking a gland that resides in my throat, and on top of that there are growths on the thyroid. I had a biopsy that came back with no results due to an issue with the sample; I’ve since had a second biopsy that revealed abnormal cells, and we’re waiting for additional results to determine whether it’s cancer. These issues, and others I’ve experienced due to the deterioration of my thyroid, should be fully resolved by the surgery. But the surgery itself carries the risk of damaging my vocal cords. I could literally, and permanently, lose my voice.

I’m thinking about the positives. The risks are small and unlikely. However, I’m also thinking of how I got here. The fact that my constant and consistent refusal to use my voice has led me to a point where losing it is a possibility. The fact that this condition has been present for at least two years, worsening all that time as I continued not to speak even when I knew there was something wrong in my throat.

I’m learning to speak up now. It’s too late to correct what I’m facing, but I can correct the energies and the habits.

Speak your truth whenever and wherever it’s safe to do so. Use your voice. Avoid my choices, and make the ones that will most benefit you when it comes to speaking up.

Growing Into a Name

Four years ago, I had what I describe as a dedication ritual. It wasn’t intentional or planned on my part. My partner took me to a place that is very energetically entwined with the elements and with magic in general, and while there, beings spoke to me and guided me through a rebirth of sorts. I consider this the beginning of my study and following the path of witchcraft.

During this process, the beings told me that my purpose is to be a healer, speaker, and teacher, which is something I’ve been trying to live up to ever since. At the end of the ritual, they gave me a new name: River Lightbearer. I was told I could use “River” as part of my name and the name of my business, but that I would have to earn the right to use “Lightbearer” through my growth, healing, and study.

I worked on my own healing as well as on trying to build my practice. It’s definitely been a journey, with plenty of forward-and-backward momentum. I’ve learned a lot, and have faced things about myself that were definitely not easy to face. I’ve gone back and forth with my business as well, and have yet to completely become what I was told I would become. Then again, things take time, and one of the lessons I’ve been trying to learn is patience.

Several months ago, I was told I had earned the right to use the second half of this spiritual name I was given. I’ve been a little shy and reluctant about doing so, because I had to battle imposter syndrome and the fear people would see me as being too proud or arrogant or something. But the time finally feels right to take that step.

When they gave me the name, I wondered why “River.” The symbolism made sense, but most people I knew who’d been given spiritual names had ones that were at least somewhat gendered. Then again, the first spiritual name I was given, which came from my guide Shiva, is Ganatram, also not recognizably female.

Last year when I came to the recognition that I don’t identify as female, but instead as agender (gender-neutral), the names made sense. I had neutral-sounding names because I am neutral.

Now I’m moving toward using River more in my personal life as well as my business life. It isn’t a change I’m making lightly, nor one I’m making rapidly, but it is something that feels right. I’m definitely using the full name, River Lightbearer, as the owner of RiverEvolutions and in any writing I do that relates to my business and message; I don’t anticipate using it in my day-to-day life, but then, I didn’t anticipate this change either. Anything is possible.

I will still answer to Kim Ramsey-Winkler. I know my own memory is like a sieve sometimes, so it makes sense to continue using the name I’ve been used to for years. But I’m also moving toward being River, or River Lightbearer, and that feels good for me.

When to Walk Away

A few years ago, I was part of a group of people I considered friends. I socialized with them. Had online conversations. Told them things about myself. I liked most of them, and I thought it was mutual with at least some.

Then I learned the sad truth. Some of them were not only saying insulting and hurtful things behind my back, they were overtly trying to sabotage my connections with other people. Including my own husband.

I had known that some of the people in the group weren’t my biggest fans, but I hadn’t realized their dislike of me ran that deep until two people, independently, came to me and said, “These people told me this about you and told me not to have anything to do with you.” When I vented to my husband about my pain and anger, he said, “Oh, yeah, they said that stuff to me too.”

Despite knowing there were members of the group who didn’t think so highly of me, and in spite of things a few had said to my face, I’d hung in there. I was determined not to let them “run me off,” so to speak. After all, didn’t thinking highly of *myself* mean not allowing other people to have power over me? Didn’t not caring what others thought of me mean continuing to expose myself to people who didn’t think kindly?

Nope. It didn’t mean any of that. And when I realized how deep the dislike ran, and how much damage some people in the group had tried to cause–and may have succeeded in causing, because I did learn that at least two people I’d tried to form connections with had chosen not to due to what the others said to them–I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors by staying in that group.

I left. I cut ties even with group members who, to my knowledge, hadn’t said or done anything negative, because I was no longer sure I could trust them. I blocked them on social media. I called it quits.

