Discouragement and Recouragement (Is That a Word?)

When you’re trying to build a business, discouragement comes with the territory. The problem is that the discouragement leads to frustration and resentment, which leads to negative energy, which leads to the business continuing to be discouraging.

One of the things I’ve found as I’ve been working on RiverEvolutions/River Flow Healing for the past 4 years is that I get discouraged easily…which brings me further discouragement. Things don’t go the way I hope, so I decide I don’t feel like dealing with it. (To be fair, there have also been personal life things and health things that have contributed.)
But also, sometimes… well, okay, most of the time, I haven’t been clear on what I’m trying to create and build. I want a healing business. So what does that mean? What does it look like? Why do I want it?

I’ve been doing some pondering lately, because I reached another point where I couldn’t continue the way I was going and had to decide whether to continue at all. And I’ve realized a few things.

I’ve become unhappy with teaching Chios Energy Healing. I love the modality, and I think it’s highly beneficial, but *teaching* it has become problematic for me. Maybe it’s the way I’ve structured the instruction piece, or maybe I’m not as effective as I could be at reaching the students who would benefit from working with me–and with whom I would benefit from working. Whatever the reason, I’m finding that teaching Chios is not where my heart is, and not where my energy wants to go. I am eliminating offering Chios instruction effective immediately, other than for the students with whom I’m currently working.

I love doing Chios healing sessions. I want to do more of them. I would love to connect with more people who are interested in and would benefit from sessions. I need to create means of finding them.

Channeling scares me… but not because of the actual channeling. I have worked with my guide, a being of light called Shiva, for lifetimes. I feel safer with him than I do with most humans I know, and I know his wisdom and compassion. My fear comes from the worries that I’ll mess up somehow, such as by blocking what Shiva’s trying to say, or that people will think I’m a fake, a liar, or insane. Those are fears I’m working on overcoming, because I really love offering channeling to my clients. I like hearing what Shiva has to say, too. So I need to create/find more opportunities for offering this.

My Best Life Jumpstart program, a 12-week “create your best life” program combining 12 sessions of mindset coaching and 6 sessions of Chios, is available for those interested in beta-ing for me. (That just means you’re among the first to experience the program, and part of your investment will be committing to provide me with feedback and, if warranted, a testimonial.) I’m eager to see if this program is as effective as it feels to me from the planning side.

The cool thing about running a business–and, for that matter, living a life–is there’s always room for reinvention, refinement, and change. And that’s where I’m at right now. I hope you’ll be with me on the next part of my journey.

Some Things About Me

It occurred to me that people visiting my site might want to know who I am as a person, not only as a practitioner. So here are a few facts about me:

1. I have 2 kids, both adults now.

2. I’m a witch, but I sometimes feel like I’m not very good at it. (I’m a good witch, but not good at *being* a witch.)

3. I prefer following my own instincts, intuition, and focus over following other people’s rules.

4. I’ve been on a journey to heal from abuse, bullying, and trauma for years now, and I love helping others on their journeys.

5. I’m an author; although most of my books are out of print now due to publishers closing, at one time I had over 80 novels and short stories on the market under 2 different pen names.

6. I was a special education teacher for a number of years, and developed a phonics-based reading/comprehension program during one of my jobs; the program’s been on the market since 2002.

7. I’m agender. I don’t identify as female or male, just as me.

8. The “River” part of my business name (RiverEvolutions, formerly River Flow Healing) is part of a name I was gifted when I started studying witchcraft and chose it as my spiritual path.

9. I’m polyamorous, meaning I have the capacity to romantically love more than one person. Thanks to a very understanding and compassionate husband, I have a marriage of nearly 10 years (anniversary in April), a long-term relationship of 4 1/2 years, and other connections that bring me happiness.

10. I’m a grandmother. My older grandson is technically a “step,” but I don’t think of him that way; he’s been part of my life since he was 3. My younger grandson turned 1 yesterday!

11. Sometimes I fall flat on my face when it comes to following my beliefs about healing, manifestation, etc. I’m constantly learning to feel more compassion toward myself at those times.

12. I learned Chios Energy Healing after a friend offered me a session in 2005; I’d never heard of energy healing before that. I became a Certified Chios Master Teacher in less than 6 months because it resonated so deeply for me.