And I immediately felt lighter, more positive, and more sure of myself than I had in a long time.

We’re often taught that we should keep people in our lives. Especially if we’re “spiritual,” according to some, we’re supposed to keep connections even with people who are toxic to us because otherwise, we aren’t showing compassion or forgiveness. Some of us also come from backgrounds in which we were expected to accept poor treatment without complaint, and even expected to forget it entirely the moment someone said, “Sorry,” even if we knew they didn’t mean it and would only do it again. 

Some of us become conditioned to being treated poorly and blaming ourselves for it, and take that to mean we can’t walk away just because we don’t like how someone is dealing with us.

But that isn’t how it’s meant to be. We are under no obligation to keep people in our lives when we know they’re treating us badly or that they’re toxic to or unhealthy for us. We aren’t somehow more spiritual or evolved because we choose to continue exposing ourselves to people whose actions cause us to doubt and dislike ourselves.

We can walk away from those people. Not caring what others think includes not caring how others view our choices about who to allow in our lives. It includes building a life in which we feel happy, confident, and positive, regardless of what anyone else tells us we “should” do.

No matter who someone is, what their role your life has been, or if they’ve done anything positive for you, if their behavior toward you is hurtful and toxic, you do not owe them any place in your life. You have the right to shut them out for your own sake. That isn’t refusing to show compassion, and it isn’t “unevolved.” You are showing compassion for *yourself*, and evolving beyond a life where you are constantly feeling negatively about yourself due to the actions and words of others.

The time to walk away is when you feel it’s necessary. You don’t need to explain it or justify it to anyone. If you need to have someone out of your life, you have the right to make that choice. 

New Ideas Coming

Over the weekend, I had something like an epiphany about the way I conduct business and what role my truths and beliefs play.

I’ve always had strong opinions and beliefs, but I’m not always good at expressing them. Sometimes it’s due to not having the words I need; other times, it’s out of fear of what other people might think.

I turned 50 years old last week. It’s well past time to stop worrying about what others think and be my best self. After all, that’s what RiverEvolutions is all about, right? Evolving into your best self?

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be developing a new mission statement based on what I believe to be true. That isn’t intended to negate anyone else’s truth, but to give me clearer understanding of what benefits I can bring to my clients, and to give prospective clients a better idea of whether I’m a practitioner they want to work with. I disagree with or differ from some others in the lightworker and spiritual communities in some beliefs, and I want to make sure people who consider working with me know what they’re getting into if they choose me. (For example, if you believe people are at fault for being abused or mistreated, or for becoming ill, because they’re “not vibrating right” or “chose to create it,” I am not someone who would be a good fit for you. Nor, to be honest, would you be a good fit for me.)

I may be tweaking my services as well. I still plan to offer Chios Energy Healing, though for the time being I’m putting a hold on that to tend to my own physical health. I have developed growths on my thyroid (thanks, communication issues… I do believe that problems in the throat are caused in part by energetic imbalances in the throat chakra, which governs communication, and I know I have done myself a massive disservice most of my life by choosing not to communicate things that needed to be spoken), which may be cancer. I will be having surgery soon, likely later this summer. Until I have had and recovered from the surgery, I don’t feel I can put my full focus into providing healing energies for others. Chios Healing does not involve the practitioner using their *own* energy; when I do Chios sessions, I open myself as a conduit for universal energy. So the energy my clients receive is not tainted or affected by anything going on with me. However, using Chios techniques does require mental focus and, to some extent, physical stamina, and right now those are taken up by maintaining my health to the best of my ability and preparing for my surgery and recovery.

For now, I am still offering channeling services, either trance channeling or relayed, by video chat (Zoom or Facebook) or by email. You can find out more on the Channeling page on this website. After I have recovered from my surgery, I will reopen appointments for Chios Healing clients, and may resume offering instruction as well. (That’s part of the planning I’m doing while I’m on partial hiatus.) I’m also creating and selling jewelry and rock art, made with stones, shells, and sea glass gathered at my local beach, and charged with the energy of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water as well as the energy of my guide Shiva. I’ll be putting up a page for the art and jewelry in the next few weeks; for now, you can view some of the pictures of what’s available on my Facebook page.

I’ve gone back, forth, and around about RiverEvolutions for a while now, and have been on partial or entire hiatus more often than not in the past several months. Being in business isn’t easy, and neither is gaining the confidence and belief to create things, even when I know they’re things I’m meant to create. I’m looking forward to creating, evolving, and working with those who want to work with me.

If I can be of help to you, or if you want to learn more about my services and products, please feel free to email kim @ riverflowhealing.com (no spaces).