13. I channel a being of light who calls himself Shiva. He’s been my guide my entire life (I used to think of him and my other guides as “invisible friends,” and became very angry as a child when people said my friends were imaginary, not invisible), and I learned to channel him around the same time I learned Chios.

14. Shiva and my other guides, as I said, have been around my entire life, and they offer a lot of guidance and support on my journey… but I don’t always listen to them. Kinda like a toddler doesn’t always listen to their parents…

15. I was raised as an only child by parents who rarely socialized with anyone, so a lot of human “socialing” behavior makes no sense to me. I do much better and feel much more comfortable interacting with people one-on-one than in groups.

16. I tend to overexplain and make really long lists.

Darkness Equals Rest

In the pagan Wheel of the Year (or at least the one with which I’m familiar), we’ve just passed Samhain, the end of the old year and beginning of the new. But we’ve also entered a time of year when, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, daylight is short and harder to come by, and it’s only going to grow shorter until Yule, a/k/a the Winter Solstice.

This is a hard time of year for me every year. The lessening of daylight impacts my mental health, and the holidays I grew up celebrating at this time of year (primarily Thanksgiving and Christmas) were sources of trauma and pain for me. Things will start getting better for me after the Solstice and Christmas have passed, though the cold New England winter that will prevent me from being outside as much as I would like will continue to have an impact.

These are things of which I’m always aware, and I do know how to manage myself and keep myself as focused and positive as possible through this time. But in the past years, I’ve also often put self-care behind trying to push through doing things. Running RiverEvolutions, working other jobs, keeping my house (mostly) clean, doing things that other people ask me to do…

This is the time of year when, thanks to having to interact more with blood-and-marriage family, I’ve most often heard that yet another year had gone by without my doing anything that mattered or anything that anyone could be proud of. And so even though most of those people are no longer in my life, and I know I’ve accomplished things people told me I couldn’t, and have accomplishments I can be proud of, it’s the time of year when I get the hardest on myself for not doing “enough,” whatever “enough” is. And so I push too hard, and try to do too much, and don’t honor my own needs.

This year, I’m trying to be different about that. I mean, seriously, who am I trying to impress by pushing through the darkness to do things that sometimes I’m not even sure have a purpose? It’s a time of year when some forms of life enter hibernation, and some just settle in to keep warm until spring, and I think I–at least the business “I”–am going to follow their lead.

I’m not shutting down RiverEvolutions. I believe strongly in this business. I believe people need balance, relaxation, and clarity, and I have seen through working with clients that I can help them achieve those things. I know where I was fourteen years ago before I learned Chios Energy Healing, and I know how far I’ve come–even when voices from the past pop into my brain to tell me I haven’t come any distance at all. They’re wrong.

But I do believe there are times to work and push, and there are times to rest and recharge. There are times to plant seeds, and to harvest them, and to cover the garden with warmth and let the snow fall.

I’m still open to clients on a very limited basis for both Chios Energy Healing and channeling; very limited meaning a maximum of 2 clients per week. I’m still working with my students, and I’m really pleased to watch their progress, and honored they chose me to work with. I’m still poking at tentative plans and ideas for RiverEvolutions for the future.

For the next couple of months, though, I’m turning inward. Looking at my own healing, and seeing where the weak spots are. Relearning what I learned from my mentor 14 years ago that put me on this path in the first place. Relearning what I learned 3 years ago when I was charged with creating this practice and guiding people on their journeys.

Relearning the “me” that exists under the years of sludge and other people’s voices. Because I will be far more effective guiding others to learning who they are when I’m doing a more effective job of remembering who I am, and taking care of myself.

When I Quit Channeling

From 2006-2009, I offered channeling sessions at a store in Portland, ME. The store no longer exists; it went out of business in early 2009, if I remember right. I enjoyed doing sessions there, especially the group channelings I did in 2006 and early 2007 with my mentor.

Things tapered off for me in 2008, because I was trying to work and raise my kids as a single parent, and there wasn’t much time left over for channeling or energy healing. But people still occasionally requested channeling sessions with me, and I was happy to provide them.

Until one day in early spring of 2009. I got a call from the store saying someone had booked a session with me. I was excited; I hadn’t done channeling for a while, and the payment would be a benefit. But I was also nervous because I hadn’t done channeling for a while.

It did not go well.

The client was a Shaivite, someone who worships Shiva. He had scheduled the session because the being I channel is named Shiva. That set me a little on edge. I channel a being of light, not necessarily a god, and I was terrified I would screw up somehow and this client would conclude–and tell others–that I was a fraud.

I entered trance and Shiva greeted the client, who responded in Hindi.

Here’s the thing… while Shiva, as a being of light, probably could speak Hindi if he chose, *I* do not. And when a being is channeled by a human, the being is limited by the human’s capabilities. If Shiva was the type to ignore my consent and my well-being, he might have been able to force the language issue, but doing so would have caused harm to me. That isn’t how Shiva operates.

Already afraid the client would think I was a fraud, I started panicking. Shiva, who was still the one speaking, informed the client, in English, that he could not communicate in Hindi because it was beyond my abilities. The client seemed to accept this, and the conversation went on.

Or, rather, didn’t, because my panic got the better of me. I broke trance, stammered through an apology to the client, and brought him out to the store’s register to get his money back. He assured me it was fine, that he had been able to tell I–and Shiva–was the real deal and there was no harm done, but I didn’t fully trust that.

I didn’t channel again until 2016, and then it was relayed channeling, in which Shiva told me his responses and I passed them along to the client. Even with that, every time I saw a client, I was anxious about getting something wrong and being called a fraud, to the point that I ended up stopping those sessions as well.

Fear is a powerful thing. Whether it’s rational or not, it can take hold and grow into something that blocks you from doing even things you badly want to do.

I’ve resumed offering channeling in the past several months, because I’ve worked with those fears. I know that what I’m doing is, as the Shaivite client said, the “real deal.” If a client chooses to believe otherwise, that is their choice, but it isn’t a reflection on me, and their belief is not my truth.

I have openings for channeling clients, as well as opportunities for clients to receive channelings via email. For more information, please visit my Channeling page or send me a message at info @ riverflowhealing.com.

I Didn’t Like Channeling

When I started learning channeling, it scared me. My mentor practiced trance channeling, in which he entered a trance state and allowed his guide to speak through him, and that was what he taught me. But I’d been in too many situations in my life where I wasn’t allowed to be in control of my own body, and trance channeling sounded like just one more way of not having control.

I was also afraid that I was making it all up. Maybe I was deluding myself into believing this being of light was speaking to me and through me. I’ve always had a good imagination, and as a child I was often told I was imagining things that to me seemed very real. Including my “invisible” friends, who, as I’d found out by this point, were actually my guides.

I would love to say that I got the hang of trance channeling and learned to love doing it, but I have to be honest. While I did become more fluid with it, and it grew easier to enter trance and allow my guide Shiva to speak through me, I’m still not entirely comfortable with it. Even now, well over a decade after I first started learning.

It isn’t as much fear of giving up control at this point. Shiva doesn’t “take control” of my body when I do trance channeling. It’s very much a consent-only undertaking. I choose to enter trance. If I’m feeling okay about it, I ask Shiva to speak through me. Usually, he does so, but sometimes he refuses, either because he doesn’t feel that I’m really as okay with it as I want to be, or because it isn’t the right thing to do at that moment. If he does begin speaking through me, I’m still aware of what’s going on and have the ability to stop him, or even to break out of trance entirely, at any moment. We’ve worked with my fear of losing control.

Now, it’s more of the “Imposter Syndrome” I mentioned in last week’s post. I know I’m not imagining Shiva, because he knows a lot more than I do, including things I don’t really have any way of knowing. But there’s still that little niggling doubt in the back of my mind, accompanied by my father’s voice saying, “Don’t talk about that kind of thing, they’ll lock you up.”

For a long time, I didn’t offer channeling at all. That was partly because of the issues I just mentioned, and also because of an experience the last time I had a trance channeling session scheduled at a store where I saw clients. (I’ll blog more about that next week.) When I started again, it was relayed channeling, where Shiva gave me information to pass along to the client, rather than my entering trance.

I offer both now, but strongly prefer relayed channeling. That’s something on which I’m working, because there’s a fine line between doing what I’m comfortable with because it’s more effective, and doing what I’m comfortable with because fear’s blocking me from pushing the comfort zone a little. However, I love doing channeling because I’m so thankful for the chance to help others by giving them access to Shiva’s compassion and wisdom.

I have openings for channeling clients now. If you’d like to learn more, please feel free to comment, email me at info @ riverflowhealing.com, or visit the Channeling page here on this site.

Non-Imaginary Friends

A man I befriended in 2005 taught me a lot of things. Chios Energy Healing was one of them, as I blogged about last week. That was a little weird for me, and I wasn’t sure it would work, but it was a lot easier to accept than channeling.

Since I was a very young child, I’ve had imaginary friends–except that when I was small, before I learned to be careful of what I said to whom, I was adamant that they were NOT imaginary. They were just invisible. I gave them names that made sense to me as a little kid; since I wasn’t necessarily good with names at age two or three, the first two were named Big John and Little John. By the time I was 8 or 9, my invisible friends numbered somewhere around 40. By then, I’d learned that they had to be imaginary–either that or I was crazy and needed to be locked up. I’d learned it upset my parents if I mentioned them, and I got bullied if any of my peers found out. (I got bullied for many other things as well, but I figured if I could cut at least one thing, maybe the bullying would decrease.)

I read parenting articles constantly as a child, because parenting me effectively and nonabusively was largely left to me. Some of those articles mentioned that imaginary friends were perfectly normal for young children, especially children like me with no siblings, few friends, and huge imaginations, and that those imaginary friends were usually outgrown well before junior high school.

I didn’t outgrow mine. That scared me; maybe I really *was* crazy. Most of them went away; by junior high, only three or four remained. But they were definitely still there, and they knew a lot more than I did. They told me things I had no way of knowing but was able to confirm were correct. They guided me through the extreme emotional lows and traumas I experienced, and at times literally kept me alive. And even though I knew it probably meant I was crazy, I continued talking to them, because most of the time I had no one else. Despite the fear that someone would find out about them and lock me up, I also found their presence comforting.

Fast-forward to 2005/early 2006, when my friend started teaching me about energy healing and channeling. Channeling, he told me, was the ability to connect to higher-vibration beings such as beings of light or spirit guides, who could offer advice and support from a broader perspective. He had a guide with whom he spoke fairly often, who helped him with his writing projects and whom he channeled verbally for others. He offered me a session.

That scared me. A lot of things about this friend scared me, to be honest. Even though he was an extremely gentle man who would never have harmed anyone intentionally, he talked about things like beings of light and channeling as though they were completely normal, which was the total opposite of what I’d been taught as a child. And somewhere inside, I knew that his skills could help me, and I was afraid to accept that help.

But I accepted the offer of a channeling session, partly because I was curious and partly at the urging of my “imaginary” friends.

During that first channeling session, I was excruciatingly uncomfortable. I was afraid to talk to my friend’s guide; I was afraid of the guide, even though I could sense that he was nothing but benevolent. I wasn’t used to benevolence. Also, his energetic vibration was far higher than mine, and higher than that of my friend (beings’ vibrations are generally higher than those of humans), and that caused some physical discomfort for me. Over the year or so after this that the friendship continued, I never became more comfortable having a channeling session, though I at least became less afraid.

But I also realized my imaginary friends were not imaginary after all, something I’d suspected all along but hadn’t dared to acknowledge once I got “too old” to have imaginary friends in the first place. I realized there were reasons they knew things I had no way of knowing, and that they’d helped me navigate my life and stay alive as long as they had.

And, as with Chios, I realized this was a skill I could learn and use to help others.

At the time of the first channeling session, I didn’t know who my primary guide (the one who helped me the most and whom I would channel) was. That being had been unable to work with me directly for a number of years because trauma, bullying, and some of my own poor choices had lowered my energetic vibration to the point that his presence would have been harmful to me. In fact, when I first met my friend, my vibration was too low for me to tolerate the presence of his guide either; although I didn’t know it, the Chios sessions I’d had, other techniques my friend had taught me, and the friendship itself, had helped me raise my vibration to a level high enough for my friend’s guide’s presence and my own guide’s presence to be safe for me.

I learned to work with my friend’s guide through our sessions, and he helped connect me with and relearn how to work with my own guide, a being of light called Shiva. And as with Chios, I began offering this to others in the hope of helping people work through and work beyond things similar to what I’d been through.

#Healing100

As a prospective client (for healing, coaching, channeling, etc.), I’ve often found the cost prohibitive. Not necessarily because the practitioners are overcharging; usually they aren’t, though there are some…

But because I am disabled, and I’m on an extremely tight budget. Do I put gas in my car or have an oracle card reading? Do I pay my rent or sign up with a business coach? These are the choices I face on a regular basis, especially while I’m still trying to get my own business off the ground. (Something which is also hampered by finances.)

I’ve heard others talk about how they wish they could have a healing session, or a channeling session, or work with a life coach, but they can’t afford it. And since I know how that feels, I decided to do something about it.

For 100 days, which started yesterday (Aug. 11) and runs through November 18, I’ve discounted my energy healing and channeling services *for private clients only* by 40%. It’s my hope that doing this will enable more people to benefit from the services. You can find more information on my Chios Energy Healing and Channeling pages.

(Discount does not apply to Chios Energy Healing instruction, to workshops, or to sessions held in stores.)

Trance Channeling–An Inside View

In the years since I learned channeling, I’ve practiced two types: relayed and trance. Relayed channeling is pretty easy to explain and describe. I sit with my client, listen to their questions, and listen to the answers my guide Shiva gives. Then I pass those answers along to the client in Shiva’s words, or as close as I can get, and give clarification when asked.

Trance channeling is harder to describe, both from the perspective of an observer and from the perspective of the one doing it. But I’m going to try, because trance channeling is something I’ve found people don’t always understand.

As the name might imply, when I do trance channeling, I’m in a trance. My body is relaxed and, if I’m doing it right, so is my mind. I have a process for getting into trance that simply involves slow counting backward, and when I reach the right level of trance, I invite Shiva to “come in.”

Basically what that means is that my consciousness, in a sense, steps aside to allow Shiva’s consciousness to use my body to communicate with a client. It isn’t the same as possession; Shiva’s consciousness is just visiting, so to speak, and I can break out of the trance–thereby displacing him–at any time. 

It also is not something Shiva will ever do without my invitation. Sometimes, when I’m getting into trance to do a channeling, I forget to explicitly say, “Shiva, please come in,” and when that happens, he won’t do it. He might prompt me to say it, because he knows sometimes my memory doesn’t work as well as it could, but he won’t do anything more unless I ask.

While Shiva’s doing his thing, my body gets very hot. This happens to a lesser extent even when I do relayed channeling, because Shiva’s high energetic vibration causes heat, but it’s more intense when I’m doing a trance channeling. No matter how cold the room is, if I’m doing trance channeling, I’ll probably be sweating by the end of it.

I can hear everything that’s said, because I haven’t gone anywhere. My consciousness is still in my body; it’s just moved over a bit like someone might move over on a bench to make space for someone else to sit down. But hearing doesn’t mean remembering. Another side effect of the energy shifts as Shiva shows up and leaves is that the energy tends to interfere with memory. That’s why I recommend clients who are having trance channelings either take notes or record the session on an audio device (I don’t allow video), because they might not remember everything either, and I won’t be able to help them.

On the plus side, since I don’t remember much of what’s said, confidentiality is pretty much assured. Shiva definitely isn’t going to tell anyone what happens in a session!

I can’t see anything, because my eyes remain closed. Shiva could open them if he wanted to, just as he can move my mouth and sometimes my hands if we’re doing an email channeling. But I’m extremely visually oriented, and if my eyes were open, even with Shiva’s consciousness at the forefront, I might get distracted by something visible and end up breaking trance. So my eyes stay closed.

When the session’s over, Shiva leaves. That feels like something is exiting my body, and I usually end up slumping over for a second or two, until my consciousness moves back into place. Depending on how hot my body got during the session, I might feel cold and even shiver until my body temperature readjusts.

Trance channeling is definitely an interesting experience, and one that pushes my comfort zone. Even though Shiva won’t do this unless I ask, and I know I can break trance at any time, giving up even some control over my body is a scary thing for someone with my trauma history. I’m also sometimes afraid I’ll “do it wrong,” or that the client will either think I’m faking or get freaked out, both of which have happened in the past. That makes it hard for me to take the final step of inviting Shiva in. It’s something I’m working on, and when I’m able to get out of the way, trance channeling has been a good experience for the majority of the clients for whom I’ve done it.

If you’d like to learn more or schedule a channeling session with Shiva and me, please visit my Channeling page.

Why I Love Channeling

I admit that one of the reasons I first started learning to channel was because it seemed like a cool thing to do. I also liked the idea of gaining an uncommon skill, because my ego likes to feel like I’m unique in some ways.

But my main reason for learning channeling was to help people, and in the years that I’ve been practicing the skill–even when I wasn’t doing so overtly–people have been helped by what Shiva and I have told them.

When I channel, Shiva and I don’t give clients a full-fledged road map for their future, or even for their present. The purpose of channeling, at least as I practice it, is to guide people to create their own road maps. Sometimes this involves nudging them toward a conclusion they may have already reached but haven’t yet acknowledged, such as asking them why they continue to view themselves more negatively than anyone else and helping them uncover the roots of those beliefs.

Clients have come to me asking about family members and have ended up confronting truths about themselves and their roles in the situations about which they’re asking. Shiva doesn’t give information about others who aren’t involved in the channeling session, because doing so would violate their free will. 

But if the client is contributing to an issue, Shiva helps them see their contribution and figure out how to change their actions and reactions in a way that might help resolve the problem. More importantly, we can help the client identify the boundaries of their own share of the situation so they aren’t taking on more blame or responsibility than is warranted–or than is healthy for them. For some clients, recognizing where their responsibility begins and ends has really been all they needed to deal with a problem.

I often work with clients who have experienced bullying or abuse in the past. The past can be a very insidious thing sometimes. Even those of us who have been through therapy and know ourselves pretty well can be tripped up by patterns and impressions placed on us by others or created in response to how others treated us.

For some those clients with whom Shiva and I have worked, hearing from an unbiased being that the past wasn’t their fault, and having guidance to see the patterns and impressions that are holding them back, has been the first step in breaking out of their pasts and creating their best life.

I’m always thankful to be able to help others with the skills I’ve learned, and to be able to work with a being like Shiva. If you’d like to find out more or experience working with us for yourself, please visit my Channeling page.

What Would You Like to Know?

At the beginning of June, I began offering channeling as a service to my clients. Although I’m able to do trance channeling, in general I’ve found I prefer relayed channeling. In relayed channeling, I’m listening to my guide Shiva’s responses to my client’s questions and am passing along his words, but I am also able to offer empathy and clarification. When I’m in trance, Shiva is the one speaking, and I can only address what he’s said after I come out of trance.

I’ve had the honor of doing channeling sessions for a few clients now, and it excites me to see how much help and understanding they seem to get from hearing what Shiva has to say. I have openings for more clients, both for real-time sessions, which can be done in person or by video chat, or for email channelings. I would love to work with you to help you get the answers to the things you want to know.

To give you an idea of what you might receive in a session, Shiva and I did a brief channeling for this blog post. This one was done with me in trance. (Note: Shiva refers to me as “Ganatram,” a name he apparently gave me several lifetimes ago.)

Many of you have questions about your lives, but hesitate to ask any, whether human or otherwise. Why do you fear the answers to the questions you know you must ask? In some cases, these answers may shake your view of the world to its core. Many of the beliefs you hold within you are incorrect, and yet those beliefs have taken on an existence of their own, as it were. They cling to you as you to them, and they will allow you to hear nothing else, because they would then lose their grip upon you. And you would lose that with which you have become familiar.

The unknown is frightening. When my Ganatram first began to work upon her traumas and beliefs, she questioned who she would be without them, and the fear of not knowing who she might become was greater than the pain of the beliefs. So, too, is it for many of you. Pain and fear are not your preference, yet they are familiar and therefore feel safe to you. Countering those beliefs and fears is frightening, because you do not know who you would be without them.

It is time to learn the truth. Time to seek out the validation of what you know deep inside, beneath the fear, to be real. Those who care for you are with you, even when unseen. Trust in this.

* * *

Could Shiva and I help you uncover your truths? Visit my Channeling page to learn more about how to work with us and schedule a session or arrange an email channeling.